Developments in biotechnology and neuroscience have the potential to unleash an engineering of human beings previously inconceivable. Proper ethical governance and a new understanding of humanism, are necessary to steer these technological developments in the direction of supporting sustainable, just and peaceful futures. Such futures will depend on open data, open science and an expanded understanding of the right to education to include the right to data, to information and to the protection of privacy.
UNESO, International Commission on the Futures of Education, p.8 et seq.
“It is, however, essential that eugenics should be brought entirely within the borders of science, for, as already indicated, in the not very remote future the problem of improving the average quality of human beings is likely to become urgent; and this can only be accomplished by applying the findings of a truly scientific eugenics.”
Sir Julian Sorell Huxley
From UNESCO Its Purpose and Its Philosophy
“F the metaphorical understanding of a situation functions in two parts irst, there is a widespread, relatively fixed set of metaphors that structure how fc we think. for example, a decision to go to war might be seen as a form o ost-benefit analysis, where war is justified …”
Steuter, E., & Wills, D.. (2008). At war with metaphor. Nueva York: Rowman and …
“BACKGROUND:pedomorphism is the retention of ancestrally juvenile traits by adults in a descendant taxon. despite its importance for evolutionary change, there are few examples of a molecular basis for this phenomenon. notothenioids represent one of the best described species flocks among marine fishes, but their diversity is currently threatened by the rapidly changing antarctic climate. notothenioid evolutionary history is characterized by parallel radiations from a benthic ancestor to pelagic predators, which was accompanied by the appearance of several pedomorphic traits, including the reduction of skeletal mineralization that resulted in increased buoyancy.results:we compared craniofacial skeletal development in two pelagic notothenioids, chaenocephalus aceratus and pleuragramma antarcticum, to that in a benthic species, notothenia coriiceps, and two outgroups, the threespine stickleback and the zebrafish. relative to these other species, pelagic notothenioids exhibited a delay in pharyngeal bone development, which was associated with discrete heterochronic shifts in skeletal gene expression that were consistent with persistence of the chondrogenic program and a delay in the osteogenic program during larval development. morphological analysis also revealed a bias toward the development of anterior and ventral elements of the notothenioid pharyngeal skeleton relative to dorsal and posterior elements.conclusions:our data support the hypothesis that early shifts in the relative timing of craniofacial skeletal gene expression may have had a significant impact on the adaptive radiation of antarctic notothenioids into pelagic habitats.”
Thibodeau, P. H., Hendricks, R. K., & Boroditsky, L.. (2017). How Linguistic Metaphor Scaffolds Reasoning. Trends in Cognitive Sciences
“Language helps people communicate and think. precise and accurate language would seem best suited to achieve these goals. but a close look at the way people actually talk reveals an abundance of apparent imprecision in the form of metaphor: ideas are ‘light bulbs’, crime is a ‘virus’, and cancer is an ‘enemy’ in a ‘war’. in this article, we review recent evidence that metaphoric language can facilitate communication and shape thinking even though it is literally false. we first discuss recent experiments showing that linguistic metaphor can guide thought and behavior. then we explore the conditions under which metaphors are most influential. throughout, we highlight theoretical and practical implications, as well as key challenges and opportunities for future research. metaphors pervade discussions of abstract concepts and complex issues: ideas are ‘light bulbs’, crime is a ‘virus’, and cancer is an ‘enemy’ in a ‘war’. at a process level, metaphors, like analogies, involve structure mapping, in which relational structure from the source domain is leveraged for thinking about the target domain. metaphors influence how people think about the topics they describe by shaping how people attend to, remember, and process information. the effects of metaphor on reasoning are not simply the result of lexical priming. metaphors can covertly influence how people think. that is, people are not always aware that they have been influenced by a metaphor.”
Hülsse, R., & Spencer, A.. (2008). The metaphor of terror: Terrorism studies and the constructivist turn. Security Dialogue
“Terrorism studies is fascinated with the terrorist actor. though this may seem natural, the present article argues that a different perspective can be fruitful. from a constructivist point of view, terrorism is a social construction. the terrorist actor is a product of discourse, and hence discourse is the logical starting point for terrorism research. in particular, it is the discourse of the terrorists’ adversaries that constitutes terrorist motivations, strategies, organizational structures and goals. hence, the article suggests a shift of perspective in terrorism studies – from an actor-centred to a discourse-centred perspective. it develops a discourse approach that emphasizes the crucial role of metaphors in the making of reality. to illustrate this approach, the metaphorical construction of al-qaeda in the german popular press in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in new york and washington ( 2001), madrid ( 2004) and london ( 2005) is analysed. terrorism was first constituted as war, but from 2004 onwards the principal metaphor shifted from war to crime, constructing al-qaeda as a criminal rather than a military organization. this shift has transformed al-qaeda from an external to an internal threat, which has entailed a shift in counter-terrorism practices from a military to a judicial response.”
Ferrari, F.. (2007). Metaphor at work in the analysis of political discourse: Investigating a “preventive war” persuasion strategy. Discourse and Society
“The crucial historical moment represented by post 9/11 may undoubtedly be considered responsible for the subsequent hardening of american political rhetoric. and yet, the sudden increase of consensus catalysed by george w. bush and the consequences of his international policy bring his modus persuadendi up for discussion. the aim of this article is to present a framework for a metaphor-based critical analysis of persuasion in political discourse. our object of observation is george w. bush’s public speeches to the nation (2001–4). more specifically, the analysis is focused on the persuasion strategy enacted to promote the preventive war in iraq. in our approach, conceptual metaphor as related to emotion constitutes the fundamental argumentative feature and crucial tool to address the matter of persuasion in text, contributing to identifying both the ideological root and the persuasive strategy of a given discourse in the long run. synthesis of our results shows the potentialities of metaphor as a privileged cognitive tool for abstracting and constructing discourse strategies.”
Thibodeau, P., Mcclelland, J. L., & Boroditsky, L.. (2009). When a bad metaphor may not be a victimless crime : The role of metaphor in social policy. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
“Metaphors are pervasive in our discussions of abstract and complex ideas (lakoff & johnson, 1980), and have been shown to be instrumental in problem solving and building new conceptual structure (e.g., gentner & gentner, 1983; nersessian, 1992; boroditsky, 2000). in this paper we look at the role of metaphor in framing social issues. our language for discussing war, crime, politics, healthcare, and the economy is suffused with metaphor (schön, 1993; lakoff, 2002). does the way we reason about such important issues as crime, war or the economy depend on the metaphors we use to talk about these topics? might changing metaphors lead us to different conceptions and in turn different social policies? in this paper we focused on the domain of crime and asked whether two different metaphorical systems we have for talking about crime can lead people to different ways of approaching and reasoning about it. we find that framing the issue of crime metaphorically as a predator yielded systematically different suggestions for solving the crime problem than when crime was described as a virus. we then present a connectionist model that explores the mechanistic underpinnings of the role of metaphor.”
Spencer, A.. (2012). The social construction of terrorism: Media, metaphors and policy implications. Journal of International Relations and Development
“The article illustrates a constructivist understanding of studying terrorism and counter-terrorism by applying metaphor analysis to a british tabloid media discourse on terrorism between 2001 and 2005 in the sun newspaper. it identifies four conceptual metaphors constituting terrorism as a war, a crime, an uncivilised evil and as a disease, and it illustrates how these understandings make certain counter-terrorism policies such as a military response, judicial measures or immigration policies acceptable while at the same time excluding from consideration other options, such as negotiations. it thereby re-emphasises that a metaphorical understanding of political phenomena such as terrorism can give international relations insights into how certain policies become possible while others remain outside of the range of options thought to be appropriate.”
At war with metaphor: media, propaganda, and racism in the war on terror. (2013). Choice Reviews Online
“A valuable contribution to our growing understanding of the ways in which we talk ourselves into war, genocide, and other crimes against humanity. it causes us to wonder what might happen if we had the courage to deal with our rivalries and conflicts in a realistic manner rather than dehumanizing and demonizing those we consider enemies. ” —sam keen, author of faces of the enemy when photographs documenting the torture and humiliation of prisoners at abu ghraib came to the attention of a horrified public, national and international voices were raised in shock, asking how this happened. at war with metaphor offers an answer, arguing that the abuses of abu ghraib were part of a systemic continuum of dehumanization. this continuum has its roots in our public discussions of the war on terror and the metaphors through which they are repeatedly framed. arguing earnestly and incisively that these metaphors, if left unexamined, bind us into a cycle of violence that will only be intensified by a responsive violence of metaphor, erin steuter and deborah wills examine compelling examples of the images of animal, insect, and disease that inform, shape, and limit our understand-ing of the war on terror. tying these images to historical and contemporary uses of propaganda through a readable, accessible analysis of media filters, at war with metaphor vividly explores how news media, including political cartoons and talk radio, are enmeshed in these damaging, dehumanizing metaphors. analyzing media through the lenses of race and orientalism, the book invites us to hold our media and ourselves accountable for the choices we make in talking war and making enemies.”
