215 research outputs found

    Long-term evolution of the heliospheric magnetic field inferred from cosmogenic 44^{44}Ti activity in meteorites

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    Typical reconstructions of historic heliospheric magnetic field (HMF) BHMFB_{\rm HMF} are based on the analysis of the sunspot activity, geomagnetic data or on measurement of cosmogenic isotopes stored in terrestrial reservoirs like trees (14^{14}C) and ice cores (10^{10}Be). The various reconstructions of BHMFB_{\rm HMF} are however discordant both in strength and trend. Cosmogenic isotopes, which are produced by galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) impacting on meteoroids and whose production rate is modulated by the varying HMF convected outward by the solar wind, may offer an alternative tool for the investigation of the HMF in the past centuries. In this work, we aim to evaluate the long-term evolution of BHMFB_{\rm HMF} over a period covering the past twenty-two solar cycles by using measurements of the cosmogenic 44^{44}Ti activity (τ1/2=59.2±0.6\tau_{1/2} = 59.2 \pm 0.6 yr) measured in 20 meteorites which fell between 1766 and 2001. Within the given uncertainties, our result is compatible with a HMF increase from 4.870.30+0.244.87^{+0.24}_{-0.30} nT in 1766 to 6.830.11+0.136.83^{+0.13}_{-0.11} nT in 2001, thus implying an overall average increment of 1.960.35+0.431.96^{+0.43}_{-0.35} nT over 235 years since 1766 reflecting the modern Grand maximum. The BHMFB_{\rm HMF} trend thus obtained is then compared with the most recent reconstructions of the near-Earth heliospheric magnetic field strength based on geomagnetic, sunspot number and cosmogenic isotope data.Comment: Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysic

    What Can Information Encapsulation Tell Us About Emotional Rationality?

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    What can features of cognitive architecture, e.g. the information encapsulation of certain emotion processing systems, tell us about emotional rationality? de Sousa proposes the following hypothesis: “the role of emotions is to supply the insufficiency of reason by imitating the encapsulation of perceptual modes” (de Sousa 1987: 195). Very roughly, emotion processing can sometimes occur in a way that is insensitive to what an agent already knows, and such processing can assist reasoning by restricting the response-options she considers. This paper aims to provide an exposition and assessment of de Sousa’s hypothesis. I argue information encapsulation is not essential to emotion-driven reasoning, as emotions can determine the relevance of response-options even without being encapsulated. However, I argue encapsulation can still play a role in assisting reasoning by restricting response-options more efficiently, and in a way that ensures which options emotions deem relevant are not overridden by what the agent knows. I end by briefly explaining why this very feature also helps explain how emotions can, on occasion, hinder reasoning

    Emotion and ethics: an inter-(en)active approach

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    The original publication is available at www.springerlink.comIn this paper we start exploring the affective and ethical dimension of what De Jaegher and Di Paolo (2007) have called ‘participatory sense-making’. In the first part, we distinguish various ways in which we are, and feel, affectively inter-connected in interpersonal encounters. In the second part, we discuss the ethical character of this affective interconnectedness, as well as the implications that taking an ‘inter-(en)active approach’ has for ethical theory itself

    Improvement of the extraction method of faint signals in γ -activity measurements of meteorites

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    The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1140/epjp/i2017-11556-yAt the underground laboratory of Monte dei Cappuccini (OATo-INAF) in Torino (Italy) we set up selective HPGe-NaI(Tl) spectrometers for measurements of cosmogenic radioisotopes in meteorites in order to study centennial-scale modulation of solar activity. 44 Ti is a suitable proxy for this timescale, but its detection is difficult due to the strong interference by naturally occurring 214 Bi. In order to optimize the extraction of the 44 Ti signal, we have developed software procedures specifically designed to improve selectivity of the Ge-NaI detectors coincidence

    Long-term heliomagnetic field variation based on cosmogenic 44Ti in meteorites

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    Reconstructions of the heliospheric magnetic field (HMF) in the past centuries are mainly based on the analysis of sunspot activity, geomagnetic data or on measurement of cosmogenic radioisotopes stored in terrestrial reservoirs (tree rings and ice cores). There are, however, significant discrepancies among the results obtained by various techniques using different proxies of solar magnetic activity. In this work, new results obtained from a unique approach based on the measurement of the cosmogenic 44Ti activity detected in meteorites are presented and compared with the most recent reconstructions of the near-Earth HMF strength. The very low level of 44Ti activity in several meteorites fallen in the last 250 years was determined by using gamma-ray spectrometers (HPGe+NaI) located in the underground laboratory of Monte dei Cappuccini (INAF-OATo) in Torino, Italy. This approach, specifically designed to overcome the main problems affecting other methods, yields a powerful independent tool to reconstruct the long-term evolution of the HMF through the last two and a half centuries

    The narrative self, distributed memory, and evocative objects

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    In this article, I outline various ways in which artifacts are interwoven with autobiographical memory systems and conceptualize what this implies for the self. I first sketch the narrative approach to the self, arguing that who we are as persons is essentially our (unfolding) life story, which, in turn, determines our present beliefs and desires, but also directs our future goals and actions. I then argue that our autobiographical memory is partly anchored in our embodied interactions with an ecology of artifacts in our environment. Lifelogs, photos, videos, journals, diaries, souvenirs, jewelry, books, works of art, and many other meaningful objects trigger and sometimes constitute emotionally-laden autobiographical memories. Autobiographical memory is thus distributed across embodied agents and various environmental structures. To defend this claim, I draw on and integrate distributed cognition theory and empirical research in human-technology interaction. Based on this, I conclude that the self is neither defined by psychological states realized by the brain nor by biological states realized by the organism, but should be seen as a distributed and relational construct

    From affect programs to dynamical discrete emotions

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    According to Discrete Emotion Theory, a number of emotions are distinguishable on the basis of neural, physiological, behavioral and expressive features. Critics of this view emphasize the variability and context-sensitivity of emotions. This paper discusses some of these criticisms, and argues that they do not undermine the claim that emotions are discrete. This paper also presents some works in dynamical affective science, and argues that to conceive of discrete emotions as self-organizing and softly assembled patterns of various processes accounts more naturally than traditional Discrete Emotion Theory for the variability and context-sensitivity of emotions

    The Embodied and Situated Nature of Moods

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    This is the final version of the article. Available from Springer via the DOI in this record.In this paper I argue that it is misleading to regard the brain as the physical basis or “core machinery” of moods. First, empirical evidence shows that brain activity not only influences, but is in turn influenced by, physical activity taking place in other parts of the organism (such as the endocrine and immune systems). It is therefore not clear why the core machinery of moods ought to be restricted to the brain. I propose, instead, that moods should be conceived as embodied, i.e., their physical basis should be enlarged so as to comprise not just brain but also bodily processes. Second, I emphasise that moods are also situated in the world. By this I do not simply mean that moods are influenced by the world, but that they are complexly interrelated with it, in at least three different ways: they are shaped by cultural values and norms; they are materially and intersubjectively “scaffolded”; and they can even “experientially incorporate” parts of the world, i.e., include the experience of parts of the world as part of oneself
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