What enables individually simple insects like ants to act with such precision and purpose as a group? How do trillions of individual neurons produce something as extraordinarily complex as consciousness? What is it that guides self-organizing structures like the immune system, the World Wide Web, the global economy, and the human genome? These are just a few of the fascinating and elusive questions that the science of complexity seeks to answer. In this remarkably accessible and companionable book, leading complex systems (...) scientist Melanie Mitchell provides an intimate, detailed tour of the sciences of complexity, a broad set of efforts that seek to explain how large-scale complex, organized, and adaptive behavior can emerge from simple interactions among myriad individuals. Comprehending such systems requires a wholly new approach, one that goes beyond traditional scientific reductionism and that re-maps long-standing disciplinary boundaries. Based on her work at the Santa Fe Institute and drawing on its interdisciplinary strategies, Mitchell brings clarity to the workings of complexity across a broad range of biological, technological, and social phenomena, seeking out the general principles or laws that apply to all of them. She explores as well the relationship between complexity and evolution, artificial intelligence, computation, genetics, information processing, and many other fields. Richly illustrated and vividly written, Complexity : A Guided Tour offers a comprehensive and eminently comprehensible overview of the ideas underlying complex systems science, the current research at the forefront of this field, and the prospects for the field's contribution to solving some of the most important scientific questions of our time. (shrink)
Our eyes, bodies, and perspectives are constantly shifting as we observe the world. Despite this, we are very good at distinguishing between self-caused visual changes and changes in the environment: the world appears mostly stable despite our visual field moving around. This, it seems, also occurs when we are dreaming. As we visually investigate the dream environment, we track moving objects with our dream eyes, examine objects, and shift focus. These movements, research suggests, are reflected in the rapid movements or (...) saccades of our sleeping eyes. Do we really see the dream world in the same way that we see the real world? If we do, how could dreaming, usually assumed to be mind-generated hallucinations, replicate such an experience? This problem would be deflated if dreams are not hallucinations at all, but rather imagination, illusion or simply unrealistic. I argue that imagination and illusion views do not satisfactorily explain away the problem of vision and action in sleep. The imagination model is not a complete description of dreaming that is consistent with empirical research, and it is unlikely that the visual dream world is an illusion. Given that the dreaming visual experience is most likely active, hallucinatory, and at times a realistic world simulation, there are important implications for our understanding of visual perception and its relationship to movement. Evidence suggests that our dream eyes investigate the dream world as our waking eyes investigate the waking world. If changes to the unconsciously generated dream environment are perceived as external and unintentional while dream body movements are perceived as self-generated and intentional, current theory of visual perception may have to be expanded to account for how the dreaming mind generates a stable world in which we track and visually explore mind-generated objects. (shrink)
This paper examines six cross-sector partnerships in South Africa and Zambia. These partnerships were part of a research study undertaken between 2003 and 2005 and were selected because of their potential to contribute to poverty reduction in their respective countries. This paper examines the context in which the partnerships were established, their governance and accountability mechanisms and the engagement and participation of the partners and the intended beneficiaries in the partnerships. We argue that a partnership approach which has proven successful (...) in one context can be used as a valuable learning resource. However, a partnership's work, which includes all aspects of the partnership and its activities, cannot necessarily be transferred directly to another partnership without a thorough and locally informed analysis of the context in which it is implemented. In addition, we suggest that it is difficult to assess whether the good intentions behind partnerships were translated into real benefits for target groups as effective monitoring and evaluation procedures were not in place in the partnerships studied. Similarly, the absence of regularised governance and accountability systems in partnerships made it difficult to support partner and beneficiary participation and engagement. We conclude that there is a need to move beyond a 'one-size-fits-all' approach to partnerships and that partnership replication should focus more strongly on the transfer of learning about partnership processes instead of simply copying partnership activities. Moreover, the development of stronger mechanisms for assessing and ensuring accountability towards both partners and intended beneficiaries is required if partnerships are to meet their intended objectives. (shrink)
This book sets out to generate new ways of reflecting ethically about the purposes and values of contemporary higher education in relation to agency, learning, public values and democratic life, and the pedagogies which support these.
