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Concept: Immanuel Kant


The experience of beauty is a pleasure, but common sense and philosophy suggest that feeling beauty differs from sensuous pleasures such as eating or sex. Immanuel Kant [1, 2] claimed that experiencing beauty requires thought but that sensuous pleasure can be enjoyed without thought and cannot be beautiful. These venerable hypotheses persist in models of aesthetic processing [3-7] but have never been tested. Here, participants continuously rated the pleasure felt from a nominally beautiful or non-beautiful stimulus and then judged whether they had experienced beauty. The stimuli, which engage various senses, included seeing images, tasting candy, and touching a teddy bear. The observer reported the feelings that the stimulus evoked. The time course of pleasure, across stimuli, is well-fit by a model with one free parameter: pleasure amplitude. Pleasure amplitude increases linearly with the feeling of beauty. To test Kant’s claim of a need for thought, we reduce cognitive capacity by adding a “two-back” task to distract the observer’s thoughts. The distraction greatly reduces the beauty and pleasure experienced from stimuli that otherwise produce strong pleasure and spares that of less-pleasant stimuli. We also find that strong pleasure is always beautiful, whether produced reliably by beautiful stimuli or just occasionally by sensuous stimuli. In sum, we confirm Kant’s claim that only the pleasure associated with feeling beauty requires thought and disprove his claim that sensuous pleasures cannot be beautiful.

Concepts: Psychology, Sense, Empiricism, Experience, Immanuel Kant, Feeling, Aesthetics, Age of Enlightenment


To evaluate clinical trial registration, reporting and publication rates for new drugs by: (1) legal requirements and (2) the ethical standard that all human subjects research should be publicly accessible to contribute to generalisable knowledge.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Philosophy, Drug discovery, Philosophy of life, Morality, Food and Drug Administration, Immanuel Kant, Eudaimonia


Are people more moral in the morning than in the afternoon? We propose that the normal, unremarkable experiences associated with everyday living can deplete one’s capacity to resist moral temptations. In a series of four experiments, both undergraduate students and a sample of U.S. adults engaged in less unethical behavior (e.g., less lying and cheating) on tasks performed in the morning than on the same tasks performed in the afternoon. This morning morality effect was mediated by decreases in moral awareness and self-control in the afternoon. Furthermore, the effect of time of day on unethical behavior was found to be stronger for people with a lower propensity to morally disengage. These findings highlight a simple yet pervasive factor (i.e., the time of day) that has important implications for moral behavior.

Concepts: Ethics, Morality, Immanuel Kant, Moral, Moral psychology


In contrast to conventional multipixel cameras, single-pixel cameras capture images using a single detector that measures the correlations between the scene and a set of patterns. However, these systems typically exhibit low frame rates, because to fully sample a scene in this way requires at least the same number of correlation measurements as the number of pixels in the reconstructed image. To mitigate this, a range of compressive sensing techniques have been developed which use a priori knowledge to reconstruct images from an undersampled measurement set. Here, we take a different approach and adopt a strategy inspired by the foveated vision found in the animal kingdom-a framework that exploits the spatiotemporal redundancy of many dynamic scenes. In our system, a high-resolution foveal region tracks motion within the scene, yet unlike a simple zoom, every frame delivers new spatial information from across the entire field of view. This strategy rapidly records the detail of quickly changing features in the scene while simultaneously accumulating detail of more slowly evolving regions over several consecutive frames. This architecture provides video streams in which both the resolution and exposure time spatially vary and adapt dynamically in response to the evolution of the scene. The degree of local frame rate enhancement is scene-dependent, but here, we demonstrate a factor of 4, thereby helping to mitigate one of the main drawbacks of single-pixel imaging techniques. The methods described here complement existing compressive sensing approaches and may be applied to enhance computational imagers that rely on sequential correlation measurements.

Concepts: IMAGE, Immanuel Kant, Photography, A priori, A priori and a posteriori, Image processing, Digital camera, Frame rate


Event related potentials (ERPs) represent a noninvasive and widely available means to analyze neural correlates of sensory and cognitive processing. Recent developments in neural and cognitive engineering proposed completely new application fields of this well-established measurement technique when using an advanced single-trial processing. We have recently shown that 2-D diffusion filtering methods from image processing can be used for the denoising of ERP single-trials in matrix representations, also called ERP images. In contrast to conventional 1-D transient ERP denoising techniques, the 2-D restoration of ERP images allows for an integration of regularities over multiple stimulations into the denoising process. Advanced anisotropic image restoration methods may require directional information for the ERP denoising process. This is especially true if there is a lack of a priori knowledge about possible traces in ERP images. However due to the use of event related experimental paradigms, ERP images are characterized by a high degree of self-similarity over the individual trials. In this paper, we propose the simple and easy to apply nonlocal means method for ERP image denoising in order to exploit this self-similarity rather than focusing on the edge-based extraction of directional information. Using measured and simulated ERP data, we compare our method to conventional approaches in ERP denoising. It is concluded that the self-similarity in ERP images can be exploited for single-trial ERP denoising by the proposed approach. This method might be promising for a variety of evoked and event-related potential applications, including nonstationary paradigms such as changing exogeneous stimulus characteristics or endogenous states during the experiment. As presented, the proposed approach is for the a posteriori denoising of single-trial sequences.

