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

Concept: Sentence


To develop a questionnaire based on patients' verbal descriptors, to measure the painful symptoms of endometriosis METHODS: We performed a two-round modified DELPHI procedure mixing endometriosis patients and physicians to select a set of statements to describe the painful symptoms of endometriosis. Each panelist rated each statement based on diagnosis validity and clarity. The clinicians were experts in endometriosis management selected from various geographic regions in France. Patients were women with surgically confirmed endometriosis who volunteered from a patient association and from the recruitment of the participating physicians. The first round questions were derived from words and phrases in narratives of pain by endometriosis patients.

Concepts: Medical terms, Patient, Hospital, Greek loanwords, Physician, Doctor-patient relationship, Sentence, Dentistry


Do highly productive researchers have significantly higher probability to produce top cited papers? Or do high productive researchers mainly produce a sea of irrelevant papers-in other words do we find a diminishing marginal result from productivity? The answer on these questions is important, as it may help to answer the question of whether the increased competition and increased use of indicators for research evaluation and accountability focus has perverse effects or not. We use a Swedish author disambiguated dataset consisting of 48.000 researchers and their WoS-publications during the period of 2008-2011 with citations until 2014 to investigate the relation between productivity and production of highly cited papers. As the analysis shows, quantity does make a difference.

Concepts: Evaluation, Sentence, Question, Answer, Productivity, Diminishing returns, Questions


Do people routinely pre-activate the meaning and even the phonological form of upcoming words? The most acclaimed evidence for phonological prediction comes from a 2005 Nature Neuroscience publication by DeLong, Urbach and Kutas, who observed a graded modulation of electrical brain potentials (N400) to nouns and preceding articles by the probability that people use a word to continue the sentence fragment (‘cloze’). In our direct replication study spanning 9 laboratories (N=334), pre-registered replication-analyses and exploratory Bayes factor analyses successfully replicated the noun-results but, crucially, not the article-results. Pre-registered single-trial analyses also yielded a statistically significant effect for the nouns but not the articles. Exploratory Bayesian single-trial analyses showed that the article-effect may be non-zero but is likely far smaller than originally reported and too small to observe without very large sample sizes. Our results do not support the view that readers routinely pre-activate the phonological form of predictable words.

Concepts: Scientific method, Statistics, Linguistics, Sentence, Word, Probability theory, Probability, Bayesian probability


Facial expressions of emotion are thought to have evolved from the development of facial muscles used in sensory regulation and later adapted to express moral judgment. Negative moral judgment includes the expressions of anger, disgust and contempt. Here, we study the hypothesis that these facial expressions of negative moral judgment have further evolved into a facial expression of negation regularly used as a grammatical marker in human language. Specifically, we show that people from different cultures expressing negation use the same facial muscles as those employed to express negative moral judgment. We then show that this nonverbal signal is used as a co-articulator in speech and that, in American Sign Language, it has been grammaticalized as a non-manual marker. Furthermore, this facial expression of negation exhibits the theta oscillation (3-8Hz) universally seen in syllable and mouthing production in speech and signing. These results provide evidence for the hypothesis that some components of human language have evolved from facial expressions of emotion, and suggest an evolutionary route for the emergence of grammatical markers.

Concepts: Gene expression, Sentence, Morality, Paul Ekman, Nonverbal communication, Sign language, Facial expression, Metacommunicative competence


Research on the mental representation of human language has convincingly shown that sign languages are structured similarly to spoken languages. However, whether the same neurobiology underlies the online construction of complex linguistic structures in sign and speech remains unknown. To investigate this question with maximally controlled stimuli, we studied the production of minimal two-word phrases in sign and speech. Signers and speakers viewed the same pictures during magnetoencephalography recording and named them with semantically identical expressions. For both signers and speakers, phrase building engaged left anterior temporal and ventromedial cortices with similar timing, despite different linguistic articulators. Thus the neurobiological similarity of sign and speech goes beyond gross measures such as lateralization: the same fronto-temporal network achieves the planning of structured linguistic expressions.

Concepts: Neuroscience, Linguistics, Sentence, Language, Grammar, Sign language, Semiotics, Natural language


We report on the emergence of functional flexibility in vocalizations of human infants. This vastly underappreciated capability becomes apparent when prelinguistic vocalizations express a full range of emotional content-positive, neutral, and negative. The data show that at least three types of infant vocalizations (squeals, vowel-like sounds, and growls) occur with this full range of expression by 3-4 mo of age. In contrast, infant cry and laughter, which are species-specific signals apparently homologous to vocal calls in other primates, show functional stability, with cry overwhelmingly expressing negative and laughter positive emotional states. Functional flexibility is a sine qua non in spoken language, because all words or sentences can be produced as expressions of varying emotional states and because learning conventional “meanings” requires the ability to produce sounds that are free of any predetermined function. Functional flexibility is a defining characteristic of language, and empirically it appears before syntax, word learning, and even earlier-developing features presumed to be critical to language (e.g., joint attention, syllable imitation, and canonical babbling). The appearance of functional flexibility early in the first year of human life is a critical step in the development of vocal language and may have been a critical step in the evolution of human language, preceding protosyntax and even primitive single words. Such flexible affect expression of vocalizations has not yet been reported for any nonhuman primate but if found to occur would suggest deep roots for functional flexibility of vocalization in our primate heritage.

