Nesta pesquisa estudamos a Biologia do Conhecer do epistemólogo chileno Humberto Maturana e discutimos as implicações educacionais da mesma. Foram investigadas as concepções sobre a relação pedagógica de 46 professores de ciências em exercício que aceitaram participar deste estudo exploratório com o objetivo de identificar o quanto essas concepções docentes se aproximavam ou se distanciavam das ideias propostas por Maturana. Para obter as concepções dos professores foi elaborado um com uma escala do tipo Likert com notas de 1 a 9. Além disso, se pediu ao professor que respondesse por extenso a quatro questões dissertativas. A análise quantitativa dos dados obtidos pela escala Likert, foi feita utilizando o teste de análise de variância (ANOVA) e o teste Tukey para comparação de médias. Os textos produzidos pelos professores foram analisados qualitativamente pelo método dedutivo utilizando três categorias teóricas. Os resultados mostram que as concepções expressas pelos professores se distanciam das ideias de Maturana. A emoção em sala de aula é considerada de extrema importância, mas a razão é ainda mais valorizada, o conhecimento é considerado o fundamento do humano. Em geral não se valoriza o diálogo...
Lemaitre, Herve; Mattay, Venkata S.; Sambataro, Fabio; Verchinski, Beth; Straub, Richard E.; Callicott, Joseph H.; Kittappa, Raja; Hyde, Thomas M.; Lipska, Barbara K.; Kleinman, Joel E.; McKay, Ronald; Weinberger, Daniel R.
We explored the effect of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in the Fibroblast Growth Factor 20 gene (FGF20) associated with risk for Parkinson’s disease (PD) on brain structure and function in a large sample of healthy young-adult human subjects and also in elderly subjects to look at the interaction between genetic variations and age (N = 237, 116 men, 18–87 years). We analyzed high resolution anatomical magnetic resonance images using voxel-based morphometry, a quantitative neuroanatomical technique. We also measured FGF20 mRNA expression in post-mortem human brain tissue to determine the molecular correlates of these SNPs (N = 108, 72 men, 18–74 years). We found that the T allele carriers of rs12720208 in the 3’ UTR had relatively larger hippocampal volume (p = 0.0059), diminished verbal episodic memory (p = 0.048) and showed steeper decreases of hippocampal volume with normal ageing (p = 0.026). In post-mortem brain, T allele carriers had greater expression of hippocampal FGF20 mRNA (p = 0.037), consistent with a previously characterized microRNA mechanism. The C allele matches a predicted miR-433 microRNA binding domain, whereas the T allele disrupts it, resulting in higher FGF20 protein translation. The strong FGF20 genetic effects in hippocampus are presumably mediated by activation of the FGF receptor 1 (FGFR1)...
MacLean, Evan L.; Matthews, Luke J.; Hare, Brian A.; Nunn, Charles L.; Anderson, Rindy C.; Aureli, Filippo; Brannon, Elizabeth M.; Call, Josep; Drea, Christine M.; Emery, Nathan J.; Haun, Daniel B. M.; Herrmann, Esther; Jacobs, Lucia F.; Platt, Michael L.
Now more than ever animal studies have the potential to test hypotheses regarding how cognition evolves. Comparative psychologists have developed new techniques to probe the cognitive mechanisms underlying animal behavior, and they have become increasingly skillful at adapting methodologies to test multiple species. Meanwhile, evolutionary biologists have generated quantitative approaches to investigate the phylogenetic distribution and function of phenotypic traits, including cognition. In particular, phylogenetic methods can quantitatively (1) test whether specific cognitive abilities are correlated with life history (e.g., lifespan), morphology (e.g., brain size), or socio-ecological variables (e.g., social system), (2) measure how strongly phylogenetic relatedness predicts the distribution of cognitive skills across species, and (3) estimate the ancestral state of a given cognitive trait using measures of cognitive performance from extant species. Phylogenetic methods can also be used to guide the selection of species comparisons that offer the strongest tests of a priori predictions of cognitive evolutionary hypotheses (i.e., phylogenetic targeting). Here, we explain how an integration of comparative psychology and evolutionary biology will answer a host of questions regarding the phylogenetic distribution and history of cognitive traits...
Les études d’imagerie par résonance magnétique fonctionnelle (IRMf) ont pour prémisse générale l’idée que le signal BOLD peut être utilisé comme un succédané direct de l’activation neurale. Les études portant sur le vieillissement cognitif souvent comparent directement l’amplitude et l’étendue du signal BOLD entre des groupes de personnes jeunes et âgés. Ces études comportent donc un a priori additionnel selon lequel la relation entre l’activité neurale et la réponse hémodynamique à laquelle cette activité donne lieu restent inchangée par le vieillissement. Cependant, le signal BOLD provient d’une combinaison ambiguë de changements de métabolisme oxydatif, de flux et de volume sanguin. De plus, certaines études ont démontré que plusieurs des facteurs influençant les propriétés du signal BOLD subissent des changements lors du vieillissement. L’acquisition d’information physiologiquement spécifique comme le flux sanguin cérébral et le métabolisme oxydatif permettrait de mieux comprendre les changements qui sous-tendent le contraste BOLD, ainsi que les altérations physiologiques et cognitives propres au vieillissement. Le travail présenté ici démontre l’application de nouvelles techniques permettant de mesurer le métabolisme oxydatif au repos...
