WorldWideScience

Sample records for understanding cognitive improvements

  1. Improving our understanding of multi-tasking in healthcare: Drawing together the cognitive psychology and healthcare literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Heather E; Raban, Magdalena Z; Walter, Scott R; Westbrook, Johanna I

    2017-03-01

    Multi-tasking is an important skill for clinical work which has received limited research attention. Its impacts on clinical work are poorly understood. In contrast, there is substantial multi-tasking research in cognitive psychology, driver distraction, and human-computer interaction. This review synthesises evidence of the extent and impacts of multi-tasking on efficiency and task performance from health and non-healthcare literature, to compare and contrast approaches, identify implications for clinical work, and to develop an evidence-informed framework for guiding the measurement of multi-tasking in future healthcare studies. The results showed healthcare studies using direct observation have focused on descriptive studies to quantify concurrent multi-tasking and its frequency in different contexts, with limited study of impact. In comparison, non-healthcare studies have applied predominantly experimental and simulation designs, focusing on interleaved and concurrent multi-tasking, and testing theories of the mechanisms by which multi-tasking impacts task efficiency and performance. We propose a framework to guide the measurement of multi-tasking in clinical settings that draws together lessons from these siloed research efforts. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  2. From Trust in Automation to Decision Neuroscience: Applying Cognitive Neuroscience Methods to Understand and Improve Interaction Decisions Involved in Human Automation Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drnec, Kim; Marathe, Amar R; Lukos, Jamie R; Metcalfe, Jason S

    2016-01-01

    Human automation interaction (HAI) systems have thus far failed to live up to expectations mainly because human users do not always interact with the automation appropriately. Trust in automation (TiA) has been considered a central influence on the way a human user interacts with an automation; if TiA is too high there will be overuse, if TiA is too low there will be disuse. However, even though extensive research into TiA has identified specific HAI behaviors, or trust outcomes, a unique mapping between trust states and trust outcomes has yet to be clearly identified. Interaction behaviors have been intensely studied in the domain of HAI and TiA and this has led to a reframing of the issues of problems with HAI in terms of reliance and compliance. We find the behaviorally defined terms reliance and compliance to be useful in their functionality for application in real-world situations. However, we note that once an inappropriate interaction behavior has occurred it is too late to mitigate it. We therefore take a step back and look at the interaction decision that precedes the behavior. We note that the decision neuroscience community has revealed that decisions are fairly stereotyped processes accompanied by measurable psychophysiological correlates. Two literatures were therefore reviewed. TiA literature was extensively reviewed in order to understand the relationship between TiA and trust outcomes, as well as to identify gaps in current knowledge. We note that an interaction decision precedes an interaction behavior and believe that we can leverage knowledge of the psychophysiological correlates of decisions to improve joint system performance. As we believe that understanding the interaction decision will be critical to the eventual mitigation of inappropriate interaction behavior, we reviewed the decision making literature and provide a synopsis of the state of the art understanding of the decision process from a decision neuroscience perspective. We forward

  3. From Trust in Automation to Decision Neuroscience: Applying Cognitive Neuroscience Methods to Understand and Improve Interaction Decisions Involved in Human Automation Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drnec, Kim; Marathe, Amar R.; Lukos, Jamie R.; Metcalfe, Jason S.

    2016-01-01

    Human automation interaction (HAI) systems have thus far failed to live up to expectations mainly because human users do not always interact with the automation appropriately. Trust in automation (TiA) has been considered a central influence on the way a human user interacts with an automation; if TiA is too high there will be overuse, if TiA is too low there will be disuse. However, even though extensive research into TiA has identified specific HAI behaviors, or trust outcomes, a unique mapping between trust states and trust outcomes has yet to be clearly identified. Interaction behaviors have been intensely studied in the domain of HAI and TiA and this has led to a reframing of the issues of problems with HAI in terms of reliance and compliance. We find the behaviorally defined terms reliance and compliance to be useful in their functionality for application in real-world situations. However, we note that once an inappropriate interaction behavior has occurred it is too late to mitigate it. We therefore take a step back and look at the interaction decision that precedes the behavior. We note that the decision neuroscience community has revealed that decisions are fairly stereotyped processes accompanied by measurable psychophysiological correlates. Two literatures were therefore reviewed. TiA literature was extensively reviewed in order to understand the relationship between TiA and trust outcomes, as well as to identify gaps in current knowledge. We note that an interaction decision precedes an interaction behavior and believe that we can leverage knowledge of the psychophysiological correlates of decisions to improve joint system performance. As we believe that understanding the interaction decision will be critical to the eventual mitigation of inappropriate interaction behavior, we reviewed the decision making literature and provide a synopsis of the state of the art understanding of the decision process from a decision neuroscience perspective. We forward

  4. Cognitive neuroscience robotics B analytic approaches to human understanding

    CERN Document Server

    Ishiguro, Hiroshi; Asada, Minoru; Osaka, Mariko; Fujikado, Takashi

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive Neuroscience Robotics is the first introductory book on this new interdisciplinary area. This book consists of two volumes, the first of which, Synthetic Approaches to Human Understanding, advances human understanding from a robotics or engineering point of view. The second, Analytic Approaches to Human Understanding, addresses related subjects in cognitive science and neuroscience. These two volumes are intended to complement each other in order to more comprehensively investigate human cognitive functions, to develop human-friendly information and robot technology (IRT) systems, and to understand what kind of beings we humans are. Volume B describes to what extent cognitive science and neuroscience have revealed the underlying mechanism of human cognition, and investigates how development of neural engineering and advances in other disciplines could lead to deep understanding of human cognition.

  5. Social-Cognitive Correlates of Children's Understanding of Displaced Aggression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Patricia H.; DeMarie-Dreblow, Darlene

    1990-01-01

    This study aimed to describe developmental differences in five-, seven-, and nine-year-olds' understanding of displaced aggression and to identify social and cognitive correlates of these differences. Understanding of displaced aggression increased significantly with age. (RH)

  6. Challenged by cognition: toward optimal measurement and greater understanding of youth cognition in school refusal and cognitive behavioural therapy outcome

    OpenAIRE

    Maric, Marija

    2010-01-01

    The main purpose of this dissertation was to highlight and address seven challenges related to the measurement of youth cognition, understanding the role of cognitive constructs in anxiety and school refusal, and the examination of cognitive mediators of cognitive-behavioural treatment outcomes. The studies presented in this dissertation contributed to the empirically valid assessment of constructs of cognitive processing in youth which were until now only present in cognitive theories of Aro...

  7. Challenged by cognition : toward optimal measurement and greater understanding of youth cognition in school refusal and cognitive behavioural therapy outcome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maric, Marija

    2010-01-01

    The main purpose of this dissertation was to highlight and address seven challenges related to the measurement of youth cognition, understanding the role of cognitive constructs in anxiety and school refusal, and the examination of cognitive mediators of cognitive-behavioural treatment outcomes. The

  8. Cognitive neuroscience robotics A synthetic approaches to human understanding

    CERN Document Server

    Ishiguro, Hiroshi; Asada, Minoru; Osaka, Mariko; Fujikado, Takashi

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive Neuroscience Robotics is the first introductory book on this new interdisciplinary area. This book consists of two volumes, the first of which, Synthetic Approaches to Human Understanding, advances human understanding from a robotics or engineering point of view. The second, Analytic Approaches to Human Understanding, addresses related subjects in cognitive science and neuroscience. These two volumes are intended to complement each other in order to more comprehensively investigate human cognitive functions, to develop human-friendly information and robot technology (IRT) systems, and to understand what kind of beings we humans are. Volume A describes how human cognitive functions can be replicated in artificial systems such as robots, and investigates how artificial systems could acquire intelligent behaviors through interaction with others and their environment.

  9. RC2S: A Cognitive Remediation Program to Improve Social Cognition in Schizophrenia and Related Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peyroux, Elodie; Franck, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    In people with psychiatric disorders, particularly those suffering from schizophrenia and related illnesses, pronounced difficulties in social interactions are a key manifestation. These difficulties can be partly explained by impairments in social cognition, defined as the ability to understand oneself and others in the social world, which includes abilities such as emotion recognition, theory of mind (ToM), attributional style, and social perception and knowledge. The impact of several kinds of interventions on social cognition has been studied recently. The best outcomes in the area of social cognition in schizophrenia are those obtained by way of cognitive remediation programs. New strategies and programs in this line are currently being developed, such as RC2S (cognitive remediation of social cognition) in Lyon, France. Considering that the social cognitive deficits experienced by patients with schizophrenia are very diverse, and that the main objective of social cognitive remediation programs is to improve patients’ functioning in their daily social life, RC2S was developed as an individualized and flexible program that allows patients to practice social interaction in a realistic environment through the use of virtual reality techniques. In the RC2S program, the patient’s goal is to assist a character named Tom in various social situations. The underlying idea for the patient is to acquire cognitive strategies for analyzing social context and emotional information in order to understand other characters’ mental states and to help Tom manage his social interactions. In this paper, we begin by presenting some data regarding the social cognitive impairments found in schizophrenia and related disorders, and we describe how these deficits are targeted by social cognitive remediation. Then we present the RC2S program and discuss the advantages of computer-based simulation to improve social cognition and social functioning in people with psychiatric disorders

  10. RC2S: a cognitive remediation program to improve social cognition in schizophrenia and related disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie ePEYROUX

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In people with psychiatric disorders, particularly those suffering from schizophrenia and related illnesses, pronounced difficulties in social interactions are a key manifestation. These difficulties can be partly explained by impairments in social cognition, defined as the ability to understand oneself and others in the social world, which includes abilities such as emotion recognition, theory of mind, attributional style, and social perception and knowledge. The impact of several kinds of interventions on social cognition has been studied recently. The best outcomes in the area of social cognition in schizophrenia are those obtained by way of cognitive remediation programs. New strategies and programs in this line are currently being developed, such as RC2S (Cognitive Remediation of Social Cognition in Lyon, France. Considering that the social cognitive deficits experienced by patients with schizophrenia are very diverse, and that the main objective of social cognitive remediation programs is to improve patients’ functioning in their daily social life, RC2S was developed as an individualized and flexible program that allows patients to practice social interaction in a realistic environment through the use of virtual-reality techniques. In the RC2S program, the patient’s goal is to assist a character named Tom in various social situations. The underlying idea for the patient is to acquire cognitive strategies for analyzing social context and emotional information in order to understand other characters’ mental states and to help Tom manage his social interactions. In this paper, we begin by presenting some data regarding the social cognitive impairments found in schizophrenia and related disorders, and we describe how these deficits are targeted by social cognitive remediation. Then we present the RC2S program and discuss the advantages of computer-based simulation to improve social cognition and social functioning in people with

  11. RC2S: A Cognitive Remediation Program to Improve Social Cognition in Schizophrenia and Related Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peyroux, Elodie; Franck, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    In people with psychiatric disorders, particularly those suffering from schizophrenia and related illnesses, pronounced difficulties in social interactions are a key manifestation. These difficulties can be partly explained by impairments in social cognition, defined as the ability to understand oneself and others in the social world, which includes abilities such as emotion recognition, theory of mind (ToM), attributional style, and social perception and knowledge. The impact of several kinds of interventions on social cognition has been studied recently. The best outcomes in the area of social cognition in schizophrenia are those obtained by way of cognitive remediation programs. New strategies and programs in this line are currently being developed, such as RC2S (cognitive remediation of social cognition) in Lyon, France. Considering that the social cognitive deficits experienced by patients with schizophrenia are very diverse, and that the main objective of social cognitive remediation programs is to improve patients' functioning in their daily social life, RC2S was developed as an individualized and flexible program that allows patients to practice social interaction in a realistic environment through the use of virtual reality techniques. In the RC2S program, the patient's goal is to assist a character named Tom in various social situations. The underlying idea for the patient is to acquire cognitive strategies for analyzing social context and emotional information in order to understand other characters' mental states and to help Tom manage his social interactions. In this paper, we begin by presenting some data regarding the social cognitive impairments found in schizophrenia and related disorders, and we describe how these deficits are targeted by social cognitive remediation. Then we present the RC2S program and discuss the advantages of computer-based simulation to improve social cognition and social functioning in people with psychiatric disorders.

  12. Understanding the organization of cognitive approaches to translation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Serban, Maria

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive approaches to translation studies are driven by three interrelated aims: to understand the structure and organization of the capacities of cognitive agents involved in processes of translation, to build better theories and models of translation, and to develop more efficient methods...... theory, it is more descriptively adequate and more fruitful to understand it as a family of projects based on multiple theories that are relevant for studying different aspects of the translation process. This perspective allows us to extract the erotetic structure of these programs which are organized...... underpinnings of translation is both varied and constantly developing. This essay showcases some current research programs that reflect the fruitfulness of the interdisciplinary structure of translation studies. Instead of thinking about cognitive research on translation as being driven by a master cognitive...

  13. Nutraceutical intervention improves older adults' cognitive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Small, Brent J; Rawson, Kerri S; Martin, Christina; Eisel, Sarah L; Sanberg, Cyndy D; McEvoy, Cathy L; Sanberg, Paul R; Shytle, R Douglas; Tan, Jun; Bickford, Paula C

    2014-02-01

    Interventions to improve the cognitive health of older adults are of critical importance. In the current study, we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using a pill-based nutraceutical (NT-020) that contained a proprietary formulation of blueberry, carnosine, green tea, vitamin D3, and Biovin to evaluate the impact on changes in multiple domains of cognitive functioning. One hundred and five cognitively intact adults aged 65-85 years of age (M=73.6 years) were randomized to receive NT-020 (n=52) or a placebo (n=53). Participants were tested with a battery of cognitive performance tests that were classified into six broad domains--episodic memory, processing speed, verbal ability, working memory, executive functioning, and complex speed at baseline and 2 months later. The results indicated that persons taking NT-020 improved significantly on two measures of processing speed across the 2-month test period in contrast to persons on the placebo whose performance did not change. None of the other cognitive ability measures were related to intervention group. The results also indicated that the NT-020 was well tolerated by older adults, and the presence of adverse events or symptoms did not differ between the NT-020 and placebo groups. Overall, the results of the current study were promising and suggest the potential for interventions like these to improve the cognitive health of older adults.

  14. Understanding Millennials to Improve Recruiting Efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-24

    efficient recruiting of Millennials . There is not a consistently strong linkage within the command to explain national advertising messaging methodology to...St ra te gy R es ea rc h Pr oj ec t UNDERSTANDING MILLENNIALS TO IMPROVE RECRUITING EFFICIENCY BY LIEUTENANT COLONEL HEATHER GARRETT...Research Project 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Understanding Millennials to Improve Recruiting Efficiency 5a

  15. Cognition and Rhetoric: Biological Basis of Meaning and Understanding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Arenas-Dolz

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is twofold: on the one hand, to explore those approaches that understand cognitive processes as embodied and as a result of our interaction with the environment, and not merely as as a information processing system; and, on the other hand, to show their connexion with the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying meaning and understanding, giving and overview of some of the insights from recent studies in neurorhetorics.

  16. Captured by Motion: Dance, Action Understanding, and Social Cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sevdalis, Vassilis; Keller, Peter E.

    2011-01-01

    In this review article, we summarize the main findings from empirical studies that used dance-related forms of rhythmical full body movement as a research tool for investigating action understanding and social cognition. This work has proven to be informative about behavioral and brain mechanisms that mediate links between perceptual and motor…

  17. Embodied artificial agents for understanding human social cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wykowska, Agnieszka; Chaminade, Thierry; Cheng, Gordon

    2016-05-05

    In this paper, we propose that experimental protocols involving artificial agents, in particular the embodied humanoid robots, provide insightful information regarding social cognitive mechanisms in the human brain. Using artificial agents allows for manipulation and control of various parameters of behaviour, appearance and expressiveness in one of the interaction partners (the artificial agent), and for examining effect of these parameters on the other interaction partner (the human). At the same time, using artificial agents means introducing the presence of artificial, yet human-like, systems into the human social sphere. This allows for testing in a controlled, but ecologically valid, manner human fundamental mechanisms of social cognition both at the behavioural and at the neural level. This paper will review existing literature that reports studies in which artificial embodied agents have been used to study social cognition and will address the question of whether various mechanisms of social cognition (ranging from lower- to higher-order cognitive processes) are evoked by artificial agents to the same extent as by natural agents, humans in particular. Increasing the understanding of how behavioural and neural mechanisms of social cognition respond to artificial anthropomorphic agents provides empirical answers to the conundrum 'What is a social agent?' © 2016 The Authors.

  18. Learning Tools and Applications for Cognitive Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Athanasios Drigas

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Learning technologies are an indispensable tool for students’ cognitive improvement and assessment. ICTs in coordination with a concrete pedagogical framework may provide students and teachers flexible, engaging, cost-effective and above all, personalized learning experiences, which focus on the adoption of the 21st century cognitive skills into the actual learning process. Such higher order thinking skills (HOTS entail critical thinking, problem solving, independent inquiry, creativity, communication, collaboration, digital literacy. Therefore, technologically-supported educational environments aim at self-regulated and inquisitive, constructivist, knowledge building rather than knowledge accumulation.

  19. Balancing cognitive diversity and mutual understanding in multidisciplinary teams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Rebecca; Boyle, Brendan; O'Brien, Rachael; Malik, Ashish; Tian, Karen; Parker, Vicki; Giles, Michelle; Joyce, Pauline; Chiang, Vico

    Interprofessional health care teams are increasingly utilized in health care organizations. Although there is support for their capacity to solve complex problems, there is also evidence that such teams are not always successful. In an effort to understand the capacity of interprofessional teams to innovate successfully, we investigate the role of cognitive diversity to establish whether and how knowledge differences lead to innovation. The aim of this study was to construct and investigate a model of team innovation predicted by cognitive diversity. In addition to investigating the direct impact of cognitive diversity in interprofessional health care teams, we develop a model incorporating mediated and moderated effects. In this study, we explore the role of debate as a mediating factor capable of explaining the impact of cognitive diversity on innovation. We further propose that the link between cognitive diversity and innovation through debate is contingent upon trans-specialist knowledge, knowledge shared by health care professionals, spanning specialist divides and enabling mutual understanding. The hypotheses were investigated using a cross-sectional, correlational design. Survey data received from 75 interprofessional teams employed in an acute care setting, representing a 36% response rate, were used to investigate our model. Analysis supports a significant relationship between cognitive diversity and debate, which is stronger when teams rate highly for trans-specialist knowledge. Results also support a positive relationship between debate and innovation and our full moderated mediated pathway. A range of strategies are indicated by our results to increase innovation in interprofessional teams. In particular, interventions such as interprofessional education and training, which have been shown to facilitate the development of shared language and meaning, are recommended by our findings.

  20. Understanding catchment behaviour through model concept improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fenicia, F.

    2008-01-01

    This thesis describes an approach to model development based on the concept of iterative model improvement, which is a process where by trial and error different hypotheses of catchment behaviour are progressively tested, and the understanding of the system proceeds through a combined process of

  1. Interliminal Design: Understanding cognitive heuristics to mitigate design distortion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew McCollough

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive heuristics are mental shortcuts adapted over time to enable rapid interpretation of our complex environment. They are intrinsic to human cognition and resist modification. Heuristics applied outside the context to which they are best suited are termed cognitive bias, and are the cause of systematic errors in judgment and reasoning. As both a cognitive and intuitive discipline, design by individuals is vulnerable to context-inappropriate heuristic usage. Designing in groups can act positively to counterbalance these tendencies, but is subject to heuristic misuse and biases particular to social environments. Mismatch between desired and actual outcomes– termed here, design distortion – occurs when such usage goes unnoticed and unaddressed, and can affect multiple dimensions of a system. We propose a methodology, interliminal design, emerging from the Program in Collaborative Design at Pacific Northwest College of Art, to specifically address the influence of cognitive heuristics in design. This adaptive approach involves reflective, dialogic, inquiry-driven practices intended to increase awareness of heuristic usage, and identify aspects of the design process vulnerable to misuse on both individual and group levels. By facilitating the detection and mitigation of potentially costly errors in judgment and decision-making that create distortion, such metacognitive techniques can meaningfully improve design.

  2. Neuroanthropological Understanding of Complex Cognition – Numerosity and Arithmetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zarja Mursic

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Humankind has a long evolutionary history. When we are trying to understand human complex cognition, it is as well important to look back to entire evolution. I will present the thesis that our biological predispositions and culture, together with natural and social environment, are tightly connected. During ontogenetically development we are shaped by various factors, and they enabled humans to develop some aspects of complex cognition, such as mathematics.In the beginning of the article I present the importance of natural and cultural evolution in other animals. In the following part, I briefly examine the field of mathematics – numerosity and arithmetic. Presentation of comparative animal studies, mainly made on primates, provides some interesting examples in animals’ abilities to separate between different quantities. From abilities for numerosity in animals I continue to neuroscientific studies of humans and our ability to solve simple arithmetic tasks. I also mention cross-cultural studies of arithmetic skills. In the final part of the text I present the field neuroanthropology as a possible new pillar of cognitive science. Finally, it is important to connect human evolution and development with animal cognition studies, but as well with cross-cultural studies in shaping of human ability for numerosity and arithmetic.

  3. Gait and Cognition: A Complementary Approach to Understanding Brain Function and the Risk of Falling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montero-Odasso, Manuel; Verghese, Joe; Beauchet, Olivier; Hausdorff, Jeffrey M.

    2012-01-01

    Until recently, clinicians and researchers have performed gait assessments and cognitive assessments separately when evaluating older adults. Increasing evidence from clinical practice, epidemiological studies, and clinical trials shows that gait and cognition are inter-related in older adults. Quantifiable alterations in gait among older adults are associated with falls, dementia, and disability. At the same time, emerging evidence indicates that early disturbances in cognitive processes such as attention, executive function, and working memory are associated with slower gait and gait instability during single and dual-task testing, and that these cognitive disturbances assist in the prediction of future mobility loss, falls, and progression to dementia. This paper reviews the importance of the gait-cognition inter-relationship in aging and presents evidence that gait assessments can provide a window into the understanding of cognitive function and dysfunctions, and fall risk in older people in clinical practice. To this end, the benefits of dual-task gait assessments (e.g., walking while performing an attention-demanding task) as a marker of fall risk are summarized. Further, we also present a potential complementary approach for reducing the risk of falls by improving certain aspects of cognition through both non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments. Untangling the relationship between early gait disturbances and early cognitive changes may be helpful for identifying older adults at higher risk of experiencing mobility decline, falls and the progression to dementia. PMID:23110433

  4. Gait and cognition: a complementary approach to understanding brain function and the risk of falling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montero-Odasso, Manuel; Verghese, Joe; Beauchet, Olivier; Hausdorff, Jeffrey M

    2012-11-01

    Until recently, clinicians and researchers have performed gait assessments and cognitive assessments separately when evaluating older adults, but increasing evidence from clinical practice, epidemiological studies, and clinical trials shows that gait and cognition are interrelated in older adults. Quantifiable alterations in gait in older adults are associated with falls, dementia, and disability. At the same time, emerging evidence indicates that early disturbances in cognitive processes such as attention, executive function, and working memory are associated with slower gait and gait instability during single- and dual-task testing and that these cognitive disturbances assist in the prediction of future mobility loss, falls, and progression to dementia. This article reviews the importance of the interrelationship between gait and cognition in aging and presents evidence that gait assessments can provide a window into the understanding of cognitive function and dysfunction and fall risk in older people in clinical practice. To this end, the benefits of dual-task gait assessments (e.g., walking while performing an attention-demanding task) as a marker of fall risk are summarized. A potential complementary approach for reducing the risk of falls by improving certain aspects of cognition through nonpharmacological and pharmacological treatments is also presented. Untangling the relationship between early gait disturbances and early cognitive changes may be helpful in identifying older adults at risk of experiencing mobility decline, falls, and progression to dementia. © 2012, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2012, The American Geriatrics Society.

  5. Understanding Cognitive Performance During Robot-Assisted Surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guru, Khurshid A; Shafiei, Somayeh B; Khan, Atif; Hussein, Ahmed A; Sharif, Mohamed; Esfahani, Ehsan T

    2015-10-01

    To understand cognitive function of an expert surgeon in various surgical scenarios while performing robot-assisted surgery. In an Internal Review Board approved study, National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) questionnaire with surgical field notes were simultaneously completed. A wireless electroencephalography (EEG) headset was used to monitor brain activity during all procedures. Three key portions were evaluated: lysis of adhesions, extended lymph node dissection, and urethro-vesical anastomosis (UVA). Cognitive metrics extracted were distraction, mental workload, and mental state. In evaluating lysis of adhesions, mental state (EEG) was associated with better performance (NASA-TLX). Utilizing more mental resources resulted in better performance as self-reported. Outcomes of lysis were highly dependent on cognitive function and decision-making skills. In evaluating extended lymph node dissection, there was a negative correlation between distraction level (EEG) and mental demand, physical demand and effort (NASA-TLX). Similar to lysis of adhesion, utilizing more mental resources resulted in better performance (NASA-TLX). Lastly, with UVA, workload (EEG) negatively correlated with mental and temporal demand and was associated with better performance (NASA-TLX). The EEG recorded workload as seen here was a combination of both cognitive performance (finding solution) and motor workload (execution). Majority of workload was contributed by motor workload of an expert surgeon. During UVA, muscle memory and motor skills of expert are keys to completing the UVA. Cognitive analysis shows that expert surgeons utilized different mental resources based on their need. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Social-cognitive correlates of children's understanding of displaced aggression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, P H; DeMarie-Dreblow, D

    1990-06-01

    The purpose of this research was (1) to provide a detailed description of developmental differences in the understanding of displaced aggression during the grade school years and (2) to identify social-cognitive correlates of this development. Seventy-two children aged 5, 7, and 9 viewed, and answered questions about, four videotaped stories involving displaced aggression. In another session they were given three tests of social cognition. One was a person perception task which tapped the tendency to refer to physical or psychological attributes. A second was a recursive thinking task which assessed their awareness that people can think about each other. Third, Selman's puppy story was used to assess their awareness that words or facial expressions do not always reflect the way a person feels, and that a person may not always know what he or someone else really feels. The understanding of displaced aggression increased significantly with increasing age. This understanding was significantly related to the person perception task for 5-year-olds, and to the Selman task for 7- and 9-year-olds. The results were discussed in terms of a developing awareness of possible discrepancies between feelings and physical behavior, facial expressions, or words.

  7. Neuroethical considerations: cognitive liberty and converging technologies for improving human cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sententia, Wrye

    2004-05-01

    Developers of NBIC (Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno) technologies face a multitude of obstacles, not the least of which is navigating the public ethics of their applied research. Biotechnologies have received widespread media attention and spawned heated interest in their perceived social implications. Now, in view of the rapidly expanding purview of neuroscience and the growing array of technologic developments capable of affecting or monitoring cognition, the emerging field of neuroethics calls for a consideration of the social and ethical implications of neuroscientific discoveries and trends. To negotiate the complex ethical issues at stake in new and emerging kinds of technologies for improving human cognition, we need to overcome political, disciplinary, and religious sectarianism. We need analytical models that protect values of personhood at the heart of a functional democracy-values that allow, as much as possible, for individual decision-making, despite transformations in our understanding and ability to manipulate cognitive processes. Addressing cognitive enhancement from the legal and ethical notion of "cognitive liberty" provides a powerful tool for assessing and encouraging NBIC developments.

  8. Physical activity improves cognition: possible explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koščak Tivadar, Blanka

    2017-08-01

    Good cognitive abilities (CA) enable autonomy, improve social inclusion and act preventively. Regular physical activity (PA) reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) and, at the same time, it reduces the decline of CA and stimulates neurogenesis. So PA in connection with cognitive training, nutrition and social interaction has a positive effect on general CA and the central nervous system, the central executor, memory and attention, and reduces the likelihood of developing dementia. Our objective was to examine which sort and intensity of PA is preferred. We did a review, restricted only to human studies, of transparent scientific articles and sample surveys carried out and published in the period between 2001 and 2016 based on the keywords: age, aging, physical activity, physical abilities, cognitive abilities, memory and Alzheimer's disease. According to results CA and PA interact, as an increasing PA of only 10% reduces the risk of dementia and AD significantly. However, there is a question of appropriate intensity of exercise. Low-intensity aerobic exercise has a positive effect on the visual spatial perception and attention, whereas moderate PA has a positive impact on general CA, working memory and attention, verbal memory and attention and vice versa. While the majority of experts recommends vigorous or moderate exercise, many of them warn that higher intensity requires more attention to PA and less to cognitive processes, particularly in terms of reducing reactions, selective attention and flexibility to tasks. There is also a further question what PA should be like. Although some experts believe that the best combination is aerobic PA and exercises against resistance, it is not entirely clear whether the improvement in CA is a result of cardiac vascular fitness. On the other hand, for most elderly it is more suitable to perform an alternative form (not anaerobic) of PA due to comorbidity and actual fragility. We can conclude that PA has a

  9. Improving students' understanding of quantum mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Chandralekha

    2011-03-01

    Learning quantum mechanics is especially challenging, in part due to the abstract nature of the subject. We have been conducting investigations of the difficulties that students have in learning quantum mechanics. To help improve student understanding of quantum concepts, we are developing quantum interactive learning tutorials (QuILTs) as well as tools for peer-instruction. The goal of QuILTs and peer-instruction tools is to actively engage students in the learning process and to help them build links between the formalism and the conceptual aspects of quantum physics without compromising the technical content. They focus on helping students integrate qualitative and quantitative understanding, confront and resolve their misconceptions and difficulties, and discriminate between concepts that are often confused. In this talk, I will give examples from my research in physics education of how students' prior knowledge relevant for quantum mechanics can be assessed, and how learning tools can be designed to help students develop a robust knowledge structure and critical thinking skills. Supported by the National Science Foundation.

  10. Cognitive Stimulation is Essential to Maintain and/or Improve the Cognitive Function of the Elderly

    OpenAIRE

    Telma Filipa Mendes Ramos; Lisete dos Santos Mendes Mónico; Pedro Miguel Parreira; Maria dos Anjos Coelho Rodrigues Dixe; Ana Ramos; César Fonseca

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: Cognitive stimulation is essential to maintain and / or improve the cognitive function of the elderly. Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the impact of the application of a Cognitive Stimulation Program on the maintenance or improvement of the cognitive function of the elderly at the levels of orientation, memory, calculation and language. It was also intended to evaluate complementary measures of the impact of the intervention program, name- ly on the quality of life, dep...

  11. Cognitive Pathways: Analysis of Students' Written Texts for Science Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimberg, Bruna Irene; Hand, Brian

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to reconstruct writers' reasoning process as reflected in their written texts. The codes resulting from the text analysis were related to cognitive operations, ranging from simple to more sophisticated ones. The sequence of the cognitive operations as the text unfolded represents the writer's cognitive pathway at the…

  12. Cognitive Stimulation is Essential to Maintain and/or Improve the Cognitive Function of the Elderly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Telma Filipa Mendes Ramos

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Cognitive stimulation is essential to maintain and / or improve the cognitive function of the elderly. Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the impact of the application of a Cognitive Stimulation Program on the maintenance or improvement of the cognitive function of the elderly at the levels of orientation, memory, calculation and language. It was also intended to evaluate complementary measures of the impact of the intervention program, name- ly on the quality of life, depressive symptoms, in the eight cognitive domains, executive function, visuospatial capacity, memory, attention, concentration and working memory, language and orientation. Method: The program was performed in 14 sessions for seven weeks, with pre-and post-test measurements. The final sample consisted of seven elderly men, four men and three women aged between 68-89 years (80.29 ± 8.83 years, who responded to the following measures: Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA, Quality of life (IAQdV-8, Geriatric De- pression Scale (GDS-15 and Cognitive Decline Test (6-CIT. Results: The post-test cognitive decline in relation to the pre-test decreased significantly (6_CIT, with an improvement in the cognitive function of the elderly. The improvement of some indicators of cognitive function is positively correlated with the self-perception of quality of life with negatively depressive symptomatology. Conclusions: The administration of Cognitive Stimulation Programs contributes to an im- provement of the cognitive function in the elderly and an increase in the quality of life.

  13. Understanding of evolution may be improved by thinking about people.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nettle, Daniel

    2010-05-20

    The theory of evolution is poorly understood in the population at large, even by those with some science education. The recurrent misunderstandings can be partly attributed to failure to distinguish between processes which individual organisms undergo and those which populations undergo. They may be so pervasive because we usually explain evolutionary ideas with examples from non-human animals, and our everyday cognition about animals does not track individuals as distinct from the species to which they belong. By contrast, everyday cognition about other people tracks unique individuals as well as general properties of humans. In Study 1, I present experimental evidence that categorization by species occurs more strongly for non-human animals than for other people in 50 British university students. In Study 2, I show, in the same population, that framing evolutionary scenarios in terms of people produces fewer conceptual errors than when logically identical scenarios are framed terms of non-human animals. I conclude that public understanding of evolution might be improved if we began instruction by considering the organisms which are most familiar to us.

  14. Understanding of Evolution May Be Improved by Thinking about People

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Nettle

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The theory of evolution is poorly understood in the population at large, even by those with some science education. The recurrent misunderstandings can be partly attributed to failure to distinguish between processes which individual organisms undergo and those which populations undergo. They may be so pervasive because we usually explain evolutionary ideas with examples from non-human animals, and our everyday cognition about animals does not track individuals as distinct from the species to which they belong. By contrast, everyday cognition about other people tracks unique individuals as well as general properties of humans. In Study 1, I present experimental evidence that categorization by species occurs more strongly for non-human animals than for other people in 50 British university students. In Study 2, I show, in the same population, that framing evolutionary scenarios in terms of people produces fewer conceptual errors than when logically identical scenarios are framed terms of non-human animals. I conclude that public understanding of evolution might be improved if we began instruction by considering the organisms which are most familiar to us.

  15. Continuous Improvement in Schools: Understanding the Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Stephen; Kumari, Roshni

    2009-01-01

    This article investigates conceptually and practically what it means for schools to engage in the practice of continuous improvement. The analysis draws upon prior research and discussion to predict core elements of the practice of continuous improvement in schools. The predictions are then applied to a case study of continuous improvement efforts…

  16. Advanced Analysis Cognition: Improving the Cognition of Intelligence Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-01

    need is the underlying motivation for cognitive activity. The human brain is a compulsive explainer. It’s constantly churning out hypotheses... compulsion to explain everything drives our curiosity and thirst for knowledge of the world.59 Why should we care a whit whether black holes really...pp. 40. (RW 2574) Hitti, M. Why we Buy : Weighing Pleasure Vs. Pain, Available: http://www.webmd.com/content/Article/131/117986.htm, (RW 1980

  17. Neural correlates of cognitive improvements following cognitive remediation in schizophrenia: a systematic review of randomized trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaac, Clémence; Januel, Dominique

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive impairments are a core feature in schizophrenia and are linked to poor social functioning. Numerous studies have shown that cognitive remediation can enhance cognitive and functional abilities in patients with this pathology. The underlying mechanism of these behavioral improvements seems to be related to structural and functional changes in the brain. However, studies on neural correlates of such enhancement remain scarce. We explored the neural correlates of cognitive enhancement following cognitive remediation interventions in schizophrenia and the differential effect between cognitive training and other therapeutic interventions or patients' usual care. We searched MEDLINE, PsycInfo, and ScienceDirect databases for studies on cognitive remediation therapy in schizophrenia that used neuroimaging techniques and a randomized design. Search terms included randomized controlled trial, cognitive remediation, cognitive training, rehabilitation, magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography, near infrared spectroscopy, and diffusion tensor imaging. We selected randomized controlled trials that proposed multiple sessions of cognitive training to adult patients with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder and assessed its efficacy with imaging techniques. In total, 15 reports involving 19 studies were included in the systematic review. They involved a total of 455 adult patients, 271 of whom received cognitive remediation. Cognitive remediation therapy seems to provide a neurobiological enhancing effect in schizophrenia. After therapy, increased activations are observed in various brain regions mainly in frontal - especially prefrontal - and also in occipital and anterior cingulate regions during working memory and executive tasks. Several studies provide evidence of an improved functional connectivity after cognitive training, suggesting a neuroplastic effect of therapy through mechanisms of functional

  18. Harnessing cognitive neuroscience to develop new treatments for improving cognition in schizophrenia: CNTRICS selected cognitive paradigms for animal models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Holly; Geyer, Mark A; Carter, Cameron S; Barch, Deanna M

    2013-11-01

    Over the past two decades, the awareness of the disabling and treatment-refractory effects of impaired cognition in schizophrenia has increased dramatically. In response to this still unmet need in the treatment of schizophrenia, the Cognitive Neuroscience Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (CNTRICS) initiative was developed. The goal of CNTRICS is to harness cognitive neuroscience to develop a brain-based set of tools for measuring cognition in schizophrenia and to test new treatments. CNTRICS meetings focused on development of tasks with cognitive construct validity for use in both human and animal model studies. This special issue presents papers discussing the cognitive testing paradigms selected by CNTRICS for animal model systems. These paradigms are designed to measure cognitive constructs within the domains of perception, attention, executive function, working memory, object/relational long-term memory, and social/affective processes. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  19. Beyond consent--improving understanding in surgical patients.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Mulsow, Jürgen J W

    2012-01-01

    Little is known of the actual understanding that underlies patient choices with regard to their surgical treatment. This review explores current knowledge of patient understanding and techniques that may be used to improve this understanding.

  20. Can cognitive training improve episodic memory?

    OpenAIRE

    Ranganath, Charan; Flegal, Kristin E.; Kelly, Laura L.

    2011-01-01

    Neuroscience-inspired approaches to train cognitive abilities are bringing about a paradigm shift in the way scientists view the treatment of memory dysfunction, but it can be challenging to prove whether such approaches have significant effects.

  1. Analysis of Student-Teacher Cognitive Styles Interaction: An Approach to Understanding Learner Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellah, Lusweti; Jacinta, Kwena; Helen, Mondoh

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive styles are persistent patterns of behavior that determine how an individual acquires and processes information. In the classroom the cognitive styles of the teacher interact with those of the learner resulting in differential understanding. This study which is informed by cognitive styles theories is a descriptive study that examined the…

  2. Cognitive training improves sleep quality and cognitive function among older adults with insomnia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haimov, Iris; Shatil, Evelyn

    2013-01-01

    To investigate the effect of an eight-week, home-based, personalized, computerized cognitive training program on sleep quality and cognitive performance among older adults with insomnia. Participants (n = 51) were randomly allocated to a cognitive training group (n = 34) or to an active control group (n = 17). The participants in the cognitive training group completed an eight-week, home-based, personalized, computerized cognitive training program, while the participants in the active control group completed an eight-week, home-based program involving computerized tasks that do not engage high-level cognitive functioning. Before and after training, all participants' sleep was monitored for one week by an actigraph and their cognitive performance was evaluated. COMMUNITY SETTING: residential sleep/performance testing facility. Fifty-one older adults with insomnia (aged 65-85). Eight weeks of computerized cognitive training for older adults with insomnia. Mixed models for repeated measures analysis showed between-group improvements for the cognitive training group on both sleep quality (sleep onset latency and sleep efficiency) and cognitive performance (avoiding distractions, working memory, visual memory, general memory and naming). Hierarchical linear regressions analysis in the cognitive training group indicated that improved visual scanning is associated with earlier advent of sleep, while improved naming is associated with the reduction in wake after sleep onset and with the reduction in number of awakenings. Likewise the results indicate that improved "avoiding distractions" is associated with an increase in the duration of sleep. Moreover, the results indicate that in the active control group cognitive decline observed in working memory is associated with an increase in the time required to fall asleep. New learning is instrumental in promoting initiation and maintenance of sleep in older adults with insomnia. Lasting and personalized cognitive

  3. The contributions of cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging to understanding mechanisms of behavior change in addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgenstern, Jon; Naqvi, Nasir H; Debellis, Robert; Breiter, Hans C

    2013-06-01

    In the last decade, there has been an upsurge of interest in understanding the mechanisms of behavior change (MOBC) and effective behavioral interventions as a strategy to improve addiction-treatment efficacy. However, there remains considerable uncertainty about how treatment research should proceed to address the MOBC issue. In this article, we argue that limitations in the underlying models of addiction that inform behavioral treatment pose an obstacle to elucidating MOBC. We consider how advances in the cognitive neuroscience of addiction offer an alternative conceptual and methodological approach to studying the psychological processes that characterize addiction, and how such advances could inform treatment process research. In addition, we review neuroimaging studies that have tested aspects of neurocognitive theories as a strategy to inform addiction therapies and discuss future directions for transdisciplinary collaborations across cognitive neuroscience and MOBC research. 2013 APA, all rights reserved

  4. Scientific Thinking in Elementary School: Children's Social Cognition and Their Epistemological Understanding Promote Experimentation Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osterhaus, Christopher; Koerber, Susanne; Sodian, Beate

    2017-01-01

    Do social cognition and epistemological understanding promote elementary school children's experimentation skills? To investigate this question, 402 children (ages 8, 9, and 10) in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades were assessed for their experimentation skills, social cognition (advanced theory of mind [AToM]), epistemological understanding (understanding…

  5. Do Action Video Games Improve Perception and Cognition?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter Richard Boot

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Frequent action video game players often outperform non-gamers on measures of perception and cognition, and some studies find that video game practice enhances those abilities. The possibility that video game training transfers broadly to other aspects of cognition is exciting because training on one task rarely improves performance on others. At first glance, the cumulative evidence suggests a strong relationship between gaming experience and other cognitive abilities, but methodological shortcomings call that conclusion into question. We discuss these pitfalls, identify how existing studies succeed or fail in overcoming them, and provide guidelines for more definitive tests of the effects of gaming on cognition.

  6. Understanding the cognitive processes involved in writing to learn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, Kathleen M; Umanath, Sharda; Thio, Kara; Reilly, Walter B; McDaniel, Mark A; Marsh, Elizabeth J

    2017-06-01

    Writing is often used as a tool for learning. However, empirical support for the benefits of writing-to-learn is mixed, likely because the literature conflates diverse activities (e.g., summaries, term papers) under the single umbrella of writing-to-learn. Following recent trends in the writing-to-learn literature, the authors focus on the underlying cognitive processes. They draw on the largely independent writing-to-learn and cognitive psychology learning literatures to identify important cognitive processes. The current experiment examines learning from 3 writing tasks (and 1 nonwriting control), with an emphasis on whether or not the tasks engaged retrieval. Tasks that engaged retrieval (essay writing and free recall) led to better final test performance than those that did not (note taking and highlighting). Individual differences in structure building (the ability to construct mental representations of narratives; Gernsbacher, Varner, & Faust, 1990) modified this effect; skilled structure builders benefited more from essay writing and free recall than did less skilled structure builders. Further, more essay-like responses led to better performance, implicating the importance of additional cognitive processes such as reorganization and elaboration. The results highlight how both task instructions and individual differences affect the cognitive processes involved when writing-to-learn, with consequences for the effectiveness of the learning strategy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  7. Person perception informs understanding of cognition during visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brennan, Allison A; Watson, Marcus R; Kingstone, Alan; Enns, James T

    2011-08-01

    Does person perception--the impressions we form from watching others--hold clues to the mental states of people engaged in cognitive tasks? We investigated this with a two-phase method: In Phase 1, participants searched on a computer screen (Experiment 1) or in an office (Experiment 2); in Phase 2, other participants rated the searchers' video-recorded behavior. The results showed that blind raters are sensitive to individual differences in search proficiency and search strategy, as well as to environmental factors affecting search difficulty. Also, different behaviors were linked to search success in each setting: Eye movement frequency predicted successful search on a computer screen; head movement frequency predicted search success in an office. In both settings, an active search strategy and positive emotional expressions were linked to search success. These data indicate that person perception informs cognition beyond the scope of performance measures, offering the potential for new measurements of cognition that are both rich and unobtrusive.

  8. Donepezil Improved Cognitive Deficits in a Patient With Neurosyphilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yi-Shan; Lane, Hsien-Yuan; Lin, Chieh-Hsin

    2015-01-01

    A large number of patients with neurosyphilis present dementia with a progressive course and psychiatric symptoms such as depression, mania, and psychosis. Despite prompt and proper antibiotic treatment, the recovery is often incomplete, especially when tissue damage has occurred. We reported a patient with persisted cognitive decline associated with neurosyphilis that improved substantially after donepezil therapy. A 43-year-old man manifested significant psychiatric symptoms such as mania, psychosis, and cognitive impairment due to neurosyphilis. Subsequently, the patient was treated with antipsychotics and donepezil concurrent with an adequate antibiotic treatment for neurosyphilis. During the 1-year follow-up, his rapid plasma reagin titer approached from 1:256 to 1:64. His Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale scores improved from 12 to 25 and 42.3 to 6.3, respectively, after a 6-month donepezil treatment. Donepezil was discontinued. Three months later, worsening of cognitive impairment (MMSE score, 23) was noted. After donepezil was started again for 3 months, his MMSE score improved to 26. Persistent cognitive impairment is commonly associated with neurosyphilis despite adequate penicillin treatment. Treatment of the cognitive impairment is important but difficult. Cholinergic pathways are considered as involving in the cognitive deficit induced by neurosyphilis and donepezil, a cholinesterase inhibitor, which may be useful for the improvement of cognition. In this case report, we described for the first time the successful use of donepezil in treating cognitive impairment associated with neurosyphilis. The role of cholinesterase inhibitors in the treatment of cognitive impairments caused by neurosyphilis needs further studies.

  9. Adapting the concepts of brain and cognitive reserve to post-stroke cognitive deficits: Implications for understanding neglect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umarova, Roza M

    2017-12-01

    Advanced lesion mapping and connectivity analyses are currently the main tools used to understand the mechanisms underlying post-stroke cognitive deficits. However, the factors contributing to pre-stroke architecture of cognitive networks are often ignored, even though they reportedly play a decisive role in the manifestation of cognitive impairment in neurodegeneration. The present review on post-stroke cognitive deficits therefore adopts the concept of brain and cognitive reserve, which was originally developed to account for the individual differences in the course of aging and neurodegenerative diseases. By focusing on spatial neglect, a typical network disorder, it is discussed how individual susceptibility to stroke lesion might explain the reported discrepancies in lesion anatomy, non-spatial deficits and recovery courses. A detailed analysis of the literature reveals that premorbid brain (age, brain atrophy, previous strokes, leukoaraiosis, genetic factors, etc.) and cognitive reserve (IQ, life experience, education, occupation, premorbid cognitive impairment, etc.) greatly impact the brain's capacity for compensation. Furthermore, the interaction between pre-stroke brain/cognitive reserve and the degree of stroke-induced system impairment (e.g., hypoperfusion, lesion load) determines both the extent of neglect symptoms variability and the course of recovery. Premorbid brain/cognitive reserves should thus be considered to: (i) understand the mechanisms of post-stroke cognitive disorders and sufficiently explain their inter-individual variability; (ii) provide a prognosis for cognitive recovery and hence post-stroke dependency; (iii) identify individual targets for cognitive rehabilitation: in the case of reduced brain/cognitive reserve, neglect might occur even with a confined lesion, and non-spatial training of general attentional capacity should represent the main therapeutic target also for treatment of neglect; this might be true also for non-cognitive

  10. The influence of physical exercise on improvement of cognitive functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Popov Stanislava

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews contemporary studies on the influence of physical exercise on human cognitive functioning. One of the aims of the interdisciplinary neuroscience that connects psychology, medicine and sport, is in discovering the mechanisms by which physical exercise might improve cognitive functioning across the lifespan, especially in the old age, when cognitive efficiency naturally decreases. Studies have shown that physical exercise produces cognitive benefit over the lifetime, both directly, through physiological mechanisms and structural brain changes, and indirectly, through mood improvement and stress reduction. However, studies have shown that the effects of physical exercise depend on the exercise intensity - while moderate physical activity has a positive impact on the cognitive functioning, the high-intensity exercise shows the reversed effect. Also, studies have suggested that the effect of physical exercise on cognitive functioning depends on the type of physical activity. Overall, studies have demonstrated that physical exercise may produce positive effects on different cognitive processes, but still have not provided a clear mechanism underlying this influence. Also, existing studies have not revealed to what extent the various physical activities differ in their effects and whether such effects are specific or potentially beneficial for cognitive functioning in general.

  11. Recent progress in understanding skills and impairments in social cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Happé, Francesca; Conway, Jane R

    2016-12-01

    Social interaction is affected in many different developmental disorders; indeed, the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has introduced social cognition as one of six core components of neurocognitive functioning. Social cognition is not one thing, but a wide range of putative processes, which may be differentially affected in different clinical groups. This review focuses on recent advances in one aspect of social cognition, 'theory of mind' (ToM, representing what people think), and one core clinical group, autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is 30 years since impaired ToM was proposed as an explanation for ASD social difficulties, and recently there has been a widening of interest to other clinical groups. ToM has been found to be distinct from emotion recognition and empathy. Recent research on ASD has focused increasingly on atypical sensory responses and commonly comorbid conditions. Interventions for social deficits, including ToM training and oxytocin, have shown mixed results to date. Heterogeneity poses a major obstacle to current research. Theoretical and empirical refinements are needed to elucidate neurocognitive and aetiological underpinnings of sociocognitive processes and inform clinical advances.

  12. Improvement of cognitive function after cochlear implantation in elderly patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosnier, Isabelle; Bebear, Jean-Pierre; Marx, Mathieu; Fraysse, Bernard; Truy, Eric; Lina-Granade, Geneviève; Mondain, Michel; Sterkers-Artières, Françoise; Bordure, Philippe; Robier, Alain; Godey, Benoit; Meyer, Bernard; Frachet, Bruno; Poncet-Wallet, Christine; Bouccara, Didier; Sterkers, Olivier

    2015-05-01

    The association between hearing impairment and cognitive decline has been established; however, the effect of cochlear implantation on cognition in profoundly deaf elderly patients is not known. To analyze the relationship between cognitive function and hearing restoration with a cochlear implant in elderly patients. Prospective longitudinal study performed in 10 tertiary referral centers between September 1, 2006, and June 30, 2009. The participants included 94 patients aged 65 to 85 years with profound, postlingual hearing loss who were evaluated before, 6 months after, and 12 months after cochlear implantation. Cochlear implantation and aural rehabilitation program. Speech perception was measured using disyllabic word recognition tests in quiet and in noise settings. Cognitive function was assessed using a battery of 6 tests evaluating attention, memory, orientation, executive function, mental flexibility, and fluency (Mini-Mental State Examination, 5-word test, clock-drawing test, verbal fluency test, d2 test of attention, and Trail Making test parts A and B). Quality of life and depression were evaluated using the Nijmegen Cochlear Implant Questionnaire and the Geriatric Depression Scale-4. Cochlear implantation led to improvements in speech perception in quiet and in noise (at 6 months: in quiet, 42% score increase [95% CI, 35%-49%; P tests. One year after implant, 81% of the subgroup (30 of 37) showed improved global cognitive function (no or 1 abnormal test score). Improved mean scores in all cognitive domains were observed as early as 6 months after cochlear implantation. Cognitive performance remained stable in the remaining 19% of the participants (7 of 37). Among patients with the best cognitive performance before implantation (ie, no or 1 abnormal cognitive test score), 24% (12 of 50) displayed a slight decline in cognitive performance. Multivariate analysis to examine the association between cognitive abilities before implantation and the

  13. A Framework for Understanding Cultural Diversity in Cognition and Teamwork

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sutton, Janet L; Pierce, Linda G

    2003-01-01

    .... The Army's Objective Force leaders and soldiers must understand cultural differences affecting team performance before they can learn adaptive behaviors that would ensure mission success when working...

  14. Cognitive training improves sleep quality and cognitive function among older adults with insomnia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iris Haimov

    Full Text Available To investigate the effect of an eight-week, home-based, personalized, computerized cognitive training program on sleep quality and cognitive performance among older adults with insomnia.Participants (n = 51 were randomly allocated to a cognitive training group (n = 34 or to an active control group (n = 17. The participants in the cognitive training group completed an eight-week, home-based, personalized, computerized cognitive training program, while the participants in the active control group completed an eight-week, home-based program involving computerized tasks that do not engage high-level cognitive functioning. Before and after training, all participants' sleep was monitored for one week by an actigraph and their cognitive performance was evaluated.COMMUNITY SETTING: residential sleep/performance testing facility.Fifty-one older adults with insomnia (aged 65-85.Eight weeks of computerized cognitive training for older adults with insomnia.Mixed models for repeated measures analysis showed between-group improvements for the cognitive training group on both sleep quality (sleep onset latency and sleep efficiency and cognitive performance (avoiding distractions, working memory, visual memory, general memory and naming. Hierarchical linear regressions analysis in the cognitive training group indicated that improved visual scanning is associated with earlier advent of sleep, while improved naming is associated with the reduction in wake after sleep onset and with the reduction in number of awakenings. Likewise the results indicate that improved "avoiding distractions" is associated with an increase in the duration of sleep. Moreover, the results indicate that in the active control group cognitive decline observed in working memory is associated with an increase in the time required to fall asleep.New learning is instrumental in promoting initiation and maintenance of sleep in older adults with insomnia. Lasting and personalized

  15. Cognitive Training Improves Sleep Quality and Cognitive Function among Older Adults with Insomnia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haimov, Iris; Shatil, Evelyn

    2013-01-01

    Study Objectives To investigate the effect of an eight-week, home-based, personalized, computerized cognitive training program on sleep quality and cognitive performance among older adults with insomnia. Design Participants (n = 51) were randomly allocated to a cognitive training group (n = 34) or to an active control group (n = 17). The participants in the cognitive training group completed an eight-week, home-based, personalized, computerized cognitive training program, while the participants in the active control group completed an eight-week, home-based program involving computerized tasks that do not engage high-level cognitive functioning. Before and after training, all participants' sleep was monitored for one week by an actigraph and their cognitive performance was evaluated. Setting Community setting: residential sleep/performance testing facility. Participants Fifty-one older adults with insomnia (aged 65–85). Interventions Eight weeks of computerized cognitive training for older adults with insomnia. Results Mixed models for repeated measures analysis showed between-group improvements for the cognitive training group on both sleep quality (sleep onset latency and sleep efficiency) and cognitive performance (avoiding distractions, working memory, visual memory, general memory and naming). Hierarchical linear regressions analysis in the cognitive training group indicated that improved visual scanning is associated with earlier advent of sleep, while improved naming is associated with the reduction in wake after sleep onset and with the reduction in number of awakenings. Likewise the results indicate that improved “avoiding distractions” is associated with an increase in the duration of sleep. Moreover, the results indicate that in the active control group cognitive decline observed in working memory is associated with an increase in the time required to fall asleep. Conclusions New learning is instrumental in promoting initiation and

  16. Differentiating Processes of Control and Understanding in the Early Development of Emotion and Cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blankson, A. Nayena; O'Brien, Marion; Leerkes, Esther M.; Marcovitch, Stuart; Calkins, Susan D.

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we examined the hypothesis that preschoolers' performance on emotion and cognitive tasks is organized into discrete processes of control and understanding within the domains of emotion and cognition. Additionally, we examined the relations among component processes using mother report, behavioral observation, and physiological…

  17. Children's and Adolescents' Thoughts on Pollution: Cognitive Abilities Required to Understand Environmental Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Manuel; Kohen, Raquel; Delval, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Pollution phenomena are complex systems in which different parts are integrated by means of causal and temporal relationships. To understand pollution, children must develop some cognitive abilities related to system thinking and temporal and causal inferential reasoning. These cognitive abilities constrain and guide how children understand…

  18. Can antipsychotics improve social cognition in patients with schizophrenia?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kucharska-Pietura, Katarzyna; Mortimer, Ann

    2013-05-01

    Social cognition is described as the higher mental processes that are engaged while people store, process, and use social information to make sense of themselves and others. Aspects of social cognition include emotion perception, social cue interpretation, attribution style, and theory of mind, all of which appear disordered in schizophrenia. Such social cognitive deficits are believed to be important predictors of functional outcome in schizophrenia, therefore they may represent a crucial treatment target. Few studies have evaluated the influence of antipsychotic treatment on these deficits. The purpose of this review is to examine the relationship between antipsychotic treatment and social cognition, whether antipsychotics improve social cognitive function, and if so to explore differential medication effects. Comprehensive searches of PsycINFO and MEDLINE/PUBMED were conducted to identify relevant published manuscripts. Fifteen relevant papers published in English were found, describing original studies. On the basis of this review, we have drawn the following conclusions: first, the results do not engender optimism for the possibility that antipsychotic drugs can specifically facilitate social recovery. Second, the actions of antipsychotics on social cognition are inconclusive, due to lack of standardization across research groups, leading to inconsistencies between study designs, methods used, and medication dosages. Third, large-scale longitudinal investigations are needed to explore the unclear relationships between social cognition, symptoms, and functional outcome. Other non-pharmacological treatments focusing on training patients in the social cognitive areas may hold more promise.

  19. Aerobic exercise to improve cognitive function in older people without known cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Jeremy; Angevaren, Maaike; Rusted, Jennifer; Tabet, Naji

    2015-04-22

    There is increasing evidence that physical activity supports healthy ageing. Exercise is helpful for cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal systems, among others. Aerobic activity, in particular, improves cardiovascular fitness and, based on recently reported findings, may also have beneficial effects on cognition among older people. To assess the effect of aerobic physical activity, aimed at improving cardiorespiratory fitness, on cognitive function in older people without known cognitive impairment. We searched ALOIS - the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group's Specialized Register, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (CENTRAL) (all years to Issue 2 of 4, 2013), MEDLINE (Ovid SP 1946 to August 2013), EMBASE (Ovid SP 1974 to August 2013), PEDro, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science, PsycINFO (Ovid SP 1806 to August 2013), CINAHL (all dates to August 2013), LILACS (all dates to August 2013), World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (http://apps.who.int/trialsearch), ClinicalTrials.gov (https://clinicaltrials.gov) and Dissertation Abstracts International (DAI) up to 24 August 2013, with no language restrictions. We included all published randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the effect on cognitive function of aerobic physical activity programmes with any other active intervention, or no intervention, in cognitively healthy participants aged over 55 years. Two review authors independently extracted the data from included trials. We grouped cognitive outcome measures into eleven categories covering attention, memory, perception, executive functions, cognitive inhibition, cognitive speed and motor function. We used the mean difference (or standardised mean difference) between groups as the measure of the treatment effect and synthesised data using a random-effects model. We conducted separate analyses to compare aerobic exercise interventions with no intervention and with other exercise, social or

  20. Understanding and applying principles of social cognition and ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Environmental governance systems are under greater pressure to adapt and to cope with increased social and ecological uncertainty from stressors like climate change. We review principles of social cognition and decision making that shape and constrain how environmental governance systems adapt. We focus primarily on the interplay between key decision makers in society and legal systems. We argue that adaptive governance must overcome three cooperative dilemmas to facilitate adaptation: (1) encouraging collaborative problem solving, (2) garnering social acceptance and commitment, and (3) cultivating a culture of trust and tolerance for change and uncertainty. However, to do so governance systems must cope with biases in people’s decision making that cloud their judgment and create conflict. These systems must also satisfy people’s fundamental needs for self-determination, fairness, and security, ensuring that changes to environmental governance are perceived as legitimate, trustworthy, and acceptable. We discuss the implications of these principles for common governance solutions (e.g., public participation, enforcement) and conclude with methodological recommendations. We outline how scholars can investigate the social cognitive principles involved in cases of adaptive governance. Social-ecological stressors place significant pressure on major societal systems, triggering adaptive reforms in human governance and environmental law. Though potentially benefici

  1. The importance of understanding cognitive trajectories: the case of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swillen, Ann

    2017-01-01

    Purpose of review 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (DS) (velocardiofacial syndrome or DiGeorge syndrome) is the most common known contiguous gene deletion syndrome and is associated with neurodevelopmental problems and diverse neuropsychiatric disorders across the life span. In this review, we discuss the wide variability in intelligence, the developmental phenotypic transitions regarding cognitive development (intelligence) from preschool to adolescence, and the importance of understanding these cognitive trajectories in 22q11.2 DS for care/management and research. Recent findings Longitudinal data on the cognitive development of children and adolescents with 22q11.2 DS reveal divergent cognitive trajectories. A decline in verbal IQ precedes the onset of psychosis in 22q11.2 DS. Summary Understanding these cognitive trajectories is important since it can guide clinicians to develop adequate support, tailored remediation, and psychiatric care and individualized follow-up. PMID:26779858

  2. Mediation, moderation, and context: Understanding complex relations among cognition, affect, and health behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiviniemi, Marc T; Ellis, Erin M; Hall, Marissa G; Moss, Jennifer L; Lillie, Sarah E; Brewer, Noel T; Klein, William M P

    2018-01-01

    Researchers have historically treated cognition and affect as separate constructs in motivating health behaviour. We present a framework and empirical evidence for complex relations between cognition and affect in predicting health behaviour. Main Outcome, Design and Results: First, affect and cognition can mediate each other's relation to health behaviour. Second, affect and cognition can moderate the other's impact. Third, context can change the interplay of affect and cognition. Fourth, affect and cognition may be indelibly fused in some psychological constructs (e.g. worry, anticipated regret and reactance). These four propositions in our framework are not mutually exclusive. Examination of the types of complex relations described here can benefit theory development, empirical testing of theories and intervention design. Doing so will advance the understanding of mechanisms involved in regulation of health behaviours and the effectiveness of interventions to change health behaviours.

  3. Improving Cognitive Skills of the Industrial Robot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bezák Pavol

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available At present, there are plenty of industrial robots that are programmed to do the same repetitive task all the time. Industrial robots doing such kind of job are not able to understand whether the action is correct, effective or good. Object detection, manipulation and grasping is challenging due to the hand and object modeling uncertainties, unknown contact type and object stiffness properties. In this paper, the proposal of an intelligent humanoid hand object detection and grasping model is presented assuming that the object properties are known. The control is simulated in the Matlab Simulink/ SimMechanics, Neural Network Toolbox and Computer Vision System Toolbox.

  4. Improving Cognitive Skills of the Industrial Robot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezák, Pavol

    2015-08-01

    At present, there are plenty of industrial robots that are programmed to do the same repetitive task all the time. Industrial robots doing such kind of job are not able to understand whether the action is correct, effective or good. Object detection, manipulation and grasping is challenging due to the hand and object modeling uncertainties, unknown contact type and object stiffness properties. In this paper, the proposal of an intelligent humanoid hand object detection and grasping model is presented assuming that the object properties are known. The control is simulated in the Matlab Simulink/ SimMechanics, Neural Network Toolbox and Computer Vision System Toolbox.

  5. Cognitive Dissonance as an Instructional Tool for Understanding Chemical Representations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corradi, David; Clarebout, Geraldine; Elen, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Previous research on multiple external representations (MER) indicates that sequencing representations (compared with presenting them as a whole) can, in some cases, increase conceptual understanding if there is interference between internal and external representations. We tested this mechanism by sequencing different combinations of scientific…

  6. How assessing relationships between emotions and cognition can improve farm animal welfare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boissy, A; Lee, C

    2014-04-01

    The assessment of farm animal welfare requires a good understanding of the animals' affective experiences, including their emotions. Emotions are transient reactions to short-term triggering events and can accumulate to cause longer-lasting affective states, which represent good or bad welfare. Cognition refers to the mechanisms by which animals acquire, process, store and act on information from the environment. The objective of this paper is to highlight the two-way relationships between emotions and cognition that were originally identified in human psychology, and to describe in what ways these can be used to better access affective experiences in farm animals. The first section describes a recent experimental approach based on the cognitive processes that the animal uses to evaluate its environment. This approach offers an integrative and functional framework to assess the animal's emotions more effectively. The second section focuses on the influence of emotions on cognitive processes and describes recently developed methodologies based on that relationship, which may enable an assessment of long-term affective states in animals. The last section discusses the relevance of behavioural strategies to improve welfare in animals by taking their cognitive skills into account. Specific cognitive processes eliciting positive emotions will be emphasised. Research into affective states of animals is progressing rapidly and the ability to scientifically access animal feelings should contribute to the development of innovative farming practices based on the animals' sentience and their cognitive skills in order to truly improve their welfare.

