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# Swarm Intelligence: Is the Group Really Smarter?

Swarm Intelligence, or Swarm Theory, is the collective behavior of decentralized, self-organizing systems: ants in a colony, movie raters at Rotten Tomatoes, participants in a market economy, etc. ...
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# Bounded Rationality and Beyond

News on the effects of bounded rationality in economics and business, relationships and politics
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## BX2015 | BEHAVIOURAL SURVEYS AND EXPERIMENTS

Welcome to BX2015 - the Behavioural Insights Conference 2015. Held at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London. September 2nd-3rd 2015.

Are you intellectually curious? Are you a good person? Many good, intellectually curious people participate in online surveys and experiments to help advance the field of behavioural science.

Participate in one of the studies below and turn your support into action!

The studies on this page will change over the coming months and weeks. Check back regularly as we will be adding new studies soon

In this survey you will be asked to give your opinion about wealth distributions and inequality. We are interested in your opinion on this topic! This survey is administered by researchers at Harvard University and takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete.

We kindly ask you to only take each survey once. Having the same individual take the same survey more than once will bias the results.

You can also participate by submitting your application for our three BX2015 Awards which will take place on Day 2 of the Conference. Find out more and how you can apply.

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## These Are The Mind Tricks Restaurants Use To Make You Spend More Money

Be suspicious of the menu design, and other tips from restaurant industry insiders.

When you make decisions at a restaurant, you're exercising your own free will: True or false?

Sorry to take away your agency, but the answer is mostly false. The second you walk into a dining establishment, you're being slowly influenced to order the things the restaurant makes the most money selling. There are two ways it happens. One is at the corporate level, where chains design the whole experience to milk you of your money and keep you coming back. This is the realm of enticing photographs on menus, color theory (some say red makes you feel hungrier) or of things like McDonald’s odd mix of inviting design (bright lights that entice you in) and annoying design (the same over-bright lights also make you eat up and get out, and those seats are uncomfortable for a reason).

The other is possibly more interesting, consisting of the tricks used by small establishments to make you spend more. And like any home-spun psychological theory, these techniques are a mixture of solid advice and hokum.

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## Frontiers | Intra- and interbrain synchronization and network properties when playing guitar in duets | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

To further test and explore the hypothesis that synchronous oscillatory brain activity supports interpersonally coordinated behavior during dyadic music performance, we simultaneously recorded the electroencephalogram (EEG) from the brains of each of 12 guitar duets repeatedly playing a modified Rondo in two voices by C.G. Scheidler. Indicators of phase locking and of within-brain and between-brain phase coherence were obtained from complex time-frequency signals based on the Gabor transform. Analyses were restricted to the delta (1–4 Hz) and theta (4–8 Hz) frequency bands. We found that phase locking as well as within-brain and between-brain phase-coherence connection strengths were enhanced at frontal and central electrodes during periods that put particularly high demands on musical coordination. Phase locking was modulated in relation to the experimentally assigned musical roles of leader and follower, corroborating the functional significance of synchronous oscillations in dyadic music performance. Graph theory analyses revealed within-brain and hyperbrain networks with small-worldness properties that were enhanced during musical coordination periods, and community structures encompassing electrodes from both brains (hyperbrain modules). We conclude that brain mechanisms indexed by phase locking, phase coherence, and structural properties of within-brain and hyperbrain networks support interpersonal action coordination (IAC).

