Browsing by Subject "prefrontal cortex"

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  • Pernu, Tuomas K.; Elzein, Nadine (2020)
    Since our moral and legal judgments are focused on our decisions and actions, one would expect information about the neural underpinnings of human decision-making and action-production to have a significant bearing on those judgments. However, despite the wealth of empirical data, and the public attention it has attracted in the past few decades, the results of neuroscientific research have had relatively little influence on legal practice. It is here argued that this is due, at least partly, to the discussion on the relationship of the neurosciences and law mixing up a number of separate issues that have different relevance on our moral and legal judgments. The approach here is hierarchical; more and less feasible ways in which neuroscientific data could inform such judgments are separated from each other. The neurosciences and other physical views on human behavior and decision-making do have the potential to have an impact on our legal reasoning. However, this happens in various different ways, and too often appeal to any neural data is assumed to be automatically relevant to shaping our moral and legal judgments. Our physicalist intuitions easily favor neural-level explanations to mental-level ones. But even if you were to subscribe to some reductionist variant of physicalism, it would not follow that all neural data should be automatically relevant to our moral and legal reasoning. However, the neurosciences can give us indirect evidence for reductive physicalism, which can then lead us to challenge the very idea of free will. Such a development can, ultimately, also have repercussions on law and legal practice.
  • Hartung, Henrike; Cichon, Nicole; De Feo, Vito; Riemann, Stephanie; Schildt, Sandra; Lindemann, Christoph; Mulert, Christoph; Gogos, Joseph A.; Hanganu-Opatz, Ileana L. (2016)
    Cognitive deficits represent a major burden of neuropsychiatric disorders and result in part from abnormal communication within hippocampal-prefrontal circuits. While it has been hypothesized that this network dysfunction arises during development, long before the first clinical symptoms, experimental evidence is still missing. Here, we show that pre-juvenile mice mimicking genetic and environmental risk factors of disease (dual-hit GE mice) have poorer recognition memory that correlates with augmented coupling by synchrony and stronger directed interactions between prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. The network dysfunction emerges already during neonatal development, yet it initially consists in a diminished hippocampal theta drive and consequently, a weaker and disorganized entrainment of local prefrontal circuits in discontinuous oscillatory activity in dual-hit GE mice when compared with controls. Thus, impaired maturation of functional communication within hippocampal-prefrontal networks switching from hypo- to hyper-coupling may represent a mechanism underlying the pathophysiology of cognitive deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders.
  • Carlson, Emily; Saarikallio, Suvi; Toiviainen, Petri; Bogert, Brigitte; Kliuchko, Marina; Brattico, Elvira (2015)
    Music therapists use guided affect regulation in the treatment of mood disorders. However, self-directed uses of music in affect regulation are not fully understood. Some uses of music may have negative effects on mental health, as can non music regulation strategies, such as rumination. Psychological testing and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) were used explore music listening strategies in relation to mental health. Participants (n = 123) were assessed for depression, anxiety and Neuroticism, and uses of Music in Mood Regulation (MMR). Neural responses to music were measured in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in a subset of participants (n = 56). Discharge, using music to express negative emotions, related to increased anxiety and Neuroticism in all participants and particularly in males. Males high in Discharge showed decreased activity of mPFC during music listening compared with those using less Discharge. Females high in Diversion, using music to distract from negative emotions, showed more mPFC activity than females using less Diversion. These results suggest that the use of Discharge strategy can be associated with maladaptive patterns of emotional regulation, and may even have long-term negative effects on mental health. This finding has real-world applications in psychotherapy and particularly in clinical music therapy.