Psychologists use Pinocchio to uncover surprising quirk in human perception

first_imgThis study throws yet another wrench into our perceptual system’s powers, showing that non-living observers can be given the same perceptual “life” as living observers, if conditions of belief are met.The study went as follows: 66 participants read about and watched a video clip of Walt Disney’s Pinocchio. They then filled out a questionnaire, answering questions about the “agency and intentionality” of the characters (non-living Pinocchio, living Geppetto). Next, they took a series of perceptual tests on a computer, rating how near or far a non-human object appeared to them from the vantage point of either a realistic human “avatar” or an inanimate, wooden human figure. These functioned as the subjects’ RFs. The target object, an umbrella, changed position via the “limit method,” appearing at 27 different distances (some near, some far) from the figure on-screen.Surprisingly, participants who most identified with Pinocchio’s “aliveness” in the film eventually reported the same “Near space extension” as non-identifiers did with their realistic human avatars. The more credence subjects gave to their “living” or “non-living” RF affected how close other objects appeared to them. “This suggests,” write the study authors, “that when participants identified more with a wooden agent in a story (Pinocchio), the difference between the avatar and the wooden dummy seems to disappear.”While this may sound unbelievable, human perception is rich with weird truths. Researchers have known for a while that each person’s perception of space and distance is totally subjective and based on his or her own physiology and actions (aka “embodied perception”). People perceive a point in space as farther away if they carry heavy objects, for instance, and elderly people with limited motor capabilities overestimate distances. Our bodies dictate how we see the world, judge “nearness” and “farness,” and let us superimpose these powers onto other living things, especially the people around us. Now we can add “perceptual enlivening” to the ever-growing list.Chiara Fini and colleagues at Ghent University cannot definitively say what perceptual processes are at the heart of this discovery. They speculate that anthropomorphizing the humanlike figure shifted perceptive function, temporarily inhibiting the subjects’ ability to distinguish living observers as “real.” Strong impression formation with the story and its characters or social categorization of Pinocchio as alive may also be at work. Further research is needed to expand on this enticing perceptual discovery. Pinterest LinkedIn Using the movie Pinocchio, researchers at Ghent University in Belgium (PLOS ONE, 23 March 2015) have uncovered a stunning quirk of human perception. Their study shows that, with the right belief and priming, people grant the same perceptual “aliveness” to inanimate, humanlike objects that they usually reserve for living things.From a perceptual standpoint, this is intriguing for many reasons. Humans tend to perceive living agents as nearer in space to themselves and inanimate, non-humanlike objects as farther away—a process called “Near space extension.” Likewise, once we perceive something as alive, we imbue it with the comparable agency and movement capabilities that we ourselves possess. As the study authors put it, “We perceive space as a function of our action potentialities.” It’s this perceptual flexibility that allows us to “see through another’s eyes” as a reference frame (RF) and imagine, from their perspective, what actions and perceptions they are capable of.Said differently, the more we believe in the intent and “aliveness” of people and objects outside of our subjective perception, the more we believe they are capable of interacting with their immediate environment. The more “real” something or someone appears to us, the closer we perceive them. This capability helps us orient ourselves in space relative to other living and non-living things. We make judgements about their own perceptual abilities and possible actions, or, if we feel they are non-living, what they can’t do. Share on Twittercenter_img Share on Facebook Email Sharelast_img read more

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Keppel, Seafox Eye Construction of First Jackup with P&A Features

