This paper concerns periodic solutions of a class of equations that model gene regulatory networks. Unlike the vast majority of previous studies, it is not assumed that all decay rates are identical. To handle this more general situation, we rely on monotonicity properties of these systems. Under an alternative assumption, it is shown that a classical fixed point theorem for monotone, concave operators can be applied to these systems. The required assumption is expressed in geometrical terms as an alignment condition (...) on so-called focal points . As an application, we show the existence and uniqueness of a stable periodic orbit for negative feedbackloop systems in dimension 3 or more, and of a unique stable equilibrium point in dimension 2. This extends a theorem of Snoussi, which showed the existence of these orbits only. (shrink)
A sociological study of science is not very recent and has never been seen as particularly problematic since science, and especially modern science, constitutes an impressive and extremely ramified "social system" of activities, institutions, relations and interferences with other social systems. Less favourable, however, has been the consideration of a more recent trend in the philosophy of science known as the "sociological" philosophy of science, whose most debatable point consists in directly challenging the traditional epistemology of science and, in particular, (...) in stripping scientific knowledge of its most appreciated characteristics of objectivity and rigour . A vicious circle seems to lie at the root of this sociological epistemology because, on the one hand, criticism of the traditional concept of scientific knowledge is developed by relying upon sociology, but this, on the other hand is reasonable only if sociology is credited with the status of a reliable instrument, that is, because it has been recognized as a science through an epistemological debate . In this paper it is shown that not all circles are vicious: in particular, feedback loops, positive and negative, are normally considered in cybernetic models of various processes. Negative feedback loops are fundamental in self-regulating processes and have already occurred from time to time in readjusting the concept of science itself. Therefore, a sociological epistemology of science can contribute to a more careful analysis of the real meaning and purport of the cognitive aspect of science, provided that it is not pushed to the self-defeating extreme of challenging the legitimacy of considering objectivity and rigour as the characteristic features of scientific knowledge. (shrink)
This paper examines the ways in which social scientific discourse and classification interact with the objects of social scientific investigation. I examine this interaction in the context of the traditional philosophical project of demarcating the social sciences from the natural sciences. I begin by reviewing Ian Hacking’s work on interactive classification and argue that there are additional forms of interaction that must be treated.
Montesquieu's Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains et de leur décadence (1733/1734) is a methodological exercise in causal explanation on the meso-level applied to the subject of the military rise and fall of Rome. Rome is described as a system with contingent initial conditions that have a strong path-determining effect. Contingent and plastic initial configurations become highly determining in their subsequent operation, thanks to self-reinforcing feedback loops. Montesquieu's method seems influenced by the ruthless commitment to efficient (...) causality and the reductionism of seventeenth-century mechanicist philosophy; but in contrast to these predecessors, he is more interested in dynamic processes than in unchangeable substances, and his use of efficient causality in the context of a system approach implies a form of holism that is lacking in his predecessors. The formal and conceptual analysis in this article is in many ways complementary with Paul Rahe's recent predominantly political analysis of the Considérations. At the same time, this article points to a problem in the works on the Enlightenment by Jonathan Israel: his account stresses a one-dimensional continuum consisting of Radical, Moderate and Counter-Enlightenment. This invites Israel to place the combined religious, political and philosophical views of each thinker on one of these three points. His scheme runs into trouble when a thinker with moderate religious and political views produces radical philosophical concepts. Montesquieu's Considérations is a case in point. (shrink)
: Marcel says that the experience of ownership of actions is given in the specifications for action. He is referring not to a bodily movement but that which precedes it. Is the body involved or are all the changes in the brain? This paper examines the evidence for changes in the spinal cord and muscles that occur with motor imagery, simulation and preparation. There are changes in the alpha motoneurons and in the gamma motoneurons to the muscle spindles. These may (...) be caused by stimulation from the covert efferent arm to the body. To experience the ownership of covert actions in the body requires feedback to the owner as their spatially perspectival source. There is evidence that an ascending pathway from the muscle spindles to the brain carries such feedback. This view of the feedbackloop is integrated into the sensorimotor view of the genesis of consciousness of Ellis and Newton. (shrink)
