Short Term Gain Long Term Pain? - History

Short Term Gain Long Term Pain? - History

One of Israel's strongest supporters in the Senate, US Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted the following on Wednesday night:

“To our friends in Israel – be very careful making agreements with Russia re: Syria that affect US interests. I don’t trust Russia to police Iran or anyone else in Syria. US must maintain presence in Syria to ensure ISIS doesn’t come back and to counter Russia/Iran influence.”

The tweet came after the 9th meeting during the past three years between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin, over Syria and related matters.

It is of course not clear whether that tweet was really aimed at Israel, or at President Donald J. Trump, whom Graham (like most Republicans) seems unable to criticize. Regardless of to whom the tweet was aimed, it should serve as a warning to Israel and Netanyahu that being closely identified with Putin could have a cost — just as it is becoming clear (from the other side of the American political aisle) that close identification with the policies of President Trump may cost Israel dearly in the future.

Thanks to the combined policies of Presidents Obama and Trump, there can be no question the Russians are currently the dominant power in the Middle East, thus, Netanyahu has no choice but to exploit his close relationship with Putin for Israel’s benefit. Whether Putin can deliver on Israel’s requests to have Iran completely withdraw from Syria is questionable.

However, Putin’s relationship with Iran (as well as Russia’s unwillingness to chance their much-vaunted weapons prove useless against Israeli forces) has afforded Israel the ability to repeatedly strike Iranian and Hezbollah assets in Syria, without interference.

Though the question being whispered behind closed doors is — at what cost? What will be the long-term cost to Israel of being seen as so closely identified with Trump and Putin? Has Israel chosen a path toward short-term gain, ignoring the possible long-term pain?

Trump remains very popular in Israel. His decision to “move” the US Embassy to Jerusalem and withdraw from the JCOPA with Iran are seen here as acts of true friendship — and most of the Israeli public, as well as the political elites, have welcomed the acts. Trump’s Ambassador in Israel (while not nearly as personally popular as his predecessor, who was constantly being interviewed in the Israeli press), never criticizes any action of the government and is unconcerned about Israel’s activities in the West Bank — unlike either his predecessor or the many “pesky” Ambassadors from Western Europe, who have the temerity to complain about Israeli actions.

To question Trump and Netanyahu’s close relationship is not popular. However, some are beginning to sound alarm bells. The Pew Poll conducted in January showed a 6% drop in support for Israel by Democrats during the first year of the Trump presidency. The recent victory of Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez in the Democratic primary Queens, should be a further alarm bell, considering the fact she called Israel's actions on the Gaza border a “massacre”.

Nevertheless, the current Israeli government seems unwilling to react to these warning signs. Due to political concerns, Netanyahu has been pushing to pass the Basic Law regarding “Nationality” — i.e. a law meant to define the Jewishness of the state. However, President Reuven “Ruvi” Rivlin, in a rare interference in the legislative process, the outgoing head of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky and the Attorney General have cautioned against passage of the law in its current form. The aforementioned all asserted that the proposed clause, which allows for the establishment of Jewish only communities, will play into the hands of Israel’s critics who claim the country practices apartheid — and furthermore, will harm Jewish communities who have suffered generations of discrimination worldwide. The pressure on the Knesset may or may not work, but what is troubling is the complete tone-deafness of these actions.

The Israeli right-wing has been encouraged by the rise of the right in Europe and by the election of Trump — conveniently ignoring the rise of antisemitism that has often accompanied their rise. However, in their enthusiasm, they ignore the laws of Newtonian physics that state for every reaction there is a counter-reaction — as well as the political history of the US, in which (with the exception of the Presidency of FDR and Truman) at no time in American history has one party remained in power for more than 12 years. Those who ignore the lessons of Newton and history endanger Israel’s future. Those who care about Israel’s future need to work to strengthen ties to the Democratic party, while ensuring Israel remains a liberal democracy, before it is too late.


In Business Strategy, Short-Term Gains Often Cause Long-Term Problems

We all understand the idea behind investing in something – whether it is a startup, R&D or some other project: short-term pain (effort and money out of the door) in exchange for long-term gain (more money coming in). However, what executives often seem to pay less attention to is that it regularly works the other way around as well: short-term gain leads to long-term pain. Let me give you an example.

In the in-vitro fertilisation industry (IVF) in the UK, clinics have to publish their success rate: the percentage of births that result from the treatment. This was made mandatory by the government in order to increase transparency in the market and aide consumer choice. However, in response to this, some clinics started to select their patients basically only admitting women with relatively easy underlying medical conditions and therefore high ex-ante probability of treatment success. This practice enabled these clinics to increase their position in the industry’s “League Table” and thus seemed to make commercial sense.

