Two cross-modal experiments provide partial support for O'Regan & Noë's (O&N's) claim that sensorimotor contingencies mediate perception. Differences in locating a target sound accompanied by a spatially disparate neutral light correlate with whether the two stimuli were perceived as spatially unified. This correlation suggests that internal representations are necessary for conscious perception, which may also mediate sensorimotor contingencies.
Rapid tissue donation (RTD) is an advancing oncology research procedure for collecting tumors, metastases, and unaffected tissue 2–6 h after death. Researchers can better determine rates of progression, response to treatment, and polymorphic differences among patients. Cancer patients may inquire about posthumous body donation for research to offer a personal contribution to research; however, there are barriers to recruiting for an RTD program. Physicians must reassure the patient that their treatment options and quality of care will not be compromised due (...) to participating in RTD. In this commentary we discuss how theories of altruism may explain cancer patients’ desire to participate in an RTD program, the ethical concerns of health care professionals and patients and the use of altruism as a recruitment strategy. We offer recommendations for examining the cultural and ethical climate of the institution prior to initiating such a program such as examining the relationship of healthcare professionals and patients, identifying ethical concerns, and examining ways to promote acceptance and buy-in across professionals, patients, and families. (shrink)
In preparation for the development of a rapid tissue donation programme, we surveyed healthcare providers in our institution about knowledge and attitudes related to RTD with lung cancer patients. A 31-item web based survey was developed collecting data on demographics, knowledge and attitudes about RTD. The survey contained three items measuring participants’ knowledge about RTD, five items assessing attitudes towards RTD recruitment and six items assessing HCPs’ level of agreement with factors influencing decisions to discuss RTD. Response options were presented (...) on a 5-point Likert scale. Ninety-one HCPs participated in the study. 66% indicated they had never heard of RTD prior to the survey, 78% rated knowledge of RTD as none or limited and 95.6% reported not having ethical or religious concerns about discussing RTD with patients. The majority were either not comfortable or not sure if they felt comfortable discussing RTD with cancer patients . 56.1% indicated their knowledge of RTD would play an integral role in their decision to discuss RTD with patients. 71.4% reported concerns with RTD discussion and the emotional state of the patient. Physicians and nurses play an important role in initiating conversations about recruitment and donation to research that can ultimately influence uptake. Increasing HCP knowledge about RTD is a necessary step towards building an RTD programme. Our study provides important information about characteristics associated with low levels of knowledge and practice related to RTD where additional education and training may be warranted. (shrink)
The question of whether colour categorisation is determined by nontrivial constraints (i.e., universal neurophysiological properties of visual neurons) is an empirical issue concerning the organisation of the internal colour space. Rosch has provided psychological evidence that categories are organised around focal colours and that the organisation is universal; this commentary reconsiders that evidence.
In industrial societies where civil law and state institutions have become well established secular vehicles for governing the populace, it is widely assumed that the state no longer has an interest in fortifying the religious sector as a complementary source of social control. Thus, a distinction is drawn between the Islamic state that is ruled by religious law and the secular state of Western industrial societies in which religion is deemed to have lost its influence in the public sphere. This (...) dissertation argues that civil law is not religiously neutral and thus challenges a central premise of secularization theory. Introducing a new theoretical model that classifies civil law on the basis of its purpose-to protect religious liberty, engage or fortify the religious sector, or to advance universal norms-the author examines the impact of the three different types of legislation upon religious freedom and the individual autonomy of religious minorities in Sweden, an aggressively secularized industrial society. The author concludes that, viewed from the standpoint of a religious nonconformist, there is no discernible difference between living in a society that is overtly ruled by religious law (e.g., an Islamic state) and living in a "secular” society that is ruled by civil law either embedded with religious norms or designed to facilitate state appropriation of the religious sector as a complementary means of social control. In either environment, the author argues, the religious nonconformist will be forced to conform to the religious norms of the predominant religious group. (shrink)
Categorical perception (CP) is said to occur when a continuum of equally spaced physical changes is perceived as unequally spaced as a function of category membership (Harnad, S. (Ed.) (1987). Psychophysical and cognitive aspects of categorical perception: A critical overview. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). A common suggestion is that CP for color arises because perception is qualitatively distorted when we learn to categorize a dimension. Contrary to this view, we here report that English speakers show no evidence of lowered discrimination (...) thresholds at the boundaries between blue and green categories even though CP is found at these boundaries in a supra-threshold task. Furthermore, there is no evidence of different discrimination thresholds between individuals from two language groups (English and Korean) who use different color terminology in the blue-green region and have different supra-threshold boundaries. Our participants' just noticeable difference (JND) thresholds suggest that they retain a smooth continuum of perceptual space that is not warped by stretching at category boundaries or by within-category compression. At least for the domain of color, categorical perception appears to be a categorical, but not a perceptual phenomenon. (shrink)
