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Acquisition of object-robbing and object/food-bartering behaviours: a culturally maintained token economy in free-ranging long-tailed macaques | Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological SciencesThe token exchange paradigm shows that monkeys and great apes are able to use objects as symbolic tools to request specific food rewards. Such studies provide insights into the cognitive underpinnings of economic behaviour in non-human primates. However, the ecological validity of these laboratory-based experimental situations tends to be limited. Our field research aims to address the need for a more ecologically valid primate model of trading systems in humans. Around the Uluwatu Temple in Bali, Indonesia, a large free-ranging population of long-tailed macaques spontaneously and routinely engage in token-mediated bartering interactions with humans. These interactions occur in two phases: after stealing inedible and more or less valuable objects from humans, the macaques appear to use them as tokens, by returning them to humans in exchange for food. Our field observational and experimental data showed (i) age differences in robbing/bartering success, indicative of experiential learning, and (ii) clear behavioural associations between value-based token possession and quantity or quality of food rewards rejected and accepted by subadult and adult monkeys, suggestive of robbing/bartering payoff maximization and economic decision-making. This population-specific, prevalent, cross-generational, learned and socially influenced practice may be the first example of a culturally maintained token economy in free-ranging animals.
A little labeling goes a long way: Infants can use a few labeled examples to spark the acquisition of object categories -- ScienceDaily"These results suggest that semi-supervised learning can be quite powerful. Seeing just two labeled examples jump-starts infants' category learning. Once they've heard a few objects receive the same label, infants can learn the rest on their own, with or without labels," said Alexander LaTourrette, the lead author of the study and a doctoral candidate in cognitive psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern. Moreover, the timing of the labeling mattered. If the two labeling episodes came at the end of the learning phase, after infants had already seen the unlabeled objects, they failed to learn the category. This tells us that infants can use semi-supervised learning. They use the power of labeling to learn more from subsequent, unlabeled objects.
Basing everyday decisions on risk of pain or loss linked to increased anxiety -- ScienceDailyThey found that people were more likely to generalize from negative events, compared to safe or neutral outcomes. In addition, different parts of the decision-making process were linked to activity in different brain regions, including areas involved in vision, fear response and safety learning. They also found that those people who generalized more from the negative events (pain or loss) reported a greater experience of anxious feelings and intrusive thoughts (negative thoughts that enter your mind against your will and are hard to get rid of). "We hope that these findings will contribute to a greater understanding of the thought processes that underlie anxiety in some people," said senior author Dr Ben Seymour, Clinical Research Associate at the University of Cambridge. "Our results show the benefits of analysing complex behavioral processes such as generalization into separate components that can be examined and linked back to brain activity and symptoms. By better understanding what causes these symptoms in different cases, we might be able to tailor treatments more effectively to people with anxiety in future."
Too much structured knowledge hurts creativity, shows study -- ScienceDaily"A hierarchically organized information structure may also have a dark side," warns Yeun Joon Kim, a PhD student who co-authored the paper with Chen-Bo Zhong, an associate professor of organizational behaviour and human resource management at the Rotman School. The researchers showed in a series of experiments that participants displayed less creativity and cognitive flexibility when asked to complete tasks using categorized sets of information, compared to those asked to work with items that were not ordered in any special way. Those in the organized information group also spent less time on their tasks, suggesting reduced persistence, a key ingredient for creativity.
People With Anxiety Perceive The World In A Fundamentally Different Way | The Huffington PostFor the study, researchers trained individuals to associate three specific sounds with one of three outcomes: money loss, money gain or no consequence. In the next phase of the study, participants listened to approximately 15 tones and were asked to identify whether or not they’d heard them before. The best way to “win” the tone-identifying game was for participants to not confuse or overgeneralize the new sounds with the ones they heard in the first phase of the study. The study authors found that subjects with anxiety were more likely than non-anxious subjects to think a new sound was one that they heard earlier.
Dress clothes require (and spark) abstract thought?Rutchik found that participants who rated their clothing as more formal than that of their peers tended to select the more abstract answers—a curious correlation. After following up with four additional sub-studies, each of which controlled for socioeconomic background (but not race) and either used different measures of abstract processing or manipulated the participants’ clothing, he confirmed the results from the principle study. In two of them, for instance, participants were asked to change from casual to formal clothing or from formal to casual clothing midway through the experiment.
Abstraction connotes distanceIt’s a way of thinking, which is quite general—as things become abstract or more vague, people put it in this category of being more distant in space and more distant in time.
Why abstract art is excitingWhen we look at abstract art it requires more of our imagination. It leaves many details unspecified, and we have to supply those details. That—for people who can do it—is very pleasurable. Some people don’t like it all, but for people who can enjoy their own creativity, it’s very satisfying.
Why Abstract Art Stirs Creativity in Our Brains - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus“Creativity is for amateurs. We go out there and we solve problems. We set tasks for ourselves and we solve them.” I think the similarities are really becoming quite obvious. Certainly in the abstract expressionists—the New York group—they all ended up doing very different things when they started doing it, and they did it step-by-step as they moved from figuration to abstraction, becoming progressively more abstract in distinctively different ways.
Chunking makes writing hardScholars lose their moorings in the land of the concrete because of two effects of expertise that have been documented by cognitive psychology. One is called chunking. To work around the limitations of short-term memory, the mind can package ideas into bigger and bigger units, which the psychologist George Miller dubbed "chunks." As we read and learn, we master a vast number of abstractions, and each becomes a mental unit that we can bring to mind in an instant and share with others by uttering its name. An adult mind that is brimming with chunks is a powerful engine of reason, but it comes at a cost: a failure to communicate with other minds that have not mastered the same chunks. The amount of abstraction a writer can get away with depends on the expertise of his readership. But divining the chunks that have been mastered by a typical reader requires a gift of clairvoyance with which few of us are blessed. When we are apprentices in our chosen specialty, we join a clique in which, it seems to us, everyone else seems to know so much! And they talk among themselves as if their knowledge were conventional wisdom to every educated person. As we settle into the clique, it becomes our universe. We fail to appreciate that it is a tiny bubble in a multiverse of cliques. When we make first contact with the aliens in other universes and jabber at them in our local code, they cannot understand us without a sci-fi universal translator.
You should do your job in such a fashion that others can build on top of it, so they will indeed say, ``Yes, I've stood on so and so's shoulders and I saw further.'' The essence of science is cumulative. By changing a problem slightly you can often do great work rather than merely good work. Instead of attacking isolated problems, I made the resolution that I would never again solve an isolated problem except as characteristic of a class.Now if you are much of a mathematician you know that the effort to generalize often means that the solution is simple. Often by stopping and saying, ``This is the problem he wants but this is characteristic of so and so. Yes, I can attack the whole class with a far superior method than the particular one because I was earlier embedded in needless detail.'' The business of abstraction frequently makes things simple. Furthermore, I filed away the methods and prepared for the future problems.