Background and Purpose:
Neuropsychiatric diseases are protean, affecting cognition, emotion and behaviour, including such diseases as reactions to traumatic stress (post-traumatic stress disorder), cerebrovascular disease and the neurodegenerative dementias.
There has been much interest in understanding the neural basis of neuropsychiatric disease. A model that has been employed to investigate such disease has been the endophenotype, a restricted set of phenotypic or clinical features that may have a more specific structural and hence, genetic basis. An example of an endophenotype is frontal-executive neuropsychological function, localised to the neural substrate of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex frontostriatal circuit. Consequently, it is possible to explore the structural basis of an endophenotype by studying the components of neural circuits carrying such functions.
Thus, frontostriatal circuits may be useful as a structural basis for endophenotypes related to frontal cognitive function. These circuits extensively mediate cognition, emotion and behaviour within humans. The caudate nucleus and putamen, comprising the human neostriatum, serve crucial roles within frontostriatal circuits. The caudate and putamen may thus serve as a potential...
The sensory contact model allows forming different psychopathological states
(anxious depression, catalepsy, social withdrawal, pathological aggression,
hypersensitivity, cognition disturbances, anhedonia, alcoholism etc.) produced
by repeated agonistic interactions in male mice and investigating the
therapeutic and preventive properties of any drug as well as its efficiency
under simulated clinical conditions. This approach can be useful for a better
understanding of the drugs' action in different stages of disease development
in individuals. It is suggested that this pharmacological approach may be
applied for the screening of different novel psychotropic drugs.; Comment: 15 pages, 9 figures, 5 tables
The bottom-up construction of synthetic cells is one of the most intriguing
and interesting research arenas in synthetic biology. Synthetic cells are built
by encapsulating biomolecules inside lipid vesicles (liposomes), allowing the
synthesis of one or more functional proteins. Thanks to the in situ synthesized
proteins, synthetic cells become able to perform several biomolecular
functions, which can be exploited for a large variety of applications. This
paves the way to several advanced uses of synthetic cells in basic science and
biotechnology, thanks to their versatility, modularity, biocompatibility, and
programmability. In the previous WIVACE (2012) we presented the
state-of-the-art of semi-synthetic minimal cell (SSMC) technology and
introduced, for the first time, the idea of chemical communication between
synthetic cells and natural cells. The development of a proper synthetic
communication protocol should be seen as a tool for the nascent field of
bio/chemical-based Information and Communication Technologies (bio-chem-ICTs)
and ultimately aimed at building soft-wet-micro-robots. In this contribution
(WIVACE, 2013) we present a blueprint for realizing this project, and show some
preliminary experimental results. We firstly discuss how our research goal
(based on the natural capabilities of biological systems to manipulate chemical
signals) finds a proper place in the current scientific and technological
This is an introduction to the special issue titled "Collective behavior and
evolutionary games" that is in the making at Chaos, Solitons & Fractals. The
term collective behavior covers many different phenomena in nature and society.
From bird flocks and fish swarms to social movements and herding effects, it is
the lack of a central planner that makes the spontaneous emergence of sometimes
beautifully ordered and seemingly meticulously designed behavior all the more
sensational and intriguing. The goal of the special issue is to attract
submissions that identify unifying principles that describe the essential
aspects of collective behavior, and which thus allow for a better
interpretation and foster the understanding of the complexity arising in such
systems. As the title of the special issue suggests, the later may come from
the realm of evolutionary games, but this is certainly not a necessity, neither
for this special issue, and certainly not in general. Interdisciplinary work on
all aspects of collective behavior, regardless of background and motivation,
and including synchronization and human cognition, is very welcome.; Comment: 6 two-column pages, 1 figure; accepted for publication in Chaos,
Solitons & Fractals [the special issue is available at
The recent algorithm for five split tRNA-genes in N.equitans is new . It
locates missing tRNA-trp, tRNA-imet, tRNA-glu and tRNA-his . But the split
tRNA-trp(CCA) solution is anomalous ; the tRNA-imet lacks cognition elements
for aminoacylation . In view therefore we present here alternate non-split
composite solutions for tRNA-trp, tRNA-imet, tRNA-glu and tRNA-his .
