ResearchPad - opinion-paper https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Locked-down digital work]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16420 Covid-19 and the related lockdown in many countries made digital work no longer just an option, but the new norm for many office workers who began to make sense of a new range of benefits of digital work tools. Based on my own observations and on observations shared by executives in New Zealand and Europe, I illustrate in this article how the lockdown acted as a facilitator for digital work. Further, I show how the lockdown gave many individuals a flawed impression of digital work, i.e. their experience occurred during exceptional circumstances and led them to draw false conclusions about digital work. I examine some misconceptions of locked-down digital work and discuss the implications of locked-down digital work for research and practice.

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<![CDATA[Building diagnostic systems in Sierra Leone: The role of point-of-care devices in laboratory strengthening]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11906 <![CDATA[Incidental CT Findings Suspicious for COVID-19–Associated Pneumonia on Nuclear Medicine Examinations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8321 Some patients undergoing routine SPECT/CT and PET/CT examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic may incidentally reveal findings of COVID-19–associated pneumonia (C-19AP) on localizing CT. It is critical for nuclear medicine physicians to develop diagnostic skills for timely recognition of typical findings of C-19AP on a localizing CT. Furthermore, it is our responsibility to know the optimal practices for safely isolating and managing such patients while protecting the staff, other patients at the facility, family and/or friend accompanying the patients, and the public in general from risky exposure to COVID-19 sources. We offer several steps following an encounter suspicious of C-19AP.

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<![CDATA[Integrated information and dimensionality in continuous attractor dynamics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c08185dd5eed0c484f448c8

Abstract

There has been increasing interest in the integrated information theory (IIT) of consciousness, which hypothesizes that consciousness is integrated information within neuronal dynamics. However, the current formulation of IIT poses both practical and theoretical problems when empirically testing the theory by computing integrated information from neuronal signals. For example, measuring integrated information requires observing all the elements in a considered system at the same time, but this is practically very difficult. Here, we propose that some aspects of these problems are resolved by considering the topological dimensionality of shared attractor dynamics as an indicator of integrated information in continuous attractor dynamics. In this formulation, the effects of unobserved nodes on the attractor dynamics can be reconstructed using a technique called delay embedding, which allows us to identify the dimensionality of an embedded attractor from partial observations. We propose that the topological dimensionality represents a critical property of integrated information, as it is invariant to general coordinate transformations. We illustrate this new framework with simple examples and discuss how it fits with recent findings based on neural recordings from awake and anesthetized animals. This topological approach extends the existing notions of IIT to continuous dynamical systems and offers a much-needed framework for testing the theory with experimental data by substantially relaxing the conditions required for evaluating integrated information in real neural systems.

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<![CDATA[Self unbound: ego dissolution in psychedelic experience]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c08186cd5eed0c484f44bd2

Abstract

Users of psychedelic drugs often report that their sense of being a self or ‘I’ distinct from the rest of the world has diminished or altogether dissolved. Neuroscientific study of such ‘ego dissolution’ experiences offers a window onto the nature of self-awareness. We argue that ego dissolution is best explained by an account that explains self-awareness as resulting from the integrated functioning of hierarchical predictive models which posit the existence of a stable and unchanging entity to which representations are bound. Combining recent work on the ‘integrative self' and the phenomenon of self-binding with predictive processing principles yields an explanation of ego dissolution according to which self-representation is a useful Cartesian fiction: an ultimately false representation of a simple and enduring substance to which attributes are bound which serves to integrate and unify cognitive processing across levels and domains. The self-model is not a mere narrative posit, as some have suggested; it has a more robust and ubiquitous cognitive function than that. But this does not mean, as others have claimed, that the self-model has the right attributes to qualify as a self. It performs some of the right kinds of functions, but it is not the right kind of entity. Ego dissolution experiences reveal that the self-model plays an important binding function in cognitive processing, but the self does not exist.

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<![CDATA[Does unconscious perception really exist? Continuing the ASSC20 debate]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c081855d5eed0c484f44792 ]]> <![CDATA[Consciousness is more than meets the eye: a call for a multisensory study of subjective experience†]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c081866d5eed0c484f44a79

Abstract

Over the last 30 years, our understanding of the neurocognitive bases of consciousness has improved, mostly through studies employing vision. While studying consciousness in the visual modality presents clear advantages, we believe that a comprehensive scientific account of subjective experience must not neglect other exteroceptive and interoceptive signals as well as the role of multisensory interactions for perceptual and self-consciousness. Here, we briefly review four distinct lines of work which converge in documenting how multisensory signals are processed across several levels and contents of consciousness. Namely, how multisensory interactions occur when consciousness is prevented because of perceptual manipulations (i.e. subliminal stimuli) or because of low vigilance states (i.e. sleep, anesthesia), how interactions between exteroceptive and interoceptive signals give rise to bodily self-consciousness, and how multisensory signals are combined to form metacognitive judgments. By describing the interactions between multisensory signals at the perceptual, cognitive, and metacognitive levels, we illustrate how stepping out the visual comfort zone may help in deriving refined accounts of consciousness, and may allow cancelling out idiosyncrasies of each sense to delineate supramodal mechanisms involved during consciousness.

