The cortical homunculus is a pictorial representation of the anatomical divisions of the primary motor cortex and the primary somatosensory cortex. It presents the portion of the human brain directly responsible for the movement and exchange of sense and motor information of the rest of the body.

The resulting image is a disfigured human with disproportionately huge hands, lips, and face in comparison to the rest of the body. Because of the fine motor skills and sense nerves found in these particular parts of the body they are represented as being larger on the homunculus. A part of the body with fewer sensory or motor connections to the brain is represented to appear smaller.

Dr. Wilder Penfield used a similar image to depict the body according to the areas of the motor cortex controlling it in voluntary movement. Sometimes thought to be the brain’s map of the body, the motor homunculus is really a map of the proportionate association of the cortex with body members. It also reflects kinesthetic proprioception, the body as felt in motion.

For example the thumb, which is used in thousands of complex activities, appears much larger than the thigh with its relatively simple movement. This develops over time and differs from one person to the next. The hand in the brain of an infant is different from the hand in the brain of a concert pianist. The difference is due to differences in the functional organization of associated areas of the brain, which is in turn influenced by the muscular anatomy of the effector muscles of the hand.



Towering cumulus clouds, also known as cumulus congestus, are characteristic of unstable areas of the atmosphere which are undergoing thermal convection, or the movement of molecules within gases and fluids. They are often characterized by sharp outlines and significant vertical development.

Because cumulus congestus is produced by strong updrafts, it is typically taller than it is wide, and cloud tops can reach 20,000 feet or higher in the tropics. The cloud consists mainly of water droplets. At its top, the water droplets are transformed into ice crystals, but for cumulus congestus the content of ice crystals is small and freezing is in early stages, so cloud top still looks round and puffy.

A pillar of cloud was one of the manifestations of God of the Israelites in the Old Testament. According to Exodus, the pillar of cloud guided the Israelites by day during the Exodus from Egypt. The pillar of cloud is traditionally paired with the the manifestation of God by night as the pillar of fire, which provided light. With these two forms of God leading the way, the Israelites “could travel by day or night”.


A lexigram is a symbol that represents a word but is not necessarily indicative of the object referenced by the word. Lexigrams were notably used by the Georgia State University Language Research Center to communicate with chimpanzees. Researchers and primates were able to communicate with one another using lexigram boards made by up to three panels of a total 384 keys.

Ernst von Glasersfeld coined the term lexigram in 1971, created the first 120 of them, and designed the grammar that regulated their combination. This artificial language was called Yerkish, in honor of Robert M. Yerkes, the founder of the laboratory within which the lexigrams were first used in 1973 by the chimpanzee Lana within the context of the LANA project.

The term lexigram has also been used to describe a mystical property of words. A lexigrammer is one who composes lexigrams, decodes hidden messages in words, titles, names, terms, phrases or succinctly stated problems by putting together full, meaningful sentences using only letters found in those expressions. These messages convey a deeper meaning related to the subject of the original name, statement or expression. The act of lexigramming is considered a spiritual process.

Associating the lexigram as a spiritual process was first done by Linda Goodman in her book Star Signs. She described several criteria which she believed were necessary for uncovering the spiritual meaning of a person’s name. While word-play lexigrams can reveal hidden codes or messages within a person’s name, the veracity of any spiritual value is subject to personal interpretation.



Buddhist chant boxes are hardware loop players that are sold in temples throughout Asia. They are small battery-powered devices resembling a cheap AM radio that play looped recordings of Buddhist chants. They are intended for use when it’s not possible to get to a temple, or if one wanted to chant and meditate on the go. Each box usually contains either two or more chants.

In Buddhism, chanting is the traditional means of preparing the mind for meditation, especially as part of formal practice. Recitation of the name Amituofo is a way to purify the mind, thoughts and environment. When the mind is serene and compassionate, the living environment will become tranquil. The benefits from this kind of thought can neutralize turbulance from greed, anger, ignorance and arrogance. Everyone can benefit from this recitation regardless of religion.

Almost every Buddhist school has a tradition of chanting associated with it. While the basis for most Theravada chants is the Pali Canon, Mahayana and Vajrayana chants draw from a wider range of sources. In the Vajrayana tradition, chanting is also used as an invocative ritual in order to set one’s mind on a deity, Tantric ceremony, mandala, or particular concept one wishes to further in themselves.

While not strictly a variation of Buddhist chanting in itself, Japanese Shigin is a form of chanted poetry that reflects several principles of Zen Buddhism. It is sung in the seiza position, and participants are encouraged to sing from the gut, the Zen locus of power. Shigin and related practices are often sung at Buddhist ceremonies and quasi-religious gatherings in Japan.



The uncanny valley is a hypothesis regarding the field of robotics and computer graphic animation. The theory holds that when robots and other facsimiles of humans look and act almost like actual humans, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers. The valley in question is a dip in a proposed graph of the positivity of human reaction as a function of a robot’s lifelikeness.

A number of theories have been proposed to explain the cognitive mechanism underlying the phenomenon. As appearance and motion become less distinguishable from a human being, an evolved cognitive mechanism for the avoidance of selecting mates with low fertility, poor hormonal health, or ineffective immune systems based on visible features of the face and body is activated.

In addition, the viewing of a not quite real human animation or robot elicits an innate fear of death, pathogen avoidance, and the irrational belief that aging and death as a central premise of life apply to all others but oneself. The jerkiness of an android’s movements could be unsettling because it elicits a fear of losing bodily control.

The uncanny valley may be symptomatic of entities that elicit a model of a human other but do not measure up to it. If an entity looks sufficiently nonhuman, its human characteristics will be noticeable, generating empathy. However, if the entity looks almost human, it will elicit our model of a human other and its detailed normative expectations.

