The coefficients of internal consistency and retest reliability had been rarely investigated within the methodology of dream content analysis. Analyzing a dream series of elderly, healthy persons obtained from weekly telephone interviews, the internal consistency of a series of 20 dreams and retests after 4 or 22 weeks, respectively, had been computed. The findings indicate that dream recall and dream length are quite stable, but dream characteristics such as bizarreness and emotional tone underlie large intraindividual fluctuations. In order to obtain (...) reliable measures for these variables which will be important for correlational studies, including waking-life trait measures, one has to obtain as many dreams as possible (about 20) in a very short time period. Further research is needed to extend the present findings to diary dreams and laboratory dreams. (shrink)
Barsalou's theory rightly emphasizes the perceptual basis of cognition. However, the perceptual symbols that he proposes seem ill suited to carry the representational burden entailed by the architecture in which they function, given that Barsalou accepts the requirement for productivity. A more radical proposal is needed in which symbols are largely external to the cognizer and linked to internal states via perception.
The article will argue that Charles Sanders Peirce's concepts of the ?Dynamics of Belief and Doubt?, the ?Fixation of Belief? as well as ?habits of belief? taken together comprise a theory of learning. The ?dynamics of belief and doubt? are Peirce's explanation for the process of changing from one belief to another. Teaching, then, would be an attempt to control that process. Teaching critical thinking represents an attempt to teach the learner to regulate and discipline his or her own ?settlement (...) of belief?. The ?settlement of belief? takes four different forms based on doubt. Peirce's concept of the ?habits of belief? refers to the inner and outer constraints placed both on belief as such and belief as it becomes action. The article may be read as both an exegesis of learning and as a pedagogical guide for teaching critical thinking to college students. (shrink)
Abstract This paper explores gender and mental health with particular reference to the emerging philosophical field of critical realism. This philosophy suggests a shared ontology and epistemology for the natural and social sciences. Until recently, most of the debate surrounding gender and mental health has been guided either implicitly or explicitly within a positivist or constructivist philosophy. With this in mind, key areas of critical realism are explored in relation to gender and mental health, and contrasted with the positions of (...) positivism and constructivism. It is argued that critical realism offers an alternative philosophical framework for the exploration of gender issues within mental health care. (shrink)
This paper reports a European Forum for Good Clinical Practice workshop held in 2011 to consider a research ethics committee training syllabus, subsequent training needs and resources. The syllabus that was developed was divided into four competencies: committee working; scientific method; ethical analysis and the regulatory framework. Appropriate training needs for each, with possible resources, were discussed. Lack of funding for training was reported as a major problem but affordable alternatives were debated. Strengths and weaknesses of this approach were discussed (...) and the resultant proposal will be disseminated through the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice and the research ethics committees of member states. (shrink)
To take the idea of a non-anthropocentric ethic of nature seriously is to abandon morality itself. The idea of humanity is not an optional extra for moral seriousness. Non-anthropocentric environmental ethicists mistake the kind of value non-human entities may bear. It is not moral value, but aesthetic value.
Introduction US data reveal a Caesarean rate discrepancy between insured and uninsured patients, with the C-section rate highest among the privately insured. The data have prompted concern that financial incentives associated with insurance status might influence American physicians' decisions to perform Caesarean deliveries. Objective To determine whether differences in medical risk factors account for the apparent Caesarean rate discrepancy between Medicaid and privately insured patients in Michigan, USA. Method A retrospective review was performed of 617 269 live birth deliveries in (...) Michigan hospitals during 2004–8. All live birth records that were able to be linked to their mothers' hospital discharge records were utilised. Diagnosis-related group codes from the hospitalisation records were used to identify Caesarean deliveries. Regression models determined Caesarean probability for the time period under study, adjusted for insurance type, maternal age, race, maternal medical conditions, multiple births, prematurity and birth weight. Results From 2004 to 2008, Caesarean rates were 33% for privately insured patients and 29% for Medicaid patients. The probability of Caesarean delivery was significantly greater for privately insured than Medicaid patients on univariate analysis (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.22) but not on multivariate analysis (adjusted OR 1.01, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.02). Conclusion No significant disparity was found in the odds of Caesarean delivery between privately insured and Medicaid patients in Michigan after adjusting for other Caesarean risk factors. A positive disparity would have provided de facto evidence that financial incentives play a role in physician decision-making regarding Caesarean delivery. (shrink)
We are pleased to annouce that God’s Companions by Samuel Wells has been shortlisted for the 2007 Michael Ramsey Prize for theological writing. www.michaelramseyprize.org.uk Grounded in Samuel Wells’ experience of ordinary lives in poorer neighborhoods, this book presents a striking and imaginative approach to Christian ethics. It argues that Christian ethics is founded on God, on the practices of human community, and on worship, and that ethics is fundamentally a reflection of God's abundance. Wells synthesizes dogmatic, liturgical, ethical, scriptural, and (...) pastoral approaches to theology in order to make a bold claim for the centrality of the local church in theological reflection. He considers the abundance of gifts God gives through the practices of the Church, particularly the Eucharist. His central thesis, which governs his argument throughout, is that God gives his people everything they need to worship him, be his friends, and eat with him. Wells engages with serious scholarly material, yet sets out the issues lucidly for a student audience. (shrink)
The Church-Turing Thesis (CTT) is often paraphrased as ``every computable function is computable by means of a Turing machine.'' The author has constructed a family of equational theories that are not Turing-decidable, that is, given one of the theories, no Turing machine can recognize whether an arbitrary equation is in the theory or not. But the theory is called pseudorecursive because it has the additional property that when attention is limited to equations with a bounded number of variables, one obtains, (...) for each number of variables, a fragment of the theory that is indeed Turing-decidable. In a 1982 conversation, Alfred Tarski announced that he believed the theory to be decidable, despite this contradicting CTT. The article gives the background for this proclamation, considers alternate interpretations, and sets the stage for further research. (shrink)
Lifelines discusses two approaches to biology, “ultra-Darwinism” which Rose criticises, and the “homeodynamic perspective,” which he offers as an alternative. This review suggests that ultra-Darwinism is a caricature of the theoretical positions Rose wishes to oppose and that the homeodynamic perspective is not an alternative, but is complementary to so-called ultra-Darwinism.