However, what Mihaela Stan, from University College London, and myself discovered through careful longitudinal research is that those clinics in the long-term experienced lower success rates than their counterparts that did admit complex patients. That is because clinics also learn a lot from difficult patients they might not be commercially attractive by themselves but they enable clinics to gradually increase their overall success rates. Put differently: the executives who thought they were being clever by only admitting easy patients were shooting themselves in the foot in the long-run.

This is an example of short-term gain causing long-term problems. The difficulty for these executives was not only that they did not anticipate the long-term disadvantages but that, even when they were experiencing them (i.e. witnessing their clinic’s success rate lagging behind that of others), they still did not understand that this was being caused by the practice that they began years ago. And therefore these clinics persisted with their practice of selecting easy patients only.

As I discuss in my latest book – Breaking bad habits: Defy industry norms and reinvigorate your business (Harvard Business Review Press) – we see this phenomenon – of long-term disadvantages inadvertently outweighing short-term gains – in various strategies and practices. For example, process management systems such as ISO9000 or SixSigma increase short-term efficiency and productivity but often lead to lower innovation in the long-run. Similarly, outsourcing can boost profits almost immediately but lead to a loss of valuable knowledge elsewhere in the firm later on. Downsizing quickly enhances efficiency through lower costs but can cause problems down the line through unwanted attrition and lower employee morale. All these quick wins lull firms into being long-term losers.

There is a second reason why these processes are so difficult to identify for the managers that practice them – besides the effects only playing out in the long-term – and that is that they affect relatively tacit processes. Processes like innovation, knowledge erosion and employee morale are not easy to grasp and measure and therefore executives are inclined to pay less attention to them. However, these tacit processes are crucial for the functioning of organisations and their ability to establish a competitive advantage. Short-term gains are often hard and evident (e.g. lower costs or higher productivity), but skilled managers also pay attention to soft processes and consider these explicitly in their decision-making.

This also points at the tyranny of numbers in strategic decision-making. Some things are much easier to observe and measure than others but we habitually base our spreadsheets, targets and “net-present value” calculations on hard numbers, under-representing the elements that cannot be quantified.

Measures and numbers are a good thing when it comes to determining strategy, because they can bring structure and objectivity to decisions, however, they should not be mistaken for the real thing. They are a tool and form of input for decision-making, but you should use them to aide your judgement, not substitute for it.

I am an Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the London Business School. My latest book is “Breaking Bad Habits: Defy industry norms and reinvigorate…


The Future Of Facebook, Inc.: Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Pain

Hilversum, The Netherlands - February 10, 2014. Image of a Facebook screen on ipad representing the . [+] Facebook Company for editorial use.

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Based on the many press inquiries we’ve received at Forrester, the industry is keen on predicting Facebook, Inc.’s immediate demise. (Note: Facebook, Inc. is inclusive of the Facebook app, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, and its other apps, services, and hardware. We simplify and call it “Facebook” for the purposes of our research.)

Short-term, Facebook’s no-good-very-bad-2018 may have meant an overworked PR team, but the social media behemoth is doing just fine. It continues to report steady user and revenue growth: a 9% year over year increase in users in Q4 2018 and a 30% increase in revenue in the same time frame. The three parties that could impact Facebook the most, or the most immediately, will move too slowly for it to feel any instant impact:

  • Users would have the most profound impact on the social networks and messaging apps, but their behaviors change gradually — growing distrust in an “addictive” service manifests over years. Currently, 71% of US online adults (18-plus) visit Facebook app weekly, second only to Google at 86% (Instagram is fifth at 40%).
  • Brands could affect it the fastest but won’t stop investing in social ads unless users disappear, because brands care only about executing their marketing plans. The approximately 2.7 billion people using at least one of Facebook’s apps last Dec 2018 are just too enticing.
  • Regulators carry the most heft but will enact policy so unhurriedly that Facebook will shore up its assets in the interim — like its continued collection of first-party data on those 2.7 billion users or its omnipresence as the de facto internet in developing countries (via its internet.org initiative, also called Facebook Free Basics).