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## Back to Fundamentals: Equilibrium in Abstract Economie - By Michael Richter and Ariel Rubinstein

We propose a new abstract definition of equilibrium in the spirit of competitive equilibrium: a profile of alternatives and a public ordering (expressing prestige, price, or a social norm) such that each agent prefers his assigned alternative to all lower-ranked ones. The equilibrium operates in an abstract setting built upon a concept of convexity borrowed from convex geometry. We apply the concept to a variety of convex economies and relate it to Pareto optimality. The “magic” of linear equilibrium prices is put into perspective by establishing an analogy between linear functions in the standard convexity and “primitive orderings” in the abstract convexity. (JEL I11, I18, J44, K13)

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## Compound Collaboration? How we lead and manage large scale collaborations

How do you lead the type of large scale (or ‘compound’) collaborations needed to tackle truly wicked, large scale problems? In a recent post on the Policy and Politics Journal Blog Chris Ansell, from the University of California Berkley, discusses leadership for large scale collaborations. You can read his full article at the Journal, which he says is ‘essentially about “collaborations of collaborations.”
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## Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science - Decision Science News

Reproducibility is a defining feature of science, but the extent to which it characterizes current research is unknown. We conducted replications of 100 experimental and correlational studies published in three psychology journals using high-powered designs and original materials when available. Replication effects were half the magnitude of original effects, representing a substantial decline. Ninety-seven percent of original studies had statistically significant results. Thirty-six percent of replications had statistically significant results; 47% of original effect sizes were in the 95% confidence interval of the replication effect size; 39% of effects were subjectively rated to have replicated the original result; and if no bias in original results is assumed, combining original and replication results left 68% with statistically significant effects. Correlational tests suggest that replication success was better predicted by the strength of original evidence than by characteristics of the original and replication teams.

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## A Relationship and a Practice - On the French Sociology of Credit.pdf

This paper aims to describe the social studies of credit developed in France over the past dozen years. We argue that this French sociology of credit, mostly centered on France, can be useful for researchers analyzing other countries, with other institutional particularities, because it proposes a specific method and a specific way to raise questions: credit is mostly understood as a result of social interactions embedded in organizational and legal structures. French researchers also deeply analyze the consequences of the organization of the credit market for inequalities, social stratification, and people’s life experiences. The first part of the paper focuses on works that have examined credit as a social test, looking at the institutional, technical, and social frameworks of money lending. Then, credit is understood as a sociological experiment: how is it integrated into household economies? How do people use forms of credit? Finally, the third part concentrates on credit failure, when a bank loan becomes a debt. This aspect is mostly framed in French sociology as “over-indebtedness,” which is an administrative and a social category. Throughout the paper, we address credit as both a relationship and a practice. This approach is heuristic, as we seek to demonstrate, because it enables us to show that credit is a social and political issue.

#neuroeconomy #behavioral_economy

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## Globalization and Self-Organization in the Knowledge-Based Society

In this paper I suggest that a theory of self-organization can be used as a consistent background theory for explaining  the dynamics and logics of globalization. Globalization is not confined to the human realm, it  is  an attribute of all complex, self-organizing  systems. Globalization in a synchronous sense means a micro-macro-link where bottom-up-emergence of new qualities in  the  self-reproduction of complex systems takes place, it is accompanied by a macro-micro-link of  top-down-localization. A dynamic interaction between a global and a local level (glocalization)  results  in  the permanent overall self-reproduction of the system. Globalization in a diachronic  sense means  the emergence of a new, higher level of self-organization during a phase of instability and heavy fluctuations by order  through  fluctuation. Globalization is shaped by a dialectic of change and continuity: in the hierarchy that  stems  from emergent evolution there are both general aspects of globalization and aspects that are specific for each organizational level. Applying this general notion of globalization to society means  that human globalization is both a general process that can be found in all societies  and  a specific process with emergent qualities in concrete phases of societal development. Globalization processes  in  modern society  are  based  on structural antagonisms that result in uneven developments in the technosphere, the ecosphere, the economy, polity, and culture. The transition to  Postfordist, informational capitalism  has been a consequence of the development of the structural antagonisms of Fordism and has been accompanied by a new phase of  globalization  that  has transformed the subsystems of society and has resulted in new antagonism that are an expression of general antagonisms that shape modern societies. Hence we find antagonistic tendencies of  contemporary globalization  in all subsystems of society that result  in  both  risks and opportunities. Human beings have the ability to actively shape society in such a way that an alternative sustainable form of globalization can be achieved.
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## The Self-Organisation of Politics, Power and the Nation State

