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1.  Reply to Letter to the Editor: Reply to Williams and Davidson 
PMCID: PMC2923815  PMID: 19358951
8.  Kant, curves and medical learning practice: a reply to Le Morvan and Stock 
Journal of Medical Ethics  2007;33(2):119-122.
In a recent paper published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Le Morvan and Stock claim that the kantian ideal of treating people always as ends in themselves and never merely as a means is in direct and insurmountable conflict with the current medical practice of allowing practitioners at the bottom of their “learning curve” to “practise their skills” on patients. In this response, I take up the challenge they issue is and try to reconcile this conflict. The kantian ideal offered in the paper is an incomplete characterisation of Kant's moral philosophy, and the formula of humanity is considered in isolation without taking into account other salient kantian principles. I also suggest that their argument based on “necessary for the patient” assumes too narrow a reading of “necessary”. This reply is intended as an extension to, rather than a criticism of, their work.
PMCID: PMC2598239  PMID: 17264201
9.  Are those who subscribe to the view that early embryos are persons irrational and inconsistent? A reply to Brock 
Journal of Medical Ethics  2007;33(2):102-106.
Dan Brock has asserted that those who claim that the early embryo has full moral status are not consistent, and that the rationality of such a position is dubious when it is adopted from a religious perspective. I argue that both claims are flawed. Starting with the second claim, which is grounded in Brock's moral abstolutist position, I argue that Brock has provided no argument on why the religious position should be less rational than the secular position. With regard to the first claim, I argue that those who hold the view that the early embryo has full moral status can be consistent even if they do not oppose sexual reproduction, even if they do not grieve as much over the loss of embryos as over the loss of other humans, even if they prefer to save one child instead of 100 embryos in the event of fire, and even if they do not accept racism and sexism.
PMCID: PMC2598233  PMID: 17264198
10.  Authors' reply 
Thorax  2007;62(2):191.
PMCID: PMC2111258
11.  Author's reply 
Gut  2007;56(2):309-310.
PMCID: PMC1856783
12.  Author's reply 
Gut  2007;56(2):310-311.
PMCID: PMC1856768
15.  Blocking and pseudoblocking: The reply of Rattus norvegicus to Apis mellifera 
Blaser, Couvillon, and Bitterman (2006) presented data obtained with honeybees that in principle challenged all traditional interpretations of blocking. They administered A + followed by either A + or + alone (where + indicates an unconditioned stimulus) and then tested on X. They observed less responding to X when they administered A + than when + alone was administered, a phenomenon they called “pseudoblocking”. Here we examined pseudoblocking in a rat fear-conditioning preparation. In Experiment 1, using a control procedure that was similar to our usual blocking control, we obtained conventional blocking but failed to observe pseudoblocking in our analogue to Blaser et al.'s procedure. In Experiment 2, we used Blaser et al.'s control procedure and again failed to observe the pseudoblocking effect with rats when we used the experimental context as an analogue to the honeybee feeder used by Blaser et al. After reviewing their protocol and previously published studies from their laboratory, we hypothesized that the feeder that they treated as a training context probably served as a punctate cue. We also tested this possibility in Experiment 2, using a punctate cue as a surrogate feeder, and were now able to reproduce their pseudoblocking phenomena. Our results are consistent with a simple overshadowing account of pseudoblocking, within the framework of existing theories of associative learning, which is not applicable to the conventional blocking paradigm. Thus, blocking remains a real phenomenon that must be addressed by models of associative learning.
PMCID: PMC2647579  PMID: 18938762
16.  Reply to Letter to the Editor 
PMCID: PMC2603030  PMID: 18502273
17.  Reply to Dr. Blumenthal’s Letter 
PMCID: PMC1939696  PMID: 17673942
Addiction (Abingdon, England)  2004;99(10):1356-1358.
PMCID: PMC1526488  PMID: 15369578
19.  Temporal Overlap in the Linguistic Processing of Successive Words in Reading: Reply to Pollatsek, Reichle, and Rayner (2006a) 
A. Pollatsek, E. D. Reichle, and K. Rayner (2006a) argue that the critical findings inA. W. Inhoff, B. M. Eiter, and R. Radach (2005) are in general agreement with core assumptions of sequential attention shift models if additional assumptions and facts are considered. The current authors critically discuss the hypothesized time line of processing and indicate that the success of Pollatsek et al.’s simulation is predicated on a gross underestimation of the pretarget word’s viewing duration in Inhoff et al. and that the actual data are difficult to reconcile with the strictly serial attention shift assumption. The authors also discuss attention shifting and saccade programming assumptions in the E-Z Reader model and conclude that these are not in harmony with research in related domains of study.
PMCID: PMC2694500  PMID: 17154788
saccade; attention; word recognition; reading
20.  Diaphragms and lubricant gel for prevention of HIV(Authors’ reply) 
Lancet  2007;370(9602):1823-1824.