This commentary proposes that “cognitive control” is neither componential nor emergent, but a fundamental feature of behavior. The term “control” requires an operational definition. This is best provided by the negative feedbackloop that utilizes behavior to control perception; it does not control behavior per se. In order to model complex cognitive control, Perceptual Control Theory proposes that loops are organized into a dissociable hierarchical network (PCT; Powers, Clark, & McFarland, 1960; Powers, 1973a, 2008). In this way, behavior (...) is dynamically adaptive to environmental disturbances, rather than being formed by, or superimposed upon, learned associations between stimulus and response. (shrink)
Abstract Angiogenesis is a complex morphogenetic process regulated by growth factors, but also by the force balance between endothelial cells (EC) traction stresses and extracellular matrix (ECM) viscoelastic resistance. Studies conducted with in vitro angiogenesis assays demonstrated that decreasing ECM stiffness triggers an angiogenic switch that promotes organization of EC into tubular cords or pseudo-capillaries. Thus, mechano-sensitivity of EC with regard to proteases secretion, and notably matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), should likely play a pivotal role in this switching mechanism. While most (...) studies analysing strain regulation of MMPs used cell cultured on stretched membranes, this work focuses on MMP expression during self-assembly of EC into capillary-like structures within fibrin gels, i.e. on conditions that mimics more closely the in vivo cellular mechanical microenvironment. The activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9, two MMPs that have a pivotal role in capillaries formation, has been monitored in pace with the progressive elongation of EAhy926 cells that takes place during the emergence of cellular cords. We found an increase of the zymogen proMMP-2 that correlates with the initial stages of EC cords formation. However, MMP-2 was not detected. ProMMP-9 secretion decreased, with levels of MMP-9 kept at a rather low value. In order to analyse more precisely the observed differences of EAhy926 response on fibrin and plastic substrates, we proposed a theoretical model of the mechano-regulation of proMMP-2 activation in the presence of type 2 tissue inhibitor of MMPs (TIMP-2). Using association/dissociation rates experimentally reported for this enzymatic network, the model adequately describes the synergism of proMMP-2 and TIMP-2 strain activation during pseudo-capillary morphogenesis. All together, these results provide a first step toward a systems biology approach of angiogenesis mechano-regulation by cell-generated extracellular stresses and strains. Content Type Journal Article Category Regular Article Pages 1-20 DOI 10.1007/s10441-012-9147-3 Authors Minh-Uyen Dao Thi, Faculté de Médecine de Grenoble, DyCTiM team, UJF-Grenoble 1, CNRS, Laboratoire TIMC-IMAG UMR 5525, 38041 Grenoble, France Candice Trocmé, BEP/DBTP, CHU Albert Michallon, BP 217, 38043 Grenoble Cedex 9, France Marie-Paule Montmasson, Faculté de Médecine de Grenoble, DyCTiM team, UJF-Grenoble 1, CNRS, Laboratoire TIMC-IMAG UMR 5525, 38041 Grenoble, France Eric Fanchon, Faculté de Médecine de Grenoble, BCM team, UJF-Grenoble 1, CNRS, Laboratoire TIMC-IMAG UMR 5525, 38041 Grenoble, France Bertrand Toussaint, BEP/DBTP, CHU Albert Michallon, BP 217, 38043 Grenoble Cedex 9, France Philippe Tracqui, Faculté de Médecine de Grenoble, DyCTiM team, UJF-Grenoble 1, CNRS, Laboratoire TIMC-IMAG UMR 5525, 38041 Grenoble, France Journal Acta Biotheoretica Online ISSN 1572-8358 Print ISSN 0001-5342. (shrink)
Richard Levins has advocated the scientific merits of qualitative modeling throughout his career. He believed an excessive and uncritical focus on emulating the models used by physicists and maximizing quantitative precision was hindering biological theorizing in particular. Greater emphasis on qualitative properties of modeled systems would help counteract this tendency, and Levins subsequently developed one method of qualitative modeling, loop analysis, to study a wide variety of biological phenomena. Qualitative modeling has been criticized for being conceptually and methodologically problematic. (...) As a clear example of a qualitative modeling method, loop analysis shows this criticism is indefensible. The method has, however, some serious limitations. This paper describes loop analysis, its limitations, and attempts to clarify the differences between quantitative and qualitative modeling, in content and objective. Loop analysis is but one of numerous types of qualitative analysis, so its limitations do not detract from the currently underappreciated and underdeveloped role qualitative modeling could have within science. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to present a loop-free decision procedure for modal propositional logics K4, S4 and S5. We prove that the procedure terminates and that it is sound and complete. The procedure is based on the method of Socratic proofs for modal logics, which is grounded in the logic of questions IEL.