Melanie Sarzano | : In this paper, I compare cases of self-deception and cases of pragmatic encroachment and argue that confronting these cases generates a dilemma about rationality. This dilemma turns on the idea that subjects are motivated to avoid costly false beliefs, and that both cases of self-deception and cases of pragmatic encroachment are caused by an interest to avoid forming costly false beliefs. Even though both types of cases can be explained by the same belief-formation mechanism, only (...) self-deceptive beliefs are irrational: the subjects depicted in high-stakes cases typically used in debates on pragmatic encroachment are, on the contrary, rational. If we find ourselves drawn to this dilemma, we are forced either to accept—against most views presented in the literature—that self-deception is rational or to accept that pragmatic encroachment is irrational. Assuming that both conclusions are undesirable, I argue that this dilemma can be solved. In order to solve this dilemma, I suggest and review several hypotheses aimed at explaining the difference in rationality between the two types of cases, the result of which being that the irrationality of self-deceptive beliefs does not entirely depend on their being formed via a motivationally biased process. | : Dans cet article, je compare les cas classiques de duperie de soi aux cas que l’on trouve dans les débats sur la question de l’empiètement pragmatique et défends l’idée selon laquelle ces deux types de cas peuvent être compris comme étant produits par un même mécanisme visant à éviter la formation de croyances fausses coûteuses. Cette comparaison nous mène naturellement à former un dilemme à propos de la rationalité des croyances. Le dilemme repose sur l’idée que bien que ce mécanisme mène à la formation de croyances irrationnelles dans les cas de duperie de soi, il ne semble pas affecter la rationa-lité du sujet dans les cas d’empiètement pragmatique : alors que les sujets autodupés sont irrationnels, les sujets décrits dans les cas d’empiètement pragmatique ne le sont pas. Pour résoudre ce dilemme sans rejeter les présupposés selon lesquels les croyances issues de la duperie de soi sont irrationnelles et que les cas sur lesquels repose l’empiètement pragmatique sont rationnels, je propose plusieurs hypothèses visant à expliquer cette différence, prouvant ainsi que ce dilemme n’est qu’apparent et que l’irrationalité de la duperie de soi ne peut uniquement dépendre de ce mécanisme sous l’influence de considérations pratiques. (shrink)
This article introduces the symposium “Toward a Philosophy of Blockchain,” which provides a philosophical contemplation of blockchain technology, the digital ledger software underlying cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, for the secure transfer of money, assets, and information via the Internet without needing a third-party intermediary. The symposium offers philosophical scholarship on a new topic, blockchain technology, from a variety of perspectives. The philosophical themes discussed include mathematical models of reality, signification, and the sociopolitical institutions that structure human life and interaction. The (...) symposium also investigates the metaphilosophical theme of how to create a philosophy of anything, specifically a new topic such as blockchain technology. Repeated themes are identified, in all areas of philosophical inquiry, and conceptual resources are elaborated to contribute to a philosophical understanding of blockchain technology. Thus, philosophy as a metaphilosophical approach is shown to be able to provide an understanding of the conceptual, theoretical, and foundational dimensions of novelty and emergence in the world, with a particular focus on blockchain technology. (shrink)
Integrative and naturalistic philosophy of mind can both learn from and contribute to the contemporary cognitive sciences of dreaming. Two related phenomena concerning self-representation in dreams demonstrate the need to bring disparate fields together. In most dreams, the protagonist or dream self who experiences and actively participates in dream events is or represents the dreamer: but in an intriguing minority of cases, self-representation in dreams is displaced, disrupted, or even absent. Working from dream reports in established databanks, we examine two (...) key forms of polymorphism of self-representation: dreams in which I take an external visuospatial perspective on myself, and those in which I take someone else's perspective on events. In remembering my past experiences or imagining future or possible experiences when awake, I sometimes see myself from an external or 'observer' perspective. By relating the issue of perspective in dreams to established research traditions in the study of memory and imagery, and noting the flexibility of perspective in dreams, we identify new lines of enquiry. In other dreams, the dreamer does not appear to figure at all, and the first person perspective on dream events is occupied by someone else, some other person or character. We call these puzzling cases 'vicarious dreams' and assess some potential ways to make sense of them. Questions about self-representation and perspectives in dreams are intriguing in their own right and pose empirical and conceptual problems about the nature of self-representation with implications beyond the case of dreaming. (shrink)