  7. Students' understanding of density: A cognitive linguistics perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southey, Philip; Allie, Saalih; Demaree, Dedra

    2013-01-01

    Density is an important, multifaceted concept that occurs at many levels of physics education. Previous research has shown that a primary instantiation of the concept, mass density, is not well understood by high school or university students. This study seeks to determine how students understand the broad concept of density, and whether particular aspects of their understanding are helpful in structuring the concept of charge density. Qualitative data were gathered in the form of questionnaires distributed to 172 freshmen comprising three different academic groups. Broad, open ended questions prompted for responses involving free writing and drawn diagrams. The data were analysed by an approach suggested by Grounded Theory. Using the theoretical lens of Conceptual Metaphor Theory, six underlying (foothold) concepts were identified in terms of which density was conceptualised: `filled container'; `packing'; `weight/heaviness'; `intensive property'; `floating/sinking'; `impenetrability/solidity'. The foothold concept of `packing' proved to be the most productive for conceptualising `charge density'.

  8. Improvement in cognitive impairment after cataract surgery in elderly patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamura, Hiroki; Tsukamoto, Hidetoshi; Mukai, Satoshi; Kato, Tomoko; Minamoto, Atsushi; Ohno, Yuko; Yamashita, Hidetoshi; Mishima, Hiromu K

    2004-03-01

    To evaluate whether cognitive impairment improves in elderly patients who have cataract surgery with intraocular lens (IOL) implantation. Kouki Hospital, Yamaguchi, Japan. A prospective observational study evaluated patients' scores on the Revised Hasegawa Dementia Scale (HDS-R) and the HDS-R minus 1 item regarding immediate regeneration (ie, function of vision and memory). Twenty patients (6 men, 14 women) with cognitive impairment had cataract surgery in 1 eye between March 1996 and July 2001 at Kouki Hospital, Japan. The mean age of the patients was 81.8 years (range 61 to 90 years). Twenty patients (4 men, 16 women) with cognitive impairment who did not have cataract surgery were selected as a control. The mean age in the control group was 84.3 years (range 70 to 93 years). The HDS-R was administered twice between March 1996 and July 2001. The mean HDS-R scores in the cataract surgery group improved from 12.5 points +/- 5.3 (SD) preoperatively to 16.6 +/- 6.2 points postoperatively; the improvement was significant (t = -5.02; Pcognitive impairment improved in 12 patients (60%), was unchanged in 7 (35%), and was worse in 1 (5%). Cataract surgery improved cognitive impairment in elderly Japanese patients.

  9. Improving Students' Understanding of Electricity and Magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jing

    2012-01-01

    Electricity and magnetism are important topics in physics. Research shows that students have many common difficulties in understanding concepts related to electricity and magnetism. However, research to improve students' understanding of electricity and magnetism is limited compared to introductory mechanics. This thesis explores issues…

  10. Targeting Treatments to Improve Cognitive Function in Mood Disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miskowiak, Kamilla Woznica; Rush, A. John; Gerds, Thomas A.

    2016-01-01

    reassessed the data from our 2 EPO trials conducted between September 2009 and October 2012 to determine whether objective performance-based memory impairment or subjective self-rated cognitive impairment at baseline was related to the effect of EPO on cognitive function as assessed by Rey Auditory Verbal...... randomized placebo-controlled trials that 8 weeks of erythropoietin (EPO) treatment has beneficial effects on verbal memory across unipolar and bipolar disorder, with 58% of EPO-treated patients displaying a clinically relevant memory improvement as compared to 15% of those treated with placebo. METHODS: We......-treated patients with objective memory dysfunction at baseline (n = 16) (defined as RAVLT total recall ≤ 43), the odds of a clinically relevant memory improvement were increased by a factor of 290.6 (95% CI, 2.7-31,316.4; P = .02) compared to patients with no baseline impairment (n = 23). Subjective cognitive...

  11. The Sound of Social Cognition: Toddlers' Understanding of How Sound Influences Others

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Rebecca A.; Brooks, Rechele; Meltzoff, Andrew N.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding others' perceptions is a fundamental aspect of social cognition. Children's construal of visual perception is well investigated, but there is little work on children's understanding of others' auditory perception. The current study assesses toddlers' recognition that producing different sounds can affect others…

  12. APPLYING COGNITIVE CODE TOWARDS INDONESIAN EFL LEARNERS’ WRITING COMPETENCE IMPROVEMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ita Juita

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available This classroom action research (CAR presents a research for solving the student’s problems in writing class by using two cycles of Kemmis and McTaggart. In this CAR, there are three crucial instruments. They are students’ learning journal to know what the student’ map thinking which is related to the cognitive code and the writing material, researcher’ journal and questionnaire. The students’ problems in writing subject happen in one class of English Department of the University of Kuningan, West Java – Indonesia. The learners find it difficult to process words into sentences. Applying cognitive code in this CAR is the strategy, with the purpose to know what the students need by asking them to use some tools such as student’s learning journal, thus the students are able to tell their difficulties based on their learning experiences in class. Cognitive code looks students or learners as thinking being and learn based on their learning experience. The students’ writing competence in the beginning of this research is 40, meanwhile, after applying cognitive code as the method of teaching learning process, the class average gets 64.5 in the post test. Thus, the normalized gain to measure the students’ writing development is on number 0.7, it means the students’ writing improvement is moderate. The students’ attitude toward cognitive code is taken from rating scales is 82%. Based on the data, it can be concluded that cognitive code is effective method in teaching writing.

  13. Understanding Social Situations (USS): A proof-of-concept social-cognitive intervention targeting theory of mind and attributional bias in individuals with psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiszdon, Joanna M; Roberts, David L; Penn, David L; Choi, Kee-Hong; Tek, Cenk; Choi, Jimmy; Bell, Morris D

    2017-03-01

    In this proof-of-concept trial, we examined the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of Understanding Social Situations (USS), a new social-cognitive intervention that targets higher level social-cognitive skills using methods common to neurocognitive remediation, including drill and practice and hierarchically structured training, which may compensate for the negative effects of cognitive impairment on learning. Thirty-eight individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders completed the same baseline assessment of cognitive and social-cognitive functioning twice over a 1-month period to minimize later practice effects, then received 7-10 sessions of USS training, and then completed the same assessment again at posttreatment. USS training was well tolerated and received high treatment satisfaction ratings. Large improvements on the USS Skills Test, which contained items similar to but not identical to training stimuli, suggest that we were effective in teaching specific training content. Content gains generalized to improvements on some of the social-cognitive tasks, including select measures of attributional bias and theory of mind. Importantly, baseline neurocognition did not impact the amount of learning during USS (as indexed by the USS Skills Test) or the amount of improvement on social-cognitive measures. USS shows promise as a treatment for higher level social-cognitive skills. Given the lack of relationship between baseline cognition and treatment effects, it may be particularly appropriate for individuals with lower range cognitive function. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  14. Training Attentional Control Improves Cognitive and Motor Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducrocq, Emmanuel; Wilson, Mark; Vine, Sam; Derakshan, Nazanin

    2016-10-01

    Attentional control is a necessary function for the regulation of goal-directed behavior. In three experiments we investigated whether training inhibitory control using a visual search task could improve task-specific measures of attentional control and performance. In Experiment 1 results revealed that training elicited a near-transfer effect, improving performance on a cognitive (antisaccade) task assessing inhibitory control. In Experiment 2 an initial far-transfer effect of training was observed on an index of attentional control validated for tennis. The principal aim of Experiment 3 was to expand on these findings by assessing objective gaze measures of inhibitory control during the performance of a tennis task. Training improved inhibitory control and performance when pressure was elevated, confirming the mechanisms by which cognitive anxiety impacts performance. These results suggest that attentional control training can improve inhibition and reduce taskspecific distractibility with promise of transfer to more efficient sporting performance in competitive contexts.

  15. Enhancing Cognitive Understanding to Improve Fundamental Movement Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drost, Daniel K.; Todorovich, John R.

    2013-01-01

    The development of fundamental movement skills in physical education is an important contributor toward children's' lifetime interest and participation in physical activity. Physical education teachers and their curricula follow national and state standards to provide learning experiences and instruction that support the acquisition of…

  16. Scientific thinking in elementary school: Children's social cognition and their epistemological understanding promote experimentation skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osterhaus, Christopher; Koerber, Susanne; Sodian, Beate

    2017-03-01

    Do social cognition and epistemological understanding promote elementary school children's experimentation skills? To investigate this question, 402 children (ages 8, 9, and 10) in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades were assessed for their experimentation skills, social cognition (advanced theory of mind [AToM]), epistemological understanding (understanding the nature of science), and general information-processing skills (inhibition, intelligence, and language abilities) in a whole-class testing procedure. A multiple indicators multiple causes model revealed a significant influence of social cognition (AToM) on epistemological understanding, and a McNemar test suggested that children's development of AToM is an important precursor for the emergence of an advanced, mature epistemological understanding. Children's epistemological understanding, in turn, predicted their experimentation skills. Importantly, this relation was independent of the common influences of general information processing. Significant relations between experimentation skills and inhibition, and between epistemological understanding, intelligence, and language abilities emerged, suggesting that general information processing contributes to the conceptual development that is involved in scientific thinking. The model of scientific thinking that was tested in this study (social cognition and epistemological understanding promote experimentation skills) fitted the data significantly better than 2 alternative models, which assumed nonspecific, equally strong relations between all constructs under investigation. Our results support the conclusion that social cognition plays a foundational role in the emergence of children's epistemological understanding, which in turn is closely related to the development of experimentation skills. Our findings have significant implications for the teaching of scientific thinking in elementary school and they stress the importance of children's epistemological understanding in

  17. Quadrupedal movement training improves markers of cognition and joint repositioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Martyn J; Yusuf, Mohamed; Doyle, Caron; Thompson, Catherine

    2016-06-01

    Exercise, and in particular balance and coordination related activities such as dance, appear to have positive effects on cognitive function, as well as neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia and Parkinson's disease. Quadrupedal gait training is a movement system requiring coordination of all four limbs that has previously been associated with cognitive development in children. There is currently little research into the effect of complex QDP movements on cognitive function in adults. To determine the effects of a novel four-week quadrupedal gait training programme on markers of cognitive function and joint reposition sense in healthy adults. Twenty-two physically active sports science students (15 male and 7 female) were divided into two groups: a training group (TG) and a control group (CG). All participants completed the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST) and were tested for joint reposition sense before and after a four-week intervention, during which time the TG completed a series of progressive and challenging quadrupedal movement training sessions. Participants in the TG showed significant improvements in the WCST, with improvements in perseverative errors, non-perseverative errors, and conceptual level response. This improvement was not found in the CG. Joint reposition sense also improved for the TG, but only at 20degrees of shoulder flexion. Performance of a novel, progressive, and challenging task, requiring the coordination of all 4 limbs, has a beneficial impact on cognitive flexibility, and in joint reposition sense, although only at the specific joint angle directly targeted by the training. The findings are consistent with other studies showing improvements in executive function and joint reposition sense following physical activity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Cognitive improvement following repair of a basal encephalocele.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tulloch, Isabel; Palmer, Siobhan; Scott, Richard; Lozsadi, Dora; Martin, Andrew J

    2017-12-17

    We report the case of a 55-year-old woman presenting with progressive memory impairment secondary to a transsphenoidal encephalocele involving her dominant medial temporal lobe. Her clinical deterioration was accompanied by radiological progression in the encephalocele's size and associated encephalomalacia. Through a temporal craniotomy, her encephalocele was resected and the defect closed. Baseline neuropsychological assessment indicated global cognitive impairment, but post-operatively, she reported improved memory and concentration. Standardized assessment reflected an improvement in perceptual skills and an associated improved recall of a complex figure. This is the first case report to date of a patient's memory improving following treatment of a basal encephalocele.

  19. Improving patient care. The cognitive psychology of missed diagnoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redelmeier, Donald A

    2005-01-18

    Cognitive psychology is the science that examines how people reason, formulate judgments, and make decisions. This case involves a patient given a diagnosis of pharyngitis, whose ultimate diagnosis of osteomyelitis was missed through a series of cognitive shortcuts. These errors include the availability heuristic (in which people judge likelihood by how easily examples spring to mind), the anchoring heuristic (in which people stick with initial impressions), framing effects (in which people make different decisions depending on how information is presented), blind obedience (in which people stop thinking when confronted with authority), and premature closure (in which several alternatives are not pursued). Rather than trying to completely eliminate cognitive shortcuts (which often serve clinicians well), becoming aware of common errors might lead to sustained improvement in patient care.

  20. Developmental Pathways for Social Understanding: Linking Social Cognition to Social Contexts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly eBrink

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary research, often with looking-time tasks, reveals that infants possess foundational understandings of their social worlds. However, few studies have examined how these early social cognitions relate to the child’s social interactions and behavior in early development. Does an early understanding of the social world relate to how an infant interacts with his or her parents? Do early social interactions along with social-cognitive understandings in infancy predict later preschool social competencies? In the current paper, we propose a theory in which children’s later social behaviors and their understanding of the social world depend on the integration of early social understanding and experiences in infancy. We review several of our studies, as well as other research, that directly examine the pathways between these competencies to support a hypothesized network of relations between social-cognitive development and social-interactive behaviors in the development from infancy to childhood. In total, these findings reveal differences in infant social competences that both track the developmental trajectory of infants’ understanding of people over the first years of life and provide external validation for the large body of social-cognitive findings emerging from laboratory looking-time paradigms.

  1. Understanding the cognitive underpinnings of functional impairments in early dementia: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giebel, Clarissa M; Challis, David; Montaldi, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    Early dementia is marked by cognitive and functional impairments, and although studies indicate an association between these, detailed analyses exploring this relationship are rare. It is crucial to understand how specific cognitive deficits underlie functional deficits to develop successful cognitive interventions. This paper reviews the evidence of impairment in everyday functioning and in working, long-term and prospective memory in early dementia. Findings are evaluated with respect to the relationship between cognitive and functional impairments. From the literature searches, 17 studies on everyday functioning and 40 studies on memory were obtained. Studies were only included if patients had an official diagnosis and were in the early stages of dementia. Complex instrumental activities of daily living were subject to greater impairment than basic activities of daily living. In particular, early dementia patients struggle with finance tasks; a deficit linked to impaired working memory. Regarding cognition, long-term memory is the earliest form of memory to decline as is well recognised. Evidence also indicates deficits in working and prospective memory, with inconsistent evidence about impairments of the former. A major limitation of the literature is a lack of studies assessing individual everyday activities and the associated error patterns that might occur. This review critically assesses the status of translational research for everyday activities in early dementia, an area with critical implications for cognitive-based rehabilitation. Further research is required into the detailed assessment of individual everyday activity and specific memory deficits, in order to effectively map cognitive functions onto functional performance.

  2. Diet-Induced Ketosis Improves Cognitive Performance in Aged Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Kui; Sun, Xiaoyan; Eroku, Bernadette O.; Tsipis, Constantinos P.; Puchowicz, Michelle A.; LaManna, Joseph C.

    2010-01-01

    Aging is associated with increased susceptibility to hypoxic/ischemic insult and declines in behavioral function which may be due to attenuated adaptive/defense responses. We investigated if diet-induced ketosis would improve behavioral performance in the aged rats. Fischer 344 rats (3- and 22-month-old) were fed standard (STD) or ketogenic (KG) diet for 3 weeks and then exposed to hypobaric hypoxia. Cognitive function was measured using the T-maze and object recognition tests. Motor function was measured using the inclined-screen test. Results showed that KG diet significantly increased blood ketone levels in both young and old rats. In the aged rats, the KG diet improved cognitive performance under normoxic and hypoxic conditions; while motor performance remained unchanged. Capillary density and HIF-1α levels were elevated in the aged ketotic group independent of hypoxic challenge. These data suggest that diet-induced ketosis may be beneficial in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions. PMID:20204773

  3. Enrichment and training improve cognition in rats with cortical malformations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle R Jenks

    Full Text Available Children with malformations of cortical development (MCD frequently have associated cognitive impairments which reduce quality of life. We hypothesized that cognitive deficits associated with MCD can be improved with environmental manipulation or additional training. The E17 methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM exposure model bears many anatomical hallmarks seen in human MCDs as well as similar behavioral and cognitive deficits. We divided control and MAM exposed Sprague-Dawley rats into enriched and non-enriched groups and tested performance in the Morris water maze. Another group similarly divided underwent sociability testing and also underwent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI scans pre and post enrichment. A third group of control and MAM rats without enrichment were trained until they reached criterion on the place avoidance task. MAM rats had impaired performance on spatial tasks and enrichment improved performance of both control and MAM animals. Although MAM rats did not have a deficit in sociability they showed similar improvement with enrichment as controls. MRI revealed a whole brain volume decrease with MAM exposure, and an increase in both MAM and control enriched volumes in comparison to non-enriched animals. In the place avoidance task, MAM rats required approximately 3 times as long to reach criterion as control animals, but with additional training were able to reach control performance. Environmental manipulation and additional training can improve cognition in a rodent MCD model. We therefore suggest that patients with MCD may benefit from appropriate alterations in educational strategies, social interaction and environment. These factors should be considered in therapeutic strategies.

  4. Understanding the Prospects and Potential for Improved Regional ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Understanding the Prospects and Potential for Improved Regional LIS Collaboration in the Developing World: An Empirical Study of LIS Departments in the GCC States. ... This is a qualitative research study, based on interviews with Heads of LIS Departments in the GCC states. The researchers emailed all Heads of LIS ...

  5. Principal efforts in improving the understanding of Climate impact of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    First page Back Continue Last page Overview Graphics. Principal efforts in improving the understanding of Climate impact of aerosols -. New and enhanced satellite borne sensors. Focused field experiments. Establishment and enhancement of ground based networks. Development and deployment of new and enhanced ...

  6. Can an understanding of transactional analysis improve postgraduate clinical supervision?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivan, Manoj; McKimm, Judy; Held, Sam

    2011-01-01

    Clinical supervision in postgraduate medical training is vital in producing competent and safe health-care practitioners. Effective communication between supervisors and trainees at an interpersonal and professional level determines the quality of the supervision process. Transactional analysis, a theory of personality, can be used to enhance understanding of interpersonal interactions and improve the outcomes of clinical training.

  7. Investigators share improved understanding of the North American carbon cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard A. Birdsey; Robert Cook; Scott Denning; Peter Griffith; Beverly Law; Jeffrey Masek; Anna Michalak; Stephen Ogle; Dennis Ojima; Yude Pan; Christopher Sabine; Edwin Sheffner; Eric Sundquist

    2007-01-01

    The U.S. North American Carbon Program (NACP) sponsored an "all-scientist" meeting to review progress in understanding the dynamics of the carbon cycle of North American and adjacent oceans, and to chart a course for improved integration across scientifi c disciplines, scales, and Earth system boundaries. The meeting participants also addressed the need for...

  8. Increasing our understanding of human cognition through the study of Fragile X Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Denise; Nuro, Erin; Murai, Keith K

    2014-02-01

    Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is considered the most common form of inherited intellectual disability. It is caused by reductions in the expression level or function of a single protein, the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP), a translational regulator which binds to approximately 4% of brain messenger RNAs. Accumulating evidence suggests that FXS is a complex disorder of cognition, involving interactions between genetic and environmental influences, leading to difficulties in acquiring key life skills including motor skills, language, and proper social behaviors. Since many FXS patients also present with one or more features of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), insights gained from studying the monogenic basis of FXS could pave the way to a greater understanding of underlying features of multigenic ASDs. Here we present an overview of the FXS and FMRP field with the goal of demonstrating how loss of a single protein involved in translational control affects multiple stages of brain development and leads to debilitating consequences on human cognition. We also focus on studies which have rescued or improved FXS symptoms in mice using genetic or therapeutic approaches to reduce protein expression. We end with a brief description of how deficits in translational control are implicated in FXS and certain cases of ASDs, with many recent studies demonstrating that ASDs are likely caused by increases or decreases in the levels of certain key synaptic proteins. The study of FXS and its underlying single genetic cause offers an invaluable opportunity to study how a single gene influences brain development and behavior. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Increasing our Understanding of Human Cognition Through the Study of Fragile X Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denise, Cook; Erin, Nuro; Keith, K. Murai

    2014-01-01

    Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is considered the most common form of inherited intellectual disability. It is caused by reductions in the expression level or function of a single protein, the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP), a translational regulator which binds to approximately 4% of brain messenger RNAs. Accumulating evidence suggests that FXS is a complex disorder of cognition, involving interactions between genetic and environmental influences, leading to difficulties in acquiring key life skills including motor skills, language, and proper social behaviors. Since many FXS patients also present with one or more features of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), insights gained from studying the monogenic basis of FXS could pave the way to a greater understanding of underlying features of multigenic ASDs. Here we present an overview of the FXS and FMRP field with the goal of demonstrating how loss of a single protein involved in translational control affects multiple stages of brain development and leads to debilitating consequences on human cognition. We also focus on studies which have rescued or improved FXS symptoms in mice using genetic or therapeutic approaches to reduce protein expression. We end with a brief description of how deficits in translational control are implicated in FXS and certain cases of ASDs, with many recent studies demonstrating that ASDs are likely caused by increases or decreases in the levels of certain key synaptic proteins. The study of FXS and its underlying single genetic cause offers an invaluable opportunity to study how a single gene influences brain development and behavior. © 2013 The Authors. Developmental Neurobiology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 74: 147–177, 2014 PMID:23723176

  10. Understanding Teachers' Cognitive Processes during Online Professional Learning: A Methodological Comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beach, Pamela; Willows, Dale

    2017-01-01

    This study examined the effectiveness of three types of think aloud methods for understanding elementary teachers' cognitive processes as they used a professional development website. A methodology combining a retrospective think aloud procedure with screen capture technology (referred to as the virtual revisit) was compared with concurrent and…

  11. Integrated Cognitive-neuroscience Architectures for Understanding Sensemaking (ICArUS): Transition to the Intelligence Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-12-01

    Case Study P U Pc Pt Ft Pa 1 Clinical vs. Actuarial Geospatial Profiling Strategies X X 2 Route Security in Baghdad X X X X 3 International...Information Sciences , 176, 1570-1589. Burns, K., & Bonaceto, C. (2014). Integrated Cognitive-neuroscience Architectures for Understanding Sensemaking

  12. Public Understanding of Cognitive Neuroscience Research Findings: Trying to Peer beyond Enchanted Glass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotzer, Tina A.

    2011-01-01

    This article considers the appeal of cognitive neuroscience research to the general public within the context of the deep puzzles involved in using our minds to understand how our minds work. It offers a few promising examples of findings that illuminate the ways of the mind and reveal these workings to be counter-intuitive with our subjective…

  13. Caffeine improves physical and cognitive performance during exhaustive exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogervorst, Eef; Bandelow, Stephan; Schmitt, Jeroen; Jentjens, Roy; Oliveira, Marta; Allgrove, Judith; Carter, Tom; Gleeson, Michael

    2008-10-01

    Caffeine is thought to act as a central stimulant and to have effects on physical, cognitive, and psychomotor functioning. To examine the effects of ingesting a performance bar, containing caffeine, before and during cycling exercise on physical and cognitive performance. Twenty-four well-trained cyclists consumed the products [a performance bar containing 45 g of carbohydrate and 100 mg of caffeine (CAF), an isocaloric noncaffeine performance bar (CHO), or 300 mL of placebo beverage (BEV)] immediately before performing a 2.5-h exercise at 60% VO2max followed by a time to exhaustion trial (T2EX) at 75% VO2max. Additional products were taken after 55 and 115 min of exercise. Cognitive function measures (computerized Stroop and Rapid Visual Information Processing tests) were performed before exercise and while cycling after 70 and 140 min of exercise and again 5 min after completing the T2EX ride. Participants were significantly faster after CAF when compared with CHO on both the computerized complex information processing tests, particularly after 140 min and after the T2EX ride (P performance was significantly slower than after both other treatments (P 0.10). T2EX was longer after CAF consumption compared with both CHO and BEV trials (P 0.05). Caffeine in a performance bar can significantly improve endurance performance and complex cognitive ability during and after exercise. These effects may be salient for sports performance in which concentration plays a major role.

  14. Improving students’ understanding of mathematical concept using maple

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ningsih, Y. L.; Paradesa, R.

    2018-01-01

    This study aimed to improve students’ understanding of mathematical concept ability through implementation of using Maple in learning and expository learning. This study used a quasi-experimental research with pretest-posttest control group design. The sample on this study was 61 students in the second semester of Mathematics Education of Universitas PGRI Palembang, South Sumatera in academic year 2016/2017. The sample was divided into two classes, one class as the experiment class who using Maple in learning and the other class as a control class who received expository learning. Data were collective through the test of mathematical initial ability and mathematical concept understanding ability. Data were analyzed by t-test and two ways ANOVA. The results of this study showed (1) the improvement of students’ mathematical concept understanding ability who using Maple in learning is better than those who using expository learning; (2) there is no interaction between learning model and students’ mathematical initial ability toward the improvement of students’ understanding of mathematical concept ability.

  15. Sleep Quality Improvement During Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsawh, Holly J; Bomyea, Jessica; Stein, Murray B; Cissell, Shadha H; Lang, Ariel J

    2016-01-01

    Despite the ubiquity of sleep complaints among individuals with anxiety disorders, few prior studies have examined whether sleep quality improves during anxiety treatment. The current study examined pre- to posttreatment sleep quality improvement during cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for panic disorder (PD; n = 26) or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; n = 24). Among sleep quality indices, only global sleep quality and sleep latency improved significantly (but modestly) during CBT. Sleep quality improvement was greater for treatment responders, but did not vary by diagnosis. Additionally, poor baseline sleep quality was independently associated with worse anxiety treatment outcome, as measured by higher intolerance of uncertainty. Additional intervention targeting sleep prior to or during CBT for anxiety may be beneficial for poor sleepers.

  16. Sleep Quality Improvement During Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsawh, Holly J.; Bomyea, Jessica; Stein, Murray B.; Cissell, Shadha H.; Lang, Ariel J.

    2014-01-01

    Despite the ubiquity of sleep complaints among individuals with anxiety disorders, few prior studies have examined whether sleep quality improves during anxiety treatment. The current study examined pre- to post-treatment sleep quality improvement during cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for panic disorder (PD; n = 26) or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; n = 24). Among sleep quality indices, only global sleep quality and sleep latency improved significantly (but modestly) during CBT. Sleep quality improvement was greater for treatment responders, but did not vary by diagnosis. Additionally, poor baseline sleep quality was independently associated with worse anxiety treatment outcome, as measured by higher intolerance of uncertainty. Additional intervention targeting sleep prior to or during CBT for anxiety may be beneficial for poor sleepers. PMID:26244485

  17. Neural Information Processing in Cognition: We Start to Understand the Orchestra, but Where is the Conductor?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palm, Günther

    2016-01-01

    Research in neural information processing has been successful in the past, providing useful approaches both to practical problems in computer science and to computational models in neuroscience. Recent developments in the area of cognitive neuroscience present new challenges for a computational or theoretical understanding asking for neural information processing models that fulfill criteria or constraints from cognitive psychology, neuroscience and computational efficiency. The most important of these criteria for the evaluation of present and future contributions to this new emerging field are listed at the end of this article. PMID:26858632

  18. The efficacy of cognitive interventions for improving cognitive performance and academic achievement in children after cancer treatment: A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeiffer, Susan M; Hutchinson, Amanda D

    2018-01-01

    Academic decline has been reported in children after cancer treatment, believed to be as a result of cognitive impairment. Cognitive interventions may improve both the present and future outcomes for children after cancer treatment by improving cognitive and/or academic performance. This review aimed to examine the efficacy of cognitive interventions in children who had received cancer treatment. A systematic search of the PsycInfo and PubMed databases was conducted in May 2015 to identify studies in which cognitive interventions were conducted with children who had undergone cancer treatment and were under the age of 21. Cognitive or academic outcomes needed to be reported pre- and post-intervention to meet the inclusion criteria. Eleven studies were included in this review. Computerized and home-based cognitive interventions were found to be most successful at improving cognitive skills. However, few cognitive interventions assessed academic achievement specifically. Future cognitive intervention research studies should include measures of academic achievement outcomes, because academic achievement and cognitive outcomes may differ. Future research regarding the effectiveness of early, home-based and computerized intervention is warranted.

  19. Analysis of Online Social Networks to Understand Information Sharing Behaviors Through Social Cognitive Theory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoon, Hong-Jun [ORNL; Tourassi, Georgia [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    Analyzing the contents of online social networks is an effective process for monitoring and understanding peoples behaviors. Since the nature of conversation and information propagation is similar to traditional conversation and learning, one of the popular socio-cognitive methods, social cognitive theory was applied to online social networks to. Two major news topics about colon cancer were chosen to monitor traffic of Twitter messages. The activity of leaders on the issue (i.e., news companies or people will prior Twitter activity on topics related to colon cancer) was monitored. In addition, the activity of followers , people who never discussed the topics before, but replied to the discussions was also monitored. Topics that produce tangible benefits such as positive outcomes from appropriate preventive actions received dramatically more attention and online social media traffic. Such characteristics can be explained with social cognitive theory and thus present opportunities for effective health campaigns.

  20. Analysis of Online Social Networks to Understand Information Sharing Behaviors Through Social Cognitive Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Hong-Jun; Tourassi, Georgia

    2014-05-01

    Analyzing the contents of online social networks is an effective process for monitoring and understanding peoples' behaviors. Since the nature of conversation and information propagation is similar to traditional conversation and learning, one of the popular socio-cognitive methods, social cognitive theory was applied to online social networks to. Two major news topics about colon cancer were chosen to monitor traffic of Twitter messages. The activity of "leaders" on the issue (i.e., news companies or people will prior Twitter activity on topics related to colon cancer) was monitored. In addition, the activity of "followers", people who never discussed the topics before, but replied to the discussions was also monitored. Topics that produce tangible benefits such as positive outcomes from appropriate preventive actions received dramatically more attention and online social media traffic. Such characteristics can be explained with social cognitive theory and thus present opportunities for effective health campaigns.

  1. Improving Facial Emotion Recognition in Schizophrenia: a Controlled Study Comparing Specific and Attentional Focused Cognitive Remediation

    OpenAIRE

    Gaudelus, Baptiste; Virgile, Jefferson; Geliot, Sabrina; Franck, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia are very frequent. They concern both neurocognition and social cognition, including facial emotion recognition. These impairments have a negative impact on the daily functioning, in particular the social and vocational rehabilitation of people with schizophrenia. Previous studies in this area clearly demonstrated the interest of cognitive remediation to improve neurocognitive and social cognitive functioning in schizophrenia. They also estab...

  2. Improving Theory of Mind in Schizophrenia by Targeting Cognition and Metacognition with Computerized Cognitive Remediation: A Multiple Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Élisabeth Thibaudeau

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Schizophrenia is associated with deficits in theory of mind (ToM (i.e., the ability to infer the mental states of others and cognition. Associations have often been reported between cognition and ToM, and ToM mediates the relationship between impaired cognition and impaired functioning in schizophrenia. Given that cognitive deficits could act as a limiting factor for ToM, this study investigated whether a cognitive remediation therapy (CRT that targets nonsocial cognition and metacognition could improve ToM in schizophrenia. Four men with schizophrenia received CRT. Assessments of ToM, cognition, and metacognition were conducted at baseline and posttreatment as well as three months and 1 year later. Two patients reached a significant improvement in ToM immediately after treatment whereas at three months after treatment all four cases reached a significant improvement, which was maintained through 1 year after treatment for all three cases that remained in the study. Improvements in ToM were accompanied by significant improvements in the most severely impaired cognitive functions at baseline or by improvements in metacognition. This study establishes that a CRT program that does not explicitly target social abilities can improve ToM.

  3. Metacognitive and social cognition approaches to understanding the impact of schizophrenia on social quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasson-Ohayon, Ilanit; Avidan-Msika, Moran; Mashiach-Eizenberg, Michal; Kravetz, Shlomo; Rozencwaig, Silvio; Shalev, Hadar; Lysaker, Paul H

    2015-02-01

    While some studies view metacognition and social cognition as representing the same phenomenon, others suggest that they represent distinctive sets of abilities that are related to different outcomes. The current study used a cross-sectional design that includes samples of persons with schizophrenia (N=39) and healthy individuals (N=60) to further explore the distinction between social cognition and metacognition and their associations with social quality of life. The Face Emotion Identification Task (FEIT), Faux-Pas Task, Indiana Psychiatric Illness Interview (IPII), Metacognition Assessment Scale - Abbreviated (MAS-A), and Social Quality of Life Scale were administrated to all participants. Correlations, t-tests and regressions were conducted. Results showed that persons with schizophrenia performed more poorly on all measures than healthy controls. Social cognition and metacognition measures were related for the combined total sample, but only a few associations were found among both sub-samples. A diagnosis of schizophrenia and metacognitive capacity, but not social cognition, predicted social quality of life. Self-reflectivity had a negative relationship to social quality of life while understanding of others' minds had a positive relation to social quality of life. The current study provides evidence that many with schizophrenia experience deficits in both social cognition and metacognition and that those deficits may be distinct and have different kinds of relationships with social quality of life. Clinical implications include the need to emphasize narrative aspects of psychotherapy in order to promote metacognition. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Oxytocin and social cognition in rhesus macaques: implications for understanding and treating human psychopathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Steve W C; Platt, Michael L

    2014-09-11

    Converging evidence from humans and non-human animals indicates that the neurohypophysial hormone oxytocin (OT) evolved to serve a specialized function in social behavior in mammals. Although OT-based therapies are currently being evaluated as remedies for social deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders, precisely how OT regulates complex social processes remains largely unknown. Here we describe how a non-human primate model can be used to understand the mechanisms by which OT regulates social cognition and thereby inform its clinical application in humans. We focus primarily on recent advances in our understanding of OT-mediated social cognition in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), supplemented by discussion of recent work in humans, other primates, and rodents. Together, these studies endorse the hypothesis that OT promotes social exploration both by amplifying social motivation and by attenuating social vigilance. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin and Social Behav. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. Whole body vibration improves cognition in healthy young adults.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G Ruben H Regterschot

    Full Text Available This study investigated the acute effects of passive whole body vibration (WBV on executive functions in healthy young adults. Participants (112 females, 21 males; age: 20.5±2.2 years underwent six passive WBV sessions (frequency 30 Hz, amplitude approximately 0.5 mm and six non-vibration control sessions of two minutes each while sitting on a chair mounted on a vibrating platform. A passive WBV session was alternated with a control session. Directly after each session, performance on the Stroop Color-Block Test (CBT, Stroop Color-Word Interference Test (CWIT, Stroop Difference Score (SDS and Digit Span Backward task (DSBT was measured. In half of the passive WBV and control sessions the test order was CBT-CWIT-DSBT, and DSBT-CBT-CWIT in the other half. Passive WBV improved CWIT (p = 0.009; effect size r = 0.20 and SDS (p = 0.034; r = 0.16 performance, but only when the CBT and CWIT preceded the DSBT. CBT and DSBT performance did not change. This study shows that two minutes passive WBV has positive acute effects on attention and inhibition in young adults, notwithstanding their high cognitive functioning which could have hampered improvement. This finding indicates the potential of passive WBV as a cognition-enhancing therapy worth further evaluation, especially in persons unable to perform active forms of exercise.

  6. Does attainment of Piaget's formal operational level of cognitive development predict student understanding of scientific models?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahti, Richard Dennis, II

    Knowledge of scientific models and their uses is a concept that has become a key benchmark in many of the science standards of the past 30 years, including the proposed Next Generation Science Standards. Knowledge of models is linked to other important nature of science concepts such as theory change which are also rising in prominence in newer standards. Effective methods of instruction will need to be developed to enable students to achieve these standards. The literature reveals an inconsistent history of success with modeling education. These same studies point to a possible cognitive development component which might explain why some students succeeded and others failed. An environmental science course, rich in modeling experiences, was used to test both the extent to which knowledge of models and modeling could be improved over the course of one semester, and more importantly, to identify if cognitive ability was related to this improvement. In addition, nature of science knowledge, particularly related to theories and theory change, was also examined. Pretest and posttest results on modeling (SUMS) and nature of science (SUSSI), as well as data from the modeling activities themselves, was collected. Cognitive ability was measured (CTSR) as a covariate. Students' gain in six of seven categories of modeling knowledge was at least medium (Cohen's d >.5) and moderately correlated to CTSR for two of seven categories. Nature of science gains were smaller, although more strongly correlated with CTSR. Student success at creating a model was related to CTSR, significantly in three of five sub-categories. These results suggest that explicit, reflective experience with models can increase student knowledge of models and modeling (although higher cognitive ability students may have more success), but successfully creating models may depend more heavily on cognitive ability. This finding in particular has implications in the grade placement of modeling standards and

  7. Practice of contemporary dance improves cognitive flexibility in aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coubard, Olivier A; Duretz, Stéphanie; Lefebvre, Virginie; Lapalus, Pauline; Ferrufino, Lena

    2011-01-01

    As society ages and frequency of dementia increases exponentially, counteracting cognitive aging decline is a challenging issue for countries of the developed world. Previous studies have suggested that physical fitness based on cardiovascular and strength training helps to improve attentional control in normal aging. However, how motor activity based on motor-skill learning can also benefit attentional control with age has been hitherto a neglected issue. This study examined the impact of contemporary dance (CD) improvisation on attentional control of older adults, as compared to two other motor training programs, fall prevention and Tai Chi Chuan. Participants performed setting, suppressing, and switching attention tasks before and after 5.7-month training in either CD or fall prevention or Tai Chi Chuan. Results indicated that CD improved switching but not setting or suppressing attention. In contrast, neither fall prevention nor Tai Chi Chuan showed any effect. We suggest that CD improvisation works as a training for change, inducing plasticity in flexible attention.

  8. Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: evidence of brief mental training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeidan, Fadel; Johnson, Susan K; Diamond, Bruce J; David, Zhanna; Goolkasian, Paula

    2010-06-01

    Although research has found that long-term mindfulness meditation practice promotes executive functioning and the ability to sustain attention, the effects of brief mindfulness meditation training have not been fully explored. We examined whether brief meditation training affects cognition and mood when compared to an active control group. After four sessions of either meditation training or listening to a recorded book, participants with no prior meditation experience were assessed with measures of mood, verbal fluency, visual coding, and working memory. Both interventions were effective at improving mood but only brief meditation training reduced fatigue, anxiety, and increased mindfulness. Moreover, brief mindfulness training significantly improved visuo-spatial processing, working memory, and executive functioning. Our findings suggest that 4days of meditation training can enhance the ability to sustain attention; benefits that have previously been reported with long-term meditators. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Very low birth weight piglets show improved cognitive performance in the spatial cognitive holeboard task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra eAntonides

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Low birth weight (LBW is common in humans and has been found to cause lasting cognitive and developmental deficits later in life. It is thought that the primary cause is intra-uterine growth restriction due to a shortage of oxygen and nutrients supply to the fetus. Pigs appear to be a good model animal to investigate long-term cognitive effects of LBW, as LBW is common in commercially farmed breeds of pigs. Moreover, pigs are developmentally similar to humans and can be trained to perform complex tasks. In this study, we trained ten very low birth weight (vLBW piglets and their ten normal birth weight (NBW siblings in a spatial cognitive holeboard task in order to investigate long-term cognitive effects of LBW. In this task, four out of sixteen holes contain a hidden food reward, which allows measuring working memory (short-term and reference memory (long-term in parallel. Piglets were trained for 46-54 trials during the acquisition phase, followed by a 20-trial reversal phase in which a different set of four holes was baited. Both groups acquired the task and improved their performance over time. A mixed model repeated measures ANOVA revealed that vLBW piglets showed a better reference memory performance than NBW piglets in both the acquisition and reversal phase. Additionally, the vLBW piglets fell back less in working memory scores than the NBW animals when switched to the reversal phase. These findings are contrary to findings in humans. Moreover, vLBW pigs had lower hair cortisol concentrations than NBW pigs in flank hair at 12 weeks of age. These results could indicate that restricted intra-uterine growth causes compensatory mechanisms to arise in early development that result in beneficial effects for vLBW piglets, increasing their low survival chances in early-life competition.

  10. Strengthening forensic DNA decision making through a better understanding of the influence of cognitive bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanguenat, Amy M; Budowle, Bruce; Dror, Itiel E

    2017-11-01

    Cognitive bias may influence process flows and decision making steps in forensic DNA analyses and interpretation. Currently, seven sources of bias have been identified that may affect forensic decision making with roots in human nature; environment, culture, and experience; and case specific information. Most of the literature and research on cognitive bias in forensic science has focused on patterned evidence; however, forensic DNA testing is not immune to bias, especially when subjective interpretation is involved. DNA testing can be strengthened by recognizing the existence of bias, evaluating where it influences decision making, and, when applicable, implementing practices to reduce or control its effects. Elements that may improve forensic decision making regarding bias include cognitively informed education and training, quality assurance procedures, review processes, analysis and interpretation, and context management of irrelevant information. Although bias exists, reliable results often can be (and have been) produced. However, at times bias can (and has) impacted the interpretation of DNA results negatively. Therefore, being aware of the dangers of bias and implementing measures to control its potential impact should be considered. Measures and procedures that handicap the workings of the crime laboratory or add little value to improving the operation are not advocated, but simple yet effective measures are suggested. This article is meant to raise awareness of cognitive bias contamination in forensic DNA testing and to give laboratories possible pathways to make sound decisions to address its influences. Copyright © 2017 The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Whole-body vibration improves cognitive functions of an adult with ADHD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fuermaier, Anselm B.M.; Tucha, Lara; Koerts, Janneke; van den Bos, Meinris; Regterschot, G Ruben H; Zeinstra, Edzard B; van Heuvelen, Marieke J G; van der Zee, Eddy A; Lange, Klaus W; Tucha, Oliver

    Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with a variety of cognitive impairments, which were shown to affect academic achievement and quality of life. Current treatment strategies, such as stimulant drug treatment, were demonstrated to effectively improve cognitive

  12. Understanding the Reading Attributes and Their Cognitive Relationships on a High-Stakes Biology Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawlusyk, Kevin James

    Test items used to assess learners' knowledge on high-stakes science examinations contain contextualized questions that unintentionally assess reading skill along with conceptual knowledge. Therefore, students who are not proficient readers are unable to comprehend the text within the test item to demonstrate effectively their level of science knowledge. The purpose of this quantitative study was to understand what reading attributes were required to successfully answer the Biology 30 Diploma Exam. Furthermore, the research sought to understand the cognitive relationships among the reading attributes through quantitative analysis structured by the Attribute Hierarchy Model (AHM). The research consisted of two phases: (1) Cognitive development, where the cognitive attributes of the Biology 30 Exam were specified and hierarchy structures were developed; and (2) Psychometric analysis, that statistically tested the attribute hierarchy using the Hierarchy Consistency Index (HCI), and calculate attribute probabilities. Phase one of the research used January 2011, Biology 30 Diploma Exam, while phase two accessed archival data for the 9985 examinees who took the assessment on January 24th, 2011. Phase one identified ten specific reading attributes, of which five were identified as unique subsets of vocabulary, two were identified as reading visual representations, and three corresponded to general reading skills. Four hierarchical cognitive model were proposed then analyzed using the HCI as a mechanism to explain the relationship among the attributes. Model A had the highest HCI value (0.337), indicating an overall poor data fit, yet for the top achieving examinees the model had an excellent model fit with an HCI value of 0.888, and for examinees that scored over 60% there was a moderate model fit (HCI = 0.592). Linear regressions of the attribute probability estimates suggest that there is a cognitive relationship among six of the ten reading attributes (R2 = 0.958 and 0

  13. Understanding noise stress-induced cognitive impairment in healthy adults and its implications for schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Bernice; Peters, Emmanuelle; Ettinger, Ulrich; Kuipers, Elizabeth; Kumari, Veena

    2014-01-01

    Noise stress (NS) is detrimental to many aspects of human health and behavior. Understanding the effect of noise stressors on human cognitive function is a growing area of research and is crucial to helping clinical populations, such as those with schizophrenia, which are particularly sensitive to stressors. A review of electronic databases for studies assessing the effect of acute NS on cognitive functions in healthy adults revealed 31 relevant studies. The review revealed (1) NS exerts a clear negative effect on attention, working memory and episodic recall, and (2) personality characteristics, in particular neuroticism, and sleep influence the impact of noise stressors on performance in interaction with task complexity. Previous findings of consistent impairment in NS-relevant cognitive domains, heightened sensitivity to stressors, elevated neuroticism and sleep disturbances in schizophrenia, taken together with the findings of this review, highlight the need for empirical studies to elucidate whether NS, a common aspect of urban environments, exacerbates cognitive deficits and other symptoms in schizophrenia and related clinical populations.

  14. Assessing and Improving Student Understanding of Tree-Thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kummer, Tyler A.

    Evolution is the unifying theory of biology. The importance of understanding evolution by those who study the origins, diversification and diversity life cannot be overstated. Because of its importance, in addition to a scientific study of evolution, many researchers have spent time studying the acceptance and the teaching of evolution. Phylogenetic Systematics is the field of study developed to understand the evolutionary history of organisms, traits, and genes. Tree-thinking is the term by which we identify concepts related to the evolutionary history of organisms. It is vital that those who undertake a study of biology be able to understand and interpret what information these phylogenies are meant to convey. In this project, we evaluated the current impact a traditional study of biology has on the misconceptions students hold by assessing tree-thinking in freshman biology students to those nearing the end of their studies. We found that the impact of studying biology was varied with some misconceptions changing significantly while others persisted. Despite the importance of tree-thinking no appropriately developed concept inventory exists to measure student understanding of these important concepts. We developed a concept inventory capable of filling this important need and provide evidence to support its use among undergraduate students. Finally, we developed and modified activities as well as courses based on best practices to improve teaching and learning of tree-thinking and organismal diversity. We accomplished this by focusing on two key questions. First, how do we best introduce students to tree-thinking and second does tree-thinking as a course theme enhance student understanding of not only tree-thinking but also organismal diversity. We found important evidence suggesting that introducing students to tree-thinking via building evolutionary trees was less successful than introducing the concept via tree interpretation and may have in fact introduced or

  15. New approach for cognitive analysis and understanding of medical patterns and visualizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogiela, Marek R.; Tadeusiewicz, Ryszard

    2003-11-01

    This paper presents new opportunities for applying linguistic description of the picture merit content and AI methods to undertake tasks of the automatic understanding of images semantics in intelligent medical information systems. A successful obtaining of the crucial semantic content of the medical image may contribute considerably to the creation of new intelligent multimedia cognitive medical systems. Thanks to the new idea of cognitive resonance between stream of the data extracted from the image using linguistic methods and expectations taken from the representaion of the medical knowledge, it is possible to understand the merit content of the image even if teh form of the image is very different from any known pattern. This article proves that structural techniques of artificial intelligence may be applied in the case of tasks related to automatic classification and machine perception based on semantic pattern content in order to determine the semantic meaning of the patterns. In the paper are described some examples presenting ways of applying such techniques in the creation of cognitive vision systems for selected classes of medical images. On the base of scientific research described in the paper we try to build some new systems for collecting, storing, retrieving and intelligent interpreting selected medical images especially obtained in radiological and MRI examinations.

  16. Cognitive Training Improves Sleep Quality and Cognitive Function among Older Adults with Insomnia

    OpenAIRE

    Haimov, Iris; Shatil, Evelyn

    2013-01-01

    Study Objectives To investigate the effect of an eight-week, home-based, personalized, computerized cognitive training program on sleep quality and cognitive performance among older adults with insomnia. Design Participants (n?=?51) were randomly allocated to a cognitive training group (n?=?34) or to an active control group (n?=?17). The participants in the cognitive training group completed an eight-week, home-based, personalized, computerized cognitive training program, while the participan...

  17. Memory specificity training can improve working and prospective memory in amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emsaki, Golita; NeshatDoost, Hamid Taher; Tavakoli, Mahgol; Barekatain, Majid

    2017-01-01

    Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is one of the cognitive profiles of aging. In this study, Memory Specificity Training (MEST) was used as cognitive training in patients with amnestic MCI to understand the effectiveness of the intervention on memory dimensions. Twenty patients that met the criteria for amnestic MCI were selected and randomly assigned to experimental (n=10) or control (n=10) groups. The experimental group received five sessions of training on memory specificity while the participants in the control group took part in two general placebo sessions. Participants were assessed before, immediately after, and three months after, the treatment using the Autobiographical Memory Test, the Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire, the Wechsler Memory Scale, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Analysis of variance was used to analyze the data. Results from both post-test and follow-up treatment indicated that MEST improves working and prospective memory (p<0.05). These findings support the effectiveness of MEST for MCI patients as a viable cognitive intervention. Also, the findings have implications for the role of brain plasticity in the effectiveness of this intervention.

  18. Socio-cognitive understanding: a strength or weakness in Down's syndrome?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wishart, J G

    2007-12-01

    Social understanding is often thought to be relatively 'protected' in children with Down's syndrome (DS) and to underlie the outgoing personality characteristically attributed to them. This paper draws together findings from our studies of behaviours during object concept testing, generally considered a theoretically 'pure' measure of early cognitive ability, and from more recent work focusing on two key socio-cognitive skills: recognising facial expressions of emotion and collaborative learning. Age range of children studied was 4 months to 18 years. Using standardised hiding tasks, object concept ability was assessed cross-sectionally and longitudinally in children with DS and in age- or stage-matched typically developing (TD) children. Stability of cognitive advances was assessed and similarities/differences in developmental pathways explored. In the emotion recognition studies, the ability to distinguish six primary emotions was measured, with performance compared with that of developmentally-matched TD children and age-matched children with intellectual disabilities of similar severity but differing aetiology [non-specific intellectual disability (NSID) or fragile X syndrome (FXS)]. In the collaborative learning study, the impact on sorting skills of working with a peer on a conceptually related task was measured, with outcomes compared in DS, NSID and TD child pairings. Evidence of counterproductive, socially-based strategies being inappropriately applied by children with DS in learning contexts was found in both the object concept and collaborative learning studies, along with inefficient use of current cognitive and linguistic abilities. Emotion recognition weaknesses were also identified, although deficits were relative rather than absolute and individual variability was marked. In line with emerging evidence from other research teams, findings suggest possible difficulties in some core aspects of interpersonal functioning in DS, with both qualitative and

  19. Enhancing social cognition by training children in emotion understanding: a primary school study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ornaghi, Veronica; Brockmeier, Jens; Grazzani, Ilaria

    2014-03-01

    We investigated whether training school-age children in emotion understanding had a significant effect on their social cognition. Participants were 110 children (mean age=7 years 3 months) assigned to training and control conditions. Over a 2-month intervention program, after the reading of illustrated scenarios based on emotional scripts, the training group was engaged in conversations on emotion understanding, whereas the control group was simply asked to produce a drawing about the story. The training group outperformed the control group on emotion comprehension, theory of mind, and empathy, and the positive training outcomes for emotion understanding remained stable over 6 months. Implications of the findings are discussed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Improving the learning of clinical reasoning through computer-based cognitive representation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bian Wu

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Clinical reasoning is usually taught using a problem-solving approach, which is widely adopted in medical education. However, learning through problem solving is difficult as a result of the contextualization and dynamic aspects of actual problems. Moreover, knowledge acquired from problem-solving practice tends to be inert and fragmented. This study proposed a computer-based cognitive representation approach that externalizes and facilitates the complex processes in learning clinical reasoning. The approach is operationalized in a computer-based cognitive representation tool that involves argument mapping to externalize the problem-solving process and concept mapping to reveal the knowledge constructed from the problems. Methods: Twenty-nine Year 3 or higher students from a medical school in east China participated in the study. Participants used the proposed approach implemented in an e-learning system to complete four learning cases in 4 weeks on an individual basis. For each case, students interacted with the problem to capture critical data, generate and justify hypotheses, make a diagnosis, recall relevant knowledge, and update their conceptual understanding of the problem domain. Meanwhile, students used the computer-based cognitive representation tool to articulate and represent the key elements and their interactions in the learning process. Results: A significant improvement was found in students’ learning products from the beginning to the end of the study, consistent with students’ report of close-to-moderate progress in developing problem-solving and knowledge-construction abilities. No significant differences were found between the pretest and posttest scores with the 4-week period. The cognitive representation approach was found to provide more formative assessment. Conclusions: The computer-based cognitive representation approach improved the learning of clinical reasoning in both problem solving and knowledge

  1. Improving the learning of clinical reasoning through computer-based cognitive representation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Bian; Wang, Minhong; Johnson, Janice M; Grotzer, Tina A

    2014-01-01

    Clinical reasoning is usually taught using a problem-solving approach, which is widely adopted in medical education. However, learning through problem solving is difficult as a result of the contextualization and dynamic aspects of actual problems. Moreover, knowledge acquired from problem-solving practice tends to be inert and fragmented. This study proposed a computer-based cognitive representation approach that externalizes and facilitates the complex processes in learning clinical reasoning. The approach is operationalized in a computer-based cognitive representation tool that involves argument mapping to externalize the problem-solving process and concept mapping to reveal the knowledge constructed from the problems. Twenty-nine Year 3 or higher students from a medical school in east China participated in the study. Participants used the proposed approach implemented in an e-learning system to complete four learning cases in 4 weeks on an individual basis. For each case, students interacted with the problem to capture critical data, generate and justify hypotheses, make a diagnosis, recall relevant knowledge, and update their conceptual understanding of the problem domain. Meanwhile, students used the computer-based cognitive representation tool to articulate and represent the key elements and their interactions in the learning process. A significant improvement was found in students' learning products from the beginning to the end of the study, consistent with students' report of close-to-moderate progress in developing problem-solving and knowledge-construction abilities. No significant differences were found between the pretest and posttest scores with the 4-week period. The cognitive representation approach was found to provide more formative assessment. The computer-based cognitive representation approach improved the learning of clinical reasoning in both problem solving and knowledge construction.

  2. Auditory and Cognitive Factors Underlying Individual Differences in Aided Speech-Understanding among Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larry E. Humes

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available This study was designed to address individual differences in aided speech understanding among a relatively large group of older adults. The group of older adults consisted of 98 adults (50 female and 48 male ranging in age from 60 to 86 (mean = 69.2. Hearing loss was typical for this age group and about 90% had not worn hearing aids. All subjects completed a battery of tests, including cognitive (6 measures, psychophysical (17 measures, and speech-understanding (9 measures, as well as the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing (SSQ self-report scale. Most of the speech-understanding measures made use of competing speech and the non-speech psychophysical measures were designed to tap phenomena thought to be relevant for the perception of speech in competing speech (e.g., stream segregation, modulation-detection interference. All measures of speech understanding were administered with spectral shaping applied to the speech stimuli to fully restore audibility through at least 4000 Hz. The measures used were demonstrated to be reliable in older adults and, when compared to a reference group of 28 young normal-hearing adults, age-group differences were observed on many of the measures. Principal-components factor analysis was applied successfully to reduce the number of independent and dependent (speech understanding measures for a multiple-regression analysis. Doing so yielded one global cognitive-processing factor and five non-speech psychoacoustic factors (hearing loss, dichotic signal detection, multi-burst masking, stream segregation, and modulation detection as potential predictors. To this set of six potential predictor variables were added subject age, Environmental Sound Identification (ESI, and performance on the text-recognition-threshold (TRT task (a visual analog of interrupted speech recognition. These variables were used to successfully predict one global aided speech-understanding factor, accounting for about 60% of the variance.

  3. Cognitive reserve is not associated with improved performance in all cognitive domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavrencic, Louise M; Churches, Owen F; Keage, Hannah A D

    2017-06-08

    Cognitive reserve beneficially affects cognitive performance, even into advanced age. However, the benefits afforded by high cognitive reserve may not extend to all cognitive domains. This study investigated whether cognitive reserve differentially affects performance on cognitive tasks, in 521 cognitively healthy individuals aged 60 to 98 years (Mage = 68, SD = 6.22, 287 female); years of education was used to index cognitive reserve. Cognitive performance variables assessed attention, executive functions, verbal memory, motor performance, orientation, perception of emotion, processing speed, and working memory. Bootstrapped regression analyses revealed that cognitive reserve was associated with attention, executive functions, verbal and working memory, and orientation; and not significantly related to emotion perception, processing speed, or motor performance. Cognitive reserve appears to differentially affect individual cognitive domains, which extends current theory that purports benefits for all domains. This finding highlights the possibility of using tests not (or minimally) associated with cognitive reserve, to screen for cognitive impairment and dementia in late life; these tests will likely best track brain health, free of compensatory neural mechanisms.

  4. Improving Cognitive Processes in Preschool Children: The COGEST Programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayoral-Rodríguez, Silvia; Timoneda-Gallart, Carme; Pérez-Álvarez, Federico; Das, J. P.

    2015-01-01

    The present study provides empirical evidence to support the hypothesis that pre-school children's cognitive functions can be developed by virtue of a training tool named COGENT (Cognitive Enhancement Training). We assumed that COGENT (COGEST in Spain) which is embedded in speech and language, will enhance the core cognitive processes that are…

  5. Prospects for improved understanding of isotopic reactor antineutrino fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebre, Y.; Littlejohn, B. R.; Surukuchi, P. T.

    2018-01-01

    Predictions of antineutrino fluxes produced by fission isotopes in a nuclear reactor have recently received increased scrutiny due to observed differences in predicted and measured inverse beta decay (IBD) yields, referred to as the "reactor antineutrino flux anomaly." In this paper, global fits are applied to existing IBD yield measurements to produce constraints on antineutrino production by individual plutonium and uranium fission isotopes. We find that fits including measurements from highly U 235 -enriched cores and fits including Daya Bay's new fuel evolution result produce discrepant best-fit IBD yields for U 235 and Pu 239 . This discrepancy can be alleviated in a global analysis of all data sets through simultaneous fitting of Pu 239 , U 235 , and U 238 yields. The measured IBD yield of U 238 in this analysis is (7.02 ±1.65 )×10-43 cm2/fission , nearly two standard deviations below existing predictions. Future hypothetical IBD yield measurements by short-baseline reactor experiments are examined to determine their possible impact on the global understanding of isotopic IBD yields. It is found that future improved short-baseline IBD yield measurements at both high-enriched and low-enriched cores can significantly improve constraints for U 235 , U 238 , and Pu 239 , providing comparable or superior precision to existing conversion- and summation-based antineutrino flux predictions. Systematic and experimental requirements for these future measurements are also investigated.

  6. Smart marketing may improve public understanding of the anesthesia profession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Barak; Ogorek, Daniel; Oifa, Stanislav; Cattan, Anat; Matot, Idit

    2015-01-01

    A 2005 survey led by the Israeli Society of Anesthesiologists (ISA) found that large parts of the Israeli public are not familiar with the profession of anesthesia. The ISA has subsequently been conducting a public campaign for several years with the aim to enhance community knowledge regarding the anesthesiologists' training and their critical role in the perioperative period. The present study sought to evaluate the value of a campaign aiming to enhance public understanding of the importance of a medical profession; more specifically, a campaign to promote awareness of the community regarding the anesthesia profession. If proved to be successful, public campaigns may be considered in other countries and for other medical professions with similar difficulties. In 2013, five hundred participants from the general community were asked to answer a questionnaire focusing on the profession of anesthesia. Public knowledge has improved following the campaign. Specifically, improvement was demonstrated regarding the qualification of the anesthesiologist as an MD (92% vs. 64% in 2013 and 2005, respectively), and enhanced awareness of the anesthesia team's critical role in the operating room (OR) (48% vs. 30% in 2013 and 2005, respectively). The Israeli community is attentive to public campaigns that address the roles of a medical profession. Enhanced public knowledge regarding the importance of the anesthesia profession may have a significant impact on both the payment policy for anesthesiologists and on the recruitment of more physicians to the field of anesthesia. Public campaigns may be considered for other medical professions with similar difficulties.

  7. Assessing Community Leadership: Understanding Community Capacity for Health Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castle, Billie; Wendel, Monica; Kelly Pryor, Brandy N; Ingram, Monique

    The purpose of this study was to pilot a quantitative instrument to measure aspects of community leadership within an assessment framework. The instrument includes 14 Likert-type questions asking residents how they perceive leaders within 5 sectors: Louisville Metro Council/Mayor's Office, the faith community, education, business, and the civic sector. Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky, has a population of about 743 000 residents. Respondents were asked to examine leadership within West Louisville, an economically deprived area of the city made up of 9 contiguous neighborhoods. This area is predominantly African American (78% compared with 22% in Louisville Metro), with an overall poverty rate of 43% (compared with 18% in Louisville Metro), and unemployment rate of 23% (compared with 8% in Louisville Metro). Residents of West Louisville are looking to leadership to address many of the inequities. Twenty-seven participants representing 7 community sectors completed the survey, of whom 90% work in West Louisville. The instrument measured local perceptions of leadership strength, effectiveness, trust, communication, community building, and leadership development. The majority of respondents agree that strong leadership exists across the 5 sectors, with variation regarding perceptions of the quality of that leadership. City leadership within the Mayor's Office and Metro Council is largely viewed positively, while the growing tensions within the education sector were reflected in the survey results. The perception of community leadership is important to understanding local community capacity to improve health and also inclusivity of community voice in the assessment and community improvement processes. Results from such assessments can offer useful information for strengthening community capacity and sustaining relationships needed to enact progressive and equitable solutions to address local issues. Leaders in a variety of settings can utilize this instrument to

  8. Cognitive Training among Cognitively-Impaired Older Adults: A Feasibility Study Assessing the Potential Improvement in Balance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renae L Smith-Ray

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Emerging literature suggests that mobility and cognition are linked. Epidemiological data support a negative association between cognition and falls among cognitively intact older adults. A small number of intervention studies found that regimented cognitive training (CT improves mobility among this population, suggesting that CT may be an under-explored approach toward reducing falls. To date, no studies have examined the impact of CT on balance among those who are cognitively impaired. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of implementing a CT program among cognitively impaired older adults and examine whether there are potential improvements in balance following CT.Method: A single group repeated measures design was used to identify change in balance, depressive symptoms, and global cognition. A mixed method approach was employed to evaluate the feasibility of a CT intervention among a cohort of cognitively impaired older adults. CT was delivered in a group 2 days/week over 10 weeks using an online brain exercise program, Posit Science Brain HQ (20 hours. All participants completed a one-on-one data collection interview at baseline and post-program. Results: Participants (N=20 were on average 80.5 years old and had mild to moderate cognitive impairment. Following the 10-week cognitive training intervention, mean scores on 4 of the 5 balance measures improved among CT participants. Although none of the balance improvements reached significance, these findings are promising given the small sample size. Depressive symptoms significantly improved between baseline and 10 weeks (p=0.021. Mean global cognition also improved across the study period, but neither of these improvements were statistically significant. Based on participant responses, the CT program was feasible for this population.Conclusion: This study provides support for the feasibility of implementing a CT program among cognitively-impaired older adults

  9. Apolipoprotein E4 is associated with improved cognitive function in Amazonian forager-horticulturalists with a high parasite burden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trumble, Benjamin C; Stieglitz, Jonathan; Blackwell, Aaron D; Allayee, Hooman; Beheim, Bret; Finch, Caleb E; Gurven, Michael; Kaplan, Hillard

    2017-04-01

    The apolipoprotein E4 (E4) allele is present worldwide, despite its associations with higher risk of cardiovascular morbidity, accelerated cognitive decline during aging, and Alzheimer 's disease (AD). The E4 allele is especially prevalent in some tropical regions with a high parasite burden. Equatorial populations also face a potential dual burden of high E4 prevalence combined with parasitic infections that can also reduce cognitive performance. We examined the interactions of E4, parasite burden, and cognitive performance in a traditional, nonindustrialized population of Amazonian forager-horticulturalists ( N = 372) to test whether E4 protects against cognitive decline in environments with a heavy pathogen burden. Contrary to observations in industrial populations, older adult E4 carriers with high parasite burdens either maintained or showed slight improvements in cognitive performance, whereas non-E4 carriers with a high parasite burden showed reduced cognitive performance. Being an E4 carrier is the strongest risk factor to date of AD and cognitive decline in industrial populations; it is associated with greater cognitive performance in individuals facing a high parasite and pathogen load, suggesting advantages to the E4 allele under certain environmental conditions. The current mismatch between postindustrial hygienic lifestyles and active parasite-rich environs may be critical for understanding genetic risk for cognitive aging.-Trumble, B. C., Stieglitz, J., Blackwell, A. D., Allayee, H., Beheim, B., Finch, C. E., Gurven, M., Kaplan, H. Apolipoprotein E4 is associated with improved cognitive function in Amazonian forager-horticulturalists with a high parasite burden. © FASEB.