Social psychologists have evidence that evaluative feedback on others’ choices sometimes has unwelcome negative effects on hearers’ motivation. Holroyd’s article (Holroyd J. Ethical Theory Moral Pract 10:267–278, 2007) draws attention to one such result, the undermining effect, that should help to challenge moral philosophers’ complacency about blame and praise. The cause for concern is actually greater than she indicates, both because there are multiple kinds of negative effect on hearer motivation, and because these are not, as she hopes, reliably (...) counteracted by implicit features of praise and blame. The communicative ideal that she articulates does point us in the right direction, but it requires further elaboration. Once it is spelled out, we find that realizing this ideal, in light of the empirical research, requires rethinking the role of verdict-like judgments within moral feedback. (shrink)
The quantum evolution equation of Loop Quantum Cosmology (LQC)—the quantum Hamiltonian constraint—is a difference equation. We relate the LQC constraint equation in vacuum Bianchi I separable (locally rotationally symmetric) models with an integrable differential-difference nonlinear Schrödinger type equation, which in turn is known to be associated with integrable, discrete Heisenberg spin chain models in condensed matter physics. We illustrate the similarity between both systems with a simple constraint in the linear regime.
It is shown that the Riemannian curvature of the 3-dimensional hypersurfaces in space-time, described by the Wilson loop integral, can be represented by a quaternion quantum operator induced by the SU(2) gauge potential, thus providing a justification for quaternion quantum gravity at the Tev energy scale.
How can self-knowledge of personality be improved? What path is the most fruitful source for learning about our true selves? Previous research has noted two main avenues for learning about the self: looking inward (e.g., introspection) and looking outward (e.g., feedback). Although most of the literature on these topics does not directly measure the accuracy of self-perceptions (i.e., self-knowledge), we review these paths and their potential for improving self-knowledge. We come to the conclusion that explicit feedback, a largely (...) unexamined path, is likely a fruitful avenue for learning about one’s own personality. Specifically, we suggest that self-knowledge might be fully realized through the use of explicit feedback from close, knowledgeable others. As such, we conclude that the road to self-knowledge likely cannot be traveled alone but must be traveled with close others who can help shed light on our blind spots. (shrink)
Background: This study investigates the effect of altered auditory feedback (AAF) in musician's dystonia (MD) and discusses whether altered auditory feedback can be considered as a sensory trick in MD. Furthermore, the effect of AAF is compared with altered tactile feedback, which can serve as a sensory trick in several other forms of focal dystonia. Methods: The method is based on scale analysis (Jabusch et al. 2004). Experiment 1 employs synchronization paradigm: 12 MD patients and 25 healthy (...) pianists had to repeatedly play C-major scales in synchrony with a metronome on a MIDI-piano with 3 auditory feedback conditions: 1. normal feedback; 2. no feedback; 3. constant delayed feedback. Experiment 2 employs synchronization-continuation paradigm: 12 MD patients and 12 healthy pianists had to repeatedly play C-major scales in two phases: first in synchrony with a metronome, secondly continue the established tempo without the metronome. There are 4 experimental conditions, among them 3 are the same altered auditory feedback as in Experiment 1 and 1 is related to altered tactile sensory input. The coefficient of variation of inter-onset intervals of the key depressions was calculated to evaluate fine motor control. Results: In both experiments, the healthy controls and the patients behaved very similarly. There is no difference in the regularity of playing between the two groups under any condition, and neither did AAF nor did altered tactile feedback have a beneficial effect on patients’ fine motor control. Conclusions: The results of the two experiments suggest that in the context of our experimental designs, AAF and altered tactile feedback play a minor role in motor coordination in patients with musicians' dystonia. We propose that altered auditory and tactile feedback do not serve as effective sensory tricks and may not temporarily reduce the symptoms of patients suffering from MD in this experimental context. (shrink)
