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The Pathogenesis of Fear

Mapping the Margins of Monstrosity

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Edited by Elizabeth Ann Hollis Berry

The Pathogenesis of Fear gathers together diverse conversations about cultural constructions of the monstrous. Interdisciplinary essays map the margins of monstrosity as follows: the cannibalistic paradox in Kleist’s late-Romantic Penthesilea; intersections of the monstrous-feminine and the new Victorian psycho-physiology of consciousness in George Eliot’s early novels; the monster-formed citizens of Dickensian and later dystopias; the killing of African Americans targeted as monstrous entities in US cities; the post-human anguish of a television zombie-world; the monstrous mutilations of a Spanish horror film; psychosocial aberration in Martin Millar’s werewolf fiction; the demonization of the Other on the war-torn streets of Ireland; Derridean devouring sovereignty. Discursively correlated with different categories of body and mind, monstrosity, these essays argue, persists in taking many forms. Contributors are Elizabeth Hollis Berry, Niculae Gheran, Sarah Harris, Fiona Harris-Ramsby and Mubarak Muhammad, Michaela Marková, Kimberley McMahon Coleman, Judith Rahn, Cindy Smith and Marita Vyrgioti.
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Edited by Andrew Kuzmicki and Ilona Błocian

The book is a volume of the collected works of sixteen different authors. They reflect the contemporary meaning of C. G. Jung’s theory on many fields of scientific activity and in a different cultural context: Japanese, South American and North American, as well as European: English, Italian and Polish. The authors consider a specific milieu of Jung’s theory and his influence or possible dialogue with contemporary ideas and scientific activity. A major task of the book will be to outline the contemporary—direct or indirect—usefulness and applicability of Jung's ideas at the beginning of the twenty-first century while simultaneously making a critical review of this theory.
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Aurore Malet-Karas, Marion Noulhiane and Valérie Doyère

Time and space are commonly approached as two distinct dimensions, and rarely combined together in a single task, preventing a comparison of their interaction. In this project, using a version of a timing task with a spatial component, we investigate the learning of a spatio-temporal rule in animals. To do so, rats were placed in front of a five-hole nose-poke wall in a Peak Interval (PI) procedure to obtain a reward, with two spatio-temporal combination rules associated with different to-be-timed cues and lighting contexts. We report that, after successful learning of the discriminative task, a single Pavlovian session was sufficient for the animals to learn a new spatio-temporal association. This was seen as evidence for a beneficial transfer to the new spatio-temporal rule, as compared to control animals that did not experience the new spatio-temporal association during the Pavlovian session. The benefit was observed until nine days later. The results are discussed within the framework of adaptation to a change of a complex associative rule involving interval timing processes.

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Lachlan Kent

Duration perception is not the same as perception duration. Time is an object of perception in its own right and is qualitatively different to exteroceptive or interoceptive perception of concrete objects or sensations originating within the self. In reviewing evidence for and against the experienced moment, White (2017, Psychol. Bull., 143, 735–756) proposed a model of global integration of information dense envelopes of integration. This is a valuable addition to the literature because it supposes that, like Tononi’s (2004, BMC Neurosci., 5, 42) Integrated Information Theory, consciousness is an integral step above perception of objects or the self. Consciousness includes the perception of abstract contents such as time, space, and magnitude, as well as post-perceptual contents drawn from memory. The present review takes this logic a step further and sketches a potential neurobiological pathway through the salience, default mode, and central executive networks that culminates in a candidate model of how duration perception and consciousness arises. Global integration is viewed as a process of Bayesian Prediction Error Minimisation according to a model put forward by Hohwy, Paton and Palmer (2016, Phenomenol. Cogn. Sci., 15, 315–335) called ‘distrusting the present’. The proposed model also expresses global integration as an intermediate stage between perception and memory that spans an approximate one second duration, an analogue of Wittmann’s (2011, Front. Integr. Neurosci., 5, 66) experienced moment.

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Nicole Schwan, Peter Brugger and Elisabeth Huberle

Temporal information, numerical magnitude and space extension appear to share common representational mechanisms and be processed similarly in the brain. Evidence comes from the phenomenon of ‘pseudoneglect’, i.e. healthy persons’ orientation asymmetry toward the left side of space. Pseudoneglect is also evident along the mental number line which extends from small numbers on the left to large numbers on the right. In analogy to numbers, time is typically represented on a line extending from the left to the right side. It may thus be no surprise that pseudoneglect has been demonstrated in the temporal domain as well. Besides the perception of the space located anteriorly to our trunk (frontspace), we are able to represent the space behind us, which we cannot visually perceive (backspace). The translational model suggests a mapping of spatially defined information to the ipsilateral side of the egocentric reference frame in front- and backspace, while the rotational concept focuses on a 360° spatial representation around the midsagittal plane of the trunk. At the present stage of investigation, little is known about the representation of temporal information in backspace. In an attempt to fill this gap, we compared duration estimations of auditory stimuli in frontspace and backspace. Healthy right-handers were instructed to judge their duration relative to each other. We found a pseudoneglect-behavior not only in frontspace but also in backspace. The data are discussed in the context of common processing mechanisms for time, numbers and space and favor a translational over a rotational account for the representation of backspace. The results are further discussed with reference to potential consequences for the rehabilitation of hemispatial neglect.