PMCID: PMC2742775  PMID: 18061048
21.  Claiming Evidence from Non-evidence: A Reply to Morton and Harper 
Developmental science  2009;12(4):499-503.
Morton and Harper (2007) argue that research presented in support of a bilingual advantage in the development of executive control has been confounded with social class, the actual mechanism for group differences. As evidence, they report a study in which a small group of monolingual and bilingual 6- and 7-year olds performed similarly on a Simon task. The present paper points to weaknesses in their experimental design, analysis, and logic that together undermine their criticism of the conclusion that bilingualism is responsible for the reported group differences.
PMCID: PMC2737318  PMID: 19635076
22.  Transient attention does increase perceived contrast of suprathreshold stimuli: A reply to Prinzmetal, Long, and Leonhardt (2008) 
Perception & psychophysics  2008;70(7):1151-1164.
Carrasco, Ling, and Read (2004) showed that transient attention increases perceived contrast. However, Prinzmetal, Long, and Leonhardt (2008) suggest that for targets of low visibility, observers may bias their response toward the cued location, and they propose a cue-bias explanation for our previous results. Our response is threefold. First, we outline several key methodological differences between the studies that could account for the different results. We conclude that the cue-bias hypothesis is a plausible explanation for Prinzmetal et al.'s (2008) results, given the characteristics of their stimuli, but not for the studies by Carrasco and colleagues, in which the stimuli were suprathreshold (Carrasco, Ling, & Read, 2004; Fuller, Rodriguez, & Carrasco, 2008; Ling & Carrasco, 2007). Second, we conduct a study to show that the stimuli used in our previous studies are not near-threshold, but suprathreshold (Experiment 1, Phase 1). Furthermore, we found an increase in apparent contrast for a high-contrast stimulus when it was precued, but not when it was postcued, providing more evidence against a cue-bias hypothesis (Experiment 1, Phase 2). We also show that the visibility of the stimuli in Prinzmetal et al. (2008) was much lower than that of Carrasco, Ling, and Read, rendering their stimuli susceptible to their cue-bias explanation (Experiment 2). Third, we present a comprehensive summary of all the control conditions used in different labs that have ruled out a cue bias explanation of the appearance studies. We conclude that a cue-bias explanation may operate with near-threshold and low-visibility stimuli, as was the case in Prinzmetal et al. (2008), but that such an explanation has no bearing on studies with suprathreshold stimuli. Consistent with our previous studies, the present data support the claim that attention does alter the contrast appearance of suprathreshold stimuli.
PMCID: PMC2638121  PMID: 18979688
23.  Reply to J Cannell 
Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.)  2008;28(11):809-810.
PMCID: PMC2598748  PMID: 19083492
24.  Brain Modules, Personality Layers, Planes of Being, Spiral Structures, and the Equally Implausible Distinction between TCI-R “Temperament” and “Character” Scales: A Reply to Cloninger 
Psychological assessment  2008;20(3):300-304.
In this reply we address comments by Cloninger (this issue) related to our report (Farmer & Goldberg, this issue) on the psychometric properties of the revised Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-R) and a short inventory derivative, the TCI-140. Even though Cloninger's psychobiological model has undergone substantial theoretical modifications, the relevance of these changes for the evaluation and use of the TCI-R remains unclear. Aspects of TCI-R assessment also appear to be theoretically and empirically incongruent with Cloninger's assertion that TCI-R personality domains are non-linear and dynamic in nature. Several other core assumptions from the psychobiological model, including this most recent iteration, are non-falsifiable, inconsistently supported, or have no apparent empirical basis. Although researchers using the TCI and TCI-R have frequently accepted the temperament/character distinction and associated theoretical ramifications, for example, we find little overall support for the differentiation of TCI-R domains into these two basic categories. The implications of these observations for TCI-R assessment are briefly discussed.
PMCID: PMC2538625  PMID: 19727313
Revised Temperament and Character Inventory; TCI-R; TCI-140; psychometrics
25.  Reply to Farrell & Lewandowsky: Recency-contiguity interactions predicted by the temporal context model 
Psychonomic bulletin & review  2009;16(5):973-984.
Farrell & Lewandowsky (2008) argue that the temporal context model (TCM; Howard & Kahana, 2002) cannot explain non-monotonicities in the contiguity effect seen at extreme lags. However TCM actually predicts that these non-monotonicities to the extent that end-of-list context persists as a retrieval cue during recall, and to the extent that end-of-list context generates a recency effect. We show that the observed non-monotonicity in the contiguity effect interacts with the recency effect as predicted by TCM. In conditions that exhibit strong recency, such as immediate and continual distractor free recall, one observes more prominent non-monotonicities in the contiguity effect than in conditions that attenuate recency, such as delayed free recall. Rather than posing a challenge to the model, the non-monotonicities in the contiguity effect at extreme lags and the interactions between recency and contiguity result from the role of end-of-list context as a retrieval cue in TCM.
PMCID: PMC2803096  PMID: 19927395

Results 1-25 (4506)