High levels of social cohesion have been shown to be beneficial both for social entities and for their residents. It is therefore not surprising that scholars from several disciplines investigate which factors contribute to or hamper social cohesion at various societal levels. In recent years, the question of how individuals deal with the increasing diversity of their neighborhoods and society as a whole has become of particular interest when examining cohesion. The present study takes this a step further by combining sociological and psychological approaches in investigating whether the group-level acceptance of diversity, a core feature of cohesive societies, is related to prevailing mentalities of individuals once the social structure of a community is accounted for. We hypothesize that after controlling for individual sociodemographic and for structural variables, three individual characteristics play an important role for the level of acceptance of diversity in a given entity. We propose that individual intergroup anxiety (IGA) acts as a motor of the rejection of diversity whereas individual empathy should act as a safeguard. Furthermore, we propose that right-leaning political orientation (PO) has a negative influence on the acceptance of diversity. This study is based on a large, representative sample of the German general population (N1 = 2,869). To draw comparisons among different social entities, the sample was divided by federal states (N2 = 16). Data were analyzed by using a two-step approach for analyzing group-level outcomes in multilevel models. The analyses confirmed our hypothesis that intergroup anxiety at the individual level hampers the acceptance of diversity in a given sociopolitical entity. Furthermore, we found that intergroup anxiety is impacted by the economic situation in a federal state (measured per capita gross domestic product), as economic weakness intensified the fear of others. Surprisingly, neither empathy nor political orientation played a role for the acceptance of diversity. Implications for future research on social cohesion as well as for the work of policy makers are discussed.
Empirical tests of Schwartz’s theory of culture-level value priorities have predominantly been performed using an averaging approach–as values of the average individual in a culture. However, from a theory of measurement standpoint such an approach seems inadequate. We argue that the averaging approach is an insufficiently accurate methodology in capturing the compatibilities-incompatibilities between values of individuals within cultures. We propose an approach based on the distribution of values of individuals in a given culture–the distribution approach. Using data from two rounds of the European Social Survey, we show how frequencies of specific individual value priorities in a culture can be used toward the description of culture-level value preferences. We recommend a re-conceptualization of Schwartz’s culture-level value theory to an orthogonal two-dimensional structure, namely as Alteration vs. Preservation and Amenability vs. Dominance, which we explain based on heterogeneity in socioecological indicators across countries. We conclude that societal challenges may influence the cultural value climate across countries.
Helping behavior is likely to have evolved to increase chances of survival of an individual and their group. Nevertheless, populations differ significantly in their eagerness to help, and little is known about populational and inter-individual determinants of these differences. Previous studies indicated that economic and physiological factors might influence helping behavior. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of approach to resource management of a society (immediate-return economy vs. delayed-return economy), prenatal androgenization (based on second-to-fourth digit ratio), and physical strength (based on hand grip strength) on helping behavior toward others. Helping was assessed in terms of both general eagerness to help and differential helping toward: (1) kin, (2) other group members indiscriminately, (3) friends, and (4) those from whom help was obtained in the past. Based on data collected in two small-scale societies (n = 306), we found that people in the egalitarian immediate-return society (the Hadza hunter-gatherers of Tanzania) displayed helping behavior significantly more often than people in a more stratified delayed-return economy (Yali horticulturalists of Papua). Additionally, our results revealed that physical strength was a significant predictor of helping behavior in women but not in men. We discuss our findings in the light of the adaptive value of helping behavior.
Language processing has been suggested to be partially automatic, with some studies suggesting full automaticity and attention independence of at least early neural stages of language comprehension, in particular, lexical access. Existing neurophysiological evidence has demonstrated early lexically specific brain responses (enhanced activation for real words) to orthographic stimuli presented parafoveally even under the condition of withdrawn attention. These studies, however, did not control participants’ eye movements leaving a possibility that they may have foveated the stimuli, leading to overt processing. To address this caveat, we recorded eye movements to words, pseudowords, and non-words presented parafoveally for a short duration while participants performed a dual non-linguistic feature detection task (color combination) foveally, in the focus of their visual attention. Our results revealed very few saccades to the orthographic stimuli or even to their previous locations. However, analysis of post-experimental recall and recognition performance showed above-chance memory performance for the linguistic stimuli. These results suggest that partial lexical access may indeed take place in the presence of an unrelated demanding task and in the absence of overt attention to the linguistic stimuli. As such, our data further inform automatic and largely attention-independent theories of lexical access.
