In this target article, Walker seeks to clarify the current state of knowledge regarding sleep and memory. Walker's review represents an impressively heuristic attempt to synthesize the relevant literature. In this commentary, we question the focus on procedural memory and the use of the term “consolidation,” and we consider the extent to which empirically testable predictions can be derived from Walker's model.
Given the sensitive nature of trauma-focused research, it is important that researchers understand the impact of research participation on study participants. The current study examined the relationship between type of child abuse, psychological adjustment, and self-reported participatory distress in 105 female adult survivors of childhood abuse. Several key findings emerged: (a) overall, participants reported low levels of participatory distress; (b) greater levels of participatory distress were reported by sexual abuse survivors and were associated with higher scores on depressed mood and (...) posttraumatic stress; and (c) posttraumatic stress symptomatology served as a mediator in the relationship between abuse type and participatory distress. The findings inform researchers and members of Institutional Review Boards on variables related to participatory distress in studies of child abuse. (shrink)
Background: Expanded newborn screening generates incidental results, notably carrier results. Yet newborn screening programmes typically restrict parental choice regarding receipt of this non-health serving genetic information. Healthcare providers play a key role in educating families or caring for screened infants and have strong beliefs about the management of incidental results. Methods: To inform policy on disclosure of infant sickle cell disorder (SCD) carrier results, a mixed-methods study of healthcare providers was conducted in Ontario, Canada, to understand attitudes regarding result management (...) using a cross-sectional survey (N = 1615) and semistructured interviews (N = 42). Results: Agreement to reasons favouring disclosure of SCD carrier results was high (65.1%–92.7%) and to reasons opposing disclosure was low (4.1%–18.1%). Genetics professionals expressed less support for arguments favouring disclosure (35.3%–78.8%), and more agreement with arguments opposing disclosure (15.7%–51.9%). A slim majority of genetics professionals (51.9%) agreed that a reason to avoid disclosure was the importance of allowing the child to decide to receive results. Qualitatively, there was a perceived “duty” to disclose, that if the clinician possessed the information, the clinician could not withhold it. Discussion: While a majority of respondents perceived a duty to disclose the incidental results of newborn screening, the policy implications of these attitudes are not obvious. In particular, policy must balance descriptive ethics (ie, what providers believe) and normative ethics (ie, what duty-based principles oblige), address dissenting opinion and consider the relevance of moral principles grounded in clinical obligations for public health initiatives. (shrink)
We introduce two notions–the shadows and the shallows of explanation–in opening up explanation to broader, interdisciplinary investigation. The shadows of explanation refer to past philosophical efforts to provide either a conceptual analysis of explanation or in some other way to pinpoint the essence of explanation. The shallows of explanation refer to the phenomenon of having surprisingly limited everyday, individual cognitive abilities when it comes to explanation. Explanations are ubiquitous, but they typically are not accompanied by the depth that we might, (...) prima facie, expect. We explain the existence of the shadows and shallows of explanation in terms of there being a theoretical abyss between explanation and richer, theoretical structures that are often attributed to people. We offer an account of the shallows, in particular, both in terms of shorn-down, internal, mental machinery, and in terms of an enriched, public symbolic environment, relative to the currently dominant ways of thinking about cognition and the world. (shrink)
Poetry, drama and the novel present readers and viewers with emotionally significant situations that they often experience as moving, and their being so moved is one of the principal motivations for engaging with fictions. If emotions are considered as action-prompting beliefs about the environment, the appetite for sad or frightening drama and literature is difficult to explain, insofar nothing tragic or frightening is actually happening to the reader, and people do not normally enjoy being sad or frightened. The paper argues (...) that the somewhat limited and problematic epistemological framework for dealing with the question of fiction-induced emotions has been enhanced by a better empirical understanding of the role of the emotions in social animals and in our individual hedonic economies, as well as by a more generous philosophical assessment of what counts as ‘real’. Literary works can be understood further as monuments to experiences of loss that memorialize the highly pleasurable attachments associated with them. (shrink)
Unlike most other sciences, psychology has no true core theory to guide a coherent research programme. It does have James J Gibson’s ecological approach to visual perception, however, which we suggest should serve as an example of the benefits a good theory brings to psychological research. Here we focus on an example of how the ecological approach has served as a guide to discovery, shaping and constraining a recent hypothesis about how humans perform coordinated rhythmic movements (Bingham 2004a, b). Early (...) experiments on this task were framed in a dynamic pattern approach. This phenomenological, behavioural framework (e.g. Jeka & Kelso 1989) classifies the behaviour of complex action systems in terms of the key order parameters, and describes the dynamical stability of the system as it responds to perturbations. Dynamical systems, however, while a valuable toolkit, is not a theory of behaviour, and this style of research is unable to successfully predict data it is not explicitly designed to fit. More recent work by Bingham & colleagues has used dynamical systems to formalise hypotheses derived from Gibson’s ecological approach to perception and action, with a particular emphasis on perceptual information. The resulting model (Bingham 2001, 2004a, b; Snapp-Childs et al. 2011) has had great success with both the phenomena it was designed to explain as well as a wide range of empirical results from a version of the task it is not specifically designed to explain (specifically, learning a novel coordination). This model and the research programme that produced it stand as an example of the value of theory driven research, and we use it to illustrate the contemporary importance the ecological approach has for psychology. (shrink)
Daniel dennett has offered a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for something's being the proper object of our moral commitment, That is, For something's being a person. Strict application of these largely pragmatic conditions, However, Would result in a moral community with quite a surprising membership roster, Because of both who is on it and who isn't. The problem is that "your" being a person should amount to more than a function of "my" goals and cleverness.