Society is self-organising or re-creative in the sense that new emergent structures result from interactions of actors, these structures enable and constrain actions and stimulate further practices. Political self-organisation is a reflexive process where political agents co-ordinate their actions in such a way that political power structures emerge and are differentiated, these structures enable and constrain political activities and stimulate further political practices. Power and the establishment of collective decisions are central aspects of the self-organisation of politics. In the modern State system laws are the most important power structures that stimulate political practices. The modern State consists of two subsystems (the system of rule and the system of civil society), it is organised around the competitive accumulation of power. Central features of the modern state include the regulation of economic autopoiesis, it organises and defends the autopoiesis of society within a bounded territory by making use of the monopoly of the means of coercion, it organises the self-observation, self-containment and self-description of modern society and is a meta-storage mechanism of social information. The Postfordist mode of development of society that is based on economic globalisation and transnationalisation has changed the role of the state. Actors such as transnational corporations, non-government organisations and non-profit organisations are gaining increased importance, the structural coupling between the economy and the State is becoming more rigid in the direction where the economy influences the state system, parts of the welfare system are either shifted to the mode of economic autopoiesis or to the system of civil society. Postfordism is shaped by an increase dominance of economic autopoiesis over political, cultural and life-world autopoiesis. This doesn’t imply a “weak state” or the end of the nation state, the latter transforms its functions and answers with measures of re-organisation to the increased globalisation and complexity of the world. Self-observation, self-containment and self-description are altered by the nation state in such a way that the closure of society increases although the openness of the world economy grows.

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## The change of music preferences following the onset of a mental disorder

A psychiatric population (n=123) was examined on how music preferences had changed after the onset of a mental disorder. Most patients did not change their previous music preference; this group of patients considered music helpful for their mental state, showed more attractivity and enforcement as personality traits and used music more for emotion modulation. Patients who experienced a preference shift reported that music had impaired them during the time of illness; these patients showed less ego-strength, less confidence and less enforcement and used music less for arousal modulation. A third subgroup stopped listening to music completely after the onset of the mental disorder; these patients attribute less importance to music and also reported that music had impaired their mental state. They showed more ego-strength and used music less for emotion modulation. The results suggest that the use of music in everyday life can be helpful as an emotion modulation strategy. However, some patients might need instructions on how to use music in a functional way and not a dysfunctional one. Psychiatrists and psychotherapists as well as music therapists should be aware of emotion modulation strategies, subjective valence of music and personality traits of their patients. Due to the ubiquity of music, psychoeducative instructions on how to use music in everyday life plays an increasing role in the treatment of mental illness.

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## Continuous Euclidean Embeddings of Incomplete Preferences

Abstract: Debreu's classic theorem asserts that when an agent's weak preference ordering is reflexive, transitive, and closed in a suitable topology, it can be represented by a continuous utility function. Of interest in some economic settings is to weaken these conditions by replacing transitivity with negative transitivity. Such preferences have been successfully modeled using multi-utility representations, ie. an order embedding into $\mathbb{R}^n$ rather than simply $\mathbb{R}$. Here we show that the topological conditions for a continuous single utility representation are sufficient to guarantee a continuous multi-utility representation, closing a conjecture of Nishimura & Ok (2015). The impossibility of a multi-utility representation consistent with Pareto improvement is also demonstrated.

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## Are Survey Risk Aversion Measurements Adequate in a Low Income Context?

Abstract: Using an original dataset collected among motorcyclists in New Delhi (2011), this paper compares three different survey measures of risk attitudes: self-assessment, hypothetical lotteries and income prospect choices. While previous research on risk aversion measurement methods in developing countries mainly looked at specific groups such as rural farmers or students, the dataset I use covers a large and heterogeneous urban population. I first show that all measurements are positively and highly correlated with one another, this being even more the case within methodologies and within domains. Subsequently, I investigate the predictive power of these different individual risk-aversion measurements on occupation choices and health decisions. Most of my elicited risk preferences appear to predict risky health behaviors well. Puzzling results are found with the lotteries and may be interpreted either as evidence of risk-compensation between domains or as an incapacity to capture the desired characteristic. Finally, thanks to information on religious beliefs and practices, I am able to verify that cultural background does not impact on the relationship between risk preferences and risky conducts. Overall, this analysis highlights that elicitation of risk-aversion measurements through surveys in a developing country like India thus appears possible.