Relational reasoning is believed to be an essential construct for studying higher education learning. Relational reasoning is defined as an ability to discern meaningful patterns within any stream of information. Nonetheless, studies of relational reasoning are limited by the psychometric structure of the construct. For many instances, the composite nature of relational reasoning has been described as a bifactor structure. Bifactor models limit possibilities for studying the inner structure of composite constructs by demanding orthogonality of latent dimensions. Such assumption severely limits the interpretation of the results when it is applied to psychological constructs. However, over the last ten years, advances in the fields of Rasch measurement led to the development of the oblique bifactor models, which relax the constraints of the orthogonal bifactor models. We show that the oblique bifactor models exhibit model fit, which is superior compared to the orthogonal bifactor model. Then, we discuss their interpretation and demonstrate the advantages of these models for investigating the inner structure of the test of relational reasoning. The data is a nationally representative sample of Russian engineering students (N = 2036).
Recently, Cleeremans et al. (2020a) presented their Self-Organizing metarepresentational account (SOMA) of consciousness. The theory unifies many other views and aptly paints a coherent picture of how a system like the human brain, can experience consciousness. In addition to SOMA, however, Attention Schema Theory of Consciousness (AST) also provides an account of both conscious experience and how a system comes to believe it has conscious experience, by combining different theories (Graziano, 2016, 2019). Despite the plenty of core features that are shared by the two views, here I would like to highlight a potential point of conflict, that I argue makes AST a better account of consciousness than SOMA, at least in its current form.
Previous research documents that men and women can accurately judge male physical strength from gait, but also that the sexes differ in attractiveness judgments of strong and weak male walkers. Women’s (but not men’s) attractiveness assessments of strong male walkers are higher than for weak male walkers. Here, we extend this research to assessments of strong and weak male walkers in Chile, Germany, and Russia. Men and women judged videos of virtual characters, animated with the walk movements of motion-captured men, on strength and attractiveness. In two countries (Germany and Russia), these videos were additionally presented at 70% (slower) and 130% (faster) of their original speed. Stronger walkers were judged to be stronger and more attractive than weak walkers, and this effect was independent of country (but not sex). Women tended to provide higher attractiveness judgments to strong walkers, and men tended to provide higher attractiveness judgments to weak walkers. In addition, German and Russian participants rated strong walkers most attractive at slow and fast speed. Thus, across countries men and women can assess male strength from gait, although they tended to differ in attractiveness assessments of strong and weak male walkers. Attractiveness assessments of male gait may be influenced by society-specific emphasis on male physical strength.
A crucial question facing cognitive science concerns the nature of conceptual representations as well as the constraints on the interactions between them. One specific question we address in this paper is what makes cross-representational interplay possible? We offer two distinct theoretical scenarios: according to the first scenario, co-activated knowledge representations interact with the help of an interface established between them via congruent activation in a mediating third-party general cognitive mechanism, e.g., attention. According to the second scenario, co-activated knowledge representations interact due to an overlap between their features, for example when they share a magnitude component. First, we make a case for cross-representational interplay based on grounded and situated theories of cognition. Second, we discuss interface-based interactions between distinct (i.e., non-overlapping) knowledge representations. Third, we discuss how co-activated representations may share their architecture via partial overlap. Finally, we outline constraints regarding the flexibility of these proposed mechanisms.
Recent years of research have shown that the complex temporal structure of ongoing oscillations is scale-free and characterized by long-range temporal correlations. Detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) has proven particularly useful, revealing that genetic variation, normal development, or disease can lead to differences in the scale-free amplitude modulation of oscillations. Furthermore, amplitude dynamics is remarkably independent of the time-averaged oscillation power, indicating that the DFA provides unique insights into the functional organization of neuronal systems. To facilitate understanding and encourage wider use of scaling analysis of neuronal oscillations, we provide a pedagogical explanation of the DFA algorithm and its underlying theory. Practical advice on applying DFA to oscillations is supported by MATLAB scripts from the Neurophysiological Biomarker Toolbox (NBT) and links to the NBT tutorial website http://www.nbtwiki.net/. Finally, we provide a brief overview of insights derived from the application of DFA to ongoing oscillations in health and disease, and discuss the putative relevance of criticality for understanding the mechanism underlying scale-free modulation of oscillations.
