ResearchPad - linguistics https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Warm, lively, rough? Assessing agreement on aesthetic effects of artworks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13856 The idea that simple visual elements such as colors and lines have specific, universal associations—for example red being warm—appears rather intuitive. Such associations have formed a basis for the description of artworks since the 18th century and are still fundamental to discourses on art today. Art historians might describe a painting where red is dominant as “warm,” “aggressive,” or “lively,” with the tacit assumption that beholders would universally associate the works’ certain key forms with specific qualities, or “aesthetic effects”. However, is this actually the case? Do we actually share similar responses to the same line or color? In this paper, we tested whether and to what extent this assumption of universality (sharing of perceived qualities) is justified. We employed—for the first time—abstract artworks as well as single elements (lines and colors) extracted from these artworks in an experiment in which participants rated the stimuli on 14 “aesthetic effect” scales derived from art literature and empirical aesthetics. To test the validity of the assumption of universality, we examined on which of the dimensions there was agreement, and investigated the influence of art expertise, comparing art historians with lay people. In one study and its replication, we found significantly lower agreement than expected. For the whole artworks, participants agreed on the effects of warm-cold, heavy-light, and happy-sad, but not on 11 other dimensions. Further, we found that the image type (artwork or its constituting elements) was a major factor influencing agreement; people agreed more on the whole artwork than on single elements. Art expertise did not play a significant role and agreement was especially low on dimensions usually of interest in empirical aesthetics (e.g., like-dislike). Our results challenge the practice of interpreting artworks based on their aesthetic effects, as these effects may not be as universal as previously thought.

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<![CDATA[The Language of Innovation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10245 Predicting innovation is a peculiar problem in data science. Following its definition, an innovation is always a never-seen-before event, leaving no room for traditional supervised learning approaches. Here we propose a strategy to address the problem in the context of innovative patents, by defining innovations as never-seen-before associations of technologies and exploiting self-supervised learning techniques. We think of technological codes present in patents as a vocabulary and the whole technological corpus as written in a specific, evolving language. We leverage such structure with techniques borrowed from Natural Language Processing by embedding technologies in a high dimensional euclidean space where relative positions are representative of learned semantics. Proximity in this space is an effective predictor of specific innovation events, that outperforms a wide range of standard link-prediction metrics. The success of patented innovations follows a complex dynamics characterized by different patterns which we analyze in details with specific examples. The methods proposed in this paper provide a completely new way of understanding and forecasting innovation, by tackling it from a revealing perspective and opening interesting scenarios for a number of applications and further analytic approaches.

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<![CDATA[Using case-level context to classify cancer pathology reports]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7869 Individual electronic health records (EHRs) and clinical reports are often part of a larger sequence—for example, a single patient may generate multiple reports over the trajectory of a disease. In applications such as cancer pathology reports, it is necessary not only to extract information from individual reports, but also to capture aggregate information regarding the entire cancer case based off case-level context from all reports in the sequence. In this paper, we introduce a simple modular add-on for capturing case-level context that is designed to be compatible with most existing deep learning architectures for text classification on individual reports. We test our approach on a corpus of 431,433 cancer pathology reports, and we show that incorporating case-level context significantly boosts classification accuracy across six classification tasks—site, subsite, laterality, histology, behavior, and grade. We expect that with minimal modifications, our add-on can be applied towards a wide range of other clinical text-based tasks.

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<![CDATA[Modeling competitive evolution of multiple languages]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7854 Increasing evidence demonstrates that in many places language coexistence has become ubiquitous and essential for supporting language and cultural diversity and associated with its financial and economic benefits. The competitive evolution among multiple languages determines the evolution outcome, either coexistence, or decline, or extinction. Here, we extend the Abrams-Strogatz model of language competition to multiple languages and then validate it by analyzing the behavioral transitions of language usage over the recent several decades in Singapore and Hong Kong. In each case, we estimate from data the model parameters that measure each language utility for its speakers and the strength of two biases, the majority preference for their language, and the minority aversion to it. The values of these two biases decide which language is the fastest growing in the competition and what would be the stable state of the system. We also study the system convergence time to stable states and discover the existence of tipping points with multiple attractors. Moreover, the critical slowdown of convergence to the stable fractions of language users appears near and peaks at the tipping points, signaling when the system approaches them. Our analysis furthers our understanding of evolution of various languages and the role of tipping points in behavioral transitions. These insights may help to protect languages from extinction and retain the language and cultural diversity.

