Delusions are bizarre and distressing beliefs that characterize certain mental illnesses. They arise without clear reasons and are remarkably persistent. Recent models of delusions, drawing on a neuroscientific understanding of learning, focus on how delusions might emerge from abnormal experience. We believe that these models can be extended to help us understand why delusions persist. We consider prediction error, the mismatch between expectancy and experience, to be central. Surprising events demand a change in our expectancies. This involves making what we (...) have learned labile, updating and binding the memory anew: a process of memory reconsolidation. We argue that, under the influence of excessive prediction error, delusional beliefs are repeatedly reconsolidated, strengthening them so that they persist, apparently impervious to contradiction. (shrink)
The study investigates the relative degree and timing of cortical activation across parietal, temporal, and frontal regions during performance of a continuous visual word recognition task in children who experience reading difficulties (N=44, RD) and typical readers (N=40, NI). Minimum norm estimates of regional neurophysiological activity were obtained from magnetoencephalographic recordings. Children with RD showed bilaterally reduced neurophysiological activity in the superior and middle temporal gyri, and increased activity in rostral middle frontal and ventral occipitotemporal cortices, bilaterally. The temporal profile (...) of activity in the RD group, featured near-simultaneous activity peaks in temporal, inferior parietal and prefrontal regions, in contrast to a clear temporal progression of activity among these areas in the NI group. These results replicate and extend previous MEG and fMRI results demonstrating atypical, latency-dependent attributes of the brain circuit involved in word reading in children with reading difficulties. (shrink)
Peer review is a widely accepted instrument for raising the quality of science. Peer review limits the enormous unstructured influx of information and the sheer amount of dubious data, which in its absence would plunge science into chaos. In particular, peer review offers the benefit of eliminating papers that suffer from poor craftsmanship or methodological shortcomings, especially in the experimental sciences. However, we believe that peer review is not always appropriate for the evaluation of controversial hypothetical science. We argue that (...) the process of peer review can be prone to bias towards ideas that affirm the prior convictions of reviewers and against innovation and radical new ideas. Innovative hypotheses are thus highly vulnerable to being “filtered out” or made to accord with conventional wisdom by the peer review process. Consequently, having introduced peer review, the Elsevier journal Medical Hypotheses may be unable to continue its tradition as a radical journal allowing discussion of improbable or unconventional ideas. Hence we conclude by asking the publisher to consider re-introducing the system of editorial review to Medical Hypotheses. (shrink)
Modernism and the Museum proposes an entirely new way of looking at the evolution of Modernist art and literature in the West. It shows that existing surveys of Modernism tend to treat the early stages of the movement as a purely European phenomenon, and fail to take account of the powerful and direct influence of Asia, Africa, and the Pacific islands operating via museums and exhibitions, particularly in London. The book presents the poet Ezra Pound and the sculptor Jacob Epstein (...) as two seminal figures whose development of a Modernist aesthetic depended almost entirely on innovations adapted from extra-European visual art, and makes similar revelations about the work of related figures such as Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Eric Gill, T.E. Hulme, Laurence Binyon, Richard Aldington, Amy Lowell, Charles Holden, William Rothenstein, Ford Madox Ford, James Gould Fletcher, James Havard Thomas, W.B. Yeats, and D.H. Lawrence. The writing is engaging, but the scholarship is rigorous, and a large quantity of previously unpublished evidence is made available from the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Royal Institute of British architects, the Tate Gallery, and several private collections. The book positions the museums of London - and especially the British Museum - as the West's most significant hub of transcultural aesthetic exchange during the early Twentieth century. It essentially proposes that, far from representing a development rooted in provincial European culture, Modernism was in fact the result of an unprecedented willingness in the avant-garde of the West to engage with the rest of the world. (shrink)
Principles and the context, by J. C. Bennett.--Love monism, by J. M. Gustafson.--Responsibility in freedom, by E. C. Gardner.--The new morality, by G. Fackre.--When love becomes excarnate, by H. L. Smith.--Situational morality, by R. W. Gleason.--The nature of heresy, by G. Kennedy.--Situation ethics under fire, by J. Fletcher.