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Concept: Generic antecedent


Concerns that antiepileptic brand-to-generic interchange results in disruption of seizure control are widespread. The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and tolerability of the brand-to-generic levetiracetam switch in patients with focal or generalized epilepsy.

Concepts: Epilepsy, Anticonvulsant, Seizure, Status epilepticus, Diazepam, Levetiracetam, Myoclonus, Generic antecedent


Words refer to objects in the world, but this correspondence is not one-to-one: Each word has a range of referents that share features on some dimensions but differ on others. This property of language is called underspecification. Parts of the lexicon have characteristic patterns of underspecification; for example, artifact nouns tend to specify shape, but not color, whereas substance nouns specify material but not shape. These regularities in the lexicon enable learners to generalize new words appropriately. How does the lexicon come to have these helpful regularities? We test the hypothesis that systematic backgrounding of some dimensions during learning and use causes language to gradually change, over repeated episodes of transmission, to produce a lexicon with strong patterns of underspecification across these less salient dimensions. This offers a cultural evolutionary mechanism linking individual word learning and generalization to the origin of regularities in the lexicon that help learners generalize words appropriately.

Concepts: Evolution, Linguistics, Language, Word, Verb, Lexeme, Reference, Generic antecedent


Even for the simplest nontrivial aberration, defocus, and for a circular pupil, there is no theoretical closed-form expression for the optical transfer function (OTF). By using a simple approximation, we provide a simple yet accurate approximation for the OTF of a defocused system. We generalize this approach to generic quadratic aberrations, including astigmatism.

Concepts: Optics, Lens, C, Geometrical optics, Transfer function, Optical transfer function, Generic antecedent, Wavefront coding


To assess the use of driving-impairing medicines (DIM) in the general population with special reference to length of use and concomitant use.

Concepts: Generic antecedent, American comedy films


The quantization method of Bogomolny [Nonlinearity 5, 805 (1992)] can potentially provide semiclassical estimates for energy levels of all bound states of arbitrary systems. This approach requires the formation of the transfer matrix TE as a function of energy E. Existing practical methods for calculating this matrix require a recalculation of many classical trajectories for each energy. This has hampered the application of Bogomolny’s method to generic systems that do not possess special classical scaling properties. Generalizing earlier work [H. Barak and K. G. Kay, Phys. Rev. E 88, 062926 (2013)], we develop initial value representation formulas for TE that overcome this problem. These expressions are obtained from a generalized Herman-Kluk formula for the propagator that allows one to easily derive a family of semiclassical integral approximations for the Green’s function that are, in turn, used to form the transfer matrix. Calculations for two-dimensional systems show that Bogomolny’s method with the present expressions for TE produces accurate semiclassical energy levels from small transfer matrices.

Concepts: Mathematics, Quantum mechanics, Fundamental physics concepts, Physics, Quantum field theory, Force, Generalization, Generic antecedent


The ability to interpret choices as enduring preferences that generalize beyond the immediate situation gives adults a powerful means of predicting and explaining others' behavior. How do infants come to recognize that current choices can be driven by generalizable preferences? Although infants can encode others' actions in terms of goals (Woodward, 1998), there is evidence that 10-month-olds still fail to generalize goal information presented in one environment to an event sequence occurring in a new environment (Sommerville & Crane, 2009). Are there some circumstances in which infants interpret others' goals as generalizable across environments? We investigate whether the vocalizations a person produces while selecting an object in one room influences infants' generalization of the goal to a new room. Ten-month-olds did not spontaneously generalize the actor’s goal, but did generalize the actor’s goal when the actor initially accompanied her object selection with a statement of preference. Infants' generalization was not driven by the attention-grabbing features of the statement or the mere use of language, as they did not generalize when the actor used matched nonspeech vocalizations or sung speech. Infants interpreted the goal as person-specific, as they did not generalize the choice to a new actor. We suggest that the referential specificity of accompanying speech vocalizations influences infants' tendency to interpret a choice as personal rather than situational. (PsycINFO Database Record

Concepts: Environment, Natural environment, Thought, Motivation, Choice, Preference, Generalization, Generic antecedent


We report two experiments investigating how 3- to 5-year-olds learn general knowledge from pretend play-how they learn about kinds of things (e.g., information about dogs) from information about particular individuals in pretend play (a certain dog in a pretend scenario). Children watched pretend-play enactments in which animals showed certain behaviors or heard utterances conveying the same information. When children were subsequently asked about who shows the behavior, children who watched pretend play were more likely to give generic responses than were children who heard the utterances. These findings show that children generalize information from pretend play to kinds even without being prompted to think about kinds, that pretend play can be informative about familiar kinds, and also that pretend play is a more potent source for general knowledge than are utterances about individuals.

