About this Research Topic
This Research Topic provides an overview of behavioural neuroscience and the deepening neuronal mechanisms and brain circuits that regulate the fundamental aspects of human behaviour, such as metacognitive-executive function and social cognition. Our aim is to give a reader the most up-to-date perspective on how the interaction between biological mechanisms and neuropsychological processes lead to complex and highly organized behaviours.
Metacognition, perspective-taking, consciousness and social cognition are not just a matter of debate of cognitive neuroscience, but they have raised much interest for psychiatric and neurological patients’ quality of life, compliance with treatment, and prognosis: Metacognition refers to the processes by which we monitor and control our own cognitive processes. Executive function refers to the goal-oriented regulation of one’s own thoughts, actions, and emotions. Its importance is attested by its contribution to the development of Theory of Mind (ToM), social abilities, and environmental adaptation.
Social cognition concerns the psychological processes involved in: a) the perception, judgment, and memory of social stimuli; b) the effects of social and affective aspects on information processing. All these aspects are crucial for successful communication and interpersonal relationships. This is even more true in the case of clinical settings: any deficits against metacognition, ToM, emotional empathy, and social perception/behaviour can have a negative impact on the doctor-patient relationship and, consequently, on the treatment process.
The neurocognitive approach has previously highlighted the relationship among brain pathology, metacognitive-executive disabilities and the occurrence of reduced self-awareness including an awareness of illness as a form of self-knowledge. It concerns the ability to perceive, recognize, and evaluate a deficit in sensory, perceptual, motor, affective, or cognitive functioning and to consider the impact of these disturbances on daily-life activities and human relationship.
The goal of this Research Topic is to bring together the key experimental and theoretical research linking state-of-the-art knowledge about perspective-taking, self-awareness and social cognition in neurodegenerative disorders,cerebral abnormalities and Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI). Moreover, we plan a wide range of issues for this unique volume, welcoming experts in cognitive and experimental neuroscience, computational sciences, neurology, neuropsychology, neurophysiology, psychology, psychiatry, and social cognition. We are sure that such a volume will attract community of clinicians, neuroscientists, and academics.
It is intended to provide an opportunity for researchers of different perspectives to discuss recent progress in this research topic. Researchers using various methods - including behavioural experiments, neuroimaging, eye-tracking, computer simulation, observational methods and neuropsychological assessment tools - are encouraged to contribute especially original empirical research articles. In addition to the original empirical articles, theoretical reviews and perspective opinions/articles on promising future directions are welcome.
Keywords: Neurodegenerative Disorders, Social Cognition, Perspective-taking, Self-awareness, Neurocognitive Approach
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