One of the many questions surrounding Leonardo’s Mona Lisa concerns the landscape visible in the portrait’s background: Does it depict an imagination of Leonardo’s mind, a real world landscape or the motif of a plane canvas that hung in Leonardo’s studio, behind the sitter? By analyzing divergences between the Mona Lisa and her Prado double that was painted in parallel but from another perspective we found mathematical evidence for the motif-canvas hypothesis: The landscape in the Prado version is 10% increased but otherwise nearly identical with the Louvre one, which indicates both painters used the same plane motif-canvas as reference.
This paper provides new insights into the association between economic standing and subjective well-being (SWB) among aging individuals in three industrialized countries: Germany, Israel, and Sweden. Specifically, we compare the effects of wealth, in line with the growing consensus that wealth is an important determinant of economic standing alongside income, on SWB across three welfare-state regimes: conservative (Germany), liberal (Israel), and social-democratic (Sweden). Drawing on needs theory, we hypothesize that individuals of poor wealth would report lower levels of SWB in all countries. We expect, however, the association between poor wealth and SWB to be stronger in the liberal system (Israel) and weaker in the conservative system (Germany) with the weakest effect found in the social-democratic system (Sweden) due to differences in the extent of social benefits each welfare-state regime provides its residents. To test our hypotheses, we utilize data from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe(SHARE1). Results indicate that income and wealth explain a greater part of the variance in SWB when taken together. We find a ‘poor penalty’ on SWB in Germany and Israel while in Sweden wealth has no impact on SWB. Finally, when controlling for subjective economic hardship (needs), the negative effect of poor wealth on SWB disappears in Germany, but maintains significance in Israel, suggesting that needs theory alone cannot explain the poor penalty in Israel. In conclusion, our findings suggest that the welfare-state has an impact on the wealth–SWB relation and that the mechanisms that underlie this relation operate differently in Germany and Israel.
Facial recognition relies on distinct and parallel types of processing: featural processing focuses on
the individual components of a face (e.g., the shape or the size of the eyes), whereas configural (or
“relational”) processing considers the spatial interrelationships among the single facial components
(e.g., distance of the mouth from the nose). Previous neuroimaging evidence has suggested that
featural and configural processes may rely on different brain circuits. By using rTMS, here we show
for the first time a double dissociation in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for different aspects of face
processing: in particular, TMS over the left middle frontal gyrus (BA8) selectively disrupted
featural processing, whereas TMS over the right inferior frontal gyrus (BA44) selectively interfered
with configural processing of faces. By establishing a causal link between activation in left and
right prefrontal areas and different modes of face processing, our data extend previous
neuroimaging evidence and may have important implications in the study of face-processing
deficits, such as those manifested in prosopagnosia and autistic spectrum disorders.
Empirical studies on the development of face processing skills with age show inconsistent patterns concerning qualitative vs. quantitative changes over time or the age range for peak cognitive performance.
Although interviewer observations have potential as auxiliary sources of information on key survey variables, questions about their quality temper enthusiasm for their use in survey estimation and responsive survey design. This study considers the utility of two interviewer observations (household income and household receipt of unemployment benefits) collected in a panel survey: the German Labor Market and Social Security (PASS) study. We find that the ability of the interviewer observations to accurately identify these household features is not as high as that of prior-wave survey reports on these features, but the observations do tend to capture accurate information for households with changing socioeconomic status over time (where prior-wave reports may be inconsistent with current-wave reports). The observations add modest predictive power to models for key survey variables that also include survey reports on related variables in prior waves, but this predictive power may be limited by relatively high error rates and variance in observation quality among interviewers. Finally, estimates based on panel households only improve slightly when including the observations in nonresponse adjustments, which is likely due to the inability of the observations to predict response propensity (given a relatively low attrition rate for the panel households). Implications for practice and directions for future research in this area are discussed in conclusion.
We present a framework for cognitive modeling of esthetic decision making based on dynamic prototypes. Starting point of our work
is empirical evidence which shows that subjects’ initial ratings of attractiveness of objects can be influenced by adapting them to new,
typically more innovative objects. The framework consists of three steps: (1) Estimating an initial prototype from the ratings, (2) adapting
the prototype due to the impact of the new objects, and (3) predicting the attractiveness ratings for subsequently presented object by
their similarity to the adapted prototype. The framework allows representation of prototypes and objects as feature vectors containing
metrical or categorial attributes or as structural representations. Within the framework, a variety of similarity measures and similarity-torating
mappings can be explored to gain more precise insight into the cognitive processes underlying esthetical appreciations. We instantiated
the framework for a first set of data obtained in a psychological experiment. In this experiment subjects rated the attractiveness of
an initial set of chairs which varied in length of the backrest and the saturation of the color. Subjects then were adapted to a new set of
chairs with extreme values on both dimensions. Finally, subjects again rated the initial objects. The framework was instantiated with an
e-function to model the non-linear effects of variations in length and saturation on the judgements. Although there were only 25 data
points per subject, we got satisfying results in predicting the shift of esthetical judgements due to adaptation to novel stimuli.
Jeffery et al. extensively and thoroughly describe how different species navigate through a three-dimensional environment. Undeniably, the world offers numerous three-dimensional opportunities. For most navigation tasks, we argue, a two-dimensional representation is nevertheless sufficient, as physical conditions and limitations such as gravity, thermoclines, or layers of earth encountered in a specific situation provide the very elevation data the navigating individual needs.