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Concept: Suggestion


Bed bugs have shown a recent and rapid global expansion that has been suggested to be caused by cheap air travel. How a small, flightless and anachoretic insect that hides within its host’s sleeping area manages to travel long distances is not yet clear. Bed bugs are attracted to the odour of sleeping humans and we suggest that soiled clothing may present a similarly attractive cue, allowing bed bugs to ‘hitch-hike’ around the world after aggregating in the laundry bags of travellers. We show that (1) soiled clothing is significantly more attractive than clean clothing to active bed bugs moving within a bedroom sized arena and (2) elevation of CO2 to a level that simulates human occupancy in the same arena appears to initiate search behaviour rather than direct it. Our results show, for the first time, how leaving worn clothing exposed in sleeping areas when travelling can be exploited by bed bugs to facilitate passive dispersal.

Concepts: Aggregate, Active, Human, Suggestion, Bedbug, Traveler, Hemiptera, Travel


Microplastics (MPs) are a significant environmental health issue and increasingly greater source of concern. MPs have been detected in oceans, rivers, sediments, sewages, soil and even table salts. MPs exposure on marine organisms and humans has been documented, but information about the toxicity of MPs in mammal is limited. Here we used fluorescent and pristine polystyrene microplastics (PS-MPs) particles with two diameters (5 μm and 20 μm) to investigate the tissue distribution, accumulation, and tissue-specific health risk of MPs in mice. Results indicated that MPs accumulated in liver, kidney and gut, with a tissue-accumulation kinetics and distribution pattern that was strongly depended on the MPs particle size. In addition, analyses of multiple biochemical biomarkers and metabolomic profiles suggested that MPs exposure induced disturbance of energy and lipid metabolism as well as oxidative stress. Interestingly, blood biomarkers of neurotoxicity were also altered. Our results uncovered the distribution and accumulation of MPs across mice tissues and revealed significant alteration in several biomarkers that indicate potential toxicity from MPs exposure. Collectively, our data provided new evidence for the adverse consequences of MPs.

Concepts: Particle, Suggestion, Biomarker, Tissue, Health, Oxidative phosphorylation, Metabolism


The real-world experiences of young athletes follow a non-linear and dynamic trajectory and there is growing recognition that facing and overcoming a degree of challenge is desirable for aspiring elites and as such, should be recognized and employed. However, there are some misunderstandings of this “talent needs trauma” perspective with some research focusing excessively or incorrectly on the incidence of life and sport challenge as a feature of effective talent development. The objective of the study was to examine what factors associated with such “trauma” experiences may or may not discriminate between high, medium, and low achievers in sport, classified as super-champions, champions or almosts. A series of retrospective interviews were used with matched triads (i.e., super-champions, champions, or almosts) of performers (N = 54) from different sports. Data collection was organized in three phases. In the first phase, a graphic time line of each performer’s career was developed. The second phase explored the specific issues highlighted by each participant in a chronological sequence. The third phase was a retrospective reflection on “traumatic” motivators, coach/significant other inputs and psychological challenges experienced and skills employed. Data suggested qualitative differences between categories of performers, relating to several perceptual and experiential features of their development. No evidence was found for the necessity of major trauma as a feature of development. There was a lack of discrimination across categories of performers associated with the incidence of trauma and, more particularly, life or non-sport trauma. These findings suggest that differences between levels of adult achievement relate more to what performers bring to the challenges than what they experience. A periodized and progressive set of challenge, preceded and associated with specific skill development, would seem to offer the best pathway to success for the majority.

Concepts: Suggestion, Challenge, Psychology, Discrimination, The Rocky Road, Phase, Retrospective, Experience


Women appear to copy other women’s preferences for men’s faces. This ‘mate-choice copying’ is often taken as evidence of psychological adaptations for processing social information related to mate choice, for which facial information is assumed to be particularly salient. No experiment, however, has directly investigated whether women preferentially copy each other’s face preferences more than other preferences. Further, because prior experimental studies used artificial social information, the effect of real social information on attractiveness preferences is unknown. We collected attractiveness ratings of pictures of men’s faces, men’s hands, and abstract art given by heterosexual women, before and after they saw genuine social information gathered in real time from their peers. Ratings of faces were influenced by social information, but no more or less than were images of hands and abstract art. Our results suggest that evidence for domain-specific social learning mechanisms in humans is weaker than previously suggested.

Concepts: Suggestion, Abstract art, Charles Darwin, Metaphysics, Gender role, Psychology, Human, Abstraction


Human language is a fundamentally cooperative enterprise, embodying fast-paced and extended social interactions. It has been suggested that it evolved as part of a larger adaptation of humans' species-unique forms of cooperation. Although our closest living relatives, bonobos and chimpanzees, show general cooperative abilities, their communicative interactions seem to lack the cooperative nature of human conversation. Here, we revisited this claim by conducting the first systematic comparison of communicative interactions in mother-infant dyads living in two different communities of bonobos (LuiKotale, DRC; Wamba, DRC) and chimpanzees (Taï South, Côte d'Ivoire; Kanyawara, Uganda) in the wild. Focusing on the communicative function of joint-travel-initiation, we applied parameters of conversation analysis to gestural exchanges between mothers and infants. Results showed that communicative exchanges in both species resemble cooperative turn-taking sequences in human conversation. While bonobos consistently addressed the recipient via gaze before signal initiation and used so-called overlapping responses, chimpanzees engaged in more extended negotiations, involving frequent response waiting and gestural sequences. Our results thus strengthen the hypothesis that interactional intelligence paved the way to the cooperative endeavour of human language and suggest that social matrices highly impact upon communication styles.

