Thursday, October 5, 2017

The most common word during sleep is "No," 10pct of speech are profanities and 26pct are interrogations

What does the sleeping brain say? Syntax and semantics of sleep talking in healthy subjects and in parasomnia patients. Isabelle Arnulf et al. Sleep, zsx159,


Objectives: Speech is a complex function in humans, but the linguistic characteristics of sleep talking are unknown. We analyzed sleep-associated speech in adults, mostly (92%) during parasomnias.

Methods: The utterances recorded during night-time video-polysomnography were analyzed for number of words, propositions and speech episodes, frequency, gaps and pauses (denoting turn-taking in the conversation), lemmatization, verbosity, negative/imperative/interrogative tone, first/second person, politeness and abuse.

Results: The 232 subjects (aged 49.5 ± 20 y old; 41% women; 129 with rapid eye movement [REM] sleep behavior disorder and 87 with sleepwalking/sleep terrors, 15 healthy subjects and 1 patient with sleep apnea speaking in non-REM sleep) uttered 882 speech episodes, containing 59% non-verbal utterance (mumbles, shouts, whispers, laughs) and 3349 understandable words. The most frequent word was “No”: negations represented 21.4% of clauses (more in non-REM sleep). Interrogations were found in 26% of speech episodes (more in non-REM sleep), and subordinate clauses were found in 12.9% of speech episode. As many as 9.7% of clauses contained profanities (more in non-REM sleep). Verbal abuse lasted longer in REM sleep and was mostly directed towards insulting or condemning someone, whereas swearing predominated in non-REM sleep. Men sleep-talked more than women and used a higher proportion of profanities. Apparent turn-taking in the conversation respected the usual language gaps.

Conclusions: Sleep talking parallels awake talking for syntax, semantics and turn- taking in conversation, suggesting that the sleeping brain can function at a high level. Language during sleep is mostly a familiar, tensed conversation with inaudible others, suggestive of conflicts.

Keywords: sleep talking, language, syntax, linguistics, semantics, verbal abuse, REM sleep behavior disorder, sleepwalking

My comment: The most common word during sleep is "No," and 10pct of speech are profanities and 26pct are interrogations.

The End of Free College in England: Implications for Quality, Enrolments, and Equity

The End of Free College in England: Implications for Quality, Enrolments, and Equity. Richard Murphy, Judith Scott-Clayton, Gillian Wyness. NBER Working Paper No. 23888.

Abstract: Despite increasing financial pressures on higher education systems throughout the world, many governments remain resolutely opposed to the introduction of tuition fees, and some countries and states where tuition fees have been long established are now reconsidering free higher education. This paper examines the consequences of charging tuition fees on university quality, enrolments, and equity. To do so, we study the English higher education system which has, in just two decades, moved from a free college system to one in which tuition fees are among the highest in the world. Our findings suggest that England’s shift has resulted in increased funding per head, rising enrolments, and a narrowing of the participation gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students. In contrast to other systems with high tuition fees, the English system is distinct in that its income-contingent loan system keeps university free at the point of entry, and provides students with comparatively generous assistance for living expenses. We conclude that tuition fees, at least in the English case supported their goals of increasing quality, quantity, and equity in higher education.

Individual Difference Correlates of Self-Perceptions of Creativity

Individual Difference Correlates of Self-Perceptions of Creativity. Mark Batey and David J. Hughes. In book: The Creative Self, pp.185-218. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-809790-8.00011-X

Abstract: The current chapter reports a systematic review of the relationship between self-perceptions of creativity and the individual difference traits of cognitive ability and personality. To structure our review, we separate out self-perceptions of creative traits, creative processes, and creative products. Our findings reveal that cognitive ability measures rarely relate to creative self-perceptions, but there are consistent positive associations with Openness to Experience and Extraversion. The relationships with Neuroticism, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness are more nuanced and vary relative to the type of self-perception (trait, process, product), the domain of the self-perception (e.g., arts vs. science), or culture. We explore some of the likely theoretical rationales for the findings and identify areas in need of further research. Lastly, we present a series of hypothetical models outlining nuanced relations between self-perceptions and individual differences and we present an exploratory but explanatory model that situates individual differences, self-perceptions of creativity, and actual creative achievement.

