122 research outputs found

    Intentional Minds: A Philosophical Analysis of Intention Tested through fMRI Experiments Involving People with Schizophrenia, People with Autism, and Healthy Individuals

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    In this paper we show how we empirically tested one of the most relevant topics in philosophy of mind through a series of fMRI experiments: the classification of different types of intention. To this aim, firstly we trace a theoretical distinction among private, prospective, and communicative intentions. Second, we propose a set of predictions concerning the recognition of these three types of intention in healthy individuals, and we report the experimental results corroborating our theoretical model of intention. Third, we derive from our model predictions relevant for the domain of psychopathological functioning. In particular, we treat the cases of both hyper-intentionality (as in paranoid schizophrenia) and hypo-intentionality (as in autistic spectrum disorders). Our conclusion is that the theoretical model of intention we propose contributes to enlarge our knowledge on the neurobiological bases of intention processing, in both healthy people and in people with impairments to the neurocognitive system that underlies intention recognition

    Visual experience is not necessary for efficient survey spatial cognition: Evidence from blindness

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    This study investigated whether the lack of visual experience affects the ability to create spatial infer-ential representations of the survey type. We compared the performance of persons with congenital blindness and that of blindfolded sighted persons on four survey representation-based tasks (Experiment 1). Results showed that persons with blindness performed better than blindfolded sighted controls. We repeated the same tests introducing a third group of persons with late blindness (Experiment 2). This last group performed better than blindfolded sighted participants, whereas differences between participants with late and congenital blindness were nonsignificant. The present findings are compatible with results of other studies, which found that when visual perception is lacking, skill in gathering environmental spatial information provided by nonvisual modalities may contribute to a proper spatial encoding. It is concluded that, although it cannot be asserted that total lack of visual experience incurs no cost, our findings are further evidence that visual experience is not a necessary condition for the development of spatial inferential complex representations. There is a general consensus on the crucial role of visual perception in guiding many of our daily movements in large- and small-scale environ

    Social cognition in anorexia nervosa: Evidence of preserved Theory of Mind and impaired emotional functioning.

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    The findings of the few studies that have to date investigated the way in which individuals with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) navigate their social environment are somewhat contradictory. We undertook this study to shed new light on the social-cognitive profile of patients with AN, analysing Theory of Mind and emotional functioning. Starting from previous evidence on the role of the amygdala in the neurobiology of AN and in the social cognition, we hypothesise preserved Theory of Mind and impaired emotional functioning in patients with AN.Thirty women diagnosed with AN and thirty-two women matched for education and age were involved in the study. Theory of Mind and emotional functioning were assessed with a set of validated experimental tasks. A measure of perceived social support was also used to test the correlations between this dimension and the social-cognitive profile of AN patients.The performance of patients with AN is significantly worse than that of healthy controls on tasks assessing emotional functioning, whereas patients’ performance is comparable to that of healthy controls on the Theory of Mind task. Correlation analyses showed no relationship between scores on any of the social-cognition tasks and either age of onset or duration of illness. A correlation between social support and emotional functioning was found. This latter result seems to suggest a potential role of social support in the treatment and recovery of AN.The pattern of results followed the experimental hypothesis. They may be useful to help us better understand the social-cognitive profile of patients with AN and to contribute to the development of effective interventions based on the ways in which patients with AN actually perceive their social environment

    The Fear of Pain Questionnaire: Factor structure, validity and reliability of the Italian translation

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    <div><p>Background</p><p>The Fear of Pain Questionnaire-III (FPQ-III) is a self-report instrument developed to assess fear of different stimuli usually causing pain. The present study aimed to construct an Italian version of the FPQ-III and examine its psychometric properties in a heterogeneous sample of Italian healthy individuals.</p><p>Methods</p><p>The questionnaire was translated following the forward-backward method and completed by 511 Italian adults who met the inclusion criteria. Within 2 months of the first assessment, a subgroup of participants (<b><i>n</i></b> = 164) was re-tested. The factorial structure of the FPQ-III was assessed by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). To better comprehend the FPQ-III’s factorial structure, a CFA was also performed for each of the two reduced versions of the FPQ-III, namely the FPQ-Short Form and the FPQ-9. Divergent validity, test-retest reliability, and gender/age measurement invariance were also evaluated.</p><p>Results</p><p>The results of the CFA revealed that the original three-factor model poorly fitted the data, but it became satisfactory after allowing correlated error terms. Concerning divergent validity, correlations between FPQ-III scores and pain intensity, depression, and anxiety were found to be positive but weak in magnitude (< .20). FPQ-III subscales and total scores showed good internal consistency and time reliability. Finally, scalar invariance was only partially obtained, whereas all the other types of invariance were fully respected both for gender and age.</p><p>Conclusions</p><p>The current findings indicate that the Italian version of the FPQ-III provides valid and reliable scores for the assessment of fear of pain in the Italian population.</p></div

    To drive or not to drive (after TBI)? A review of the literature and its implications for rehabilitation and future research

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