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

Concept: Player


Zero-determinant strategies are a new class of probabilistic and conditional strategies that are able to unilaterally set the expected payoff of an opponent in iterated plays of the Prisoner’s Dilemma irrespective of the opponent’s strategy (coercive strategies), or else to set the ratio between the player’s and their opponent’s expected payoff (extortionate strategies). Here we show that zero-determinant strategies are at most weakly dominant, are not evolutionarily stable, and will instead evolve into less coercive strategies. We show that zero-determinant strategies with an informational advantage over other players that allows them to recognize each other can be evolutionarily stable (and able to exploit other players). However, such an advantage is bound to be short-lived as opposing strategies evolve to counteract the recognition.

Concepts: Game theory, Evolution, Probability theory, Strategy, Players, Prisoner's dilemma, Nash equilibrium, Player


How do humans learn to trust unfamiliar others? Decisions in the absence of direct knowledge rely on our ability to generalize from past experiences and are often shaped by the degree of similarity between prior experience and novel situations. Here, we leverage a stimulus generalization framework to examine how perceptual similarity between known individuals and unfamiliar strangers shapes social learning. In a behavioral study, subjects play an iterative trust game with three partners who exhibit highly trustworthy, somewhat trustworthy, or highly untrustworthy behavior. After learning who can be trusted, subjects select new partners for a second game. Unbeknownst to subjects, each potential new partner was parametrically morphed with one of the three original players. Results reveal that subjects prefer to play with strangers who implicitly resemble the original player they previously learned was trustworthy and avoid playing with strangers resembling the untrustworthy player. These decisions to trust or distrust strangers formed a generalization gradient that converged toward baseline as perceptual similarity to the original player diminished. In a second imaging experiment we replicate these behavioral gradients and leverage multivariate pattern similarity analyses to reveal that a tuning profile of activation patterns in the amygdala selectively captures increasing perceptions of untrustworthiness. We additionally observe that within the caudate adaptive choices to trust rely on neural activation patterns similar to those elicited when learning about unrelated, but perceptually familiar, individuals. Together, these findings suggest an associative learning mechanism efficiently deploys moral information encoded from past experiences to guide future choice.

Concepts: Game theory, Psychology, Learning, Knowledge, Behavior, Play, Shape, Player


Slot machine wins and losses have distinctive, measurable, physiological effects on players. The contributing factors to these effects remain under-explored. We believe that sound is one of these key contributing factors. Sound plays an important role in reinforcement, and thus on arousal level and stress response of players. It is the use of sound for positive reinforcement in particular that we believe influences the player. In the current study, we investigate the role that sound plays in psychophysical responses to slot machine play. A total of 96 gamblers played a slot machine simulator with and without sound being paired with reinforcement. Skin conductance responses and heart rate, as well as subjective judgments about the gambling experience were examined. The results showed that the sound influenced the arousal of participants both psychophysically and psychologically. The sound also influenced players' preferences, with the majority of players preferring to play slot machines that were accompanied by winning sounds. The sounds also caused players to significantly overestimate the number of times they won while playing the slot machine.

Concepts: Gambling, Player, Casino, Slot machine, Poker


Tennis may be considered a static and dynamic form of exercise with many well-demonstrated health benefits. Tennis has similar rates of injury to other individual recreational sports and junior competitive sports, without the catastrophic risk of contact/collision sports. Classifying tennis players into junior and elite categories versus adult recreational players may help in outlining volume of play recommendations, exposure risk, and types of injuries. Junior and elite players tend to tolerate higher volumes, have more acute and lower extremity injuries, and have more serious overuse stress injuries. Adult recreational players tend to tolerate lower volumes, have more overuse and upper extremity injuries, and more conditions that are degenerative. Many tennis players also develop asymmetric musculoskeletal adaptations, which may increase risk of specific injury. Tennis-specific evaluations may identify these at-risk segments, help guide preventive strategies including technical errors, and assist in developing return-to-play recommendations. Other racket sports such as squash, badminton, and racquetball have less data available but report both acute and traumatic injuries less commonly seen in tennis.

Concepts: Volume, Thermodynamics, Injury, Upper limb, Player, Squash, Racquet, Racquet sport


The present study aims to assess motor activity of volleyball players using an original video recording method developed by the authors. 28 volleyball players taking part in four matches of the Polish Volleyball League were examined. The recorded data were analyzed in view of the mean total distance covered by volleyball players on different court positions during a match, set and rally. The results showed that volleyball players cover the mean total distance of 1221 ± 327 m (mean ± SD) in a three-set match, and 1757 ± 462 m in a four-set match. A statistically significant difference (p ≤ 0,005) was found between the distance covered by the middle blockers and setters, defenders, spikers and libero players in a match and in a set. The study revealed a tendency to lengthen the distance by the players in the final sets, which is indicative of the extended time of individual rallies. The mean distance covered in a single rally amounted to 10,92 ± 0.9 m in four matches (between 9,12 m and 12,56 m).Considering the limited size of the field of play, volleyball players cover relatively long distances during a match as well as individual sets, with the shortest distance covered by middle blockers, and the longest by setters.From a practical application point of view detailed topographic analysis of a player’s movements on the court as well as precise data on the time of activity and rest breaks provide the coach with valuable information on the ways of development of arrhythmic, changing and dynamic training loads.