  10. Can Social Cognitive Theories Help Us Understand Nurses' Use of Electronic Health Records?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strudwick, Gillian; Booth, Richard; Mistry, Kartini

    2016-04-01

    Electronic health record implementations have accelerated in clinical settings around the world in an effort to improve patient safety and enhance efficiencies related to care delivery. As the largest group of healthcare professionals globally, nurses play an important role in the use of these records and ensuring their benefits are realized. Social cognitive theories such as the Theory of Reasoned Action, Theory of Planned Behaviour, and the Technology Acceptance Model have been developed to explain behavior. Given that variation in nurses' electronic health record utilization may influence the degree to which benefits are realized, the aim of this article is to explore how the use of these social cognitive theories may assist organizations implementing electronic health records to facilitate deeper-level adoption of this type of clinical technology.

  11. Recent Developments in Understanding Brain Aging: Implications for Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Cognitive Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deak, Ferenc; Freeman, Willard M; Ungvari, Zoltan; Csiszar, Anna; Sonntag, William E

    2016-01-01

    As the population of the Western world is aging, there is increasing awareness of age-related impairments in cognitive function and a rising interest in finding novel approaches to preserve cerebral health. A special collection of articles in The Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences brings together information of different aspects of brain aging, from latest developments in the field of neurodegenerative disorders to cerebral microvascular mechanisms of cognitive decline. It is emphasized that although the cellular changes that occur within aging neurons have been widely studied, more research is required as new signaling pathways are discovered that can potentially protect cells. New avenues for research targeting cellular senescence, epigenetics, and endocrine mechanisms of brain aging are also discussed. Based on the current literature it is clear that understanding brain aging and reducing risk for neurological disease with age requires searching for mechanisms and treatment options beyond the age-related changes in neuronal function. Thus, comprehensive approaches need to be developed that address the multiple, interrelated mechanisms of brain aging. Attention is brought to the importance of maintenance of cerebromicrovascular health, restoring neuroendocrine balance, and the pressing need for funding more innovative research into the interactions of neuronal, neuroendocrine, inflammatory and microvascular mechanisms of cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Recent Developments in Understanding Brain Aging: Implications for Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Cognitive Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deak, Ferenc; Freeman, Willard M.; Ungvari, Zoltan; Csiszar, Anna

    2016-01-01

    As the population of the Western world is aging, there is increasing awareness of age-related impairments in cognitive function and a rising interest in finding novel approaches to preserve cerebral health. A special collection of articles in The Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences brings together information of different aspects of brain aging, from latest developments in the field of neurodegenerative disorders to cerebral microvascular mechanisms of cognitive decline. It is emphasized that although the cellular changes that occur within aging neurons have been widely studied, more research is required as new signaling pathways are discovered that can potentially protect cells. New avenues for research targeting cellular senescence, epigenetics, and endocrine mechanisms of brain aging are also discussed. Based on the current literature it is clear that understanding brain aging and reducing risk for neurological disease with age requires searching for mechanisms and treatment options beyond the age-related changes in neuronal function. Thus, comprehensive approaches need to be developed that address the multiple, interrelated mechanisms of brain aging. Attention is brought to the importance of maintenance of cerebromicrovascular health, restoring neuroendocrine balance, and the pressing need for funding more innovative research into the interactions of neuronal, neuroendocrine, inflammatory and microvascular mechanisms of cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. PMID:26590911

  13. Practice of contemporary dance improves cognitive flexibility in aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier A. Coubard

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available As society ages and frequency of dementia increases exponentially, counteracting cognitive aging decline is a challenging issue for countries of the developed world. Previous studies have suggested that physical fitness based on cardiovascular and strength training helps to improve attentional control in normal aging. However, how motor activity based on motor-skill learning can also benefit attentional control with age has been hitherto a neglected issue. This study examined the impact of contemporary dance (CD improvisation on attentional control of older adults, as compared to two other motor training programs, fall prevention and Tai Chi Chuan. Participants performed setting, suppressing, and switching attention tasks before and after 5.7-month training in either CD or fall prevention or Tai Chi Chuan. Results indicated that CD improved switching but not setting or suppressing attention. In contrast, neither fall prevention nor Tai Chi Chuan showed any effect. We suggest that CD improvisation works as a training for change, inducing plasticity in flexible attention.

  14. Toward Understanding How Early-Life Stress Reprograms Cognitive and Emotional Brain Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yuncai; Baram, Tallie Z

    2016-01-01

    methodologies. Because early-life adversity is a powerful determinant of subsequent vulnerabilities to emotional and cognitive pathologies, understanding the underlying processes will have profound implications for the world's current and future children. PMID:26105143

  15. Is education associated with improvements in general cognitive ability, or in specific skills?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritchie, Stuart J; Bates, Timothy C; Deary, Ian J

    2015-05-01

    Previous research has indicated that education influences cognitive development, but it is unclear what, precisely, is being improved. Here, we tested whether education is associated with cognitive test score improvements via domain-general effects on general cognitive ability (g), or via domain-specific effects on particular cognitive skills. We conducted structural equation modeling on data from a large (n = 1,091), longitudinal sample, with a measure of intelligence at age 11 years and 10 tests covering a diverse range of cognitive abilities taken at age 70. Results indicated that the association of education with improved cognitive test scores is not mediated by g, but consists of direct effects on specific cognitive skills. These results suggest a decoupling of educational gains from increases in general intellectual capacity. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. How Can an Understanding of Cognitive Style Enable Trainee Teachers to Have a Better Understanding of Differentiation in the Classroom?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Carol; Waring, Michael

    2011-01-01

    The relationship between cognitive style and trainee teacher conceptions of differentiation was studied to develop appropriate scaffolding of their learning. 149 trainee teachers enrolled on 1 year postgraduate initial teacher education (ITE) programmes at two UK universities completed the Cognitive Style Index (Allinson and Hayes, "Journal…

  17. Using cognitive modeling to improve the man-machine interface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newton, R.A.; Zyduck, R.C.; Johnson, D.R.

    1982-01-01

    A group of utilities from the Westinghouse Owners Group was formed in early 1980 to examine the interface requirements and to determine how they could be implemented. The products available from the major vendors were examined early in 1980 and judged not to be completely applicable. The utility group then decided to develop its own specifications for a Safety Assessment System (SAS) and, later in 1980, contracted with a company to develop the system, prepare the software and demonstrate the system on a simulator. The resulting SAS is a state-of-the-art system targeted for implementation on pressurized water reactor nuclear units. It has been designed to provide control room operators with centralized and easily understandable information from a computer-based data and display system. This paper gives an overview of the SAS plus a detailed description of one of its functional areas - called AIDS. The AIDS portion of SAS is an advanced concept which uses cognitive modeling of the operator as the basis for its design

  18. Improving Memory and Cognition in Individuals with Down Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafii, Michael S

    2016-07-01

    Down syndrome (DS), often due to trisomy 21, is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability (ID). In addition, virtually all individuals with DS develop the neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by the age of 40 years and almost 60 % will manifest symptoms of AD dementia by the age of 65 years. Currently, there are no pharmacological treatments available for ID in individuals with DS and only limited symptomatic treatments for AD dementia. Advances in our understanding in both the molecular basis of ID and the pathogenesis of AD have created opportunities to study potential therapeutic targets. Recent studies in animal models of DS continue to provide a rational basis for translating specific compounds into human clinical trials. However, target and compound selection are only initial steps in the drug development pathway. Other necessary considerations include appropriate study designs to assess efficacy in the DS population, as well as operational aspects specifically tailored to assess cognition in this population. We discuss recent progress in the development of compounds for both ID and AD in individuals with DS, as well as concepts for the design and conduct of clinical trials with such compounds.

  19. A cognitive framework for analyzing and describing introductory students' use and understanding of mathematics in physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuminaro, Jonathan

    Many introductory, algebra-based physics students perform poorly on mathematical problem solving tasks in physics. There are at least two possible, distinct reasons for this poor performance: (1) students simply lack the mathematical skills needed to solve problems in physics, or (2) students do not know how to apply the mathematical skills they have to particular problem situations in physics. While many students do lack the requisite mathematical skills, a major finding from this work is that the majority of students possess the requisite mathematical skills, yet fail to use or interpret them in the context of physics. In this thesis I propose a theoretical framework to analyze and describe students' mathematical thinking in physics. In particular, I attempt to answer two questions. What are the cognitive tools involved in formal mathematical thinking in physics? And, why do students make the kinds of mistakes they do when using mathematics in physics? According to the proposed theoretical framework there are three major theoretical constructs: mathematical resources, which are the knowledge elements that are activated in mathematical thinking and problem solving; epistemic games, which are patterns of activities that use particular kinds of knowledge to create new knowledge or solve a problem; and frames, which are structures of expectations that determine how individuals interpret situations or events. The empirical basis for this study comes from videotaped sessions of college students solving homework problems. The students are enrolled in an algebra-based introductory physics course. The videotapes were transcribed and analyzed using the aforementioned theoretical framework. Two important results from this work are: (1) the construction of a theoretical framework that offers researchers a vocabulary (ontological classification of cognitive structures) and grammar (relationship between the cognitive structures) for understanding the nature and origin of

  20. When cognition kicks in: Working memory and speech understanding in noise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerker Ronnberg

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Perceptual load and cognitive load can be separately manipulated and dissociated in their effects on speech understanding in noise. The Ease of Language Understanding model assumes a theoretical position where perceptual task characteristics interact with the individual′s implicit capacities to extract the phonological elements of speech. Phonological precision and speed of lexical access are important determinants for listening in adverse conditions. If there are mismatches between the phonological elements perceived and phonological representations in long-term memory, explicit working memory (WM-related capacities will be continually invoked to reconstruct and infer the contents of the ongoing discourse. Whether this induces a high cognitive load or not will in turn depend on the individual′s storage and processing capacities in WM. Data suggest that modulated noise maskers may serve as triggers for speech maskers and therefore induce a WM, explicit mode of processing. Individuals with high WM capacity benefit more than low WM-capacity individuals from fast amplitude compression at low or negative input speech-to-noise ratios. The general conclusion is that there is an overarching interaction between the focal purpose of processing in the primary listening task and the extent to which a secondary, distracting task taps into these processes.

  1. Toward an Improved Understanding of the Global Fresh Water Budget

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildebrand, Peter H.

    2005-01-01

    priorities for future improvements in global fresh water budget monitoring. The priorities are based on the potential of new approaches to provide improved measurement and modeling systems, and on the need to measure and understand the potential for a speed-up of the global water cycle under the effects of climate change.

  2. Reducing Information's Speed Improves Verbal Cognition and Behavior in Autism: A 2-Cases Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tardif, Carole; Latzko, Laura; Arciszewski, Thomas; Gepner, Bruno

    2017-06-01

    According to the temporal theory of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), audiovisual changes in environment, particularly those linked to facial and verbal language, are often too fast to be faced, perceived, and/or interpreted online by many children with ASD, which could help explain their facial, verbal, and/or socioemotional interaction impairments. Our goal here was to test for the first time the impact of slowed-down audiovisual information on verbal cognition and behavior in 2 boys with ASD and verbal delay. Using 15 experimental sessions during 4 months, both boys were presented with various stimuli (eg, pictures, words, sentences, cartoons) and were then asked questions or given instructions regarding stimuli. The audiovisual stimuli and instructions/questions were presented on a computer's screen and were always displayed twice: at real-time speed (RTS) and at slowed-down speed (SDS) using the software Logiral. We scored the boys' verbal cognition performance (ie, ability to understand questions/instructions and answer them verbally/nonverbally) and their behavioral reactions (ie, attention, verbal/nonverbal communication, social reciprocity), and analyzed the effects of speed and order of the stimuli presentation on these factors. According to the results, both participants exhibited significant improvements in verbal cognition performance with SDS presentation compared with RTS presentation, and they scored better with RTS presentation when having SDS presentation before rather than after RTS presentation. Behavioral reactions were also improved in SDS conditions compared with RTS conditions. This initial evidence of a positive impact of slowed-down audiovisual information on verbal cognition should be tested in a large cohort of children with ASD and associated speech/language impairments. Copyright © 2017 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  3. Children's understanding of the immune system: Integrating the cognitive-developmental and intuitive theories' perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landry-Boozer, Kristine L.

    Traditional cognitive-developmental researchers have provided a large body of evidence supporting the stage-like progression of children's cognitive development. Further, from this body of research comes evidence that children's understanding of HIV/AIDS develops in much the same way as their understanding of other illness-related concepts. Researchers from a newer perspective assert that biological concepts develop from intuitive theories. In general, as children are exposed to relevant content and have opportunities to organize this information, their theories become more accurate and differentiated. According to this perspective, there are no broad structural constraints on developing concepts, as asserted by cognitive developmental theorists. The purpose of the current study was two-fold: to provide support for both theoretical perspectives, while at the same time to explore children's conceptualizations of the immune system, which has not been done previously in the cognitive-developmental literature. One hundred ninety children ranging in age from 4 years old through 11 years old, and a group of adults, participated. Each participant was interviewed regarding health concepts and the body's function in maintaining health. Participants were also asked to report if they had certain experiences that would have led to relevant content exposure. Qualitative analyses were utilized to code the interviews with rubrics based on both theoretical perspectives. Quantitative analyses consisted of a series of univariate ANOVAs (and post hoc tests when appropriate) examining all three coding variables (accuracy, differentiation, and developmental level) across various age-group combinations and exposure groups. Results of these analyses provided support for both theoretical perspectives. When the data were analyzed for developmental level by all ages, a stage-like progression consistent with Piagetian stages emerged. When accuracy and differentiation were examined (intuitive

  4. Erythropoietin treatment may improve cognition in neuropsychiatric disorders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjær, Kristian Skov; Hageman, Ida; Wörtwein, Gitta

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive dysfunction is a core feature in a range of neuropsychiatric disorders which reduces patients' workforce capacity - the largest socio-economic cost of these disorders. Nevertheless, there is no clinically available medical treatment with robust and enduring efficacy on cognitive deficits...

  5. Cognitive behavioral therapy for suicidal behaviors: improving patient outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mewton L

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Louise Mewton,1 Gavin Andrews2 1National Health and Medical Research Council Centre for Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, 2Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia Abstract: This systematic review provides an overview of the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT in reducing suicidal cognitions and behavior in the adult population. We identified 15 randomized controlled trials of CBT for adults (aged 18 years and older that included suicide-related cognitions or behaviors as an outcome measure. The studies were identified from PsycINFO searches, reference lists, and a publicly available database of psychosocial interventions for suicidal behaviors. This review identified some evidence of the use of CBT in the reduction of both suicidal cognitions and behaviors. There was not enough evidence from clinical trials to suggest that CBT focusing on mental illness reduces suicidal cognitions and behaviors. On the other hand, CBT focusing on suicidal cognitions and behaviors was found to be effective. Given the current evidence, clinicians should be trained in CBT techniques focusing on suicidal cognitions and behaviors that are independent of the treatment of mental illness. Keywords: suicidal behaviors, suicidal cognitions, CBT

  6. Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone Differentially Improve Cognition in Aged Female Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benice, Ted S.; Raber, Jacob

    2009-01-01

    Compared with age-matched male mice, female mice experience a more severe age-related cognitive decline (ACD). Since androgens are less abundant in aged female mice compared with aged male mice, androgen supplementation may enhance cognition in aged female mice. To test this, we assessed behavioral performance on a variety of tasks in 22- to…

  7. Review: Optimising cognitive load and usability to improve the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cognitive load theory views learning as involving active processing of information by working memory via separate visual and auditory channels. This system is of very limited capacity and any cognitive load that does not directly contribute to learning is considered extraneous and likely to impede learning. Researchers in ...

  8. Improving Cognitive Function in Patients with Stroke: Can Computerized Training Be the Future?

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Luca, Rosaria; Leonardi, Simona; Spadaro, Letteria; Russo, Margherita; Aragona, Bianca; Torrisi, Michele; Maggio, Maria Grazia; Bramanti, Alessia; Naro, Antonino; De Cola, Maria Cristina; Calabrò, Rocco Salvatore

    2018-04-01

    Cognitive impairment after stroke is common and can cause disability with a high impact on quality of life and independence. Cognitive rehabilitation is a therapeutic approach designed to improve cognitive functioning after central nervous system's injuries. Computerized cognitive rehabilitation (CCR) uses multimedia and informatics resources to optimize cognitive compromised performances. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of pc cognitive training with Erica software in patients with stroke. We studied 35 subjects (randomly divided into 2 groups), affected by either ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, having attended from January 2013 to May 2015 the Laboratory of Robotic and Cognitive Rehabilitation of Istituto di Ricerca e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Neurolesi in Messina. Cognitive dysfunctions were investigated through a complete neuropsychological battery, administered before (T0) and after (T1) each different training. At T0, all the patients showed language and cognitive deficits, especially in attention process and memory abilities, with mood alterations. After the rehabilitation program (T1), we noted a global cognitive improvement in both groups, but a more significant increase in the scores of the different clinical scales we administered was found after CCR. Our data suggest that cognitive pc training by using the Erica software may be a useful methodology to increase the post-stroke cognitive recovery. Copyright © 2018 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Understanding and Improving Ocean Mixing Parameterizations for modeling Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, A. M.; Fells, J.; Clarke, J.; Cheng, Y.; Canuto, V.; Dubovikov, M. S.

    2017-12-01

    Climate is vital. Earth is only habitable due to the atmosphere&oceans' distribution of energy. Our Greenhouse Gas emissions shift overall the balance between absorbed and emitted radiation causing Global Warming. How much of these emissions are stored in the ocean vs. entering the atmosphere to cause warming and how the extra heat is distributed depends on atmosphere&ocean dynamics, which we must understand to know risks of both progressive Climate Change and Climate Variability which affect us all in many ways including extreme weather, floods, droughts, sea-level rise and ecosystem disruption. Citizens must be informed to make decisions such as "business as usual" vs. mitigating emissions to avert catastrophe. Simulations of Climate Change provide needed knowledge but in turn need reliable parameterizations of key physical processes, including ocean mixing, which greatly impacts transport&storage of heat and dissolved CO2. The turbulence group at NASA-GISS seeks to use physical theory to improve parameterizations of ocean mixing, including smallscale convective, shear driven, double diffusive, internal wave and tidal driven vertical mixing, as well as mixing by submesoscale eddies, and lateral mixing along isopycnals by mesoscale eddies. Medgar Evers undergraduates aid NASA research while learning climate science and developing computer&math skills. We write our own programs in MATLAB and FORTRAN to visualize and process output of ocean simulations including producing statistics to help judge impacts of different parameterizations on fidelity in reproducing realistic temperatures&salinities, diffusivities and turbulent power. The results can help upgrade the parameterizations. Students are introduced to complex system modeling and gain deeper appreciation of climate science and programming skills, while furthering climate science. We are incorporating climate projects into the Medgar Evers college curriculum. The PI is both a member of the turbulence group at

  10. Sequence of improvement in depressive symptoms across cognitive therapy and pharmacotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhar, Sunil S; Gelfand, Lois A; Schmid, Sabine P; Gallop, Robert; DeRubeis, Robert J; Hollon, Steven D; Amsterdam, Jay D; Shelton, Richard C; Beck, Aaron T

    2008-09-01

    The authors examined the patterns of improvement in cognitive and vegetative symptoms of major depression in individuals treated with cognitive therapy (CT) or pharmacotherapy (PT). Outpatients diagnosed with major depressive disorder (n=180) were randomized to receive either CT or PT. Cognitive and vegetative symptoms of major depression were measured by the Beck Depression Inventory-II at baseline and regularly throughout 16 weeks of treatment. Multivariate hierarchical linear modeling demonstrated the same patterns of change over time for cognitive and vegetative symptoms within CT and within PT. Self-report measures may not be sufficiently specific to capture subtle differences in improvements between vegetative and cognitive symptoms. These results are consistent with Beck's [Beck, A.T., 1984, November. Cognition and theory [Letter to the editor]. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 41, 1112-1114.] hypothesis that CT and PT have a similar site of action, which when targeted, results in changes in both cognitive and vegetative features.

  11. Timewise : Improving pupils' understanding of historical time in primary school

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groot-Reuvekamp, M.J.

    2017-01-01

    The understanding of historical time is an essential aim for the subject of history. However, evaluations in the Netherlands show that that too few pupils at the end of primary school, reach a sufficient understanding of historical time, despite the implementation of the ten-era curriculum (2006),

  12. Early improvement in eating attitudes during cognitive behavioural therapy for eating disorders: the impact of personality disorder cognitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Emma C; Waller, Glenn; Gannon, Kenneth

    2014-03-01

    The personality disorders are commonly comorbid with the eating disorders. Personality disorder pathology is often suggested to impair the treatment of axis 1 disorders, including the eating disorders. This study examined whether personality disorder cognitions reduce the impact of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for eating disorders, in terms of treatment dropout and change in eating disorder attitudes in the early stages of treatment. Participants were individuals with a diagnosed eating disorder, presenting for individual outpatient CBT. They completed measures of personality disorder cognitions and eating disorder attitudes at sessions one and six of CBT. Drop-out rates prior to session six were recorded. CBT had a relatively rapid onset of action, with a significant reduction in eating disorder attitudes over the first six sessions. Eating disorder attitudes were most strongly associated with cognitions related to anxiety-based personality disorders (avoidant, obsessive-compulsive and dependent). Individuals who dropped out of treatment prematurely had significantly higher levels of dependent personality disorder cognitions than those who remained in treatment. For those who remained in treatment, higher levels of avoidant, histrionic and borderline personality disorder cognitions were associated with a greater change in global eating disorder attitudes. CBT's action and retention of patients might be improved by consideration of such personality disorder cognitions when formulating and treating the eating disorders.

  13. An Improved Measure of Reading Skill: The Cognitive Structure Test

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sorrells, Robert

    1997-01-01

    This study compared the construct validity and the predictive validity of a new test, called the Cognitive Structure Test, to multiple-choice tests of reading skill, namely the Armed Forces Vocational...

  14. Quality Improvement in Hospitals: Identifying and Understanding Behaviors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukasz M. Mazur

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Improving operational performance in hospitals is complicated, particularly if process improvement requires complex behavioral changes. Using single-loop and double-loop learning theory as a foundation, the purpose of this research is to empirically uncover key improvement behaviors and the factors that may be associated with such behaviors in hospitals. A two-phased approach was taken to collect data regarding improvement behaviors and associated factors, and data analysis was conducted using methods proposed by grounded theorists. The contributions of this research are twofold. First, five key behaviors related to process improvement are identified, namely Quick Fixing, Initiating, Conforming, Expediting, and Enhancing. Second, based on these observed behaviors, a set of force field diagrams is developed to structure and organize possible factors that are important to consider when attempting to change improvement behaviors. This begins to fill the gap in the knowledge about what factors drive effective improvement efforts in hospital settings.

  15. Understanding negative impacts of perceived cognitive load on job learning effectiveness: a social capital solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Chieh-Peng

    2010-12-01

    This study proposes a model explaining how social capital helps ease excessively required mental effort. Although organizational researchers have studied both social capital and cognitive load, no prior research has critically examined the role of social capital in improving individuals' mental load and effort and consequently enhancing job learning effectiveness. This study surveys participants made up of professionals in Taiwan's information technology industry. It measures the constructs with the use of 5-point Likert-type scale items modified from existing literature. The survey data were analyzed with the use of structural equation modeling. Job learning effectiveness is negatively influenced by role ambiguity and role conflict. Time pressure has a positive influence on role ambiguity and role conflict Although the relationship between task complexity and role ambiguity is insignificant, task complexity has a positive influence on role conflict. Because the relationship between network ties and role conflict is insignificant, trust has a negative influence on role conflict. Last, shared vision has a negative influence on role ambiguity. This study provides an example of how social capital can be applied as a useful remedy to ease the negative impact of perceived cognitive load on job learning effectiveness. The negative relationship between shared vision and role ambiguity suggests that a shared vision helps in disseminating organizationally common goals and directions among employees to alleviate individuals' mental efforts in dealing with the ambiguity of their job roles. A firm's management team should take actions to decrease role conflict by strengthening trust among employees.

  16. How can neuroscience help understand design and craft activity? The promise of cognitive neuroscience in design studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pirita Seitamaa-Hakkarainen

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available  Designing and making crafts is a complex, multifaceted process that requires sophisticated, professional thinking and competence, described as reflection in action and as an embodied process in which the hand, eye and mind collaborate. This article discusses these cognitive and embodied aspects central to designing and making crafts in light of cognitive neuroscience. Understanding the specific cognitive processes and forms of knowledge used in creative practices is essential. In this article, we propose that cognitive neuroscience provides valuable tools for analysing thinking and acting processes relevant to designing and making. We discuss the challenges and opportunities that the use of brain imaging methods, in particular, provides for understanding design activities, skills and cognition. Additionally, we present two neuroscientific experimental settings from our empirical studies in which the methods of cognitive neuroscience are applied to study and detect the interrelations between drawing, forming, skill learning and the functional activities of the brain and its subareas. We argue that cognitive neuroscience provides valuable instruments and methods which complement traditional design research.

  17. Meditation and Music Improve Memory and Cognitive Function in Adults with Subjective Cognitive Decline: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Innes, Kim E; Selfe, Terry Kit; Khalsa, Dharma Singh; Kandati, Sahiti

    2017-01-01

    While effective therapies for preventing or slowing cognitive decline in at-risk populations remain elusive, evidence suggests mind-body interventions may hold promise. In this study, we assessed the effects of Kirtan Kriya meditation (KK) and music listening (ML) on cognitive outcomes in adults experiencing subjective cognitive decline (SCD), a strong predictor of Alzheimer's disease. Sixty participants with SCD were randomized to a KK or ML program and asked to practice 12 minutes/day for 3 months, then at their discretion for the ensuing 3 months. At baseline, 3 months, and 6 months we measured memory and cognitive functioning [Memory Functioning Questionnaire (MFQ), Trail-making Test (TMT-A/B), and Digit-Symbol Substitution Test (DSST)]. The 6-month study was completed by 53 participants (88%). Participants performed an average of 93% (91% KK, 94% ML) of sessions in the first 3 months, and 71% (68% KK, 74% ML) during the 3-month, practice-optional, follow-up period. Both groups showed marked and significant improvements at 3 months in memory and cognitive performance (MFQ, DSST, TMT-A/B; p's≤0.04). At 6 months, overall gains were maintained or improved (p's≤0.006), with effect sizes ranging from medium (DSST, ML group) to large (DSST, KK group; TMT-A/B, MFQ). Changes were unrelated to treatment expectancies and did not differ by age, gender, baseline cognition scores, or other factors. Findings of this preliminary randomized controlled trial suggest practice of meditation or ML can significantly enhance both subjective memory function and objective cognitive performance in adults with SCD, and may offer promise for improving outcomes in this population.

  18. Understanding Student Cognition about Complex Earth System Processes Related to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeal, K. S.; Libarkin, J.; Ledley, T. S.; Dutta, S.; Templeton, M. C.; Geroux, J.; Blakeney, G. A.

    2011-12-01

    The Earth's climate system includes complex behavior and interconnections with other Earth spheres that present challenges to student learning. To better understand these unique challenges, we have conducted experiments with high-school and introductory level college students to determine how information pertaining to the connections between the Earth's atmospheric system and the other Earth spheres (e.g., hydrosphere and cryosphere) are processed. Specifically, we include psychomotor tests (e.g., eye-tracking) and open-ended questionnaires in this research study, where participants were provided scientific images of the Earth (e.g., global precipitation and ocean and atmospheric currents), eye-tracked, and asked to provide causal or relational explanations about the viewed images. In addition, the students engaged in on-line modules (http://serc.carleton.edu/eslabs/climate/index.html) focused on Earth system science as training activities to address potential cognitive barriers. The developed modules included interactive media, hands-on lessons, links to outside resources, and formative assessment questions to promote a supportive and data-rich learning environment. Student eye movements were tracked during engagement with the materials to determine the role of perception and attention on understanding. Students also completed a conceptual questionnaire pre-post to determine if these on-line curriculum materials assisted in their development of connections between Earth's atmospheric system and the other Earth systems. The pre-post results of students' thinking about climate change concepts, as well as eye-tracking results, will be presented.

  19. Understanding physical activity in individuals with prediabetes: an application of social cognitive theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Lorian M; Raine, Kim D; Plotnikoff, Ronald C; Vallance, Jeff K; Sharma, Arya M; Spence, John C

    2016-01-01

    Despite well-documented evidence implicating physical activity (PA) in the prevention of type 2 diabetes, the overwhelming majority of individuals with prediabetes are not physically active enough. The purpose of this study was to investigate the applicability of the social cognitive theory (SCT) in understanding PA behaviour in individuals with prediabetes. Individuals with prediabetes (N = 232) completed a mailed questionnaire assessing demographics, self-reported PA (MET.min/wk) and SCT constructs for PA MET.min/wk. For PA MET.min/wk, scheduling and task efficacy both had significant effects on PA (β = .30 and .22, respectively). Goal formation also had a direct effect on PA for scheduling, coping and task efficacy (β = .20, .34 and .30, respectively). Task, coping and scheduling efficacy explained a significant portion of the variance in PA behaviour. Overall, SCT appears to have merit as a model for understanding PA in individuals with prediabetes. Further evaluative inquiry is needed to establish support for the use of the SCT as a framework for developing, implementing and evaluating PA behaviour change interventions in this population.

  20. Task-specific visual cues for improving process model understanding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petrusel, Razvan; Mendling, Jan; Reijers, Hajo A.

    2016-01-01

    Context Business process models support various stakeholders in managing business processes and designing process-aware information systems. In order to make effective use of these models, they have to be readily understandable. Objective Prior research has emphasized the potential of visual cues to

  1. Standing in the Hallway Improves Students' Understanding of Conformity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Timothy J.; Haubner, Richard R.; Bodle, James H.

    2013-01-01

    To help beginning psychology students understand how they are influenced by social pressures to conform, we developed a demonstration designed to elicit their conformity to a small group of students standing in the hallway before class. Results showed the demonstration increased students' recognition of their own tendency to conform, knowledge of…

  2. Does education improve cognitive performance four decades after school completion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneeweis, Nicole; Skirbekk, Vegard; Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf

    2014-04-01

    We study the effect of secondary education on cognitive performance toward the end of working age. We exploit the exogenous variation in years of schooling arising from compulsory schooling reforms implemented in six European countries during the 1950s and 1960s. Using data of individuals, approximately age 60, from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we assess the causal effect of education on memory, fluency, numeracy, and orientation-to-date. Furthermore, we study education effects on cognitive decline. We find a positive impact of schooling on memory scores. One year of education increases the memory score approximately four decades later by about 0.2, which amounts to 10 % of a standard deviation. Furthermore, we find some evidence for a protective effect of schooling on cognitive decline in terms of verbal fluency.

  3. Improved Cognitive Development in Preterm Infants with Shared Book Reading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braid, Susan; Bernstein, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    To examine the effect of shared book reading on the cognitive development of children born preterm and to determine what factors influence shared book reading in this population. Secondary analysis using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort, a large, nationally representative survey of children born in the United States in 2001. One thousand four hundred singleton preterm infants (22-36 weeks gestation). Cognitive development measured using the Bayley Mental Scale score from the Bayley Scales of Infant Development Research Edition. Adjusting for neonatal, maternal, and socioeconomic characteristics, reading aloud more than two times a week is associated with higher cognitive development scores in two-year-old children born preterm (p book reading holds potential as an early developmental intervention for this population.

  4. Adapted Tango Improves Mobility, Motor-Cognitive Function, and Gait but Not Cognition in Older Adults in Independent Living.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hackney, Madeleine E; Byers, Colleen; Butler, Gail; Sweeney, Morgan; Rossbach, Lauren; Bozzorg, Aaron

    2015-10-01

    To determine the efficacy of adapted tango for improving mobility, motor-cognitive function, and gait; to determine whether former dance experience was associated with improvements; and to evaluate participant satisfaction, changes in depression, and quality of life. Quasi-experimental, two-group, repeated-measures preintervention, postintervention, and 3-month postintervention study. Diverse senior independent living communities in an urban metropolitan area. Individuals aged 59 to 95 (73% aged 80 and older; 31% nonwhite, 72% female) (N = 74). Participants were assigned to 20 sessions of 90-minute tango (n = 62) or health education (n = 12) classes over 12 weeks. Mobility, motor-cognitive function, gait, cognition, and psychosocial function were evaluated before, immediately after, and 3 months after the intervention. Two (groups) by two (before and after) repeated-measures analyses of variance with post hoc comparisons were used to evaluate differences in primary analyses. Secondary analyses from immediately after to 3 months after were used to examine the data for retention of any gains. Forty-four tango and 10 education participants completed 20 sessions. Significant group by time interactions revealed that tango improved mobility (P = .006), backward and fast gait speeds (P cognitive function (P = .03). Education improved depression (P = .001). No relationship was noted between previous dance experience and improvements. Gains were maintained 3 months after the intervention. Adapted tango may improve mobility, gait and motor-cognitive function more than health education classes in older adults. Further research is necessary to confirm these findings. © 2015, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2015, The American Geriatrics Society.

  5. Understanding cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis: integrating a first-person perspective with neuropsychological testing, neuroimaging, and cognitive neuroscience research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtney, Susan M

    2011-12-01

    This paper gives perspectives on a companion article, the case history of a professional writer who has multiple sclerosis. The patient's first-person account of her illness is combined with clinical summaries about her care. The discussion of this case illustrates the value of combining such subjective and objective reports in evaluating a patient. Furthermore, considering these reports in the context of current research findings on the organization and function of cognitive neural systems can shed light on patients' seemingly contradictory clinical findings. For this patient, a deficit in the ability to select the most important information to achieve her current goals reflected her neuropsychological test results and neuroradiologic findings, and helped to explain her difficulties with her job and her activities of daily living. Because the patient's cognitive impairments have been her primary manifestations of multiple sclerosis, she illustrates the importance of physicians attending to and helping patients manage their cognitive deficits.

  6. Towards Diagram Understanding: A Pilot Study Measuring Cognitive Workload Through Eye-Tracking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maier, Anja; Baltsen, Nick; Christoffersen, Henrik

    2014-01-01

    measurements and subjective assessments; here, we also investigate behavioral indicators such as fixation and pupillary dilation. We use such indicators to explore diagram understanding- and reading strategies and how such strategies are impacted, e.g. by diagram type and expertise level. In the pilot eye......-tracking experiment run so far, we have only examined a small number of participants (n=4), so our results are preliminary in nature and do not afford far reaching conclusions. They do, however, corroborate findings from earlier experiments, for example, showing that layout quality indeed matters and improves...... understanding. Our results also give rise to a number of new hypotheses about diagram understanding strategies that we are investigating in an ongoing data acquisition campaign....

  7. Background understanding and improvement in NaI scintillators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amare, J; Beltran, B; Carmona, J M; Cebrian, S; GarcIa, E; Gomez, H; Irastorza, I G; Luzon, G; MartInez, M; Morales, J; Ortiz de Solorzano, A; Pobes, C; Puimedon, J; RodrIguez, A; Ruz, J; Sarsa, M L; Torres, L; Villar, J A

    2006-01-01

    Sodium Iodide scintillators are very interesting particle and radiation detectors. Low background requirements could limit their application in a variety of fields. We report the e.orts to understand and reduce the background in a set of 14 NaI detectors, stored underground since 1988, undertaken in the frame of the ANAIS experiment [1] in several directions, including PSD techniques, Monte Carlo simulations and detector upgrading

  8. Background understanding and improvement in NaI scintillators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amare, J; Beltran, B; Carmona, J M; Cebrian, S; GarcIa, E; Gomez, H; Irastorza, I G; Luzon, G; MartInez, M; Morales, J; Ortiz de Solorzano, A; Pobes, C; Puimedon, J; RodrIguez, A; Ruz, J; Sarsa, M L; Torres, L; Villar, J A [Laboratorio de Fisica Nuclear y Altas EnergIas, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50009 (Spain)

    2006-05-15

    Sodium Iodide scintillators are very interesting particle and radiation detectors. Low background requirements could limit their application in a variety of fields. We report the e.orts to understand and reduce the background in a set of 14 NaI detectors, stored underground since 1988, undertaken in the frame of the ANAIS experiment [1] in several directions, including PSD techniques, Monte Carlo simulations and detector upgrading.

  9. Synthesis of Aerosol Observations for Improved Understanding of Radiative Forcing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McComiskey, Allison [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Washington, DC (United States); Feingold, Graham [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Washington, DC (United States)

    2015-12-04

    The ultimate objective of this project was to gain a better understanding of the relationship between aerosol physical and radiative properties through the integration of measurements from different approaches and platforms. Different types of information can only be gained from different approaches – for example, in situ sampling versus remote sensing – so to provide the best radiative forcing estimates they must be brought together in accurate and meaningful ways. This work involved understanding and characterizing measurement accuracy, integrating measurements from different approaches, and understanding the sensitivity of different aerosol representations from these various approaches to radiative forcing. Our progress involved the assessment of error and bias in aerosol absorption measurements made in situ and by remote sensing, assessment of new chemical composition measurements made by ARM, and determination of the sensitivity of radiative forcing to these measurement errors and the representation of absorption vertical distributions. We also examined the sensitivity of cloud condensation nuclei, cloud microphysics, and cloud radiative forcing to aerosol concentration, microphysical, chemical, and optical properties, and vertical distributions in distinct aerosol regimes.

  10. Interdisciplinary Project-Based Learning: Technology for Improving Student Cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stozhko, Natalia; Bortnik, Boris; Mironova, Ludmila; Tchernysheva, Albina; Podshivalova, Ekaterina

    2015-01-01

    The article studies a way of enhancing student cognition by using interdisciplinary project-based learning (IPBL) in a higher education institution. IPBL is a creative pedagogic approach allowing students of one area of specialisation to develop projects for students with different academic profiles. The application of this approach in the Ural…

  11. An Instructional Strategy Planning Model to Improve Learning and Cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tennyson, Robert D.

    1988-01-01

    Presents model of instructional strategy planning that links specific cognitive learning and thinking processes with specific computer-based instructional strategies. Topics discussed include memory systems; types of knowledge; drill and practice; tutorials; task-oriented simulations; problem-oriented simulations; and self directed experiences.…

  12. Social Perception Training: Improving Social Competence by Reducing Cognitive Distortions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finne, Johannes N.; Svartdal, Frode

    2017-01-01

    Social Perception Training (SPT) is a program focused on changing the perceptual and cognitive processes involved in suboptimal social interactions. It is administered with whole class of pupils over ten weeks. No previous studies have evaluated its efficacy. The present study investigated the outcome benefit of the program in 18 primary and…

  13. Understanding Leadership Paradigms for Improvement in Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flumerfelt, Shannon; Banachowski, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: This research article is based on the Baldrige National Quality Program Education Criteria for Performance Excellence's conceptualization of improvement as a dual cycle/three element initiative of examining and bettering inputs, processes, and outputs as driven by measurement, analysis and knowledge management work. This study isolates a…

  14. Effect of motor cognition program for improving temporal-spatial timing memory ability with mild cognitive impairment patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sooyeon

    2017-08-01

    This exploratory study evaluated motor cognition program for improving temporal-spatial timing memory ability with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients. The purpose was to explore the efficacies of motor cognition program according to practice methods, centering on coordination and observation pattern. Two practice methods were applied to the 40 MCI elder. In experiment 1, participants divided into two group as, one-hand practice group (n=20) and both-hands practice group (n=20). In experiment 2, participants divided into two group as, active observation group (n=20) and passive observation group (n=20). The participant was asked to alternatively press two buttons 6 times with the index finger hand with goal rhythm pattern (3,600 msec in total duration). In coordination pattern, bimanual practice was more effective for improving temporal-spatial timing memory ability than unilateral practice. In observation pattern, active observation showed better learning effect than passive observation. However, there was a learning effect even in passive observation pattern. Such a result claimed for the elderly, who has problem to do daily activity, could use observation of temporal-spatial timing task for improving cognitive ability.

  15. The Contribution of Cognitive Factors to Individual Differences in Understanding Noise-Vocoded Speech in Young and Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Rosemann

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Noise-vocoded speech is commonly used to simulate the sensation after cochlear implantation as it consists of spectrally degraded speech. High individual variability exists in learning to understand both noise-vocoded speech and speech perceived through a cochlear implant (CI. This variability is partly ascribed to differing cognitive abilities like working memory, verbal skills or attention. Although clinically highly relevant, up to now, no consensus has been achieved about which cognitive factors exactly predict the intelligibility of speech in noise-vocoded situations in healthy subjects or in patients after cochlear implantation. We aimed to establish a test battery that can be used to predict speech understanding in patients prior to receiving a CI. Young and old healthy listeners completed a noise-vocoded speech test in addition to cognitive tests tapping on verbal memory, working memory, lexicon and retrieval skills as well as cognitive flexibility and attention. Partial-least-squares analysis revealed that six variables were important to significantly predict vocoded-speech performance. These were the ability to perceive visually degraded speech tested by the Text Reception Threshold, vocabulary size assessed with the Multiple Choice Word Test, working memory gauged with the Operation Span Test, verbal learning and recall of the Verbal Learning and Retention Test and task switching abilities tested by the Comprehensive Trail-Making Test. Thus, these cognitive abilities explain individual differences in noise-vocoded speech understanding and should be considered when aiming to predict hearing-aid outcome.

  16. Using biological networks to improve our understanding of infectious diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola J. Mulder

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death, particularly in developing countries. Although many drugs are available for treating the most common infectious diseases, in many cases the mechanism of action of these drugs or even their targets in the pathogen remain unknown. In addition, the key factors or processes in pathogens that facilitate infection and disease progression are often not well understood. Since proteins do not work in isolation, understanding biological systems requires a better understanding of the interconnectivity between proteins in different pathways and processes, which includes both physical and other functional interactions. Such biological networks can be generated within organisms or between organisms sharing a common environment using experimental data and computational predictions. Though different data sources provide different levels of accuracy, confidence in interactions can be measured using interaction scores. Connections between interacting proteins in biological networks can be represented as graphs and edges, and thus studied using existing algorithms and tools from graph theory. There are many different applications of biological networks, and here we discuss three such applications, specifically applied to the infectious disease tuberculosis, with its causative agent Mycobacterium tuberculosis and host, Homo sapiens. The applications include the use of the networks for function prediction, comparison of networks for evolutionary studies, and the generation and use of host–pathogen interaction networks.

  17. Social priming improves cognitive control in elderly adults--evidence from the Simon task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Aisenberg

    Full Text Available We examined whether social priming of cognitive states affects the inhibitory process in elderly adults, as aging is related to deficits in inhibitory control. Forty-eight elderly adults and 45 young adults were assigned to three groups and performed a cognitive control task (Simon task, which was followed by 3 different manipulations of social priming (i.e., thinking about an 82 year-old person: 1 negative--characterized by poor cognitive abilities, 2 neutral--characterized by acts irrelevant to cognitive abilities, and 3 positive--excellent cognitive abilities. After the manipulation, the Simon task was performed again. Results showed improvement in cognitive control effects in seniors after the positive manipulation, indicated by a significant decrease in the magnitude of the Simon and interference effects, but not after the neutral and negative manipulations. Furthermore, a healthy pattern of sequential effect (Gratton that was absent before the manipulation in all 3 groups appeared after the positive manipulation. Namely, the Simon effect was only present after congruent but not after incongruent trials for the positive manipulation group. No influence of manipulations was found in young adults. These meaningful results were replicated in a second experiment and suggest a decrease in conflict interference resulting from positive cognitive state priming. Our study provides evidence that an implicit social concept of a positive cognitive condition in old age can affect the control process of the elderly and improve cognitive abilities.

  18. Developing models of how cognitive improvements change functioning: mediation, moderation and moderated mediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wykes, Til; Reeder, Clare; Huddy, Vyv; Taylor, Rumina; Wood, Helen; Ghirasim, Natalia; Kontis, Dimitrios; Landau, Sabine

    2012-06-01

    Cognitive remediation (CRT) affects functioning but the extent and type of cognitive improvements necessary are unknown. To develop and test models of how cognitive improvement transfers to work behaviour using the data from a current service. Participants (N49) with a support worker and a paid or voluntary job were offered CRT in a Phase 2 single group design with three assessments: baseline, post therapy and follow-up. Working memory, cognitive flexibility, planning and work outcomes were assessed. Three models were tested (mediation - cognitive improvements drive functioning improvement; moderation - post treatment cognitive level affects the impact of CRT on functioning; moderated mediation - cognition drives functioning improvements only after a certain level is achieved). There was evidence of mediation (planning improvement associated with improved work quality). There was no evidence that cognitive flexibility (total Wisconsin Card Sorting Test errors) and working memory (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale III digit span) mediated work functioning despite significant effects. There was some evidence of moderated mediation for planning improvement if participants had poorer memory and/or made fewer WCST errors. The total CRT effect on work quality was d=0.55, but the indirect (planning-mediated CRT effect) was d=0.082 Planning improvements led to better work quality but only accounted for a small proportion of the total effect on work outcome. Other specific and non-specific effects of CRT and the work programme are likely to account for some of the remaining effect. This is the first time complex models have been tested and future Phase 3 studies need to further test mediation and moderated mediation models. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Understanding how information and ICTs can improve health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bath, Peter A; Sen, Barbara A; Raptis, Dimitri A; Mettler, Tobias

    2012-02-01

    The 15th International Symposium for Health Information Management Research (ISHIMR) was organized jointly by University Hospital Zurich (Switzerland), the University of St Gallen (St Gallen, Switzerland) and the University of Sheffield (Sheffield, UK). Participants included researchers, healthcare professionals, health service managers and planners. The aim of the ISHIMR series of conferences is to bring together researchers and practitioners to disseminate, share and discuss research into how information and communication technologies can improve the management of information with the health sector.

  20. Online education improves pediatric residents' understanding of atopic dermatitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craddock, Megan F; Blondin, Heather M; Youssef, Molly J; Tollefson, Megha M; Hill, Lauren F; Hanson, Janice L; Bruckner, Anna L

    2018-01-01

    Pediatricians manage skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (AD) but report that their dermatologic training is inadequate. Online modules may enhance medical education when sufficient didactic or clinical teaching experiences are lacking. We assessed whether an online module about AD improved pediatric residents' knowledge and changed their clinical management of AD. Target and control cohorts of pediatric residents from two institutions were recruited. Target subjects took a 30-question test about AD early in their residency, reviewed the online module, and repeated the test 6 months and 1 year later. The control subjects, who had 1 year of clinical experience but had not reviewed the online module, also took the test. The mean percentage of correct answers was calculated and compared using two-sided, two-sample independent t tests and repeated-measures analysis of variance. For a subset of participants, clinical documentation from AD encounters was reviewed and 13 practice behaviors were compared using the Fisher exact test. Twenty-five subjects in the target cohort and 29 subjects in the control cohort completed the study. The target cohort improved from 18.0 ± 3.2 to 23.4 ± 3.4 correctly answered questions over 1 year (P online module about AD demonstrated statistically significant improvement in disease-specific knowledge over time and had statistically significantly higher scores than controls. Online dermatology education may effectively supplement traditional clinical teaching. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Cognitive analysis as a way to understand students' problem-solving process in BODMAS rule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ung, Ting Su; Kiong, Paul Lau Ngee; Manaf, Badron bin; Hamdan, Anniza Binti; Khium, Chen Chee

    2017-04-01

    Students tend to make lots of careless mistake during the process of mathematics solving. To facilitate effective learning, educators have to understand which cognitive processes are used by students and how these processes help them to solve problems. This paper is only aimed to determine the common errors in mathematics by pre-diploma students that took Intensive Mathematics I (MAT037) in UiTM Sarawak. Then, concentrate on the errors did by the students on the topic of BODMAS rule and the mental processes corresponding to these errors that been developed by students. One class of pre-diploma students taking MAT037 taught by the researchers was selected because they performed poorly in SPM mathematics. It is inevitable that they finished secondary education with many misconceptions in mathematics. The solution scripts for all the tutorials of the participants were collected. This study was predominately qualitative and the solution scripts were content analyzed to identify the common errors committed by the participants, and to generate possible mental processes to these errors. Selected students were interviewed by the researchers during the progress. BODMAS rule could be further divided into Numerical Simplification and Powers Simplification. Furthermore, the erroneous processes could be attributed to categories of Basic Arithmetic Rules, Negative Numbers and Powers.

  2. Metacognition and action: a new pathway to understanding social and cognitive aspects of expertise in sport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIntyre, Tadhg E; Igou, Eric R; Campbell, Mark J; Moran, Aidan P; Matthews, James

    2014-01-01

    For over a century, psychologists have investigated the mental processes of expert performers - people who display exceptional knowledge and/or skills in specific fields of human achievement. Since the 1960s, expertise researchers have made considerable progress in understanding the cognitive and neural mechanisms that underlie such exceptional performance. Whereas the first modern studies of expertise were conducted in relatively formal knowledge domains such as chess, more recent investigations have explored elite performance in dynamic perceptual-motor activities such as sport. Unfortunately, although these studies have led to the identification of certain domain-free generalizations about expert-novice differences, they shed little light on an important issue: namely, experts' metacognitive activities or their insights into, and regulation of, their own mental processes. In an effort to rectify this oversight, the present paper argues that metacognitive processes and inferences play an important if neglected role in expertise. In particular, we suggest that metacognition (including such processes as "meta-attention," "meta-imagery" and "meta-memory," as well as social aspects of this construct) provides a window on the genesis of expert performance. Following a critique of the standard empirical approach to expertise, we explore some research on "metacognition" and "metacognitive inference" among experts in sport. After that, we provide a brief evaluation of the relationship between psychological skills training and metacognition and comment on the measurement of metacognitive processes. Finally, we summarize our conclusions and outline some potentially new directions for research on metacognition in action.

  3. Tailored cognitive-behavioural therapy and exercise training improves the physical fitness of patients with fibromyalgia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spillekom-van Koulil, S.; Lankveld, W.G.J.M. van; Kraaimaat, F.W.; Helmond, T. van; Vedder, A.; Hoorn, H. van; Donders, A.R.T.; Wirken, L.; Cats, H.; Riel, P.L.C.M. van; Evers, A.W.M.

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Patients with fibromyalgia have diminished levels of physical fitness, which may lead to functional disability and exacerbating complaints. Multidisciplinary treatment comprising cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and exercise training has been shown to be effective in improving

  4. Some strategies to improve performance in school chemistry, based on two cognitive factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danili, Eleni; Reid, Norman

    2004-02-01

    The background to this study are the difficulties facing the majority of Greek pupils in understanding chemistry concepts and, therefore, performing well in the National Examinations. The aim was to explore the problems and to suggest ways in which the situation might be improved. Working with 105 Greek pupils aged 15 to 16, the first stage of the enquiry confirmed that both working memory space and extent of field dependency were two psychological factors affecting performance. This is at least part of the nature of the problem. In the second stage, an attempt was made to explore how the problems might be reduced. New teaching materials were constructed to minimize any limitations to learning caused by working memory space and problems associated with being field dependent. The use of the new materials was compared to the normal teaching process working with 210 Greek pupils aged 15 to16. It was found that there was a significant difference in the average improvement of the experimental group and the control group, in favour of the experimental group. This result was independent of the effect of the teacher, and of the interaction of teaching method and teacher. It is suggested that approaches to learning must take into account cognitive factors in the learners in the context of information processing understandings of learning. If this is done, learning is much more effective.

  5. Challenges and opportunities for improved understanding of regional climate dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Matthew; Minobe, Shoshiro; Barreiro, Marcelo; Bordoni, Simona; Kaspi, Yohai; Kuwano-Yoshida, Akira; Keenlyside, Noel; Manzini, Elisa; O'Reilly, Christopher H.; Sutton, Rowan; Xie, Shang-Ping; Zolina, Olga

    2018-02-01

    Dynamical processes in the atmosphere and ocean are central to determining the large-scale drivers of regional climate change, yet their predictive understanding is poor. Here, we identify three frontline challenges in climate dynamics where significant progress can be made to inform adaptation: response of storms, blocks and jet streams to external forcing; basin-to-basin and tropical-extratropical teleconnections; and the development of non-linear predictive theory. We highlight opportunities and techniques for making immediate progress in these areas, which critically involve the development of high-resolution coupled model simulations, partial coupling or pacemaker experiments, as well as the development and use of dynamical metrics and exploitation of hierarchies of models.

  6. Intranasal Insulin for Improving Cognitive Function in Multiple Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-01

    people with MS. The study will also evaluate the impact of intranasal insulin on measures of oxidative stress , axonal injury, cellular stress ...impaired cognitive function, which is common and present in over 60% of individuals with MS. Attention, memory , executive functioning, and especially... memory . Insulin is present at high levels in the brain and when these levels are decreased, there may be learning and memory impairments. Moreover

  7. Cognitive improvement following repair of a basal encephalocele.

    OpenAIRE

    Tulloch, I; Palmer, S; Scott, R; Lozsadi, D; Martin, AJ

    2017-01-01

    We report the case of a 55-year-old woman presenting with progressive memory impairment secondary to a transsphenoidal encephalocele involving her dominant medial temporal lobe. Her clinical deterioration was accompanied by radiological progression in the encephalocele's size and associated encephalomalacia. Through a temporal craniotomy, her encephalocele was resected and the defect closed. Baseline neuropsychological assessment indicated global cognitive impairment, but post-operatively, sh...

  8. Very low birth weight piglets show improved cognitive performance in the spatial cognitive holeboard task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Antonides, Sanja; A.C., Schoonderwoerd; Nordquist, Rebecca; van der Staay, Franz Josef

    2015-01-01

    Low birth weight (LBW) is common in humans and has been found to cause lasting cognitive and developmental deficits later in life. It is thought that the primary cause is intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) due to a shortage of oxygen and supply of nutrients to the fetus. Pigs appear to be a

  9. Zinc Improves Cognitive and Neuronal Dysfunction During Aluminium-Induced Neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singla, Neha; Dhawan, D K

    2017-01-01

    Metals are considered as important components of a physiologically active cell, and imbalance in their levels can lead to various diseased conditions. Aluminium (Al) is an environmental neurotoxicant, which is etiologically related to several neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's, whereas zinc (Zn) is an essential trace element that regulates a large number of metabolic processes in the brain. The objective of the present study was to understand whether Zn provides any physiological protection during Al-induced neurodegeneration. Male Sprague Dawley rats weighing 140-160 g received either aluminium chloride (AlCl 3 ) orally (100 mg/kg b.wt./day), zinc sulphate (ZnSO 4 ) in drinking water (227 mg/L) or combined treatment of aluminium and zinc for 8 weeks. Al treatment resulted in a significant decline in the cognitive behaviour of rats, whereas zinc supplementation caused an improvement in various neurobehavior parameters. Further, Al exposure decreased (p ≤ 0.001) the levels of neurotransmitters, acetylcholinesterase activity, but increased (p ≤ 0.001) the levels of L-citrulline as well as activities of nitric oxide and monoamine oxidase in the brain. However, zinc administration to Al-treated animals increased the levels of neurotransmitters and regulated the altered activities of brain markers. Western blot of tau, amyloid precursor protein (APP), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), ubiquitin, α-synuclein and Hsp 70 were also found to be elevated after Al exposure, which however were reversed following Zn treatment. Al treatment also revealed alterations in neurohistoarchitecture in the form of loss of pyramidal and Purkinje cells, which were improved upon zinc co-administration. Therefore, the present study demonstrates that zinc improves cognitive functions by regulating α-synuclein and APP-mediated molecular pathways during aluminium-induced neurodegeneration.

  10. Electrophysiological correlates of cognition improve with nap during sleep deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panjwani, Usha; Ray, Koushik; Chatterjee, Abhirup; Bhaumik, Sangeet; Kumar, Sanjeev

    2010-02-01

    The efficacy of a 30-min nap as a countermeasure in the reduction of cognitive decline following 24 h of sleep deprivation (SD) on subjective sleepiness scales, event-related potential (ERP) P300, and contingent negative variation (CNV) was evaluated. The experiment was performed in three sessions on different days between 7 and 8 a.m. on nine normal, healthy males, of age 25-30 years: Session 1. Baseline recordings; Session 2, after one night's total sleep deprivation, and; Session 3, after 1 week of Session 1, following one night's sleep deprivation along with a 30-min nap opportunity between 1.00 and 3.00 a.m. Subjective sleepiness scores increased after SD as compared to baseline, but reduced significantly after nap (P effects on ERP N1, P1, N2 latencies, P2 and P3 amplitudes and CNV N1, P3, M2 peak latencies and M1, and M2 amplitudes were observed. It was concluded that a 30-min nap, between 1.00 and 3.00 a.m. during night SD, reduces the cognitive decline following 24 h of SD in terms of its electro-physiological correlates. The study is of applied value in optimization of cognitive performance in professions demanding night work schedules.

  11. Quick concurrent responses to global and local cognitive information underlie intuitive understanding in board-game experts

    OpenAIRE

    Nakatani, Hironori; Yamaguchi, Yoko

    2014-01-01

    Experts have the superior cognitive capability of quickly understanding complex information in their domain; however, little is known about the neural processes underlying this ability. Here, using a board game named shogi (Japanese chess), we investigated the brain activity in expert players that was involved in their quick understanding of board-game patterns. The frontal area responded only to meaningful game positions, whereas the temporal area responded to both game and random positions ...

  12. Gait and Cognition: A Complementary Approach to Understanding Brain Function and the Risk of Falling

    OpenAIRE

    Montero-Odasso, Manuel; Verghese, Joe; Beauchet, Olivier; Hausdorff, Jeffrey M.

    2012-01-01

    Until recently, clinicians and researchers have performed gait assessments and cognitive assessments separately when evaluating older adults. Increasing evidence from clinical practice, epidemiological studies, and clinical trials shows that gait and cognition are inter-related in older adults. Quantifiable alterations in gait among older adults are associated with falls, dementia, and disability. At the same time, emerging evidence indicates that early disturbances in cognitive processes suc...

  13. Improving clinical cognitive testing: report of the AAN Behavioral Neurology Section Workgroup.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daffner, Kirk R; Gale, Seth A; Barrett, A M; Boeve, Bradley F; Chatterjee, Anjan; Coslett, H Branch; D'Esposito, Mark; Finney, Glen R; Gitelman, Darren R; Hart, John J; Lerner, Alan J; Meador, Kimford J; Pietras, Alison C; Voeller, Kytja S; Kaufer, Daniel I

    2015-09-08

    To evaluate the evidence basis of single-domain cognitive tests frequently used by behavioral neurologists in an effort to improve the quality of clinical cognitive assessment. Behavioral Neurology Section members of the American Academy of Neurology were surveyed about how they conduct clinical cognitive testing, with a particular focus on the Neurobehavioral Status Exam (NBSE). In contrast to general screening cognitive tests, an NBSE consists of tests of individual cognitive domains (e.g., memory or language) that provide a more comprehensive diagnostic assessment. Workgroups for each of 5 cognitive domains (attention, executive function, memory, language, and spatial cognition) conducted evidence-based reviews of frequently used tests. Reviews focused on suitability for office-based clinical practice, including test administration time, accessibility of normative data, disease populations studied, and availability in the public domain. Demographic and clinical practice data were obtained from 200 respondents who reported using a wide range of cognitive tests. Based on survey data and ancillary information, between 5 and 15 tests in each cognitive domain were reviewed. Within each domain, several tests are highlighted as being well-suited for an NBSE. We identified frequently used single-domain cognitive tests that are suitable for an NBSE to help make informed choices about clinical cognitive assessment. Some frequently used tests have limited normative data or have not been well-studied in common neurologic disorders. Utilizing standardized cognitive tests, particularly those with normative data based on the individual's age and educational level, can enhance the rigor and utility of clinical cognitive assessment. © 2015 American Academy of Neurology.

  14. Does Duloxetine Improve Cognitive Function Independently of Its Antidepressant Effect in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder and Subjective Reports of Cognitive Dysfunction?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tracy L. Greer

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Cognitive deficits are commonly reported by patients with major depressive disorder (MDD. Duloxetine, a dual serotonin/noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, may improve cognitive deficits in MDD. It is unclear if cognitive improvements occur independently of antidepressant effects with standard antidepressant medications. Methods. Thirty participants with MDD who endorsed cognitive deficits at screening received 12-week duloxetine treatment. Twenty-one participants completed treatment and baseline and posttreatment cognitive testing. The Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery was used to assess the following cognitive domains: attention, visual memory, executive function/set shifting and working memory, executive function/spatial planning, decision making and response control, and verbal learning and memory. Results. Completers showed significant cognitive improvements across several domains on tasks assessing psychomotor function and mental processing speed, with additional improvements in visual and verbal learning and memory, and affective decision making and response control. Overall significance tests for executive function tasks were also significant, although individual tasks were not, perhaps due to the small sample size. Most notably, cognitive improvements were observed independently of symptom reduction on all domains except verbal learning and memory. Conclusions. Patients reporting baseline cognitive deficits achieved cognitive improvements with duloxetine treatment, most of which were independent of symptomatic improvement. This trial is registered with NCT00933439.

  15. Simple diagnostic signs in those with cognitive impairment-anything to improve detection of cognitive disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, Michael C

    2017-11-01

    With now over 50 million people worldwide with dementia (Prince et al., 2013), there are almost certainly well over 100 million people with cognitive concerns and many of these will attend their health professional keen to know what is going on. We need those without intensive training in this field to be more confident and correct in their diagnosis when such a concerned person turns up. Many simple diagnostic tests have been proposed and some assessed - these include the walk and talk (divided attention) test (those who stop when asked a question while walking may be cognitively impaired) (Lamoth et al., 2011), the clock drawing test (Brodaty and Moore, 1997), the "handbag" sign (those clutching their personal possessions are more likely to be cognitively impaired) and the "hippopotamus sign" (calling the rhinoceros, in those tests that include this, a hippopotamus). Simple screening tests have been extensively validated and are important to the clinician in formulating a diagnosis (Lorentz et al., 2002). The "head-turning" and the "attended with/alone" signs are frequently observed, and many clinicians assessing such individuals would be well aware of them and probably even unknowingly factor them into their diagnosis. In this issue, Pinar Soysal and colleagues (Soysal et al., 2017) have evaluated these signs and, in those older people attending with cognitive concerns, found they had quite good diagnostic value. They were not very specific but showed good sensitivity and negative predictive value. Indeed, at the recent Alzheimer's Association International Conference in London there were several posters evaluating "soft but simple" signs although not all performed as expected - one group found gait actually sped up in those with cognitive impairment that were asked a question.

  16. Bootstrapping Q Methodology to Improve the Understanding of Human Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabala, Aiora; Pascual, Unai

    2016-01-01

    Q is a semi-qualitative methodology to identify typologies of perspectives. It is appropriate to address questions concerning diverse viewpoints, plurality of discourses, or participation processes across disciplines. Perspectives are interpreted based on rankings of a set of statements. These rankings are analysed using multivariate data reduction techniques in order to find similarities between respondents. Discussing the analytical process and looking for progress in Q methodology is becoming increasingly relevant. While its use is growing in social, health and environmental studies, the analytical process has received little attention in the last decades and it has not benefited from recent statistical and computational advances. Specifically, the standard procedure provides overall and arguably simplistic variability measures for perspectives and none of these measures are associated to individual statements, on which the interpretation is based. This paper presents an innovative approach of bootstrapping Q to obtain additional and more detailed measures of variability, which helps researchers understand better their data and the perspectives therein. This approach provides measures of variability that are specific to each statement and perspective, and additional measures that indicate the degree of certainty with which each respondent relates to each perspective. This supplementary information may add or subtract strength to particular arguments used to describe the perspectives. We illustrate and show the usefulness of this approach with an empirical example. The paper provides full details for other researchers to implement the bootstrap in Q studies with any data collection design. PMID:26845694

  17. Bootstrapping Q Methodology to Improve the Understanding of Human Perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabala, Aiora; Pascual, Unai

    2016-01-01

    Q is a semi-qualitative methodology to identify typologies of perspectives. It is appropriate to address questions concerning diverse viewpoints, plurality of discourses, or participation processes across disciplines. Perspectives are interpreted based on rankings of a set of statements. These rankings are analysed using multivariate data reduction techniques in order to find similarities between respondents. Discussing the analytical process and looking for progress in Q methodology is becoming increasingly relevant. While its use is growing in social, health and environmental studies, the analytical process has received little attention in the last decades and it has not benefited from recent statistical and computational advances. Specifically, the standard procedure provides overall and arguably simplistic variability measures for perspectives and none of these measures are associated to individual statements, on which the interpretation is based. This paper presents an innovative approach of bootstrapping Q to obtain additional and more detailed measures of variability, which helps researchers understand better their data and the perspectives therein. This approach provides measures of variability that are specific to each statement and perspective, and additional measures that indicate the degree of certainty with which each respondent relates to each perspective. This supplementary information may add or subtract strength to particular arguments used to describe the perspectives. We illustrate and show the usefulness of this approach with an empirical example. The paper provides full details for other researchers to implement the bootstrap in Q studies with any data collection design.

