Research from cognitive science and geoscience education has shown that sketching can improve spatial thinking skills and facilitate solving spatially complex problems. Yet sketching is rarely implemented in introductory geosciences courses, due to time needed to grade sketches and lack of materials that incorporate cognitive science research. Here, we report a design-centered, collaborative effort, between geoscientists, cognitive scientists, and artificial intelligence (AI) researchers, to characterize spatial learning challenges in geoscience and to design sketch activities that use a sketch-understanding program, CogSketch. We developed 26 CogSketch worksheets that use cognitive science–based principles to scaffold problem solving of spatially complex geoscience problems and report observations of an implementation in an introductory geoscience course where students used CogSketch or human-graded paper worksheets. Overall, this research highlights the principles of interdisciplinary design between cognitive scientists, geoscientists, and AI researchers that can inform the collaborative design process for others aiming to develop effective educational materials.
Research on surprise relevant to the cognitive-evolutionary model of surprise proposed by Meyer, Reisenzein, and Schützwohl (1997) is reviewed. The majority of the assumptions of the model are found empirically supported. Surprise is evoked by unexpected (schema-discrepant) events and its intensity is determined by the degree if schema-discrepancy, whereas the novelty and the valence of the eliciting events probably do not have an independent effect. Unexpected events cause an automatic interruption of ongoing mental processes that is followed by an attentional shift and attentional binding to the events, which is often followed by causal and other event analysis processes and by schema revision. The facial expression of surprise postulated by evolutionary emotion psychologists has been found to occur rarely in surprise, for as yet unknown reasons. A physiological orienting response marked by skin conductance increase, heart rate deceleration, and pupil dilation has been observed to occur regularly in the standard version of the repetition-change paradigm of surprise induction, but the specificity of these reactions as indicators of surprise is controversial. There is indirect evidence for the assumption that the feeling of surprise consists of the direct awareness of the schema-discrepancy signal, but this feeling, or at least the self-report of surprise, is also influenced by experienced interference. In contrast, facial feedback probably does contribute substantially to the feeling of surprise and the evidence for the hypothesis that surprise is affected by the difficulty of explaining an unexpected event is, in our view, inconclusive. Regardless of how the surprise feeling is constituted, there is evidence that it has both motivational and informational effects. Finally, the prediction failure implied by unexpected events sometimes causes a negative feeling, but there is no convincing evidence that this is always the case, and we argue that even if it were so, this would not be a sufficient reason for regarding this feeling as a component, rather than as an effect of surprise.
Kant, Wittgenstein, and Husserl all held that visual awareness of objects requires visual awareness of the space in which the objects are located. There is a lively debate in the literature on spatial perception whether this view is undermined by the results of experiments on a Balint’s syndrome patient, known as RM. I argue that neither of two recent interpretations of these results is able to explain RM’s apparent ability to experience motion. I outline some ways in which each interpretation may respond to this challenge, and suggest which way of meeting the challenge is preferable. I conclude that RM retains some awareness of the larger space surrounding the objects he sees.
Nature Neuroscience 20, 1395 (2017). doi:10.1038/nn.4628
Authors: Hiroshi M Shiozaki & Hokto Kazama
According to philosophers who ground your anticipation of future experiences in psychological continuity and connectedness, it is rational to anticipate the experiences of someone other than yourself, such as a self that is the product of fission or of replication. In this article, I concur that it is rational to anticipate the experiences of the product of fission while denying the rationality of anticipating the experiences of a replica. In defending my position, I offer the following explanation of why you have good reason to anticipate the experiences of your post-fission successor but not your replica: in the former case, you become (i.e., substantially change into) somebody else, whereas, in the latter case, you are merely replaced by somebody else.
Externalism is the thesis that the contents of intentional states and speech acts are not determined by the way the subjects of those states or acts are internally. It is a widely accepted but not entirely uncontroversial thesis. Among such theses in philosophy, externalism is notable for owing the assent it commands almost entirely to thought experiments, especially to variants of Hilary Putnam’s famous Twin Earth scenario. This paper presents a thought experiment-free argument for externalism. It shows that externalism is a deductive consequence of a pair of widely accepted principles whose relevance to the issue has hitherto gone unnoticed.
