Conversations in the Cognitive Neurosciences by Michael S. Gazzaniga

By Michael S. Gazzaniga

Conversations within the Cognitive Neurosciences is a quick, informative but casual advisor to fresh advancements within the cognitive neurosciences by way of the scientists who're within the thick of things.

"Getting a repair on very important questions and the way to consider them from an experimental standpoint is what scientists discuss, occasionally forever. it's these conversations that thrill and motivate," observes Michael Gazzaniga. but all too frequently those intriguing interactions are misplaced to scholars, researchers, and others who're "doing" technological know-how. Conversations within the Cognitive Neurosciences brings jointly a chain of interviews with sought after participants in neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology that experience seemed during the last few years within the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

The ten interviews are divided into 5 sections: uncomplicated neuroscience techniques to cognition (Floyd Bloom and Mark Raichle), attentional and perceptual approaches (Michael I. Posner and William T. Newsome), neural foundation of reminiscence (Randy Gallistel and Endel Tulving), language (Steven Pinker and Alfonso Caramazza), and imagery and awareness (Stephen M. Kosslyn and Daniel C. Dennett).

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32 Marcus E. Raichle A moment's reflection usually calls to mind a similar task, performed in humans, that elicits activity in areas widely distributed across the cortex. Interpretations of the behavior of local populations need to be constrained by such information. Conversely, those of us working at the broad-brush level of functional imaging in humans need to be ever mindful of the work of those who do examine small populations of neurons. The information they have concerning activity at this level will be crucial in interpreting imaging data.

Newsome transfer virtually no visual information. Humans with lesions of primary visual cortex most likely cannot see. Yet monkeys with the same lesion are able to see. The volume of area striata in the human is three times what it is in monkeys. And alas, can't the lowly bird with its hugely different visual system do most of what a human or primate can do with visual stimuli? WTN: Certainly there must be differences. Some, like the interhemispheric transfer example you cite, probably reflect anatomical convenience more than basic functional differences.

This system therefore offered a good opportunity to examine closely the relationship between neural activity and a specific perceptual capability-motion vision. Our basic approach has been to train rhesus monkeys to discriminate the direction of motion in a family of random dot displays in which the difficulty of the task can be varied continuously by modulating the strength of the motion signal in the display. We have used all the tools at our disposal-pharmacological inactivation, single unit recording, micro-stimulation, and behavioral manipulation-to explore the relationship between neural and perceptual events.

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