Mirror-touch synaesthesia is a condition where observing touch to another’s body induces a subjective tactile sensation on the synaesthetes body. The present study explores which characteristics of the inducing stimulus modulate the synaesthetic touch experience. Fourteen mirror-touch synaesthetes watched videos depicting a touch event while indicating whether the video induced a tactile sensation, on which side of their body they felt this sensation and the intensity of the experienced sensation. Results indicate that the synaesthetes experience stronger tactile sensations when observing (...) touch to real bodies, whereas observing touch to dummy bodies, pictures of bodies and disconnected dummy body parts elicited weaker sensations. These results suggest that mirror-touch synaesthesia is not entirely bottom-up driven, but top-down information, such as knowledge about real and dummy body parts, also modulate the intensity of the experience. (shrink)
Background: Individuals with psychopathic traits demonstrate an attenuated emotional response to aversive stimuli. However, recent evidence suggests heterogeneity in emotional reactivity among individuals with psychopathic or callous-unemotional (CU) traits, the emotional detachment dimension of psychopathy. We hypothesize that primary variants of psychopathy will respond with blunted affect to negatively valenced stimuli, whereas individuals marked with histories of childhood trauma/maltreatment exposure, known as secondary variants, will display heightened emotional reactivity. To test this hypothesis, the present study examined fear-potentiated startle between psychopathy (...) variants while viewing aversive, pleasant, and neutral scenes. Method: 238 incarcerated adolescent (M age = 16.8, SD = 1.11 years) boys completed a picture-startle paradigm and self-report questionnaires assessing CU traits, antisocial-aggressive behavior, and maltreatment. Results: Latent profile analyses identified four classes; primary variants (high CU traits, high aggression, low maltreatment; n = 46), secondary variants (high CU traits, high aggression, high maltreatment; n = 42), and two nonpsychopathic groups differentiated on maltreatment experience (n = 148). Findings from an ANOVA comparing identified groups on startle amplitude difference scores (i.e., aversive-neutral) suggested a main effect for group, F(3,196)=8.91, p<.001, η2 = .12. Primary variants of juvenile psychopathy displayed reduced startle potentiation to aversive images (threat and victim scenes), whereas secondary variants distinguished by high levels of childhood maltreatment did not. Conclusions: Findings add to a rapidly growing body of literature supporting the possibility of multiple developmental pathways to psychopathy (i.e., equifinality), and extend it by finding support for divergent potential biomarkers between primary and secondary psychopathy variants. (shrink)
With the increase in the proportion of hospital deaths there is increasing debate about appropriateness of place of death. Death should be a family affair but is increasingly hidden from public view. In contrast to those who die at home, most of those who die in hospital die alone with no relatives or friends with them. Husbands and wives are less likely to have the opportunity to say 'goodbye' to their dying spouses. As people become less familiar with death they (...) may increasingly assume that the terminally ill are better cared for in hospital. However, this need not be the case. Most people want to die at home, most do not for social rather than medical reasons. It is not the illness itself which leads to hospital admission in many cases but its duration and nature--and the type of burden it places on relatives. Although home care should be encouraged where possible, no amount of exhortation to the family or to the dying person of the advantages of home care can disguise the fact that demand for domiciliary services is greater than is now being provided. The paper is based on one read to a London Medical Group Symposium. (shrink)
This paper proposes a refocusing of consent for clinical genetic testing, moving away from an emphasis on autonomy and information provision, towards an emphasis on the virtues of healthcare professionals seeking consent, and the relationships they construct with their patients. We draw on focus groups with UK healthcare professionals working in the field of clinical genetics, as well as in-depth interviews with patients who have sought genetic testing in the UK’s National Health Service. We explore two aspects of consent: first, (...) how healthcare professionals consider the act of ‘consenting’ patients; and second how these professional accounts, along with the accounts of patients, deepen our understanding of the consent process. Our findings suggest that while healthcare professionals working in genetic medicine put much effort into ensuring patients’ understanding about their impending genetic test, they acknowledge, and we show, that patients can still leave genetic consultations relatively uninformed. Moreover, we show how placing emphasis on the informational aspect of genetic testing is not always reflective of, or valuable to, patients’ decision-making. Rather, decision-making is socially contextualised – also based on factors outside of information provision. A more collaborative on-going consent process, grounded in virtue ethics and values of honesty, openness and trustworthiness, is proposed. (shrink)
There is a long-standing debate in philosophy about whether it is morally permissible to harm one person in order to prevent a greater harm to others and, if not, what is the moral principle underlying the prohibition. Hypothetical moral dilemmas are used in order to probe moral intuitions. Philosophers use them to achieve a reflective equilibrium between intuitions and principles, psychologists to investigate moral decision-making processes. In the dilemmas, the harms that are traded off are almost always deaths. However, the (...) moral principles and psychological processes are supposed to be broader than this, encompassing harms other than death. Further, if the standard pattern of intuitions is preserved in the domain of economic harm, then that would open up the possibility of studying behaviour in trolley problems using the tools of experimental economics. We report the results of two studies designed to test whether the standard patterns of intuitions are preserved when the domain and severity of harm are varied. Our findings show that the difference in moral intuitions between bystander and footbridge scenarios is replicated across different domains and levels of physical and non-physical harm, including economic harms. (shrink)
There are more forms of intersubjectivity or more ways of how we experience the overlaps of our subjectivity to the other, to the alter in his different forms. The paper focuses on some selected aspects of this problem, which are related to the phenomenological reduction and situated at the intersection point of two theses: Subjectivity is intersubjectivity; Intersubjectivity is subjectivity. The discussion is based on selected texts of Edmund Husserl and Natalie Depraz.
Upshot: Thanks to the commentaries we have been able to further clarify the situation of generative first-person analysis in the general framework of neurophenomenology and more specifically of cardio-phenomenology as its extension and reformulation. We have also provided more detailed information about the way phenomenology as transcendental philosophy is genuinely operating as a practice in cardio-phenomenology and has a central function regarding the creation of categories and their suspensive questioning thanks to the epoché method. We have also drawn great benefits (...) from the questions about how micro-phenomenology allows a refinement of descriptive categories and the way new categories are generated, and we have been able to provide some answers about different scales of newness in the generative process. (shrink)