Kövecses, Z.. (2016). Conceptual metaphor theory. In The Routledge Handbook of Metaphor and Language
“In a radical departure from theories based on digital, amodal accounts of cognition and language, lakoff and johnson (1980) proposed an account of metaphor as fundamentally conceptual, arguing that familiar linguistic metaphors are but surface manifestations of underlying conceptual relationships. they claimed that most conceptual thought is metaphorical, and conceptual domains are instantiated and expressed in families of conceptual metaphors, such as ‘more is u’, ‘emotionallyintimate is physically close’, ‘argument is war’, ‘love is a journey’, and ‘theories are buildings’. these conceptual metaphors number in the hundreds (gibbs, 1994b; lakoff and johnson, 1999), and they combine to serve as the foundation for new metaphors. for many of these families of metaphors lakoff and johnson trace the underlying metaphor to a literal concept based on embodied physical experience.”
Navaro-Yashin, Y.. (2009). Affective spaces, melancholic objects: Ruination and the production of anthropological knowledge. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
“This article critically engages with recent theoretical writings on affect and non-human agency by way of studying the emotive energies discharged by properties and objects appropriated during war from members of the so-called ‘enemy’ community. the ethnographic material comes from long-term fieldwork in northern cyprus, focusing on how it feels to live with the objects and within the ruins left behind by the other, now displaced, community. i study turkish-cypriots’ relations to houses, land, and objects that they appropriated from the greek-cypriots during the war of 1974 and the subsequent partition of cyprus. my ethnographic material leads me to reflect critically on the object-centred philosophy of actor network theory and on the affective turn in the human sciences after the work of gilles deleuze. with the metaphor of ‘ruination’, i study what goes amiss in scholarly declarations of theoretical turns or shifts. instead, proposing an anthropologically engaged theory of affect through an ethnographic reflection on spatial and material melancholia, i argue that ethnography, in its most productive moments, is trans-paradigmatic. retaining what has been ruined as still needful of consideration, i suggest an approach which merges theories of affect and subjectivity as well as of language and materiality.”
Koller, V., Hardie, A., Rayson, P., & Semino, E.. (2008). Using a semantic annotation tool for the analysis of metaphor in discourse. Metaphorik.De
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“This paper describes the application of semantic annotation software for analysing metaphor in corpora of different genres. in particular, we outline three projects analysing religion and politics metaphors in corporate mission statements, the war metaphor in business magazines, and machine and living organism metaphors in a novel and in a second collection of business magazine articles. this research was guided by the hypotheses that a) semantic tags allocated by the software can correspond to source domains of metaphoric expressions, and b) that more conventional metaphors feature a source domain tag as first choice in the type’s semantic profile. the tagger was adapted to better serve the needs of metaphor research and automate to a greater extent the extraction of first choice and secondary semantic domains. two of the three studies represent re-analyses of previous manual and/or lexical corpus-based investigations, and findings indicate that semantic annotation can yield more comprehensive results. in”
Yanık, L. K.. (2009). The Metamorphosis of Metaphors of Vision: “Bridging” Turkey’s Location, Role and Identity After the End of the Cold War. Geopolitics
“During the cold war, ‘buffer’ or ‘bastion’ seemed a popular metaphor to describe turkey. after the cold war, ‘bridge,’ (and, to some extent, the ‘crossroad’) metaphor started to dominate the turkish foreign policy dışcourse. this article traces the use of ‘bridge’ metaphor in this dışcourse in the post-cold war period by the turkish foreign policy elite. it develops two arguments. first, the word bridge is a ‘metaphor of vision’ combining turkey’s perceived geographical exceptionalism with an identity and a role at the international level. as a ‘metaphor of vision,’ the employment of the word ‘bridge’ highlighted turkey’s liminality and justified some of its foreign policy actions to eurasia and then to the middle east. second, because the bridge metaphor was used in different context to justify different foreign policy choices, its meaning has changed, illustrating that metaphors are not static constructs. it concludes by sayıng that the continuous use of ‘bridge’ metaphor might reinforce turkey’s ‘liminality,’ placing turkey in a less classifiable category than the regular ‘othering’ practices.”
The nucleus accumbens has a significant role in the cognitive processing of motivation, aversion, reward (i.e., incentive salience, pleasure, and positive reinforcement), and reinforcement learning (e.g., Pavlovian-instrumental transfer).
Sagittal MRI slice with highlighting (red) indicating the nucleus accumbens.
The nucleus accumbens (NAc or NAcc), also known as the accumbens nucleus, or formerly as the nucleus accumbens septi (Latin for nucleus adjacent to the septum) is a region in the basal forebrain rostral to the preoptic area of the hypothalamus. The nucleus accumbens and the olfactory tubercle collectively form the ventral striatum. The ventral striatum and dorsal striatum collectively form the striatum, which is the main component of the basal ganglia.The dopaminergic neurons of the mesolimbic pathway project onto the GABAergic medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens and olfactory tubercle. Each cerebral hemisphere has its own nucleus accumbens, which can be divided into two structures: the nucleus accumbens core and the nucleus accumbens shell. These substructures have different morphology and functions.
Different NAcc subregions (core vs shell) and neuron subpopulations within each region (D1-type vs D2-type medium spiny neurons) are responsible for different cognitive functions. As a whole, the nucleus accumbens has a significant role in the cognitive processing of motivation, aversion, reward (i.e., incentive salience, pleasure, and positive reinforcement), and reinforcement learning (e.g., Pavlovian-instrumental transfer); hence, it has a significant role in addiction. In addition, part of the nucleus accumbens core is centrally involved in the induction of slow-wave sleep. The nucleus accumbens plays a lesser role in processing fear (a form of aversion), impulsivity, and the placebo effect. It is involved in the encoding of new motor programs as well.
“Social behaviours in species as diverse as honey bees and humans promote group survival but often come at some cost to the individual. although reinforcement of adaptive social interactions is ostensibly required for the evolutionary persistence of these behaviours, the neural mechanisms by which social reward is encoded by the brain are largely unknown. here we demonstrate that in mice oxytocin acts as a social reinforcement signal within the nucleus accumbens core, where it elicits a presynaptically expressed long-term depression of excitatory synaptic transmission in medium spiny neurons. although the nucleus accumbens receives oxytocin-receptor-containing inputs from several brain regions, genetic deletion of these receptors specifically from dorsal raphe nucleus, which provides serotonergic (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-ht) innervation to the nucleus accumbens, abolishes the reinforcing properties of social interaction. furthermore, oxytocin-induced synaptic plasticity requires activation of nucleus accumbens 5-ht1b receptors, the blockade of which prevents social reward. these results demonstrate that the rewarding properties of social interaction in mice require the coordinated activity of oxytocin and 5-ht in the nucleus accumbens, a mechanistic insight with implications for understanding the pathogenesis of social dysfunction in neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism.”
