On any given day, unintended, recurrent thoughts intrude on our thinking and affect our behavior in ways that can be adaptive. Such thoughts, however, become intrusive and problematic when they are unwanted, become compulsive, or lead to socially or medically unacceptable behavior. This volume explores what goes on in our brains to create thought intrusions, and how these intrusions lead to maladaptive behavior.
Intrusive thoughts feature prominently in most psychiatric disorders, so understanding the neurological and behavioral processes underlying them is an urgent endeavor. To investigate these issues, contributors from a range of disciplines—including neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology, and pharmacology—consider the mechanisms involved in intrusive thoughts under normal and abnormal conditions. They analyze how decision making becomes corrupted to create uncontrollable intrusions, explore the implications for concepts of free will and individual responsibility, and suggest avenues for future research.
The history of intellectual thought abounds with claims that knowledge is valued and sought, yet individuals and groups often choose not to know. We call the conscious choice not to seek or use knowledge (or information) deliberate ignorance. When is this a virtue, when is it a vice, and what can be learned from formally modeling the underlying motives? On which normative grounds can it be judged? Which institutional interventions can promote or prevent it? In this book, psychologists, economists, historians, computer scientists, sociologists, philosophers, and legal scholars explore the scope of deliberate ignorance.
Drawing from multiple examples, including the right not to know in genetic testing, collective amnesia in transformational societies, blind orchestral auditions, and “don't ask don't tell” policies), the contributors offer novel insights and outline avenues for future research into this elusive yet fascinating aspect of human nature.
Mental illness represents one of the largest disease burdens worldwide, yet treatments have been largely ineffective in improving the quality of life for millions of affected individuals—in part because approaches taken have focused on late-stage disorders in adulthood. This volume shifts the focus by placing the developmental stage of “youth” at the center of mental health. The contributors challenge current nosology, explore mechanisms that underlie the emergence of mental disorders, and propose a framework to guide early intervention. Offering recommendations for the future, the book holds that early intervention in youth has the potential to transform outcomes for people with mental disorders and to reconfigure the landscape of mental health.
The contributors discuss epidemiology, classification, and diagnostic issues, including the benefits of clinical staging; the context for emerging mental disorders, including both biological and sociocultural processes; biological mechanisms underlying risk for psychopathology, including aspects of neural circuitry; and developing and implementing prevention and early intervention, including assessment and intervention modalities and knowledge translation in early treatment of schizophrenia.
Over the past decade, technological advances have dramatically increased information on the structural and functional organization of the brain, especially the cerebral cortex. This explosion of data has radically expanded our ability to characterize neural circuits and intervene at increasingly higher resolutions, but it is unclear how this has informed our understanding of underlying mechanisms and processes.
In search of a conceptual framework to guide future research, leading researchers address in this volume the evolution and ontogenetic development of cortical structures, the cortical connectome, and functional properties of neuronal circuits and populations. They explore what constitutes “uniquely human” mental capacities and whether neural solutions and computations can be shared across species or repurposed for potentially uniquely human capacities.
Humans are not limited to a fixed set of innate or preprogrammed tasks. We learn quickly through language and other forms of natural interaction, and we improve our performance and teach others what we have learned. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie the acquisition of new tasks through natural interaction is an ongoing challenge. Advances in artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and robotics are leading us to future systems with human-like capabilities. A huge gap exists, however, between the highly specialized niche capabilities of current machine learning systems and the generality, flexibility, and in situ robustness of human instruction and learning. Drawing on expertise from multiple disciplines, this Strüngmann Forum Report explores how humans and artificial agents can quickly learn completely new tasks through natural interactions with each other.
The contributors consider functional knowledge requirements, the ontology of interactive task learning, and the representation of task knowledge at multiple levels of abstraction. They explore natural forms of interactions among humans as well as the use of interaction to teach robots and software agents new tasks in complex, dynamic environments. They discuss research challenges and opportunities, including ethical considerations, and make proposals to further understanding of interactive task learning and create new capabilities in assistive robotics, healthcare, education, training, and gaming.
This volume in the Strüngmann Forum Reports series explores the complex mechanisms that accompany the dynamic processes by which the brain evolves and matures. Integrating perspectives from multiple disciplines, the book identifies knowledge gaps and proposes innovative ways forward for this emerging area of cross-disciplinary study. The contributors examine maturation of nonlinear brain dynamics across systems from a developmental perspective and relate these organizing networks to the establishment of normative cognition and pathology seen in many neurodevelopmental disorders. The book looks at key mechanistic questions, including: What role does dynamic coordination play in the establishment and maintenance of brain networks and structural and functional connectivity? How are local and global functional networks assembled and transformed over normative development? To what degree do oscillatory patterns vary across development? What is the impact of critical periods, and which factors initiate and terminate such periods? It also explores the potential of new technologies and techniques to enhance understanding of normative development and to enable early identification and remediation of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders that may result from early disruption in dynamic coordination.