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<![CDATA[Datasets on the production and perception of underlying and epenthetic glottal stops in Maltese]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf6e0a896-780d-455b-a900-807348c2862b

This article provides some supplementary analysis data of speech production and perception of glottal stops in the Semitic language Maltese. In Maltese, a glottal stop can occur as a phoneme, but also as a phonetic marker of vowel-initial words (as in the case with Germanic languages like English). Data from four experiments are provided, which will allow other researchers to reproduce the results and apply their own data-analysis techniques to these data for further data exploration. A production experiment (Experiment 1) investigates how often the glottal marking of vowel-initial words occurs (causing vowel-initial words to be ambiguous with words starting with a glottal stop as a phoneme) and whether the glottal gesture for this marking can be differentiated from an underlying (phonemic) glottal stop in its acoustic properties. Experiments 2 to 4 investigate how and to what extent Maltese listeners perceive glottal markings as lexical (phonemic) or epenthetic (phonetic), using a two-alternative forced choice task (Experiment 2), a visual-world eye tracking task with printed target words (Experiment 3) and a gating task (Experiment 4). A full account of theoretical consequences of these data can be found in the full length article entitled “The glottal stop between segmental and suprasegmental processing: The case of Maltese” [1].

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<![CDATA[Gaze direction reveals implicit item and source memory in older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd6bd49f6-c3a2-422e-9a90-0c981119f651

This study looked at eye movements in relation to source memory in older adults. Participants first studied images of common objects appearing in different quadrants of a screen. After a delay, they were shown cues one at a time presented in all four quadrants. Participants stated whether or not the cue had been seen before and in which location. Participants also rated level of confidence in their responses. In trials where participants either claimed they have not seen a previously presented cue or placed it in an incorrect location, they looked significantly more at the correct quadrant. The proportion of time looking at the correct quadrants during incorrect responses was not related to confidence ratings. These results suggest that eye gaze during the memory task does not reflect memory retrieval below the threshold of verbal report. They instead point to an implicit form of source memory in humans that is accessible to eye movements but not to verbal responses.

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<![CDATA[Adaptive multi-degree of freedom Brain Computer Interface using online feedback: Towards novel methods and metrics of mutual adaptation between humans and machines for BCI]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89771ad5eed0c4847d2469

This paper proposes a novel adaptive online-feedback methodology for Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI). The method uses ElectroEncephaloGraphic (EEG) signals and combines motor with speech imagery to allow for tasks that involve multiple degrees of freedom (DoF). The main approach utilizes the covariance matrix descriptor as feature, and the Relevance Vector Machines (RVM) classifier. The novel contributions include, (1) a new method to select representative data to update the RVM model, and (2) an online classifier which is an adaptively-weighted mixture of RVM models to account for the users’ exploration and exploitation processes during the learning phase. Instead of evaluating the subjects’ performance solely based on the conventional metric of accuracy, we analyze their skill’s improvement based on 3 other criteria, namely the confusion matrix’s quality, the separability of the data, and their instability. After collecting calibration data for 8 minutes in the first run, 8 participants were able to control the system while receiving visual feedback in the subsequent runs. We observed significant improvement in all subjects, including two of them who fell into the BCI illiteracy category. Our proposed BCI system complements the existing approaches in several aspects. First, the co-adaptation paradigm not only adapts the classifiers, but also allows the users to actively discover their own way to use the BCI through their exploration and exploitation processes. Furthermore, the auto-calibrating system can be used immediately with a minimal calibration time. Finally, this is the first work to combine motor and speech imagery in an online feedback experiment to provide multiple DoF for BCI control applications.

