As Internet resources are usedmore frequently for research on social andpsychological behavior, concerns grow aboutwhether characteristics of such research affecthuman subjects protections. Early efforts toaddress such concerns have done more toidentify potential problems than to evaluatethem or to seek solutions, leaving bodiescharged with human subjects oversight in aquagmire. This article critiques some of theseissues in light of the US Code of FederalRegulations' policies for the Protection ofHuman Subjects, and argues that some of theissues have no pertinence when examined in thecontext (...) of common methodological approachesthat previous commentators failed to consider. By separating applicable contexts from thosethat are not, and by identifying cases wheresubjects' characteristics are irrelevant and/orimpossible to provide, oversight committees maybe able to consider research applications moreappropriately, and investigators may be lessethically bound to ascertain and demonstratethose characteristics. (shrink)
We consider an oscillator subjected to a sudden change in equilibrium position or in effective spring constant, or both—to a “squeeze” in the language of quantum optics. We analyze the probability of transition from a given initial state to a final state, in its dependence on final-state quantum number. We make use of five sources of insight: Bohr-Sommerfeld quantization via bands in phase space, area of overlap between before-squeeze band and after-squeeze band, interference in phase space, Wigner function as quantum (...) update of B-S band and near-zone Fresnel diffraction as mockup Wigner function. (shrink)
The orientation of a large grating can be decoded from V1 functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data, even at low resolution (3-mm isotropic voxels). This finding has suggested that columnar-level neuronal information might be accessible to fMRI at 3T. However, orientation decodability might alternatively arise from global orientation-bias maps. Such global maps across V1 could result from bottom-up processing, if the preferences of V1 neurons were biased toward particular orientations (e.g. radial from fixation, or cardinal, i.e. vertical or horizontal). Global (...) maps could also arise from local recurrent or top-down processing, reflecting pre-attentive perceptual grouping, attention spreading, or predictive coding of global form. Here we investigate whether fMRI orientation decoding with 2-mm voxels requires (a) globally coherent orientation stimuli and/or (b) global-scale patterns of V1 activity. We used opposite-orientation gratings (balanced about the cardinal orientations) and spirals (balanced about the radial orientation), along with novel patch-swapped variants of these stimuli. The two stimuli of a patch-swapped pair have opposite orientations everywhere (like their globally coherent parent stimuli). However, the two stimuli appear globally similar, a patchwork of opposite orientations. We find that all stimulus pairs are robustly decodable, demonstrating that fMRI orientation decoding does not require globally coherent orientation stimuli. Furthermore, decoding remained robust after spatial high-pass filtering for all stimuli, showing that fine-grained components of the fMRI patterns reflect visual orientations. Consistent with previous studies, we found evidence for global radial and vertical bias maps in V1. However, these were weak or absent for patch-swapped stimuli, suggesting that global bias maps depend on globally coherent orientations and might arise through recurrent or top-down processes related to the perception of global form. (shrink)
In a period of over 50 years, Peter Mittelstaedt has made substantial and lasting contributions to several fields in theoretical physics as well as the foundations and philosophy of physics. Here we present an overview of his achievements in physics and its foundations which may serve as a guide to the bibliography (printed in this Festschrift) of his publications. An appraisal of Peter Mittelstaedt’s work in the philosophy of physics is given in a separate contribution by B. Falkenburg.
In this paper, we re-examine a series of gedanken welcher Weg (WW) experiments introduced by Scully, Englert and Walther that contain the essential ideas underlying the quantum eraser. For this purpose we use the Bohm model which gives a sharp picture of the behaviour of the atoms involved in these experiments. This model supports the thesis that interference disappears in such WW experiments, even though the centre of mass wave function remains coherent throughout the experiment. It also shows exactly (...) what it means to say ‘that the interference can be restored by manipulating the WW detectors long after the atoms have passed’. It does not support Wheeler’s notion that ‘the past is undefined and undefinable without the observation (in the present)’. (shrink)