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

Concept: Reason


Knowledge is scarce on what contributes to whether children with early language delay (LD) show persistent, recovering or sometimes late-onset LD without a prior history of early LD in subsequent preschool years.

Concepts: Logic, Reason


The experience of hearing a voice in the absence of an appropriate external stimulus, formally termed an auditory verbal hallucination (AVH), may be malingered for reasons such as personal financial gain, or, in criminal cases, to attempt a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. An accurate knowledge of the phenomenology of AVHs is central to assessing the veracity of claims to such experiences. We begin by demonstrating that some contemporary criminal cases still employ inaccurate conceptions of the phenomenology of AVHs to assess defendants' claims. The phenomenology of genuine, malingered, and atypical AVHs is then examined. We argue that, due to the heterogeneity of AVHs, the use of typical properties of AVHs as a yardstick against which to evaluate the veracity of a defendant’s claims is likely to be less effective than the accumulation of instances of defendants endorsing statements of atypical features of AVHs. We identify steps towards the development of a formal tool for this purpose, and examine other conceptual issues pertinent to criminal cases arising from the phenomenology of AVHs.

Concepts: Auditory system, Experience, Knowledge, Psychosis, Logic, Reason, Legal terms, Insanity defense


BACKGROUND: The purpose of the study was to investigate the magnitude and predictors of academic cheating and to understand relevant perspectives among South Korean nursing students. METHODS: Survey responses of 655 undergraduate nursing students from five institutions were analyzed. Demographics, psychological factors of an individual (perceived seriousness of cheating, ethical attitudes to cheating, neutralization behaviors, knowledge of academic integrity and policy) and contextual factors (perceived prevalence of peers' cheating, atmosphere of academic integrity, atmosphere of whistle-blowing, moral support of families and friends) were measured in relation with 11 exam-cheating and 15 assignment-cheating behaviors. Also reasons for cheating and importance of various interventions to discourage cheating were questioned. RESULTS: 50% and 78% of the students were engaged in, respectively, exam-cheating and assignment cheating behaviors. Perceived seriousness of cheating (OR=0.74, 0.64) and perceived prevalence of peers' cheating (OR=3.02, 6.66) were significant predictors for both exam-cheating and assignment cheating. A higher grade, a lack of time, a better job, and a lack of motivation were reported as a major reason for cheating. Multiple interventions were considered important to discourage cheating from different stakeholders. CONCLUSIONS: An alarming level of a cheating problem was found among South Korean nursing students, requiring immediate attention. As the nursing workforce market is becoming global, the cheating issue in nursing education should be managed under collaborative efforts of nursing faculty members around the globe.

Concepts: Psychology, Understanding, University, Academia, Collaboration, Reason, Academic dishonesty, Higher


PURPOSE: The clinical reasoning literature focuses on how physicians reason while making decisions, rather than on what they reason about while performing their clinical tasks. In an attempt to provide a common language for discussing, teaching, and researching clinical reasoning, the authors undertook the task of developing a unified list of physicians' reasoning tasks, or what they reason about, during clinical encounters. METHOD: The authors compiled an initial list of 20 reasoning tasks based on the literature from four content areas-clinical reasoning, communications, medical errors, and clinical guidelines. In the summer and fall of 2010, they surveyed a purposive sample of 46 international experts in clinical reasoning and communications. From the results of the first survey, the authors refined their list of reasoning tasks, then resurveyed 22 of the original participants. From the results of the second survey, they further refined their list and validated the inclusion of the reasoning tasks. RESULTS: Twenty-four of 46 (52%) and 15 of 22 (65%) participants completed the first- and second-round surveys, respectively. Following the second-round survey, the authors' list included 24 reasoning tasks, and a clinical example corresponding to each, that fell into four broad categories: framing the encounter (3), diagnosis (8), management (11), and self-reflection (2). CONCLUSIONS: The development of this unified list represents a first step in offering a vocabulary for discussing, reflecting on, teaching, and studying physicians' reasoning tasks during clinical encounters.

