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

Concept: Subject


The link between object perception and neural activity in visual cortical areas is a problem of fundamental importance in neuroscience. Here we show that electrical potentials from the ventral temporal cortical surface in humans contain sufficient information for spontaneous and near-instantaneous identification of a subject’s perceptual state. Electrocorticographic (ECoG) arrays were placed on the subtemporal cortical surface of seven epilepsy patients. Grayscale images of faces and houses were displayed rapidly in random sequence. We developed a template projection approach to decode the continuous ECoG data stream spontaneously, predicting the occurrence, timing and type of visual stimulus. In this setting, we evaluated the independent and joint use of two well-studied features of brain signals, broadband changes in the frequency power spectrum of the potential and deflections in the raw potential trace (event-related potential; ERP). Our ability to predict both the timing of stimulus onset and the type of image was best when we used a combination of both the broadband response and ERP, suggesting that they capture different and complementary aspects of the subject’s perceptual state. Specifically, we were able to predict the timing and type of 96% of all stimuli, with less than 5% false positive rate and a ~20ms error in timing.

Concepts: Psychology, Electric potential, Cognition, Cerebral cortex, Subject, Concepts in metaphysics, Object, Spectrum


We present a case with outspoken spontaneous vestibular schwannoma shrinkage and review the related literature. The patient was initially diagnosed with a left-sided, intrameatal vestibular schwannoma, which subsequently grew into the cerebello-pontine angle (CPA), followed by total shrinkage of the CPA component without any intervention over a 12-year observation period. The literature on spontaneous tumor shrinkage was retrieved by searching the subject terms “vestibular schwannoma, conservative management” in PubMed/MEDLINE database, without a time limit. Of the published data, the articles on “shrinkage” or “negative growth” or “regression” or “involution” of the tumor were selected, and the contents on the rate, extent and mechanism of spontaneous tumor shrinkage were extracted and reviewed. The reported rate of spontaneous shrinkage of vestibular schwannoma is 5-10% of patients managed conservatively. Extreme shrinkage of the tumor may occur spontaneously.

Concepts: Time, Patient, Subject, Real number, Conservatism, Schwannoma, Limit superior and limit inferior, Spontaneous human combustion


Objective. RA and axial SpA have an important impact on patients' lives. The objective of this study was to explore the reporting of different aspects of that impact in publications, with a focus on differences between diseases and over time.Methods. A systematic literature review retrieved all articles reporting on the life impact of RA or axial radiographic SpA in adults published within the last 10 years and issued from European research. The data were classified into physical impact (including pain, functional assessment and fatigue), psychological impact (including psychological distress and coping) and social impact (including relationships, family and social life). The number of articles published over time was analysed by linear regression.Results. In all, 1352 abstracts were screened and 149 publications (40 056 patients) were analysed: 129 articles (86.5%) concerned RA and 16 (10.7%) concerned axial SpA. The mean number of articles reporting on the physical aspects of impact was 11.4 (s.d. 4.8) per 2-year period, but increased more than 2-fold (from 7 articles in 2001-3 to 15 in 2010-11), in particular due to recent publications on fatigue, whereas the number of articles on psychological aspects [mean 12.4 (s.d. 4.0)] decreased markedly after 2006. Publications reporting on social aspects [mean 8.2 (s.d. 4.1)] remained globally stable.Conclusion. In the era of biologics, there is an interest in the patient-perceived life impact of RA and axial SpA in the European literature, but the impact of RA has been the subject of greater exploration. There are clearly trends over time in the reporting of impact.

Concepts: Rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Academic publishing, Subject, Arithmetic mean, Arthritis, Publishing, Psoriatic arthritis


Children and adults follow cues such as case marking and word order in their assignment of semantic roles in simple transitives (e.g., the dog chased the cat). It has been suggested that the same cues are used for the interpretation of complex sentences, such as transitive relative clauses (RCs) (e.g., that’s the dog that chased the cat) (Bates, Devescovi, & D'Amico, 1999). We used a pointing paradigm to test German-speaking 3-, 4-, and 6-year-old children’s sensitivity to case marking and word order in their interpretation of simple transitives and transitive RCs. In Experiment 1, case marking was ambiguous. The only cue available was word order. In Experiment 2, case was marked on lexical NPs or demonstrative pronouns. In Experiment 3, case was marked on lexical NPs or personal pronouns. Whereas the younger children mainly followed word order, the older children were more likely to base their interpretations on the more reliable case-marking cue. In most cases, children from both age groups were more likely to use these cues in their interpretation of simple transitives than in their interpretation of transitive RCs. Finally, children paid more attention to nominative case when it was marked on first-person personal pronouns than when it was marked on third-person lexical NPs or demonstrative pronouns, such as der Löwe ‘the-NOM lion’ or der ‘he-NOM.’ They were able to successfully integrate this case-marking cue in their sentence processing even when it appeared late in the sentence. We discuss four potential reasons for these differences across development, constructions, and lexical items. (1) Older children are relatively more sensitive to cue reliability. (2) Word order is more reliable in simple transitives than in transitive RCs. (3) The processing of case marking might initially be item-specific. (4) The processing of case marking might depend on its saliency and position in the sentence.