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<![CDATA[Electrophysiological correlates of concept type shifts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823b9d5eed0c484638ef4

A recent semantic theory of nominal concepts by Löbner [1] posits that–due to their inherent uniqueness and relationality properties–noun concepts can be classified into four concept types (CTs): sortal, individual, relational, functional. For sortal nouns the default determination is indefinite (a stone), for individual nouns it is definite (the sun), for relational and functional nouns it is possessive (his ear, his father). Incongruent determination leads to a concept type shift: his father (functional concept: unique, relational)–a father (sortal concept: non-unique, non-relational). Behavioral studies on CT shifts have demonstrated a CT congruence effect, with congruent determiners triggering faster lexical decision times on the subsequent noun than incongruent ones [2, 3]. The present ERP study investigated electrophysiological correlates of congruent and incongruent determination in German noun phrases, and specifically, whether the CT congruence effect could be indexed by such classic ERP components as N400, LAN or P600. If incongruent determination affects the lexical retrieval or semantic integration of the noun, it should be reflected in the amplitude of the N400 component. If, however, CT congruence is processed by the same neuronal mechanisms that underlie morphosyntactic processing, incongruent determination should trigger LAN or/and P600. These predictions were tested in two ERP studies. In Experiment 1, participants just listened to noun phrases. In Experiment 2, they performed a wellformedness judgment task. The processing of (in)congruent CTs (his sun vs. the sun) was compared to the processing of morphosyntactic and semantic violations in control conditions. Whereas the control conditions elicited classic electrophysiological violation responses (N400, LAN, & P600), CT-incongruences did not. Instead they showed novel concept-type specific response patterns. The absence of the classic ERP components suggests that CT-incongruent determination is not perceived as a violation of the semantic or morphosyntactic structure of the noun phrase.

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<![CDATA[A season for all things: Phenological imprints in Wikipedia usage and their relevance to conservation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c882408d5eed0c4846395ce

Phenology plays an important role in many human–nature interactions, but these seasonal patterns are often overlooked in conservation. Here, we provide the first broad exploration of seasonal patterns of interest in nature across many species and cultures. Using data from Wikipedia, a large online encyclopedia, we analyzed 2.33 billion pageviews to articles for 31,751 species across 245 languages. We show that seasonality plays an important role in how and when people interact with plants and animals online. In total, over 25% of species in our data set exhibited a seasonal pattern in at least one of their language-edition pages, and seasonality is significantly more prevalent in pages for plants and animals than it is in a random selection of Wikipedia articles. Pageview seasonality varies across taxonomic clades in ways that reflect observable patterns in phenology, with groups such as insects and flowering plants having higher seasonality than mammals. Differences between Wikipedia language editions are significant; pages in languages spoken at higher latitudes exhibit greater seasonality overall, and species seldom show the same pattern across multiple language editions. These results have relevance to conservation policy formulation and to improving our understanding of what drives human interest in biodiversity.

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<![CDATA[Mandarin Chinese modality exclusivity norms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe72d5eed0c484e5ba83

Modality exclusivity norms have been developed in different languages for research on the relationship between perceptual and conceptual systems. This paper sets up the first modality exclusivity norms for Chinese, a Sino-Tibetan language with semantics as its orthographically relevant level. The norms are collected through two studies based on Chinese sensory words. The experimental designs take into consideration the morpho-lexical and orthographic structures of Chinese. Study 1 provides a set of norms for Mandarin Chinese single-morpheme words in mean ratings of the extent to which a word is experienced through the five sense modalities. The degrees of modality exclusivity are also provided. The collected norms are further analyzed to examine how sub-lexical orthographic representations of sense modalities in Chinese characters affect speakers’ interpretation of the sensory words. In particular, we found higher modality exclusivity rating for the sense modality explicitly represented by a semantic radical component, as well as higher auditory dominant modality rating for characters with transparent phonetic symbol components. Study 2 presents the mean ratings and modality exclusivity of coordinate disyllabic compounds involving multiple sense modalities. These studies open new perspectives in the study of modality exclusivity. First, links between modality exclusivity and writing systems have been established which has strengthened previous accounts of the influence of orthography in the processing of visual information in reading. Second, a new set of modality exclusivity norms of compounds is proposed to show the competition of influence on modality exclusivity from different linguistic factors and potentially allow such norms to be linked to studies on synesthesia and semantic transparency.