Trezza, V., Damsteegt, R., Achterberg, E. J. M., & Vanderschuren, L. J. M. J.. (2011). Nucleus Accumbens -Opioid Receptors Mediate Social Reward. Journal of Neuroscience
“Positive social interactions are essential for emotional well-being and proper behavioral development of young individuals. here, we studied the neural underpinnings of social reward by investigating the involvement of opioid neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens (nac) in social play behavior, a highly rewarding social interaction in adolescent rats. intra-nac infusion of morphine (0.05-0.1 μg) increased pinning and pouncing, characteristic elements of social play behavior in rats, and blockade of nac opioid receptors with naloxone (0.5 μg) prevented the play-enhancing effects of systemic morphine (1 mg/kg, s.c.) administration. thus, stimulation of opioid receptors in the nac was necessary and sufficient for morphine to increase social play. intra-nac treatment with the selective μ-opioid receptor agonist [d-ala(2),n-mephe(4),gly(5)-ol]enkephalin (damgo) (0.1-10 ng) and the μ-opioid receptor antagonist cys-tyr-d-trp-arg-thr-pen-thr-nh(2) (ctap) (0.3-3 μg) increased and decreased social play, respectively. the δ-opioid receptor agonist dpdpe ([d-pen(2),d-pen(5)]-enkephalin) (0.3-3 μg) had no effects, whereas the κ-opioid receptor agonist u69593 (n-methyl-2-phenyl-n-[(5r,7s,8s)-7-(pyrrolidin-1-yl)-1-oxaspiro[4.5]dec-8-yl]acetamide) (0.01-1 μg) decreased social play. intra-nac treatment with β-endorphin (0.01-1 μg) increased social play, but met-enkephalin (0.1-5 μg) and the enkephalinase inhibitor thiorphan (0.1-1 μg) were ineffective. damgo (0.1-10 ng) increased social play after infusion into both the shell and core subregions of the nac. last, intra-nac infusion of ctap (3 μg) prevented the development of social play-induced conditioned place preference. these findings identify nac μ-opioid receptor stimulation as an important neural mechanism for the attribution of positive value to social interactions in adolescent rats. altered nac μ-opioid receptor function may underlie social impairments in psychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, or personality disorders.”
Day, J. J., Roitman, M. F., Wightman, R. M., & Carelli, R. M.. (2007). Associative learning mediates dynamic shifts in dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens. Nature Neuroscience
“The ability to predict favorable outcomes using environmental cues is an essential part of learned behavior. dopamine neurons in the midbrain encode such stimulus-reward relationships in a manner consistent with contemporary learning models, but it is unclear how encoding this translates into actual dopamine release in target regions. here, we sampled dopamine levels in the rat nucleus accumbens on a rapid (100 ms) timescale using electrochemical technology during a classical conditioning procedure. early in conditioning, transient dopamine-release events signaled a primary reward, but not predictive cues. after repeated cue-reward pairings, dopamine signals shifted in time to predictive cue onset and were no longer observed at reward delivery. in the absence of stimulus-reward conditioning, there was no shift in the dopamine signal. consistent with proposed roles in reward prediction and incentive salience, these results indicate that rapid dopamine release provides a reward signal that is dynamically modified by associative learning.”
Wise, R.. (1989). Brain Dopamine And Reward. Annual Review of Psychology
“While the evidence is strong that dopamine plays some fundamental and special role in the rewarding effects of brain stimulation, psychomotor stimulants, opiates, and food, the exact nature of that role is not clear. one thing is clear: dopamine is not the only reward transmitter, and dopaminergic neurons are not the final common path for all rewards. dopamine antagonists and lesions of the dopamine systems appear to spare the rewarding effects of nucleus accumbens and frontal cortex brain stimulation (simon et al 1979) and certainly spare the rewarding effects of apomorphine (roberts & vickers 1988). it is clear that reward circuitry is multisynaptic, and since dopamine cells do not send axons to each other or receive axons from each other, dopamine can at best serve as but a single link in this circuitry. if dopamine is not a final common path for all rewards, could it be an intermediate common path for most rewards? some workers have argued against such a view, but at present they must do so on incomplete evidence. for example, phillips (1984) has argued that there must be multiple reward systems, functionally independent and organized in parallel with one another. his primary evidence, however, is the fact that brain stimulation is rewarding at different levels of the nervous system. as we have seen in the case of midline mesencephalic stimulation, the location of the electrode tip in relation to the dopamine cells and fibers tells us little about the role of dopamine in brain stimulation reward. it seems clear that the ventral tegmental dopamine system plays a critical role in midline mesencephalic reward, despite the distance from the electrode tip to the dopamine cells where morphine causes its dopamine-dependent facilitory effects or to the dopamine terminals where low-dose neuroleptics presumably cause theirs. until pharmacological challenge has been extended to the cases discussed by phillips, we can only speculate as to the role of dopamine in each of those cases. in the cases where pharmacological challenge has been examined, only nucleus accumbens and frontal cortex have been found to have dopamine-independent reward sites. it is not consistent with the dopamine hypothesis that dopamine-independent reward sites should exist in these areas, since any reward signals carried to nucleus accumbens or frontal cortex by dopamine fibers would-unless we are to believe that reward ‘happens’ at these sites-have to be carried to the next stage of the c…”
www.uni-kiel.de/psychologie/mausfeld/ Mausfeld_Why do the lambs remain silent_2015
Mausfeld focuses on perceptual psychology and also works on the theoretical foundations of experimental psychology and the psychology of understanding. He also deals with the rivalry of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience in cognitive science. Another area of interest is the history of ideas in the natural sciences. He sees a major problem of the relationship between psychology and biology in neurological neo-reductionism. In contrast to biologistic approaches, he sees the peculiarity of the spiritual, inter alia, in the intrinsic multiperspectivity of the mind.
Mausfeld points out that knowledge of neural circuitry and activity is not enough to explain consciousness and thought processes. Not even the behavior of nematodes can be deduced from the activity of their 302 neurons. According to Mausfeld’s view, the relationship between nature and mind must be below the neural level in the sphere of physics. Evidence is given by the fact that nature is actually more enigmatic to us than our consciousness in itself. In modern physics it has become clear that the physical does not have the properties of matter ascribed to it. Mausfeld sees the special aspect of consciousness in the simplicity and wholeness of the subjective experience, which, however, reveals itself to the psychologist as a complex interaction of unconscious factors. The intrinsic multiperspectivity of thinking, which first opens up the possibilities for thought and action alternatives to humans after mouse field, results from the complex interplay of the most varied of factors. White torture and responsibility of science
In his work, Mausfeld illustrates the role of psychologists in the development, application and justification of modern white torture methods. These goals are not, as claimed, the extraction of information, but rather breaking the will, disciplining, humiliating and shaming the victims. In his account, an American Psychological Association (APA) working group to investigate the involvement of psychologists acting on behalf of the Defense Secretary. Mausfeld uses the example of torture research to define ethical and legal principles and limits of scientific work. He regards the observance of human rights as fully binding.
Mausfeld, R.. (2009). Psychology , ’ white torture ’ and the responsibility of scientists. Psychologische Rundschau
According to Mausfeld, the cognitive ones are more important than the affective techniques, since opinions are more stable than emotions. Here Mausfeld examines the following methods:
Representation of facts as opinion
Fragmenting coherent facts so that the context, such as the historical context, is lost
Decontextualization of facts: The context of the facts is removed, so that the facts become incomprehensible isolated individual cases, which have no general relevance
Misleading recontextualization: Information is embedded in a foreign context, so that they take on a different character and, for example, no longer lead to outrage in human rights violations.
Repetition supports the “perceived truth”
Designing the range of opinions so that the desired seems to be in the middle, which most people strive for, if they are unfamiliar, because they then keep to the middle seein it as “neutral and balanced”
Making facts invisible through media selection, distraction and attention control
“Meta-propaganda”: It is part of every propaganda to claim that the news of the enemy is wrong because it is propaganda
The development of more efficient manipulation techniques rests on identifying psychological “weak spots” – those intrinsic design aspects of our mind and principles of human information processing that can be exploited for manipulation purposes. Most importantly, such principles are, by the very nature of our cognitive architecture, beyond conscious control. (…) Our mind has many hard-wired weaknesses that can be exploited for manipulative purposes, that facilitate our utilitarian abuse by the political and economic elites for maintaining and expanding their power. However, we also innately dispose of a rich repertoire of ways to use our reasoning capabilities to recognize manipulative contexts and to actively avoid them. This repertoire is akin to a natural cognitive immune system against being manipulated, but we have to take the deliberate decision to actually use it.
“The cognitive neurosciences are based on the idea that the level of neurons or neural networks constitutes a privileged level of analysis for the explanation of mental phenomena. this paper brings to mind several arguments to the effect that this presumption is ill-conceived and unwarranted in light of what is currently understood about the physical principles underlying mental achievements. it then scrutinizes the question why such conceptions are nevertheless currently prevailing in many areas of psychology. the paper argues that corresponding conceptions are rooted in four different aspects of our common-sense conception of mental phenomena and their explanation, which are illegitimately transferred to scientific enquiry. these four aspects pertain to the notion of explanation, to conceptions about which mental phenomena are singled out for enquiry, to an inductivist epistemology, and, in the wake of behavioristic conceptions, to a bias favoring investigations of input-output relations at the expense of enquiries into internal principles. to the extent that the cognitive neurosciences methodologically adhere to these tacit assumptions, they are prone to turn into a largely a-theoretical and data-driven endeavor while at the same time enhancing the prospects for receiving widespread public appreciation of their empirical findings.”
