A complex brain network, centered on the hippocampus, supports episodic memories throughout their lifetimes. Classically, upon memory encoding during active behavior, hippocampal activity is dominated by theta oscillations (6-10Hz). During inactivity, hippocampal neurons burst synchronously, constituting sharp waves, which can propagate to other structures, theoretically supporting memory consolidation. This 'two-stage' model has been updated by new data from high-density electrophysiological recordings in animals that shed light on how information is encoded and exchanged between hippocampus, neocortex and subcortical structures such as (...) the striatum. Cell assemblies (tightly related groups of cells) discharge together and synchronize across brain structures orchestrated by theta, sharp waves and slow oscillations, to encode information. This evolving dynamical schema is key to extending our understanding of memory processes. (shrink)
The empirical circumstances in which human beings ascribe responsibility to one another are subject to change. Science and technology play a great part in this transformation process. Therefore, it is important for us to rethink the idea, the role and the normative standards behind responsibility in a world that is constantly changing under the influence of scientific and technological progress. This volume is a contribution to that joint societal effort.
This paper aims to render some aspects of the feeling of being alive more clearly comprehensible. My emphasis on the phenomenal quality of consciousness stems from the “embodied” approach to consciousness, according to which consciousness, since it is considered a phenomenon of life, includes both intentional and motivational aspects. In this view, its phenomenal quality is an inherent property of the embodied self, which relates both to the external world and to itself. The feeling of being alive is not neutral; (...) rather its hedonic character provides orientation in life. Whenever one is living through experience, one has a basis for carrying out one’s own life in the world, biologically, psychologically and ethically. The reflections in this paper follow a systematic approach often combined with a roughly historical perspective. (shrink)
This paper intends to sum up the main findings of the European project RoboLaw. In this paper, the authors claim that the European Union should play a pro-active policy role in the regulation of technologies so as to inform the development of technologies with its values and principles. The paper provides an explication of the rationale for analysing of a limited and heterogeneous number of robotics applications. For these applications, the following issues are addressed: whether robotics deserve a special case (...) of regulation; the direct and indirect role ethics can play in regulating technology; the transformations of both vulnerabilities and capabilities, and the effects of liability law in favouring the socially relevant applications. In conclusion, a reflection on the possibility to generalize some of the RoboLaw findings to other technologies is proposed, with respect to liability and ethics. (shrink)
Emerging technologies have been yielding constant modification regarding the conditio humana. This change affects not only the development of new devices and new options, but, especially when it involves androids and robots, also has an impact on the understanding of human identity and its specific normative dimension. Therefore, it is worth to investigate the ethical, legal and social aspects of emerging technologies. There are many questions that arise in our dealing with them. Films, as other features of our imaginary, help (...) us to deepen philosophical arguments through their peculiar storytelling. (shrink)