There is a lack of modern quantitative language assessment tests in Russian, integrating neuropsychological and psychometric traditions, and allowing to specify the type and severity of linguistic deficits in individuals with different aphasia profiles. In response to these clinical and research needs, a novel standardized aphasia test – the Russian Aphasia Test (RAT) – is currently being developed.
The main aim of this study was to analyze the patterns of changes in Approximate Number Sense (ANS) precision from grade 1 (mean age: 7.84 years) to grade 9 (mean age: 15.82 years) in a sample of Russian schoolchildren. To fulfill this aim, the data from a longitudinal study of two cohorts of children were used. The first cohort was assessed at grades 1–5 (elementary school education plus the first year of secondary education), and the second cohort was assessed at grades 5–9 (secondary school education). ANS precision was assessed by accuracy and reaction time (RT) in a non-symbolic comparison test (“blue-yellow dots” test). The patterns of change were estimated via mixed-effect growth models. The results revealed that in the first cohort, the average accuracy increased from grade 1 to grade 5 following a non-linear pattern and that the rate of growth slowed after grade 3 (7–9 years old). The non-linear pattern of changes in the second cohort indicated that accuracy started to increase from grade 7 to grade 9 (13–15 years old), while there were no changes from grade 5 to grade 7. However, the RT in the non-symbolic comparison test decreased evenly from grade 1 to grade 7 (7–13 years old), and the rate of processing non-symbolic information tended to stabilize from grade 7 to grade 9. Moreover, the changes in the rate of processing non-symbolic information were not explained by the changes in general processing speed. The results also demonstrated that accuracy and RT were positively correlated across all grades. These results indicate that accuracy and the rate of non-symbolic processing reflect two different processes, namely, the maturation and development of a non-symbolic representation system.
Heat exposure affects human performance in many ways. Both physiological (i.e., glycogen sparing, oxygen uptake, thermoregulation) and biomechanical mechanisms (i.e., contact time, knee flexion, muscle activity) are affected, hence reducing performance. However, the exposure affects persons differently. Not all athletes necessarily experience an identical thermal condition similarly, and this point has been overlooked to date. We analyzed endurance performances of the top 1000 runners for every year during the last 12 New York City Marathons. Thermal conditions were estimated with wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) and universal thermal climate index (UTCI). Under identical thermal exposure, the fastest runners experienced a larger decline in performance than the slower ones. The empirical evidence offered here not only shows that thermal conditions affect runners differently, but also that some groups might consistently suffer more than others. Further research may inspect other factors that could be affected by thermal conditions, as pacing and race strategy.
We examined the applicability of the hybrid model of creativity, which specifies distinct domains that all express an underlying general creativity factor, in data from representative samples from Central Russia and the North Caucasus (N = 2,046). Using multigroup confirmatory analysis, Study 1 supported the invariance of a model with the six unifactorial domains (i.e., crafts, visual arts, performance, theater, products for work, and machine graphics) at the first level and a general creativity factor at the second level. Study 2 examined socio-demographic characteristics and 19 basic values that might be associated with creative activity. The more modern Central Russian region scored higher on global creativity and on all 6 domains. Of the 4 higher order values in the Schwartz model, Openness to Change values correlated positively and Conservation values correlated negatively with global creativity and with creativity in most domains. Variation across domains in the specific values that predicted creativity revealed that creativity in each domain had some unique motivators. We draw on culture and social structure to explain differences between regions in the value motivators of creativity
Behaviour, language, and reasoning are expressions of brain functions par excellence; yet the brain can only draw on sensory modalities to gather information on the rest of the body and on the outer world. Traditionally, cortical areas processing the identity and location of sensory inputs were thought to be organised hierarchically, with certain branches processing basic features and other branches processing complex features. Thus, for example, visual inputs would initially go through lower-level visual areas and then through higher-level visual areas. Only at later stages does multisensory integration take place in the association zones, eventually ensuring conscious perception and recruitment of relevant muscles to execute complex motor plans.
