We use a new model of metarepresentational development to predict a cognitive deficit which could explain a crucial component of the social impairment in childhood autism. One of the manifestations of a basic metarepresentational capacity is a ‘theory of mind’. We have reason to believe that autistic children lack such a ‘theory’. If this were so, then they would be unable to impute beliefs to others and to predict their behaviour. This hypothesis was tested using Wimmer and Perner's puppet play paradigm. Normal children and those with Down's syndrome were used as controls for a group of autistic children. Even though the mental age of the autistic children was higher than that of the controls, they alone failed to impute beliefs to others. Thus the dysfunction we have postulated and demonstrated is independent of mental retardation and specific to autism.Résumé Les auteurs présentent un nouveau mod`éle de développement méta-cognitif pour prédire le déficit cognitif qui rendrait compte d'un composant essentiel du handicap social de l'enfant autiste. Une des manifestations d'une capacité de base méta-cognitive est une ‘theorie de l'esprit'. Nous avons des raisons de croire que cette théorie fait defaut chez l'enfant autiste. Celui-ci serait done incapable d'attribuer des croyances aux autres ou de prédire leur comportement. Cette hypothèse a été testée avec le paradigme de jeu des marionettes utilisé par Wimmer et Perner. Des enfants normaux et des enfants avec trisomie 21 ont servi de groupe contrôle. Bien que Page mental des enfants autistes ait été plus élevé que deux du groupe contrôle, seuls les enfants autistes Wont pu attribuer aux autres des croyances. Ainsi le dysfonctionnement prévu a pu être démontre, il s'avère indépendant du retard mental et spécifique a l'autiste.
Modern environmentalism owes a great debt to philosopher, professor, and writer Arne Naess, cofounder of the Deep Ecology movement. Here, editors Alan Drengson and Bill Devall provide a comprehensive yet accessible volume of Naess’s most groundbreaking and seminal essays, which have remained influential among environmentalists to this day.Drawing from influences as diverse as Eastern religious practices, Gandhian nonviolent direct action, and Spinozan unity systems, Naess’s writing calls for cooperative action to protect the earth on which we dwell, encouraging individuals and communities to develop their own distinctive “ecosophies.” These writings, full of Naess’s characteristic enthusiasm, wit, and spiritual fascination with nature, provide a look into the remarkable philosophical underpinnings of his own social and ecological activism, as well as an inspiration for all those looking to follow in his footsteps. This is an essential anthology from one of modern environmentalism’s most important and relevant voices.
Background: In older adults, respiratory function may be seriously compromised when a marked decrease of respiratory muscle (RM) strength coexists with comorbidity and activity limitation. Respiratory muscle training has been widely studied and recommended as a treatment option for people who are unable to participate in whole-body exercise training (WBET); however, the effects of inspiratory muscle training and yoga breathing exercises on RM function remain unknown, speciﬁcally in impaired older adults.
IntroductionMindfulness-based treatments have received increasing interest and empirical support in the clinical psychology literature. There are, however, no studies to date that have systematically examined treatment enactment, which is the amount and type of home practice participants incorporate into their daily lives. Because treatment enactment has been cited as a key aspect of treatment fidelity, this study examined the relationships between treatment enactment (i.e., home mindfulness practice) and alcohol and other drug (AOD) use and craving in the context of a larger study of mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP). Methods Participants (N = 93) in this secondary analysis had been randomized in the parent study to receive MBRP. AOD use, craving, and home mindfulness practice were assessed at baseline, post-treatment, 2-month and 4-month follow-up time points. Results MBRP participants significantly increased the amount of time spent in home mindfulness practice over the course of the study. Further, greater time spent in home practice was associated with less AOD use and craving at the 2- and 4-month follow-ups. Of note, the significant treatment gains in home practice faded somewhat at the 2- and 4-month follow-ups as participants returned to standard aftercare, which did not involve mindfulness-based practice. Conclusions Participation in MBRP was associated with a significant increase in home mindfulness practice, and increased involvement in home practice was associated with significantly lower AOD use and craving over the course of the study. This suggests that treatment enactment, which entails building mindfulness practice into one's daily life, plays a key role in ongoing recovery following MBRP treatment. Teaching mindfulness skills for daily use versus for only in high-risk situations has the potential to boost the longevity of MBRP treatment effects. These findings also suggest that MBRP clinicians should target the post-intervention decline in home practice (e.g., with ongoing mindfulness practice groups) to maximize the benefits of mindfulness meditation in decreasing AOD use and craving.
