Papers for the month of May 2015

Haigh, S. M., Minshew, N., Heeger, D. J., Dinstein, I., Behrmann, M.

"Over-Responsiveness and Greater Variability in Roughness Perception in Autism"
Autism Research, in press:1-10

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Individuals with autism rated plates as feeling rougher, and were more variable in their responses from one trial to the next, compared to controls.

Liu, A. S., Kallai, A. Y., Schunn, C. D.

"Using mental computation training to improve complex mathematical performance"
Instructional Science, 43:463-485

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Representational precision and transfer effects were investigated to see if they would occur when using a more diverse population and after removing several features of the mental computation training that are difficult to implement in classrooms. Trained participants showed significant, robust improvements, suggesting that mental computation training can reliably lead to mathematical transfer and improvements in number representation precision.

Bauer, A.

"Monitoring the Growth of the Neural Representations of New Animal Concepts"
Human Brain Mapping, xx:xx

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Relatively little is known about the growth of a neural knowledge representation as a novel object concept is being learned. In this fMRI study, the growth of the neural representations of eight individual extinct animal concepts was monitored as participants learned two features of each animal, namely its habitat (i.e., a natural dwelling or scene) and its diet or eating habits. Dwelling/scene information and diet/eating-related information have each been shown to activate their own characteristic brain regions. Several converging methods were used here to capture the emergence of the neural representation of a new animal feature within these characteristic, a priori-specified brain regions. These methods include statistically reliable identification (classification) of the eight newly acquired multivoxel patterns, analysis of the neural representational similarity among the newly learned animal concepts, and conventional GLM assessments of the activation in the critical regions. Moreover, the representation of a recently learned feature showed some durability, remaining intact after another feature had been learned. This study provides a foundation for brain research to trace how a new concept makes its way from the words and graphics used to teach it, to a neural representation of that concept in a learner’s brain.

Yafit Gabay, Frederic Dick, Jason Zevin

"Incidental Auditory Category Learning"
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Advance online publication:xx-xx

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Very little is known about how auditory categories are learned incidentally, without instructions to search for category-diagnostic dimensions, overt category decisions, or experimenter-provided feedback. This is an important gap because learning in the natural environment does not arise from explicit feedback and there is evidence that the learning systems engaged by traditional tasks are distinct from those recruited by incidental category learning. We examined incidental auditory category learning with a novel paradigm, the Systematic Multimodal Associations Reaction Time (SMART) task, in which participants rapidly detect and report the appearance of a visual target in 1 of 4 possible screen locations. Although the overt task is rapid visual detection, a brief sequence of sounds precedes each visual target. These sounds are drawn from 1 of 4 distinct sound categories that predict the location of the upcoming visual target. These many-to-one auditory-to-visuomotor correspondences support incidental auditory category learning. Participants incidentally learn categories of complex acoustic exemplars and generalize this learning to novel exemplars and tasks. Further, learning is facilitated when category exemplar variability is more tightly coupled to the visuomotor associations than when the same stimulus variability is experienced across trials. We relate these findings to phonetic category learning.

O’Hearn K., Velanova K., Lynn A., Wright C., Hallquist M., Minshew N.

"Abnormalities in Brain Systems Supporting Individuation and Enumeration in Autism "
Autism Research, 00:00

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.Adults with autism display a decreased capacity when rapidly enumerating small sets of elements (i.e., subitizing), compared to typically developing (TD) adults, a difference likely to impact visual tasks with multiple elements. Consistent with this decreased capacity, regions associated with counting only in TD adults were also recruited with sets of three elements in adults with autism, including the canonical counting regions in parietal lobe.

Dong S., Yao Y., Liu Y., Chen F.

"Individual Differences In Working Memory Capacity Are Reflected In Different ERP And EEG Patterns To Task Difficulty"
Brain Research, 1616:146-156

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.We performed a MODS task and a N-back task to explore the electrophysiological markers of individual difference in working memory capacity. We found that individuals differ in P300, theta ERS and alpha ERD at both the most and least challenging task conditions, suggesting that individuals with different working memory capacity differ in neural efficiency and attention allocation.

Presson, N., Beers, S. R., Morrow, L., Wagener, L. M., Bird, W. A., Eman, G. V., Krishnaswamy, D., Penderville, J., Borrasso, A. J., Benso, S., Puccio, A., Fissell, C., Okonkwo, D. O.

"An exploratory analysis linking neuropsychological testing to quantification of tractography using High Definition Fiber Tracking (HDFT) in military TBI"
Brain Imaging and Behavior, 00:1-16

Mouse over here for a brief summary or click to open article in a new tab.The current study explores quantitative metrics describing the spatial properties of tractography from advanced diffusion imaging (High Definition Fiber Tracking, HDFT). The results suggest that, for advanced diffusion imaging, spatial properties of tractography may add analytic value to measures of tract anisotropy.


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