Concepts: Psychology, Cognition, Learning, Information, Behavior, Dog, General, Generic antecedent


Okasha, in Evolution and the Levels of Selection, convincingly argues that two rival statistical decompositions of covariance, namely contextual analysis and the neighbour approach, are better causal decompositions than the hierarchical Price approach. However, he claims that this result cannot be generalized in the special case of soft selection and argues that the Price approach represents in this case a better option. He provides several arguments to substantiate this claim. In this paper, I demonstrate that these arguments are flawed and argue that neither the Price equation nor the contextual and neighbour partitionings sensu Okasha are adequate causal decompositions in cases of soft selection. The Price partitioning is generally unable to detect cross-level by-products and this naturally also applies to soft selection. Both contextual and neighbour partitionings violate the fundamental principle of determinism that the same cause always produces the same effect. I argue that a fourth partitioning widely used in the contemporary social sciences, under the generic term of ‘hierarchical linear model’ and related to contextual analysis understood broadly, addresses the shortcomings of the three other partitionings and thus represents a better causal decomposition. I then defend this model against the argument that because it predicts that there is some organismal selection in some specific cases of segregation distortion then it should be rejected. I show that cases of segregation distortion that intuitively seem to contradict the conclusion drawn from the hierarchical linear model are in fact cases of multilevel selection 2 while the assessment of the different partitionings are restricted to multilevel selection 1.

Concepts: Natural selection, Causality, Evolutionary biology, Thought, Population genetics, Logic, Argument, Generic antecedent


Recently, several scholars have hypothesized that generics are a default mode of generalization, and thus that young children may at first treat quantifiers as if they were generic in meaning. To address this issue, the present experiment provides the first in-depth, controlled examination of the interpretation of generics compared to both general quantifiers (“all Xs”, “some Xs”) and specific quantifiers (“all of these Xs”, “some of these Xs”). We provided children (3 and 5 years) and adults with explicit frequency information regarding properties of novel categories, to chart when “some”, “all”, and generics are deemed appropriate. The data reveal three main findings. First, even 3-year-olds distinguish generics from quantifiers. Second, when children make errors, they tend to be in the direction of treating quantifiers like generics. Third, children were more accurate when interpreting specific versus general quantifiers. We interpret these data as providing evidence for the position that generics are a default mode of generalization, especially when reasoning about kinds.

Concepts: Scientific method, Hermeneutics, Logic, Interpretation, Translation, Language interpretation, Generic antecedent, Interpreters


In a series of experiments, we examined 3- to 8-year-old children’s (N=223) and adults' (N=32) use of two properties of testimony to estimate a speaker’s knowledge: generality and verifiability. Participants were presented with a “Generic speaker” who made a series of 4 general claims about “pangolins” (a novel animal kind), and a “Specific speaker” who made a series of 4 specific claims about “this pangolin” as an individual. To investigate the role of verifiability, we systematically varied whether the claim referred to a perceptually-obvious feature visible in a picture (e.g., “has a pointy nose”) or a non-evident feature that was not visible (e.g., “sleeps in a hollow tree”). Three main findings emerged: (1) young children showed a pronounced reliance on verifiability that decreased with age. Three-year-old children were especially prone to credit knowledge to speakers who made verifiable claims, whereas 7- to 8-year-olds and adults credited knowledge to generic speakers regardless of whether the claims were verifiable; (2) children’s attributions of knowledge to generic speakers was not detectable until age 5, and only when those claims were also verifiable; (3) children often generalized speakers' knowledge outside of the pangolin domain, indicating a belief that a person’s knowledge about pangolins likely extends to new facts. Findings indicate that young children may be inclined to doubt speakers who make claims they cannot verify themselves, as well as a developmentally increasing appreciation for speakers who make general claims.

Concepts: Scientific method, Belief, Science, Inductive reasoning, Loudspeaker, Formal verification, Verification, Generic antecedent