Mario Beauregard's research while affiliated with The University of Arizona and other places

Publications (108)

Article
The majority of mainstream psychologists still adopt a materialist stance toward nature. They believe that science is synonymous with materialism; further, they are convinced that the view that mind and consciousness are simply by-products of brain activity is an incontrovertible fact that has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt. This is an i...
Article
Scientific materialism is still influential in certain academic spheres. In this article, I examine multiple lines of empirical evidence showing that this ideology, while partially true, is woefully incomplete and, therefore, obsolete. This evidence indicates that we humans cannot be reduced to powerless, biophysical machines since the psyche great...
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It has been long established that psychological interventions can markedly alter patients' thinking patterns, beliefs, attitudes, emotional states, and behaviors. Little was known about the neural mechanisms mediating such alterations before the advent of functional neuroimaging techniques. Since the turn of the new millenium, several functional ne...
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The main objective of this structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study was to investigate, using diffusion tensor imaging, whether a neurofeedback training (NFT) protocol designed to improve sustained attention might induce structural changes in white matter (WM) pathways, purportedly implicated in this cognitive ability. Another goal was to...
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CONTEXTO: Experiências de quase morte (EQM) são experiências vívidas, realísticas, que frequentemente promovem mudanças profundas na vida de pessoas que estiveram fisiológica ou psicologicamente próximas da morte. As EQM por vezes ocorrem durante uma parada cardíaca, na ausência de atividade cerebral detectável. OBJETIVO: Revisar os estudos prospec...
Article
In the first section of this chapter, I introduce the concepts of emotional self-regulation and spiritual experiences (SEs). Then, I review the findings of functional neuroimaging studies carried out with regard to the self-regulation of various types of emotional states. In the third section, I examine data suggesting a role for the temporal lobes...
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Mindfulness meditation has been shown to promote emotional stability. Moreover, during the processing of aversive and self-referential stimuli, mindful awareness is associated with reduced medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) activity, a central default mode network (DMN) component. However, it remains unclear whether mindfulness practice influences fun...
Article
Several functional neuroimaging studies of emotional self-regulation have been conducted during the last decade. This article demonstrates that these studies strongly support the mentalistic perspective that the subjective nature and the intentional content of the mental processes, volitions, thoughts, feelings, involved in emotional selfregulation...
Article
This chapter defines attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is a frequent neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood that affects 3-7% of children worldwide, and frequently continues into adulthood. This disorder negatively affects academic performance in childhood and leads to increased risk for antisocial disorders and drug abuse in...
Chapter
In this chapter we first define religious, spiritual and mystical experiences (RSMEs). We then review clinical data about patients with epilepsy suggesting a role for the temporal lobe and the limbic system in RSMEs. The possibility of experimentally inducing such experiences by stimulating the temporal lobe with weak electromagnetic currents is ex...
Article
CREB1 has previously been implicated in mood disorders, suicide, and antidepressant response. There is some evidence that the T allele in rs4675690, a single-nucleotide polymorphism near the CREB1 gene, is involved in the modulation of neural responses to negative stimuli. It is not known whether differential brain activity during negative mood sta...
Data
Voxel peak coordinates for the ‘disgust-neutral’ contrast. (XLSX)
Data
Regions more activated for the amusement than for the disgust and sexual arousal conditions. (XLSX)
Data
Voxel peak coordinates for the ‘amusement-neutral’ contrast. (XLSX)
Data
Regions more activated for the disgust condition than for the amusement and sexual arousal conditions. (XLSX)
Data
Voxel peak coordinates for the ‘sexual arousal-neutral’ contrast. (XLSX)
Data
Voxel peak coordinates for the conjunction null analysis of the ‘amusement-neutral’, ‘disgust-neutral’, and ‘sexual arousal-neutral’ contrasts. (XLSX)
Data
Regions significantly more activated for the sexual arousal condition than for the amusement and disgust conditions. (XLSX)
Article
Full-text available
While the limbic system theory continues to be part of common scientific parlance, its validity has been questioned on multiple grounds. Nonetheless, the issue of whether or not there exists a set of brain areas preferentially dedicated to emotional processing remains central within affective neuroscience. Recently, a widespread neural reference sp...
