(1) The induced colours led to perceptual grouping and pop-out, (2) a grapheme rendered invisible through ‘crowding’ or lateral masking induced synaesthetic colours — a form of blindsight — and (3) peripherally presented graphemes did not induce colours even when they were clearly visible. Taken collectively, these and other experiments prove conclusively that synaesthesia is a genuine percep- tual phenomenon, not an effect based on memory associations from childhood or on vague metaphorical speech. We identify different subtypes of number–colour synaesthesia (...) and propose that they are caused by hyperconnectivity between col- our and number areas at different stages in processing; lower synaesthetes may have cross-wiring (or cross-activation) within the fusiform gyrus, whereas higher synaesthetes may have cross-activation in the angular gyrus. This hyperconnec- tivity might be caused by a genetic mutation that causes defective pruning of con- nections between brain maps. The mutation may further be expressed selectively (due to transcription factors) in the fusiform or angular gyri, and this may explain the existence of different forms of synaesthesia. If expressed very diffusely, there may be extensive cross-wiring between brain regions that represent abstract concepts, which would explain the link between creativity, metaphor and synaesthesia (and the higher incidence of synaesthesia among artists and poets). Also, hyperconnectivity between the sensory cortex and amygdala would explain the heightened aversion synaesthetes experience when seeing numbers printed in the ‘wrong’ colour. Lastly, kindling (induced hyperconnectivity in the temporal lobes of temporal lobe epilepsy [TLE] patients) may explain the purported higher incidence of synaesthesia in these patients. We conclude with a synaesthesia-based theory. (shrink)
Two experiments examine the effects of unreportable hints on anagram solving performance and on solvers' subjective experience of insight. In Experiment 1, after seeing a hint presented too briefly to identify, participants solved anagrams preceded by the solution fastest and solved anagrams preceded by unrelated hints slowest. Participants' “warmth” ratings for solution hints were more insight-like than those for unrelated hints. In Experiment 2 a hint, or no hint, was presented at one of three different exposure durations. Participants benefited from (...) solution-relevant hints that were either unreportable or reportable, but showed a cost only for unrelated hints that were reportable. Participants' ratings of their insight experiences showed that unreportable solution and semantically related hints produced more insight-like experiences than did unrelated hints. The results suggest that unreportable processing of solution-related information is important for the insight experience. (shrink)
On the basis of his acquaintance with theoretical elementary particle physics, and following the lead of Thomas Torrance, John Polkinghorne maintains that the data upon which a science is based, and the method by which it treats those data, must respect the idiosyncratic nature of the object with which the science is concerned. Polkinghorne calls this the "accommodation" (or "conformity") of a discipline to its object. The question then arises: What should we expect religious experience and theological method to be (...) like if they are accommodated to the idiosyncratic nature of God? Polkinghorne's methodological program is typical of postcritical positions in the theology-science dialogue in holding that the fiduciary element in theological method is simply a species of the fiduciary element that is a de facto part of all knowing—in other words, theological method does not differ in fundamental kind from the methods of the natural sciences. But this program may contain the seeds of an alienation of theological method from the transcendence of God similar to the double self-alienation of theology described by Michael Buckley in At the Origins of Modern Atheism. I contend that something like Bernard Lonergan's position on how the method of faith seeking understanding is related to the methods of the natural sciences is exactly the sort of thing that one should expect on the supposition of Polkinghorne's principle of accommodation, at least if the God who is the object of theological science is transcendent. The way in which the divine differs from all other objects ought to be disclosed or reflected in religious experience and theological method. Polkinghorne charts the course for an accommodated theology, but it seems to be Lonergan who is more intent on following it. (shrink)
These two texts are fundamental for the understanding not only of Neoplatonism but also of the conventions of biography in late antiquity. Neither has received such extensive annotation before in English, and this new commentary makes full use of recent scholarship. The long introduction is intended both as a beginner’s guide to Neoplatonism and as a survey of ancient biographical writing.