Concepts: Suggestion, Hominidae, Chimpanzee, Sociology, Communication, Bonobo, Cooperative, Human


The present study investigated the effects of suggestion on the processing of visual stimuli. Participants counted rare visual stimuli presented on a screen, once during a hypnosis condition where they were suggested that their vision of the screen is blocked by a virtual wooden board in front of their eyes and once during a control condition without suggestion. In the hypnosis condition, counting performance was about 20% worse than in the control condition. At the same time, the P3b amplitude of the event-related brain potential was about 37% reduced. Smaller P3b amplitudes were significantly associated with deficient counting performance, and this effect was largest in participants who reported the blockade as real. In contrast, earlier brain responses (N1, P2) that reflect basic processing of the visual stimuli were not affected by the suggested blockade. We conclude that the suggestion of the blockade affects later stages of visual perception, leaving early processes intact. This illustrates the impact of suggestions and the power of mind.

Concepts: Mind, Suggestion, Retina, Psychology, Affect, Effect, Brain, Visual perception


Prosociality has received increasing interest by non-human animal researchers since the initial discoveries that suggested it is not a uniquely human trait. However, thus far studies, even within the same species, have not garnered conclusive results. A prominent suggestion for this disparity is the effect methodology can have on prosocial responses in animals. We recently found evidence of prosociality in domestic dogs towards familiar conspecifics using a bar-pulling paradigm, in which a subject could pull a rope to deliver food to its partner. Therefore, the current study aimed to assess whether dogs would show a similar response in a different paradigm, based on the token exchange task paradigm frequently used with primates. In this task, dogs had the option to touch a token with their nose that delivered a reward to an adjacent receiver enclosure, which contained a familiar conspecific, a stranger or no dog at all. Crucially, we also included a social facilitation control condition, whereby the partner (stranger/familiar) was present but unable to access the food. We found that the familiarity effect remained consistent across tasks, with dogs of both the bar-pulling and token choice experiments providing more food to familiar partners than in a non-social control and providing less food to stranger partners than this same control. However, in contrast to our previous bar-pulling experiment, we could not exclude social facilitation as an underlying motive in the current task. We propose this difference in results between tasks may be related to increased task complexity in the token choice paradigm, making it harder for dogs to discriminate between the test and social facilitation conditions. Overall our findings suggest that subtle methodological changes can have an impact on prosocial behaviours in dogs and highlights the importance of controlling for social facilitation effects in such experiments.

Concepts: Dog health, Ideo motor response, Social psychology, Pet, Difference, Psychology, Dog, Suggestion


Previous theorizing about punishment has suggested that humans desire to punish inequality per se. However, the research supporting such an interpretation contains important methodological confounds. The main objective of the current experiment was to remove those confounds in order to test whether generating inequality per se is punished. Participants were recruited from an online market to take part in a wealth-alteration game with an ostensible second player. The participants were given an option to deduct from the other player’s payment as punishment for their behavior during the game. The results suggest that human punishment does not appear to be motivated by inequality per se, as inequality that was generated without inflicting costs on others was not reliably punished. Instead, punishment seems to respond primarily to the infliction of costs, with inequality only becoming relevant as a secondary input for punishment decisions. The theoretical significance of this finding is discussed in the context of its possible adaptive value.

Concepts: The Current, Human anatomy, Scientific method, Suggestion, Human, Motivation, Science, Punishment


Cooperation is thought to be highly dependent on tolerance. For example, it has been suggested that dog-human cooperation has been enabled by selecting dogs for increased tolerance and reduced aggression during the course of domestication (‘emotional reactivity hypothesis’). However, based on observations of social interactions among members of captive packs, a few dog-wolf comparisons found contradictory results. In this study, we compared intraspecies aggression and tolerance of dogs and wolves raised and kept under identical conditions by investigating their agonistic behaviours and cofeeding during pair-wise food competition tests, a situation that has been directly linked to cooperation. We found that in wolves, dominant and subordinate members of the dyads monopolized the food and showed agonistic behaviours to a similar extent, whereas in dogs these behaviours were privileges of the high-ranking individuals. The fact that subordinate dogs rarely challenged their higher-ranking partners suggests a steeper dominance hierarchy in dogs than in wolves. Finally, wolves as well as dogs showed only rare and weak aggression towards each other. Therefore, we suggest that wolves are sufficiently tolerant to enable wolf-wolf cooperation, which in turn might have been the basis for the evolution of dog-human cooperation (canine cooperation hypothesis).

Concepts: Suggestion, Aggression, Toleration, Competition, Dominance hierarchy, Hierarchy


Objective We previously reported that a rationally designed biomimetic self-assembling peptide, P11-4, nucleated hydroxyapatite de novo and was apparently capable of in situ enamel regeneration following infiltration into caries-like lesions. Our present aim was to determine the safety and potential clinical efficacy of a single application of P11-4 on early enamel lesions.Materials and methods Fifteen healthy adults with Class V ‘white spot’ lesions received a single application of P11-4. Adverse events and lesion appearances were recorded over 180 days.Results Patients treated with P11-4 experienced a total of 11 adverse events during the study, of which two were possibly related to the protocol. Efficacy evaluation suggested that treatment with P11-4 significantly decreased lesion size (p = 0.02) after 30 days and shifted the apparent progression of the lesions from ‘arrested/progressing’ to ‘remineralising’ (p <0.001). A highly significant improvement in the global impression of change was recorded at day 30 compared with baseline (p <0.001).Conclusions The results suggest that treatment of early caries lesions with P11-4 is safe, and that a single application is associated with significant enamel regeneration, presumably by promoting mineral deposition within the subsurface tissue.

Concepts: Engineering, In situ, Suggestion, Peptide, Ablative brain surgery, Clinical trial