There is a long-standing view in epistemology that perception is a way of knowing (WOK). There is a less long-standing but increasingly popular view that knowledge attributions have a relativist semantics (RKA). I discuss three things here. First, I show that it is a consequence of the logic of RKA that WOK and RKA are incompatible. Second, I argue that, even if WOK is incompatible with the main rivals to RKA, this is not a consequence of the logics of these views. RKA comes with a hitherto unobserved philosophical consequence that its main rivals do not come with. Third, I consider some responses to the effect that it does not matter that RKA comes with this consequence, and argue that they are all unsatisfactory as they stand. I conclude that, at the very least, the onus is placed on relativists to engage with more epistemology than they currently do to show that we do not need to worry about the incompatibility of WOK and RKA. I conclude with some suggestions about the broader relevance and implications of this paper.
Previous research with aphasic patients has shown that picture naming can be facilitated by concurrent phonemic cueing [e.g. initial phoneme(s) of the word that the patient is trying to retrieve], both as an immediate word retrieval technique, and when practiced repeatedly over time as a long-term anomia treatment. Here, to investigate the neural mechanisms supporting word retrieval, we adoptedfor the first timea functional magnetic resonance imaging task using the same naming procedure as it occurs during the anomia treatment process. Before and directly after a 6-week anomia treatment programme, 18 chronic aphasic stroke patients completed our functional magnetic resonance imaging protocola picture naming task aided by three different types of phonemic cues (whole words, initial phonemes, final phonemes) and a noise-control condition. Patients completed a naming task based on the training materials, and a more general comprehensive battery of language tests both before and after the anomia treatment, to determine the effectiveness and specificity of the therapy. Our results demonstrate that the anomia treatment was effective and specific to speech production, significantly improving both patients naming accuracy and reaction time immediately post-treatment (unstandardized effect size: 29% and 17%, respectively; Cohens d: 3.45 and 1.83). Longer term gains in naming were maintained 3 months later. Functional imaging results showed that both immediate and long-term facilitation of naming involved a largely overlapping bilateral frontal network including the right anterior insula, inferior frontal and dorsal anterior cingulate cortices, and the left premotor cortex. These areas were associated with a neural priming effect (i.e. reduced blood oxygen level-dependent signal) during both immediate (phonemically-cued versus control-cue conditions), and long-term facilitation of naming (i.e. treated versus untreated items). Of note is that different brain regions were sensitive to different phonemic cue types. Processing of whole word cues was associated with increased activity in the right angular gyrus; whereas partial word cues (initial and final phonemes) recruited the left supplementary motor area, and right anterior insula, inferior frontal cortex, and basal ganglia. The recruitment of multiple and bilateral areas may help explain why phonemic cueing is such a successful behavioural facilitation tool for anomia treatment. Our results have important implications for optimizing current anomia treatment approaches, developing new treatments, and improving speech outcome for aphasic patients.
Publication Date: 27 September 2017
Variability is prevalent in early language acquisition, but, whether it supports or hinders learning is unclear; while target variability has been shown to facilitate word learning, variability in competitor items has been shown to make the task harder. Here, we tested whether background variability could boost learning in a referent selection task. Two groups of 2-year-old children saw arrays of one novel and two known objects on a screen, and they heard a novel or known label. Stimuli were identical across conditions, with the exception that in the constant color condition objects appeared on a uniform white background, and in the variable color condition backgrounds were different, uniform colors. At test, only children in the variable condition showed evidence of retaining label-object associations. These data support findings from the adult memory literature, which suggest that variability supports learning by decontextualizing representations. We argue that these data are consistent with dynamic systems accounts of learning in which low-level entropy adds sufficient noise to the developmental system to precipitate a change in behavior.
Both Earlier Times and the Future Are “Front”: The Distinction Between Time- and Ego-Reference-Points in Mandarin Speakers’ Temporal Representation
Mandarin speakers, like most other language speakers around the world, use spatial terms to talk about time. However, the direction of their mental temporal representation along the front-back axis remains controversial because they use the spatial term “front” to refer to both earlier times (e.g., front-year means “the year before last”) and the future (e.g., front-road means “prospect”). Although the linguistic distinction between time- and ego-reference-point spatiotemporal metaphors in Mandarin suggests a promising clarification of the above controversy, there is little empirical evidence verifying this distinction. In this study, Mandarin speakers’ time- and ego-reference-point temporal representations on three axes (i.e., sagittal, lateral, and vertical) were separately examined through two tasks. In a time-reference-point task, Mandarin speakers judged whether the time point of the second picture was earlier or later than the time point of the first picture, while in an ego-reference-point task, they judged whether an event or phase had happened in the past or would happen in the future. The results indicate that Mandarin speakers construe an earlier-times-in-front-of-later-times temporal sequence and adopt the front-to-the-future orientation.