We review evidence that language is involved in the establishment and maintenance of adult categories of facial expressions of emotion. We argue that individual and group differences in facial expression interpretation are too great for a fully specified system of categories to be universal and hardwired. Variations in expression categorization, across individuals and groups, favor a model in which an initial “core” system recognizes only the grouping of positive versus negative emotional expressions. The subsequent development of a rich representational structure (...) may require the integration of a verbal categorization system with a perceptual processing system that is category-agnostic. Such a model may reconcile many strands of apparently conflicting behavioral, physiological, and neuroscience evidence concerning our understanding of facial expressions of emotion. (shrink)
Surveillance is essential for communicable disease prevention and control. Traditional notification of demographic and clinical information, about individuals with selected infectious diseases, allows appropriate public health action and is protected by public health and privacy legislation, but is slow and insensitive. Big data–based electronic surveillance, by commercial bodies and government agencies, which draws on a plethora of internet- and mobile device–based sources, has been widely accepted, if not universally welcomed. Similar anonymous digital sources also contain syndromic information, which can be (...) analysed, using customised algorithms, to rapidly predict infectious disease outbreaks, but the data are nonspecific and predictions sometimes misleading. However, public health authorities could use these online sources, in combination with de-identified personal health data, to provide more accurate and earlier warning of infectious disease events—including exotic or emerging infections—even before the cause is confirmed, and allow more timely public health intervention. Achieving optimal benefits would require access to selected data from personal electronic health and laboratory records and the potential to re-identify individuals found to be involved in outbreaks, to ensure appropriate care and infection control. Despite existing widespread digital surveillance and major potential community benefits of extending its use to communicable disease control, there is considerable public disquiet about allowing public health authorities access to personal health data. Informed public discussion, greater transparency and an ethical framework will be essential to build public trust in the use of new technology for communicable disease control. (shrink)
We report on the case of a 2-year-old female, the youngest person ever to undergo ovarian tissue cryopreservation (OTC). This patient was diagnosed with a rare form of sickle cell disease, which required a bone-marrow transplant, and late effects included high risk of future infertility or complete sterility. Ethical concerns are raised, as the patient's mother made the decision for OTC on the patient's behalf with the intention that this would secure the option of biological childbearing in the future. Based (...) on Beauchamp and Childress's principlism approach of respect for autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice, pursing OTC was ethically justified. (shrink)
The nature of emotion concepts and whether there are any that are universally “basic” remains controversial, as acknowledged in the article “Language and Emotion.” The suggestion that some emotions are embodied through a process of association between neural networks for bodily sensations and neural circuitry dedicated to linguistic metaphor is interesting, but speculative. However, it is a hypothesis that risks relegating speakers of languages that lack sophisticated metaphors to a lower level on some scale of linguistic evolution.
To what extent do non-human animals participate in that particular political configuration known as a public? While conventional wisdom about publics is predicated on a vision of political agency that privileges discursive and deliberative processes, recent scholarship situated in the material turn in the social sciences and humanities challenges the notion that publics are purely human and constituted exclusively through language. With these theorizations as a backdrop, this paper takes into consideration the multiple species that are implicated in political life (...) and that play a role in constituting publics. Placing material definitions of publics in line with central concerns raised by human-animal studies, it is argued that animality is significant to publics in ways that have yet to be sufficiently theorized. The intent of this research is to invite further investigation of the myriad ways in which animal bodies and lives influence public formations in a manner that accounts for and also exceeds human capacity for symbolic communication. (shrink)
PPACA epitomizes comprehensive health care reform legislation. Public health, disease prevention, and wellness were integral considerations in its development. This article reveals the author's personal experiences while working on the framework for health care reform in the United States Senate and reviews activity in the United States House of Representatives. This insider's perspective delineates PPACA's positive effect on public health by examining the infrastructure Congress designed to focus on prevention, wellness, and public health, with a particular focus on the National (...) Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council; the National Prevention, Health Promotion, Public Health, and Integrative Health Care Strategy; and the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The Council, strategy, and fund are especially important because they reflect compliance with some of the Institute of Medicine's recommendations to improve public health in the United States, as well as international health and human rights norms that protect the right to health. (shrink)