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<![CDATA[White noise speech illusions in the general population: The association with psychosis expression and risk factors for psychosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe35d5eed0c484e5b70f

Introduction

Positive psychotic experiences are associated with increased rate of white noise speech illusions in patients and their relatives. However, findings have been conflicting to what degree speech illusions are associated with subclinical expression of psychosis in the general population. The aim of this study was to investigate the link between speech illusions and positive psychotic experiences in a general population sample. In addition, the hypothesis that speech illusions are on the pathway from known risk factors for psychosis (childhood adversity and recent life events) to subthreshold expression of psychosis, was examined.

Methods

In a follow-up design (baseline and 6 months) the association between the number of white noise speech illusions and self-reported psychotic experiences, assessed with the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE), was investigated in a general population sample (n = 112). In addition, associations between speech illusions and childhood adversity and life events, using the Childhood Experiences of Care and Abuse questionnaire and the Social Readjustment Rating Scale, were investigated.

Results

No association was found between the CAPE positive scale and the number of white noise speech illusions. The CAPE positive scale was significantly associated with childhood adversity between 12 and 16 years (B = 0.980 p = 0.001) and life events (B = 0.488 p = 0.044). The number of speech illusions showed no association with either life events or childhood adversity.

Conclusion

In the nonclinical population, the pathway from risk factors to expression of subclinical psychotic experiences does not involve white noise speech illusions as an intermediate outcome.

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<![CDATA[Inhibitory control during selective retrieval may hinder subsequent analogical thinking]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c7579d5eed0c4843cfdec

Analogical reasoning is a complex cognitive activity that involves access and retrieval of pre-existing knowledge in order to find a suitable solution. Prior work has shown that analogical transfer and reasoning can be influenced by unconscious activation of relevant information. Based on this idea, we report two experiments that examine whether reduced access to relevant information in memory may further disrupt analogical reasoning unwittingly. In both experiments, we use an adaptation of the retrieval practice paradigm [1] to modulate memory accessibility of potential solutions to a subsequent set of analogy problems of the type ‘A is to B as C is to ?’. Experiment 1 showed a retrieval-induced impairment in analogical problem solving. Experiment 2 replicated this finding and demonstrated that it cannot be due to the deliberative episodic retrieval of the solutions to the analogies. These findings, predictable from an inhibitory framework of memory control, provide a new focus for theories of analogical transfer and highlight the importance of unconscious memory processes that may modulate problem solving.

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<![CDATA[The impact of bilingualism on executive functions and working memory in young adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9a6d5eed0c484529f7c

A bilingual advantage in a form of a better performance of bilinguals in tasks tapping into executive function abilities has been reported repeatedly in the literature. However, recent research defends that this advantage does not stem from bilingualism, but from uncontrolled factors or imperfectly matched samples. In this study we explored the potential impact of bilingualism on executive functioning abilities by testing large groups of young adult bilinguals and monolinguals in the tasks that were most extensively used when the advantages were reported. Importantly, the recently identified factors that could be disrupting the between groups comparisons were controlled for, and both groups were matched. We found no differences between groups in their performance. Additional bootstrapping analyses indicated that, when the bilingual advantage appeared, it very often co-occurred with unmatched socio-demographic factors. The evidence presented here indicates that the bilingual advantage might indeed be caused by spurious uncontrolled factors rather than bilingualism per se. Secondly, bilingualism has been argued to potentially affect working memory also. Therefore, we tested the same participants in both a forward and a backward version of a visual and an auditory working memory task. We found no differences between groups in either of the forward versions of the tasks, but bilinguals systematically outperformed monolinguals in the backward conditions. The results are analysed and interpreted taking into consideration different perspectives in the domain-specificity of the executive functions and working memory.

