To address the statistical challenges associated with genome-wide association studies, we present an independent component analysis (ICA) with reference approach to target a specific genetic variation and associated brain networks. First, a small set of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are empirically chosen to reflect a feature of interest and these SNPs are used as a reference when applying ICA to a full genomic SNP array. After extracting the genetic component maximally representing the characteristics of the reference, we test its association (...) with brain networks in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. The method was evaluated on both real and simulated datasets. Simulation demonstrates that ICA with reference can extract a specific genetic factor, even when the variance accounted for by such a factor is so small that a regular ICA fails. Our real data application from 48 schizophrenia patients and 40 healthy controls include 300K SNPs and fMRI images in an auditory oddball task. Using SNPs with allelic frequency difference in two groups as a reference, we extracted a genetic component that maximally differentiates patients from controls (p<4×10-17), and discovered a brain functional network that was significantly associated with this genetic component (p<1×10-4). The regions in the functional network mainly locate in the thalamus, anterior and posterior cingulate gyri. The contributing SNPs in the genetic factor mainly fall into two clusters centered at chromosome 7q21 and chromosome 5q35. The findings from the schizophrenia application are in concordance with previous knowledge about brain regions and gene function. All together, the results suggest that the ICA with reference can be particularly useful to explore the whole genome to find a specific factor of interest and further study its effect on brain. (shrink)
Models of the work-to-family and family-to-work interface were tested in two heterogeneous samples of workers, one from North America (N = 408) and one from China (N = 442), using the same measures translated from English to Chinese using back translation. Consistent with proposed differences in the centrality of work and family, tolerance of work demands, and the availability of family support, work-to-family spillover effects tended to be stronger in the North American sample, whereas family-to-work spillover effects tended to be (...) stronger in the Chinese sample. However, some inconsistencies across cultures did not conform to this generalization. Results point to asymmetric differences between North America and China in the work–family interface. Theoretical implications for resource scarcity and expansionist perspectives are discussed, as well as those for the applicability of work–family interventions across North America and China. (shrink)
Ford's book on the question of when human personhood begins, When Did I Begin? Conception of the Human Individual in History, Philosophy and Science (Cambridge University Press; 1988), is reviewed by Michael J. Coughlan in this issue of Bioethics. Here Ford responds to Coughlan's review, focusing on three topics: the importance of rationality for personhood, how far back one can trace the ontological identity of what is indisputably a human individual and human person, and the difference between (...) the awareness of the reality of human persons and the varying degrees of perception of their value in the family and society. (shrink)
Two essays relating Thomas and Whitehead have recently appeared. Coming To Be by James W. Felt, S.J., modifies Thomas by replacing his substantial form with Whitehead’s notion of subjective aim, the essencein-the-making introduced by God to guide the occasion’s act of coming into being. Felt also substitutes subjective aim for matter as the means of individuation. This is one of Whitehead’s individuating principles, although a case can be made that matter (the multiplicity of past actualities as proximate matter) is another. (...) “God and Creativity” by Stephen T. Franklin develops a reconciliation of these two ultimates by conceiving of God as the source of creativity, and seeing creativity in terms of the Thomistic esse. In my reflections on this project I explore four alternativeswith respect to the source of creativity: (a) creativity as derived from the past; (b) creativity as inherent in the present; (c) God as the source of transitional creativity (Franklin); (d) God as the source of concrescent creativity (Ford). The last two differ with respect to being’s relation to becoming. Does being undergird becoming, or does becoming bring about being, such that apart from it there would be no being? Our theory of creation depends upon this question. (shrink)
The internet is widely used for health information and support, often by vulnerable people. Internet-based research raises both familiar and new ethical problems for researchers and ethics committees. While guidelines for internet-based research are available, it is unclear to what extent ethics committees use these. Experience of gaining research ethics approval for a UK study (SharpTalk), involving internet-based discussion groups with young people who self-harm and health professionals is described. During ethical review, unsurprisingly, concerns were raised about the vulnerability of (...) potential participants. These were dominated by the issue of anonymity, which also affected participant safety and consent. These ethical problems are discussed, and our solutions, which included: participant usernames specific to the study, a closed website, private messaging facilities, a direct contact email to researchers, information about forum rules displayed on the website, a ‘report’ button for participants, links to online support, and a discussion room for forum moderators. This experience with SharpTalk suggests that an approach to ethics, which recognises the relational aspects of research with vulnerable people, is particularly useful for internet-based health research. The solutions presented here can act as guidance for researchers developing proposals and for ethics committees reviewing them. (shrink)
What is the reason for the continued interest in Newman’s theology? This article’s reply that Newman was a contextual theologian is based on a consideration of three questions:Was Newman a theologian? What was the context of his theology? What are the reasons for Newman’s theological longevity?