An efficient and fast auditory–motor network is a basic resource for trained musicians due to the importance of motor anticipation of sound production in musical performance. When playing an instrument, motor performance always goes along with the production of sounds and the integration between both modalities plays an essential role in the course of musical training. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of task-irrelevant auditory feedback during motor performance in musicians using a serial reaction (...) time task (SRTT). Our hypothesis was that musicians, due to their extensive auditory–motor practice routine during musical training, have a superior performance and learning capabilities when receiving auditory feedback during SRTT relative to musicians performing the SRTT without any auditory feedback. Here we provide novel evidence that task-irrelevant auditory feedback is capable to reinforce SRTT performance but not learning, a finding that might provide further insight into auditory-motor integration in musicians on a behavioral level. (shrink)
How does the brain bind together visual features that are processed concurrently by different neurons into a unified percept suitable for processes such as object recognition? Here, we describe how simple, commonly accepted principles of neural processing can interact over time to solve the brain's binding problem. We focus on mechanisms of neural inhibition and top-down feedback. Specifically, we describe how inhibition creates competition among neural populations that code different features, effectively suppressing irrelevant information, and thus minimizing illusory conjunctions. (...) Top-down feedback contributes to binding in a similar manner, but by reinforcing relevant features. Together, inhibition and top-down feedback contribute to a competitive environment that ensures only the most appropriate features are bound together. We demonstrate this overall proposal using a biologically realistic neural model of vision that processes features across a hierarchy of interconnected brain areas. Finally, we argue that temporal synchrony plays only a limited role in binding -- it does not simultaneously bind multiple objects, but does aid in creating additional contrast between relevant and irrelevant features. Thus, our overall theory constitutes a solution to the binding problem that relies only on simple neural principles without any binding-specific processes. (shrink)
While performing an action, the timing of when the sensory feedback is given can be used to establish the causal link between the action and its consequence. It has been shown that delaying the visual feedback while carrying an object makes people feel the mass of the object to be greater, suggesting that the feedback timing can also impact the perceived quality of an external object. In this study, we investigated the origin of the feedback timing (...) information that influences the mass perception of the external object. Participants made a straight reaching movement while holding a manipulandum. The movement of the manipulandum was presented as a cursor movement on a monitor. In Experiment 1, various delays were imposed between the actual trajectory and the cursor movement. The participants’ perceived mass of the manipulandum significantly increased as the delay increased to 400 ms, but this gain did not reach significance when the delay was 800 ms. This suggests the existence of a temporal tuning mechanism for incorporating the visual feedback into the perception of mass. In Experiment 2, we examined whether the increased mass perception during the visual delay was due to the prediction error of the visual consequence of an action or to the actual delay of the feedback itself. After the participants adapted to the feedback delay, the perceived mass of the object became lighter than before, indicating that updating the temporal prediction model for the visual consequence diminishes the overestimation of the object’s mass. We propose that the misattribution of the visual delay into mass perception is induced by the sensorimotor prediction error, possibly when the amount of delay (error) is within the range that can reasonably include the consequence of an action. (shrink)
