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Concept: Language interpretation


Sole-source business models for genetic testing can create private databases containing information vital to interpreting the clinical significance of human genetic variations. But incomplete access to those databases threatens to impede the clinical interpretation of genomic medicine. National health systems and insurers, regulators, researchers, providers and patients all have a strong interest in ensuring broad access to information about the clinical significance of variants discovered through genetic testing. They can create incentives for sharing data and interpretive algorithms in several ways, including: promoting voluntary sharing; requiring laboratories to share as a condition of payment for or regulatory approval of laboratory services; establishing - and compelling participation in - resources that capture the information needed to interpret the data independent of company policies; and paying for sharing and interpretation in addition to paying for the test itself. US policies have failed to address the data-sharing issue. The entry of new and established firms into the European genetic testing market presents an opportunity to correct this failure.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 14 November 2012; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2012.217.

Concepts: Genetics, Statistics, Human genome, Database, Interpretation, Medical genetics, Language interpretation, Human evolutionary genetics


It is common to present multiple adjusted effect estimates from a single model in a single table. For example, a table might show odds ratios for one or more exposures and also for several confounders from a single logistic regression. This can lead to mistaken interpretations of these estimates. We use causal diagrams to display the sources of the problems. Presentation of exposure and confounder effect estimates from a single model may lead to several interpretative difficulties, inviting confusion of direct-effect estimates with total-effect estimates for covariates in the model. These effect estimates may also be confounded even though the effect estimate for the main exposure is not confounded. Interpretation of these effect estimates is further complicated by heterogeneity (variation, modification) of the exposure effect measure across covariate levels. We offer suggestions to limit potential misunderstandings when multiple effect estimates are presented, including precise distinction between total and direct effect measures from a single model, and use of multiple models tailored to yield total-effect estimates for covariates.

Concepts: Logit, Odds ratio, Confounding, Real number, Covariate, Statistical terminology, Interpretation, Language interpretation


Pointing gestures are a vital aspect of human communication. Nevertheless, observers consistently fail to determine the exact location to which another person points when that location lies in the distance. Here we explore the reasons for this misunderstanding. Humans usually point by extending the arm and finger. We show that observer’s interpret these gestures by nonlinear extrapolation of the pointer’s arm-finger line. The nonlinearity can be adequately described as the Bayesian-optimal integration of a linear extrapolation of the arm-finger line and observers' prior assumptions about likely referent positions. Surprisingly, the spatial rule describing the interpretation of pointing gestures differed from the rules describing the production of these gestures. In the latter case, the eye, index finger, and referent were aligned. We show that the differences in the production and interpretation of pointing gestures accounts for the systematic spatial misunderstanding of pointing gestures to distant referents. No evidence was found for the hypotheses that action-related processes are involved in the perception of pointing gestures. How participants interpreted pointing gestures was independent of how they produce these gestures and whether they had practiced pointing movements before. By contrast, both the production and interpretation seem to be primarily determined by salient visual cues. (PsycINFO Database Record

Concepts: Interpretation, Finger, Hand, Index finger, Point, Pointing, Language interpretation, Nonlinear system


How animals gain information from attending to the behavior of others has been widely studied, driven partly by the importance of referential pointing in human cognitive development [1-4], but species differences in reading human social cues remain unexplained. One explanation is that this capacity evolved during domestication [5, 6], but it may be that only those animals able to interpret human-like social cues were successfully domesticated. Elephants are a critical taxon for this question: despite their longstanding use by humans, they have never been domesticated [7]. Here we show that a group of 11 captive African elephants, seven of them significantly as individuals, could interpret human pointing to find hidden food. We suggest that success was not due to prior training or extensive learning opportunities. Elephants successfully interpreted pointing when the experimenter’s proximity to the hiding place was varied and when the ostensive pointing gesture was visually subtle, suggesting that they understood the experimenter’s communicative intent. The elephant’s native ability in interpreting social cues may have contributed to its long history of effective use by man.

Concepts: Psychology, Human, Species, Mammal, Interpretation, Elephant, Asian Elephant, Language interpretation


Negative interpretation bias, the tendency to appraise ambiguous situations in a negative or threatening way, has been suggested to be important for the development of adult chronic pain. This is the first study to examine the role of a negative interpretation bias in adolescent pain. We first developed and piloted a novel task that measures the tendency for adolescents to interpret ambiguous situations as indicative of pain and bodily threat. Using this task in a separate community sample of adolescents (N=115), we then found that adolescents who catastrophize about pain, as well as those who reported more pain issues in the preceding three months, were more likely to endorse negative interpretations, and less likely to endorse benign interpretations, of ambiguous situations. This interpretation pattern was not, however, specific for situations regarding pain and bodily threat, but generalized across social situations as well. We also found that a negative interpretation bias, specifically in ambiguous situations that could indicate pain and bodily threat, mediated the association between pain catastrophizing and recent pain experiences. Findings may support one potential cognitive mechanism explaining why adolescents who catastrophize about pain often report more pain.

