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Candia V.,Collegium Helveticum | Candia V.,Zurich University of the Arts | Deprez P.,Collegium Helveticum | Deprez P.,Zurich University of the Arts | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

We investigated, in a university student population, spontaneous (non-speeded) fast and slow number-to-line mapping responses using non-symbolic (dots) and symbolic (words) stimuli. Seeking for less conventionalized responses, we used anchors 0-130, rather than the standard 0-100. Slow responses to both types of stimuli only produced linear mappings with no evidence of non-linear compression. In contrast, fast responses revealed distinct patterns of non-linear compression for dots and words. A predicted logarithmic compression was observed in fast responses to dots in the 0-130 range, but not in the reduced 0-100 range, indicating compression in proximity of the upper anchor 130, not the standard 100. Moreover, fast responses to words revealed an unexpected significant negative compression in the reduced 0-100 range, but not in the 0-130 range, indicating compression in proximity to the lower anchor 0. Results show that fast responses help revealing the fundamentally distinct nature of symbolic and non-symbolic quantity representation. Whole number words, being intrinsically mediated by cultural phenomena such as language and education, emphasize the invariance of magnitude between them - essential for linear mappings, and therefore, unlike non-symbolic (psychophysical) stimuli, yield spatial mappings that don't seem to be influenced by the Weber-Fechner law of psychophysics. However, high levels of education (when combined with an absence of standard upper anchors) may lead fast responses to overestimate magnitude invariance on the lower end of word numerals. © 2015 Candia et al.


PubMed | University of California at San Diego, Zurich University of the Arts and Collegium Helveticum
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

We investigated, in a university student population, spontaneous (non-speeded) fast and slow number-to-line mapping responses using non-symbolic (dots) and symbolic (words) stimuli. Seeking for less conventionalized responses, we used anchors 0-130, rather than the standard 0-100. Slow responses to both types of stimuli only produced linear mappings with no evidence of non-linear compression. In contrast, fast responses revealed distinct patterns of non-linear compression for dots and words. A predicted logarithmic compression was observed in fast responses to dots in the 0-130 range, but not in the reduced 0-100 range, indicating compression in proximity of the upper anchor 130, not the standard 100. Moreover, fast responses to words revealed an unexpected significant negative compression in the reduced 0-100 range, but not in the 0-130 range, indicating compression in proximity to the lower anchor 0. Results show that fast responses help revealing the fundamentally distinct nature of symbolic and non-symbolic quantity representation. Whole number words, being intrinsically mediated by cultural phenomena such as language and education, emphasize the invariance of magnitude between themessential for linear mappings, and therefore, unlike non-symbolic (psychophysical) stimuli, yield spatial mappings that dont seem to be influenced by the Weber-Fechner law of psychophysics. However, high levels of education (when combined with an absence of standard upper anchors) may lead fast responses to overestimate magnitude invariance on the lower end of word numerals.


Stahl M.,Hoffmann-La Roche | Baier S.,Collegium Helveticum
ChemMedChem | Year: 2015

Abstract Medicinal chemistry has always been closer to the arts than other disciplines in the natural sciences. Instead of searching for natural laws, medicinal chemistry creates new molecular entities entailing desired pharmaceutical characteristics. While the productive output of medicinal chemistry is comprehensively documented, the epistemic paths of the creative process are less well described. Here we show how such paths could be visualized and how these visualizations relate to images developed in the history and philosophy of science. Based on the discussion of these visualizations, we argue that there is a need for a new language of creativity that can be employed during the very course of research, as opposed to its retrospective analysis. This language should be able to reflect both the status and directions in highly complex research processes that may have a clear goal, yet must remain open to unexpected moments of serendipity. If we were to visualize the evolutionary growth of medicinal chemistry over time and across target families, molecule by molecule, what picture would emerge? Do we have adequate language to describe the research process? © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


PubMed | Hoffmann-La Roche and Collegium Helveticum
Type: Journal Article | Journal: ChemMedChem | Year: 2015