first_imgKeppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) has signed an engineering services agreement with Workfox B.V, a subsidiary of the Seafox Group (Seafox), to embark on an engineering study of a purpose-built accommodation jackup rig with well intervention and P&A features.The project, which is named Seafox 8, is being developed to address a gap in the current P&A market. Subsea fields are reaching the end of their productive lives in areas such as the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. With increasing environmental concerns and regulations, there are a substantial number of wells in both these regions that will need to be properly sealed up in the next few years.Seafox 8 will be able to offer P&A services, well intervention services, as well as accommodation and crane support services. It has a spacious deck and comprehensive amenities for the comfort of 282 persons on board. The jackup can also be configured for other offshore support services. Compared to existing jackups chartered for P&A work, Seafox 8 is expected to be 25-30% more economical in terms of dayrates. It will be the first accommodation and service jackup unit that is specifically suited to support rigless activities for P&A and well services at a competitive cost.Leveraging the successful partnership of an earlier project, Seafox 5, Keppel O&M is also in discussion with Seafox to enter into a joint venture to place an order for Seafox 8 upon completion of the study, which is expected in 2H 2014.Mr Keesjan Cordia, CEO of Seafox, said, “With our background in providing accommodation support, workover, construction, and decommissioning services to the offshore oil & gas industry, we noticed the strong demand for P&A services and identified a need for a specialised rig in this market. We believe the jackup we are conceiving, Seafox 8, offers the ideal solution as it can work all year round including during the North Sea’s winter period and undertake multiple services at a time. It is a real workhorse and unlike drilling rigs which are often used to do P&A currently, Seafox 8 has the crane capacity to assist with maintenance and well services activities. It has NORSOK-specified accommodation for crew and client personnel, and a lower operating cost than existing equipment with a single role purpose.” “We are glad to continue this winning partnership we have with Keppel in coming up with innovative products. Seafox 5, a multi-purpose self-elevating platform (MPSEP), which they built for us previously, has been performing extremely well and I am confident that Seafox 8 will be just as successful.”The hull and legs of the new generation jackup rig will be based on Keppel’s new KFELS J Class design which is customised to operate in water depths of up to 112 metres in the harsh offshore environmental conditions of the Norwegian North Sea.Developed by Offshore Technology Development (OTD), Keppel’s R&D arm, the robust KFELS J Class is designed as a drilling jackup rig for the Norwegian North Sea and is an enhancement of Keppel’s proven harsh environment drilling rigs – the KFELS N Class and KFELS G Class designs. Keppel O&M has previously delivered three rigs of each design, which have been successfully operating in the North Sea including Norwegian waters. Mr Wong Kok Seng, Managing Director of Keppel O&M (Offshore) and Keppel FELS said, “We have successfully developed and commercialised many proprietary concepts for a variety of offshore services and challenging frontiers by partnering our trendsetting customers in the early stages of those projects. For Seafox 8, we are taking the hull of an ultra-harsh environment rig in our KFELS J Class for use as an accommodation rig with equipment for P&A services. The KFELS J Class extends the capabilities of our proven KFELS G Class and KFELS N Class designs for work in the North Sea. “This is an example of how we have been able to leverage and apply our technology expertise innovatively for a variety of offshore applications. And with an experienced partner like Seafox in this market, we are confident Seafox 8 will be well-received and give us a good head start in growing our track record as the leading solutions provider for the P&A services sector.”Keppel O&M and Seafox have a 49/51 joint venture in Seafox 5, an offshore wind turbine installation vessel which was built to Keppel’s proprietary MPSEP design. Delivered in 2012, Seafox 5 has successfully installed 80 monopiles for offshore wind turbines in the German Sector of the North Sea and is currently deployed for Maersk Oil and Gas for accommodation and maintenance work. After its contract with Maersk, Seafox 5 will be chartered to DONG Energy E&P to service their operation at the Hejre field, in the Central North Sea, off the coast of Denmark. Mr Wong added, “With Seafox 5, our foray into the offshore wind and oil and gas support services market has proven to be successful. Seafox is the leading operator in this field and Seafox 5 has received excellent charters and strong enquiries. Having done our due diligence on the P&A market, we are replicating this successful partnership with Seafox to be one of the first to seize the opportunities in this market.”About the plug and abandonment marketCountries and industry regulatory officials are mandating the offshore oil and gas operators to immediately seal unproductive wells to permanently remove these potential environmental threats. Service companies are developing tools and methods to limit the economic impact of fulfilling these obligations.Industry estimates put as many as 12,000 wells in the Gulf of Mexico which qualify as P&A candidates. In the UK sector of the North Sea alone, it is estimated that more than 500 structures with about 3,000 wells are slated for permanent abandonment in the near future. In the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, more than 350 platforms and more than 3,700 wells eventually must be permanently abandoned. Nearly 70 per cent of the forecast wells P&A expenditure is in the Central and Northern North Sea, equating to £3.1 billion. Almost 480 wells are scheduled for decommissioning in these regions, of which nearly 60 per cent are platform wells.There are currently two methods of P&A. The first is using the available equipment on a fixed platform to execute the P&A without the support of a rig. This method is almost always faced with constrains on deck and bed space limitations, multiple logistics challenges and the downside of high man-hours. Another method is using drilling rigs with the use of third party equipment. However, drilling rigs’ dayrates are rather expensive for such applications.[mappress]keppel, April 28, 2014last_img read more

