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Brain-behavior-computation-cognition: Convergent methods to understanding the human mind

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Delineating the basic psychosocial and neurobiological processes of human cognition has been the principal goal of cognitive scientists throughout the past decades. Distinct lines of study have formed for the purposes of this undertaking, each with its own set of pros and cons. For instance, neuroimaging ...

Delineating the basic psychosocial and neurobiological processes of human cognition has been the principal goal of cognitive scientists throughout the past decades. Distinct lines of study have formed for the purposes of this undertaking, each with its own set of pros and cons. For instance, neuroimaging techniques link neural activity (or indirect measures of neural activity) with experimental manipulations that may not necessarily be informed by formal psychological theory. Behavioral approaches (e.g., psychophysics) potentially capture subjective experience but yield results that may not necessarily be predicted by models of cognition based solely on brain data. Computational models and quantitative descriptions of behavior (e.g., response time, performance accuracy) to infer cognitive processing sometimes do not take biological constraints into consideration. In recent years, the integration of these seemingly divergent approaches has led to the development of models that aim to unify brain and behavioral data and clarify their relationships to existing psychological theory.


While considerable work has been done to combine neural, behavioral, and computational techniques to the study of human cognition, pragmatic tools and conceptual frameworks by which these disparate approaches can be united is still lacking. This Research Topic seeks original investigations or commentaries from researchers who utilize neurobiological, behavioral, and mathematical models to investigate human cognition. Articles proposing pragmatic multimodal analytical approaches, theories or models of cognition that unify across different levels of analysis, or the application of these tools to understanding aberrations in cognitive processing in clinical populations will be accepted. The goal of this Research Topic is to bring together the most recent research findings and paradigms on this issue from experts in the field. Drawing from different sources of inference and explanation to understand the human mind will not only advance our knowledge of basic cognitive processes, but also significantly facilitate understanding of psychiatric and neurological disease.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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