Both mindreading and stereotyping are forms of social cognition that play a pervasive role in our everyday lives, yet too little attention has been paid to the question of how these two processes are related. This paper offers a theory of the influence of stereotyping on mental-state attribution that draws on hierarchical predictive coding accounts of action prediction. It is argued that the key to understanding the relation between stereotyping and mindreading lies in the fact that stereotypes centrally involve character-trait attributions, which play a systematic role in the action–prediction hierarchy. On this view, when we apply a stereotype to an individual, we rapidly attribute to her a cluster of generic character traits on the basis of her perceived social group membership. These traits are then used to make inferences about that individual’s likely beliefs and desires, which in turn inform inferences about her behavior.
Irritability and nonviolent aggression are common behavioral features across the population, yet there is limited neurobiological research into subclinical phenotypes representing the lower edge of a symptom continuum ranging from slight irritability to criminal violence. We studied brain structural correlates of irritability in a large healthy cohort to test the hypothesis of associations with fronto-limbic brain structures implicated in mood regulation. In a large multicenter effort, we recruited 409 mentally healthy adults from the community, who received T1-weighted high-resolution 3 T MRI scans. These structural scans were automatically preprocessed for voxel- and surface-based morphometry measurements with the CAT 12 toolbox implemented in SPM 12. Subclinical aggressive symptoms were assessed using the SCL-90-R aggression/hostility subscale and then correlated with cortical volume (VBM), and cortical thickness and gyrification. VBM analysis showed significant (P < 0.05, FDR-corrected at peak-level) positive correlations of cortical volume with SCL-90-R aggression subscale values in large clusters spanning bilateral anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices and left lingual and postcentral gyri. Surface-based morphometry yielded mostly uncorrected positive correlations with cortical thickness in bilateral precentral gyri and with gyrification in left insula and superior temporal gyrus. Our findings imply an association of subclinical aggressive symptoms with cortical volume in areas important for emotion awareness and regulation, which might also be related to cortical adaptation to mental stress. These results overlap with several findings on impulsive aggression in patients suffering from affective and disruptive behavior disorders. They also suggest a biological symptom continuum manifesting in these brain areas. Hum Brain Mapp, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Modeling somatic and dendritic spike mediated plasticity at the single neuron and network level
Nature Communications, Published online: 26 September 2017;doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00740-z
Synaptic plasticity is the neuronal mechanism underlying learning. Here the authors construct biophysical models of pyramidal neurons that reproduce observed plasticity gradients along the dendrite and show that dendritic spike dependent LTP which is predominant in distal sections can prolong memory retention.
ApoE4 markedly exacerbates tau-mediated neurodegeneration in a mouse model of tauopathy
Nature 549, 7673 (2017). doi:10.1038/nature24016
Authors: Yang Shi, Kaoru Yamada, Shane Antony Liddelow, Scott T. Smith, Lingzhi Zhao, Wenjie Luo, Richard M. Tsai, Salvatore Spina, Lea T. Grinberg, Julio C. Rojas, Gilbert Gallardo, Kairuo Wang, Joseph Roh, Grace Robinson, Mary Beth Finn, Hong Jiang, Patrick M. Sullivan, Caroline Baufeld, Michael W. Wood, Courtney Sutphen, Lena McCue, Chengjie Xiong, Jorge L. Del-Aguila, John C. Morris, Carlos Cruchaga, Anne M. Fagan, Bruce L. Miller, Adam L. Boxer, William W. Seeley, Oleg Butovsky, Ben A. Barres, Steven M. Paul & David M. Holtzman
APOE4 is the strongest genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer disease. ApoE4 increases brain amyloid-β pathology relative to other ApoE isoforms. However, whether APOE independently influences tau pathology, the other major proteinopathy of Alzheimer disease and other tauopathies, or tau-mediated neurodegeneration, is not clear. By generating P301S tau transgenic mice on either a human ApoE knock-in (KI) or ApoE knockout (KO) background, here we show that P301S/E4 mice have significantly higher tau levels in the brain and a greater extent of somatodendritic tau redistribution by three months of age compared with P301S/E2, P301S/E3, and P301S/EKO mice. By nine months of age, P301S mice with different ApoE genotypes display distinct phosphorylated tau protein (p-tau) staining patterns. P301S/E4 mice develop markedly more brain atrophy and neuroinflammation than P301S/E2 and P301S/E3 mice, whereas P301S/EKO mice are largely protected from these changes. In vitro, E4-expressing microglia exhibit higher innate immune reactivity after lipopolysaccharide treatment. Co-culturing P301S tau-expressing neurons with E4-expressing mixed glia results in a significantly higher level of tumour-necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) secretion and markedly reduced neuronal viability compared with neuron/E2 and neuron/E3 co-cultures. Neurons co-cultured with EKO glia showed the greatest viability with the lowest level of secreted TNF-α. Treatment of P301S neurons with recombinant ApoE (E2, E3, E4) also leads to some neuronal damage and death compared with the absence of ApoE, with ApoE4 exacerbating the effect. In individuals with a sporadic primary tauopathy, the presence of an ε4 allele is associated with more severe regional neurodegeneration. In individuals who are positive for amyloid-β pathology with symptomatic Alzheimer disease who usually have tau pathology, ε4-carriers demonstrate greater rates of disease progression. Our results demonstrate that ApoE affects tau pathogenesis, neuroinflammation, and tau-mediated neurodegeneration independently of amyloid-β pathology. ApoE4 exerts a ‘toxic’ gain of function whereas the absence of ApoE is protective.