Mausfeld, R., & Heyer, D.. (2012). Colour Perception: Mind and the physical world. Colour Perception: Mind and the Physical World
“ContentsnPrefacen1. perspectives on colour space , jan j. koenderink and andrea j. van doornncommentaries: from physics to perception through colorimetry: a bridge too far? , donald i.a. macleodncolorimetry fortified , paul whittlen2. light adaptation, contract adaptation, and human colour vision , michael a. websterncommentary: adaptation and the ambiguity of response measures with respect to internal structure , franz fauln3. contrast colours , paul whittlencommentaries: a background to color vision , michael a. websterncontrast coding and what else? , hans irteln4. colour and the processing of chromatic information , michael d’zmurancommentary: the processing of chromatic information , laurence t. maloneyn5. the pleistochrome: optimal opponent codes for natural colours , donald i.a. macleod and t. von der twerncommentary: thinking outside the black box , michael a. webstern6. objectivity and subjectivity revisited: colour as a psychobiological property , gary hatfieldncommentary: why is this game still being played? , paul whittlen7. a computational analysis of colour constancy , donald i.a. macleod and jurgen golzncommentary: the importance of realistic models of surface and light in the study of human colour vision , laurence t. maloneyn8. backgrounds and illuminants: the yin and yang of colour constancy , richard o. brownncommentaries: colour construction , don hoffmannfitting linear models to data , laurence t. maloneyn9. surface colour perception and environmental constraints , laurence t. maloneyncommentaries: on the function of colour vision , gary hatfieldnintrinsic colours – and what it is like to see them , zoltan jacobn10. colour constancy: developing empirical tests of computational models , david h. brainard, james m. kraft, and philippe longerencommentaries: surface colour perception and its environments , laurence t. maloneyncomparing the behaviour of machine vision algorithms and human observers , vebjorn ekroll and jurgen golzn11. the illuminant estimation hypothesis and surface colour perception , laurence t. maloney and joong nam yangncommentary: surface colour appearance in nearly natural images , david h. brainardn12. the interaction of colour and motion , donald d. hoffmanncommentary: the interaction of perceived colour and perceived motion , richard brownn13. the dual coding of colour: ‘Surface colour’ and ‘illumination colour’ as constituents of the representationalformat of perceptual primitives…”
Mausfeld, R.. (2005). The Physicalistic Trap in Perception Theory. In Perception and the Physical World
“This chapter contains sections titled: * introduction * the physicalistic trap in elementaristic approaches to perception * the physicalistic trap in functionalist and computational approaches to perception * perception theory beyond the physicalistic trap * appendix * acknowledgement * notes * references”
Mausfeld, R.. (2012). Der Schein des Realen.. Näher Dran? Zur Phänomenologie Des Wahrnehmens
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“Die traditionelle wahrnehmungspsychologie hat durch ihre physiologistische und physikalistische orientierung und die damit verbundene fokussierung auf elementaristische wahrnehmungsattribute die interne struktur der wahrnehmung und damit die explanatorischen aufgaben der wahrnehmungs- psychologie in grundlegender weise mißverstanden. ihre zugangsweise ist nicht nur phänomenolo- gisch inadäquat, sondern hat sich auch explanatorisch als unfruchtbar erwiesen. dieser beitrag zeigt dies am beispiel des wahrnehmungsattributs ‚phänomenal real’ auf, das in der traditionellen wahr- nehmungspsychologie als wenig erklärungsbedürftig angesehen wird. tatsächlich stellt jedoch ‚real‘ ein internes attribut dar, dessen zuweisung zu wahrnehmungsobjekten und situationen eigenen psychologischen gesetzmäßigkeiten folgt, die sich aus physiologistischer und physikalistischer per- spektive nicht verstehen lassen. erst in den letzten jahren wird im zusammenhang mit problemen, die sich insbesondere bei virtual reality environments ergeben, die frage nach den auslösebedingungen für das attribut ‚real’ wieder thematisiert. offensichtlich verfügt unser wahrnehmungssystem über eine (biologisch vorgegebene und kulturell überformte) ‚interne semantik‘ für die zuschreibung des attributes ‚real‘, von deren komplexen möglichkeiten wir in der kultur (z.b. beim film oder theater) vielfältigen gebrauch machen. i.”
Mausfeld, R.. (2009). Psychologie, weiße folter’ und die verantwortlichkeit von wissenschaftlern. Psychologische Rundschau
“The disparity of highlights on specular reflecting surfaces usually differs from the disparity of the surface points. a. kirschmann (1895) proposed that this fact may be used as a binocular cue for gloss perception. this was confirmed by a. blake and h. bülthoff (1990) who found that subjects judged the glossiness of convex ellipsoidal surfaces as most realistic if the disparity of the highlights was close to the physical correct one. extending on this finding, we investigate more closely whether the effect of highlight disparity depends on the sharpness of the highlight and the relative amount of diffuse and specular reflection. we measured the effect of highlight disparity on both perceived strength and perceived authenticity of gloss. we used complex, three-dimensional curved surfaces that were stereoscopically presented on a crt. the reflection characteristics were varied using the phong lighting model. highlights were presented either with or without highlight disparity. in a rating experiment, subjects were asked to judge the strength and the authenticity of the perceived surface glossiness. the presence of highlight disparity lead to an enhancement of both the authenticity and the strength of perceived glossiness. the latter finding was confirmed in an additional matching experiment.”
Mausfeld, R.. (2010). Psychologie, biologie, kognitive neurowissenschaften zur gegenwärtigen dominanz neuroreduktionistischer positionen zu ihren stillschweigenden grundannahmen. Psychologische Rundschau
“The cognitive neurosciences are based on the idea that the level of neurons constitutes a privileged level of analysis for the explanation of mental phenomena. this paper brings to mind several arguments to elucidate that this presumption is ill-conceived and unwarranted in light of what is currently understood about the physical principles underlying mental achievements. it then scrutinizes the question why nevertheless such conceptions are currently prevailing in many areas of psychology. the paper argues that neuroreductionist conceptions are rooted in four different aspects of our common-sense conception of mental phenomena and their explanation that are illegitimately transferred to scientific inquiry. these four aspects pertain to the notion of explanation, to conceptions about which mental phenomena are singled out for inquiry, to an inductivist epistemology, and, in the wake of behavioristic conceptions, to a bias favoring investigations of input-output relations at the expense of inquiries into internal principles. to the extent that the cognitive neurosciences methodologically adhere to these tacit assumptions, they are prone to turn into a largely atheoretical and data-driven endeavour while at the same time receiving wide-spread public appreciation of their empirical findings. (psycinfo database record (c) 2012 apa, all rights reserved)”
Heyer, D., & Mausfeld, R.. (2002). Perception and the physical world: psychological and philosophical issues in perception. Perception
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“The focus of this book is on conceptual and philosophical issues of perception including the classic notion of unconscious inferences in perception. the book consists of contributions from a group of internationally renowned researchers who spent a year together as distinguised fellows at the german centre for advanced study. each chapter concludes with a lively, informative debate in the form of comments and replies from the contributors of the book. contributors are of prominent international reputation each chapter concludes with comments and replies from the contributors of the book to give informative debate the only book available to blend perception and philosophy in this fashion”
Narens, L., & Mausfeld, R.. (1992). On the Relationship of the Psychological and the Physical in Psychophysics. Psychological Review
“Presents a theory of the relationship of the psychological and the physical and uses it to formulate a new kind of meaningfulness principle for psychophysical application. this new principle calls into question the psychological relevance of many kinds of quantitative psychophysical relationships. as an illustration, it is used to study comparisons of sensitivity involving weber fractions, particularly comparisons across sensory modalities. the methods of the illustration extend easily to other psychophysical situations. (psyclit database copyright 1992 american psychological assn, all rights reserved)”
Mausfeld, R.. (2012). “Colour” As Part of the Format of Different Perceptual Primitives: The Dual Coding of Colour. In Colour Perception: Mind and the Physical World
