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Sample records for understanding cognitive improvements

  1. Using Cognitive Load Theory to Understand and Improve Patient Handoffs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Young, J.Q.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Transfers of patients from one physician to another (handovers) are ubiquitous and occur with increasing frequency. Handovers are a common source of communication failures, which lead to medical errors and harm to patients. Considerable attention has focused on interventions to improve

  2. Understanding Cognitive Language Learning Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Di Carlo

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Over time, definitions and taxonomies of language learning strategies have been critically examined. This article defines and classifies cognitive language learning strategies on a more grounded basis. Language learning is a macro-process for which the general hypotheses of information processing are valid. Cognitive strategies are represented by the pillars underlying the encoding, storage and retrieval of information. In order to understand the processes taking place on these three dimensions, a functional model was elaborated from multiple theoretical contributions and previous models: the Smart Processing Model. This model operates with linguistic inputs as well as with any other kind of information. It helps to illustrate the stages, relations, modules and processes that occur during the flow of information. This theoretical advance is a core element to classify cognitive strategies. Contributions from cognitive neuroscience have also been considered to establish the proposed classification which consists of five categories. Each of these categories has a different predominant function: classification, preparation, association, elaboration and transfer-practice. This better founded taxonomy opens the doors to potential studies that would allow a better understanding of the interdisciplinary complexity of language learning. Pedagogical and methodological implications are also discussed.

  3. Understanding cognition, choice, and behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corcoran, K J

    1995-09-01

    Bandura (1995) suggests that a "crusade against the causal efficacy of human thought" exists. The present paper disputes that claim, suggesting that the quest which does exist involves an understanding of self-efficacy. Examined are Bandura's shifting definitions of self-efficacy, his misunderstandings of others' work, and implications of some of his attempts to defend the construct. In the remainder of the paper Rotter's Social Learning Theory is discussed as a model of human choice behavior which recognizes the contributions of both cognitive and behavioral traditions within psychology, and has proven to be of great heuristic value.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Language Networks as Models of Cognition: Understanding Cognition through Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckage, Nicole M.; Colunga, Eliana

    Language is inherently cognitive and distinctly human. Separating the object of language from the human mind that processes and creates language fails to capture the full language system. Linguistics traditionally has focused on the study of language as a static representation, removed from the human mind. Network analysis has traditionally been focused on the properties and structure that emerge from network representations. Both disciplines could gain from looking at language as a cognitive process. In contrast, psycholinguistic research has focused on the process of language without committing to a representation. However, by considering language networks as approximations of the cognitive system we can take the strength of each of these approaches to study human performance and cognition as related to language. This paper reviews research showcasing the contributions of network science to the study of language. Specifically, we focus on the interplay of cognition and language as captured by a network representation. To this end, we review different types of language network representations before considering the influence of global level network features. We continue by considering human performance in relation to network structure and conclude with theoretical network models that offer potential and testable explanations of cognitive and linguistic phenomena.

  9. 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

  10. Using robots to understand animal cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frohnwieser, Anna; Murray, John C; Pike, Thomas W; Wilkinson, Anna

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, robotic animals and humans have been used to answer a variety of questions related to behavior. In the case of animal behavior, these efforts have largely been in the field of behavioral ecology. They have proved to be a useful tool for this enterprise as they allow the presentation of naturalistic social stimuli whilst providing the experimenter with full control of the stimulus. In interactive experiments, the behavior of robots can be controlled in a manner that is impossible with real animals, making them ideal instruments for the study of social stimuli in animals. This paper provides an overview of the current state of the field and considers the impact that the use of robots could have on fundamental questions related to comparative psychology: namely, perception, spatial cognition, social cognition, and early cognitive development. We make the case that the use of robots to investigate these key areas could have an important impact on the field of animal cognition. © 2016 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

  11. Understanding Cognitive Load Using On-line Dictionaries

    OpenAIRE

    Robert F. , Dilenschneider

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive Load Theory may useful for language instructors to understand how the look up conditions ofusing an on-line dictionary might influence learning. This paper first reviews previous studies that haveinvestigated dictionary use for vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension Second, it explainsthe various elements of Cognitive Load Theory. Third, it describes how Cognitive Load Theory appliesto language learners' to learn unknown words and comprehend texts Last, it discusses the pe...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. Understanding antigay bias from a cognitive-affective-behavioral perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callender, Kevin A

    2015-01-01

    In general, United States citizens have become increasingly more accepting of lesbians and gay men over the past few decades. Despite this shift in public attitudes, antigay bias remains openly tolerated, accepted, practiced, and even defended by a substantial portion of the population. This article reviews why and how antigay bias persists using a cognitive-affective-behavioral perspective that touches on sociocognitive factors such as prejudice and stereotyping, as well as features unique to antigay bias, such as its concealable nature. The article concludes with a discussion of how understanding modern antigay bias through a cognitive-affective-behavioral lens can be applied to reduce discrimination against gays and lesbians.

  1. Impact of Learning Model Based on Cognitive Conflict toward Student’s Conceptual Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mufit, F.; Festiyed, F.; Fauzan, A.; Lufri, L.

    2018-04-01

    The problems that often occur in the learning of physics is a matter of misconception and low understanding of the concept. Misconceptions do not only happen to students, but also happen to college students and teachers. The existing learning model has not had much impact on improving conceptual understanding and remedial efforts of student misconception. This study aims to see the impact of cognitive-based learning model in improving conceptual understanding and remediating student misconceptions. The research method used is Design / Develop Research. The product developed is a cognitive conflict-based learning model along with its components. This article reports on product design results, validity tests, and practicality test. The study resulted in the design of cognitive conflict-based learning model with 4 learning syntaxes, namely (1) preconception activation, (2) presentation of cognitive conflict, (3) discovery of concepts & equations, (4) Reflection. The results of validity tests by some experts on aspects of content, didactic, appearance or language, indicate very valid criteria. Product trial results also show a very practical product to use. Based on pretest and posttest results, cognitive conflict-based learning models have a good impact on improving conceptual understanding and remediating misconceptions, especially in high-ability students.

  2. 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

  3. Improving Students' Understanding of Quantum Measurement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Guangtian; Singh, Chandralekha

    2010-01-01

    We describe the difficulties advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with quantum measurement. To reduce these difficulties, we have developed research-based learning tools such as the Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) and peer instruction tools. A preliminary evaluation shows that these learning tools are effective in improving students' understanding of concepts related to quantum measurement.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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. Understanding cognitive processes behind acceptance or refusal of phase I trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pravettoni, Gabriella; Mazzocco, Ketti; Gorini, Alessandra; Curigliano, Giuseppe

    2016-04-01

    Participation in phase I trials gives patients the chance to obtain control over their disease by trying an experimental therapy. The patients' vulnerability, the informed consent process aiming at understanding the purpose and potential benefits of the phase I trial, and the complexity of the studies may impact the patient's final decision. Emotionally difficult health conditions may induce patients to succumb to cognitive biases, allocating attention only on a part of the provided information. Filling the gap in patients' information process can foster the implementation of strategies to help physicians tailor clinical trials' communication providing personalized support and tailored medical information around patients' need, so avoiding cognitive biases in patients and improving informed shared decision quality. The aim of the present review article focuses on the analysis of cognitive and psychological factors that affect patients' decision to participate or not to early phase clinical trials. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Andrew McCollough; DeAunne Denmark; Donald Harker

    2014-01-01

    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 p...

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. Physical activity and enhanced fitness to improve cognitive function in older people without known cognitive impairment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Angevaren, Maaike; Aufdemkampe, Geert; Verhaar, H. J. J.; Aleman, A.; Vanhees, Luc

    2008-01-01

    Background Physical activity is beneficial for healthy ageing. It may also help maintain good cognitive function in older age. Aerobic activity improves cardiovascular fitness, but it is not known whether this sort of fitness is necessary for improved cognitive function. Studies in which activity,

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Children's and adults' understanding of death: Cognitive, parental, and experiential influences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panagiotaki, Georgia; Hopkins, Michelle; Nobes, Gavin; Ward, Emma; Griffiths, Debra

    2018-02-01

    This study explored the development of understanding of death in a sample of 4- to 11-year-old British children and adults (N=136). It also investigated four sets of possible influences on this development: parents' religion and spiritual beliefs, cognitive ability, socioeconomic status, and experience of illness and death. Participants were interviewed using the "death concept" interview that explores understanding of the subcomponents of inevitability, universality, irreversibility, cessation, and causality of death. Children understood key aspects of death from as early as 4 or 5years, and with age their explanations of inevitability, universality, and causality became increasingly biological. Understanding of irreversibility and the cessation of mental and physical processes also emerged during early childhood, but by 10years many children's explanations reflected not an improved biological understanding but rather the coexistence of apparently contradictory biological and supernatural ideas-religious, spiritual, or metaphysical. Evidence for these coexistent beliefs was more prevalent in older children than in younger children and was associated with their parents' religious and spiritual beliefs. Socioeconomic status was partly related to children's biological ideas, whereas cognitive ability and experience of illness and death played less important roles. There was no evidence for coexistent thinking among adults, only a clear distinction between biological explanations about death and supernatural explanations about the afterlife. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Reading Comprehension Improvement with Individualized Cognitive Profiles and Metacognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Kathleen D.; Hancock, Thomas E.

    2008-01-01

    This study models improving classroom reading instruction through valid assessment and individualized metacomprehension. Individualized cognitive profiles of Woodcock-Johnson III cognitive abilities correlated with reading comprehension were used during classroom independent reading for judgments of learning, feedback, self-reflection, and…

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia: Understanding the Biological Correlates and Remediation Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripathi, Adarsh; Shukla, Rashmi

    2018-01-01

    Cognitive deficits are one of the core symptoms of schizophrenia that evolve during the course of schizophrenia, after being originated even before the onset of illness. Existing pharmacological and biological treatment modalities fall short to meet the needs to improve the cognitive symptoms; hence, various cognitive remediation strategies have been adopted to address these deficits. Research evidences suggest that cognitive remediation measures improve the functioning, limit disability bettering the quality of life. The functional outcomes of cognitive remediation in schizophrenia are resultant of neurobiological changes in specific brain areas. Recent years witnessed significant innovations in cognitive remediation strategies in schizophrenia. This comprehensive review highlights the biological correlates of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and the remedial measures with evidence base. PMID:29397662

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. Deliberation's blindsight: how cognitive load can improve judgments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Janina A; von Helversen, Bettina; Rieskamp, Jörg

    2013-06-01

    Multitasking poses a major challenge in modern work environments by putting the worker under cognitive load. Performance decrements often occur when people are under high cognitive load because they switch to less demanding--and often less accurate--cognitive strategies. Although cognitive load disturbs performance over a wide range of tasks, it may also carry benefits. In the experiments reported here, we showed that judgment performance can increase under cognitive load. Participants solved a multiple-cue judgment task in which high performance could be achieved by using a similarity-based judgment strategy but not by using a more demanding rule-based judgment strategy. Accordingly, cognitive load induced a shift to a similarity-based judgment strategy, which consequently led to more accurate judgments. By contrast, shifting to a similarity-based strategy harmed judgments in a task best solved by using a rule-based strategy. These results show how important it is to consider the cognitive strategies people rely on to understand how people perform in demanding work environments.

  10. Does cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia improve cognitive performance? A systematic review and narrative synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbert, Vanessa; Kyle, Simon D; Pratt, Daniel

    2018-06-01

    Individuals with insomnia report difficulties pertaining to their cognitive functioning. Cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is associated with robust, long-term improvements in sleep parameters, however less is known about the impact of CBT-I on the daytime correlates of the disorder. A systematic review and narrative synthesis was conducted in order to summarise and evaluate the evidence regarding the impact of CBT-I on cognitive functioning. Reference databases were searched and studies were included if they assessed cognitive performance as an outcome of CBT-I, using either self-report questionnaires or cognitive tests. Eighteen studies met inclusion criteria, comprising 923 individuals with insomnia symptoms. The standardised mean difference was calculated at post-intervention and follow-up. We found preliminary evidence for small to moderate effects of CBT-I on subjective measures of cognitive functioning. Few of the effects were statistically significant, likely due to small sample sizes and limited statistical power. There is a lack of evidence with regards to the impact of CBT-I on objective cognitive performance, primarily due to the small number of studies that administered an objective measure (n = 4). We conclude that adequately powered randomised controlled trials, utilising both subjective and objective measures of cognitive functioning are required. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. Improvement of Requirement Elicitation Process through Cognitive Psychology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sana Fatima

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Proper requirement elicitation is necessary for client satisfaction along with the overall project success, but requirement engineers face problems in understanding user requirements and the users of the required system fail to make requirement engineering team understand what they actually want. It is then responsibility of requirement engineers to extract proper requirements. This paper discusses how to use cognitive psychology and learning style models (LSM to understand the psychology of clients. Moreover, it also discusses usage of proper elicitation technique according to one’s learning style and gather the right requirements.

  14. Why (and how) should we study the interplay between emotional arousal, Theory of Mind, and inhibitory control to understand moral cognition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buon, Marine; Seara-Cardoso, Ana; Viding, Essi

    2016-12-01

    Findings in the field of experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience have shed new light on our understanding of the psychological and biological bases of morality. Although a lot of attention has been devoted to understanding the processes that underlie complex moral dilemmas, attempts to represent the way in which individuals generate moral judgments when processing basic harmful actions are rare. Here, we will outline a model of morality which proposes that the evaluation of basic harmful actions relies on complex interactions between emotional arousal, Theory of Mind (ToM) capacities, and inhibitory control resources. This model makes clear predictions regarding the cognitive processes underlying the development of and ability to generate moral judgments. We draw on data from developmental and cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and psychopathology research to evaluate the model and propose several conceptual and methodological improvements that are needed to further advance our understanding of moral cognition and its development.

  15. The Importance of Social Cognition in Improving Functional Outcomes in Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javed, Afzal; Charles, Asha

    2018-01-01

    Social cognition has become recognized as an important driver of functional outcomes and overall recovery in patients with schizophrenia, mediating the relationship between neurocognition and social functioning. Since antipsychotic therapy targeting remission of clinical symptoms has been shown to have a limited impact on social cognition, there has been an increasing drive to develop therapeutic strategies to specifically improve social cognition in schizophrenia. We sought to review current evidence relating to social cognition in schizophrenia and its clinical implications, including interventions designed to target the core domains of social cognition (emotion processing, theory of mind, attributional bias, and social perception) as a means of improving functional outcomes and thereby increasing the likelihood of recovery. Relevant articles were identified by conducting a literature search in PubMed using the search terms “schizophrenia” AND “cognition” AND “social functioning,” limited to Title/Abstract, over a time period of the past 10 years. Current evidence demonstrates that schizophrenia is associated with impairments in all four core domains of social cognition, during the pre-first-episode, first-episode, early, and chronic phases of the disease, and that such impairments are important determinants of functional outcome. Interventions targeting the four core domains of social cognition comprise psychosocial approaches (social cognition training programs) and pharmacological therapies. Social cognition training programs targeting multiple and specific core domains of social cognition have shown promise in improving social cognition skills, which, in some cases, has translated into improvements in functional outcomes. Use of some psychosocial interventions has additionally resulted in improvements in clinical symptoms and/or quality of life. Pharmacological therapies, including oxytocin and certain antipsychotics, have yielded more mixed

  16. The Importance of Social Cognition in Improving Functional Outcomes in Schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Afzal Javed

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Social cognition has become recognized as an important driver of functional outcomes and overall recovery in patients with schizophrenia, mediating the relationship between neurocognition and social functioning. Since antipsychotic therapy targeting remission of clinical symptoms has been shown to have a limited impact on social cognition, there has been an increasing drive to develop therapeutic strategies to specifically improve social cognition in schizophrenia. We sought to review current evidence relating to social cognition in schizophrenia and its clinical implications, including interventions designed to target the core domains of social cognition (emotion processing, theory of mind, attributional bias, and social perception as a means of improving functional outcomes and thereby increasing the likelihood of recovery. Relevant articles were identified by conducting a literature search in PubMed using the search terms “schizophrenia” AND “cognition” AND “social functioning,” limited to Title/Abstract, over a time period of the past 10 years. Current evidence demonstrates that schizophrenia is associated with impairments in all four core domains of social cognition, during the pre-first-episode, first-episode, early, and chronic phases of the disease, and that such impairments are important determinants of functional outcome. Interventions targeting the four core domains of social cognition comprise psychosocial approaches (social cognition training programs and pharmacological therapies. Social cognition training programs targeting multiple and specific core domains of social cognition have shown promise in improving social cognition skills, which, in some cases, has translated into improvements in functional outcomes. Use of some psychosocial interventions has additionally resulted in improvements in clinical symptoms and/or quality of life. Pharmacological therapies, including oxytocin and certain antipsychotics, have

  17. Improved understanding of protein complex offers insight into DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summer Science Writing Internship Improved understanding of protein complex offers insight into DNA clearer understanding of the origin recognition complex (ORC) - a protein complex that directs DNA replication - through its crystal structure offers new insight into fundamental mechanisms of DNA replication

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. Computer-aided cognitive rehabilitation improves cognitive performances and induces brain functional connectivity changes in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis patients: an exploratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonavita, S; Sacco, R; Della Corte, M; Esposito, S; Sparaco, M; d'Ambrosio, A; Docimo, R; Bisecco, A; Lavorgna, L; Corbo, D; Cirillo, S; Gallo, A; Esposito, F; Tedeschi, G

    2015-01-01

    To better understand the effects of short-term computer-based cognitive rehabilitation (cCR) on cognitive performances and default mode network (DMN) intrinsic functional connectivity (FC) in cognitively impaired relapsing remitting (RR) multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Eighteen cognitively impaired RRMS patients underwent neuropsychological evaluation by the Rao's brief repeatable battery and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate FC of the DMN before and after a short-term (8 weeks, twice a week) cCR. A control group of 14 cognitively impaired RRMS patients was assigned to an aspecific cognitive training (aCT), and underwent the same study protocol. Correlations between DMN and cognitive performances were also tested. After cCR, there was a significant improvement of the following tests: SDMT (p Color-Word Interference Test and FC in the PCC emerged. After aCT, the control group did not show any significant effect either on FC or neuropsychological tests. No significant differences were found in brain volumes and lesion load in both groups when comparing data acquired at baseline and after cCR or aCT. In cognitively impaired RRMS patients, cCR improves cognitive performances (i.e., processing speed and visual and verbal sustained memory), and increases FC in the PCC and IPC of the DMN. This exploratory study suggests that cCR may induce adaptive cortical reorganization favoring better cognitive performances, thus strengthening the value of cognitive exercise in the general perspective of building either cognitive or brain reserve.