  18. Does cognitive training improve internal locus of control among older adults?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolinsky, Fredric D; Vander Weg, Mark W; Martin, René; Unverzagt, Frederick W; Willis, Sherry L; Marsiske, Michael; Rebok, George W; Morris, John N; Ball, Karlene K; Tennstedt, Sharon L

    2010-09-01

    We evaluated the effect of cognitive training among 1,534 participants in the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) randomized controlled trial (RCT) on 5-year improvements in 3 cognitive-specific measures of locus of control-internal, chance, and powerful others. ACTIVE was a multisite RCT (age > or = 65), with 4 groups (memory, reasoning, speed of processing, and no-contact control). Complete 5-year follow-up data were available for 1,534 (55%) of the 2,802 participants. A propensity score model was used to adjust for potential attrition bias. Clinically important improvements (and decrements) in the cognitive-specific locus of control scale scores were defined as greater than or equal to 0.5 SD (medium) and greater than or equal to 1.0 SD (large). Multinomial logistic regression was used to simultaneously contrast those who improved and those who declined with those whose locus of control scale score was unchanged. Statistically significant effects reflecting medium-sized (> or = 0.5 SD) improvements in internal locus of control between baseline and the 5-year follow-up were found for the reasoning and speed of processing intervention groups who were 76% (p control group. No improvement effects were found on the chance or powerful others locus of control measures or for the memory intervention group. Cognitive training that targets reasoning and speed of processing can improve the cognitive-specific sense of personal control over one's life in older adults.

  19. Improving Climate Projections by Understanding How Cloud Phase affects Radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cesana, Gregory; Storelvmo, Trude

    2017-01-01

    Whether a cloud is predominantly water or ice strongly influences interactions between clouds and radiation coming down from the Sun or up from the Earth. Being able to simulate cloud phase transitions accurately in climate models based on observational data sets is critical in order to improve confidence in climate projections, because this uncertainty contributes greatly to the overall uncertainty associated with cloud-climate feedbacks. Ultimately, it translates into uncertainties in Earth's sensitivity to higher CO2 levels. While a lot of effort has recently been made toward constraining cloud phase in climate models, more remains to be done to document the radiative properties of clouds according to their phase. Here we discuss the added value of a new satellite data set that advances the field by providing estimates of the cloud radiative effect as a function of cloud phase and the implications for climate projections.

  20. Mechanistic Understanding of Microbial Plugging for Improved Sweep Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steven Bryant; Larry Britton

    2008-09-30

    Microbial plugging has been proposed as an effective low cost method of permeability reduction. Yet there is a dearth of information on the fundamental processes of microbial growth in porous media, and there are no suitable data to model the process of microbial plugging as it relates to sweep efficiency. To optimize the field implementation, better mechanistic and volumetric understanding of biofilm growth within a porous medium is needed. In particular, the engineering design hinges upon a quantitative relationship between amount of nutrient consumption, amount of growth, and degree of permeability reduction. In this project experiments were conducted to obtain new data to elucidate this relationship. Experiments in heterogeneous (layered) beadpacks showed that microbes could grow preferentially in the high permeability layer. Ultimately this caused flow to be equally divided between high and low permeability layers, precisely the behavior needed for MEOR. Remarkably, classical models of microbial nutrient uptake in batch experiments do not explain the nutrient consumption by the same microbes in flow experiments. We propose a simple extension of classical kinetics to account for the self-limiting consumption of nutrient observed in our experiments, and we outline a modeling approach based on architecture and behavior of biofilms. Such a model would account for the changing trend of nutrient consumption by bacteria with the increasing biomass and the onset of biofilm formation. However no existing model can explain the microbial preference for growth in high permeability regions, nor is there any obvious extension of the model for this observation. An attractive conjecture is that quorum sensing is involved in the heterogeneous bead packs.

  1. Aerobic Exercise Improves Cognitive Functioning in People With Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubbs, Brendon; Rosenbaum, Simon; Vancampfort, Davy; Malchow, Berend; Schuch, Felipe; Elliott, Rebecca; Nuechterlein, Keith H.; Yung, Alison R.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Cognitive deficits are pervasive among people with schizophrenia and treatment options are limited. There has been an increased interest in the neurocognitive benefits of exercise, but a comprehensive evaluation of studies to date is lacking. We therefore conducted a meta-analysis of all controlled trials investigating the cognitive outcomes of exercise interventions in schizophrenia. Studies were identified from a systematic search across major electronic databases from inception to April 2016. Meta-analyses were used to calculate pooled effect sizes (Hedges g) and 95% CIs. We identified 10 eligible trials with cognitive outcome data for 385 patients with schizophrenia. Exercise significantly improved global cognition (g = 0.33, 95% CI = 0.13–0.53, P = .001) with no statistical heterogeneity (I2 = 0%). The effect size in the 7 studies which were randomized controlled trials was g = 0.43 (P exercise are associated with larger improvements in global cognition (β = .005, P = .065). Interventions which were supervised by physical activity professionals were also more effective (g = 0.47, P Exercise significantly improved the cognitive domains of working memory (g = 0.39, P = .024, N = 7, n = 282), social cognition (g = 0.71, P = .002, N = 3, n = 81), and attention/vigilance (g = 0.66, P = .005, N = 3, n = 104). Effects on processing speed, verbal memory, visual memory and reasoning and problem solving were not significant. This meta-analysis provides evidence that exercise can improve cognitive functioning among people with schizophrenia, particularly from interventions using higher dosages of exercise. Given the challenges in improving cognition, and the wider health benefits of exercise, a greater focus on providing supervised exercise to people with schizophrenia is needed. PMID:27521348

  2. Cognitive neuroscience in forensic science: understanding and utilizing the human element.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dror, Itiel E

    2015-08-05

    The human element plays a critical role in forensic science. It is not limited only to issues relating to forensic decision-making, such as bias, but also relates to most aspects of forensic work (some of which even take place before a crime is ever committed or long after the verification of the forensic conclusion). In this paper, I explicate many aspects of forensic work that involve the human element and therefore show the relevance (and potential contribution) of cognitive neuroscience to forensic science. The 10 aspects covered in this paper are proactive forensic science, selection during recruitment, training, crime scene investigation, forensic decision-making, verification and conflict resolution, reporting, the role of the forensic examiner, presentation in court and judicial decisions. As the forensic community is taking on the challenges introduced by the realization that the human element is critical for forensic work, new opportunities emerge that allow for considerable improvement and enhancement of the forensic science endeavour. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  3. Challenges to Cognitive Systems Engineering:Understanding Qualitative Aspects of Control Actions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lind, Morten

    2009-01-01

    The paper discusses the future role of Cognitive Systems Engineering (CSE) in contributing to integrated design of process, automation and human machine systems. Existing concepts and methods of Cognitive Systems Engineering do not integrate well with control theory and industrial automation tools...

  4. Understanding and Promoting Thinking about Knowledge: Origins, Issues, and Future Directions of Research on Epistemic Cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandoval, William A.; Greene, Jeffrey A.; Bråten, Ivar

    2016-01-01

    Epistemic cognition is the thinking that people do about what and how they know. Education has long been concerned with promoting reflection on knowledge and processes of knowing, but research into epistemic cognition began really in the past half century, with a tremendous expansion in the past 20 years. This review summarizes the broad range of…

  5. Understanding Knowledge Sharing between IT Professionals--An Integration of Social Cognitive and Social Exchange Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Ming-Tien; Cheng, Nai-Chang

    2012-01-01

    The research includes various constructs based on social exchange theory and social cognitive theory. This study mainly explored the relationships among organisational justice, trust, commitment and knowledge-sharing cognition and verified their mediating effects through two variables of trust and commitment. A survey utilising a questionnaire was…

  6. Improved cognition after control of risk factors for multi-infarct dementia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyer, J.S.; Judd, B.W.; Tawaklna, T.; Rogers, R.L.; Mortel, K.F.

    1986-01-01

    A cohort of 52 patients (30 men and 22 women) with multi-infarct dementia (MID) has been followed up prospectively for a mean interval of 22.2 months. Clinical course has been documented by serial history taking and interviews and neurological, medical, and psychological examinations, and correlated with measurements of cerebral blood flow. The clinical course and cognitive performance have been compared with those of age-matched normal volunteers and patients with Alzheimer's disease. Patients with MID were subdivided into hypertensive and normotensive groups, and also into those displaying stabilized or improved cognition and those whose condition deteriorated. Among hypertensive patients with MID, improved cognition and clinical course correlated with control of systolic blood pressure within upper limits of normalf (135 to 150 mm Hg), but if systolic blood pressure was reduced below this level, patients with MID deteriorated. Among normotensive patients with MID, improved cognition was associated with cessation of smoking cigarettes

  7. It's Not "All in Your Head": Understanding Religion From an Embodied Cognition Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soliman, Tamer M; Johnson, Kathryn A; Song, Hyunjin

    2015-11-01

    Theorists and researchers in the psychology of religion have often focused on the mind as the locus of religion. In this article, we suggest an embodied cognition perspective as a new dimension in studies of religion as a complement to previous research and theorizing. In contrast to the Cartesian view of the mind operating distinctly from the body, an embodied cognition framework posits religion as being grounded in an integrated and dynamic sensorimotor complex (which includes the brain). We review relevant but disparate literature in cognitive and social psychology to demonstrate that embodied cognition shapes the way that people represent the divine and other spiritual beings, guides people's moral intuitions, and facilitates bonding within religious groups. Moreover, commitments to a religious worldview are sometimes manifested in the body. We suggest several promising future directions in the study of religion from an embodied cognition perspective. © The Author(s) 2015.

  8. Cognitive elements in clinical decision-making: toward a cognitive model for medical education and understanding clinical reasoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunphy, Bruce C; Cantwell, Robert; Bourke, Sid; Fleming, Mark; Smith, Bruce; Joseph, K S; Dunphy, Stacey L

    2010-05-01

    Physician cognition, metacognition and affect may have an impact upon the quality of clinical reasoning. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between measures of physician metacognition and affect and patient outcomes in obstetric practice. Reflective coping (RC), proactive coping, need for cognition (NFC), tolerance for ambiguity, state-trait anxiety and metacognitive awareness were assessed for obstetricians (n = 12) who provided intra-partum care to 4,149 women. Outcome measures included delivery mode and intrapartum asphyxia. Analysis was carried out using logistic regression and tree-based classification. Obstetricians with high RC scores were more likely to perform a caesarean section (OR 1.59, p < 0.0001), less likely undertake a mid-forceps or low forceps delivery (OR 0.41, p < 0.0001; OR 0.49, p < 0.0001), and more likely to supervise a spontaneous vaginal delivery (OR 1.17, p = 0.08). Obstetricians with high NFC scores were more likely to perform a caesarean section (OR 1.53, p = 0.03), more likely to undertake a vacuum delivery (OR 5.8, p = 0.001), less likely undertake a mid-forceps delivery (OR 0.45, p = 0.02) and less likely to supervise a spontaneous vaginal delivery (OR 0.47, p < 0.0001). Obstetricians high in trait anxiety were more likely to perform a mid forceps delivery (OR 2.49, p = 0.01) or a vacuum delivery (OR 5.08, p = 0.003), and less likely to supervise a spontaneous vaginal delivery (OR 0.38, p < 0.0001). NFC was negatively associated (OR 0.10, p < 0.001) and trait anxiety was positively associated with intrapartum asphyxia (p < 0.05, rho = 0.582). In summary, physician cognitive processes and affect have a significant impact on patient outcomes, particularly in situations where there is a higher level of clinical unpredictability.

  9. Improving Facial Emotion Recognition in Schizophrenia: a Controlled Study Comparing Specific and Attentional Focused Cognitive Remediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudelus, Baptiste; Virgile, Jefferson; Geliot, Sabrina; Franck, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia are very frequent. They concern both neurocognition and social cognition, including facial emotion recognition. These impairments have a negative impact on the daily functioning, in particular the social and vocational rehabilitation of people with schizophrenia. Previous studies in this area clearly demonstrated the interest of cognitive remediation to improve neurocognitive and social cognitive functioning in schizophrenia. They also established clear links between facial emotion recognition skills and attentional processes. The present study compares the GAÏA s-face program (GAÏA arm), which focuses on facial emotion recognition processes, with the RECOS program (RECOS arm), a neurocognitive remediation therapy focusing on selective attention. Forty people with schizophrenia were randomly distributed between each study arm and assessed pre- (T1) and post- (T2) therapy. The single-blind assessment focused on facial emotion recognition (the main criteria), symptoms, social and subjective functioning, and neurocognitive and social cognitive performance. Both programs were conducted by nurses after a 3-day training session. The study showed a significant improvement in facial emotion recognition performance in both groups, with a significantly larger effect in the GAÏA arm. Symptoms and social functioning also improved in the GAÏA arm, and certain neurocognitive and social cognitive processes improved in both study arms. Further studies are recommended, with larger population samples and a follow-up assessing the long-term preservation of these improvements.

  10. Vitamin D Improves Neurogenesis and Cognition in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morello, Maria; Landel, Véréna; Lacassagne, Emmanuelle; Baranger, Kevin; Annweiler, Cedric; Féron, François; Millet, Pascal

    2018-01-09

    the pre-symptomatic and symptomatic phases, respectively. Our study establishes that (i) neurogenesis is improved by vitamin D in a male mouse model of AD, in a time-dependent manner, and (ii) cognition is enhanced in a gender-associated way. Additional pre-clinical studies are required to further understand the gender- and time-specific mechanisms of action of vitamin D in AD. This may lead to an adaptation of vitamin D supplementation in relation to patient's gender and age as well as to the stage of the disease.

  11. Metacognition and action: A new pathway to understanding social and cognitive aspects of expertise in sport

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadhg Eoghan Macintyre

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available For over a century, psychologists have investigated the mental processes of expert performers - people who display exceptional knowledge and/or skills in specific fields of human achievement. Since the 1960s, expertise researchers have made considerable progress in understanding the cognitive and neural mechanisms that underlie such exceptional performance. Whereas the first modern studies of expertise were conducted in relatively formal knowledge domains such as chess, more recent investigations have explored elite performance in dynamic perceptual-motor activities such as sport. Unfortunately, although these studies have led to the identification of certain domain-free generalizations about expert-novice differences, they shed little light on an important issue: namely, experts’ metacognitive activities or their insights into, and regulation of, their own mental processes. In an effort to rectify this oversight, the present paper argues that metacognitive processes and inferences play an important if neglected role in expertise. In particular, we suggest that metacognition (including such processes as ‘meta-attention’, ‘meta-imagery’ and ‘meta-memory’, as well as social aspects of this construct provides a window on the genesis of expert performance. Following a critique of the standard empirical approach to expertise, we explore some research on ‘metacognition’ and ‘metacognitive inference’ among experts in sport. After that, we provide a brief evaluation of the relationship between psychological skills training and metacognition and comment on the measurement of metacognitive processes. Finally, we summarize our conclusions and outline some potentially new directions for research on metacognition in action.

  12. Metacognition and action: a new pathway to understanding social and cognitive aspects of expertise in sport

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIntyre, Tadhg E.; Igou, Eric R.; Campbell, Mark J.; Moran, Aidan P.; Matthews, James

    2014-01-01

    For over a century, psychologists have investigated the mental processes of expert performers – people who display exceptional knowledge and/or skills in specific fields of human achievement. Since the 1960s, expertise researchers have made considerable progress in understanding the cognitive and neural mechanisms that underlie such exceptional performance. Whereas the first modern studies of expertise were conducted in relatively formal knowledge domains such as chess, more recent investigations have explored elite performance in dynamic perceptual-motor activities such as sport. Unfortunately, although these studies have led to the identification of certain domain-free generalizations about expert-novice differences, they shed little light on an important issue: namely, experts’ metacognitive activities or their insights into, and regulation of, their own mental processes. In an effort to rectify this oversight, the present paper argues that metacognitive processes and inferences play an important if neglected role in expertise. In particular, we suggest that metacognition (including such processes as “meta-attention,” “meta-imagery” and “meta-memory,” as well as social aspects of this construct) provides a window on the genesis of expert performance. Following a critique of the standard empirical approach to expertise, we explore some research on “metacognition” and “metacognitive inference” among experts in sport. After that, we provide a brief evaluation of the relationship between psychological skills training and metacognition and comment on the measurement of metacognitive processes. Finally, we summarize our conclusions and outline some potentially new directions for research on metacognition in action. PMID:25360126

  13. Applying cognitive learning theories to understanding of learning in vulnerable groups of adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Kuran

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available In the mid-twentieth century cognitive learning theories appeared as a criticism of behaviourism, and were later replaced by constructivist and connectivist learning theories. In the last two decades psychological research into cognition experienced a revival thanks to new methodological possibilities. This article brings a selection of research studies related to adult edu- cation in various ways: post-formal cognitive development stage, cognitive ageing, the meaning of crystallized intelligence in adulthood, and research into learning styles. The article proceeds with an account of research of literacy in vulnerable social groups and ends with a final chapter, which brings useful findings for researchers and adult education practitioners. In this article, the author has drawn from two separate sources. The first source are the professional premises underlying conceptualization of multi-media contents, prepared by the Slovenian Institute for Adult Education within the framework of the project titled Literacy development, and Assessment and Acknowledgement of Non-formal Learning between 2009 – 2011. The theoretical part of the underlying professional premises dealt, among other, with cognitive aspects of adult learning, which represent the basis of this article. The second source is the authorØs personal involvement in the field of cognitive psychology, or rather, in the field of cognitive sciences, in which even today learning and education of vulnerable groups of adults is given only marginal consideration in research.

  14. Improving dementia care: The role of screening and detection of cognitive impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borson, Soo; Frank, Lori; Bayley, Peter J.; Boustani, Malaz; Dean, Marge; Lin, Pei-Jung; McCarten, J. Riley; Morris, John C.; Salmon, David P.; Schmitt, Frederick A.; Stefanacci, Richard G.; Mendiondo, Marta S.; Peschin, Susan; Hall, Eric J.; Fillit, Howard; Ashford, J. Wesson

    2014-01-01

    The value of screening for cognitive impairment, including dementia and Alzheimer's disease, has been debated for decades. Recent research on causes of and treatments for cognitive impairment has converged to challenge previous thinking about screening for cognitive impairment. Consequently, changes have occurred in health care policies and priorities, including the establishment of the annual wellness visit, which requires detection of any cognitive impairment for Medicare enrollees. In response to these changes, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America and the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation convened a workgroup to review evidence for screening implementation and to evaluate the implications of routine dementia detection for health care redesign. The primary domains reviewed were consideration of the benefits, harms, and impact of cognitive screening on health care quality. In conference, the workgroup developed 10 recommendations for realizing the national policy goals of early detection as the first step in improving clinical care and ensuring proactive, patient-centered management of dementia. PMID:23375564

  15. Interactive Cognitive-Motor Step Training Improves Cognitive Risk Factors of Falling in Older Adults - A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Schoene

    Full Text Available Interactive cognitive-motor training (ICMT requires individuals to perform both gross motor movements and complex information processing. This study investigated the effectiveness of ICMT on cognitive functions associated with falls in older adults.A single-blinded randomized controlled trial was conducted in community-dwelling older adults (N = 90, mean age 81.5±7 without major cognitive impairment. Participants in the intervention group (IG played four stepping games that required them to divide attention, inhibit irrelevant stimuli, switch between tasks, rotate objects and make rapid decisions. The recommended minimum dose was three 20-minute sessions per week over a period of 16 weeks unsupervised at home. Participants in the control group (CG received an evidence-based brochure on fall prevention. Measures of processing speed, attention/executive function (EF, visuo-spatial ability, concerns about falling and depression were assessed before and after the intervention.Eighty-one participants (90% attended re-assessment. There were no improvements with respect to the Stroop Stepping Test (primary outcome in the intervention group. Compared to the CG, the IG improved significantly in measures of processing speed, visuo-spatial ability and concern about falling. Significant interactions were observed for measures of EF and divided attention, indicating group differences varied for different levels of the covariate with larger improvements in IG participants with poorer baseline performance. The interaction for depression showed no change for the IG but an increase in the CG for those with low depressive symptoms at baseline. Additionally, low and high-adherer groups differed in their baseline performance and responded differently to the intervention. Compared to high adherers, low adherers improved more in processing speed and visual scanning while high-adherers improved more in tasks related to EF.This study shows that unsupervised stepping

  16. A single dose of oxytocin nasal spray improves higher-order social cognition in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guastella, Adam J; Ward, Philip B; Hickie, Ian B; Shahrestani, Sara; Hodge, Marie Antoinette Redoblado; Scott, Elizabeth M; Langdon, Robyn

    2015-11-01

    Schizophrenia is associated with significant impairments in both higher and lower order social cognitive performance and these impairments contribute to poor social functioning. People with schizophrenia report poor social functioning to be one of their greatest unmet treatment needs. Recent studies have suggested the potential of oxytocin as such a treatment, but mixed results render it uncertain what aspects of social cognition are improved by oxytocin and, subsequently, how oxytocin might best be applied as a therapeutic. The aim of this study was to determine whether a single dose of oxytocin improved higher-order and lower-order social cognition performance for patients with schizophrenia across a well-established battery of social cognition tests. Twenty-one male patients received both a single dose of oxytocin nasal spray (24IU) and a placebo, two weeks apart in a randomized within-subjects placebo controlled design. Following each administration, participants completed the social cognition tasks, as well as a test of general neurocognition. Results revealed that oxytocin particularly enhanced performance on higher order social cognition tasks, with no effects on general neurocognition. Results for individual tasks showed most improvement on tests measuring appreciation of indirect hints and recognition of social faux pas. These results suggest that oxytocin, if combined to enhance social cognition learning, may be beneficial when targeted at higher order social cognition domains. This study also suggests that these higher order tasks, which assess social cognitive processing in a social communication context, may provide useful markers of response to oxytocin in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Understanding and applying principles of social cognition and decision making in adaptive environmental governance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Environmental governance systems are under greater pressure to adapt and to cope with increased social and ecological uncertainty from stressors like climate change. We review principles of social cognition and decision making that shape and constrain how environmental governance...

  18. Reducing dysfunctional beliefs about sleep does not significantly improve insomnia in cognitive behavioral therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okajima, Isa; Nakajima, Shun; Ochi, Moeko; Inoue, Yuichi

    2014-01-01

    The present study examined to examine whether improvement of insomnia is mediated by a reduction in sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs through cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. In total, 64 patients with chronic insomnia received cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia consisting of 6 biweekly individual treatment sessions of 50 minutes in length. Participants were asked to complete the Athens Insomnia Scale and the Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep scale both at the baseline and at the end of treatment. The results showed that although cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia greatly reduced individuals' scores on both scales, the decrease in dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes about sleep with treatment did not seem to mediate improvement in insomnia. The findings suggest that sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs endorsed by patients with chronic insomnia may be attenuated by cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, but changes in such beliefs are not likely to play a crucial role in reducing the severity of insomnia.

  19. Aerobic Exercise as an Adjunct Therapy for Improving Cognitive Function in Heart Failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca A. Gary

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Persons with heart failure (HF are typically older and are at a much higher risk for developing cognitive impairment (CI than persons without HF. Increasingly, CI is recognized as a significant, independent predictor of worse clinical outcomes, more frequent hospital readmissions, and higher mortality rates in persons with HF. CI can have devastating effects on ability to carry out HF effective self-care behaviors. If CI occurs, however, there are currently no evidence based guidelines on how to manage or improve cognitive function in this population. Improvement in cognition has been reported following some therapies in HF and is thought to be the consequence of enhanced cerebral perfusion and oxygenation, suggesting that CI may be amenable to intervention. Because there is substantial neuronal loss with dementia and no effective restorative therapies, interventions that slow, reverse, or prevent cognitive decline are essential. Aerobic exercise is documented to increase cerebral perfusion and oxygenation by promoting neuroplasticity and neurogenesis and, in turn, cognitive functioning. Few studies have examined exercise as a potential adjunct therapy for attenuating or alleviating cognitive decline in HF. In this review, the potential benefit of aerobic exercise on cognitive functioning in HF is presented along with future research directions.

  20. Can Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Improve Cognitive Functioning in Adults with Schizophrenia?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schretlen, David J; van Steenburgh, Joseph J; Varvaris, Mark; Vannorsdall, Tracy D; Andrejczuk, Megan A; Gordon, Barry

    Cognitive impairment is nearly ubiquitous in schizophrenia. First-degree relatives of persons with schizophrenia often show similar but milder deficits. Current methods for the treatment of schizophrenia are often ineffective in cognitive remediation. Since transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can enhance cognitive functioning in healthy adults, it might provide a viable option to enhance cognition in schizophrenia. We sought to explore whether tDCS can be tolerated by persons with schizophrenia and potentially improve their cognitive functioning. We examined the effects of anodal versus cathodal tDCS on working memory and other cognitive tasks in five outpatients with schizophrenia and six first-degree relatives of persons with schizophrenia. Each participant completed tasks thought to be mediated by the prefrontal cortex during two 30-minute sessions of tDCS to the left and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Anodal stimulation over the left DLPFC improved performance relative to cathodal stimulation on measures of working memory and aspects of verbal fluency relevant to word retrieval. The patient group showed differential changes in novel design production without alteration of overall productivity, suggesting that tDCS might be capable of altering self-monitoring and executive control. All participants tolerated tDCS well. None withdrew from the study or experienced any adverse reaction. We conclude that adults with schizophrenia can tolerate tDCS while engaging in cognitive tasks and that tDCS can alter their performance.

  1. Social jetlag, academic achievement and cognitive performance: Understanding gender/sex differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Morales, Juan F; Escribano, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    Adolescents in high school suffer from circadian misalignment, undersleeping on weekdays and oversleeping on weekends. Since high schools usually impose early schedules, adolescents suffer from permanent social jetlag (SJL) and thus are a suitable population to study the effects of SJL on both academic and cognitive performance. In this study, 796 adolescents aged 12-16 years reported information about their sleep habits, morningness-eveningness (M-E), cognitive abilities and grade point average (GPA). Time in bed on both weekdays and weekends was not related to cognitive abilities, and only time in bed on weekdays was related to academic achievement. SJL was negatively related to academic achievement, cognitive abilities (except for vocabulary and verbal fluency abilities) and general cognitive ability (g), whereas M-E was slightly positively related to academic achievement and marginally negatively related to inductive reasoning. Results separated by sex/gender indicated that SJL may be more detrimental to girls' performance, as it was negatively related to a greater number of cognitive abilities and GPA.

  2. Erythropoietin improves operant conditioning and stability of cognitive performance in mice

    OpenAIRE

    El-Kordi, Ahmed; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Ehrenreich, Hannelore

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Executive functions, learning and attention are imperative facets of cognitive performance, affected in many neuropsychiatric disorders. Recently, we have shown that recombinant human erythropoietin improves cognitive functions in patients with chronic schizophrenia, and that it leads in healthy mice to enhanced hippocampal long-term potentiation, an electrophysiological correlate of learning and memory. To create an experimental basis for further mechanistic insight into ...

  3. Liraglutide promotes improvements in objective measures of cognitive dysfunction in individuals with mood disorders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mansur, Rodrigo B; Ahmed, Juhie; Cha, Danielle S

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: There is a paucity of treatments that are capable of reliably and robustly improving cognitive function in adults with mood disorders. Glucagon-like peptide-1 is synthesized centrally and its receptors are abundantly expressed in neural circuits subserving cognitive function. We aimed....... There was a significant increase in lipase (psize, open-label design, lack of a placebo group. CONCLUSIONS: Liraglutide was safe and well tolerated by a sample of non-diabetic individuals with mood disorders and had...

  4. Reducing Dysfunctional Beliefs about Sleep Does Not Significantly Improve Insomnia in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    OpenAIRE

    Okajima, Isa; Nakajima, Shun; Ochi, Moeko; Inoue, Yuichi

    2014-01-01

    The present study examined to examine whether improvement of insomnia is mediated by a reduction in sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs through cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. In total, 64 patients with chronic insomnia received cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia consisting of 6 biweekly individual treatment sessions of 50 minutes in length. Participants were asked to complete the Athens Insomnia Scale and the Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep scale both at the...

  5. Understanding the experience of being taught by peers: the value of social and cognitive congruence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockspeiser, Tai M; O'Sullivan, Patricia; Teherani, Arianne; Muller, Jessica

    2008-08-01

    Medical schools use supplemental peer-teaching programs even though there is little research on students' actual experiences with this form of instruction. To understand the student experience of being taught by peers instead of by faculty. We conducted focus groups with first- and second-year medical students participating in a supplemental peer-teaching program at one institution. From the learner focus group themes, we developed a questionnaire and surveyed all first-year students. Focus groups revealed four learner themes: learning from near-peers, exposure to second-year students, need for review and synthesis, teaching modalities and for the peer-teachers, the theme of benefits for the teacher. Factor analysis of the survey responses resulted in three factors: second-year students as teachers, the benefit of peer-teachers instead of faculty, and the peer-teaching process. Scores on these factors correlated with attendance in the peer-teaching program (P learning from near-peers because of their recent experience with the materials and their ability to understand the students' struggles in medical school. Students with the highest participation in the program valued the unique aspects of this kind of teaching most. Areas for improvement for this program were identified.

  6. Mind over Matter: Reappraising Arousal Improves Cardiovascular and Cognitive Responses to Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamieson, Jeremy P.; Nock, Matthew K.; Mendes, Wendy Berry

    2012-01-01

    Researchers have theorized that changing the way we think about our bodily responses can improve our physiological and cognitive reactions to stressful events. However, the underlying processes through which mental states improve downstream outcomes are not well understood. To this end, we examined whether reappraising stress-induced arousal could…

  7. Improving cognition by adherence to physical or mental exercise: a moderated mediation analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evers, Andrea; Klusmann, Verena; Schwarzer, Ralf; Heuser, Isabella

    2011-05-01

    The role of adherence to an intervention is examined to further understand the relationship between performing new challenging activities (either mental or physical ones) and their putative cognitive benefits. Healthy older women (N = 229, age range: 70-93 years) took part in a six-month randomised controlled trial, covering either a physical or mental activity (three × weekly). They completed five tests, measuring episodic and working memory pre- and post-intervention. A moderated mediation model was specified to test the strength of the indirect effect of the activity mode (i.e. physical vs. mental) through adherence (i.e. time spent on course attendance) on levels of baseline cognitive performance. Both physical and mental activity groups performed better over time than the control group (p mental activity. Results are most promising for cognitively less fit women. Time spent on course attendance can be interpreted as an adherence indicator that makes a difference for various cognitive outcomes of the intervention.

  8. Cognition improvement in Taekwondo novices over forty. Results from the SEKWONDO Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaby ePons Van Dijk

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available AbstractAge-related cognitive decline is associated with increased risk of disability, dementia and death. Recent studies suggest improvement in cognitive speed, attention and executive functioning with physical activity. However, whether such improvements are activity specific is unclear.Therefore, we aimed to study the effect of one year age-adapted Taekwondo training on several cognitive functions, including reaction/ motor time, information processing speed, and working and executive memory, in 24 healthy volunteers over forty.Reaction and motor time decreased with 41.2 seconds and 18.4 seconds (p=0.004, p=0.015, respectively. Digit symbol coding task improved with a mean of 3.7 digits (p=0.017. Digit span, letter fluency, and trail making test task-completion-time all improved, but not statistically significant. The questionnaire reported better reaction time in 10 and unchanged in 9 of the nineteen study compliers. In conclusion, our data suggest that age-adapted Taekwondo training improves various aspects of cognitive function in people over 40, which may, therefore, offer a cheap, safe and enjoyable way to mitigate age-related cognitive decline.

  9. Dilemmas in the Analysis of Technological Change. A Cognitive Approach to Understand Innovation and Change in the Water Sector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dino Borri

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we argue for the need to apply a cognitive approach to understand deep dynamics and determinants of technological evolutions. After examining main contributions from innovation studies to the conceptualization of innovation and change in complex socio-technical environments, we highlight the contribution coming from the application of the cognitive approach to evolutionary studies on technologies and we introduce the concept of technological memory as an interpretative tool to understand those changes. We discuss our hypothesis with reference to several observations carried out in different local contexts – Mexico, India and Italy – in relation to technological change in the water sector. In those cases deliberate attempts to substitute traditional technologies with modern ones led to interesting trajectories of change ranging from the collapse of old technologies to the development of multifaceted hybridization patterns.

  10. Cognitive function in multiple sclerosis improves with telerehabilitation: Results from a randomized controlled trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leigh E Charvet

    Full Text Available Cognitive impairment affects more than half of all individuals living with multiple sclerosis (MS. We hypothesized that training at home with an adaptive online cognitive training program would have greater cognitive benefit than ordinary computer games in cognitively-impaired adults with MS. This was a double-blind, randomized, active-placebo-controlled trial. Participants with MS were recruited through Stony Brook Medicine and randomly assigned to either the adaptive cognitive remediation (ACR program or active control of ordinary computer games for 60 hours over 12 weeks. Training was remotely-supervised and delivered through a study-provided laptop computer. A computer generated, blocked stratification table prepared by statistician provided the randomization schedule and condition was assigned by a study technician. The primary outcome, administered by study psychometrician, was measured by change in a neuropsychological composite measure from baseline to study end. An intent-to-treat analysis was employed and missing primary outcome values were imputed via Markov Chain Monte Carlo method. Participants in the ACR (n = 74 vs. active control (n = 61 training program had significantly greater improvement in the primary outcome of cognitive functioning (mean change in composite z score±SD: 0·25±0·45 vs. 0·09±0·37, p = 0·03, estimated difference = 0·16 with 95% CI: 0·02-0·30, despite greater training time in the active control condition (mean±SD:56·9 ± 34·6 vs. 37·7 ±23 ·8 hours played, p = 0·006. This study provides Class I evidence that adaptive, computer-based cognitive remediation accessed from home can improve cognitive functioning in MS. This telerehabilitation approach allowed for rapid recruitment and high compliance, and can be readily applied to other neurological conditions associated with cognitive dysfunction.Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02141386.

  11. A Multimodal, Nonpharmacologic Intervention Improves Mood and Cognitive Function in People with Multiple Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jennifer E; Bisht, Babita; Hall, Michael J; Rubenstein, Linda M; Louison, Rebecca; Klein, Danielle T; Wahls, Terry L

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine whether participation in a 12-month multimodal intervention would improve mood and cognitive function in adults with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). In this one-arm, open-label feasibility trial, participants were prescribed a home-based multimodal intervention, including (1) a modified Paleolithic diet; (2) an exercise program (stretching and strengthening of the trunk and lower limb muscles); (3) neuromuscular electrical stimulation (EStim) of trunk and lower limb muscles; and (4) stress management (meditation and self-massage). Individuals completed measures of mood (Beck Anxiety and Depression Inventories) and cognitive (Cognitive Stability Index, Cognitive Screening Test, Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System) and executive function (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) at baseline and 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after the start of the intervention. Dosage of the multimodal intervention was assessed at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. The more individuals participated in the intervention activities, the greater improvements they had from baseline to 12 months on self-report measures of anxiety (Beck Anxiety Inventory [BAI]; ps = 0.001 to 0.02), depression (Beck Depression Inventory [BDI]; ps = Paleolithic diet than to exercise and stress management dosage. Anxiety and depression changes were evident after just a few months, whereas changes in cognitive function were generally not observed until later in the intervention period. Mood and cognitive function changes from baseline to 12 months were significantly associated with fatigue improvements (ps = Paleolithic diet, exercise, EStim, and stress management intervention like this one has the potential to improve the mood and cognitive symptoms that can lead to considerable suffering in people with MS, potentially improving quality of life and function for people with progressive MS.

  12. The Story So Far: How Embodied Cognition Advances Our Understanding of Meaning-Making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cedric Galetzka

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Meaning-making in the brain has become one of the most intensely discussed topics in cognitive science. Traditional theories on cognition that emphasize abstract symbol manipulations often face a dead end: The symbol grounding problem. The embodiment idea tries to overcome this barrier by assuming that the mind is grounded in sensorimotor experiences. A recent surge in behavioral and brain-imaging studies has therefore focused on the role of the motor cortex in language processing. Concrete, action-related words have received convincing evidence to rely on sensorimotor activation. Abstract concepts, however, still pose a distinct challenge for embodied theories on cognition. Fully embodied abstraction mechanisms were formulated but sensorimotor activation alone seems unlikely to close the explanatory gap. In this respect, the idea of integration areas, such as convergence zones or the ‘hub and spoke’ model, do not only appear like the most promising candidates to account for the discrepancies between concrete and abstract concepts but could also help to unite the field of cognitive science again. The current review identifies milestones in cognitive science research and recent achievements that highlight fundamental challenges, key questions and directions for future research.

  13. [Research progress in mechanisms and clinical application for blonanserin and lurasidone in improving cognitive function of schizophrenia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Qi; Liu, Bangshan; Xu, Shuyin; Liao, Mei; Zhang, Yan; Li, Lingjiang

    2017-04-28

    Cognition deficit is one of the most common symptoms of schizophrenia, including abstract thinking and memory, and attention deficits. Previous studies have suggested that the improvement of cognition is very important for the recovery of disease and social function for the patients. Recent studies indicated that two new atypical antipsychotics, blonanserin and lurasidone, are expected to improve the cognitive impairment in patients with schizophrenia. This review introduces pathogenesis of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, mechanisms of blonanserin and lurasidone in the improvement of cognitive impairment and progress in their clinical application for schizophrenia. We hope that this review could guide clinical use of antipsychotics and provide new directions for future studies.

  14. Quality Rating and Improvement Systems and Children's Cognitive Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, Lieny; Buettner, Cynthia K.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Providing enriched learning environments is important to stimulating children's development in early childhood. Early child-care policymakers in many states in the US have adopted Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) as a way to verify quality of child care and to support children's school readiness. Objective: The purpose of…

  15. Altitude acclimatization improves submaximal cognitive performance in mice and involves an imbalance of the cholinergic system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra-Narbona, R; Delgado-García, J M; López-Ramos, J C

    2013-06-15

    The aim of this work was to reveal a hypothetical improvement of cognitive abilities in animals acclimatized to altitude and performing under ground level conditions, when looking at submaximal performance, once seen that it was not possible when looking at maximal scores. We modified contrasted cognitive tasks (object recognition, operant conditioning, eight-arm radial maze, and classical conditioning of the eyeblink reflex), increasing their complexity in an attempt to find performance differences in acclimatized animals vs. untrained controls. In addition, we studied, through immunohistochemical quantification, the expression of choline acetyltransferase and acetyl cholinesterase, enzymes involved in the synthesis and degradation of acetylcholine, in the septal area, piriform and visual cortexes, and the hippocampal CA1 area of animals submitted to acute hypobaric hypoxia, or acclimatized to this simulated altitude, to find a relationship between the cholinergic system and a cognitive improvement due to altitude acclimatization. Results showed subtle improvements of the cognitive capabilities of acclimatized animals in all of the tasks when performed under ground-level conditions (although not before 24 h), in the three tasks used to test explicit memory (object recognition, operant conditioning in the Skinner box, and eight-arm radial maze) and (from the first conditioning session) in the classical conditioning task used to evaluate implicit memory. An imbalance of choline acetyltransferase/acetyl cholinesterase expression was found in acclimatized animals, mainly 24 h after the acclimatization period. In conclusion, altitude acclimatization improves cognitive capabilities, in a process parallel to an imbalance of the cholinergic system.

  16. Improving social cognition in people with schizophrenia with RC2S: two single-case studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie ePEYROUX

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Difficulties in social interactions are a central characteristic of people with schizophrenia, and can be partly explained by impairments of social cognitive processes. New strategies of cognitive remediation have been recently developed to target these deficits. The RC2S therapy is an individualized and partly computerized program through which patients practice social interactions and develop social cognitive abilities with simulation techniques in a realistic environment. Here we present the results of two case studies involving two patients with schizophrenia presenting with specific profiles of impaired social cognition. Each patient completed three baseline sessions, 14 treatment sessions, and three follow up sessions at the end of the therapy – and for one patient, another three sessions nine months later. We used a multiple baseline design to assess specific components of social cognition according to the patients’ profiles. Functioning and symptomatology were also assessed at the end of the treatment and six months later. Results highlight significant improvements in the targeted social cognitive processes and positive changes in functioning in the long term. The RC2S program seems thus to be a new useful program for social cognitive remediation in schizophrenia.

  17. Improving Social Cognition in People with Schizophrenia with RC2S: Two Single-Case Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peyroux, Elodie; Franck, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Difficulties in social interactions are a central characteristic of people with schizophrenia, and can be partly explained by impairments of social cognitive processes. New strategies of cognitive remediation have been recently developed to target these deficits. The RC2S therapy is an individualized and partly computerized program through which patients practice social interactions and develop social cognitive abilities with simulation techniques in a realistic environment. Here, we present the results of two case-studies involving two patients with schizophrenia presenting with specific profiles of impaired social cognition. Each patient completed three baseline sessions, 14 treatment sessions, and 3 follow-up sessions at the end of the therapy – and for 1 patient, another 3 sessions 9 months later. We used a multiple baseline design to assess specific components of social cognition according to the patients’ profiles. Functioning and symptomatology were also assessed at the end of the treatment and 6 months later. Results highlight significant improvements in the targeted social cognitive processes and positive changes in functioning in the long term. The RC2S program seems, thus, to be a new useful program for social cognitive remediation in schizophrenia. PMID:27199776

  18. Interval Running Training Improves Cognitive Flexibility and Aerobic Power of Young Healthy Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venckunas, Tomas; Snieckus, Audrius; Trinkunas, Eugenijus; Baranauskiene, Neringa; Solianik, Rima; Juodsnukis, Antanas; Streckis, Vytautas; Kamandulis, Sigitas

    2016-08-01

    Venckunas, T, Snieckus, A, Trinkunas, E, Baranauskiene, N, Solianik, R, Juodsnukis, A, Streckis, V, and Kamandulis, S. Interval running training improves cognitive flexibility and aerobic power of young healthy adults. J Strength Cond Res 30(8): 2114-2121, 2016-The benefits of regular physical exercise may well extend beyond the reduction of chronic diseases risk and augmentation of working capacity, to many other aspects of human well-being, including improved cognitive functioning. Although the effects of moderate intensity continuous training on cognitive performance are relatively well studied, the benefits of interval training have not been investigated in this respect so far. The aim of the current study was to assess whether 7 weeks of interval running training is effective at improving both aerobic fitness and cognitive performance. For this purpose, 8 young dinghy sailors (6 boys and 2 girls) completed the interval running program with 200 m and 2,000 m running performance, cycling maximal oxygen uptake, and cognitive function was measured before and after the intervention. The control group consisted of healthy age-matched subjects (8 boys and 2 girls) who continued their active lifestyle and were tested in the same way as the experimental group, but did not complete any regular training. In the experimental group, 200 m and 2,000 m running performance and cycling maximal oxygen uptake increased together with improved results on cognitive flexibility tasks. No changes in the results of short-term and working memory tasks were observed in the experimental group, and no changes in any of the measured indices were evident in the controls. In conclusion, 7 weeks of interval running training improved running performance and cycling aerobic power, and were sufficient to improve the ability to adjust behavior to changing demands in young active individuals.

  19. 5-HT3 antagonist for cognition improvement in schizophrenia: a double blind, placebo-controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neyousha Mohammadi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Patients with schizophrenia characteristically exhibit cognitive deficits. The level of cognitive impairment is found to predict the functional outcome of the illness more strongly than the severity of positive or negative symptoms. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of ondansetron, a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist as an adjuvant agent in the treatment of chronic schizophrenia in particular for cognitive impairments. Methods: This investigation was a 12-week, double blind study of parallel groups of patients with stable chronic schizophrenia. Thirty patients were recruited from inpatient and outpatient departments. All participants met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR criteria for schizophrenia. To be eligible, patients were required to have been treated with a stable dose of risperidone as their primary antipsychotic treatment for a minimum period of 8 weeks. The subjects were randomized to receive ondansetron (8 mg/day or the placebo in addition to risperidone. Cognition was measured by a cognitive battery. Patients were assessed at baseline and after 8, and 12 weeks after the medication started. Results: Administration of ondansetron significantly improved visual memory based on improvement on visual reproduction, visual paired associate and figural memory sub tests of Wechsler Memory Scale Revised. Discussion: The present study indicates ondansetron as potential adjunctive treatment strategy for chronic schizophrenia particularly for cognitive impairments.

  20. 5-HT3 antagonist for cognition improvement in schizophrenia: a double blind, placebo-controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neyousha Mohammadi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available   Abstract   Introduction: Patients with schizophrenia characteristically exhibit cognitive deficits. The level of cognitive impairment is found to predict the functional outcome of the illness more strongly than the severity of positive or negative symptoms. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of ondansetron, a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist as an adjuvant agent in the treatment of chronic schizophrenia in particular for cognitive impairments.   Methods: This investigation was a 12-week, double blind study of parallel groups of patients with stable chronic schizophrenia. Thirty patients were recruited from inpatient and outpatient departments. All participants met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR criteria for schizophrenia. To be eligible, patients were required to have been treated with a stable dose of risperidone as their primary antipsychotic treatment for a minimum period of 8 weeks. The subjects were randomized to receive ondansetron (8 mg/day or the placebo in addition to risperidone. Cognition was measured by a cognitive battery. Patients were assessed at baseline and after 8, and 12 weeks after the medication started.   Results: Administration of ondansetron significantly improved visual memory based on improvement on visual reproduction, visual paired associate and figural memory sub tests of Wechsler Memory Scale Revised.  Discussion: The present study indicates ondansetron as potential adjunctive treatment strategy for chronic schizophrenia particularly for cognitive impairments.

  1. The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improves cognitive performance and increases subjective alertness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giesbrecht, T; Rycroft, J A; Rowson, M J; De Bruin, E A

    2010-12-01

    The non-proteinic amino acid L-theanine and caffeine, a methylxanthine derivative, are naturally occurring ingredients in tea. The present study investigated the effect of a combination of 97 mg L-theanine and 40 mg caffeine as compared to placebo treatment on cognitive performance, alertness, blood pressure, and heart rate in a sample of young adults (n = 44). Cognitive performance, self-reported mood, blood pressure, and heart rate were measured before L-theanine and caffeine administration (i.e. at baseline) and 20 min and 70 min thereafter. The combination of moderate levels of L-theanine and caffeine significantly improved accuracy during task switching and self-reported alertness (both P effects on other cognitive tasks, such as visual search, choice reaction times, or mental rotation. The present results suggest that 97 mg of L-theanine in combination with 40 mg of caffeine helps to focus attention during a demanding cognitive task.

  2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: From Face to Face Interaction to a Broader Contextual Understanding of Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahoda, A.; Dagnan, D.; Kroese, B. Stenfert; Pert, C.; Trower, P.

    2009-01-01

    Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is increasingly used to address the emotional and interpersonal problems of people with ID. There is a limited but promising evidence base supporting this activity. However, these individuals face real and continuing challenges in their lives that have implications for their self and interpersonal perceptions.…

  3. Parental Cognitions, Parental Behavior, and the Child's Understanding of the Parent-Child Relationship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dekovic, Maja; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Studied the relationship of parental reasoning complexity to parental behavior during parent-child interactions, and the effect of this relationship on children's social cognitions. Results indicate that parental reasoning complexity is related to parental behaviors of restrictive control, authoritative control, and support, which, in turn, are…

  4. SAT Performance: Understanding the Contributions of Cognitive/Learning and Social/Personality Factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannon, Brenda; McNaughton-Cassill, Mary

    2011-07-01

    This study identifies a number of sources of individual differences in SAT performance by examining the simultaneous contributions of factors from two otherwise disparate research areas, namely cognition/learning and social/personality. Preliminary analysis revealed that just the cognitive/learning measures accounted for 37.8, 41.4 and 21.9% of the variance in SAT, V-SAT and Q-SAT performance, respectively while just the social/personality measures accounted for 21.4, 18.2 and 17.3% of the variance. When combined, cognitive/learning and social/personality factors accounted for even larger amounts of variance in performance; specifically 43.4, 44.6 and 28% for the SAT, V-SAT and Q-SAT, respectively. Finally, the results revealed that three measures consistently predicted performance on the SAT, V-SAT and Q-SAT; two measures were the learning/cognitive factors of working memory and integration of new text-based information with information from long-term memory and one measure was the social/personality factor, test anxiety.

  5. Improvement in cognitive function after surgery for low-grade glioma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barzilai, Ori; Ben Moshe, Shlomit; Sitt, Razi; Sela, Gal; Shofty, Ben; Ram, Zvi

    2018-03-23

    OBJECTIVE Cognition is a key component in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and is currently incorporated as a major parameter of outcome assessment in patients treated for brain tumors. The effect of surgery on cognition and HRQoL remains debatable. The authors investigated the impact of resection of low-grade gliomas (LGGs) on cognition and the correlation with various histopathological markers. METHODS A retrospective analysis of patients with LGG who underwent craniotomy for tumor resection at a single institution between 2010 and 2014 was conducted. Of 192 who underwent resective surgery for LGG during this period, 49 had complete pre- and postoperative neurocognitive evaluations and were included in the analysis. These patients completed a full battery of neurocognitive tests (memory, language, attention and working memory, visuomotor organization, and executive functions) pre- and postoperatively. Tumor and surgical characteristics were analyzed, including volumetric measurements and histopathological markers (IDH, p53, GFAP). RESULTS Postoperatively, significant improvement was found in memory and executive functions. A subgroup analysis of patients with dominant-side tumors, most of whom underwent intraoperative awake mapping, revealed significant improvement in the same domains. Patients whose tumors were on the nondominant side displayed significant improvement only in memory functions. Positive staining for p53 testing was associated with improved language function and greater extent of resection in dominant-side tumors. GFAP positivity was associated with improved memory in patients whose tumors were on the nondominant side. No correlation was found between cognitive outcome and preoperative tumor volume, residual volume, extent of resection, or IDH1 status. CONCLUSIONS Resection of LGG significantly improves memory and executive function and thus is likely to improve functional outcome in addition to providing oncological benefit. GFAP and pP53

  6. Towards improved animal models for evaluating social cognition and its disruption in schizophrenia: the CNTRICS initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millan, Mark J; Bales, Karen L

    2013-11-01

    Social cognition refers to processes used to monitor and interpret social signals from others, to decipher their state of mind, emotional status and intentions, and select appropriate social behaviour. Social cognition is sophisticated in humans, being embedded with verbal language and enacted in a complex cultural environment. Its disruption characterises the entire course of schizophrenia and is correlated with poor functional outcome. Further, deficits in social cognition are related to impairment in other cognitive domains, positive symptoms (paranoia and delusions) and negative symptoms (social withdrawal and reduced motivation). In light of the significance and inadequate management of social cognition deficits, there is a need for translatable experimental procedures for their study, and identification of effective pharmacotherapy. No single paradigm captures the multi-dimensional nature of social cognition, and procedures for assessing ability to infer mental states are not well-developed for experimental therapeutic settings. Accordingly, a recent CNTRICS meeting prioritised procedures for measuring a specific construct: "acquisition and recognition of affective (emotional) states", coupled to individual recognition. Two complementary paradigms for refinement were identified: social recognition/preference in rodents, and visual tracking of social scenes in non-human primates (NHPs). Social recognition is disrupted in genetic, developmental or pharmacological disease models for schizophrenia, and performance in both procedures is improved by the neuropeptide oxytocin. The present article surveys a broad range of procedures for studying social cognition in rodents and NHPs, discusses advantages and drawbacks, and focuses on development of social recognition/preference and gaze-following paradigms for improved study of social cognition deficits in schizophrenia and their potential treatment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Understanding Freshness Perception from the Cognitive Mechanisms of Flavor: The Case of Beverages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roque, Jérémy; Auvray, Malika; Lafraire, Jérémie

    2018-01-01

    Freshness perception has received recent consideration in the field of consumer science mainly because of its hedonic dimension, which is assumed to influence consumers’ preference and behavior. However, most studies have considered freshness as a multisensory attribute of food and beverage products without investigating the cognitive mechanisms at hand. In the present review, we endorse a slightly different perspective on freshness. We focus on (i) the multisensory integration processes that underpin freshness perception, and (ii) the top–down factors that influence the explicit attribution of freshness to a product by consumers. To do so, we exploit the recent literature on the cognitive underpinnings of flavor perception as a heuristic to better characterize the mechanisms of freshness perception in the particular case of beverages. We argue that the lack of consideration of particular instances of flavor, such as freshness, has resulted in a lack of consensus about the content and structure of different types of flavor representations. We then enrich these theoretical analyses, with a review of the cognitive mechanisms of flavor perception: from multisensory integration processes to the influence of top–down factors (e.g., attentional and semantic). We conclude that similarly to flavor, freshness perception is characterized by hybrid content, both perceptual and semantic, but that freshness has a higher-degree of specificity than flavor. In particular, contrary to flavor, freshness is characterized by specific functions (e.g., alleviation of oropharyngeal symptoms) and likely differs from flavor with respect to the weighting of each sensory contributor, as well as to its subjective location. Finally, we provide a comprehensive model of the cognitive mechanisms that underlie freshness perception. This model paves the way for further empirical research on particular instances of flavor, and will enable advances in the field of food and beverage cognition

  8. The Effects of Cognitive-Behavioral Motivation for Health Improvement on Anthropometric Measurements in High Risk Individuals

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-22

    bill and reduce absenteeism and presenteeism in the work place implementation of a cognitive-behavioral motivation treatment should be one of the...THE EFFECTS OF COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL MOTIVATION FOR HEALTH IMPROVEMENT ON ANTHROPOMETRIC...Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. AFIT/GCA/ENV/12-M02 THE EFFECTS OF COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL MOTIVATION

  9. The Therapeutic Potential of Exercise to Improve Mood, Cognition, and Sleep in Parkinson's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Gretchen O; Otto, Michael W; Ellis, Terry D; Cronin-Golomb, Alice

    2016-01-01

    In addition to the classic motor symptoms, Parkinson's disease (PD) is associated with a variety of nonmotor symptoms that significantly reduce quality of life, even in the early stages of the disease. There is an urgent need to develop evidence-based treatments for these symptoms, which include mood disturbances, cognitive dysfunction, and sleep disruption. We focus here on exercise interventions, which have been used to improve mood, cognition, and sleep in healthy older adults and clinical populations, but to date have primarily targeted motor symptoms in PD. We synthesize the existing literature on the benefits of aerobic exercise and strength training on mood, sleep, and cognition as demonstrated in healthy older adults and adults with PD, and suggest that these types of exercise offer a feasible and promising adjunct treatment for mood, cognition, and sleep difficulties in PD. Across stages of the disease, exercise interventions represent a treatment strategy with the unique ability to improve a range of nonmotor symptoms while also alleviating the classic motor symptoms of the disease. Future research in PD should include nonmotor outcomes in exercise trials with the goal of developing evidence-based exercise interventions as a safe, broad-spectrum treatment approach to improve mood, cognition, and sleep for individuals with PD. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  10. The Therapeutic Potential of Exercise to Improve Mood, Cognition, and Sleep in Parkinson’s Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Gretchen O.; Otto, Michael W.; Ellis, Terry D.; Cronin-Golomb, Alice

    2015-01-01

    In addition to the classic motor symptoms, Parkinson’s disease (PD) is associated with a variety of non-motor symptoms that significantly reduce quality of life, even in the early stages of the disease. There is an urgent need to develop evidence-based treatments for these symptoms, which include mood disturbances, cognitive dysfunction, and sleep disruption. We focus here on exercise interventions, which have been used to improve mood, cognition, and sleep in healthy older adults and clinical populations, but to date have primarily targeted motor symptoms in PD. We synthesize the existing literature on the benefits of aerobic exercise and strength training on mood, sleep, and cognition as demonstrated in healthy older adults and adults with PD, and suggest that these types of exercise offer a feasible and promising adjunct treatment for mood, cognition, and sleep difficulties in PD. Across stages of the disease, exercise interventions represent a treatment strategy with the unique ability to improve a range of non-motor symptoms while also alleviating the classic motor symptoms of the disease. Future research in PD should include non-motor outcomes in exercise trials with the goal of developing evidence-based exercise interventions as a safe, broad-spectrum treatment approach to improve mood, cognition, and sleep for individuals with PD. PMID:26715466

  11. Aerobic Exercise Improves Mood, Cognition, and Language Function in Parkinson's Disease: Results of a Controlled Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altmann, Lori J P; Stegemöller, Elizabeth; Hazamy, Audrey A; Wilson, Jonathan P; Bowers, Dawn; Okun, Michael S; Hass, Chris J

    2016-10-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) results in a range of non-motor deficits that can affect mood, cognition, and language, and many of these issues are unresponsive to pharmacological intervention. Aerobic exercise can improve mood and cognition in healthy older adults, although only a few studies have examined exercise effects on these domains in PD. The current study assesses the effects of aerobic exercise on aspects of cognition, mood, and language production in people with PD. This study compares the effects of aerobic exercise to stretch-balance training and a no-contact control group in participants with idiopathic PD. The aerobic and stretch-balance groups trained three times a week for 16 weeks, while controls continued normal activities. Outcome measures included disease severity, mood, cognition (speed of processing, memory, and executive function), and language production (picture descriptions). Cognition and language were assessed in single and dual task conditions. Depressive symptoms increased only in the control group (paerobic exercise group only in the single task (p=.007) and declined in controls in the dual task. Completeness of picture descriptions improved significantly more in the aerobic group than in the stretch-balance group (pAerobic exercise is a viable intervention for PD that can be protective against increased depressive symptoms, and can improve several non-motor domains, including executive dysfunction and related aspects of language production. (JINS, 2016, 22, 878-889).

  12. Does improvement of cognitive functioning by cognitive remediation therapy effect work outcomes in severe mental illness? A secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikebuchi, Emi; Sato, Sayaka; Yamaguchi, Sosei; Shimodaira, Michiyo; Taneda, Ayano; Hatsuse, Norifumi; Watanabe, Yukako; Sakata, Masuhiro; Satake, Naoko; Nishio, Masaaki; Ito, Jun-Ichiro

    2017-05-01

    The aim of this study was to clarify whether improvement of cognitive functioning by cognitive remediation therapy can improve work outcome in schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses when combined with supported employment. The subjects of this study were persons with severe mental illness diagnosed with schizophrenia, major depression, or bipolar disorder (ICD-10) and cognitive dysfunction who participated in both cognitive remediation using the Thinking Skills for Work program and a supported employment program in a multisite, randomized controlled study. Logistic and multiple linear regression analyses were performed to clarify the influence of cognitive functioning on vocational outcomes, adjusting for demographic and clinical variables. Improvement of cognitive functioning with cognitive remediation significantly contributed to the total days employed and total earnings of competitive employment in supported employment service during the study period. Any baseline demographic and clinical variables did not significantly contribute to the work-related outcomes. A cognitive remediation program transferring learning skills into the real world is useful to increase the quality of working life in supported employment services for persons with severe mental illness and cognitive dysfunction who want to work competitively. © 2016 The Authors. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences © 2016 Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology.

  13. Self-relaxation training can improve sleep quality and cognitive functions in the older: a one-year randomised controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jingxian; Kang, Jiaxun; Wang, Ping; Zeng, Hui

    2013-05-01

    To evaluate the effects of self-relaxation training on sleep quality and cognitive functions in the older. Ageing causes declines in sleep quality and cognitive functions in older adults, and decreased sleep quality also accelerates declines in cognitive functions. Therefore, it is necessary to find cost-effective interventions to enhance sleep quality in the older, thereby improving their cognitive functions or delaying cognitive decline. Randomised controlled study. The study was conducted between July 2010 and June 2011 at Wangyuehu Community in Changsha, China. Eighty older adults with reduced sleep quality were selected and randomly assigned to experimental (n = 40) or control (n = 40) group. Subjects in the experimental group received self-relaxation training including progressive muscle relaxation and meditation based on sleep hygiene education, while the control group received sleep hygiene education only. Sleep quality and cognitive functions of the two groups were measured prior to training and at the end of the 3rd, 6th and 12th months using four reliable and valid questionnaires. Repeated measures anova revealed that the self-relaxation training had significant main effect as well as interaction effect with time on sleep quality and cognitive functions. Except for scores of Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Mini-Mental State Examination and number memory, time had significant main effect on scores of Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, picture memory, associative memory and understanding memory. Self-relaxation training can improve sleep quality and cognitive functions in the older. Self-relaxation training is a non-invasive, simple and inexpensive therapeutic method of improving sleep quality and cognitive functions in community-dwelling older people. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. Neural predictors of cognitive improvement by multi-strategic memory training based on metamemory in older adults with subjective memory complaints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Soowon; Ryu, Seung-Ho; Yoo, Yongjoon; Yang, Jin-Ju; Kwon, Hunki; Youn, Jung-Hae; Lee, Jong-Min; Cho, Seong-Jin; Lee, Jun-Young

    2018-01-18

    Previous studies have indicated that memory training may help older people improve cognition. However, evidence regarding who will benefit from such memory trainings has not been fully discovered yet. Understanding the clinical and neural inter-individual differences for predicting cognitive improvement is important for maximizing the training efficacy of memory-training programs. The purpose of this study was to find the individual characteristics and brain morphological characteristics that predict cognitive improvement after a multi-strategic memory training based on metamemory concept. Among a total of 49 older adults, 39 participated in the memory-training program and 10 did not. All of them underwent brain MRIs at the entry of the training and received the neuropsychological tests twice, before and after the training. Stepwise regression analysis showed that lower years of education predicted cognitive improvement in the training group. In MRI, thinner cortices of precuneus, cuneus and posterior cingulate gyrus and higher white matter anisotropy of the splenium of corpus callosum predicted cognitive improvement in the training group. Old age, lower education level and individual differences in cortical thickness and white matter microstructure of the episodic memory network may predict outcomes following multi-strategic training.

  15. Using the Virtual Reality-Cognitive Rehabilitation Approach to Improve Contextual Processing in Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Denise

    2013-01-01

    Background. This pilot study investigated the efficacy of a novel virtual reality-cognitive rehabilitation (VR-CR) intervention to improve contextual processing of objects in children with autism. Previous research supports that children with autism show deficits in contextual processing, as well as deficits in its elementary components: abstraction and cognitive flexibility. Methods. Four children with autism participated in a multiple-baseline, single-subject study. The children were taught how to see objects in context by reinforcing attention to pivotal contextual information. Results. All children demonstrated statistically significant improvements in contextual processing and cognitive flexibility. Mixed results were found on the control test and changes in context-related behaviours. Conclusions. Larger-scale studies are warranted to determine the effectiveness and usability in comprehensive educational programs. PMID:24324379

  16. Increasing our Understanding of Human Cognition Through the Study of Fragile X Syndrome

    OpenAIRE

    Denise, Cook; Erin, Nuro; Keith, K. Murai

    2013-01-01

    Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is considered the most common form of inherited intellectual disability. It is caused by reductions in the expression level or function of a single protein, the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP), a translational regulator which binds to approximately 4% of brain messenger RNAs. Accumulating evidence suggests that FXS is a complex disorder of cognition, involving interactions between genetic and environmental influences, leading to difficulties in acquiring k...