Long-term, Facebook’s push into private messaging will be its undoing. We about this before. To crystallize: Social media user growth will eventually stall (we are already seeing this with the Facebook app), pushing Facebook to add services to encourage greater use. However, regulators will clamp down on any Facebook acquisition attempts, stifling Facebook’s growth options. Further, advertising and hypertargeting on any hypothetical new services will conflict with its new privacy vision and ultimately hurt advertisers — and Facebook’s revenue. Where does this leave the social media company in the long term? With fewer users and advertisers, no hardware successes, and most content generated from its users, Facebook doesn’t have much to trade on.

This post was written by Senior Analyst Jessica Liu, and originally appeared here.

Forrester (Nasdaq: FORR) is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. We help leaders across technology, marketing, customer experience,


Trevor Hancock: On climate, it's short-term pain for long-term gain, backed by courts

One of the biggest challenges in addressing climate change is that it’s a very slow-moving ­crisis. We need to take action now in order to avert problems many years, even decades, into the future, but our system is biased against such action. Short-term pain for long-term gain has never been a popular message, and is not likely to get you ­re-elected, while the ­business cycle is too focused on the short-term bottom line.

In the case of climate change, moreover, we are asking older adults in positions of power to make decisions that not only may adversely affect their ­situation here and now, but where the benefits will likely come after they are dead and will largely benefit people on the other side of the world.

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However, this message ­resonates with younger people, since they will be alive when the adverse impacts on society of climate change, loss of biodiversity and other massive human-created ecological changes are felt. Which is why young people and NGOs around the world are taking their governments — and in some cases, corporations — to court, where they are winning significant victories.

The situation was summarized by Chris Tollefson, a law professor at the University of Victoria and executive director of the Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation, speaking at the opening plenary of the Canadian Society for ­Ecological Economics in late May (you can also find much of this on the website of the U.S. Climate Change Litigation database).

In 2019, the Dutch Supreme Court, in a case brought by the Urgenda Foundation and 900 Dutch citizens, upheld an earlier court ruling that the European Convention on Human Rights applied to the government’s actions on climate change. It found the government had a duty of care to protect the right to life and a responsibility to reduce emissions based on the science specifically, a 25 per cent reduction from 1990 levels by 2020.

More recently, reported Bill McKibben in The New Yorker, a Dutch court has ruled that Shell must markedly increase its planned cuts to emissions. Noting that “severe climate change has consequences for human rights, including the right to life,” a spokesperson for the court stated: “The court thinks that companies, among them Shell, have to respect those human rights” and that “the consequences of severe climate change are more important than Shell’s interests.” Powerful ­findings indeed.

In France, a case brought by four NGOs resulted in a ruling this year that “France’s inaction has caused ecological damage from climate change” and that “France could be held ­responsible for failing to meet its own climate and carbon budget goals under EU and national law.”

In Germany, a case brought by youth argued that the ­reduction targets in the Federal Climate Protection Act were insufficient to protect their human rights. In April, the federal Constitutional Court ruled in their favour, striking down parts of the Act. Of particular importance, the court found “one generation must not be allowed to consume large parts of the CO2 budget … if this would, at the same time, leave future generations with a radical reduction burden.” In other words, future generations have rights today.

In Australia, a case brought by eight schoolchildren argued that the environment minister had a “duty of care” and was legally obliged to consider potential harm to them in the future in deciding whether to allow a coal mining project to proceed. ­Australia’s ABC reported the Federal Court judge found ­climate change would have “catastrophic” and “startling” impacts on Australia’s children, the mine would increase that risk and a duty of care does exist.

Tollefson, who is counsel for the plaintiffs in the La Rose case here in Canada, summarized the reasons for these cases as “a response to democratic failure, an invitation for judicial oversight and an invitation to enhance the role of best available science in political discourse” — quite an indictment of our current system.

Even though the cases in Canada and the U.S. are hitting snags, these rulings hold out hope that young people, NGOs and the courts are able to hold governments and ­corporations responsible for the harms caused by their actions, or their failure to act.

Dr. Trevor Hancock is a retired professor and senior scholar at the University of Victoria’s School of Public Health and Social Policy.


'Help wanted' in service industry produces short-term pain but long-term gain

This is a column by City Talk's Bill Dawers, a longtime contributor to the Savannah Morning News.

As detailed in recent coverage in this newspaper, the labor shortage in Savannah&rsquos leisure and hospitality sector has forced many businesses to cut hours and services. Some businesses are struggling to attract workers even after increasing wages.

The pandemic unemployment benefits and stimulus checks are routinely cited as reasons for workers staying on the sidelines, but the data suggest that other factors are contributing more to the hiring crunch.

First, it&rsquos worth noting that leisure and hospitality employment is not simply a measure of tourism.