Article
Healthy adults carrying the short (S) allele of the human serotonin transporter gene linked polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) show increased amygdala activation during visual processing of emotionally negative stimuli compared to healthy adults homozygous for the long (L) allele. To determine whether abnormal brain responses during negative emotion appear ea...
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Introduction. Studies performed during the last decades suggest that neurofeedback (NF) training can effectively reduce symptomatology in children with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Yet questions remain concerning specific effects of NF training in ADHD children, because these studies did not use a randomized, placebo-controlled...
Article
Recent advances in power spectral analysis of electroencephalography (EEG) signals and brain-computer interface (BCI) technology may significantly contribute to the development of psychoneurotherapies. The goal of this study was to measure the effect of a psychoneurotherapy on brain source generators of abnormal EEG activity in individuals with maj...
Article
To measure brain activity in near-death experiencers during a meditative state. In two separate experiments, brain activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) during a Meditation condition and a Control condition. In the Meditation condition, participants were asked to mentally visualize...
Article
Functional neuroimaging studies have shown that romantic love and maternal love are mediated by regions specific to each, as well as overlapping regions in the brain's reward system. Nothing is known yet regarding the neural underpinnings of unconditional love. The main goal of this functional magnetic resonance imaging study was to identify the br...
Article
Mentalistic variables must be considered to reach a correct understanding of the neurophysiological basis of behavior in humans. Confusion regarding the relative importance of neurophysiological and mentalistic variables can lead to important misconceptions about causes and effects in the study of human behavior. In this article, we review neuroima...
Article
Mystical experiences relate to a fundamental dimension of human existence. These experiences, which are characterized by a sense of union with God, are commonly reported across all cultures. To date, no electroencephalography (EEG) study has been conducted to identify the neuroelectrical correlates of such experiences. The main objective of this st...
Article
Many studies have shown relative preservation of word priming in subjects with mild amnesia, but some impairment in severe amnesia. This calls into question the degree of separation between implicit and explicit memory. Possible contamination of implicit memory tasks by impaired explicit memory strategies might be obscuring the actual dissociation...
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Little is known about the specific contribution of serotonin (5-HT) to the neurobiology of emotion and mood in healthy people. In an exploratory study, we sought to investigate the effect of rapid and sustained changes of emotional state on the trapping of 11C-labelled alpha-methyl-L-tryptophan (11C-alphaMtrp) used as a proxy of 5-HT synthesis, usi...
Article
Functional neuroimaging studies show substantial individual variation in brain activation accompanying the experience of emotion, including sadness. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 104 pairs of 8-year-old twins (47 MZ, 57 DZ) to assess genetic-environmental contributions to individual differences in neural activation in...
Article
We sought to investigate the link between substance abuse and increased striatal gray matter densities (GMD) in schizophrenia, using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Increased striatal GMD were found in patients with schizophrenia and substance use disorder (n=12), but not schizophrenia only patients (n=11), compared to healthy volunteers (n=15).
Article
This article reviews neuroimaging studies of conscious and voluntary regulation of various emotional states (sexual arousal, sadness, negative emotion). The results of these studies show that metacognition and cognitive recontextualization selectively alters the way the brain processes and reacts to emotional stimuli. Neuroimaging studies of the ef...
Article
The main goal of this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was to identify the neural correlates of a mystical experience. The brain activity of Carmelite nuns was measured while they were subjectively in a state of union with God. This state was associated with significant loci of activation in the right medial orbitofrontal cortex,...
Article
An inability to self-regulate negative emotions appears to play a pivotal role in the genesis of major depressive disorder. This inability may be related to a dysfunction of the neural circuitry underlying emotional self-regulation. This functional magnetic resonance imaging study was conducted to test this hypothesis. Depressed individuals and con...
