SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Binary relation

149

IsoMIF Finder is an online server for the identification of molecular interaction field (MIF) similarities. User defined binding site MIFs can be compared to datasets of pre-calculated MIFs or against a user-defined list of PDB entries. The interface can be used for the prediction of function, identification of potential cross-reactivity or polypharmacological targets and drug repurposing. Detected similarities can be viewed in a browser or within a PyMOL session.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Molecular biology, Atom, Object-oriented programming, Web page, Binary relation

64

Despite its essential role in human coexistence, the developmental origins and progression of sympathy in infancy are not yet fully understood. We show that preverbal 10-month-olds manifest sympathetic responses, evinced in their preference for attacked others according to their evaluations of the respective roles of victim, aggressor, and neutral party. In Experiment 1, infants viewing an aggressive social interaction between a victim and an aggressor exhibited preference for the victim. In Experiment 2, when comparing the victim and the aggressor to a neutral object, infants preferred the victim and avoided the aggressor. These findings indicate that 10-month-olds not only evaluate the roles of victims and aggressors in interactions but also show rudimentary sympathy toward others in distress based on that evaluation. This simple preference may function as a foundation for full-fledged sympathetic behavior later on.

Concepts: Sociology, Aggression, Behavior, Motivation, Child development, Binary relation, Victim, The Victim

54

Pair formation, acquiring a mate to form a reproductive unit, is a complex process. Mating preferences are a step in this process. However, due to constraining factors such as availability of mates, rival competition, and mutual mate choice, preferred characteristics may not be realised in the actual partner. People value height in their partner and we investigated to what extent preferences for height are realised in actual couples. We used data from the Millennium Cohort Study (UK) and compared the distribution of height difference in actual couples to simulations of random mating to test how established mate preferences map on to actual mating patterns. In line with mate preferences, we found evidence for: (i) assortative mating (r = .18), (ii) the male-taller norm, and, for the first time, (iii) for the male-not-too-tall norm. Couples where the male partner was shorter, or over 25 cm taller than the female partner, occurred at lower frequency in actual couples than expected by chance, but the magnitude of these effects was modest. We also investigated another preference rule, namely that short women (and tall men) prefer large height differences with their partner, whereas tall women (and short men) prefer small height differences. These patterns were also observed in our population, although the strengths of these associations were weaker than previously reported strength of preferences. We conclude that while preferences for partner height generally translate into actual pairing, they do so only modestly.

Concepts: Human height, Choice, Preference, Utility, Binary relation

49

Political polarization and extremism are widely thought to be driven by the surge in economic inequality in many countries around the world. Understanding why inequality persists depends on knowing the causal effect of inequality on individual behavior. We study how inequality affects redistribution behavior in a randomized “give-or-take” experiment that created equality, advantageous inequality, or disadvantageous inequality between two individuals before offering one of them the opportunity to either take from or give to the other. We estimate the causal effect of inequality in representative samples of German and American citizens (n= 4,966) and establish two main findings. First, individuals imperfectly equalize payoffs: On average, respondents transfer 12% of the available endowments to realize more equal wealth distributions. This means that respondents tolerate a considerable degree of inequality even in a setting in which there are no costs to redistribution. Second, redistribution behavior in response to disadvantageous and advantageous inequality is largely asymmetric: Individuals who take from those who are richer do not also tend to give to those who are poorer, and individuals who give to those who are poorer do not tend to take from those who are richer. These behavioral redistribution types correlate in meaningful ways with support for heavy taxes on the rich and the provision of welfare benefits for the poor. Consequently, it seems difficult to construct a majority coalition willing to back the type of government interventions needed to counter rising inequality.

Concepts: Psychology, Causality, Poverty, Economic inequality, Binary relation, Equality, Wealth, Iraq War troop surge of 2007

45

I measured preference for paintings (Renoir vs. Picasso or Kandinsky vs. Mondrian) in mice. In general mice did not display a painting preference except for two mice: one preferred Renoir to Picasso, and the other preferred Kandinsky to Mondrian. Thereafter, I examined discrimination of paintings with new mice. When exposure to paintings of one artist was associated with an injection of morphine (3.0 mg/kg), mice displayed conditioned preference for those paintings, showing discrimination of paintings by Renoir from those by Picasso, and paintings by Kandinsky from those by Mondrian after the conditioning. They also exhibited generalization of the preference to novel paintings of the artists. After conditioning with morphine for a set of paintings consisting of two artists, mice showed discrimination between two sets of paintings also from the two artists but not in association with morphine. These results suggest that mice can discriminate not only between an artist’s style but also among paintings of the same artist. When mice were trained to discriminate a pair of paintings by Kandinsky and Renoir in an operant chamber equipped with a touch screen, they showed transfer of the discrimination to new pairs of the artists, but did not show transfer of discrimination of paintings by other artists, suggesting generalization.

