In a situation with a limited common resource, cooperation between individuals sharing the resource is essential. However, people often act upon self-interest in irrational ways that threaten the long-term survival of the whole group. A lack of sustainable or environmentally responsible behavior is often observed. In this study, we examine how the maximization of benefits principle works in a wider social interactive context of personality preferences, in order to gain a more realistic insight into the evolution of cooperation. We used time perspective (TP), a concept reflecting individual differences in orientation towards past, present, or future, and relevant for making sustainable choices. We developed a personality-driven agent-based model that explores the role of personality in the outcomes of social dilemmas and includes multiple facets of diversity. 1) The agents have different behavior strategies: individual differences derived by applying cluster analysis to survey data from 22 countries (N=10,940) and resulting in 7 cross-cultural profiles of TP. 2) The non-uniform distribution of the types of agents across countries. 3) The diverse interactions between the agents and 4) diverse responses to those interactions in a well-mixed population. As one of the results, we introduced an index of overall cooperation for each of the 22 countries, which was validated against cultural, economic, and sustainability indicators (HDI, dimensions of national culture, and Environment Performance Index). It was associated with higher human development, higher individualism, lower power distance, and better environmental performance. The findings illustrate how individual differences in TP can be simulated to predict the ways people in different countries solve the personal vs common gain dilemma in the global limited-resource situation. This inter-disciplinary approach to social simulation can be adopted to explain the possible causes of global environmental issues and to predict their possible outcomes.
Small open reading frames (sORFs) and genes for non-coding RNAs are poorly investigated components of most genomes. Our analysis of 1391 ORFs recently annotated in the soybean symbiont Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA 110 revealed that 78% of them contain less than 80 codons. Twenty-one of these sORFs are conserved in or outside Alphaproteobacteria and most of them are similar to genes found in transposable elements, in line with their broad distribution. Stabilizing selection was demonstrated for sORFs with proteomic evidence and bll1319_ISGA which is conserved at the nucleotide level in 16 alphaproteobacterial species, 79 species from other taxa and 49 other Proteobacteria. Further we used Northern blot hybridization to validate ten small RNAs (BjsR1 to BjsR10) belonging to new RNA families. We found that BjsR1 and BjsR3 have homologs outside the genus Bradyrhizobium, and BjsR5, BjsR6, BjsR7, and BjsR10 have up to four imperfect copies in Bradyrhizobium genomes. BjsR8, BjsR9, and BjsR10 are present exclusively in nodules, while the other sRNAs are also expressed in liquid cultures. We also found that the level of BjsR4 decreases after exposure to tellurite and iron, and this down-regulation contributes to survival under high iron conditions. Analysis of additional small RNAs overlapping with 3’-UTRs revealed two new repetitive elements named Br-REP1 and Br-REP2. These REP elements may play roles in the genomic plasticity and gene regulation and could be useful for strain identification by PCR-fingerprinting. Furthermore, we studied two potential toxin genes in the symbiotic island and confirmed toxicity of the yhaVhomolog bll1687 but not of the newly annotated higB homolog blr0229_ISGA in E. coli. Finally, we revealed transcription interference resulting in an antisense RNA complementary to blr1853, a gene induced in symbiosis. The presented results expand our knowledge on sORFs, non-coding RNAs and repetitive elements in B. japonicum and related bacteria.
Brain-computer interface (BCI) paradigms are usually tested when environmental and biological artifacts are intentionally avoided. In this study, we deliberately introduced different perturbations in order to test the robustness of a steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) based BCI. Specifically we investigated to what extent a drop in performance is related to the degraded quality of EEG signals or rather due to increased cognitive load. In the online tasks, subjects focused on one of the four circles and gave feedback on the correctness of the classification under four conditions randomized across subjects: Control (no perturbation), Speaking (counting loudly and repeatedly from one to ten), Thinking (mentally counting repeatedly from one to ten), and Listening (listening to verbal counting from one to ten). Decision tree, Naïve Bayes and K-Nearest Neighbor classifiers were used to evaluate the classification performance using features generated by canonical correlation analysis. During the online condition, Speaking and Thinking decreased moderately the mean classification accuracy compared to Control condition whereas there was no significant difference between Listening and Control conditions across subjects. The performances were sensitive to the classification method and to the perturbation conditions. We have not observed significant artifacts in EEG during perturbations in the frequency range of interest except in theta band. Therefore we concluded that the drop in the performance is likely to have a cognitive origin. During the Listening condition relative alpha power in a broad area including central and temporal regions primarily over the left hemisphere correlated negatively with the performance thus most likely indicating active suppression of the distracting presentation of the playback. This is the first study that systematically evaluates the effects of natural artifacts (i.e. mental, verbal and audio perturbations) on SSVEP-based BCIs. The results can be used to improve individual classification performance taking into account effects of perturbations.
We utilized the event-related potential (ERP) technique to study neural activity associated with different levels of working memory (WM) load during simultaneous interpretation (SI) of continuous prose. The amplitude of N1 and P1 components elicited by task-irrelevant tone probes was significantly modulated as a function of WM load but not the direction of interpretation. Furthermore, the latency of the P1 increased significantly with WM load. The WM load effect on N1 latency, however, did not reach significance. Larger negativity under lower WM loads suggests that more attention is available to process the source message, providing the first electrophysiological evidence in support of the Efforts Model of SI. Relationships between the direction of interpretation and median WM load are also discussed.
This article revisits the prediction, made in 2010, that the 2010–2020 decade would likely be a period of growing instability in the United States and Western Europe Turchin P. 2018. This prediction was based on a computational model that quantified in the USA such structural-demographic forces for instability as popular immiseration, intraelite competition, and state weakness prior to 2010. Using these trends as inputs, the model calculated and projected forward in time the Political Stress Indicator, which in the past was strongly correlated with socio-political instability. Ortmans et al. Turchin P. 2010 conducted a similar structural-demographic study for the United Kingdom. Here we use the Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive for the US, UK, and several major Western European countries to assess these structural-demographic predictions. We find that such measures of socio-political instability as anti-government demonstrations and riots increased dramatically during the 2010–2020 decade in all of these countries.
We report data from laboratory experiments where participants were primed using phrases related to markets and trade. Participants then participated in trust games with anonymous strangers. The decisions of primed participants are compared to those of a control group. We find evidence that priming for market participation affects positively the beliefs regarding the trustworthiness of anonymous strangers and increases trusting decisions.