#neuroeconomy

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## Bio. Quantum Physics of Sound and Music

Sound perceived by humans is produced by the brain through the stimulus of external vibration transmitted and converted into information signals, by means of the hearing organs focused in the activities of the cochlea. The brain exercises pre-attentive research functions, interactively searching to be synchronous with all frequencies that are similar to the spectrum of the human voice and their differences in tones and frequency before producing the effective sounds that we hear. Sounds in fact, are not a direct expression of external acoustic vibration but sensory simulation produced by the brain. Hence, the brain do not recognises directly the external frequencies as physical sounds or noises, but as “Information Energy” derived by the “entangling activity” of transformation of vibration waves in information signals. In fact the last information signals are not an immediate consequence of the physical vibration of air. This is because vibration, if not transduced in quantum-signals, cannot interact with the information activities of the brain neurons.

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## Frontiers | Towards a neuroscience of social interaction | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

Towards a neuroscience of social interaction

The burgeoning field of social neuroscience has begun to illuminate the complex biological bases of human social cognitive abilities. However, in spite of being based on the premise of investigating the neural bases of interacting individuals, a majority of studies has focused on studying brains in isolation using paradigms that investigate “offline” social cognition, i.e., social cognition from an observer's point of view, rather than “online” social cognition, i.e., social cognition from an interactor's point of view. Consequently, the neural correlates of real-time social interaction have remained largely elusive and may—paradoxically—be seen to represent the “dark matter” of social neuroscience (Schilbach et al., 2013).

More recently, a growing number of researchers have begun to study social cognition from an interactor's point of view, based on the assumption that there is something fundamentally different when we are actively engaged with others in real-time social interaction as compared to when we merely observe them. Whereas for “offline” social cognition, interaction and feedback are merely a way of gathering data about the other person that feeds into processing algorithms “inside” the agent, it has been proposed that in “online” social interaction the knowledge of the other—at least in part—may reside in the interaction dynamics “between” the agents. Furthermore, being a participant in an interaction may entail a commitment toward being responsive created by important difference in the motivational foundations of “online” and “offline” social cognition.

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## What is the Behavioral Economics "Revolution" ?

#Behavioral_Economics #neuroeconomics Ariel Rubinstein

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## Guitarists Can Sync Their Brains With Other Players, Forming A Giant Hyperbrain

The neuroscience of jamming is a giant mind meld.

Guitarists perform a kind of mind-meld when they play together, syncing their brainwaves to the extent that they can anticipate each other’s moves. They also switch off the outside world while playing, leaving them in a tiny universe of them and their music.

A study by researchers Johanna Sänger, Viktor Müller, and Ulman Lindenberger used guitarists to investigate joint action, or "tasks that require the close alignment (coordination) of one's own and the other's action in real time." Tasks like playing in a band or in a duet.

By measuring the brain activity of the players while they performed together, the studyfound that their brainwaves locked in sync. To preclude the possibility that just playing the same music would induce the same brain patterns in both players, the study used songs with two parts. Further, a leader and follower were assigned, one setting time and the other following.

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## The unique ecology of human predators

Paradigms of sustainable exploitation focus on population dynamics of prey and yields to humanity but ignore the behavior of humans as predators. We compared patterns of predation by contemporary hunters and fishers with those of other predators that compete over shared prey (terrestrial mammals and marine fishes). Our global survey (2125 estimates of annual finite exploitation rate) revealed that humans kill adult prey, the reproductive capital of populations, at much higher median rates than other predators (up to 14 times higher), with particularly intense exploitation of terrestrial carnivores and fishes. Given this competitive dominance, impacts on predators, and other unique predatory behavior, we suggest that humans function as an unsustainable “super predator,” which—unless additionally constrained by managers—will continue to alter ecological and evolutionary processes globally.