Before the pandemic, the leisure and hospitality sector accounted for about 11% of payroll jobs in Georgia and about 15% of payroll jobs in the Savannah metro area (Chatham, Bryan and Effingham counties).

Yes, Savannah has a much bigger tourism industry than the state as a whole, but the metro area would generally have more than 20,000 payroll jobs in leisure and hospitality even if it were not a traveler&rsquos dream.

Restaurants, hotels and related businesses slashed jobs as income collapsed in the early months of the pandemic, but demand has lately been surging, largely due to the availability of vaccines. The household savings rate increased dramatically during the pandemic, so many Americans have money to spend. The stimulus checks are also boosting demand.

I remain concerned about the intertwined public health and economic risks in areas where vaccine uptake is low, but we should expect a strong summer and fall for travel, dining and other fun activities. After a year of curtailing public activity, many Americans are simply ready to get out of the house.

In the abstract, the local leisure and hospitality sector should be able to attract several thousand more workers as wages rise and unemployment benefits expire, but estimates from the Georgia Department of Labor suggest that the local labor force participation rate has already fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels

In March 2019, the Savannah metro area civilian labor force was about 190,000. In March 2021, the local labor force had increased to an estimated 200,000, with the unemployment rate very low at 4%. The increase in the size of the labor force, which includes everyone who is working or looking for work, has outpaced population growth during the past two years.

So it seems that there are plenty of workers, but many have found jobs in sectors other than leisure and hospitality.

There are several plausible explanations for the trends.

Even though wages have lately been increasing in some establishments, the leisure and hospitality sector still has many positions that pay poorly.

In recent conversations, restaurant owners and staffers have noted that the pool of applicants is smaller than usual with so many Savannah College of Art and Design students taking classes online.

Over the course of the pandemic, frontline workers have routinely told me of their stress and worry. I have heard the phrase &ldquounmasked tourists&rdquo many times during the past year. Some service industry workers appear to have decided that the risks to themselves and their families simply aren&rsquot worth it, but some will return to the sector as pay increases and the pandemic abates.

Several restaurant professionals have told me that they are concerned about the myriad impacts of higher labor costs, but they also noted that higher wages will increase employee loyalty and improve workers&rsquo quality of life.

As the labor market struggles to find a new balance, service industry patrons will probably have to adjust to higher prices to cover increased labor costs, but the local economy should become more resilient if there is more money in workers&rsquo paychecks.


No pain, all gain? Interim analyses from a longitudinal, observational study examining the impact of medical cannabis treatment on chronic pain and related symptoms

Previous studies have demonstrated improvements in pain following short-term medical cannabis (MC) use, suggesting long-term MC treatment may alleviate symptoms associated with chronic pain. The goal of this observational and longitudinal study was to examine patients using MC to treat chronic pain pre versus post MC treatment. These interim analyses included 37 patients with chronic pain evaluated prior to initiation of MC treatment and following 3 and 6 months of MC use pain, clinical state, sleep, quality of life, and conventional medication use were assessed. Correlation analyses examined the relationship between changes in pain and other clinical measures, assessed the impact of cannabinoid exposure on pain and clinical ratings, and assessed whether baseline cannabis expectancies influenced outcome variables. Additionally, a pilot group of treatment-as-usual patients (n = 9) who did not use MC were examined at baseline and 3 months later. Relative to baseline, following 3 and 6 months of treatment, MC patients exhibited improvements in pain which were accompanied by improved sleep, mood, anxiety, and quality of life, and stable conventional medication use. Reduced pain was associated with improvements in aspects of mood and anxiety. The results generally suggest increased THC exposure was related to pain-related improvement, while increased CBD exposure was related to improved mood. Cannabis expectancies were not related to observed improvements. Pilot analyses revealed that treatment-as-usual patients do not demonstrate the same pattern of improvement. Findings highlight the potential efficacy of MC treatment for pain and underscore the unique impact of individual cannabinoids on specific aspects of pain and comorbid symptoms. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).


Cambodia’s Democratic Development: Short-Term Pain, Long-Term Gain

Despite recent setbacks, the long-term trends for Cambodia’s democracy are encouraging.

At first glance, Cambodia’s democracy seems to be swiftly backsliding. Sam Rainsy, the leader of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), is once again in self-imposed exile while his deputy, Kem Sokha, has been under self-imposed house arrest. Prime Minister Hun Sen and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) have cracked down on the media, threatening legal action against outlets critical of the government. More distressingly, political analyst and civil society activist Kem Ley was assassinated in broad daylight. Any observer would agree that these developments are troubling.

