Habitat dioramas depicting ecological relations between organisms and their natural environments have become the preferred mode of museum display in most natural history museums in North America and Europe. Dioramas emerged in the late nineteenth century as an alternative mode of museum installation from taxonomically arranged cases. We suggest that this change was closely connected to the emergence of a biogeographical framework rooted in evolutionary theory and positing the existence of distinct biogeographical zones. We tie the history of dioramas to (...) earlier visual resources such as the thematic images that Wallace introduced to illustrate his 1876 Geographical Distribution of Animals. These images were unique in their time because each of them simultaneously depicted animals from several different taxa, rather than only one, as well as the ecological relations between animals and their habitats. Both, visually and with respect to their function within biogeography, these images presaged the habitat dioramas that came shortly afterwards. Not coincidentally, Wallace explicitly advocated the use of dioramas for museum display in ongoing debates on museum reform. Wallace's suggestions were put into practice by committed evolutionists such as Gottlieb von Koch who pioneered the diorama installation in the Grand Ducal Museum in Darmstadt (Germany) in 1906. As in Wallace's illustrations, Koch's dioramas were designed to respresent biogeographical zones. This paper explores the function of these visual displays of biogeographical relations. It argues that, in both the scientific and public realms, biogeogaphical zones were defined and constructed by visual means; recourse to visual representation was more than a method of communication. (shrink)
A major contribution to Descartes studies, this book provides a panorama of cutting-edge scholarship ranging widely over Descartes's own primary concerns: metaphysics, physics, and its applications. It is at once a tool for scholars and--steering clear of technical Cartesian science--an accessible resource that will delight nonspecialists. The contributors include Edwin Curley, Willis Doney, Alan Gabbey, Daniel Garber, Marjorie Grene, Gary Hatfield, Marleen Rozemond, John Schuster, Dennis Sepper, Stephen Voss, Stephen Wagner, Margaret Welson, Jean Marie Beyssade, Michelle Beyssade, Michel Henry, (...) Evert van Leeuwen, Jean-Luc Marion, Genevieve Rodis-Lewis, and Jean-Pierre Seris. Combining new textual sensitivity with attentiveness to history, they represent the best established scholars and most exciting new voices, including both English speaking and newly-translated writers. Part I examines the foundations of Descartes's philosophy: Cartesian certainty; the phenomenology of the cogito and its modulations in the passions; and the defensibility and comprehensibility of the Cartesian God. The second part examines Descartes's groundbreaking metaphysics: mind's distinctness from and interaction with body; imagination; perception; and language. Part III examines Cartesian science: the revolutionary rhetoric of the Rules and the Discourse; the metaphysical foundations of physics; the interplay of rationalism and empiricism; the mechanics and human biology that flow from Descartes's physics. (shrink)
Formal principals are isolated to reveal a structure embedded in a wide range of studies, each of which partitions a domain of individuals into types and categories. It is thought that any reasonable theory of types should include these principles.
On the basis of observations J. J. C. Smart once made concerning the absurdity of sentences like 'The seat of the bed is hard', a plausible case can be made that there is little point to developing a theory of types, particularly one of the sort envisaged by Fred Sommers. The authors defend such theories against this objection by a partial elucidation of the distinctions between the concepts of spanning and predicability and between category mistakenness and absurdity in general. The (...) argument suggests that further clarification of the concepts of spanning and category mistakenness should be sought in reflection upon the more familiar concepts of a sort of thing and a predicate category. (shrink)
The paper argues that two apparently attractive conceptions of an eternal sentence are defective. An alternative conception is presented which the authors think allows greater insight into the nature of semantic concepts.