Australia’s punitive policy towards people seeking asylum deliberately causes severe psychological harm and meets recognised definitions of torture. Consequently, there is a tension between doctors’ obligation not to be complicit in torture and doctors’ obligation to provide best possible care to their patients, including those seeking asylum. In this paper, we explore the nature of complicity and discuss the arguments for and against a proposed call for doctors to boycott working in immigration detention. We conclude that a degree of complicity (...) is unavoidable when working in immigration detention, but that it may be ethically justifiable. We identify ways to minimise the harms associated with complicity and argue that it is ethical to continue working in immigration detention as long as due care and attention is paid to minimising the harms of complicity. (shrink)
As we become more aware of the potential causes and consequences of climate change we are left wondering: who is responsible? Climate change has the potential to harm large portions of the global population and, arguably, is already doing so. Further, climate change is argued to be human-caused. If this is true, then it seems to be the case that we can analyze climate change in terms of responsibility. I argue that we can approach environmental harms, such as climate change, (...) through a theory of collective responsibility. I propose an account of reductive collective responsibility that can apply to the unstructured collective causing climate change and determine what we are each individually morally responsible for. To avoid the critiques of reductive collective responsibility for large unstructured harms, I propose we separate the determination of membership and eligibility for responsibility from the attribution of responsibility. Through this method, I can speak to the individual responsibility of each member who contributes to climate change without holding them responsible for that which is outside their control. (shrink)
I propose a narrative fabrication thesis of dream reports, according to which dream reports are often not accurate representations of experiences that occur during sleep. I begin with an overview of anti-experience theses of Norman Malcolm and Daniel Dennett who reject the received view of dreams, that dreams are experiences we have during sleep which are reported upon waking. Although rejection of the first claim of the received view, that dreams are experiences that occur during sleep, is implausible, I evaluate (...) in more detail the second assumption of the received view, that dream reports are generally accurate. I then propose a “narrative fabrication” view of dreams as an alternative to the received view. Dream reports are often confabulated or fabricated because of poor memory, bizarre dream content, and cognitive deficits. It is well documented that narratives can be altered between initial rapid eye movement sleep awakenings and subsequent reports. I argue that we have reason to suspect that initial reports are prone to inaccuracy. Experiments demonstrate that subjects rationalize strange elements in narratives, leaving out supernatural or bizarre components when reporting waking memories of stories. Inaccuracies in dream reports are exacerbated by rapid memory loss and bizarre dream content. Waking memory is a process of reconstruction and blending of elements, but unlike waking memory, we cannot reality-test for dream memories. Dream experiences involve imaginative elements, and dream content cannot be verified with external evidence. Some dreams may involve wake-like higher cognitive functions, such as lucid dreams. Such dreams are more likely to elicit accurate reports than cognitively deficient dreams. However, dream reports are generally less accurate than waking reports. I then propose methods which could verify the narrative fabrication view, and argue that although the theory cannot be tested with current methods, new techniques and technologies may be able to do so in the future. -/- . (shrink)
