Ankündigung: Vortragsreihe RDN - colloquium of the Research Department of Neuroscience
Andreas Faissner: Caught in the Matrix - the Molecular Microenvironment of Neurons and Glia
16.12.2013, 4 - 6 pm, GAFO 03/252
Studentische Hilfskraft für die Instandhaltung und Administration von Versuchs- und Arbeitsrechnern am Institut für kognitive Neurowissenschaften gesucht
Zwei Bachelorarbeiten zum Thema "Sequenzlernen im asymmetrischen Gehirn" zu vergeben
Fakultät für Psychologie
Phone: +49 - 234 - 32 - 28213
Fax: +49 - 234 - 32 - 14377
News & Views
PHD TheSis - Franziska labrenz
On Friday the 22nd of November Franziska Labrenz defended her PhD thesis entitled „May I capture your attention? A neurophysiological investigation into intrinsic and extrinsic determinants of visual selective attention.” Already her written thesis was impressive in the breadth of studies and methods Franziska applied to pursue her research question. In her defense she presented a marvelous talk about her main findings of the thesis, where she showed mastery in the topic of visual selective attention and important modulators of the mechanisms. It was a really impressive talk in a matchless “Franziska style”. It was a great time having you in the lab of the Emmy Noether Research group in Bochum. Congratulations Franziska!
News & Views
THE type of implicit motive enactment is modulated by sex hormones in naturally cycling women
Sex hormones have been reported to dynamically modulate the expression of implicit motives. In the present study, a team of researchers from Biopsychology, Cognitive Psychology and the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Psychosomatics and Preventive Medicine used the Operant Motive Test (OMT) to investigate to what extent the need for affiliation, power, and achievement is affected by the menstrual cycle. In addition to measuring the strength of motive expression, the OMT also captures different forms of motive enactment. No evidence for cycle-phase related variation in overall motive scores was found. However, when different forms of motive enactment were considered, an effect of menstrual cycle was observed. The incentive-based inhibition of the power motive was significantly reduced at the time of ovulation, compared to the menstrual and to the mid-luteal phase, in naturally cycling women. In women using hormonal contraceptives, no significant changes in the form of motive enactment were evident. These results show a hormonal influence on motive-related cognitive processes.
Ball, A., Wolf, C.C., Ocklenburg, S., Brüne, M., Wolf, O.T., Güntürkün, O., Pinnow, M. (2014). The type of implicit motive enactment is modulated by sex hormones in naturally cycling women: Physiology & Behavior, 123: 119-126
News & Views
Lateralization of face perception
The efficacy of executive functions depends on information processing in earlier cognitive stages. For example, initial processing of verbal stimuli in the left-hemisphere leads to more efficient response inhibition than initial processing of verbal stimuli in the right hemisphere. However, it is unclear whether this organizational principle is specific for the language system, or a general principle that also applies to other types of lateralized cognition. To answer this question, a team of IKN neuroscientists investigated the neurophysiological correlates of early attentional processes, facial expression perception and response inhibition during tachistoscopic presentation of facial ‘Go’ and ‘Nogo’ stimuli in the left and the right visual field. Participants committed fewer false alarms after Nogo-stimulus presentation in the left compared to the right visual field. This right-hemispheric asymmetry on the behavioral level was also reflected in the neurophysiological correlates of face perception, as well as in ERPs related to response inhibition. These findings show that an effect of hemispheric asymmetries in early information processing on the efficacy of higher cognitive functions can be generalized to predominantly right-hemispheric functions.
Ocklenburg, S., Ness, V., Güntürkün, O., Suchan, B., Beste, C. (2013). Response inhibition is modulated by functional cerebral asymmetries for facial expression perception: Frontiers in Psychology, 4:879, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00879
News & Views
DFG approves 3-year extension of funding for research unit on extinction learning
The German Research Foundation (DFG) has recently approved funding of the research unit "Extinction Learning: behavioral, neural, and clinical mechanisms", encompassing workgroups at the Universities of Bochum, Duisburg-Essen, and Marburg, for another three-year period. Extinction learning is a basic behavioral phenomenon in which an organism learns that two events which used to occur jointly have ceased doing so. Unlike acquisition, i.e. original learning, extinction is highly context-specific, which is one of the many indications that extinction is not just "unlearning" but constitutes a novel learning process distinct from original acquisition. Although extinction was first described more than 100 years ago by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, many aspects of this phenomenon are still poorly understood. This is unfortunate, given that theories on the development and treatment of psychiatric disorders in part rely on extinction - e.g. psychotherapeutic interventions for phobias or psychological treatment of drug abuse. In the next three years, the research unit is expected to make significant contributions to our understanding of the neural and behavioral mechanisms of extinction learning. The scope of the projects within the unit ranges from basic research in animal models and humans to clinical applications in the treatment of phobias, enabling efficient transfer of insight gained from basic research to outpatients seeking treatment for anxiety disorders.
News & Views
Pathways to asymmetry - how white matter asymmetries influence language lateralization
Functional hemispheric asymmetries of speech production and perception are a key feature of the human language system, but their relation to microstructural asymmetries in language-relevant white matter pathways is still poorly understood. In the present study, a team of neuroscientists from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and the Bergen fMRI Group, Norway, used a combined fMRI and tract-based spatial statistics approach to investigate this question. Tract-based spatial statistics revealed several leftward asymmetric clusters in the arcuate fasciculus and uncinate fasciculus that were differentially related to functional language asymmetries. These findings suggest that white matter asymmetries may indeed be one of the factors underlying functional hemispheric asymmetries.