  5. Cognitive Neuroscience Approaches to Understanding Behavior Change in Alcohol Use Disorder Treatments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naqvi, Nasir H; Morgenstern, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Researchers have begun to apply cognitive neuroscience concepts and methods to study behavior change mechanisms in alcohol use disorder (AUD) treatments. This review begins with an examination of the current state of treatment mechanisms research using clinical and social psychological approaches. It then summarizes what is currently understood about the pathophysiology of addiction from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. Finally, it reviews recent efforts to use cognitive neuroscience approaches to understand the neural mechanisms of behavior change in AUD, including studies that use neural functioning to predict relapse and abstinence; studies examining neural mechanisms that operate in current evidence-based behavioral interventions for AUD; as well as research on novel behavioral interventions that are being derived from our emerging understanding of the neural and cognitive mechanisms of behavior change in AUD. The article highlights how the regulation of subcortical regions involved in alcohol incentive motivation by prefrontal cortical regions involved in cognitive control may be a core mechanism that plays a role in these varied forms of behavior change in AUD. We also lay out a multilevel framework for integrating cognitive neuroscience approaches with more traditional methods for examining AUD treatment mechanisms.

  6. 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

  7. Attitude change through understanding (cognition of the influence of the persuasive language of liturgy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferdi Kruger

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this article is to argue that the use of language in liturgy during worship services should be meaningful to contribute to persuasion in the lives of the participants in liturgy. Language is a prominent medium to convey meaning. In fact, the essence of liturgy that has to lead to the liturgy of life is in itself a meaningful act. The question regarding the meaning of worship services that people often raise is another reason why research on the influence of liturgy is crucial. This investigation is anchored in research on the importance of cognition in persuasive language use to promote attitude change. The research gathers insights from the fields of language philosophy and cognitive psychology. It is clear that the meaning of words in language can never be separated from people’s understanding of the meaning of language. Communication and communion are not opposites. In the normative phase of this investigation, perspectives from Romans 12 are offered. The renewal of the mind that leads to discernment of God’s will must also lead to a new cognition (understanding or phronesis of each believer’s place within the Body of Christ. The insights gained from language philosophy, cognitive psychology and the normative grounding make it evident that people always try to make sense of what they are experiencing and of what they are observing. The attempt to understand necessitates further reflection on the importance of cognition. Finally, practical theological perspectives are offered to indicate that cognition is important to create a meaningful liturgy. This cognition is anchored in God’s presence during worship services and, therefore, it requires meaningful words from liturgists.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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 ...

  12. Big-Data Based Decision-Support Systems to Improve Clinicians’ Cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roosan, Don; Samore, Matthew; Jones, Makoto; Livnat, Yarden; Clutter, Justin

    2016-01-01

    Complex clinical decision-making could be facilitated by using population health data to inform clinicians. In two previous studies, we interviewed 16 infectious disease experts to understand complex clinical reasoning. For this study, we focused on answers from the experts on how clinical reasoning can be supported by population-based Big-Data. We found cognitive strategies such as trajectory tracking, perspective taking, and metacognition has the potential to improve clinicians’ cognition to deal with complex problems. These cognitive strategies could be supported by population health data, and all have important implications for the design of Big-Data based decision-support tools that could be embedded in electronic health records. Our findings provide directions for task allocation and design of decision-support applications for health care industry development of Big data based decision-support systems. PMID:27990498

  13. Big-Data Based Decision-Support Systems to Improve Clinicians' Cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roosan, Don; Samore, Matthew; Jones, Makoto; Livnat, Yarden; Clutter, Justin

    2016-01-01

    Complex clinical decision-making could be facilitated by using population health data to inform clinicians. In two previous studies, we interviewed 16 infectious disease experts to understand complex clinical reasoning. For this study, we focused on answers from the experts on how clinical reasoning can be supported by population-based Big-Data. We found cognitive strategies such as trajectory tracking, perspective taking, and metacognition has the potential to improve clinicians' cognition to deal with complex problems. These cognitive strategies could be supported by population health data, and all have important implications for the design of Big-Data based decision-support tools that could be embedded in electronic health records. Our findings provide directions for task allocation and design of decision-support applications for health care industry development of Big data based decision-support systems.

  14. 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.

  15. Toward improved understanding and control in analytical atomic spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hieftje, Gary M.

    1989-01-01

    As with most papers which attempt to predict the future, this treatment will begin with a coverage of past events. It will be shown that progress in the field of analytical atomic spectrometry has occurred through a series of steps which involve the addition of new techniques and the occasional displacement of established ones. Because it is difficult or impossible to presage true breakthroughs, this manuscript will focus on how such existing methods can be modified or improved to greatest advantage. The thesis will be that rational improvement can be accomplished most effectively by understanding fundamentally the nature of an instrumental system, a measurement process, and a spectrometric technique. In turn, this enhanced understanding can lead to closer control, from which can spring improved performance. Areas where understanding is now lacking and where control is most greatly needed will be identified and a possible scheme for implementing control procedures will be outlined. As we draw toward the new millennium, these novel procedures seem particularly appealing; new high-speed computers, the availability of expert systems, and our enhanced understanding of atomic spectrometric events combine to make future prospects extremely bright.

  16. 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.

  17. Neural information processing in cognition: we start to understand the orchestra, but where is the conductor?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guenther ePalm

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Positive affect improves working memory: implications for controlled cognitive processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hwajin; Yang, Sujin; Isen, Alice M

    2013-01-01

    This study examined the effects of positive affect on working memory (WM) and short-term memory (STM). Given that WM involves both storage and controlled processing and that STM primarily involves storage processing, we hypothesised that if positive affect facilitates controlled processing, it should improve WM more than STM. The results demonstrated that positive affect, compared with neutral affect, significantly enhanced WM, as measured by the operation span task. The influence of positive affect on STM, however, was weaker. These results suggest that positive affect enhances WM, a task that involves controlled processing, not just storage processing. Additional analyses of recall and processing times and accuracy further suggest that improved WM under positive affect is not attributable to motivational differences, but results instead from improved controlled cognitive processing.

  1. 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

    Learning Test (RAVLT) total recall with multiple logistic regression adjusted for diagnosis, age, gender, symptom severity, and education levels. RESULTS: We included 79 patients with an ICD-10 diagnosis of unipolar or bipolar disorder, of whom 39 received EPO and 40 received placebo (saline). For EPO......-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...

  2. Hearing Impairment and Cognitive Energy: The Framework for Understanding Effortful Listening (FUEL).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pichora-Fuller, M Kathleen; Kramer, Sophia E; Eckert, Mark A; Edwards, Brent; Hornsby, Benjamin W Y; Humes, Larry E; Lemke, Ulrike; Lunner, Thomas; Matthen, Mohan; Mackersie, Carol L; Naylor, Graham; Phillips, Natalie A; Richter, Michael; Rudner, Mary; Sommers, Mitchell S; Tremblay, Kelly L; Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    The Fifth Eriksholm Workshop on "Hearing Impairment and Cognitive Energy" was convened to develop a consensus among interdisciplinary experts about what is known on the topic, gaps in knowledge, the use of terminology, priorities for future research, and implications for practice. The general term cognitive energy was chosen to facilitate the broadest possible discussion of the topic. It goes back to who described the effects of attention on perception; he used the term psychic energy for the notion that limited mental resources can be flexibly allocated among perceptual and mental activities. The workshop focused on three main areas: (1) theories, models, concepts, definitions, and frameworks; (2) methods and measures; and (3) knowledge translation. We defined effort as the deliberate allocation of mental resources to overcome obstacles in goal pursuit when carrying out a task, with listening effort applying more specifically when tasks involve listening. We adapted Kahneman's seminal (1973) Capacity Model of Attention to listening and proposed a heuristically useful Framework for Understanding Effortful Listening (FUEL). Our FUEL incorporates the well-known relationship between cognitive demand and the supply of cognitive capacity that is the foundation of cognitive theories of attention. Our FUEL also incorporates a motivation dimension based on complementary theories of motivational intensity, adaptive gain control, and optimal performance, fatigue, and pleasure. Using a three-dimensional illustration, we highlight how listening effort depends not only on hearing difficulties and task demands but also on the listener's motivation to expend mental effort in the challenging situations of everyday life.

  3. How do children construct a socio-cognitive understanding of minds? : A cultural perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Tsuji, Hiromi; Hiromi, TSUJI

    2010-01-01

    This paper reviews the studies investigating the social influence on the development of socio-cognitive understanding of minds from a cultural perspective. Research on the western indi vidualistic interpretation of the theory of mind is reviewed and implications from these studies are discussed. The cultural niche is then addressed with reference to existing culture studies. This paper will then discuss hypotheses that could be tested in order to help us reach a better explanation of “cul...

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regterschot, G Ruben H; Van Heuvelen, Marieke J G; Zeinstra, Edzard B; Fuermaier, Anselm B M; Tucha, Lara; Koerts, Janneke; Tucha, Oliver; Van Der Zee, Eddy A

    2014-01-01

    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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonides, Alexandra; Schoonderwoerd, Anne C; Nordquist, Rebecca E; 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 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 (WM) (short-term memory) and reference memory (RM) (long-term memory) 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 better RM performance than NBW piglets in both the acquisition and reversal phase. Additionally, WM scores in the vLBW were less disrupted than in 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 (HCCs) 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.

  8. 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

    We investigate model understanding, in particular , how the quality of the UML diagram layout impacts cognitive load. We hypothesize that this w ill have a significant impact on the structure and effectiveness of engineers’ communication. In previous work, we have studied task performance...... 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernice Wright

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  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. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. The impact of intrinsic motivation on session attendance and reliable cognitive improvement in cognitive remediation in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryce, S D; Lee, S J; Ponsford, J L; Lawrence, R J; Tan, E J; Rossell, S L

    2018-06-20

    Cognitive remediation (CR) is considered a potentially effective method of improving cognitive function in people with schizophrenia. Few studies, however, have explored the role of intrinsic motivation on treatment utilization or training outcomes in CR in this population. This study explored the impact of task-specific intrinsic motivation on attendance and reliable cognitive improvement in a controlled trial comparing CR with a computer game (CG) playing control. Forty-nine participants with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, allocated to 10 weeks of group-based CR (n = 25) or CG control (n = 24), provided complete outcome data at baseline. Forty-three participants completed their assigned intervention. Cognition, psychopathology and intrinsic motivation were measured at baseline and end-treatment. Regression analyses explored the relative contribution of baseline motivation and other clinical factors to session attendance as well as the association of baseline and change in intrinsic motivation with the odds of reliable cognitive improvement (calculated using reliable change indices). Baseline reports of perceived program value were the only significant multivariable predictor of session attendance when including global cognition and psychiatric symptomatology. The odds of reliable cognitive improvement significantly increased with greater improvements in program interest and value from baseline to end-treatment. Motivational changes over time were highly variable between participants. Task-specific intrinsic motivation in schizophrenia may represent an important patient-related factor that contributes to session attendance and cognitive improvements in CR. Regular evaluation and enhancement of intrinsic motivation in cognitively enhancing interventions may optimize treatment engagement and the likelihood of meaningful training outcomes. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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 ... The fields of cognitive load theory and human-computer interaction share a common goal in striving to reduce extraneous cognitive load. The load induced by ...

  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. Understanding the effects of stimulant medications on cognition in individuals with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a decade of progress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, James; Baler, Ruben D; Volkow, Nora D

    2011-01-01

    The use of stimulant drugs for the treatment of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most widespread pharmacological interventions in child psychiatry and behavioral pediatrics. This treatment is well grounded on controlled studies showing efficacy of low oral doses of methylphenidate and amphetamine in reducing the behavioral symptoms of the disorder as reported by parents and teachers, both for the cognitive (inattention and impulsivity) and non-cognitive (hyperactivity) domains. Our main aim is to review the objectively measured cognitive effects that accompany the subjectively assessed clinical responses to stimulant medications. Recently, methods from the cognitive neurosciences have been used to provide information about brain processes that underlie the cognitive deficits of ADHD and the cognitive effects of stimulant medications. We will review some key findings from the recent literature, and then offer interpretations of the progress that has been made over the past decade in understanding the cognitive effects of stimulant medication on individuals with ADHD.

  4. 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

    the individual effects of cognitive distance and competition on innovation but also try to understand their joint effects in a coherent way based on a resource-based view and through the product life cycle as a link of cognitive distance and competition. Competition is multidimensional and innovation has many......The relationships between cognitive distance, competition and innovation have drawn great attention from economists and management researchers. First, with regard to cognitive distance and innovation, it is suggested that a moderate level of cognitive distance between firms is associated...... 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...

  5. Improving our understanding of antibiotic resistance: The relevance ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    GUEST EDITORIAL ... bacteria develop mechanisms enabling them to thrive in the presence ... Recent data from the Etiology, Risk Factors, and Interactions of .... growth, cognitive development, and immune responses in infants and children ...

  6. 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

  7. Developing improved MD codes for understanding processive cellulases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crowley, M F; Nimlos, M R; Himmel, M E; Uberbacher, E C; Iii, C L Brooks; Walker, R C

    2008-01-01

    The mechanism of action of cellulose-degrading enzymes is illuminated through a multidisciplinary collaboration that uses molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and expands the capabilities of MD codes to allow simulations of enzymes and substrates on petascale computational facilities. There is a class of glycoside hydrolase enzymes called cellulases that are thought to decrystallize and processively depolymerize cellulose using biochemical processes that are largely not understood. Understanding the mechanisms involved and improving the efficiency of this hydrolysis process through computational models and protein engineering presents a compelling grand challenge. A detailed understanding of cellulose structure, dynamics and enzyme function at the molecular level is required to direct protein engineers to the right modifications or to understand if natural thermodynamic or kinetic limits are in play. Much can be learned about processivity by conducting carefully designed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the binding and catalytic domains of cellulases with various substrate configurations, solvation models and thermodynamic protocols. Most of these numerical experiments, however, will require significant modification of existing code and algorithms in order to efficiently use current (terascale) and future (petascale) hardware to the degree of parallelism necessary to simulate a system of the size proposed here. This work will develop MD codes that can efficiently use terascale and petascale systems, not just for simple classical MD simulations, but also for more advanced methods, including umbrella sampling with complex restraints and reaction coordinates, transition path sampling, steered molecular dynamics, and quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical simulations of systems the size of cellulose degrading enzymes acting on cellulose

  8. 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.

  9. Cognitive Shifting as a Predictor of Progress in Social Understanding in High-Functioning Adolescents with Autism: A Prospective Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Hans J. C.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    This prospective study of 17 high-functioning residentially treated adolescents with autism found that cognitive shifting, as measured by card sorting tests, was the only significant factor in predicting progress in social understanding. (Author/JDD)

  10. 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.

  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

    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

  12. A Cognitive Dimensional Approach to Understanding Shared and Unique Contributions to Reading, Math, and Attention Skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Child, Amanda E; Cirino, Paul T; Fletcher, Jack M; Willcutt, Erik G; Fuchs, Lynn S

    2018-05-01

    Disorders of reading, math, and attention frequently co-occur in children. However, it is not yet clear which cognitive factors contribute to comorbidities among multiple disorders and which uniquely relate to one, especially because they have rarely been studied as a triad. Thus, the present study considers how reading, math, and attention relate to phonological awareness, numerosity, working memory, and processing speed, all implicated as either unique or shared correlates of these disorders. In response to findings that the attributes of all three disorders exist on a continuum rather than representing qualitatively different groups, this study employed a dimensional approach. Furthermore, we used both timed and untimed academic variables in addition to attention and activity level variables. The results supported the role of working memory and phonological awareness in the overlap among reading, math, and attention, with a limited role of processing speed. Numerosity was related to the comorbidity between math and attention. The results from timed variables and activity level were similar to those from untimed and attention variables, although activity level was less strongly related to cognitive and academic/attention variables. These findings have implications for understanding cognitive deficits that contribute to comorbid reading disability, math disability, and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. PROSPECTIVE TEACHERS’ COGNITIVE STRUCTURES CONCERNING PROTEIN SYNTHESIS AND THEIR DEGREE OF UNDERSTANDING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cem Gerçek

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of education is to actualise meaningful learning. Therefore, researching the issues on how students process information and how they configure it is important for meaningful learning. The issue of protein synthesis contains a number of abstract topics and concepts. Hence, it is important in biology teaching to be informed of students’ cognitive structures concerning protein synthesis. This research aims to analyse prospective teachers’ cognitive structures about protein synthesis and their degree of understanding the subject. The research group was composed of 17 volunteering prospective teachers who had been chosen through purposeful sampling. The data were collected via semi-structured interviews. Flow maps and content analysis were used in analysing the data. The results demonstrated that prospective teachers had too many misconceptions about protein synthesis and that their knowledge extent and rich connection are inadequate. The prospective teachers’ degree of understanding protein synthesis was divided into three categories. The results obtained in this research suggested that teachers should be careful in teaching the subject of protein synthesis. Students’ prior knowledge and their misconceptions should be determined and content or contexts to facilitate them to learn an abstract subject such as protein synthesis should be presented.

  3. Aerobic and Cognitive Exercise (ACE) Pilot Study for Older Adults: Executive Function Improves with Cognitive Challenge While Exergaming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barcelos, Nicole; Shah, Nikita; Cohen, Katherine; Hogan, Michael J; Mulkerrin, Eamon; Arciero, Paul J; Cohen, Brian D; Kramer, Arthur F; Anderson-Hanley, Cay

    2015-11-01

    Dementia cases are increasing worldwide; thus, investigators seek to identify interventions that might prevent or ameliorate cognitive decline in later life. Extensive research confirms the benefits of physical exercise for brain health, yet only a fraction of older adults exercise regularly. Interactive mental and physical exercise, as in aerobic exergaming, not only motivates, but has also been found to yield cognitive benefit above and beyond traditional exercise. This pilot study sought to investigate whether greater cognitive challenge while exergaming would yield differential outcomes in executive function and generalize to everyday functioning. Sixty-four community based older adults (mean age=82) were randomly assigned to pedal a stationary bike, while interactively engaging on-screen with: (1) a low cognitive demand task (bike tour), or (2) a high cognitive demand task (video game). Executive function (indices from Trails, Stroop and Digit Span) was assessed before and after a single-bout and 3-month exercise intervention. Significant group × time interactions were found after a single-bout (Color Trails) and after 3 months of exergaming (Stroop; among 20 adherents). Those in the high cognitive demand group performed better than those in the low cognitive dose condition. Everyday function improved across both exercise conditions. Pilot data indicate that for older adults, cognitive benefit while exergaming increased concomitantly with higher doses of interactive mental challenge.

