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One of society’s greatest challenges is to sustain natural resources while promoting economic growth and quality of life. In the face of this challenge, society must measure the effectiveness of programs established to safeguard the environment. The impetus for demonstrating positive results from government-sponsored research and regulation in the United States comes from Congress (General Accountability Office; GAO) and the Executive Branch (Office of Management and Budget; OMB). The message is: regulatory and research programs must demonstrate outcomes that justify their costs. Although the concept is simple, it is a complex problem to demonstrate that environmental research, policies, and regulations cause measurable changes in environmental quality. Even where changes in environmental quality can be tracked reliably, the connections between government actions and environmental outcomes seldom are direct or straightforward. In this article, we describe emerging efforts (with emphasis on the role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; EPA) to frame and measure environmental outcomes in terms of ecosystem services and values—societally and ecologically meaningful metrics for gauging how well we manage environmental resources. As examples of accounting for outcomes and values, we present a novel, low-cost method for determining relative values of multiple ecosystem services, and describe emerging research on indicators of human well-being.

The primary taste cortex consists of the insula and operculum. Previous work has indicated that neurons in the primary taste cortex respond solely to sensory input from taste receptors and lingual somatosensory receptors. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we show here that expectancy modulates these neural responses in humans. When subjects were led to believe that a highly aversive bitter taste would be less distasteful than it actually was, they reported it to be less aversive than when they had accurate information about the taste and, moreover, the primary taste cortex was less strongly activated. In addition, the activation of the right insula and operculum tracked online ratings of the aversiveness for each taste. Such expectancy-driven modulation of primary sensory cortex may affect perceptions of external events.
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Altruistic (other-regarding) emotions and behaviors are associated with greater well-being, health, and longevity. This article presents a summary and assessment of existing research data on altruism and its relation to mental and physical health. It suggests several complimentary interpretive frameworks, including evolutionary biology, physiological models, and positive psychology. Potential public health implications of this research are discussed, as well as directions for future studies. The article concludes, with some caveats, that a strong correlation exists between the well-being, happiness, health, and longevity of people who are emotionally and behaviorally compassionate, so long as they are not overwhelmed by helping tasks.

The natural world has the power to awaken, restore, and transform us, and nowhere are these capacities more evident than in the thirty-six luminous essays that make up The Ashokan Way. Written in the form of journal entries that take place over the course of a year, the essays explore both the outer landscapes of the awe-inspiring Ashokan Reservoir, a vast open space surrounded by the ancient bluestone peaks of the Catskill Mountain Watershed, and the equally awe-inspiring inner landscapes of our own most personal terrains.Each of the book’s evocative entries describes a walk along the ever-changing reservoir, illuminating the natural world as a portal to self-understanding, restoration, and meaning. Some walks take us deep inside to trek the hills and valleys of our aspirations and sorrows, our joys and confusions. Others offer a profound antidote to an interior landscape that has become crowded with distraction and overstimulation. Still others seem to seem usher us into the realm of the mystical. As surely as we would perish without the water and air that the earth provides, we are at risk of perishing without the spiritual sustenance that the natural world provides through its ability to stir and astonish us. In a world that is ever faster, noisier, and busier, The Ashokan Way is a balm, an inspiration, and an invitation to discover greater intimacy with inner and outer landscapes alike.

An assessment of the Bhutanese traditional medicine for its ethnopharmacology, ethnobotany and ethnoquality: Textual understanding and the current practices

<p>"Biophilia" is the term coined by Edward O. Wilson to describe what he believes is humanity's innate affinity for the natural world. In his landmark book Biophilia, he examined how our tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes might be a biologically based need, integral to our development as individuals and as a species. That idea has caught the imagination of diverse thinkers.The Biophilia Hypothesis brings together the views of some of the most creative scientists of our time, each attempting to amplify and refine the concept of biophilia. The variety of perspectives -- psychological, biological, cultural, symbolic, and aesthetic -- frame the theoretical issues by presenting empirical evidence that supports or refutes the hypothesis. Numerous examples illustrate the idea that biophilia and its converse, biophobia, have a genetic component: fear, and even full-blown phobias of snakes and spiders are quick to develop with very little negative reinforcement, while more threatening modern artifacts -- knives, guns, automobiles -- rarely elicit such a response people find trees that are climbable and have a broad, umbrella-like canopy more attractive than trees without these characteristics people would rather look at water, green vegetation, or flowers than built structures of glass and concrete</p>

In our discussion of the academic subject, we have advocated an open, concerned, andconnected stance and a readiness to explore rather than judge, giving what is nascent and not fully formed some room to move and grow. We have also broached the power and responsibility that devolves upon scholars once we acknowledge the performativity of our teaching and research. When ontology becomes the effect rather than the ground of knowledge, we lose the comfort and safety of a subordinate relation to ‘reality’ and can no longer seek to capture accurately what already exists; interdependence and creativity are thrust upon us as we become implicated in the very existence of the worlds that we research. Every question about what to study and how to study it becomes an ethical opening; every decision entails profound responsibility. (Gibson-Graham 2008, 620)

