Cognitive neuroscience

  • Article
    | Open Access

    When reading, we extract information about upcoming words before we saccade to them. Here the authors provide insights on the neural mechanisms supporting this previewing process using MEG data, and show an association between previewing effects and reading speed.

    • Yali Pan
    • , Steven Frisson
    •  & Ole Jensen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Tertiary sulci are shallow cortical folds that emerge late in gestation. Here the authors link prefrontal tertiary sulcal depth with reasoning scores in children and adolescents.

    • Willa I. Voorhies
    • , Jacob A. Miller
    •  & Kevin S. Weiner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Models of decision making have so far been unable to account for how humans’ choices can be flexible yet efficient. Here the authors present a linear reinforcement learning model which explains both flexibility, and rare limitations such as habits, as arising from efficient approximate computation

    • Payam Piray
    •  & Nathaniel D. Daw
  • Article
    | Open Access

    When two memories are similar, their encoding and retrieval can be disrupted by each other. Here the authors show that memory interference is resolved through abrupt remapping of activity patterns in the human hippocampal CA3 and dentate gyrus.

    • Guo Wanjia
    • , Serra E. Favila
    •  & Brice A. Kuhl
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Previous work has shown that in rodents phase precession – the phase of action potentials relative to the theta oscillation – is associated with the representation of sequential locations. Here the authors demonstrate that phase precession also occurs in the human hippocampus using single neuron and LFP recordings.

    • Leila Reddy
    • , Matthew W. Self
    •  & Pieter R. Roelfsema
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The relative roles of visual, parietal, and frontal cortex in working memory have been actively debated. Here, the authors show that distraction impacts visual working memory representations in primary visual areas, indicating that these regions play a key role in the maintenance of working memory.

    • Grace E. Hallenbeck
    • , Thomas C. Sprague
    •  & Clayton E. Curtis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Making a decision requires one to differentiate between choice options, committing to one and leaving the other behind. Here, the authors show that decision-making paradoxically binds options together, such that the outcome of the choice ends up changing the value of both the chosen and the unchosen options, in opposite directions.

    • Natalie Biderman
    •  & Daphna Shohamy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The willingness to exert effort into demanding tasks often declines over time through fatigue. Here the authors provide a computational account of the moment-to-moment dynamics of fatigue and its impact on effort-based choices, and reveal the neural mechanisms that underlie such computations.

    • Tanja Müller
    • , Miriam C. Klein-Flügge
    •  & Matthew A. J. Apps
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Feedback modulates visual neurons, thought to help achieve flexible task performance. Here, the authors show decision-related feedback is not only relayed to task-relevant neurons, suggesting a broader mechanism and supporting a previously hypothesized link to feature-based attention.

    • Katrina R. Quinn
    • , Lenka Seillier
    •  & Hendrikje Nienborg
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People can search for memories based on their content or context, defined as when and where they were formed. Here, the authors use direct brain recordings to provide evidence in line with the idea that separable neural systems retrieve these two types of information and predict whether recall is organized by time or content.

    • James E. Kragel
    • , Youssef Ezzyat
    •  & Michael J. Kahana
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Attentional lapses occur in many forms such as mind-wandering or mindblanking. Here the authors show different types of attentional lapse are accompanied by slow waves, neural activity that is characteristic of transitions into sleep.

    • Thomas Andrillon
    • , Angus Burns
    •  & Naotsugu Tsuchiya
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Working memory is a foundational component of cognition, but its mechanisms are poorly understood. Using a large sample of participants, this study identifies asymmetric dynamic interactions in cognitive control circuits, and their load-dependent network properties including controllability.

    • Weidong Cai
    • , Srikanth Ryali
    •  & Vinod Menon
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The representation of space in mouse visual cortex was considered to be relatively uniform. The authors show that mice have improved visual resolution in a cortical region representing a location in space directly in front and slightly above them, showing that the representation of space in mouse visual cortex is non-uniform.

    • Enny H. van Beest
    • , Sreedeep Mukherjee
    •  & Matthew W. Self
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Metacognitive insight into economic preferences has been suggested to enable the consideration of long-term action-consequences. Here, the authors provide a neural link between these phenomena by showing that enhancing frontopolar theta oscillations affects both metacognition and prospective decision making.

    • Alexander Soutschek
    • , Marius Moisa
    •  & Philippe N. Tobler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People can infer unobserved causes of perceptual data (e.g. the contents of a box from the sound made by shaking it). Here the authors show that children compare what they hear with what they would have heard given other causes, and explore longer when the heard and imagined sounds are hard to discriminate.

    • Max H. Siegel
    • , Rachel W. Magid
    •  & Laura E. Schulz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Whether maximizing rewards and minimizing punishments rely on distinct brain learning systems remains debated. Here, using intracerebral recordings in humans, the authors provide evidence for brain regions differentially engaged in signaling reward and punishment prediction errors that prescribe repetition versus avoidance of past choices.

    • Maëlle C. M. Gueguen
    • , Alizée Lopez-Persem
    •  & Julien Bastin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Value-based decision making involves choosing from multiple options with different values. The authors identify a neural mechanism that directly transforms absolute values to categorical choices within the superior colliculus and which supports value-based decision making critical for real-world economic behaviours.

    • Beizhen Zhang
    • , Janis Ying Ying Kan
    •  & Michael Christopher Dorris
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors show that the brain represents small and large numerosity ranges in a continuous topographic map, in line with the idea that differences in map properties underlie differences in perception.