Medicinal chemistry has always been closer to the arts than other disciplines in the natural sciences. Instead of searching for natural laws, medicinal chemistry creates new molecular entities entailing desired pharmaceutical characteristics. While the productive output of medicinal chemistry is comprehensively documented, the epistemic paths of the creative process are less well described. Here we show how such paths could be visualized and how these visualizations relate to images developed in the history and philosophy of science. Based on the discussion of these visualizations, we argue that there is a need for a new language of creativity that can be employed during the very course of research, as opposed to its retrospective analysis. This language should be able to reflect both the status and directions in highly complex research processes that may have a clear goal, yet must remain open to unexpected moments of serendipity.


Krummenacher P.,Collegium Helveticum | Candia V.,Collegium Helveticum | Folkers G.,Collegium Helveticum | Schedlowski M.,University of Duisburg - Essen | And 2 more authors.
Pain | Year: 2010

Expectations and beliefs modulate the experience of pain, which is particularly evident in placebo analgesia. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has been associated with pain regulation and with the generation, maintenance and manipulation of cognitive representations, consistent with its role in expectation. In a heat-pain paradigm, we employed non-invasive low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to transiently disrupt left and right DLPFC function or used the TMS device itself as a placebo, before applying an expectation-induced placebo analgesia. The results demonstrated that placebo significantly increased pain threshold and pain tolerance. While rTMS did not affect pain experience, it completely blocked placebo analgesia. These findings suggest that expectation-induced placebo analgesia is mediated by symmetric prefrontal cortex function. © 2009 International Association for the Study of Pain.


Folkers G.,Collegium Helveticum
Pharmazie | Year: 2013

Wenn von Forschung die Rede ist, wird sehr schnell die Frage nach ihrer Freiheit gestellt. Technische Katastrophen, Allmachtsphantasien und Gewinnstreben werden der Forschung angekreidet und lassen den Ruf nach Freiheitsbeschränkung laut werden. Andererseits sind Forschung, Wissenschaft und Technologie heute zum deus-ex-machina für alle Probleme avanciert. Die Gesellschaft stellt höchste Ansprüche an die Kompetenz der Forschung, mit der Erwartung von kurzfristigen, bezahlbaren und angenehmen Lösungen für Krankheit und Gesundheit, Umwelt und Verkehr, Nahrung und ganz allgemein für ein angenehmes Leben.Welche Freiheit muss ihr dafür gewährt werden und von wem?Was bedeutet Freiheit für die Forschung und wie ist sie mit Verantwortung verbunden? Der Aufsatz untersucht die Situation der Freiheit in der Forschung und zeigt ihre - meist mental und ökonomisch bedingten - Einschränkungen. Er plädiert für die Integration eines aufgeklärten selbstbewussten Bürgertums in Forschungsentscheidungen und fordert die dazu nötigen Bildungsmassnahmen, eine höhere Wertschätzung der Bildung (statt Ausbildung) als Basis sozialen Vertrauens und schließlich die Anerkennung der permanenten Bildung als produktive Zeit und wichtiges Element im Wertschöpfungsprozess gesellschaftlichen Gutes.


Atmanspacher H.,Collegium Helveticum
Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society | Year: 2014

The concept of reproducibility is widely considered a cornerstone of scientific methodology. However, recent problems with the reproducibility of empirical results in large-scale systems and in biomedical research have cast doubts on its universal and rigid applicability beyond the so-called basic sciences. Reproducibility is a particularly difficult issue in interdisciplinary work where the results to be reproduced typically refer to different levels of description of the system considered. In such cases, it is mandatory to distinguish between more and less relevant features, attributes or observables of the system, depending on the level at which they are described. For this reason, we propose a scheme for a general 'relation of relevance' between the level of complexity at which a system is considered and the granularity of its description. This relation implies relevance criteria for particular selected aspects of a system and its description, which can be operationally implemented by an interlevel relation called 'contextual emergence'. It yields a formally sound and empirically applicable procedure to translate between descriptive levels and thus construct level-specific criteria for reproducibility in an overall consistent fashion. Relevance relations merged with contextual emergence challenge the old idea of one fundamental ontology from which everything else derives. At the same time, our proposal is specific enough to resist the backlash into a relativist patchwork of unconnected model fragments.