  4. 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.

  5. Memory and Language Improvements Following Cognitive Control Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussey, Erika K.; Harbison, J. Isaiah; Teubner-Rhodes, Susan E.; Mishler, Alan; Velnoskey, Kayla; Novick, Jared M.

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive control refers to adjusting thoughts and actions when confronted with conflict during information processing. We tested whether this ability is causally linked to performance on certain language and memory tasks by using cognitive control training to systematically modulate people's ability to resolve information-conflict across domains.…

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Improving health outcomes with better patient understanding and education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert John Adams

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Robert John AdamsThe Health Observatory, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Campus, The University of Adelaide, Woodville, South Australia, AustraliaAbstract: A central plank of health care reform is an expanded role for educated consumers interacting with responsive health care teams. However, for individuals to realize the benefits of health education also requires a high level of engagement. Population studies have documented a gap between expectations and the actual performance of behaviours related to participation in health care and prevention. Interventions to improve self-care have shown improvements in self-efficacy, patient satisfaction, coping skills, and perceptions of social support. Significant clinical benefits have been seen from trials of self-management or lifestyle interventions across conditions such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, heart failure and rheumatoid arthritis. However, the focus of many studies has been on short-term outcomes rather that long term effects. There is also some evidence that participation in patient education programs is not spread evenly across socio economic groups. This review considers three other issues that may be important in increasing the public health impact of patient education. The first is health literacy, which is the capacity to seek, understand and act on health information. Although health literacy involves an individual’s competencies, the health system has a primary responsibility in setting the parameters of the health interaction and the style, content and mode of information. Secondly, much patient education work has focused on factors such as attitudes and beliefs. That small changes in physical environments can have large effects on behavior and can be utilized in self-management and chronic disease research. Choice architecture involves reconfiguring the context or physical environment in a way that makes it more likely that people will choose certain behaviours. Thirdly

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. A cog in cognition: how the alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is geared towards improving cognitive deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leiser, Steven C; Bowlby, Mark R; Comery, Thomas A; Dunlop, John

    2009-06-01

    Cognition, memory, and attention and arousal have been linked to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Thus it is not surprising that nAChRs have been strongly implicated as therapeutic targets for treating cognitive deficits in disorders such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease (AD). In particular the alpha7 (alpha7) nAChR has been closely linked with normalization of P50 auditory evoked potential (AEP) gating deficits, and to a lesser extent improvements in pre-pulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response. These two brain phenomena can be considered as pre-attentive, occurring while sensory information is being processed, and are important endophenotypes in schizophrenia with deficits likely contributing to the cognitive fragmentation associated with the disease. In addition alpha7 nAChRs have been implicated in attention, in particular under high attentional demand, and in more demanding working memory tasks such as long delays in delayed matching tasks. Efficacy of alpha7 nAChR agonists across a range of cognitive processes ranging from pre-attentive to attentive states and working and recognition memory provides a solid basis for their pro-cognitive effects. This review will focus on the recent work highlighting the role of alpha7 in cognition and cognitive processes.

  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. [Cognitive impairments in alcohol dependence: From screening to treatment improvements].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabé, N; Laniepce, A; Ritz, L; Lannuzel, C; Boudehent, C; Vabret, F; Eustache, F; Beaunieux, H; Pitel, A-L

    2016-02-01

    Alcohol-related cognitive impairments are largely underestimated in clinical practice, even though they could limit the benefit of alcohol treatment and hamper the patient's ability to remain abstinent or to respect his/her therapeutic contract. These neuropsychological deficits can impact the management of patients well before the development of the well-known Korsakoff's syndrome. Indeed, even in the absence of ostensible neurological complications, excessive and chronic alcohol consumption results in damage of brain structure and function. The frontocerebellar circuit and the circuit of Papez, respectively involved in motor and executive abilities and episodic memory, are mainly affected. Those brain dysfunctions are associated with neuropsychological deficits, including deficits of executive functions, episodic memory, social cognition, as well as visuospatial and motor abilities. Such cognitive disorders can interfere with the motivation process to abandon maladjusted drinking behavior in favor of a healthier lifestyle (such as abstinence or controlled alcohol consumption). They can also limit the patient's capacity to fully benefit from treatment (notably psychoeducation and cognitive-behavioural treatments) currently widely proposed in French Addiction departments. In addition, they may contribute to relapse which is multi-determinated. A neuropsychological assessment appears therefore crucial to take relevant clinical decisions. However, very few addiction departments have the human and financial resources to conduct an extensive neuropsychological examination of all patients with alcohol dependence. Some brief screening tools can be used, notably the MOntreal Cognitive Assessment and the Brief Evaluation of Alcohol-Related Neuropsychological Impairments, which has been especially designed to assess cognitive and motor deficits in alcoholism. These tools can be used by non-psychologist clinicians to detect alcohol-related cognitive deficits, which require

  15. Improving Sensitivity to Detect Mild Cognitive Impairment: Cognitive Load Dual-Task Gait Speed Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacAulay, Rebecca K; Wagner, Mark T; Szeles, Dana; Milano, Nicholas J

    2017-07-01

    Longitudinal research indicates that cognitive load dual-task gait assessment is predictive of cognitive decline and thus might provide a sensitive measure to screen for mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, research among older adults being clinically evaluated for cognitive concerns, a defining feature of MCI, is lacking. The present study investigated the effect of performing a cognitive task on normal walking speed in patients presenting to a memory clinic with cognitive complaints. Sixty-one patients with a mean age of 68 years underwent comprehensive neuropsychological testing, clinical interview, and gait speed (simple- and dual-task conditions) assessments. Thirty-four of the 61 patients met criteria for MCI. Repeated measure analyses of covariance revealed that greater age and MCI both significantly associated with slower gait speed, pscognitive dual task within a clinically representative population. Cognitive load dual-task gait assessment may provide a cost efficient and sensitive measure to detect older adults at high risk of a dementia disorder. (JINS, 2017, 23, 493-501).

  16. Can asthma control be improved by understanding the patient's perspective?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Østrem Anders

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Clinical trials show that asthma can be controlled in the majority of patients, but poorly controlled asthma still imposes a considerable burden. The level of asthma control achieved reflects the behaviour of both healthcare professionals and patients. A key challenge for healthcare professionals is to help patients to engage in self-management behaviours with optimal adherence to appropriate treatment. These issues are particularly relevant in primary care, where most asthma is managed. An international panel of experts invited by the International Primary Care Respiratory Group considered the evidence and discussed the implications for primary care practice. Discussion Causes of poor control Clinical factors such as exposure to triggers and concomitant rhinitis are important but so are patient behavioural factors. Behaviours such as smoking and nonadherence may reduce the efficacy of treatment and patients' perceptions influence these behaviours. Perceptual barriers to adherence include doubting the need for treatment when symptoms are absent and concerns about potential adverse effects. Under-treatment may also be related to patients' underestimation of the significance of symptoms, and lack of awareness of achievable control. Implications Three key implications for healthcare professionals emerged from the debate. First, the need for simple tools to assess asthma control. Two approaches considered were the monitoring of biometric markers of control and questionnaires to record patient-reported outcomes. Second, to understand the reasons for poor control for individual patients, identifying both clinical (e.g. rhinitis and behavioural factors (e.g. smoking and nonadherence to treatment. Third was the need to incorporate, within asthma review, an assessment of patient perspectives including their goals and aspirations and to elicit their beliefs and concerns about asthma and its treatment. This can be used as a basis for

  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 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.

  19. 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.

  20. A Newly Designed Mobile-Based Computerized Cognitive Addiction Therapy App for the Improvement of Cognition Impairments and Risk Decision Making in Methamphetamine Use Disorder: Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Youwei; Jiang, Haifeng; Su, Hang; Zhong, Na; Li, Runji; Li, Xiaotong; Chen, Tianzhen; Tan, Haoye; Du, Jiang; Xu, Ding; Yan, Huan; Xu, Dawen; Zhao, Min

    2018-06-20

    Cognitive rehabilitation therapy has been found to improve cognitive deficits and impulse control problems in methamphetamine use disorder (MUD). However, there is limited research regarding this therapy's feasibility when using mobile-based health technologies in supporting recovery from MUD in China. The main aim of this study was to test whether 4 weeks of a newly designed computerized cognitive addiction therapy (CCAT) app can improve cognitive impairments, eliminate drug-related attention bias, and attenuate risk decision-making behaviors in participants with MUD. Forty MUD participants were assigned randomly to either the CCAT group (n=20), who received 4 weeks of CCAT plus regular detoxification treatment as usual, or the control group (n=20), who only received the regular detoxification treatment as usual, in drug rehabilitation centers in Shanghai. The CCAT was designed by combine methamphetamine use-related picture stimuli with cognitive training with the aim of improving cognitive function and eliminating drug-related attention bias. The CogState Battery, Delay Discounting Task (DDT), Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), and Balloon Analog Risk Task (BART) were administered face-to-face to all participants before and after CCAT interventions. Forty male patients were recruited. The mean age was 32.70 (SD 5.27) years in the CCAT group and mean 35.05 (SD 8.02) years in the control group. Compared to the control group, CCAT improved working memory in the CCAT group (P=.01). Group×time interactions were observed among DDT, IGT, and BART tasks, with rates of discounting delayed rewards, IGT, and BART scores (Pcognitive impairment and impulsive control in MUD. Further study is needed to understand the underlying brain mechanisms of the cognitive therapy. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03318081; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03318081 (Archived by WebCite at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03318081). ©Youwei Zhu, Haifeng Jiang, Hang Su, Na Zhong, Runji Li

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dror, Itiel E.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26101281

  4. 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.

  5. A pilot study of cognitive training with and without transcranial direct current stimulation to improve cognition in older persons with HIV-related cognitive impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ownby RL

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Raymond L Ownby,1 Amarilis Acevedo2 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, 2College of Psychology, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA Background: In spite of treatment advances, HIV infection is associated with cognitive deficits. This is even more important as many persons with HIV infection age and experience age-related cognitive impairments. Both computer-based cognitive training and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS have shown promise as interventions to improve cognitive function. In this study, we investigate the acceptability and efficacy of cognitive training with and without tDCS in older persons with HIV. Patients and methods: In this single-blind randomized study, participants were 14 individuals of whom 11 completed study procedures (mean age =51.5 years; nine men and two women with HIV-related mild neurocognitive disorder. Participants completed a battery of neuropsychological and self-report measures and then six 20-minute cognitive training sessions while receiving either active or sham anodal tDCS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. After training, participants completed the same measures. Success of the blind and participant reactions were assessed during a final interview. Assessments were completed by an assessor blind to treatment assignment. Pre- and post-training changes were evaluated via analysis of covariance yielding estimates of effect size. Results: All participants believed that they had been assigned to active treatment; nine of the 11 believed that the intervention had improved their cognitive functioning. Both participants who felt the intervention was ineffective were assigned to the sham condition. None of the planned tested interactions of time with treatment was significant, but 12 of 13 favored tDCS (P=0.08. All participants indicated that they would participate in similar studies in the future. Conclusion: Results show that both cognitive training via

  6. Physical activity and enhanced fitness to improve cognitive function in older people without known cognitive impairment, A Cochrane Review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Drs. Maaike Angevaren; A. Aleman; Prof. Dr. Luc L.E.M.J. Vanhees; Geert Aufdemkampe; H.J.J. Verhaar

    2008-01-01

    Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD005381. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005381.pub2. Background: Physical activity is beneficial for healthy ageing. It may also help maintain good cognitive function in older age. Aerobic activity improves cardiovascular fitness, but it is

  7. SYNERGIC TRIAL (SYNchronizing Exercises, Remedies in Gait and Cognition) a multi-Centre randomized controlled double blind trial to improve gait and cognition in mild cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montero-Odasso, Manuel; Almeida, Quincy J; Burhan, Amer M; Camicioli, Richard; Doyon, Julien; Fraser, Sarah; Li, Karen; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa; Middleton, Laura; Muir-Hunter, Susan; McIlroy, William; Morais, José A; Pieruccini-Faria, Frederico; Shoemaker, Kevin; Speechley, Mark; Vasudev, Akshya; Zou, G Y; Berryman, Nicolas; Lussier, Maxime; Vanderhaeghe, Leanne; Bherer, Louis

    2018-04-16

    Physical exercise, cognitive training, and vitamin D are low cost interventions that have the potential to enhance cognitive function and mobility in older adults, especially in pre-dementia states such as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Aerobic and progressive resistance exercises have benefits to cognitive performance, though evidence is somewhat inconsistent. We postulate that combined aerobic exercise (AE) and progressive resistance training (RT) (combined exercise) will have a better effect on cognition than a balance and toning control (BAT) intervention in older adults with MCI. We also expect that adding cognitive training and vitamin D supplementation to the combined exercise, as a multimodal intervention, will have synergistic efficacy. The SYNERGIC trial (SYNchronizing Exercises, Remedies in GaIt and Cognition) is a multi-site, double-blinded, five-arm, controlled trial that assesses the potential synergic effect of combined AE and RT on cognition and mobility, with and without cognitive training and vitamin D supplementation in older adults with MCI. Two-hundred participants with MCI aged 60 to 85 years old will be randomized to one of five arms, four of which include combined exercise plus combinations of dual-task cognitive training (real vs. sham) and vitamin D supplementation (3 × 10,000 IU/wk. vs. placebo) in a quasi-factorial design, and one arm which receives all control interventions. The primary outcome measure is the ADAS-Cog (13 and plus modalities) measured at baseline and at 6 months of follow-up. Secondary outcomes include neuroimaging, neuro-cognitive performance, gait and mobility performance, and serum biomarkers of inflammation (C reactive protein and interleukin 6), neuroplasticity (brain-derived neurotropic factor), endothelial markers (vascular endothelial growth factor 1), and vitamin D serum levels. The SYNERGIC Trial will establish the efficacy and feasibility of a multimodal intervention to improve cognitive performance

  8. UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF BEHAVIOR AND COGNITIONS IN A GROUP EXERCISE SETTING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberley A. Dawson

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available The first purpose of the present study examined whether individuals with different exercise behaviors (classified by attendance experienced different or similar cognitive patterns. It was hypothesized that different behavior would lead to different cognitive appraisals. It was predicted that there would be a difference between the three behavioral frequency groups with regard to self-efficacy measures and goal measures. The second purpose of the study was to describe, evaluate and observe whether social factors were associated with participating in exercise in groups. It was hypothesized that those who engage in exercise classes would elicit a social focus. Participants for the study included 39 females who registered in-group fitness classes at a mid-sized university. Attendance over the 10-week course was assessed and participants completed a self-report questionnaire during week seven. The attendance data were used to create 3 exercise frequency groups (regular attenders, sporadic attenders, and dropouts based on ACSM's exercise guidelines. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA, means and frequencies were used to describe the data. There were no significant differences on measures of self-efficacy, goal measures, enjoyment, and external motivation among the three groups (all p's > 0.05. An analysis of the whole group (N=39 discovered a low social focus and high ratings of self-efficacy. Continued research is necessary to investigate the benefit of social support in a group exercise setting, as well as to better understand how self-regulation through self-efficacy and goal factors influences and is influenced by actual behavior.

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. Acai fruit improves motor and cognitive function in aged rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aged rats show impaired performance on motor and cognitive tasks that require the use of spatial learning and memory. In previous studies, we have shown the beneficial effects of various berry fruits (blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries) in reversing age-related deficits in behavioral and ne...

  12. Standard epidemiological methods to understand and improve Apis mellifera health

    OpenAIRE

    Lengerich, Eugene; Spleen, Angela; Dainat, Benjamin; Cresswell, James; Baylis , Kathy; Nguyen, Bach Kim; Soroker, Victoria; Underwood, Robyn; Human, Hannelie; Le Conte, Yves; Saegerman, Claude

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we describe the use of epidemiological methods to understand and reduce honey bee morbidity and mortality. Essential terms are presented and defined and we also give examples for their use. Defining such terms as disease, population, sensitivity, and specificity, provides a framework for epidemiological comparisons. The term population, in particular, is quite complex for an organism like the honey bee because one can view “epidemiological unit” as individual bees, colonies, ap...

  13. Are Improvements in Cognitive Content and Depressive Symptoms Correlates or Mediators during Acute-Phase Cognitive Therapy for Recurrent Major Depressive Disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vittengl, Jeffrey R; Clark, Lee Anna; Thase, Michael E; Jarrett, Robin B

    2014-01-09

    The cognitive model of depression posits that cognitive therapy's (CT) effect on depressive symptoms is mediated by changes in cognitive content (e.g., automatic negative thoughts dysfunctional attitudes, failure attributions). We tested improvement and normalization of cognitive content among outpatients ( N = 523) with recurrent major depressive disorder treated with acute-phase CT (Jarrett & Thase, 2010; Jarrett et al., 2013). We also tested whether improvement in cognitive content accounted for subsequent changes in depressive symptoms and vice versa. Five measures of content improved substantively from pre- to post-CT (median d = 0.96), and the proportions of patients scoring in "healthy" ranges increased (median 45% to 82%). Evidence for cognitive mediation of symptom reduction was limited (median r = .06), as was evidence for symptom mediation of cognitive content improvement (median r = .07). We discuss measurement and design issues relevant to detection of mediators and consider alternative theories of change.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aisenberg, Daniela; Cohen, Noga; Pick, Hadas; Tressman, Iris; Rappaport, Michal; Shenberg, Tal; Henik, Avishai

    2015-01-01

    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.

  17. 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

    2012-01-01

    Background Cognitive remediation (CRT) affects functioning but the extent and type of cognitive improvements necessary are unknown. Aim To develop and test models of how cognitive improvement transfers to work behaviour using the data from a current service. Method 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. Results 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 Conclusion 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. PMID:22503640

  18. A Framework for Designing Scaffolds That Improve Motivation and Cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belland, Brian R.; Kim, ChanMin; Hannafin, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    A problematic, yet common, assumption among educational researchers is that when teachers provide authentic, problem-based experiences, students will automatically be engaged. Evidence indicates that this is often not the case. In this article, we discuss (a) problems with ignoring motivation in the design of learning environments, (b) problem-based learning and scaffolding as one way to help, (c) how scaffolding has strayed from what was originally equal parts motivational and cognitive support, and (d) a conceptual framework for the design of scaffolds that can enhance motivation as well as cognitive outcomes. We propose guidelines for the design of computer-based scaffolds to promote motivation and engagement while students are solving authentic problems. Remaining questions and suggestions for future research are then discussed. PMID:24273351

  19. 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.

