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

Concept: Concepts


Open source drug discovery offers potential for developing new and inexpensive drugs to combat diseases that disproportionally affect the poor. The concept borrows two principle aspects from open source computing (i.e., collaboration and open access) and applies them to pharmaceutical innovation. By opening a project to external contributors, its research capacity may increase significantly. To date there are only a handful of open source R&D projects focusing on neglected diseases. We wanted to learn from these first movers, their successes and failures, in order to generate a better understanding of how a much-discussed theoretical concept works in practice and may be implemented.

Concepts: Scientific method, Pharmacology, Drug, Pharmaceutical drug, Knowledge, Open source, Open content, Concepts


Emotions are evolved systems of intra- and interpersonal processes that are regulatory in nature, dealing mostly with issues of personal or social concern. They regulate social interaction and in extension, the social sphere. In turn, processes in the social sphere regulate emotions of individuals and groups. In other words, intrapersonal processes project in the interpersonal space, and inversely, interpersonal experiences deeply influence intrapersonal processes. Thus, I argue that the concepts of emotion generation and regulation should not be artificially separated. Similarly, interpersonal emotions should not be reduced to interacting systems of intraindividual processes. Instead, we can consider emotions at different social levels, ranging from dyads to large scale e-communities. The interaction between these levels is complex and does not only involve influences from one level to the next. In this sense the levels of emotion/regulation are messy and a challenge for empirical study. In this article, I discuss the concepts of emotions and regulation at different intra- and interpersonal levels. I extend the concept of auto-regulation of emotions (Kappas, 2008, 2011a,b) to social processes. Furthermore, I argue for the necessity of including mediated communication, particularly in cyberspace in contemporary models of emotion/regulation. Lastly, I suggest the use of concepts from systems dynamics and complex systems to tackle the challenge of the “messy layers.”

Concepts: Psychology, Sociology, Systems theory, Regulation, Emotion, Abstraction, Complex system, Concepts


We conducted the first synthesis of theories on causal associations and pathways connecting degree of control in the living environment to socio-economic inequalities in health-related outcomes. We identified the main theories about how differences in ‘control over destiny’ could lead to socio-economic inequalities in health, and conceptualised these at three distinct explanatory levels: micro/personal; meso/community; and macro/societal. These levels are interrelated but have rarely been considered together in the disparate literatures in which they are located. This synthesis of theories provides new conceptual frameworks to contribute to the design and conduct of theory-led evaluations of actions to tackle inequalities in health.

Concepts: Scientific method, Energy, Truth, Ontology, Concept, Conceptual framework, Determinism, Concepts


Social isolation and related concepts have been discussed increasingly in the field of mental health. Despite this, there is a lack of conceptual clarity and consistency in the definition and operationalisation of these terms. This review aimed to provide a clear framework for social isolation and related concepts, and to identify well-established measures in the field of mental health for each conceptual domain discussed.

Concepts: Truth, Philosophy of language, Semantics, Definitionism, Concept, Concepts, Fuzzy concept, Concept map


How do individuals emotionally cope with the imminent real-world salience of mortality? DeWall and Baumeister as well as Kashdan and colleagues previously provided support that an increased use of positive emotion words serves as a way to protect and defend against mortality salience of one’s own contemplated death. Although these studies provide important insights into the psychological dynamics of mortality salience, it remains an open question how individuals cope with the immense threat of mortality prior to their imminent actual death. In the present research, we therefore analyzed positivity in the final words spoken immediately before execution by 407 death row inmates in Texas. By using computerized quantitative text analysis as an objective measure of emotional language use, our results showed that the final words contained a significantly higher proportion of positive than negative emotion words. This emotional positivity was significantly higher than (a) positive emotion word usage base rates in spoken and written materials and (b) positive emotional language use with regard to contemplated death and attempted or actual suicide. Additional analyses showed that emotional positivity in final statements was associated with a greater frequency of language use that was indicative of self-references, social orientation, and present-oriented time focus as well as with fewer instances of cognitive-processing, past-oriented, and death-related word use. Taken together, our findings offer new insights into how individuals cope with the imminent real-world salience of mortality.

Concepts: Psychology, Word, Limbic system, Emotion, Affective neuroscience, Concepts, Attitude change, Joseph E. LeDoux


Background: Concept maps have been used as a learning tool in a variety of educational setting and provide an opportunity to explore learners' knowledge structures and promote critical thinking and understanding. Concept mapping is an instructional strategy for individual and group learning that involves integration of knowledge and creation of meaning by relating concepts. Aims: The following tips outline an approach to foster meaningful learning using concept maps. Methods: A total of 12 tips on the use and applications of concept mapping based on the authors' experiences and the available literature. Results: The 12 tips provide an overview of the theoretical framework and structure of concept maps, suggesting specific uses, and applications in medical education. Conclusions: We describe different types of concept maps based on learners' task, and how they can be utilized in different educational settings. We provide ideas for educators to integrate this novel educational resource in their teaching and educational practices. Medical educators can utilize concept maps to detect students' misunderstandings of concepts and to identify knowledge gaps that need to be corrected. Finally, we outline the potential role of concept maps as an assessment tool.