In this article I am concerned with how relatively privileged people who wish to act in anti-oppressive ways respond to their own ignorance in ways that fall short of what is necessary for building coalitions against oppression. I consider María Lugones's sense of “world”-travel and José Medina's notion of epistemic friction-seeking as strategies for combating privileged ignorance, and assess how well they fare when put into practice by those suffering from privileged ignorance. Drawing on the resources of tourism studies, I (...) critique the political and material context that can turn these attempts to “world”-travel or seek epistemic friction into a morally and epistemically problematic epistemic tourism. Centrally, I argue that trying to learn what it's like to experience oppression is not an effective method of counteracting privileged ignorance, since the epistemic vices and cognitive distortions that created the ignorance in the first place continue to influence knowledge-creation even after they are acknowledged. Rather than attempting to understand “what it's like” to experience oppression, privileged progressives should undertake to learn about the provenance and purpose of their ignorance and the structures of oppression that facilitate and are facilitated by that ignorance. (shrink)
In recent decades, evidence-based medicine has become one of the foundations of clinical practice, making it necessary that healthcare practitioners develop keen critical appraisal skills for scientific papers. Worksheets to guide clinicians through this critical appraisal are often used in journal clubs, a key part of continuing medical education. A similar need is arising for health professionals to develop skills in the critical appraisal of medical ethics papers. Medicine is increasingly ethically complex, and there is a growing medical ethics literature (...) that modern practitioners need to be able to use in their practice. In addition, clinical ethics services are commonplace in healthcare institutions, and the lion’s share of the work done by these services is done by clinicians in addition to their usual roles. Education to support this work is important. In this paper, we present a worksheet designed to help busy healthcare practitioners critically appraise ethics papers relevant to clinical practice. In the first section, we explain what is different about ethics papers. We then describe how to work through the steps in our critical appraisal worksheet: identifying the point at issue; scrutinising definitions; dissecting the arguments presented; considering counterarguments; and finally deciding on relevance. Working through this reflective worksheet will help healthcare practitioners to use the ethics literature effectively in clinical practice. We also intend it to be a shared evaluative tool that can form the basis of professional discussion such as at ethics journal clubs. Practising these critical reasoning skills will also increase practitioners’ capacity to think through difficult ethical decisions in daily clinical practice. (shrink)
Considering the value of archives for dealing with the past processes, especially for the establishment of collective memory and identity, this paper discusses the role of archives in situations of conflicting memories such as in the case of the official Turkish denial of the Armenian genocide. A crucial problem of Turkish-Armenian reconciliation are the divergent perceptions of what to consider as proper ‘evidence’, i.e. as objective, reliable, impartial or trustworthy sources of knowledge in order to prove the Armenian genocide. The (...) aim of this paper is to show how in a general atmosphere of distrust or prejudiced credibility judgments, even technically reliable archival records will be perceived as unreliable and biased, lacking any evidentiary status to factually prove a genocide which is categorically denied. Therefore, this working paper discusses how claims to reliability, objectivity and other similar scientifically and epistemically relevant attributes are understood in archival science as well as memory studies, and emphasizes the problems related to their instrumentalization by political actors within the context of genocide denialism. The Turkish-Armenian context promises many important empirical as well as theoretical insights on the uses and misuses of these attributes, suggesting that measures ought to be taken beforehand to decrease intergroup prejudice and distrust toward the ‘other’, so that archives can be effective in the truth-finding process. (shrink)
In 1886, as Nietzsche's thought becomes more explicitly oriented toward the project of a revaluation of all values, he reframes BT and three middle period books with prefaces. Four out of the five prefaces show Nietzsche noticeably occupied with the theme of health, which serves in each of those four as a lens orienting the reader toward his earlier work. In his "Attempt at Self-Criticism," for instance, Nietzsche suggests that the principal contribution of BT lies in the idea of the (...) Dionysian, which carries the promise that there might exist "neuroses of health".1 The preface to GS finds Nietzsche looking for a "philosophical physician" who might "pursue the problem of the total... (shrink)
In her first biography of a fellow psychoanalyst, the prolific Kristeva considers Klein's life and intellectual development, weaving a narrative that covers the history of psychoanalysis and illuminates Kristeva's own life and work.