Biological systems are particularly prone to variation, and the authors argue that such variation must be regarded as important data in its own right. The authors describe a method in which individual differences are studied within the framework of a general theory of the population as a whole and illustrate how this method can be used to address three types of issues: the nature of the mechanisms that give rise to a specific ability, such as mental imagery; the role of psychological or biological mediators of environmental challenges, such as the biological bases for differences in dispositional mood; and the existence of processes that have nonadditive effects with behavioral and physiological variables, such as factors that modulate the response to stress and its effects on the immune response.
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It is widely believed that children's social-emotional growth and academic learning are inextricably connected. Pressured by high-stakes assessments, however, school professionals find it difficult to devote adequate time to children's social/behavioral development. As a response, we developed and piloted Social-Emotional Learning Foundations (SELF), a curriculum for students at risk for emotional or behavioral problems that merges instruction in social-emotional learning with early literacy skills. Designed for small-group instruction, the SELF curriculum provides teachers multiple opportunities to extend language and promote emotional and behavioral self-regulation while teaching early literacy skills that include vocabulary development and comprehension. This preliminary study was used to explore intervention feasibility, pilot implementation, and measurement protocols and to provide some evidence in support of further study. Findings from the pilot implementation in eight kindergarten classrooms indicated that SELF lessons improved teacher-reported executive function, internalizing behavior, and school-related competence. As a preface to a more rigorously designed efficacy study, the pilot study results provide preliminary evidence that integrating social-emotional learning and literacy instruction may be a viable strategy for promoting self-regulation in the service of positive social and academic outcomes for children at risk.

In this simple but important volume, Stephen Batchelor reminds us that the Buddha was not a mystic who claimed privileged, esoteric knowledge of the universe, but a man who challenged us to understand the nature of anguish, let go of its origins, and bring into being a way of life that is available to us all. The concepts and practices of Buddhism, says Batchelor, are not something to believe in but something to do—and as he explains clearly and compellingly, it is a practice that we can engage in, regardless of our background or beliefs, as we live every day on the path to spiritual enlightenment.

<p><strong>Publishers Description</strong>: Buddhist Manuscript Cultures explores how religious and cultural practices in premodern Asia were shaped by literary and artistic traditions as well as by Buddhist material culture. This study of Buddhist texts focuses on the significance of their material forms rather than their doctrinal contents, and examines how and why they were made.</p> <p>Collectively, the book offers cross-cultural and comparative insights into the transmission of Buddhist knowledge and the use of texts and images as ritual objects in the artistic and aesthetic traditions of Buddhist cultures. Drawing on case studies from India, Gandhara, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Mongolia, China and Nepal, the chapters included investigate the range of interests and values associated with producing and using written texts, and the roles manuscripts and images play in the transmission of Buddhist texts and in fostering devotion among Buddhist communities.</p> <p>Contributions are by reputed scholars in Buddhist Studies and represent diverse disciplinary approaches from religious studies, art history, anthropology, and history. This book will be of interest to scholars and students working in these fields.</p>

Mental health issues are epidemic among youth in the United States today. Recent studies suggest that up to 50% of all teenagers have complaints related to stress, anxiety, and/or depression. This problem is accompanied by an unprecedented rise in the rates of child and teen suicide in the United States. In response to this epidemic, the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending universal depression screening for all teens. Medications are available to ameliorate mental health disorders, and many can be safely used in the primary care setting. However, many of these medications have unwanted side effects or may not be familiar to the primary care physician. For these reasons and others, primary care physicians require additional approaches to respond to the challenges imposed by a growing number of patients requiring mental health support. Medical Yoga Therapy, prescribed by a physician with special yoga therapy training, offers a safe and effective way to serve the patient with physical or mental challenges disabilities. Medical Yoga therapy is an individualized and personal approach to the patient, and it may be integrated with any current therapy or medical regimen. Here, evidence for medical yoga is reviewed in the context of an adolescent patient with a common disorder. Yoga practices, with particular focus on mindfulness, offer a safe and effective intervention for a growing number of pediatric patients.

Favorite Table | PrintPruritus at a GlancePruritus is the predominant symptom of skin disease. May originate in the skin or nervous system.Clinical classification of itch includes:pruritus on diseased (inflamed) skinpruritus on nondiseased (noninflamed) skinpruritus presenting with severe chronic secondary scratch lesionsChronic itch consists of multidimensional phenomena including sensory, emotional, and cognitive components.Central and peripheral mediators in humans include histamine, proteinases, opiates, substance P, nerve growth factor, interleukins, and prostaglandins.Treatment should address the multifactorial nature of pruritus including central pathways and peripheral mediators.

