It is suggested that a connection between neurogenesis and brain part size is unsurprising. It is argued that neurogenesis cannot, however, be the only factor contributing to brain size. Highly individual post-natal experience radically shapes individual brains, leading to dramatic increases in brain size. The role of comparatively coarse statistical techniques in addressing these subtle biological issues is questioned.
BackgroundWhen conducting research with Indigenous populations consent should be sought from both individual participants and the local community. We aimed to search and summarise the literature about methods for seeking consent for research with Indigenous populations.MethodsA systematic literature search was conducted for articles that describe or evaluate the process of seeking informed consent for research with Indigenous participants. Guidelines for ethical research and for seeking consent with Indigenous people are also included in our review.ResultsOf 1447 articles found 1391 were excluded (...) ; 56 were relevant and included. Articles were categorised into original research that evaluated the consent process or publications detailing the process of seeking consent and guidelines for ethical research. Guidelines were categorised into international ; national and state/regional/local guidelines. In five studies based in Australia, Canada and The United States of America the consent process with Indigenous people was objectively evaluated. In 13 other studies interpreters, voice recording, videos, pictures, flipcharts and “plain language” forms were used to assist in seeking consent but these processes were not evaluated. Some Indigenous organisations provide examples of community-designed resources for seeking consent and describe methods of community engagement, but none are evaluated. International, national and local ethical guidelines stress the importance of upholding Indigenous values but fail to specify methods for engaging communities or obtaining individual consent. In the ‘Grey literature’ concerns about the consent process are identified but no solutions are offered.ConclusionConsultation with Indigenous communities is needed to determine how consent should be sought from the community and the individual, and how to evaluate this process. (shrink)
The current system of ethical review for medical research in the United Kingdom is changing from the current system involving large committees of 7–18 members reviewing every individual application to a system involving pre-review by small sub-committees of National Research Ethics Officers , who have a remit to approve studies if they believe there are no material ethical issues imposed by the research. The reliability of this new system depends on the reliability of the NREAs and in particular the ability (...) of small groups to effectively identify and appropriately assess the seriousness of all the material ethical issues that may be posed by an application. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that many individual research ethics committee members have had experience of believing that a study presents no material ethical concerns, then on reaching the committee and discussing the application they realise that the committee feels it does present significant ethical concerns. If this is the case then this casts doubt on the reliability of NREAs or small groups to effectively identify ethically problematic research and appropriately respond to this to protect research participants. In this paper we describe a small questionnaire based piece of research carried out to assess how common this and other relevant experiences are. (shrink)
Researchers are required to seek consent from Indigenous communities prior to conducting research but there is inadequate information about how Indigenous people understand and become fully engaged with this consent process. Few studies evaluate the preference or understanding of the consent process for research with Indigenous populations. Lack of informed consent can impact on research findings. The Picture Talk Project was initiated with senior Aboriginal leaders of the Fitzroy Valley community situated in the far north of Western Australia. Aboriginal people (...) were interviewed about their understanding and experiences of research and consent processes. Transcripts were analysed using NVivo10 software with an integrated method of inductive and deductive coding and based in grounded theory. Local Aboriginal interpreters validated coding. Major themes were defined and supporting quotes sourced. Interviews with Aboriginal leaders were facilitated by a local Aboriginal Community Navigator who could interpret if necessary and provide cultural guidance. Participants were from all four major local language groups of the Fitzroy Valley; aged 31 years and above; and half were male. Themes emerging from these discussions included Research—finding knowledge; Being respectful of Aboriginal people, Working on country, and Being flexible with time; Working together with good communication; Reciprocity—two-way learning; and Reaching consent. The project revealed how much more there is to be learned about how research with remote Aboriginal communities should be conducted such that it is both culturally respectful and, importantly, meaningful for participants. We identify important elements in community consultation about research and seeking consent. (shrink)
The consent and community engagement process for research with Indigenous communities is rarely evaluated. Research protocols are not always collaborative, inclusive or culturally respectful. If participants do not trust or understand the research, selection bias may occur in recruitment, affecting study results potentially denying participants the opportunity to provide more knowledge and greater understanding about their community. Poorly informed consent can also harm the individual participant and the community as a whole. Invited by local Aboriginal community leaders of the Fitzroy (...) Valley, the Kimberley, Western Australia, The Picture Talk project explores the consent process for research. Focus groups of Aboriginal community members were conducted to establish preferences for methods of seeking individual consent. Transcripts were analysed through NVivo10 Qualitative software using grounded theory with inductive and deductive coding. Themes were synthesised with quotes highlighted. Focus groups with Aboriginal community members were facilitated by a Community Navigator as a cultural guide and interpreter and a researcher. Participants were recruited from all main language groups of the Fitzroy Valley – Gooniyandi, Walmajarri, Wangkatjungka, Bunuba and Nikinya. Participants were aged ≥18 years, with 5 female groups and one male group. Themes identified include: Reputation and trust is essential; The Community Navigator is key; Pictures give the words meaning – milli milli versus Pictures; Achieving consensus in circles; Signing for consent; and Research is needed in the Valley. Aboriginal communities of the Fitzroy Valley recommend that researchers collaborate with local leaders, develop trust and foster a good reputation in the community prior to research. Local Aboriginal researchers should be employed to provide cultural guidance throughout the research process and interpret local languages especially for elders. Pictures are preferred to written text to explain research information and most prefer to sign for consent. The Fitzroy Valley welcomes research when collaborative and for the benefit of the community. Future research could include exploring how to support young people, promote health screening and improve understanding of medical knowledge. (shrink)
Very few researchers have reported on procedures of recruiting, obtaining informed consent, and compensating participants in health research in the Arabian Gulf Region. Empirical research can inform the debate about whether to adjust these procedures for culturally diverse settings. Our objective was to delineate procedures related to recruiting, obtaining informed consent, and compensating health research participants in the extremely high-density multicultural setting of Qatar.
An examination of the contemporary Italian movement associated with M. P. Sciacca, and the serious application of dialectical and phenomenological methods to unveil the structure of "intentionality" or "spirit." An appraisal of Sciacca together with a sample critique of Dante follows a competent summary of the prevailing positions.--D. B. B.