Concepts: Psychology, Physician, Cognition, Medical diagnosis, Logic, Reasoning, Reason, Conclusion


Infants are able to entertain hypotheses about complex events and to modify them rationally when faced with inconsistent evidence. These capacities suggest that infants can use elementary logical representations to frame and prune hypotheses. By presenting scenes containing ambiguities about the identity of an object, here we show that 12- and 19-month-old infants look longer at outcomes that are inconsistent with a logical inference necessary to resolve such ambiguities. At the moment of a potential deduction, infants' pupils dilated, and their eyes moved toward the ambiguous object when inferences could be computed, in contrast to transparent scenes not requiring inferences to identify the object. These oculomotor markers resembled those of adults inspecting similar scenes, suggesting that intuitive and stable logical structures involved in the interpretation of dynamic scenes may be part of the fabric of the human mind.

Concepts: Critical thinking, Logic, Reasoning, Deductive reasoning, Inference, Syllogism, Reason, Informal logic


Necrotizing enterocolitis is a devastating disease afflicting premature infants, though after 50 years of investigation, the pathophysiology remains elusive. This report describes the possible etiologic factors from a historical perspective, and outlines the importance of human milk, intestinal blood flow, and intestinal blood flow changes from a developmental perspective over the last 40-50 years.

Concepts: Medicine, Childbirth, Myocardial infarction, Milk, Hematology, Infarction, Necrotizing enterocolitis, Reason


BACKGROUND: Retraction in Medline medical literature experienced a tenfold increase between 1999 and 2009, however retraction remains a rare event since it represents 0.02% of publications. Retractions used to be handled following informal practices until they were formalized in 2009 by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The objective of our study was to describe the compliance to these guidelines. METHODS: All retractions published in 2008 were identified using the Medline publication type “retraction of publication”. The notices of retraction and the original articles were retrieved. For each retraction, we identified the reason for retraction, the country of affiliation of the first author, the time to retraction, the impact factor of the journal and the mention of retraction on the original article. RESULTS: Overall, 244 retractions were considered for analysis. Formal retraction notices could not be retrieved for 9. Of the 235 retractions available (96%), the reason was not detailed for 21 articles (9%). The most cited reasons were mistakes (28%), plagiarism (20%), fraud (14%) and overlap (11%). The original paper or its location was found for 233 retractions (95%). Of these, 22% were available with no mention of the retraction. CONCLUSION: A standard retraction form could be helpful, with a check list of major reason, leaving the editor free to provide the reader with any further information. Original articles should remain available with a clear mention of the retraction.

Concepts: Academic publishing, Impact factor, Publishing, Reason, Publication, Formal, Retraction


The language and conceptual framework of “research reproducibility” are nonstandard and unsettled across the sciences. In this Perspective, we review an array of explicit and implicit definitions of reproducibility and related terminology, and discuss how to avoid potential misunderstandings when these terms are used as a surrogate for “truth.”

Concepts: Scientific method, Philosophy of language, Research, Semantics, Logic, Concept, Conceptual framework, Reason


In light of the World Anti Doping Agency’s 2013 Code Revision process, we critically explore the applicability of two of three criteria used to determine whether a method or substance should be considered for their Prohibited List, namely its (potential) performance enhancing effects and its (potential) risk to the health of the athlete. To do so, we compare two communities of human guinea pigs: (i) individuals who make a living out of serial participation in Phase 1 pharmacology trials; and (ii) elite athletes who engage in what is effectively ‘unregulated clinical research’ by using untested prohibited or non-prohibited performance enhancing substances and methods, alone or in combination. Our comparison sheds light on norms of research ethics that these practices exacerbate with respect to the concepts of multiplicity, visibility, and consistency. We argue for the need to establish a proper governance framework to increase the accountability of these unregulated research practices in order to protect the human guinea pigs in elite sports contexts, and to establish reasonable grounds for the performance enhancing effects, and the risks to the health of the athlete, of the methods and substances that might justify their inclusion on the Prohibited List.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, Comparison, Clinical trial, Comparisons, Reason, World Anti-Doping Agency


Much of what we understand about the design of healthcare systems to support care of the dying comes from our experiences with providing palliative care for dying cancer patients. It is increasingly recognized that in addition to cancer, high quality end of life care should be an integral part of care that is provided for those with other advancing chronic life-limiting conditions. A “palliative approach” has been articulated as one way of conceptualizing this care. However, there is a lack of conceptual clarity regarding the essential characteristics of a palliative approach to care. The goal of this research was to delineate the key characteristics of a palliative approach found in the empiric literature in order to establish conceptual clarity.

Concepts: Medicine, Cancer, Oncology, Life, Chemotherapy, Palliative care, Cognition, Reason