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Elmhurst, IL, United States

Elmhurst College is a comprehensive private liberal arts college in Elmhurst, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, with a tradition of service-oriented learning. It has an affiliation with the United Church of Christ. Wikipedia.

Hirstein W.,Elmhurst College
Mens Sana Monographs | Year: 2013

One of the final obstacles to understanding consciousness in physical terms concerns the question of whether conscious states can exist in posterior regions of the brain without active connections to the brain′s prefrontal lobes. If they can, difficult issues concerning our knowledge of our conscious states can be resolved. This paper contains a list of types of conscious states that may meet this criterion, including states of coma, states in which subjects are absorbed in a perceptual task, states in brains with damaged prefrontal lobes, states of meditation and conscious states of some infants and animals. Recent evidence also suggests that conscious states of some autistic people may meet this criterion.© MSM 2013. Source

Felix R.J.,Austin College | Munro-Leighton C.,Elmhurst College | Gagne M.R.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2014

A discontinuity exists between the importance of the cation-olefin reaction as the principal C-C bond forming reaction in terpene biosynthesis and the synthetic tools for mimicking this reaction under catalyst control; that is, having the product identity, stereochemistry, and functionality under the control of a catalyst. The main reason for this deficiency is that the cation-olefin reaction starts with a reactive intermediate (a carbocation) that reacts exothermically with an alkene to reform the reactive intermediate; not to mention that reactive intermediates can also react in nonproductive fashions. In this Account, we detail our efforts to realize catalyst control over this most fundamental of reactions and thereby access steroid like compounds. Our story is organized around our progress in each component of the cascade reaction: the metal controlled electrophilic initiation, the propagation and termination of the cyclization (the cyclase phase), and the turnover deplatinating events. Electrophilic Pt(II) complexes efficiently initiate the cation-olefin reaction by first coordinating to the alkene with selection rules that favor less substituted alkenes over more substituted alkenes. In complex substrates with multiple alkenes, this preference ensures that the least substituted alkene is always the better ligand for the Pt(II) initiator, and consequently the site at which all electrophilic chemistry is initiated. This control element is invariant. With a suitably electron deficient ligand set, the catalyst then activates the coordinated alkene to intramolecular addition by a second alkene, which initiates the cation-olefin reaction cascade and generates an organometallic Pt(II)-Alkyl. Deplatination by a range of mechanisms (β-H elimination, single electron oxidation, two-electron oxidation, etc.) provides an additional level of control that ultimately enables A-ring functionalizations that are orthogonal to the cyclase cascade. We particularly focus on reactions that combine an initiated cyclization reaction with a turnover defining β-hydride elimination, fluorination, and oxygenation. These latter demetalation schemes lead to new compounds functionalized at the C3 carbon of the A-ring (steroid numbering convention) and thus provide access to interesting potentially bioactive targets. Progress toward efficient and diverse polycyclization reactions has been achieved by investing in both synthetic challenges and fundamental organometallic reactivity. In addition to an interest in the entrance and exit of the metal catalyst from this reaction scheme, we have been intrigued by the role of neighboring group participation in the cyclase phase. Computational studies have served to provide nuance and clarity on several key aspects, including the role (and consequences) of neighboring group participation in cation generation and stabilization. For example, these calculations have demonstrated that traversing carbonium ion transition states significantly impacts the kinetics of competitive 6-endo and 5-exo A-ring forming reactions. The resulting nonclassical transition states then become subject to a portion of the strain energy inherent to bicyclic structures, with the net result being that the 6-endo pathway becomes kinetically favored for alkene nucleophiles, in contrast to heteroatom nucleophiles which progress through classical transition states and preferentially follow 5-exo pathways. These vignettes articulate our approach to achieving the desired catalyst control. © 2014 American Chemical Society. Source

Hirstein W.,Elmhurst College
Mens Sana Monographs | Year: 2011

According to several current theories, executive processes help achieve various mental actions such as remembering, planning and decision-making, by executing cognitive operations on representations held in consciousness. I plan to argue that these executive processes are partly responsible for our sense of self, because of the way they produce the impression of an active, controlling presence in consciousness. If we examine what philosophers have said about the "ego" (Descartes), "the Self" (Locke and Hume), the "self of all selves" (William James), we will find that it fits what is now known about executive processes. Hume, for instance, famously argued that he could not detect the self in consciousness, and this would correspond to the claim (made by Crick and Koch, for instance) that we are not conscious of the executive processes themselves, but rather of their results. © MSM 2011. Source

Moore K.S.,Elmhurst College | Yi D.-J.,Yonsei University | Chun M.,Yale University
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience | Year: 2013

Fundamental to our understanding of learning is the role of attention. We investigated how attention affects two fMRI measures of stimulus-specific memory: repetition suppression (RS) and pattern similarity (PS). RS refers to the decreased fMRI signal when a stimulus is repeated, and it is sensitive to manipulations of attention and task demands. In PS, region-wide voxel-level patterns of responses are evaluated for their similarity across repeated presentations of a stimulus. More similarity across presentations is related to better learning, but the role of attention on PS is not known. Here, we directly compared these measures during the visual repetition of scenes while manipulating attention. Consistent with previous findings, we observed RS in the scene-sensitive parahippocampal place area only when a scene was attended both at initial presentation and upon repetition in subsequent trials, indicating that attention is important for RS. Likewise, we observed greater PS in response to repeated pairs of scenes when both instances of the scene were attended than when either or both were ignored. However, RS and PS did not correlate on either a scene-by-scene or subject-by-subject basis, and PS measures revealed above-chance similarity even when stimuli were ignored. Thus, attention has different effects on RS and PS measures of perceptual repetition. © 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Source

Hirstein W.,Elmhurst College
Cognitive Neuropsychiatry | Year: 2010

The patient with Capgras' syndrome claims that people very familiar to him have been replaced by impostors. I argue that this disorder is due to the destruction of a representation that the patient has of the mind of the familiar person. This creates the appearance of a familiar body and face, but without the familiar personality, beliefs, and thoughts. The posterior site of damage in Capgras' is often reported to be the temporoparietal junction, an area that has a role in the mindreading system, a connected system of cortical areas that allow us to attribute mental states to others. Just as the Capgras' patient claims that that man is not his father, the patient with asomatognosia claims that his arm is not really his. A similar account applies here, in that a nearby brain area, the supramarginal gyrus, is damaged. This area works in concert with the temporoparietal junction and other areas to produce a large representation of a mind inside a body situated in an environment. Damage to the mind-representing part of this system (coupled with damage to executive processes in the prefrontal lobes) causes Capgras' syndrome, whereas damage to the body-representing part of this system (also coupled with executive damage) causes asomatognosia. © 2009 Psychology Press. Source

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