This essay examines the complementarity between Newman’s Apologia pro Vita Sua (1864), which provided an autobiographical account of his conversions, and his Grammar of Assent (1870), which described three types of inference—formal, natural, informal—that provide three paradigms for different types of religious conversion.
Newman was a prolific writer, but one who usually wrote on “call”; sometimes these calls were unexpected, but at other times they were a pastoral responsibility. Such was the case with his sermons, which exhibit four characteristics: biblically based, theologically grounded, circumstantially relevant, and spiritually insightful. As such, his sermons still appeal to readers today.
The human brainstem is critical for the control of many life-sustaining functions, such as consciousness, respiration, sleep, and transfer of sensory and motor information between the brain and the spinal cord. Most of our knowledge about structure and organization of white and gray matter within the brainstem is derived from ex vivo dissection and histology studies. However, these methods cannot be applied to study structural architecture in live human participants. Tractography from diffusion-weighted MRI may provide valuable insights about white matter (...) organization within the brainstem in vivo. However, this method presents technical challenges in vivo due to susceptibility artifacts, functionally dense anatomy, as well as pulsatile and respiratory motion. To investigate the limits of MR tractography, we present results from high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) of an intact excised human brainstem performed at 11.1T using isotropic resolution of 0.333, 1, and 2 mm, with the latter reflecting resolution currently used clinically. At the highest resolution, the dense fiber architecture of the brainstem is evident, but the definition of structures degrades as resolution decreases. In particular, the inferred corticopontine/corticospinal tracts (CPT/CST), superior (SCP) and middle cerebellar peduncle (MCP), and medial lemniscus (ML) pathways are clearly discernable and follow known anatomical trajectories at the highest spatial resolution. At lower resolutions, the CST/CPT, SCP, and MCP pathways are artificially enlarged due to inclusion of collinear and crossing fibers not inherent to these three pathways. The inferred ML pathways appear smaller at lower resolutions, indicating insufficient spatial information to successfully resolve smaller fiber pathways. Our results suggest that white matter tractography maps derived from the excised brainstem can be used to guide the study of the brainstem architecture using diffusion MRI in vivo. (shrink)
Newman sought a via media—a middle ground—between “evidentialists,” who considered reason supreme and so disparaged faith, and “existentialists,” who wanted to create a fortress of faith impenetrable to reason. Examining the way people actually think, Newman identified three types of inference that lead people to make decisions. This inferential process, which is operative in the decisions of every day life, serves as a paradigm for understanding how the human mind—particularly the illative sense—operates in religious matters; accordingly, Newman presents faith as (...) a personal and reasonable inference. (shrink)
Schizophrenia patients exhibit deficits on visual processing tasks, including visual backward masking, and these impairments are related to deficits in higher-level processes. In the current study we used electroencephalography techniques to examine successive stages and pathways of visual processing in a specialized masking paradigm, four-dot masking, which involves masking by object substitution. Seventy-six schizophrenia patients and 66 healthy controls had event-related potentials (ERPs) recorded during four-dot masking. Target visibility was manipulated by changing stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between the target and (...) mask, such that performance decreased with increasing SOA. Three SOAs were used: 0, 50, and 100 ms. The P100 and N100 perceptual ERPs were examined. Additionally, the visual awareness negativity (VAN) to correct vs. incorrect responses, an index of reentrant processing, was examined for SOAs 50 and 100 ms. Results showed that patients performed worse than controls on the behavioral task across all SOAs. The ERP results revealed that patients had significantly smaller P100 and N100 amplitudes, though there was no effect of SOA on either component in either group. In healthy controls, but not patients, N100 amplitude correlated significantly with behavioral performance at SOAs where masking occurred, such that higher accuracy correlated with a larger N100. Healthy controls, but not patients, exhibited a larger VAN to correct vs. incorrect responses. The results indicate that the N100 appears to be related to attentional effort in the task in controls, but not patients. Considering that the VAN is thought to reflect reentrant processing, one interpretation of the findings is that patients’ lack of VAN response and poorer performance may be related to dysfunctional reentrant processing. (shrink)
Michael Tyeâ€™s considered position on visual experience combines representationalism with externalism about color, so when considering spectrum inversion, he needs a principled reason to claim that a person with inverted color vision is seeing things incorrectly. Tyeâ€™s responses to the problem of the inverted spectrum ( 2000 , in: Consciousness, color, and content, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA and 2002a , in: Chalmers (ed.) Philosophy of mind: classical and contemporary readings, Oxford University Press, Oxford) rely on a teleological approach (...) to the evolution of vision to secure the grounds upon which people with normal color vision can be justly called â€˜rightâ€™ and those with inverted color vision can be called â€˜wrongâ€™. I demonstrate that since the inverted spectrum thought experiment requires that both sorts of vision be behaviorally indistinguishable, no biologically acceptable concept of teleology will allow Tye to draw the distinction he needs. (shrink)