In many respects, history is repeating itself. In 1997, then-Second Prime Minister Hun Sen launched a coup to consolidate power, deposing then-First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh of the FUNCINPEC party, which was in coalition with the CPP. In 2005, the government tried and convicted Rainsy in abstentia on politically motivated charges and did so again in 2010. In both cases, Rainsy was forced into self-imposed exile to avoid arrest. Given that these crackdowns helped Hun Sen hold and consolidate power, it’s predictable that he’d continue to resort to similar tactics – and predictable that some observers would conclude democracy is backsliding.

However, if one takes a closer look, the long-term trends of the country’s democratic development are encouraging. In comparison to past crackdowns, the current one has been relatively soft. Unlike 1997, Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit has stayed in their barracks. Unlike 2005, the government acknowledges issues the opposition has championed, such as land rights. Unlike 2010, the opposition has access to communication channels that enable them to circumvent censorship. This is perhaps the most encouraging trend, as the emergence of online and social media has fundamentally shifted the political landscape in favor of democracy.

During and after the 2013 election, the government did not embrace online media if anything, they suppressed it. Rainsy and the CNRP maintained a hyperactive online presence – particularly on Facebook and YouTube – while Hun Sen’s CPP lagged well behind. However, in recent months, the government has embraced Facebook with open arms and even launched an official “Samdech Hun Sen” smartphone app. Some argue the government’s efforts are cosmetic and intended to distract from the current crackdown. This argument may have some merit, but it speaks volumes that the government has embraced a form of media that is nearly impossible to censor.

If Cambodia’s democracy were truly backsliding, the government would not have removed a clause from the draft cybercrime law that would have allowed them to prosecute individuals who post online content that “slanders or undermines” government officials. The fact that the government was responsive to opposition and civil society criticism of the clause indicates a shift in mindset conducive to further democratic development. Despite recent events, long-term trends point towards a positive trajectory that provides some hope for Cambodians who sorely lack adequate political representation.

Parker Novak is the Principal of Red Team Advisory Group, a Washington, DC-based political consulting firm, and studying for a Master’s degree in Global Advocacy at George Washington University. He previously worked for the International Republican Institute in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.


Contents

There is fast adaptation and slow adaptation. Fast adaptation occurs immediately after a stimulus is presented i.e., within hundreds of milliseconds. Slow adaptive processes can take minutes, hours or even days. The two classes of neural adaptation may rely on very different physiological mechanisms. [2] The time scale over which adaptation builds up and recovers depends on the time course of stimulation. [2] Brief stimulation produces adaptation which occurs and recovers while more prolonged stimulation can produce slower and more lasting forms of adaptation. [2] Also, repeated sensory stimulation appears to temporarily decrease the gain of thalamocortical synaptic transmission. Adaptation of cortical responses was stronger and recovered more slowly. [2]

In the late 1800s, Hermann Helmholtz, a German physician and physicist, extensively researched conscious sensations and different types of perception. He defined sensations as the "raw elements" of conscious experience that required no learning, and perceptions as the meaningful interpretations derived from the senses. He studied the physical properties of the eye and vision, as well as acoustic sensation. In one of his classic experiments regarding how space perception could be altered by experience, participants wore glasses that distorted the visual field by several degrees to the right. Participants were asked to look at an object, close their eyes, and try to reach out and touch it. At first, the subjects reached for the object too far to the left, but after a few trials were able to correct themselves.

Helmholtz theorized that perceptual adaptation might result from a process he referred to as unconscious inference, where the mind unconsciously adopts certain rules in order to make sense of what is perceived of the world. An example of this phenomenon is when a ball appears to be getting smaller and smaller, the mind will then infer that the ball is moving away from them.

In the 1890s, psychologist George M. Stratton conducted experiments in which he tested the theory of perceptual adaptation. In one experiment, he wore a reversing glasses for 21½ hours over three days. After removing the glasses, "normal vision was restored instantaneously and without any disturbance in the natural appearance or position of objects." [5]

On a later experiment, Stratton wore the glasses for eight whole days. By day four, the images seen through the instrument were still upside down. However, on day five, images appeared upright until he concentrated on them then they became inverted again. By having to concentrate on his vision to turn it upside down again, especially when he knew images were hitting his retinas in the opposite orientation as normal, Stratton deduced his brain had adapted to the changes in vision.

