This article reviews the history of the debate over use of biospecimens in research, the legal and ethical arguments that have been presented both in support of and in opposition to such use, court cases and judicial opinions involving disputes between specimen contributors, researchers, and institutions, and public attitudes regarding the use of biospecimens in research. The paper argues that proposed changes to the Common Rule are inadequate to resolve the legal and ethical concerns that have been raised with respect (...) to the use of biospecimens. It argues that there is a need to distinguish between the dual roles — subject and donor — played by contributors of biospecimens. (shrink)
N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) dysfunction plays a crucial role in schizophrenia, leading to impairments in cognitive coordination. NMDAR agonists (e.g., glycine) ameliorate negative and cognitive symptoms, consistent with NMDAR models. However, not all types of cognitive coordination use NMDAR. Further, not all aspects of cognitive coordination are impaired in schizophrenia, suggesting the need for specificity in applying the cognitive coordination construct.
Recognizing emotion is an evolutionary imperative. An early stage of auditory scene analysis involves the perceptual grouping of acoustic features, which can be based on both temporal coincidence and spectral features such as perceived pitch. Perceived pitch, or fundamental frequency (F0), is an especially salient cue for differentiating affective intent through speech intonation (prosody). We hypothesized that: 1) simple frequency modulated (FM) tone abstractions, based on the parameters of actual prosodic stimuli, would be reliably classified as representing differing emotional categories; (...) and 2) that such differences would yield significant mismatch negativities (MMNs) - an index of preattentive deviance detection within the auditory environment. We constructed a set of FM tones that approximated the F0 mean and variation of reliably-recognized happy and neutral prosodic stimuli. These stimuli were presented to 13 subjects using a passive listening oddball paradigm. We additionally included stimuli with no frequency modulation (FM) and FM tones with identical carrier frequencies but differing modulation depths as control conditions. Following electrophysiological recording, subjects were asked to identify the sounds they heard as happy, sad, angry or neutral. We observed that FM tones abstracted from happy and no expression speech stimuli elicited MMNs. Post-hoc behavioral testing revealed that subjects reliably identified the FM tones in a consistent manner. Finally, we also observed that FM tones and no-FM tones elicited equivalent MMNs. MMNs to FM tones that differentiate affect suggests that these abstractions may be sufficient to characterize prosodic distinctions, and that these distinctions can be represented in pre-attentive auditory sensory memory. (shrink)
Humans communicate emotion vocally by modulating acoustic cues such as pitch, intensity and voice quality. Research has documented how the relative presence or absence of such cues alters the likelihood of perceiving an emotion, but the neural underpinnings of acoustic cue-dependent emotion perception remain obscure. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging in 20 subjects we examined a reciprocal circuit consisting of superior temporal cortex, amygdala and inferior frontal gyrus that may underlie affective prosodic comprehension. Results showed that increased saliency of emotion-specific (...) acoustic cues was associated with increased activation in superior temporal cortex (planum temporale (PT), posterior superior temporal gyrus (pSTG), and posterior superior middle gyrus (pMTG)) and amygdala, whereas decreased saliency of acoustic cues was associated with increased inferior frontal activity and temporo-frontal connectivity. These results suggest that sensory-integrative processing is facilitated when the acoustic signal is rich in affective information, yielding increased activation in temporal cortex and amygdala. Conversely, when the acoustic signal is ambiguous, greater evaluative processes are recruited, increasing activation in inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and IFG STG connectivity. Auditory regions may thus integrate acoustic information with amygdala input to form emotion-specific representations, which are evaluated within inferior frontal regions. (shrink)
Schizophrenia patients have deficits in cognitive function that are a core feature of the disorder. AX-CPT is commonly used to study cognition in schizophrenia, and patients have characteristic pattern of behavioral and ERP response. In AX-CPT subjects respond when a flashed cue “A” is followed by a target “X”, ignoring other letter combinations. Patients show reduced hit rate to “go” trials, and increased false alarms to sequences that require inhibition of a prepotent response. EEG recordings show reduced sensory (P1/N1), as (...) well as later cognitive components (N2, P3, CNV). Behavioral deficits correlate most strongly with sensory dysfunction. Oscillatory analyses provide critical information regarding sensory/cognitive processing over and above standard ERP analyses. Recent analyses of induced oscillatory activity in single trials during AX-CPT in healthy volunteers showed characteristic response patterns in theta, alpha and beta frequencies tied to specific sensory and cognitive processes. Alpha and beta modulated during the trials and beta modulation over the frontal cortex correlated with reaction time. In this study, EEG data was obtained from 18 schizophrenia patients and 13 controls during AX-CPT performance, and single trial decomposition of the signal yielded power in the target wavelengths. Significant task-related event-related desynchronization (ERD) was observed in both alpha and beta frequency bands over parieto-occipital cortex related to sensory encoding of the cue. This modulation was reduced in patients for beta, but not for alpha. In addition, significant beta ERD was observed over motor cortex, related to motor preparation for the response, and was also reduced in patients. These findings demonstrate impaired dynamic modulation of beta frequency rhythms in schizophrenia, and suggest that failures of oscillatory activity may underlie impaired sensory information processing in schizophrenia that in turn contributes to cognitive deficits. (shrink)