We studied two otherwise normal, synaesthetic subjects who `saw' a speci¢c colour every time they saw a speci¢c number or letter. We conducted four experiments in order to show that this was a genuine perceptual experience rather than merely a memory association. (i)The synaesthetically induced colours could lead to perceptual grouping, even though the inducing numerals or letters did not. (ii)Synaesthetically induced colours were not experienced if the graphemes were presented peripherally. (iii)Roman numerals were ine¡ective: the actual number grapheme was (...) required. (iv)If two graphemes were alternated the induced colours were also seen in alternation. However, colours were no longer experienced if the graphemes were alternated at more than 4 Hz. We propose that grapheme colour synaesthesia arises from `cross-wiring' between the `colour centre' (area V4 or V8)and the `number area', both of which lie in the fusiform gyrus. We also suggest a similar explanation for the representation of metaphors in the brain: hence, the higher incidence of synaesthesia among artists and poets. (shrink)
One of the most ingenious arguments in all of Attic oratory is to be found in the speech Lysias wrote for Euphiletus to deliver at his trial for the murder of Eratosthenes . In his speech Euphiletus first describes to the court how his wife was seduced by Eratosthenes, then recounts how he discovered the affair, caught the adulterer in the act, and, despite an offer to pay compensation, slew him. Euphiletus defends his action by citing the law of the (...) Areopagus that whoever kills an adulterer caught in flagranti with his wife cannot be convicted of murder. Euphiletus further points out that the same exemption applies to the man who catches someone seducing his pallakē. If the lawgiver regarded the seduction of a pallakē as so serious that it merited the death penalty, Euphiletus argues, he must have regarded the seduction of a wife as even more reprehensible, deserving a penalty worse than death. (shrink)
At one point in his treatise against the ‘Gnostics’ Plotinus treats his adversaries as men of flesh and blood, not merely as proponents of false books and false beliefs: For I feel a certain shame with regard to some of my friends, who, having chanced upon this doctrine before the beginning of our friendship, have continued to adhere to it for reasons that I cannot understand. Not that they themselves show any compunction in saying what they say: they may believe (...) what they say to be true, but perhaps they rather wish others to be persuaded of the truth of their own opinions. (shrink)
Herennius Philo of Byblos is the subject of a notice in the Suda, which states that he was a grammarian born in Nero's time who lived to such an advanced age that he was still composing works in the reign of Hadrian. The titles listed include: On the Acquisition and Choice of Books; On Cities and their Eminent Citizens; and On the Reign of Hadrian. His name, like that of Flavius Josephus, could imply the patronage of a Roman family; we (...) may suppose that, like Porphyry and Maximus of Tyre, he was a Phoenicean by origin who had adopted the tongue and culture of the Greeks. (shrink)
That the most poetic of all the Greek philosophers should also be the severest judge of the poets was a perpetual embarrassment to his disciples and an invitation to enemies who could never have found their way into the difficulties of his thought. At the hands of Colotes, an early Epicurean, Plato became the butt of his own asperities; the allegorist Heraclitus, showing equal contempt for Plato and for ‘the Phaeacian Epicurus’, found that philosophy lent itself to vices for which (...) the Iliad and the Odyssey had no name. Proclus, in his Commentary on the Republic, has the task of reconciling Homer with Plato, and of showing that the mythopoeic faculty is an instrument of the profoundest thought in both. (shrink)
This article supplements our earlier paper on synaesthesia published in JCS (Ramachandran & Hubbard, 2001a). We discuss the phenomenology of synaesthesia in greater detail, raise several new questions that have emerged from recent studies, and suggest some tentative answers to these questions.
Ether-drift experiments using opposed masers are examined from the point of view that, if molecules contain indigenous radiation, a maser beam might be idealized as a stream of light clocks. According to a recently developed theory of the light clock, in which relativistic Doppler frequencies are developed from a classical ether model augmented by the Fitzgerald contraction, no effect from ether drift is expected, so that the null result of the experiments is in accord with this version of the ether (...) theory. (shrink)
This study explores the nature of parental attitudinal beliefs towards educational inclusion and the factors that determine these beliefs. Participants were drawn from the Growing Up in Scotland Survey. Results indicate that majority of parents held positive generalised belief towards including children with additional support needs in mainstream classrooms, compared with belief about the benefits of inclusion for children with ASN, or benefits for typically developing children. Lower parental income and higher levels of satisfaction with child’s current school were associated (...) with positive generalised beliefs. Belief about the benefits of inclusion for children with ASN was also positively associated with lower parental income, while belief about benefits for typically developing children was determined by higher parental education and age. Our findings suggest that efforts to increase parental attitudes should target salient beliefs and take into account the determinants of each of these beliefs. (shrink)
In Athens during the late Classical and Hellenistic periods, it was customary for a man who was borrowing a large sum of money to pledge some property as security for the repayment of his loan. To show that this property was legally encumbered, a flat slab of stone, called a horos, was set up, and an inscription, indicating the nature of the lien on the property, was inscribed on the horos. These horoi served to warn third parties that the man (...) who pledged the property as security was not free to sell it or otherwise alienate it until the loan was repaid. The terminology which is used on these horoi to indicate that the property has been pledged as security varies. On a relatively small number of horoi, only seven, the property is described as ‘lying under ’ for a debt, the amount of which may or may not be specified. The texts found on a far greater number of horoi, some 128 in all, use a different type of expression. On these horoi, the property is said to have been ‘sold on condition of release’ . The terminology used on the horoi to describe this kind of lien presents a striking contrast with that employed by the Attic orators: in their speeches we find the verbs ποκεσθαι and ποτιθναι when it is a question of pledging security for a loan, but never ππρασθαι with the addition of the prepositional phrase π λσει. (shrink)
Associations between family income and child developmental outcomes are well documented. However, family income is not static but changes over time. Although this volatility represents income shocks that are likely to affect children’s lives, very few studies have so far examined its effect on early cognitive development. This study investigated associations between family income, volatility, and changes in cognitive outcomes in early childhood and examined whether these associations are dependent on a family’s overall income position. Data for the study spanned (...) five waves of the Growing Up in Scotland longitudinal survey. Findings indicate that income volatility was more prevalent among disadvantaged sociodemographic groups. In addition to average income, short-term volatility was associated with changes in child cognitive outcomes from ages 3 to 5. While upward volatility was associated with gains in expressive vocabulary, downward and fluctuating volatility were associated with declines in child problem-solving abilities. The association between volatility and changes in cognitive outcomes was similar for both children living in poverty and those from medium–high-income households. Our results suggest that policies aiming to cushion all families from negative income shocks, boost family income to ensure stability, and take low-income families out of poverty will have a significant impact on children’s cognitive development. Additionally, a more nuanced conceptualization of income is needed to understand its multidimensional impact on developmental outcomes. (shrink)