neuroscientist lisa feldman barrett explains how emotions are made 2017
the vision thing: how babies colour in the world
nicola davis 2017
the sea was never blue
the greek colour experience was made of movement and shimmer. can we ever glimpse what they saw when gazing out to sea?
maria michela sassi 2017
hunter-gatherer olfaction is special
majid and kruspe 2018
•People struggle to name odors, but this limitation is not universal
•Is superior olfactory performance due to subsistence, ecology or language family?
•Hunter-gatherers and non-hunter-gatherers from the same environment were compared
•Only hunter-gatherers were proficient odor namers, showing subsistence is crucial
People struggle to name odors. This has been attributed to a diminution of olfaction in trade-off to vision. This presumption has been challenged recently by data from the hunter-gatherer Jahai who, unlike English speakers, find odors as easy to name as colors. Is the superior olfactory performance among the Jahai because of their ecology (tropical rainforest), their language family (Aslian), or because of their subsistence (they are hunter-gatherers)? We provide novel evidence from the hunter-gatherer Semaq Beri and the non-hunter-gatherer (swidden-horticulturalist) Semelai that subsistence is the critical factor. Semaq Beri and Semelai speakers—who speak closely related languages and live in the tropical rainforest of the Malay Peninsula—took part in a controlled odor- and color-naming experiment. The swidden-horticulturalist Semelai found odors much more difficult to name than colors, replicating the typical Western finding. But for the hunter-gatherer Semaq Beri odor naming was as easy as color naming, suggesting that hunter-gatherer olfactory cognition is special.
james wallman 2013
“experiences are more prone to positive reinterpretation, less likely to be dulled by hedonic adaptation, harder to compare, more likely to contribute to identity, and they bring you closer to people.”
unexpected arousal modulates the influence of sensory noise on confidence
micah allen et al. 2016
covert digital manipulation of vocal emotion alter speakers’ emotional states in a congruent direction
jean-julien aucouturier, petter johansson, lars hall, rodrigo segnini, lolita mercadié, and katsumi watanabe 2016
We created a digital audio platform to covertly modify the emotional tone of participants’ voices while they talked toward happiness, sadness, or fear. Independent listeners perceived the transformations as natural examples of emotional speech, but the participants remained unaware of the manipulation, indicating that we are not continuously monitoring our own emotional signals. Instead, as a consequence of listening to their altered voices, the emotional state of the participants changed in congruence with the emotion portrayed. This result is the first evidence, to our knowledge, of peripheral feedback on emotional experience in the auditory domain. This finding is of great significance, because the mechanisms behind the production of vocal emotion are virtually unknown.
Research has shown that people often exert control over their emotions. By modulating expressions, reappraising feelings, and redirecting attention, they can regulate their emotional experience. These findings have contributed to a blurring of the traditional boundaries between cognitive and emotional processes, and it has been suggested that emotional signals are produced in a goal-directed way and monitored for errors like other intentional actions. However, this interesting possibility has never been experimentally tested. To this end, we created a digital audio platform to covertly modify the emotional tone of participants’ voices while they talked in the direction of happiness, sadness, or fear. The result showed that the audio transformations were being perceived as natural examples of the intended emotions, but the great majority of the participants, nevertheless, remained unaware that their own voices were being manipulated. This finding indicates that people are not continuously monitoring their own voice to make sure that it meets a predetermined emotional target. Instead, as a consequence of listening to their altered voices, the emotional state of the participants changed in congruence with the emotion portrayed, which was measured by both self-report and skin conductance level. This change is the first evidence, to our knowledge, of peripheral feedback effects on emotional experience in the auditory domain. As such, our result reinforces the wider framework of self-perception theory: that we often use the same inferential strategies to understand ourselves as those that we use to understand others.
phytochromes function as thermosensors in arabidopsis
jae-hoon jung et al. 2016
phytochrome b integrates light and temperature signals in arabidopsis
martina legris et al. 2016
young children see a single action and infer a social norm: promiscuous normativity in 3-year-olds
marco f. h. schmidt, lucas p. butler, julia heinz, and michael tomasello 2016
the racialized construction of exceptionality: experimental evidence of race/ethnicity effects on teachers' interventions
rachel elizabeth fish 2016
social class and the motivational relevance of other human beings: evidence from visual attention
p. dietze, e. d. knowles 2016
the threat of increasing diversity: why many white americans support trump in the 2016 presidential election
b. major, a. blodorn, g. major blascovich 2016
behavioral and neural correlates to multisensory detection of sick humans
christina regenbogen et al. 2017
In the perpetual race between evolving organisms and pathogens, the human immune system has evolved to reduce the harm of infections. As part of such a system, avoidance of contagious individuals would increase biological fitness. The present study shows that we can detect both facial and olfactory cues of sickness in others just hours after experimental activation of their immune system. The study further demonstrates that multisensory integration of these olfactory and visual sickness cues is a crucial mechanism for how we detect and socially evaluate sick individuals. Thus, by motivating the avoidance of sick conspecifics, olfactory–visual cues, both in isolation and integrated, may be important parts of circuits handling imminent threats of contagion.