It is increasingly evident that there is more to biological evolution than
natural selection; moreover, the concept of evolution is not limited to
biology. We propose an integrative framework for characterizing how entities
evolve, in which evolution is viewed as a process of context-driven
actualization of potential (CAP). Processes of change differ according to the
degree of nondeterminism, and the degree to which they are sensitive to,
internalize, and depend upon a particular context. The approach enables us to
embed phenomena across disciplines into a broad conceptual framework. We give
examples of insights into physics, biology, culture and cognition that derive
from this unifying framework.; Comment: 19 pages, 1 figure
This paper discusses the benefits of describing the world as information,
especially in the study of the evolution of life and cognition. Traditional
studies encounter problems because it is difficult to describe life and
cognition in terms of matter and energy, since their laws are valid only at the
physical scale. However, if matter and energy, as well as life and cognition,
are described in terms of information, evolution can be described consistently
as information becoming more complex.
The paper presents eight tentative laws of information, valid at multiple
scales, which are generalizations of Darwinian, cybernetic, thermodynamic,
psychological, philosophical, and complexity principles. These are further used
to discuss the notions of life, cognition and their evolution.; Comment: 16 pages. Extended version, three more laws of information, two
classifications, and discussion added. To be published (soon) in
International Conference on Complex Systems 2007 Proceedings
We extend the concept that life is an informational phenomenon, at every
level of organisation, from molecules to the global ecological system.
According to this thesis: (a) living is information processing, in which memory
is maintained by both molecular states and ecological states as well as the
more obvious nucleic acid coding; (b) this information processing has one
overall function - to perpetuate itself; and (c) the processing method is
filtration (cognition) of, and synthesis of, information at lower levels to
appear at higher levels in complex systems (emergence). We show how information
patterns, are united by the creation of mutual context, generating persistent
consequences, to result in `functional information'. This constructive process
forms arbitrarily large complexes of information, the combined effects of which
include the functions of life. Molecules and simple organisms have already been
measured in terms of functional information content; we show how quantification
may be extended to each level of organisation up to the ecological. In terms of
a computer analogy, life is both the data and the program and its biochemical
structure is the way the information is embodied. This idea supports the
seamless integration of life at all scales with the physical universe. The
innovation reported here is essentially to integrate these ideas...
It has been hypothesized that the evolution of modern human cognition was
catalyzed by the development of jointly intentional modes of behaviour. From an
early age (1-2 years), human infants outperform apes at tasks that involve
collaborative activity. Specifically, human infants excel at joint action
motivated by reasoning of the form "we will do X" (shared intentions), as
opposed to reasoning of the form "I will do X [because he is doing X]"
(individual intentions). The mechanism behind the evolution of shared
intentionality is unknown. Here we formally model the evolution of jointly
intentional action and show under what conditions it is likely to have emerged
in humans. Modelling the interaction of hunter-gatherers as a coordination
game, we find that when the benefits from adopting new technologies or norms
are low but positive, the sharing of intentions does not evolve, despite being
a mutualistic behaviour that directly benefits all participants. When the
benefits from adopting new technologies or norms are high, such as may be the
case during a period of rapid environmental change, shared intentionality
evolves and rapidly becomes dominant in the population. Our results shed new
light on the evolution of collaborative behaviours.; Comment: 6 pages...
Animal grouping behaviors have been widely studied due to their implications
for understanding social intelligence, collective cognition, and potential
applications in engineering, artificial intelligence, and robotics. An
important biological aspect of these studies is discerning which selection
pressures favor the evolution of grouping behavior. In the past decade,
researchers have begun using evolutionary computation to study the evolutionary
effects of these selection pressures in predator-prey models. The selfish herd
hypothesis states that concentrated groups arise because prey selfishly attempt
to place their conspecifics between themselves and the predator, thus causing
an endless cycle of movement toward the center of the group. Using an
evolutionary model of a predator-prey system, we show that how predators attack
is critical to the evolution of the selfish herd. Following this discovery, we
show that density-dependent predation provides an abstraction of Hamilton's
original formulation of ``domains of danger.'' Finally, we verify that
density-dependent predation provides a sufficient selective advantage for prey
to evolve the selfish herd in response to predation by coevolving predators.
Thus, our work corroborates Hamilton's selfish herd hypothesis in a digital
The paper is mathematically, physically and biologically inspired - it is a deductive attempt of the biologist to find the most appropriate language for modelling of life. Applications of mathematical structures - groupoids, groups, categories, functors and monads, which are the most effective for the description of the complex objects, are discussed. Some new conceptions and interpretations were introduced: unified classification of complex systems; the generalized conception about stationary states of any autonomous agent ("Statology"); the total quantitative criterions of evolutionary direction; the generalized group of symmetry. The definitions of information, entropy, organization, behavior, evolution, creation, life, culture, cognition were formulated. An actually closed and potentially opened ecosystem was introduced as the elementary object of organization and evolution of life. Evolution considered as process of generating of a concrete group G of permutations of elements of ecosystems, which is based on activities of the intrinsic autonomous agents. Life was considered as the way of realization of extreme principles of physics through co-organizing of behavior of the ecosystem elements and through dilating borders of the ecosystem by an interiorization of an extrinsic environment.