  17. Understanding the gender gap: Social cognitive changes during an introductory stem course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardin, Erin E; Longhurst, Melanie O

    2016-03-01

    Despite robust support for the basic theoretical model of social cognitive career theory (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994) and predictions that, for example, increases (or declines) in self-efficacy would lead to subsequent increases (or declines) in interest, there has been surprisingly little longitudinal research that has directly examined the extent to which members of different groups (e.g., women and men) actually do experience changes in critical social-cognitive variables over time early in their curricula in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Knowing the extent to which such changes occur in typical introductory undergraduate courses is important for targeting interventions to increase persistence of underrepresented groups in STEM. We measured social-cognitive-career-theory-relevant variables near the middle and at the end of the 1st semester of a gateway introductory chemistry course and found that women had lower STEM self-efficacy, coping self-efficacy, and STEM interest than did men, even after controlling for actual course performance. Although there were no detrimental changes across the semester for women or men, men experienced a small but significant increase in their perceived support for pursuing a STEM degree, whereas women did not. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  18. Understanding the joint effects of Cognitive Distance and Competition on Pioneering Innovations through the Dynamics between Suppliers and Competitors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Ying; Salomo, Søren

    2010-01-01

    with an optimal innovation performance, because a too small cognitive distance provides the focal innovating firm with too little novelty value, while a too large cognitive distance makes it difficult for firms to learn and collaborate with each other. Second, the empirical evidence for the relationship between...... as an exploratory innovation that is technologically new to the innovating focal firm and introduced first to the world. The result of the empirical tests using a Canadian innovation dataset, which contains information on product/process innovations across four decades, confirms an inverted U-shaped relationship...... advance our understanding why and how firms take potential external learning opportunities to undertake pioneering innovations under various levels of competitive pressure....

  19. Reorganization of functional brain networks mediates the improvement of cognitive performance following real-time neurofeedback training of working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Gaoyan; Yao, Li; Shen, Jiahui; Yang, Yihong; Zhao, Xiaojie

    2015-05-01

    Working memory (WM) is essential for individuals' cognitive functions. Neuroimaging studies indicated that WM fundamentally relied on a frontoparietal working memory network (WMN) and a cinguloparietal default mode network (DMN). Behavioral training studies demonstrated that the two networks can be modulated by WM training. Different from the behavioral training, our recent study used a real-time functional MRI (rtfMRI)-based neurofeedback method to conduct WM training, demonstrating that WM performance can be significantly improved after successfully upregulating the activity of the target region of interest (ROI) in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Zhang et al., [2013]: PloS One 8:e73735); however, the neural substrate of rtfMRI-based WM training remains unclear. In this work, we assessed the intranetwork and internetwork connectivity changes of WMN and DMN during the training, and their correlations with the change of brain activity in the target ROI as well as with the improvement of post-training behavior. Our analysis revealed an "ROI-network-behavior" correlation relationship underlying the rtfMRI training. Further mediation analysis indicated that the reorganization of functional brain networks mediated the effect of self-regulation of the target brain activity on the improvement of cognitive performance following the neurofeedback training. The results of this study enhance our understanding of the neural basis of real-time neurofeedback and suggest a new direction to improve WM performance by regulating the functional connectivity in the WM related networks. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Neural Basis for the Ability of Atypical Antipsychotic Drugs to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumiyoshi, Tomiki; Higuchi, Yuko; Uehara, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive impairments are considered to largely affect functional outcome in patients with schizophrenia, other psychotic illnesses, or mood disorders. Specifically, there is much attention to the role of psychotropic compounds acting on serotonin (5-HT) receptors in ameliorating cognitive deficits of schizophrenia. It is noteworthy that atypical antipsychotic drugs (AAPDs), e.g., clozapine, melperone, risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, aripiprazole, perospirone, blonanserin, and lurasidone, have variable affinities for these receptors. Among the 5-HT receptor subtypes, the 5-HT1A receptor is attracting particular interests as a potential target for enhancing cognition, based on preclinical and clinical evidence. The neural network underlying the ability of 5-HT1A agonists to treat cognitive impairments of schizophrenia likely includes dopamine, glutamate, and gamma-aminobutyric acid neurons. A novel strategy for cognitive enhancement in psychosis may be benefited by focusing on energy metabolism in the brain. In this context, lactate plays a major role, and has been shown to protect neurons against oxidative and other stressors. In particular, our data indicate chronic treatment with tandospirone, a partial 5-HT1A agonist, recover stress-induced lactate production in the prefrontal cortex of a rat model of schizophrenia. Recent advances of electrophysiological measures, e.g., event-related potentials, and their imaging have provided insights into facilitative effects on cognition of some AAPDs acting directly or indirectly on 5-HT1A receptors. These findings are expected to promote the development of novel therapeutics for the improvement of functional outcome in people with schizophrenia. PMID:24137114

  1. Neural basis for the ability of atypical antipsychotic drugs to improve cognition in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumiyoshi, Tomiki; Higuchi, Yuko; Uehara, Takashi

    2013-10-16

    Cognitive impairments are considered to largely affect functional outcome in patients with schizophrenia, other psychotic illnesses, or mood disorders. Specifically, there is much attention to the role of psychotropic compounds acting on serotonin (5-HT) receptors in ameliorating cognitive deficits of schizophrenia. It is noteworthy that atypical antipsychotic drugs (AAPDs), e.g., clozapine, melperone, risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, aripiprazole, perospirone, blonanserin, and lurasidone, have variable affinities for these receptors. Among the 5-HT receptor subtypes, the 5-HT1A receptor is attracting particular interests as a potential target for enhancing cognition, based on preclinical and clinical evidence. The neural network underlying the ability of 5-HT1A agonists to treat cognitive impairments of schizophrenia likely includes dopamine, glutamate, and gamma-aminobutyric acid neurons. A novel strategy for cognitive enhancement in psychosis may be benefited by focusing on energy metabolism in the brain. In this context, lactate plays a major role, and has been shown to protect neurons against oxidative and other stressors. In particular, our data indicate chronic treatment with tandospirone, a partial 5-HT1A agonist, recover stress-induced lactate production in the prefrontal cortex of a rat model of schizophrenia. Recent advances of electrophysiological measures, e.g., event-related potentials, and their imaging have provided insights into facilitative effects on cognition of some AAPDs acting directly or indirectly on 5-HT1A receptors. These findings are expected to promote the development of novel therapeutics for the improvement of functional outcome in people with schizophrenia.

  2. Parkinsonian gait improves with bilateral subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation during cognitive multi-tasking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenji, Gaurav; Wright, Melissa L; Chou, Kelvin L; Seidler, Rachael D; Patil, Parag G

    2017-05-01

    Gait impairment in Parkinson's disease reduces mobility and increases fall risk, particularly during cognitive multi-tasking. Studies suggest that bilateral subthalamic deep brain stimulation, a common surgical therapy, degrades motor performance under cognitive dual-task conditions, compared to unilateral stimulation. To measure the impact of bilateral versus unilateral subthalamic deep brain stimulation on walking kinematics with and without cognitive dual-tasking. Gait kinematics of seventeen patients with advanced Parkinson's disease who had undergone bilateral subthalamic deep brain stimulation were examined off medication under three stimulation states (bilateral, unilateral left, unilateral right) with and without a cognitive challenge, using an instrumented walkway system. Consistent with earlier studies, gait performance declined for all six measured parameters under cognitive dual-task conditions, independent of stimulation state. However, bilateral stimulation produced greater improvements in step length and double-limb support time than unilateral stimulation, and achieved similar performance for other gait parameters. Contrary to expectations from earlier studies of dual-task motor performance, bilateral subthalamic deep brain stimulation may assist in maintaining temporal and spatial gait performance under cognitive dual-task conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Combined Fluency and Cognitive Strategies Instruction Improves Mathematics Achievement in Early Elementary School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Martha; Taasoobshirazi, Gita; Stroud, Rena; Royer, James M.

    2011-01-01

    One hundred and seventy-eight second grade students from two states (Georgia and Massachusetts) participated in an experiment in which they were randomly assigned to either (1) a computer program designed to increase fluency in addition and subtraction, (2) a program designed to improve cognitive strategy use for addition and subtraction, (3) a…

  4. Cognitive Training as an Intervention to Improve Driving Ability in the Older Adult

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-08

    The notion that cognitive and motor skills are plastic and can be improved with training is very exciting, because it opens up the possibility for rehabilitation and amelioration of age-related declines in performance. It has been shown that older ad...

  5. How Learning and Cognitive Science Can Improve Student Outcomes. Middle School Matters Program No. 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graesser, Art; Rodriguez, Gina; Brasiel, Sarah J.

    2013-01-01

    There are research-based principles and practices from the learning and cognitive sciences that can be applied to all content areas in middle grades education to improve student outcomes. Even teachers of courses like Physical Education can consider these strategies for assisting students in remembering rules of sports, different sports…

  6. Assessing Cognitive Load Theory to Improve Student Learning for Mechanical Engineers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Impelluso, Thomas J.

    2009-01-01

    A computer programming class for students of mechanical engineering was redesigned and assessed: Cognitive Load Theory was used to redesign the content; online technologies were used to redesign the delivery. Student learning improved and the dropout rate was reduced. This article reports on both attitudinal and objective assessment: comparing…

  7. Sulphonylurea therapy improves cognition in a patient with the V59M KCNJ11 mutation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slingerland, A.S.; Hurkx, W.; Noordam, K.; Flanagan, S.E.; Jukema, J.W.; Meiners, L.C.; Bruining, G.J.; Hattersley, A.T.; Hadders-Algra, M.

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: KCNJ11 mutations are a common cause of diabetes diagnosed in the first 6 months of life, and approximately 25% of patients have neurological features. Sulphonylureas have been shown to improve glycaemic control and also motor function, but the impact on cognitive function has not been

  8. Sulphonylurea therapy improves cognition in a patient with the V59M KCNJ11 mutation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slingerland, A. S.; Hurkx, W.; Noordam, K.; Flanagan, S. E.; Jukema, J. W.; Meiners, L. C.; Bruining, G. J.; Hattersley, A. T.; Hadders-Algra, M.

    Background KCNJ11 mutations are a common cause of diabetes diagnosed in the first 6 months of life, and approximately 25% of patients have neurological features. Sulphonylureas have been shown to improve glycaemic control and also motor function, but the impact on cognitive function has not been

  9. Utilizing Computerized Cognitive Training to Improve Working Memory and Encoding: Piloting a School-Based Intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiest, Dudley J.; Wong, Eugene H.; Minero, Laura P.; Pumaccahua, Tessy T.

    2014-01-01

    Working memory has been well documented as a significant predictor of academic outcomes (e.g., reading and math achievement as well as general life outcomes). The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of computerized cognitive training to improve both working memory and encoding abilities in a school setting. Thirty students…

  10. Improving some cognitive functions, specifically executive functions in grade R learners

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stef Esterhuizen

    2014-07-01

    and output phases of the designed learning process, as well as the characteristics of their inhibitory control functions. A striking finding was the improvement noted in the children’s application of the following executive functions, namely working memory, cognitive flexibility and inhibitory control.

  11. Improvement in age-related cognitive functions and life expectancy by ketogenic diets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Astrup, Arne; Hjorth, Mads Fiil

    2017-01-01

    Rodent studies have indicated that low-carbohydrate diets prevent age-related cognitive decline and extend lifespan due to increased circulating levels of ketone bodies. A possible physiological mechanism for how ketone bodies exert this effect might be by improving central nervous system insulin...

  12. Acute exercise improves cognition in the depressed elderly: the effect of dual-tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Eduardo Vasques

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to assess the acute effect of physical exercise on the cognitive function of depressed elderly patients in a dual-task experiment. INTRODUCTION: Physical exercise has a positive effect on the brain and may even act as a treatment for major depressive disorder. However, the effects of acute cardiovascular exercise on cognitive function during and after one session of aerobic training in elderly depressive patients are not known. METHODS: Ten elderly subjects diagnosed with major depressive disorder performed neuropsychological tests during and after a moderate physical exercise session (65-75%HRmax. A Digit Span Test (Forward and Backward and a Stroop Color-Word Test were used to assess cognitive function. The elderly participants walked on an electric treadmill for 30 minutes and underwent the same cognitive testing before, during, immediately after, and 15 minutes after the exercise session. In the control session, the same cognitive testing was conducted, but without exercise training. RESULTS: The results of the Digit Span Test did not change between the control and the exercise sessions. The results of the Stroop Color-Word Test improved after physical exercise, indicating a positive effect of exercise on cognition. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that the cognitive functions of depressed elderly persons, especially attention and inhibitory control, are not impaired during and after an acute session of physical exercise. In contrast, the effect of dual-tasks showed beneficial results for these subjects, mainly after exercise. The dual-task may be a safe and useful tool for assessing cognitive function.

  13. A Mediterranean Diet to Improve Cardiovascular and Cognitive Health: Protocol for a Randomised Controlled Intervention Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Alexandra T.; Davis, Courtney R.; Dyer, Kathryn A.; Hodgson, Jonathan M.; Woodman, Richard J.; Keage, Hannah A. D.; Murphy, Karen J.

    2017-01-01

    The Mediterranean diet has demonstrated efficacy for improving cardiovascular and cognitive health. However, a traditional Mediterranean diet delivers fewer serves of dairy and less dietary calcium than is currently recommended in Australia, which may limit long-term sustainability. The present study aims to evaluate whether a Mediterranean diet with adequate dairy and calcium can improve cardiovascular and cognitive function in an at-risk population, and thereby reduce risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cognitive decline. A randomised, controlled, parallel, crossover design trial will compare a Mediterranean diet supplemented with dairy foods against a low-fat control diet. Forty participants with systolic blood pressure above 120 mmHg and at least two other risk factors of CVD will undertake each dietary intervention for eight weeks, with an eight-week washout period between interventions. Systolic blood pressure will be the primary measure of interest. Secondary outcomes will include measures of cardiometabolic health, dietary compliance, cognitive function, assessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), psychological well-being and dementia risk. This research will provide empirical evidence as to whether the Mediterranean diet can be modified to provide recommended dairy and calcium intakes while continuing to deliver positive effects for cardiovascular and cognitive health. The findings will hold relevance for the field of preventative healthcare and may contribute to revisions of national dietary guidelines. PMID:28212320

  14. A Mediterranean Diet to Improve Cardiovascular and Cognitive Health: Protocol for a Randomised Controlled Intervention Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Alexandra T; Davis, Courtney R; Dyer, Kathryn A; Hodgson, Jonathan M; Woodman, Richard J; Keage, Hannah A D; Murphy, Karen J

    2017-02-16

    The Mediterranean diet has demonstrated efficacy for improving cardiovascular and cognitive health. However, a traditional Mediterranean diet delivers fewer serves of dairy and less dietary calcium than is currently recommended in Australia, which may limit long-term sustainability. The present study aims to evaluate whether a Mediterranean diet with adequate dairy and calcium can improve cardiovascular and cognitive function in an at-risk population, and thereby reduce risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cognitive decline. A randomised, controlled, parallel, crossover design trial will compare a Mediterranean diet supplemented with dairy foods against a low-fat control diet. Forty participants with systolic blood pressure above 120 mmHg and at least two other risk factors of CVD will undertake each dietary intervention for eight weeks, with an eight-week washout period between interventions. Systolic blood pressure will be the primary measure of interest. Secondary outcomes will include measures of cardiometabolic health, dietary compliance, cognitive function, assessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), psychological well-being and dementia risk. This research will provide empirical evidence as to whether the Mediterranean diet can be modified to provide recommended dairy and calcium intakes while continuing to deliver positive effects for cardiovascular and cognitive health. The findings will hold relevance for the field of preventative healthcare and may contribute to revisions of national dietary guidelines.

  15. Oligonol improves memory and cognition under an amyloid β(25-35)-induced Alzheimer's mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Yoon Young; Maeda, Takahiro; Fujii, Hajime; Yokozawa, Takako; Kim, Hyun Young; Cho, Eun Ju; Shibamoto, Takayuki

    2014-07-01

    Alzheimer's disease is an age-dependent progressive neurodegenerative disorder that results in impairments of memory and cognitive function. It is hypothesized that oligonol has ameliorative effects on memory impairment and reduced cognitive functions in mice with Alzheimer's disease induced by amyloid β(25-35) (Aβ(25-35)) injection. The protective effect of an oligonol against Aβ(25-35)-induced memory impairment was investigated in an in vivo Alzheimer's mouse model. The aggregation of Aβ25-35 was induced by incubation at 37°C for 3 days before injection into mice brains (5 nmol/mouse), and then oligonol was orally administered at 100 and 200 mg/kg of body weight for 2 weeks. Memory and cognition were observed in T-maze, object recognition, and Morris water maze tests. The group injected with Aβ(25-35) showed impairments in both recognition and memory. However, novel object recognition and new route awareness abilities were dose dependently improved by the oral administration of oligonol. In addition, the results of the Morris water maze test indicated that oligonol exerted protective activity against cognitive impairment induced by Aβ(25-35). Furthermore, nitric oxide formation and lipid peroxidation were significantly elevated by Aβ(25-35), whereas oligonol treatment significantly decreased nitric oxide formation and lipid peroxidation in the brain, liver, and kidneys. The present results suggest that oligonol improves Aβ(25-35)-induced memory deficit and cognition impairment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Improving Elementary School Students' Understanding of Historical Time: Effects of Teaching with "Timewise"

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Groot-Reuvekamp, Marjan; Ros, Anje; van Boxtel, Carla

    2018-01-01

    The teaching of historical time is an important aspect in elementary school curricula. This study focuses on the effects of a curriculum intervention with "Timewise," a teaching approach developed to improve students' understanding of historical time using timelines as a basis with which students can develop their understanding of…

  17. Improved working memory following novel combinations of physical and cognitive activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langdon, Kristopher D; Corbett, Dale

    2012-06-01

    In humans, retrospective studies suggest that habitual physical activity (PA) or cognitive activity (CA) can help maintain or improve cognitive function. Similar findings have been reported using physical exercise in animal studies; however, the exercise paradigms differ markedly in duration and frequency, making extrapolation difficult. Here, the authors present a novel PA and CA paradigm that combines voluntary wheel running with Hebb-Williams and radial arm maze (RAM) training. A total of 57 male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 4 treatment groups: the PA, CA, and combined PA and CA groups and sedentary controls. PA (voluntary wheel running) and CA (Hebb-Williams mazes) consisted of a moderate 2 h/d, 5 d/wk treatment paradigm. Animals exposed to a combination of PA and CA made significantly fewer working memory errors and exhibited superior choice accuracy when compared with animals exposed to either PA or CA alone in the 8-arm baited configuration of the RAM. Additional analyses revealed that the cognitive improvements were independent of exercise intensity/duration. Assessment of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels revealed a significant increase in hippocampal BDNF only in the PA-alone group. A novel combination of PA and CA improves learning and memory abilities independent of activity intensity, BDNF, or phosphorylated cyclic AMP response element binding protein levels. This is the first report of significant changes in cognitive ability using a paradigm involving moderate levels of PA plus cognitive stimulation. An adaptation of this paradigm may be particularly beneficial in slowing the development of mild cognitive impairment and subsequent dementia in elderly people.

  18. A Socio-Cognitive Approach to How Children with Deafblindness Understand Symbols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, Elizabeth S.

    2012-01-01

    Children with congenital deafblindness are a population of learners who may need intervention in order to develop symbolic understanding. They experience a combination of vision and hearing impairments that can affect how they make sense of the world, develop relationships, and understand symbols. In this article, the author reviewed a…

  19. A Multi-Dimensional Cognitive Analysis of Undergraduate Physics Students' Understanding of Heat Conduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiou, Guo-Li; Anderson, O. Roger

    2010-01-01

    This study proposes a multi-dimensional approach to investigate, represent, and categorize students' in-depth understanding of complex physics concepts. Clinical interviews were conducted with 30 undergraduate physics students to probe their understanding of heat conduction. Based on the data analysis, six aspects of the participants' responses…

  20. Japanese version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment cut-off score to clarify improvement of mild cognitive impairment after exercise training in community-dwelling older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nara, Marina; Sugie, Masamitsu; Takahashi, Tetsuya; Koyama, Teruyuki; Sengoku, Renpei; Fujiwara, Yoshinori; Obuchi, Shuichi; Harada, Kazumasa; Kyo, Shunei; Ito, Hideki

    2018-02-02

    Physical exercise improves cognitive function in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, information about whether the degree of MCI before exercise training affects improvement in cognitive function is lacking. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the cut-off value in a MCI screening tool that predicts reversal to normal cognitive function after exercise training in older adults with MCI. Participants included 112 Japanese community-dwelling older adult outpatients (37 men, 75 women; mean age 76.3 years). We administered the Japanese version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA-J) before and after exercise training. MCI was defined as a MoCA-J score dwelling Japanese older adults with MCI. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2018; ••: ••-••. © 2018 The Authors Geriatrics & Gerontology International published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Japan Geriatrics Society.

  1. Understanding animal fears: a comparison of the cognitive vulnerability and harm-looming models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armfield Jason M

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Cognitive Vulnerability Model holds that both clinical and sub-clinical manifestations of animal fears are a result of how an animal is perceived, and can be used to explain both individual differences in fear acquisition and the uneven distribution of fears in the population. This study looked at the association between fear of a number of animals and perceptions of the animals as uncontrollable, unpredictable, dangerous and disgusting. Also assessed were the perceived loomingness, prior familiarity, and negative evaluation of the animals as well as possible conditioning experiences. Methods 162 first-year University students rated their fear and perceptions of four high-fear and four low-fear animals. Results Perceptions of the animals as dangerous, disgusting and uncontrollable were significantly associated with fear of both high- and low-fear animals while perceptions of unpredictability were significantly associated with fear of high-fear animals. Conditioning experiences were unrelated to fear of any animals. In multiple regression analyses, loomingness did not account for a significant amount of the variance in fear beyond that accounted for by the cognitive vulnerability variables. However, the vulnerability variables accounted for between 20% and 51% of the variance in all animals fears beyond that accounted for by perceptions of the animals as looming. Perceptions of dangerousness, uncontrollability and unpredictability were highly predictive of the uneven distribution of animal fears. Conclusion This study provides support for the Cognitive Vulnerability Model of the etiology of specific fears and phobias and brings into question the utility of the harm-looming model in explaining animal fear.

  2. A Cognitive Science View of Abhinavagupta’s Understanding of Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loriliai Biernacki

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper offers a comparative analysis of the nature of consciousness correlating the insights of the 11th century Śaiva philosopher Abhinavagupta with the work of some contemporary philosophers of consciousness. Ultimately these comparisons especially bring to light possibilities for constructing a materialist paradigm that might operate from a prioritization of subjectivity rather than objectivity. I propose that the Hindu, nondual Śaivite system that Abhinavagupta lays out offers a framework that may be useful for contemporary cognitive science and philosophy of mind precisely because Abhinavagupta offers a theory for connecting the material with the phenomenal.

  3. Understanding Cognitive and Collaborative Work: Observations in an Electric Transmission Operations Control Center

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Obradovich, Jodi H.

    2011-09-30

    This paper describes research that is part of an ongoing project to design tools to assist in the integration of renewable energy into the electric grid. These tools will support control room dispatchers in real-time system operations of the electric power transmission system which serves much of the Western United States. Field observations comprise the first phase of this research in which 15 operators have been observed over various shifts and times of day for approximately 90 hours. Findings describing some of the cognitive and environmental challenges of managing the dynamically changing electric grid are presented.

  4. Understanding Users' Meaning Constructions of IS Adoption and Use - A Cognitive Mapping Approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Tina Blegind; Kjærgaard, Annemette

    As the use of information systems in organizations increases, it becomes essential to investigate the users' perceptions of and reactions to new technology. In this research study, we wish explore how healthcare professionals create meaning of technology and how their sensemaking influence post...... adoptive use behavior. We study the post-adoption process of a larger Electronic Patient Record (EPR) project, focusing specifically on how two different professional groups, doctors and nurses, make sense of the technology as it becomes integrated into their work processes. We use cognitive mapping...... for studying post-adoption processes as dynamic, on-going sensemaking processes....

  5. No evidence for cognitive improvement from oral nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) in dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rainer, M; Kraxberger, E; Haushofer, M; Mucke, H A; Jellinger, K A

    2000-01-01

    Reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) is advertised as an over-the-counter product or dietary supplement to treat Alzheimer's disease. We performed a 3-month open-label study with oral 10 mg/day NADH with 25 patients with mild to moderate dementia of the Alzheimer, vascular, and fronto-temporal types in addition to their current cholinomimetic drug medication. In 19 patients who completed the study, we found no evidence for any cognitive effect as defined by established psychometric tests. We conclude that NADH is unlikely to achieve cognitive improvements in an extent reported earlier, and present theoretical arguments against an effectiveness of this compound in dementia disorders.

  6. Regular Latin Dancing and Health Education may Improve Cognition of Late Middle-Aged and Older Latinos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marquez, David X.; Wilson, Robert; Aguiñaga, Susan; Vásquez, Priscilla; Fogg, Louis; Yang, Zhi; Wilbur, JoEllen; Hughes, Susan; Spanbauer, Charles

    2017-01-01

    Disparities exist between Latinos and non-Latino whites in cognitive function. Dance is culturally appropriate and challenges individuals physically and cognitively, yet the impact of regular dancing on cognitive function in older Latinos has not been examined. A two-group pilot trial was employed among inactive, older Latinos. Participants (N = 57) participated in the BAILAMOS© dance program or a health education program. Cognitive test scores were converted to z-scores and measures of global cognition and specific domains (executive function, episodic memory, working memory) were derived. Results revealed a group × time interaction for episodic memory (pdance group showed greater improvement in episodic memory than the health education group. A main effect for time for global cognition (pdance programs can positively influence episodic memory; and participation in structured programs may improve overall cognition among older Latinos. PMID:28095105

  7. Regular Latin Dancing and Health Education May Improve Cognition of Late Middle-Aged and Older Latinos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marquez, David X; Wilson, Robert; Aguiñaga, Susan; Vásquez, Priscilla; Fogg, Louis; Yang, Zhi; Wilbur, JoEllen; Hughes, Susan; Spanbauer, Charles

    2017-07-01

    Disparities exist between Latinos and non-Latino Whites in cognitive function. Dance is culturally appropriate and challenges individuals physically and cognitively, yet the impact of regular dancing on cognitive function in older Latinos has not been examined. A two-group pilot trial was employed among inactive, older Latinos. Participants (N = 57) participated in the BAILAMOS © dance program or a health education program. Cognitive test scores were converted to z-scores and measures of global cognition and specific domains (executive function, episodic memory, working memory) were derived. Results revealed a group × time interaction for episodic memory (p dance group showed greater improvement in episodic memory than the health education group. A main effect for time for global cognition (p dance programs can positively influence episodic memory, and participation in structured programs may improve overall cognition among older Latinos.

  8. Understanding sibling influence on adolescents' alcohol use: Social and cognitive pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, Shawn D; Jensen, Alexander C; Mustillo, Sarah A; Maggs, Jennifer L

    2016-02-01

    Research indicates that older siblings uniquely influence their younger brothers' and sisters' substance use behaviors during adolescence; however, the underlying mechanisms of socialization are rarely examined. The present study investigated whether social and/or cognitive pathways mediated the association between adolescent siblings' alcohol use and whether these pathways were moderated by the gender composition of the sibling dyad. Participants included one parent and two adolescent siblings (M age=14.52 and 17.17years) from 326 families. Data were collected via telephone interviews. Path analysis demonstrated that the association between older and younger siblings' alcohol use was mediated via social and cognitive pathways. Specifically, older siblings' drinking was positively related to the frequency of siblings' co-use as well as more positive expectations about alcohol, which in turn were positively associated with younger siblings' alcohol use. Identifying the ways in which siblings influence each other's substance use and health is critical because they are emerging and effective targets of intervention and prevention. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Understanding and applying principles of social cognition and decision making in adaptive environmental governance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel A. DeCaro

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Environmental governance systems are under greater pressure to adapt and to cope with increased social and ecological uncertainty from stressors like climate change. We review principles of social cognition and decision making that shape and constrain how environmental governance systems adapt. We focus primarily on the interplay between key decision makers in society and legal systems. We argue that adaptive governance must overcome three cooperative dilemmas to facilitate adaptation: (1 encouraging collaborative problem solving, (2 garnering social acceptance and commitment, and (3 cultivating a culture of trust and tolerance for change and uncertainty. However, to do so governance systems must cope with biases in people's decision making that cloud their judgment and create conflict. These systems must also satisfy people's fundamental needs for self-determination, fairness, and security, ensuring that changes to environmental governance are perceived as legitimate, trustworthy, and acceptable. We discuss the implications of these principles for common governance solutions (e.g., public participation, enforcement and conclude with methodological recommendations. We outline how scholars can investigate the social cognitive principles involved in cases of adaptive governance.

  10. Social anxiety disorder in adolescence: How developmental cognitive neuroscience findings may shape understanding and interventions for psychopathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone P.W. Haller

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Social anxiety disorder represents a debilitating condition that has large adverse effects on the quality of social connections, educational achievement and wellbeing. Age-of-onset data suggests that early adolescence is a developmentally sensitive juncture for the onset of social anxiety. In this review, we highlight the potential of using a developmental cognitive neuroscience approach to understand (i why there are normative increases in social worries in adolescence and (ii how adolescence-associated changes may ‘bring out’ neuro-cognitive risk factors for social anxiety in a subset of individuals during this developmental period. We also speculate on how changes that occur in learning and plasticity may allow for optimal acquisition of more adaptive neurocognitive strategies through external interventions. Hence, for the minority of individuals who require external interventions to target their social fears, this enhanced flexibility could result in more powerful and longer-lasting therapeutic effects. We will review two novel interventions that target information-processing biases and their neural substrates via cognitive training and visual feedback of neural activity measured through functional magnetic resonance imaging.

  11. Social anxiety disorder in adolescence: How developmental cognitive neuroscience findings may shape understanding and interventions for psychopathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haller, Simone P W; Cohen Kadosh, Kathrin; Scerif, Gaia; Lau, Jennifer Y F

    2015-06-01

    Social anxiety disorder represents a debilitating condition that has large adverse effects on the quality of social connections, educational achievement and wellbeing. Age-of-onset data suggests that early adolescence is a developmentally sensitive juncture for the onset of social anxiety. In this review, we highlight the potential of using a developmental cognitive neuroscience approach to understand (i) why there are normative increases in social worries in adolescence and (ii) how adolescence-associated changes may 'bring out' neuro-cognitive risk factors for social anxiety in a subset of individuals during this developmental period. We also speculate on how changes that occur in learning and plasticity may allow for optimal acquisition of more adaptive neurocognitive strategies through external interventions. Hence, for the minority of individuals who require external interventions to target their social fears, this enhanced flexibility could result in more powerful and longer-lasting therapeutic effects. We will review two novel interventions that target information-processing biases and their neural substrates via cognitive training and visual feedback of neural activity measured through functional magnetic resonance imaging. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. Do cognitive training strategies improve motor and positive psychological skills development in soccer players? Insights from a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slimani, Maamer; Bragazzi, Nicola Luigi; Tod, David; Dellal, Alexandre; Hue, Olivier; Cheour, Foued; Taylor, Lee; Chamari, Karim

    2016-12-01

    Soccer players are required to have well-developed physical, technical and cognitive abilities. The present systematic review, adhering to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analysis guidelines, examined the effects of cognitive training strategies on motor and positive psychological skills development in soccer performance and identified the potential moderators of the "cognitive training-soccer performance" relationship. Thirteen databases were systematically searched using keywords related to psychological or cognitive training in soccer players. The review is based on 18 studies, employing 584 soccer players aged 7-39 years. Cognitive strategies, particularly imagery, appear to improve sports performance in soccer players. Regarding imagery, the combination of two different types of cognitive imagery training (i.e., cognitive general and cognitive specific) has a positive influence on soccer performance during training, whereas motivational imagery (i.e., motivational general-arousal, motivational general-mastery and motivational specific) enhance competition performance. Younger soccer players employ cognitive general and cognitive specific imagery techniques to a greater extent than older soccer players. Combined cognitive training strategies were more beneficial than a single cognitive strategy relative to motor skills enhancement in elite (particularly midfielders) and amateur (i.e., when practising complex and specific soccer skills in precompetitive period) soccer players. In conclusion, it appears that there are differences in cognitive/psychological training interventions, and their efficacy, according to whether they are directed towards training or competition, and the age, standard and playing position of the players.

  13. Understanding the audience: Improving the impact of public performance reporting on quality of care.

    OpenAIRE

    Kelaher, Margaret; Canaway, Rachel; Bismark, Marie; Dunt, David

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: Despite its’ promise public performance reporting has had little impact on improving quality of care for consumers. In this study we examine consumer advocates, purchasers and providers’ understanding of public performance reporting and how it contributes to quality of care. The aim of the study is to improve the impact of public performance on quality of care.Theory: Public performance reporting is hypothesised to improve quality of care by eliciting organisational response to ...

  14. Active music therapy improves cognition and behaviour in chronic vascular encephalopathy: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giovagnoli, Anna Rita; Oliveri, Serena; Schifano, Letizia; Raglio, Alfredo

    2014-02-01

    This study describes the effects of active music therapy (AMT) on cognition and behaviour in chronic vascular encephalopathy. A single case study investigated different cognitive and psycho-behavioural changes after AMT. An adult patient with memory, attention, and verbal fluency deficits associated with Vascular Cognitive Impairment-No Dementia (VCI-ND) was treated. A four-months AMT course was based on creative and interactive music playing. Sixteen sessions were conducted simultaneously to the pharmacological therapy. Cognitive performances, mood, interpersonal interactions, and perceived abilities were assessed using standardized neuropsychological and psycho-behavioural measurements. At baseline, the patient reported a tendency to feel tense, nervous, and angry and difficulties in memory and visuospatial performances, frequently accompanied by attention drops. The social network was a habitual component of the patient's life, but not a source of sharing of personal experiences, safety or comfort. Neuropsychological tests showed deficits in object and figure naming, verbal fluency, short and long-term verbal memory, short-term spatial memory, selective attention, and visuomotor coordination. After AMT, the cognitive profile significantly improved in attention, visuomotor coordination, and verbal and spatial memory. Such positive changes were confirmed at the three-months follow-up. An increase of the interpersonal interactions and consistent reduction of anxiety were also observed. In selected patients with VCI-ND, a well-structured AMT intervention added to standard therapy may contribute in determining a stable improvement of cognitive and psycho-behavioural aspects. Controlled studies are needed to confirm these promising results. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Chicken Essence for Cognitive Function Improvement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siew Li Teoh

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Chicken essence (CE is a popular traditional remedy in Asia, which is believed to improve cognitive functions. CE company claimed that the health benefits were proven with research studies. A systematic review was conducted to determine the cognitive-enhancing effects of CE. We systematically searched a number of databases for randomized controlled trials with human subjects consuming CE and cognitive tests involved. Cochrane’s Risk of Bias (ROB tool was used to assess the quality of trials and meta-analysis was performed. Seven trials were included, where six healthy subjects and one subject with poorer cognitive functions were recruited. One trial had unclear ROB while the rest had high ROB. For executive function tests, there was a significant difference favoring CE (pooled standardized mean difference (SMD of −0.55 (−1.04, −0.06 and another with no significant difference (pooled SMD of 0.70 (−0.001, 1.40. For short-term memory tests, no significant difference was found (pooled SMD of 0.63 (−0.16, 1.42. Currently, there is a lack of convincing evidence to show a cognitive enhancing effect of CE.

  16. Music lessons improve auditory perceptual and cognitive performance in deaf children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Françoise eROCHETTE

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Despite advanced technologies in auditory rehabilitation of profound deafness, deaf children often exhibit delayed cognitive and linguistic development and auditory training remains a crucial element of their education. In the present cross-sectional study, we assess whether music would be a relevant tool for deaf children rehabilitation. In normal-hearing children, music lessons have been shown to improve cognitive and linguistic-related abilities, such as phonetic discrimination and reading. We compared auditory perception, auditory cognition, and phonetic discrimination between 14 profoundly deaf children who completed weekly music lessons for a period of 1.5 to 4 years and 14 deaf children who did not receive musical instruction. Children were assessed on perceptual and cognitive auditory tasks using environmental sounds: discrimination, identification, auditory scene analysis, auditory working memory. Transfer to the linguistic domain was tested with a phonetic discrimination task. Musically-trained children showed better performance in auditory scene analysis, auditory working memory and phonetic discrimination tasks, and multiple regressions showed that success on these tasks was at least partly driven by music lessons. We propose that musical education contributes to development of general processes such as auditory attention and perception, which, in turn, facilitate auditory-related cognitive and linguistic processes.

  17. Music lessons improve auditory perceptual and cognitive performance in deaf children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochette, Françoise; Moussard, Aline; Bigand, Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

    Despite advanced technologies in auditory rehabilitation of profound deafness, deaf children often exhibit delayed cognitive and linguistic development and auditory training remains a crucial element of their education. In the present cross-sectional study, we assess whether music would be a relevant tool for deaf children rehabilitation. In normal-hearing children, music lessons have been shown to improve cognitive and linguistic-related abilities, such as phonetic discrimination and reading. We compared auditory perception, auditory cognition, and phonetic discrimination between 14 profoundly deaf children who completed weekly music lessons for a period of 1.5-4 years and 14 deaf children who did not receive musical instruction. Children were assessed on perceptual and cognitive auditory tasks using environmental sounds: discrimination, identification, auditory scene analysis, auditory working memory. Transfer to the linguistic domain was tested with a phonetic discrimination task. Musically trained children showed better performance in auditory scene analysis, auditory working memory and phonetic discrimination tasks, and multiple regressions showed that success on these tasks was at least partly driven by music lessons. We propose that musical education contributes to development of general processes such as auditory attention and perception, which, in turn, facilitate auditory-related cognitive and linguistic processes.

  18. Chicken Essence for Cognitive Function Improvement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teoh, Siew Li; Sudfangsai, Suthinee; Lumbiganon, Pisake; Laopaiboon, Malinee; Lai, Nai Ming; Chaiyakunapruk, Nathorn

    2016-01-20

    Chicken essence (CE) is a popular traditional remedy in Asia, which is believed to improve cognitive functions. CE company claimed that the health benefits were proven with research studies. A systematic review was conducted to determine the cognitive-enhancing effects of CE. We systematically searched a number of databases for randomized controlled trials with human subjects consuming CE and cognitive tests involved. Cochrane's Risk of Bias (ROB) tool was used to assess the quality of trials and meta-analysis was performed. Seven trials were included, where six healthy subjects and one subject with poorer cognitive functions were recruited. One trial had unclear ROB while the rest had high ROB. For executive function tests, there was a significant difference favoring CE (pooled standardized mean difference (SMD) of -0.55 (-1.04, -0.06)) and another with no significant difference (pooled SMD of 0.70 (-0.001, 1.40)). For short-term memory tests, no significant difference was found (pooled SMD of 0.63 (-0.16, 1.42)). Currently, there is a lack of convincing evidence to show a cognitive enhancing effect of CE.

  19. Mining EEG with SVM for Understanding Cognitive Underpinnings of Math Problem Solving Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Bosch

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available We have developed a new methodology for examining and extracting patterns from brain electric activity by using data mining and machine learning techniques. Data was collected from experiments focused on the study of cognitive processes that might evoke different specific strategies in the resolution of math problems. A binary classification problem was constructed using correlations and phase synchronization between different electroencephalographic channels as characteristics and, as labels or classes, the math performances of individuals participating in specially designed experiments. The proposed methodology is based on using well-established procedures of feature selection, which were used to determine a suitable brain functional network size related to math problem solving strategies and also to discover the most relevant links in this network without including noisy connections or excluding significant connections.

  20. Understanding the relations between different forms of racial prejudice: a cognitive consistency perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gawronski, Bertram; Peters, Kurt R; Brochu, Paula M; Strack, Fritz

    2008-05-01

    Research on racial prejudice is currently characterized by the existence of diverse concepts (e.g., implicit prejudice, old-fashioned racism, modern racism, aversive racism) that are not well integrated from a general perspective. The present article proposes an integrative framework for these concepts employing a cognitive consistency perspective. Specifically, it is argued that the reliance on immediate affective reactions toward racial minority groups in evaluative judgments about these groups depends on the consistency of this evaluation with other relevant beliefs pertaining to central components of old-fashioned, modern, and aversive forms of prejudice. A central prediction of the proposed framework is that the relation between "implicit" and "explicit" prejudice should be moderated by the interaction of egalitarianism-related, nonprejudicial goals and perceptions of discrimination. This prediction was confirmed in a series of three studies. Implications for research on prejudice are discussed.

  1. Understanding psychogenic nonepileptic seizures-Phenomenology, semiology and the Integrative Cognitive Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuber, Markus; Brown, Richard J

    2017-01-01

    Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures (PNES) are one of the commonest differential diagnoses of epilepsy. This paper provides a narrative review of what has been learnt in the last 25 years regarding the visible manifestations, physiological features, subjective experiences and interactional aspects of PNES. We then explore how current insights into PNES semiology and phenomenology map onto the Integrative Cognitive Model (ICM), a new account of these phenomena that unifies previous approaches within a single explanatory framework. We discuss to what extent recent psychological and neurophysiological research is consistent with the ICM and indicate how the more detailed analysis of physiological data, connectivity analyses of EEG and functional or structural MRI data may provide greater insights into the biopsychosocial underpinnings of a disabling and under-researched disorder. Copyright © 2016 British Epilepsy Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Brain reflections: A circuit-based framework for understanding information processing and cognitive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gratton, Gabriele

    2018-03-01

    Here, I propose a view of the architecture of the human information processing system, and of how it can be adapted to changing task demands (which is the hallmark of cognitive control). This view is informed by an interpretation of brain activity as reflecting the excitability level of neural representations, encoding not only stimuli and temporal contexts, but also action plans and task goals. The proposed cognitive architecture includes three types of circuits: open circuits, involved in feed-forward processing such as that connecting stimuli with responses and characterized by brief, transient brain activity; and two types of closed circuits, positive feedback circuits (characterized by sustained, high-frequency oscillatory activity), which help select and maintain representations, and negative feedback circuits (characterized by brief, low-frequency oscillatory bursts), which are instead associated with changes in representations. Feed-forward activity is primarily responsible for the spread of activation along the information processing system. Oscillatory activity, instead, controls this spread. Sustained oscillatory activity due to both local cortical circuits (gamma) and longer corticothalamic circuits (alpha and beta) allows for the selection of individuated representations. Through the interaction of these circuits, it also allows for the preservation of representations across different temporal spans (sensory and working memory) and their spread across the brain. In contrast, brief bursts of oscillatory activity, generated by novel and/or conflicting information, lead to the interruption of sustained oscillatory activity and promote the generation of new representations. I discuss how this framework can account for a number of psychological and behavioral phenomena. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  3. An integrated conceptual framework for evaluating and improving 'understanding' in informed consent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossert, Sabine; Strech, Daniel

    2017-10-17

    The development of understandable informed consent (IC) documents has proven to be one of the most important challenges in research with humans as well as in healthcare settings. Therefore, evaluating and improving understanding has been of increasing interest for empirical research on IC. However, several conceptual and practical challenges for the development of understandable IC documents remain unresolved. In this paper, we will outline and systematize some of these challenges. On the basis of our own experiences in empirical user testing of IC documents as well as the relevant literature on understanding in IC, we propose an integrated conceptual model for the development of understandable IC documents. The proposed conceptual model integrates different methods for the participatory improvement of written information, including IC, as well as quantitative methods for measuring understanding in IC. In most IC processes, understandable written information is an important prerequisite for valid IC. To improve the quality of IC documents, a conceptual model for participatory procedures of testing, revising, and retesting can be applied. However, the model presented in this paper needs further theoretical and empirical elaboration and clarification of several conceptual and practical challenges.

  4. Centella asiatica modulates antioxidant and mitochondrial pathways and improves cognitive function in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Nora E; Harris, Christopher J; Quinn, Joseph F; Soumyanath, Amala

    2016-03-02

    This study investigates the cognitive enhancing effects of the plant Centella asiatica which is widely used Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of a water extract of the medicinal plant Centella asiatica (CAW) on cognitive ability as well as mitochondrial and antioxidant response pathways in vivo. Old and young C57BL/6 mice were treated with CAW (2mg/mL) in their drinking water. Learning and memory was assessed using Morris Water Maze (MWM) and then tissue was collected and gene expression analyzed. CAW improved performance in the MWM in aged animals and had a modest effect on the performance of young animals. CAW also increased the expression of mitochondrial and antioxidant response genes in the brain and liver of both young and old animals. Expression of synaptic markers was also increased in the hippocampus and frontal cortex, but not in the cerebellum of CAW-treated animals. These data indicate a cognitive enhancing effect of CAW in healthy mice. The gene expression changes caused by CAW suggest a possible effect on mitochondrial biogenesis, which in conjunction with activation of antioxidant response genes could contribute to cognitive improvement. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Erythropoietin improves operant conditioning and stability of cognitive performance in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ehrenreich Hannelore

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Executive functions, learning and attention are imperative facets of cognitive performance, affected in many neuropsychiatric disorders. Recently, we have shown that recombinant human erythropoietin improves cognitive functions in patients with chronic schizophrenia, and that it leads in healthy mice to enhanced hippocampal long-term potentiation, an electrophysiological correlate of learning and memory. To create an experimental basis for further mechanistic insight into erythropoietin-modulated cognitive processes, we employed the Five Choice Serial Reaction Time Task. This procedure allows the study of the effects of erythropoietin on discrete processes of learning and attention in a sequential fashion. Results Male mice were treated for 3 weeks with erythropoietin (5,000 IU/kg versus placebo intraperitoneally every other day, beginning at postnatal day 28. After termination of treatment, mice were started on the Five Choice Serial Reaction Time Task, with daily training and testing extending to about 3 months. Overall, a significantly higher proportion of erythropoietin-treated mice finished the task, that is, reached the criteria of adequately reacting to a 1.0 sec flash light out of five arbitrarily appearing choices. During acquisition of this capability, that is, over almost all sequential training phases, learning readouts (magazine training, operant and discriminant learning, stability of performance were superior in erythropoietin-treated versus control mice. Conclusion Early erythropoietin treatment leads to lasting improvement of cognitive performance in healthy mice. This finding should be exploited in novel treatment strategies for brain diseases.

  6. Whole-body vibration improves cognitive functions of an adult with ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuermaier, Anselm B M; Tucha, Lara; Koerts, Janneke; van den Bos, Meinris; Regterschot, G Ruben H; Zeinstra, Edzard B; van Heuvelen, Marieke J G; van der Zee, Eddy A; Lange, Klaus W; Tucha, Oliver

    2014-09-01

    Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with a variety of cognitive impairments, which were shown to affect academic achievement and quality of life. Current treatment strategies, such as stimulant drug treatment, were demonstrated to effectively improve cognitive functions of patients with ADHD. However, most treatment strategies are associated with a number of disadvantages in a considerable proportion of patients, such as unsatisfactory effects, adverse clinical side effects or high financial costs. In order to address limitations of current treatment strategies, whole-body vibration (WBV) might represent a novel approach to treat cognitive dysfunctions of patients with ADHD. WBV refers to the exposure of the whole body of an individual to vibration and was found to affect physiology and cognition. In the present study, WBV was applied on 10 consecutive days to an adult diagnosed with ADHD. Neuropsychological assessments were performed repeatedly at three different times, i.e., the day before the start of the treatment, on the day following completion of treatment and 14 days after the treatment have been completed (follow-up). An improved neuropsychological test performance following WBV treatment points to the high clinical value of WBV in treating patients with neuropsychological impairments such as ADHD.

  7. Resveratrol supplementation did not improves cognition in patients with schizophrenia: results from a randomized clinical trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KARINE ZORTEA

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Schizophrenia is associated with psychotic experiences and cognitive deficits. Therefore, cognitive function is one of the most critical determinants of quality of life in this pathology. Resveratrol has been related with neuroprotective action but there are no studies evaluating resveratrol in schizophrenia. The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of resveratrol supplementation on cognition in individuals with schizophrenia. Methods: This is a 1-month randomized, double-blind controlled trial (NCT 02062190, in which 19 men with diagnosis of schizophrenia, aged 18 to 65 years, were assigned to a resveratrol supplement group (200mg or placebo group (200mg, with a 1-month follow-up. Applying a series of cognitive tests assessed neuropsychology performance (Hopkins Verbal Learning Test, Stroop Color and Word Test, Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale and Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale assessed psychopathology severity. Results: There were no significant improvement in neuropsychology performance (episodic memory, working memory, attention and concentration capacity, inhibitory control, interference measures, selective attention and mental flexibility and psychopathology severity after 1-month of resveratrol supplementation (p>0.05. Conclusion: In conclusion, we have shown that 1-month of a resveratrol supplementation (200 mg/day did not improve episodic memory, working memory, attention and concentration capacity, inhibitory control, interference measures, selective attention and mental flexibility as compared with placebo in patients with schizophrenia.

  8. Effectiveness of Cognitive and Transactional Analysis Group Therapy on Improving Conflict-Solving Skill

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bahram A. Ghanbari-Hashemabadi

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Today, learning the communication skills such as conflict solving is very important. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the efficiency of cognitive and transactional analysis group therapy on improving the conflict-solving skill.Materials and Method: This study is an experimental study with pretest-posttest and control group. Forty-five clients who were referring to the counseling and psychological services center of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad were chosen based on screening method. In addition, they were randomly divided into three equal groups: control group (15 participants, cognitive experimental group (15 participants and transactional analysis group (15 participants. Conflict-solving questionnaire was used to collect data and the intervention methods were cognitive and transactional analysis group therapy that was administrated during 8 weekly two-hour sessions. Mean and standard deviation were used for data analysis in the descriptive level and One-Way ANOVA method was used at the inference level.Results: The results of the study suggest that the conflict-solving skills in the two experimental groups were significantly increased. Conclusion: The finding of this research is indicative of the fact that both cognitive and transactional analysis group therapy could be an effective intervention for improving conflict-solving skills

  9. Electroacupuncture Ameliorates Cognitive Deficit and Improves Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity in Adult Rat with Neonatal Maternal Separation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lili Guo

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Exposure to adverse early-life events is thought to be the risk factors for the development of psychiatric and altered cognitive function in adulthood. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether electroacupuncture (EA treatment in young adult rat would improve impaired cognitive function and synaptic plasticity in adult rat with neonatal maternal separation (MS. Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups: control group, MS group, MS with EA treatment (MS + EA group, and MS with Sham-EA treatment (MS + Sham-EA group. We evaluated the cognitive function by using Morris water maze and fear conditioning tests. Electrophysiology experiment used in vivo long-term potentiation (LTP at Schaffer Collateral-CA1 synapses was detected to assess extent of synaptic plasticity. Repeated EA stimulation at Baihui (GV 20 and Yintang (GV 29 during postnatal 9 to 11 weeks was identified to significantly ameliorate poor performance in behavior tests and improve the impaired LTP induction detected at Schaffer Collateral-CA1 synapse in hippocampus. Collectively, the findings suggested that early-life stress due to MS may induce adult cognitive deficit associated with hippocampus, and EA in young adult demonstrated that its therapeutic efficacy may be via ameliorating deficit of hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

  10. The Relationship between Field Dependent-Independent Cognitive Style and Understanding of English Text Reading and Academic Success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nozari, Ali Yazdanpanah; Siamian, Hasan

    2015-02-01

    The learning styles are the distinctive learners' strategies for information processing and discovering new concepts. One of the most important kinds of learning styles is the Witkin's theory of field dependence-independence cognitive style. This study seeks to find the relationship between field dependence -independence cognitive style and English text reading comprehension, learning English as a foreign language, academic achievement and the choice of academic courses. In this study, 305 students (both girls and boys) studying at the junior level at high school in Sari were randomly selected through multistage selection who responded to Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT). The data analysis was conducted by using regression analysis which showed that FDI cognitive styles determined the changes in dependant variables of reading comprehension score, learning English and the total average with the respective values of %8.8, %9.2 and %11.6 (p reading comprehension skills and learning English and the more academic achievement will result. The results of this study can help in selecting students' courses and also better directing the learners to improve their learning.

  11. Understanding and Remediating Social-Cognitive Dysfunctions in Patients with Serious Mental Illness Using Relational Frame Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendriks, Annemieke L; Barnes-Holmes, Yvonne; McEnteggart, Ciara; De Mey, Hubert R A; Janssen, Gwenny T L; Egger, Jos I M

    2016-01-01

    Impairments in social cognition and perspective-taking play an important role in the psychopathology and social functioning of individuals with social anxiety, autism, or schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, among other clinical presentations. Perspective-taking has mostly been studied using the concept of Theory of Mind (ToM), which describes the sequential development of these skills in young children, as well as clinical populations experiencing perspective-taking difficulties. Several studies mention positive results of ToM based training programs; however, the precise processes involved in the achievement of these improvements are difficult to determine. Relational Frame Theory (RFT) is a modern behavioral account of complex cognitive functions, and is argued to provide a more precise approach to the assessment and training of perspective-taking, among other relational skills. Results of RFT-based studies of perspective-taking in developmental and clinical settings are discussed. The development of training methods targeting perspective-taking deficits from an RFT point of view appears to provide promising applications for the enhancement of current treatments of people with social-cognitive dysfunctions.

  12. What's Missing in Teaching Probability and Statistics: Building Cognitive Schema for Understanding Random Phenomena

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzmak, Sylvia

    2016-01-01

    Teaching probability and statistics is more than teaching the mathematics itself. Historically, the mathematics of probability and statistics was first developed through analyzing games of chance such as the rolling of dice. This article makes the case that the understanding of probability and statistics is dependent upon building a…

  13. Understanding planning for effective decision support : a cognitive task analysis of nurse scheduling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mietus, Dirkje Magrieta

    1994-01-01

    Planning in organizations is for all times. Coordination of organizational activities is needed not only to improve the overall performance of the organization but also to survive a competitive environment. Changes in the organizational environment, and technological developments (among others)

  14. Improving the Understanding of Research Methodology and Self-Regulated Learning Through Blog Project

    OpenAIRE

    Retnawati, Heri

    2017-01-01

    : This classroom action research seeks to improve self-regulated learning (SRL) and understanding of research methodology at the graduate school. Nineteen graduate school students were involved. Using project-based learning (PjBL), students were assigned to create online blogs as the main project. The blog was intended for representing their understanding of research methodology by writing review of research articles and submitting a research proposal. The classroom action research was based ...

  15. Understanding the biophysical effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on brain tissue: the bridge between brain stimulation and cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neggers, Sebastiaan F W; Petrov, Petar I; Mandija, Stefano; Sommer, Iris E C; van den Berg, Nico A T

    2015-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is rapidly being adopted in neuroscience, medicine, psychology, and biology, for basic research purposes, diagnosis, and therapy. However, a coherent picture of how TMS affects neuronal processing, and especially how this in turn influences behavior, is still largely unavailable despite several studies that investigated aspects of the underlying neurophysiological effects of TMS. Perhaps as a result from this "black box approach," TMS studies show a large interindividual variability in applied paradigms and TMS treatment outcome can be quite variable, hampering its general efficacy and introduction into the clinic. A better insight into the biophysical, neuronal, and cognitive mechanisms underlying TMS is crucial in order to apply it effectively in the clinic and to increase our understanding of brain-behavior relationship. Therefore, computational and experimental efforts have been started recently to understand and control the effect TMS has on neuronal functioning. Especially, how the brain shapes magnetic fields induced by a TMS coil, how currents are generated locally in the cortical surface, and how they interact with complex functional neuronal circuits within and between brain areas are crucial to understand the observed behavioral changes and potential therapeutic effects resulting from TMS. Here, we review the current knowledge about the biophysical underpinnings of single-pulse TMS and argue how to move forward to fully understand and exploit the powerful technique that TMS can be. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Improving the throughput of cognitive radio networks using the broadcast approach

    KAUST Repository

    Sboui, Lokman

    2013-12-01

    We study the impact of adopting a multi layer coding (MLC) strategy, i.e., the so-called broadcast approach (BA) on the throughput of Cognitive Radio (CR) spectrum sharing systems for general fading channels. First, we consider a scenario where the secondary transmitter, a part from the statistics, has no channel state information (CSI) of the cross link and its own link. We show that using BA improves the cognitive achievable rate compared to the outage rate provided by a single layer coding (SLC). In addition, we, also, observe numerically that 2-Layer coding achieves most of the gain. Then, we consider a situation where the secondary transmitter has a partial CSI about its own link through quantized CSI. Again, we compute the secondary achievable rate adopting the BA and highlight the improvement over SLC. Numerical results show that the advantage of MLC decreases as the rate of the feedback link increases. 1 © 2013 IEEE.

  17. Does motivational interviewing improve retention or outcome in cognitive behaviour therapy for overweight and obese adolescents?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brennan, Leah

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to determine whether motivational interviewing improved retention and/or outcome in cognitive behaviour therapy for overweight and obese adolescents (M=14.4, SD=2.0; 52% female). The first 23 participants were allocated to a standard semi-structure assessment interview, the remaining 19 to a motivational interview, prior to commencing the intervention. The groups did not differ at baseline or on anthropometric (weight, BMI, BMI-z-score, waist circumference, waist-hip or waist-height ratio), body composition (percent body fat, fat mass, lean mass) or attrition measures post-treatment or post-maintenance (p>.01). MI did not improve retention or outcome of cognitive behaviour therapy for adolescent overweight and obesity. Copyright © 2015 Asia Oceania Association for the Study of Obesity. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Neural basis for the ability of atypical antipsychotic drugs to improve cognition in schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomiki eSumiyoshi

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive impairments are considered to largely affect functional outcome in patients with schizophrenia, other psychotic illnesses, or mood disorders. Specifically, there is much attention to the role of psychotropic compounds acting on serotonin (5-HT receptors in ameliorating cognitive deficits of schizophrenia.It is noteworthy that atypical antipsychotic drugs, e.g. clozapine, melperone, risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, aripiprazole, perospirone, blonanserin, and lurasidone, have variable affinities for these receptors. Among the 5-HT receptor subtypes, the 5-HT1A receptor is attracting particular interests as a potential target for enhancing cognition, based on preclinical and clinical evidence.The neural network underlying the ability of 5-HT1A agonists to treat cognitive impairments of schizophrenia likely includes dopamine, glutamate, and GABA neurons. A novel strategy for cognitive enhancement in psychosis may be benefitted by focusing on energy metabolism in the brain. In this context, lactate plays a major role, and has been shown to protect neurons against oxidative and other stressors. In particular, our data indicate chronic treatment with tandospirone, a partial 5-HT1A agonist, recover stress-induced lactate production in the prefrontal cortex of a rat model of schizophrenia. Recent advances of electrophysiological measures, e.g. event-related potentials, and their imaging have provided insights into facilitative effects on cognition of some atypical antipsychotic drugs acting directly or indirectly on 5-HT1A receptors.These findings are expected to promote the development of novel therapeutics for the improvement of functional outcome in people with schizophrenia.

  19. Toward a Comprehensive Understanding of Executive Cognitive Function in Implicit Racial Bias

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Tiffany A.; Friedman, Naomi P.; Bartholow, Bruce D.; Correll, Joshua; Loersch, Chris; Altamirano, Lee J.; Miyake, Akira

    2014-01-01

    Although performance on laboratory-based implicit bias tasks often is interpreted strictly in terms of the strength of automatic associations, recent evidence suggests that such tasks are influenced by higher-order cognitive control processes, so-called executive functions (EFs). However, extant work in this area has been limited by failure to account for the unity and diversity of EFs, focus on only a single measure of bias and/or EF, and relatively small sample sizes. The current study sought to comprehensively model the relation between individual differences in EFs and the expression of racial bias in three commonly used laboratory measures. Participants (N=485) completed a battery of EF tasks (session 1) and three racial bias tasks (session 2), along with numerous individual difference questionnaires. The main findings were as follows: (1) measures of implicit bias were only weakly intercorrelated; (2) EF and estimates of automatic processes both predicted implicit bias and also interacted, such that the relation between automatic processes and bias expression was reduced at higher levels of EF; (3) specific facets of EF were differentially associated with overall task performance and controlled processing estimates across different bias tasks; (4) EF did not moderate associations between implicit and explicit measures of bias; and (5) external, but not internal, motivation to control prejudice depended on EF to reduce bias expression. Findings are discussed in terms of the importance of global and specific EF abilities in determining expression of implicit racial bias. PMID:25603372

  20. Differential effect of motivational features on training improvements in school-based cognitive training

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin eKatz

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive training often utilizes game-like motivational features to keep participants engaged. It is unclear how these elements, such as feedback, rewards, and theming impact player performance during training. Recent research suggests that motivation and engagement are closely related to improvements following cognitive training. We hypothesized that training paradigms featuring game-like motivational elements would be more effective than a version with no motivational elements. Five distinct motivational features were chosen for examination: a real-time scoring system, theme changes, prizes, end-of-session certificates, and scaffolding to explain the lives and leveling system included in the game. One version of the game was created with all these motivational elements included, and one was created with all of them removed. Other versions removed a single element at a time. Seven versions of a game-like n-back working memory task were then created and administered to 128 students in 2nd through 8th grade at school-based summer camps in southeastern Michigan. The inclusion of real-time scoring during play, a popular motivational component in both entertainment games and cognitive training, was found to negatively impact training improvements over the three day period. Surprisingly, scaffolding to explain lives and levels also negatively impacted training gains. The other game adjustments did not significantly impact training improvement compared to the original version of the game with all features included. These findings are preliminary and are limited by both the small sample size and the brevity of the intervention. Nonetheless, these findings suggest that certain motivational elements may distract from the core cognitive training task, reducing task improvement, especially at the initial stage of learning.

  1. A COGNITIVE-BEHAVIOURAL GROUP TREATMENT IMPROVED WORK ABILITY IN PATIENTS WITH SEVERE FUNCTIONAL SOMATIC SYNDROMES

    OpenAIRE

    Schröder, Andreas; Ørnbøl, Eva; Jensen, Jens Søndergaard; Fink, Per

    2014-01-01

    Objective: Functional somatic syndromes (FSS) such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel and chronic fatigue syndrome often disrupt employment and may lead to long-term dependence on social benefits and permanently reduced work ability. Cognitive-behavioural treatments (CBT) relief symptoms and improve functioning in FSS, but their effect on work ability is unclear. The aim of this study was to estimate the long-term effect of group CBT on work ability in patients with severe FSS. Methods: 120 Pa...

  2. Improved Correlation of Strain Indices with Cognitive Dysfunction with Inclusion of Adventitial Layer with Carotid Plaque.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, X; Mitchell, C C; Varghese, T; Jackson, D C; Rocque, B G; Hermann, B P; Dempsey, R J

    2016-05-01

    Plaque instability may lead to chronic embolization, which in turn may contribute to progressive cognitive decline. Accumulated strain tensor indices over a cardiac cycle within a pulsating carotid plaque may be viable biomarkers for the diagnosis of plaque instability. Using plaque-only carotid artery segmentations, we recently demonstrated that impaired cognitive function correlated significantly with maximum axial and lateral strain indices within a localized region of interest in plaque. Inclusion of the adventitial layer focuses our strain or instability measures on the vessel wall-plaque interface hypothesized to be a region with increased shearing forces and measureable instability. A hierarchical block-matching motion tracking algorithm developed in our laboratory was used to estimate accumulated axial, lateral, and shear strain distribution in plaques identified with the plaque-with-adventitia segmentation. Correlations of strain indices to the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status Total score were performed and compared with previous results. Overall, correlation coefficients (r) and significance (p) values improved for axial, lateral, and shear strain indices. Shear strain indices, however, demonstrated the largest improvement. The Pearson correlation coefficients for maximum shear strain and cognition improved from the previous plaque-only analyses of -0.432 and -0.345 to -0.795 and -0.717 with the plaque-with-adventitia segmentation for the symptomatic group and for all patients combined, respectively. Our results demonstrate the advantage of including adventitia for ultrasound carotid strain imaging providing improved association to parameters assessing cognitive impairment in patients. This supports theories of the importance of the vessel wall plaque interface in the pathophysiology of embolic disease. © The Author(s) 2015.