Usually, humor is not theorized specifically, but identified with the comic and laughter. This paper deals with the internal logic of humorous operations in the context of Freud's writings on humor, in order to make them productive for medial anthropology. Unlike conventional anthropologies, medial anthropology is interested in the ontologizing effects of operations that can be understood in a technical way. Correspondingly, humoresque operations are to be studied anew as techniques of the Dionysian connection of pleasure and reality principle. German (...) Humor wird gemeinhin nicht eigens theoretisiert, sondern umstandslos mit dem Komischen und dem Lachen identifiziert. In diesem Aufsatz geht es darum, die Eigenlogik von humoresken Operationen vor dem Hintergrund von Freuds Auslassungen zum Humor herauszuarbeiten und für eine mediale Anthropologie produktiv zu machen. Im Unterschied zu herkömmlichen Anthropologien interessiert sich eine mediale Anthropologie für die ontologisierenden und wirklichkeitskonstituierenden Effekte technisch zu fassender Operationen. Humoreske Operationen sind entsprechend als Techniken der dionysischen Verschaltung von Lust- und Realitätsprinzip neu zu beleuchten. (shrink)
Deleuze's theory of time set out in Difference and Repetition is a complex structure of three different syntheses of time – the passive synthesis of the living present, the passive synthesis of the pure past and the static synthesis of the future. This article focuses on Deleuze's third synthesis of time, which seems to be the most obscure part of his tripartite theory, as Deleuze mixes different theoretical concepts drawn from philosophy, Greek drama theory and mathematics. Of central importance is (...) the notion of the cut, which is constitutive of the third synthesis of time defined as an a priori ordered temporal series separated unequally into a before and an after. This article argues that Deleuze develops his ordinal definition of time with recourse to Kant's definition of time as pure and empty form, Hölderlin's notion of ‘caesura’ drawn from his ‘Remarks on Oedipus’ (1803) and Dedekind's method of cuts as developed in his pioneering essay ‘Continuity and Irrational Numbers’ (1872). Deleuze then ties together the conceptions of the Kantian empty form of time and the Nietzschean eternal return, both of which are essentially related to a fractured I or dissolved self. This article aims to assemble the different heterogeneous elements that Deleuze picks up on and to show how the third synthesis of time emerges from this differential multiplicity. (shrink)
This article analyses the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility in relation to Human Resources (HR) management. Five potential tools are defined and their advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Finally, the implementation of the most advanced and powerful tool in this area is studied: the SA8000 standard.
Recently, methods have been developed to analyse couplings in dynamic systems. In the field of medical analysis of complex cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory systems, there is growing interest in how insights may be gained into the interaction between regulatory mechanisms in healthy and diseased persons. The couplings within and between these systems can be linear or nonlinear. However, the complex mechanisms involved in cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory regulation very likely interact with each other in a nonlinear way. Recent advances in nonlinear dynamics (...) and information theory have allowed the multivariate study of information transfer between time series. They therefore might be able to provide additional diagnostic and prognostic information in medicine and might, in particular, be able to complement traditional linear coupling analysis techniques. In this review, we describe the approaches (Granger causality, nonlinear prediction, entropy, symbolization, phase synchronization) most commonly applied to detect direct and indirect couplings between time series, especially focusing on nonlinear approaches. We will discuss their capacity to quantify direct and indirect couplings and the direction (driver–response relationship) of the considered interaction between different biological time series. We also give their basic theoretical background, their basic requirements for application, their main features and demonstrate their usefulness in different applications in the field of cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory coupling analyses. (shrink)
Drawing on Deleuze's early works of the 1960s, this article investigates the ways in which Deleuze challenges our traditional linguistic notion of sense and notion of truth. Using Frege's account of sense and truth, this article presents our common understanding of sense and truth as two separate dimensions of the proposition where sense subsists only in a formal relation to the other. It then goes on to examine the Kantian account, which makes sense the superior transcendental condition of possibility of (...) truth. Although both accounts define sense as merely the form of possibility of truth, a huge divide cuts across a simple formal logic of sense and a transcendental logic: transcendental logic discovered a certain genetic productivity of sense, such that a proposition always has the kind of truth that it merits according to its sense. In pursuit of this genetic productivity of sense, Deleuze applies different models of explanation: a Nietzschean genealogical model of the genetic power of sense, and in The Logic of Sense a structural model combined with elements of Stoic philosophy. This article follows Deleuze in setting up a new and very complex notion of sense, which he radically distinguishes from what he terms ‘signification’, that is, an extrinsic, linguistic or logical, condition of possibility. Rather, sense has to be conceived as both the effect and the intrinsic genetic element of an extra-propositional sense-producing machine. (shrink)