  20. Interdisciplinary project-based learning: technology for improving student cognition

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 State University of Economics resulted in a computer-assisted learning system (CALS) designed by IT students. The CALS was used in an analytical chemi...

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. Using transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) to understand cognitive processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhart, Robert M G; Cosman, Josh D; Fukuda, Keisuke; Woodman, Geoffrey F

    2017-01-01

    Noninvasive brain stimulation methods are becoming increasingly common tools in the kit of the cognitive scientist. In particular, transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) is showing great promise as a tool to causally manipulate the brain and understand how information is processed. The popularity of this method of brain stimulation is based on the fact that it is safe, inexpensive, its effects are long lasting, and you can increase the likelihood that neurons will fire near one electrode and decrease the likelihood that neurons will fire near another. However, this method of manipulating the brain to draw causal inferences is not without complication. Because tDCS methods continue to be refined and are not yet standardized, there are reports in the literature that show some striking inconsistencies. Primary among the complications of the technique is that the tDCS method uses two or more electrodes to pass current and all of these electrodes will have effects on the tissue underneath them. In this tutorial, we will share what we have learned about using tDCS to manipulate how the brain perceives, attends, remembers, and responds to information from our environment. Our goal is to provide a starting point for new users of tDCS and spur discussion of the standardization of methods to enhance replicability.

  4. Understanding Resolvin Signaling Pathways to Improve Oral Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura De Oleo

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of resolvins has been a major breakthrough for understanding the processes involved in resolution of inflammation. Resolvins belong to a family of novel lipid mediators that possess dual anti-inflammatory and pro-resolution actions. Specifically, they protect healthy tissue during immune-inflammatory responses to infection or injury, thereby aiding inflammation resolution and promoting tissue healing. One of the major concerns in modern medicine is the management and treatment of oral diseases, as they are related to systemic outcomes impacting the quality of life of many patients. This review summarizes known signaling pathways utilized by resolvins to regulate inflammatory responses associated with the oral cavity.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Proposta di nuovi strumenti per comprendere come funziona la cognizione (Novel tools to understand how cognition works)

    OpenAIRE

    Pantano, Devis

    2014-01-01

    I think that the main reason why we do not understand the general principles of how knowledge works (and probably also the reason why we have not yet designed and built efficient machines capable of artificial intelligence), is not the excessive complexity of cognitive phenomena, but the lack of the conceptual and methodological tools to properly address the problem. It is like trying to build up Physics without the concept of number, or to understand the origin of species without including t...

  9. 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.

  10. The Relationship between Second-Order False Belief and Display Rules Reasoning: The Integration of Cognitive and Affective Social Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naito, Mika; Seki, Yoshimi

    2009-01-01

    To investigate the relation between cognitive and affective social understanding, Japanese 4- to 8-year-olds received tasks of first- and second-order false beliefs and prosocial and self-presentational display rules. From 6 to 8 years, children comprehended display rules, as well as second-order false belief, using social pressures justifications…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Proteomics Improves the New Understanding of Honeybee Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hora, Zewdu Ararso; Altaye, Solomon Zewdu; Wubie, Abebe Jemberie; Li, Jianke

    2018-04-11

    The honeybee is one of the most valuable insect pollinators, playing a key role in pollinating wild vegetation and agricultural crops, with significant contribution to the world's food production. Although honeybees have long been studied as model for social evolution, honeybee biology at the molecular level remained poorly understood until the year 2006. With the availability of the honeybee genome sequence and technological advancements in protein separation, mass spectrometry, and bioinformatics, aspects of honeybee biology such as developmental biology, physiology, behavior, neurobiology, and immunology have been explored to new depths at molecular and biochemical levels. This Review comprehensively summarizes the recent progress in honeybee biology using proteomics to study developmental physiology, task transition, and physiological changes in some of the organs, tissues, and cells based on achievements from the authors' laboratory in this field. The research advances of honeybee proteomics provide new insights for understanding of honeybee biology and future research directions.

  14. 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

    2018-01-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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...

  19. Teachers' Understanding of Mathematical Cognition in Childhood: Towards a Shift in Pedagogical Content Knowledge?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    This article about the discourse of pedagogy as related to child cognition in mathematics addresses the issue of what constitutes the main disciplinary content and the pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of foundation-phase teachers. I argue that, unless child cognition itself is the primary disciplinary content of foundation-phase teacher's…

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. UNDERSTANDING OR NURSES' REACTIONS TO ERRORS AND USING THIS UNDERSTANDING TO IMPROVE PATIENT SAFETY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taifoori, Ladan; Valiee, Sina

    2015-09-01

    The operating room can be home to many different types of nursing errors due to the invasiveness of OR procedures. The nurses' reactions towards errors can be a key factor in patient safety. This article is based on a study, with the aim of investigating nurses' reactions toward nursing errors and the various contributing and resulting factors, conducted at Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences in Sanandaj, Iran in 2014. The goal of the study was to determine how OR nurses' reacted to nursing errors with the goal of having this information used to improve patient safety. Research was conducted as a cross-sectional descriptive study. The participants were all nurses employed in the operating rooms of the teaching hospitals of Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, which was selected by a consensus method (170 persons). The information was gathered through questionnaires that focused on demographic information, error definition, reasons for error occurrence, and emotional reactions for error occurrence, and emotional reactions toward the errors. 153 questionnaires were completed and analyzed by SPSS software version 16.0. "Not following sterile technique" (82.4 percent) was the most reported nursing error, "tiredness" (92.8 percent) was the most reported reason for the error occurrence, "being upset at having harmed the patient" (85.6 percent) was the most reported emotional reaction after error occurrence", with "decision making for a better approach to tasks the next time" (97.7 percent) as the most common goal and "paying more attention to details" (98 percent) was the most reported planned strategy for future improved outcomes. While healthcare facilities are focused on planning for the prevention and elimination of errors it was shown that nurses can also benefit from support after error occurrence. Their reactions, and coping strategies, need guidance and, with both individual and organizational support, can be a factor in improving patient safety.

  4. 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 = Mood and cognitive improvements were more closely related to a higher intake of the modified 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 = 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.

  5. Family history of Alzheimer’s disease limits improvement in cognitive function after bariatric surgery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael L Alosco

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Background/Objective: Bariatric surgery can reverse cognitive impairments associated with obesity. However, such benefits may be attenuated in individuals with a predisposing risk for cognitive impairment such as family history of Alzheimer’s disease. Methods: In all, 94 bariatric surgery participants completed a computerized cognitive test battery before and 12 weeks after surgery. Family history of Alzheimer’s disease was obtained through self-report. Results: In the overall sample, cognitive function improved in memory and attention/executive function 12 weeks post-surgery. Repeated measures showed similar rates of improvements in attention/executive function between patients with and without a family history of Alzheimer’s disease. In contrast, only individuals without a family history of Alzheimer’s disease exhibited post-operative improvements in memory. A family history of Alzheimer’s disease was associated with greater post-surgery rates of cognitive impairment. Conclusions: Family history of Alzheimer’s disease may limit post-surgery cognitive benefits. Future studies should examine whether weight loss can modify the course of cognitive decline in patients at-risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

  6. 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.

  7. Understanding Seasonal Changes to Improve Good Practices in Livestock Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Martelli

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim: Food quality control techniques based on process control methods are increasingly adopted in livestock production systems to fulfill increasing market's expectations toward competitiveness and issues linked to One Health pillars (environment, animal, and human health. Control Charts allow monitoring and systematic investigation of sources of variability in dairy production parameters. These parameters, however, may be affected by seasonal variations that render impractical, biased or ineffective the use statistical control charts. A possible approach to this problem is to adapt seasonal adjustment methods used for the analysis of economic and demographic seasonal time series. The aim of the present work is to evaluate a seasonal decomposition technique called X-11 on milk parameters routinely collected also in small farms (fat, protein, and lactose content, solids-not-fat, freezing point, somatic cell count, total bacterial count and to test the efficacy of different seasonal removal methods to improve the effectiveness of statistical control charting.Method: Data collection was carried out for 3 years on routinely monitored bulk tank milk parameters of a small farm. Seasonality presence was statistically assessed on milk parameters and, for those parameters showing seasonality, control charts for individuals were applied on raw data, on X-11 seasonally adjusted data, and on data smoothed with a symmetric moving average filter. Correlation of seasonally influenced parameters with daily mean temperature was investigated.Results: Presence of seasonality in milk parameters was statistically assessed for fat, protein, and solids-non-fat components. The X-11 seasonally-adjusted control charts showed a reduced number of violations (false alarms with respect to non-seasonally adjusted control chart (from 5 to 1 violation for fat, from 17 to 1 violation for protein, and from 9 to none violation for solids-non-fat.. This result was

  8. 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.

  9. Understanding improved osteoblast behavior on select nanoporous anodic alumina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Siyu; Li, Changyan; Ni, Shirong; Chen, Ting; Webster, Thomas J

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to prepare different sized porous anodic alumina (PAA) and examine preosteoblast (MC3T3-E1) attachment and proliferation on such nanoporous surfaces. In this study, PAA with tunable pore sizes (25 nm, 50 nm, and 75 nm) were fabricated by a two-step anodizing procedure in oxalic acid. The surface morphology and elemental composition of PAA were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis. The nanopore arrays on all of the PAA samples were highly regular. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis suggested that the chemistry of PAA and flat aluminum surfaces were similar. However, contact angles were significantly greater on all of the PAA compared to flat aluminum substrates, which consequently altered protein adsorption profiles. The attachment and proliferation of preosteoblasts were determined for up to 7 days in culture using field emission scanning electron microscopy and a Cell Counting Kit-8. Results showed that nanoporous surfaces did not enhance initial preosteoblast attachment, whereas preosteoblast proliferation dramatically increased when the PAA pore size was either 50 nm or 75 nm compared to all other samples (Paluminum by modifying surface nano-roughness alone (and not changing chemistry) through an anodization process to improve osteoblast density, and, thus, should be further studied as a bioactive interface for orthopedic applications. PMID:25045263

  10. 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

  11. Applying Attention Restoration Theory to Understand and Address Clergy's Need to Restore Cognitive Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Chelsea; Packer, Jan; Ballantyne, Roy

    2018-02-06

    Attention Restoration Theory is applied to explore the causes and consequences of mental fatigue in clergy and suggest practical interventions to restore cognitive wellbeing. Previous research has investigated the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of clergy, but has largely neglected clergy cognitive wellbeing. Due to the demanding nature of their work, clergy are particularly susceptible to mental fatigue and depletion of their capacity to maintain attention. Symptoms include inability to focus attention, inhibit distractions, make decisions or solve problems. Mental fatigue can be overcome, and cognitive capacity restored, by spending time in restorative environments that allow directed attention to rest.

  12. Understanding improved osteoblast behavior on select nanoporous anodic alumina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ni S

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Siyu Ni,1 Changyan Li,1 Shirong Ni,2 Ting Chen,1 Thomas J Webster3,4 1College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Donghua University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Pathophysiology, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA; 4Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials Research, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Abstract: The aim of this study was to prepare different sized porous anodic alumina (PAA and examine preosteoblast (MC3T3-E1 attachment and proliferation on such nanoporous surfaces. In this study, PAA with tunable pore sizes (25 nm, 50 nm, and 75 nm were fabricated by a two-step anodizing procedure in oxalic acid. The surface morphology and elemental composition of PAA were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis. The nanopore arrays on all of the PAA samples were highly regular. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis suggested that the chemistry of PAA and flat aluminum surfaces were similar. However, contact angles were significantly greater on all of the PAA compared to flat aluminum substrates, which consequently altered protein adsorption profiles. The attachment and proliferation of preosteoblasts were determined for up to 7 days in culture using field emission scanning electron microscopy and a Cell Counting Kit-8. Results showed that nanoporous surfaces did not enhance initial preosteoblast attachment, whereas preosteoblast proliferation dramatically increased when the PAA pore size was either 50 nm or 75 nm compared to all other samples (P<0.05. Thus, this study showed that one can alter surface energy of aluminum by modifying surface nano-roughness alone (and not changing chemistry through an anodization process to improve osteoblast density, and, thus, should be

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Understanding the Role of Behavior and Cognitions in a Group Exercise Setting

    OpenAIRE

    Shrigley, Tina L.; Dawson, Kimberley A.

    2004-01-01

    The first purpose of the present study examined whether individuals with different exercise behaviors (classified by attendance) experienced different or similar cognitive patterns. It was hypothesized that different behavior would lead to different cognitive appraisals. It was predicted that there would be a difference between the three behavioral frequency groups with regard to self-efficacy measures and goal measures. The second purpose of the study was to describe, evaluate and observe wh...

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. Cognitive-Based Interventions to Improve Mobility: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marusic, Uros; Verghese, Joe; Mahoney, Jeannette R

    2018-06-01

    A strong relation between cognition and mobility has been identified in aging, supporting a role for enhancement mobility through cognitive-based interventions. However, a critical evaluation of the consistency of treatment effects of cognitive-based interventions is currently lacking. The objective of this study was 2-fold: (1) to review the existing literature on cognitive-based interventions aimed at improving mobility in older adults and (2) to assess the clinical effectiveness of cognitive interventions on gait performance. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCT) of cognitive training interventions for improving simple (normal walking) and complex (dual task walking) gait was conducted in February 2018. Older adults without major cognitive, psychiatric, neurologic, and/or sensory impairments were included. Random effect meta-analyses and a subsequent meta-regression were performed to generate overall cognitive intervention effects on single- and dual-task walking conditions. Ten RCTs met inclusion criteria, with a total of 351 participants included in this meta-analysis. Cognitive training interventions revealed a small effect of intervention on complex gait [effect size (ES) = 0.47, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.13 to 0.81, P = .007, I 2  = 15.85%], but not simple gait (ES = 0.35, 95% CI -0.01 to 0.71, P = .057, I 2  = 57.32%). Moreover, a meta-regression analysis revealed that intervention duration, training frequency, total number of sessions, and total minutes spent in intervention were not significant predictors of improvement in dual-task walking speed, though there was a suggestive trend toward a negative association between dual-task walking speed improvements and individual training session duration (P = .067). This meta-analysis provides support for the fact that cognitive training interventions can improve mobility-related outcomes, especially during challenging walking conditions requiring higher-order executive

  9. 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.

  10. Computerized cognitive training during physical inactivity improves executive functioning in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marusic, Uros; Giordani, Bruno; Moffat, Scott D; Petrič, Mojca; Dolenc, Petra; Pišot, Rado; Kavcic, Voyko

    2018-01-01

    The hippocampus is closely tied to spatial navigation, a central component in cognitive functioning, and critically involved in age-associated cognitive decline and dementia. This study evaluated a novel, cognitive computerized spatial navigation training (CSNT) program targeting the hippocampus, with expectation of mitigating possible cognitive decline with bed rest (BR). During a 14-day BR study with 16 healthy, older men (mean age = 60 ± 3, range = 55-65 years), half received CSNT for 12 days in 50-min sessions and half were controls (watching documentaries). This design uniquely controlled diet, sleep, and other personal and environmental activities. Although there were no cognitive declines in controls post-BR, CSNT participants demonstrated significant increases in executive/attention ability and processing speed, and continued spatial navigation testing showed improvement to 400 days post-BR. This intervention may prove useful to mitigate cognitive declines known to occur in long periods of immobilization and could have broader implications in protecting against age-related cognitive decline.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Contributions from cognitive neuroscience to understanding functional mechanisms of visual search.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Humphreys, G.W.; Hodsoll, J.; Olivers, C.N.L.; Yoon, E.Y.

    2006-01-01

    We argue that cognitive neuroscience can contribute not only information about the neural localization of processes underlying visual search, but also information about the functional nature of these processes. First we present an overview of recent work on whether search for form - colour

  15. Understanding the cognitive and motivational underpinnings of sexual passion from a dualistic model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philippe, Frederick L; Vallerand, Robert J; Bernard-Desrosiers, Léa; Guilbault, Valérie; Rajotte, Guillaume

    2017-11-01

    Sexual passion has always been conceptualized as a one-dimensional phenomenon that emerges from interactions with partners. Drawing from the literature on passionate activities, sexual passion was defined in terms of its intrapersonal motivational and cognitive components and examined from a dualistic perspective. More specifically, in 5 studies, we investigated how 2 types of sexual passion, harmonious and obsessive, can lead to clearly distinct subjective, relational, and cognitive outcomes. Study 1 validated a scale measuring harmonious and obsessive sexual passion, and showed that each type of sexual passion leads to common, but also distinct, subjective consequences during sexual activity engagement for both singles and romantically engaged individuals. Studies 2 and 3 differentiated the constructs of harmonious and obsessive sexual passion from competing constructs existing in the literature and provided evidence for its predictive validity regarding various relational outcomes, including relationship sustainability over time. Finally, Studies 4 and 5 investigated the cognitive consequences of each type of sexual passion by showing how they reflect distinct levels of integration of sexual and relational representations, and how they can lead to biased processing of sexual information (Study 4) and conflict with ongoing sex-unrelated goals (Studies 5a and 5b). Overall, the present series of studies provides a new look at sexual passion from a motivational and cognitive intrapersonal perspective that is not restricted to interpersonal ramifications with partners. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. Understanding Writing Problems in Young Children: Contributions of Cognitive Skills to the Development of Written Expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Childress, Amy

    2011-01-01

    While several models of adult writing have been proposed and studied, the development of writing skills in young children has only recently garnered attention. Using measures of fine-motor, language, working memory, and attention/executive functions, the current study explored motor and cognitive skills that may contribute to writing skill in…

  17. 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.…

  18. How an Understanding of Cognition and Metacognition Translates into More Effective Writing Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien-Moran, Michael; Soiferman, L. Karen

    2010-01-01

    This discussion paper investigates the pedagogical implications of the cognitive process writing model proposed by Flower and Hayes (1981). The research of Flower and Hayes (1981) provides insights into how writers go about planning, generating, and revising during the process of writing. Flower and Hayes (1981) believed that this shift in focus,…

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jérémy Roque

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available 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

  3. 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

  4. 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 (pimproved in the aerobic 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 (pexercise 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).

