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This introductory chapter provides an overview of the handbook and provides a foundation that makes a case for why this handbook is both timely and essential to advance the study of the imagination. It orients the reader to the unique opportunities afforded by applying a cross-disciplinary approach in order to significantly improve our understanding of the imagination. The chapter introduces different definitions and conceptions of the imagination before outlining the sections of the handbook and the themes that will be covered within the chapters of each section.
This chapter summarizes the implications that can be derived from the forty–six feature chapters. In doing so, it weaves a common thread between the many manifestations of the imagination and argues for the usefulness of the concept of water to capture the imagination.
The human imagination manifests in countless different forms. We imagine the possible and the impossible. How do we do this so effortlessly? Why did the capacity for imagination evolve and manifest with undeniably manifold complexity uniquely in human beings? This handbook reﬂects on such questions by collecting perspectives on imagination from leading experts. It showcases a rich and detailed analysis on how the imagination is understood across several disciplines of study, including anthropology, archaeology, medicine, neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and the arts. An integrated theoretical-empirical-applied picture of the ﬁeld is presented, which stands to inform researchers, students, and practitioners about the issues of relevance across the board when considering the imagination. With each chapter, the nature of human imagination is examined – what it entails, how it evolved, and why it singularly deﬁnes us as a species.
Maternal polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has been proposed as a model for investigating the role of prenatal androgen exposure in the development of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, women with PCOS are at higher risk of developing psychiatric conditions and previous studies are likely confounded by genetic influences.
A Swedish nationwide register-based cohort study was conducted to disentangle the influence of prenatal androgen exposure from familial confounding in the association between maternal PCOS and offspring attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and Tourette's disorder and chronic tic disorders (TD/CTD). PCOS-exposed offspring (n = 21 280) were compared with unrelated PCOS-unexposed offspring (n = 200 816) and PCOS-unexposed cousins (n = 17 295). Associations were estimated with stratified Cox regression models.
PCOS-exposed offspring had increased risk of being diagnosed with ADHD, ASD, and TD/CTD compared with unrelated PCOS-unexposed offspring. Associations were stronger in girls for ADHD and ASD but not TD/CTD [ADHD: adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) = 1.61 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.31–1.99), ASD: aHR = 2.02 (95% CI 1.45–2.82)] than boys [ADHD: aHR = 1.37 (95% CI 1.19–1.57), ASD: aHR = 1.46 (95% CI 1.21–1.76)]. For ADHD and ASD, aHRs for girls were stronger when compared with PCOS-unexposed cousins, but slightly attenuated for boys.
Estimates were similar when accounting for familial confounding (i.e. genetics and environmental factors shared by cousins) and stronger in girls for ADHD and ASD, potentially indicating a differential influence of prenatal androgen exposure v. genetic factors. These results strengthen evidence for a potential causal influence of prenatal androgen exposure on the development of male-predominant neuropsychiatric disorders in female offspring of women with PCOS.