Disclaimer: English Kinda Thing

The sole purpose of the "English Kinda Thing" is to document my attempts to correct my own mistakes in standard English usage and to share the resources I find. In no way do I attempt to teach nobody English through these blurbs--just as I intend not to teach nobody to be a neurotic and psychotic handicap in Ratology Reloaded or Down with Meds! :-)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Shimamura, Arthur P. (2008). A neurocognitive approach to metacognitive monitoring and control

Shimamura, Arthur P. (2008). A neurocognitive approach to metacognitive monitoring and control. In J. Dunlosky & R. A. Bjork (Eds.), Handbook of metamemory and memory (pp. 373-390). New York: Psychology Press.

After I read the paper of Nelson and Narens, I came across the paper where Shimamura added the brain components to Nelson and Narens' model of metacognition and addressed the notions in the dynamic filtering theory.

Since I know for sure that the my brain is wired pretty wrong and in different ways, it's pretty cool to read up this paper and say... "Yes! Yes! Yes! I've gotta have problems there, too!"  Sort of reminding me of the experiences I (and some of my classmates) had when taking abnormal psychology for the first time in undergrad.  It seemed like all diagnosis in the neurosis department were applicable to me though I had such difficulties differentiating between delusions and hallucinations.  (Speaking of ignorance is a bless. lol 8-X)

As is shown in the figure above, neurobehavioral research has found the critical role of prefrontal cortex (PFC) on the top-down control of information processing (e.g., Fernandez-Duque, Baird, & Posner, 2000; E. K. Miller & Cohen, 2001; Shimamura, 2002a; Smith & Jonides, 1999).  Theorists have also worked on mapping out the metacognitive functions of PFC regions (Fernandez-Duque et al., 2000; Pannu & Kaszniak, 2005; Shimamura, 1996; Stuss, Gallup, & Alexander, 2001).

Dynamic filtering theory:  So, first of all, PFC is well connected with many cortical regions.  It was proposed that the well-connected PFC regulates the activation of the posterior cortex by way of a filtering/gating mechanism.  So, in this theory, the meta-level processors in the PFC control those at the object level in the posterior cortex.  How does PFC assert its control?  It's done through dynamic filtering... "the selection of appropriate signals and suppression of inappropriate signals."

The author considered the inhibitory control to be of particular importance because due to the inevitable interference among object-level processors.  When conflicts or interference are observed at the object-level, the meta-level has to make a decision on which process(es) to suppress and which to continue. In the author's own words, "Based on dynamic filtering theory, it is the interplay between PFC and posterior regions that implements both selective and suppressive control."

Also, because different regions of the PFC seems to be in charge of different things (though there might be overlaps in their functions), the way it sound... metacognition in the brain works almost like cloud/distributed computing.  8-O lol  At the end of this paper, the author did ask the question of whether there might be a CEO for the various PFC regions... sort of like... with the anterior PFC (BA10) offered as the plausible candidate.

This paper is also loaded with interesting notions and information; however, I will share with you the thoughts I have rather than providing a summary of the key ideas in this paper.

Monitoring and controlling stimulus encoding

One question that's been troubling me is whether metacognition can assert its impact at as early as the stage of sensory memory.   Why?  As a psychotic, it would be wonderful if hallucinations can get filter out before even entering the working memory so as to prevent the hallucinations from being incorporated in my delusional world (of course, the assumptions: hallucinations are first perceived in the sensory memory and the information processing model holds true).  Nothing intellectual... pure practical.

Though I feel sorry for patients with brain lesions, what the authors addressed in this section gives me hope...  "It is as if PFC lesions disrupt cortical processing in the posterior cortex by failing to gate or filter activations."

Though... questions... the plain old selection mechanism between Sensory memory and Working memory could be considered as metacognitive? 8-O (Interesting... Never thought of it this way... though no answer to it.)

Monitoring and controlling learning process

Notions under this title seem to be related to the functioning of working memory.

While studies have confirmed the role of PFC in the maintenance and manipulation of information in working memory, different prefrontal regions seem to maintain different kinds of information.

There is something interesting about the quote that "successful learning depends on a host of metacognitive control processes, including selection, maintenance, updating, and chunking."  When I first read this quote, so I thought... aren't these ordinary things at the cognitive or object-level?  Then I thought of the cross-sectional studies conducted on young children... how they need to be taught metacognitive strategies to help themselves learn... For instance, perhaps, not random selection or selecting for the purpose of selecting, but... strategic selection...

The discussion on proactive interference  are also very interesting.  Essentially, participants were given stimuli and were asked to determine if a stimuli had been shown to them before.  One group was given cues on whether they should attend to face or scene while the other group not.  It was found that the posterior cortical regions exhibited heightened activities on trials with task-relevant stimuli and reduced activities when task-irrelevant.  At the same time, previous studies have found the selective attention to be modulated by PFC.

Why do I find this discussion interesting?  It's like--you need to give yourself this cue about your observations in life--delusion or not?  If delusional, don't get your head too excited since it is irrelevant.  8-O

Monitoring and controlling retrieval processes

"[V]entrolateral PFC activity increases with increases in the number of competing responses (Wagner et al., 2001). Such regulation of semantic retrieval extends to other linguistic tasks, such as making decisions about the conceptual relatedness between items or interpreting difficult or ambiguous sentences (see Wagner
et al., 2001)."--Feels like it has something to do with delusion of references?

A Multilevel Model of Dynamic Filtering Theory and Extension of the Nelson and Narens Metacognitive Model

How I am wrong...

Biased to the processing of internal stimuli (hallucinations, delusions) and self-related contents

  1. The ventrolateral PFC is integral in selecting semantic information and maintaining that information in working memory (Wagner et al., 2001; Thompson-Schill et al., 2002). 
  2. The dorsomedial PFC (e.g., anterior cingulate cortex) is involved in monitoring cognitive conflict in object-level processors (Botvinick et al., 1999, 2004).

The failure to negate the "biased" information (e.g., delusions) after detection

  1. The dorsolateral PFC facilitates the manipulation of information in working memory by updating and rerouting information processing (Shimamura, 2000; Simons & Spiers, 2003).

One faulty department that might have been the trigger for all my hospitalization with its impact even stronger towards hospitalization... ventromedial PFC... because... kaput ventromedial PFC--> Excessive motional arousal-->tying up the brain capacity-->interfering with the function of other PFC regions-->bye bye the monitoring and control of psychotic symptoms-->into the Club Meds I go.

  1. [T]he ventromedial PFC enables the same kind of monitoring and control as other PFC regions, only it regulates affective processes rather than cognitive processes.

The feeling of knowing is also addressed in this paper... intuitively I would say... there is something about FOK... whether you believe it or not...

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