  5. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depressed individuals improves suppression of irrelevant mental-sets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, Jonathan; Shapero, Benjamin G; Mischoulon, David; Lazar, Sara W

    2017-04-01

    An impaired ability to suppress currently irrelevant mental-sets is a key cognitive deficit in depression. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was specifically designed to help depressed individuals avoid getting caught in such irrelevant mental-sets. In the current study, a group assigned to MBCT plus treatment-as-usual (n = 22) exhibited significantly lower depression scores and greater improvements in irrelevant mental-set suppression compared to a wait-list plus treatment-as-usual (n = 18) group. Improvements in mental-set-suppression were associated with improvements in depression scores. Results provide the first evidence that MBCT can improve suppression of irrelevant mental-sets and that such improvements are associated with depressive alleviation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle Wang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. 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

  8. How Our Cognition Shapes and Is Shaped by Technology: A Common Framework for Understanding Human Tool-Use Interactions in the Past, Present, and Future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François Osiurak

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Over the evolution, humans have constantly developed and improved their technologies. This evolution began with the use of physical tools, those tools that increase our sensorimotor abilities (e.g., first stone tools, modern knives, hammers, pencils. Although we still use some of these tools, we also employ in daily life more sophisticated tools for which we do not systematically understand the underlying physical principles (e.g., computers, cars. Current research is also turned toward the development of brain–computer interfaces directly linking our brain activity to machines (i.e., symbiotic tools. The ultimate goal of research on this topic is to identify the key cognitive processes involved in these different modes of interaction. As a primary step to fulfill this goal, we offer a first attempt at a common framework, based on the idea that humans shape technologies, which also shape us in return. The framework proposed is organized into three levels, describing how we interact when using physical (Past, sophisticated (Present, and symbiotic (Future technologies. Here we emphasize the role played by technical reasoning and practical reasoning, two key cognitive processes that could nevertheless be progressively suppressed by the proficient use of sophisticated and symbiotic tools. We hope that this framework will provide a common ground for researchers interested in the cognitive basis of human tool-use interactions, from paleoanthropology to neuroergonomics.

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. A comparison of text and technology based training tools to improve cognitive skills in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Kevin; Kirwan, Grainne; Palmer, Marion

    2011-01-01

    Research has indicated that use of cognitive skills training tools can produce positive benefits with older adults. However, little research has compared the efficacy of technology-based interventions and more traditional, text-based interventions which are also available. This study aimed to investigate cognitive skills improvements experienced by 40 older adults using cognitive skills training tools. A Solomon 4 group design was employed to determine which intervention demonstrated the greatest improvement. Participants were asked to use the interventions for 5-10 minutes per day, over a period of 60 days. Pre and post-tests consisted of measures of numerical ability, self-reported memory and intelligence. Following training, older adults indicated significant improvements on numerical ability and intelligence regardless of intervention type. No improvement in selfreported memory was observed. This research provides a critical appraisal of brain training tools and can help point the way for future improvements in the area. Brain training improvements could lead to improved quality of life, and perhaps, have financial and independent living ramifications for older adults.

  13. Can the Principles of Cognitive Acceleration Be Used to Improve Numerical Reasoning in Science?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clowser, Anthony; Jones, Susan Wyn; Lewis, John

    2018-01-01

    This study investigates whether the Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education (CASE) scheme could be used to meet the demands of the Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF). The LNF is part of the Welsh Government's improvement strategy in response to perceived poor performance in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)…

  14. 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…

  15. 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...

  16. 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…

  17. Integrating Cognitive Science and Technology Improves Learning in a STEM Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Andrew C.; Marsh, Elizabeth J.; Slavinsky, J. P.; Baraniuk, Richard G.

    2014-01-01

    The most effective educational interventions often face significant barriers to widespread implementation because they are highly specific, resource intense, and/or comprehensive. We argue for an alternative approach to improving education: leveraging technology and cognitive science to develop interventions that generalize, scale, and can be…

  18. 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) Gr...

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor mediates cognitive improvements following acute exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borror, Andrew

    2017-09-01

    The mechanisms causing improved cognition following acute exercise are poorly understood. This article proposes that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is the main factor contributing to improved cognition following exercise. Additionally, it argues that cerebral blood flow (CBF) and oxidative stress explain the release of BDNF from cerebral endothelial cells. One way to test these hypotheses is to block endothelial function and measure the effect on BDNF levels and cognitive performance. The CBF and oxidative stress can also be examined in relationship to BDNF using a multiple linear regression. If these hypotheses are true, there would be a linear relationship between CBF+oxidative stress and BDNF levels as well as between BDNF levels and cognitive performance. The novelty of these hypotheses comes from the emphasis on the cerebral endothelium and the interplay between BDNF, CBF, and oxidative stress. If found to be valid, these hypotheses would draw attention to the cerebral endothelium and provide direction for future research regarding methods to optimize BDNF release and enhance cognition. Elucidating these mechanisms would provide direction for expediting recovery in clinical populations, such as stroke, and maintaining quality of life in the elderly. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Do Architectural Design Decisions Improve the Understanding of Software Architecture? Two Controlled Experiments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shahin, M.; Liang, P.; Li, Z.

    2014-01-01

    Architectural design decision (ADD) and its design rationale, as a paradigm shift on documenting and enriching architecture design description, is supposed to facilitate the understanding of architecture and the reasoning behind the design rationale, which consequently improves the architecting

  4. Improvement of mutual understanding in risk communication by application of a debate support system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shimoda, Hiroshi; Matsuda, Koji; Ishii, Hirotake; Yoshikawa, Hidekazu

    2010-01-01

    Given the recent problem of climate change, nuclear power has become perhaps the world's most important energy source. In Japan, however, it is difficult to build new nuclear facilities. One of the reasons for such difficulty lies in problems in risk communication. In this study, a support method has been proposed to improve mutual understanding in risk communication. The authors paid especial attention at the learning effect of debating and the benefits of employing a debate support system. A laboratory experiment including 30 university students was conducted in order to evaluate the proposed method. Results showed that the use of the system could improve mutual understanding especially with respect to the factors of risk 'reduction measures' and 'accident management'. In addition, it was found that using the system and debating from 'opposite positions' could improve subjective mutual understanding; however, this practice showed no effectiveness in terms of improving objective mutual understanding. (author)

  5. Understanding and using quality information for quality improvement: the effect of information presentation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zwijnenberg, N.C.; Hendriks, M.; Delnoij, D.M.J.; Veer, A.J.E. de; Spreeuwenberg, P.; Wagner, C.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To examine how information presentation affects the understanding and use of information for quality improvement. Design: An experimental design, testing 22 formats, and showing information on patient safety culture. Formats differed in visualization, outcomes and benchmark

  6. Understanding and using quality information for quality improvement : The effect of information presentation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zwijnenberg, N.C.; Hendriks, M.; Delnoij, D.; De Veer, A.J.; Spreeuwenberg, P.; Wagner, C.

    2016-01-01

    Objective To examine how information presentation affects the understanding and use of information for quality improvement. Design An experimental design, testing 22 formats, and showing information on patient safety culture. Formats differed in visualization, outcomes and benchmark information.

  7. 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.

  8. Motor Cognition and Its Role in the Phylogeny and Ontogeny of Action Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallese, Vittorio; Rochat, Magali; Cossu, Giuseppe; Sinigaglia, Corrado

    2009-01-01

    Social life rests in large part on the capacity to understand the intentions behind the behavior of others. What are the origins of this capacity? How is one to construe its development in ontogenesis? By assuming that action understanding can be explained only in terms of the ability to read the minds of others--that is, to represent mental…

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Understanding the Cognitive and Affective Mechanisms that Underlie Proxy Risk Perceptions among Caregivers of Asthmatic Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepperd, James A; Lipsey, Nikolette P; Pachur, Thorsten; Waters, Erika A

    2018-07-01

    Medical decisions made on behalf of another person-particularly those made by adult caregivers for their minor children-are often informed by the decision maker's beliefs about the treatment's risks and benefits. However, we know little about the cognitive and affective mechanisms influencing such "proxy" risk perceptions and about how proxy risk perceptions are related to prominent judgment phenomena. Adult caregivers of minor children with asthma ( N = 132) completed an online, cross-sectional survey assessing 1) cognitions and affects that form the basis of the availability, representativeness, and affect heuristics; 2) endorsement of the absent-exempt and the better-than-average effect; and 3) proxy perceived risk and unrealistic comparative optimism of an asthma exacerbation. We used the Pediatric Asthma Control and Communication Instrument (PACCI) to assess asthma severity. Respondents with higher scores on availability, representativeness, and negative affect indicated higher proxy risk perceptions and (for representativeness only) lower unrealistic optimism, irrespective of asthma severity. Conversely, respondents who showed a stronger display of the better-than-average effect indicated lower proxy risk perceptions but did not differ in unrealistic optimism. The absent-exempt effect was unrelated to proxy risk perceptions and unrealistic optimism. Heuristic judgment processes appear to contribute to caregivers' proxy risk perceptions of their child's asthma exacerbation risk. Moreover, the display of other, possibly erroneous, judgment phenomena is associated with lower caregiver risk perceptions. Designing interventions that target these mechanisms may help caregivers work with their children to reduce exacerbation risk.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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 cognitive function. The MoCA-J cut-off score to predict cognitive function potentially reversible to normal was 23, with receiver operating characteristic analysis showing an area under the curve of 0.80, sensitivity of 79.4% and specificity of 69.2%. Multiple logistic regression analysis to predict non-MCI after exercise training showed that MoCA-J score ≥23 (OR 6.9, P cognitive function that is potentially reversible to normal among community-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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Improving Marking Reliability of Scientific Writing with the Developing Understanding of Assessment for Learning Programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, Fiona L.; Yucel, Robyn

    2013-01-01

    The Developing Understanding of Assessment for Learning (DUAL) programme was developed with the dual aims of improving both the quality and consistency of feedback students receive and the students' ability to use that feedback to improve. DUAL comprises a range of processes (including marking rubrics, sample reports, moderation discussions and…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, Paul; Herrera, Mauricio; López, Julio; Maldonado, Sebastián

    2018-01-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. DARPA Improving Warfighter Information Intake Under Stress -- Augmented Cognition. Volume 1. Phase 2: Concept Validation Experiment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Morrison, J. G; Kobus, D. A; Brown, C. M

    2006-01-01

    ...) systems that demonstrate how the limitations of human cognition can be addressed by augmenting cognition with advanced cognitive state sensors that provide input to complex computational systems...

  6. 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

  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. 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.

  9. Resveratrol Supplementation Did Not Improve Cognition in Patients with Schizophrenia: Results from a Randomized Clinical Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zortea, Karine; Franco, Viviane C; Guimarães, Paula; Belmonte-de-Abreu, Paulo S

    2016-01-01

    Schizophrenia (SZ) 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 to neuroprotective action, but there are no studies evaluating resveratrol in SZ. The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of resveratrol supplementation on cognition in individuals with SZ. This is a 1-month randomized, double-blind, and controlled trial (NCT 02062190), in which 19 men with diagnosis of SZ, aged 18-65 years, were assigned to a resveratrol supplementation group (200 mg) or placebo group (200 mg), with a 1-month follow-up. Applying a series of cognitive tests assessed neuropsychology performance (Hopkins Verbal Learning Test, Stroop Color and Word Test, and Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale) and Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale assessed psychopathology severity. 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). 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 SZ.

  10. 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.

  11. Chronic choline supplementation improves cognitive and motor performance via modulating oxidative and neurochemical status in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabassum, Saiqa; Haider, Saida; Ahmad, Saara; Madiha, Syeda; Parveen, Tahira

    2017-08-01

    Choline, an essential nutrient, accounts for multiple functions in the body and brain. While its beneficial effects on healthy adults are not clear, choline supplementation is important during pregnancy for brain development, in elderly patients for support of cognitive performance and in patients with neurological disorders to reduce memory deficits. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate whether choline administration in healthy adult rats beneficially impacts cognitive and locomotor performance, and associated oxidative and neurochemical outcomes. Two groups, control and choline, received tap water and choline bitartrate, respectively at the dose equivalent to adequate intake for five weeks. Food intake and body weight were monitored daily. Behavioral analysis comprising assessment of cognitive performance (by novel object recognition, passive avoidance and Morris Water Maze test) and locomotor performance (by Open field, Kondziela's inverted screen and beam walking test) were performed. Following testing, rats were decapitated and brain samples were collected for estimation of acetylcholine, redox profile and monoamine measurements. The results showed that chronic choline administration significantly improves cognitive and locomotor performance accompanied by a reduction in oxidative stress, enhanced cholinergic neurotransmission and monoamine levels in the brain of healthy adult rats. Hence, chronic choline intake was found to improve behavioral, oxidative and neurochemical outcomes in the normal population, so it can be suggested that choline tablets can be used as a safe and effective supplement for improving the neurological health of normal individuals and that they might also be beneficial in preventing cognitive and motor disorders later in life. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Think twice: A cognitive perspective of an antibiotic timeout intervention to improve antibiotic use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Makoto; Butler, Jorie; Graber, Christopher J; Glassman, Peter; Samore, Matthew H; Pollack, Lori A; Weir, Charlene; Goetz, Matthew Bidwell

    2017-07-01

    To understand clinicians' impressions of and decision-making processes regarding an informatics-supported antibiotic timeout program to re-evaluate the appropriateness of continuing vancomycin and piperacillin/tazobactam. We implemented a multi-pronged informatics intervention, based on Dual Process Theory, to prompt discontinuation of unwarranted vancomycin and piperacillin/tazobactam on or after day three in a large Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Two workflow changes were introduced to facilitate cognitive deliberation about continuing antibiotics at day three: (1) teams completed an electronic template note, and (2) a paper summary of clinical and antibiotic-related information was provided to clinical teams. Shortly after starting the intervention, six focus groups were conducted with users or potential users. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. Iterative thematic analysis identified recurrent themes from feedback. Themes that emerged are represented by the following quotations: (1) captures and controls attention ("it reminds us to think about it"), (2) enhances informed and deliberative reasoning ("it makes you think twice"), (3) redirects decision direction ("…because [there was no indication] I just [discontinued] it without even trying"), (4) fosters autonomy and improves team empowerment ("the template… forces the team to really discuss it"), and (5) limits use of emotion-based heuristics ("my clinical concern is high enough I think they need more aggressive therapy…"). Requiring template completion to continue antibiotics nudged clinicians to re-assess the appropriateness of specified antibiotics. Antibiotic timeouts can encourage deliberation on overprescribed antibiotics without substantially curtailing autonomy. An effective nudge should take into account clinician's time, workflow, and thought processes. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. Understanding and remediating social-cognitive dysfunctions in patients with serious mental illness using relational frame theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annemieke eHendriks

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available 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 Theory of Mind 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 behavioural 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Improving medication adherence among community-dwelling seniors with cognitive impairment: a systematic review of interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kröger, Edeltraut; Tatar, Ovidiu; Vedel, Isabelle; Giguère, Anik M C; Voyer, Philippe; Guillaumie, Laurence; Grégoire, Jean-Pierre; Guénette, Line

    2017-08-01

    Background Medication non-adherence may lead to poor therapeutic outcomes. Cognitive functions deteriorate with age, contributing to decreased adherence. Interventions have been tested to improve adherence in seniors with cognitive impairment or Alzheimer disease (AD), but high-quality systematic reviews are lacking. It remains unclear which interventions are promising. Objectives We conducted a systematic review to identify, describe, and evaluate interventions aimed at improving medication adherence among seniors with any type of cognitive impairment. Methods Following NICE guidance, databases and websites were searched using combinations of controlled and free vocabulary. All adherence-enhancing interventions and study designs were considered. Studies had to include community dwelling seniors, aged 65 years or older, with cognitive impairment, receiving at least one medication for a chronic condition, and an adherence measure. Study characteristics and methodological quality were assessed. Results We identified 13 interventions, including six RCTs. Two studies were of poor, nine of low/medium and two of high quality. Seven studies had sample sizes below 50 and six interventions focused on adherence to AD medication. Six interventions tested a behavioral, four a medication oriented, two an educational and one a multi-faceted approach. Studies rarely assessed therapeutic outcomes. All but one intervention showed improved adherence. Conclusion Three medium quality studies showed better adherence with patches than with pills for AD treatment. Promising interventions used educational or reminding strategies, including one high quality RCT. Nine studies were of low/moderate quality. High quality RCTs using a theoretical framework for intervention selection are needed to identify strategies for improved adherence in these seniors.

  2. 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.

  3. Understanding problematic game behavior: prevalence and the role of social cognitive determinants

    OpenAIRE

    Haagsma, Maria Catharina

    2012-01-01

    In the last two decades, there has been growing academic attention on the phenomenon of problematic game use. Empirical research has consistently identified a subgroup of gamers in Western, industrial countries who report adverse psychosocial consequences related to their video-gaming behavior. The aim of this thesis is to get a better understanding of problematic game behavior and to contribute to the development of knowledge on this topic in several ways. First, video gaming habits and prob...

  4. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Long-Term Cognitive Improvement After Benfotiamine Administration in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Xiaoli; Chen, Zhichun; Fei, Guoqiang; Pan, Shumei; Bao, Weiqi; Ren, Shuhua; Guan, Yihui; Zhong, Chunjiu

    2016-12-01

    To date, we still lack disease-modifying therapies for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we report that long-term administration of benfotiamine improved the cognitive ability of patients with AD. Five patients with mild to moderate AD received oral benfotiamine (300 mg daily) over 18 months. All patients were examined by positron emission tomography with Pittsburgh compound B (PiB-PET) and exhibited positive imaging with β-amyloid deposition, and three received PiB-PET imaging at follow-up. The five patients exhibited cognitive improvement as assayed by the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) with an average increase of 3.2 points at month 18 of benfotiamine administration. The three patients who received follow-up PiB-PET had a 36.7% increase in the average standardized uptake value ratio in the brain compared with that in the first scan. Importantly, the MMSE scores of these three had an average increase of 3 points during the same period. Benfotiamine significantly improved the cognitive abilities of mild to moderate AD patients independently of brain amyloid accumulation. Our study provides new insight to the development of disease-modifying therapy.

  10. 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 ...

