About this Research Topic
Recent progress in neuroimaging studies in humans has identified several brain systems critical for higher cognitive functions, such as learning and memory. Although "default mode networks" have been assessed without using any tasks, the use of well-designed tasks is still vitally important to study domain-specific brain systems underlying each cognitive function. Indeed, learning and memory can be regarded as the processes and results of a specific task that imposes a certain new condition on participants.
Individual brain networks are highly specialized and intricate, as they need to achieve sophisticated adaptative systems for a constantly changing outer world. The revelation of these complex systems can be elusive, because a bottom-up or inductive approach such as mere observation and analysis of brain activation faces several limitations. Instead, hypothesis-driven or top-down approaches are necessary, together with improvements on experimental designs. Therefore, sophisticated tasks are required for human neuroimaging studies, especially when studying functions such as cognition, thinking, and language. The same requirement is also crucial for electrophysiological/imaging studies in non-human primates, which contribute to the understanding of human brain functions.
This Research Topic covers recent advances in human studies, focusing on task-related or task-dependent brain systems, by addressing the following topics:
· Human neuroimaging studies with cognitive tasks, together with electrophysiological or imaging studies in non-human primates. Both original and review articles will be welcome, and the use of cognitive tasks should be fully introduced and discussed. Studies with mere sensory stimulation or simple motor tasks are thus outside the scope of this Research Topic, while a contribution to memory effects through sensorimotor learning fits nicely to the scope.
· Neuroimaging studies with fMRI and MEG, including TMS, are preferred to those with EEG and tDCS (transcranial Direct Current Stimulation) because spatial resolution is critical to localize activated regions.
· Entire neural networks involving activated regions should be fully addressed and discussed in the manuscripts, to clarify specific brain systems involved.
Keywords: Learning, Memory, Cognition, Thinking, Language
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