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

Concept: Series


Motor skill memory is first encoded online in a fragile form during practice and then converted into a stable form by offline consolidation, which is the behavioral stage critical for successful learning. Praise, a social reward, is thought to boost motor skill learning by increasing motivation, which leads to increased practice. However, the effect of praise on consolidation is unknown. Here, we tested the hypothesis that praise following motor training directly facilitates skill consolidation. Forty-eight healthy participants were trained on a sequential finger-tapping task. Immediately after training, participants were divided into three groups according to whether they received praise for their own training performance, praise for another participant’s performance, or no praise. Participants who received praise for their own performance showed a significantly higher rate of offline improvement relative to other participants when performing a surprise recall test of the learned sequence. On the other hand, the average performance of the novel sequence and randomly-ordered tapping did not differ between the three experimental groups. These results are the first to indicate that praise-related improvements in motor skill memory are not due to a feedback-incentive mechanism, but instead involve direct effects on the offline consolidation process.

Concepts: Psychology, Series, Skill, Training, Practice, Sequence, Learning, Real analysis


 To quantify how a period of intense media coverage of controversy over the risk:benefit balance of statins affected their use.

Concepts: Statistics, Series, Statin, Calculus, Time series, Seasonality


Millions of people use online dating sites each day, scanning through streams of face images in search of an attractive mate. Face images, like most visual stimuli, undergo processes whereby the current percept is altered by exposure to previous visual input. Recent studies using rapid sequences of faces have found that perception of face identity is biased towards recently seen faces, promoting identity-invariance over time, and this has been extended to perceived face attractiveness. In this paper we adapt the rapid sequence task to ask a question about mate selection pertinent in the digital age. We designed a binary task mimicking the selection interface currently popular in online dating websites in which observers typically make binary decisions (attractive or unattractive) about each face in a sequence of unfamiliar faces. Our findings show that binary attractiveness decisions are not independent: we are more likely to rate a face as attractive when the preceding face was attractive than when it was unattractive.

Concepts: Series, Sequence, Face, Faces, Physical attractiveness, Dating, Online dating service, Online identity


As the cost of sequencing continues to decrease and the amount of sequence data generated grows, new paradigms for data storage and analysis are increasingly important. The relative scaling behavior of these evolving technologies will impact genomics research moving forward.

Concepts: Series, Topology, Sequence, Computer data storage, The Real, Real analysis, Limit of a sequence, Cauchy sequence


During language processing, humans form complex embedded representations from sequential inputs. Here, we ask whether a “geometrical language” with recursive embedding also underlies the human ability to encode sequences of spatial locations. We introduce a novel paradigm in which subjects are exposed to a sequence of spatial locations on an octagon, and are asked to predict future locations. The sequences vary in complexity according to a well-defined language comprising elementary primitives and recursive rules. A detailed analysis of error patterns indicates that primitives of symmetry and rotation are spontaneously detected and used by adults, preschoolers, and adult members of an indigene group in the Amazon, the Munduruku, who have a restricted numerical and geometrical lexicon and limited access to schooling. Furthermore, subjects readily combine these geometrical primitives into hierarchically organized expressions. By evaluating a large set of such combinations, we obtained a first view of the language needed to account for the representation of visuospatial sequences in humans, and conclude that they encode visuospatial sequences by minimizing the complexity of the structured expressions that capture them.

Concepts: Human, Mathematics, Series, Geometry, Topology, Sequence, Group, Set


Folding is ubiquitous in nature with examples ranging from the formation of cellular components to winged insects. It finds technological applications including packaging of solar cells and space structures, deployable biomedical devices, and self-assembling robots and airbags. Here we demonstrate sequential self-folding structures realized by thermal activation of spatially-variable patterns that are 3D printed with digital shape memory polymers, which are digital materials with different shape memory behaviors. The time-dependent behavior of each polymer allows the temporal sequencing of activation when the structure is subjected to a uniform temperature. This is demonstrated via a series of 3D printed structures that respond rapidly to a thermal stimulus, and self-fold to specified shapes in controlled shape changing sequences. Measurements of the spatial and temporal nature of self-folding structures are in good agreement with the companion finite element simulations. A simplified reduced-order model is also developed to rapidly and accurately describe the self-folding physics. An important aspect of self-folding is the management of self-collisions, where different portions of the folding structure contact and then block further folding. A metric is developed to predict collisions and is used together with the reduced-order model to design self-folding structures that lock themselves into stable desired configurations.

Concepts: Psychology, Series, Physics, Structure, Sequence, Universe, Polymers, Finite set


Two groups independently sequenced the Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58 genome in 2001. We report here consolidation of these sequences, updated annotation, and additional analysis of the evolutionary history of the linear chromosome, which is apparently limited to the biovar I group of Agrobacterium.

Concepts: Series, Sequence, Agrobacterium, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Monoid


The aim of this article is to describe a database of diphone positional frequencies in French. More specifically, we provide frequencies for word-initial, word-internal, and word-final diphones of all words extracted from a subtitle corpus of 50 million words that come from movie and TV series dialogue. We also provide intra- and intersyllable diphone frequencies, as well as interword diphone frequencies. To our knowledge, no other such tool is available to psycholinguists for the study of French sequential probabilities. This database and its new indicators should help researchers conducting new studies on speech segmentation.

Concepts: Series, Acoustics, Frequency, Cultural studies, PHP, Film, Radio


Event-related brain potential paradigms for the detection of concealed information commonly involve presenting probes embedded within a series of irrelevant items. This study investigated the impact of similarity of the irrelevant items with the probe. For the task, a card was shown followed by the sequential presentation of six “test” cards, one of which was the same as the initial card (the probe) along with five “irrelevant” cards that varied in terms of similarity with the probe. Participants either identified or denied recognition of the probe. The results show that P300 amplitude is modulated by stimulus similarity and highlight the importance of the irrelevant items on deception detection rates.

Concepts: Series, Event-related potential, Playing card, Space probe


A new strategy for the synthesis of tetrahydroquinolines (THQs) via the sequential functionalizations of remote C-H bonds is reported. This method uses a single picolinamide directing/protecting group to effect Pd-catalyzed γ-C(sp(3))-H arylation, metal-free ε-C(sp(2))-H iodination, and Cu-catalyzed intramolecular C-N cross-coupling. The overall sequence is efficient and versatile, and offers a streamlined synthesis of THQs with complex substitution patterns from readily available aryl iodide and aliphatic amine precursors.

Concepts: Amine, Series, Mathematical analysis, Sequence, Aryl, Set, Real analysis, Aziridine