Although the incidence and composition of HECs has been well characterized, little is known about how HECs assess their performance. In order to describe the incidence of HEC self-evaluation, the methods HECs use to evaluate their performance, and the characteristics of HECs that influence self-evaluation, we surveyed the readers ofHospital Ethics. 290 HECs in 45 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and three Canadian provinces, completed questionnaires. Of the 241 HECs included in the data analysis, 97.9% had performed (...) some self-evaluation. Responding committees largely made formative rather than summative evaluations and appeared to evaluate performance in light of their own objectives rather than basing assessments on specific structural, process, and outcome measures of quality. Responding committees used certain evaluation criteria more extensively than others — among these, the number of participants and staff knowledge of the service provided — with the choice of criteria differing with the function being evaluated. Eight characteristics of HECs influenced the probability of self-evaluation, including age, number of beds and meetings, the existence of a mission statement, and a budget. The presence of certain characteristics made HECs six times more likely to evaluate their performance than HECs without the characteristic. (shrink)
Keynesian concepts of probability and uncertainty emphasize the basis of knowledge available to economic decision makers. Conditions of uncertainty, which involve missing evidence or doubtful arguments, are distinguished from probable risk. Beyond this, on the basis of the claim that the future is yet to be created, some authors argue for further distinctions among different kinds of uncertainty. The paper reviews this particular argument, distinguishing it from Keynesian uncertainty theory generally, and provides a critique of its implication that, due to (...) innovation, objective distributions of possible events do not generally exist at the time of economic decisions. (shrink)
The French philosopher and theologian Nicholas Malebranche was one of the most important thinkers of the early modern period. A bold and unorthodox thinker, he tried to synthesize the new philosophy of Descartes with the religious Platonism of St. Augustine. This is the first collection of essays to address Malebranche's thought comprehensively and systematically. There are chapters devoted to Malebranche's metaphysics, his doctrine of the soul, his epistemology, the celebrated debate with Arnauld, his philosophical method, his occasionalism and theory of (...) causality, his philosophical theology, his account of freedom, his moral philosophy, and his intellectual legacy. (shrink)
Recent research in ethics education shows a potentially problematic variation in content, curricular materials, and instruction. While ethics instruction is now widespread, studies have identified significant variation in both the goals and methods of ethics education, leaving researchers to conclude that many approaches may be inappropriately paired with goals that are unachievable. This paper speaks to these concerns by demonstrating the importance of aligning classroom-based assessments to clear ethical learning objectives in order to help students and instructors track their progress (...) toward meeting those objectives. Two studies at two different universities demonstrate the usefulness of classroom-based, formative assessments for improving the quality of students’ case responses in computational modeling and research ethics. (shrink)
Roger Shepard's description of an abstract representational space defined by landmark objects and kinematic transformations between them fails to successfully capture the essence of the perceptual tasks he expects of it, such as object recognition. Ultimately, objects are recognized in the context of events. The dynamic nature of events is what determines the perceived kinematic behavior, and it is at the level of dynamics that events can be classified as types. [Shepard].
Many weak or readily saturable nuclear magnetic resonances can be detected only by the use of the dispersion mode in a nuclear induction system, and dispersion records of complicated or partially resolved spectra may be difficult to interpret. However, it is shown in this paper that, for systems obeying Bloch or Redfield equations, the Kronig-Kramers (K-K) relations may justifiably be used to transform a dispersion record taken in the presence of saturation, under slow modulation conditions, into the more readily interpretable (...) absorption record. The K-K relations are shown to apply to the derivatives of the absorption and dispersion line shapes, which are the quantities usually recorded, and to transform a modulation-broadened dispersion curve into the appropriate modulation-broadened absorption curve. The relations hold for derivatives of any order and may, therefore, be applied to records from an apparatus employing phase-sensitive detection at any harmonic of the modulation frequency. Results are presented for some analytical cases, and details of the computational method are given. Simple trapezoidal integration is found to yield high accuracy. The resonance of 9Be in beryl is used to confirm the applicability of the K-K relations in the presence of saturation. (shrink)