Selective inhibitory control of pyramidal neuron ensembles and cortical subnetworks by chandelier cells
Nature Neuroscience 20, 1377 (2017). doi:10.1038/nn.4624
Authors: Jiangteng Lu, Jason Tucciarone, Nancy Padilla-Coreano, Miao He, Joshua A Gordon & Z Josh Huang
A crucial disanalogy between Twin Earth and Inverted Earth undermines qualia-internalism. A recent transplant to Inverted Earth has been equipped with color-inverting contact lenses, so that she is unable to see the colors of objects whereas a recent transplant to Twin Earth can see twater. It is implausible to think that time alone could rectify this perceptual shortcoming – that the passage of time could alter the contents of her visual perceptions or the meaning of her color terms. Thus, the thought experiment does not refute the close tie between phenomenology and representation in the case of color.
Numerous studies have indicated an increased risk for stroke in patients with migraine, especially migraine with aura; however, many studies used self-reported migraine and only a few controlled for familial factors. We aimed to investigate migraine as a risk factor for stroke in a Swedish population-based twin cohort, and whether familial factors contribute to an increased risk. The study population included twins without prior cerebrovascular disease who answered a headache questionnaire during 1998 and 2002 for twins born 193558 and during 200506 for twins born between 1959 and 1985. Migraine with and without aura and probable migraine was defined by an algorithm mapping on to clinical diagnostic criteria according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders. Stroke diagnoses were obtained from the national patient and cause of death registers. Twins were followed longitudinally, by linkage of national registers, from date of interview until date of first stroke, death, or end of study on 31 Dec 2014. In total, 8635 twins had any migraineous headache, whereof 3553 had migraine with aura and 5082 had non-aura migraineous headache (including migraine without aura and probable migraine), and 44 769 twins had no migraine. During a mean follow-up time of 11.9 years we observed 1297 incident cases of stroke. The Cox proportional hazards model with attained age as underlying time scale was used to estimate hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals for stroke including ischaemic and haemorrhagic subtypes related to migraine with aura, non-aura migraineous headache, and any migraineous headache. Analyses were adjusted for gender and cardiovascular risk factors. Where appropriate; within-pair analyses were performed to control for confounding by familial factors. The age- and gender-adjusted hazard ratio for stroke related to migraine with aura was 1.27 (95% confidence interval 1.001.62), P = 0.05, and 1.07 (95% confidence interval 0.911.26), P = 0.39 related to any migraineous headache. Multivariable adjusted analyses showed similar results. When stratified by gender and attained age of 50 or >50 years, the estimated hazard ratio for stroke was higher in twins younger than 50 years and in females; however, non-significant. In the within-pair analysis, the hazard ratio for stroke related to migraine with aura was attenuated [hazard ratio 1.09 (95% confidence interval 0.811.46), P = 0.59]. In conclusion, we observed no increased stroke risk related to migraine overall but there was a modestly increased risk for stroke related to migraine with aura, and within-pair analyses suggested that familial factors might contribute to this association.
- How Counterpart Theory Saves Nonreductive Physicalism.Justin Tiehen – forthcoming – Mind.