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Technip Nets Flexible Pipes Order for Libra Pre-Salt Field

first_imgTechnip was awarded a substantial contract from Libra Oil & Gas BV, a consortium led by Petrobras Netherland BV (40%) and partners: Shell (20%), Total (20%), CNOOC (10%) and CNPC (10%).The project includes the supply of flexible pipes for the Libra Extended Well Test field, located in the Santos Basin pre-salt area, Brazil. This is one of the first steps of the Libra field development.This contract covers the supply of high-end flexible pipes including: 8″ oil production, 6″ service and 6″ gas injection flexible pipes. Designed to produce the first Libra field oil, they are the first 8’’ oil production pipes to be installed in pre-salt area.Technip’s operating center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will perform the project management and engineering. The flexible pipes will be produced at Technip’s manufacturing sites in Vitόria and Açu, Brazil. Delivery is scheduled to start in the second half of 2016.Adriano Novitsky, President of Technip in Brazil, said: “Technip is very proud to have been selected to supply the first pipes for the Libra development. It is the result of strong R&D and engineering efforts to overcome the pre-salt technical challenges using flexible pipes solution.”last_img read more

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Demarec and Hammer to merge

first_imgDFX-20 Bewerkt with Demarec hammer attachmentKinshofer Group, parent company of demolition and recycling attachments manufacturer Demarec, has agreed a deal to acquire the majority share of hydraulic breaker manufacturer Hammer.An Italian company, Hammer was established in 2004 as a family business by Giovanni Modugno. Now co-owned and run by his son, Valerio Modugno, it focuses on the development of hydraulic breakers up to 15 t self-weight and demolition tools that can make carriers more effective and versatile.Marcel Vening, CEO of Demarec, said that Hammer was a perfect match and its full line complemented Demarec’s product range in areas where Demarec itself lacked expertise.According to Kinshofer the acquisition of Hammer is significant in terms of the company’s growth strategy. It said that in addition to adding product segments to the group’s offering, including a full range of hydraulic breakers and other demolition tools, that the merger would improve distribution channels for both Demarec and Kinshofer.Thomas Friedrich, president and CEO of Kinshofer Group, said: “Kinshofer continues its strategy to provide the industry with a ’One-Stop-Shop’ solution of outstandingly engineered products to increase efficiency and, more importantly, profitability of its customers. The acquisition of Hammer was the next step in our approach to be a global industry leader with solid local presence.”Valerio Modugno, co-owner and managing director of Hammer, commented: “The concentration of knowledge and competence will form a powerful centre for future developments customers can only benefit from. In particular the combination of both product ranges will create more ground-breaking innovations for the industry. The whole Hammer management team, which will stay on in its entirety, is very excited to be part of this mutual future.”As well as its own brand name, Hammer will now sell its product range under the additional brand names of Demarec and Kinshofer, depending upon which market they are offered. #*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#last_img read more