Stratton also conducted experiments where he wore glasses that altered his visual field by 45°. His brain was able to adapt to the change and perceive the world as normal. Also, the field can be altered making the subject see the world upside down. But, as the brain adjusts to the change, the world appears "normal." [6] [7]

In some extreme experiments, psychologists have tested to see if a pilot can fly a plane with altered vision. All of the pilots that were fitted with the goggles that altered their vision were able to safely navigate the aircraft with ease. [6]

Adaptation is considered to be the cause of perceptual phenomena like afterimages and the motion aftereffect. In the absence of fixational eye movements, visual perception may fade out or disappear due to neural adaptation. (See Adaptation (eye)). [8] When an observer's visual stream adapts to a single direction of real motion, imagined motion can be perceived at various speeds. If the imagined motion is in the same direction as that experienced during adaptation, imagined speed is slowed when imagined motion is in the opposite direction, its speed is increased when adaptation and imagined motions are orthogonal, imagined speed is unaffected. [9] Studies using magnetoencephalography (MEG) have demonstrated that subjects exposed to a repeated visual stimulus at brief intervals become attenuated to the stimulus in comparison to the initial stimulus. The results revealed that visual responses to the repeated compared with novel stimulus showed a significant reduction in both activation strength and peak latency but not in the duration of neural processing. [10]

Although motion and images are extremely important regarding adaptation, the most important adaptation is adjusting to brightness levels. On entering a dark room or a very brightly lit room it takes a little while to adjust to the different levels. Adjusting to brightness levels allows mammals to detect changes in their surrounding. This is called dark adaptation.

Auditory adaptation, as perceptual adaptation with other senses, is the process by which individuals adapt to sounds and noises. As research has shown, as time progresses, individuals tend to adapt to sounds and tend to distinguish them less frequently after a while. Sensory adaptation tends to blend sounds into one, variable sound, rather than having several separate sounds as a series. Moreover, after repeated perception, individuals tend to adapt to sounds to the point where they no longer consciously perceive it, or rather, "block it out". An individual that lives close to the train tracks, will eventually stop noticing the sounds of passing trains. Similarly, individuals living in larger cities no longer notice traffic sounds after a while. Moving to a completely different area, such as a quiet countryside, that individual would then be aware of the silence, crickets, etc. [11]

The mechanoreception of sound requires a specific set of receptor cells called hair cells that allow for gradient signals to pass onto spatial ganglia where the signal will be sent to the brain to be processed. Since this is mechanoreception, different from chemoreception, adaptation of sound from surroundings highly depends on the physical movement of opening and closing of cation channels on the hair cell stereocilia. Mechanoelectric transduction (MET) channels, located at the tops of stereocilia, are poised to detect tension induced by hair bundle deflection. Hair bundle deflection generates a force by pulling on tip link proteins connecting adjacent stereocilia. [12]

Perceptual adaptation is a phenomenon that occurs for all of the senses, including smell and touch. An individual can adapt to a certain smell with time. Smokers, or individuals living with smokers, tend to stop noticing the smell of cigarettes after some time, whereas people not exposed to smoke on a regular basis will notice the smell instantly. The same phenomenon can be observed with other types of smell, such as perfume, flowers, etc. The human brain can distinguish smells that are unfamiliar to the individual, while adapting to those it is used to and no longer require to be consciously recognized.

Olfactory neurons utilize a feedback system from the levels of Ca 2+ ions to activate its adaptation to prolonged smells. Due to the fact that the olfactory signal transduction uses a second messenger transduction system, the mechanism of adaptation includes several factors that mostly include CaMK or calmodulin bound to Ca 2+ ions.

This phenomenon also applies to the sense of touch. An unfamiliar piece of clothing that was just put on will be noticed instantly however, once it has been worn for a while, the mind will adapt to its texture and ignore the stimulus. [13]

Pain Edit

While large mechanosensory neurons such as type I/group Aß display adaptation, smaller type IV/group C nociceptive neurons do not. As a result, pain does not usually subside rapidly but persists for long periods of time in contrast, other sensory information is quickly adapted to, if surroundings remain constant.