Concepts: Education, Educational psychology, Thought, Learning, Concept, Concepts, Tacit knowledge, Concept map


According to the feature-based model of semantic memory, concepts are described by a set of semantic features that contribute, with different weights, to the meaning of a concept. Interestingly, this theoretical framework has introduced numerous dimensions to describe semantic features. Recently, we proposed a new parameter to measure the importance of a semantic feature for the conceptual representation-that is, semantic significance. Here, with speeded verification tasks, we tested the predictive value of our index and investigated the relative roles of conceptual and featural dimensions on the participants' performance. The results showed that semantic significance is a good predictor of participants' verification latencies and suggested that it efficiently captures the salience of a feature for the computation of the meaning of a given concept. Therefore, we suggest that semantic significance can be considered an effective index of the importance of a feature in a given conceptual representation. Moreover, we propose that it may have straightforward implications for feature-based models of semantic memory, as an important additional factor for understanding conceptual representation.

Concepts: Philosophy of language, Semantics, Meaning of life, Concept, Semiotics, Cognitive linguistics, Concepts, Concept map


A unified general theory of human concept learning based on the idea that humans detect invariance patterns in categorical stimuli as a necessary precursor to concept formation is proposed and tested. In GIST (generalized invariance structure theory) invariants are detected via a perturbation mechanism of dimension suppression referred to as dimensional binding. Structural information acquired by this process is stored as a compound memory trace termed an ideotype. Ideotypes inform the subsystems that are responsible for learnability judgments, rule formation, and other types of concept representations. We show that GIST is more general (e.g., it works on continuous, semi-continuous, and binary stimuli) and makes much more accurate predictions than the leading models of concept learning difficulty, such as those based on a complexity reduction principle (e.g., number of mental models, structural invariance, algebraic complexity, and minimal description length) and those based on selective attention and similarity (GCM, ALCOVE, and SUSTAIN). GIST unifies these two key aspects of concept learning and categorization. Empirical evidence from three experiments corroborates the predictions made by the theory and its core model which we propose as a candidate law of human conceptual behavior.

Concepts: Psychology, Science, Empiricism, Idea, Thought, Concept, Categorization, Concepts


The relation between the approximate number system (ANS) and symbolic number processing skills remains unclear. Some theories assume that children acquire the numerical meaning of symbols by mapping them onto the preexisting ANS. Others suggest that in addition to the ANS, children also develop a separate, exact representational system for symbolic number processing. In the current study, we contribute to this debate by investigating whether the nonsymbolic number processing of kindergarteners is predictive for symbolic number processing. Results revealed no association between the accuracy of the kindergarteners on a nonsymbolic number comparison task and their performance on the symbolic comparison task six months later, suggesting that there are two distinct representational systems for the ANS and numerical symbols.

Concepts: Mathematics, Number, Real number, Set theory, 0, Numeral system, Concepts, Number system


AIM: To report an analysis of the concept of perinatal bereavement. BACKGROUND: The concept of perinatal bereavement emerged in the scientific literature during the 1970s. Perinatal bereavement is a practice-based concept, although it is not well-defined in the scientific literature and is often intermingled with the concepts of mourning and grief. DESIGN: Concept Analysis. DATA SOURCES: Using the term ‘perinatal bereavement’ and limits of only English and human, Pub Med and CINAHL were searched to yield 278 available references dating from 1974-2011. Articles specific to the experience of perinatal bereavement were reviewed. The final data set was 143 articles. REVIEW METHODS: The methods of principle-based concept analysis were used. Results reveal conceptual components (antecedents, attributes and outcomes) which are delineated to create a theoretical definition of perinatal bereavement. RESULTS: The concept is epistemologically immature, with few explicit definitions to describe the phenomenon. Inconsistency in conceptual meaning threatens the construct validity of measurement tools for perinatal bereavement and contributes to incongruent theoretical definitions. This has implications for both nursing science (how the concept is studied and theoretically integrated) and clinical practice (timing and delivery of support interventions). CONCLUSIONS: Perinatal bereavement is a multifaceted global phenomenon that follows perinatal loss. Lack of conceptual clarity and lack of a clearly articulated conceptual definition impede the synthesis and translation of research findings into practice. A theoretical definition of perinatal bereavement is offered as a platform for researchers to advance the concept through research and theory development.

Concepts: Scientific method, Philosophy of language, Science, Research, Semantics, Definitionism, Concept, Concepts