Concepts: Statistics, Statistical significance, Real number, Players, Distance, Player, The Players, Volleyball


Like many gambling games, the exceedingly popular and lucrative smartphone game “Candy Crush” features near-miss outcomes. In slot machines, a near-miss involves getting two of the needed three high-paying symbols on the pay-line (i.e., just missing the big win). In Candy Crush, the game signals when you just miss getting to the next level by one or two moves. Because near-misses in gambling games have consistently been shown to invigorate play despite being frustrating outcomes, the goal of the present study was to examine whether such near-misses trigger increases in player arousal, frustration and urge to continue play in Candy Crush. Sixty avid Candy Crush players were recruited to play the game for 30 min while having their Heart Rate, Skin Conductance Level, subjective arousal, frustration and urge to play recorded for three types of outcomes: wins (where they level up), losses (where they don’t come close to levelling up), and near-misses (where they just miss levelling up). Near-misses were more arousing than losses as indexed by increased heart rate and greater subjective arousal. Near-misses were also subjectively rated as the most frustrating of all outcomes. Most importantly, of any type of outcome, near-misses triggered the most substantial urge to continue play. These findings suggest that near-misses in Candy Crush play a role in player commitment to the game, and may contribute to players playing longer than intended.

Concepts: Game theory, English-language films, Outcome, Players, Play, Game, Player, Casino


To investigate differences in running activities between adolescent and adult tennis players during match play. Differences between winning and losing players within each age group were also examined.

Concepts: Player


Supplemental oxygen use may offer recovery benefits to team sport athletes both in training and match play. A blinded independent measures study was used to investigate the effect of supplementary oxygen use during recovery from high-intensity exercise on performance.

Concepts: Oxygen, Oxygen therapy, Player


BACKGROUND: Owing to the complexity and heterogeneity of muscle injuries, a generally accepted classification system is still lacking. AIMS: To prospectively implement and validate a novel muscle injury classification and to evaluate its predictive value for return to professional football. METHODS: The recently described Munich muscle injury classification was prospectively evaluated in 31 European professional male football teams during the 2011/2012 season. Thigh muscle injury types were recorded by team medical staff and correlated to individual player exposure and resultant time-loss. RESULTS: In total, 393 thigh muscle injuries occurred. The muscle classification system was well received with a 100% response rate. Two-thirds of thigh muscle injuries were classified as structural and were associated with longer lay-off times compared to functional muscle disorders (p<0.001). Significant differences were observed between structural injury subgroups (minor partial, moderate partial and complete injuries) with increasing lay-off time associated with more severe structural injury. Median lay-off time of functional disorders was 5-8 days without significant differences between subgroups. There was no significant difference in the absence time between anterior and posterior thigh injuries. CONCLUSIONS: The Munich muscle classification demonstrates a positive prognostic validity for return to play after thigh muscle injury in professional male football players. Structural injuries are associated with longer average lay-off times than functional muscle disorders. Subclassification of structural injuries correlates with return to play, while subgrouping of functional disorders shows less prognostic relevance. Functional disorders are often underestimated clinically and require further systematic study.

Concepts: Statistical significance, American football, Player, Professional sports


The aim of the present study is to analyse the influence of different large-sided games (LSGs) on the physical and physiological variables in under-12s (U12) and -13s (U13) soccer players. The effects of the combination of different number of players per team, 7, 9, and 11 (P7, P9, and P11, respectively) with three relative pitch areas, 100, 200, and 300 m2 (A100, A200, and A300, respectively), were analysed in this study. The variables analysed were: 1) global indicator such as total distance (TD); work:rest ratio (W:R); player-load (PL) and maximal speed (Vmax); 2) heart rate (HR) mean and time spent in different intensity zones of HR (<75%, 75-84%, 84-90% and >90%), and; 3) five absolute (<8, 8-13, 13-16 and >16 Km h-1) and three relative speed categories (<40%, 40-60% and >60% Vmax). The results support the theory that a change in format (player number and pitch dimensions) affects no similarly in the two players categories. Although it can seem that U13 players are more demanded in this kind of LSG, when the work load is assessed from a relative point of view, great pitch dimensions and/or high number of player per team are involved in the training task to the U12 players. The results of this study could alert to the coaches to avoid some types of LSGs for the U12 players such as: P11 played in A100, A200 or A300, P9 played in A200 or A300 and P7 played in A300 due to that U13>U12 in several physical and physiological variables (W:R, time spent in 84-90%HRmax, distance in 8-13 and 13-16 Km h-1 and time spent in 40-60%Vmax). These results may help youth soccer coaches to plan the progressive introduction of LSGs so that task demands are adapted to the physiological and physical development of participants.

Concepts: Time, Pulse, Physical quantities, Players, Pitch, Player, Relative pitch