Abstract The focal point of this analysis of moral agency in contexts of oppression is a case study involving unintelligibility between two women who identify differently with respect to sexual preference. At issue is the moral learning they accomplish as they work toward intelligibility across difference. A conceptual analysis of intelligibility demonstrates its similarity to an ethics of care, although increased sensitivity to political relations is emphasised. The moral learning that takes place as intelligibility is generated is described with respect (...) to: engagement, decentred perception and ?coalition work?. Consideration of the ways such moral learning is relevant to moral educators is presented with reference to a reading of Elizabeth Ellsworth's 1994 paper, ?Why doesn't this feel empowering? Working through the repressive myths of critical pedagogy? (shrink)
Three studies of human nonmonotonic reasoning are described. The results show that people find such reasoning quite difficult, although being given problems with known subclass-superclass relationships is helpful. The results also show that recognizing differences in the logical strengths of arguments is important for the nonmonotonic problems studied. For some of these problems, specificity – which is traditionally considered paramount in drawing appropriate conclusions – was irrelevant and so should have lead to a “can’t tell” response; however, people could give (...) rational conclusions based on differences in the logical consequences of arguments. The same strategy also works for problems where specificity is relevant, suggesting that in fact specificity is not paramount. Finally, results showed that subjects’ success at responding appropriately to nonmonotonic problems involving conflict relies heavily on the ability to appreciate differences in the logical strength of simple, non-conflicting, statements. (shrink)
Bioethics at the Movies explores the ways in which popular films engage basic bioethical concepts and concerns. Twenty philosophically grounded essays use cinematic tools such as character and plot development, scene-setting, and narrative-framing to demonstrate a range of principles and topics in contemporary medical ethics. The first section plumbs popular and bioethical thought on birth, abortion, genetic selection, and personhood through several films, including The Cider House Rules, Citizen Ruth, Gattaca, and I, Robot. In the second section, the contributors examine (...) medical practice and troubling questions about the quality and commodification of life by way of Dirty Pretty Things, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and other movies. The third section's essays use Million Dollar Baby, Critical Care, Big Fish, and Soylent Green to show how the medical profession and society at large view issues related to aging, death, and dying. A final section makes use of Extreme Measures and select Spanish and Japanese films to discuss two foundational matters in bioethics: the role of theories and principles in medicine and the importance of cultural context in devising care. Structured to mirror bioethics and cinema classes, this innovative work includes end-of-chapter questions for further consideration and contributions from scholars from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Israel, Spain, and Australia. Contributors: Robert Arp, Ph.D., Michael C. Brannigan, Ph.D., Matthew Burstein, Ph.D., Antonio Casado da Rocha, Ph.D., Stephen Coleman, Ph.D., Jason T. Eberl, Ph.D., Paul J. Ford, Ph.D., Helen Frowe, M.A., Colin Gavaghan, Ph.D., Richard Hanley, Ph.D., Nancy Hansen, Ph.D., Al-Yasha Ilhaam, Ph.D., Troy Jollimore, Ph.D., Amy Kind, Ph.D., Zana Marie Lutfiyya, Ph.D., Terrance McConnell, Ph.D., Andy Miah, Ph.D., Nathan Norbis, Ph.D., Kenneth Richman, Ph.D., Karen D. Schwartz, LL.B., M.A., Sandra Shapshay, Ph.D., Daniel Sperling, LL.M., S.J.D., Becky Cox White, R.N., Ph.D., Clark Wolf, Ph.D. (shrink)
The papers in this volume explore the nature of intention and intentional action against the background of G.E.M. Anscombe’s 'Intention' (2nd ed., 1963; repr. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000). Taken together, they demonstrate why the position that Michael Thompson has called Anscombe’s “analytical Aristotelianism” deserves to be regarded as a serious alternative to the analytical Humeanism (to coin a label) that has prevailed in Anglophone philosophy of mind and action since the work of Donald Davidson.
The received account of whistleblowing, developed over the last quarter century, is identified with the work of Norman Bowie and Richard DeGeorge. Michael Davis has detailed three anomalies for the received view: the paradoxes of burden, missing harm and failure. In addition, he has proposed an alternative account of whistleblowing, viz., the Complicity Theory. This paper examines the Complicity Theory. The supposed anomalies rest on misunderstandings of the received view or misreadings of model cases of whistleblowing, for example, the (...) Challenger disaster and the Ford Pinto. Nevertheless, the Complicity Theory is important for as in science the contrast with alternative competing accounts often helps us better understand the received view. Several aspects of the received view are reviewed and strengthened through comparison with Complicity Theory, including why whistleblowing needs moral justification. Complicity Theory is also critiqued. The fundamental failure of Complicity Theory is its failure to explain why government and the public encourage and protect whistleblowers despite the possibility of considerable harm to the relevant company in reputation, lost jobs, and lost shareholder value. (shrink)