Archivio per 14 settembre 2014

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Neuroscientists reverse memories’ emotional associations

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

MIT study also identifies the brain circuit that links feelings to memories. 

Most memories have some kind of emotion associated with them: Recalling the week you just spent at the beach probably makes you feel happy, while reflecting on being bullied provokes more negative feelings.

A new study from MIT neuroscientists reveals the brain circuit that controls how memories become linked with positive or negative emotions. Furthermore, the researchers found that they could reverse the emotional association of specific memories by manipulating brain cells with optogenetics — a technique that uses light to control neuron activity.

The findings, described in the Aug. 27 issue of Nature, demonstrated that a neuronal circuit connecting the hippocampus and the amygdala plays a critical role in associating emotion with memory. This circuit could offer a target for new drugs to help treat conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, the researchers say.

“In the future, one may be able to develop methods that help people to remember positive memories more strongly than negative ones,” says Susumu Tonegawa, the Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience, director of the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, and senior author of the paper. 

See on newsoffice.mit.edu

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14
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Fragility of the Commons under Prospect-Theoretic Risk Attitudes

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Abstract: We study a common-pool resource game where the resource experiences failure with a probability that grows with the aggregate investment in the resource. To capture decision making under such uncertainty, we model each player’s risk preference according to the value function from prospect theory. We show the existence and uniqueness of a pure strategy Nash equilibrium when the players have arbitrary (potentially heterogeneous) risk preferences and under natural assumptions on the rate of return and failure probability of the resource. Greater competition, vis-a-vis the number of players, increases the failure probability at the Nash equilibrium, and we quantify this effect by obtaining (tight) upper bounds on the failure probability at the equilibrium for a large number of players with respect to the failure probability under investment by a single player. We further examine the effects of heterogeneity in risk preferences of the players with respect to two characteristics of the prospect-theoretic value function: loss aversion and diminishing sensitivity. Heterogeneity in attitudes towards loss aversion always leads to higher failure probability of the resource at the equilibrium when compared to the case where players have identical risk preferences, whereas there is no clear trend under heterogeneity in the diminishing sensitivity parameter.

 
See on arxiv.org

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Personality Has Minor Effects on Panel Attrition

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Abstract: In light of the recent interest in using longitudinal panel data to study personality development, it is important to know if personality traits are related to panel attrition. We analyse the effects of personality on panel drop-out separately for an ‘older’ subsample (started in 1984), a relatively ‘young’ subsample (started in 2000), and a ‘new’ subsample (started in 2009) of the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) study. We found that openness slightly decreases the probability of panel drop-out in all three samples. For the ‘older’ subsample only, we found a small negative effect of agreeableness on panel drop-out. We control for age, sex, education, migration background, and the number of inhabitants in the region of the respondents.

See on diw.de




Time is real? I think not

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