“The field of colour perception has often been praised in recent years as a paradigm of cognitive science. while this certainly has some validity, it contrasts with the fact that the field makes very little contact with the sort of inquiries into mental representations to be found elsewhere in cognitive science (understood as naturalistic inquiries of the mind/brain). i find this quite puzzling, because in the earlier literature of the field it was clearly recognised-for instance by bühler, gelb, kardos, koffka-that ʹcolourʹ could be understood only as part of the general problem of perceptual representations. their insights could not, of course, take advantage of the theoretical language provided by what has been called the cognitive revolution. for that reason, and also because they were overshadowed by the success of more technical fields, they fell almost entirely into oblivion. the technical fields, successful with respect to their own specific goals, were colorimetry, neurophysiological investigations into peripheral colour coding, and more recently, functionalist-computational approaches that emphasise certain pre-given performance criteria.. the success of these fields has not been hampered by the fact that they share certain common-sense conceptions of colour, particularly the idea that colour is an autonomous attribute that can be studied almost in isolation from other perceptual attributes. because such common-sense conceptions of colour appear to be, by and large, innocuous to advances in these fields, no need has arisen so far to relinquish them. however, precisely because of the successes of these fields inquiries into colour perception, understood as the endeavour to develop explanatory frameworks for the role of ʹcolourʹ within our perceptual and cognitive architecture, have suffered a less fortunate fate. the conceptual vocabulary which inquiries into colour perception 1 borrowed from fields, such as neurophysiology, that pursue different explanatory purposes has remained alien to its intrinsic structure and has veiled its core problems. my interest in colour perception (which, a long time ago, was incited by russellʹs problems of philosophy) has been motivated by the question of how we can, within naturalistic inquiry, describe the conceptual structure with which our perceptual system is biologically endowed. such questions have long been pursued in ethology and have yielded intriguing results. the theoretical picture that is emerging h…”
Mausfeld, R.. (2013). The Attribute of Realness and the Internal Organization of Perceptual Reality. In Handbook of Experimental Phenomenology: Visual Perception of Shape, Space and Appearance
“The chapter deals with the notion of phenomenal realness, which was first systematically explored by albert michotte. phenomenal realness refers to the impression that a perceptual object is perceived to have an autonomous existence in our mind-independent world. perceptual psychology provides an abundance of phenomena, ranging from amodal completion to picture perception, that indicate that phenomenal realness is an independent perceptual attribute that can be conferred to perceptual objects in different degrees. the chapter outlines a theoretical framework that appears particularly well-suited for dealing with corresponding phenomena. according to this framework, perception can be under- stood as a triggering of conceptual forms by sensor inputs. it is argued that the attribute of phenomenal realness is based on specific types of internal evaluation functions which deal with the segregation of causes conceived as ‘external’ from those conceived as ‘internal’. these evaluation functions integrate different internal sources of ‘knowledge’ about the potential causes for the activation of conceptual forms and provide markers by which conceptual forms can be tagged as ‘external world objects’. ‘reality’,”
Mausfeld, R.. (2001). What’s within? Can the internal structure of perception be derived from regularities of the external world?. Behavioral and Brain Sciences
“We argue, from an ethology-inspired perspective, that the internal concepts ‘surface colours’ and ‘illumination colours’ are part of the data format of two different representational primitives. thus, the internal concept of ‘colour’ is not a unitary one but rather refers to two different types of ‘data structure’, each with its own proprietary types of parameters and relations. the relation of these representational structures is modulated by a class of parameterised transformations whose effects are mirrored in the idealised computational achievements of illumination invariance of colour codes, on the one hand, and scene invariance, on the other hand. because the same characteristics of a light array reaching the eye can be physically produced in many different ways, the visual system, then, has to make an ‘inference’ whether a chromatic deviation of the space-averaged colour codes from the neutral point is due to a ‘non-normal’, ie chromatic, illumination or due to an imbalanced spectral reflectance composition. we provide evidence that the visual system uses second-order statistics of chromatic codes of a single view of a scene in order to modulate corresponding transformations. in our experiments we used centre surround configurations with inhomogeneous surrounds given by a random structure of overlapping circles, referred to as seurat configurations. each family of surrounds has a fixed space-average of colour codes, but differs with respect to the covariance matrix of colour codes of pixels that defines the chromatic variance along some chromatic axis and the covariance between luminance and chromatic channels. we found that dominant wavelengths of red-green equilibrium settings of the infield exhibited a stable and strong dependence on the chromatic variance of the surround. high variances resulted in a tendency towards ‘scene invariance’, low variances in a tendency towards ‘illumination invariance’ of the infield.”
Mausfeld, R.. (2006). Wahrnehmung: Geschichte und Ansätze. In Handbuch der Allgemeinen Psychologie – Kognition
“The interpretation of the role of hla-dpb1 in unrelated haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (hsct) is subject to discussion. we have investigated the role of hla-dpb1 allele matching in hsct outcomes in 161 recipients who were hla-a, -b, -c, -drb1 and -dqb1-matched with their unrelated donors at the allelic level (10/10). in addition, we analysed the association of polymorphic amino acid mismatches of dpb1 molecule with hsct end-points, and a previously published permissiveness concept. hla-dpb1 allele mismatches were significantly associated with an increased incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (agvhd) and worse overall survival (os). the mismatch at amino acid position 69 significantly increased the risk for transplant-related mortality (trm). risk factors for agvhd also included mismatches at positions 8, 9, 35, 76 and 84. this is to our knowledge, the first report of an in vivo effect of single amino acid mismatches on hsct outcomes. in this study, grouping of allelic mismatches into permissive and non-permissive categories and their association with transplantation end-points was relevant for trm but not for other clinical end-points.”
Mausfeld, R.. (2010). Intrinsic multiperspectivity: On the architectural foundations of a distinctive mental capacity. In Cognition and Neuropsychology: International Perspectives on Psychological Science
“Sensory systems serve to link the organism to functionally relevant aspects of the physical environment. a mobile organism requires diverse information from the biologi-cal and physical environment and about its internal state for orientation and movement in space and in order to regulate and control its body and behavior. in the course of evolution, with the increased complexity of tasks serv-ing towards orientation and behavioral control there was a growing need to interrelate the diverse sensory chan-nels and also to integrate information about the internal state of the body. this sensory integration required a regulation of awareness to develop which would be able to fi lter the external signals according to internal motiva-tional and emotional states. as sensory systems are cen-tral for behavioral control, the neuronal architecture of sensory systems is intricately interwoven with the motor system. furthermore, evolutionary considerations sug-gest that fundamental features of perception formed the basis for more abstract cognitive achievements and that the underlying general principles are thus also re fl ected in the organization of cognitive processes. for humans, the sensory integratory achievements pertain not only to haptic, visual, auditive, olfactory, and gustatory perception, but also to the perception of the body and its parts [ 6, 27 ] and the relative position of these parts in relation to each other (proprioception) and to their environment, the perception of the viscera (entero-or visceroception), the perception of pain, the perception of physiognomy and body movements and the thus communicated affective expressions and sig-nals, as well as the perception of speech, events, or time. biological species may differently exploit and utilize the physical energies impinging on the organism and organize these energies in the form of sensory modali-ties . by far the largest part of the impinging spatiotempo-ral energy pattern is not processed for biological purposes. only a highly restricted range of this energy pattern is used for the biological function of coupling the organism to its environment (e.g., humans neither can perceive the plain of polarized light nor the direction of the magnetic fi eld). the physical energy is transduced into neural codes in such a way that the particular physical origin of the resulting code is unidenti fi able (e.g., light perception at the eye may originate from optical, mechanical, or electrical stimuli). t…”
Andres, J., & Mausfeld, R.. (2008). Structural description and qualitative content in perception theory. Consciousness and Cognition
“Lustrous surface appearances can be elicited by simple image configurations with no texture or specular highlights, as most prominently illustrated by helmholtz’ demonstration of stereoscopic lustre. three types of explanatory framework have been proposed for stereoscopic lustre, which attribute the phenomenon to a binocular luminance conflict, an internalised physical regularity (helmholtz), or to a disentangling of ‘essential’ and ‘accidental’ attributes in surface representations (hering). in order to investigate these frameworks, we used haploscopically fused half-images of centre-surround configurations in which the luminances of the test patch were dynamically modulated. experiment 1 shows that stereoscopic lustre is not specifically tied to situations of a luminance conflict between the eyes. experiment 2 identifies a novel aspect in the binocular temporal dynamics that provides a physical basis for lustrous appearances, namely the occurrence of a temporal luminance counter-modulation between the eyes. this feature sheds some light on the internal principles underlying a disentangling of ‘accidental’ and ‘essential’ surface attributes. experiment 3 reveals an asymmetry between a light and a dark reference level for the counter-modulations. this finding again suggests an interpretation in terms of an internalised physical regularity with respect to the dynamics of perceiving illuminated surfaces.”