Plato on Knowledge and Forms brings together a set of connected essays by Gail Fine, in her main area of research since the late 1970s: Plato's metaphysics and epistemology. She discusses central issues in Plato's metaphysics and epistemology, issues concerning the nature and extent of knowledge, and its relation to perception, sensibles, and forms; and issues concerning the nature of forms, such as whether they are universals or particulars, separate or immanent, and whether they are causes. A specially written (...) introduction draws together the themes of the volume, which will reward the attention of anyone interested in Plato or in ancient metaphysics and epistemology. (shrink)
The Peri ide^on (On Ideas) is the only work in which Aristotle systematically sets out and criticizes arguments for the existence of Platonic forms. Gail Fine presents the first full-length treatment in English of this important but neglected work. She asks how, and how well, Aristotle understands Plato's theory of forms, and why and with what justification he favors an alternative metaphysical scheme. She examines the significance of the Peri ide^on for some central questions about Plato's theory of forms--whether, (...) for example, there are forms corresponding to every property or only to some, and if only to some, then to which ones; whether forms are universals, particulars or both; and whether they are meanings, properties or both. Fine also provides a general discussion of Plato's theory of forms, and of our evidence about the Peri ide^on and its date, scope, and aims. While she pays careful attention to the details of the text, she also relates it to contemporary philosophical concerns. The book will be valuable for anyone interested in metaphysics ancient or modern. (shrink)
There has been much discussion concerning whether or not some of Sartre's views on morality may be understood as endorsing Kant's views. Perhaps the most controversial issue has been whether in various places in his corpus Sartre invokes Kant's “universalizability principle.” Indeed, Sartre's frequent use of Kantian language, including the idea of universalizability and “kingdom of ends,” strongly suggests that there is some appreciable convergence between his views and those of Kant. While it is true that Sartre borrows Kant's language (...) and expressions, he does not, I argue, use them in the same sense as Kant does. (shrink)
At the end of Republic 5, Plato distinguishes epistêmê from doxa, knowledge from belief. In Posterior Analytics 1.33, Aristotle provides his own distinction between epistêmê and doxa. I explore his way of distinguishing them and compare it with Plato's.
This project continues our interdisciplinary research into computational and cognitive aspects of narrative comprehension. Our ultimate goal is the development of a computational theory of how humans understand narrative texts. The theory will be informed by joint research from the viewpoints of linguistics, cognitive psychology, the study of language acquisition, literary theory, geography, philosophy, and artiﬁcial intelligence. The linguists, literary theorists, and geographers in our group are developing theories of narrative language and spatial understanding that are being tested by the (...) cognitive psychologists and language researchers in our group, and a computational model of a reader of narrative text is being developed by the AI researchers, based in part on these theories and results and in part on research on knowledge representation and reasoning. This proposal describes the knowledge-representation and natural-language-processing issues involved in the computational implementation of the theory; discusses a contrast between communicative and narrative uses of language and of the relation of the narrative text to the story world it describes; investigates linguistic, literary, and hermeneutic dimensions of our research; presents a computational investigation of subjective sentences and reference in narrative; studies children’s acquisition of the ability to take third-person perspective in their own storytelling; describes the psychological validation of various linguistic devices; and examines how readers develop an understanding of the geographical space of a story. This report is a longer version of a project description submitted to NSF. This document, produced in May 2007, is a L ATEX version of Technical Report 89-07 (Buffalo: SUNY Buffalo Department of Computer Science, August 1989), with slightly.. (shrink)
According to David Charles, in the Meno Socrates fleetingly distinguishes the signification from the essence question, but, in the end, he conflates them. Doing so, Charles thinks, both leads to Meno's paradox and prevents Socrates from answering it satisfactorily. I argue that Socrates doesn't conflate the two questions, and that his reply to Meno's paradox is more satisfactory than Charles allows.