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## The Globe of Economic Complexity: Visualize $15 Trillion of World Exports One dot equals$100M of exports
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## Inside the Nudge Unit by David Halpern | Waterstones.com

Every day we make countless decisions, from the small, mundane things to tackling life's big questions, but we don't always make the right choices. Behavioural scientist Dr David Halpern heads up Number 10's 'Nudge Unit', the world's first government institution that uses behavioural economics to examine and influence human behaviour, to 'nudge' us into making better decisions. Seemingly small and subtle solutions have led to huge improvements across tax, healthcare, pensions, employment, crime reduction, energy conservation and economic growth. Adding a crucial line to a tax reminder brought forward millions in extra revenue; refocusing the questions asked at the job centre helped an extra 10 per cent of people come off their benefits and back into work; prompting people to become organ donors while paying for their car tax added an extra 100,000 donors to the register in a single year. After two years and dozens of experiments in behavioural science, the results are undeniable. And now David Halpern and the Nudge Unit will help you to make better choices and improve your life.
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## Structuration Theory and Self-Organization.PDF

Social systems theory is dominated by a reductionistic individualism and a dualistic  functionalism. Especially the  latter doesn’t adequately  integrate the human being. In order to avoid dualism, mechanistic determinism and reductionism,  a dialectical concept  of  social  systems that is based on the notion  of  self-organization  seems necessary. In order to establish a dialectical theory of social self-organization it is appropriate to integrate aspects of  Anthony  Giddens’  structuration  theory.  Gidden’  acknowledges  the  importance  of  knowledgeable  human actors  in  society  and  argues  that  structures  are  medium  and outcome  of  actions.  Structures both enable and constrain social actions. This  idea corresponds  to  saying  that  social systems  are  re-creative,  i.e.  self-organising  social  systems.  Re-creativity  is  based on the creative activities of human beings. Social structures exist in and through the productive practices and relationships of human actors. The  term  evolution can be employed in a non-functionalist way that acknowledges the importance  of knowledgeable  human actors in social systems by conceiving the  historical development of society based on a dialectic of  chance and necessity and the principle of order through fluctuation in situations of instability and bifurcation.  All  self-organising  systems  are  information-generating  systems. Giddens’ concept of  storage mechanisms that allow time-space distanciation of  social relationships helps to describe the relationship of information and self-organization in social systems.

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## What is neuroeconomics?

What is neuroeconomics?
The new field of neuroeconomics looks at how economic decision-making actually happens inside the brain. Jonathan Cohen, co-director of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute at Princeton University, describes insights that are emerging from the collaborative work of neuroscientists, psychologists, and economists.

Neuroeconomics tries to bridge the disciplines of neuroscience, psychology, and economics. I think of economics and psychology as really, in some sense, one discipline. I know that that's a strident statement to make, but they really are siblings separated at birth. Psychology and economics are complementary disciplines, in many cases studying the same phenomena: decision making, value-based judgment, heuristics. One side approaches it from a phenomenological, experiment-driven perspective and the other from an abstract, theoretical perspective.

Psychologists, with exceptions, have pretty much been empiricists. Human behavior is complicated. We might have a theory but don't have enough data to test it. Any theory would make many assumptions but we don't know which ones are valid. So, the discipline, at least over much of its life, has focused largely on collecting data, deferring the development of formal theory. Economists did the opposite. It's all about theory. The experimental approach of behavioral economics is a relatively recent innovation.

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## Bentham’s Fallacies, Then and Now

MELBOURNE – In 1809, Jeremy Bentham, the founder of utilitarianism, set to work on The Book of Fallacies. His goal was to expose the fallacious arguments used to block reforms like the abolition of “rotten boroughs” – electorates with so few electors that a powerful lord or landowner could effectively select the member of parliament, while newer cities like Manchester remained unrepresented.