We feel with more intensity when observed

Janina Steinmetz and Stefan Pfattheicher (2017). Beyond Social Facilitation: A Review of the Far-Reaching Effects of Social Attention. Social Cognition: Vol. 35, No. 5, pp. 585-599.

Abstract: Social psychology has demonstrated that people behave differently in social attention, compared to when alone. First and foremost, being in social attention affects people's performance and their interpersonal behavior by increasing arousal and reputational concerns, respectively. However, newer work demonstrates more fundamental intra-psychological effects of social attention. As mere reminders of social attention can activate reputational concerns, people's thoughts and behavior are affected by such reminders even when people's reputation is not at stake. These findings provide a deeper look at more intra-personal effects of social attention. As a result, recent research focuses on how social attention fundamentally influences people's subjective perceptions and experiences. In this review, we provide an overview of the far-reaching effects of social attention, identify relevant moderators and mediators, discuss socio-motivational and cognitive processes underlying these effects, and highlight avenues for future research.

KEYWORDS: social attention, social facilitation, shared reality, social presence

Macaques conceal food from alpha males by inhibiting interest in it, refraining from approaching it or looking at it

Factors influencing deceptive behaviours in Tonkean macaques (Macaca tonkeana). Charlotte Canteloup et al.

Abstract: The complex social environments of primates create opportunities for engaging in tactical deception, especially for subordinate individuals. We analysed the behaviour of subordinate Tonkean macaques with dominant conspecifics in an experimental food competition context. The subordinate macaque could see two pieces of food in a test area, but only one piece was visible to the dominant. Both individuals were released into the test area at the same time or with the subordinate given a short head start on the dominant. Here, based on video analysis of the subordinates’ behaviours, we describe and classify functionally deceptive behaviours displayed by subordinates, and report factors that influenced these behaviours. Subordinates used several types of tactical deception, including concealment and distraction, especially when paired with competitors of much higher social rank, and they obtained the hidden food more frequently when they used a combination of tactics rather than only one.

The most frequently used tactic was concealment by inhibiting interest in object, either by refraining from approaching the food, or ‘freezing’ (see Video 1 in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via, sometimes avoiding looking at the food. In this kind of concealment, subordinates acted as if they were unaware of the presence of food, for example by not entering the test area, or entering and then stopping or sitting down. The most parsimonious interpretation of this tactic is that the subordinate was simply inhibited by the dominant’s presence and/or gaze (behaviour reading hypothesis; e.g., Povinelli & Vonk, 2003), rather than actively refraining from approaching despite knowing that the dominant was unaware of the food (mindreading hypothesis; e.g., Call & Tomasello, 2008). It is conceivable that most cases of simple concealment by inhibiting interest reflect simple behavioural inhibition induced by the presence of a dominant competitor.

Concealment by inhibiting interest was used on its own or combined with other tactics such as concealment by hiding. In concealment by hiding, subordinates behaved so as not to be seen by the dominant. For example, they refrained from immediately entering the test area, or headed for the hidden food when the dominant’s back was turned (see Video 2 in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals. or after the dominant left the test area. Similar behaviour has been described in the context of sneaky matings in long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis: Overduin-de Vries et al., 2015), and geladas (Theropithecus gelada: le Roux et al., 2013), done out of view of the alpha male. We previously reported that subordinate Tonkean macaques moved preferentially for hidden food when released simultaneously or slightly before the dominant, and proposed that they are capable of visual perspective-taking (Canteloup et al., 2016). In this context, concealment by hiding could reflect an active attempt by subordinates to be out of view of the dominant. However, we cannot exclude the lower-level explanation that subordinates merely reacted to the dominant’s gaze, without perspective-taking (Canteloup et al., 2016).