Special Issue "Explore of Cortical Plasticity Mechanisms: Human Brain Imaging of Classical Conditioning"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2020.
Interests: learning; consciousness (and disorders thereof); voluntary movement; language
Classical conditioning is one of the fundamental forms of learning, present even at very low levels of the evolutionary ladder. However, also human behavior is totally pervaded with classical conditioning processes. The first central nervous correlates of classical conditioning in humans were reported about 55 years ago. And yet, even now our knowledge about central mechanisms of human classical conditioning remains very limited, and the vast majority of the experiments are still performed using purely behavioural or peripheral physiological measures. This state of affairs largely roots in technical limitations of central neurophysiological measures (e.g., poor spatial (EEG) or temporal (fMRI) resolution, and low signal-to-noise ratio of non-invasive brain imaging). Nowadays, however, many of these difficulties are substantially alleviated by modern statistical modelling approaches, using high-density EEG, MEG, event-related fMRI, concurrent EEG-fMRI, etc.
Therefore, we think now is the right time to collectively present the state of functional brain imaging studies of classical conditioning (both appetitive and aversive conditioning) in humans. The term imaging is used in a broad sense, from electrophysiology to PET and fNIRS. What can the data obtained by all these methods tell us about central mechanisms of classical conditioning? Which theories of associative learning can be refuted on the basis of these data? Which new insights can be attained? How far can (rather expensive) neuroimaging techniques extend our theoretical knowledge based on the data of much cheaper methods such as self-reports and peripheral physiology? These are some important questions we would like to ask in the special issue.
Prof. Boris Kotchoubey
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- Associative learning
- Classical conditioning
- Cortical plasticity
- Functional MRI
- Functional NIRS
- Human subjects
- Positron emission tomography