Concepts: Subject, English language, German language, Grammatical case, Nominative case, Accusative case, Dative case, Personal pronoun


The subject of laboratory error was examined during a symposium at the ASM Microbe 2016 conference in Boston.….

Concepts: Subject, Object, Subject-object problem


Deception is common in nature and humans are no exception. Modern societies have created institutions to control cheating, but many situations remain where only intrinsic honesty keeps people from cheating and violating rules. Psychological, sociological and economic theories suggest causal pathways to explain how the prevalence of rule violations in people’s social environment, such as corruption, tax evasion or political fraud, can compromise individual intrinsic honesty. Here we present cross-societal experiments from 23 countries around the world that demonstrate a robust link between the prevalence of rule violations and intrinsic honesty. We developed an index of the ‘prevalence of rule violations’ (PRV) based on country-level data from the year 2003 of corruption, tax evasion and fraudulent politics. We measured intrinsic honesty in an anonymous die-rolling experiment(5). We conducted the experiments with 2,568 young participants (students) who, due to their young age in 2003, could not have influenced PRV in 2003. We find individual intrinsic honesty is stronger in the subject pools of low PRV countries than those of high PRV countries. The details of lying patterns support psychological theories of honesty. The results are consistent with theories of the cultural co-evolution of institutions and values, and show that weak institutions and cultural legacies that generate rule violations not only have direct adverse economic consequences, but might also impair individual intrinsic honesty that is crucial for the smooth functioning of society.

Concepts: Psychology, Sociology, Science, Subject, Experiment, Theory, Social sciences, Fraud


The Heimlich manoeuvre is a well-known intervention for the management of choking due to foreign body airway occlusion, but the evidence base for guidance on this topic is limited and guidelines differ. We measured pressures during abdominal thrusts in healthy volunteers. The angle at which thrusts were performed (upthrust vs circumferential) did not affect intrathoracic pressure. Self-administered abdominal thrusts produced similar pressures to those performed by another person. Chair thrusts, where the subject pushed their upper abdomen against a chair back, produced higher pressures than other manoeuvres. Both approaches should be included in basic life support teaching.

Concepts: Person, Subject, Abdomen, Thorax, First aid, Rocket, Human abdomen, Henry Heimlich


As general living standards rise, so does the demand for periodic general health examinations (GHEs). Research on the subject, however, has reached opposing conclusions on the value of GHEs, although methodological limitations in previous works make these differences hard to resolve. Here, we present data from a socio-demographic survey of behaviours and tendencies concerning periodic GHE attendance in Vietnam. These data are shown to be suitable for evaluating the impact of demographic and socio-economic elements on regular health examinations. By presenting the methods used in this survey and by describing the enquiries mentioned in the dataset, this article aims to promote data-collecting methodologies that can help policy-makers and health communicators derive practical conclusions.

Concepts: Scientific method, Psychology, Epistemology, Data, Subject, Methodology, Vietnam, Socioeconomics


Although there has been much speculation about the relationship between cognitive distortions and denial/minimization, little research on the subject is available. The authors conducted secondary analyses on existing data sets to further examine the degree of association between various measures of cognitive distortions and denial/minimization among child molesters (Sample 1, n = 73; Sample 2, n = 42; Sample 3, n = 38) and rapists (Sample 1, n = 41; Sample 3, n = 14). Meta-analysis of the findings from Samples 1, 2, and 3 indicated that greater endorsement of cognitive distortions about sex offending in general was significantly associated with greater denial/minimization of one’s own guilt and deviance (r = .24), harm to one’s own victims (r = .32), one’s need for treatment (r = .21), and responsibility for one’s sex offenses (r = .16). Although correlated, cognitive distortions and denial/minimization, at least as typically measured, are distinct constructs.

Concepts: Psychology, Subject, Sex offender, Child sexual abuse, Sexual abuse, Statutory rape, Rape, Age of consent


Sentence comprehension requires processing of argument structure information associated with verbs, i.e. the number and type of arguments that they select. Many individuals with agrammatic aphasia show impaired production of verbs with greater argument structure density. The extent to which these participants also show argument structure deficits during comprehension, however, is unclear. Some studies find normal access to verb arguments, whereas others report impaired ability. The present study investigated verb argument structure processing in agrammatic aphasia by examining event-related potentials associated with argument structure violations in healthy young and older adults as well as aphasic individuals. A semantic violation condition was included to investigate possible differences in sensitivity to semantic and argument structure information during sentence processing. Results for the healthy control participants showed a negativity followed by a positive shift (N400-P600) in the argument structure violation condition, as found in previous ERP studies (Friederici & Frisch, 2000; Frisch, Hahne, & Friederici, 2004). In contrast, individuals with agrammatic aphasia showed a P600, but no N400, response to argument structure mismatches. Additionally, compared to the control groups, the agrammatic participants showed an attenuated, but relatively preserved, N400 response to semantic violations. These data show that agrammatic individuals do not demonstrate normal real-time sensitivity to verb argument structure requirements during sentence processing.

Concepts: Subject, Verb, Verb argument, Expressive aphasia