Article
The lifetime prevalence of substance use disorders among schizophrenia patients is close to 50%. The negative consequences of substance abuse in schizophrenia are well documented, but the etiology of this comorbid condition remains unknown. According to the affect regulation model, schizophrenia patients abuse drugs in order to cope with their nega...
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Full-text available
Two functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments were undertaken to measure the effect of neurofeedback training (NFT), in AD/HD children, on the neural substrates of selective attention and response inhibition. Twenty unmedicated AD/HD children participated to these experiments. Fifteen children were randomly assigned to the Experiment...
Article
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder mainly characterized by impairments in cognitive functions. Functional neuroimaging studies carried out in individuals with AD/HD have shown abnormal functioning of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) during tasks involving selective attention. In other respects, ther...
Article
Background: The lifetime prevalence of substance use disorders among schizophrenia patients is close to 50%. The negative consequences of substance abuse in schizophrenia are well documented, but the etiology of this comorbid condition remains unknown. According to the affect regulation model, schizophrenia patients abuse drugs in order to cope wit...
Article
Background Despite immense importance of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) in the phenomenology of schizophrenia, the neurocognitive and neurophysiological bases of AVHs remain obscure. On the neurocognitive level, it has been proposed that AVHs arise from the disordered monitoring manifested by patients’ inability to recognize their inner spee...
Article
Despite immense importance of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) in the phenomenology of schizophrenia, the neurocognitive and neurophysiological bases of AVHs remain obscure. On the neurocognitive level, it has been proposed that AVHs arise from the disordered monitoring manifested by patients' inability to recognize their inner speech as being...
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There have been reports that patients with schizophrenia have decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex during emotion processing. However, findings have been confounded by sample nonspecificity and explicit cognitive task interference with emotion processing. We aimed to further investigate this by examining the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (...
Article
The aim of this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was to compare regional brain activity in schizophrenia subjects with (FA+) and without (FA-) flat affect during the viewing of emotionally negative pictures. Thirteen FA+ subjects and 11 FA- subjects were scanned while being presented with a series of emotionally negative and neutr...
Article
Blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) brain changes underlying response to quetiapine were examined using passive viewing of emotionally negative stimuli. Twelve DSM-IV schizophrenia patients with blunted affect (BA+) were scanned before and after 22 weeks of quetiapine treatment. Whole-brain, voxel-based methods were used to assess the differen...
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Neuropsychological research on the neural basis of behaviour generally posits that brain mechanisms will ultimately suffice to explain all psychologically described phenomena. This assumption stems from the idea that the brain is made up entirely of material particles and fields, and that all causal mechanisms relevant to neuroscience can therefore...
Article
This study investigated changes in cerebral activation related to emotion processing in schizophrenia patients with blunted or flat affect (FA+) during treatment with quetiapine. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), brain activation in 12 FA+ schizophrenia patients during passive viewing of sad film excerpts was studied before and af...
Article
Brain morphology and physiological measures in schizophrenia have yielded inconsistent results. This may be due in part to difficulties in ascertaining precisely to what degree each measure deviates from its genetically and environmentally determined potential level. We attempted to surmount this problem in a paradigm involving monozygotic twin pai...
Article
The purpose of the present study was to compare the brain regions and systems that subserve lexical and sublexical processes in reading. In order to do so, three types of tasks were used: (i). silent reading of very high frequency regular words (lexical task); (ii). silent reading of nonwords (sublexical task); and, (iii). silent reading of very lo...
Article
The cognitive frame in which most neuropsychological research on the neural basis of behavior is conducted contains the assumption that brain mechanisms per se fully suffice to explain all psychologically described phenomena. This assumption stems from the idea that the brain is made up entirely of material particles and fields, and that all causal...