Concepts: Human, Evolution, Linguistics, Sentence, Word, Primate, Emotion, Expression


To identify factors that contribute to the high variability of the rates of use of placebo interventions reported in questionnaire surveys, the author investigated the effect of the explicit use of the word “placebo” in questionnaire surveys on placebo use in clinical practice on the results obtained. 190 primary care physicians in Poland were divided randomly into two groups. The groups received a questionnaire in which either the word placebo or the term “nonspecific methods of treatment” was used. The respondents who were asked explicitly about the use of placebo interventions declared that they never used placebo interventions significantly more often than participants asked about the use of nonspecific treatment methods. Moreover, the former reported significantly rarer use of placebo interventions than the latter. The study demonstrates that differences in the wording of questions in questionnaire surveys on placebo use can create statistically significant differences in results.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Medical ethics, Statistical significance, Sentence, Question, Clinical research, Interrogative word, Questions


INTRODUCTION: Simulation-based education is a learner-active method that may enhance teamwork skills such as leadership and communication. The importance of postsimulation debriefing to promote reflection is well accepted, but many questions concerning whether and how faculty promote reflection remain largely unanswered in the research literature. The aim of this study was therefore to explore the depth of reflection expressed in questions by facilitators and responses from nursing students during postsimulation debriefings. METHODS: Eighty-one nursing students and 4 facilitators participated. The data were collected in February and March 2008, the analysis being conducted on 24 video-recorded debriefings from simulated resuscitation teamwork involving nursing students only. Using Gibbs' reflective cycle, we graded the facilitators' questions and nursing students' responses into stages of reflection and then correlated these. RESULTS: Facilitators asked most evaluative and fewest emotional questions, whereas nursing students answered most evaluative and analytic responses and fewest emotional responses. The greatest difference between facilitators and nursing students was in the analytic stage. Only 23 (20%) of 117 questions asked by the facilitators were analytic, whereas 45 (35%) of 130 students' responses were rated as analytic. Nevertheless, the facilitators' descriptive questions also elicited student responses in other stages such as evaluative and analytic responses. CONCLUSION: We found that postsimulation debriefings provide students with the opportunity to reflect on their simulation experience. Still, if the debriefing is going to pave the way for student reflection, it is necessary to work further on structuring the debriefing to facilitate deeper reflection. Furthermore, it is important that facilitators consider what kind of questions they ask to promote reflection. We think future research on debriefing should focus on developing an analytical framework for grading reflective questions. Such research will inform and support facilitators in devising strategies for the promotion of learning through reflection in postsimulation debriefings.

Concepts: Sentence, Question, Emotion, Reflection, Student, Reflections, Teamwork


This internet-based study provided descriptive information and exploratory analyses on 1,795 male and 139 female members of the Adult Baby/Diaper Lover (ABDL) community. Based on prior research, some research questions focused on the degree to which ABDL behavior was associated with negative mood states, parental relationships, and attachment style. Based on clinical experience, a second research question focused on discerning two possible subgroups within the ABDL community: persons focused on role play behavior and persons who were primarily interested in sexual arousal in their ABDL behavior. The results showed modest support for the former research questions, but notable support for the last research question. Because of some overlap between the two hypothesized subgroups, additional subgroups may exist. Males in the ABDL community identified their ABDL interests earlier than females and these males may be more focused on sexual aspects of ABDL practices. Both males and females perceived being dominated as important in their ABDL behavior. Most participants were comfortable with their ABDL behavior and reported few problems. ABDL behavior may represent a sexual subculture that is not problematic for most of its participants.

Concepts: Psychology, Male, Female, Gender, Sex, Sentence, Gamete, Exploratory research


This paper investigates the nature of reduction phenomena in informal speech. It addresses the question whether reduction processes that affect many word types, but only if they occur in connected informal speech, may be categorical in nature. The focus is on reduction of schwa in the prefixes and on word-final /t/ in Dutch past participles. More than 2000 tokens of past participles from the Ernestus Corpus of Spontaneous Dutch and the Spoken Dutch Corpus (both from the interview and read speech component) were transcribed automatically. The results demonstrate that the presence and duration of /t/ are affected by approximately the same phonetic variables, indicating that the absence of /t/ is the extreme result of shortening, and thus results from a gradient reduction process. Also for schwa, the data show that mainly phonetic variables influence its reduction but its presence is affected by different and more variables than its duration, which suggests that the absence of schwa may result from gradient as well as categorical processes. These conclusions are supported by the distributions of the segments' durations. These findings provide evidence that reduction phenomena which affect many words in informal conversations may also result from categorical reduction processes.

Concepts: Affect, Sentence, Language, International Phonetic Alphabet, English language, Verb, Participle, Passive voice