Atmanspacher H.,Collegium Helveticum | Atmanspacher H.,Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology | Bezzola Lambert L.,Collegium Helveticum | Bezzola Lambert L.,University of Basel | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the Royal Society Interface | Year: 2014

The concept of reproducibility is widely considered a cornerstone of scientific methodology. However, recent problems with the reproducibility of empirical results in large-scale systems and in biomedical research have cast doubts on its universal and rigid applicability beyond the so-called basic sciences. Reproducibility is a particularly difficult issue in interdisciplinary work where the results to be reproduced typically refer to different levels of description of the system considered. In such cases, it is mandatory to distinguish between more and less relevant features, attributes or observables of the system, depending on the level atwhich they are described. For this reason,we propose a scheme for a general 'relation of relevance' between the level of complexity at which a system is considered and the granularity of its description. This relation implies relevance criteria for particular selected aspects of a system and its description, which can be operationally implemented by an interlevel relation called 'contextual emergence'. It yields a formally sound and empirically applicable procedure to translate between descriptive levels and thus construct level-specific criteria for reproducibility in an overall consistent fashion. Relevance relations merged with contextual emergence challenge the old idea of one fundamental ontology from which everything else derives. At the same time, our proposal is specific enough to resist the backlash into a relativist patchwork of unconnected model fragments. © 2014 The Authors.


PubMed | Collegium Helveticum
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface | Year: 2014

The concept of reproducibility is widely considered a cornerstone of scientific methodology. However, recent problems with the reproducibility of empirical results in large-scale systems and in biomedical research have cast doubts on its universal and rigid applicability beyond the so-called basic sciences. Reproducibility is a particularly difficult issue in interdisciplinary work where the results to be reproduced typically refer to different levels of description of the system considered. In such cases, it is mandatory to distinguish between more and less relevant features, attributes or observables of the system, depending on the level at which they are described. For this reason, we propose a scheme for a general relation of relevance between the level of complexity at which a system is considered and the granularity of its description. This relation implies relevance criteria for particular selected aspects of a system and its description, which can be operationally implemented by an interlevel relation called contextual emergence. It yields a formally sound and empirically applicable procedure to translate between descriptive levels and thus construct level-specific criteria for reproducibility in an overall consistent fashion. Relevance relations merged with contextual emergence challenge the old idea of one fundamental ontology from which everything else derives. At the same time, our proposal is specific enough to resist the backlash into a relativist patchwork of unconnected model fragments.


PubMed | Collegium Helveticum
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Die Pharmazie | Year: 2013

Debates about science and, more specifically, about scientific research quickly bring up the question about its freedom. Science is readily blamed for technological disasters or criticized for nursing fantasies of omnipotence and commercial gain. This prompts the call for a restriction of its freedom. At the same time, societys demands on science are enormous, to the effect that science and technology have acquired the status of a deus-ex-machina: they are expected to furnish short-term, affordable, and convenient solutions to a wide range of problems, including issues of health, transportation, food and, more generally, a comfortable life. What kind of freedom is required to meet these expectations? Who is in a position to grant it? What does freedom for science mean and how is it linked to responsibility? The paper examines the current situation of freedom in scientific research and of its restrictions, many of which are mentally or economically conditioned. It calls for the involvement of an informed, self-confident bourgeoisie in research decisions and for the educational measures this necessitates. Finally, it demands a greater appreciation of education (rather than training) as the basis of social trust, and the recognition of continuous education as a productive investment of time and a crucial element in the employment of social goods.

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