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Leipzig, Germany

The Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain science is located Leipzig, Germany. The institute was founded in 2004 by a merger between the former Max Planck Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in Leipzig and the Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research in Munich. It is one of 80 institutes in the Max Planck Society . Wikipedia.

In this work we propose a biologically realistic local cortical circuit model (LCCM), based on neural masses, that incorporates important aspects of the functional organization of the brain that have not been covered by previous models: (1) activity dependent plasticity of excitatory synaptic couplings via depleting and recycling of neurotransmitters and (2) realistic inter-laminar dynamics via laminar-specific distribution of and connections between neural populations. The potential of the LCCM was demonstrated by accounting for the process of auditory habituation. The model parameters were specified using Bayesian inference. It was found that: (1) besides the major serial excitatory information pathway (layer 4 to layer 2/3 to layer 5/6), there exists a parallel "short-cut" pathway (layer 4 to layer 5/6), (2) the excitatory signal flow from the pyramidal cells to the inhibitory interneurons seems to be more intra-laminar while, in contrast, the inhibitory signal flow from inhibitory interneurons to the pyramidal cells seems to be both intra- and inter-laminar, and (3) the habituation rates of the connections are unsymmetrical: forward connections (from layer 4 to layer 2/3) are more strongly habituated than backward connections (from Layer 5/6 to layer 4). Our evaluation demonstrates that the novel features of the LCCM are of crucial importance for mechanistic explanations of brain function. The incorporation of these features into a mass model makes them applicable to modeling based on macroscopic data (like EEG or MEG), which are usually available in human experiments. Our LCCM is therefore a valuable building block for future realistic models of human cognitive function. Source

Prinz W.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2015

This paper outlines a framework for task representation and discusses applications to interference tasks in individual and joint settings. The framework is derived from the Theory of Event Coding (TEC). This theory regards task sets as transient assemblies of event codes in which stimulus and response codes interact and shape each other in particular ways. On the one hand, stimulus and response codes compete with each other within their respective subsets (horizontal interactions). On the other hand, stimulus and response code cooperate with each other (vertical interactions). Code interactions instantiating competition and cooperation apply to two time scales: on-line performance (i.e., doing the task) and off-line implementation (i.e., setting the task). Interference arises when stimulus and response codes overlap in features that are irrelevant for stimulus identification, but relevant for response selection. To resolve this dilemma, the feature profiles of event codes may become restructured in various ways. The framework is applied to three kinds of interference paradigms. Special emphasis is given to joint settings where tasks are shared between two participants. Major conclusions derived from these applications include: (1) Response competition is the chief driver of interference. Likewise, different modes of response competition give rise to different patterns of interference; (2) The type of features in which stimulus and response codes overlap is also a crucial factor. Different types of such features give likewise rise to different patterns of interference; and (3) Task sets for joint settings conflate intraindividual conflicts between responses (what), with interindividual conflicts between responding agents (whom). Features of response codes may, therefore, not only address responses, but also responding agents (both physically and socially). © 2015 Prinz. Source

Grossmann T.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Infancy | Year: 2013

It has long been thought that the prefrontal cortex, as the seat of most higher brain functions, is functionally silent during most of infancy. This review highlights recent work concerned with the precise mapping (localization) of brain activation in human infants, providing evidence that prefrontal cortex exhibits functional activation much earlier than previously thought. A systematic evaluation of the activation patterns in these neuroimaging studies mainly based on functional near-infrared spectroscopy reveals that prefrontal cortex function can be broadly divided into two distinct anatomical clusters with different functional properties. One cluster of activations falls within the region of the medial prefrontal cortex and is mainly involved in affective processes; another cluster is located in lateral aspects of the prefrontal cortex and shows sensitivity to cognitive processes such as memory and attention. This distinction is in line with adult data and evolutionary models and may represent a developmentally continuous organization principle of prefrontal cortex function. All in all, this review is aimed at providing a synthesis of new findings that are emerging from the use of neuroimaging techniques with infants as well as at encouraging further theory-driven research to understand the developmental origins of prefrontal cortex function. Copyright © 2013 The International Society on Infant Studies183 May/June 2013 10.1111/infa.12016 International Society on Infant Studies Early Career Award, 2012 INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY ON INFANT STUDIES EARLY CAREER AWARD, 2012 Copyright © International Society on Infant Studies (ISIS). Source

Grossmann T.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2013

One major function of our brain is to enable us to behave with respect to socially relevant information. Much research on how the adult human brain processes the social world has shown that there is a network of specific brain areas, also called the social brain, preferentially involved during social cognition. Among the specific brain areas involved in the adult social brain, functional activity in prefrontal cortex (PFC), particularly the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), is of special importance for human social cognition and behavior. However, from a developmental perspective, it has long been thought that PFC is functionally silent during infancy (first year of life), and until recently, little was known about the role of PFC in the early development of social cognition. I shall present an emerging body of recent neuroimaging studies with infants that provide evidence that mPFC exhibits functional activation much earlier than previously thought, suggesting that the mPFC is involved in social information processing from early in life. This review will highlight work examining infant mPFC function across a range of social contexts. The reviewed findings will illustrate that the human brain is fundamentally adapted to develop within a social context. © 2013 Grossmann. Source

Poldrack R.A.,Stanford University | Gorgolewski K.J.,Stanford University | Gorgolewski K.J.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Nature Neuroscience | Year: 2014

In the last decade, major advances have been made in the availability of shared neuroimaging data, such that there are more than 8,000 shared MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) data sets available online. Here we outline the state of data sharing for task-based functional MRI (fMRI) data, with a focus on various forms of data and their relative utility for subsequent analyses. We also discuss challenges to the future success of data sharing and highlight the ethical argument that data sharing may be necessary to maximize the contribution of human subjects. © 2014 Nature America, Inc. Source

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