Concept: French Revolution
A positivity advantage is known in emotional word recognition in that positive words are consistently processed faster and with fewer errors compared to emotionally neutral words. A similar advantage is not evident for negative words. Results of divided visual field studies, where stimuli are presented in either the left or right visual field and are initially processed by the contra-lateral brain hemisphere, point to a specificity of the language-dominant left hemisphere. The present study examined this effect by showing that the intake of caffeine further enhanced the recognition performance of positive, but not negative or neutral stimuli compared to a placebo control group. Because this effect was only present in the right visual field/left hemisphere condition, and based on the close link between caffeine intake and dopaminergic transmission, this result points to a dopaminergic explanation of the positivity advantage in emotional word recognition.
Exposure to prenatal androgens affects both future behavior and life choices. However, there is still relatively limited evidence on its effects on academic performance. Moreover, the predicted effect of exposure to prenatal testosterone (T)-which is inversely correlated with the relative length of the second to fourth finger lengths (2D:4D)-would seem to have ambiguous effects on academic achievement since traits like aggressiveness or risk-taking are not uniformly positive for success in school. We provide the first evidence of a non-linear, quadratic, relationship between 2D:4D and academic achievement using samples from Moscow and Manila. We also find that there is a gender differentiated link between various measures of academic achievement and measured digit ratios. These effects are different depending on the field of study, choice of achievement measure, and use of the right hand or left digit ratios. The results seem to be asymmetric between Moscow and Manila where the right (left) hand generates inverted-U (U-shaped) curves in Moscow while the pattern for hands reverses in Manila. Drawing from unusually large and detailed samples of university students in two countries not studied in the digit literature, our work is the first to have a large cross country comparison that includes two groups with very different ethnic compositions.
Support for radical parties on both the left and right is on the rise, fueling intuition that both radicalisms have similar underpinnings. Indeed, existing studies show that radical left and right voters have overlapping positions and preferences. In this article, however, we focus on the differences in the voting bases of such parties. We show that radical left and right voters have sharply diverging ideological profiles. When it comes to the historical traditions of the ‘left’ and ‘right’, these voters differ radically from each other. Both groups express the traditions associated with their mainstream counterparts-particularly with respect to (non-)egalitarian, (non-)altruistic, and (anti-)cosmopolitan values. Such differences also explain why radical left voters tend to be more, not less, educated than mainstream or radical right voters.
The Late Pleistocene Shanidar 1 older adult male Neandertal is known for the crushing fracture of his left orbit with a probable reduction in vision, the loss of his right forearm and hand, and evidence of an abnormal gait, as well as probable diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis. He also exhibits advanced external auditory exostoses in his left auditory meatus and larger ones with complete bridging across the porus in the right meatus (both Grade 3). These growths indicate at least unilateral conductive hearing (CHL) loss, a serious sensory deprivation for a Pleistocene hunter-gatherer. This condition joins the meatal atresia of the Middle Pleistocene Atapuerca-SH Cr.4 in providing evidence of survival with conductive hearing loss (and hence serious sensory deprivation) among these Pleistocene humans. The presence of CHL in these fossils thereby reinforces the paleobiological and archeological evidence for supporting social matrices among these Pleistocene foraging peoples.
“We can meet after my lecture, at a table, over a drink,” Carl Ogereau told me - that’s “the French way to fight terrorism,” he explained: refusing to be intimidated. So on Friday evening, one week after the Paris terrorist attack that left 130 dead and hundreds injured, Ogereau arrived on his motorbike at Café Clochette across the street from the Hôpital Saint Louis. Nearby, we saw candles and flowers outside Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge, the restaurants where more than a dozen young people had been killed and many more severely injured the previous week. The restaurants are . . .
In this article, we describe a phenomenon we discovered while conducting experiments on walking and reaching. We asked university students to pick up either of two buckets, one to the left of an alley and one to the right, and to carry the selected bucket to the alley’s end. In most trials, one of the buckets was closer to the end point. We emphasized choosing the easier task, expecting participants to prefer the bucket that would be carried a shorter distance. Contrary to our expectation, participants chose the bucket that was closer to the start position, carrying it farther than the other bucket. On the basis of results from nine experiments and participants' reports, we concluded that this seemingly irrational choice reflected a tendency to pre-crastinate, a term we introduce to refer to the hastening of subgoal completion, even at the expense of extra physical effort. Other tasks also reveal this preference, which we ascribe to the desire to reduce working memory loads.