Concepts: Hermeneutics, Interpretation, Language interpretation


Although a large amount of acoustic indicators have already been proposed in the literature to evaluate the hypokinetic dysarthria of people with Parkinson’s Disease, the goal of this work is to identify and interpret new reliable and complementary articulatory biomarkers that could be applied to predict/evaluate Parkinson’s Disease from a diadochokinetic test, contributing to the possibility of a further multidimensional analysis of the speech of parkinsonian patients. The new biomarkers proposed are based on the kinetic behaviour of the envelope trace, which is directly linked with the articulatory dysfunctions introduced by the disease since the early stages. The interest of these new articulatory indicators stands on their easiness of identification and interpretation, and their potential to be translated into computer based automatic methods to screen the disease from the speech. Throughout this paper, the accuracy provided by these acoustic kinetic biomarkers is compared with the one obtained with a baseline system based on speaker identification techniques. Results show accuracies around 85% that are in line with those obtained with the complex state of the art speaker recognition techniques, but with an easier physical interpretation, which open the possibility to be transferred to a clinical setting.

Concepts: Parkinson's disease, Parkinsonism, Speech recognition, Hypokinesia, Multiple system atrophy, Language interpretation, Parkinson's Disease Foundation, Speech processing


Open networks give actors non-redundant information that is diverse, while closed networks offer redundant information that is easier to interpret. Integrating arguments about network structure and the similarity of actors' knowledge, we propose two types of network configurations that combine diversity and ease of interpretation. Closed-diverse networks offer diversity in actors' knowledge domains and shared third-party ties to help in interpreting that knowledge. In open-specialized networks, structural holes offer diversity, while shared interpretive schema and overlap between received information and actors' prior knowledge help in interpreting new information without the help of third parties. In contrast, actors in open-diverse networks suffer from information overload due to the lack of shared schema or overlapping prior knowledge for the interpretation of diverse information, and actors in closed-specialized networks suffer from overembeddedness because they cannot access diverse information. Using CrunchBase data on early-stage venture capital investments in the U.S. information technology sector, we test the effect of investors' social capital on the success of their portfolio ventures. We find that ventures have the highest chances of success if their syndicating investors have either open-specialized or closed-diverse networks. These effects are manifested beyond the direct effects of ventures' or investors' quality and are robust to controlling for the possibility that certain investors could have chosen more promising ventures at the time of first funding.

Concepts: Investment, Interpretation, Capital, Finance, Social network, Information technology, Language interpretation, Venture capital


In conversation, negative responses to invitations, requests, offers, and the like are more likely to occur with a delay-conversation analysts talk of them as dispreferred. Here we examine the contrastive cognitive load ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses make, either when relatively fast (300 ms after question offset) or delayed (1000 ms). Participants heard short dialogues contrasting in speed and valence of response while having their EEG recorded. We found that a fast ‘no’ evokes an N400-effect relative to a fast ‘yes’; however, this contrast disappeared in the delayed responses. ‘No’ responses, however, elicited a late frontal positivity both if they were fast and if they were delayed. We interpret these results as follows: a fast ‘no’ evoked an N400 because an immediate response is expected to be positive-this effect disappears as the response time lengthens because now in ordinary conversation the probability of a ‘no’ has increased. However, regardless of the latency of response, a ‘no’ response is associated with a late positivity, since a negative response is always dispreferred. Together these results show that negative responses to social actions exact a higher cognitive load, but especially when least expected, in immediate response.

Concepts: Psychology, Brain, Cognition, Relative, Language interpretation, Evocation


Null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) is undoubtedly the most common inferential technique used to justify claims in the social sciences. However, even staunch defenders of NHST agree that its outcomes are often misinterpreted. Confidence intervals (CIs) have frequently been proposed as a more useful alternative to NHST, and their use is strongly encouraged in the APA Manual. Nevertheless, little is known about how researchers interpret CIs. In this study, 120 researchers and 442 students-all in the field of psychology-were asked to assess the truth value of six particular statements involving different interpretations of a CI. Although all six statements were false, both researchers and students endorsed, on average, more than three statements, indicating a gross misunderstanding of CIs. Self-declared experience with statistics was not related to researchers' performance, and, even more surprisingly, researchers hardly outperformed the students, even though the students had not received any education on statistical inference whatsoever. Our findings suggest that many researchers do not know the correct interpretation of a CI. The misunderstandings surrounding p-values and CIs are particularly unfortunate because they constitute the main tools by which psychologists draw conclusions from data.

Concepts: Statistics, Ronald Fisher, Statistical hypothesis testing, Statistical inference, Interpretation, Null hypothesis, Statistical power, Language interpretation


This article provides an overview of the federal requirements related to providing interpreter services for non-English-speaking patients in outpatient practice. Antidiscrimination provisions in federal law require health programs and clinicians receiving federal financial assistance to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to individuals with limited English proficiency who are eligible for or likely to be encountered in their health programs or activities. Federal financial assistance includes grants, contracts, loans, tax credits and subsidies, as well as payments through Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and most Medicare programs. The only exception is providers whose only federal assistance is through Medicare Part B, an exception that applies to a very small percentage of practicing physicians. All required language assistance services must be free and provided by qualified translators and interpreters. Interpreters must meet specified qualifications and ideally be certified. Although the cost of interpreter services can be considerable, ranging from $45-$150/hour for in-person interpreters, to $1.25-$3.00/minute for telephone interpreters, and $1.95-$3.49/minute for video remote interpreting, it may be reimbursed or covered by a patient’s Medicaid or other federally funded medical insurance. Failure to use qualified interpreters can have serious negative consequences for both practitioners and patients. In one study, 1 of every 40 malpractice claims were related, all or in part, to failure to provide appropriate interpreter services. Most importantly, however, the use of qualified interpreters results in better and more efficient patient care.

Concepts: Health care, Medicare, Health insurance, Hospital, Physician, Medicaid, Translation, Language interpretation