Mapping the semantic structure of cognitive neuroscience.

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2014-09

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Abstract

Cognitive neuroscience, as a discipline, links the biological systems studied by neuroscience to the processing constructs studied by psychology. By mapping these relations throughout the literature of cognitive neuroscience, we visualize the semantic structure of the discipline and point to directions for future research that will advance its integrative goal. For this purpose, network text analyses were applied to an exhaustive corpus of abstracts collected from five major journals over a 30-month period, including every study that used fMRI to investigate psychological processes. From this, we generate network maps that illustrate the relationships among psychological and anatomical terms, along with centrality statistics that guide inferences about network structure. Three terms--prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and anterior cingulate cortex--dominate the network structure with their high frequency in the literature and the density of their connections with other neuroanatomical terms. From network statistics, we identify terms that are understudied compared with their importance in the network (e.g., insula and thalamus), are underspecified in the language of the discipline (e.g., terms associated with executive function), or are imperfectly integrated with other concepts (e.g., subdisciplines like decision neuroscience that are disconnected from the main network). Taking these results as the basis for prescriptive recommendations, we conclude that semantic analyses provide useful guidance for cognitive neuroscience as a discipline, both by illustrating systematic biases in the conduct and presentation of research and by identifying directions that may be most productive for future research.

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10.1162/jocn_a_00604

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Beam, Elizabeth, L Gregory Appelbaum, Jordynn Jack, James Moody and Scott A Huettel (2014). Mapping the semantic structure of cognitive neuroscience. J Cogn Neurosci, 26(9). pp. 1949–1965. 10.1162/jocn_a_00604 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/10645.

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Scholars@Duke

Moody

James Moody

Professor in the Department of Sociology

James Moody is the Robert O. Keohane professor of sociology at Duke University. He has published extensively in the field of social networks, methods, and social theory. His work has focused theoretically on the network foundations of social cohesion and diffusion, with a particular emphasis on building tools and methods for understanding dynamic social networks. He has used network models to help understand school racial segregation, adolescent health, disease spread, economic development, and the development of scientific disciplines. Moody's work is funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and has appeared in top social science, health and medical journals. He is winner of INSNA's (International Network for Social Network Analysis) Freeman Award for scholarly contributions to network analysis, founding director of the Duke Network Analysis Center and editor of the on-line Journal of Social Structure.

Huettel

Scott Huettel

Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Research in my laboratory investigates the brain mechanisms underlying economic and social decision making; collectively, this research falls into the field of “decision neuroscience” or "neuroeconomics". My laboratory uses fMRI to probe brain function, behavioral assays to characterize individual differences, and other physiological methods (e.g., eye tracking, pharmacological manipulation, genetics) to link brain and behavior. Concurrent with research on basic processes, my laboratory has also investigated the application of new analysis methods for fMRI data, including functional connectivity analyses, pattern classification analyses, and combinatoric multivariate approaches. We have also been applying computational methods to problems in behavioral economics and consumer decision making.  

I have also been very active in outreach, mentorship, and educational activities; as examples, I am lead author on the textbook Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Sinauer Associates; 3rd edition in 2014), I teach Fundamentals of Decision Science, Decision Neuroscience and Neuroethics, and many of my postdoctoral and graduate trainees now lead research laboratories of their own.


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