  3. Embodied cognition: Is activation of the motor cortex essential for understanding action verbs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jeff; Brookie, Kate; Wales, Sid; Wallace, Simon; Kaup, Barbara

    2018-03-01

    In 8 experiments using language processing tasks ranging from lexical decision to sensibility judgment, participants made hand or foot responses after reading hand- or foot-associated words such as action verbs. In general, response time (RT) tended to be faster when the hand- versus foot-associated word was compatible with the limb that was required to respond (e.g., hand response to a hand-associated word) than when it was incompatible (e.g., foot response to a hand-associated word). To see whether this compatibility effect reflects differential hand- versus foot-specific motor activation produced by the words, as suggested by some embodied theories of language understanding, we monitored 2 event-related potential (ERP) measures previously found to be sensitive to the activation of these limbs. As expected, the ERP results replicated previous findings that the monitored ERPs differ for hand versus foot movements. More importantly, the ERPs provided no evidence of any difference for hand- versus foot-associated words. Thus, the results weaken previous claims that the understanding of action verbs requires activation of the motor areas used to carry out the named action. Instead, they support claims that language-related compatibility effects on RT may arise prior to motor processes, which implies that such effects are not decisive evidence for embodied language understanding. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  4. Resveratrol Improves Cognitive Impairment by Regulating Apoptosis and Synaptic Plasticity in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiyan Tian

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Aims: To investigate the effects of resveratrol on cognitive impairment in streptozotocin (STZ-induced diabetic rats and to explore the mechanisms of that phenomenon. Methods: Sixty healthy male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups: normal control group (Con group, n = 15, Res group (normal Sprague Dawley rats treated with resveratrol, n = 15, diabetes mellitus group (DM group, n = 15 and DM + Res group (diabetic rats treat with resveratrol, n = 15. Streptozotocin (STZ was injected intraperitoneally to establish the diabetic model. One week after diabetic model induction, the animals in the Res group and the DM + Res group received resveratrol intraperitoneally once a day for consecutive 4 weeks. The Morris water maze test was applied to assess the effect of resveratrol on learning and memory. To explore the mechanisms of resveratrol on cognition, we detected the protein expression levels of Caspase-3, Bcl-2, Bax, NMDAR1 (N-Methyl-d-Aspartate receptor and BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor via western blotting analysis. Results: Resveratrol has no obvious effect on normal SD rats. Compared to Con group, cognitive ability was significantly impaired with increased expression of Caspase-3, Bax and down-regulation of Bcl-2, NMDAR1 and BDNF in diabetic rats. By contrast, resveratrol treatment improved the cognitive decline. Evidently, resveratrol treatment reversed diabetes-induced changes of protein expression. Conclusions: Resveratrol significantly ameliorates cognitive decline in STZ-induced diabetic model rats. The potential mechanism underlying the protective effect could be attributed to the inhibition of hippocampal apoptosis through the Bcl-2, Bax and Caspase-3 signaling pathways and improvement of synaptic dysfunction. BDNF may also play an indispensable role in this mechanism.

  5. FDG PET in non-pharmacological therapy in Alzheimer's disease; cerebral metabolic increase correlates with clinical improvement after cognitive therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Na, Hae Ri; Kim, Yu Kyeong; Park, Seong Min; Lee, Seung Hyun; Park, Eun Kyung; Lee, Jung Seok; Kim, Sang Yun; Kim, Sang Eun

    2007-01-01

    In management of AD, pharmacological treatment alone using acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI) is general consensus, and provides beneficial effect to prolong their progression. Combined non-pharmacological therapy, especially cognitive therapy is recently having attention with expectation of improvement in cognitive ability. This study examined the effect of combined cognitive therapy in AD patients who were maintaining AChEI using FDG PET. Four patients (689 yrs) who diagnosed as probable Alzheimer's disease based on the NINCDS-ADRDA criteria participated in this study. 12-week cognitive therapy comprised seven fields to enhance orientation, memory, recall, visuo-motor organization, categorization and behavior modification/sequencing. They received 45-minute sessions twice per week with maintaining their previous medication. Clinical improvement was assessed by comprehensive neuropsychological tests. Two FDG PET studies were performed before cognitive therapy and in the middle of the therapy, and compared to evaluate the effect of cognitive therapy to cerebral metabolism. Two of 4 patients whose initial cognitive impairment was milder had clinical improvement after 12 weeks, the rest who were more severely impaired failed to have clinical improvement. Regional cerebral hypometabolism on initial PET was correlated with their functional status. Follow up PET of two responders demonstrated the increases in regional metabolism in the temporal and/or frontal cortex, which was associated their functional improvement. Cerebral metabolism in poor responders were minimally increased or no changed. This preliminary data suggests that cognitive therapy is potentially useful to stabilize or improve cognitive and functional performance in AD patients with relatively mild cognitive dysfunction. And FDG PET could demonstrate possible candidates for cognitive therapy and the effect of the therapy

  6. Effectiveness of Memantine in Improvement of Cognitive Deficits in Specific Learning Disorder

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    Elham Ahmadi Zahrani

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background: Specific learning disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent difficulties in learning academic skills in reading, written expression, or mathematics. This study was performed to investigate the effectiveness of memantine in the relief of cognitive deficits (selective attention, sustained attention, and working memory in specific learning disorder. Materials and Methods: This study is a clinical trial. Of all children 8-12 years referred to Amir Kabir Hospital 94 patients diagnosed with specific learning disorder based on DSMV diagnostic interview referred by specialist and randomly divided by two groups, memantine and placebo. Cognitive deficits before and after treatment were measured with continuous performance test, Stroop test and Wechsler Digit Span forward and reverse and Corsi test. Results: Multivariate analysis of variance showed a significant difference in error when answering, omission answer and corrected answer in continuous performance test, but this difference is not significant in response time. Difference in forward, reverse and collected auditory was significant and not significant in the auditory span. In active visual working memory at corsi cube test, difference was significant (p <0.05. Conclusion: The results showed that memantine in improvement of sustained attention, auditory working memory and visual working memory, is effective, while in selective attention is not effective and according to similarities of learning disorder and Attention deficit / Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD and the effectiveness of memantine in improvement of symptoms of ADHD, we can also use this drug in improvement of cognitive deficits of specific learning disorder.

  7. Improvement of gross motor and cognitive abilities by an exercise training program: three case reports

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    Alesi M

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Marianna Alesi,1 Giuseppe Battaglia,2 Michele Roccella,1 Davide Testa,1 Antonio Palma,2 Annamaria Pepi1 1Department of Psychology, 2Department of Law, Social and Sport Science, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy Background: This work examined the efficacy of an integrated exercise training program (coach and family in three children with Down syndrome to improve their motor and cognitive abilities, in particular reaction time and working memory. Methods: The integrated exercise training program was used in three children with Down syndrome, comprising two boys (M1, with a chronological age of 10.3 years and a mental age of 4.7 years; M2, with a chronological age of 14.6 years and a mental age of less than 4 years and one girl (F1, chronological age 14.0 years and a mental age of less than 4 years. Results: Improvements in gross motor ability scores were seen after the training period. Greater improvements in task reaction time were noted for both evaluation parameters, ie, time and omissions. Conclusion: There is a close interrelationship between motor and cognitive domains in individuals with atypical development. There is a need to plan intervention programs based on the simultaneous involvement of child and parents and aimed at promoting an active lifestyle in individuals with Down syndrome. Keywords: disability, Down syndrome, gross motor abilities, cognitive abilities, physical activity

  8. Dejian Mind-Body Intervention Improves the Cognitive Functions of a Child with Autism

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    Agnes S. Chan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available There has been increasing empirical evidence for the enhancing effects of Dejian Mind-Body Intervention (DMBI, a traditional Chinese Shaolin healing approach, on human frontal brain activity/functions, including patients with autism who are well documented to have frontal lobe problems. This study aims to compare the effects of DMBI with a conventional behavioural/cognitive intervention (CI on enhancing the executive functions and memory of a nine-year-old boy with low-functioning autism (KY and to explore possible underlying neural mechanism using EEG theta cordance. At post-one-month DMBI, KY's inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and memory functioning have significantly improved from “severely-to-moderately impaired” to “within-normal” range. This improvement was not observed from previous 12-month CI. Furthermore, KY showed increased cordance gradually extending from the anterior to the posterior brain region, suggesting possible neural mechanism underlying his cognitive improvement. These findings have implicated potential applicability of DMBI as a rehabilitation program for patients with severe frontal lobe and/or memory disorders.

  9. Mindfulness based cognitive therapy improves frontal control in bipolar disorder: a pilot EEG study

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    Howells Fleur M

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cognitive processing in Bipolar Disorder is characterized by a number of attentional abnormalities. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy combines mindfulness meditation, a form of attentional training, along with aspects of cognitive therapy, and may improve attentional dysfunction in bipolar disorder patients. Methods 12 euthymic BD patients and 9 control participants underwent record of electroencephalography (EEG, band frequency analysis during resting states (eyes open, eyes closed and during the completion of a continuous performance task (A-X version, EEG event-related potential (ERP wave component analysis. The individuals with BD completed an 8-week MBCT intervention and record of EEG was repeated. Results (1 Brain activity, individuals with BD showed significantly decreased theta band power, increased beta band power, and decreased theta/beta ratios during the resting state, eyes closed, for frontal and cingulate cortices. Post MBCT intervention improvement over the right frontal cortex was seen in the individuals with BD, as beta band power decreased. (2 Brain activation, individuals with BD showed a significant P300-like wave form over the frontal cortex during the cue. Post MBCT intervention the P300-like waveform was significantly attenuated over the frontal cortex. Conclusions Individuals with BD show decreased attentional readiness and activation of non-relevant information processing during attentional processes. These data are the first that show, MBCT in BD improved attentional readiness, and attenuated activation of non-relevant information processing during attentional processes.

  10. Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy for PTSD Improves Various PTSD Symptoms and Trauma-related Cognitions: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial

    OpenAIRE

    Macdonald, Alexandra; Pukay-Martin, Nicole D.; Wagner, Anne C.; Fredman, Steffany J.; Monson, Candice M.

    2015-01-01

    Numerous studies document an association between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and impairments in intimate relationship functioning, and there is evidence that PTSD symptoms and associated impairments are improved by cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy for PTSD (CBCT for PTSD; Monson & Fredman, 2012). The present study investigated changes across treatment in clinician-rated PTSD symptom clusters and patient-rated trauma-related cognitions in a randomized controlled trial comparing C...

  11. Cultural-historical and cognitive approaches to understanding the origins of development of written speech

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.F. Obukhova

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available We present an analysis of the emergence and development of written speech, its relationship to the oral speech, connections to the symbolic and modeling activities of preschool children – playing and drawing. While a child's drawing is traditionally interpreted in psychology either as a measure of intellectual development, or as a projective technique, or as a criterion for creative giftedness of the child, in this article, the artistic activity is analyzed as a prerequisite for development of written speech. The article substantiates the hypothesis that the mastery of “picture writing” – the ability to display the verbal content in a schematic picturesque plan – is connected to the success of writing speech at school age. Along with the classical works of L.S. Vygotsky, D.B. Elkonin, A.R. Luria, dedicated to finding the origins of writing, the article presents the current Russian and foreign frameworks of forming the preconditions of writing, based on the concepts of cultural-historical theory (“higher mental functions”, “zone of proximal development”, etc.. In Western psychology, a number of pilot studies used the developmental function of drawing for teaching the written skills to children of 5-7 years old. However, in cognitive psychology, relationship between drawing and writing is most often reduced mainly to the analysis of general motor circuits. Despite the recovery in research on writing and its origins in the last decade, either in domestic or in foreign psychology, the written speech is not a sufficiently studied problem.

  12. The effects of holistic health group interventions on improving the cognitive ability of persons with mild cognitive impairment: a randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young KW

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Kim-wan Young,1 Petrus Ng,1 Timothy Kwok,2 Daphne Cheng1 1Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, 2Department of Medicine (Geriatric Division, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Purpose: Persons with mild cognitive impairment (PwMCI are at a higher risk of developing dementia than those without cognitive impairment. This research study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a holistic health group intervention, which is based on the holistic brain health approach as well as an Eastern approach to health care, on improving the cognitive ability of Chinese PwMCI. Research methods: In a randomized controlled trial (RCT, 38 Chinese PwMCI were randomly assigned to either a 10-session holistic health intervention group or the control group. The holistic health treatment group attempted to promote the acceptance of their illness, enhance memory and coping skills, develop a positive lifestyle, maintain positive emotions, and facilitate emotional support among participants. The 10-session holistic health group intervention was structured, with each session conducted once per week and ~90 minutes in length. Control group patients and their family caregivers received standardized basic educational materials that provided basic information on cognitive decline for them to read at home. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA test was used to assess the cognitive ability of PwMCI in the pre- and posttreatment periods by a research assistant who was blind to the group assignment of the participants. Results: The paired-samples t-test indicated that the treatment group (n=18 showed significant improvement in the MoCA score, whereas the control group (n=20 did not. Moreover, 2×2 (group × time repeated-measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA demonstrated that the holistic health group treatment was significantly more effective than the control intervention in improving the MoCA score, with a moderate effect size, and

  13. Using digital multimedia to improve parents' and children's understanding of clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tait, Alan R; Voepel-Lewis, Terri; Levine, Robert

    2015-06-01

    Data show that many research subjects have difficulty understanding study information using traditional paper consent documents. This study, therefore, was designed to evaluate the effect of an interactive multimedia program on improving parents' and children's understanding of clinical trial concepts and participation. Parents (n=148) and children (n=135) were each randomised to receive information regarding clinical trials using either a traditional paper format (TF) or an interactive iPad program (IP) with inline exercises. Participants' understanding of the information was assessed using semistructured interviews prior to (pretest) and after (post-test) receiving the information. Participants also completed a short survey to assess their perceptions of information delivery and satisfaction with the process. Regardless of the mode of information delivery, all participants demonstrated improved pretest to post-test understanding. While there were no statistical differences in parents' post-test understanding between the TF and IP groups, children in the IP group had significantly greater post-test understanding compared with children in the TF group (11.65 (4.1) vs 8.85 (4.1) (2.8, 1.4, 4.2) 0-18 scale where 18=complete understanding). Furthermore, the IP was found to be significantly 'easier to follow' and 'more effective' in presenting information compared with the TF. Results demonstrated the importance of providing information regarding clinical trial concepts to parents and children. Importantly, the ability of interactive multimedia to improve understanding of clinical trial concepts and satisfaction with information delivery, particularly among children, supports this approach as a novel and effective vehicle for enhancing the informed consent process. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  14. Implementing Cognitive Intervention to Educate and Improve Resident’s Preparedness in Landslide Areas

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    Susanto Novie

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Semarang city has the potential landslides were quite high in almost all regions. The previous research shows that the Manyaran and Kembang Arum is classified as “not ready” with vulnerability-prone of landslide areas. Therefore, design and implementation of cognitive interventions in human are needed to educate and improve the preparedness of the residents against landslide. This study aims to implement the various cognitive interventions to the residents in landslide areas and analysis of the different interventions toward the preparedness index. The study is conducted on 40 respondents from Kembang Arum and 40 respondents from Manyaran. They are aged ≥ 17 years, illiteracy and a RT/RW/PKK cadres. The independent variables in this study are Knowledge and Attitude, Emergency Planning, Warning System, and Resources Mobilization. The dependent variable is the preparedness index. The design of cognitive interventions is generated according to the demographic characteristics of the respondent and the result of Fault Tree Analysis. The preparedness index of the residents against landslides in Kembang Arum increases about 71.71% and in Manyaran up to 90.06%. Implementation of cognitive interventions with module, video and discussion in the Manyaran is more effective than using posters, videos and discussions in Kembang Arum.

  15. Implementing Cognitive Intervention to Educate and Improve Resident's Preparedness in Landslide Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susanto, Novie; Putranto, Thomas Triadi; Prastawa, Heru; Ulfa, Ema Amalia

    2018-02-01

    Semarang city has the potential landslides were quite high in almost all regions. The previous research shows that the Manyaran and Kembang Arum is classified as "not ready" with vulnerability-prone of landslide areas. Therefore, design and implementation of cognitive interventions in human are needed to educate and improve the preparedness of the residents against landslide. This study aims to implement the various cognitive interventions to the residents in landslide areas and analysis of the different interventions toward the preparedness index. The study is conducted on 40 respondents from Kembang Arum and 40 respondents from Manyaran. They are aged ≥ 17 years, illiteracy and a RT/RW/PKK cadres. The independent variables in this study are Knowledge and Attitude, Emergency Planning, Warning System, and Resources Mobilization. The dependent variable is the preparedness index. The design of cognitive interventions is generated according to the demographic characteristics of the respondent and the result of Fault Tree Analysis. The preparedness index of the residents against landslides in Kembang Arum increases about 71.71% and in Manyaran up to 90.06%. Implementation of cognitive interventions with module, video and discussion in the Manyaran is more effective than using posters, videos and discussions in Kembang Arum.

  16. Improving cognitive control in adolescents with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweizer, Susanne; Samimi, Zobair; Hasani, Jafar; Moradi, Alireza; Mirdoraghi, Fatemeh; Khaleghi, Mohammad

    2017-06-01

    The adverse impact of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on the developing mind in adolescence can extend well into adulthood. The developmental malleability of cognitive control capacity in this age group, however, may hold particular promise for cognitive training interventions. The present study investigated the effects of affective working memory (aWMT) compared to placebo-training on cognitive and affective functioning in adolescents with PTSD. 30 treatment-seeking adolescents trained for 20 days on either an affective dual n-back task (aWMT; n = 15) or a feature match task (placebo; n = 15). The aWMT group showed greater pre-to post-training increases in cognitive control as measured by the GoNogo task as well as improvements in symptoms of PTSD and increased use of adaptive emotion regulation strategies. These preliminary findings are promising given the potential for free and easy dissemination of the aWMT in schools and online. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Cognitive Training Program to Improve Working Memory in Older Adults with MCI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyer, Lee; Scott, Ciera; Atkinson, Mary Michael; Mullen, Christine M; Lee, Anna; Johnson, Aaron; Mckenzie, Laura C

    2016-01-01

    Deficits in working memory (WM) are associated with age-related decline. We report findings from a clinical trial that examined the effectiveness of Cogmed, a computerized program that trains WM. We compare this program to a Sham condition in older adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Older adults (N = 68) living in the community were assessed. Participants reported memory impairment and met criteria for MCI, either by poor delayed memory or poor performance in other cognitive areas. The Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS, Delayed Memory Index) and the Clinical Dementia Rating scale (CDR) were utilized. All presented with normal Mini Mental State Exams (MMSE) and activities of daily living (ADLs). Participants were randomized to Cogmed or a Sham computer program. Twenty-five sessions were completed over five to seven weeks. Pre, post, and follow-up measures included a battery of cognitive measures (three WM tests), a subjective memory scale, and a functional measure. Both intervention groups improved over time. Cogmed significantly outperformed Sham on Span Board and exceeded in subjective memory reports at follow-up as assessed by the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ). The Cogmed group demonstrated better performance on the Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ), a measure of adjustment and far transfer, at follow-up. Both groups, especially Cogmed, enjoyed the intervention. Results suggest that WM was enhanced in both groups of older adults with MCI. Cogmed was better on one core WM measure and had higher ratings of satisfaction. The Sham condition declined on adjustment.

  18. Exercise training and antioxidant supplementation independently improve cognitive function in adult male and female GFAP-APOE mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiran Chaudhari

    2014-09-01

    Conclusion: Exercise was the most effective treatment at improving cognitive function in both genotypes and sex, while antioxidants seemed to be effective only in the APOE4. In young adult mice only non-spatial learning and memory were improved. The combination of the two treatments did not yield further improvement in cognition, and there was no antagonistic action of the antioxidant supplementation on the beneficial effects of exercise.

  19. Aware Computing in Spatial Language Understanding Guided by Cognitively Inspired Knowledge Representation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masao Yokota

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Mental image directed semantic theory (MIDST has proposed an omnisensory mental image model and its description language Lmd. This language is designed to represent and compute human intuitive knowledge of space and can provide multimedia expressions with intermediate semantic descriptions in predicate logic. It is hypothesized that such knowledge and semantic descriptions are controlled by human attention toward the world and therefore subjective to each human individual. This paper describes Lmd expression of human subjective knowledge of space and its application to aware computing in cross-media operation between linguistic and pictorial expressions as spatial language understanding.

  20. Neurodevelopmental consequences of pediatric cancer and its treatment: applying an early adversity framework to understanding cognitive, behavioral, and emotional outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marusak, Hilary A; Iadipaolo, Allesandra S; Harper, Felicity W; Elrahal, Farrah; Taub, Jeffrey W; Goldberg, Elimelech; Rabinak, Christine A

    2017-12-22

    Today, children are surviving pediatric cancer at unprecedented rates, making it one of modern medicine's true success stories. However, we are increasingly becoming aware of several deleterious effects of cancer and the subsequent "cure" that extend beyond physical sequelae. Indeed, survivors of childhood cancer commonly report cognitive, emotional, and psychological difficulties, including attentional difficulties, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Cognitive late- and long-term effects have been largely attributed to neurotoxic effects of cancer treatments (e.g., chemotherapy, cranial irradiation, surgery) on brain development. The role of childhood adversity in pediatric cancer - namely, the presence of a life-threatening disease and endurance of invasive medical procedures - has been largely ignored in the existing neuroscientific literature, despite compelling research by our group and others showing that exposure to more commonly studied adverse childhood experiences (i.e., domestic and community violence, physical, sexual, and emotional abuse) strongly imprints on neural development. While these adverse childhood experiences are different in many ways from the experience of childhood cancer (e.g., context, nature, source), they do share a common element of exposure to threat (i.e., threat to life or physical integrity). Therefore, we argue that the double hit of early threat and cancer treatments likely alters neural development, and ultimately, cognitive, behavioral, and emotional outcomes. In this paper, we (1) review the existing neuroimaging research on child, adolescent, and adult survivors of childhood cancer, (2) summarize gaps in our current understanding, (3) propose a novel neurobiological framework that characterizes childhood cancer as a type of childhood adversity, particularly a form of early threat, focusing on development of the hippocampus and the salience and emotion network (SEN), and (4) outline future directions for

  1. Changes in illness-related cognitions rather than distress mediate improvements in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms and disability following a brief cognitive behavioural therapy intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chilcot, Joseph; Moss-Morris, Rona

    2013-10-01

    A previous randomised controlled trial demonstrated that a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) self-management intervention significantly improved irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms and disability compared to treatment as usual (TAU). The current study analysed additional data to establish whether; 1) cognitive, behavioural and emotional factors hypothesized to perpetuate IBS symptoms and disability changed following CBT and, 2) ascertain if changes in these factors over the intervention period mediated treatment effects 6-months later. IBS patients (CBT = 31, TAU = 33) completed measures pre-and-post intervention including: Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire, Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale and Cognitive and Behavioural Responses to Symptoms Questionnaire. Path models were evaluated to determine whether changes in cognitive and behavioural factors over the treatment period mediated treatment effects. Compared to TAU, CBT patients showed significant positive changes on several cognitive variables but not anxiety and depression following intervention. Positive change in illness perceptions following intervention mediated the treatment effect on improved IBS symptom severity and social adjustment six months later. Changes in damaging beliefs mediated the effect on social adjustment. Change in cognition rather than mood mediated treatment related improvements. Changing negative perceptions of IBS appears to be a particularly important treatment mechanism. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Improved cooperative spectrum sensing based on the reputation in cognitive radio networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Jianqi; Wei, Ping

    2015-05-01

    Cognitive radio (CR) is a promising technology to improve the utilisation of wireless spectrum resources. Spectrum sensing is the core functionality in CR networks (CRN). When there exist malicious users (MUs) in CRN and MUs start to attack the network after accumulating reputation to some extent, the performance is deteriorated. In this paper, a scheme is proposed by employing Orthogonalized Gnanadesikan-Kettenring (OGK) to mitigate the effect of MUs without the assistance of trusted nodes, and it can improve the robustness of CRN. Simulations verify the effectiveness of the proposed scheme.

  3. Effectiveness of coordination exercise in improving cognitive function in older adults: a prospective study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwok TCY

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Timothy CY Kwok1,2, KC Lam2, PS Wong2, WW Chau2, Kenneth SL Yuen2,3, KT Ting2, Elite WK Chung2, Jessie CY Li2, Florence KY Ho2,41Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2Jockey Club Centre for Positive Ageing, 3Laboratory of Neuropsychology, Department of Psychology, The University of Hong Kong, 4Jockey Club CADENZA Hub, Hong Kong SARBackground: Studies on the effect of a low intensity coordination exercise on the elderly with limited mobility are sparse. This prospective study attempted to compare the effectiveness of a customized coordination exercise and a strength exercise in improving the cognitive functioning and physical mobility on the elderly.Methods: Participants from two centers for the elderly were allocated to practice either an 8-week coordination training (CT program or an 8-week towel exercise (TE program. The Chinese Mini-Mental State Examination and Chinese Dementia Rating Scale (CDRS were used to measure cognitive functioning of participants, and Timed Up-and-Go test for physical mobility. These assessments were administered before and after the program.Results: Paired t-tests showed that the CDRS scores of the CT group improved significantly from 114.8 at pre-test to 119.3 after training (P = 0.045. The CDRS scores of the TE group also improved from 114.9 at pre-test to 116.9 after training.Conclusion: Findings from this prospective study demonstrated that low-intensity level mind-body exercise could be beneficial to the cognitive functioning of older adults.Keywords: coordination exercise, cognitive function, elderly, Chinese

  4. Mothers' use of cognitive state verbs in picture-book reading and the development of children's understanding of mind: a longitudinal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adrián, Juan E; Clemente, Rosa Ana; Villanueva, Lidón

    2007-01-01

    Mothers read stories to their children (N=41) aged between 3.3 years and 5.11 years old, and children then completed two false-belief tasks. One year later, mothers read a story to 37 of those children who were also given four tasks to assess their advanced understanding of mental states. Mothers' early use of cognitive verbs in picture-book reading correlated with their children's later understanding of mental states. Some pragmatic aspects of maternal input correlated with children's later outcomes. Two different factors in mothers' cognitive discourse were identified, suggesting a zone of proximal development in children's understanding of mental states.

  5. The effects of holistic health group interventions on improving the cognitive ability of persons with mild cognitive impairment: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Kim-Wan; Ng, Petrus; Kwok, Timothy; Cheng, Daphne

    2017-01-01

    Persons with mild cognitive impairment (PwMCI) are at a higher risk of developing dementia than those without cognitive impairment. This research study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a holistic health group intervention, which is based on the holistic brain health approach as well as an Eastern approach to health care, on improving the cognitive ability of Chinese PwMCI. In a randomized controlled trial (RCT), 38 Chinese PwMCI were randomly assigned to either a 10-session holistic health intervention group or the control group. The holistic health treatment group attempted to promote the acceptance of their illness, enhance memory and coping skills, develop a positive lifestyle, maintain positive emotions, and facilitate emotional support among participants. The 10-session holistic health group intervention was structured, with each session conducted once per week and ~90 minutes in length. Control group patients and their family caregivers received standardized basic educational materials that provided basic information on cognitive decline for them to read at home. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test was used to assess the cognitive ability of PwMCI in the pre- and posttreatment periods by a research assistant who was blind to the group assignment of the participants. The paired-samples t -test indicated that the treatment group (n=18) showed significant improvement in the MoCA score, whereas the control group (n=20) did not. Moreover, 2×2 (group × time) repeated-measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) demonstrated that the holistic health group treatment was significantly more effective than the control intervention in improving the MoCA score, with a moderate effect size, and improving the delayed recall (ie, short-term memory), with a strong effect size, after controlling for age, sex, education, and marital status. This present RCT provides evidence to support the feasibility and effectiveness of the holistic health group intervention in

  6. Improving Design Understandings and Skills through Enhanced Metacognition: Reflective Design Journals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurt, Mustafa; Kurt, Sevinc

    2017-01-01

    The main aim of this study was to investigate and discover whether going through the process of reflection by keeping reflective design journals (RDJ) enhances architecture students' metacognition and whether this enhanced metacognition improves their design understandings and skills. The study was a mixed-methods design and utilised content…

  7. Improving the Conceptual Understanding in Kinematics Subject Matter with Hypertext Media Learning and Formal Thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manurung, Sondang R.; Mihardi, Satria

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of hypertext media based kinematic learning and formal thinking ability to improve the conceptual understanding of physic prospective students. The research design used is the one-group pretest-posttest experimental design is carried out in the research by taking 36 students on from…

  8. Book review: Darwinian agriculture: How understanding evolution can improve agriculture by R. Ford Dennison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agricultural research continually seeks to increase productivity while protecting soil, water and genetic resources. The book Darwinian Agriculture: How Understanding Evolution Can Improve Agriculture, by R. Ford Dennison, delivers a thought-provoking view of how principles of ecology and evolution ...

  9. Improved understanding of moisture effects on outdoor wood–adhesive bondlines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph E. Jakes; Nayomi Plaza-Rodriguez; Xavier Arzola Villegas; Charles R. Frihart

    2017-01-01

    The development of improved moisture-durable wood adhesives for outdoor applications, such as repairing historic covered bridges, is hindered by an incomplete mechanistic understanding of what makes a wood–adhesive bond moisture-durable. The wood–adhesive bondline is extraordinarily difficult to study because of the chemical, structural, and mechanical complexities and...

  10. Scaffolded Instruction Improves Student Understanding of the Scientific Method & Experimental Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Costa, Allison R.; Schlueter, Mark A.

    2013-01-01

    Implementation of a guided-inquiry lab in introductory biology classes, along with scaffolded instruction, improved students' understanding of the scientific method, their ability to design an experiment, and their identification of experimental variables. Pre- and postassessments from experimental versus control sections over three semesters…

  11. Managing Resources and Relations in Higher Education Institutions: A Framework for Understanding Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Sophia Shi-Huei; Peng, Michael Yao-Ping

    2016-01-01

    Changes in social systems demonstrate that various structural disadvantages have jointly led to increasing competition among higher education institutions (HEIs) in many countries, especially Taiwan. Institutional administrators must recognize the need to understand how to improve performance and consistently outperform other institutions.…

  12. Teaching genetics prior to teaching evolution improves evolution understanding but not acceptance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mead, Rebecca; Hejmadi, Momna

    2017-01-01

    What is the best way to teach evolution? As microevolution may be configured as a branch of genetics, it being a short conceptual leap from understanding the concepts of mutation and alleles (i.e., genetics) to allele frequency change (i.e., evolution), we hypothesised that learning genetics prior to evolution might improve student understanding of evolution. In the UK, genetics and evolution are typically taught to 14- to 16-y-old secondary school students as separate topics with few links, in no particular order and sometimes with a large time span between. Here, then, we report the results of a large trial into teaching order of evolution and genetics. We modified extant questionnaires to ascertain students’ understanding of evolution and genetics along with acceptance of evolution. Students were assessed prior to teaching, immediately post teaching and again after several months. Teachers were not instructed what to teach, just to teach in a given order. Regardless of order, teaching increased understanding and acceptance, with robust signs of longer-term retention. Importantly, teaching genetics before teaching evolution has a significant (p Teaching genetics first additionally had positive effects on genetics understanding, by increasing knowledge. These results suggest a simple, minimally disruptive, zero-cost intervention to improve evolution understanding: teach genetics first. This same alteration does not, however, result in a significantly increased acceptance of evolution, which reflects a weak correlation between knowledge and acceptance of evolution. Qualitative focus group data highlights the role of authority figures in determination of acceptance. PMID:28542179

  13. Macro-reasoning and cognitive gaps: understanding post-Soviet Russians’ communication styles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena FELL

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Russians and Westerners access, process and communicate information in different ways. Whilst Westerners favour detailed analysis of subject matter, Russians tend to focus on certain components that are, in their view, significant. This disparity makes it difficult to achieve constructive dialogues between Western and Russian stakeholders contributing to cross-cultural communication problems. The author claims that the difference in the ways Russians and Westerners negotiate information is a significant cultural difference between Russia and West rather than an irritating (and in principle amenable lack of analytical skills on the Russian partners’ part. Understanding the reasons behind the Russian-specific approaches to dealing with information would be a positive step towards a more effective cross-cultural communication, important in business situations and essential in diplomacy.

  14. Cognitive neuroepigenetics: the next evolution in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying learning and memory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Paul; Bredy, Timothy W.

    2016-07-01

    A complete understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of learning and memory continues to elude neuroscientists. Although many important discoveries have been made, the question of how memories are encoded and maintained at the molecular level remains. So far, this issue has been framed within the context of one of the most dominant concepts in molecular biology, the central dogma, and the result has been a protein-centric view of memory. Here, we discuss the evidence supporting a role for neuroepigenetic mechanisms, which constitute dynamic and reversible, state-dependent modifications at all levels of control over cellular function, and their role in learning and memory. This neuroepigenetic view suggests that DNA, RNA and protein each influence one another to produce a holistic cellular state that contributes to the formation and maintenance of memory, and predicts a parallel and distributed system for the consolidation, storage and retrieval of the engram.

  15. Intranasal Oxytocin May Improve High-Level Social Cognition in Schizophrenia, But Not Social Cognition or Neurocognition in General: A Multilevel Bayesian Meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bürkner, Paul-Christian; Williams, Donald R; Simmons, Trenton C; Woolley, Josh D

    2017-10-21

    While there is growing interest in the potential for intranasal oxytocin (IN-OT) to improve social cognition and neurocognition (ie, nonsocial cognition) in schizophrenia, the extant literature has been mixed. Here, we perform a Bayesian meta-analysis of the efficacy of IN-OT to improve areas of social and neurocognition in schizophrenia. A systematic search of original research publications identified randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of IN-OT as a treatment for social and neurocognitive deficits in schizophrenia for inclusion. Standardized mean differences (SMD) and corresponding variances were used in multilevel Bayesian models to obtain meta-analytic effect-size estimates. Across a total of 12 studies (N = 273), IN-OT did not improve social cognition (SMD = 0.07, 95% credible interval [CI] = [-0.06, 0.17]) or neurocognition (SMD = 0.12, 95% CI = [-0.12, 0.34]). There was moderate between study heterogeneity for social cognition outcomes (τs= 0.12). Moderator analyses revealed that IN-OT had a significantly larger effect on high-level social cognition (ie, mentalizing and theory of mind) compared to low-level social cognition (ie, social cue perception) (b = 0.19, 95% CI = [0.05, 0.33]). When restricting our analysis to outcomes for high-level social cognition, there was a significant effect of IN-OT (SMD = 0.20, 95 % CI = [0.05, 0.33]) but the effect was not robust to sensitivity analyses. The present analysis indicates that IN-OT may have selective effects on high-level social cognition, which provides a more focused target for future studies of IN-OT. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Cardiac resynchronization therapy improves psycho-cognitive performance in patients with heart failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncker, David; Friedel, Katrin; König, Thorben; Schreyer, Hendrik; Lüsebrink, Ulrich; Duncker, Mareke; Oswald, Hanno; Klein, Gunnar; Gardiwal, Ajmal

    2015-09-01

    Reduced cognitive performance and high prevalence of depression have been reported in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) and severe left ventricular dysfunction. However, effects of contemporary device therapy on cognitive performance and depression symptoms have not been studied thoroughly. Seventy-four consecutive CHF patients-45 receiving a biventricular defibrillator (CRT-D) and 29 receiving an implantable single or dual-chamber defibrillator (ICD) as a control group-were enrolled in this investigator-initiated, prospective, controlled, and investigator-blinded study. A set of neuropsychological tests (mini-mental state examination, DemTect, age-concentration test, and Beck depression inventory) was performed before, at 3 and at 6 months after device implantation. DemTect-score improved significantly (F = 7.8; P = 0.007) after CRT-D-implantation compared with ICD. Age-concentration test revealed better concentration ability after CRT-D-implantation (F = 8.3; P = 0.005) compared with ICD. Under CRT-D mini-mental state examination showed a significant improvement (F = 4.2; P = 0.043). CRT with defibrillator therapy also improved depression revealed by beck depression inventory (F = 14.7; Pcognitive improvement by resynchronization therapy in CHF patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction. In contrast to ICD therapy, the beneficial effect of CRT-D on psycho-cognitive performance might be attributed to improved cardiac function and haemodynamics. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2015. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Executive function needs to be targeted to improve social functioning with Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penadés, Rafael; Catalán, Rosa; Puig, Olga; Masana, Guillem; Pujol, Núria; Navarro, Víctor; Guarch, Joana; Gastó, Cristóbal

    2010-05-15

    While the role of impaired cognition in accounting for functional outcome in schizophrenia is generally established, the relationship between cognitive and functional change in the context of treatments is far from clear. The current paper tries to identify which cognitive changes lead to improvements in daily functioning among persons with chronic schizophrenia who had current negative symptoms and evidenced neuropsychological impairments. In a previous work, Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) was compared with a control therapy, involving similar length of therapist contact but different targets. At the end of treatment, CRT conferred a benefit to people with schizophrenia in cognition and functioning [Schizophrenia Research, 87 (2006) 323-331]. Subsequently, analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) were conducted with baseline and cognitive change scores as covariates to test whether cognitive change predicted change in functioning. Additionally, statistical tests to establish the mediation path with significant variables were performed. Although verbal memory, but not executive functioning, was associated with functioning at baseline, it was the improvement in executive functioning that predicted improved daily functioning. Verbal memory played a mediator role in the change process. Consequently, in order to improve daily functioning with CRT, executive function still needs to be targeted in despite of multiple cognitive impairments being present. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Improvement in cognitive and psychosocial functioning and self image among adolescent inpatient suicide attempters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hintikka, Ulla; Marttunen, Mauri; Pelkonen, Mirjami; Laukkanen, Eila; Viinamäki, Heimo; Lehtonen, Johannes

    2006-12-29

    Psychiatric treatment of suicidal youths is often difficult and non-compliance in treatment is a significant problem. This prospective study compared characteristics and changes in cognitive functioning, self image and psychosocial functioning among 13 to 18 year-old adolescent psychiatric inpatients with suicide attempts (n = 16) and with no suicidality (n = 39) The two-group pre-post test prospective study design included assessments by a psychiatrist, a psychologist and medical staff members as well as self-rated measures. DSM-III-R diagnoses were assigned using the SCID and thereafter transformed to DSM-IV diagnoses. Staff members assessed psychosocial functioning using the Global Assessment Scale (GAS). Cognitive performance was assessed using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, while the Offer Self-Image Questionnaire (OSIQ) was used to assess the subjects' self-image. ANCOVA with repeated measures was used to test changes from entry to discharge among the suicide attempters and non suicidal patients. Logistic regression modeling was used to assess variables associated with an improvement of 10 points or more in the GAS score. Among suicide attempter patients, psychosocial functioning, cognitive performance and both the psychological self and body-image improved during treatment and their treatment compliance and outcome were as good as that of the non-suicidal patients. Suicidal ideation and hopelessness declined, and psychosocial functioning improved. Changes in verbal cognitive performance were more pronounced among the suicide attempters. Having an improved body-image associated with a higher probability of improvement in psychosocial functioning while higher GAS score at entry was associated with lower probability of functional improvement in both patient groups. These findings illustrate that a multimodal treatment program seems to improve psychosocial functioning and self-image among severely disordered suicidal adolescent inpatients. There were no

  19. Improvement in cognitive and psychosocial functioning and self image among adolescent inpatient suicide attempters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laukkanen Eila

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Psychiatric treatment of suicidal youths is often difficult and non-compliance in treatment is a significant problem. This prospective study compared characteristics and changes in cognitive functioning, self image and psychosocial functioning among 13 to 18 year-old adolescent psychiatric inpatients with suicide attempts (n = 16 and with no suicidality (n = 39 Methods The two-group pre-post test prospective study design included assessments by a psychiatrist, a psychologist and medical staff members as well as self-rated measures. DSM-III-R diagnoses were assigned using the SCID and thereafter transformed to DSM-IV diagnoses. Staff members assessed psychosocial functioning using the Global Assessment Scale (GAS. Cognitive performance was assessed using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, while the Offer Self-Image Questionnaire (OSIQ was used to assess the subjects' self-image. ANCOVA with repeated measures was used to test changes from entry to discharge among the suicide attempters and non suicidal patients. Logistic regression modeling was used to assess variables associated with an improvement of 10 points or more in the GAS score. Results Among suicide attempter patients, psychosocial functioning, cognitive performance and both the psychological self and body-image improved during treatment and their treatment compliance and outcome were as good as that of the non-suicidal patients. Suicidal ideation and hopelessness declined, and psychosocial functioning improved. Changes in verbal cognitive performance were more pronounced among the suicide attempters. Having an improved body-image associated with a higher probability of improvement in psychosocial functioning while higher GAS score at entry was associated with lower probability of functional improvement in both patient groups. Conclusion These findings illustrate that a multimodal treatment program seems to improve psychosocial functioning and self-image among

  20. Designing Cognitive Intervention to Improve the Awareness Index of the Residents in the Landslide Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susanto, N.; Putranto, T. T.; Ulfa, E. A.

    2017-02-01

    Considering Semarang as a city with a high potential of landslides occurrences in its almost area, human as the part of the system should be played as a centre of the disaster management system to reduce the natural disaster risk. The study area is located in Manyaran district (the west of Semarang) which is categorised as a vulnerable of landslide area. This study aims at establishing a cognitive intervention based on a cause analysis (Fault Tree Analysis/FTA) to find the cause of low value and improve the awareness index of residents as the implementation of human-based disaster management model. The FTA result was then combined with the demographical data to generate the design of the cognitive intervention. The FTA result conducted that the preparedness of emergency planning had the lowest value (18.2%) which was caused by the lack individual preparation including lack of residents knowledge, and the absence of observation facilities as well as the lack of evacuation planning. Analysis of demographical data resulted in a situation of lack socialisation and knowledge of the residents regarding the landslide occurrence. The model of cognitive intervention then utilised some tools such as video, module and discussion to improve the awareness index.

  1. Web-Based Cognitive Remediation Improves Supported Employment Outcomes in Severe Mental Illness: Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Anthony Wf; Kosic, Tanya; Xu, Jean; Walker, Chris; Gye, William; Redoblado Hodge, Antoinette

    2017-09-20

    Finding work is a top priority for most people; however, this goal remains out of reach for the majority of individuals with a severe mental illness (SMI) who remain on benefits or are unemployed. Supported employment (SE) programs aimed at returning people with a severe mental illness to work are successful; however, they still leave a significant number of people with severe mental illness unemployed. Cognitive deficits are commonly found in SMI and are a powerful predictor of poor outcome. Fortunately, these deficits are amenable to treatment with cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) that significantly improves cognition in SMI. CRT combined with SE significantly increases the likelihood of individuals with severe mental illness obtaining and staying in work. However, the availability of CRT is limited in many settings. The aim of this study was to examine whether Web-based CRT combined with a SE program can improve the rate return to work of people with severe mental illness. A total of 86 people with severe mental illness (mean age 39.6 years; male: n=55) who were unemployed and who had joined a SE program were randomized to either a Web-based CRT program (CogRem) or an Internet-based control condition (WebInfo). Primary outcome measured was hours worked over 6 months post treatment. At 6 months, those participants randomized to CogRem had worked significantly more hours (P=.01) and had earned significantly more money (P=.03) than those participants randomized to the WebInfo control condition. No change was observed in cognition. This study corroborates other work that has found a synergistic effect of combining CRT with a SE program and extends this to the use of Web-based CRT. The lack of any improvement in cognition obscures the mechanism by which an improved wage outcome for participants randomized to the active treatment was achieved. However, the study substantially lowers the barrier to the deployment of CRT with other psychosocial interventions for

  2. Using the Cognitive Apprenticeship Web-based Argumentation System to Improve Argumentation Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Chun-Yen; Jack, Brady Michael; Huang, Tai-Chu; Yang, Jin-Tan

    2012-08-01

    This study investigated how the instruction of argumentation skills could be promoted by using an online argumentation system. This system entitled `Cognitive Apprenticeship Web-based Argumentation' (CAWA) system was based on cognitive apprenticeship model. One hundred eighty-nine fifth grade students took part in this study. A quasi-experimental design was adopted and qualitative and quantitative analyses were used to evaluate the effectiveness of this online system in measuring students' progress in learning argumentation. The results of this study showed that different teaching strategies had effects on students' use of argumentation in the topics of daily life and the concept of `vision.' When the CAWA system was employed during the instruction and practice of argumentation on these two topics, the students' argumentation performance improved. Suggestions on how the CAWA system could be used to enhance the instruction of argumentation skills in science education were also discussed.

  3. Cognitive improvement by activation of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: from animal models to human pathophysiology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Morten S; Hansen, Henrik H; Timmerman, Daniel B

    2010-01-01

    concern in the development of alpha(7) nAChR agonists as putative drugs. Our review of the existing literature shows that development of tolerance to the behavioral effects of alpha(7) nAChR agonists does not occur in animal models or humans. However, the long-term memory-enhancing effects seen in animal......AChR agonists improves learning, memory, and attentional function in variety of animal models, and pro-cognitive effects of alpha(7) nAChR agonists have recently been demonstrated in patients with schizophrenia or Alzheimer's disease. The alpha(7) nAChR desensitizes rapidly in vitro, and this has been a major...... preclinical evaluation of alpha(7) nAChR activation. It is therefore important to consider the translational power of the animal models used before entering into a clinical evaluation of the pro-cognitive effects of alpha(7) nAChR activation....

  4. Cognitively impaired elderly exhibit insulin resistance and no memory improvement with infused insulin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Jill K; Vidoni, Eric D; Mahnken, Jonathan D; Montgomery, Robert N; Johnson, David K; Thyfault, John P; Burns, Jeffrey M

    2016-03-01

    Insulin resistance is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), although its role in AD etiology is unclear. We assessed insulin resistance using fasting and insulin-stimulated measures in 51 elderly subjects with no dementia (ND; n = 37) and with cognitive impairment (CI; n = 14). CI subjects exhibited either mild CI or AD. Fasting insulin resistance was measured using the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Insulin-stimulated glucose disposal was assessed using the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp to calculate glucose disposal rate into lean mass, the primary site of insulin-stimulated glucose disposal. Because insulin crosses the blood-brain barrier, we also assessed whether insulin infusion would improve verbal episodic memory compared to baseline. Different but equivalent versions of cognitive tests were administered in counterbalanced order in the basal and insulin-stimulated state. Groups did not differ in age or body mass index. Cognitively impaired subjects exhibited greater insulin resistance as measured at fasting (HOMA-IR; ND: 1.09 [1.1] vs. CI: 2.01 [2.3], p = 0.028) and during the hyperinsulinemic clamp (glucose disposal rate into lean mass; ND: 9.9 (4.5) vs. AD 7.2 (3.2), p = 0.040). Cognitively impaired subjects also exhibited higher fasting insulin compared to ND subjects, (CI: 8.7 [7.8] vs. ND: 4.2 [3.8] μU/mL; p = 0.023) and higher fasting amylin (CI: 24.1 [39.1] vs. 8.37 [14.2]; p = 0.050) with no difference in fasting glucose. Insulin infusion elicited a detrimental effect on one test of verbal episodic memory (Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test) in both groups (p insulin resistance was observed in cognitively impaired subjects compared to ND controls, insulin infusion did not improve memory. Furthermore, a significant correlation between HOMA-IR and glucose disposal rate was present only in ND (p = 0.0002) but not in cognitively impaired (p = 0.884) subjects, indicating potentially important

  5. Understanding and quantifying cognitive complexity level in mathematical problem solving items

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SUSAN E. EMBRETSON

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The linear logistic test model (LLTM; Fischer, 1973 has been applied to a wide variety of new tests. When the LLTM application involves item complexity variables that are both theoretically interesting and empirically supported, several advantages can result. These advantages include elaborating construct validity at the item level, defining variables for test design, predicting parameters of new items, item banking by sources of complexity and providing a basis for item design and item generation. However, despite the many advantages of applying LLTM to test items, it has been applied less often to understand the sources of complexity for large-scale operational test items. Instead, previously calibrated item parameters are modeled using regression techniques because raw item response data often cannot be made available. In the current study, both LLTM and regression modeling are applied to mathematical problem solving items from a widely used test. The findings from the two methods are compared and contrasted for their implications for continued development of ability and achievement tests based on mathematical problem solving items.

  6. Social Cognitive Training Improves Emotional Processing and Reduces Aggressive Attitudes in Ex-combatants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Sandra; Trujillo, Natalia; Lopez, Jose D.; Gomez, Diana; Valencia, Stella; Rendon, Jorge; Pineda, David A.; Parra, Mario A.

    2017-01-01

    Emotional processing (EP) is a complex cognitive function necessary to successfully adjust to social environments where we need to interpret and respond to cues that convey threat or reward signals. Ex-combatants have consistently shown atypical EP as well as poor social interactions. Available reintegration programs aim to facilitate the re-adaptation of ex-combatants to their communities. However, they do not incorporate actions to improve EP and to enhance cognitive-emotional regulation. The present study was aimed at evaluating the usefulness of an intervention focused on Social Cognitive Training (SCT), which was designed to equip ex-combatants enrolled in the Social Reintegration Route with EP and social cognition skills. A group of 31 ex-combatants (mean age of 37.2, 29 men) from Colombian illegal armed groups were recruited into this study. Of these, 16 were invited to take part in a SCT and the other continued with the conventional reintegration intervention. Both groups underwent 12 training sessions in a period 12–14 weeks. They were assessed with a comprehensive protocol which included Psychosocial, Behavioral, and Emotion Processing instruments. The scores on these instruments prior to and after the intervention were compared within and between groups. Both groups were matched at baseline. Ex-combatants receiving the SCT experienced significant improvements in EP and a reduction in aggressive attitudes, effects not observed in those continuing the conventional reintegration intervention. This is the first study that achieves such outcomes in such a population using SCT intervention. We discuss the implications of such results toward better social reintegration strategies. PMID:28428767

  7. Social Cognitive Training Improves Emotional Processing and Reduces Aggressive Attitudes in Ex-combatants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Sandra; Trujillo, Natalia; Lopez, Jose D; Gomez, Diana; Valencia, Stella; Rendon, Jorge; Pineda, David A; Parra, Mario A

    2017-01-01

    Emotional processing (EP) is a complex cognitive function necessary to successfully adjust to social environments where we need to interpret and respond to cues that convey threat or reward signals. Ex-combatants have consistently shown atypical EP as well as poor social interactions. Available reintegration programs aim to facilitate the re-adaptation of ex-combatants to their communities. However, they do not incorporate actions to improve EP and to enhance cognitive-emotional regulation. The present study was aimed at evaluating the usefulness of an intervention focused on Social Cognitive Training (SCT), which was designed to equip ex-combatants enrolled in the Social Reintegration Route with EP and social cognition skills. A group of 31 ex-combatants (mean age of 37.2, 29 men) from Colombian illegal armed groups were recruited into this study. Of these, 16 were invited to take part in a SCT and the other continued with the conventional reintegration intervention. Both groups underwent 12 training sessions in a period 12-14 weeks. They were assessed with a comprehensive protocol which included Psychosocial, Behavioral, and Emotion Processing instruments. The scores on these instruments prior to and after the intervention were compared within and between groups. Both groups were matched at baseline. Ex-combatants receiving the SCT experienced significant improvements in EP and a reduction in aggressive attitudes, effects not observed in those continuing the conventional reintegration intervention. This is the first study that achieves such outcomes in such a population using SCT intervention. We discuss the implications of such results toward better social reintegration strategies.

  8. Acute exercise performed close to the anaerobic threshold improves cognitive performance in elderly females

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Córdova

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the present study was to compare the effect of acute exercise performed at different intensities in relation to the anaerobic threshold (AT on abilities requiring control of executive functions or alertness in physically active elderly females. Forty-eight physically active elderly females (63.8 ± 4.6 years old were assigned to one of four groups by drawing lots: control group without exercise or trial groups with exercise performed at 60, 90, or 110% of AT (watts and submitted to 5 cognitive tests before and after exercise. Following cognitive pretesting, an incremental cycle ergometer test was conducted to determine AT using a fixed blood lactate concentration of 3.5 mmol/L as cutoff. Acute exercise executed at 90% of AT resulted in significant (P < 0.05, ANOVA improvement in the performance of executive functions when compared to control in 3 of 5 tests (verbal fluency, Tower of Hanoi test (number of movements, and Trail Making test B. Exercising at 60% of AT did not improve results of any tests for executive functions, whereas exercise executed at 110% of AT only improved the performance in one of these tests (verbal fluency compared to control. Women from all trial groups exhibited a remarkable reduction in the Simple Response Time (alertness test (P = 0.001. Thus, physical exercise performed close to AT is more effective to improve cognitive processing of older women even if conducted acutely, and using a customized exercise prescription based on the anaerobic threshold should optimize the beneficial effects.

  9. Improving Cognitive Function in Veterans with Gulf War Illness by Improving Cerebral Vascular Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-01

    PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Jorge M. Serrador, PhD RECIPIENT: Veterans Biomedical Research Institute East Orange, NJ 07018 REPORT DATE: October...NUMBER Kelly Brewer, MS 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) Veterans Biomedical Research...an impact, or are likely to make an impact, beyond the bounds of science, engineering , and the academic world on areas such as:  improving public

  10. Understanding How Cognitive Psychology Can Inform and Improve Spanish Vocabulary Acquisition in High School Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erbes, Stella; Folkerts, Michael; Gergis, Christina; Pederson, Sarah; Stivers, Holly

    2010-01-01

    Educators deal with the many dynamic functions and applications of the human brain on a daily basis. The theoretical research of the biology and functionality of the human brain is on the rise, and educational publishers continue to support books and scholarly articles that promote the notion that "brain research" can and should be applied to…

  11. Tablets in trauma: using mobile computing platforms to improve patient understanding and experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furness, Nicholas D; Bradford, Oliver J; Paterson, Maurice P

    2013-03-01

    Tablets are becoming commonplace in the health care setting. Patients often request to view their radiographs after sustaining trauma. This can be challenging, especially if patients are immobile. The authors performed a prospective, questionnaire-based study to assess inpatient desire to view radiographs on tablets and whether viewing images affected patient-rated outcomes of understanding and satisfaction. Enabling trauma patients to view their images on a tablet is a worthwhile practice because it improves patient involvement in decision making, satisfaction, perceived understanding, and overall experience. Copyright 2013, SLACK Incorporated.

  12. Graphical representations of data improve student understanding of measurement and uncertainty: An eye-tracking study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susac, Ana; Bubic, Andreja; Martinjak, Petra; Planinic, Maja; Palmovic, Marijan

    2017-12-01

    Developing a better understanding of the measurement process and measurement uncertainty is one of the main goals of university physics laboratory courses. This study investigated the influence of graphical representation of data on student understanding and interpreting of measurement results. A sample of 101 undergraduate students (48 first year students and 53 third and fifth year students) from the Department of Physics, University of Zagreb were tested with a paper-and-pencil test consisting of eight multiple-choice test items about measurement uncertainties. One version of the test items included graphical representations of the measurement data. About half of the students solved that version of the test while the remaining students solved the same test without graphical representations. The results have shown that the students who had the graphical representation of data scored higher than their colleagues without graphical representation. In the second part of the study, measurements of eye movements were carried out on a sample of thirty undergraduate students from the Department of Physics, University of Zagreb while students were solving the same test on a computer screen. The results revealed that students who had the graphical representation of data spent considerably less time viewing the numerical data than the other group of students. These results indicate that graphical representation may be beneficial for data processing and data comparison. Graphical representation helps with visualization of data and therefore reduces the cognitive load on students while performing measurement data analysis, so students should be encouraged to use it.

  13. Physical exercise improves strength, balance, mobility, and endurance in people with cognitive impairment and dementia: a systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freddy MH Lam

    2018-01-01

    Conclusion: People with various levels of cognitive impairment can benefit from supervised multi-modal exercise for about 60 minutes a day, 2 to 3 days a week to improve physical function. [Lam FMH , Huang MZ, Liao LR, Chung RCK, Kwok TCY, Pang MYC (2018 Physical exercise improves strength, balance, mobility, and endurance in people with cognitive impairment and dementia: a systematic review. Journal of Physiotherapy 64: 4–15

  14. Low-Level Laser Light Therapy Improves Cognitive Deficits and Inhibits Microglial Activation after Controlled Cortical Impact in Mice

    OpenAIRE

    Khuman, Jugta; Zhang, Jimmy; Park, Juyeon; Carroll, James D.; Donahue, Chad; Whalen, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    Low-level laser light therapy (LLLT) exerts beneficial effects on motor and histopathological outcomes after experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI), and coherent near-infrared light has been reported to improve cognitive function in patients with chronic TBI. However, the effects of LLLT on cognitive recovery in experimental TBI are unknown. We hypothesized that LLLT administered after controlled cortical impact (CCI) would improve post-injury Morris water maze (MWM) performance. Low-level...

  15. The Parallel Algorithm Based on Genetic Algorithm for Improving the Performance of Cognitive Radio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Miao

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The intercarrier interference (ICI problem of cognitive radio (CR is severe. In this paper, the machine learning algorithm is used to obtain the optimal interference subcarriers of an unlicensed user (un-LU. Masking the optimal interference subcarriers can suppress the ICI of CR. Moreover, the parallel ICI suppression algorithm is designed to improve the calculation speed and meet the practical requirement of CR. Simulation results show that the data transmission rate threshold of un-LU can be set, the data transmission quality of un-LU can be ensured, the ICI of a licensed user (LU is suppressed, and the bit error rate (BER performance of LU is improved by implementing the parallel suppression algorithm. The ICI problem of CR is solved well by the new machine learning algorithm. The computing performance of the algorithm is improved by designing a new parallel structure and the communication performance of CR is enhanced.

  16. Erythropoietin improves mood and modulates the cognitive and neural processing of emotion 3 days post administration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miskowiak, Kamilla; Inkster, Becky; Selvaraj, Sudhakar

    2008-01-01

    action 1 week post-administration, and improves self-reported mood for 3 days immediately following administration. The present study explored the effects of Epo (40 000 IU) vs saline on self-reported mood and on neural and cognitive function in healthy volunteers 3 days post-administration to test...... the reliability of the rapid mood improvement and its neuropsychological basis. Neuronal responses during the processing of happy and fearful faces were investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); facial expression recognition performance was assessed after the fMRI scan. Daily ratings...... of mood were obtained for 3 days after Epo/saline administration. During faces processing Epo enhanced activation in the left amygdala and right precuneus to happy and fearful expressions. This was paired with improved recognition of all facial expressions, in particular of low intensity happiness...

  17. The Effectiveness of Gestalt Therapy and Cognitive Therapy on Improvement of Life Quality of War Veterans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Sadeghi

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Background & Aim: The imposed war burdened a lot of problems on the society of Iran during the past few years. In this course, veterans didn’t immune from its harmful effects. The aim of the present study was to determine the effectiveness of integrated group gestalt therapy and cognitive therapy on improvement of quality of life of veterans of city of Jahrom, Iran. Methods: The present clinical trial study was conducted on thirty veterans of Jahrom in 2010. The subjects included all the war veterans of Jahrom, 820 with 25-69 percent physical damage. Random sampling was executed and the world Health Organization life quality questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF was given to 150 of them. Fifteen people in each group were replaced by another fifteen people. The test group received eight sessions of group consultation in Gestalt therapy and cognition therapy ways, but the control group received no therapy. The gathered data was analyzed using ANOVA test. Results: The result of this study showed that-there is a significant difference between the life quality dimensions (physical health, mental health, life environment and social relations between the test and control group (p=0.001. Conclusion: The results of this study showed that the integrated of group counseling by gestalt therapy and cognitive therapy had an influence on increasing the veteran’s life qualifications in aspects of physical health, mental health, life environment and social relations.

  18. Cognitive Improvement after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Measured with Functional Neuroimaging during the Acute Period.

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    Glenn R Wylie

    Full Text Available Functional neuroimaging studies in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI have been largely limited to patients with persistent post-concussive symptoms, utilizing images obtained months to years after the actual head trauma. We sought to distinguish acute and delayed effects of mild traumatic brain injury on working memory functional brain activation patterns < 72 hours after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI and again one-week later. We hypothesized that clinical and fMRI measures of working memory would be abnormal in symptomatic mTBI patients assessed < 72 hours after injury, with most patients showing clinical recovery (i.e., improvement in these measures within 1 week after the initial assessment. We also hypothesized that increased memory workload at 1 week following injury would expose different cortical activation patterns in mTBI patients with persistent post-concussive symptoms, compared to those with full clinical recovery. We performed a prospective, cohort study of working memory in emergency department patients with isolated head injury and clinical diagnosis of concussion, compared to control subjects (both uninjured volunteers and emergency department patients with extremity injuries and no head trauma. The primary outcome of cognitive recovery was defined as resolution of reported cognitive impairment and quantified by scoring the subject's reported cognitive post-concussive symptoms at 1 week. Secondary outcomes included additional post-concussive symptoms and neurocognitive testing results. We enrolled 46 subjects: 27 with mild TBI and 19 controls. The time of initial neuroimaging was 48 (+22 S.D. hours after injury (time 1. At follow up (8.7, + 1.2 S.D., days after injury, time 2, 18 of mTBI subjects (64% reported moderate to complete cognitive recovery, 8 of whom fully recovered between initial and follow-up imaging. fMRI changes from time 1 to time 2 showed an increase in posterior cingulate activation in the mTBI subjects

  19. Improving student understanding of addition of angular momentum in quantum mechanics

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    Guangtian Zhu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe the difficulties advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with concepts related to addition of angular momentum in quantum mechanics. We also describe the development and implementation of a research-based learning tool, Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT, to reduce these difficulties. The preliminary evaluation shows that the QuILT related to the basics of the addition of angular momentum is helpful in improving students’ understanding of these concepts.

  20. Improvements In AF Ablation Outcome Will Be Based More On Technological Advancement Versus Mechanistic Understanding.

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    Jiang Md, Chen-Yang; Jiang Ms, Ru-Hong

    2014-01-01

    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the most common cardiac arrhythmias. Catheter ablation has proven more effective than antiarrhythmic drugs in preventing clinical recurrence of AF, however long-term outcome remains unsatisfactory. Ablation strategies have evolved based on progress in mechanistic understanding, and technologies have advanced continuously. This article reviews current mechanistic concepts and technological advancements in AF treatment, and summarizes their impact on improvement of AF ablation outcome.

  1. Teaching genetics prior to teaching evolution improves evolution understanding but not acceptance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mead, Rebecca; Hejmadi, Momna; Hurst, Laurence D

    2017-05-01

    What is the best way to teach evolution? As microevolution may be configured as a branch of genetics, it being a short conceptual leap from understanding the concepts of mutation and alleles (i.e., genetics) to allele frequency change (i.e., evolution), we hypothesised that learning genetics prior to evolution might improve student understanding of evolution. In the UK, genetics and evolution are typically taught to 14- to 16-y-old secondary school students as separate topics with few links, in no particular order and sometimes with a large time span between. Here, then, we report the results of a large trial into teaching order of evolution and genetics. We modified extant questionnaires to ascertain students' understanding of evolution and genetics along with acceptance of evolution. Students were assessed prior to teaching, immediately post teaching and again after several months. Teachers were not instructed what to teach, just to teach in a given order. Regardless of order, teaching increased understanding and acceptance, with robust signs of longer-term retention. Importantly, teaching genetics before teaching evolution has a significant (p genetics was taught first. Teaching genetics first additionally had positive effects on genetics understanding, by increasing knowledge. These results suggest a simple, minimally disruptive, zero-cost intervention to improve evolution understanding: teach genetics first. This same alteration does not, however, result in a significantly increased acceptance of evolution, which reflects a weak correlation between knowledge and acceptance of evolution. Qualitative focus group data highlights the role of authority figures in determination of acceptance.

  2. Analysis of drought characteristics for improved understanding of a water resource system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. T. Lennard

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Droughts are a reoccurring feature of the UK climate; recent drought events (2004–2006 and 2010–2012 have highlighted the UK’s continued vulnerability to this hazard. There is a need for further understanding of extreme events, particularly from a water resource perspective. A number of drought indices are available, which can help to improve our understanding of drought characteristics such as frequency, severity and duration. However, at present little of this is applied to water resource management in the water supply sector. Improved understanding of drought characteristics using indices can inform water resource management plans and enhance future drought resilience. This study applies the standardised precipitation index (SPI to a series of rainfall records (1962–2012 across the water supply region of a single utility provider. Key droughts within this period are analysed to develop an understanding of the meteorological characteristics that lead to, exist during and terminate drought events. The results of this analysis highlight how drought severity and duration can vary across a small-scale water supply region, indicating that the spatial coherence of drought events cannot be assumed.