    • Yuxuan Cai
    • , Shir Hofstetter
    •  & Serge O. Dumoulin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Humans consciously experience their surrounding environment and can reflect upon it. Here, the authors use single-neuron recordings, electroencephalographic recordings, and computational methods to show that both conscious experience and self-reflection are related to a common mechanism of evidence accumulation in the posterior parietal cortex.

    • Michael Pereira
    • , Pierre Megevand
    •  & Nathan Faivre
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Stress is a major risk for mental illness that is known to impact glutamate function in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Using magnetic resonance spectroscopy we find evidence for an adaptive mPFC glutamate response to stress in healthy adults that is notably impaired in patients with major depression.

    • Jessica A. Cooper
    • , Makiah R. Nuutinen
    •  & Michael T. Treadway
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cortical and subcortical neural activity supporting conscious object recognition has not yet been well defined. Here, the authors describe these networks and show recognition-related category information can be decoded from widespread cortical activity but not subcortical activity.

    • Max Levinson
    • , Ella Podvalny
    •  & Biyu J. He
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How is neural processing adjusted when people experience uncertainty about the relevance of a stimulus feature? Here, the authors provide evidence suggesting that heightened uncertainty shifts cortical networks from a rhythmic to an asynchronous (“excited”) state and that the thalamus is central for such uncertainty-related shifts.

    • Julian Q. Kosciessa
    • , Ulman Lindenberger
    •  & Douglas D. Garrett
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Humans process faces using face-selective regions in the ventral and lateral streams which perform different tasks. Here, the authors show via functional and diffusion MRI that the spatial computations in face-selective regions vary across streams, constrained by connections from early visual areas.

    • Dawn Finzi
    • , Jesse Gomez
    •  & Kalanit Grill-Spector
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Parents often report behavioral problems in children with symptoms of sleep disordered breathing (oSDB), such as snoring. Here, the authors show that lower brain volumes within the frontal lobe are associated with parent-reported problem behaviors in children with parent-reported symptoms of oSDB.

    • Amal Isaiah
    • , Thomas Ernst
    •  & Linda Chang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Making sense of the world around us often requires flexible access to information from both semantic and episodic memory systems. Here, the authors show that controlled retrieval from functionally distinct long-term memory stores is supported by shared neural processes in the human brain.

    • Deniz Vatansever
    • , Jonathan Smallwood
    •  & Elizabeth Jefferies
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A defining human characteristic is the ability to perform diverse cognitively challenging tasks. The authors show that this adaptability relates to a network sampling mechanism, where brain-wide network states transiently blend the unique combinations of neural resources required by different tasks.

    • Eyal Soreq
    • , Ines R. Violante
    •  & Adam Hampshire
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In this study, the authors distinguish between changes of mind about perceptual vs. intentional decisions. A Hierarchical Attractor Network Model is proposed in which human voluntary actions emerge from continuous and dynamic integration of higher-order intentions with sensory evidence and motor costs.

    • Anne Löffler
    • , Anastasia Sylaidi
    •  & Patrick Haggard
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This study presents an anatomical, neurophysiological and functional characterization of four distinct prefrontal populations that project to striatal and thalamic sub-regions. The authors show that each of these populations have a discrete role in the regulation of cognitive control.

    • Sybren F. de Kloet
    • , Bastiaan Bruinsma
    •  & Huibert D. Mansvelder
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How intensely an individual focuses attention is a fundamental component of attention in improving behavior performance. Here, the authors isolated neuronal activity dynamics in visual cortex V4 that represents the intensive aspect of attention independent of selective attention and experimental covariates- reward expectation, motor response preparation.

    • Supriya Ghosh
    •  & John H. R. Maunsell
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Several micro RNAs have been shown to be deregulated in brain tissue or sera from individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and in AD mouse models. The authors show that miR-135a-5p is downregulated in excitatory pyramidal neurons from AD mice and that dysfunction of miR-135a-5p/Rock2/Add1 results in memory/synaptic disorder in AD.

    • Kai Zheng
    • , Fan Hu
    •  & Ling-Qiang Zhu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People spend much of their daily lives thinking about things that are unrelated to their immediate environment. Using fMRI, Kucyi et al. show that occurrence of these “stimulus-independent” thoughts can be predicted from a complex pattern of coordinated activity between distinct parts of the brain.

    • Aaron Kucyi
    • , Michael Esterman
    •  & Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Neural networks trained using predictive models generate representations that recover the underlying low-dimensional latent structure in the data. Here, the authors demonstrate that a network trained on a spatial navigation task generates place-related neural activations similar to those observed in the hippocampus and show that these are related to the latent structure.

    • Stefano Recanatesi
    • , Matthew Farrell
    •  & Eric Shea-Brown
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Attractor networks and drift diffusion models are two approaches to model the perceptual decision making process. Here, the authors identify an intermediate regime only for the attractor model that allows flexible categorization of two choice decisions for long duration and noisy stimuli and validate these model predictions with psychophysical experiments.

    • Genís Prat-Ortega
    • , Klaus Wimmer
    •  & Jaime de la Rocha
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Different languages rely on different vocal sounds to convey meaning. Here the authors show that language-general coding of pitch occurs in the non-primary auditory cortex for both tonal (Mandarin Chinese) and non-tonal (English) languages, with some language specificity on the population level.

    • Yuanning Li
    • , Claire Tang
    •  & Edward F. Chang