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      The theory of constructed emotion: an active inference account of interoception and categorization


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          The science of emotion has been using folk psychology categories derived from philosophy to search for the brain basis of emotion. The last two decades of neuroscience research have brought us to the brink of a paradigm shift in understanding the workings of the brain, however, setting the stage to revolutionize our understanding of what emotions are and how they work. In this article, we begin with the structure and function of the brain, and from there deduce what the biological basis of emotions might be. The answer is a brain-based, computational account called the theory of constructed emotion.

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          Rich-club organization of the human connectome.

          The human brain is a complex network of interlinked regions. Recent studies have demonstrated the existence of a number of highly connected and highly central neocortical hub regions, regions that play a key role in global information integration between different parts of the network. The potential functional importance of these "brain hubs" is underscored by recent studies showing that disturbances of their structural and functional connectivity profile are linked to neuropathology. This study aims to map out both the subcortical and neocortical hubs of the brain and examine their mutual relationship, particularly their structural linkages. Here, we demonstrate that brain hubs form a so-called "rich club," characterized by a tendency for high-degree nodes to be more densely connected among themselves than nodes of a lower degree, providing important information on the higher-level topology of the brain network. Whole-brain structural networks of 21 subjects were reconstructed using diffusion tensor imaging data. Examining the connectivity profile of these networks revealed a group of 12 strongly interconnected bihemispheric hub regions, comprising the precuneus, superior frontal and superior parietal cortex, as well as the subcortical hippocampus, putamen, and thalamus. Importantly, these hub regions were found to be more densely interconnected than would be expected based solely on their degree, together forming a rich club. We discuss the potential functional implications of the rich-club organization of the human connectome, particularly in light of its role in information integration and in conferring robustness to its structural core.
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            Perceptual symbol systems.

            Prior to the twentieth century, theories of knowledge were inherently perceptual. Since then, developments in logic, statistics, and programming languages have inspired amodal theories that rest on principles fundamentally different from those underlying perception. In addition, perceptual approaches have become widely viewed as untenable because they are assumed to implement recording systems, not conceptual systems. A perceptual theory of knowledge is developed here in the context of current cognitive science and neuroscience. During perceptual experience, association areas in the brain capture bottom-up patterns of activation in sensory-motor areas. Later, in a top-down manner, association areas partially reactivate sensory-motor areas to implement perceptual symbols. The storage and reactivation of perceptual symbols operates at the level of perceptual components--not at the level of holistic perceptual experiences. Through the use of selective attention, schematic representations of perceptual components are extracted from experience and stored in memory (e.g., individual memories of green, purr, hot). As memories of the same component become organized around a common frame, they implement a simulator that produces limitless simulations of the component (e.g., simulations of purr). Not only do such simulators develop for aspects of sensory experience, they also develop for aspects of proprioception (e.g., lift, run) and introspection (e.g., compare, memory, happy, hungry). Once established, these simulators implement a basic conceptual system that represents types, supports categorization, and produces categorical inferences. These simulators further support productivity, propositions, and abstract concepts, thereby implementing a fully functional conceptual system. Productivity results from integrating simulators combinatorially and recursively to produce complex simulations. Propositions result from binding simulators to perceived individuals to represent type-token relations. Abstract concepts are grounded in complex simulations of combined physical and introspective events. Thus, a perceptual theory of knowledge can implement a fully functional conceptual system while avoiding problems associated with amodal symbol systems. Implications for cognition, neuroscience, evolution, development, and artificial intelligence are explored.
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              From sensation to cognition.

              M. Mesulam (1998)
              Sensory information undergoes extensive associative elaboration and attentional modulation as it becomes incorporated into the texture of cognition. This process occurs along a core synaptic hierarchy which includes the primary sensory, upstream unimodal, downstream unimodal, heteromodal, paralimbic and limbic zones of the cerebral cortex. Connections from one zone to another are reciprocal and allow higher synaptic levels to exert a feedback (top-down) influence upon earlier levels of processing. Each cortical area provides a nexus for the convergence of afferents and divergence of efferents. The resultant synaptic organization supports parallel as well as serial processing, and allows each sensory event to initiate multiple cognitive and behavioural outcomes. Upstream sectors of unimodal association areas encode basic features of sensation such as colour, motion, form and pitch. More complex contents of sensory experience such as objects, faces, word-forms, spatial locations and sound sequences become encoded within downstream sectors of unimodal areas by groups of coarsely tuned neurons. The highest synaptic levels of sensory-fugal processing are occupied by heteromodal, paralimbic and limbic cortices, collectively known as transmodal areas. The unique role of these areas is to bind multiple unimodal and other transmodal areas into distributed but integrated multimodal representations. Transmodal areas in the midtemporal cortex, Wernicke's area, the hippocampal-entorhinal complex and the posterior parietal cortex provide critical gateways for transforming perception into recognition, word-forms into meaning, scenes and events into experiences, and spatial locations into targets for exploration. All cognitive processes arise from analogous associative transformations of similar sets of sensory inputs. The differences in the resultant cognitive operation are determined by the anatomical and physiological properties of the transmodal node that acts as the critical gateway for the dominant transformation. Interconnected sets of transmodal nodes provide anatomical and computational epicentres for large-scale neurocognitive networks. In keeping with the principles of selectively distributed processing, each epicentre of a large-scale network displays a relative specialization for a specific behavioural component of its principal neurospychological domain. The destruction of transmodal epicentres causes global impairments such as multimodal anomia, neglect and amnesia, whereas their selective disconnection from relevant unimodal areas elicits modality-specific impairments such as prosopagnosia, pure word blindness and category-specific anomias. The human brain contains at least five anatomically distinct networks. The network for spatial awareness is based on transmodal epicentres in the posterior parietal cortex and the frontal eye fields; the language network on epicentres in Wernicke's and Broca's areas; the explicit memory/emotion network on epicentres in the hippocampal-entorhinal complex and the amygdala; the face-object recognition network on epicentres in the midtemporal and temporopolar cortices; and the working memory-executive function network on epicentres in the lateral prefrontal cortex and perhaps the posterior parietal cortex. Individual sensory modalities give rise to streams of processing directed to transmodal nodes belonging to each of these networks. The fidelity of sensory channels is actively protected through approximately four synaptic levels of sensory-fugal processing. The modality-specific cortices at these four synaptic levels encode the most veridical representations of experience. Attentional, motivational and emotional modulations, including those related to working memory, novelty-seeking and mental imagery, become increasingly more pronounced within downstream components of unimodal areas, where they help to create a highly edited subjective version of the world. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED)

                Author and article information

                Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci
                Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci
                Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
                Oxford University Press
                January 2017
                19 October 2016
                19 October 2016
                : 12
                : 1
                : 1-23
                [1 ]Department of Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA
                [2 ]Athinoula, A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging
                [3 ]Psychiatric Neuroimaging Division, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA, USA.
                Author notes
                Correspondence should be addressed to Lisa Feldman Barrett. Department of Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA. E-mail: l.barrett@ 123456neu.edu
                © The Author(s) (2016). Published by Oxford University Press.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com

                Page count
                Pages: 23
                Funded by: National Cancer Institute
                Award ID: U01 CA193632
                Funded by: National Science Foundation
                Award ID: CMMI 1638234
                Funded by: US Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences
                Award ID: W911NF-15-1-0647
                Award ID: W911NF- 16-1-0191
                Duelling Perspectives

                emotion,predictive coding,construction,interoception,categorization,concepts,affect
                emotion, predictive coding, construction, interoception, categorization, concepts, affect


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