  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. Rehabilitation for improved cognition in patients with stress-related exhaustion disorder: RECO - a randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malmberg Gavelin, Hanna; Eskilsson, Therese; Boraxbekk, Carl-Johan; Josefsson, Maria; Stigsdotter Neely, Anna; Slunga Järvholm, Lisbeth

    2018-04-25

    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 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 function. Secondary outcomes included domain-specific cognition, self-reported burnout, depression, anxiety, fatigue and work ability, aerobic capacity, and sick-leave levels. Intention-to-treat analysis revealed a small but lasting improvement in global cognitive functioning for the cognitive training group, paralleled by a large improvement on a trained updating task. The aerobic training group showed improvements in aerobic capacity and episodic memory immediately after training, but no long-term benefits. General improvements in psychological health and work ability were observed, with no difference between interventional groups. Our findings suggest that cognitive training may be a viable method to address cognitive impairments for patients with ED, whereas the effects of aerobic exercise on cognition may be more limited when performed during a restricted time period. The implications for clinical practice in supporting patients with ED to adhere to treatment are discussed.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Can We Understand Why Cognitive Function Predicts Mortality? Results from the Caerphilly Prospective Study (CaPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallacher, John; Bayer, Anthony; Dunstan, Frank; Yarnell, John; Elwood, Peter; Ben-Shlomo, Yoav

    2009-01-01

    The association between cognitive function and mortality is of increasing interest. We followed 1870 men aged 55-69 years at cognitive assessment for 16 years to establish associations with all case and cause specific mortality. Cognitive assessment included AH4, 4 choice reaction time (used as estimates of mid-life cognition) and the National…

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

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    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Understanding plant response to nitrogen limitation for the improvement of crop nitrogen use efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, Surya; Bi, Yong-Mei; Rothstein, Steven J

    2011-02-01

    Development of genetic varieties with improved nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is essential for sustainable agriculture. Generally, NUE can be divided into two parts. First, assimilation efficiency involves nitrogen (N) uptake and assimilation and second utilization efficiency involves N remobilization. Understanding the mechanisms regulating these processes is crucial for the improvement of NUE in crop plants. One important approach is to develop an understanding of the plant response to different N regimes, especially to N limitation, using various methods including transcription profiling, analysing mutants defective in their normal response to N limitation, and studying plants that show better growth under N-limiting conditions. One can then attempt to improve NUE in crop plants using the knowledge gained from these studies. There are several potential genetic and molecular approaches for the improvement of crop NUE discussed in this review. Increased knowledge of how plants respond to different N levels as well as to other environmental conditions is required to achieve this.

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

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    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

  2. 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.

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

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    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.

  4. Cognitive neuroepigenetics: the next evolution in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying learning and memory?

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    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.

  5. Macro-reasoning and cognitive gaps: understanding post-Soviet Russians’ communication styles

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    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Executive function needs to be targeted to improve social functioning with Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) in schizophrenia.

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    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Chronic administration of ellagic acid improved the cognition in middle-aged overweight men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ying; Yu, Shuyi; Wang, Fen; Yu, Haitao; Li, Xueli; Dong, Wanru; Lin, Ruichao; Liu, Qingshan

    2018-03-01

    This study aimed to investigate if ellagic acid has beneficial effects on cognitive deficits in middle-aged overweight individuals and to propose a possible mechanism. A total of 150 middle-aged male participants, including 76 normal-weight and 74 overweight men, aged between 45 to 55 years, were recruited for this study. Both normal-weight and overweight participants were administered either 50 mg ellagic acid or placebo cellulose daily for 12 weeks. Blood lipids, peripheral brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and saliva cortisol were assessed on the last day of the procedure to investigate the effects induced by ellagic acid. The results revealed that ellagic acid treatment improved the levels of blood lipid metabolism with a 4.7% decline in total cholesterol, 7.3% decline in triglycerides, 26.5% increase in high-density lipoprotein, and 6.5% decline in low-density lipoprotein. Additionally, ellagic acid increased plasma BDNF by 21.2% in the overweight group and showed no effects on normal-weight participants. Moreover, the increased saliva cortisol level in overweight individuals was inhibited by 22.7% in a 12-week ellagic acid treatment. Also, compared with placebo, overweight individuals who consumed ellagic acid showed enhanced cognitive function as measured by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report showing that ellagic acid prevents cognitive deficits through normalization of lipid metabolism, increase in plasma BDNF level, and reduction of saliva cortisol concentration. These results indicate that ellagic acid has a potential to restore cognitive performance related to mild age-related declines.

  11. A 12-Week Physical and Cognitive Exercise Program Can Improve Cognitive Function and Neural Efficiency in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishiguchi, Shu; Yamada, Minoru; Tanigawa, Takanori; Sekiyama, Kaoru; Kawagoe, Toshikazu; Suzuki, Maki; Yoshikawa, Sakiko; Abe, Nobuhito; Otsuka, Yuki; Nakai, Ryusuke; Aoyama, Tomoki; Tsuboyama, Tadao

    2015-07-01

    To investigate whether a 12-week physical and cognitive exercise program can improve cognitive function and brain activation efficiency in community-dwelling older adults. Randomized controlled trial. Kyoto, Japan. Community-dwelling older adults (N = 48) were randomized into an exercise group (n = 24) and a control group (n = 24). Exercise group participants received a weekly dual task-based multimodal exercise class in combination with pedometer-based daily walking exercise during the 12-week intervention phase. Control group participants did not receive any intervention and were instructed to spend their time as usual during the intervention phase. The outcome measures were global cognitive function, memory function, executive function, and brain activation (measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging) associated with visual short-term memory. Exercise group participants had significantly greater postintervention improvement in memory and executive functions than the control group (P cognitive exercise program can improve the efficiency of brain activation during cognitive tasks in older adults, which is associated with improvements in memory and executive function. © 2015, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2015, The American Geriatrics Society.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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.…

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    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 physical fitness. However, due to the high drop-out rates and large variability in patients' functioning, it was proposed that a tailored treatment approach might yield more promising treatment outcomes. High-risk fibromyalgia patients were randomly assigned to a waiting list control group (WLC) or a treatment condition (TC), with the treatment consisting of 16 twice-weekly sessions of CBT and exercise training tailored to the patient's cognitive-behavioural pattern. Physical fitness was assessed with two physical tests before and 3 months after treatment and at corresponding intervals in the WLC. Treatment effects were evaluated using linear mixed models. The level of physical fitness had improved significantly in the TC compared with the WLC. Attrition rates were low, effect sizes large and reliable change indices indicated a clinically relevant improvement among the TC. A tailored multidisciplinary treatment approach for fibromyalgia consisting of CBT and exercise training is well tolerated, yields clinically relevant changes, and appears a promising approach to improve patients' physical fitness. ClinicalTrials.gov ID NCT00268606.

  1. 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…

  2. Understanding the gut microbiome of dairy calves: Opportunities to improve early-life gut health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malmuthuge, Nilusha; Guan, Le Luo

    2017-07-01

    Early gut microbiota plays a vital role in the long-term health of the host. However, understanding of these microbiota is very limited in livestock species, especially in dairy calves. Neonatal calves are highly susceptible to enteric infections, one of the major causes of calf death, so approaches to improving gut health and overall calf health are needed. An increasing number of studies are exploring the microbial composition of the gut, the mucosal immune system, and early dietary interventions to improve the health of dairy calves, revealing possibilities for effectively reducing the susceptibility of calves to enteric infections while promoting growth. Still, comprehensive understanding of the effect of dietary interventions on gut microbiota-one of the key aspects of gut health-is lacking. Such knowledge may provide in-depth understanding of the mechanisms behind functional changes in response to dietary interventions. Understanding of host-microbial interactions with dietary interventions and the role of the gut microbiota during pathogenesis at the site of infection in early life is vital for designing effective tools and techniques to improve calf gut health. Copyright © 2017 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Pomegranate supplementation improves cognitive and functional recovery following ischemic stroke: A randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellone, John A; Murray, Jeffrey R; Jorge, Paolo; Fogel, Travis G; Kim, Mary; Wallace, Desiree R; Hartman, Richard E

    2018-02-13

    We tested whether supplementing with pomegranate polyphenols can enhance cognitive/functional recovery after stroke. In this parallel, block-randomized clinical trial, we administered commercially-available pomegranate polyphenol or placebo pills twice per day for one week to adult inpatients in a comprehensive rehabilitation setting starting approximately 2 weeks after stroke. Pills contained 1 g of polyphenols derived from whole pomegranate, equivalent to levels in approximately 8 oz of juice. Placebo pills were similar to the pomegranate pills except that they contained only lactose. Of the 163 patients that were screened, 22 were eligible and 16 were randomized (8 per group). We excluded one subject per group from the neuropsychological analyses since they were lost to follow-up, but we included all subjects in the analysis of functional data since outcome data were available. Clinicians and subjects were blinded to group assignment. Neuropsychological testing (primary outcome: Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status) and functional independence scores were used to determine changes in cognitive and functional ability. Pomegranate-treated subjects demonstrated more neuropsychological and functional improvement and spent less time in the hospital than placebo controls. Pomegranate polyphenols enhanced cognitive and functional recovery after stroke, justifying pursuing larger clinical trials.

  5. 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.

  6. Virtual Reality Training with Cognitive Load Improves Walking Function in Chronic Stroke Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Ki Hun; Kim, Min Kyu; Lee, Hwang-Jae; Lee, Wan Hee

    2015-08-01

    Virtual reality training is considered as an effective intervention method of stroke patients, and the virtual reality system for therapeutic rehabilitation has emphasized the cognitive factors to improve walking function. The purpose of current study was to investigate the effect of virtual reality training with cognitive load (VRTCL) on walking function of chronic stroke. Chronic stroke patients were randomly assigned to the VRTCL group (11 patients, including 5 men; mean age, 60.0 years; post-stroke duration, 273.9 days) or control group (11 patients, including 2 men; mean age, 58.6 years; post-stroke duration, 263.9 days). All subjects participated in the standard rehabilitation program that consisted of physical and occupational therapies. In addition, VRTCL group participated in the VRTCL for 4 weeks (30 min per day and five times a week), while those in the control group participated in virtual reality treadmill training. Walking function under single (walking alone) and dual task (walking with cognitive tasks) conditions was assessed using an electrical walkway system. After the 4-week intervention, under both single and dual task conditions, significant improvement on walking function was observed in VRTCL and control groups (P < 0.05). In addition, in the dual task condition, greater improvement on walking function was observed in the VRTCL group, compared with the control group (P < 0.05). These findings demonstrated the efficacy of VRTCL on the walking function under the dual task condition. Therefore, we suggest that VRTCL may be an effective method for the achievement of independent walking in chronic stroke patients.

  7. Agmatine Improves Cognitive Dysfunction and Prevents Cell Death in a Streptozotocin-Induced Alzheimer Rat Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Juhyun; Hur, Bo Eun; Bokara, Kiran Kumar; Yang, Wonsuk; Cho, Hyun Jin; Park, Kyung Ah; Lee, Won Taek; Lee, Kyoung Min

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Alzheimer's disease (AD) results in memory impairment and neuronal cell death in the brain. Previous studies demonstrated that intracerebroventricular administration of streptozotocin (STZ) induces pathological and behavioral alterations similar to those observed in AD. Agmatine (Agm) has been shown to exert neuroprotective effects in central nervous system disorders. In this study, we investigated whether Agm treatment could attenuate apoptosis and improve cognitive decline in a STZ-induced Alzheimer rat model. Materials and Methods We studied the effect of Agm on AD pathology using a STZ-induced Alzheimer rat model. For each experiment, rats were given anesthesia (chloral hydrate 300 mg/kg, ip), followed by a single injection of STZ (1.5 mg/kg) bilaterally into each lateral ventricle (5 µL/ventricle). Rats were injected with Agm (100 mg/kg) daily up to two weeks from the surgery day. Results Agm suppressed the accumulation of amyloid beta and enhanced insulin signal transduction in STZ-induced Alzheimer rats [experimetal control (EC) group]. Upon evaluation of cognitive function by Morris water maze testing, significant improvement of learning and memory dysfunction in the STZ-Agm group was observed compared with the EC group. Western blot results revealed significant attenuation of the protein expressions of cleaved caspase-3 and Bax, as well as increases in the protein expressions of Bcl2, PI3K, Nrf2, and γ-glutamyl cysteine synthetase, in the STZ-Agm group. Conclusion Our results showed that Agm is involved in the activation of antioxidant signaling pathways and activation of insulin signal transduction. Accordingly, Agm may be a promising therapeutic agent for improving cognitive decline and attenuating apoptosis in AD. PMID:24719136

  8. Cognitive dysfunction improves in systemic lupus erythematosus: Results of a 10 years prospective study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fulvia Ceccarelli

    Full Text Available Cognitive impairment (CI has been described in 3-80% of Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE patients but only short-term studies evaluated its over-time changes, suggesting that CI is usually a stable finding. We aimed at evaluating the changes of SLE-related CI in a 10-years prospective single center cohort study.We evaluated 43 patients (M/F 5/38; mean age = 45.7±10.1 years; mean disease duration = 230.8±74.3 months at baseline (T0 and after 10 years (T1. A test battery designed to detect fronto-subcortical dysfunction across five domains (memory, attention, abstract reasoning, executive and visuospatial function was administered. A global cognitive dysfunction score (GCD was obtained and associated with clinical and laboratory features.Prevalence of CI was 20.9% at T0 and 13.9% at T1 (P = NS. This impairment was prevalently mild at T0 (55.5% and mild or moderate at T1 (36.3% for both degrees. After 10 years, CI improved in 50% of patients, while 10% worsened. Impaired memory (P = 0.02, executive functions (P = 0.02 and abstract reasoning (P = 0.03 were associated with dyslipidemia at T0. Worsening of visuospatial functions was significantly associated with dyslipidemia and Lupus Anticoagulant (P = 0.04 for both parameters. Finally, GCD significantly correlated with chronic damage measured by SLICC/damage index at T0 (r = 0.3; P = 0.04 and T1 (r = 0.3; P = 0.03.For the first time, we assessed CI changes over 10-years in SLE. CI improved in the majority of the patients. Furthermore, we observed an improvement of the overall cognitive functions. These results could suggest that an appropriate management of the disease during the follow-up could be able to control SLE-related CI.

  9. 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...... 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...

  10. "What We Breathe Impacts Our Health: Improving Understanding of the Link between Air Pollution and Health".

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, J Jason; Cohen, Aaron; Dentener, Frank; Brunekreef, Bert; Zhu, Tong; Armstrong, Ben; Bell, Michelle L; Brauer, Michael; Carmichael, Gregory; Costa, Dan L; Dockery, Douglas W; Kleeman, Michael; Krzyzanowski, Michal; Künzli, Nino; Liousse, Catherine; Lung, Shih-Chun Candice; Martin, Randall V; Pöschl, Ulrich; Pope, C Arden; Roberts, James M; Russell, Armistead G; Wiedinmyer, Christine

    2016-05-17

    Air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of millions of people each year around the world, and air quality problems are growing in many developing nations. While past policy efforts have succeeded in reducing particulate matter and trace gases in North America and Europe, adverse health effects are found at even these lower levels of air pollution. Future policy actions will benefit from improved understanding of the interactions and health effects of different chemical species and source categories. Achieving this new understanding requires air pollution scientists and engineers to work increasingly closely with health scientists. In particular, research is needed to better understand the chemical and physical properties of complex air pollutant mixtures, and to use new observations provided by satellites, advanced in situ measurement techniques, and distributed micro monitoring networks, coupled with models, to better characterize air pollution exposure for epidemiological and toxicological research, and to better quantify the effects of specific source sectors and mitigation strategies.

  11. Improving student understanding in web programming material through multimedia adventure games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitriasari, N. S.; Ashiddiqi, M. F.; Nurdin, E. A.

    2018-05-01

    This study aims to make multimedia adventure games and find out the improvement of learners’ understanding after being given treatment of using multimedia adventure game in learning Web Programming. Participants of this study are students of class X (ten) in one of the Vocational Schools (SMK) in Indonesia. The material of web programming is a material that difficult enough to be understood by the participant therefore needed tools to facilitate the participants to understand the material. Solutions offered in this study is by using multimedia adventures game. Multimedia has been created using Construct2 and measured understood with method Non-equivalent Control Group Design. Pre-test and post-test has given to learners who received treatment using the multimedia adventure showed increase in understanding web programming material.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Using Patient Case Video Vignettes to Improve Students’ Understanding of Cross-cultural Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. 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.

  16. Cognitive and motor dual task gait training improve dual task gait performance after stroke - A randomized controlled pilot trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yan-Ci; Yang, Yea-Ru; Tsai, Yun-An; Wang, Ray-Yau

    2017-06-22

    This study investigated effects of cognitive and motor dual task gait training on dual task gait performance in stroke. Participants (n = 28) were randomly assigned to cognitive dual task gait training (CDTT), motor dual task gait training (MDTT), or conventional physical therapy (CPT) group. Participants in CDTT or MDTT group practiced the cognitive or motor tasks respectively during walking. Participants in CPT group received strengthening, balance, and gait training. The intervention was 30 min/session, 3 sessions/week for 4 weeks. Three test conditions to evaluate the training effects were single walking, walking while performing cognitive task (serial subtraction), and walking while performing motor task (tray-carrying). Parameters included gait speed, dual task cost of gait speed (DTC-speed), cadence, stride time, and stride length. After CDTT, cognitive-motor dual task gait performance (stride length and DTC-speed) was improved (p = 0.021; p = 0.015). After MDTT, motor dual task gait performance (gait speed, stride length, and DTC-speed) was improved (p = 0.008; p = 0.008; p = 0.008 respectively). It seems that CDTT improved cognitive dual task gait performance and MDTT improved motor dual task gait performance although such improvements did not reach significant group difference. Therefore, different types of dual task gait training can be adopted to enhance different dual task gait performance in stroke.

  17. The Crucible simulation: Behavioral simulation improves clinical leadership skills and understanding of complex health policy change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Intranasal mesenchymal stem cell treatment for neonatal brain damage: long-term cognitive and sensorimotor improvement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Donega

    Full Text Available Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC administration via the intranasal route could become an effective therapy to treat neonatal hypoxic-ischemic (HI brain damage. We analyzed long-term effects of intranasal MSC treatment on lesion size, sensorimotor and cognitive behavior, and determined the therapeutic window and dose response relationships. Furthermore, the appearance of MSCs at the lesion site in relation to the therapeutic window was examined. Nine-day-old mice were subjected to unilateral carotid artery occlusion and hypoxia. MSCs were administered intranasally at 3, 10 or 17 days after hypoxia-ischemia (HI. Motor, cognitive and histological outcome was investigated. PKH-26 labeled cells were used to localize MSCs in the brain. We identified 0.5 × 10(6 MSCs as the minimal effective dose with a therapeutic window of at least 10 days but less than 17 days post-HI. A single dose was sufficient for a marked beneficial effect. MSCs reach the lesion site within 24 h when given 3 or 10 days after injury. However, no MSCs were detected in the lesion when administered 17 days following HI. We also show for the first time that intranasal MSC treatment after HI improves cognitive function. Improvement of sensorimotor function and histological outcome was maintained until at least 9 weeks post-HI. The capacity of MSCs to reach the lesion site within 24 h after intranasal administration at 10 days but not at 17 days post-HI indicates a therapeutic window of at least 10 days. Our data strongly indicate that intranasal MSC treatment may become a promising non-invasive therapeutic tool to effectively reduce neonatal encephalopathy.

