Intensity

The Lombard effect is the involuntary tendency of a speaker to increase the intensity of the voice when speaking in loud noise to enhance audibility. This change includes not only loudness but also other acoustic features such as pitch, rate and duration of sound syllables.

Choral singers experience reduced feedback due to the sound of other singers upon their own voice. This results in a tendency for people in choruses to sing at a louder level if it is not controlled by a conductor. Trained soloists can control this effect but it has been suggested that after a concert they might speak more loudly in noisy surrounding as in after-concert parties.

Noise has been found to effect the vocalizations of animals that vocalize against a background of human noise pollution. Birds sing with a higher frequency than those in quieter area to overcome the masking effect of the low frequency background noise pollution of cities. Beluga whales in the St. Lawrence River estuary adjust their whale song so it can be heard against shipping barge noise.

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Openings

An asclepeion was a healing temple, sacred to the god Asclepius, in ancient Greece and Rome. Starting around 350 BC, the cult of Asclepius became increasingly popular. Pilgrims flocked to asclepieia to be healed, slept overnight, and reported their dreams to a priest the following day. He prescribed a cure, often a visit to the baths or a gymnasium.

Asclepeia provided carefully controlled spaces conducive to healing. In the Asclepieion of Epidaurus, three large marble boards preserved the names, case histories, complaints, and cures of about 70 patients. Some of the surgical cures listed, such as the opening of an abdominal abscess or the removal of traumatic foreign material, are realistic enough to have taken place with the patient in a dream-like state of induced sleep known as enkoimesis, similar to anesthesia, induced with the help of soporific substances such as opium.

Since snakes were sacred to Asclepius, they were often used in healing rituals. Non-venomous snakes were left to crawl on the floor in dormitories where the sick and injured slept. Statues of Hygieia, the goddess of cleanliness, were covered by women’s hair and pieces of Babylonian clothing. According to inscriptions, the same sacrifices were offered at Paros.

Hippocrates is said to have received his medical training at an asclepieion on the isle of Kos. Prior to becoming the personal physician to the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Galen treated and studied at the famed asclepieion at Pergamon.

Responsibility

Neuroscience of free will refers to recent investigations that have been interpreted as shedding light on the question of free will, which is a philosophical and scientific question as to whether we exercise control over our actions, decisions, or choices. As it has become possible to study the living brain, researchers can now watch the brain’s decision-making process at work.

One significant finding of these studies is that a person’s brain seems to commit to certain decisions before the person becomes aware of having made them. Early studies found delays of about half a second, but in 2008, using contemporary brain scanning technology, scientists were able to predict whether subjects would execute an action up to 10 seconds before the subject became aware of having made the choice.

It may be possible, then, that our intuitions about the role of our so-called conscious “intentions” have led us astray. It may be the case that we have confused correlation of conscious self awareness with causation and decision. Alternatively, self awareness may serve only to recognize an unconsciously motivated will that appears before an action.

This possibility is bolstered by various known illusions and studies showing that humans may not have direct access to various internal processes. The discovery that humans only possess a determined will would have implications for moral responsibility. However, these studies have only just begun to shed light on the role that consciousness plays in actions and it is too early to draw very strong conclusions.

Notion

A cure or remission is the end of a medical condition. The term may refer specifically to a substance or procedure that ends the medical condition, such as a medication, a surgical operation, a change in lifestyle, or even a philosophical mindset that helps a person suffer. It may also refer to the state of being healed, or cured.

The proportion of people with a disease that are cured by a given treatment, called the cure fraction or cure rate, is determined by comparing disease-free survival of treated people against a matched control group that never had the disease.  If everyone treated for a disease is cured, then they will all remain disease-free and live as long as any person that never had the disease.

Inherent in the idea of a cure is the permanent end to the specific instance of the disease. When a person has the common cold, and then recovers from it, the person is said to be cured, even though the person might someday catch another cold. On the other hand, a person can successfully manage a disease, such as diabetes, so that it produces no undesirable symptoms for the moment, but without actually permanently ending it.

Some diseases may be discovered to be technically incurable, but also to require treatment so infrequently as to be not materially different from a cure. Consequently, patients, parents and psychologists developed the notion of psychological cure, or the moment at which the patient decides that the treatment was sufficiently likely to be a cure as to be called a cure. For example, a patient may declare himself to be cured, and to determine to live his life as if the cure were definitely confirmed, immediately after treatment.

Patterns

In typography, rivers are visually unattractive gaps appearing to run down a paragraph of text, due to an accidental alignment of spaces. They can occur regardless of the spacing settings, but are most noticeable with wide inter-word spaces caused by full text justification or monospaced fonts.

