OA期刊: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

开放获取期刊 (Open Access, OA)现在很流行,可能也是今后期刊的一个发展方向吧。今天又发现一个Frontiers系列的开放获取期刊,其中包括 Frontiers in Human Neuroscience。今年3月份才开始出文章,不过文章看起来都很好,可能会成为一个牛刊。下面贴两个很有意思的研究:

Baumgartner T, Speck D, Wettstein D, Masnari O, Beeli G and Jäncke L (2008) Feeling present in arousing virtual reality worlds: prefrontal brain regions differentially orchestrate presence experience in adults and children. Front. Hum. Neurosci. (2008) 2:8. doi:10.3389/neuro.09.008.2008

Virtual reality (VR) is a powerful tool for simulating aspects of the real world. The success of VR is thought to depend on its ability to evoke a sense of "being there", that is, the feeling of "Presence". In view of the rapid progress in the development of increasingly more sophisticated virtual environments (VE), the importance of understanding the neural underpinnings of presence is growing. To date however, the neural correlates of this phenomenon have received very scant attention. An fMRI-based study with 52 adults and 25 children was therefore conducted using a highly immersive VE. The experience of presence in adult subjects was found to be modulated by two major strategies involving two homologous prefrontal brain structures. Whereas the right DLPFC controlled the sense of presence by down-regulating the activation in the egocentric dorsal visual processing stream, the left DLPFC up-regulated widespread areas of the medial prefrontal cortex known to be involved in self-reflective and stimulus-independent thoughts. In contrast, there was no evidence of these two strategies in children. In fact, anatomical analyses showed that these two prefrontal areas have not yet reached full maturity in children. Taken together, this study presents the first findings that show activation of a highly specific neural network orchestrating the experience of presence in adult subjects, and that the absence of activity in this neural network might contribute to the generally increased susceptibility of children for the experience of presence in VEs.

Coull JT, Vidal F, Goulon C, Nazarian B and Craig C (2008) Using Time-To-Contact information to assess potential collision modulates both visual and temporal prediction networks. Front. Hum. Neurosci. (2008) 2:10. doi:10.3389/neuro.09.010.2008

Accurate estimates of the time-to-contact (TTC) of approaching objects are crucial for survival. We used an ecologically valid driving simulation to compare and contrast the neural substrates of egocentric (head-on approach) and allocentric (lateral approach) TTC tasks in a fully factorial, event-related fMRI design. Compared to colour control tasks, both egocentric and allocentric TTC tasks activated left ventral premotor cortex/frontal operculum and inferior parietal cortex, the same areas that have previously been implicated in temporal attentional orienting. Despite differences in visual and cognitive demands, both TTC and temporal orienting paradigms encourage the use of temporally predictive information to guide behaviour, suggesting these areas may form a core network for temporal prediction. We also demonstrated that the temporal derivative of the perceptual index tau (tau-dot) held predictive value for making collision judgements and varied inversely with activity in primary visual cortex (V1). Specifically, V1 activity increased with the increasing likelihood of reporting a collision, suggesting top-down attentional modulation of early visual processing areas as a function of subjective collision. Finally, egocentric viewpoints provoked a response bias for reporting collisions, rather than no-collisions, reflecting increased caution for head-on approaches. Associated increases in SMA activity suggest motor preparation mechanisms were engaged, despite the perceptual nature of the task.