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    ABSTRACT: This study discusses the phenomenon of medieval sleepwalking as a disorder of body and soul. In the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, medical and natural philosophical writers began to identify the category of the sleepwalker with unusual precision: the most common example of the disorder involved an aristocrat who rose, armed himself, and mounted his horse, all the while imagining that he was fighting enemies or hunting deer. Explanations for this extraordinary behaviour involved the physiology of sleep and the functioning of the brain. In particular, theorists believed that the imagination, a storehouse of images located towards the front of the brain, took control because reason and sensation had been disabled during sleep. As a consequence, daytime fears and traumas could come to the fore for some sleepers, causing them to act and react in their sleep in ways they could not, or were not willing to do, in their waking, rational state. As such, medieval medical writers viewed sleepwalking as a dangerous, disordered state which called into question the Aristotelian divide between waking and sleeping as well as the categories of reason, sensation and voluntary motion.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Culture Medicine and Psychiatry
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    ABSTRACT: In 1983, a bulky and profusely illustrated textbook on molecular and cell biology began to inhabit the shelves of university libraries worldwide. The effect of capturing the eyes and souls of biologists was immediate as the book provided them with a new and invigorating outlook on what cells are and what they do.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology
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    ABSTRACT: According to current hierarchies of evidence for EBM, evidence of correlation (e.g., from RCTs) is always more important than evidence of mechanisms when evaluating and establishing causal claims. We argue that evidence of mechanisms needs to be treated alongside evidence of correlation. This is for three reasons. First, correlation is always a fallible indicator of causation, subject in particular to the problem of confounding; evidence of mechanisms can in some cases be more important than evidence of correlation when assessing a causal claim. Second, evidence of mechanisms is often required in order to obtain evidence of correlation (for example, in order to set up and evaluate RCTs). Third, evidence of mechanisms is often required in order to generalise and apply causal claims. While the EBM movement has been enormously successful in making explicit and critically examining one aspect of our evidential practice, i.e., evidence of correlation, we wish to extend this line of work to make explicit and critically examine a second aspect of our evidential practices: evidence of mechanisms.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Preventive Medicine
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