This article examines the tensions in the identities of men who belong to the Promise Keepers movement by uncovering the social conditions that lead men to rethink gender and racial ideologies. Using participant observation and in-depth interviews, the author draws on gender and social movement scholarship to reveal how contradictory gender and racial ideologies shape PKs' identities. Furthermore, the PKs' impact on gender and race relations is also contradictory. PK fosters men's growth on an interactional level, allowing men to embrace (...) a more expressive and caring masculinity that includes cross-racial bonding. Simultaneously, however, PK ignores, and indirectly reinforces, the structural conditions that underpin gender and racial privilege among white men. (shrink)
Drawing on in-depth interviews with individuals in current and former plural Mormon fundamentalist families, I demonstrate how gender is structured relationally in plural marriage, dependent on noncoercive power relations. Men perform a “conciliatory masculinity” based on their position as head of the family that requires constant consensus-building skills and emotional labor to maintain family harmony. This masculinity is shaped in relation to women’s performance of “homosocial femininity” that curbs men’s power by building strong bonds among wives to deflect jealousies and (...) negotiate household duties. I argue for the importance of studying masculinities and femininities together as a relational structure to better understand specific religious and family contexts. (shrink)
As earlier research on Korsakoff syndrome, a frequent neurological complication of alcohol-dependence, mainly focused on cognition, affective impairments have been little investigated despite their crucial impact in AD. This article proposes new research avenues on this topic by combining two theoretical frameworks: dual-process models, positing that addictions are due to an imbalance between underactivated reflective system and overactivated affective-automatic one; continuity theory, postulating a gradual worsening of cognitive impairments from AD to KS. We suggest that this joint perspective may renew (...) the current knowledge by clarifying the affective-automatic deficits in KS and their interactions with reflective impairments, but also by offering a direct exploration of the continuity between AD and KS regarding reflective and affective-automatic abilities. (shrink)
Sketching as a scientific practice goes beyond the simple act of inscribing diagrams onto paper. Scientists produce a wide range of representations through sketching, as it is tightly coupled to model-based reasoning. Chemists in particular make extensive use of sketches to reason about chemical phenomena and to communicate their ideas. However, the chemical sciences have a unique problem in that chemists deal with the unseen world of the atomic-molecular level. Using sketches, chemists strive to develop causal mechanisms that emerge from (...) the structure and behavior of molecular-level entities, to explain observations of the macroscopic visible world. Interpreting these representations and constructing sketches of molecular-level processes is a crucial component of student learning in the modern chemistry classroom. Sketches also serve as an important component of assessment in the chemistry classroom as student sketches give insight into developing mental models, which allows instructors to observe how students are thinking about a process. In this paper we discuss how sketching can be used to promote such model-based reasoning in chemistry and discuss two case studies of curricular projects, CLUE and The Connected Chemistry Curriculum, that have demonstrated a benefit of this approach. We show how sketching activities can be centrally integrated into classroom norms to promote model-based reasoning both with and without component visualizations. Importantly, each of these projects deploys sketching in support of other types of inquiry activities, such as making predictions or depicting models to support a claim; sketching is not an isolated activity but is used as a tool to support model-based reasoning in the discipline. (shrink)
Our exploratory study considers whether the internal audit function is an efficient “third line of defense” for risk management and control as proposed by The Institute of Internal Auditors. To that end, we interview chief audit executives and experienced internal auditors to examine whether CAEs manage the impressions of audit committee members in the annual accountability process. We also provide an illustration of impression management techniques through a documentary case that explores a unique and exclusive dataset consisting of the main (...) guidance, framework, and accountability documents of one of these organizations. Our analysis highlights how several macro- and microimpression management techniques were used to burnish the image of internal auditors and, more importantly, the management team. Rather than monitoring managers, the CAEs team up with them. Our findings cast doubts on the conceptualization of internal audit as the independent third line of defense envisioned to be a keystone of the governance mosaic. This study supports other research that questions the effectiveness of internal auditing as a governance mechanism. It also contributes to the impression management literature by exposing impression management practices that occur through a private reporting channel—the internal audit function’s annual accountability to the audit committee. Last but not least, significant ethical concerns are raised in regard to internal audit, and research is urged in that area. (shrink)
