Ray Noble

Ray Noble
University College London | UCL · Institute for Women's Health

BSc, PhD. CBiol FRSB,FHEA
Writing papers and a book on the nature of purpose in life.

About

59
Publications
70,745
Reads
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991
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 1983 - September 1987
The University of Edinburgh
Position
  • Senior Researcher
Description
  • Research in sensory physiology.
Education
September 1976 - September 1979
The University of Edinburgh
Field of study
  • Neuroscience
September 1976 - June 1979
The University of Edinburgh
Field of study
  • Neuroscience
September 1973 - June 1976
The University of Manchester
Field of study
  • Zoology

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
Life is purposefully creative in a continuous process of maintaining integrity; it adapts to counteract change. This is an ongoing, iterative process. Its actions are essentially directed to this purpose. Life exists to exist. Physiology is the study of purposeful living function. Function necessarily implies purpose. This was accepted all the way...
Chapter
Karl Popper’s ideas on evolution in his 1986 Medawar lecture were remarkably close to Charles Darwin’sDarwin, C. original distinction between artificial and natural selection, but at odds with the Modern Synthesis in giving an active role to organisms in the process of evolution. His ideas were also compatible with recent work showing the role of t...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we demonstrate (1) how harnessing stochasticity can be the basis of creative agency; (2) that such harnessing can resolve the apparent conflict between reductionist (micro-level) accounts of behaviour and behaviour as the outcome of rational and value-driven (macro-level) decisions; (3) how neurophysiological processes can instantiat...
Book
A view of the UK response to COVID-19. It became clear from the beginning of the COVID Pandemic that many countries were ill-prepared for the task. This was undoubtedly true of the United Kingdom- not only was the country poorly prepared, but the government was slow to act, had inconsistent messages, and failed to sort out the logistics of ensuring...
Article
Full-text available
SCHOLARLY ARTICLE"Forum: Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Agency and Artificial Life"19 Sep 2019, RUSI Journal, 164(5-6):120-144Co-authors De Angelis E, Hossaini A, Noble R, Noble D, Soto AM...10.1080/03071847.2019.1694264
Article
Full-text available
Since the Principle of Biological Relativity was formulated and developed there have been many implementations in a wide range of biological fields. The purpose of this article is to assess the status of the applications of the principle and to clarify some misunderstandings. The principle requires circular causality between levels of organization....
Chapter
We argue that (1) emergent phenomena are real and important; (2) for many of these, causality in their development and maintenance is necessarily circular; (3) the circularity occurs between levels of organization; (4) although the forms of causation can be different at different levels, there is no privileged level of causation a priori: the forms...
Article
Full-text available
Choice in the behavior of organisms involves novelty, which may be unpredictable. Yet in retrospect, we can usually provide a rationale for the choice. A deterministic view of life cannot explain this. The solution to this paradox is that organisms can harness stochasticity through which they can generate many possible solutions to environmental ch...
Article
Full-text available
The question whether evolution is blind is usually presented as a choice between no goals at all (‘the blind watchmaker’) and long-term goals which would be external to the organism, for example in the form of special creation or intelligent design. The arguments either way do not address the question whether there are short-term goals within rathe...
Research
Full-text available
An introductory booklet on medical ethics for health care and medical students. It presents a systematic approach to ethical dilemmas in clinical practice with worked examples.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Biological relativity and the Problem of causality Raymond and Denis Noble University College London and University of Oxford Modern biological science tends to apply a mechanistic and reductionist concept of causality. In this view the function of the organism can be explained by the function of its parts and the function of the organism has no...
Chapter
The distinction between “object” and “process” is an important one in this chapter. But like many ways in which we have difficulty matching language to what we conceive as reality, the distinction is not absolute. It can be context dependent. A spiral storm cloud is a process in the sense that it is formed as an attractor from many component elemen...