All major religions accept that organ donation is an individual choice and the same is true when it comes to donating one's whole body to medical science. While religious groups have ‘official’ views, it is common, given the various denominations and subgroups within a religion, to have deviation from the official message. This paper provides some insight into the views of religious leaders from one local community in the UK on the act of body donation. The paper also demonstrates the (...) importance that the Abrahamic religions place on providing opportunities for remembrance and thanksgiving for those who have died and how this is extended through the services of thanksgiving that are held by medical schools for those who have donated their bodies to medical science. (shrink)
To address the statistical challenges associated with genome-wide association studies, we present an independent component analysis (ICA) with reference approach to target a specific genetic variation and associated brain networks. First, a small set of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are empirically chosen to reflect a feature of interest and these SNPs are used as a reference when applying ICA to a full genomic SNP array. After extracting the genetic component maximally representing the characteristics of the reference, we test its association (...) with brain networks in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. The method was evaluated on both real and simulated datasets. Simulation demonstrates that ICA with reference can extract a specific genetic factor, even when the variance accounted for by such a factor is so small that a regular ICA fails. Our real data application from 48 schizophrenia patients and 40 healthy controls include 300K SNPs and fMRI images in an auditory oddball task. Using SNPs with allelic frequency difference in two groups as a reference, we extracted a genetic component that maximally differentiates patients from controls (p<4×10-17), and discovered a brain functional network that was significantly associated with this genetic component (p<1×10-4). The regions in the functional network mainly locate in the thalamus, anterior and posterior cingulate gyri. The contributing SNPs in the genetic factor mainly fall into two clusters centered at chromosome 7q21 and chromosome 5q35. The findings from the schizophrenia application are in concordance with previous knowledge about brain regions and gene function. All together, the results suggest that the ICA with reference can be particularly useful to explore the whole genome to find a specific factor of interest and further study its effect on brain. (shrink)
The study of the mammalian immune system offers many advantages to systems biologists. The cellular components of the mammalian immune system are experimentally tractable; they can be isolated or differentiated from in vivo and ex vivo sources and have an essential role in health and disease. For these reasons, the major effectors cells of the innate immune system, macrophages, have been a particular focus in international genome and transcriptome consortia. Genomescale analysis of the transcriptome, and transcription initiation has enabled the (...) construction of predictive models of transcription control in macrophages that identify the points of control (the major nodes of networks) and the ways in which they interact. (shrink)
The two center time dependent Dirac equation, for an electron in the external field of two colliding ultrarelativistic heavy ions is considered. In the ultrarelativistic limit, the ions are practically moving at the speed of light and the electromagnetic fields of the ions are confined to the light fronts by the extreme Lorentz contraction and by the choice of gauge, designed to remove the long-range Coulomb effects. An exact solution to the ultrarelativistic limit of the two-center Dirac equation is found (...) by using light-front variables and a light-fronts representation. Previously unexplained experimental results obtained at CERN's SPS are explained in this way and predictions are made as to where one should look, in momentum space, and in space-time, if one wants to study and observe non-perturbative electromagnetic pair-production effects in extremely relativistic heavy-ion collisions. (shrink)
The nature of quantum computation is discussed. It is argued that, in terms of the amount of information manipulated in a given time, quantum and classical computation are equally efficient. Quantum superposition does not permit quantum computers to ''perform many computations simultaneously'' except in a highly qualified and to some extent misleading sense. Quantum computation is therefore not well described by interpretations of quantum mechanics which invoke the concept of vast numbers of parallel universes. Rather, entanglement makes available types of (...) computation processes which, while not exponentially larger than classical ones, are unavailable to classical systems. The essence of quantum computation is that it uses entanglement to generate and manipulate a physical representation of the correlations between logical entities, without the need to completely represent the logical entities themselves. (shrink)