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Yochanan E Bigman, Kurt Gray
Do people want autonomous machines making moral decisions? Nine studies suggest that that the answer is 'no'-in part because machines lack a complete mind. Studies 1-6 find that people are averse to machines making morally-relevant driving, legal, medical, and military decisions, and that this aversion is mediated by the perception that machines can neither fully think nor feel. Studies 5-6 find that this aversion exists even when moral decisions have positive outcomes. Studies 7-9 briefly investigate three potential routes to increasing the acceptability of machine moral decision-making: limiting the machine to an advisory role (Study 7), increasing machines' perceived experience (Study 8), and increasing machines' perceived expertise (Study 9)...
August 11, 2018: Cognition
Caixing Xiong, Krzysztof Kaczmarek, Janusz Zabrocki, Patricia V Pietrantonio, Ronald J Nachman
Insect kinins modulate aspects of diuresis, digestion, development, and sugar taste perception in tarsi and labellar sensilla in mosquitoes. They are, however, subject to rapid biological degradation by endogenous invertebrate peptidases. A series of α-aminoisobutyric (Aib) acid-containing insect kinin analogs incorporating sequences native to the Aedes aegypti mosquito aedeskinins were evaluated on two recombinant kinin invertebrate receptors stably expressed in cell lines, discovering a number of highly potent and biostable insect kinin mimics...
August 11, 2018: General and Comparative Endocrinology
Steven D Hicks, Richard Uhlig, Parisa Afshari, Jeremy Williams, Maria Chroneos, Cheryl Tierney-Aves, Kayla Wagner, Frank A Middleton
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is associated with several oropharyngeal abnormalities, including buccal sensory sensitivity, taste and texture aversions, speech apraxia, and salivary transcriptome alterations. Furthermore, the oropharynx represents the sole entry point to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. GI disturbances and alterations in the GI microbiome are established features of ASD, and may impact behavior through the "microbial-gut-brain axis." Most studies of the ASD microbiome have used fecal samples...
August 14, 2018: Autism Research: Official Journal of the International Society for Autism Research
Soichiro Ide, Ryuta Yamamoto, Hiroshi Takeda, Masabumi Minami
INTRODUCTION: Although the important roles of bidirectional interactions between the brain and gut in stress and emotional responses have long been recognized, the underlying neuronal mechanisms remain unclear. The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is a limbic structure involved in stress responses and negative affective states, such as anxiety and depression. We have previously demonstrated that noradrenergic transmission within the ventral part of the BNST (vBNST) plays a crucial role in anxiety-like behaviors and pain-induced aversion...
March 2018: Neuropsychopharmacol Rep
Jim McGetrick, Friederike Range
The study of inequity aversion in animals debuted with a report of the behaviour in capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). This report generated many debates following a number of criticisms. Ultimately, however, the finding stimulated widespread interest, and multiple studies have since attempted to demonstrate inequity aversion in various other non-human animal species, with many positive results in addition to many studies in which no response to inequity was found. Domestic dogs represent an interesting case as, unlike many primates, they do not respond negatively to inequity in reward quality but do, however, respond negatively to being unrewarded in the presence of a rewarded partner...
August 13, 2018: Learning & Behavior
Tadashi Nakashima, Hajime Mushiake, Kazuhiro Sakamoto
An individual's personality develops through a combination of experiences and parental inheritance. When faced with a conflict, will an individual take an innate behavior or a learned one? In such situations, individuality will manifest itself. Here, we focused on turn alternation behavior, which is a habitual tendency to turn in the direction opposite the preceding turn, in earthworms ( Eisenia fetida ) and examined how this behavior is affected by an aversive stimulus. Of 10 earthworms, 3 were affected by the stimulus...
2018: Biophysics and Physicobiology
Gagan Narula, Joshua A Herbst, Joerg Rychen, Richard H R Hahnloser
Social learning enables complex societies. However, it is largely unknown how insights obtained from observation compare with insights gained from trial-and-error, in particular in terms of their robustness. Here, we use aversive reinforcement to train "experimenter" zebra finches to discriminate between auditory stimuli in the presence of an "observer" finch. We show that experimenters are slow to successfully discriminate the stimuli, but immediately generalize their ability to a new set of similar stimuli...