Article
This paper examines the regulatory framework currently governing the creation of animal-human hybrids and chimera embryos in stem cell research, and some of the ethical implications of such research. It discusses the findings of a recent government select committee that considered the topic. It considers the debate around the precise definition of...
Article
Fetal therapy raises ethical concerns in relation to the balance of potential benefit and harm, autonomy and informed consent, and the duties of the clinician to the pregnant women and fetus. Invasive therapy should be recommended only when it has a realistic chance of saving the life of the fetus and offspring or preventing serious and irreversibl...
Article
Until recently, the primary use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has been the selection of embryos to avoid lethal or debilitating gene mutations or abnormal chromosome complement. PGD can be used to reduce the risk of transferring to the uterus an embryo with Down syndrome, and parents who are carriers of severe genetic diseases may choo...
Presentation
Full-text available
A better understanding of the needs and wishes of women should be built into the medical curriculum to better inform ethical clinical practice and improve access to health care for rural women in India.
Chapter
Introduction The discovery of a link between low birthweight and adult disease has opened exciting and rewarding areas of research (Nathanielsz and Thornburg 2003). The ‘Barker hypothesis’ of fetal programming, where fetal adaptations to nutritional deprivation increase vulnerability to disorders in later life (Barker 1998), creates the prospect of...
Article
Full-text available
EDITOR—The use of the phrase “epidemic of pregnancy in middle age”1 is loaded with value judgments and implies that pregnancy in middle age is akin to a disease. An epidemic by definition is a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time or a sudden, widespread occurrence of an undesirable phenomenon. In the wo...
Article
The number of people with HIV/AIDS continues to increase globally. Women, who represent the subgroup with the fastest rate of increase, are usually informed of their serostatus by the obstetrician/gynaecologist. As treatment of infected women raises a number of ethical issues, an understanding of the theoretical background for ethical decision maki...
Article
Conscious, anaesthetized and decerebrate young mammals respond to acute hypoxia with an initial increase in breathing followed by a fall to, or to below, pre-hypoxic levels--the biphasic ventilatory response. The ventilatory rise is due to sustained hypoxic stimulation of the peripheral chemoreceptors. We present evidence from brain stem and periph...
Article
Conscious, anaesthetized and decerebrate young mammals respond to acute hypoxia with an initial increase in breathing followed by a fall to, or to below, pre-hypoxic levels—the biphasic ventilatory response. The ventilatory rise is due to sustained hypoxic stimulation of the peripheral chemoreceptors. We present evidence from brain stem and periphe...
Article
1. The respiratory response to isocapnic hypoxia (inspired O2 fraction (FI,O1), 0.1-0.12) was measured in twelve vagotomized, paralysed, artificially ventilated young rabbits (aged 26.6 +/- 0.4 days), following pre-collicular decerebration. Phrenic nerve efferent activity was used as an index of central respiratory output (RO). In hypoxia RO increa...
Article
1. Extracellular microelectrode recordings were made from twenty-three spinocervical tract (SCT) cells in the lumbar spinal cord of cats anaesthetized with chloralose and paralysed with gallamine triethiodide. Excitation and inhibition of the cells were elicited by applying small brief (4 mN, 60 ms) localized jets of air to the clipped hair in and...
Article
1. The influence of activity in descending systems on the cutaneous receptive field properties of postsynaptic dorsal column (PSDC) neurones has been investigated in chloralose-anaesthetized cats. The main aim of the study was to determine whether the receptive field boundaries of PSDC neurones are under the control of systems descending from the b...
Article
1. In chloralose-anaesthetized cats single-unit microelectrode recordings were made from axons in the dorsal columns, at the lumbar level, identified as belonging to the postsynaptic dorsal column (PSDC) system. 2. Excitatory and inhibitory receptive field arrangements of a sample of seventy-five PSDC neurones were examined in detail using natural...
Article
Axoaxonic synapses are common features of hair-follicle afferent boutons. We have attempted to discover the identity of the neurotransmitter in the associated axon terminals by combining intra-axonal labelling of hair-follicle afferent axons with immunocytochemistry in a correlated light and electron microscopical study. Boutons containing glutamic...