In most of the Socratic dialogues, Socrates professes to inquire into some virtue. At the same time, he professes not to know what the virtue in question is. How, then, can he inquire into it? Doesn't he need some knowledge to guide his inquiry? Socrates' disclaimer of knowledge seems to preclude Socratic inquiry. This difficulty must confront any reader of the Socratic dialogues; but one searches them in vain for any explicit statement of the problem or for any explicit solution (...) to it. The Meno, by contrast, both raises it explicitly and proposes a solution. (shrink)
The Oxford Handbooks series is a major new initiative in academic publishing. Each volume offers an authoritative and state-of-the-art survey of current thinking and research in a particular area. Specially commissioned essays from leading international figures in the discipline give critical examinations of the progress and direction of debates. Oxford Handbooks provide scholars and graduate students with compelling new perspectives upon a wide range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences. Plato is the best known, and continues to be (...) the most widely studied, of all the ancient Greek philosophers. The twenty-one newly commissioned articles in the Oxford Handbook of Plato provide in-depth and up-to-date discussions of a variety of topics and dialogues. The result is a useful state-of-the-art reference to the man many consider the most important philosophical thinker in history. Each article is an original contribution from a leading scholar, and they all serve several functions at once: they survey the lay of the land; express and develop the authors' own views; and situate those views within a range of alternatives. This Handbook contains chapters on metaphysics, epistemology, love, language, ethics, politics, art and education. Individual chapters are are devoted to each of the following dialogues: the Republic, Parmenides, Theaetetus, Sophist, Timaeus, and Philebus. There are also chapters on Plato and the dialogue form; on Plato in his time and place; on the history of the Platonic corpus; on Aristotle's criticism of Plato, and on Plato and Platonism. (shrink)
The paper applies insights from Axel Honneth's recent book, The Struggle for Recognition , to the South African situation. Honneth argues that most movements for justice are motivated by individuals' and groups' felt need for recognition. In the larger debate over the relative importance of recognition compared with distribution, a debate framed by Taylor and Fraser, Honneth is presented as the best of both worlds. His tripartite schema of recognition on the levels of love, rights and solidarity, explains how (...) concerns for equality and difference are two separate needs, even though both must be satisfied. Past and ongoing struggles in South Africa can be understood as struggles for recognition. The African Renaissance itself, to be successful, must address economic and recognition issues simultaneously. Key Words: African Renaissance recognition social movements. (shrink)
As a contribution towards clearing the ground for a new phenomenological evaluation of the essence of science, in this paper I present a critique of Heidegger''s argument in Being and Time for the priority of Zuhandenheit to Vorhandenheit. I argue that Heidegger''s notion of presence-at-hand is incoherent, conflating Husserl and Descartes, and that this general analysis has serious phenomenological flaws. Contrary to Heidegger, I maintain that there is a form of exploratory, theoretical activity including causal inquiry which is prior to (...) the type of practical activity entailed by readiness-to-hand. Consideration of this exploratory activity points us in the direction of an alternate conception of the genesis and essence of theory. (shrink)
Prof. H. Odera Oruka started the sage philosophy project, in which he interviewed wise elders in Kenyan rural areas to show that Africans could philosophize. He intended to create a “national culture” by drawing upon sages from different ethnic groups and he downplayed religious differences, as did Kwame Nkrumah, who had a similar goal of building “national culture” in Ghana. Both projects were secular insofar as they preferred to emphasize rationality and downplay religious belief or “superstition” as backward and needing (...) to be cast off. I deal with one apparent counter-example: at the burial trial for S. M. Otieno, Odera Oruka seemed to defend the traditional Luo belief of spirits. I note, however, that Odera Oruka is evasive and indirect in how he answers the questions and his responses could be due to his wanting to appear connected to his rural compatriots, a value explained by Frantz Fanon in his treatment of the topic of national culture. The paper concludes by alluding to extensive interviews done with the sages from Kenya on topics related to religious beliefs and practices, during which sages subject those beliefs and practices to rational scrutiny. (shrink)