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Honolulu, HI, United States

Herrmann-Pillath C.,East-West Center

In the biosemiotic literature there is a tension between the naturalistic reference to biological processes and the category of 'meaning' which is central in the concept of semiosis. A crucial term bridging the two dimensions is 'information'. I argue that the tension can be resolved if we reconsider the relation between information and entropy and downgrade the conceptual centrality of Shannon information in the standard approach to entropy and information. Entropy comes into full play if semiosis is seen as a physical process involving causal interactions between physical systems with functions. Functions emerge from evolutionary processes, as conceived in recent philosophical contributions to teleosemantics. In this context, causal interactions can be interpreted in a dual mode, namely as standard causation and as an observation. Thus, a function appears to be the interpretant in the Peircian triadic notion of the sign. Recognizing this duality, the Gibbs/Jaynes notion of entropy is added to the picture, which shares an essential conceptual feature with the notion of function: Both concepts are part of a physicalist ontology, but are observer relative at the same time. Thus, it is possible to give an account of semiosis within the entropy framework without limiting the notion of entropy to the Shannon measure, but taking full account of the thermodynamic definition. A central feature of this approach is the conceptual linkage between the evolution of functions and maximum entropy production. I show how we can conceive of the semiosphere as a fundamental physical phenomenon. Following an early contribution by Hayek, in conclusion I argue that the category of 'meaning' supervenes on nested functions in semiosis, and has a function itself, namely to enable functional self-reference, which otherwise mainfests functional break-down because of standard set-theoretic paradoxes. © 2010 by the author; licensee Molecular Diversity Preservation International, Basel, Switzerland. Source

The literature on gender differences related to psychological health among in-theater service members who are deployed in a combatant role is limited. Much focuses on retrospective reports of service members who have returned from deployment. Potential key factors that contribute to gender differences in psychological health among combatants are found in literature across several topic areas, but integration of findings across disciplines is lacking. A growing body of literature on gender differences related to psychological health of postdeployment military populations suggests males and females respond differently to perceived levels of social support pre-and postdeployment. One study on service members who were deployed suggested no significant gender differences related to reported psychological health symptoms, but did appear to find significant gender differences related to reported perception of unit morale. In another related area, research explores how ostracism impacts physical and psychological health of individuals and organizations, and can result in perceptions of physical pain, although research on gender differences related to the impact of ostracism is scarce. Research has also begun to focus on sex differences in pain responses, and has identified multiple biopsychosocial, genetic, and hormonal factors that may contribute as potential underlying mechanisms. In this brief review, we focus on and begin to integrate relevant findings related to the psychological health of females in combat roles, gender differences in the impact of perception of social support on psychological health, the psychological and physical impact of ostracism on individuals and organizations, and the current literature on sex differences in pain perception. We conclude with a synthesis and discussion of research gaps identified through this review, implications for clinical practice, and potential future research directions. In conclusion, there appear to be gender differences related to the presence or absence of social support, the impact of ostracism, and the perception of pain. These differences may play a critical role in the psychological health of female combatants. More research on this topic is needed. © 2016, Association of Military Surgeons of the US. All rights reserved. Source

Marshall K.R.,East-West Center
Military medicine

The majority of combat-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) within the U.S. Armed Forces is mild TBI (mTBI). This article focuses specifically on the screening, diagnosis, and treatment aspects of mTBI within the military community. Aggressive screening measures were instituted in 2006 to ensure that the mTBI population is identified and treated. Screenings occur in-theater, outside the contiguous United States, and in-garrison. We discuss specific screening procedures at each screening setting. Current diagnosis of mTBI is based upon self-report or through witnesses to the event. TBI severity is determined by specific Department of Defense criteria. Abundant clinician resources are available for mTBI in the military health care setting. Education resources for both the patient and the clinician are discussed in detail. An evidence-based clinical practice guideline for the care of mTBI was created through collaborative efforts of the DoD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Although symptoms following mTBI generally resolve with time, active treatment is centered on symptom management, supervised rest, recovery, and patient education. Medical specialty care, ancillary services, and other therapeutic services may be required. Source

Finucane M.L.,East-West Center | Gullion C.M.,Kaiser Permanente
Psychology and Aging

The authors evaluated the reliability and validity of a tool for measuring older adults' decision-making competence (DMC). A sample of 205 younger adults (25-45 years), 208 young-older adults (65-74 years), and 198 old-older adults (75-97 years) made judgments and decisions related to health, finance, and nutrition. Reliable indices of comprehension, dimension weighting, and cognitive reflection were developed. Comparison of the performance of old-older and young-older adults was possible in this study, unlike previous research. As hypothesized, old-older adults performed more poorly than young-older adults; both groups of older adults performed more poorly than younger adults. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that a large amount of variance in decision performance across age groups (including mean trends) could be accounted for by social variables, health measures, basic cognitive skills, attitudinal measures, and numeracy. Structural equation modeling revealed significant pathways from 3 exogenous latent factors (crystallized intelligence, other cognitive abilities, and age) to the endogenous DMC latent factor. Further research is needed to validate the meaning of performance on these tasks for real-life decision making. © 2010 American Psychological Association. Source

Noland M.,East-West Center
Asian Economic Policy Review

South Korea is arguably the premier development success story of the last half century. Rapid growth coincided with extensive state interventions in the economy, and considerable controversy exists as to how much this performance should be credited to the country's state-led development strategy and to what extent the lessons from that experience might be portable or applied elsewhere. The salience of this issue has grown as South Korea has become a more important provider of development assistance and advice. Now the country faces challenges in maintaining its superior economic performance, notably interrelated problems revolving around the country's demographics, long-term fiscal position, and lagging productivity in the services sector domestically, and a taxing environment externally. Finally, the country confronts scenarios involving potential instability, collapse, and/or absorption of its neighbor, North Korea. © 2012 Japan Center for Economic Research. Source

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