Emile Durkheim and Henri Bergson, two of the most important thinkers of early 20th-century France, give us different accounts of the relationship between habits, society and life. The article focuses on their use of embodied metaphors to illustrate how each thinker conceives of habit as a force of life. It argues that Durkheim uses the metaphor of ‘lifting’ to describe how social life creates habits capable of transcending bodily instinct. Bergson also recognizes the force of habits; he uses the language (...) of leaping to describe the kind of action required to transcend them. The article makes three claims. First, it argues that these metaphors are central to each thinker’s understanding of the means by which habits attach us to life. Second, they offer a means of revisiting, and explicating, Bergson’s tacit critique of Durkheim in his Two Sources of Morality and Religion. Third, they both symbolize processes of conversion that inform each thinker’s diagnosis of the moral challenges faced in modern social life. (shrink)
To the renowned psychoanalyst, philosopher, and linguist Julia Kristeva, Melanie Klein was the most original innovator, male or female, in the psychoanalytic arena. Klein pioneered psychoanalytic practice with children and made major contributions to our understanding of both psychosis and autism. Along the way, she successfully introduced a new approach to the theory of the unconscious without abandoning the principles set forth by Freud. In her first biography of a fellow psychoanalyst, the prolific Kristeva considers Klein's life and intellectual (...) development, weaving a narrative that covers the history of psychoanalysis and illuminates Kristeva's own life and work. Kristeva tells the remarkable story of Klein's life: an unhappy wife and mother who underwent analysis, and -- without a medical or other advanced degree -- became an analyst herself at the age of 40. In examining her work, Kristeva proposes that Klein's "break" with Freud was really an attempt to complete his theory of the unconscious. Kristeva addresses Klein's numerous critics, and, in doing so, bridges the wide gulf between the clinical and theoretical worlds of psychoanalysis. Klein is celebrated here as the first person to see the mother as the source of not only creativity, but of thought itself, and the first to consider the place of matricide in psychic development. As such, Klein is a seminal figure in the evolution of the provocative ideas about motherhood and the psyche for which Kristeva is most famous. Klein is thus, in a sense, a mother to Kristeva, making this book an account of the development of Kristeva's own thought as well as Klein's. (shrink)
The article argues for an alliance of the capability approach developed by Amartya Sen with ideas from critical pedagogy for undergraduate university education which develops student agency and well being on the one hand, and social change towards greater justice on the other. The purposes of a university education in this article are taken to include both intrinsic and instrumental purposes and to therefore include personal development, economic opportunities and becoming educated citizens. Core ideas from the capability approach are outlined, (...) with examples, before possible articulations of capability and Sen's notion of process freedom with critical pedagogy are investigated. It is argued that each approach has something to offer when brought alongside as ‘critical capability pedagogies’, which seek to enhance and expand student experiences of learning and their ‘valuable beings and doings’. Finally core capabilities in a university education are considered and some of the problems of domesticating the capability approach addressed. (shrink)
Two intertwined stories evince the influence of colonialism on Western universities. The first story centers on a conflict about wild rice research between the Anishinaabe people and the University of Minnesota. Underlying this conflict is a genetic notion of biological identity that facilitates the commodification of wild rice. This notion of identity is inextricably linked to agricultural control and expansion. The second story addresses the foundation of Western universities on the goals of civilization and capitalist productivity. These norms persist even (...) in diversity efforts through a focus on individualized notions of difference rather than socially contextualized and politically significant identities. The tendency to produce both knowledge and knowers as commodities results in the alienation, individuation, and abstraction of objects of research and researchers themselves. Decolonial change demands that we learn the specific histories of our universities and disciplines, break disciplinary boundaries, and contest commodification in knowledge production. (shrink)
Marriage promotion is a government strategy aimed at ensuring that children are raised in married, heterosexual families, preferably by their biological parents. This article places critical heterosexuality studies in dialogue with feminist state theory to examine marriage promotion as a reaction of the gendered and sexualized state to crisis tendencies of institutionalized heterosexuality. Drawing on the first in-depth study of marriage promotion politics, the author examines polycentric state practices that seek to stabilize the norm of the white, middle-class, heterosexual family. (...) While explicit policy concerns focus on race and class, state-sponsored marriage workshops teach about gender hierarchy to rehearse an implicit ideology of marital heterosexuality. In contrast to feminist state theories that present a monolithic, top-down model of state control, the author offers a more nuanced examination of the relationship between macro and micro levels of power and their uneven consequences for social change. (shrink)
