Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Cross-cultural differences in strategic risky decisions in baseball among professional baseball teams in North America and Japan: European American participants preferred high risk-high payoff strategies

Swinging for the Fences Versus Advancing the Runner: Culture, Motivation, and Strategic Decision Making. Roxie Chuang et al. Social Psychological and Personality Science, March 19, 2021.

Abstract: This research investigated cross-cultural differences in strategic risky decisions in baseball—among professional baseball teams in North America and Japan (Study 1) and among baseball fans in the United States and Japan (Study 2—preregistered). Study 1 analyzed archival data from professional baseball leagues and demonstrated that outcomes reflecting high risk-high payoff strategies were more prevalent in North America, whereas outcomes reflecting low risk-low payoff strategies were more prevalent in Japan. Study 2 investigated fans’ strategic decision making with a wider range of baseball strategies as well as an underlying reason for the difference: approach/avoidance motivational orientation. European American participants preferred high risk-high payoff strategies, Japanese participants preferred low risk-low payoff strategies, and this cultural variation was explained by cultural differences in motivational orientation. Baseball, which exemplifies a domain where strategic decision making has observable consequences, can demonstrate the power of culture through the actions and preferences of players and fans alike.

Keywords: decision making, culture, motivation, risk-taking

No clear support for sweet liking as a major risk factor for obesity: Extreme sweet likers may have greater awareness of internal appetite regulation

Understanding sweet-liking phenotypes and their implications for obesity: narrative review and future directions. Rhiannon M Armitage, Vasiliki Iatridi, Martin R Yeomans. Physiology & Behavior, March 23 2021, 113398.


• Sweet liking can be separated into three identifiable phenotypes

• Differences may reflect sensitivity to homeostatic appetite signalling

• Extreme sweet likers may have greater awareness of internal appetite regulation

• No clear support for sweet liking as a major risk factor for obesity

• Future research should consider genetic, neural and broader behavioural differences

Abstract: Building on a series of recent studies that challenge the universality of sweet liking, here we review the evidence for multiple sweet-liking phenotypes which strongly suggest, humans fall into three hedonic response patterns: extreme sweet likers (ESL), where liking increases with sweetness, moderate sweet likers (MSL), who like moderate but not intense sweetness, and sweet dislikers (SD), who show increasing aversion as sweetness increases. This review contrasts how these phenotypes differ in body size and composition, dietary intake and behavioural measures to test the widely held view that sweet liking may be a key driver of obesity. Apart from increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in ESL, we found no clear evidence that sweet liking was associated with obesity and actually found some evidence that SD, rather than ESL, may have slightly higher body fat. We conclude that ESL may have heightened awareness of internal appetite cues that could protect against overconsumption and increased sensitivity to wider reward. We note many gaps in knowledge and the need for future studies to contrast these phenotypes in terms of genetics, neural processing of reward and broader measures of behaviour. There is also the need for more extensive longitudinal studies to determine the extent to which these phenotypes are modified by exposure to sweet stimuli in the context of the obesogenic environment.

Keywords: Sweet tastelikinghedonicsindividual differencesobesitysweet-liking phenotypes

Sex-Dependent Shared and Non-Shared Genetic Architecture, Across Mood and Psychotic Disorders, using 85k cases with 109k controls

Sex-Dependent Shared and Non-Shared Genetic Architecture, Across Mood and Psychotic Disorders. Gabriƫlla A.M. Blokland et al. Biological Psychiatry, March 22, 2021.

Popular version:


Background: Sex differences in incidence and/or presentation of schizophrenia (SCZ), major depressive disorder (MDD), and bipolar disorder (BIP) are pervasive. Previous evidence for shared genetic risk and sex differences in brain abnormalities across disorders suggest possible shared sex-dependent genetic risk.

Methods: We conducted the largest to date genome-wide genotype–by–sex (GxS) interaction of risk for these disorders, using 85,735 cases (33,403 SCZ, 19,924 BIP, 32,408 MDD) and 109,946 controls from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) and iPSYCH.

Results: Across disorders, genome-wide significant SNP-by-sex interaction was detected for a locus encompassing NKAIN2 (rs117780815; p=3.2×10−8), that interacts with sodium/potassium-transporting ATPase enzymes implicating neuronal excitability. Three additional loci showed evidence (p<1×10−6) for cross-disorder GxS interaction (rs7302529, p=1.6×10−7; rs73033497, p=8.8×10−7; rs7914279, p=6.4×10−7) implicating various functions. Gene-based analyses identified GxS interaction across disorders (p=8.97×10−7) with transcriptional inhibitor SLTM. Most significant in SCZ was a MOCOS gene locus (rs11665282; p=1.5×10−7), implicating vascular endothelial cells. Secondary analysis of the PGC-SCZ dataset detected an interaction (rs13265509; p=1.1×10−7) in a locus containing IDO2, a kynurenine pathway enzyme with immunoregulatory functions implicated in SCZ, BIP, and MDD. Pathway enrichment analysis detected significant GxS of genes regulating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor signaling in MDD (pFDR<0.05).

Conclusions: In the largest genome-wide GxS analysis of mood and psychotic disorders to date, there was substantial genetic overlap between the sexes. However, significant sex-dependent effects were enriched for genes related to neuronal development, immune and vascular functions across and within SCZ, BIP, and MDD at the variant, gene, and pathway enrichment levels.

Key words: sex differences schizophrenia bipolar disorder major depressive disorder genome-wide association study genotype-by-sex interaction