2,206 research outputs found

    Sense of agency, associative learning, and schizotypy

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    Despite the fact that the role of learning is recognised in empirical and theoretical work on sense of agency (SoA), the nature of this learning has, rather surprisingly, received little attention. In the present study we consider the contribution of associative mechanisms to SoA. SoA can be measured quantitatively as a temporal linkage between voluntary actions and their external effects. Using an outcome blocking procedure, it was shown that training action-outcome associations under conditions of increased surprise augmented this temporal linkage. Moreover, these effects of surprise were correlated with schizotypy scores, suggesting that individual differences in higher level experiences are related to associative learning and to its impact on SoA. These results are discussed in terms of models of SoA, and our understanding of disrupted SoA in certain disorders

    Hierarchical organisation in serial search tasks by Cebus Apella monkeys

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    Dopamine responses comply with basic assumptions of formal learning theory

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    According to contemporary learning theories, the discrepancy, or error, between the actual and predicted reward determines whether learning occurs when a stimulus is paired with a reward. The role of prediction errors is directly demonstrated by the observation that learning is blocked when the stimulus is paired with a fully predicted reward. By using this blocking procedure, we show that the responses of dopamine neurons to conditioned stimuli was governed differentially by the occurrence of reward prediction errors rather than stimulus−reward associations alone, as was the learning of behavioural reactions. Both behavioural and neuronal learning occurred predominantly when dopamine neurons registered a reward prediction error at the time of the reward. Our data indicate that the use of analytical tests derived from formal behavioural learning theory provides a powerful approach for studying the role of single neurons in learning

    Mixed Methods Analysis and Information Visualization: Graphical Display for Effective Communication of Research Results

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    In this paper, we introduce various graphical methods that can be used to represent data in mixed research. First, we present a broad taxonomy of visual representation. Next, we use this taxonomy to provide an overview of visual techniques for quantitative data display and qualitative data display. Then, we propose what we call “crossover” visual extensions to summarize and integrate both qualitative and quantitative results within the same framework. We provide several examples of crossover (mixed research) graphical displays that illustrate this natural extension. In so doing, we contend that the use of crossover (mixed research) graphical displays enhances researchers’ understanding (i.e., increased Verstehen) of social and behavioral phenomena in general and the meaning that underlies these phenomena in particular

    Determining the Neural Substrates of Goal-Directed Learning in the Human Brain

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    Instrumental conditioning is considered to involve at least two distinct learning systems: a goal-directed system that learns associations between responses and the incentive value of outcomes, and a habit system that learns associations between stimuli and responses without any link to the outcome that that response engendered. Lesion studies in rodents suggest that these two distinct components of instrumental conditioning may be mediated by anatomically distinct neural systems. The aim of the present study was to determine the neural substrates of the goal-directed component of instrumental learning in humans. Nineteen human subjects were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging while they learned to choose instrumental actions that were associated with the subsequent delivery of different food rewards (tomato juice, chocolate milk, and orange juice). After training, one of these foods was devalued by feeding the subject to satiety on that food. The subjects were then scanned again, while being re-exposed to the instrumental choice procedure (in extinction). We hypothesized that regions of the brain involved in goal-directed learning would show changes in their activity as a function of outcome devaluation. Our results indicate that neural activity in one brain region in particular, the orbitofrontal cortex, showed a strong modulation in its activity during selection of a devalued compared with a nondevalued action. These results suggest an important contribution of orbitofrontal cortex in guiding goal-directed instrumental choices in humans

    Evaluation of Insertion Energy as Novel Parameter for Dental Implant Stability

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    Insertion energy has been advocated as a novel measure for primary implant stability, but the effect of implant length, diameter, or surgical protocol remains unclear. Twenty implants from one specific bone level implant system were placed in layered polyurethane foam measuring maximum insertion torque, torque–time curves, and primary stability using resonance frequency analysis (RFA). Insertion energy was calculated as area under torque–time curve applying the trapezoidal formula. Statistical analysis was based on analysis of variance, Tukey honest differences tests and Pearson’s product moment correlation tests (α = 0.05). Implant stability (p = 0.01) and insertion energy (p < 0.01) differed significantly among groups, while maximum insertion torque did not (p = 0.17). Short implants showed a significant decrease in implant stability (p = 0.01), while reducing implant diameter did not cause any significant effect. Applying the drilling protocol for dense bone resulted in significantly increased insertion energy (p = 0.02) but a significant decrease in implant stability (p = 0.04). Insertion energy was not found to be a more reliable parameter for evaluating primary implant stability when compared to maximum insertion torque and resonance frequency analysis