The influx of technology into the classroom presents a serious challenge for educators and researchers. One of the greatest challenges is to better understand, given our knowledge of the demands of dual tasking, how the distraction posed by this technology influences educational outcomes. In the present investigation we explore the impact of engaging in computer mediated non-lecture related activities (e.g., email, surfing the web) during a lecture on attention to, and retention of, lecture material. We test a number of predictions derived from existing research on dual tasking. Results demonstrate a significant cost of engaging in computer mediated non-lecture related activities to both attention and retention of lecture material, a reduction in the frequency of mind wandering during the lecture, and evidence for difficulty coordinating attention in lectures with distractions present. Discussion focuses on the theoretical and practical implications of these results for dividing attention in the classroom.
<p>This narrative ethnography explores the value of Buddhist consciousness of death, kamma, and the gift, by following the transformation in Thailand from a political order based in the global, military-gift economy of the cold war to the liberal free-market exchange of a "new world." At key moments in the transformation, the Thai military has massacred unarmed citizens in Bangkok streets. As actors struggle to harness the unstable symbolic power of corpses in public culture, the meaning of death becomes increasingly subject to the political economy that shapes mass media. While benefitting from both the sensational value of violent death and from the powerful argument for liberal freedoms which military massacres provide, the new order does not acknowledge the sacrifice of the demonstrators for its sake. Their death is divested of value, in part because of the flattening and anaesthetizing effect that mechanical reproduction has when representing violence, but ultimately because the form of political economy that may be gaining ascendance in Thailand is a cultural system inherently immune to symbolic exchange with the dead. The dissertation then explores alternatives to this economy of forgetting. Buddhist meditative visualizations of corpses, like mass media, seize upon gory detail as a powerful source of value, and yet the economy of the "charnel ground" meditation can avoid anaesthetizing effects. Never-the-less, the parallels between the image-realms of Buddhist meditation and media experience suggest that the utopian hopes some theorists have placed in mechanical reproduction are not unfounded, but unrealized. The problem of public memory that jettisons the dead is ultimately one of alternate cultural-economic realities in Thailand, and can be critically understood through a Buddhist consciousness of mind-body, and of the kamma haunting capitalist politics. The dissertation concludes by describing how rural villagers bring an ur-form of free-market capitalism, the casino, into the household funeral, where Buddhist consciousness of kamma, within a complex of family, economic, societal, political, and historical relations, provides fertile ground for a critique of political economy and for further development of the anthropological theory of the gift.</p>
Discover your personal path to bliss"This book will give anyone interested in the spectrum of core meditative practices stemming from the Buddhist tradition but in essence universal the deepest of perspectives on what is possible for us as human beings as well as excellent guidance in the essential, time-tested attitudes and practices for actualizing our innate capacity for wisdom, compassion, and well-being, right here and right now."—Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Coming to Our Senses and Full Catastrophe Living"In Genuine Happiness, Alan Wallace displays his rare talent in boiling down the complex to the clear and in guiding readers through a practical path to contentment. A gift for all moods and seasons."—Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ"This lucid and rich book offers brillant, wise, and accessible teachings on the essentials of four core meditation techniques that lead one to genuine joy and happiness. Alan Wallace's years of practice and teaching shine through every page, as with ease and great humanity, he brings to the reader the possibility of liberation."—Joan Halifax Roshi, abbot of Upaya Zen Center"Genuine Happiness is a treasure chest of wisdom: clear, inspiring teaching jewels. It is an excellent support for any student of meditation."—Sharon Salzberg, author of Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest ExperienceIn today's overstimulated world, many are realizing that happiness gained through material wealth and frivolous conquests is short-lived. To achieve long-term happiness, you must access your own bountiful resources—housed in your heart and mind. In Genuine Happiness, longtime Buddhist practitioner Alan Wallace shows you the path to bliss.Drawing on more than three decades of study under His Holiness the Dalai Lama and sixty other teachers, as well as 2,500 years of Buddhist tradition, Alan Wallace guides you step by step through five simple yet powerful meditations to help you focus your mind and open your heart to true happiness. Featuring a Foreword by the Dalai Lama, this book will help you discover that it is possible to experience genuine happiness every day.As you incorporate the meditations from Genuine Happiness into your life, you will discover that the joy you've sought has always been only a few meditative minutes away.