We have previously shown that some blind individuals can localize sounds more accurately than their sighted counterparts when one ear is obstructed, and that this ability is strongly associated with occipital cortex activity. Given that spectral cues are important for monaural localizing sounds when one ear is obstructed, and that blind individuals are more sensitive to small spectral differences, we hypothesized that enhanced use of spectral cues via occipital cortex mechanisms could explain the better performance of blind individuals in monaural (...) localization. Using PET, we scanned blind and sighted persons as they discriminated between sounds originating from a single spatial position, but with different spectral profiles that simulated different spatial positions based on head-related transfer functions. We show here that a sub-group of early-blind individuals showing superior monaural sound localization abilities performed significantly better than any other group on this spectral discrimination task. For all groups, performance was best for stimuli simulating peripheral positions, consistent with the notion that spectral cues are more helpful for discriminating peripheral sources. PET results showed that all blind groups showed cerebral blood flow increases in the occipital cortex; but this was also the case in the sighted group. A voxel-wise covariation analysis showed that more occipital recruitment was associated with better performance across all blind subjects but not the sighted. Inter-regional covariation analysis showed that the occipital activity in the blind covaried with that of several frontal and parietal regions known for their role in auditory spatial processing. Overall, these results support the notion that the superior ability of a sub-group of early blind individuals to localize sounds is mediated by their superior ability to use spectral cues, and that this ability is subserved by cortical processing in the occipital cortex. (shrink)
Perhaps the most famous proposition in the history of philosophy is Descartes’ cogito, “I think, therefore I am.” Husain Sarkar claims in this provocative new interpretation of Descartes that the ancient tradition of readingthe cogito as an argument is mistaken. It should, he says, be read as an intuition. Through this new interpretative lens, the author reconsiders key Cartesian topics: the ideal inquirer; the role of clear and distinct ideas; the relation of these to the will;memory; the nature of intuition (...) and deduction; the nature, content, and elusiveness of ‘I’; and the tenability of the doctrine of the creation of eternal truths. Finally, the book demonstrates how Descartes’ attempt to prove the existence of God is foiled by a new Cartesian Circle. Husain. (shrink)
The goal of the current study was to investigate the relationship between sport expertise and perceptual and cognitive skills, as measured by the component skills approach. We hypothesized that athletes would outperform non-athlete controls in a number of perceptual and cognitive domains and that sport expertise would minimize gender differences. A total of 154 individuals (87 professional volleyball players and 67 non-athlete controls) participated in the study. Participants performed a cognitive battery, which included tests of executive control, memory, and visuo-spatial (...) attention. Athletes showed superior performance speed on three tasks (two executive control tasks and one visuo-spatial attentional processing task). In a subset of tasks, gender effects were observed mainly in the control group, supporting the notion that athletic experience can reduce traditional gender effects. The expertise effects obtained substantiate the view that laboratory tests of cognition may indeed enlighten the sport-cognition relationship. (shrink)
This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the influence of a 9-month physical activity program on task-evoked brain activation during childhood. The results demonstrated that 8- to 9-year-old children who participated in 60+ minutes of physical activity, 5 days per week, for 9 months, showed decreases in fMRI brain activation in the right anterior prefrontal cortex coupled with within-group improvements in performance on a task of attentional and interference control. Children assigned to a wait list control group (...) did not show changes in brain function. Furthermore, at post-test, children in the physical activity group showed similar anterior frontal brain patterns and incongruent accuracy rates to a group of college-aged young adults. Children in the wait list control group still differed from the young adults in terms of anterior prefrontal activation and performance at post-test. There were no significant changes in fMRI activation in the anterior cingulate cortex for either group. These results suggest that physical activity during childhood may enhance specific elements of prefrontal cortex function involved in cognitive control. (shrink)
Genetic variability in the dopaminergic and neurotrophic systems could contribute to age-related impairments in executive control and memory function. In this study we examined whether genetic polymorphisms for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were related to the trajectory of cognitive decline occurring over a 10-year period in older adults. A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the COMT (Val158/108Met) gene affects the concentration of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex. In addition, a Val/Met substitution in the pro-domain for BDNF (Val66Met) affects (...) the regulated secretion and trafficking of BDNF with Met carriers showing reduced secretion and poorer cognitive function. We found that impairments over the 10-year span on a task-switching paradigm did not vary as a function of the COMT polymorphism. However, for the BDNF polymorphism the Met carriers performed worse than Val homozygotes at the first testing session but only the Val homozygotes demonstrated a significant reduction in performance over the 10-year span. Our results argue that the COMT polymorphism does not affect the trajectory of age-related executive control decline, whereas the Val/Val polymorphism for BDNF may promote faster rates of cognitive decay in old age. These results are discussed in relation to the role of BDNF in senescence and the transforming impact of the Met allele on cognitive function in old age. (shrink)