August 13, 2018: Nature Communications
Justyna B Startek, Karel Talavera, Thomas Voets, Yeranddy A Alpizar
Bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) activate the TRPA1 cation channels in sensory neurons, leading to acute pain and inflammation in mice and to aversive behaviors in fruit flies. However, the precise mechanisms underlying this effect remain elusive. Here we assessed the hypothesis that TRPA1 is activated by mechanical perturbations induced upon LPS insertion in the plasma membrane. We asked whether the effects of different LPS on TRPA1 relate to their ability to induce mechanical alterations in artificial and cellular membranes...
August 13, 2018: Scientific Reports
Melissa Yuan, Tamara Giménez-Fernández, Constantino Méndez-Bértolo, Stephan Moratti
In fear conditioning, more efficient sensory processing of a stimulus (the CS) that has acquired motivational relevance by being paired with an aversive event (the US) has been associated with increased cortical gain in early sensory brain areas (Miskovic and Keil, 2012). Further, this sensory gain modulation related to short term plasticity changes occurs independently of aware cognitive anticipation of the aversive US, pointing towards implicit learning mechanisms (Moratti and Keil, 2009). However, it is unknown how quickly the implicit learning of CS-US associations results in the adaptation of cortical gain...
August 13, 2018: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Ioannis Angelakis, Venessa Lewis, Jennifer L Austin, Maria Panagioti
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Engaging in safety behaviors in the absence of actual threat is a key feature of many psychological disorders, including OCD and depression. Failure to discriminate between threatening and safe environments may make these behaviors resistant to change. The purpose of the current study is to investigate the conditions under which avoidance and safety behaviors are developed and maintained. METHODS: In experiment 1, sixty-seven participants who were initially screened for low obsessive-compulsive behavior were invited to play a computerized game to gain points and avoid their potential loss...
August 9, 2018: Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
David Mou, Evan M Kleiman, Szymon Fedor, Stuart Beck, Jeff C Huffman, Matthew K Nock
Patients suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD) are at elevated risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs), but this well-described and clinically important association is not well-understood. Prior research suggests that STBs often function as an attempt to escape aversive affect, and that people with BPD experience stronger emotion reactivity and greater discomfort with emotion than those without BPD. Here, we tested whether negative affective states are more likely to predict suicidal thoughts among those with BPD than those without this disorder...
August 3, 2018: Journal of Psychiatric Research
Ian Kodish
Youth admitted to pediatric hospitals face a variety of emotional challenges throughout their stay. In addition to feeling compromised by their acute medical condition, managing the requirements imposed by hospital care can intensify the potential for behavioral dysregulation. Even meeting basic behavioral expectations often requires children to be highly vulnerable, uncomfortable, and in pain, having to trust a parade of people routinely delivering aversive interventions, all in the context of overwhelmed caregivers...
August 1, 2018: Pediatric Annals
Jane Nielsen, Tania Bubela, Don R C Chalmers, Amber Johns, Linda Kahl, Joanne Kamens, Charles Lawson, John Liddicoat, Rebekah McWhirter, Ann Monotti, James Scheibner, Tess Whitton, Dianne Nicol
Whereas biological materials were once transferred freely, there has been a marked shift in the formalisation of exchanges involving these materials, primarily through the use of Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs). This paper considers how risk aversion dominates MTA negotiations and the impact it may have on scientific progress. Risk aversion is often based on unwarranted fears of incurring liability through the use of a material or loss of control or missing out on commercialisation opportunities. Evidence to date has suggested that complexity tends to permeate even straightforward transactions despite extensive efforts to implement simple, standard MTAs...