Weight training Edit

Studies have shown that there is neural adaptation after as little as one weight training session. Strength gains are experienced by subjects without any increased muscle size. Muscle surface recordings using electromyographic (SEMG) techniques have found that early strength gains throughout training are associated with increased amplitude in SEMG activity. These findings along with various other theories explain increases in strength without increases in muscle mass. Other theories for increases in strength relating to neural adaptation include: agonist-antagonist muscle decreased co-activation, motor unit synchronization, and motor unit increased firing rates. [14]

Neural adaptations contribute to changes in V-waves and Hoffmann's reflex. H-reflex can be used to assess the excitability of spinal α-motoneurons, whereas V-wave measures the magnitude of motor output from α-motoneurons. Studies showed that after a 14-week resistance training regime, subjects expressed V-wave amplitude increases of

50% and H-reflex amplitude increases of

20%. [15] This showed that neural adaptation accounts for changes to functional properties of the spinal cord circuitry in humans without affecting organization of the motor cortex. [16]

The terms neural adaptation and habituation are often confused for one another. Habituation is a behavioral phenomenon while neural adaptation is a physiological phenomenon, although the two are not entirely separate. During habituation, one has some conscious control over whether one notices something to which one is becoming habituated. However, when it comes to neural adaptation, one has no conscious control over it. For example, if one has adapted to something (like an odor or perfume), one can not consciously force himself to smell that thing. Neural adaptation is tied very closely to stimulus intensity as the intensity of a light increases, one's senses will adapt more strongly to it. [17] In comparison, habituation can vary depending on the stimulus. With a weak stimulus habituation can occur almost immediately but with a strong stimulus the animal may not habituate at all [18] e.g. a cool breeze versus a fire alarm. Habituation also has a set of characteristics that must be met to be termed a habituation process. [19]

Short-term adaptations Edit

Short term neural adaptations occur in the body during rhythmic activities. One of the most common activities when these neural adaptations are constantly happening is walking. [20] As a person walks, the body constantly gathers information about the environment and the surroundings of the feet, and slightly adjusts the muscles in use according to the terrain. For example, walking uphill requires different muscles than walking on flat pavement. When the brain recognizes that the body is walking uphill, it makes neural adaptations that send more activity to muscles required for uphill walking. The rate of neural adaptation is affected by the area of the brain and by the similarity between sizes and shapes of previous stimuli. [21] Adaptations in the inferior temporal gyrus are very dependent on previous stimuli being of similar size, and somewhat dependent on previous stimuli being of a similar shape. Adaptations in the Prefrontal Cortex are less dependent on previous stimuli being of similar size and shape.

Long-term adaptations Edit

Some rhythmic movements, such as respiratory movements, are essential for survival. Because these movements must be used over the course of the entire lifetime, it is important for them to function optimally. Neural adaptation has been observed in these movements in response to training or altered external conditions. [20] Animals have been shown to have reduced breathing rates in response to better fitness levels. Since breathing rates were not conscious changes made by the animal, it is presumed that neural adaptations occur for the body to maintain a slower breathing rate.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an important technique in modern cognitive neuropsychology that is used to investigate the perceptual and behavioral effects of temporary interference of neural processing. Studies have shown that when a subject’s visual cortex is disrupted by TMS, the subject views colorless flashes of light, or phosphenes. [22] When a subjects’ vision was subjected to the constant stimulus of a single color, neural adaptations occurred that made the subjects used to the color. Once this adaptation had occurred, TMS was used to disrupt the subjects’ visual cortex again, and the flashes of light viewed by the subject were the same color as the constant stimulus before the disruption.

Neural adaptation can occur for other than natural means. Antidepressant drugs, such as those that cause down regulation of β-adrenergic receptors, can cause rapid neural adaptations in the brain. [23] By creating a quick adaptation in the regulation of these receptors, it is possible for drugs to reduce the effects of stress on those taking the medication.

Neural adaptation is often critical for an animal's survival after an injury. In the short-term, it may alter an animal's movements so as to prevent worsening the injury. In the long-term, it may enable the animal's full or partial recovery from the injury.

Brain injury Edit

Studies in children with early childhood brain injuries have shown that neural adaptations slowly occur after the injury. [24] Children with early injuries to the linguistics, spatial cognition and affective development areas of the brain showed deficits in those areas as compared to those without injury. Due to neural adaptations, however, by early school-age, considerable development to those areas was observed.

Leg injury Edit

After the amputation of a front leg, the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) shows immediate changes in body position and walking kinematics that enable it to continue walking. [25] The fruit fly exhibits longer-term adaptations as well. Researchers found that immediately after amputating a hind leg, flies favored turning away from the side of the injury, but that after several days this bias went away, and the flies turned left and right evenly, as they had before the injury. [26] These researchers compared flies with functioning versus impaired proprioception — the body's sense of where it is in space — and found that without proprioception, flies did not exhibit the same recovery from a turning bias after injury. [26] This result indicates that proprioceptive information is necessary for some of the neural adaptation that occurs in Drosophila after a leg injury.