Spoken language exists because of a remarkable neural process. Inside a speaker’s brain, an intended message gives rise to neural signals activating the muscles of the vocal tract. The process is remarkable because these muscles are activated in just the right way that the vocal tract produces sounds a listener understands as the intended message. What is the best approach to understanding the neural substrate of this crucial motor control process? One of the key recent modeling developments in neuroscience has (...) been the use of state feedback control (SFC) theory to explain the role of the CNS in motor control. SFC postulates that the CNS controls motor output by (1) estimating the current dynamic state of the thing (e.g., arm) being controlled, and (2) generating controls based on this estimated state. SFC has successfully predicted a great range of non-speech motor phenomena, but as yet has not received attention in the speech motor control community. Here, we review some of the key characteristics of speech motor control and what they say about the role of the CNS in the process. We then discuss prior efforts to model the role of CNS in speech motor control, and argue that these models have inherent limitations – limitations that are overcome by an SFC model of speech motor control which we describe. We conclude by discussing a plausible neural substrate of our model. (shrink)
Disturbances in feedback processing and a dysregulation of the neural circuit in which the cingulate cortex plays a key role have been frequently observed in depression. Since depression is a heterogeneous disease, instead of focusing on the depressive state in general, this study investigated the relations between the two core symptoms of depression, i.e., depressed mood and anhedonia, and the neural correlates of feedback processing using fMRI. The focus was on the different subdivisions of the anterior cingulate cortex (...) (ACC). Undergraduates with varying levels of depressed mood and anhedonia performed a time-estimation task in which they received positive and negative feedback that was either valid or invalid (i.e., related vs. unrelated to actual performance). The rostral cingulate zone (RCZ), corresponding to the dorsal part of the ACC, was less active in response to feedback in more anhedonic individuals, after correcting for the influence of depressed mood, whereas the subgenual ACC was more active in these individuals. Task performance was not affected by anhedonia, however. No statistically significant effects were found for depressed mood above and beyond the effects of anhedonia. This study therefore implies that increasing levels of anhedonia involve changes in the neural circuitry underlying feedback processing. (shrink)
Capacity of using visual feedback by infants at the age of reaching onset has been controversial. In this investigation we assessed movement kinematics in the task of reaching for a toy in 5-month-olds, comparing movements performed with the preferred arm under full vision versus visual occlusion. That comparison was made in consecutive periods of visual occlusion. Analysis of results revealed that visual occlusion led to decreased straightness of arm displacement toward the toy as compared to full vision. Longer periods (...) of occlusion did not augment that effect. These results offer preliminary evidence for use of visual feedback early in infants’ reaching development. Reconciliation of previous and current findings is made by proposing a hybrid mode of feedback processing for manual control reweighting the roles of vision and proprioception as a function of availability of environmental information. (shrink)
Several recent studies have demonstrated that addicts behave less flexibly than healthy controls in the probabilistic reversal-learning task (PRLT), in which participants must gradually learn to choose between a probably-rewarded option and an improbably-rewarded one, on the basis of corrective feedback, and in which preferences must adjust to abrupt reward contingency changes (reversals). In the present study, pathological gamblers (PG) and cocaine-dependent individuals (CDI) showed different learning curves in the PRLT. PG also showed a reduced electroencephalographic response to (...) class='Hi'>feedback (Feedback-Related Negativity, FRN) when compared to controls. CDI’s FRN was not significantly different either from PG or HC’s. Additionally, according to sLORETA analysis, cortical activity in regions of interest (previously selected by virtue of their involvement in FRN generation in controls) strongly differed between CDI and PG. However, the nature of such anomalies varied within-groups across individuals. Cocaine use severity had a strong deleterious impact on the learning asymptote, whereas gambling intensity significantly increased reversal cost. These two effects have remained confounded in most previous studies, which can be hiding important associative learning differences between different populations of addicts. (shrink)