  19. Nicotine Significantly Improves Chronic Stress-Induced Impairments of Cognition and Synaptic Plasticity in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Cognitive rehabilitation: an important tool in disability improvement after brain injuries

    OpenAIRE

    Ioana Stanescu; Gabriela Dogaru

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive rehabilitation is as an important goal of rehabilitation therapy, which aims to help the person with neurological disability to acquire the highest level of cognitive functioning and of functional autonomy. Cognitive impairments in memory, language, judgement, attention, visuo-spatial perception are important blocks in acquiring functional independence. Cognitive rehabilitation therapy is “a systematic, functionally oriented service of therapeutic cognitive activities directed to ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Reducing Peripheral Inflammation with Infliximab Reduces Neuroinflammation and Improves Cognition in Rats with Hepatic Encephalopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dadsetan, Sherry; Balzano, Tiziano; Forteza, Jerónimo; Cabrera-Pastor, Andrea; Taoro-Gonzalez, Lucas; Hernandez-Rabaza, Vicente; Gil-Perotín, Sara; Cubas-Núñez, Laura; García-Verdugo, José-Manuel; Agusti, Ana; Llansola, Marta; Felipo, Vicente

    2016-01-01

    Inflammation contributes to cognitive impairment in patients with hepatic encephalopathy (HE). However, the process by which peripheral inflammation results in cognitive impairment remains unclear. In animal models, neuroinflammation and altered neurotransmission mediate cognitive impairment. Taking into account these data, we hypothesized that in rats with HE: (1) peripheral inflammation is a main contributor to neuroinflammation; (2) neuroinflammation in hippocampus impairs spatial learning by altering AMPA and/or NMDA receptors membrane expression; (3) reducing peripheral inflammation with infliximab (anti-TNF-a) would improve spatial learning; (4) this would be associated with reduced neuroinflammation and normalization of the membrane expression of glutamate receptors. The aims of this work were to assess these hypotheses. We analyzed in rats with portacaval shunt (PCS) and control rats, treated or not with infliximab: (a) peripheral inflammation by measuring prostaglandin E2, IL10, IL-17, and IL-6; (b) neuroinflammation in hippocampus by analyzing microglial activation and the content of TNF-a and IL-1b; (c) AMPA and NMDA receptors membrane expression in hippocampus; and (d) spatial learning in the Radial and Morris water mazes. We assessed the effects of treatment with infliximab on peripheral inflammation, on neuroinflammation and AMPA and NMDA receptors membrane expression in hippocampus and on spatial learning and memory. PCS rats show increased serum prostaglandin E2, IL-17, and IL-6 and reduced IL-10 levels, indicating increased peripheral inflammation. PCS rats also show microglial activation and increased nuclear NF-kB and expression of TNF-a and IL-1b in hippocampus. This was associated with altered AMPA and NMDA receptors membrane expression in hippocampus and impaired spatial learning and memory in the radial and Morris water maze. Treatment with infliximab reduces peripheral inflammation in PCS rats, normalizing prostaglandin E2, IL-17, IL-6, and

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. High-dose estradiol improves cognition for women with AD: results of a randomized study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asthana, S; Baker, L D; Craft, S; Stanczyk, F Z; Veith, R C; Raskind, M A; Plymate, S R

    2001-08-28

    To characterize the cognitive and neuroendocrine response to treatment with a high dose of estrogen for postmenopausal women with AD. Twenty postmenopausal women with AD were randomized to receive either 0.10 mg/day of 17 beta-estradiol by skin patch or a placebo patch for 8 weeks. Subjects were evaluated at baseline, at weeks 3, 5, and 8 during treatment, and again 8 weeks after treatment termination. During each visit, cognition was assessed with a battery of neuropsychological tests, and blood samples were collected to measure plasma estradiol as well as several other neuroendocrine markers of interest. Significant effects of estrogen treatment were observed on attention (Stroop Color Word Interference Test), verbal memory (Buschke Selective Reminding Test), and visual memory (Figure Copy/Memory). In addition, women treated with estrogen demonstrated improved performance on a test of semantic memory (Boston Naming Test) compared with subjects who received a placebo. Estrogen appeared to have a suppressive effect on the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system such that plasma concentration of IGF binding protein-3 was significantly reduced and plasma levels of estradiol and IGF-I were negatively correlated during estrogen treatment. Administration of a higher dose of estrogen may enhance attention and memory for postmenopausal women with AD. Although these findings provide further clinical evidence to support a cognitive benefit of estrogen for women with AD, studies evaluating the effect of estradiol administration, in particular, using larger sample sizes and for longer treatment durations are warranted before the therapeutic potential of estrogen replacement for women with AD can be firmly established.

  10. Omega-3 supplementation improves cognition and modifies brain activation in young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Isabelle; Hughes, Matthew; Rowsell, Renee; Cockerell, Robyn; Pipingas, Andrew; Crewther, Sheila; Crewther, David

    2014-03-01

    The current study aimed to investigate the effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)-rich and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-rich supplementations on cognitive performance and functional brain activation. A double-blind, counterbalanced, crossover design, with a 30-day washout period between two supplementation periods (EPA-rich and DHA-rich) was employed. Functional magnetic resonance imaging scans were obtained during performance of Stroop and Spatial Working Memory tasks prior to supplementation and after each 30-day supplementation period. Both supplementations resulted in reduced ratio of arachidonic acid to EPA levels. Following the EPA-rich supplementation, there was a reduction in functional activation in the left anterior cingulate cortex and an increase in activation in the right precentral gyrus coupled with a reduction in reaction times on the colour-word Stroop task. By contrast, the DHA-rich supplementation led to a significant increase in functional activation in the right precentral gyrus during the Stroop and Spatial Working Memory tasks, but there was no change in behavioural performance. By extending the theory of neural efficiency to the within-subject neurocognitive effects of supplementation, we concluded that following the EPA-rich supplementation, participants' brains worked 'less hard' and achieved a better cognitive performance than prior to supplementation. Conversely, the increase in functional activation and lack of improvement in time or accuracy of cognitive performance following DHA-rich supplementation may indicate that DHA-rich supplementation is less effective than EPA-rich supplementation in enhancing neurocognitive functioning after a 30-day supplementation period in the same group of individuals.

  11. 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.

  12. Computerised training improves cognitive performance in chronic pain: a participant-blinded randomised active-controlled trial with remote supervision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Katharine S; Georgiou-Karistianis, Nellie; Lampit, Amit; Valenzuela, Michael; Gibson, Stephen J; Giummarra, Melita J

    2018-04-01

    Chronic pain is associated with reduced efficiency of cognitive performance, and few studies have investigated methods of remediation. We trialled a computerised cognitive training protocol to determine whether it could attenuate cognitive difficulties in a chronic pain sample. Thirty-nine adults with chronic pain (mean age = 43.3, 61.5% females) were randomised to an 8-week online course (3 sessions/week from home) of game-like cognitive training exercises, or an active control involving watching documentary videos. Participants received weekly supervision by video call. Primary outcomes were a global neurocognitive composite (tests of attention, speed, and executive function) and self-reported cognition. Secondary outcomes were pain (intensity; interference), mood symptoms (depression; anxiety), and coping with pain (catastrophising; self-efficacy). Thirty participants (15 training and 15 control) completed the trial. Mixed model intention-to-treat analyses revealed significant effects of training on the global neurocognitive composite (net effect size [ES] = 0.43, P = 0.017), driven by improved executive function performance (attention switching and working memory). The control group reported improvement in pain intensity (net ES = 0.65, P = 0.022). Both groups reported subjective improvements in cognition (ES = 0.28, P = 0.033) and catastrophising (ES = 0.55, P = 0.006). Depression, anxiety, self-efficacy, and pain interference showed no change in either group. This study provides preliminary evidence that supervised cognitive training may be a viable method for enhancing cognitive skills in persons with chronic pain, but transfer to functional and clinical outcomes remains to be demonstrated. Active control results suggest that activities perceived as relaxing or enjoyable contribute to improved perception of well-being. Weekly contact was pivotal to successful program completion.

  13. Investigating and Improving Student Understanding of Key Ideas in Quantum Mechanics throughout Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emigh, Paul Jeffrey

    This dissertation describes research on student understanding of quantum mechanics across multiple levels of instruction. The primary focus has been to identify patterns in student reasoning related to key concepts in quantum mechanics. The specific topics include quantum measurements, time dependence, vector spaces, and angular momentum. The research has spanned a variety of different quantum courses intended for introductory physics students, upper-division physics majors, and graduate students in physics. The results of this research have been used to develop a set of curriculum, Tutorials in Physics: Quantum Mechanics, for addressing the most persistent student difficulties. We document both the development of this curriculum and how it has impacted and improved student understanding of quantum mechanics.

  14. An interdisciplinary approach towards improved understanding of soil deformation during compaction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Keller, T.; Lamandé, Mathieu; Peth, S.

    2013-01-01

    and validation of new soil compaction models. The integration of concepts underlying dynamic processes that modify soil pore spaces and bulk properties will improve the understanding of how soil management affect vital soil mechanical, hydraulic and ecological functions supporting plant growth.......Soil compaction not only reduces available pore volume in which fluids are stored, but it alters the arrangement of soil constituents and pore geometry, thereby adversely impacting fluid transport and a range of soil ecological functions. Quantitative understanding of stress transmission...... and deformation processes in arable soils remains limited. Yet such knowledge is essential for better predictions of effects of soil management practices such as agricultural field traffic on soil functioning. Concepts and theory used in agricultural soil mechanics (soil compaction and soil tillage) are often...

  15. [Nicorandil improves cognitive dysfunction in mice with streptozotocin-induced diabetes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Wen-Hui; Zhang, Chun-Xi; Xing, Tong; Gong, Xue; Yang, Yu-Xuan; Li, Yi-Nuo; Liu, Xuan; Ayijiang, Jiamaliding; Yu, Ye; Zhang, Meng; Chen, Li-Na

    2018-04-20

    To observe the protective effects of potassium channel opener nicorandil against cognitive dysfunction in mice with streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes. C57BL/6J mouse models of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) were established by intraperitoneal injection of STZ and received daily treatment with intragastric administration of nicorandil or saline (model group) for 4 consecutive weeks, with normal C57BL/6J mice serving as control. Fasting blood glucose level was recorded every week and Morris water maze was used to evaluate the cognitive behavior of the mice in the 4th week. At the end of the experiment, the mice were sacrificed to observe the ultrastructural changes in the hippocampus and pancreas under transmission electron microscopy; the contents of glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in the hippocampus and SOD activity and MDA level in the brain tissue were determined. Compared with the control group, the model group showed significantly increased fasting blood glucose (P<0.001), significantly prolonged escape latency (P<0.05) and increased swimming distance (P<0.01) with ultrastructural damage of pancreatic β cells and in the hippocampus; GIP and GLP-1 contents in the hippocampus (P<0.01) and SOD activity in the brain were significantly decreased (P<0.05) and MDA content was significantly increased in the model group (P<0.05). Compared with the model group, nicorandil treatment did not cause significant changes in fasting blood glucose, but significantly reduced the swimming distance (P<0.05); nicorandil did not improve the ultrastructural changes in pancreatic β cells but obviously improved the ultrastructures of hippocampal neurons and synapses. Nicorandil also significantly increased the contents of GIP and GLP-1 in the hippocampus (P<0.05), enhanced SOD activity (P<0.05) and decreased MDA level (P<0.01) in the brain tissue. Nicorandil improves cognitive dysfunction in mice with STZ-induced diabetes by

  16. Improving the efficiency of cognitive-behavioural therapy by using formal client feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janse, Pauline D; De Jong, Kim; Van Dijk, Maarten K; Hutschemaekers, Giel J M; Verbraak, Marc J P M

    2017-09-01

    Feedback from clients on their view of progress and the therapeutic relationship can improve effectiveness and efficiency of psychological treatments in general. However, what the added value is of client feedback specifically within cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), is not known. Therefore, the extent to which the outcome of CBT can be improved is investigated by providing feedback from clients to therapists using the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) and Session Rating Scale (SRS). Outpatients (n = 1006) of a Dutch mental health organization either participated in the "treatment as usual" (TAU) condition, or in Feedback condition of the study. Clients were invited to fill in the ORS and SRS and in the Feedback condition therapists were asked to frequently discuss client feedback. Outcome on the SCL-90 was only improved specifically with mood disorders in the Feedback condition. Also, in the Feedback condition, in terms of process, the total number of required treatment sessions was on average two sessions fewer. Frequently asking feedback from clients using the ORS/SRS does not necessarily result in a better treatment outcome in CBT. However, for an equal treatment outcome significantly fewer sessions are needed within the Feedback condition, thus improving efficiency of CBT.

  17. Dietary and plant polyphenols exert neuroprotective effects and improve cognitive function in cerebral ischemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panickar, Kiran S; Jang, Saebyeol

    2013-08-01

    Cerebral ischemia is caused by an interruption of blood flow to the brain which generally leads to irreversible brain damage. Ischemic injury is associated with vascular leakage, inflammation, tissue injury, and cell death. Cellular changes associated with ischemia include impairment of metabolism, energy failure, free radical production, excitotoxicity, altered calcium homeostasis, and activation of proteases all of which affect brain functioning and also contribute to longterm disabilities including cognitive decline. Inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, increased oxidative/nitrosative stress, and intracellular calcium overload contribute to brain injury including cell death and brain edema. However, there is a paucity of agents that can effectively reduce cerebral damage and hence considerable attention has focused on developing newer agents with more efficacy and fewer side-effects. Polyphenols are natural compounds with variable phenolic structures and are rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, bark, roots, tea, and wine. Most polyphenols have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic properties and their protective effects on mitochondrial functioning, glutamate uptake, and regulating intracellular calcium levels in ischemic injury in vitro have been demonstrated. This review will assess the current status of the potential effects of polyphenols in reducing cerebral injury and improving cognitive function in ischemia in animal and human studies. In addition, the review will also examine available patents in nutrition and agriculture that relates to cerebral ischemic injury with an emphasis on plant polyphenols.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. Hearing impairment, cognition and speech understanding: exploratory factor analyses of a comprehensive test battery for a group of hearing aid users, the n200 study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rönnberg, Jerker; Lunner, Thomas; Ng, Elaine Hoi Ning; Lidestam, Björn; Zekveld, Adriana Agatha; Sörqvist, Patrik; Lyxell, Björn; Träff, Ulf; Yumba, Wycliffe; Classon, Elisabet; Hällgren, Mathias; Larsby, Birgitta; Signoret, Carine; Pichora-Fuller, M Kathleen; Rudner, Mary; Danielsson, Henrik; Stenfelt, Stefan

    2016-11-01

    The aims of the current n200 study were to assess the structural relations between three classes of test variables (i.e. HEARING, COGNITION and aided speech-in-noise OUTCOMES) and to describe the theoretical implications of these relations for the Ease of Language Understanding (ELU) model. Participants were 200 hard-of-hearing hearing-aid users, with a mean age of 60.8 years. Forty-three percent were females and the mean hearing threshold in the better ear was 37.4 dB HL. LEVEL1 factor analyses extracted one factor per test and/or cognitive function based on a priori conceptualizations. The more abstract LEVEL 2 factor analyses were performed separately for the three classes of test variables. The HEARING test variables resulted in two LEVEL 2 factors, which we labelled SENSITIVITY and TEMPORAL FINE STRUCTURE; the COGNITIVE variables in one COGNITION factor only, and OUTCOMES in two factors, NO CONTEXT and CONTEXT. COGNITION predicted the NO CONTEXT factor to a stronger extent than the CONTEXT outcome factor. TEMPORAL FINE STRUCTURE and SENSITIVITY were associated with COGNITION and all three contributed significantly and independently to especially the NO CONTEXT outcome scores (R(2) = 0.40). All LEVEL 2 factors are important theoretically as well as for clinical assessment.

  3. Hearing impairment, cognition and speech understanding: exploratory factor analyses of a comprehensive test battery for a group of hearing aid users, the n200 study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rönnberg, Jerker; Lunner, Thomas; Ng, Elaine Hoi Ning; Lidestam, Björn; Zekveld, Adriana Agatha; Sörqvist, Patrik; Lyxell, Björn; Träff, Ulf; Yumba, Wycliffe; Classon, Elisabet; Hällgren, Mathias; Larsby, Birgitta; Signoret, Carine; Pichora-Fuller, M. Kathleen; Rudner, Mary; Danielsson, Henrik; Stenfelt, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Objective: The aims of the current n200 study were to assess the structural relations between three classes of test variables (i.e. HEARING, COGNITION and aided speech-in-noise OUTCOMES) and to describe the theoretical implications of these relations for the Ease of Language Understanding (ELU) model. Study sample: Participants were 200 hard-of-hearing hearing-aid users, with a mean age of 60.8 years. Forty-three percent were females and the mean hearing threshold in the better ear was 37.4 dB HL. Design: LEVEL1 factor analyses extracted one factor per test and/or cognitive function based on a priori conceptualizations. The more abstract LEVEL 2 factor analyses were performed separately for the three classes of test variables. Results: The HEARING test variables resulted in two LEVEL 2 factors, which we labelled SENSITIVITY and TEMPORAL FINE STRUCTURE; the COGNITIVE variables in one COGNITION factor only, and OUTCOMES in two factors, NO CONTEXT and CONTEXT. COGNITION predicted the NO CONTEXT factor to a stronger extent than the CONTEXT outcome factor. TEMPORAL FINE STRUCTURE and SENSITIVITY were associated with COGNITION and all three contributed significantly and independently to especially the NO CONTEXT outcome scores (R2 = 0.40). Conclusions: All LEVEL 2 factors are important theoretically as well as for clinical assessment. PMID:27589015

  4. Afternoon nap and bright light exposure improve cognitive flexibility post lunch.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hichem Slama

    Full Text Available 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

  5. Is improved lane keeping during cognitive load caused by increased physical arousal or gaze concentration toward the road center?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Penghui; Markkula, Gustav; Li, Yibing; Merat, Natasha

    2018-08-01

    Driver distraction is one of the main causes of motor-vehicle accidents. However, the impact on traffic safety of tasks that impose cognitive (non-visual) distraction remains debated. One particularly intriguing finding is that cognitive load seems to improve lane keeping performance, most often quantified as reduced standard deviation of lateral position (SDLP). The main competing hypotheses, supported by current empirical evidence, suggest that cognitive load improves lane keeping via either increased physical arousal, or higher gaze concentration toward the road center, but views are mixed regarding if, and how, these possible mediators influence lane keeping performance. Hence, a simulator study was conducted, with participants driving on a straight city road section whilst completing a cognitive task at different levels of difficulty. In line with previous studies, cognitive load led to increased physical arousal, higher gaze concentration toward the road center, and higher levels of micro-steering activity, accompanied by improved lane keeping performance. More importantly, during the high cognitive task, both physical arousal and gaze concentration changed earlier in time than micro-steering activity, which in turn changed earlier than lane keeping performance. In addition, our results did not show a significant correlation between gaze concentration and physical arousal on the level of individual task recordings. Based on these findings, various multilevel models for micro-steering activity and lane keeping performance were conducted and compared, and the results suggest that all of the mechanisms proposed by existing hypotheses could be simultaneously involved. In other words, it is suggested that cognitive load leads to: (i) an increase in arousal, causing increased micro-steering activity, which in turn improves lane keeping performance, and (ii) an increase in gaze concentration, causing lane keeping improvement through both (a) further increased micro

  6. Theoretical Foundations of the Web: Cognition, Communication, and Co-Operation. Towards an Understanding of Web 1.0, 2.0, 3.0

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Bichler

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Currently, there is much talk of Web 2.0 and Social Software. A common understanding of these notions is not yet in existence. The question of what makes Social Software social has thus far also remained unacknowledged. In this paper we provide a theoretical understanding of these notions by outlining a model of the Web as a techno-social system that enhances human cognition towards communication and co-operation. According to this understanding, we identify three qualities of the Web, namely Web 1.0 as a Web of cognition, Web 2.0 as a Web of human communication, and Web 3.0 as a Web of co-operation. We use the terms Web 1.0, Web 2.0, Web 3.0 not in a technical sense, but for describing and characterizing the social dynamics and information processes that are part of the Internet.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Choline and Working Memory Training Improve Cognitive Deficits Caused by Prenatal Exposure to Ethanol

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    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.

