This paper presents a theory and computational model of the role of emotions in group decision making. After reviewing the role of emotions in individual decision making, it describes social and psychological mechanisms by which emotional and other information is transmitted between individuals. The processes by which these mechanisms can contribute to group consensus are modeled computationally using a program, HOTCO 3, which has been used to simulate simple cases of emotion-based group decision making.
Recent research on visual mental imagery plays an important role for the study of visual hallucinations. Not only are mental images involved in various cognitive processes, but they also share many processes with visual perception. However, we rarely confuse mental images with percepts, and recent neuroimaging studies shed light on the mechanisms that are differently activated in imagery and perception.
Chaos theory is beginning to find applications in the field of medicine. The theory of chaos should be introduced to students to help them as they make the transition from learning the scientific literature to actually applying this newly acquired knowledge in clinical situations. Chaos theory will give the students a powerful conceptual framework from which they can better understand the limits of predictability in clinical situations. Failure to understand the limits of predictability in chaotic natural systems will invariably lead (...) to frustration in both patients and physicians. (shrink)
concepts like numbers or time are thought to be represented in the more concrete domain of space and the sensorimotor system. For example, thinking of past or future events has a physical manifestation in backward or forward body sway, respectively. In the present study, we investigated the reverse effect: can passive whole-body motion influence the processing of temporal information? Participants were asked to categorize verbal stimuli to the concepts future or past while they were displaced forward and backward , or (...) upward and downward . The results showed that future related verbal stimuli were categorized faster during forward as compared to backward motion. This finding supports the view that temporal events are represented along a mental time line and that the sensorimotor system is linked to that representation. We showed that body motion is not just an epiphenomenon of temporal thoughts. Passive whole-body motion can influence higher-order temporal cognition. (shrink)
Cognitive neuroscience aims to map mental processes onto brain function, which begs the question of what “mental processes” exist and how they relate to the tasks that are used to manipulate and measure them. This topic has been addressed informally in prior work, but we propose that cumulative progress in cognitive neuroscience requires a more systematic approach to representing the mental entities that are being mapped to brain function and the tasks used to manipulate and measure mental processes. We describe (...) a new open collaborative project that aims to provide a knowledge base for cognitive neuroscience, called the Cognitive Atlas, and outline how this project has the potential to drive novel discoveries about both mind and brain. (shrink)
People often make use of a spatial “mental time line” to represent events in time. We investigated whether the eyes follow such a mental time line during online language comprehension of sentences that refer to the past, present, and future. Participants' eye movements were measured on a blank screen while they listened to these sentences. Saccade direction revealed that the future is mapped higher up in space than the past. Moreover, fewer saccades were made when two events are simultaneously taking (...) place at the present moment compared to two events that are happening in different points in time. This is the first evidence that oculomotor correlates reflect mental looking along an abstract invisible time line during online language comprehension about time. Our results support the idea that observing eye movements is likely to “detect” invisible spatial scaffoldings which are involved in cognitively processing abstract meaning, even when the abstract meaning lacks an explicit spatial correlate. Theoretical implications of these findings are discussed. (shrink)
Research in cognitive neuroscience and spatial presence suggests that human mental self-localization is tied to one place at a given point in time. In this study, we examined whether it is possible to feel localized at two distinct places at the same time. Participants were exposed to a virtual rollercoaster and they continuously judged to what extent they felt present in the immediate environment and in the mediated environment, respectively. The results show that participants distributed their self-localization to both environments, (...) and the two values added up to closely 100% over time. In addition, even though the judgments are highly idiosyncratic, they were almost perfectly inversely related. This indicates that individuals can distribute their self over two distinct places. These findings provide important insights about understanding of the human self-localization. (shrink)