Learning from feedback lies at the foundation of adaptive behavior. Two prior neuroimaging studies have suggested that there are qualitative differences in how children and adults use feedback by demonstrating that dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and parietal cortex were more active after negative feedback for adults, but after positive feedback for children. In the current study we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test whether this difference is related to valence or informative value of the (...)feedback by examining neural responses to negative and positive feedback while applying probabilistic rules. In total, 67 healthy volunteers between ages 8 and 22 participated in the study (8-11-years, n=18; 13-16-years, n=27; 18-22-years, n=22). Behavioral comparisons showed that all participants were able to learn probabilistic rules equally well. DLPFC and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex were more active in younger children following positive feedback and in adults following negative feedback, but only when exploring alternative rules, not when applying the most advantageous rules. These findings suggest that developmental differences in neural responses to feedback are not related to valence per se, but that there is an age-related change in processing learning signals with different informative value. (shrink)
Top-down feedback does not benefit speech recognition; on the contrary, it can hinder it. No experimental data imply that feedback loops are required for speech recognition. Feedback is accordingly unnecessary and spoken word recognition is modular. To defend this thesis, we analyse lexical involvement in phonemic decision making. TRACE (McClelland & Elman 1986), a model with feedback from the lexicon to prelexical processes, is unable to account for all the available data on phonemic decision making. The (...) modular Race model (Cutler & Norris 1979) is likewise challenged by some recent results, however. We therefore present a new modular model of phonemic decision making, the Merge model. In Merge, information flows from prelexical processes to the lexicon without feedback. Because phonemic decisions are based on the merging of prelexical and lexical information, Merge correctly predicts lexical involvement in phonemic decisions in both words and nonwords. Computer simulations show how Merge is able to account for the data through a process of competition between lexical hypotheses. We discuss the issue of feedback in other areas of language processing and conclude that modular models are particularly well suited to the problems and constraints of speech recognition. Key Words: computational modeling; feedback; lexical processing; modularity; phonemic decisions; reading; speech recognition; word recognition. (shrink)
Suppose you think that whether you believe some proposition A at some future time t might have a causal influence on whether A is true. For instance, maybe you think a woman can read your mind, and either (1) you think she will snap her fingers shortly after t if and only if you believe at t that she will, or (2) you think she will snap her fingers shortly after t if and only if you don't believe at t (...) that she will. Let A be the proposition that she snaps her fingers shortly after t. In case (1), theoretical rationality seems to leave it open whether you should believe A or not. Perhaps, for all it has to say, you could just directly choose whether to believe A. David Velleman seems to be committed to something close to that, but his view has been unpopular. In case (2), you seem to be in a theoretical dilemma, a situation where any attitude you adopt toward A will be self-undermining in a way that makes you irrational. Such theoretical dilemmas ought to be impossible, just as genuine moral dilemmas ought to be impossible, but it is surprisingly hard to show that they are (perhaps because they aren't). I study cases analogous to (1) and (2) in a probabilistic framework where degrees of belief rather than all-or-nothing beliefs are taken as basic. My principal conclusions are that Velleman's view is closer to the truth than it is generally thought to be, that case (2) type theoretical dilemmas only arise for hyperidealised agents unlike ourselves, and that there are related cases that can arise for agents like us that are very disturbing but might not quite amount to theoretical dilemmas. (shrink)
Lewis's dynamic systems approach is a refreshing change from the reflexology of most neuroscience, but it could go a step further: It could include the expected rewardingness of an emotion in the recursive feedbackloop that determines whether the emotion will occur. Two possible objections to such a model are discussed: that emotions are not deliberate, and that negative emotions should lose out as instrumental choices.