Developing trust in a company is a significant part of building the company-consumer relationship. Previous studies have sought to identify the positive consequences of trust such as loyalty and repurchase, but the question of what builds trust remains largely unanswered. To answer the question, we developed a model that depicts the relationships among transparency, social responsibility, trust, attitude, word-of-mouth (WOM) intention, and purchase intention. An online survey was conducted with a US nationwide sample of 303 consumers, and the data were (...) analyzed using the structural equation modeling method. The results indicated that consumers’ perceptions of a corporation’s efforts to be transparent in the production and labor conditions and to be socially responsible by giving back to the local community directly affected these consumers’ trust and attitudes toward the corporation, and indirectly affected their intentions to purchase from and spread positive WOM about the corporation. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. (shrink)
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a major piece of health care reform legislation. This comprehensive legislation includes provisions that focus on prevention, wellness, and public health. Some, including authors in this symposium, question whether Congress considered public health, prevention, and wellness issues as mere afterthoughts in the creation of PPACA. As this article amply demonstrates, they did not.This article documents the extent of congressional consideration on public health issues based on personal (...) experience working on the framework for health care reform — specifically, my experience as a Fellow for a member of the Health Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee from 2008-2009. I also include a review of congressional activity in the United States House of Representatives. Analysis of the congressional meetings and hearings reveals that Congress had a deep understanding about the critical need to reform the U.S. public health and prevention system. (shrink)
We applaud Notini and colleagues for highlighting the clinical and ethical complexities of a case in which a non-binary individual desires indefinite treatment with puberty blockers.1 While we agree discontinuing treatment may cause psychological distress, we believe there are potential physical and neurocognitive harms caused by prolonged treatment that have been underestimated given the limited research conducted to date. Specifically, the impact of permanent pubertal suppression on the brain and decision-making capacity should be considered. In this context, we outline the (...) potential risks of ongoing pubertal suppression on bone and cardiovascular health, sexual and reproductive function, and brain development—all noted in the article but perhaps in an overly simplistic manner.1 First, the authors’ note OPS will almost certainly result in reduced bone density.1 Although we agree the absolute fracture risk is low in studies among older adults, there is less clarity about implications during adolescence and young adulthood when peak bone accrual occurs.2 Further, the authors propose ongoing monitoring with bone density scans, but no clear guidelines for clinicians if bone density becomes critically low—so we ask, at what point would a potential fracture risk outweigh the proposed benefits …. (shrink)
If language is crucial to the development of shared colour categories, how might cultural constraints influence the development of divergent category sets? We propose that communities arrive at different sets of categories because the tendency to group by perceptual similarity interacts with environmental factors (differential access to dying and printing technologies), to make different systems optimal for communication in different situations.
Our results on hippocampal long-term potentiation are considered in the context of Xia et al.'s hypothesis. Whereas the target article proposes presynaptic PKC involvement in adenylyl cyclase activation by phosphorylation of nenromodulin, we suggest an additional postsynaptic role involving RC3/nenrogranin. Finally, we examine the possibility that the adenylyl cyclase mutant mouse may display normal learning with a selective impairment of memory.
Joseph Raz's defence of government is grounded in his ‘normal justification thesis’. This thesis justifies the exercise of state authority in just those cases where subjects are more likely to fulfill their duties by obeying the state than by carrying out their own deliberations. I argue that the assumptions underlying this argument are importantly similar to those made by the Enlightenment anarchist philosopher William Godwin. Raz's arguments can supplement Godwin's political theory, producing an argument which, though grounded in anarchist principles, (...) justifies a limited state authority. (shrink)
Greatly aided by an information age in which protesting laborers in a remote offshore outpost can capture front page headlines around the globe, theSarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SARBOX) has made corporate transparency the linchpin for good corporate governance. Under a SARBOX-enhancedregulatory framework, publicly traded corporations are required to rapidly disclose material changes in their financial conditions or operations—changes such as impairments to goodwill, a trademark, or some other intangible corporate asset. Especially challenging for multinational corporations (MNCs) with far-flung corporate empires (...) is the need to stay abreast of the ebb and flow of goodwill, at a time when transnational human rights groups are aggressively mobilizing world opinion against the sweatshop labor conditions that abound at the offshore production sites favored by MNCs. The author explains why the convergence of a digital age of free-flowing information and the advent of SARBOX, a legislative enactment of paraenetic design, is causing the boards of MNCs to more critically evaluate the long-term costs of their offshore operations. (shrink)