  3. Using Patient Case Video Vignettes to Improve Students’ Understanding of Cross-cultural Communication

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    Cryder, Brian; Mazan, Jennifer; Quiñones-Boex, Ana; Cyganska, Angelika

    2017-01-01

    Objective. To develop, implement, and assess whether simulated patient case videos improve students’ understanding of and attitudes toward cross-cultural communication in health care. Design. Third-year pharmacy students (N=159) in a health care communications course participated in a one-hour lecture and two-hour workshop on the topic of cross-cultural communication. Three simulated pharmacist-patient case vignettes highlighting cross-cultural communication barriers, the role of active listening, appropriate use of medical interpreters, and useful models to overcome communication barriers were viewed and discussed in groups of 20 students during the workshop. Assessment. A pre-lecture and post-workshop assessed the effect on students’ understanding of and attitudes toward cross-cultural communication. Understanding of cross-cultural communication concepts increased significantly, as did comfort level with providing cross-cultural care. Conclusion. Use of simulated patient case videos in conjunction with an interactive workshop improved pharmacy students' understanding of and comfort level with cross-cultural communication skills and can be useful tools for cultural competency training in the curriculum. PMID:28496276

  4. Using Patient Case Video Vignettes to Improve Students' Understanding of Cross-cultural Communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arif, Sally; Cryder, Brian; Mazan, Jennifer; Quiñones-Boex, Ana; Cyganska, Angelika

    2017-04-01

    Objective. To develop, implement, and assess whether simulated patient case videos improve students' understanding of and attitudes toward cross-cultural communication in health care. Design. Third-year pharmacy students (N=159) in a health care communications course participated in a one-hour lecture and two-hour workshop on the topic of cross-cultural communication. Three simulated pharmacist-patient case vignettes highlighting cross-cultural communication barriers, the role of active listening, appropriate use of medical interpreters, and useful models to overcome communication barriers were viewed and discussed in groups of 20 students during the workshop. Assessment. A pre-lecture and post-workshop assessed the effect on students' understanding of and attitudes toward cross-cultural communication. Understanding of cross-cultural communication concepts increased significantly, as did comfort level with providing cross-cultural care. Conclusion. Use of simulated patient case videos in conjunction with an interactive workshop improved pharmacy students' understanding of and comfort level with cross-cultural communication skills and can be useful tools for cultural competency training in the curriculum.

  5. The Crucible simulation: Behavioral simulation improves clinical leadership skills and understanding of complex health policy change.

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    Cohen, Daniel; Vlaev, Ivo; McMahon, Laurie; Harvey, Sarah; Mitchell, Andy; Borovoi, Leah; Darzi, Ara

    2017-05-11

    The Health and Social Care Act 2012 represents the most complex National Health Service reforms in history. High-quality clinical leadership is important for successful implementation of health service reform. However, little is known about the effectiveness of current leadership training. This study describes the use of a behavioral simulation to improve the knowledge and leadership of a cohort of medical doctors expected to take leadership roles in the National Health Service. A day-long behavioral simulation (The Crucible) was developed and run based on a fictitious but realistic health economy. Participants completed pre- and postsimulation questionnaires generating qualitative and quantitative data. Leadership skills, knowledge, and behavior change processes described by the "theory of planned behavior" were self-assessed pre- and postsimulation. Sixty-nine medical doctors attended. Participants deemed the simulation immersive and relevant. Significant improvements were shown in perceived knowledge, capability, attitudes, subjective norms, intentions, and leadership competency following the program. Nearly one third of participants reported that they had implemented knowledge and skills from the simulation into practice within 4 weeks. This study systematically demonstrates the effectiveness of behavioral simulation for clinical management training and understanding of health policy reform. Potential future uses and strategies for analysis are discussed. High-quality care requires understanding of health systems and strong leadership. Policymakers should consider the use of behavioral simulation to improve understanding of health service reform and development of leadership skills in clinicians, who readily adopt skills from simulation into everyday practice.

  6. Improvement in self-reported quality of life with cognitive therapy for recurrent major depressive disorder.

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    Jha, Manish Kumar; Minhajuddin, Abu; Thase, Michael E; Jarrett, Robin B

    2014-01-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is common, often recurrent and/or chronic. Theoretically, assessing quality of life (QoL) in addition to the current practice of assessing depressive symptoms has the potential to offer a more comprehensive evaluation of the effects of treatment interventions and course of illness. Before and after acute-phase cognitive therapy (CT), 492 patients from Continuation Phase Cognitive Therapy Relapse Prevention trial (Jarrett et al., 2013; Jarrett and Thase, 2010) completed the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (Q-LES-Q), Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology Self-report (IDS-SR) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI); clinicians completed Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression-17-items. Repeated measures analysis of variance evaluated the improvement in QoL before/after CT and measured the effect sizes. Change analyses to assess clinical significance (Hageman and Arrindell, 1999) were conducted. At the end of acute-phase CT, a repeated measure analysis of variance produced a statistically significant increase in Q-LES-Q scores with effect sizes of 0.48-1.3%; 76.9-91.4% patients reported clinically significant improvement. Yet, only 11-38.2% QoL scores normalized. An analysis of covariance showed that change in depression severity (covariates=IDS-SR, BDI) completely accounted for the improvement in Q-LES-Q scores. There were only two time points of observation; clinically significant change analyses lacked matched normal controls; and generalizability is constrained by sampling characteristics. Quality of life improves significantly in patients with recurrent MDD after CT; however, this improvement is completely accounted for by change in depression severity. Normalization of QoL in all patients may require targeted, additional, and/or longer treatment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Nicotine Significantly Improves Chronic Stress-Induced Impairments of Cognition and Synaptic Plasticity in Mice.

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    Shang, Xueliang; Shang, Yingchun; Fu, Jingxuan; Zhang, Tao

    2017-08-01

    The aim of this study was to examine if nicotine was able to improve cognition deficits in a mouse model of chronic mild stress. Twenty-four male C57BL/6 mice were divided into three groups: control, stress, and stress with nicotine treatment. The animal model was established by combining chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) and isolated feeding. Mice were exposed to CUMS continued for 28 days, while nicotine (0.2 mg/kg) was also administrated for 28 days. Weight and sucrose consumption were measured during model establishing period. The anxiety and behavioral despair were analyzed using the forced swim test (FST) and open-field test (OFT). Spatial cognition was evaluated using Morris water maze (MWM) test. Following behavioral assessment, both long-term potentiation (LTP) and depotentiation (DEP) were recorded in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) region. Both synaptic and Notch1 proteins were measured by Western. Nicotine increased stressed mouse's sucrose consumption. The MWM test showed that spatial learning and reversal learning in stressed animals were remarkably affected relative to controls, whereas nicotine partially rescued cognitive functions. Additionally, nicotine considerably alleviated the level of anxiety and the degree of behavioral despair in stressed mice. It effectively mitigated the depression-induced impairment of hippocampal synaptic plasticity, in which both the LTP and DEP were significantly inhibited in stressed mice. Moreover, nicotine enhanced the expression of synaptic and Notch1 proteins in stressed animals. The results suggest that nicotine ameliorates the depression-like symptoms and improves the hippocampal synaptic plasticity closely associated with activating transmembrane ion channel receptors and Notch signaling components. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.

  8. Therapeutic horse riding improves cognition, mood arousal, and ambulation in children with dyspraxia.

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    Hession, Caren E; Eastwood, Brian; Watterson, David; Lehane, Christine M; Oxley, Nigel; Murphy, Barbara A

    2014-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of the physical motion of a horse (riding therapy) combined with the audiovisual perception of this motion on a group of children with dyspraxia in terms of cognition, mood arousal, and gait variability. The study design was a pretest/post-test. The study was conducted at the Fettercairn Youth Horse Project, Fettercairn, Tallaght, Dublin. Forty (40) children ranging from 6 to 15 years of age with a primary diagnosis of dyspraxia were the study subjects. Children meeting inclusion criteria participated in six 30-minute horse-riding sessions and two 30-minute audiovisual screening sessions. A Standard Progressive Matrices test (also known as the Ravens test) was used to measure aspects of general intelligence. A Childhood Depression Inventory (CDI) questionnaire was used to assess cognitive, affective, and behavioral signs of depression. A GAITRite Pressure Mapping System analyzed foot function and gait variability by measuring single and double support, cycle time, cadence, toe in/out, and stride length. Significant improvements were evident on the Ravens test and the CDI by the end of the study period. The amount of both single and double support required while completing the walking task also was significantly reduced. Improvements were visible on toe in/out values, cycle time, and cadence. Changes in stride length did not reach statistical significance. These findings support the theory that riding therapy and/or the perception of beat-based rhythms, as experienced by the rider on the horse, stimulates cognition, mood, and gait parameters. In addition, the data also pointed to the potential value of an audiovisual approach to equine therapy.

  9. Understanding nitrate uptake, signaling and remobilisation for improving plant nitrogen use efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, Surya

    2018-02-01

    The majority of terrestrial plants use nitrate as their main source of nitrogen. Nitrate also acts as an important signalling molecule in vital physiological processes required for optimum plant growth and development. Improving nitrate uptake and transport, through activation by nitrate sensing, signalling and regulatory processes, would enhance plant growth, resulting in improved crop yields. The increased remobilisation of nitrate, and assimilated nitrogenous compounds, from source to sink tissues further ensures higher yields and quality. An updated knowledge of various transporters, genes, activators, and microRNAs, involved in nitrate uptake, transport, remobilisation, and nitrate-mediated root growth, is presented. An enhanced understanding of these components will allow for their orchestrated fine tuning in efforts to improving nitrogen use efficiency in plants. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Exercise Improves Cognition in Parkinson’s Disease: the PRET-PD Randomized Clinical Trial

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    David, Fabian J.; Robichaud, Julie A.; Leurgans, Sue E.; Poon, Cynthia; Kohrt, Wendy M.; Goldman, Jennifer G.; Comella, Cynthia L.; Vaillancourt, David E.; Corcos, Daniel M.

    2015-01-01

    Background This paper reports on the findings of the effect of two structured exercise interventions on secondary cognitive outcomes which were gathered as part of the Progressive Resistance Exercise Training in Parkinson’s disease randomized controlled trial. Methods This study was a prospective, parallel-group, single-center trial. Fifty-one non-demented patients with mild-to-moderate Parkinson’s disease were randomly assigned either to modified Fitness Counts or to Progressive Resistance Exercise, and were followed for 24 months. Cognitive outcomes were the Digit Span, Stroop, and Brief Test of Attention. Results Eighteen patients in modified Fitness Counts and 20 patients in Progressive Resistance Exercise completed the trial. At 12 and at 24 months no differences between groups were observed. At 12 months, relative to baseline, modified Fitness Counts improved on the Digit Span (estimated change, 0.3; Inter-Quartile Range, 0, 0.7; p=0.04) and Stroop (0.3; 0, 0.6; p=0.04), and Progressive Resistance Exercise improved only on the Digit Span (0.7; 0.3, 1; pParkinson’s disease. PMID:26148003

  11. Brain training improves recovery after stroke but waiting list improves equally: A multicenter randomized controlled trial of a computer-based cognitive flexibility training.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renate M van de Ven

    Full Text Available Brain training is currently widely used in an attempt to improve cognitive functioning. Computer-based training can be performed at home and could therefore be an effective add-on to available rehabilitation programs aimed at improving cognitive functioning. Several studies have reported cognitive improvements after computer training, but most lacked proper active and passive control conditions.Our aim was to investigate whether computer-based cognitive flexibility training improves executive functioning after stroke. We also conducted within-group analyses similar to those used in previous studies, to assess inferences about transfer effects when comparisons to proper control groups are missing.We conducted a randomized controlled, double blind trial. Adults (30-80 years old who had suffered a stroke within the last 5 years were assigned to either an intervention group (n = 38, active control group (i.e., mock training; n = 35, or waiting list control group (n = 24. The intervention and mock training consisted of 58 half-hour sessions within a 12-week period. Cognitive functioning was assessed using several paper-and-pencil and computerized neuropsychological tasks before the training, immediately after training, and 4 weeks after training completion.Both training groups improved on training tasks, and all groups improved on several transfer tasks (three executive functioning tasks, attention, reasoning, and psychomotor speed. Improvements remained 4 weeks after training completion. However, the amount of improvement in executive and general cognitive functioning in the intervention group was similar to that of both control groups (active control and waiting list. Therefore, this improvement was likely due to training-unspecific effects. Our results stress the importance to include both active and passive control conditions in the study design and analyses. Results from studies without proper control conditions should be interpreted with care.

  12. Adjunctive cognitive behavioural treatment for chronic pain couples improves marital satisfaction but not pain management outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramke, S; Sharpe, L; Newton-John, T

    2016-11-01

    Data have consistently shown that patient coping with chronic pain can be affected by various factors associated with the primary relationship, and hence efforts to include the patient's partner in the treatment process have merit. This study evaluated the benefit of adding an adjunctive, couples-based, cognitive behavioural treatment (CBT) for chronic pain to a standard cognitive behavioural pain management programme. Forty-five couples were randomly assigned to either an adjunctive couples intervention (n = 19) or the pain programme only (n = 26). All patient participants completed a 3-week multi-disciplinary pain management programme, to which their partners were invited to attend one full day. In addition, partners in the adjunctive condition received four, one hour treatment sessions focusing on pain education, patient-partner communication, operant behavioural principles and relapse prevention strategies. Partner sessions for the adjunctive intervention were provided over the telephone. By the completion of the pain programme the adjunctive couples intervention demonstrated significant improvements in marital satisfaction for the spouses over and above attendance at the pain management programme alone (p = 0.003). However, spouse involvement did not facilitate any additional response to treatment for pain patients on marital satisfaction, pain, disability or any indices of distress. All treatment gains were maintained at 1 month follow-up. These data demonstrate that a brief CBT intervention can significantly improve marital satisfaction for spouses of chronic pain patients, but the treatment does not translate to improvements in function on any outcomes, including marital satisfaction, for patients of chronic pain. WHAT DOES THIS STUDY ADD?: A brief, telephone-based intervention for couples living with chronic pain is an acceptable format for intervention. This intervention can significantly improve marital satisfaction for partners of chronic pain

  13. Cognitive and affective components of mental workload: Understanding the effects of each on human decision making behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nygren, Thomas E.

    1992-01-01

    Human factors and ergonomics researchers have recognized for some time the increasing importance of understanding the role of the construct of mental workload in flight research. Current models of mental workload suggest that it is a multidimensional and complex construct, but one that has proved difficult to measure. Because of this difficulty, emphasis has usually been placed on using direct reports through subjective measures such as rating scales to assess levels of mental workload. The NASA Task Load Index (NASA/TLX, Hart and Staveland) has been shown to be a highly reliable and sensitive measure of perceived mental workload. But a problem with measures like TLX is that there is still considerable disagreement as to what it is about mental workload that these subjective measures are actually measuring. The empirical use of subjective workload measures has largely been to provide estimates of the cognitive components of the actual mental workload required for a task. However, my research suggests that these measures may, in fact have greater potential in accurately assessing the affective components of workload. That is, for example, TLX may be more likely to assess the positive and negative feelings associated with varying workload levels, which in turn may potentially influence the decision making behavior that directly bears on performance and safety issues. Pilots, for example, are often called upon to complete many complex tasks that are high in mental workload, stress, and frustration, and that have significant dynamic decision making components -- often ones that involve risk as well.

  14. Modafinil combined with cognitive training is associated with improved learning in healthy volunteers--a randomised controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilleen, J; Michalopoulou, P G; Reichenberg, A; Drake, R; Wykes, T; Lewis, S W; Kapur, S

    2014-04-01

    Improving cognition in people with neuropsychiatric disorders remains a major clinical target. By themselves pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches have shown only modest effects in improving cognition. In the present study we tested a recently-proposed methodology to combine CT with a 'cognitive-enhancing' drug to improve cognitive test scores and expanded on previous approaches by delivering combination drug and CT, over a long intervention of repeated sessions, and used multiple tasks to reveal the cognitive processes being enhanced. We also aimed to determine whether gains from this combination approach generalised to untrained tests. In this proof of principle randomised-controlled trial thirty-three healthy volunteers were randomised to receive either modafinil or placebo combined with daily cognitive training over two weeks. Volunteers were trained on tasks of new-language learning, working memory and verbal learning following 200 mg modafinil or placebo for ten days. Improvements in trained and untrained tasks were measured. Rate of new-language learning was significantly enhanced with modafinil, and effects were greatest over the first five sessions. Modafinil improved within-day learning rather than between-day retention. No enhancement of gains with modafinil was observed in working memory nor rate of verbal learning. Gains in all tasks were retained post drug-administration, but transfer effects to broad cognitive abilities were not seen. This study shows that combining CT with modafinil specifically elevates learning over early training sessions compared to CT with placebo and provides a proof of principle experimental paradigm for pharmacological enhancement of cognitive remediation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  15. Cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy for PTSD improves various PTSD symptoms and trauma-related cognitions: Results from a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macdonald, Alexandra; Pukay-Martin, Nicole D; Wagner, Anne C; Fredman, Steffany J; Monson, Candice M

    2016-02-01

    Numerous studies document an association between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and impairments in intimate relationship functioning, and there is evidence that PTSD symptoms and associated impairments are improved by cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy for PTSD (CBCT for PTSD; Monson & Fredman, 2012). The present study investigated changes across treatment in clinician-rated PTSD symptom clusters and patient-rated trauma-related cognitions in a randomized controlled trial comparing CBCT for PTSD with waitlist in a sample of 40 individuals with PTSD and their partners (N = 40; Monson et al., 2012). Compared with waitlist, patients who received CBCT for PTSD immediately demonstrated greater improvements in all PTSD symptom clusters, trauma-related beliefs, and guilt cognitions (Hedge's gs -.33 to -1.51). Results suggest that CBCT for PTSD improves all PTSD symptom clusters and trauma-related cognitions among individuals with PTSD and further supports the value of utilizing a couple-based approach to the treatment of PTSD. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. Training Of Manual Actions Improves Language Understanding of Semantically-Related Action Sentences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matteo eLocatelli

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Conceptual knowledge accessed by language may involve the re-activation of the associated primary sensory-motor processes. Whether these embodied representations are indeed constitutive to conceptual knowledge is hotly debated, particularly since direct evidence that sensory-motor expertise can improve conceptual processing is scarce.In this study, we sought for this crucial piece of evidence, by training naive healthy subjects to perform complex manual actions and by measuring, before and after training, their performance in a semantic language task. 19 participants engaged in 3 weeks of motor training. Each participant was trained in 3 complex manual actions (e.g. origami. Before and after the training period, each subject underwent a series of manual dexterity tests and a semantic language task. The latter consisted of a sentence-picture semantic congruency judgment task, with 6 target congruent sentence-picture pairs (semantically related to the trained manual actions, 6 non-target congruent pairs (semantically unrelated, and 12 filler incongruent pairs.Manual action training induced a significant improvement in all manual dexterity tests, demonstrating the successful acquisition of sensory-motor expertise. In the semantic language task, the reaction times to both target and non-target congruent sentence-image pairs decreased after action training, indicating a more efficient conceptual-semantic processing. Noteworthy, the reaction times for target pairs decreased more than those for non-target pairs, as indicated by the 2x2 interaction. These results were confirmed when controlling for the potential bias of increased frequency of use of target lexical items during manual training.The results of the present study suggest that sensory-motor expertise gained by training of specific manual actions can lead to an improvement of cognitive-linguistic skills related to the specific conceptual-semantic domain associated to the trained actions.

  17. Can hyperbaric oxygenation improve cognitive functioning in the organically impaired elderly?: a critical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisner, D A

    1975-01-01

    The present article reviews experimental investigation concerned with the effect of hyperbaric oxygenation upon cognitive functioning in the organically-impaired elderly. The conclusion of the Jacobs et al. studies was that hyperbaric oxygenation in cases of chronic organic brain damage (regardless of etiology) leads to improvement in cognitive functioning and general behavior on the ward. Goldfarb et al. (1972) found no evidence to support this conclusion. A critique of the above studies indicates several methodological weaknesses. First, there are serious reservations concerning the makeup of the samples employed in the Jacobs et al. (1969, 1971, 1972, 1973) investigations: it is highly uncertain that most of the Jacobs et al. subjects were suffering from moderate or severe chronic organic brain damage. One reason for the discrepancy between the Jacobs and Goldfarb studies is that the subjects in the later study were more deteriorated and perhaps not as amenable to hyperbaric oxygenation. Secondly, the Bender-Gestalt Test and Tien's Organic Integrity Test have not been validated in an elderly sample. The gain evidenced on the Stockton Geriatric Rating Scale (Jacobs et al., 1969, 1971, 1972) may have little practical significance, and since the data were pooled across groups, the so-called falloff effect could not have been measured. Third, and most significantly, the experimental designs employed in the Jacobs et al., the Goldfarb et al., and the Jacobs followup investigations have such serious shortcomings that the findings must be regarded as inconclusive. Such factors as experimenter attention, testing effects, and familiarity with the experimenter could account for the change in cognitive functioning. Further, in the case of the Jacobs et al. study, the ward personnel may have treated the control group differently after learning that they were expected to improve. Additionally, the subjects in the Jacobs et al. study (1969) themselves may have heard about

  18. Ginkgo biloba extract improved cognitive and neurological functions of acute ischaemic stroke: a randomised controlled trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shanshan; Zhang, Xinjiang; Fang, Qi; Zhou, Junshan; Zhang, Meijuan; Wang, Hui; Chen, Yan; Xu, Biyun; Wu, Yanfeng; Qian, Lai

    2017-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate the efficacy and safety of Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) in acute ischaemic stroke and its impact on the recurrence of vascular events. Methods We conducted a multicentre, prospective, randomised, open label, blinded, controlled clinical trial enrollingpatients with an onset of acute stroke within 7 days from five hospitals in China Jiangsu Province. Participants were assigned to the GBE group (450 mg GBE with 100 mg aspirin daily) or the control group (100 mg aspirin daily) for 6 months. The primary outcome was the decline in the Montreal Cognitive Assessment score at 6 months. Secondary outcomes were other neuropsychological tests of cognitive and neurological function, the the incidence of adverse events and vascular events. Results 348 patients were enrolled: 179 in the GBE group and 169 in the control group. With 18 patients lost to follow-up, the dropout rate was 5.17%. Admission data between two groups were similar, but in the GBE group there was a marked slow down in the decline in the Montreal Cognitive Assessment scores (−2.77±0.21 vs −1.99±0.23, P=0.0116 (30 days); −3.34±0.24 vs −2.48±0.26, P=0.0165 (90 days); −4.00±0.26 vs −2.71±0.26, P=0.0004 (180 days)) compared with controls. The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale scores at 12 and 30 days, the modified Rankin Scale scores for independent rate at 30, 90 and 180 days, and the Barthel Index scores at 30, 90 and 180 days in the GBE group were significantly improved compared with controls. Improvements were also observedin GBE groups for Mini-Metal State Examination scores of 30, 90 and 180 days, Webster’s digit symbol test scores at 30 days and Executive Dysfunction Index scores at 30 and 180 days. No significant differences were seen in the incidence of adverse events or vascular events. Conclusions We conclude that GBE in combination with aspirin treatment alleviated cognitive and neurological deficits after acute ischaemic stroke without increasing

  19. A Social-Cognitive-Ecological Framework for Understanding the Impact of Exposure to Persistent Ethnic-Political Violence on Children's Psychosocial Adjustment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubow, Eric F.; Huesmann, L. Rowell; Boxer, Paul

    2009-01-01

    In this article, we describe a theoretical framework for understanding how persistent and extreme exposure to ethnic-political conflict and violence interacts with cognitive, emotional, and self processes to influence children's psychosocial adjustment. Three recent strands of theorizing guide our approach. First, we focus on how observational and…

  20. Does intelligence require a body?: The growing discipline of embodied cognition suggests that to understand the world, we must experience the world

    OpenAIRE

    Weigmann, Katrin

    2012-01-01

    The new research field of embodied cognition aims to find out whether a mind needs a body to be able to think. The research is attracting psychologists, neurologists, artificial intelligence developers and robotics experts, all trying to understand the mystery of human intelligence.

  1. The Effect of Logical Thinking and Two Cognitive Styles on Understanding the Structure of Matter: An Analysis with the Random Walk Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamovlasis, Dimitrios; Tsitsipis, Georgios; Papageorgiou, George

    2010-01-01

    This work uses the concepts and tools of complexity theory to examine the effect of logical thinking and two cognitive styles, such as, the degree of field dependence/independence and the convergent/divergent thinking on students' understanding of the structure of matter. Students were categorized according to the model they adopted for the…

  2. The Effects of Field Dependent/Field Independent Cognitive Styles and Motivational Styles on Students' Conceptual Understanding about Direct Current Circuits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karaçam, Sedat; Digilli Baran, Azize

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of Field Dependent (FD)/Field Independent (FI) cognitive styles and motivational styles on high school students' conceptual understandings about direct current circuit concepts. The participants of this study consisted of 295 high school students (male = 127, female = 168) who were enrolled…

  3. The effects of holistic health group interventions on improving the cognitive ability of persons with mild cognitive impairment: a randomized controlled trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Kim-wan; Ng, Petrus; Kwok, Timothy; Cheng, Daphne

    2017-01-01

    Purpose Persons with mild cognitive impairment (PwMCI) are at a higher risk of developing dementia than those without cognitive impairment. This research study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a holistic health group intervention, which is based on the holistic brain health approach as well as an Eastern approach to health care, on improving the cognitive ability of Chinese PwMCI. Research methods In a randomized controlled trial (RCT), 38 Chinese PwMCI were randomly assigned to either a 10-session holistic health intervention group or the control group. The holistic health treatment group attempted to promote the acceptance of their illness, enhance memory and coping skills, develop a positive lifestyle, maintain positive emotions, and facilitate emotional support among participants. The 10-session holistic health group intervention was structured, with each session conducted once per week and ~90 minutes in length. Control group patients and their family caregivers received standardized basic educational materials that provided basic information on cognitive decline for them to read at home. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test was used to assess the cognitive ability of PwMCI in the pre- and posttreatment periods by a research assistant who was blind to the group assignment of the participants. Results The paired-samples t-test indicated that the treatment group (n=18) showed significant improvement in the MoCA score, whereas the control group (n=20) did not. Moreover, 2×2 (group × time) repeated-measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) demonstrated that the holistic health group treatment was significantly more effective than the control intervention in improving the MoCA score, with a moderate effect size, and improving the delayed recall (ie, short-term memory), with a strong effect size, after controlling for age, sex, education, and marital status. Conclusion This present RCT provides evidence to support the feasibility and effectiveness of

  4. A cognitive training intervention improves modality-specific attention in a randomized controlled trial of healthy older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mozolic, Jennifer L; Long, Ashley B; Morgan, Ashley R; Rawley-Payne, Melissa; Laurienti, Paul J

    2011-04-01

    Age-related deficits in cognitive and sensory function can result in increased distraction from background sensory stimuli. This randomized controlled trial investigated the effects of a cognitive training intervention aimed at helping healthy older adults suppress irrelevant auditory and visual stimuli. Sixty-six participants received 8 weeks of either the modality-specific attention training program or an educational lecture control program. Participants who completed the intervention program had larger improvements in modality-specific selective attention following training than controls. These improvements also correlated with reductions in bimodal integration during selective attention. Further, the intervention group showed larger improvements than the control group in non-trained domains such as processing speed and dual-task completion, demonstrating the utility of modality-specific attention training for improving cognitive function in healthy older adults. Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Using reality monitoring to improve deception detection in the context of the cognitive interview for suspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logue, Michael; Book, Angela S; Frosina, Paul; Huizinga, Tylor; Amos, Shelby

    2015-08-01

    Research has found that deception detection accuracy in the context of suspect interrogation hovers around chance levels. Geiselman (2012) adapted the cognitive interview (typically used for witnesses) for use with suspects (CIS) and found that judgments of deception were more accurate than previous interrogation techniques. The current study attempted to use the CIS to improve deception detection with Reality Monitoring (RM: Vrij et al., 2008), which has already been validated in the context of witness statements. One hundred sixty-six undergraduate students were randomly assigned to 2 conditions. In the Truthful condition, participants played a game with a confederate, whereas in the Deceptive condition, participants rehearsed (but did not experience) a synopsis of the game scenario. Participants in the Deceptive condition were also instructed to steal $10 from a confederate's wallet. In both conditions, $10 was purported to be missing and a researcher blind to condition conducted a CIS. Statement veracity was coded using 6 of the RM criteria advanced by Vrij et al. (frequency of visual, auditory, spatial, temporal, cognitive, and affective details). According to results from a MANOVA, truthful and deceptive statements differed significantly on all RM criteria, with the exception of affective details, validating the importance for evaluation of statement veracity (p ≤ .01). Further, a binary logistic regression found that combining the RM criteria together correctly classified 86.6% of statements, χ(²)(6) = 114.4, p Cognitive details uniquely predicted condition. Findings support using RM criteria to detect deception in interviews conducted with the CIS. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  6. Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in the Improvement of Coping Strategies and Addiction Symptoms in Drug-Dependent Patients

    OpenAIRE

    H BrockieMilan; H Kamarzarrin; H Zare

    2014-01-01

    Objective: This study was carried out to determine the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy in improving coping strategies and symptoms of drug addiction patients. Method: In a quasi-experimental study, the number of 90drug-dependent patients referring to clinics to stop taking drugs existing in the city of Urmia were divided into two experimental (n=45) groups and control (n=45) using random sampling. The experimental group received 12 sessions of cognitive-behavioral treatment in C...

  7. A synthesis of research needs for improving the understanding of atmospheric mercury cycling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Zhang

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available This synthesis identifies future research needs in atmospheric mercury science, based on a series of review papers, as well as recent developments in field data collection, modeling analysis, and emission assessments of speciated atmospheric mercury. Research activities are proposed that focus on areas that we consider important. These include refinement of mercury emission estimations, quantification of dry deposition and air–surface exchange, improvement of the treatment of chemical mechanisms in chemical transport models, increase in the accuracy of oxidized mercury measurements, better interpretation of atmospheric mercury chemistry data, and harmonization of network operation. Knowledge gained in these research areas will significantly improve our understanding of atmospheric cycling from local to global scales.

  8. Understanding Why a Child Is Struggling to Learn: The Role of Cognitive Processing Evaluation in Learning Disability Identification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Evelyn S.

    2014-01-01

    Learning disabilities (LDs) have long been presumed to be a neurological disorder resulting from a deficit in 1 or more cognitive processes. Although the emphasis on cognitive processing disorders has been included in the definition since the term was coined, and although it arguably represents the key distinguishing characteristic of LDs, it also…

  9. A Cognitive Model of How Interactive Multimedia Authoring Facilitates Conceptual Understanding of Object-Oriented Programming in Novices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuen, Timothy; Liu, Min

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a cognitive model of how interactive multimedia authoring (IMA) affect novices' cognition in object-oriented programming. This model was generated through an empirical study of first year computer science students at the university level being engaged in interactive multimedia authoring of a role-playing game. Clinical…

  10. Neuroplasticity-Based Cognitive and Linguistic Skills Training Improves Reading and Writing Skills in College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogowsky, Beth A.; Papamichalis, Pericles; Villa, Laura; Heim, Sabine; Tallal, Paula

    2013-01-01

    This study reports an evaluation of the effect of computer-based cognitive and linguistic training on college students’ reading and writing skills. The computer-based training included a series of increasingly challenging software programs that were designed to strengthen students’ foundational cognitive skills (memory, attention span, processing speed, and sequencing) in the context of listening and higher level reading tasks. Twenty-five college students (12 native English language; 13 English Second Language), who demonstrated poor writing skills, participated in the training group. The training group received daily training during the spring semester (11 weeks) with the Fast ForWord Literacy (FFW-L) and upper levels of the Fast ForWord Reading series (Levels 3–5). The comparison group (n = 28) selected from the general college population did not receive training. Both the training and comparison groups attended the same university. All students took the Gates MacGinitie Reading Test (GMRT) and the Oral and Written Language Scales (OWLS) Written Expression Scale at the beginning (Time 1) and end (Time 2) of the spring college semester. Results from this study showed that the training group made a statistically greater improvement from Time 1 to Time 2 in both their reading skills and their writing skills than the comparison group. The group who received training began with statistically lower writing skills before training, but exceeded the writing skills of the comparison group after training. PMID:23533100

  11. Soybean-Derived Phytoalexins Improve Cognitive Function through Activation of Nrf2/HO-1 Signaling Pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji Yeon Seo

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available As soy-derived glyceollins are known to induce antioxidant enzymes in various types of cells and tissues, we hypothesized that the compounds could protect neurons from damage due to reactive oxygen species (ROS. In order to examine the neuroprotective effect of glyceollins, primary cortical neurons collected from mice and mouse hippocampal HT22 cells were challenged with glutamate. Glyceollins attenuated glutamate-induced cytotoxicity in primary cortical neuron isolated from mice carrying wild-type nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2-like 2 (Nrf2, but the compounds were ineffective in those isolated from Nrf2 knockout mice, suggesting the involvement of the Nrf2 signaling pathway in glyceollin-mediated neuroprotection. Furthermore, the inhibition of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1, a major downstream enzyme of Nrf2, abolished the suppressive effect of glyceollins against glutamate-induced ROS production and cytotoxicity, confirming that activation of HO-1 by glyceollins is responsible for the neuroprotection. To examine whether glyceollins also improve cognitive ability, mice pretreated with glyceollins were challenged with scopolamine and subjected to behavioral tests. Glyceollins attenuated scopolamine-induced cognitive impairment of mice, but failed to enhance memory in Nrf2 knockout mice, suggesting that the memory-enhancing effect is also mediated by the Nrf2 signaling pathway. Overall, glyceollins showed neuroprotection against glutamate-induced damage, and attenuated scopolamine-induced memory deficits in an Nrf2-dependent manner.

  12. Neuroplasticity-based cognitive and linguistic skills training improves reading and writing skills in college students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogowsky, Beth A; Papamichalis, Pericles; Villa, Laura; Heim, Sabine; Tallal, Paula

    2013-01-01

    This study reports an evaluation of the effect of computer-based cognitive and linguistic training on college students' reading and writing skills. The computer-based training included a series of increasingly challenging software programs that were designed to strengthen students' foundational cognitive skills (memory, attention span, processing speed, and sequencing) in the context of listening and higher level reading tasks. Twenty-five college students (12 native English language; 13 English Second Language), who demonstrated poor writing skills, participated in the training group. The training group received daily training during the spring semester (11 weeks) with the Fast ForWord Literacy (FFW-L) and upper levels of the Fast ForWord Reading series (Levels 3-5). The comparison group (n = 28) selected from the general college population did not receive training. Both the training and comparison groups attended the same university. All students took the Gates MacGinitie Reading Test (GMRT) and the Oral and Written Language Scales (OWLS) Written Expression Scale at the beginning (Time 1) and end (Time 2) of the spring college semester. Results from this study showed that the training group made a statistically greater improvement from Time 1 to Time 2 in both their reading skills and their writing skills than the comparison group. The group who received training began with statistically lower writing skills before training, but exceeded the writing skills of the comparison group after training.

  13. Neuroplasticity-based Cognitive and Linguistic Skills Training Improves Reading and Writing Skills in College Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beth eRogowsky

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available This study reports an evaluation of the effect of computer-based cognitive and linguistic training on college students’ reading and writing skills. The computer-based training included a series of increasingly challenging software programs that were designed to strengthen students’ foundational cognitive skills (memory, attention span, processing speed, and sequencing in the context of listening and higher level reading tasks. Twenty-five college students (12 native English language; 13 English Second Language who demonstrated poor writing skills participated in the training group. The training group received daily training during the spring semester (11 weeks with the Fast ForWord Literacy (FFW-L and upper levels of the Fast ForWord Reading series (Levels 3, 4 and 5. The comparison group (n=28 selected from the general college population did not receive training. Both the training and comparison groups attended the same university. All students took the Gates MacGinitie Reading Test (GMRT and the Oral and Written Language Scales (OWLS Written Expression Scale at the beginning (Time 1 and end (Time 2 of the spring college semester. Results from this study showed that the training group made a statistically greater improvement from Time 1 to Time 2 in both their reading skills and their writing skills than the comparison group. The group who received training began with statistically lower writing skills before training, but exceeded the writing skills of the comparison group after training.

  14. The n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Supplementation Improved the Cognitive Function in the Chinese Elderly with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yacong Bo

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs may protect against mild cognitive impairment (MCI. However, there is still a lack of the n-3 PUFAs intervention in the elderly with MCI in China. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of n-3 PUFA supplementation on cognitive function in the Chinese elderly with MCI. Methods: Eighty six MCI individuals aged 60 years or older were randomly assigned to receive either n-3 PUFAs (480 mg DHA and 720 mg EPA per day, n = 44 or placebo (olive oil, n = 42 capsules. The changes of cognitive functions were assessed using Basic Cognitive Aptitude Tests (BCAT. Results: The mean age of participants was 71 years old, and 59% of the participants were men. n-3 PUFA supplementation was associated with improved total BCAT scores, perceptual speed, space imagery efficiency, and working memory (p < 0.01, but not with mental arithmetic efficiency or recognition memory (p > 0.05. Subgroup analysis by sex showed that n-3 PUFAs significantly improved perceptual speed (p = 0.001, space imagery efficiency (p = 0.013, working memory (p = 0.018, and total BCAT scores (p = 0.000 in males. However, in females, the significant beneficial effects can only be observed in perceptual speed (p = 0.027, space imagery efficiency (p = 0.006, and total BCAT scores (p = 0.015—not working memory (p = 0.113. Conclusion: n-3 PUFAs can improve cognitive function in people with MCI. Further studies with different fish oil dosages, longer intervention periods, and larger sample sizes should be investigated before definite recommendations can be made.

  15. Afternoon nap and bright light exposure improve cognitive flexibility post lunch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slama, Hichem; Deliens, Gaétane; Schmitz, Rémy; Peigneux, Philippe; Leproult, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    Beneficial effects of napping or bright light exposure on cognitive performance have been reported in participants exposed to sleep loss. Nonetheless, few studies investigated the effect of these potential countermeasures against the temporary drop in performance observed in mid-afternoon, and even less so on cognitive flexibility, a crucial component of executive functions. This study investigated the impact of either an afternoon nap or bright light exposure on post-prandial alterations in task switching performance in well-rested participants. Twenty-five healthy adults participated in two randomized experimental conditions, either wake versus nap (n=15), or bright light versus placebo (n=10). Participants were tested on a switching task three times (morning, post-lunch and late afternoon sessions). The interventions occurred prior to the post-lunch session. In the nap/wake condition, participants either stayed awake watching a 30-minute documentary or had the opportunity to take a nap for 30 minutes. In the bright light/placebo condition, participants watched a documentary under either bright blue light or dim orange light (placebo) for 30 minutes. The switch cost estimates cognitive flexibility and measures task-switching efficiency. Increased switch cost scores indicate higher difficulties to switch between tasks. In both control conditions (wake or placebo), accuracy switch-cost score increased post lunch. Both interventions (nap or bright light) elicited a decrease in accuracy switch-cost score post lunch, which was associated with diminished fatigue and decreased variability in vigilance. Additionally, there was a trend for a post-lunch benefit of bright light with a decreased latency switch-cost score. In the nap group, improvements in accuracy switch-cost score were associated with more NREM sleep stage N1. Thus, exposure to bright light during the post-lunch dip, a countermeasure easily applicable in daily life, results in similar beneficial effects as

  16. Studying primate cognition in a social setting to improve validity and welfare: a literature review highlighting successful approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, Katherine A; Jacobson, Sarah L; Bonnie, Kristin E; Hopper, Lydia M

    2017-01-01

    Studying animal cognition in a social setting is associated with practical and statistical challenges. However, conducting cognitive research without disturbing species-typical social groups can increase ecological validity, minimize distress, and improve animal welfare. Here, we review the existing literature on cognitive research run with primates in a social setting in order to determine how widespread such testing is and highlight approaches that may guide future research planning. Using Google Scholar to search the terms "primate" "cognition" "experiment" and "social group," we conducted a systematic literature search covering 16 years (2000-2015 inclusive). We then conducted two supplemental searches within each journal that contained a publication meeting our criteria in the original search, using the terms "primate" and "playback" in one search and the terms "primate" "cognition" and "social group" in the second. The results were used to assess how frequently nonhuman primate cognition has been studied in a social setting (>3 individuals), to gain perspective on the species and topics that have been studied, and to extract successful approaches for social testing. Our search revealed 248 unique publications in 43 journals encompassing 71 species. The absolute number of publications has increased over years, suggesting viable strategies for studying cognition in social settings. While a wide range of species were studied they were not equally represented, with 19% of the publications reporting data for chimpanzees. Field sites were the most common environment for experiments run in social groups of primates, accounting for more than half of the results. Approaches to mitigating the practical and statistical challenges were identified. This analysis has revealed that the study of primate cognition in a social setting is increasing and taking place across a range of environments. This literature review calls attention to examples that may provide valuable

  17. Research frontiers for improving our understanding of drought‐induced tree and forest mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, Henrik; Moura, Catarina; Anderegg, William R. L.; Ruehr, Nadine; Salmon, Yann; Allen, Craig D.; Arndt, Stefan K.; Breshears, David D.; Davi, Hendrik; Galbraith, David; Ruthrof, Katinka X.; Wunder, Jan; Adams, Henry D.; Bloemen, Jasper; Cailleret, Maxime; Cobb, Richard; Gessler, Arthur; Grams, Thorsten E. E.; Jansen, Steven; Kautz, Markus; Lloret, Francisco; O’Brien, Michael

    2018-01-01

    Accumulating evidence highlights increased mortality risks for trees during severe drought, particularly under warmer temperatures and increasing vapour pressure deficit (VPD). Resulting forest die‐off events have severe consequences for ecosystem services, biophysical and biogeochemical land–atmosphere processes. Despite advances in monitoring, modelling and experimental studies of the causes and consequences of tree death from individual tree to ecosystem and global scale, a general mechanistic understanding and realistic predictions of drought mortality under future climate conditions are still lacking. We update a global tree mortality map and present a roadmap to a more holistic understanding of forest mortality across scales. We highlight priority research frontiers that promote: (1) new avenues for research on key tree ecophysiological responses to drought; (2) scaling from the tree/plot level to the ecosystem and region; (3) improvements of mortality risk predictions based on both empirical and mechanistic insights; and (4) a global monitoring network of forest mortality. In light of recent and anticipated large forest die‐off events such a research agenda is timely and needed to achieve scientific understanding for realistic predictions of drought‐induced tree mortality. The implementation of a sustainable network will require support by stakeholders and political authorities at the international level.

  18. Improvement in cognitive and affective theory of mind with observation and imitation treatment in subjects with schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria C. Pino

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: the main objective of this study is to consider Theory of Mind (ToM, i.e. the ability to perceive other people in terms of thinking, believing and emotions, as a target for effective rehabilitative intervention, using Emotion and ToM Imitation Training (ETIT, aimed at improving social cognition and social functioning in schizophrenia. ToM impairment is a key feature of schizophrenia. According to recent literature, ToM is a multidimensional process requiring at least two components: cognitive and affective. Cognitive ToM seems to be a prerequisite for affective ToM, which requires intact empathic ability. Method: seven patients with schizophrenia completed ETIT treatment and were compared to 7 patients who participated in Problem Solving Training (PST. The participants were assessed at pre and post treatment regarding measures of cognitive (Advanced Theory of Mind Task and Social Situation Test and affective (Emotion Attribution Task and Eyes Task ToM and also empathy (Empathy Quotient. Results: our results showed that when compared to the control group, ETIT participants improved in three social cognition components evaluated (cognitive and affective ToM and empathy. Improvement in cognitive and affective ToM was found within the ETIT group pre and post treatment. Conclusions: Action observation and imitation could be important goals for future “low cost” rehabilitation treatment in several disorders in which the deficit of social cognition is considered as “core” to the disease. This represents a new perspective in the rehabilitation field.

  19. Choline and Working Memory Training Improve Cognitive Deficits Caused by Prenatal Exposure to Ethanol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaylyn Waddell

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Prenatal ethanol exposure is associated with deficits in executive function such as working memory, reversal learning and attentional set shifting in humans and animals. These behaviors are dependent on normal structure and function in cholinergic brain regions. Supplementation with choline can improve many behaviors in rodent models of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and also improves working memory function in normal rats. We tested the hypothesis that supplementation with choline in the postnatal period will improve working memory during adolescence in normal and ethanol-exposed animals, and that working memory engagement during adolescence will transfer to other cognitive domains and have lasting effects on executive function in adulthood. Male and female offspring of rats fed an ethanol-containing liquid diet (ET; 3% v/v or control dams given a non-ethanol liquid diet (CT were injected with choline (Cho; 100 mg/kg or saline (Sal once per day from postnatal day (P 16–P30. Animals were trained/tested on a working memory test in adolescence and then underwent attentional set shifting and reversal learning in young adulthood. In adolescence, ET rats required more training to reach criterion than CT-Sal. Choline improved working memory performance for both CT and ET animals. In young adulthood, ET animals also performed poorly on the set shifting and reversal tasks. Deficits were more robust in ET male rats than female ET rats, but Cho improved performance in both sexes. ET male rats given a combination of Cho and working memory training in adolescence required significantly fewer trials to achieve criterion than any other ET group, suggesting that early interventions can cause a persistent improvement.

  20. Choline and Working Memory Training Improve Cognitive Deficits Caused by Prenatal Exposure to Ethanol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waddell, Jaylyn; Mooney, Sandra M

    2017-09-29

    Prenatal ethanol exposure is associated with deficits in executive function such as working memory, reversal learning and attentional set shifting in humans and animals. These behaviors are dependent on normal structure and function in cholinergic brain regions. Supplementation with choline can improve many behaviors in rodent models of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and also improves working memory function in normal rats. We tested the hypothesis that supplementation with choline in the postnatal period will improve working memory during adolescence in normal and ethanol-exposed animals, and that working memory engagement during adolescence will transfer to other cognitive domains and have lasting effects on executive function in adulthood. Male and female offspring of rats fed an ethanol-containing liquid diet (ET; 3% v / v ) or control dams given a non-ethanol liquid diet (CT) were injected with choline (Cho; 100 mg/kg) or saline (Sal) once per day from postnatal day (P) 16-P30. Animals were trained/tested on a working memory test in adolescence and then underwent attentional set shifting and reversal learning in young adulthood. In adolescence, ET rats required more training to reach criterion than CT-Sal. Choline improved working memory performance for both CT and ET animals. In young adulthood, ET animals also performed poorly on the set shifting and reversal tasks. Deficits were more robust in ET male rats than female ET rats, but Cho improved performance in both sexes. ET male rats given a combination of Cho and working memory training in adolescence required significantly fewer trials to achieve criterion than any other ET group, suggesting that early interventions can cause a persistent improvement.

  1. Cognitive and psychological science insights to improve climate change data visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harold, Jordan; Lorenzoni, Irene; Shipley, Thomas F.; Coventry, Kenny R.

    2016-12-01

    Visualization of climate data plays an integral role in the communication of climate change findings to both expert and non-expert audiences. The cognitive and psychological sciences can provide valuable insights into how to improve visualization of climate data based on knowledge of how the human brain processes visual and linguistic information. We review four key research areas to demonstrate their potential to make data more accessible to diverse audiences: directing visual attention, visual complexity, making inferences from visuals, and the mapping between visuals and language. We present evidence-informed guidelines to help climate scientists increase the accessibility of graphics to non-experts, and illustrate how the guidelines can work in practice in the context of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change graphics.

  2. A COGNITIVE-BEHAVIOURAL GROUP TREATMENT IMPROVED WORK ABILITY IN PATIENTS WITH SEVERE FUNCTIONAL SOMATIC SYNDROMES

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schröder, Andreas; Ørnbøl, Eva; Jensen, Jens Søndergaard

    2014-01-01

    Objective: Functional somatic syndromes (FSS) such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel and chronic fatigue syndrome often disrupt employment and may lead to long-term dependence on social benefits and permanently reduced work ability. Cognitive-behavioural treatments (CBT) relief symptoms and improve...... functioning in FSS, but their effect on work ability is unclear. The aim of this study was to estimate the long-term effect of group CBT on work ability in patients with severe FSS. Methods: 120 Patients from a recently published randomised controlled trial comparing group CBT with enhanced usual care (EUC...... before to 3 years after treatment by means of random effects modelling allowing individual levels and slopes. Results: Compared with the general population, FSS patients showed a continuous decline in self-support, leading to markedly reduced work ability at trial entry. In the following years, EUC...

  3. Improving a newly developed patient-reported outcome for thyroid patients, using cognitive interviewing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Watt, Torquil; Rasmussen, Ase Krogh; Groenvold, Mogens

    2008-01-01

    Objective To improve a newly developed patient-reported outcome measure for thyroid patients using cognitive interviewing. Methods Thirty-one interviews using immediate retrospective and expansive probing were conducted among patients with non-toxic goiter (n = 4), nodular toxic goiter (n = 5......) Graves' disease (n = 6), thyroid eye-disease (n = 6), and primary hypothyroidism (n = 10). The questionnaire was revised successively. Six iterative rounds of interviews were conducted. Identified problems were categorized according to Tourangeau's four-stage model. Results Problems were identified 126...... times in 43 of the 99 tested items, four of the 15 introductions, and four of the five response categories. Fifty-four problems involved comprehension, one retrieval, 23 judgment, 28 response, and 20 were not applicable to the four-stage model. Among all problems identified, 18 concerned attribution, i...

  4. Improved cognitive flexibility in serotonin transporter knockout rats is unchanged following chronic cocaine self-administration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nonkes, L.J.; Maes, J.H.R.; Homberg, J.R.

    2013-01-01

    Cocaine dependence is associated with orbitofrontal cortex (OFC)-dependent cognitive inflexibility in both humans and laboratory animals. A critical question is whether cocaine self-administration affects pre-existing individual differences in cognitive flexibility. Serotonin transporter knockout

  5. Ecosystem function in waste stabilisation ponds: Improving water quality through a better understanding of biophysical coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghadouani, Anas; Reichwaldt, Elke S.; Coggins, Liah X.; Ivey, Gregory N.; Ghisalberti, Marco; Zhou, Wenxu; Laurion, Isabelle; Chua, Andrew

    2014-05-01

    Wastewater stabilisation ponds (WSPs) are highly productive systems designed to treat wastewater using only natural biological and chemical processes. Phytoplankton, microbial communities and hydraulics play important roles for ecosystem functionality of these pond systems. Although WSPs have been used for many decades, they are still considered as 'black box' systems as very little is known about the fundamental ecological processes which occur within them. However, a better understanding of how these highly productive ecosystems function is particularly important for hydrological processes, as treated wastewater is commonly discharged into streams, rivers, and oceans, and subject to strict water quality guidelines. WSPs are known to operate at different levels of efficiency, and treatment efficiency of WSPs is dependent on physical (flow characteristics and sludge accumulation and distribution) and biological (microbial and phytoplankton communities) characteristics. Thus, it is important to gain a better understanding of the role and influence of pond hydraulics and vital microbial communities on pond performance and WSP functional stability. The main aim of this study is to investigate the processes leading to differences in treatment performance of WSPs. This study uses a novel and innovative approach to understand these factors by combining flow cytometry and metabolomics to investigate various biochemical characteristics, including the metabolite composition and microbial community within WSPs. The results of these analyses will then be combined with results from the characterisation of pond hydrodynamics and hydraulic performance, which will be performed using advanced hydrodynamic modelling and advanced sludge profiling technology. By understanding how hydrodynamic and biological processes influence each other and ecosystem function and stability in WSPs, we will be able to propose ways to improve the quality of the treatment using natural processes, with

  6. Design and Rationale of the Cognitive Intervention to Improve Memory in Heart Failure Patients Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pressler, Susan J; Giordani, Bruno; Titler, Marita; Gradus-Pizlo, Irmina; Smith, Dean; Dorsey, Susan G; Gao, Sujuan; Jung, Miyeon

    2018-03-29

    Memory loss is an independent predictor of mortality among heart failure patients. Twenty-three percent to 50% of heart failure patients have comorbid memory loss, but few interventions are available to treat the memory loss. The aims of this 3-arm randomized controlled trial were to (1) evaluate efficacy of computerized cognitive training intervention using BrainHQ to improve primary outcomes of memory and serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels and secondary outcomes of working memory, instrumental activities of daily living, and health-related quality of life among heart failure patients; (2) evaluate incremental cost-effectiveness of BrainHQ; and (3) examine depressive symptoms and genomic moderators of BrainHQ effect. A sample of 264 heart failure patients within 4 equal-sized blocks (normal/low baseline cognitive function and gender) will be randomly assigned to (1) BrainHQ, (2) active control computer-based crossword puzzles, and (3) usual care control groups. BrainHQ is an 8-week, 40-hour program individualized to each patient's performance. Data collection will be completed at baseline and at 10 weeks and 4 and 8 months. Descriptive statistics, mixed model analyses, and cost-utility analysis using intent-to-treat approach will be computed. This research will provide new knowledge about the efficacy of BrainHQ to improve memory and increase serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in heart failure. If efficacious, the intervention will provide a new therapeutic approach that is easy to disseminate to treat a serious comorbid condition of heart failure.

  7. Sensory and cognitive influences on the training-related improvement of reading speed in peripheral vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Yingchen; Legge, Gordon E; Yu, Deyue

    2013-06-24

    Reading speed in normal peripheral vision is slow but can be increased through training on a letter-recognition task. The aim of the present study is to investigate the sensory and cognitive factors responsible for this improvement. The visual span is hypothesized to be a sensory bottleneck limiting reading speed. Three sensory factors-letter acuity, crowding, and mislocations (errors in the spatial order of letters)-may limit the size of the visual span. Reading speed is also influenced by cognitive factors including the utilization of information from sentence context. We conducted a perceptual training experiment to investigate the roles of these factors. Training consisted of four daily sessions of trigram letter-recognition trials at 10° in the lower visual field. Subjects' visual-span profiles and reading speeds were measured in pre- and posttests. Effects of the three sensory factors were isolated through a decomposition analysis of the visual span profiles. The impact of sentence context was indexed by context gain, the ratio of reading speeds for ordered and unordered text. Following training, visual spans increased in size by 5.4 bits of information transmitted, and reading speeds increased by 45%. Training induced a substantial reduction in the magnitude of crowding (4.8 bits) and a smaller reduction for mislocations (0.7 bits), but no change in letter acuity or context gain. These results indicate that the basis of the training-related improvement in reading speed is a large reduction in the interfering effect of crowding and a small reduction of mislocation errors.

  8. A Serious Game to Improve Cognitive Functions in Schizophrenia: A Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amado, Isabelle; Brénugat-Herné, Lindsay; Orriols, Eric; Desombre, Colombe; Dos Santos, Maxine; Prost, Zelda; Krebs, Marie-Odile; Piolino, Pascale

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia impair everyday functioning and instrumental daily living activities. These disabilities can be partly responsible for chronicity and institutionalization. We present here a virtual reality (VR) tool in which patients with schizophrenia performed a virtual game in an imaginary town during a 3-month program. In a pilot study, seven patients with schizophrenia (DSM-5), institutionalized for many years, attended weekly 1-h-and-a-half sessions organized by two clinicians. During the first sessions, they listed together the difficulties they experienced in everyday organization and planning. After being familiarized with the joystick and the VR environment, they navigated in the town, and planned actions that were difficult for them to carry out in their usual life (e.g., shopping, memorizing the way to the supermarket or being on time at a meeting point). They had to look for alternative routes and practice a switch from a 2D Map to the 3D Map. They also gathered their efforts to share strategies for each action, or discussed the action plan they could generate to solve concrete problems. The pre/post-neuropsychological evaluations showed attention, working memory, prospective, and retrospective memory benefits, but no improvement in planning as assessed by the Zoo map test and the action program subtest of Behavioral Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome. Patients also clinically and functionally improved, gaining autonomy. Pragmatically, they reported a strong energy to elaborate concrete plans to search for jobs, or return to activities in the community. Qualitative assessments showed a benefit in sparing time, planning better, enriched relatedness, and better management of their housework. This VR game opens avenue to rehabilitation for patients with schizophrenia experiencing chronicity in their life, less attendance in daycare units, and a better community living. This program might reduce neurocognitive difficulties and

  9. A serious game to improve cognitive functions in schizophrenia: a pilot study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle eAmado

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia impair everyday functioning and instrumental daily living activities. These disabilities can be partly responsible for chronicity and institutionalization. We present here a virtual reality (VR tool in which patients with schizophrenia performed a virtual game in an imaginary town during a three-month program. In a pilot study, 7 patients with schizophrenia (DSM 5, institutionalized for many years, attended weekly one-hour- and-a-half sessions organized by two clinicians. During the first sessions they listed together the difficulties they experienced in everyday organization and planning. After being familiarized with the joystick and the VR environment, they navigated in the town, and planned actions that were difficult for them to carry out in their usual life (e.g., shopping, memorizing the way to the supermarket or being on time at a meeting point. They had to look for alternative routes and practice a switch from a 2D-Map to the 3D-Map. They also gathered their efforts to share strategies for each action, or discussed the action plan they could generate to solve concrete problems. The pre/post-neuropsychological evaluations showed attention, working memory, prospective and retrospective memory benefits, but no improvement in planning as assessed by the Zoo map test and the action program subtest of BADS. Patients also clinically and functionally improved, gaining autonomy. Pragmatically, they reported a strong energy to elaborate concrete plans to search for jobs, or return to activities in the community. Qualitative assessments showed a benefit in sparing time, planning better, enriched relatedness, better management of their housework. This VR game opens avenue to rehabilitation for patients with schizophrenia experiencing chronicity in their life, less attendance in daycare units and a better community living. This program might reduce neurocognitive difficulties and might evolve into a true method

  10. Cognitive training to improve memory in individuals undergoing electroconvulsive therapy: Negative findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jimmy; Wang, Yuanjia; Feng, Tianshu; Prudic, Joan

    2017-09-01

    Although electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) remains the most effective treatment for severe depression, some patients report persistent memory problems following ECT that impact their quality of life and their willingness to consent to further ECT. While cognitive training has been shown to improve memory performance in various conditions, this approach has never been applied to help patients regain their memory after ECT. In a double-blind study, we tested the efficacy of a new cognitive training program called Memory Training for ECT (Mem-ECT), specifically designed to target anterograde and retrograde memory that can be compromised following ECT. Fifty-nine patients with treatment-resistant depression scheduled to undergo ultra-brief right unilateral ECT were randomly assigned to either: (a) Mem-ECT, (b) active control comprised of nonspecific mental stimulation, or (c) treatment as usual. Participants were evaluated within one week prior to the start of ECT and then again within 2 weeks following the last ECT session. All three groups improved in global function, quality of life, depression, and self-reported memory abilities without significant group differences. While there was a decline in verbal delayed recall and mental status, there was no decline in general retrograde memory or autobiographical memory in any of the groups, with no significant memory or clinical benefit for the Mem-ECT or active control conditions compared to treatment as usual. While we report negative findings, these results continue to promote the much needed discussion on developing effective strategies to minimize the adverse memory side effects of ECT, in hopes it will make ECT a better and more easily tolerated treatment for patients with severe depression who need this therapeutic option. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. A Serious Game to Improve Cognitive Functions in Schizophrenia: A Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amado, Isabelle; Brénugat-Herné, Lindsay; Orriols, Eric; Desombre, Colombe; Dos Santos, Maxine; Prost, Zelda; Krebs, Marie-Odile; Piolino, Pascale

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia impair everyday functioning and instrumental daily living activities. These disabilities can be partly responsible for chronicity and institutionalization. We present here a virtual reality (VR) tool in which patients with schizophrenia performed a virtual game in an imaginary town during a 3-month program. In a pilot study, seven patients with schizophrenia (DSM-5), institutionalized for many years, attended weekly 1-h-and-a-half sessions organized by two clinicians. During the first sessions, they listed together the difficulties they experienced in everyday organization and planning. After being familiarized with the joystick and the VR environment, they navigated in the town, and planned actions that were difficult for them to carry out in their usual life (e.g., shopping, memorizing the way to the supermarket or being on time at a meeting point). They had to look for alternative routes and practice a switch from a 2D Map to the 3D Map. They also gathered their efforts to share strategies for each action, or discussed the action plan they could generate to solve concrete problems. The pre/post-neuropsychological evaluations showed attention, working memory, prospective, and retrospective memory benefits, but no improvement in planning as assessed by the Zoo map test and the action program subtest of Behavioral Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome. Patients also clinically and functionally improved, gaining autonomy. Pragmatically, they reported a strong energy to elaborate concrete plans to search for jobs, or return to activities in the community. Qualitative assessments showed a benefit in sparing time, planning better, enriched relatedness, and better management of their housework. This VR game opens avenue to rehabilitation for patients with schizophrenia experiencing chronicity in their life, less attendance in daycare units, and a better community living. This program might reduce neurocognitive difficulties and

  12. Improving cognitive therapy for depression with functional analytic psychotherapy: Theory and case study

    OpenAIRE

    Kohlenberg, Robert J.; Tsai, Mavis

    1994-01-01

    A behavioral reconceptualization of cognitive therapy is presented to illustrate that clinical behavior analysis (CBA) has much to offer traditional cognitive behavior therapy. Particular attention is given to the distinction between cognitive structures and products and the theoretical dilemma facing cognitive therapists when they attempt to devise interventions aimed at changing nonbehavioral entities. The distinction between rule-governed and contingency-shaped behavior and the implication...

  13. Understanding and Improving CRM and GCM Simulations of Cloud Systems with ARM Observations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Xiaoqing [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States). Dept. of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences

    2014-02-25

    The works supported by this ASR project lay the solid foundation for improving the parameterization of convection and clouds in the NCAR CCSM and the climate simulations. We have made a significant use of CRM simulations and ARM observations to produce thermodynamically and dynamically consistent multi-year cloud and radiative properties; improve the GCM simulations of convection, clouds and radiative heating rate and fluxes using the ARM observations and CRM simulations; and understand the seasonal and annual variation of cloud systems and their impacts on climate mean state and variability. We conducted multi-year simulations over the ARM SGP site using the CRM with multi-year ARM forcing data. The statistics of cloud and radiative properties from the long-term CRM simulations were compared and validated with the ARM measurements and value added products (VAP). We evaluated the multi-year climate simulations produced by the GCM with the modified convection scheme. We used multi-year ARM observations and CRM simulations to validate and further improve the trigger condition and revised closure assumption in NCAR GCM simulations that demonstrate the improvement of climate mean state and variability. We combined the improved convection scheme with the mosaic treatment of subgrid cloud distributions in the radiation scheme of the GCM. The mosaic treatment of cloud distributions has been implemented in the GCM with the original convection scheme and enables the use of more realistic cloud amounts as well as cloud water contents in producing net radiative fluxes closer to observations. A physics-based latent heat (LH) retrieval algorithm was developed by parameterizing the physical linkages of observed hydrometeor profiles of cloud and precipitation to the major processes related to the phase change of atmospheric water.

  14. A combination of nootropic ingredients (CAF+) is not better than caffeine in improving cognitive functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Caldenhove, Stephanie; Sambeth, Anke; Sharma, S.; G., Woo; Blokland, A.