The concept of the uncanny valley is taken seriously by the film industry due to negative audience reactions to CGI animations. The 2004 CGI animated film The Polar Express was criticized by reviewers who felt that the appearance and movements of the characters were creepy or eerie.



Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and denotes positive, virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness along with the absence of lying, cheating, or theft.

While there are a great many moral systems, honesty is considered moral and dishonesty is considered immoral. There are several exceptions, such as hedonism, which values honesty only insofar as it improves ones own sense of pleasure, and moral nihilism, which denies the existence of objective morality outright. Honesty may also be challenged in various social systems with ideological stakes in self-preservation. Many religious and national formations might be so characterized, along with many family structures and other small social collectives.

In these cases honesty is frequently encouraged publicly, but may be forbidden if those invested in preserving the system perceive it as a threat. Depending on the social system, these breaches might be characterized as heresy, treason, or impoliteness. Even in moral systems which approve in general of honesty over dishonesty, some people think there are situations in which dishonesty may be preferable.

Others would not define preferable behaviors as dishonest by reasoning that they are not intended to deceive others for personal gain, but the intent is noble in character, for example sparing people of opinions that will upset them. Rather than dishonesty, the behavior is often viewed as self sacrifice or giving up one’s voice for the happiness of others. In many circumstances, withholding one’s opinions can legitimately be viewed as cowardly, dishonest and a betrayal to those who will be hurt. For this reason, many people insist that an objective approach to the truth is a necessary component of honesty as opposed to an ideological or idealistic approach.


Social capital is a sociological concept used to refer to connections within and between social networks. Though there are a variety of related definitions, they tend to share the core idea that social networks have value. Just as a screwdriver (physical capital) or a college education (human capital) can increase productivity (both individual and collective), so do social contacts affect the productivity of individuals and groups.

Early attempts to define social capital focused on the degree to which social capital as a resource should be used for public good or for the benefit of individuals. It has been suggested that social capital can facilitate co-operation and mutually supportive relations in communities and would therefore be a valuable means of combating many of the social disorders inherent in modern societies.

Child development is powerfully shaped by social capital and the continued presence of social capital has been linked to various positive outcomes, particularly in education. In areas where there is a high social capital, there is also a high education performance. When there is more parental participation in a child’s community and education, teachers have reported lower levels of student misbehavior.

It has been argued that one of the reasons social capital is so difficult to measure is that it is neither an individual nor a group level phenomenon, but one that emerges across discreet levels as individuals participate in groups. They argue that the metaphor of social capital may be misleading because unlike financial capital, which is a resource held by an individual, the benefits of forms of social organization are result of the participation of individuals in advantageously organized groups.


In the philosophy of metaphysics, an ontological commitment is said to be necessary in order to make a proposition in which the existence of one thing is presupposed or implied by asserting the existence of another. We are committed to the existence of the second thing, even though we may not have expected it, and may have intended to assert only the existence of the first. The kind of secondary entities in question are typically abstract objects such as universals, sets, classes, or fictional objects.

The sentence “Napoleon is one of my ancestors” asserts only the existence of two individuals and a line of ancestry between them. The fact that no other people or objects are mentioned seems to limit the commitment of the sentence. However, it is well known that sentences of this kind cannot be interpreted in first order logic, where individual variables stand for individual things. Instead, they must be represented in some second-order form.

For example, the sentence can be rewritten as “any group of people that includes me and the parents of each person in the group must also include Napoleon” which is easily interpreted as a statement in second order logic. Since these variables do not stand for individual objects, it seems we are ontologically committed to entities other than individuals, sets, classes, and so on.

Many philosophers dispute whether we are committed to such associated entities at all. They argue that all assertions are committed only to the existence of the entities which they actually assert. There is a considerable and growing body of literature on plural reference and plural quantification, and it seems counter-intuitive that a sentence commits us to the existence of anything other than what it states. Some see in the grammatical plural simply another way to refer to exactly the same things that the singular form commits us to.


A perspective is the choice of a context or a reference, or the result of the choice, from which to sense, categorize, measure or codify experience, cohesively forming a coherent belief, typically for comparing with another. One may further recognize a number of subtly distinctive meanings, close to those of paradigm, point of view, reality tunnel, or worl view.

To choose a perspective is to choose a value system and, unavoidably, an associated belief system. When we look at a business perspective, we are looking at a monetary based value system and belief. When we look at a human perspective, it is a more social value system and its associated beliefs.

In social psychology one would talk in terms of the other person’s point of view when soliciting or motivating the other person to do something for you. Being able to see the other person’s point of view is one of Henry Ford’s advice towards being successful in business. “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own”.

Perspection, a related concept, signifies the ability to inspect one’s own perception, or the perceive another individual’s inspection.


Phantom rings are the sensation and the false belief that one can hear his or her mobile phone ringing or feel it vibrating, when in fact the telephone is not doing so. Other terms for this concept include ringxiety and fauxcellarm. Some sound experts believe that because cellphones have become a fifth limb for many, people now live in a constant state of phone vigilance, and hearing sounds that seem like a telephone’s ring can send an expectant brain into action.

They may be experienced while taking a shower, watching television, or using a noisy device. Humans are particularly sensitive to auditory tones between 1,000 and 6,000 hertz, and basic mobile phone ringers often fall within this range. This frequency range can generally be more difficult to locate spatially, thus allowing for potential confusion when heard from a distance. False vibrations are less understood, however, and could have psychological or neurological sources.

In addition to cellular phones, other attention grabbing devices such as sirens, trucks backing up, horns or crying babies in a commercial message have been generically labeled as phantom ringing. Some doorbells or telephone ring sounds are modeled after pleasant sounds from nature. This backfires when such devices are used in rural areas containing the original sounds. The owner is faced with the constant task of determining if it is the device or the actual sound.