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<![CDATA[Liberals lecture, conservatives communicate: Analyzing complexity and ideology in 381,609 political speeches]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d4ad5eed0c484c8247b

There is some evidence that liberal politicians use more complex language than conservative politicians. This evidence, however, is based on a specific set of speeches of US members of Congress and UK members of Parliament. This raises the question whether the relationship between ideology and linguistic complexity is a more general phenomenon or specific to this small group of politicians. To address this question, this paper analyzes 381,609 speeches given by politicians from five parliaments, by twelve European prime ministers, as well as speeches from party congresses over time and across countries. Our results replicate and generalize earlier findings: speakers from culturally liberal parties use more complex language than speakers from culturally conservative parties. Economic left-right differences, on the other hand, are not systematically linked to linguistic complexity.

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<![CDATA[Online comprehension across different semantic categories in preschool children with autism spectrum disorder]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b2693d5eed0c484289cd9

Background

Word comprehension across semantic categories is a key area of language development. Using online automated eye-tracking technology to reduce response demands during a word comprehension test may be advantageous in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Objectives

To measure online accuracy of word recognition across eleven semantic categories in preschool children with ASD and in typically developing (TD) children matched for gender and developmental age.

Methods

Using eye-tracker methodology we measured the relative number of fixations on a target image as compared to a foil of the same category shown simultaneously on screen. This online accuracy measure was considered a measure of word understanding. We tested the relationship between online accuracy and offline word recognition and the effects of clinical variables on online accuracy. Twenty-four children with ASD and 21 TD control children underwent the eye-tracking task.

Results

On average, children with ASD were significantly less accurate at fixating on the target image than the TD children. After multiple comparison correction, no significant differences were found across the eleven semantic categories of the experiment between preschool children with ASD and younger TD children matched for developmental age. The ASD group showed higher intragroup variability consistent with greater variation in vocabulary growth rates. Direct effects of non-verbal cognitive levels, vocabulary levels and gesture productions on online word recognition in both groups support a dimensional view of language abilities in ASD.

Conclusions

Online measures of word comprehension across different semantic categories show higher interindividual variability in children with ASD and may be useful for objectively monitor gains on targeted language interventions.

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<![CDATA[A low-threshold potassium current enhances sparseness and reliability in a model of avian auditory cortex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d63bd5eed0c484031922

Birdsong is a complex vocal communication signal, and like humans, birds need to discriminate between similar sequences of sound with different meanings. The caudal mesopallium (CM) is a cortical-level auditory area implicated in song discrimination. CM neurons respond sparsely to conspecific song and are tolerant of production variability. Intracellular recordings in CM have identified a diversity of intrinsic membrane dynamics, which could contribute to the emergence of these higher-order functional properties. We investigated this hypothesis using a novel linear-dynamical cascade model that incorporated detailed biophysical dynamics to simulate auditory responses to birdsong. Neuron models that included a low-threshold potassium current present in a subset of CM neurons showed increased selectivity and coding efficiency relative to models without this current. These results demonstrate the impact of intrinsic dynamics on sensory coding and the importance of including the biophysical characteristics of neural populations in simulation studies.

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<![CDATA[Physical co-presence intensity: Measuring dynamic face-to-face interaction potential in public space using social media check-in records]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b26b0d5eed0c484289ea4

Urban public spaces facilitate social interactions between people, reflecting the shifting functionality of spaces. There is no commonly-held consensus on the quantification methods for the dynamic interplay between spatial geometry, urban movement, and face-to-face encounters. Using anonymized social media check-in records from Shanghai, China, this study proposes pipelines for quantifying physical face-to-face encounter potential patterns through public space networks between local and non-local residents sensed by social media over time from space to space, in which social difference, cognitive cost, and time remoteness are integrated as the physical co-presence intensity index. This illustrates the spatiotemporally different ways in which the built environment binds various groups of space users configurationally via urban streets. The variation in face-to-face interaction patterns captures the fine-resolution patterns of urban flows and a new definition of street hierarchy, illustrating how urban public space systems deliver physical meeting opportunities and shape the spatial rhythms of human behavior from the public to the private. The shifting encounter potentials through streets are recognized as reflections of urban centrality structures with social interactions that are spatiotemporally varying, projected in the configurations of urban forms and functions. The results indicate that the occurrence probability of face-to-face encounters is more geometrically scaled than predicted based on the co-location probability of two people using metric distance alone. By adding temporal and social dimensions to urban morphology studies, and the field of space syntax research in particular, we suggest a new approach of analyzing the temporal urban centrality structures of the physical interaction potentials based on trajectory data, which is sensitive to the transformation of the spatial grid. It sheds light on how to adopt urban design as a social instrument to facilitate the dynamically changing social interaction potential in the new data environment, thereby enhancing spatial functionality and the social well-being.

