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Mauricio J Martins

Mauricio J Martins
UM6P · School of Collective Intelligence

MD, PhD

About

42
Publications
13,980
Reads
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490
Citations
Introduction
I am interested in describing the mechanisms underlying the representation of hierarchies in the visual, musical, linguistic and motor domains; and the processes involved in the acquisition of those representations. Our research program, which includes behavioural and fMRI experiments, aims at characterising the domain-general and domain-specific computations involved in the representation of hierarchical structures, thus drawing a more empirically precise architecture of human cognition.
Additional affiliations
February 2010 - October 2014
University of Vienna
Position
  • Doctorate Student
September 2006 - present
University of Lisbon
Position
  • Student
Education
September 2002 - July 2009
University of Lisbon
Field of study
  • Medicine

Publications

Publications (42)
Article
Full-text available
Although recursion has been hypothesized to be a necessary capacity for the evolution of language, the multiplicity of definitions being used has undermined the broader interpretation of empirical results. I propose that only a definition focused on representational abilities allows the prediction of specific behavioural traits that enable us to di...
Article
Full-text available
Sixty years ago, Karl Lashley suggested that complex action sequences, from simple motor acts to language and music, are a fundamental but neglected aspect of neural function. Lashley demonstrated the inadequacy of then-standard models of associative chaining, positing a more flexible and generalized “syntax of action” necessary to encompass key as...
Article
Full-text available
Generation of hierarchical structures, such as the embedding of subordinate elements into larger structures, is a core feature of human cognition. Processing of hierarchies is thought to rely on lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC). However, the neural underpinnings supporting active generation of new hierarchical levels remain poorly understood. Here,...
Article
Full-text available
The generation of hierarchical structures is central to language, music and complex action. Understanding this capacity and its potential impairments requires mapping its underlying cognitive processes to the respective neuronal underpinnings. In language, left inferior frontal gyrus and left posterior temporal cortex (superior temporal sulcus/midd...
Article
Full-text available
The English and French Revolutions represent a turning point in history, marking the beginning of the modern rise of democracy. Recent advances in cultural evolution have put forward the idea that the early modern revolutions may be the product of a long-term psychological shift, from hierarchical and dominance-based interactions to democratic and...
Preprint
Humans generate complex hierarchies across a variety of domains, including language and music, and this capacity is often associated with activity in inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Non-human animals have also been shown to represent simple hierarchies in spatial navigation, and human neuroimaging work has implicated the hippocampus in the encoding o...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to generate complex hierarchical structures is a crucial component of human cognition which can be expressed in the musical domain in the form of hierarchical melodic relations. The neural underpinnings of this ability have been investigated by comparing the perception of well-formed melodies with unexpected sequences of tones. However,...
Article
Full-text available
In many domains of human cognition, hierarchically structured representations are thought to play a key role. In this paper, we start with some foundational definitions of key phenomena like “sequence” and “hierarchy," and then outline potential signatures of hierarchical structure that can be observed in behavioral and neuroimaging data. Appropria...
Presentation
Full-text available
Complex hierarchical structures occur in language, music and action planning. In these domains, it is difficult to establish the boundaries of hierarchical depth, especially when external memory resources are available. Recursive hierarchical embedding is probably a key capacity to achieve this power. In this talk, I will summarize the results of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Preprint
Full-text available
Generation of hierarchical structures, such as the embedding of subordinate elements into larger structures, is a core feature of human cognition. Discrimination of well-formed hierarchies is thought to rely on lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC). However, the brain bases underlying the active generation of new hierarchical levels remain poorly underst...
Article
Full-text available
In this commentary we support a complex, mosaic and multimodal approach to the evolution of intelligence. Using the Arcuate Fasciculus as an example of discontinuity in the evolution of neurobiological architectures, we argue that the strict dichotomy “modules vs G”, adopted by the target paper, is insufficient to interpret the available statistica...
Article
Full-text available
In this commentary, we support a complex, mosaic, and multimodal approach to the evolution of intelligence. Using the arcuate fasciculus as an example of discontinuity in the evolution of neurobiological architectures, we argue that the strict dichotomy of modules versus G , adopted by Burkart et al. in the target article, is insufficient to interp...
Poster
Full-text available
The capacity to represent and generate hierarchical structures is a core feature of human cognition. While discrimination of well-formed hierarchical structures is thought to rely on lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC) in several domains, the brain bases of active generation of new hierarchical levels remains relatively unexplored. Here we introduce a...
