Stiff Person Syndrome is a rare autoimmune disorder associated with antibodies against glutamic acid decarboxylase, the key enzyme in γ -aminobutyric acid synthesis. In order to investigate the role of cerebral benzodiazepinereceptor binding in SPS, we performed [ 11 C]flumazenil positron emission tomography in a female patient with SPS compared to nine healthy controls. FMZ is a radioligand to the postsynaptic central benzodiazepine receptor which is co-localized with the GABA-A receptor. In the SPS patient, we found a global reduction of (...) cortical FMZ binding. In addition, distinct local clusters of reduced radiotracer binding were observed. These data provide first in vivo evidence for a reduced postsynaptic GABA-A receptor availability which may reflect the loss of GABAergic neuronal inhibition in SPS. (shrink)
Higher order cognitive processes, including ethical decision making (EDM), are influenced by the experiencing of discrete emotions. Recent research highlights the negative influence one such emotion, anger, has on EDM and its underlying processes. The mechanism, however, by which anger disrupts the EDM has not been investigated. The current study sought to discover whether cognitive appraisals of an emotion-evoking event are the driving mechanisms behind the influence of anger on EDM. One primary (goal obstacle) and one secondary (certainty) appraisal of (...) anger were examined. Study results suggest that appraisals of certainty are the driving mechanism behind the negative relationship between anger and EDM. Certainty appraisals led to less application of EDM-promoting strategies and more unethical social motives. Findings further highlight the value of investigating appraisals of emotional events, given their cognitive nature, for their potential effects on cognitive operations, such as EDM. Future directions and implications are discussed. (shrink)
This article describes the phenomenon of knowledge building in online environments. Knowledge building is a process within a community, which leads to the development of knowledge. In order to analyze this process, we will look into the ways in which individuals interact with the collective as a whole. For this purpose, the psychic and social systems, which are involved here are regarded as meaning-based systems in the sense of Luhmann’s systems theory—open to the environment, but operatively closed. The respective modes (...) of operation of psychic and social systems will be examined, and “structural coupling” between these systems described. Another characteristic of knowledge-building communities is self-organization, which is described here in the sense of autopoiesis. A pivotal task, which knowledge-building communities have to tackle, is to handle complexity and reach common understanding. These aspects will also be described using conceptualizations of Luhmann’s systems theory, illustrated by many examples. (shrink)
The paper presents the project, begun in 2005, of publication of the Collected Works of Salomo Friedlaender / Mynona , a German philosopher and satirist. Starting from Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Goethe, Kant, and Ernst Marcus, Friedlaender developed the basic motives of „creative indifference” and the specific polarity into an original and penetrating philosophy. Living in Berlin from 1902, he was at the center of significant philosophical and literary developments of the 20th century . He was a determined pacifist and Kantian whose (...) popular satires , during the Frist World War and the Weimar Republic, formulated a severe critique of culture and convincingly suggested that the utopia of eternal peace was practical. Due to unvaforable circumstances and cruel fate he had undeservedly sunk into fatal oblivion. This edition, which will include 30 volumes over several years, finally shows him the way he deserves. (shrink)
On 5 May 1957, Leopold Löwenheim passed away in a Berlin hospital following a short but severe illness, unnoticed by the community of mathematical logicians who believed that he had perished in a Nazi concentration camp in or shortly after 1940 (the year of publication in the Journal of Symbolic Logic of his last paper before the end of World War II). The 50th anniversary of his death seems an appropriate date for the posthumous publication of a paper that was (...) supposed to appear in Fundamenta Mathematicae in 1939, the galley proofs of which Löwenheim had already seen and corrected when German troops invaded Poland on 1 September 1939. Löwenheim managed to save the proofs through the War, despite the loss of most of his possessions during the bombing of Berlin in 1943 and 1944. By another lucky chance, a copy of the proofs survived in the present author's possession, when the originals were lost during a flat clearing in Berlin as part of the estate of Johannes Teichert (1904?1994), Löwenheim's step-son, when his widow moved into a nursing-home in May 1999. Later, I will expand these short remarks slightly but seize the present opportunity to resume (and in some places add to) the extant data on Löwenheim's life and writings. (shrink)
Paul Abraham, one of the Berlin Academy’s most experienced researchers, was deported to Auschwitz in 1943. The fate of this Jewish scholar reveals much about the inner life of the Academy, and its treatment of Jewish staff, during the World War II. This paper describes his life, against a backdrop of war, revolution, and dictatorship, and in the context of one of the Academy’s most prestigious projects.
Hebb's theory of cell assemblies is a precursor of the neural network approach used as an implicit hypothesis by most contemporary neuroscientists. Applying this model to language representation leads to demanding predictions about the organization of semantic categories. Other implications of a Hebbian approach to language representation, however, may prove problematic with respect to both neurolinguistic concepts and the results of neuroimaging studies.
The Early Modern Subject explores the understanding of self-consciousness and personal identity--two fundamental features of human subjectivity--as it developed in early modern philosophy. Udo Thiel presents a critical evaluation of these features as they were conceived in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He explains the arguments of thinkers such as Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Wolff, and Hume, as well as their early critics, followers, and other philosophical contemporaries, and situates them within their historical contexts. Interest in the issues of self-consciousness (...) and personal identity is in many ways characteristic and even central to early modern thought, but Thiel argues here that this is an interest that continues to this day, in a form still strongly influenced by the conceptual frameworks of early modern thought. In this book he attempts to broaden the scope of the treatment of these issues considerably, covering more than a hundred years of philosophical debate in France, Britain, and Germany while remaining attentive to the details of the arguments under scrutiny and discussing alternative interpretations in many cases. (shrink)
The Institute of Medicine's report, the American Medical Association's project, the Open Society Institute's and the initiative sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have focused attention on improving the care of dying patients. These efforts include advance care planning and the use of written advance directives. Although previous studies have provided quantitative descriptions of patient preferences for life-sustaining treatment, including those documented in written ADs, to our knowledge open-ended written preferences have not been studied. Studies of these open-ended preferences (...) could highlight issues with respect to quality end-of-life care. The purpose of this study was to explore the open-ended proxy, health, and personal care preferences of people with HIV as expressed in a written AD form. (shrink)