Volume 32, Number 4, Autumn

Evolutionary Developmental Biology, the Human Life Course, and Transpersonal Experience

This paper explicates secular psychodynamic growth through the life time and meditation as routes to the transpersonal from the perspective of evolutionary developmental biology, based around a multi-line model of growth. A multi-line model raises many significant points for a transpersonal audience. Such models have been pioneered by Hunt. When set on the footing of evolutionary developmental biology and nonlinear dynamics these kind of models become all the more cogent, penetrating and far reaching, validating plurality and diversity in both the process and final form of transpersonal development. The “anecdotal” accounts which Hunt reports, and which this paper adds to, can thus be amalgamated with an established and sophisticated research program (and these “alternative” evidence sources unified with a comprehensive theoretical and research-based paradigm, around which future hypotheses can be formed and tested). Such developments are symptomatic of a general movement in the sciences towards a non-linear paradigm, to which the transpersonal movement might have been slow to respond.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Edward Dale, Stockton Hall Psychiatric Hospital, Stockton-on-the-Forest, York, YO32 9UN, England. Email:edwardjamesdale@hotmail.co.uk

Revision of the DSM and Conceptual Expansion of Mental Illness: An Exploratory Analysis of Diagnostic Criteria

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) contains the official diagnostic criteria for recognized mental illnesses. Some have asserted that DSM revisions have caused the boundaries of specific disorders to expand to include more behaviors, but no previous research has examined if such expansion is isolated or endemic. The current research consisted of an exploration of revisions to diagnostic criteria for 81 disorders. Each change between editions of the DSM was conceptually analyzed as making the disorder more exclusive or more inclusive in terms of the number of people who could theoretically meet the criteria. Results indicated that 63% of disorders moved toward inclusivity, that each edition of the DSM moved toward inclusivity, and that most types of revisions increase inclusivity.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Guy A. Boysen, Department of Psychology, W357 Thompson Hall, SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia, New York, 14063. Email: guy.boysen@fredonia.edu

The Evolution of Language: The Cerebro-Cerebellar Blending of Visual-Spatial Working Memory with Vocalizations

Leiner, Leiner, and Dow proposed that the co-evolution of cerebral cortex and the cerebellum over the last million years gave rise to the unique cognitive capacities and language of humans. Following the findings of recent imaging studies by Imamizu and his colleagues, it is proposed that over the last million or so years language evolved from theblending of (1) decomposed/re-composed contexts or “moments” of visual-spatial experience with (2) those of sound patterns decomposed/re-composed from parallel context-appropriate vocalizations (calls or previously acquired “words”). It is further proposed that the adaptive value of this blending was the progressively rapid access to the control of detailed cause-and-effect relationships in working memory as it entered new and challenging environments. Employing the complex syntactical sequence of nut-cracking among capuchin monkeys it is proposed how cerebro-cerebellar blending of low-volume vocalization and visual-spatial working memory could have produced the beginnings of the phonological loop as proposed by Baddeley, Gathercole, and Papagno. It is concluded that the blending of cerebellar internal models in the cerebral cortex can explain the evolution of human advancements in the manipulation of cause-and-effect ideas in working memory, and, therefore, the emergence of the distinctive “cognitive niche” of humans proposed by Tooby and DeVore and supportively elaborated by Pinker.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Larry R. Vandervert, Ph.D., American Nonlinear Systems, 1529 W. Courtland Avenue, Spokane, Washington 99205. Email: lvandervert@aol.com

 A Bibliometric Index for Selection Processes

A bibliometric index is proposed that accounts for the differential contribution authors make to a joint paper published, the valuation of the number of publications, the quality of the journals in which the authors are published and which cite them, as well as the timeliness of the paper. This approach means the index can be used in selection processes for positions of employment or the award of research projects, as it abides by the premise of considering scientific merit based on the quality and quantity of publications. The termweighted citability index (WCIQT) is used to refer to a mathematical process that uses filters proportionally both to the degree of involvement in the joint research and to the values of number, quality, and timeliness of the research papers.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Fernando Gordillo, Ph.D., Camilo José Cela University, Castillo de Alarcón 49, 28692 Madrid, Spain. Email:fgordilloleon@hotmail.com

On the Ontological Status of Some Cosmological and Physical Theories

This study investigates the ontological status of some physical and cosmological theories that are not based on empirical observation and probably cannot be tested empirically. It is suggested that these theories exist only in our consciousness and are no more than Kantian ideas. Indeed, these theories imply paradoxes as was predicted by Kant regarding ideas of pure reason.

Correspondence concerning this article should be sent to Uri Fidelman, Doctor of Science, Department of Humanities and Arts, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel. Email: uf@tx.technion.ac.il

Book Review

Perception, Action, and Consciousness: Sensorimotor Dynamics and Two Visual Systems
Book Authors: Nivedita Gangopadhyay, Michael Madary, and Finn Spicer (Eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, 372 pages, £49.99 hard.

Reviewed by Mirko Farina, ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Macquarie University

Perception, Action, and Consciousness: Sensorimotor Dynamics and Two Visual Systemsis a state-of-the-art collection whose main goal is to explore, from an interdisciplinary perspective, the relationship between action and perception. A second goal of the volume is to investigate how perception and action interact specifically in the production of phenomenal awareness. In presenting and contrasting the major perspectives on the field, this volume marks a good sign of the progress being made on the nature of phenomenally conscious visual experience. By combining theoretical and empirical approaches it also contributes to the debate in key domains of the cognitive sciences (such as perceptual psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and philosophy of mind).

The book contains a useful editorial introduction written by the Editors (Nivedita Gangopadhyay, Michael Madary, and Finn Spicer) and six sections further divided into fifteen chapters. In the first part of this review I briefly summarize the content of each section. Having offered an outline of the volume, I then turn my attention to the main theme of the collection, which is the dichotomy between action-oriented theories of perception and the two visual systems hypothesis and look at the dialectic underlying this debate.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Mirko Farina, Institute of Human Cognition and Brain Science, ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Building C5C, Level 4, Office 492, Macquarie University, Balaclava Road, North Ryde, Sydney (NSW), Australia. Email: farinamirko@gmail.com