Concepts: Psychology, Cognition, Computer graphics, Immanuel Kant, A priori, A priori and a posteriori, Image processing


Emotions are centered in subjective experiences that people represent, in part, with hundreds, if not thousands, of semantic terms. Claims about the distribution of reported emotional states and the boundaries between emotion categories-that is, the geometric organization of the semantic space of emotion-have sparked intense debate. Here we introduce a conceptual framework to analyze reported emotional states elicited by 2,185 short videos, examining the richest array of reported emotional experiences studied to date and the extent to which reported experiences of emotion are structured by discrete and dimensional geometries. Across self-report methods, we find that the videos reliably elicit 27 distinct varieties of reported emotional experience. Further analyses revealed that categorical labels such as amusement better capture reports of subjective experience than commonly measured affective dimensions (e.g., valence and arousal). Although reported emotional experiences are represented within a semantic space best captured by categorical labels, the boundaries between categories of emotion are fuzzy rather than discrete. By analyzing the distribution of reported emotional states we uncover gradients of emotion-from anxiety to fear to horror to disgust, calmness to aesthetic appreciation to awe, and others-that correspond to smooth variation in affective dimensions such as valence and dominance. Reported emotional states occupy a complex, high-dimensional categorical space. In addition, our library of videos and an interactive map of the emotional states they elicit ( are made available to advance the science of emotion.

Concepts: Dimension, Affect, Emotion, Paul Ekman, Affective neuroscience, Immanuel Kant, Feeling, Affect display


It is known in thin-film deposition that the density of nucleated clusters N varies with the deposition rate F as a power law, N ∼ F (α). The exponent α is a function of the critical nucleus size i in a way that changes with the aggregation limiting process. We extend here the derivation of the analytical capture-zone distribution function P β(s) = a ß ·s (β) ·exp(-b β s (2)) of Pimpinelli and Einstein to generic aggregation-limiting processes. We show that the parameter β is generally related to the critical nucleus size i and to the exponent α by the equality α·β = i, in the case of compact islands. This remarkable result allows one to measure i with no a priori knowledge of the actual aggregation mechanism. We apply this equality to measuring the critical nucleus size for pentacene deposition on mica. This system shows a crossover from diffusion-limited to attachment-limited aggregation with increasing deposition rates.

Concepts: Measurement, Probability theory, Derivative, C, Immanuel Kant, A priori, A priori and a posteriori, Currying


In most types of cancer, the disease and its treatment can result in altered sexual function (SF). Oncology nurses are strategically placed to address SF since they have frequent patient interaction. Our aim was to establish their knowledge about and attitudes to SF in oncology care and identify their perceived barriers to addressing the subject.

Concepts: Psychology, Epidemiology, Cancer, Oncology, Sexuality, Immanuel Kant


A “no ethics” principle has long been prevalent in science and has demotivated deliberation on scientific ethics. This paper argues the following: (1) An understanding of a scientific “ethos” based on actual “value preferences” and “value repugnances” prevalent in the scientific community permits and demands critical accounts of the “no ethics” principle in science. (2) The roots of this principle may be traced to a repugnance of human dignity, which was instilled at a historical breaking point in the interrelation between science and ethics. This breaking point involved granting science the exclusive mandate to pass judgment on the life worth living. (3) By contrast, respect for human dignity, in its Kantian definition as “the absolute inner worth of being human,” should be adopted as the basis to ground science ethics. (4) The pathway from this foundation to the articulation of an ethical duty specific to scientific practice, i.e., respect for objective truth, is charted by Karl Popper’s discussion of the ethical principles that form the basis of science. This also permits an integrated account of the “external” and “internal” ethical problems in science. (5) Principles of the respect for human dignity and the respect for objective truth are also safeguards of epistemic integrity. Plain defiance of human dignity by genetic determinism has compromised integrity of claims to knowledge in behavioral genetics and other behavioral sciences. Disregard of the ethical principles that form the basis of science threatens epistemic integrity.

Concepts: Scientific method, Truth, Epistemology, Science, Ethics, Virtue, Immanuel Kant, Karl Popper


The purpose of this contribution is to discuss how the subject of oral leukoplakia might be communicated among the various healthcare workers and also among patients.

Concepts: Health care provider, Subject, Immanuel Kant