Self-improvement was one of the aspects of AI proposed for study in the 1956 Dartmouth conference. Turing proposed a “child machine” which could be taught in the human manner to attain adult human-level intelligence. In latter days, the contention that an AI system could be built to learn and improve itself indefinitely has acquired the label of the bootstrap fallacy. Attempts in AI to implement such a system have met with consistent failure for half a century. Technological optimists, however, have (...) maintained that a such system is possible, producing, if implemented, a feedbackloop that would lead to a rapid exponential increase in intelligence. We examine the arguments for both positions and draw some conclusions. (shrink)
Just as testimony is affected by unjust social relations, so too is intellectual self-trust. I defend an account of intellectual self-trust that explains both why it is properly thought of as trust and why it is directed at the self, and explore its relationship to social power. Intellectual self-trust is neither a matter of having dispositions to rely on one?s epistemic methods and mechanisms, nor having a set of beliefs about which ones are reliable. Instead, it is a stance that (...) an agent takes towards her own cognitive methods and mechanisms, comprising both cognitive and affective elements. Our intellectual self-trust is created and sustained socially and is thus porous to social power. Unjust social relations cause epistemic injustice, which undermines self-trust among the underprivileged; unjust social relations cause excessive self-trust among the privileged, which perpetuates epistemic injustice, which further undermines the self-trust of the disadvantaged in a vicious feedbackloop. I conclude by exploring ways in which socially distorted intellectual self-trust can become better calibrated. (shrink)
The structuring of our environment to provide cues and reminders for ourselves is common: We leave notes on the fridge, we have a particular place for our keys where we deposit them, making them easy to find. We alter our world to streamline our cognitive tasks. But how did hominins gain this capacity? What pushed our ancestors to structure their physical environment in ways that buffered thinking and began the process of using the world cognitively? I argue that the capacity (...) to engage in these behaviours is a by-product of increased tool investment and tool curation, which in turn was necessary because of increasingly heterogeneous environments. The minute tools are carried and cared for, they begin to undergo selection for added functions, becoming available as cognitive primers and as signals. I explore the trajectory of this co-evolutionary feedbackloop of hominins and their tools, and demonstrate the role tools have in shaping our thinking. (shrink)
Drawing on a number of recent high-profile cases of corporate corruption, we develop a process model that explains the escalation of deception in corrupt firms. If undetected, an initial lie can begin a process whereby the ease, severity and pervasiveness of deception increases overtime so that it eventually becomes an organization level phenomenon. We propose that organizational complexity has an amplifying effect. A␣feedbackloop between organization level deception and each of the escalation stages positively reinforces the process. In (...) addition, moderators are proposed that will halt escalation at various stages. By conceptualizing corporate deception as a social process, the paper contributes to a growing body of research that looks beyond 'bad' individuals for the causes of corporate illegality. (shrink)
This article discusses the implications of moral dissonance for managers, and how dissonance induced self justification can create an amplifying feedbackloop and downward spiral of immoral behaviour. After addressing the nature of moral dissonance, including the difference between moral and hedonistic dissonance, the writer then focuses on dissonance reduction strategies available to managers such as rationalization, self affirmation, self justification, etc. It is noted that there is a considerable literature which views the organization as a potentially corrupting (...) institution and a source of acute levels of moral dissonance. A simplified process model linking immoral behaviour, dissonance and rationalization is mooted, and some recent theories which question traditional dissonance models, including the free choice paradigm (FCP), are considered. The writer concludes that in the light of the above mentioned critical theories, it may be assumed that the levels of moral dissonance, and the extent of rationalization/self justification amongst managers, are more a function of personality and situational factors than previously assumed. (shrink)