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<![CDATA[Abstract social categories facilitate access to socially skewed words]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e920d5eed0c48496f83a

Recent work has shown that listeners process words faster if said by a member of the group that typically uses the word. This paper further explores how the social distributions of words affect lexical access by exploring whether access is facilitated by invoking more abstract social categories. We conduct four experiments, all of which combine an Implicit Association Task with a Lexical Decision Task. Participants sorted real and nonsense words while at the same time sorting older and younger faces (exp. 1), male and female faces (exp. 2), stereotypically male and female objects (exp. 3), and framed and unframed objects, which were always stereotypically male or female (exp. 4). Across the experiments, lexical decision to socially skewed words is facilitated when the socially congruent category is sorted with the same hand. This suggests that the lexicon contains social detail from which individuals make social abstractions that can influence lexical access.

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<![CDATA[Mutation screening in non-syndromic hearing loss patients with cochlear implantation by massive parallel sequencing in Taiwan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79b005d5eed0c4841e3c60

Objectives

To explore the molecular epidemiology of rare deafness genes in Taiwanese sensorineural hearing impairment (SNHI) patients with cochlear implantation (CI) by performing massive parallel sequencing (MPS) and correlating genetic factors and CI outcomes.

Methods

We enrolled 41 Taiwanese non-syndromic deafness patients with CI that lacked known mutations in common deafness genes. All probands were screened by a targeted exon amplification method that used massively parallel sequencing to screen a customized panel that included 40 relatively rare non-syndromic deafness genes.

Results

Thirteen candidate variants in nine relatively rare deafness genes (MYO15A, TMC1, MYH14, MYO3A, ACTG1, COL11A2, DSPP, GRHL2, and WFS1) were identified in 24.4% (10/41) of the non-syndromic deafness probands with CI. According to the ACMG Standards and Guidelines, five variants in MYO15A and ACTG1 were classified as likely pathogenic variants. Two of three multi-generational pedigrees exhibiting deafness were analyzed for the segregation of the disorder with the possible disease-causing variants. Patients with variants detected in most of the identified variant-bearing genes showed relatively good CI outcomes.

Conclusions

We successfully identified candidate variants in partially deaf Taiwanese probands who lacked the known mutations in common deafness genes. Comparing the progress of hearing rehabilitation in CI patients with their apparent causative variants and the expression profiles of their altered genes allowed us to speculate on how alterations in specific gene sets may influence outcomes in hearing rehabilitation after CI.

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<![CDATA[Dynamical analogues of rank distributions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e933d5eed0c48496f97e

We present an equivalence between stochastic and deterministic variable approaches to represent ranked data and find the expressions obtained to be suggestive of statistical-mechanical meanings. We first reproduce size-rank distributions N(k) from real data sets by straightforward considerations based on the assumed knowledge of the background probability distribution P(N) that generates samples of random variable values similar to real data. The choice of different functional expressions for P(N): power law, exponential, Gaussian, etc., leads to different classes of distributions N(k) for which we find examples in nature. Then we show that all of these types of functions can be alternatively obtained from deterministic dynamical systems. These correspond to one-dimensional nonlinear iterated maps near a tangent bifurcation whose trajectories are proved to be precise analogues of the N(k). We provide explicit expressions for the maps and their trajectories and find they operate under conditions of vanishing or small Lyapunov exponent, therefore at or near a transition to or out of chaos. We give explicit examples ranging from exponential to logarithmic behavior, including Zipf’s law. Adoption of the nonlinear map as the formalism central character is a useful viewpoint, as variation of its few parameters, that modify its tangency property, translate into the different classes for N(k).

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