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Published almost 3 years ago
The French Revolution brought principles of “liberty, equality, fraternity” to bear on the day-to-day challenges of governing what was then the largest country in Europe. Its experiments provided a model for future revolutions and democracies across the globe, but this first modern revolution had no model to follow. Using reconstructed transcripts of debates held in the Revolution’s first parliament, we present a quantitative analysis of how this body managed innovation. We use information theory to track the creation, transmission, and destruction of word-use patterns across over 40,000 speeches and a thousand speakers. The parliament as a whole was biased toward the adoption of new patterns, but speakers' individual qualities could break these overall trends. Speakers on the left innovated at higher rates, while speakers on the right acted to preserve prior patterns. Key players such as Robespierre (on the left) and Abbé Maury (on the right) played information-processing roles emblematic of their politics. Newly created organizational functions-such as the Assembly president and committee chairs-had significant effects on debate outcomes, and a distinct transition appears midway through the parliament when committees, external to the debate process, gained new powers to “propose and dispose.” Taken together, these quantitative results align with existing qualitative interpretations, but also reveal crucial information-processing dynamics that have hitherto been overlooked. Great orators had the public’s attention, but deputies (mostly on the political left) who mastered the committee system gained new powers to shape revolutionary legislation.
According to surveys of art books and exhibitions, artists prefer poses showing the left side of the face when composing a portrait and the right side when composing a self-portrait. However, it is presently not known whether similar biases can be observed in individuals that lack formal artistic training. We collected self-portraits by naïve photographers who used the iPhone™ front camera, and confirmed a right side bias in this non-artist sample and even when biomechanical constraints would have favored the opposite. This result undermines explanations based on posing conventions due to artistic training or biomechanical factors, and is consistent with the hypothesis that side biases in portraiture and self-portraiture are caused by biologically- determined asymmetries in facial expressiveness.
There is often a curious distinction between what the scientific community and the general population believe to be true of dire scientific issues, and this skepticism tends to vary markedly across groups. For instance, in the case of climate change, Republicans (conservatives) are especially skeptical of the relevant science, particularly when they are compared with Democrats (liberals). What causes such radical group differences? We suggest, as have previous accounts, that this phenomenon is often motivated. However, the source of this motivation is not necessarily an aversion to the problem, per se, but an aversion to the solutions associated with the problem. This difference in underlying process holds important implications for understanding, predicting, and influencing motivated skepticism. In 4 studies, we tested this solution aversion explanation for why people are often so divided over evidence and why this divide often occurs so saliently across political party lines. Studies 1, 2, and 3-using correlational and experimental methodologies-demonstrated that Republicans' increased skepticism toward environmental sciences may be partly attributable to a conflict between specific ideological values and the most popularly discussed environmental solutions. Study 4 found that, in a different domain (crime), those holding a more liberal ideology (support for gun control) also show skepticism motivated by solution aversion. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
It has been suggested that second to fourth digit ratio (digit ratio) may correlate with male reproductive system function or disorders. This hypothesis is based on finding that the Hox genes control finger development and differentiation of the genital bud during embryogenesis. Thus, we investigated the association between digit ratio and adult testicular volume. A total of 172 Korean men (aged 20-69 years) hospitalized for urological surgery were prospectively enrolled. Patients with conditions known to strongly influence testicular volume were excluded. Before determining testicular volume, the lengths of the second and fourth digits of the right hand were measured by a single investigator using a digital vernier calliper. Using orchidometry, the testes were measured by an experienced urologist who had no information about the patient’s digit ratio. To identify the independent predictive factors influencing testicular volume, univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using linear regression models. Age, height, serum testosterone and free testosterone level were not correlated with testicular volume. Digit ratio, along with weight, was significantly correlated with testicular volume (right testicular volume: r = -0.185, p = 0.015; left testicular volume: r = -0.193, p = 0.011; total testicular volume: r = -0.198, p = 0.009). Multivariate analysis using linear regression models showed that only digit ratio was the independent factor to predict all (right, left and total) testicular volumes (right testicular volume: β = -0.174, p = 0.023; left testicular volume: β = -0.181, p = 0.017; total testicular volume: β = -0.185, p = 0.014). Our findings demonstrated that digit ratio is negatively associated with adult testicular volume. This means that men with a higher digit ratio may be more likely to have smaller testis compared to those with a lower digit ratio.