This article deals with the links between the enaction paradigm and artificial intelligence. Enaction is considered a metaphor for artificial intelligence, as a number of the notions which it deals with are deemed incompatible with the phenomenal field of the virtual. After explaining this stance, we shall review previous works regarding this issue in terms of artificial life and robotics. We shall focus on the lack of recognition of co-evolution at the heart of these approaches. We propose to explicitly integrate (...) the evolution of the environment into our approach in order to refine the ontogenesis of the artificial system, and to compare it with the enaction paradigm. The growing complexity of the ontogenetic mechanisms to be activated can therefore be compensated by an interactive guidance system emanating from the environment. This proposition does not however, resolve that of the relevance of the meaning created by the machine (sense-making). Such reflections lead us to integrate human interaction into this environment in order to construct relevant meaning in terms of participative artificial intelligence. This raises a number of questions with regards to setting up an enactive interaction. The article concludes by exploring a number of issues, thereby enabling us to associate current approaches with the principles of morphogenesis, guidance, the phenomenology of interactions and the use of minimal enactive interfaces in setting up experiments which will deal with the problem of artificial intelligence in a variety of enaction-based ways. (shrink)
Donald MacKay's description of the embodiment of an efficacious conscious mind is reviewed as a version of non-reductive physicalism. Particular focus is given to MacKay's analysis of the emergence of consciousness in the capacity for self-evaluation which results from informational feedback regarding the results of action. Unique to MacKay's posthumously published Gifford Lectures is his analysis of agents in dialog as a particular form of an environmental feedbackloop. His analysis of dialog is reviewed and expanded (...) to encompass concepts of a First and Second Order Theory of Mind. Finally, MacKay's view of the status of the soul is considered, and the particular role of dialogue as critical to the instantiation of soul is suggested. (shrink)
Public funding institutions are able to influence what aspects researchers take into account when they consider the future impacts of their research. On the basis of a description of the evaluation systems that public research funding institutes in the Netherlands (STW and SenterNovem) use to estimate the quality of engineering science, this article shows that researchers are now predominantly required to reflect on the intellectual merit of their research and on the usability and marketability of the technology it contributes to. (...) In addition, SenterNovem also mandates reflection on sustainability. Here it is argued that these requirements do not suffice. Funding institutions should also do more to enhance reflection during the research process on the “soft impacts” of technologies, which refer to the alterations that technologies may bring about in the quality of human life. To do this it is suggested that it is helpful to engage a specifically trained ethicist to monitor the research process and create a feedbackloop from the ethicist to the funding institution. (shrink)
Plan-ahead becomes necessary for those movements which are over-and-done in less time than it takes for the feedbackloop to operate. Natural selection for one of the ballistic movements (hammering, clubbing, and throwing) could evolve a plan-ahead serial buffer for hand-arm commands that would benefit the other ballistic movements as well. This same circuitry may also sequence other muscles (children learning handwriting often screw up their faces and tongues) and so novel oral-facial sequences may also benefit (as might (...) kicking and dancing). An elaborated version of the sequencer may constitute a Darwin Machine that spins scenarios, evolves sentences, and facilitates insight by offline simulation. An example is given of an evolutionary scenario from an apelike ancestor, demonstrating the transition behaviors and growth curve considerations that any such theory needs to have; this particular scenario (involving throwing improvements) also suggests an explanation for the puzzling design of the Acheulean "handaxe.". (shrink)
In this paper we are going to show that error coping strategies play an essential role in linguistic pragmatics. We study the effect of noisy speaker strategies within a framework of signalling games with feedbackloop. We distinguish between cases in which errors occur in message selection and cases in which they occur in signal selection. The first type of errors affects the content of an utterance, and the second type its linguistic expression. The general communication model is (...) inspired by the Shannon–Weaver communication model. We test the model by a number of benchmark examples, including examples of relevance implicatures, quantity implicatures, and presupposition accommodation. (shrink)
The boundaries of the ethical have traditionally coincided with the boundaries of humanity. This, however, is no longer the case. Scientific developments, such as genetic engineering, stem-cell research, cloning, the Human Genome Project, new paleontological evidence, and the rise of neuropsychology call into question the very notion of human being and thus require a new conceptual map for ethical judgment. The contours of this map may be seen to emerge in works of science fiction (SF), which not only vividly dramatize (...) the implications and consequences of new technologies and discoveries, but also exert a powerful influence on culture, creating a feedbackloop of images and ideas. This essay focuses on three SF topoi: the human/animal evolutionary boundary; non-biological subjectivity (AI); and the human/alien interaction. It explores each of these topoi in a selection of SF texts, including novels by H. G. Wells, Olaf Stapledon, Stephen Baxter, William Gibson, Stanislaw Lem and others, showing how the boundaries of humanity are expanded and then exploded through the radical subversion of the tenets of liberal humanism. (shrink)