ResearchPad - neuroscience-and-cognition https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Re-imaging the intentional stance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_9537 The commonly used paradigm to investigate Dennet's ‘intentional stance’ compares neural activation when participants compete with a human versus a computer. This paradigm confounds whether the opponent is natural or artificial and whether it is intentional or an automaton. This functional magnetic resonance imaging study is, to our knowledge, the first to investigate the intentional stance by orthogonally varying perceptions of the opponents' intentionality (responding actively or passively according to a script) and embodiment (human or a computer). The mere perception of the opponent (whether human or computer) as intentional activated the mentalizing network: the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) bilaterally, right temporal pole, anterior paracingulate cortex (aPCC) and the precuneus. Interacting with humans versus computers induced activations in a more circumscribed right lateralized subnetwork within the mentalizing network, consisting of the TPJ and the aPCC, possibly reflective of the tendency to spontaneously attribute intentionality to humans. The interaction between intentionality (active versus passive) and opponent (human versus computer) recruited the left frontal pole, possibly in response to violations of the default intentional stance towards humans and computers. Employing an orthogonal design is important to adequately capture Dennett's conception of the intentional stance as a mentalizing strategy that can apply equally well to humans and other intentional agents.

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<![CDATA[A perceptual bias for man-made objects in humans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6eb95d67-220e-4afa-bd41-bd51c41dbc56

Ambiguous images are widely recognized as a valuable tool for probing human perception. Perceptual biases that arise when people make judgements about ambiguous images reveal their expectations about the environment. While perceptual biases in early visual processing have been well established, their existence in higher-level vision has been explored only for faces, which may be processed differently from other objects. Here we developed a new, highly versatile method of creating ambiguous hybrid images comprising two component objects belonging to distinct categories. We used these hybrids to measure perceptual biases in object classification and found that images of man-made (manufactured) objects dominated those of naturally occurring (non-man-made) ones in hybrids. This dominance generalized to a broad range of object categories, persisted when the horizontal and vertical elements that dominate man-made objects were removed and increased with the real-world size of the manufactured object. Our findings show for the first time that people have perceptual biases to see man-made objects and suggest that extended exposure to manufactured environments in our urban-living participants has changed the way that they see the world.

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<![CDATA[Lens transmittance shapes ultraviolet sensitivity in the eyes of frogs from diverse ecological and phylogenetic backgrounds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb148c121-67b5-4fbc-b3ec-481d7d295d4f

The amount of short wavelength (ultraviolet (UV), violet and blue) light that reaches the retina depends on the transmittance properties of the ocular media, especially the lens, and varies greatly across species in all vertebrate groups studied previously. We measured the lens transmittance in 32 anuran amphibians with different habits, geographical distributions and phylogenetic positions and used them together with eye size and pupil shape to evaluate the relationship with diel activity pattern, elevation and latitude. We found an unusually high lens UV transmittance in the most basal species, and a cut-off range that extends into the visible spectrum for the rest of the sample, with lenses even absorbing violet light in some diurnal species. However, other diurnal frogs had lenses that transmit UV light like the nocturnal species. This unclear pattern in the segregation of ocular media transmittance and diel activity is shared with other vertebrates and is consistent with the absence of significant correlations in our statistical analyses. Although we did not detect a significant phylogenetic effect, closely related species tend to have similar transmittances, irrespective of whether they share the same diel pattern or not, suggesting that anuran ocular media transmittance properties might be related to phylogeny.

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