Friday, July 6, 2018

Neuronal Mechanisms Recording the Stream of Consciousness–A Reappraisal of Wilder Penfield’s (1891–1976) Concept of Experiential Phenomena Elicited by Electrical Stimulation of the Human Cortex

Neuronal Mechanisms Recording the Stream of Consciousness–A Reappraisal of Wilder Penfield’s (1891–1976) Concept of Experiential Phenomena Elicited by Electrical Stimulation of the Human Cortex. R Nitsch, F W Stahnisch. Cerebral Cortex, bhy085,

Abstract: Research on memory has been a major focus in the neurosciences over the past decades. An important advance was achieved by Wilder Penfield at the Montreal Neurological Institute, who reported from the 1930s to the 1950s about experiential phenomena induced by electrical brain stimulation in humans, implying neuronal causation of memory. Since then, neuroscientists have addressed the topic of memory from a range of subdisciplines; however, these reports by Penfield and his group as well as those on patient H. M. by Brenda Milner at the same institution continue to be referenced as groundbreaking. Further experimental work by Nobel laureates Eric Kandel and John O’Keefe, as well as by Edvard and May-Britt Moser related Penfield’s patient documentation to experiential phenomena. However, our reassessment of Penfield’s original patient documentation questions the stance that he had uncovered the “storehouse of memories.” Human memory must be regarded more as context sensitive and as representative of an active reconstructive process, than as a simple recording of events. Hence, strategies aiming at naturalizing all phenomena of mind (including memory) to cellular and molecular mechanisms cannot convincingly refer to Penfield’s electrophysiological studies alone as evidence that memories are solely caused by neuronal firing patterns.

Keywords: brain stimulation, consciousness, cortical organization, memory, temporal lobe

Openness was negatively associated with eating red meat, positively related to fish & unrelated to poultry & overall meat consumption; extraverted people had higher meat consumption of the three types & overall

Personality and meat consumption: The importance of differentiating between type of meat. Tamara M.Pfeiler, Boris Egloff. Appetite,

Abstract: Recent research has shown that sociodemographic factors and the Big Five personality traits are related to people's overall level of meat consumption. However, there are important differences among various types of meat (e.g., red meat, poultry, and fish) that might lead to differential patterns in how the consumption of specific types of meat is associated with personality and sociodemographic factors. To disentangle these general and specific relationships, we conducted two studies using two large-scale representative samples from different countries: Germany (N = 13,062) and Australia (N = 15,036). Mostly consistent with our expectations, personality and sociodemographic variables showed specific associations with meat consumption, depending on type of meat. For example, in both studies, openness was negatively associated with red meat consumption but positively related to fish consumption, whereas it was unrelated to poultry consumption and overall meat consumption in hierarchical regression analyses in which we controlled for sociodemographic factors. By contrast, extraverted people reported both more consumption of each individual type of meat and more overall meat consumption. In sum, results were largely consistent between the samples, but effect sizes were generally small. Taken together, these two studies underscore the importance of differentiating between meat types when examining individual differences in meat consumption. Implications and future avenues for investigating the link between personality and dietary habits are discussed.

Checking against age, father’s class, education, ethnicity, religiosity, native language & parental divorce, is higher well-being with similar partner? Seems not so.

Verbakel, Ellen, and Christiaan W. S. Monden. 2018. “Higher Well-being with Similar Partner? Testing the Similarity Hypothesis for Socio-demographic Characteristics.” SocArXiv. July 5. doi:10.31235/

Abstract: Studies on marriage and divorce often assume, explicitly or implicitly, that there is a positive relationship between partner similarity and well-being. We test this similarity hypothesis: do individuals who share more socio-demographic characteristics with their partners report higher well-being than individuals whose partners are less similar? We analyzed information on more than 2,300 married and cohabiting couples aged 18-50 from the UK Understanding Society wave 1 survey. Three dimensions of well-being were assessed: relationship quality, life satisfaction and psychological distress. We examined similarity on seven characteristics separately and as an index of similarity: age, father’s class, education, ethnicity, religiosity, native language, and parental divorce. The results provided no support for the similarity hypothesis: there was no evidence for a positive association between partner similarity and the three well-being measures. We discuss the implications of this finding for our understanding of partner choice and divorce.

Consistent preference for deontological over consequentialist agents: deontological agents were viewed as more moral and trustworthy, &were actually entrusted with more money in a resource distribution task.

Everett, Jim A. C., Nadira S. Faber, Julian Savulescu, and Molly Crockett. 2018. “Everett Et Al. The Cost of Being Consequentialist.” PsyArXiv. July 5. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: Previous work has demonstrated that people are more likely to trust “deontological” agents who reject instrumentally harming one person to save a greater number than “consequentialist” agents who endorse such harm in pursuit of the greater good. It has been argued that these differential social perceptions of deontological vs. consequentialist agents could explain the higher prevalence of deontological moral intuitions. Yet consequentialism involves much more than decisions to endorse instrumental harm: another critical dimension is impartial beneficence, defined as the impartial maximization of the greater good, treating the well-being of every individual as equally important. In three studies (total N = 1,634), we investigated preferences for deontological vs. consequentialist social partners in both the domains of instrumental harm and impartial beneficence, and consider how such preferences vary across different types of social relationships. Our results demonstrate consistent preferences for deontological over consequentialist agents across both domains of instrumental harm and impartial beneficence: deontological agents were viewed as more moral and trustworthy, and were actually entrusted with more money in a resource distribution task. However, preferences for deontological agents were stronger when those preferences were revealed via aversion to instrumental harm than impartial beneficence. Finally, in the domain of instrumental harm, deontological agents were uniformly preferred across a variety of social roles, but in the domain of impartial beneficence, people prefer deontologists for roles requiring direct interaction (friend, spouse, boss) but not for more distant roles with little-to-no personal interaction (political leader).