Throughout human evolution, infectious diseases have been a primary cause of death. Detection of subtle cues indicating sickness and avoidance of sick conspecifics would therefore be an adaptive way of coping with an environment fraught with pathogens. This study determines how humans perceive and integrate early cues of sickness in conspecifics sampled just hours after the induction of immune system activation, and the underlying neural mechanisms for this detection. In a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover design, the immune system in 22 sample donors was transiently activated with an endotoxin injection [lipopolysaccharide (LPS)]. Facial photographs and body odor samples were taken from the same donors when “sick” (LPS-injected) and when “healthy” (saline-injected) and subsequently were presented to a separate group of participants (n = 30) who rated their liking of the presented person during fMRI scanning. Faces were less socially desirable when sick, and sick body odors tended to lower liking of the faces. Sickness status presented by odor and facial photograph resulted in increased neural activation of odor- and face-perception networks, respectively. A superadditive effect of olfactory–visual integration of sickness cues was found in the intraparietal sulcus, which was functionally connected to core areas of multisensory integration in the superior temporal sulcus and orbitofrontal cortex. Taken together, the results outline a disease-avoidance model in which neural mechanisms involved in the detection of disease cues and multisensory integration are vital parts.
seeing it both ways: openness to experience and binocular rivalry suppression
anna antinori, olivia l. carter, luke d. smillie 2017
Demonstrates personality and mood can impact low-level perceptual experiences.
Mixed percept, a binocular rivalry state, positively correlated with openness.
Findings were replicated across samples and response bias was excluded.
Used a perceptual-aesthetic mood induction that increased mixed in open people.
Openness to experience is characterised by flexible and inclusive cognition. Here we investigated whether this extends to basic visual perception, such that open people combine information more flexibly, even at low-levels of perceptual processing. We used binocular rivalry, where the brain alternates between perceptual solutions and times where neither solution is fully suppressed, mixed percept. Study 1 showed that openness is positively associated with duration of mixed percept and ruled out the possibility of response bias. Study 2 showed that mixed percept increased following a positive mood induction particularly for open people. Overall, the results showed that openness is linked to differences in low-level visual perceptual experience. Further studies should investigate whether this may be driven by common neural processes.
the order of disorder: deconstructing visual disorder and its effect on rule-breaking
hiroki p. kotabe, omid kardan, marc g. berman 2016
confirmation bias in human reinforcement learning: evidence from counterfactual feedback processing
stefano palminteri et al. 2017
Previous studies suggest that factual learning, that is, learning from obtained outcomes, is biased, such that participants preferentially take into account positive, as compared to negative, prediction errors. However, whether or not the prediction error valence also affects counterfactual learning, that is, learning from forgone outcomes, is unknown. To address this question, we analysed the performance of two groups of participants on reinforcement learning tasks using a computational model that was adapted to test if prediction error valence influences learning. We carried out two experiments: in the factual learning experiment, participants learned from partial feedback (i.e., the outcome of the chosen option only); in the counterfactual learning experiment, participants learned from complete feedback information (i.e., the outcomes of both the chosen and unchosen option were displayed). In the factual learning experiment, we replicated previous findings of a valence-induced bias, whereby participants learned preferentially from positive, relative to negative, prediction errors. In contrast, for counterfactual learning, we found the opposite valence-induced bias: negative prediction errors were preferentially taken into account, relative to positive ones. When considering valence-induced bias in the context of both factual and counterfactual learning, it appears that people tend to preferentially take into account information that confirms their current choice.
While the investigation of decision-making biases has a long history in economics and psychology, learning biases have been much less systematically investigated. This is surprising as most of the choices we deal with in everyday life are recurrent, thus allowing learning to occur and therefore influencing future decision-making. Combining behavioural testing and computational modeling, here we show that the valence of an outcome biases both factual and counterfactual learning. When considering factual and counterfactual learning together, it appears that people tend to preferentially take into account information that confirms their current choice. Increasing our understanding of learning biases will enable the refinement of existing models of value-based decision-making.
pre–suasion: a revolutionary way to influence and persuade
robert cialdini 2016
perceived entitlement causes discrimination against attractive job candidates in the domain of relatively less desirable jobs
margaret lee et al. 2017
déjà vu: an illusion of prediction
anne m. cleary, alexander b. claxton 2018
mechanosensory-based phase coding of odor identity in the olfactory bulb
ryo iwata et al. 2017
•Mechanosensation in olfactory sensory neurons generates sniff-coupled oscillations
•Phase coding in mitral/tufted cells distinguishes odor from mechanical signals
•Phase coding is more stable than rate coding across time and odor concentrations
•The loss of mechanosensory-based oscillations impairs robust phase coding of odors
Mitral and tufted (M/T) cells in the olfactory bulb produce rich temporal patterns of activity in response to different odors. However, it remains unknown how these temporal patterns are generated and how they are utilized in olfaction. Here we show that temporal patterning effectively discriminates between the two sensory modalities detected by olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs): odor and airflow-driven mechanical signals. Sniff-induced mechanosensation generates glomerulus-specific oscillatory activity in M/T cells, whose phase was invariant across airflow speed. In contrast, odor stimulation caused phase shifts (phase coding). We also found that odor-evoked phase shifts are concentration invariant and stable across multiple sniff cycles, contrary to the labile nature of rate coding. The loss of oscillatory mechanosensation impaired the precision and stability of phase coding, demonstrating its role in olfaction. We propose that phase, not rate, coding is a robust encoding strategy of odor identity and is ensured by airflow-induced mechanosensation in OSNs.
world too small
when someone's world becomes too small, that is when problems start. They start to attribute even accidental consequences to alleged malicious behaviour in the people around them.
our perspective sometimes narrows, and it is then that we are more likely to abuse.
when our perspective narrows, it becomes harder to break out of our current outlook, to learn of the changing shape of reality, to look beyond what we already believe.