Context: Persons using one group of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) may differ in important ways from users of other CAM therapies. Objectives: The aim of this study was to characterize the United States (US) adult population using exclusively mind-body medicine (MBM) and to determine if their characteristics differed from those using exclusively non-vitamin natural products. Design/Setting: Using the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and its periodic supplement on CAM use, descriptive characteristics of exclusive MBM users, as well as those using exclusively non-vitamin natural products were identified. Patients: A total of 75,764 persons completing the 2007 NHIS with adults aged 18 years and older. Main Outcome Measures: Characteristics of MBM users, prevalence of MBM use, and characteristics of exclusive MBM users compared to exclusive non-vitamin natural product users. Results: Among CAM users (N = 83,013,655), 21.8% of the adult population (age 18 or older) reported using exclusive MBM therapy. In multivariate models, exclusive MBM use was associated with female gender, higher educational attainment, younger age, residing in Northeast US, being Asian or black race, and a current smoker compared to those using exclusive non-vitamin natural products. Using bivariate comparisons, individuals that exclusively used MBM were more likely to be white females (60.5%), in a younger age category (18-39 years), educated beyond high school (68.3%), and more likely from the Southern US (32.4%). A greater level of depression in MBM users was noted compared to non-vitamin natural product users (6.6%).

Children and Nature incorporates research from cognitive science, developmental psychology, ecology, education, environmental studies, evolutionary psychology, political science, primatology, psychiatry, and social psychology. The authors examine the evolutionary significance of nature during childhood; the formation of children's conceptions, values, and sympathies toward the natural world; how contact with nature affects children's physical and mental development; and the educational and political consequences of the weakened childhood experience of nature in modern society.

This book opens the door, for all lovers of philosophy, to the latest and most sophisticated discussions of classical Indian thought. Classical Indian Metaphysics has been designed so that it can be read by the student who knows little about classical Indian traditions, as well as the specialist in Indian philosophy. Classical Indian Metaphysics is an introduction to classical Indian metaphysics in general, with a special focus on New Logic and its response to idealist dialectical attacks. It comprises two wide-ranging introductory chapters covering the earliest periods of Indian thought, two chapters discussing metaphysical arguments within late classical debates, and a final chapter providing translations of key passages from late texts.

We compare the restorative effects on cognitive functioning of interactions with natural versus urban environments. Attention restoration theory (ART) provides an analysis of the kinds of environments that lead to improvements in directed-attention abilities. Nature, which is filled with intriguing stimuli, modestly grabs attention in a bottom-up fashion, allowing top-down directed-attention abilities a chance to replenish. Unlike natural environments, urban environments are filled with stimulation that captures attention dramatically and additionally requires directed attention (e.g., to avoid being hit by a car), making them less restorative. We present two experiments that show that walking in nature or viewing pictures of nature can improve directed-attention abilities as measured with a backwards digit-span task and the Attention Network Task, thus validating attention restoration theory.

The central thesis of this article was that the phenomenon of hope involves states and stages of consciousness development, which can be enhanced through breath control, meditation, prayer and related practices that have formed the essence of various spiritual healing traditions for millennia. In particular, it was argued that breath control can provide a vital foundation for consciousness transformation and the development of hope. Whilst breath control alone may lead to a state of pure, transcendent and/or cosmic consciousness, the practical theological implications are that its effect of enhancing states and stages of consciousness may be anchored and amplified. This process can take place through further contemplative and intercessory meditation, prayer and related behaviour and will differ between people, groups, contexts, religious and/or spiritual traditions. A particular method of breath control called One Breath, which is associated with pure consciousness and the experience of hope was described. Such an experience typically leads to further spiritual practice, healing and transformation. It was concluded that such ongoing spiritual practice is crucial for improving consciousness development, healing and hope for individuals, societies, planet Earth and the cosmos.

<p>The article discusses community penetration and subjection of labor to merchant capital in a Newar town in west central Nepal. The article takes its basis from Blaikie's work and V. I. Lenin's views. (Rajeev Ranjan Singh 2007-02-09)</p>

<p>The article is a comparative study of South Asian caste and Mediterranean citizenship in the development of the classes and the state. The article discusses the development of states within lineage. (Rajeev Ranjan Singh 2007-02-15)</p>

<p>Divides the study of human attention into 3 components: alertness, selectivity, and processing capacity. Experimental techniques designed to separate these components and examine their interrelations within comparable tasks are outlined. It is shown that a stimulus may be used to increase alertness for processing all external information, to improve selection of particular stimuli, or to do both simultaneously. Development of alertness and selectivity are separable, but may go on together without interference. Moreover, encoding a stimulus may proceed without producing interference with other signals. Thus, the contact between an external stimulus and its representation in memory does not appear to require processing capacity. Limited capacity results are obtained when mental operations, E.g., response selection or rehearsal, must be performed on the encoded information. (45 ref.)</p>


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