    2017-01-01

    Many nootropic compounds claim to have positive effects on cognitive performance. In this study, we tested the effects of the nootropic compound CAF+ on cognitive functioning. CAF+ contains a combination of ingredients that has separately shown to boost cognitive performance, including caffeine,

  15. Understanding the cognitive basis for human-wildlife relationships as a key to successful protected-area management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Teel, Tara L.; Manfredo, Michael J.; Jensen, Frank Søndergaard

    2010-01-01

    underlying conservation effectiveness, including the nature of people's relationships with wildlife. These relationships stem from the cognitive foundation that shapes human behavior toward wildlife. Our theory of wildlife value orientations contents that, at an individual level, broad cultural ideals...... or value orientations form basis for more specific cognitions that in turn drive individual action. We extend this cognitive hierarchy framework to account for the rolke of societal forces that give rise to cultural values and their orientations over time. Using empirical data from two cases, we surview...... to wildlife issues. Together, these studies highlight the importance of multilevel models for exploring the social aspects of wildlife and protected-area management....

  16. IMPROVEMENT OF EDUCATIONAL COGNITIVE ACTIVITY STUDENTS IN THE PROFESSIONAL EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION ON THE BASIS OF VISUALIZATION TECHNOLOGY OF EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liliya A. Kolmakova

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study is to consider the problem of improving the quality of education in the professional educational organizations.Methods. The scientific and pedagogical analyses of the concepts forming a terminological field of a problem are used. The system, competence-based and personal approaches are used for development of models of cognitive visualization. Questioning of students was carried out to establish the level of development of their informative activity.Results. The constituent parts of the modern educational process and the need to create specific conditions for its implementation are identified and described. The author gives a generalized characteristic of visualization technology of educational information. The application of cognitive visualization models using information and communication technologies are proved. The results showing the evolution of motivational indicators of students’ activity before and after application of LSM and the «Metaplan» in the educational process are presented.Scientific novelty. The pedagogical conditions that allow using information and communication technologies as means of the trainees’ educational informative activity improvement in the professional educational organization are defined. Features of the directed application of methods of cognitive visualization of educational information, both for improvement of educational cognitive activity, and for formation of professional competences of students by profession «A chef, a confectioner» are noted.Practical importance. Use of methods of cognitive visualization in educational process on the example of studying of Chemistry and Biology in the professional educational organization is considered in details. The teaching package providing application of methods of cognitive visualization of educational information for the purpose of improvement of educational cognitive activity of students in the professional educational organization

  17. Combined social cognitive and neurocognitive rehabilitation strategies in schizophrenia: neuropsychological and psychopathological influences on Theory of Mind improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bechi, M; Bosia, M; Spangaro, M; Buonocore, M; Cocchi, F; Pigoni, A; Piantanida, M; Guglielmino, C; Bianchi, L; Smeraldi, E; Cavallaro, R

    2015-11-01

    Neurocognitive and social cognitive impairments represent important treatment targets in schizophrenia, as they are significant predictors of functional outcome. Different rehabilitative interventions have recently been developed, addressing both cognitive and psychosocial domains. Although promising, results are still heterogeneous and predictors of treatment outcome are not yet identified. In this study we evaluated the efficacy of two newly developed social cognitive interventions, respectively based on the use of videotaped material and comic strips, combined with domain-specific Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT). We also analysed possible predictors of training outcome, including basal neurocognitive performance, the degree of cognitive improvement after CRT and psychopathological variables. Seventy-five patients with schizophrenia treated with CRT, were randomly assigned to: social cognitive training (SCT) group, Theory of Mind Intervention (ToMI) group, and active control group (ACG). ANOVAs showed that SCT and ToMI groups improved significantly in ToM measures, whereas the ACG did not. We reported no influences of neuropsychological measures and improvement after CRT on changes in ToM. Both paranoid and non-paranoid subjects improved significantly after ToMI and SCT, without differences between groups, despite the better performance in basal ToM found among paranoid patients. In the ACG only non-paranoid patients showed an improvement in non-verbal ToM. Results showed that both ToMI and SCT are effective in improving ToM in schizophrenia with no influence of neuropsychological domains. Our data also suggest that paranoid symptoms may discriminate between different types of ToM difficulties in schizophrenia.

  18. A quality improvement approach to cognitive assessment on hospice admission: could we use the 4AT or Short CAM?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, Lucy; Spiller, Juliet Anne

    2017-01-01

    Background Prevalence studies show that 13%-42% of patients admitted to specialist palliative care inpatient units have delirium. Symptoms of delirium are often subtle and easily missed, or misdiagnosed as fatigue or depression, and so the use of a screening tool could improve early identification and management of delirium and lead to improved outcomes. Patients admitted to hospices are often frail and tired, therefore a quick and easy-to-use method of cognitive assessment is essential. Methods A quality improvement (QI) approach (PDSA: Plan, Do, Study, Act) was used to improve screening for delirium on admission to a hospice unit. A baseline measure was taken of the rate of performance of cognitive assessment on admission. Five PDSA cycles were then undertaken which involved implementing change and then evaluating results through auditing case notes and interviewing staff. Results The first cycle determined staff preference between two cognitive assessment methods: the Short Confusion Assessment Method and the four 'A's Test (4AT). Two further PDSA cycles embedded the 4AT (the preferred tool) into the admission process, establishing it as a usable tool in the hospice setting for up to 92% of admissions. A subsequent cycle showing poor sustainability prompted staff education and changes to admission documentation, resulting in an increase in cognitive assessment being performed, from 50% to 76%. Conclusion The 4AT is a usable tool in the hospice inpatient setting to assess patients' cognitive state on admission and can easily be incorporated into the admission process. The QI approach highlighted the need to link staff awareness of their use of the screening tool with perceived improvements in the treatment of delirium, which prompted the creation and implementation of a 'Delirium Checklist'. Some initial lack of sustainability was addressed by staff education and changes to the admission paperwork to ensure compliance with the use of the 4AT and sustained

  19. Application of schlieren techniques for improved understanding of underground mine ventilation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jong, E.C.; Luxbacher, K.D. [Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA (United States)

    2010-07-01

    Mine ventilation systems must be maintained in optimal running order in order to suppress dusts and provide fresh air to mine workers. However, it is difficult to gather representative ventilation data because of the dynamic nature of mines, including geologic conditions, equipment operations, personnel movements, advance of mine openings and atmospheric changes. Errors and imprecision in computer codes can be detrimental to mine forecasting. The best way to improve the validity of ventilation models is to increase the quality of survey data. This study examined the feasibility of using the background-oriented schlieren (BOS) flow visualization method to reach this objective. Schlieren techniques involve the use of refractive properties of different air densities to enhance the distortions of light, thereby allowing airflow to be visualized. In this study, the BOS technique was used to image flow with 2 fans, an axivane fan and a custom built axial flow fan. The results showed that the BOS technique can clearly display air flow under the correct conditions. Producing an accurate picture of air flow can improve the industry's overall understanding of air flow and resistance, thus improving mine safety and productivity. 8 refs., 7 figs.

  20. Understanding and Improving the Quality of Inter-Layer Interfaces in FDM 3-D Printing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duranty, Edward; Spradlin, Brandon; Stark, Madeline; Dadmun, Mark

    We have studied the effect of thermal history and material diffusion on inter-filament bonding in FDM 3D printed parts and developed methods to improve interlayer adhesion in 3D printed samples. The available thermal energy during the FDM print environment was determined quantitatively by tracking the temperature of the bottom most printed layer using a thermocouple attached to the print bed. The role of the thermal history of the filaments during the deposition process on the quality of inter-layer bonding in an FDM ABS part was monitored using a T-peel test and an innovative sample design. Additionally, the interfacial adhesion between 3D printed layers was improved by the addition of a chemical cross-linking agent 4,4 '-diaminodiphenylmethane (DADPM). These studies have increased our understanding of the importance of the complex thermal history of a filament in the 3D printing process and its impact on the interfaces that form during the fused deposition modeling print process. Furthermore, the chemical crosslinking process demonstrates a potential method to covalently link layers in FDM printed parts, improving the bulk strength of the part. The insight provided in this work may aid in the development of techniques that can produce FDM parts that could be used as replacement parts in structural applications, or as completely standalone products.

  1. A Six-Month Cognitive-Motor and Aerobic Exercise Program Improves Executive Function in Persons with an Objective Cognitive Impairment: A Pilot Investigation Using the Antisaccade Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, Matthew; Weiler, Jeffrey; Gregory, Michael A; Gill, Dawn P; Petrella, Robert J

    2016-10-04

    Persons with an objective cognitive impairment (OCI) are at increased risk for progression to Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. The present pilot project sought to examine whether participation in a long-term exercise program involving cognitive-motor (CM) dual-task gait training and aerobic exercise training improves executive function in persons with an OCI. To accomplish our objective, individuals with an OCI (n = 12) as determined by a Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) score of less than 26 and older adults (n = 11) deemed to be cognitively healthy (i.e., control group: MoCA score ≥26) completed a six-month moderate-to-high intensity (65-85% maximum heart rate) treadmill-based CM and aerobic exercise training program wherein pre- and post-intervention executive control was examined via the antisaccade task. Notably, antisaccades require a goal-directed eye-movement mirror-symmetrical to a target and represent an ideal tool for the study of executive deficits because of its hands- and language-free nature. As well, the cortical networks mediating antisaccades represent regions associated with neuropathology in cognitive decline and dementia (e.g., dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). Results showed that antisaccade reaction times for the OCI group reliably decreased by 30 ms from pre- to post-intervention, whereas the control group did not produce a reliable pre- to post-intervention change in reaction time (i.e., 6 ms). Thus, we propose that in persons with OCI long-term CM and aerobic training improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the executive mechanisms mediating high-level oculomotor control.

  2. Down-regulation of serum gonadotropins is as effective as estrogen replacement at improving menopause-associated cognitive deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan, Kathryn J; Mudd, Joseph C; Richardson, Sandy L; Chang, Jaewon; Lee, Hyoung-Gon; Zhu, Xiongwei; Smith, Mark A; Casadesus, Gemma

    2010-02-01

    Declining levels of estrogen in women result in increases in gonadotropins such as luteinizing hormone (LH) through loss of feedback inhibition. LH, like estrogen, is modulated by hormone replacement therapy. However, the role of post-menopausal gonadotropin increases on cognition has not been evaluated. Here, we demonstrate that the down-regulation of ovariectomy-driven LH elevations using the gonadotropin releasing hormone super-analogue, leuprolide acetate, improves cognitive function in the Morris water maze and Y-maze tests in the absence of E2. Furthermore, our data suggest that these effects are independent of the modulation of estrogen receptors alpha and beta, or activation of CYP19 and StAR, associated with the production of endogenous E2. Importantly, pathways associated with improved cognition such as CaMKII and GluR1-Ser831 are up-regulated by leuprolide treatment but not by chronic long-term E2 replacement suggesting independent cognition-modulating properties. Our findings suggest that down-regulation of gonadotropins is as effective as E2 in modulating cognition but likely acts through different molecular mechanisms. These findings provide a potential novel protective strategy to treat menopause/age-related cognitive decline and/or prevent the development of AD.

  3. Understanding and improving treatment adherence in patients with psychotic disorders: A review and a proposed intervention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.B.P. Staring (Anton); C.L. Mulder (Niels); M. van der Gaag (Mark); J.-P. Selten (Jean-Paul); A.J.M. Loonen (Anton); M.W. Hengeveld (Michiel)

    2006-01-01

    textabstractNon-adherence to treatment of patients with psychotic disorders is related to higher rates of relapse, hospitalization, and suicide. Important predictors of non-adherence include poor social structure, cognitive deficits, negative medication attitude, side effects, depression, a

  4. Understanding and improving treatment adherence in patients with psychotic disorders: Review and a proposed intervention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Staring, A.B.P.; Mulder, C.L.; van der Gaag, M.; Selten, J.P.; Loonen, A.J.M.; Hengeveld, M.W.

    2006-01-01

    Abstract: Non-adherence to treatment of patients with psychotic disorders is related to higher rates of relapse, hospitalization, and suicide. Important predictors of non-adherence include poor social structure, cognitive deficits, negative medication attitude, side effects, depression, a

  5. Bilingual Text With or Without Pictograms Improves Elderly Singaporeans' Understanding of Prescription Medication Labels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhotra, Rahul; Bautista, Mary Ann C; Tan, Ngiap Chuan; Tang, Wern Ee; Tay, Sarah; Tan, Audrey Siok Ling; Pouliot, Annie; Saffari, Seyed Ehsan; Chei, Choy-Lye; Vaillancourt, Regis

    2017-11-19

    In Singapore, primarily English-language prescription medication labels challenge elderly Singaporeans, many of whom are unable to read English. We investigated whether bilingual text and pictograms can help them understand prescription medication labels. We randomized 1,414 elderly respondents of a national survey into four prescription medication labels: English-text; English-text-and-pictograms; Bilingual-text; and Bilingual-text-and-pictograms, which were similar except for the addition of another language and/or pictograms (International Pharmaceutical Federation, FIP). Respondents answered 16 label-related questions; an expert panel rated answers for correctness. Outcomes were (1) complete understanding (16 correct); (2) any understanding (≥1 correct); and (3) number of incorrect answers among those with any understanding. We evaluated associations of each prescription medication label (vs. English-text) with outcomes (1), (2), and (3) using logistic and negative binomial regression, respectively. The elderly respondents were similar across the four prescription medication labels (English-text, English-text-and-pictograms, Bilingual-text, Bilingual-text-and-pictograms), for which the proportions with outcomes (1) and (2) were (17.9%, 25.6%, 36.9%, 40.1%) and (50.4%, 62.6%, 75.9%, 76.5%), respectively. We observed statistically significant higher odds of outcomes (1) and (2) among those assigned the three labels (vs. English-text): English-text-and-pictograms, 1.96 and 2.51; Bilingual-text, 3.54 and 6.73; and Bilingual-text-and-pictograms, 4.51 and 7.93. Those assigned the three labels also had 0.94, 1.98, and 2.12 fewer outcome (3) on average (vs. English-text). Adding bilingual text with or without pictograms on prescription medication labels considerably improved elderly Singaporeans' understanding of the labels, strongly suggesting its application in practice. Other issues in prescription medication labels design and content, including adapting FIP

  6. Social cognition in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinkham, Amy E

    2014-01-01

    The topic of social cognition has attracted considerable interest in schizophrenia over the last several years. This construct generally refers to the detection, processing, and utilization of social information and, within the field of schizophrenia, includes several skills such as recognizing emotion, understanding the thoughts and intentions of others, and interpreting social cues. Individuals with schizophrenia show significant impairments in social cognition, and these impairments are strongly related to functional outcome. Treating social cognition yields significant improvements in real-world outcomes, including social functioning and social skill. Importantly, social cognitive abilities are linked to specific neural circuits that have been shown to be abnormal in individuals with schizophrenia. Investigations of these neural networks in patients have also demonstrated that brain activation is significantly correlated with social functioning, which suggests that abnormal activation in social cognitive networks may serve as a mechanism for social dysfunction in schizophrenia. Among the many challenges in this area is the issue of measurement. There is disagreement about which tasks best measure social cognition and many existing measures show poor psychometric properties. A recent project, called the Social Cognition Psychometric Evaluation (SCOPE) study, aims to address these problems by providing the field with a well-validated battery of social cognitive tasks that can be used in treatment outcome trials. Research is honing in on the potential mechanisms of social cognitive impairment in patients, and with improved measurement, there is promise for optimizing behavioral and pharmacologic interventions and remediation strategies. © Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

  7. Cognitive cooperation groups mediated by computers and internet present significant improvement of cognitive status in older adults with memory complaints: a controlled prospective study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo de Rosso Krug

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Objective To estimate the effect of participating in cognitive cooperation groups, mediated by computers and the internet, on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE percent variation of outpatients with memory complaints attending two memory clinics. Methods A prospective controlled intervention study carried out from 2006 to 2013 with 293 elders. The intervention group (n = 160 attended a cognitive cooperation group (20 sessions of 1.5 hours each. The control group (n = 133 received routine medical care. Outcome was the percent variation in the MMSE. Control variables included gender, age, marital status, schooling, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidaemia, hypothyroidism, depression, vascular diseases, polymedication, use of benzodiazepines, exposure to tobacco, sedentary lifestyle, obesity and functional capacity. The final model was obtained by multivariate linear regression. Results The intervention group obtained an independent positive variation of 24.39% (CI 95% = 14.86/33.91 in the MMSE compared to the control group. Conclusion The results suggested that cognitive cooperation groups, mediated by computers and the internet, are associated with cognitive status improvement of older adults in memory clinics.

  8. Understanding and Improving High-Temperature Structural Properties of Metal-Silicide Intermetallics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruce S. Kang

    2005-10-10

    The objective of this project was to understand and improve high-temperature structural properties of metal-silicide intermetallic alloys. Through research collaboration between the research team at West Virginia University (WVU) and Dr. J.H. Schneibel at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), molybdenum silicide alloys were developed at ORNL and evaluated at WVU through atomistic modeling analyses, thermo-mechanical tests, and metallurgical studies. In this study, molybdenum-based alloys were ductilized by dispersing MgAl2O4 or MgO spinel particles. The addition of spinel particles is hypothesized to getter impurities such as oxygen and nitrogen from the alloy matrix with the result of ductility improvement. The introduction of fine dispersions has also been postulated to improve ductility by acting as a dislocation source or reducing dislocation pile-ups at grain boundaries. The spinel particles, on the other hand, can also act as local notches or crack initiation sites, which is detrimental to the alloy mechanical properties. Optimization of material processing condition is important to develop the desirable molybdenum alloys with sufficient room-temperature ductility. Atomistic analyses were conducted to further understand the mechanism of ductility improvement of the molybdenum alloys and the results showed that trace amount of residual oxygen may be responsible for the brittle behavior of the as-cast Mo alloys. For the alloys studied, uniaxial tensile tests were conducted at different loading rates, and at room and elevated temperatures. Thermal cycling effect on the mechanical properties was also studied. Tensile tests for specimens subjected to either ten or twenty thermal cycles were conducted. For each test, a follow-up detailed fractography and microstructural analysis were carried out. The test results were correlated to the size, density, distribution of the spinel particles and processing time. Thermal expansion tests were carried out using thermo

  9. SOCRATE: an optical bench dedicated to the understanding and improvement of a laser conditioning process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertussi, Bertrand; Piombini, Hervé; Damiani, David; Pommies, Matthieu; Le Borgne, Xavier; Plessis, Daniel

    2006-11-01

    We present an automatic excimer laser bench (SOCRATE) allowing for the treatment of optical components by laser conditioning. This apparatus, developed at the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique-Le Ripault, has been designed to add to this conditioning process an in situ, accurate laser-induced damage threshold (LIDT) measurement and different nondestructive optical techniques for the characterization of the component during treatment. Through different examples, we demonstrate the importance of these characterizations to improve the understanding of the laser conditioning. The role of an in situ adapted metrology associated in real time with a laser conditioning bench offers new opportunities to analyze laser-induced damage mechanisms and subsequently to increase the LIDT of optical components.

  10. Improving understanding of the functional diversity of fisheries by exploring the influence of global catch reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, Kirsty L; Watson, Reg A; Halpern, Benjamin S; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Blanchard, Julia L

    2017-09-06

    Functional diversity is thought to enhance ecosystem resilience, driving research focused on trends in the functional composition of fisheries, most recently with new reconstructions of global catch data. However, there is currently little understanding of how accounting for unreported catches (e.g. small-scale and illegal fisheries, bycatch and discards) influences functional diversity trends in global fisheries. We explored how diversity estimates varied among reported and unreported components of catch in 2010, and found these components had distinct functional fingerprints. Incorporating unreported catches had little impact on global-scale functional diversity patterns. However, at smaller, management-relevant scales, the effects of incorporating unreported catches were large (changes in functional diversity of up to 46%). Our results suggest there is greater uncertainty about the risks to ecosystem integrity and resilience from current fishing patterns than previously recognized. We provide recommendations and suggest a research agenda to improve future assessments of functional diversity of global fisheries.

  11. Pedestrian fall safety assessments improved understanding on slip resistance measurements and investigations

    CERN Document Server

    Kim, In-Ju

    2017-01-01

    This book examines pedestrian shoe-floor slip resistance from an engineering standpoint in order to better understand friction and wear behavior. This analysis includes an extensive investigation into the surface properties of shoes and flow, and the measurement of dynamic friction and other mechanical and physical aspects of shoe-floor tribology. Lastly, the book proposes a measurement concept for the identification and classification of operational floor surfaces under a range of different conditions. Novel techniques and methods are proposed that can improve the reliability of slip resistance assessments. The current state of knowledge is critically examined and discussed from a tribological perspective, including aspects like friction, wear, lubrication and the mechanical behavior of shoes, floors and their wider environment. Further, the book reports on extensive experimental investigations into the topographical characteristics of shoe and floor surfaces and how they affect slip resistance. Slips result...

  12. Can understanding the packing of side chains improve the design of protein-protein interactions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Alice; O'Hern, Corey; Regan, Lynne

    2011-03-01

    With the long-term goal to improve the design of protein-protein interactions, we have begun extensive computational studies to understand how side-chains of key residues of binding partners geometrically fit together at protein-peptide interfaces, e.g. the tetratrico-peptide repeat protein and its cognate peptide). We describe simple atomic-scale models of hydrophobic dipeptides, which include hard-core repulsion, bond length and angle constraints, and Van der Waals attraction. By completely enumerating all minimal energy structures in these systems, we are able to reproduce important features of the probability distributions of side chain dihedral angles of hydrophic residues in the protein data bank. These results are the crucial first step in developing computational models that can predict the side chain conformations of residues at protein-peptide interfaces. CSO acknowledges support from NSF grant no. CMMT-1006527.

  13. Dual-task training on a treadmill to improve gait and cognitive function in elderly idiopathic fallers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorfman, Moran; Herman, Talia; Brozgol, Marina; Shema, Shirley; Weiss, Aner; Hausdorff, Jeffrey M; Mirelman, Anat

    2014-10-01

    Daily activities require the ability to dual task (DT), utilizing cognitive resources while walking to negotiate complex environmental conditions. For older adults, these additional cognitive demands often lead to reduced gait quality that increases the risk of falls. The aim of this study was to assess whether a combined intervention, consisting of treadmill training (TT) while performing DT, improves cognitive and motor performance in older adults with a history of multiple falls. A repeated measures design was used to evaluate the effects of training in 10 elderly fallers (mean age, 78.1 ± 5.81 y, 7 women). The progressive intensive training sessions included walking on a treadmill while practicing a variety of dual tasks 3 times a week for more than 6 weeks. Cognitive and motor measures were used to assess the effects of the intervention immediately after training and 1 month posttraining. Improvements were observed in Berg Balance Scale (P = 0.02), Dynamic Gait Index (P = 0.03), gait speed during usual walking and while DT (P Elderly: P = 0.02). At 1 month postintervention, changes were not significant. After 6 weeks of TT + DT program, elderly fallers demonstrated improved scores on tests of mobility, functional performance tasks, and cognition.Dual task training can be readily implemented by therapists as a component of a fall-risk reduction training program.Video Abstract available. See Video (Supplemental Digital Content 1, http://links.lww.com/JNPT/A81) for more insights from the authors.

  14. Redefining fine roots improves understanding of below-ground contributions to terrestrial biosphere processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, M Luke; Dickie, Ian A; Eissenstat, David M; Fahey, Timothy J; Fernandez, Christopher W; Guo, Dali; Helmisaari, Heljä-Sisko; Hobbie, Erik A; Iversen, Colleen M; Jackson, Robert B; Leppälammi-Kujansuu, Jaana; Norby, Richard J; Phillips, Richard P; Pregitzer, Kurt S; Pritchard, Seth G; Rewald, Boris; Zadworny, Marcin

    2015-08-01

    Fine roots acquire essential soil resources and mediate biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Estimates of carbon and nutrient allocation to build and maintain these structures remain uncertain because of the challenges of consistently measuring and interpreting fine-root systems. Traditionally, fine roots have been defined as all roots ≤ 2 mm in diameter, yet it is now recognized that this approach fails to capture the diversity of form and function observed among fine-root orders. Here, we demonstrate how order-based and functional classification frameworks improve our understanding of dynamic root processes in ecosystems dominated by perennial plants. In these frameworks, fine roots are either separated into individual root orders or functionally defined into a shorter-lived absorptive pool and a longer-lived transport fine-root pool. Using these frameworks, we estimate that fine-root production and turnover represent 22% of terrestrial net primary production globally - a c. 30% reduction from previous estimates assuming a single fine-root pool. Future work developing tools to rapidly differentiate functional fine-root classes, explicit incorporation of mycorrhizal fungi into fine-root studies, and wider adoption of a two-pool approach to model fine roots provide opportunities to better understand below-ground processes in the terrestrial biosphere. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  15. Engaging Students Through Classroom Connection Webinars to Improve Their Understanding of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graff, Paige V.; Achilles, Cherie

    2013-01-01

    Planetary exploration missions to other worlds, like Mars, can generate a lot of excitement and wonder for the public. The Mars Science Laboratory Mission is one of the latest planetary missions that has intrigued the public perhaps more than most. How can scientists and educational specialists capitalize on the allure of this mission and involve students and teachers in a way that not only shares the story of the mission, but actively engages classrooms with scientists and improves their understanding of the science? The Expedition Earth and Beyond (EEAB) Program [1], facilitated by the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Directorate Education Program at the NASA Johnson Space Center achieves this by facilitating MSL mission focused classroom connection webinars. Five MSL-focused webinars facilitated through EEAB during the 2012 fall semester engaged almost 3000 students and teachers. Involved STEM experts/role models helped translate the science behind the Mars Science Laboratory mission in a comprehensive, exciting, and engaging manner. These virtual events captured participants attention while increasing their science awareness and understanding of the MSL mission.

  16. Improved Understanding of Implosion Symmetry through New Experimental Techniques Connecting Hohlraum Dynamics with Laser Beam Deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ralph, Joseph; Salmonson, Jay; Dewald, Eduard; Bachmann, Benjamin; Edwards, John; Graziani, Frank; Hurricane, Omar; Landen, Otto; Ma, Tammy; Masse, Laurent; MacLaren, Stephen; Meezan, Nathan; Moody, John; Parrilla, Nicholas; Pino, Jesse; Sacks, Ryan; Tipton, Robert

    2017-10-01

    Understanding what affects implosion symmetry has been a challenge for scientists designing indirect drive inertial confinement fusion experiments on the National Ignition Facility (NIF). New experimental techniques and data analysis have been employed aimed at improving our understanding of the relationship between hohlraum dynamics and implosion symmetry. Thin wall imaging data allows for time-resolved imaging of 10 keV Au l-band x-rays providing for the first time on the NIF, a spatially resolved measurement of laser deposition with time. In the work described here, we combine measurements from the thin wall imaging with time resolved views of the interior of the hohlraum. The measurements presented are compared to hydrodynamic simulations as well as simplified physics models. The goal of this work is to form a physical picture that better explains the relationship of the hohlraum dynamics and capsule ablator on laser beam propagation and implosion symmetry. This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

  17. Designing Cancer-Killing Artificial Viruses to Improve Student Understanding of Microbiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuniyuki, Andy; Sharp, Gwen

    2011-01-01

    Our objective was to assess the effectiveness of a “learning by designing” group project used in a lower-division Microbiology course. Students used knowledge gained from the course to design an artificial virus that would kill cancer cells. The assignment required groups to integrate the individual course topics into a unified, complex understanding of the field of microbiology. Throughout the course, students and the instructor collaborated in creating a rubric to evaluate the groups’ final presentations. This paper reports the results of an assessment of the project by comparing the instructor’s and the students’ scores for the presentations. Students’ and the instructor’s scores were correlated; the Pearson coefficient of 0.52 was statistically significant. The results indicate that students gained sufficient knowledge to accurately evaluate proposed designs. Additionally, the overall course grade distribution improved compared to the semester before the project was introduced. Finally, in order to engage students in thinking about their own learning process, they completed a reflection assignment that required them to discuss the changes in their understanding of microbiology over the course of the semester. Our assessment indicates that a design project can serve as an effective and useful learning technique in undergraduate Microbiology courses, though modifications are suggested. PMID:23653757

  18. Designing Cancer-Killing Artificial Viruses to Improve Student Understanding of Microbiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andy Kuniyuki

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Our objective was to assess the effectiveness of a “learning by designing” group project used in a lower-division Microbiology course. Students used knowledge gained from the course to design an artificial virus that would kill cancer cells. The assignment required groups to integrate the individual course topics into a unified, complex understanding of the field of microbiology. Throughout the course, students and the instructor collaborated in creating a rubric to evaluate the groups’ final presentations. This paper reports the results of an assessment of the project by comparing the instructor’s and the students’ scores for the presentations. Students’ and the instructor’s scores were correlated; the Pearson coefficient of 0.52 was statistically significant. The results indicate that students gained sufficient knowledge to accurately evaluate proposed designs. Additionally, the overall course grade distribution improved compared to the semester before the project was introduced. Finally, in order to engage students in thinking about their own learning process, they completed a reflection assignment that required them to discuss the changes in their understanding of microbiology over the course of the semester. Our assessment indicates that a design project can serve as an effective and useful learning technique in undergraduate Microbiology courses, though modifications are suggested.

  19. Repetitive negative thinking predicts depression and anxiety symptom improvement during brief cognitive behavioral therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kertz, Sarah J; Koran, Jennifer; Stevens, Kimberly T; Björgvinsson, Thröstur

    2015-05-01

    Repetitive negative thinking (RNT) is a common symptom across depression and anxiety disorders and preliminary evidence suggests that decreases in rumination and worry are related to improvement in depression and anxiety symptoms. However, despite its prevalence, relatively little is known about transdiagnostic RNT and its temporal associations with symptom improvement during treatment. The current study was designed to examine the influence of RNT on subsequent depression and anxiety symptoms during treatment. Participants (n = 131; 52% female; 93% White; M = 34.76 years) were patients presenting for treatment in a brief, cognitive behavior therapy based, partial hospitalization program. Participants completed multiple assessments of depression (Center for the Epidemiological Studies of Depression-10 scale), anxiety (the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale), and repetitive negative thinking (Perseverative Thinking Questionnaire) over the course of treatment. Results indicated statistically significant between and within person effects of RNT on depression and anxiety, even after controlling for the effect of time, previous symptom levels, referral source, and treatment length. RNT explained 22% of the unexplained variability in depression scores and 15% of the unexplained variability in anxiety scores beyond that explained by the control variables. RNT may be an important transdiagnostic treatment target for anxiety and depression. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Piracetam improves cognitive deficits caused by chronic cerebral hypoperfusion in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhi; Liao, Yun; Zheng, Min; Zeng, Fan-Dian; Guo, Lian-Jun

    2008-06-01

    Piracetam is the derivate of gamma-aminobutyric acid, which improves the cognition,memory,consciousness, and is widely applied in the clinical treatment of brain dysfunction. In the present experiments, we study the effects of piracetam on chronic cerebral hypoperfused rats and observe its influence on amino acids, synaptic plasticity in the Perforant path-CA3 pathway and apoptosis in vivo. Cerebral hypoperfusion for 30 days by occlusion of bilateral common carotid arteries induced marked amnesic effects along with neuron damage, including: (1) spatial learning and memory deficits shown by longer escape latency and shorter time spent in the target quadrant; (2) significant neuronal loss and nuclei condensation in the cortex and hippocampus especially in CA1 region; (3) lower induction rate of long term potentiation, overexpression of BAX and P53 protein, and lower content of excitatory and inhibitory amino acids in hippocampus. Oral administration of piracetam (600 mg/kg, once per day for 30 days) markedly improved the memory impairment, increased the amino acid content in hippocampus, and attenuated neuronal damage. The ability of piracetam to attenuate memory deficits and neuronal damage after hypoperfusion may be beneficial in cerebrovascular type dementia.

  1. Understanding and Improving Recruitment to Randomised Controlled Trials: Qualitative Research Approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Daisy; Husbands, Samantha; Hamdy, Freddie C; Holmberg, Lars; Donovan, Jenny L

    2017-11-01

    The importance of evidence from randomised trials is now widely recognised, although recruitment is often difficult. Qualitative research has shown promise in identifying the key barriers to recruitment, and interventions have been developed to reduce organisational difficulties and support clinicians undertaking recruitment. This article provides an introduction to qualitative research techniques and explains how this approach can be used to understand-and subsequently improve-recruitment and informed consent within a range of clinical trials. A literature search was performed using Medline, Embase, and CINAHL. All studies with qualitative research methods that focused on the recruitment activity of clinicians were included in the review. The majority of studies reported that organisational difficulties and lack of time for clinical staff were key barriers to recruitment. However, a synthesis of qualitative studies highlighted the intellectual and emotional challenges that arise when combining research with clinical roles, particularly in relation to equipoise and patient eligibility. To support recruiters to become more comfortable with the design and principles of randomised controlled trials, interventions have been developed, including the QuinteT Recruitment Intervention, which comprises in-depth investigation of recruitment obstacles in real time, followed by implementation of tailored strategies to address these challenges as the trial proceeds. Qualitative research can provide important insights into the complexities of recruitment to trials and inform the development of interventions, and provide support and training initiatives as required. Investigators should consider implementing such methods in trials expected to be challenging or recruiting below target. Qualitative research is a term used to describe a range of methods that can be implemented to understand participants' perspectives and behaviours. Data are gathered from interviews, focus groups

  2. Jatropha curcas, a biofuel crop: functional genomics for understanding metabolic pathways and genetic improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-10-01

    Jatropha curcas is currently attracting much attention as an oilseed crop for biofuel, as Jatropha can grow under climate and soil conditions that are unsuitable for food production. However, little is known about Jatropha, and there are a number of challenges to be overcome. In fact, Jatropha has not really been domesticated; most of the Jatropha accessions are toxic, which renders the seedcake unsuitable for use as animal feed. The seeds of Jatropha contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which negatively impact the biofuel quality. Fruiting of Jatropha is fairly continuous, thus increasing costs of harvesting. Therefore, before starting any improvement program using conventional or molecular breeding techniques, understanding gene function and the genome scale of Jatropha are prerequisites. This review presents currently available and relevant information on the latest technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) to decipher important metabolic pathways within Jatropha, such as oil and toxin synthesis. Further, it discusses future directions for biotechnological approaches in Jatropha breeding and improvement. © 2013 The Authors. Biotechnology Journal published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Race to improve student understanding of uncertainty: Using LEGO race cars in the physics lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parappilly, Maria; Hassam, Christopher; Woodman, Richard J.

    2018-01-01

    Laboratories using LEGO race cars were developed for students in an introductory physics topic with a high early drop-out rate. In a 2014 pilot study, the labs were offered to improve students' confidence with experiments and laboratory skills, especially uncertainty propagation. This intervention was extended into the intro level physics topic the next year, for comparison and evaluation. Considering the pilot study, we subsequently adapted the delivery of the LEGO labs for a large Engineering Mechanics cohort. A qualitative survey of the students was taken to gain insight into their perception of the incorporation of LEGO race cars into physics labs. For Engineering, the findings show that LEGO physics was instrumental in teaching students the measurement and uncertainty, improving their lab reporting skills, and was a key factor in reducing the early attrition rate. This paper briefly recalls the results of the pilot study, and how variations in the delivery yielded better learning outcomes. A novel method is proposed for how LEGO race cars in a physics lab can help students increase their understanding of uncertainty and motivate them towards physics practicals.

  4. Progress in Understanding Degradation Mechanisms and Improving Stability in Organic Photovoltaics

    KAUST Repository

    Mateker, William R.

    2016-12-23

    Understanding the degradation mechanisms of organic photovoltaics is particularly important, as they tend to degrade faster than their inorganic counterparts, such as silicon and cadmium telluride. An overview is provided here of the main degradation mechanisms that researchers have identified so far that cause extrinsic degradation from oxygen and water, intrinsic degradation in the dark, and photo-induced burn-in. In addition, it provides methods for researchers to identify these mechanisms in new materials and device structures to screen them more quickly for promising long-term performance. These general strategies will likely be helpful in other photovoltaic technologies that suffer from insufficient stability, such as perovskite solar cells. Finally, the most promising lifetime results are highlighted and recommendations to improve long-term performance are made. To prevent degradation from oxygen and water for sufficiently long time periods, OPVs will likely need to be encapsulated by barrier materials with lower permeation rates of oxygen and water than typical flexible substrate materials. To improve stability at operating temperatures, materials will likely require glass transition temperatures above 100 °C. Methods to prevent photo-induced burn-in are least understood, but recent research indicates that using pure materials with dense and ordered film morphologies can reduce the burn-in effect.

  5. Understanding consumer preference and willingness to pay for improved cookstoves in Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Julia; Derby, Elisa; Dutta, Karabi

    2015-01-01

    The USAID/WASHplus project conducted a comprehensive assessment to understand consumer needs and preferences as they relate to increasing the uptake and consistent, exclusive, and correct use of improved cookstoves (ICSs) in Bangladesh. The assessment included household ICS trials, fuel and stove use monitoring, and consumers' perceived value of and willingness to pay for ICSs. Results showed that cooks appreciated and liked the ICS, but that no models met consumer needs sufficiently to replace traditional stoves. Initially, many preferred ICSs over traditional stoves, but this preference decreased over the 3-week trial period. Complaints and suggestions for improvement fell into two general categories: those that can be addressed through fairly simple modifications to the stove design, and those more appropriately addressed through point-of-purchase consumer education and follow-up from service agents or health outreach workers. Most households using the ICS realized fuel use reductions, although these were lower than expected, partly because of continued parallel traditional stove use. When given the option to purchase the stoves at market value, only one of 105 households did so; however, a separate assessment showed that 80% of participants (12 of 15 households) preferred to keep the stove rather than receive a cash buyout at market value. This indicates that users value the ICS when acquisition barriers are removed and highlights the need for better financing options.

  6. Progress in Understanding Degradation Mechanisms and Improving Stability in Organic Photovoltaics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mateker, William R; McGehee, Michael D

    2017-03-01

    Understanding the degradation mechanisms of organic photovoltaics is particularly important, as they tend to degrade faster than their inorganic counterparts, such as silicon and cadmium telluride. An overview is provided here of the main degradation mechanisms that researchers have identified so far that cause extrinsic degradation from oxygen and water, intrinsic degradation in the dark, and photo-induced burn-in. In addition, it provides methods for researchers to identify these mechanisms in new materials and device structures to screen them more quickly for promising long-term performance. These general strategies will likely be helpful in other photovoltaic technologies that suffer from insufficient stability, such as perovskite solar cells. Finally, the most promising lifetime results are highlighted and recommendations to improve long-term performance are made. To prevent degradation from oxygen and water for sufficiently long time periods, OPVs will likely need to be encapsulated by barrier materials with lower permeation rates of oxygen and water than typical flexible substrate materials. To improve stability at operating temperatures, materials will likely require glass transition temperatures above 100 °C. Methods to prevent photo-induced burn-in are least understood, but recent research indicates that using pure materials with dense and ordered film morphologies can reduce the burn-in effect. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. Multicomponent Exercise Improves Physical Functioning but Not Cognition and Hemodynamic Parameters in Elderly Osteoarthritis Patients Regardless of Hypertension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hélio José Coelho-Júnior

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study aimed to investigate the impact of a 6-month multicomponent exercise program (MCEP on physical function, cognition, and hemodynamic parameters of elderly normotensive (NTS and hypertensive (HTS osteoarthritis patients. A total of 99 elderly osteoarthritis patients (44 NTS and 55 HTS were recruited and submitted to functional, cognitive, and hemodynamic evaluations before and after six months of a MCEP. The program of exercise was performed twice a week at moderate intensity. The physical exercises aggregated functional and walking exercises. Results indicate that 6 months of MCEP were able to improve one-leg stand and mobility (walking speeds of osteoarthritis patients regardless of hypertension. On the other hand, cognitive and hemodynamic parameters were not altered after the MCEP. The findings of the present study demonstrate that 6 months of MCEP were able to improve the physical functioning (i.e., usual and maximal walking speed and balance of osteoarthritis patients regardless of hypertensive condition.

  8. Rapid improvement in beliefs, mood, and performance following an experimental success experience in an analogue test of recovery-oriented cognitive therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, P M; Perivoliotis, D; Luther, L; Bredemeier, K; Beck, A T

    2018-01-01

    Negative symptoms significantly contribute to disability and lack of community participation for low functioning individuals with schizophrenia. Cognitive therapy has been shown to improve negative symptoms and functional outcome in this population. Elucidation of the mechanisms of the therapy would lead to a better understanding of negative symptoms and the development of more effective interventions to promote recovery. The objective of this study was to determine (1) whether guided success at a card-sorting task will produce improvement in defeatist beliefs, positive beliefs about the self, mood, and card-sorting performance, and (2) whether these changes in beliefs and mood predict improvements in unguided card-sorting. Individuals with schizophrenia having prominent negative symptoms and impaired neurocognitive performance (N = 35) were randomized to guided success (n = 19) or a control (n = 16) condition. Controlling for baseline performance, the experimental group performed significantly better, endorsed defeatist beliefs to a lesser degree, reported greater positive self-concept, and reported better mood than the control condition immediately after the experimental session. A composite index of change in defeatist beliefs, self-concept, and mood was significantly correlated with improvements in card-sorting. This analogue study supports the rationale of cognitive therapy and provides a general therapeutic model in which experiential interventions that produce success have a significant immediate effect on a behavioral task, mediated by changes in beliefs and mood. The rapid improvement is a promising indicator of the responsiveness of this population, often regarded as recalcitrant, to cognitively-targeted behavioral interventions.

  9. Breathing exercise combined with cognitive behavioural intervention improves sleep quality and heart rate variability in major depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chien, Hui-Ching; Chung, Yu-Chu; Yeh, Mei-Ling; Lee, Jia-Fu

    2015-11-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a cognitive behavioural intervention combined with a breathing relaxation exercise on sleep quality and heart rate variability in patients with major depression. Depression is a long-lasting illness with significant effects not only in individuals themselves, but on their family, work and social relationships as well. Cognitive behavioural therapy is considered to be an effective treatment for major depression. Breathing relaxation may improve heart rate variability, but few studies have comprehensively examined the effect of a cognitive behavioural intervention combined with relaxing breathing on patients with major depression. An experimental research design with a repeated measure was used. Eighty-nine participants completed this study and entered data analysed. The experimental group (n = 43) received the cognitive behavioural intervention combined with a breathing relaxation exercise for four weeks, whereas the control group (n = 46) did not. Sleep quality and heart rate variability were measured at baseline, posttest1, posttest2 and follow-up. Data were examined by chi-square tests, t-tests and generalised estimating equations. After adjusting for age, socioeconomic status, severity of disease and psychiatric history, the quality of sleep of the experimental group improved, with the results at posttest achieving significance. Heart rate variability parameters were also significantly improved. This study supported the hypothesis that the cognitive behavioural intervention combined with a breathing relaxation exercise could improve sleep quality and heart rate variability in patients with major depression, and the effectiveness was lasting. The cognitive behavioural intervention combined with a breathing relaxation exercise that included muscle relaxation, deep breathing and sleep hygiene could be provided with major depression during hospitalisation. Through group practice and experience sharing

  10. Mothers' Use of Cognitive State Verbs in Picture-Book Reading and the Development of Children's Understanding of Mind: A Longitudinal Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adrian, Juan E.; Clemente, Rosa Ana; Villanueva, Lidon

    2007-01-01

    Mothers read stories to their children (N = 41) aged between 3.3 years and 5.11 years old, and children then completed two false-belief tasks. One year later, mothers read a story to 37 of those children who were also given four tasks to assess their advanced understanding of mental states. Mothers' early use of cognitive verbs in picture-book…

  11. Going up in Smoke? A Review of nAChRs-based Treatment Strategies for Improving Cognition in Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boggs, Douglas L.; Carlson, Jon; Cortes-Briones, Jose; Krystal, John H.; D’Souza, D. Cyril

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive impairment is known to be a core deficit in schizophrenia. Existing treatments for schizophrenia have limited efficacy against cognitive impairment. The ubiquitous use of nicotine in this population is thought to reflect an attempt by patients to self-medicate certain symptoms associated with the illness. Concurrently there is evidence that nicotinic receptors that have lower affinity for nicotine are more important in cognition. Therefore, a number of medications that target nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been tested or are in development. In this article we summarize the clinical evidence of nAChRs dysfunction in schizophrenia and review clinical studies testing either nicotine or nicotinic medications for the treatment of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. Some evidence suggests beneficial effects of nAChRs based treatments for the attentional deficits associated with schizophrenia. Standardized cognitive test batteries have failed to capture consistent improvements from drugs acting at nAChRs. However, more proximal measures of brain function, such as ERPs relevant to information processing impairments in schizophrenia, have shown some benefit. Further work is necessary to conclude that nAChRs based treatments are of clinical utility in the treatment of cognitive deficits of schizophrenia. PMID:24345265

  12. Rehabilitation for improved cognition in patients with stress-related exhaustion disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Malmberg Gavelin, Hanna; Eskilsson, Therese; Boraxbekk, Carl-Johan

    2018-01-01

    Stress-related exhaustion has been associated with selective and enduring cognitive impairments. However, little is known about how to address cognitive deficits in stress rehabilitation and how this influences stress recovery over time. The aim of this open-label, parallel randomized controlled ...... for clinical practice in supporting patients with ED to adhere to treatment are discussed....... trial (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03073772) was to investigate the long-term effects of 12 weeks cognitive or aerobic training on cognitive function, psychological health, and work ability for patients diagnosed with exhaustion disorder (ED). One-hundred-and-thirty-two patients (111 women) participating...... in multimodal stress rehabilitation were randomized to receive additional cognitive training (n = 44), additional aerobic training (n = 47), or no additional training (n = 41). Treatment effects were assessed before, immediately after and one-year post intervention. The primary outcome was global cognitive...

  13. Interpersonal problems as predictors of therapeutic alliance and symptom improvement in cognitive therapy for depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renner, Fritz; Jarrett, Robin B; Vittengl, Jeffrey R; Barrett, Marna S; Clark, Lee Anna; Thase, Michael E

    2012-05-01

    The degree to which interpersonal problems of depressed patients improve over the course of cognitive therapy (CT) and relate to the quality of the therapeutic alliance and to symptom improvement, remains unclear. We analyzed data of adult outpatients (N=523) with major depressive disorder participating in a clinical trial to determine the factor structure of the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems-Circumplex (IIP-C) and to relate the observed factor scores to the quality of the therapeutic alliance and symptom improvement over the course of CT. Patients received 16-20 sessions protocol (50-60 min each) of individual CT according to the treatment manual by Beck et al. (1979). We found a three-factor structure (interpersonal distress, agency, and communion) of interpersonal problems. Interpersonal distress decreased (d=.90), but interpersonal style did not change substantively during CT (communion d=.03; agency d=.14). High initial agency scores related negatively to the therapeutic alliance (β=-.12), whereas high initial communion scores related positively to the therapeutic alliance (β=.15). Elevated pre-treatment interpersonal distress scores were related to both weaker therapeutic alliances (β=.13) and higher symptom levels throughout treatment (β=.10). All patients in this study had recurrent MDD and it is therefore uncertain whether the results would generalize to patients with other psychiatric disorders. This study supports the use of the IIP-C as a comprehensive measure of patients' interpersonal style and interpersonal distress. The IIP-C measured before CT showed some predictive validity with respect to therapeutic alliance measured at the midpoint and therapy outcome. The clinical importance of these findings is discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Training creative cognition: adolescence as a flexible period for improving creativity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Claire E; Kleibeuker, Sietske W; de Dreu, Carsten K W; Crone, Eveline A

    2014-01-01

    Creativity commonly refers to the ability to generate ideas, solutions, or insights that are novel yet feasible. The ability to generate creative ideas appears to develop and change from childhood to adulthood. Prior research, although inconsistent, generally indicates that adults perform better than adolescents on the alternative uses task (AUT), a commonly used index of creative ideation. The focus of this study was whether performance could be improved by practicing alternative uses generation. We examined the effectiveness of creative ideation training in adolescents (13-16 years, N = 71) and adults (23-30 years, N = 61). Participants followed one of three types of training, each comprising eight 20-min practice sessions within 2 week time: (1) alternative uses generation (experimental condition: creative ideation); (2) object characteristic generation (control condition: general ideation); (3) rule-switching (control condition: rule-switching). Progression in fluency, flexibility, originality of creative ideation was compared between age-groups and training conditions. Participants improved in creative ideation and cognitive flexibility, but not in general ideation. Participants in all three training conditions became better in fluency and originality on the AUT. With regard to originality, adolescents benefitted more from training than adults, although this was not specific for the creative ideation training condition. These results are interpreted in relation to (a) the different underlying processes targeted in the three conditions and (b) developmental differences in brain plasticity with increased sensitivity to training in adolescents. In sum, the results show that improvement can be made in creative ideation and supports the hypothesis that adolescence is a developmental stage of increased flexibility optimized for learning and explorative behavior.

  15. Cognitive and Performance Enhancing Medication Use to Improve Performance in Poker.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caballero, Joshua; Ownby, Raymond L; Rey, Jose A; Clauson, Kevin A

    2016-09-01

    Use of neuroenhancers has been studied in groups ranging from students to surgeons; however, use of cognitive and performance enhancing medications (CPEMs) to improve performance in poker has remained largely overlooked. To assess the use of CPEMs to improve poker performance, a survey of poker players was conducted. Participants were recruited via Internet poker forums; 198 completed the online survey. Approximately 28 % of respondents used prescription CPEMs, with the most commonly used including: amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (62 %), benzodiazepines (20 %), and methylphenidate (20 %). CPEMs were used in poker to focus (73 %), calm nerves (11 %), and stay awake (11 %). Caffeine (71 %), as well as conventionally counter-intuitive substances like marijuana (35 %) and alcohol (30 %) were also reported to enhance poker performance. Non-users of CPEMs were dissuaded from use due to not knowing where to get them (29 %), apprehension about trying them (26 %), and legal or ethical concerns (16 %). Respondents most frequently acquired CPEMs via friends/fellow poker players (52 %), or prescription from physician (38 %). Additionally, greater use of CPEMs was associated with living outside the United States (p = 0.042), prior use of prescription medications for improving non-poker related performance (p < 0.001), and amateur and semi-professional player status (p = 0.035). Unmonitored use of pharmacologically active agents and their methods of acquisition highlight safety concerns in this cohort of poker players, especially among non-professional players. The current state of guidance from national organizations on CPEM use in healthy individuals could impact prescribing patterns.

  16. Training creative cognition: Adolescence as a flexible period for improving creativity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire E Stevenson

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Creativity commonly refers to the ability to generate ideas, solutions, or insights that are novel yet feasible. The ability to generate creative ideas appears to develop and change from childhood to adulthood. Prior research, although inconsistent, generally indicates that adults perform better than adolescents on the alternative uses task, a commonly used index of creative ideation. The focus of this study was whether performance could be improved by practicing alternative uses generation. We examined the effectiveness of creative ideation training in adolescents (13-16 yrs., N=71 and adults (23-30 yrs., N=61. Participants followed one of three types of training, each comprising 8 twenty-minute practice sessions within two weeks time: 1 alternative uses generation (experimental condition: creative ideation; 2 object characteristic generation (control condition: general ideation; 3 rule-switching (control condition: rule-switching. Progression in fluency, flexibility, originality of creative ideation was compared between age-groups and training conditions. Participants improved in creative ideation and cognitive flexibility, but not in general ideation. Participants in all three training conditions became better in fluency and originality on the alternative uses task. With regard to originality, adolescents benefitted more from training than adults, although this was not specific for the creative ideation training condition. These results are interpreted in relation to a the different underlying processes targeted in the three conditions and b developmental differences in brain plasticity with increased sensitivity to training in adolescents. In sum, the results show that improvement can be made in creative ideation and supports the hypothesis that adolescence is a developmental stage of increased flexibility optimized for learning and explorative behavior.

  17. Interpersonal problems as predictors of therapeutic alliance and symptom improvement in cognitive therapy for depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renner, Fritz; Jarrett, Robin B.; Vittengl, Jeffrey R.; Barrett, Marna S.; Clark, Lee Anna; Thase, Michael E.

    2012-01-01

    Background The degree to which interpersonal problems of depressed patients improve over the course of cognitive therapy (CT) and relate to the quality of the therapeutic alliance and to symptom improvement, remain unclear. Methods We analyzed data of adult outpatients (N = 523) with major depressive disorder participating in a clinical trial to determine the factor structure of the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems-Circumplex (IIP-C) and to relate the observed factor scores to the quality of the therapeutic alliance and symptom improvement over the course of CT. Patients received 16–20 sessions protocol (50–60 minutes each) of individual CT according to the treatment manual by Beck et al. (1979). Results We found a three-factor structure (interpersonal distress, agency, and communion) of interpersonal problems. Interpersonal distress decreased (d = .90), but interpersonal style did not change substantively during CT (communion d = .03; agency d = .14). High initial agency scores related negatively to the therapeutic alliance (β = −.12), whereas high initial communion scores related positively to the therapeutic alliance (β = .15). Elevated pre-treatment interpersonal distress scores were related to both weaker therapeutic alliances (β = .13) and higher symptom levels throughout treatment (β = .10). Limitations All patients in this study had recurrent MDD and it is therefore uncertain whether the results would generalize to patients with other psychiatric disorders. Conclusions This study supports the use of the IIP-C as a comprehensive measure of patients' interpersonal style and interpersonal distress. The IIP-C measured before CT showed some predictive validity with respect to therapeutic alliance measured at the midpoint and therapy outcome. The clinical importance of these findings is discussed. PMID:22306232

  18. Strategies for improvement of spectrum capacity for WiMax cellular systems by Cognitive Radio Technology supported by Relay Stations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frederiksen, Flemming Bjerge; Prasad, Ramjee

    2007-01-01

    Methods to enhance the use of the frequency spectrum by automatical spectrum sensing plus spectrum sharing in a cognitive radio technology context will be presented and discussed in this paper. Ideas to improve the wireless transmission by orthogonal OFDM-based communication and to increase the c...

  19. Do changes in panic appraisal predict improvement in clinical status following cognitive-behavioral treatment of panic disorder?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cho, Y.; Smits, J.A.J.; Powers, M.B.; Telch, M.J.

    2007-01-01

    The effects of changes in panic appraisal dimensions during cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) on both short- and long-term improvement in panic disorder symptoms were examined. Panic disorder severity and panic appraisal measures were collected from 120 CBT-treated patients at pretreatment,

  20. The effectiveness of cognitive- behavior therapy on illness representations of multiple-sclerosis and improving their emotional states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farhad Hazhir

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Illness representations (based on Leventhal's model are associated with chronic illness outcomes. It has been suggested that targeting these cognitive components improves illness outcomes. Multiple sclerosis is a common disorder between neural and immune systems that creates physical and psychological consequences. There are few pre psychological trails on these patients. The aim of this study was to determine effectiveness of cognitive-behavior therapy on altering illness representations and improving emotional states of the patients.Methods: By using a randomized controlled trial design, among 52 selected patients, 35 volunteers randomly were allocated into intervention and control groups. An extensive interventional cognitive behavior therapy based package was conducted to intervention group in 10 weekly sessions. The control group stayed in waiting list and participated in 5 group meeting sessions. (IPQR and (DASS-42 psychological scales were administered, Leven and T statistical tests were applied for dat analysis.Results: The results showed positive changes in four illness representation components of patients including illness (identity, consequences, coherence and personal control. Associated improvement occurred in depression, anxiety, stress and emotional representations.Conclusion: Mooney and Padeskey's theoretically based cognitive-behavior therapy, is effective on illness representations modification and improving emotional states of the patients. The findings are less similar to Goodman's trial on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus patients and more similar to Petrie's trail on cardiac patients.

  1. Training self-assessment and task-selection skills: A cognitive approach to improving self-regulated learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kostons, Danny; Van Gog, Tamara; Paas, Fred

    2012-01-01

    Kostons, D., Van Gog, T., & Paas, F. (2012). Training self-assessment and task-selection skills: A cognitive approach to improving self-regulated learning. Learning and Instruction, 22(2), 121-132. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2011.08.004

  2. Understanding complex clinical reasoning in infectious diseases for improving clinical decision support design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Roosan; Weir, Charlene R; Jones, Makoto; Del Fiol, Guilherme; Samore, Matthew H

    2015-11-30

    Clinical experts' cognitive mechanisms for managing complexity have implications for the design of future innovative healthcare systems. The purpose of the study is to examine the constituents of decision complexity and explore the cognitive strategies clinicians use to control and adapt to their information environment. We used Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) methods to interview 10 Infectious Disease (ID) experts at the University of Utah and Salt Lake City Veterans Administration Medical Center. Participants were asked to recall a complex, critical and vivid antibiotic-prescribing incident using the Critical Decision Method (CDM), a type of Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA). Using the four iterations of the Critical Decision Method, questions were posed to fully explore the incident, focusing in depth on the clinical components underlying the complexity. Probes were included to assess cognitive and decision strategies used by participants. The following three themes emerged as the constituents of decision complexity experienced by the Infectious Diseases experts: 1) the overall clinical picture does not match the pattern, 2) a lack of comprehension of the situation and 3) dealing with social and emotional pressures such as fear and anxiety. All these factors contribute to decision complexity. These factors almost always occurred together, creating unexpected events and uncertainty in clinical reasoning. Five themes emerged in the analyses of how experts deal with the complexity. Expert clinicians frequently used 1) watchful waiting instead of over- prescribing antibiotics, engaged in 2) theory of mind to project and simulate other practitioners' perspectives, reduced very complex cases into simple 3) heuristics, employed 4) anticipatory thinking to plan and re-plan events and consulted with peers to share knowledge, solicit opinions and 5) seek help on patient cases. The cognitive strategies to deal with decision complexity found in this study have important

  3. Program of arithmetic improvement by means of cognitive enhancement: an intervention in children with special educational needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deaño, Manuel Deaño; Alfonso, Sonia; Das, Jagannath Prasad

    2015-03-01

    This study reports the cognitive and arithmetic improvement of a mathematical model based on the program PASS Remedial Program (PREP), which aims to improve specific cognitive processes underlying academic skills such as arithmetic. For this purpose, a group of 20 students from the last four grades of Primary Education was divided into two groups. One group (n=10) received training in the program and the other served as control. Students were assessed at pre and post intervention in the PASS cognitive processes (planning, attention, simultaneous and successive processing), general level of intelligence, and arithmetic performance in calculus and solving problems. Performance of children from the experimental group was significantly higher than that of the control group in cognitive process and arithmetic. This joint enhancement of cognitive and arithmetic processes was a result of the operationalization of training that promotes the encoding task, attention and planning, and learning by induction, mediation and verbalization. The implications of this are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Towards Improved Understanding of Drought and Drought Impacts from Long Term Earth Observation Records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champagne, C.; Wang, S.; Liu, J.; Hadwen, T. A.

    2017-12-01

    Drought is a complex natural disaster, which often emerges slowly, but can occur at various time scales and have impacts that are not well understood. Long term observations of drought intensity and frequency are often quantified from precipitation and temperature based indices or modelled estimates of soil water storage. The maturity of satellite based observations has created the potential to enhance the understanding of drought and drought impacts, particularly in regions where traditional data sets are limited by remoteness or inaccessibility, and where drought processes are not well-quantified by models. Long term global satellite data records now provide observations of key hydrological variables, including evaporation modelled from thermal sensors, soil moisture from microwave sensors, ground water from gravity sensors and vegetation condition that can be modelled from optical sensors. This study examined trends in drought frequency, intensity and duration over diverse ecoregions in Canada, including agricultural, grassland, forested and wetland areas. Trends in drought were obtained from the Canadian Drought Monitor as well as meteorological based indices from weather stations, and evaluated against satellite derived information on evaporative stress (Anderson et al. 2011), soil moisture (Champagne et al. 2015), terrestrial water storage (Wang and Li 2016) and vegetation condition (Davidson et al. 2009). Data sets were evaluated to determine differences in how different sensors characterize the hydrology and impacts of drought events from 2003 to 2016. Preliminary results show how different hydrological observations can provide unique information that can tie causes of drought (water shortages resulting from precipitation, lack of moisture storage or evaporative stress) to impacts (vegetation condition) that hold the potential to improve the understanding and classification of drought events.

  5. Can spectroscopic analysis improve our understanding of biogeochemical processes in agricultural streams?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bieroza, Magdalena; Heathwaite, Ann Louise

    2015-04-01

    In agricultural catchments diffuse fluxes of nutrients, mainly nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from arable land and livestock are responsible for pollution of receiving waters and their eutrophication. Organic matter (OM) can play an important role in mediating a range of biogeochemical processes controlling diffuse pollution in streams and at their interface with surrounding land in the riparian and hyporheic zones. Thus, a holistic and simultaneous monitoring of N, P and OM fractions can help to improve our understanding of biogeochemical functioning of agricultural streams. In this study we build on intensive in situ monitoring of diffuse pollution in a small agricultural groundwater-fed stream in NW England carried out since 2009. The in situ monitoring unit captures high-frequency (15 minutes to hourly) responses of water quality parameters including total phosphorus, total reactive phosphorus and nitrate-nitrogen to changing flow conditions. For two consecutive hydrological years we have carried out additional spectroscopic water analyses to characterise organic matter components and their interactions with nutrient fractions. Automated and grab water samples have been analysed using ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) absorbance and excitation-emission (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy. In addition, a tryptophan sensor was trialled to capture in situ fluorescence dynamics. Our paper evaluates patterns in nutrient and OM responses to baseflow and storm flow conditions and provides an assessment of storage-related changes of automated samples and temperature and turbidity effects on in situ tryptophan measurements. The paper shows the value of spectroscopic measurements to understand biogeochemical and hydrological nutrient dynamics and quantifies analytical uncertainty associated with both laboratory-based and in situ spectroscopic measurements.

  6. Improving Understanding of Spatial Heterogeneity in Mountain Ecohydrology with Multispectral Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigmore, O.; Molotch, N. P.

    2017-12-01

    Mountain regions are a critical component of the hydrologic system. These regions are extremely heterogeneous, with dramatic topographic, climatic, ecologic and hydrologic variations occurring over very short distances. This heterogeneity makes understanding changes in these environments difficult. Commonly used satellite data are often too coarse to resolve processes at appropriate scales and point measurements are typically unrepresentative of the wider region. The rapid rise of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) offers a potential solution to the scale-related inadequacies of satellite and ground-based observing systems. Using UAS, spatially distributed datasets can be collected at high resolution (i.e. cm), on demand, and can therefore facilitate improved understanding of mountain ecohydrology. We deployed a custom built multispectral - visible (RGB), near infrared (NIR) and thermal infrared (TIR) - UAS at a weekly interval over the Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research (NWT LTER) saddle catchment at 3500masl in the Colorado Rockies. This system was used to map surface water pathways, land cover and topography, and quantify ecohydrologic variables including, snow depth, vegetation productivity and surface soil moisture at 5-50cm resolution across an 80ha study area. This presentation will discuss the techniques, methods and merits of using UAS derived multispectral data for ecohydrologic research in mountain regions. We will also present preliminary findings from our survey time series at NWT LTER and a discussion of the potential insights that these datasets can provide. Key questions to be addressed are: 1) how does spatial variability in snow depth impact soil moisture and vegetation productivity, 2) how can UAS help us to identify ecohydrologic `hotspots' and `hot moments' across heterogeneous landscapes.

  7. Toward an improved understanding of the role of transpiration in critical zone dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitra, B.; Papuga, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) is an important component of the total water balance across any ecosystem. In subalpine mixed-conifer ecosystems, transpiration (T) often dominates the total water flux and therefore improved understanding of T is critical for accurate assessment of catchment water balance and for understanding of the processes that governs the complex dynamics across critical zone (CZ). The interaction between T and plant vegetation not only modulates soil water balance but also influences water transit time and hydrochemical flux - key factors in our understanding of how the CZ evolves and responds. Unlike an eddy covariance system which provides only an integrated ET flux from an ecosystem, a sap flow system can provide an estimate of the T flux from the ecosystem. By isolating T, the ecohydrological drivers of this major water loss from the CZ can be identified. Still, the species composition of mixed-conifer ecosystems vary and the drivers of T associated with each species are expected to be different. Therefore, accurate quantification of T from a mixed-conifer requires knowledge of the unique transpiration dynamics of each of the tree species. Here, we installed a sap flow system within two mixed-conifer study sites of the Jemez River Basin - Santa Catalina Mountains Critical Zone Observatory (JRB - SCM CZO). At both sites, we identified the dominant tree species and installed sap flow sensors on healthy representatives for each of those species. At the JRB CZO si