B. Alan Wallace, Ph. D. (Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara) presented a case for the complimentarity of Tibetan medicine with Western medicine. Dr. Wallace traced the history and foundational principles of Tibetan medicine including contemplative practice, mental perception, and the balancing of the three humors (wind, bile, and phlegm which also resemble the humors in Indian Ayurvedic medicine). Leslie J. Blackhall, M.D., M.T.S. (Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Southern California) focused on a few areas (such as explaining the "Why me?" of a cancer patient) where Western medical system has great difficulty. Dr. Blackhall discussed how Tibetan medicine's desire to physically heal is to allow the person to obtain a mental state conducive to obtaining "enlightenment."
Using data for 25,780 species categorized on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, we present an assessment of the status of the world’s vertebrates. One-fifth of species are classified as Threatened, and we show that this figure is increasing: On average, 52 species of mammals, birds, and amphibians move one category closer to extinction each year. However, this overall pattern conceals the impact of conservation successes, and we show that the rate of deterioration would have been at least one-fifth again as much in the absence of these. Nonetheless, current conservation efforts remain insufficient to offset the main drivers of biodiversity loss in these groups: agricultural expansion, logging, overexploitation, and invasive alien species.Though the threat of extinction is increasing, overall declines would have been worse in the absence of conservation. Though the threat of extinction is increasing, overall declines would have been worse in the absence of conservation.
Background: School safety and quality affect student learning and success. This study examined the effects of a comprehensive elementary school-wide social-emotional and character education program, Positive Action, on teacher, parent, and student perceptions of school safety and quality utilizing a matched-pair, cluster-randomized, controlled design. The Positive Action Hawai'i trial included 20 racially/ethnically diverse schools and was conducted from 2002-2003 through 2005-2006. Methods: School-level archival data, collected by the Hawai'i Department of Education, were used to examine program effects at 1-year post-trial. Teacher, parent, and student data were analyzed to examine indicators of school quality such as student safety and well-being, involvement, and satisfaction, as well as overall school quality. Matched-paired "t"-tests were used for the primary analysis, and sensitivity analyses included permutation tests and random-intercept growth curve models. Results: Analyses comparing change from baseline to 1-year post-trial revealed that intervention schools demonstrated significantly improved school quality compared to control schools, with 21%, 13%, and 16% better overall school quality scores as reported by teachers, parents, and students, respectively. Teacher, parent, and student reports on individual school-quality indicators showed improvement in student safety and well-being, involvement, satisfaction, quality student support, focused and sustained action, standards-based learning, professionalism and system capacity, and coordinated team work. Teacher reports also showed an improvement in the responsiveness of the system. Conclusions: School quality was substantially improved, providing evidence that a school-wide social-emotional and character education program can enhance school quality and facilitate whole-school change. (Contains 4 tables and 1 figure.)
The ability to focus one's attention underlies success in many everyday tasks, but voluntary attention cannot be sustained for extended periods of time. In the laboratory, sustained-attention failure is manifest as a decline in perceptual sensitivity with increasing time on task, known as the vigilance decrement. We investigated improvements in sustained attention with training (~ 5 hr/day for 3 months), which consisted of meditation practice that involved sustained selective attention on a chosen stimulus (e.g., the participant's breath). Participants were randomly assigned either to receive training first (n = 30) or to serve as waiting-list controls and receive training second (n = 30). Training produced improvements in visual discrimination that were linked to increases in perceptual sensitivity and improved vigilance during sustained visual attention. Consistent with the resource model of vigilance, these results suggest that perceptual improvements can reduce the resource demand imposed by target discrimination and thus make it easier to sustain voluntary attention.
There is increasing evidence for the utility of mindfulness training as a clinical intervention. Most of this research has examined secular-based mindfulness instruction. The current study examined the effects of a 10-day Buddhist mindfulness meditation course on the psychological symptoms of 53 participants. A repeated-measures analysis of variance indicated reductions in overall psychological distress from the pre-course baseline to a 3-month follow-up. Correlation analyses indicated that the reported reduction in psychological distress was not influenced by social desirability bias and that the effect was not dependent on daily meditation between course completion and follow-up. Issues regarding modality of mindfulness training (secular versus Buddhist) are discussed.
