Although the existence of implicit motor learning is now widely accepted, the findings concerning perceptual implicit learning are ambiguous. Some researchers have observed perceptual learning whereas other authors have not. The review of the literature provides different reasons to explain this ambiguous picture, such as differences in the underlying learning processes, selective attention, or differences in the difficulty to express this knowledge. In three experiments, we investigated implicit visual learning within the original serial reaction time task. We used different response (...) devices in order to manipulate selective attention towards response dimensions. Results showed that visual and motor sequence learning differed in terms of RT-benefits, but not in terms of the amount of knowledge assessed after training. Furthermore, visual sequence learning was modulated by selective attention. However, the findings of all three experiments suggest that selective attention did not alter implicit but rather explicit learning processes. (shrink)
Although more and more researches have shown that edge-based information is more important than surface-based information in object recognition, it remains unclear whether edge-based features play a more crucial role than surface-based features in category learning. To address this issue, a modified prototype distortion task was adopted in the present study, in which each category was defined by a rule or similarity about either the edge-based features (i.e., contours or shapes) or the corresponding surface-based features (i.e., color and textures). The (...) results of Experiments 1 and 2 showed that when the category was defined by a rule, the performance was significantly better in the edge-based condition than in the surface-based condition in the testing phase, and increasing defined dimensions enhanced rather than reduced performance in the edge-based condition but not in the surface-based condition. The results of Experiment 3 showed that when each category was defined by similarity, there was also a larger learning effect when the category was defined by edge-based dimensions than by surface-based dimensions in the testing phase. The current study is the first to provide convergent evidence that the edge-based information matters more than surface-based information in incidental category learning. (shrink)
I have worked in the field of aging research for 35 years, as of this writing. Over that time, most academics who work in the area have become convinced that great strides have been made in solving the scientific problem of aging.
This chapter contains sections titled: The Gods Problem The Evolution of Free Will Is Our Starting Point So Gods Evolved Gods Are Hidden Inside Us The Godless Must Walk the Earth Gods Must Be Made Manifest Religion Mediates Between Free Will and Gods Living in Harmony With Our Actual Gods.
We doubt that primary sociopathy is adaptive, for three reasons: First, its prevalence is too low to require an adaptive explanation. Second, a common sequela of damage to the orbito-frontal lobes is Any pattern of behavior that can be produced by brain damage is unlikely to be adaptive. Third, we argue that most human social behavior is not under tight genetic control, but is produced by open-ended calculation of fitness-contingencies.
Consideration of the property of action is proposed to provide a more meaningful definition of efficient energy use and sustainable production in ecosystems. Action has physical dimensions similar to angular momentum, its magnitude varying with mass, spatial configuration and relative motion. In this article, the relationship of action to thermodynamic processes such as the spontaneous increase in entropy of the second law is explained and the utility of action for measuring changes in energy and material distribution is promoted. In particular, (...) the view that increases in entropy and action are equivalent to disorder is challenged. Given that the development of action states may be assigned an economic value and the various sources of free energy assigned a price, action theory may provide a novel mechanism for the economic allocation of resources. The importance of the diversity and redundancy of energy resources and work processes to optimize action is highlighted. (shrink)
Natural selection in the laboratory has been used to produce populations of Drosophila with genetically increased lifespan. These populations have been used to determine the physiological basis of postponed ageing and its pleiotropic concomitants. It appears that many loci and a number of physiological alterations are involved in increased lifespan.
Many ecological processes exhibit trajectories which can be suitably represented by stable equilibria or smooth limit cycles. However, a third kind of ecological process involves intermittent, abrupt, and drastic changes in densities, here termed outbreak dynamics, which require different modelling frameworks. One such framework, the cusp catastrophe, is used here in a modelling study of a particular outbreak insect, the forest tent caterpillar. This model is then generalized to cover a set of related ecological systems. The particular form of the (...) model for each system depends on whether the major controlling ecological variables are externally imposed, or are incorporated in the model equations. It is concluded that the simple cusp catastrophe is an appropriate metaphor for understanding outbreak dynamics. (shrink)