America's bittersweet tax: Capital gains

But tax time can also be bittersweet for a separate group of taxpayers (usually those found in the upper- and middle-income tiers), because it could very well mean handing over a percentage of the profits you've earned while disposing of an investment or property to the federal government.

Image source: Getty Images.

Capital gains tax describes the federal tax imposed on certain types of investments or properties that taxpayers sell for a profit. While there are a few very generous capital gain tax exemptions (e.g., the first $250,000 gained from the sale of a home lived in for at least two years, or $500,000 for a couple, is excluded from taxation), most taxpayers who recognizes a capital gain from the sale of an investment are going to owe capital gains tax on their profit.


Reporting Capital Gains

In order to educate taxpayers about their filing obligations, this fact sheet, the twelfth in a series, provides information with regard to capital gains reporting. Incorrect reporting of capital gains accounts for part of an estimated $345 billion per year in unpaid taxes, according to Internal Revenue Service estimates.

Almost everything you own and use for personal purposes, pleasure, business or investment is a capital asset, including:

  • Your home
  • Household furnishings
  • Stocks or bonds
  • Coin or stamp collections
  • Gems and jewelry
  • Gold, silver or any other metal, and
  • Business property

Understanding Basis

The difference between the amount for which you sell the capital asset and your basis, which is usually what you paid for it, is a capital gain or a capital loss. You have a capital gain if you sell the asset for more than your basis. You have a capital loss if you sell the asset for less than your basis.

Your basis is generally your cost plus improvements. You must keep accurate records that show your basis. Your records should show the purchase price, including commissions increases to basis, such as the cost of improvements and decreases to basis, such as depreciation, non-dividend distributions on stock, and stock splits.

While all capital gains are taxable and must be reported on your tax return, only capital losses on investment or business property are deductible. Losses on sales of personal
property are not deductible. More information about increases and decreases to basis can be found in Publication 551 PDF , Basis of Assets.

Capital gains and deductible capital losses are reported on Form 1040, Schedule D PDF , Capital Gains and Losses, and then transferred to line 13 of Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Capital gains and losses are classified as long-term or short term. If you hold the asset for more than one year, your capital gain or loss is long-term. If you hold the asset one year or less, your capital gain or loss is short-term. To figure the holding period, begin counting on the day after you received the property and include the day you disposed of the property.

You may have to make estimated tax payments if you have a taxable capital gain. Refer to Publication 505 PDF , Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, for additional information.

Other Rules

Home –– If you sell your residence, you may be able to exclude from income any gain up to a limit of $250,000 ($500,000 on a joint return in most cases). To exclude the gain, you must have owned and lived in the property as your main home for at least 2 years during the 5-year period ending on the date of sale. Generally, you cannot exclude gain on the sale of your home if, during the 2-year period ending on the date of the sale, you sold another home at a gain and excluded all or part of that gain. If you cannot exclude gain, you must include it in income. To determine the maximum dollar limit you can exclude and for additional information, refer to Publication 523 PDF , Selling Your Home. You cannot deduct a loss on the sale of your home.

Property outside U.S. –– U.S. citizens who sell property located outside the United States must also report gains from these sales, unless the property is exempt by U.S. law. Reporting is required whether you reside inside or outside the United States and whether or not you receive a Form 1099 from the payer.

Installment sales –– If you sold property (other than publicly traded stocks or securities) at a gain and will receive any payments in a year after the year of sale, you generally must report the sale on the installment method using Form 6252 PDF , Installment Sale Income. You can elect out of the installment method by reporting the entire gain in the year of sale.

Investment Transactions –– Gains from sales and trades of stocks, bonds, or certain commodities are usually reported to you on Form 1099-B, Proceeds From Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions, or an equivalent statement. Your basis, the sales price, and the resulting capital gain or loss is entered on Form 1040, Schedule D, Capital Gains and Losses.

Gains from the sale of business property are reported on Form 4797 PDF , Sales of Business Property and flow to Form 1040, Schedule D PDF . See Publication 544 PDF , Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets for additional information on the sale of business property.

Capital gain distributions from mutual funds are reported to you on Form 1099-DIV, Dividends and Distributions. Capital gain distributions are taxed as long-term capital gains regardless of how long you have owned the shares in the mutual funds. If capital gain distributions are automatically reinvested, the reinvested amount is the basis of the additional shares purchased.

For additional information about reporting gains from investments see Publication 17 PDF , Your Federal Income Tax Publication 550 PDF , Investment Income and Expenses and Publication 564, Mutual Fund Distributions.