304 research outputs found

    Autism spectrum traits in normal individuals : a preliminary VBM analysis

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    In light of the new DSM-5 autism spectrum disorders diagnosis in which the autism spectrum reflects a group of neurodevelopmental disorders existing on a continuum from mild to severe expression of autistic traits, and recent empirical findings showing a continuous distribution of autistic traits in the general population, our voxel based morphometry study compares normal individuals with high autistic traits to normal individuals with low autistic traits. We hypothesize that normal individuals with high autistic traits in terms of empathizing and systemizing [high systemizing (HS)/low empathizing (LE)] share brain irregularities with individuals that fall within the clinical autism spectrum disorder. We find differences in several social brain network areas between our groups. Specifically, we find increased gray matter (GM) volume in the orbitofrontal cortex, the cuneus, the hippocampus and parahippocampus and reduced GM volume in the inferior temporal cortex, the insula, and the amygdala in our HS/LE individuals relative to our HE/LS (low autistic traits in terms of empathizing and systemizing) individuals

    Outstanding questions concerning the regulation of enhancement devices

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    The authors (Maslen et al., 2014) propose to regulate cognitive enhancement devices (CEDs) as medical devices. Extending medical device regulations to CEDs raises some important questions that need to be adequately addressed before it makes sense to pursue this path. A first problem concerns the definition of ‘cognitive enhancement’ and ‘CEDs’. Where does treatment end and enhancement begin? Secondly, since most CEDs such as neurofeedback and transcranial direct current stimulation are currently performed by non-medical health care providers, how will this regulation impact the current practice, and which requirements need to be put in place to regulate their use? Thirdly, distributive justice issues present an obvious ethical limitation. Fourthly, if CEDs are indeed prescribed off-label similar to the off-label prescription of psychopharmacological enhancers by MDs, this will pose problems regarding a lack of sufficient knowledge and expertise due to the highly specialized nature of CEDs. And finally, are we faced with unnecessary worries and unrealistic hopes when it comes to CEDs? In sum, we propose to regulate them regarding product safety and restrict them to competent adult use including professional oversight where indicated

    Is cheater/cooperator detection an in-group phenomenon? Some preliminary findings

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    Whereas predictive detection of (non-)cooperative intentions among humans is well-documented, virtually nothing is known about the cross-cultural extent of this possibly evolved social intuition. In this study we asked Caucasian participants to judge Japanese subjects who played a trust game in which they either fairly divided the money (sharer) or kept the entire sum (non-sharer). After watching 5-seconds videotapes taken around decision Caucasian subjects were able to discriminate non-sharing and sharing Japanese targets slightly above chance level (51.71%). The non-sharers accuracy rate was 52.32% and the sharers accuracy rate was 51.10%, but significant higher than would be expected from randomly guessing alone. This preliminary finding suggests that successful cheater/cooperator detection is not limited to own-culture targets and questions the in-group nature of this social intuition

    Putting Humpty Dumpty Back Together: Pricing in Anticommons Property Arrangements

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    Recently, a new theory has drawn considerable attention in the literature on common property. A number of scholars have pointed to the danger of excessive propertization in the context of what are termed anticommons property regimes. Although this theory has found its way into numerous legal and economic applications, the empirical and cognitive foundations of the theory of fragmentation remain unexplored. Based on experimental data, this Article conducts an investigation into the social and personal processes involved in the anticommons. The results confirm the theoretical proposition that anticommons deadweight losses increase with the degree of complementarity between individual parts and with the degree of fragmentation. Our study also provides three novel insights into the problem of fragmentation. First, the data illustrate that individual right holders base their reservation price on a proportion of the expected surplus of the bundler-purchaser, disregarding the objective value of the resource. Second, the experiments suggest that uncertainty amplifies the anticommons pricing effect. Individual right holders ignore the expected value of the purchaser’s project, and instead focus on the upper range of profitability and surplus. Willingness to accept is anchored onto a proportion of the maximum profitability, rather than a proportion of the expected benefits of the project. Finally, throughout the experiment reservation prices seem to be consistently lower in cases where there exists large uncertainty within the range of positive outcomes, relative to scenarios where there is relative certainty regarding a positive outcome but which includes the possibility of a (modest) negative outcome. Subjects seem to emphasize the relative low probability of success over the possibility of a negative outcome. The experiment provides clear indications of the pricing effect in settings where complementary units are fragmented over individual right holders. Given the stickiness of initial selling prices, and the prospective costs of the required negotiations to drive prices down to the expected value of the project, value maximizing projects might be abandoned, leading to the tragic outcome of under use or idleness. The results thus reinforce the normative hypothesis of the anticommons: property right systems should be careful in allowing the liberal creation and fragmentation of property rights

    The auditory and non-auditory brain areas involved in tinnitus. An emergent property of multiple parallel overlapping subnetworks

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    Tinnitus is the perception of a sound in the absence of an external sound source. It is characterized by sensory components such as the perceived loudness, the lateralization, the tinnitus type (pure tone, noise-like) and associated emotional components, such as distress and mood changes. Source localization of quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) data demonstrate the involvement of auditory brain areas as well as several non-auditory brain areas such as the anterior cingulate cortex (dorsal and subgenual), auditory cortex (primary and secondary), dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, insula, supplementary motor area, orbitofrontal cortex (including the inferior frontal gyrus), parahippocampus, posterior cingulate cortex and the precuneus, in different aspects of tinnitus. Explaining these non-auditory brain areas as constituents of separable subnetworks, each reflecting a specific aspect of the tinnitus percept increases the explanatory power of the non-auditory brain areas involvement in tinnitus. Thus, the unified percept of tinnitus can be considered an emergent property of multiple parallel dynamically changing and partially overlapping subnetworks, each with a specific spontaneous oscillatory pattern and functional connectivity signature