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- The Development of Interests in Children with Autism: A Method to Establish Baselines for Analyses and Evaluation
- This article discusses development of interests in children with autism. Abstract: By definition, children with autism have limited interests. While considerable efforts have been directed toward the social and communication difficulties faced by children with autism, less attention has been directed towards understanding the development and acquisition of new interests. Such understanding may help autism interventionists-establish increasingly diverse and complex interests thereby increasing reinforcing events, learning opportunities, activity participation, and social engagement. This paper describes an observational system for monitoring reinforcer diversity and event engagement during naturalistic teaching portions of an early intervention program. Data are presented for two children. It is suggested that such measures are necessary for two reasons. First, given the lack of empirical support and the importance of reinforcers, there is a need for measurement systems to monitor the development of interests in early intervention programs for children with autism. Second, there is a paucity of research addressing expansion of interests. Developing measurement systems increases the likelihood that evidence-based practices will emerge. Hopefully, these efforts will increase our knowledge, increase child preference for instruction, and open avenues for enhanced instructional and life opportunities based on expanded interests.
- Dharmic Ecology: Perspectives from the Swadhyaya Practitioners
- This article discusses dharmic ecology. Abstract: This is an article about the lives of the Swadhyayis, Swadhyaya practitioners, in the Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. The Swadhyaya movement arose in the mid-twentieth century in Gujarat as a new religious movement led by its founder, the late Pandurang Shastri Athavale. In the author's research, he discovered that there is no category of "environmentalism" in the "way of life" of Swadhyayis living in the villages. Following Weightman and Pandey (1978), the author argues that the concept of dharma can be successfully applied as an overarching term for the sustainability of the ecology, environmental ethics, and the religious lives of Swadhyayis. Dharma synthesizes their way of life with environmental ethics based on its multidimensional interpretations.
- Indology and Marxist Hermeneutics
- This article discusses Indology and Marxist Hermeneutics. Although Indian civilization has been one of the most extensively researched fields in the Western Humanities departments, it remains one of the most misinterpreted subjects. Scholars have applied various theories and methods to study this ancient field. However, often their analyses and interpretations fail to do justice to this complex tradition. In the name of "scientific objectivity", they have often applied their own subjective bias. In this paper, I endeavor to demonstrate how the theories of Marx have misinterpreted Indian culture.
- Occipitoparietal contributions to recognition memory: stimulus encoding prompted by verbal instructions and operant contingencies
- This article discusses occipitoparietal contributions to recognition memory. Background: Many human neuroimaging investigations on recognition memory employ verbal instructions to direct subject's attention to a stimulus attribute. But do the same or a similar neurophysiological process occur during nonverbal experiences, such as those involving contingency-shaped responses? Establishing the spatially distributed neural network underlying recognition memory for instructed stimuli and operant, contingency-shaped (i.e., discriminative) stimuli would extend the generality of contemporary domain-general views of recognition memory and clarify the involvement of declarative memory processes in human operant behavior. Methods: Fifteen healthy adults received equivalent amounts of exposure to three different stimulus sets prior to neuroimaging. Encoding of one stimulus set was prompted using instructions that emphasizing memorizing stimuli (Instructed). In contrast, encoding of two additional stimulus sets was prompted using a GO/NO-GO operant task, in which contingencies shaped appropriate GO and NO-GO responding. During BOLD functional MRI, subjects completed two recognition tasks. One required passive viewing of stimuli. The second task required recognizing whether a presented stimulus was a GO/NO-GO stimulus, an Instructed stimulus, or novel (NEW) stimulus. Retrieval success related to recognition memory was isolated by contrasting activation from each stimulus set to a novel stimulus (i.e., an OLD > NEW contrast). To explore differences potentially related to source memory, separate contrasts were performed between stimulus sets. Results: No regions reached supralevel thresholds during the passive viewing task. However, a relatively similar set of regions was activated during active recognition regardless of the methods and included dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, right inferior and posterior parietal regions and the occipitoparietal region, precuneus, lingual, fusiform gyri and cerebellum. Results also showed the magnitude of the functional response in the occipitoparietal region was inversely correlated with reaction times (RTs), such that the largest functional response and slowest RTs occurred to Instructed stimuli and the smallest functional response and fastest RTs occurred to GO stimuli, with effects to NO-GO stimuli intermediate. The inverse relation was also present bilaterally in the parahippocampus and hippocampus. Comparisons between stimulus sets also revealed regional differences potentially related to source memory.