Bentham collected examples of fallacies, often from parliamentary debates. By 1811, he had sorted them into nearly 50 different types, with titles like “Attack us, you attack Government,” the “No precedent argument,” and the “Good in theory, bad in practice” fallacy. (One thing on which both Immanuel Kant and Bentham agree is that this last example is a fallacy: If something is bad in practice, there must be a flaw in the theory.)

Bentham was thus a pioneer of an area of science that has made considerable progress in recent years. He would have relished the work of psychologists showing that we have a confirmation bias (we favor and remember information that supports, rather than contradicts, our beliefs); that we systematically overestimate the accuracy of our beliefs (the overconfidence effect); and that we have a propensity to respond to the plight of a single identifiable individual rather than a large number of people about whom we have only statistical information.

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## Hierarchical mutual information for the comparison of hierarchical community structures in complex networks

The quest for a quantitative characterization of community and modular structure of complex networks produced a variety of methods and algorithms to classify different networks. However, it is not clear if such methods provide consistent, robust and meaningful results when considering hierarchies as a whole. Part of the problem is the lack of a similarity measure for the comparison of hierarchical community structures. In this work we give a contribution by introducing the {\it hierarchical mutual information}, which is a generalization of the traditional mutual information, and allows to compare hierarchical partitions and hierarchical community structures. The {\it normalized} version of the hierarchical mutual information should behave analogously to the traditional normalized mutual information. Here, the correct behavior of the hierarchical mutual information is corroborated on an extensive battery of numerical experiments. The experiments are performed on artificial hierarchies, and on the hierarchical community structure of artificial and empirical networks. Furthermore, the experiments illustrate some of the practical applications of the hierarchical mutual information. Namely, the comparison of different community detection methods, and the study of the the consistency, robustness and temporal evolution of the hierarchical modular structure of networks.

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## The effect of decentralized behavioral decision making on system-level ris

Abstract: Certain classes of system-level risk depend partly on decentralized lay decision making. For instance, an organization's network security risk depends partly on its employees' responses to phishing attacks. On a larger scale, the risk within a financial system depends partly on households' responses to mortgage sales pitches. Behavioral economics shows that lay decision makers typically depart in systematic ways from the normative rationality of Expected Utility (EU), and instead display heuristics and biases as captured in the more descriptively accurate Prospect Theory (PT). In turn psychological studies show that successful deception ploys eschew direct logical argumentation and instead employ peripheral-route persuasion, manipulation of visceral emotions, urgency, and familiar contextual cues. The detection of phishing emails and inappropriate mortgage contracts may be framed as a binary classification task. Signal Detection Theory (SDT) offers the standard normative solution, formulated as an optimal cutoff threshold, for distinguishing between good/bad emails or mortgages. In this paper we extend SDT behaviorally by re-deriving the optimal cutoff threshold under PT. Furthermore we incorporate the psychology of deception into determination of SDT's discriminability parameter. With the neo-additive probability weighting function, the optimal cutoff threshold under PT is rendered unique under well-behaved sampling distributions, tractable in computation, and transparent in interpretation. The PT-based cutoff threshold is (i) independent of loss aversion and (ii) more conservative than the classical SDT cutoff threshold. Independently of any possible misalignment between individual-level and system-level misclassification costs, decentralized behavioral decision makers are biased toward under-detection, and system-level risk is consequently greater than in analyses predicated upon normative rationality.

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## Integral Options Cafe: Biophotonic Communications and Information Encoding in Complex Systems - Implications for Consciousness?

How does consciousness emerge from inert matter? This may be the hardest part of the "hard problem" that is consciousness. We have developed pretty solid models for explaining how the various modules and circuits in the brain work together (often in parallel processes) to create awareness and a sense of self.

But how does the brain itself, a three pound lump of fatty acids, produce consciousness? We don't really know, but the research presented below offers the beginning of a possible explanation, but only if the various models are combined (integrated) to generate a coherent theory.

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