Article
The aim of the present study is to use neuroscience theories about brain function (mirror-neurons MN) to draw inferences about the mechanisms supporting emotional resonance in two different groups of schizophrenia patients (with flat affect FA+ n = 13 and without flat affect FA- n = 11). We hypothesize that FA+ will not activate key brain areas inv...
Article
Emotional self-regulation plays a pivotal role in socialization and moral development. This capacity critically depends on the development of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study was conducted to identify the neural circuitry underlying voluntary self-regulation of sadness in healthy girls (aged 8-10)...
Article
Emotional development is indisputably one of the cornerstones of personality development during infancy. According to the differential emotions theory (DET), primary emotions are constituted of three distinct components: the neural-evaluative, the expressive, and the experiential. The DET further assumes that these three components are biologically...
Article
Introduction. It is known that the processing of single words is the prerogative of the left hemisphere (LH), although the right hemisphere (RH) contributes with respect to specific variables (e.g., frequency, imageability). The goal of the present study was to investigate the contribution of both hemispheres to the semantic and phonological proces...
Article
Findings of category-specific impairments have suggested that human semantic memory may be organized around a living/nonliving dichotomy. In order to assess implicit memory performance for living and nonliving concepts, one group of neurologically intact individuals participated in a cross-form conceptual priming paradigm. In Block 1, pictures prim...
Article
The question of whether distinct or similar neural substrates underlie primary emotions has not been resolved yet. To address this issue, we used fMRI to scan professional actors during self-induced states of sadness and happiness. Results demonstrated that, relative to an emotionally Neutral state, both the Sad and the Happy states were associated...
Article
The psychopathology of auditory verbal hallucinations continues to benefit from a productive experimental and theoretical field of research. The hypothesis of an interior discourse that the hallucinated subject does not recognize as coming from himself, and that of an aberrant activity which disturbs the primary auditory region as an explanation fo...
Article
Several functional neuroimaging studies have been carried out in healthy subjects to investigate the neural correlates of sadness. Importantly, there is little consistency among the results of these studies. Hypothesizing that individual differences may account for the discrepancies among these investigations, we conducted two functional magnetic r...
Article
Background: The ability to voluntarily self-regulate negative emotion is essential to a healthy psyche. Indeed, a chronic incapacity to suppress negative emotion might be a key factor in the genesis of depression and anxiety. Regarding the neural underpinnings of emotional self-regulation, a recent functional neuroimaging study carried out by our...
Article
Questions pertaining to the neurobiological effects of psychotherapy are now considered among the most topical in psychiatry. With respect to this issue, positron emission tomography (PET) findings indicate that cognitive and behavioral modifications, occurring in a psychotherapeutic context, can lead to regional brain metabolic changes in patients...
Article
Various lines of evidence indicate that men generally experience greater sexual arousal (SA) to erotic stimuli than women. Yet, little is known regarding the neurobiological processes underlying such a gender difference. To investigate this issue, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to compare the neural correlates of SA in 20 male and 2...
Article
Among the many theories that have been advanced to explain the mechanism by which auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) arise, 2 that have received a degree of empirical support are: the hypothesis that AVHs arise from misinterpreted inner speech and the proposal that they arise from aberrant activation of the primary auditory cortex. To test these...
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A fundamental question about the relationship between cognition and emotion concerns the neural substrate underlying emotional self-regulation. To address this issue, brain activation was measured in normal male subjects while they either responded in a normal manner to erotic film excerpts or voluntarily attempted to inhibit the sexual arousal ind...
Article
Often used in cognitive studies measuring reaction times and in functional imaging studies, the subtraction paradigm is based on the comparison of performance on tasks presupposed to refer to different cognitive levels of processing. Within the framework of the study of phonological processing of words, manipulating the grapheme-phoneme transparenc...
Article
Both the extent of semantic memory impairment and the level of processing attained during encoding might constitute critical factors in determining the amount of word-stem completion (WSC) priming encountered in Alzheimer's disease (AD) subjects. We investigated the impact of varying encoding level in AD and elderly normal subjects, using a set of...