Yet, this picture of brain functioning began to fade as evidence accumulated highlighting widespread ‘multisensory’ processing, with inputs from different senses becoming integrated prior to conscious perception. Current studies in multimodal emotion integration (e.g., face and voice) revealed synergistic effects at early sensory cortices as well as at higher-level association areas, which are responsible for cognitive evaluation of affective information. Similarly, perceptual learning in temporal discrimination was shown to readily transfer from one sensory modality to another. Further behavioural evidence suggests that complex events are interpreted via a continuous loop between intentions and sensory input such that, on the one hand, observers use sensory inputs to segment an event sequence into units, which in time become tied to knowledge about agents’ intentions and, on the other hand, hierarchical event schemas facilitate the perception of event structure, helping observers segment and organize their experiences.
A less hierarchical functional architecture of the brain has emerged such that, irrespective of sensory modality, inputs are allocated to the best suited cortical substrate. For example, predictions of the so-called ‘neural exploitation hypothesis’ that neural circuits initially used for a specific purpose (e.g., motor control) are being re-used for other purposes (e.g., language) have recently been confirmed with a twist. In particular, behavioural studies have provided evidence that language reflects specific characteristics of action organization in the perceptual and motor systems (e.g., chained organization) and that, in turn, language can modify these characteristics in important ways. Activation of grasp-related affordances, for instance, as when attention targets graspable parts of a perceived object, is amplified when following visual cues but not when following linguistic cues.
Our Research Topic welcomes contributions on multisensory integration and sensory adaptation encompassing all aspects of cognition, motion, and emotion.
Existing research shows that distribution of the speaker’s attention among event’s protagonists affects syntactic choice during sentence production. One of the debated issues concerns the extent of the attentional contribution to syntactic choice in languages that put stronger emphasis on word order arrangement rather than the choice of the overall syntactic frame. To address this, the current study used a sentence production task, in which Russian native speakers were asked to verbally describe visually perceived transitive events. Prior to describing the target event, a visual cue directed the participants’ attention to the location of either the agent or the patient of the subsequently presented visual event. In addition, we also manipulated event orientation (agent-left vs. agent-right) as another potential contributor to syntactic choice. The number of patient-initial sentences was the dependent variable compared between conditions. First, the obtained results replicated the effect of visual cueing on the word order in Russian language: more patient-initial sentences in patient cued condition. Second, we registered a novel effect of event orientation: Russian native speakers produced more patient-initial sentences after seeing events developing from right to left as opposed to left-to-right events. Our study provides new evidence about the role of the speaker’s attention and event orientation in syntactic choice in language with flexible word order.
In a monetarily incentivized Dictator Game, we expected Dictators’ empathy toward the Recipients to cause more pro-social allocations. Empathy was experimentally induced via a commonly used perspective taking task. Dictators (N = 474) were instructed to split an endowment of 10€ between themselves and an unknown Recipient. They could split the money 8/2 (8€ for Dictator, 2€ for Recipient) or 5/5 (5€ each). Although the empathy manipulation successfully increased Dictators’ feelings of empathy toward the Recipients, Dictators’ decisions on how to split the money were not affected. We had ample statistical power (above 0.99) to detect a typical social psychology effect (corresponding to r around 0.20). Other possible determinants of generosity in the Dictator Game should be investigated.
Football is an industry driven by emotions. Fans experience many different emotions related to their teams. This paper aims to inspect how emotions impact attendance at football matches, examining whether football fans prefer to watch highly competitive matches or matches between good teams with star-players. The paper also considers behavioral and emotional differences of match spectators when brand-teams play away or at home. Importantly, we are also looking for the effects that the expectations of these emotions have on the tickets’ price mechanism. We use data from three seasons of the Brazilian State championship with information on more than 1,100 matches. The OLS estimator with the moderation marginal effects allows for analysis of a brand-team playing with different levels of uncertainty over the outcomes measured by the relative level of the divisions of rivals. We look for the difference between the marginal contribution of the brand-team and the uncertainty of outcomes that might change under some conditions. The analysis is performed later using two subsamples and, finally, we address the problem of endogeneity in price using an instrumental variable. From our results, the main findings are: first, that the price of tickets does not much affect the demand when a brand-team is playing. In case of competitive matches between non-brand-teams, price behavior correlates to the rationality of the demand curve having a negative impact. The fact that price is not relevant for matches with the brand-team comes to corroborate the idea that fans are driven more by emotions than by economic reasoning; second, the phenomena of highly competitive matches does not work when a brand-team is playing against a small one; and third, the effect of a brand-team playing is relatively more important than the uncertainty of outcome. The last two findings mean that the satisfaction of watching star-players or big-teams is stronger than the emotion brought by a competitive match.