The reticular formation is essential for governing some of the basic functions of higher organisms and is one of the phylogenetically oldest portions of the brain.
The ascending reticular activating system (ARAS), also known as the extrathalamic control modulatory system or simply the reticular activating system (RAS), is a set of connected nuclei in the brains of vertebrates that is responsible for regulating wakefulness and sleep-wake transitions. The ARAS is a part of the reticular formation and is mostly composed of various nuclei in the thalamus and a number of dopaminergic, noradrenergic, serotonergic, histaminergic, cholinergic, and glutamatergic brain nuclei.
The ascending reticular activating system is an important enabling factor for the state of consciousness. The ARAS also helps mediate transitions from relaxed wakefulness to periods of high attention. There is increased regional blood flow (presumably indicating an increased measure of neuronal activity) in the midbrain reticular formation (MRF) and thalamic intralaminar nuclei during tasks requiring increased alertness and attention.
Edlow, B. L., Takahashi, E., Wu, O., Benner, T., Dai, G., Bu, L., … Folkerth, R. D.. (2012). Neuroanatomic connectivity of the human ascending arousal system critical to consciousness and its disorders. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, 71(6), 531–546.
“The ascending reticular activating system (aras) mediates arousal, an essential component of human consciousness. lesions of the aras cause coma, the most severe disorder of consciousness. because of current methodological limitations, including of postmortem tissue analysis, the neuroanatomic connectivity of the human aras is poorly understood. we applied the advanced imaging technique of high angular resolution diffusion imaging (hardi) to elucidate the structural connectivity of the aras in 3 adult human brains, 2 of which were imaged postmortem. high angular resolution diffusion imaging tractography identified the aras connectivity previously described in animals and also revealed novel human pathways connecting the brainstem to the thalamus, the hypothalamus, and the basal forebrain. each pathway contained different distributions of fiber tracts from known neurotransmitter-specific aras nuclei in the brainstem. the histologically guided tractography findings reported here provide initial evidence for human-specific pathways of the aras. the unique composition of neurotransmitter-specific fiber tracts within each aras pathway suggests structural specializations that subserve the different functional characteristics of human arousal. this aras connectivity analysis provides proof of principle that hardi tractography may affect the study of human consciousness and its disorders, including in neuropathologic studies of patients dying in coma and the persistent vegetative state.”
Englot, D. J., D’Haese, P. F., Konrad, P. E., Jacobs, M. L., Gore, J. C., Abou-Khalil, B. W., & Morgan, V. L.. (2017). Functional connectivity disturbances of the ascending reticular activating system in temporal lobe epilepsy. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 88(11), 925–932.
“OBJECTIVE seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy (tle) disturb brain networks and lead to connectivity disturbances. we previously hypothesised that recurrent seizures in tle may lead to abnormal connections involving subcortical activating structures including the ascending reticular activating system (aras), contributing to neocortical dysfunction and neurocognitive impairments. however, no studies of aras connectivity have been previously reported in patients with epilepsy. methods we used resting-state functional mri recordings in 27 patients with tle (67% right sided) and 27 matched controls to examine functional connectivity (partial correlation) between eight brainstem aras structures and 105 cortical/subcortical regions. aras nuclei included: cuneiform/subcuneiform, dorsal raphe, locus coeruleus, median raphe, parabrachial complex, pontine oralis, pedunculopontine and ventral tegmental area. connectivity patterns were related to disease and neuropsychological parameters. results in control subjects, regions showing highest connectivity to aras structures included limbic structures, thalamus and certain neocortical areas, which is consistent with prior studies of aras projections. overall, aras connectivity was significantly lower in patients with tle than controls (p<0.05, paired t-test), particularly to neocortical regions including insular, lateral frontal, posterior temporal and opercular cortex. diminished aras connectivity to these regions was related to increased frequency of consciousness-impairing seizures (p<0.01, pearson’s correlation) and was associated with impairments in verbal iq, attention, executive function, language and visuospatial memory on neuropsychological evaluation (p<0.05, spearman’s rho or kendell’s tau-b). conclusions recurrent seizures in tle are associated with disturbances in aras connectivity, which are part of the widespread network dysfunction that may be related to neurocognitive problems in this devastating disorder.”
Jones, B. E.. (2011). Neurobiology of waking and sleeping. Handbook of Clinical Neurology (Vol. 98)
“This chapter discusses the neurobiology of waking and sleeping. waking and sleeping are actively generated by neuronal systems distributed through the brainstem and forebrain with different projections, discharge patterns, neurotransmitters, and receptors. specific ascending systems stimulate cortical activation, characterized by fast, particularly gamma activity that occurs during waking and rapid eye movement (rem) sleep. in addition to glutamatergic neurons of the reticular formation and thalamus, cholinergic pontomesencephalic and basal forebrain neurons are integral components of the ascending activating system. sleeping is initiated by inhibition of the activating and arousal systems. this inhibition is effected at multiple levels through particular gabaergic neurons which become active during sleep. neurons in the preoptic area and basal forebrain play a particularly important role in this process. some become active during slow-wave sleep (sws), promoting deactivation, and slow-wave activity in the cerebral cortex. others discharge at progressively increasing rates during sws and rem sleep, promoting behavioral quiescence, and diminishing muscle tone. through their projections and inhibitory neurotransmitter, they have the capacity to inhibit the monoaminergic neurons and orexin (orx)neurons in the brainstem and hypothalamus.”
Kinomura, S., Larsson, J., Gulyás, B., & Roland, P. E.. (1996). Activation by attention of the human reticular formation and thalamic intralaminar nuclei. Science, 271(5248), 512–515.
“It has been known for over 45 years that electrical stimulation of the midbrain reticular formation and of the thalamic intralaminar nuclei of the brain alerts animals. however, lesions of these sectors fail to impair arousal and vigilance in some cases, making the role of the ascending activating reticular system controversial. here, a positron emission tomographic study showed activation of the midbrain reticular formation and of thalamic intralaminar nuclei when human participants went from a relaxed awake state to an attention-demanding reaction-time task. these results confirm the role of these areas of the brain and brainstem in arousal and vigilance.”
Lin, J. S.. (2000). Brain structures and mechanisms involved in the control of cortical activation and wakefulness, with emphasis on the posterior hypothalamus and histaminergic neurons. Sleep Medicine Reviews
“Wakefulness is a functional brain state that allows the performance of several ‘high brain functions’, such as diverse behavioural, cognitive and emotional activities. present knowledge at the whole animal or cellular level suggests that the maintenance of the cerebral cortex in this highly complex state necessitates the convergent and divergent activity of an ascending network within a large reticular zone, extending from the medulla to the forebrain and involving four major subcortical structures (the thalamus, basal forebrain, posterior hypothalamus and brainstem monoaminergic nuclei), their integral interconnections and several neurotransmitters, such as glutamate, acetylcholine, histamine and noradrenaline. in this mini-review, the importance of the thalamus, basal forebrain and brainstem monoaminergic neurons in wake control is briefly summarized, before turning our attention to the posterior hypothalamus and histaminergic neurons, which have been far less studied. classical and recent experimental data are summarized, supporting the hypothesis that (1) the posterior hypothalamus constitutes one of the brain ascending activating systems and plays an important role in waking; (2) this function is mediated, in part, by histaminergic neurons, which constitute one of the excitatory sources for cortical activation during waking; (3) the mechanisms of histaminergic arousal involve both the ascending and descending projections of histaminergic neurons and their interactions with diverse neuronal populations, such as neurons in the pre-optic area and cholinergic neurons; and (4) other widespread-projecting neurons in the posterior hypothalamus also contribute to the tonic cortical activation during wakefulness and/or paradoxical sleep. (c) 2000 harcourt publishers ltd.”
McKinney, M.. (2005). Brain cholinergic vulnerability: Relevance to behavior and disease. Biochemical Pharmacology
“The term attention refers to the preferential allocation of cognitive and neural resources to events that have become behaviorally relevant. attention is modulated by the bottom-up influence of the ascending reticular activating system and the top-down influence of association and limbic cortices. focal lesions that interfere with the bottom-up or top-down regulation of attention, or multifocal partial lesions that interrupt multiple domain-specific processing pathways, can disrupt the attentional matrix and give rise to the acute confusional state syndrome.”