Article
Full-text available
The human ability to process hierarchical structures has been a longstanding research topic. However, the nature of the cognitive machinery underlying this faculty remains controversial. Recursion, the ability to embed structures within structures of the same kind, has been proposed as a key component of our ability to parse and generate complex hi...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The ability to recognize and interpret emotions in others is a crucial prerequisite of adequate social behavior. Impairments in emotion processing have been reported from the early stages of Parkinson’s disease (PD). This study aims to characterize emotion recognition in advanced Parkinson’s disease candidates for deep-brain stimulation...
Article
Full-text available
We describe a new method to explore recursive cognition in the visual domain. We define recursion as the ability to represent multiple hierarchical levels using the same rule, entailing the ability to generate new levels beyond those previously encountered. With this definition recursion can be distinguished from general hierarchical embedding. To...
Article
Full-text available
Ackermann et al.’s arguments in the target article need sharpening and rethinking at both mechanistic and evolutionary levels. First, the authors’ evolutionary arguments are inconsistent with recent evidence concerning nonhuman animal rhythmic abilities. Second, prosodic intonation conveys much more complex linguistic information than mere emotiona...
Thesis
Full-text available
Humans generate complex hierarchical structures in a variety of domains such as in language, social organization, music, action sequencing and visual arts. One cognitive capacity associated with this extraordinary generative power is recursion. Recursion is a very efficient method to process hierarchies and it allows the generation of unbounded hie...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background / Purpose: We report results on brain activation patterns associated with recursive and iterative representations. Main conclusion: Recursive representations require the integration of the visual dorsal and ventral streams, while iterative representations require the recruitment of the dorsal stream only.
Article
Full-text available
Recording a tendency in social psychology, in which academics' political orientations are flattening out towards a strong domination of liberal ideas, Duarte et al. express their concern regarding the danger of this homogeneity in the scientific process, which they believe ought to be value-free, and they suggest a set of prescriptions that would r...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to understand and generate hierarchical structures is a crucial component of human cognition, available in language, music, mathematics and problem solving. Recursion is a particularly useful mechanism for generating complex hierarchies by means of self-embedding rules. In the visual domain, fractals are recursive structures in which si...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The human ability to process hierarchical structures has been a topic of research since decades. However, despite intense debate, the cognitive machinery underlying this ability remains controversial. For instance, language, music, and motor sequencing seem to require a special memory device to keep track of non-adjacent hierarchical relations (Fit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this manuscript we will present the interim results of our research program, focused on answering the question of whether recursion is language domain-specific. We will review behavioral, developmental and imaging studies. Overall, our results suggest that recursion can be used in non-linguistic domains, and that this usage does not require verb...
Article
Full-text available
Hierarchical structures play a central role in many aspects of human cognition, prominently including both language and music. In this study we addressed hierarchy in the visual domain, using a novel paradigm based on fractal images. Fractals are self-similar patterns generated by repeating the same simple rule at multiple hierarchical levels. Our...
Chapter
Full-text available
Models are a flourishing and indispensable area of research in language evolution. Here we highlight critical issues in using and interpreting models and suggests viable approaches. First, contrasting models can explain the same data and similar modelling techniques can lead to diverging conclusions. This should act as a reminder to use the extreme...
Chapter
Full-text available
Recursion is a cognitive ability that has captured the interest of many theorists, due to its possible role in the development of specifically human behaviours, such as language, music and architecture. However, empirical investigation of recursion has been hindered by the lack of a consistent and consensual framework. In this paper, we propose a d...
Data
Full-text available
a b s t r a c t Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nuclei (STN-DBS) for the treatment of levodopa-induced motor complications in advanced Parkinson's disease (APD) has been associated with neuropsychiatric disorders. It has been suggested that a postoperative decline in visual emotion recognition is responsible for those adverse events, alth...
Article
Full-text available
The Word Memory Test (WMT) has been considered one of the best assessment tools for assessing memory malingering in spite of some reported false-positive results. Our goal was to examine the sensitivity and specificity of Green's 2003 criteria for memory malingering using a Portuguese adaptation of the WMT. We applied the WMT to three groups of par...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Assess the plausibility of an analogy between visual perception and the core of human language syntax.
Project
To describe the neural mechanims underlying the generation of new hierarchical levels using recursive 'fractal' rules.