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Plos One : Modeling the Minimal Newborn’s Intersubjective Mind ; the Visuotopic-somatotopic Alignment Hypothesis in the Superior Colliculus, Volume 8

By Chacron, Maurice J.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003963286
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Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Plos One : Modeling the Minimal Newborn’s Intersubjective Mind ; the Visuotopic-somatotopic Alignment Hypothesis in the Superior Colliculus, Volume 8  
Author: Chacron, Maurice J.
Volume: Volume 8
Language: English
Subject: Journals, Science, Medical Science
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection
Historic
Publication Date:
Publisher: Plos

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Chacron, M. J. (n.d.). Plos One : Modeling the Minimal Newborn’s Intersubjective Mind ; the Visuotopic-somatotopic Alignment Hypothesis in the Superior Colliculus, Volume 8. Retrieved from http://kindle.worldlibrary.net/


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Description : The question whether newborns possess inborn social skills is a long debate in developmental psychology. Fetal behavioral and anatomical observations show evidences for the control of eye movements and facial behaviors during the third trimester of pregnancy whereas specific sub-cortical areas, like the superior colliculus (SC) and the striatum appear to be functionally mature to support these behaviors. These observations suggest that the newborn is potentially mature for developing minimal social skills. In this manuscript, we propose that the mechanism of sensory alignment observed in SC is particularly important for enabling the social skills observed at birth such as facial preference and facial mimicry. In a computational simulation of the maturing superior colliculus connected to a simulated facial tissue of a fetus, we model how the incoming tactile information is used to direct visual attention toward faces. We suggest that the unisensory superficial visual layer (eye-centered) and the deep somatopic layer (face-centered) in SC are combined into an intermediate layer for visuo-tactile integration and that multimodal alignment in this third layer allows newborns to have a sensitivity to configuration of eyes and mouth. We show that the visual and tactile maps align through a Hebbian learning stage and and strengthen their synaptic links from each other into the intermediate layer. It results that the global network produces some emergent properties such as sensitivity toward the spatial configuration of face-like patterns and the detection of eyes and mouth movement.

 

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