Newman, J.. (1995). Thalmic Contributions to Attention and Consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition
“Unitary concepts of arousal have outlived their usefulness and their psychological fractionation corresponds to a similar chemical differentiation of the reticular formation of the brain. neurobiological characteristics of the monoaminergic and cholinergic systems can be described in terms of their anatomical, electrophysiological and neurochemical properties. functional studies suggest that the coeruleo-cortical noradrenergic system, under certain circumstances, is implicated in processes of selective attention, that the mesolimbic and mesostriatal dopaminergic systems contribute to different forms of behavioural activation, and that the cortical cholinergic projections have fundamental roles in the cortical processing of signals, affecting attentional and mnemonic processes. the ascending serotoninergic systems contribute to behavioural inhibition and appear to oppose the functions of the other systems in several ways.”
Siegel, J.. (2004). Brain mechanisms that control sleep and waking. Naturwissenschaften
“This review paper presents a brief historical survey of the technological and early research that laid the groundwork for recent advances in sleep-waking research. a major advance in this field occurred shortly after the end of world war ii with the discovery of the ascending reticular activating system (aras) as the neural source in the brain stem of the waking state. subsequent research showed that the brain stem activating system produced cortical arousal via two pathways: a dorsal route through the thalamus and a ventral route through the hypothalamus and basal forebrain. the nuclei, pathways, and neurotransmitters that comprise the multiple components of these arousal systems are described. sleep is now recognized as being composed of two very different states: rapid eye movements (rems) sleep and non-rem sleep. the major findings on the neural mechanisms that control these two sleep states are presented. this review ends with a discussion of two current views on the function of sleep: to maintain the integrity of the immune system and to enhance memory consolidation. [references: 114]”
Yeo, S. S., Chang, P. H., & Jang, S. H.. (2013). The Ascending Reticular Activating System from Pontine Reticular Formation to the Thalamus in the Human Brain. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7
“Introduction: action of the ascending reticular activating system (aras) on the cerebral cortex is responsible for achievement of consciousness. in this study, we attempted to reconstruct the lower single component of the aras from the reticular formation (rf) to the thalamus in the normal human brain using diffusion tensor imaging (dti). methods: twenty six normal healthy subjects were recruited for this study. a 1.5-t scanner was used for scanning of diffusion tensor images, and the lower single component of the aras was reconstructed using fmrib software. we utilized two rois for reconstruction of the lower single component of the aras: the seed roi – the rf of the pons at the level of the trigeminal nerve entry zone, the target roi – the intralaminar nuclei of the thalamus at the level of the commissural plane. results: the reconstructed aras originated from the pontine rf, ascended through the mesencephalic tegmentum just posterior to the red nucleus, and then terminated on the intralaminar nuclei of the thalamus. no significant differences in fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, and tract number were observed between hemispheres (p > 0.05). conclusion: we reconstructed the lower single component of the aras from the rf to the thalamus in the human brain using dti. the results of this study might be of value for the diagnosis and prognosis of patients with impaired consciousness.”
Young, G. B.. (2011). Impaired Consciousness and Herniation Syndromes. Neurologic Clinics
A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not presented by that opponent. One who engages in this fallacy is said to be “attacking a straw man.”
Eemeren, F. H. Van, Amsterdam, F. V., & Walton, D.. (1996). The straw man fallacy. Logic and Argumentation
“In this paper, an analysis is given of the straw man fallacy as a misrepresentation of someone’s commitments in order to refute that person’s argument. with this analysis a distinction can be made between straw man and other closely related fallacies such as ad hominem, secundum quid and ad verecundiam. when alleged cases of the straw man fallacy are evaluated, the speaker’s commitment should be conceived normatively in relation to the type of conversation the speaker was supposed to be engaged in.”
Talisse, R., & Aikin, S. F.. (2006). Two forms of the Straw Man. Argumentation
“In this article i address the following question: when are reformulations in argumentative criticisms reasonable and when do they become fallacious straw men? following ideas developed in the integrated version of pragma-dialectics, i approach argumentation as an element of agonistic exchanges permeated by arguers’ strategic manoeuvring aimed at effectively defeating the opponent with reasonable means. i propose two basic context-sensitive criteria for deciding on the reasonableness of reformulations: precision of the rules for interpretation (precise vs. loose) and general expectation of cooperativeness (critical vs. constructive). on the basis of analysis of examples taken from online political discussions, i argue that in some contexts, especially those that are critical and loose, what might easily be classified as a straw man following conventional treatment should be taken as a harsh, yet reasonable, strategic argumentative criticism.”
Lewiński, M., & Oswald, S.. (2013). When and how do we deal with straw men? A normative and cognitive pragmatic account. Journal of Pragmatics
“In a recent paper in this journal, ‘the fallacy of beneficial ignorance: a test of hirschman’s hiding hand’, professor bent flyvbjerg claims that there is no such thing as beneficial ignorance and that ignorance is detrimental to project success. moreover, he argues that if hirschman’s principle of the hiding hand were correct, then benefit overruns would exceed cost overruns. thus, with a statistical test, he demonstrates that the hiding hand is in fact less common than its ‘evil twin’, the planning fallacy. in this rejoinder, the author shows that flyvbjerg’s test is built on a straw man fallacy and that he fails to refute the hiding hand. contrary to flyvbjerg—who focuses on the narrow costs and benefits—this paper provides evidence that while the hiding hand is found among projects that are project management failures but project successes, the planning fallacy fits with projects that are both project management and project failures. on that basis, the author analyzes a sample of 161 world bank-funded projects of different types and finds that the hiding hand prevails. while future research should ascertain this finding, the author then points out the methodological limitations of flyvbjerg’s test. indeed, it is ironic that the hiding hand, a principle crafted against the very idea of cost–benefit analysis, is refuted on that very basis. even worse, flyvbjerg, in his cost–benefit analysis, ignores the full life-cycle project costs and benefits, the unintended project effects, the difficulties, and problem-solving abilities so dear to hirschman, and, thus, treats the management of projects as a kind of ‘black box’. finally, the author submits that hirschman was a behavioral project theorist, and argues that it is more important to shed light on the circumstances where the hiding hand works than to question whether the principle of the hiding hand is right.”
Macagno, F., & Damele, G.. (2013). The dialogical force of implicit premises: Presumptions in enthymemes. Informal Logic
“The implicit dimension of enthymemes is investigated from a pragmatic perspective to show why a premise can be left unexpressed, and how it can be used strategically. the relationship between the implicit act of taking for granted and the pattern of presumptive reasoning is shown to be the cornerstone of kairos and the fallacy of straw man. by taking a proposition for granted, the speaker shifts the burden of proving its unacceptability onto the hearer. the resemblance (likeliness) of the tacit premise with what is commonly acceptable or has been actually stated can be used as a rhetorical strategy”
“Just as the Indian was branded a savage beast to justify his exploitation, so those who have sought social guerrillas, or terrorists, or drug dealers, or whatever the current term of art may be.” (Piero Gleijeses, as cited by Noam Chomsky)
Neural top–down control of physiology concerns the direct regulation by the brain of emotional and physiological functions. Cellular functions include the immune system’s production of T-lymphocytes and antibodies, and nonimmune related homeostatic functions such as liver gluconeogenesis, sodium reabsorption, osmoregulation, and brown adipose tissue nonshivering thermogenesis.More at Wikipedia
Chiesa, A., Serretti, A., & Jakobsen, J. C.. (2013). Mindfulness: Top-down or bottom-up emotion regulation strategy?. Clinical Psychology Review
“Emotion regulation plays a crucial role in adaptive functioning and mounting evidence suggests that some emotion regulation strategies are often more effective than others. however, little attention has been paid to the different ways emotions can be generated: from the ‘bottom-up’ (in response to inherently emotional perceptual properties of the stimulus) or ‘top-down’ (in response to cognitive evaluations). based on a process priming principle, we hypothesized that mode of emotion generation would interact with subsequent emotion regulation. specifically, we predicted that top-down emotions would be more successfully regulated by a top-down regulation strategy than bottom-up emotions. to test this hypothesis, we induced bottom-up and top-down emotions, and asked participants to decrease the negative impact of these emotions using cognitive reappraisal. we observed the predicted interaction between generation and regulation in two measures of emotional responding. as measured by self-reported affect, cognitive reappraisal was more successful on top-down generated emotions than bottom-up generated emotions. neurally, reappraisal of bottom-up generated emotions resulted in a paradoxical increase of amygdala activity. this interaction between mode of emotion generation and subsequent regulation should be taken into account when comparing of the efficacy of different types of emotion regulation, as well as when reappraisal is used to treat different types of clinical disorders.”