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Simon Grondin, Vincent Laflamme, Giovanna Mioni, André Morin, Félix Désautels and Nicolas Bisson

Sixty-one participants were asked (a) to recall a memory for a period lasting 15 minutes and (b), at the end of this period, to estimate retrospectively the duration of this period. They were assigned to one of four groups: the memory was either joyful or sad, and was recent (within the past two years) or old (when the participant was 7 to 10 years old). The most critical finding is the demonstration that the age of the recalled memory has an impact on the verbal estimation. More specifically, duration is underestimated in the old but not in the recent memory condition. Moreover, in this study, recalling a memory, old or recent, is shown to be an efficient way to generate a joyful or sad emotion. Finally, the results also indicate that there is a significant correlation between the uncertainty related to the duration estimated retrospectively and the score on the present-hedonistic scale of the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory.

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Jason Tipples

Recent experience sampling research supports the idea that our experience of time speeds up when we are happy and slows down when we feel sad. However, this research had only examined a single negative mood state namely, sadness. Here, I extend this research by testing whether the experience of time speeding-up and slowing down is associated with other thoughts and negative mood states. Thirty-nine participants aged from 18 to 29 completed an experience sampling procedure that lasted for five consecutive days. The experience sampling procedure included measures of time experience (passage of time judgements), mood, levels of activity and time orientation. Increased frustration predicted the experience of time slowing down more than sadness and increased activity, thinking about the future and to a lesser extent happiness, predicted time moving more quickly. Implications of the findings are discussed in relation to laboratory-based studies of time perception.

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Moojan Ghafurian and David Reitter

Decisions on when to act are critical in many health care, safety and security situations, where acting too early or too late can both lead to huge costs or losses. In this paper, impatience is investigated as a bias affecting timing decisions, and is successfully manipulated and moderated. Experiment 1 (N = 123) shows that in different tasks with the same duration, participants perform better when acting early is advantageous, as compared to when acting late is. Experiment 2 (N = 701) manipulates impatience and shows that impatience induced by delays (a) affects timing decisions in the subsequent tasks, (b) increases a tendency to receive information faster, only for a few seconds, with cost and no gain, and (c) reduces satisfaction in the subsequent task. Furthermore, impatience is significantly moderated by showing fast countdowns during the delays. Experiment 3 (N = 304) shows that the mechanism behind this impatience moderation is altered time perception and presents trade-offs between duration perception and duration recall.

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Ronald P. Gruber, Ryan P. Smith and Richard A. Block

Flow and passage of time puzzles were analyzed by first clarifying their roles in the current multidisciplinary understanding of time in consciousness. All terms ( flow, passage, happening, becoming) are carefully defined. Flow and passage are defined differently, the former involving the psychological aspects of time and the latter involving the evolving universe and associated new cerebral events. The concept of the flow of time (FOT) is deconstructed into two levels: (a) a lower level ― a perceptual dynamic flux, or happening, or flow of events (not time); and (b) an upper level ― a cognitive view of past/present/future in which the observer seems to move from one to the other. With increasing evidence that all perception is a discrete continuity provided by illusory perceptual completion, the lower-level FOT is essentially the result of perceptual completion. The brain conflates the expression flow (passage, for some) of time with experiences of perceptual completion. However, this is an illusory percept. Converging evidence on the upper-level FOT reveals it as a false cognition that has the illusory percept of object persistence as its prerequisite. To research this argument, an experiment that temporarily removes the experience of the lower-level FOT might be conducted. The claustrum of the brain (arguably the center of consciousness) should be intermittently stimulated to create a scenario of discrete observations (involving all the senses) with long interstimulus intervals of non-consciousness and thereby no perceptual completion. Without perceptual completion, there should be no subjective experience of the lower-level FOT.

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Agnon’s Story

A Psychoanalytic Biography of S. Y. Agnon

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Avner Falk

Agnon’s Story is the first complete psychoanalytic biography of the Nobel-Prize-winning Hebrew writer S.Y. Agnon. It investigates the hidden links between his stories and his biography. Agnon was deeply ambivalent about the most important emotional “objects” of his life, in particular his “father-teacher,” his ailing, depressive and symbiotic mother, his emotionally-fragile wife, whom he named after her and his adopted “home-land” of Israel. Yet he maintained an incredible emotional resiliency and ability to “sublimate” his emotional pain into works of art. This biography seeks to investigate the emotional character of his literary canon, his ambivalence to his family and the underlying narcissistic grandiosity of his famous “modesty.”