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<![CDATA[An unaware agenda: interictal consciousness impairments in epileptic patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c081874d5eed0c484f44dd9

Abstract

Consciousness impairments have been described as a cornerstone of epilepsy. Generalized seizures are usually characterized by a complete loss of consciousness, whereas focal seizures have more variable degrees of responsiveness. In addition to these impairments that occur during ictal episodes, alterations of consciousness have also been repeatedly observed between seizures (i.e. during interictal periods). In this opinion article, we review evidence supporting the novel hypothesis that epilepsy produces consciousness impairments which remain present interictally. Then, we discuss therapies aimed to reduce seizure frequency, which may modulate consciousness between epileptic seizures. We conclude with a consideration of relevant pathophysiological mechanisms. In particular, the thalamocortical network seems to be involved in both seizure generation and interictal consciousness impairments, which could inaugurate a promising translational agenda for epilepsy studies.

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<![CDATA[In the interest of saving time: a critique of discrete perception]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c081868d5eed0c484f44ae2

Abstract

A recently proposed model of sensory processing suggests that perceptual experience is updated in discrete steps. We show that the data advanced to support discrete perception are in fact compatible with a continuous account of perception. Physiological and psychophysical constraints, moreover, as well as our awake-primate imaging data, imply that human neuronal networks cannot support discrete updates of perceptual content at the maximal update rates consistent with phenomenology. A more comprehensive approach to understanding the physiology of perception (and experience at large) is therefore called for, and we briefly outline our take on the problem.

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<![CDATA[Controlling for performance capacity confounds in neuroimaging studies of conscious awareness]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c024066d5eed0c4843a6b12

Abstract

Studying the neural correlates of conscious awareness depends on a reliable comparison between activations associated with awareness and unawareness. One particularly difficult confound to remove is task performance capacity, i.e. the difference in performance between the conditions of interest. While ideally task performance capacity should be matched across different conditions, this is difficult to achieve experimentally. However, differences in performance could theoretically be corrected for mathematically. One such proposal is found in a recent paper by Lamy, Salti and Bar-Haim [Lamy D, Salti M, Bar-Haim Y. Neural correlates of subjective awareness and unconscious processing: an ERP study. J Cognitive Neurosci 2009,21:1435-46], who put forward a corrective method for an electroencephalography experiment. We argue that their analysis is essentially grounded in a version of High Threshold Theory, which has been shown to be inferior in general to Signal Detection Theory. We show through a series of computer simulations that their correction method only partially removes the influence of performance capacity, which can yield misleading results. We present a mathematical correction method based on Signal Detection Theory that is theoretically capable of removing performance capacity confounds. We discuss the limitations of mathematically correcting for performance capacity confounds in imaging studies and its impact for theories about consciousness.

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<![CDATA[Roadmap to personalized medicine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ac59e33463d7e1e9a6f574a

Abstract

Standard clinical protocols and the concept “one drug fits all” that are currently used to treat illness in many cases are not effective, and strikingly so in the treatment of cancer, where 75% of therapeutic schemes are ineffective. The concept of personalized medicine is that the treatment of the disease is designed on the basis of the individual needs of each patient and the factors that influence their response to different drugs. Individualization of patient care has the potential to generate novel effective therapies, limit the adverse drug effects, create optimal treatments for individual patients, and decrease the cost associated with chronic illness and complications of drug usage. However, to achieve the goals of personalized medicine many challenges must be addressed. Here we discuss possible ways to increase the consistency of data generated by basic research and their suitability for application in medicine. New technologies employing systems biology and computer based approaches will facilitate overcoming many of the scientific challenges in the field. Changes in the education of researchers, health professionals, and the public are also required to successfully implement personalized medicine as a routine in the clinic. Finally, shift of the focus away from the development of blockbuster drugs in the biopharmaceutical industry, and modifications in the legal system to accommodate novel advancements need to be considered. The joint effort of all interested parties is needed to generate an efficient roadmap that will take us rapidly and safely to effective individual treatment, which will eliminate diseases and create better health care for all.

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<![CDATA[How to conduct research on overdiagnosis. A keynote paper from the EGPRN May 2016, Tel Aviv]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bf87bf0d5eed0c484076d8e

Abstract

Overdiagnosis is a growing problem worldwide. Overdiagnosis is the diagnosis of deviations, abnormalities, risk factors, and pathologies that in themselves would never cause symptoms (this applies only to risk factors and pathology), would never lead to morbidity, and would never be the cause of death. Overdiagnosis is often misinterpreted as overutilization or overtreatment. Overutilization, overtreatment, and overdiagnosis are interrelated but three distinct topics. Overutilization (establishment of standard practice that does not provide net benefit) does not have to lead to overdiagnosis or overtreatment, but the risk exists. Treatment of overdiagnosed conditions is one category of overtreatment. Another is when the best available evidence shows that the treatment has no beneficial effect. Overdiagnosis can be caused by overutilization and is nearly always followed by overtreatment. Treating an overdiagnosed condition cannot improve the patient’s prognosis, and therefore can only be harmful. At the individual level, we can never be sure if the person is overdiagnosed. However, experiences and thoughts of individuals who are most likely overdiagnosed can be explored in qualitative interviews, e.g. men with a small screening detected abdominal aortic aneurism. In longitudinal surveys, the degree and length of psychosocial consequences associated with overdiagnosis can be estimated. In high-quality RCTs, the magnitude of overdiagnosis can be quantified, and in cohort studies, we can find indications of overdiagnosis. Finally, we can conduct research about the consequences of overdiagnosis in at least eight different areas: financial strain, hassles/inconveniences, medical costs, opportunity costs, physical harms, psychological harms, societal costs and work-related costs.

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