Article
1. In cats under chloralose anaesthesia single dorsal root ganglion cells with axons innervating hair follicles were stimulated intracellularly to produce single impulses. At the same time single spinocervical tract (s.c.t.) neurones were recorded extracellularly, from their axons in the upper lumbar cord. 2. When the receptive field of the afferen...
Article
1. In cats under chloralose anaesthesia single lumbosacral dorsal root ganglion cells of hair follicle afferent fibres were stimulated intracellularly to produce trains or pairs of impulses. At the same time, single spinocervical tract (s.c.t.) neurones were recorded extracellularly, from their axons in the upper lumbar spinal cord. Afferent fibre-...
Article
1. Intracellular recordings were made from spinocervical tract (s.c.t.) neurones in cats anaesthetized with chloralose and paralysed with gallamine triethiodide. 2. In one series of experiments the cells' receptive fields were examined with the use of natural stimuli. Hair movement within the impulse firing zone of the cell evoked excitatory post-s...
Article
1. In chloralose-anaesthetized cats single-unit micro-electrode recordings were made at the lumbosacral level either from axons in the dorsolateral funiculus and dorsal columns, identified as belonging to the spinocervical tract (s.c.t.) or post-synaptic dorsal column (p.s.d.c.) pathway respectively, or from neurones in the dorsal horn similarly id...
Article
The receptive fields of sixteen spinocervical tract (s.c.t.) cells whose responses were recorded extracellularly were mapped using discrete and uniform jets of air given at equally spaced locations on the clipped fur of cats anaesthetized with chloralose. All the cells whose receptive fields were on the thigh or upper hind limb showed approximately...
Article
The sciatic and saphenous nerves of one hind limb were sectioned in young adult cats anaesthetized with halothane. Between 19 and 55 days later, under chloralose anaesthesia, dorsal horn neurones in the L6 and L7 segments were recorded and their receptive field properties examined. In seven animals recordings were made from identified spinocervical...
Article
Experiments were performed to investigate the responses of phasic supraoptic cells in hypothalamic slices to brief (2-3 sec) changes in excitatory drive, induced by varying the level of local glutamate stimulation. A brief increase in excitation during a silent period immediately triggered a prolonged burst of firing, similar in duration to the ong...
Article
Experiments were performed to investigate the effects of morphine and [D-Ala2, D-Leu5]enkephalin on supraoptic cells in hypothalamic slices in vitro. To ensure the presence of a steady background activity, the cells were recorded with glutamate-filled glass microelectrodes and the level of activity was controlled by selecting a suitable retaining c...
Article
Phasic discharge can be used as an electrophysiological marker of vasopressin neurons, and this is of considerable value in interpreting recordings from the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei, which, inevitably, involve mixed populations of oxytocin and vasopressin cells. This chapter presents an overview of some of the extrinsic factors regulat...
Article
1. Relationships between the terminal arborizations of hair follicle afferent fibres and dendritic trees of spinocervical tract (s.c.t.) neurones were studied using intra-axonal and intracellular injections of horseradish peroxidase in chloralose-anaesthetized, paralysed cats. 2. Seventeen afferent-neurone pairs were successfully stained and their...
Article
1. Single axons innervating Pacinian corpuscles and rapidly adapting mechanoreceptors of the foot and toe pads were injected with horseradish peroxidase near their entrance to the lumbosacral spinal cord in cats anaesthetized with chloralose and paralysed with gallamine triethiodide. Subsequent histochemistry revealed the morphology of the intra-sp...
Article
1. In acute experiments, detailed grids of micro-electrode recordings were made from spinocervical tract (s.c.t.) cells in the lumbosacral cord of anaesthetized cats. These grids provided electrophysiological data on the location, distribution, density and somatotopic organization of s.c.t. neurones.2. In acute experiments lasting up to 48 hr, retr...
Article
In the previous chapter some aspects of the relationships between hair follicle afferent fibres and spinocervical tract neurones were discussed on the basis of indirect evidence. It was concluded that, in the cat’s lumbosacral spinal cord, between 50 and 150 spinocervical tract neurones might have their somata and/or their dendrites within the sagi...

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