Concepts: Binary relation, History of painting, Painting, Western painting, Expressionism, Wassily Kandinsky, Cubism

37

Mounting evidence indicates that the indigenous gut microbiota exerts long-lasting programming effects on brain function and behaviour.

Concepts: Psychology, Gut flora, Sociology, Binary relation

28

PURPOSE: To compare the outcomes of 2 intraocular lenses (IOLs) for the treatment of age-related cataracts. DESIGN: Prospective, randomized trial. PARTICIPANTS: Patients with age-related cataracts were recruited and randomized to receive phacoemulsification and implantation of either the AcrySof SA60AT lens (Alcon, Inc, Fort Worth, TX) or the low-cost Tecsoft Flex lens (Fred Hollows Foundation, Tilganga, Nepal). A total of 300 patients were available for description and analysis (148 in the AcrySof group and 152 in the Tecsoft group). METHODS: Patients underwent phacoemulsification and implantation of the AcrySof SA60AT lens or the Tecsoft Flex lens. They were followed up and examined at baseline, 1 week, 1 month, 6 months, and 12 months after cataract surgery. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Uncorrected distance visual acuity (UDVA), best-corrected distance visual acuity (BDVA), incidence of posterior capsule opacification (PCO), Visual Function Index questionnaire results, and safety of the implanted IOLs. RESULTS: No significant difference (P>0.05) was found in UDVA and BDVA after surgery between the 2 groups. The equivalence test of the 95% confidence intervals showed that both lenses had an equal improvement of UDVA and BDVA as well as similar rates of PCO after cataract surgery. There was no significant difference between the 2 groups with regard to visual functioning or the incidence of adverse surgical events during (P>0.05) or after (P>0.05) the surgery. CONCLUSIONS: The Tecsoft Flex IOL is a low-cost suitable alternative that is similar to the AcrySof IOL in terms of safety and visual outcomes. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE(S): The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.

Concepts: Visual acuity, Ophthalmology, Lens, Intraocular lens, Phacoemulsification, Cataract, Binary relation, Fred Hollows

28

Previous investigators reported the impairment of foveal visual acuity by nearby flanking targets (contour interaction) is reduced or eliminated when acuity is measured using low contrast targets. Unlike earlier studies, we compared contour interaction for high and low contrast acuity targets using flankers at fixed angular separations, rather than at specific multiples of the acuity target’s stroke width. Percent correct letter identification was determined in 4 adult observers for computer generated, high and low contrast dark Sloan letters surrounded by 4 equal contrast flanking bars. Two low contrast targets were selected to reduce each observer’s visual acuity by 0.2 and 0.4 logMAR. The contour interaction functions measured for high and low contrast letters are very similar when percent correct letter identification is plotted against the flanker separation in min arc. These results indicate that contour interaction of foveal acuity targets occurs within a fixed angular zone of a few min arc, regardless of the size or contrast of the acuity target.

Concepts: Visual acuity, Target Corporation, Binary relation, Separation, Specific Identification, Observer, Snellen chart

27

We consider between-subject variance in brain function as data rather than noise. We describe variability as a natural output of a noisy plastic system (the brain) where each subject embodies a particular parameterisation of that system. In this context, variability becomes an opportunity to: (i) better characterise typical versus atypical brain functions; (ii) reveal the different cognitive strategies and processing networks that can sustain similar tasks; and (iii) predict recovery capacity after brain damage by taking into account both damaged and spared processing pathways. This has many ramifications for understanding individual learning preferences and explaining the wide differences in human abilities and disabilities. Understanding variability boosts the translational potential of neuroimaging findings, in particular in clinical and educational neuroscience.

Concepts: Psychology, Brain, Traumatic brain injury, Neuroimaging, Human brain, Cognition, Difference, Binary relation

27

Individuals report using cannabis for the promotion of sleep, and the effects of cannabis on sleep may vary by cannabis species. Little research has documented preferences for particular cannabis types or cannabinoid concentrations as a function of use for sleep disturbances.

Concepts: Biology, Cannabinoid receptor, Cannabis, Motivation, Binary relation, Medical cannabis, Cannabis sativa