The capacity to focus one's attention for an extended period of time can be increased through training in contemplative practices. However, the cognitive processes engaged during meditation that support trait changes in cognition are not well characterized. We conducted a longitudinal wait-list controlled study of intensive meditation training. Retreat participants practiced focused attention (FA) meditation techniques for three months during an initial retreat. Wait-list participants later undertook formally identical training during a second retreat. Dense-array scalp-recorded electroencephalogram (EEG) data were collected during 6 min of mindfulness of breathing meditation at three assessment points during each retreat. Second-order blind source separation, along with a novel semi-automatic artifact removal tool (SMART), was used for data preprocessing. We observed replicable reductions in meditative state-related beta-band power bilaterally over anteriocentral and posterior scalp regions. In addition, individual alpha frequency (IAF) decreased across both retreats and in direct relation to the amount of meditative practice. These findings provide evidence for replicable longitudinal changes in brain oscillatory activity during meditation and increase our understanding of the cortical processes engaged during meditation that may support long-term improvements in cognition.
<p>This essay focuses on the theme of intersubjectivity, which is central to the entire Indo-Tibetan Buddhist tradition. It addresses the following five themes pertaining to Buddhist concepts of intersubjectivity: (1) the Buddhist practice of the cultivation of meditative quiescence challenges the hypothesis that individual human consciousness emerges solely from the dynamic interrelation of self and other; (2) the central Buddhist insight practice of the four applications of mindfulness is a means for gaining insight into the nature of oneself, others and the relation between oneself and the rest of the world, which provides a basis for cultivating a deep sense of empathy; (3) the Buddhist cultivation of the four immeasurables is expressly designed to arouse a rich sense of empathy with others; (4) the meditative practice of dream yoga, which illuminates the dream-like nature of waking reality is shown to have deep implications regarding the nature of intersubjectivity; (5) the theory and practice of Dzogchen, the 'great perfection' system of meditation, challenges the assertion of the existence of an inherently real, localized, ego-centred mind, as well as the dichotomy of objective space as opposed to perceptual space.</p>
Mindfulness is the latest addition to the armamentarium of cognitive behavioral therapists. Mindfulness methods from the wisdom traditions, as well as from current psychological theories, are beginning to be used as cognitive behavioral strategies for alleviating psychological distress and for personal transformation. The use of mindfulness as a clinical tool is in its infancy, with attendant growing pains in theory, research and practice. We briefly discuss the historical context of the use of mindfulness, recent developments in theory, research and practice, and future developments. We conclude that mindfulness shows a lot of promise as a clinical treatment modality, but there are inherent pitfalls in the developing approaches.
<p>Cognitive-behavioral approaches to alcohol and drug use disorders have received considerable empirical support over the past 20 years. One cognitive-behavioral treatment, relapse prevention, was initially designed as an adjunct to existing treatments. It has also been extensively used as a stand-alone treatment and serves as the basis for several other cognitive and behavioral treatments. After a brief review of relapse prevention, as well as the hypothesized mechanisms of change in cognitive and behavioral treatments, we will describe a "new" approach to alcohol and drug problems called mindfulness-based relapse prevention. Preliminary data in support of mindfulness-meditation as a treatment for addictive behavior are provided and directions for future research are discussed.</p>
Some individuals with autism engage in physical aggression to an extent that interferes with not only their quality of life, but also that of their parents and siblings. Behavioral and psychopharmacological treatments have been the mainstay of treatments for aggression in children and adolescents with autism. We evaluated the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based procedure, Meditation on the Soles of the Feet, in helping three adolescents to manage their physical aggression. This procedure required the adolescents to rapidly shift the focus of their attention from the aggression-triggering event to a neutral place on their body, the soles of their feet. Incidents of aggression across the three adolescents ranged from a mean of 14–20 per week during baseline, 4–6 per week during mindfulness training, including zero rates during the last 4 weeks of intervention. Aggression occurred a rate of about 1 per year during a 3-year follow-up. Our results suggest adolescents with autism can learn, and effectively use, a mindfulness-based procedure to self-manage their physical aggression over several years.