Rivers occur due to a combination of whether the type appears broad or skinny, the values assigned to the widths of various characters, and the degree of control over character spacing and word spacing. Broader typefaces are more prone to exhibit rivers, as are the less sophisticated typesetting applications that offer little control over spacing.

Typographers can test for rivers by turning a proof sheet upside down to examine the text. From this perspective, the eye is less likely to recognize words and the type can be viewed more readily as an overall pattern.

A related but less frequently used term is lake, which refers to a cluster of adjacent or intertwined rivers that create a lighter area within a block of type. Typesetters today are less likely to make adjustments to conceal rivers and lakes than they would using the more traditional methods.

Voltage

Bioelectromagnetism refers to the electrical, magnetic or electromagnetic fields produced by living cells, tissues or organisms. Examples include the cell membrane potential and the electric currents that flow in nerves and muscles as a result of action potentials.

It is an aspect of all living things, including all plants and animals. Some animals have acute bioelectric sensors and others, such as migratory birds, are believed to navigate in part by orienteering with respect to the Earth’s magnetic field. Also, sharks are more sensitive to local interaction in electromagnetic fields than most humans. Other animals, such as the electric eel, are able to generate large electric fields outside their bodies.

Bioelectromagnetism is associated with biorhythms and chronobiology. Biofeedback is used in physiology and psychology to monitor rhythmic cycles of physical, mental, and emotional characteristics and as a technique for teaching the control of bioelectric functions.

There are multiple categories of Bioelectromagnetism such as brainwaves, myoelectricity, and other related subdivisions of the same general bioelectromagnetic phenomena. One such phenomenon is a brainwave, where bioelectromagnetic fluctuations of voltage between parts of the cerebral cortex are detectable. This is primarily studied in the brain by way of electroencephalograms.

Exchange

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.

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Viewpoint

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.

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Impulse

Deferred gratification is the ability to wait in order to obtain something that one wants. This attribute is known by many names, including impulse control, will power, and self control. It is suggested to be an important component of emotional intelligence. People who lack this trait are said to need instant gratification and may suffer from poor impulse control.

Conventional wisdom considers good impulse control to be a personality trait important for life success. It has been argued that people with poor impulse control suffer from weak ego boundaries. This term originates in Sigmund Freud’s theory of personality where the id is the pleasure principle, the superego is the morality principle, and the ego is the reality principle. Poor impulse control may also be related to biological factors in the brain. Researchers have found that children with fetal alcohol syndrome are less able to delay gratification.

The marshmallow experiment is a well known test of the deferred gratification concept conducted by Walter Mischel at Stanford University. In the 1960s, a group of four-year-olds were given a marshmallow and promised another, but only if they could wait 20 minutes before eating the next one. Some children could wait and others could not. The researchers then followed the progress of each child into adolescence and demonstrated that those with the ability to wait were better adjusted and more dependable, scoring an average of 210 points higher on the Scholastic Aptitude Test years later. Mischel later found that easily explained tactics allowed children who had waited very short periods to wait for quite long periods.

Quality

Charisma is a trait found in persons whose are characterized by a personal charm and magnetism, along with innate and powerfully sophisticated abilities of interpersonal communication. One who is charismatic is said to be capable of using their personal being to interface with other human beings in a direct manner to effectively communicate.

The term was introduced in scholarly usage by German sociologist Max Weber as charismatic authority. He defined it as one of three forms of authority, the other two being traditional authority and rational authority. According to Weber, charisma is defined as a certain quality of an individual personality, by virtue of which one is set apart from ordinary people and endowed with specifically exceptional powers or qualities.

Charisma almost always evolves in the context of boundaries set by traditional or rational authority, but by its nature tends to challenge this authority and is thus often seen as revolutionary. However, the constant challenge that charismatic authority presents to a particular society will eventually subside as it is incorporated into that society. The way in which this happens is called routinization.

Routinization is the process by which charismatic authority is succeeded by a bureaucracy controlled rationally established authority or by a combination of traditional and bureaucratic authority. For example, Muhammad, who had charismatic authority as The Prophet among his followers, was succeeded by the traditional authority and structure of Islam, a clear example of routinization.

Some leaders may employ various tools to create and extend their charismatic authority by utilizing the science of public relations, for example. As in the example of Christianity, a religion which evolves its own priesthood and establishes a set of laws and rules is likely to lose its charismatic character and move towards another type of authority upon the removal of that leader.