Nonreductive physicalism faces serious problems regarding causal exclusion, causal heterogeneity, and the nature of realization. In this paper I advance solutions to each of those problems. The proposed solutions all depend crucially on embracing modal counterpart theory. Hence, the paper’s thesis: counterpart theory saves nonreductive physicalism. I take as my inspiration the view that mental tokens are constituted by physical tokens in the same way statues are constituted by lumps of clay. I break from other philosophers who have pursued this (…)
- Sharing Our Normative Worlds: A Theory of Normative Thinking.Ivan Gonzalez-Cabrera – 2017 – Dissertation, Australian National University
This thesis focuses on the evolution of human social norm psychology. More precisely, I want to show how the emergence of our distinctive capacity to follow social norms and make social normative judgments is connected to the lineage explanation of our capacity to form shared intentions, and how such capacity is related to a diverse cluster of prototypical moral judgments. I argue that in explaining the evolution of this form of normative cognition we also require an understanding of the developmental (…)
LIMITS OF HUMAN SENSES, Consciousness and Awareness.Ulrich De Balbian – 2017 – Oxford: Academic Publishers.LIMITS OF HUMAN SENSES, Consciousness and Awareness -/- ULRICH DE BALBIAN -/- Meta-Philosophy Research Center My art makes the invisible visible, limits of human awareness -/- 1 Human consciousness and awareness is restricted by stereotypes and notions that cause philosophers and artists to exist in the dark ages as far as their perception and understanding of human inner and outer senses are concerned. Humans perceive 7 colors of rainbows with 16 to 37 or more colors, that are perceived by other (…)
- MERLEAU-PONTY ON EMBODIED SUBJECTIVITY FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF SUBJECT-OBJECT CIRCULARITY.Jan Halák – 2016 – Acta Universtitatis Carolinae Kinanthropologica 52 (2):26-40.
The phenomenological point of view of the body is usually appreciated for having introduced the notion of the ‘lived’ body. We cannot merely analyze and explain the body as one of the elements of the world of objects. We must also describe it, for example, as the center of our perspective on the world, the place where our sensing is ‘localized’, the agens which directly executes our intentions. However, in Husserl, the idea of the body as lived primarily complements his (…)
- Balint’s Syndrome, Visual Motion Perception, and Awareness of Space.Bartek Chomanski – forthcoming – Erkenntnis:1-20.
Kant, Wittgenstein, and Husserl all held that visual awareness of objects requires visual awareness of the space in which the objects are located. There is a lively debate in the literature on spatial perception whether this view is undermined by the results of experiments on a Balint’s syndrome patient, known as RM. I argue that neither of two recent interpretations of these results is able to explain RM’s apparent ability to experience motion. I outline some ways in which each interpretation (…)
Can Bohmian Quantum Information Help Us to Understand Consciousness?Paavo Pylkkänen – 2016 – In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS). Springer Publishing Company. pp. 76-87.The paper explores whether David Bohm’ s proposal about quantum theoretical active information, and the mind-matter scheme he developed on the basis of it, can help us to explain consciousness. Here it is important to acknowledge that other researchers in philosophy of mind and consciousness studies have also made use of the concept of information in their theories of mind and consciousness. For example, Dretske and Barwise and Seligman have explored the possibility that information in the sense of factual semantic (…)
Remembering with and Without Memory: A Theory of Memory and Aspects of Mind That Enable its Experience.Stan Klein – forthcoming – WIREs Cognitive Science.This article builds on ideas presented in Klein (2105a) concerning the importance of a more nuanced, conceptually rigorous approach to the scientific understanding and use of the construct “memory”. I first summarize my model, taking care to situate discussion within the terminological practices of contemporary philosophy of mind. I then elucidate the implications of the model for a particular operation of mind – the manner in which content presented to consciousness realizes its particular phenomenological character (i.e., mode of presentation). Finally, (…)
According to intentionalism, the phenomenal character of experience is one and the same as the intentional content of experience. This view has a problem with moods (anxiety, depression, elation, irritation, gloominess, grumpiness, etc.). Mood experiences certainly have phenomenal character, but do not exhibit directedness, i.e., do not appear intentional. Standardly, intentionalists have re-described moods’ undirectedness in terms of directedness towards everything or the whole world (e.g., Crane, 1998; Seager, 1999). This move offers the intentionalist a way out, but is quite (…)
- The Eudaimonian Question: On the Tragedy of Humanism.Raymond Aaron Younis – forthcoming
Minds Online: The Interface Between Web Science, Cognitive Science, and the Philosophy of Mind.Paul Smart, Robert William Clowes & Richard Heersmink – 2017 – Foundations and Trends in Web Science 6 (1-2):1-234.Alongside existing research into the social, political and economic impacts of the Web, there is a need to study the Web from a cognitive and epistemic perspective. This is particularly so as new and emerging technologies alter the nature of our interactive engagements with the Web, transforming the extent to which our thoughts and actions are shaped by the online environment. Situated and ecological approaches to cognition are relevant to understanding the cognitive significance of the Web because of the emphasis (…)