Wide-ranging environmental phenomena—including climate change, extreme weather events, and soil and water availability—combine with such socioeconomic factors as food policies, dietary preferences, and market forces to affect agriculture and food production systems on local, national, and global scales. The increasing simplification of food systems, the continuing decline of plant species, and the ongoing spread of pests and disease threaten biodiversity in agriculture as well as the sustainability of food resources. Complicating the situation further, the multiple systems involved—cultural, economic, environmental, institutional, and technological—are driven by human decision making, which is inevitably informed by diverse knowledge systems. The interactions and linkages that emerge necessitate an integrated assessment if we are to make progress toward sustainable agriculture and food systems.
This volume in the Strüngmann Forum Reports series offers insights into the challenges faced in agrobiodiversity and sustainability and proposes an integrative framework to guide future research, scholarship, policy, and practice. The contributors offer perspectives from a range of disciplines, including plant and biological sciences, food systems and nutrition, ecology, economics, plant and animal breeding, anthropology, political science, geography, law, and sociology. Topics covered include evolutionary ecology, food and human health, the governance of agrobiodiversity, and the interactions between agrobiodiversity and climate and demographic change.
Does being an environmentalist mean caring about wild nature? Or is environmentalism synonymous with concern for future human well-being, or about a fair apportionment of access to the earth’s resources and a fair sharing of pollution burdens? Environmental problems are undoubtedly one of the most salient public issues of our time, yet environmental scholarship and action is marked by a fragmentation of ideas and approaches because of the multiple ways in which these environmental problems are “framed.” Diverse framings prioritize different values and explain problems in various ways, thereby suggesting different solutions. Are more inclusive framings possible? Will this enable more socially relevant, impactful research and more concerted action and practice?
This book takes a multidisciplinary look at these questions using examples from forest, water, energy, and urban sectors. It explores how different forms of environmentalism are shaped by different normative and theoretical positions, and attempts to bridge these divides. Individual perspectives are complemented by comprehensive syntheses of the differing framings in each sector. By self-reflectively exploring how researchers study and mobilize evidence about environmental problems, the book opens up the possibility of alternative framings to advance collaborative and integrated understanding of environmental problems and sustainability challenges.
Winner of the 2018 Ursula Gielen Global Psychology Book Award
It is generally acknowledged that attachment relationships are important for infants and young children, but there is little clarity on what exactly constitutes such a relationship. Does it occur between two individuals (infant–mother or infant–father) or in an extended network? In the West, monotropic attachment appears to function as a secure foundation for infants, but is this true in other cultures? This volume offers perspectives from a range of disciplines on these questions. Contributors from psychology, biology, anthropology, evolution, social policy, neuroscience, information systems, and practice describe the latest research on the cultural and evolutionary foundations on children's attachment relationships as well as the implications for education, counseling, and policy.
The contributors discuss such issues as the possible functions of attachment, including trust and biopsychological regulation; the evolutionary foundations, if any, of attachment; ways to model attachment using the tools of information science; the neural foundations of attachment; and the influence of cultural attitudes on attachment. Taking an integrative approach, the book embraces the wide cultural variations in attachment relationships in humans and their diversity across nonhuman primates. It proposes research methods for the culturally sensitive study of attachment networks that will lead to culturally sensitive assessments, practices, and social policies.
In the natural world, some agents (investors) employ strategies that provide resources, services, or information, while others (exploiters) gain advantages through these efforts. This behavior coexists and can be observed in many species and at many levels. For example, bacteria depend on the existence of biofilms to synthesize constituent proteins; cancerous cells employ angiogenesis to feed a tumor; and parents forgo vaccinating their children yet benefit from herd immunity. Two independent research traditions have developed to analyze this behavior—one couched in evolutionary theory championed by behavioral ecologists, the other in social science concepts advocated by economists. In this book experts from economics, evolutionary biology, behavioral ecology, public health, and anthropology look for commonalities in understanding and approach.
The contributors consider parasitic strategies in ecological and economic terms; the governance of natural resources, with insights from “producer-scrounger models,” forest management, and game theory; human health, discussing therapeutic opportunities, public health economics, and the integration of perspectives; and behavioral, social, and institutional consequences of exploitation strategies.
Modern psychiatry is at a crossroads, as it attempts to balance neurological analysis with psychological assessment. Computational neuroscience offers a new lens through which to view such thorny issues as diagnosis, treatment, and integration with neurobiology. In this volume, psychiatrists and theoretical and computational neuroscientists consider the potential of computational approaches to psychiatric issues.
This unique collaboration yields surprising results, innovative synergies, and novel open questions. The contributors consider mechanisms of psychiatric disorders, the use of computation and imaging to model psychiatric disorders, ways that computation can inform psychiatric nosology, and specific applications of the computational approach.
Two widely heralded yet contested approaches to economics have emerged in recent years: one emphasizes evolutionary theory in terms of individuals and institutions; the other views economies as complex adaptive systems. In this book, leading scholars examine these two bodies of theory, exploring their possible impact on economics. Relevant concepts from evolutionary theory drawn on by the contributors include the distinction between proximate and ultimate causation, multilevel selection, cultural change as an evolutionary process, and human psychology as a product of gene-culture coevolution. Applicable ideas from complexity theory include self-organization, fractals, chaos theory, sensitive dependence, basins of attraction, and path dependence.
The contributors discuss a synthesis of complexity and evolutionary approaches and the challenges that emerge. Focusing on evolutionary behavioral economics, and the evolution of institutions, they offer practical applications and point to avenues for future research.