Within the field of medical ethics, discussions related to public health have mainly concentrated on issues that are closely tied to research and practice involving technologies and professional services, including vaccination, screening, and insurance coverage. Broader determinants of population health have received less attention, although this situation is rapidly changing. Against this backdrop, our specific contribution to the literature on ethics and law vis-à-vis promoting population health is to open up the ubiquitous presence of pets within cities and towns for (...) further discussion. An expanding body of research suggests that pet animals are deeply relevant to people’s health (negatively and positively). Pet bylaws adopted by town and city councils have largely escaped notice, yet they are meaningful to consider in relation to everyday practices, social norms, and cultural values, and thus in relation to population health. Nevertheless, not least because they pivot on defining pets as private property belonging to individual people, pet bylaws raise emotionally charged ethical issues that have yet to be tackled in any of the health research on pet ownership. The literature in moral philosophy on animals is vast, and we do not claim to advance this field here. Rather, we pragmatically seek to reconcile philosophical objections to pet ownership with both animal welfare and public health. In doing so, we foreground theorizations of personhood and property from sociocultural anthropology. (shrink)
Correspondence should be addressed to David A. Leopold [email protected] the viewing of certain patterns, widely known as ambiguous or puzzle figures, perception lapses into a sequence of spontaneous alternations, switching every few seconds between two or more visual interpretations of the stimulus. Although their nature and origin remain topics of debate, these stochastic switches are generally thought to be the automatic and inevitable consequence of viewing a pattern without a unique solution. We report here that in humans such perceptual alternations (...) can be slowed, and even brought to a standstill, if the visual stimulus is periodically removed from view. We also show, with a visual illusion, that this stabilizing effect hinges on perceptual disappearance rather than on actual removal of the stimulus. These findings indicate that uninterrupted subjective perception of an ambiguous pattern is required for the initiation of the brain-state changes underlying multistable vision.Visual perception involves coordination between sensory sampling of the world and active interpretation of the sensory data. Human perception of objects and scenes is normally stable and robust, but it falters when one is presented with patterns that are inherently ambiguous or contradictory. Under such conditions, vision lapses into a chain of continually alternating percepts, whereby a viable visual interpretation dominates for a few seconds and is then replaced by a rival interpretation. This multistable vision, or 'multistability', is thought to result from destabilization of fundamental visual mechanisms, and has offered valuable insights into how sensory patterns are actively organized and interpreted in the brain1, 2. Despite a great deal of recent research and interest in multistable perception, however, its neurophysiological underpinnings remain poorly understood. Physiological studies have suggested that disambiguation of ambiguous patterns. (shrink)
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy creates an unlikely partnership, between the ancient tradition of mindfulness meditation rooted in Buddhist thought, and the much more recent and essentially western tradition of cognitive and clinical science. This article investigates points of congruence and difference between the two traditions and concludes that, despite first appearances, this is a fruitful partnership which may well endure.
This paper uses academic and lay discourses to examine the ways in which "the city" is constructed in its relationship to "wildlife." The paper examines the negative and essentialized ways in which the city's relationship to wildlife has been represented in postcolonial theory and animal geography. The paper further explores these theoretical framings of the city in the empirical context of the relocation of an urban, flying fox colony, which provides opportunities to reconsider these bounded conceptualizations of the city.
Background: Few robust autism-specific outcome assessments have been developed specifically for use by teachers in special schools. The Assessment of Barriers to Learning in Education – Autism is a newly developed teacher assessment to identify and show progress in barriers to learning for pupils on the autism spectrum with coexisting intellectual disabilities. Aims: This study aimed to conduct a preliminary validity and reliability evaluation of the ABLE-Autism. Methods and procedures: Forty-eight autistic pupils attending special schools were assessed using the ABLE-Autism. (...) Multi-level modelling was used to evaluate test-retest reliability, internal consistency and convergent validity with the Teacher Autism Progress Scale. Outcomes and results: Results showed excellent test-retest reliability and internal consistency. A large effect size suggested that the ABLE-Autism is strongly correlated with the Teacher Autism Progress Scale. Teacher feedback was positive and suggested that the ABLE-Autism is easily understood by teachers, relevant to autistic pupils in special schools, and adequately covers the skills and behaviours that teachers believe are important to assess for these pupils. Conclusions and implications: Although further validation is recommended, the preliminary evaluation of the ABLE-Autism suggests that it is a useful and has the potential to be an effective outcome assessment for autistic pupils in special schools. (shrink)
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