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.
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 2 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.
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.
A 20-year-old man was transferred to this hospital because of recurrent ear pain for 8 months despite antibiotics, with new fever and headache. Imaging showed opacification of the middle ears and mastoid air cells and erosion of the right temporal bone.
Laterality in handgrip strength was assessed by analyzing dynamometric data of the right and left hand in three samples of Lithuanian boys and girls aged 7-20 years. In addition, the influence of general physical training on the laterality of handgrip strength was explored in a sample of conscripts. A negative secular trend in handgrip strength of schoolchildren has been detected since 1965, and with increasing age, right-handedness has become more pronounced. Children that were ambidextrous (by grip strength) showed negative deviations in physical status more often than their right- or left-handed peers. During one year of physical training, the conscripts had a larger increase in grip strength of the left than in the right hand, and a marked shift in handgrip laterality toward left-handed and ambidextrous individuals was observed. The different impact of schooling and physical training on handgrip strength laterality might partly explain variations in the prevalence of handedness in different societies with divergent cultures and lifestyles (e.g., more or less sedentary).
People tend to exhibit a leftward bias in posing. Various studies suggest that posing to the left portrays a stronger emotion, whereas posing to the right portrays a more neutral emotion. Religions such as Christianity emphasize the role of strong emotions in religious experience, whereas religions such as Buddhism emphasize the calming of emotions as being important. In the present study, we investigated if the emphasis on emotionality of a religion influences the depiction of their religious figures. Specifically, we coded 484 paintings of Jesus and Buddha from online art databases for whether the deity exhibited a left bias, right bias, or central face presentation. The posing biases were analysed to discover whether paintings of Jesus would more frequently depict a leftward bias than paintings of Buddha. Jesus is more commonly depicted with a leftward bias than Buddha, and Buddha is more commonly depicted with a central face presentation than Jesus. These findings support the idea that the amount of emotionality that is to be conveyed in artwork influences the whether the subject is posed with a leftward bias.
Dromedary camels are large even-toed ungulates which are well adapted to life in large deserts. Examinations of their feet have revealed many structural peculiarities. We have measured the digital bones of the dromedary in order to determine whether there are morphometric variations in the digital bones between the lateral and medial sides in individual limbs and/or in the right and left thoracic and pelvic limbs, with the aim to clarify whether there are anatomical differences in the digital bones of dromedary as a suborder of the order Artiodactyla. Measurements were made of 240 lateral and medial proximal, middle, and distal phalanges in the left and right thoracic and pelvic limbs of ten healthy adult male dromedaries, ranging in age from 6 to 10 years. A total of 17 linear dimensions were measured using a caliper. The results indicate that there are no significant differences between corresponding measurements of digital bones of the lateral and medial in the same limb, nor between measurements of the right and left sides. The lengths and widths of the proximal and middle, and distal phalanges in the thoracic limb were found to be greater than those of the pelvic limb. The sum of the total lengths of the three phalanges of the thoracic limbs was 15 mm greater than that of the phalanges of the pelvic limbs due to a longer proximal phalanx (76 %) and middle phalanx of the former (24 %). The perspectives obtained by our morphometric study of dromedary digital bones not only provide a tool to distinguish the osteological remains of the dromedary from those of the Bactrian camel or other artiodactyls in archaeological sites, but they also suggest a possible influence of digital structure on digit functions and digital disorders.