A growing body of literature provides evidence for the prophylactic influence of cardiorespiratory fitness on cognitive decline in older adults. This study examined the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and recruitment of the neural circuits involved in an attentional control task in a group of healthy older adults. Employing a version of the Stroop task, we examined whether higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness were associated with an increase in activation in cortical regions responsible for imposing attentional control along with an up-regulation (...) of activity in sensory brain regions that process task-relevant representations. Higher fitness levels were associated with better behavioral performance and an increase in the recruitment of prefrontal and parietal cortices in the most challenging condition, thus providing evidence that cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with an increase in the recruitment of the anterior processing regions. There was a top-down modulation of extrastriate visual areas that process both task-relevant and task-irrelevant attributes relative to the baseline. However, fitness was not associated with differential activation in the posterior processing regions, suggesting that fitness enhances attentional function by primarily influencing the neural circuitry of anterior cortical regions. This study provides novel evidence of a differential association of fitness with anterior and posterior brain regions, shedding further light onto the neural changes accompanying cardiorespiratory fitness. (shrink)
Acquisition of complex skills is a universal feature of human behavior that has been conceptualized as a process that starts with intense resource dependency, requires effortful cognitive control, and ends in relative automaticity on the multi-faceted task. The present study examined the effects of different theoretically-based training strategies on cortical recruitment during acquisition of complex videogame skills. Seventy-five participants were recruited and assigned to one of three training groups: Fixed Emphasis Training (FET), in which participants practiced the game, Hybrid Variable (...) Priority Training (HVT), in which participants practiced using a combination of part-task training and variable priority training, or a Control group that received limited game play. After 30 hours of training, game data indicated a significant advantage for the two training groups relative to the control group. The HVT group demonstrated enhanced benefits of training, as indexed by an improvement in overall game score and a reduction in cortical recruitment post-training. Specifically, while both groups demonstrated a significant reduction of activation in attentional control areas, namely the right middle frontal gyrus, right superior frontal gyrus, and the ventral medial prefrontal cortex, participants in the control group continued to engage these areas post-training, suggesting a sustained reliance on attentional regions during challenging task demands. The HVT group showed a further reduction in neural resources post-training compared to the FET group in these cognitive control regions, along with reduced activation in the motor and sensory cortices and the posteromedial cortex. Findings suggest that training, specifically one that emphasizes cognitive flexibility can reduce the attentional demands of a complex cognitive task, along with reduced reliance on the motor network. (shrink)
Numerous recent reports have suggested that individuals deprived of vision are able to develop heightened auditory spatial abilities. However, most such studies have compared the blind to blindfolded sighted individuals, a procedure that might introduce a strong performance bias. Indeed, while blind individuals have had their whole lives to adapt to this condition, sighted individuals might be put at a severe disadvantage when having to localize sounds without visual input. To address this unknown, we compared the sound localization ability of (...) eight sighted individuals with and without a blindfold in a hemi-anechoic chamber. Sound stimuli were broadband noise delivered via two speaker arrays: a horizontal array with 25 loudspeakers (ranging from -90o to + 90 o; 7.5 o) and a vertical array with 15 loudspeakers (ranging from -45 o to +67.5 o). A factorial design was used, where we compared two vision conditions (blindfold vs. non-blindfold), two sound planes (horizontal vs. vertical) and two pointing methods (hand vs. head). Results show that all three factors significantly interact with one another with regards to the average absolute deviation error. Although blindfolding significantly affected all conditions, it did more so for head-pointing in the horizontal plane. Moreover, blindfolding was found to increase the tendency to undershoot more eccentric spatial positions for head-pointing, but not hand-pointing. Overall, these findings suggest that while proprioceptive cues appear to be sufficient for accurate hand pointing in the absence of visual feedback, head pointing relies more heavily on visual cues in order to provide a precise response. It also strongly argues strongly against the use of head pointing methodologies with blindfolded sighted individuals, particularly in the horizontal plane, as it likely introduces a bias when comparing them to blind individuals. (shrink)