Oscillatory neuronal activities are commonly observed in response to sensory stimulation. However, their functional roles are still the subject of debate. One-way to probe the roles of oscillatory neural activities is to deliver alternating current to the cortex at biologically relevant frequencies and examine whether such stimulation influences perception and cognition. In this study, we tested whether transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) over the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) could elicit tactile sensations in humans in a frequency-dependent manner. We tested the effectiveness of tACS over SI at frequency bands ranging from 2 to 70 Hz. Our results show that stimulation in alpha (10-14 Hz) and high gamma (52-70 Hz) frequency range produces a tactile sensation in the contralateral hand. A weaker effect was also observed for beta (16-20 Hz) stimulation. These findings highlight the frequency dependency of effective tACS over SI with the effective frequencies corresponding to those observed in previous electroencephalography/magnetoencephalography studies of tactile perception. Our present study suggests that tACS could be used as a powerful online stimulation technique to reveal the causal roles of oscillatory brain activities.
The study is aimed at investigating the connection between the friendliness of the home environment and the moral motives’ level. The friendliness of the home environment includes two aspects: the number of functions provided by home (functionality) and the congruence of these functions with inhabitants’ needs (relevance). The theoretical framework of the study was formed by research and ideas emphasizing the interplay between people and their environments. We hypothesized that the friendliness of the home environment and inhabitants’ moral motives would have a reciprocal relationship: the friendlier the home the higher the inhabitants’ moral motives’ level, and, vice versa, the higher the person’s moral motives’ level the more positive home image. The respondents were 550 students (25% male). The Home Environment Functionality Questionnaire, the Home Environment Relevance Questionnaire, and the Moral Motivation Model Scale were used. As expected, it was found that the friendliness of the home environment and the inhabitants’ moral motives are in reciprocal synergetic relationships. Relevance formed more nuanced correlation patterns with moral motives than functionality did. Functionality predicted moral motives poorly whereas moral motives predicted functionality strongly. Finally, relevance and moral motives were found to be in mutual relationships whereas the perceived functionality was predicted by moral motives only.
Agreement attraction errors (such as the number error in the example “The key to the cabinets are rusty”) have been the object of many studies in the last twenty years. So far, almost all production experiments and all comprehension experiments looked at binary features (primarily at number in Germanic, Romance and some other languages, in several cases at gender in Romance languages). Among other things, it was noted that both in production and in comprehension, attraction effects are much stronger for some feature combinations than for the others: they can be observed in the sentences with singular heads and plural dependent nouns (e.g. “The key to the cabinets...”), but not in the sentences with plural heads and singular dependent nouns (e.g. “The keys to the cabinet...”). Almost all proposed explanations of this asymmetry appeal to feature markedness, but existing findings do not allow teasing different approaches to markedness apart.
We report the results of four experiments (one on production and three on comprehension) studying subject-verb gender agreement in Russian, a language with three genders. Firstly, we found attraction effects both in production and in comprehension, but, unlike in the case of number agreement, they were not parallel (in production, feminine gender triggered strongest effects, while neuter triggered weakest effects, while in comprehension, masculine triggered weakest effects). Secondly, in the comprehension experiments attraction was observed for all dependent noun genders, but only for a subset of head noun genders. This goes against the traditional assumption that the features of the dependent noun are crucial for attraction, showing the features of the head are more important. We demonstrate that this approach can be extended to previous findings on attraction and that there exists other evidence for it. In total, these findings let us reconsider the question which properties of features are crucial for agreement attraction in production and in comprehension.