Saturday, August 19, 2017

Auto- Machina - Yakatisma (20 Interrogations about one thing)

Forking Cinematic Paths to the Self: Neurocinematically Informed Model of Empathy in Motion Pictures
Gal Raz and Talma Hendler
This article reviews significant developments in affective neuroscience suggesting a refinement of the contemporary theoretical discourse on cinematic empathy. Accumulating evidence in the field points to a philogeneticontogenetic-neural boundary separating empathic processes driven by either cognitive or somato-visceral representations of others. Additional evidence suggests that these processes are linked with parasympathetically driven mitigation and proactive sympathetic arousal. It presents empirical findings from a functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) film viewing study, which are in line with this theoretical distinction. The findings are discussed in a proposed cinematographic framework of a general dichotomy between eso (inward-directed) and para (side by side with)—dramatic cinematic factors impinging on visceral representations of real-time occurrences or cognitive representations of another's mind, respectively. It demonstrates the significance of this dichotomy in elucidating the unsettling emotional experience elicited by Michael Haneke's Amour.

Tempering Proactive Cognitive Control by Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Right (but Not the Left) Lateral Prefrontal Cortex.
Gómez-Ariza CJ, Martín MC, Morales J.
Front Neurosci. 2017 May 23;11:282. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2017.00282. eCollection 2017.

Weinberger AB, Green AE, Chrysikou EG.
Front Hum Neurosci. 2017 May 16;11:246. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00246. eCollection 2017. Review.

The chasm between what is happening on the inside and what is seen on the outside, coupled with challenges in speaking and being pushed to perform, is a recipe for a meltdown that may seem to come 'out of the blue', but in fact may have been steadily building. Because Autonomous Nervous System ( ANS ) activation both influences and is influenced by efforts to process sensory information, interact socially, initiate motor activity, produce meaningful speech and more, deciphering the dynamics of ANS states is important for understanding and helping people on the autism spectrum

Most people who meet the diagnostic criteria for anti-social personality disorder (ASPD) do not meet the criteria for psychopathy. A differentiating feature is affective-interpersonal style. Eye blink startle reflex paradigms have been used to study affect.


The aim of this study is to explore an eye blink startle paradigm as a means of distinguishing between men with both ASPD and psychopathy, and men with ASPD alone.


One hundred and thirty-six men were recruited as follows: 31 patients with ASPD and a Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) score of 26 or more, 22 patients with ASPD and a PCL-R score of 25 or less, 50 forensic hospital employees and 33 general population men, none in the latter two groups having abnormal personality traits. Each was presented with 16 pleasant, 16 unpleasant and 16 neutral pictures. Acoustic probes were presented during each category at 300, 800, 1300 and 3800 milliseconds (ms) after picture onset. Eye blink response was measured by electromyography.


Overall, both patient groups showed significantly smaller eye blink responses to the startle stimuli compared with the community controls. Both the latter and the ASPD group showed the expected increase in eye blink response at longer startle latencies to unpleasant pictures than pleasant pictures, but this was not present either in the group with psychopathy or in the forensic hospital employees. With increasing startle latency onset, eye blink amplitude increased significantly in both the healthy comparison groups and the ASPD group, but not in the group with psychopathy.


We replicated eye blink startle modulation deficiencies among men with psychopathy. We confirmed that the psychopathy and ASPD groups could be distinguished by startle stimulus onset asynchrony, but this pattern was also seen in one healthy group - the forensic hospital employees. This suggests a case for more research with more diverse comparison groups and more differentiation of personality traits before drawing definitive conclusions about distinctive startle response patterns among men with psychopathy.

Because ANS activation both influences and is influenced by efforts to process sensory information, interact socially, initiate motor activity, produce meaningful speech and more, deciphering the dynamics of ANS states is important for understanding and helping people on the autism spectrum

1) 24-hour baseline pre-experiment ,2 hours  in a real life situation, (3) 30 min in a quiet environment, interrupted by a few seconds of stressful sound, (4) an interview to record feelings about events triggering anxiety.

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) demonstrate atypical behavioural responses to affective stimuli, although the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Investigating automatic responses to these stimuli may help elucidate these mechanisms. 18 high-functioning adults with ASDs and 18 typically developing controls viewed 54 extreme pleasant (erotica), extreme unpleasant (mutilations), and non-social neutral images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). Two-thirds of images received an acoustic startle probe 3s post-picture onset. Facial electromyography (EMG) activity (orbicularis, zygomaticus, corrugator), skin conductance (SCR) and cardiac responses were recorded. The adults with ASDs demonstrated typical affective startle modulation and automatic facial EMG responses but atypical autonomic (SCRs and cardiac) responses, suggesting a failure to orient to, or a deliberate effort to disconnect from, socially relevant stimuli (erotica, mutilations). These results have implications for neural systems known to underlie affective processes, including the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala.

 Skin conductance responses (SCRs) to items of the International Affective Pictures System characterized by emotional (unpleasant, neutral, and pleasant), social (with humans) or non-social (without humans) content were recorded in non-alexithymic (NA), affective (AA) and cognitive alexithymic (CA) participants

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