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SRA consults on simplifying regulation for sole practitioners

first_imgSole practitioners should no longer be required to have their practising certificate endorsed every year, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has proposed, publishing a consultation on the matter this week. Instead, the SRA has proposed that sole practitioner firms will be indefinitely authorised from 31 March 2012. The move will ensure that sole practitioners are subject to the same authorisation and regulatory processes as other firms, including alternative business structures, once the SRA introduces its new outcomes-focused regulation regime. Under the plans, if regulatory action were taken against a sole practitioner firm, it would be taken against the firm’s authorisation rather than the individual’s practising certificate endorsement. SRA chief executive Antony Townsend said: ‘These proposals are designed to be cost-neutral for sole practitioners, and will simplify the system of regulation to the benefit of everyone. We welcome comments on this consultation, as part of our wider engagement with law firms as we introduce outcomes-focused, risk-based regulation.’ The consultation, Sole practice: modernising authorisation, sets out a proposed order to amend the Administration of Justice Act 1985 and the Solicitors Act 1974, so that sole practitioners will become a category of ‘recognised body’. It closes on 8 March 2011. The consultation is part of the SRA’s implementation of outcomes-focused regulation. The SRA will review the consultation responses and then discuss them with the Legal Services Board, which will decide whether to recommend the order.last_img read more

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… in defence of architects

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

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Charles Gee delivers aircraft tooling to Hong Kong

first_imgThe Charles Gee project support team collected the consignment from Manchester where it was manufactured by the Hyde group and provided a door to door service to Hong Kong.Utilising own group transport equipment and its local Hong Kong office, the Charles Gee project support team was able to manage the whole operation from start to finish, including delivery to the client during the hours of darkness to comply with local traffic laws.The Charles Gee Project Support team engages all areas of Charles Gee Group experience and capability including our global office network to provide specialised supply chain solutions for our customer’s sometime complex requirements.www.geegroup.co.uklast_img

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Volga-Dnepr rushes to help stricken ship

first_imgThe 16 m long part was secured inside a bespoke transport frame and loaded onboard one of Volga-Dnepr’s IL-76TD-90VD freighters at Germany’s Laage airport, using a trailer and cranes organised by the ELC.The flight from Laage to Florianopolis in Brazil was operated on behalf of Norwegian broker Aircontact Services.”This was an especially urgent shipment that was needed in Brazil to repair a stricken ship,” said Georgy Sokolov, sales director at Volga-Dnepr UK. “We were able to obtain all the required flight permissions from Germany, Brazil and countries along the route within 48 hours, which enabled us to operate the flight quickly and ensure the ship was fully operational again within the shortest possible timescale.”  www.volga-dnepr.comwww.aircontact.comlast_img read more

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New chairman at Jurong

first_imgNg succeeds Lee Chong Kwee as chairman of the Singaporean gateway. Jurong Port will also welcome on board two new directors – Robert Yap and V. Sivarajan. They will replace Mr Lee and Subramaniam Iyer who will be stepping down from the board.Ng Chee Keongwww.jp.com.sglast_img

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Rotterdam port railway systems contract awarded

first_img#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# NETHERLANDS: Port of Rotterdam Authority has awarded VolkerRail the track, electrification and train protection systems contract for the Theemswegtracé freight line project.The 4·5 km line including a concrete viaduct and two steel-arch bridges across the Rozenburg lock and Thomassen Tunnel is being built to enable trains to be diverted away from the Caland Bridge road and rail vertical lift bridge. This will eliminate a bottleneck on the route between the port and the Beutwe Route freight line by avoiding conflicts with shipping movements to and from the Brittanniëhaven basin.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# The SaVe consortium of construction firms BESIX, Mobilis TBI, Dura Vermeer and steel compnaies Hollandia and Iemants has been undertaking major construction works for the project since September 2018. SaVe is scheduled to hand the civil works over for the installation of railway systems in mid-2020, and commissioning of the line is planned for the end of 2021.The Caland Bridge which dates from 1969 will then only be used by road traffic.The €300m project is being financed by the Port Authority, Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management and the EU. National rail infrastructure manager ProRail will be responsible for maintenance.‘Good connections to the hinterland are essential for the competitive position of the Port of Rotterdam’, said Ronald Paul, Chief Operating Officer of the port authority, when the contract with VolkerRail was signed on March 6. ‘The port railway and the Theemsweg route are of great importance for this. Better utilisation of the existing Betuwe Route is not only useful from an economic point of view – freight transport by rail is also environmentally friendly and safe.’last_img read more

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