Terhune, D. B., Cleeremans, A., Raz, A., & Lynn, S. J.. (2017). Hypnosis and top-down regulation of consciousness. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
“Hypnosis is a unique form of top-down regulation in which verbal suggestions are capable of eliciting pronounced changes in a multitude of psychological phenomena. hypnotic suggestion has been widely used both as a technique for studying basic science questions regarding human consciousness but also as a method for targeting a range of symptoms within a therapeutic context. here we provide a synthesis of current knowledge regarding the characteristics and neurocognitive mechanisms of hypnosis. we review evidence from cognitive neuroscience, experimental psychopathology, and clinical psychology regarding the utility of hypnosis as an experimental method for modulating consciousness, as a model for studying healthy and pathological cognition, and as a therapeutic vehicle. we also highlight the relations between hypnosis and other psychological phenomena, including the broader domain of suggestion and suggestibility, and conclude by identifying the most salient challenges confronting the nascent cognitive neuroscience of hypnosis and outlining future directions for research on hypnosis and suggestion.”
Zelazo, P. D., & Carlson, S. M.. (2012). Hot and Cool Executive Function in Childhood and Adolescence: Development and Plasticity. Child Development Perspectives
“Executive function (ef), which refers to the more deliberate, top-down neurocognitive processes involved in self-regulation, develops most rapidly during the preschool years, together with the growth of neural networks involving prefrontal cortex but continues to develop well into adulthood. both ef and the neural systems supporting ef vary as a function of motivational significance, and this article discusses the distinction between the top-down processes that operate in motivationally and emotionally significant situations (‘hot ef’) and the top-down processes that operate is more affectively neutral contexts (‘cool ef’). emerging evidence indicates that both hot and cool ef are surprisingly malleable, with implications for intervention and prevention.”
Johnstone, T., van Reekum, C. M., Urry, H. L., Kalin, N. H., & Davidson, R. J.. (2007). Failure to Regulate: Counterproductive Recruitment of Top-Down Prefrontal-Subcortical Circuitry in Major Depression. Journal of Neuroscience
“Although depressed mood is a normal occurrence in response to adversity in all individuals, what distinguishes those who are vulnerable to major depressive disorder (mdd) is their inability to effectively regulate negative mood when it arises. investigating the neural underpinnings of adaptive emotion regulation and the extent to which such processes are compromised in mdd may be helpful in understanding the pathophysiology of depression. we report results from a functional magnetic resonance imaging study demonstrating left-lateralized activation in the prefrontal cortex (pfc) when downregulating negative affect in nondepressed individuals, whereas depressed individuals showed bilateral pfc activation. furthermore, during an effortful affective reappraisal task, nondepressed individuals showed an inverse relationship between activation in left ventrolateral pfc and the amygdala that is mediated by the ventromedial pfc (vmpfc). no such relationship was found for depressed individuals, who instead show a positive association between vmpfc and amygdala. pupil dilation data suggest that those depressed patients who expend more effort to reappraise negative stimuli are characterized by accentuated activation in the amygdala, insula, and thalamus, whereas nondepressed individuals exhibit the opposite pattern. these findings indicate that a key feature underlying the pathophysiology of major depression is the counterproductive engagement of right prefrontal cortex and the lack of engagement of left lateral-ventromedial prefrontal circuitry important for the downregulation of amygdala responses to negative stimuli.”
Heatherton, T. F., & Wagner, D. D.. (2011). Cognitive neuroscience of self-regulation failure. Trends in Cognitive Sciences
“Theoretical perspectives posit that heart-rate variability (hrv) reflects self-regulatory capacity and therefore can be employed as a bio-marker of top-downself-regulation (the ability to regulate behavioral, cognitive, and emotional processes). however, existing findings of relations between self-regulation and hrv indices are mixed. to clarify the nature of such relations, we conducted a meta-analysis of 123 studies (n = 14,347) reporting relations between hrv indices and aspects of top-downself-regulation (e.g., executive functioning, emotion regulation, effortful control). a significant, albeit small, effect was observed (r = 0.09) such that greater hrv was related to better top-downself-regulation. differences in relations were negligible across aspects of self-regulation, self-regulation measurement methods, hrv computational techniques, at-risk compared with healthy samples, and the context of hrv measurement. stronger relations were observed in older relative to younger samples and in published compared to unpublished studies. these findings generally support the notion that hrv indices can tentatively be employed as bio-markers of top-downself-regulation. conceptual and theoretical implications, and critical gaps in current knowledge to be addressed by future work, are discussed.”
Kerr, C. E., Sacchet, M. D., Lazar, S. W., Moore, C. I., & Jones, S. R.. (2013). Mindfulness starts with the body: somatosensory attention and top-down modulation of cortical alpha rhythms in mindfulness meditation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
“Using a common set of mindfulness exercises, mindfulness based stress reduction (mbsr) and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (mbct) have been shown to reduce distress in chronic pain and decrease risk of depression relapse. these standardized mindfulness (st-mindfulness) practices predominantly require attending to breath and body sensations. here, we offer a novel view of st-mindfulness’s somatic focus as a form of training for optimizing attentional modulation of 7-14 hz alpha rhythms that play a key role in filtering inputs to primary sensory neocortex and organizing the flow of sensory information in the brain. in support of the framework, we describe our previous finding that st-mindfulness enhanced attentional regulation of alpha in primary somatosensory cortex (si). the framework allows us to make several predictions. in chronic pain, we predict somatic attention in st-mindfulness ‘de-biases’ alpha in si, freeing up pain-focused attentional resources. in depression relapse, we predict st-mindfulness’s somatic attention competes with internally focused rumination, as internally focused cognitive processes (including working memory) rely on alpha filtering of sensory input. our computational model predicts st-mindfulness enhances top-down modulation of alpha by facilitating precise alterations in timing and efficacy of si thalamocortical inputs. we conclude by considering how the framework aligns with buddhist teachings that mindfulness starts with ‘mindfulness of the body.’ translating this theory into neurophysiology, we hypothesize that with its somatic focus, mindfulness’ top-down alpha rhythm modulation in si enhances gain control which, in turn, sensitizes practitioners to better detect and regulate when the mind wanders from its somatic focus. this enhanced regulation of somatic mind-wandering may be an important early stage of mindfulness training that leads to enhanced cognitive regulation and metacognition.”
Wagner, D. D., Altman, M., Boswell, R. G., Kelley, W. M., & Heatherton, T. F.. (2013). Self-Regulatory Depletion Enhances Neural Responses to Rewards and Impairs Top-Down Control. Psychological Science
“To be successful at self-regulation, individuals must be able to resist impulses and desires. the strength model of self-regulation suggests that when self-regulatory capacity is depleted, self-control deficits result from a failure to engage top-down control mechanisms. using functional neuroimaging, we examined changes in brain activity in response to viewing desirable foods among 31 chronic dieters, half of whom completed a task known to result in self-regulatory depletion. compared with nondepleted dieters, depleted dieters exhibited greater food-cue-related activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, a brain area associated with coding the reward value and liking aspects of desirable foods; they also showed decreased functional connectivity between this area and the inferior frontal gyrus, a region commonly implicated in self-control. these findings suggest that self-regulatory depletion provokes self-control failure by reducing connectivity between brain regions that are involved in cognitive control and those that represent rewards, thereby decreasing the capacity to resist temptations.”
Phillips, A. G., Vacca, G., & Ahn, S.. (2008). A top-down perspective on dopamine, motivation and memory. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
“A train of action potentials (a spike train) can carry information in both the average firing rate and the pattern of spikes in the train. but can such a spike-pattern code be supported by cortical circuits? neurons in vitro produce a spike pattern in response to the injection of a fluctuating current. however, corticalneurons in vivo are modulated by local oscillatory neuronal activity and by top-down inputs. in a cortical circuit, precise spike patterns thus reflect the interaction between internally generated activity and sensory information encoded by input spike trains. we review the evidence for precise and reliable spike timing in the cortex and discuss its computational role.”