August 13, 2018: PLoS Biology
Sarah E Andrews, Melissa L Aikens
Expectancy-value theory of achievement motivation predicts that students' task values, which include their interest in and enjoyment of a task, their perceptions of the usefulness of a task (utility value), and their perceptions of the costs of engaging in the task (e.g., extra effort, anxiety), influence their achievement and academic-related choices. Further, these task values are theorized to be informed by students' sociocultural background. Although biology students are often considered to be math-averse, there is little empirical evidence of students' values of mathematics in the context of biology (math-biology task values)...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Lia Antico, Amelie Guyon, Zainab K Mohamed, Corrado Corradi-Dell'Acqua
Seminal theories posit that social and physical suffering underlie partly-common representational code. It is unclear, however, if this shared information reflects a modality-specific component of pain, or alternatively a supramodal code for properties common to many aversive experiences (unpleasantness, salience, etc.). To address this issue, we engaged participants in a gaming experience in which they were excluded or included by virtual players. After each game session, participants were subjected to comparably-unpleasant painful or disgusting stimuli...
August 9, 2018: Cognition
Bettina Böttcher, Elke R Gizewski, Christian Siedentopf, Ruth Steiger, Michael Verius, David Riedl, Anja Ischebeck, Julia Schmid, Ludwig Wildt, Sigrid Elsenbruch
BACKGROUND: Chronic pelvic pain, in particular dysmenorrhea, is a significant yet unresolved healthcare problem in gynecology. As interoceptive sensitivity and underlying neural mechanisms remain incompletely understood, this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study assessed behavioral and neural responses to visceral stimuli in primary dysmenorrhea (PMD). METHODS: Women with PMD (N=19) without psychological comorbidity and healthy women (N=20) were compared with respect to visceral sensory and pain thresholds, and to neural responses to individually-calibrated mildly-painful and painful rectal distensions implemented during scanning...
August 11, 2018: European Journal of Pain: EJP
Yana Van Den Herrewegen, Lissa Denewet, An Buckinx, Giulia Albertini, Ann Van Eeckhaut, Ilse Smolders, Dimitri De Bundel
Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is an acquired form of focal epilepsy, in which patients not only suffer from unprovoked, devastating seizures, but also from severe comorbidities, such as cognitive dysfunction. Correspondingly, several animal models of TLE exhibit memory dysfunction, especially spatial memory. The Morris water maze test is the most commonly used test for assessing spatial learning and memory in rodents. However, high stress and poor swimming abilities are common confounders and may contribute to misinterpretation...
August 10, 2018: Neurochemical Research
Marissa G Hall, Jennifer R Mendel, Seth M Noar, Noel T Brewer
BACKGROUND: Message avoidance (e.g., trying not to look at the message) may be motivated by reactance, a maladaptive rejection of the message. An alternative view is that avoidance indicates that a message is eliciting fear and other negative affect, thereby increasing the likelihood of behavioral change. We sought to identify which psychological mechanism-reactance or fear and other negative affect-explains message avoidance. We also examined whether avoidance was associated with more forgoing or butting out of cigarettes...
July 31, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Peter Vavra, Luke J Chang, Alan G Sanfey
Being treated fairly by others is an important need in everyday life. Experimentally, fairness can be studied using the Ultimatum Game, where the decision to reject a low, but non-zero offer is seen as a way to punish the other player for an unacceptable offer. The canonical explanation of such behavior is inequity aversion: people prefer equal outcomes over personal gains. However, there is abundant evidence that people's decision to reject a low offer can be changed by contextual factors and their emotional state, which cannot be explained by the inequity aversion model...
2018: Frontiers in Psychology
Rajan Kharb, Lokesh S Shekhawat, Ram Pratap Beniwal, Triptish Bhatia, Smita N Deshpande
Background: The role of craving in alcohol dependence and its relationship with relapse has been studied widely in the past decade. The present study was undertaken to assess the role of craving in short-term relapse of patients seeking treatment for alcohol dependence and changes in craving score at the end of detoxification and at follow-up. Materials and Methods: A total of 34 male individuals with alcohol dependence (excluding comorbid drug dependence, organic or psychiatric disorder), after detoxification and discharge, consented...
July 2018: Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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