  10. Cognitive-behavioral therapy improves the quality of life of patients with acromegaly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunzler, Lia Silvia; Naves, Luciana Ansaneli; Casulari, Luiz Augusto

    2018-06-01

    The delayed diagnosis, altered body image, and clinical complications associated with acromegaly impair quality of life. To assess the efficacy of the cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) technique "Think Healthy" to increase the quality of life of patients with acromegaly. This non-randomized clinical trial examined ten patients with acromegaly (nine women and one man; mean age, 55.5 ± 8.4 years) from a convenience sample who received CBT. The intervention included nine weekly group therapy sessions. The quality of life questionnaire the 36-Item Short Form Survey (SF-36) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were administered during the pre- and post-intervention phases. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was performed to assess the occurrence of significant differences. According to the SF-36, the general health domain significantly improved (d'  = - 0.264; p = 0.031). The mental health domain improved considerably (d'  = - 1.123; p = 0.012). Physical functioning showed a non-significant trend toward improvement (d'  = - 0.802; p = 0.078), although four of the five patients who showed floor effects improved and remained at this level. Regarding emotional well-being, five patients showed floor effects and four improved, and the condition did not change among any of the four patients who showed ceiling effects. No significant changes were found with regard to the other domains. No significant differences in the BDI were found before or after the intervention. The technique presented herein effectively improved the quality of life of patients with acromegaly with different levels of disease activity, type, and treatment time.

  11. 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.

  12. 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,

  13. 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.

  14. Improving Geoscience Students' Spatial Thinking Skills: Applying Cognitive Science Research in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ormand, C. J.; Shipley, T. F.; Manduca, C. A.; Tikoff, B.

    2011-12-01

    Spatial thinking skills are critical to success in many subdisciplines of the geosciences (and beyond). There are many components of spatial thinking, such as mental rotation, penetrative visualization, disembedding, perspective taking, and navigation. Undergraduate students in introductory and upper-level geoscience courses bring a wide variety of spatial skill levels to the classroom, as measured by psychometric tests of many of these components of spatial thinking. Furthermore, it is not unusual for individual students to excel in some of these areas while struggling in others. Although pre- and post-test comparisons show that student skill levels typically improve over the course of an academic term, average gains are quite modest. This suggests that it may be valuable to develop interventions to help undergraduate students develop a range of spatial skills that can be used to solve geoscience problems. Cognitive science research suggests a number of strong strategies for building students' spatial skills. Practice is essential, and time on task is correlated to improvement. Progressive alignment may be used to scaffold students' successes on simpler problems, allowing them to see how more complex problems are related to those they can solve. Gesturing has proven effective in moving younger students from incorrect problem-solving strategies to correct strategies in other disciplines. These principles can be used to design instructional materials to improve undergraduate geoscience students' spatial skills; we will present some examples of such materials.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Combined Cognitive-Motor Rehabilitation in Virtual Reality Improves Motor Outcomes in Chronic Stroke – A Pilot Study

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    Ana L. Faria

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Stroke is one of the most common causes of acquired disability, leaving numerous adults with cognitive and motor impairments, and affecting patients’ capability to live independently. Virtual Reality (VR based methods for stroke rehabilitation have mainly focused on motor rehabilitation but there is increasing interest toward the integration of cognitive training for providing more effective solutions. Here we investigate the feasibility for stroke recovery of a virtual cognitive-motor task, the Reh@Task, which combines adapted arm reaching, and attention and memory training. 24 participants in the chronic stage of stroke, with cognitive and motor deficits, were allocated to one of two groups (VR, Control. Both groups were enrolled in conventional occupational therapy, which mostly involves motor training. Additionally, the VR group underwent training with the Reh@Task and the control group performed time-matched conventional occupational therapy. Motor and cognitive competences were assessed at baseline, end of treatment (1 month and at a 1-month follow-up through the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, Single Letter Cancelation, Digit Cancelation, Bells Test, Fugl-Meyer Assessment Test, Chedoke Arm and Hand Activity Inventory, Modified Ashworth Scale, and Barthel Index. Our results show that both groups improved in motor function over time, but the Reh@Task group displayed significantly higher between-group outcomes in the arm subpart of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment Test. Improvements in cognitive function were significant and similar in both groups. Overall, these results are supportive of the viability of VR tools that combine motor and cognitive training, such as the Reh@Task. Trial Registration: This trial was not registered because it is a small clinical study that addresses the feasibility of a prototype device.

  20. Application of schlieren techniques for improved understanding of underground mine ventilation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jong, E.C.; Luxbacher, K.D.

    2010-01-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Aerobic Physical Exercise Improved the Cognitive Function of Elderly Males but Did Not Modify Their Blood Homocysteine Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antunes, Hanna Karen M.; De Mello, Marco Túlio; de Aquino Lemos, Valdir; Santos-Galduróz, Ruth Ferreira; Camargo Galdieri, Luciano; Amodeo Bueno, Orlando Francisco; Tufik, Sergio; D'Almeida, Vânia

    2015-01-01

    Background Physical exercise influences homocysteine (Hcy) concentrations, cognitive function and the metabolic profile. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of regular physical exercise on Hcy levels, the metabolic profile and cognitive function in healthy elderly males before and after an endurance exercise program. Methods Forty-five healthy and sedentary volunteers were randomized into 2 groups: (1) a control group asked not to change their normal everyday activities and not to start any regular physical exercise program and (2) an experimental group trained at a heart rate intensity corresponding to ventilatory threshold 1 (VT-1) for 60 min/day 3 times weekly on alternate days for 6 months using a cycle ergometer. All volunteers underwent cognitive evaluations, blood sample analyses and ergospirometric assessments. Results A significant improvement in cognitive function was observed in the experimental group compared with the control group (p 0.05), but there was a significant increase in peak oxygen consumption and workload at VT-1 as well as a significant improvement in cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, glucose, alkaline phosphatase, urea, T3, T4 and prostate-specific antigen compared with the control group (p < 0.05). Conclusion The data suggest that a physical exercise program does not reduce Hcy levels in healthy elderly males, although it improves the cardiovascular and metabolic profile as well as cognitive function. PMID:25759715

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Hydro-alcoholic Extract of Commiphora mukul Gum Resin May Improve Cognitive Impairments in Diabetic Rats

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    Salehi

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Background Diabetes causes cognitive impairment. Medicinal plants due to different mechanisms, such as antioxidant activities may improve diabetes and relieve its symptoms. Commiphora mukul (Burseraceae has a significant antioxidant activity. Objectives This study aimed to examine the effect of hydro- alcoholic extract of C. mukul on passive-avoidance learning and memory in streptozotocin (STZ induced diabetic male rats. Materials and Methods Thirty-two adult male Wistar rats were randomly allocated to four groups: normal, diabetic, normal + extract of C. mukul and diabetic + extract of C. mukul groups with free access to regular rat diet. Diabetes was induced in male rats by single interaperitoneal injection of 60 mg/kg STZ. After the confirmation of diabetes, 300 mg/kg C. mukul extract was orally administered to the extract-treated groups. Control groups received normal saline at the same time. Passive-avoidance memory was tested eight weeks after the STZ treatment, and blood glucose and body weight were measured in all groups at the beginning and end of the experiment. Results In the present study, diabetes decreased learning and memory. Although the administration of C. mukul extract did not affect the step-through latency (STLa and the number of trials of the diabetic groups during the first acquisition trial, a significant decrease was observed in STLr and also a significant increase in time spent in the dark compartment (TDC and number of crossing (NOC in the retention test (after 24 and 48 hours. Although no significant difference was observed in body weight of diabetic + extract of C. mukul (DE and diabetic control (DC groups, the plasma glucose of DE group was significantly lower in comparison to DC group. Conclusions Commiphora mukul extract can improve passive-avoidance learning and memory impairments in the STZ-induced diabetic rats. This improvement may be due to the antioxidant, acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity, anti

  6. Flavonol-rich dark cocoa significantly decreases plasma endothelin-1 and improves cognition in urban children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, Lilian; Mora-Tiscareño, Antonieta; Franco-Lira, Maricela; Cross, Janet V; Engle, Randall; Aragón-Flores, Mariana; Gómez-Garza, Gilberto; Jewells, Valerie; Medina-Cortina, Humberto; Solorio, Edelmira; Chao, Chih-Kai; Zhu, Hongtu; Mukherjee, Partha S; Ferreira-Azevedo, Lara; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; D'Angiulli, Amedeo

    2013-01-01

    Air pollution exposures are linked to systemic inflammation, cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity and mortality, neuroinflammation and neuropathology in young urbanites. In particular, most Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) children exhibit subtle cognitive deficits, and neuropathology studies show 40% of them exhibiting frontal tau hyperphosphorylation and 51% amyloid-β diffuse plaques (compared to 0% in low pollution control children). We assessed whether a short cocoa intervention can be effective in decreasing plasma endothelin 1 (ET-1) and/or inflammatory mediators in MCMA children. Thirty gram of dark cocoa with 680 mg of total flavonols were given daily for 10.11 ± 3.4 days (range 9-24 days) to 18 children (10.55 years, SD = 1.45; 11F/7M). Key metabolite ratios in frontal white matter and in hippocampus pre and during cocoa intervention were quantified by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. ET-1 significantly decreased after cocoa treatment (p = 0.0002). Fifteen children (83%) showed a marginally significant individual improvement in one or both of the applied simple short memory tasks. Endothelial dysfunction is a key feature of exposure to particulate matter (PM) and decreased endothelin-1 bioavailability is likely useful for brain function in the context of air pollution. Our findings suggest that cocoa interventions may be critical for early implementation of neuroprotection of highly exposed urban children. Multi-domain nutraceutical interventions could limit the risk for endothelial dysfunction, cerebral hypoperfusion, neuroinflammation, cognitive deficits, structural volumetric detrimental brain effects, and the early development of the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

  7. Microbiome restoration diet improves digestion, cognition and physical and emotional wellbeing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Kate; Hyde, Jeannette

    2017-01-01

    Manipulating gut bacteria in the microbiome, through the use of probiotics and prebiotics, has been found to have an influence on both physical and emotional wellbeing. This study uses a dietary manipulation 'The Gut Makeover' designed to elicit positive changes to the gut bacteria within the microbiome. 21 healthy participants undertook 'The Gut Makeover' for a four week period. Weight and various aspects of health were assessed pre and post intervention using the Functional Medicine Medical Symptoms Questionnaire (MSQ). Paired sample t-tests revealed a significant reduction in self-reported weight at the end of the intervention. Adverse medical symptoms related to digestion, cognition and physical and emotional wellbeing, were also significantly reduced during the course of the dietary intervention. The intervention, designed to manipulate gut bacteria, had a significant impact on digestion, reducing IBS type symptoms in this non-clinical population. There was also a striking reduction in negative symptoms related to cognition, memory and emotional wellbeing, including symptoms of anxiety and depression. Dietary gut microbiome manipulations may have the power to exert positive physical and psychological health benefits, of a similar nature to those reported in studies using pre and probiotics. The small sample size and lack of control over confounding variables means that it will be important to replicate these findings in larger-scale controlled, prospective, clinical trials. This dietary microbiome intervention has the potential to improve physical and emotional wellbeing in the general population but also to be investigated as a treatment option for individuals with conditions as diverse as IBS, anxiety, depression and Alzheimer's disease.

  8. Introduction. Back to nurture: cross-cultural research as a paradigm for understanding bio-cultural dynamics of cognitive ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luszcz, Mary

    2006-01-01

    One of the earliest and most persistent inquiries in developmental psychology is that of the relative contributions of nature and nurture to human ontogeny. One way of studying this distinction is by doing cross-cultural studies, in which culture provides a powerful way to operationalize the influence of nurture. The purpose is to provide some background to the emergence of the field of cross-cultural gerontological research, as a prelude to the special series of papers on cognitive ageing and culture from the laboratory of Park and Nisbett and their colleagues. A qualitative review of theoretical notions about cross-cultural differences provides an introduction and orientation to papers dealing with aspects of cognitive ageing, including picture naming specificity, source memory, use of categorical information in free recall, and perceptions of stereotypes of older and younger adults. Most of the research on cognitive ageing has focused on Western cultures and has assumed universality in the operation of the cognitive system. If culture makes a difference, a plausible hypothesis might be that, with ageing, any effects of culture on cognitive processes would become more apparent, due to older adults' increased exposure to their culture, and that these might be limited to the pragmatics of intelligence or crystallized abilities. The papers presented demonstrate that for some cognitive processes, i.e., source memory and free recall, cultural invariance, or universality of cognitive ageing, was observed. Further, stereotypes of both cultures shifted with advancing age from positive to increasingly negative views for mental and physical domains. A modest interaction of age and culture was observed in social and emotional domains, where stereotypes were relatively neutral, except for a small positive bias among the young Chinese participants for both older and younger adults. Marked cultural differences were seen in naming specificity and in the use of categories to

  9. Improving access to psychological therapies in voice disorders: a cognitive behavioural therapy model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tracy; Deary, Vincent; Patterson, Jo

    2014-06-01

    The improving access to psychological therapies initiative has highlighted the importance of managing mental health problems effectively, and research has shown excellent outcomes from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) interventions. Patients presenting with functional dysphonia will often also describe psychological distress including anxiety, depression and reduced general well-being, and it is felt that effective voice therapy needs to include the management of psychological well-being. The evidence for the use of CBT enhanced voice therapy is limited to date. Recent research has only started to identify the benefits of this approach and questions regarding how to achieve and maintain competence are essential. Voice therapy outcomes are positive and patients receiving CBT with voice therapy have shown more improvement in their general well-being and distress. CBT is a very well evidenced therapy and recommended by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as the treatment of choice for mental health difficulties and medically unexplained symptoms. Allied health professionals are increasingly being trained to use CBT skills in the management of a number of symptoms/illnesses, and this should be considered for the management of functional dysphonia. However, there is a need for more research and detailed consideration of how therapists should be trained and supervised and how cost-effective this approach may be.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. The Improved Adaptive Silence Period Algorithm over Time-Variant Channels in the Cognitive Radio System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingbo Zhang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available In the field of cognitive radio spectrum sensing, the adaptive silence period management mechanism (ASPM has improved the problem of the low time-resource utilization rate of the traditional silence period management mechanism (TSPM. However, in the case of the low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR, the ASPM algorithm will increase the probability of missed detection for the primary user (PU. Focusing on this problem, this paper proposes an improved adaptive silence period management (IA-SPM algorithm which can adaptively adjust the sensing parameters of the current period in combination with the feedback information from the data communication with the sensing results of the previous period. The feedback information in the channel is achieved with frequency resources rather than time resources in order to adapt to the parameter change in the time-varying channel. The Monte Carlo simulation results show that the detection probability of the IA-SPM is 10–15% higher than that of the ASPM under low SNR conditions.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Improving conservation outcomes with a new paradigm for understanding species’ fundamental and realized adaptive capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beever, Erik; O’Leary, John; Mengelt, Claudia; West, Jordan M.; Julius, Susan; Green, Nancy; Magness, Dawn; Petes, Laura E.; Stein, Bruce A.; Nicotra, Adrienne B; Hellmann, Jessica J; Robertson, Amanda L; Staudinger, Michelle D.; Rosenberg, Andrew A.; Babij, Eleanora; Brennan, Jean; Schuurman, Gregor W.; Hofmann, Gretchen E

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide, many species are responding to ongoing climate change with shifts in distribution, abundance, phenology, or behavior. Consequently, natural-resource managers face increasingly urgent conservation questions related to biodiversity loss, expansion of invasive species, and deteriorating ecosystem services. We argue that our ability to address these questions is hampered by the lack of explicit consideration of species’ adaptive capacity (AC). AC is the ability of a species or population to cope with climatic changes and is characterized by three fundamental components: phenotypic plasticity, dispersal ability, and genetic diversity. However, few studies simultaneously address all elements; often, AC is confused with sensitivity or omitted altogether from climate-change vulnerability assessments. Improved understanding, consistent definition, and comprehensive evaluations of AC are needed. Using classic ecological-niche theory as an analogy, we propose a new paradigm that considers fundamental and realized AC: the former reflects aspects inherent to species, whereas the latter denotes how extrinsic factors constrain AC to what is actually expressed or observed. Through this conceptualization, we identify ecological attributes contributing to AC, outline areas of research necessary to advance understanding of AC, and provide examples demonstrating how the inclusion of AC can better inform conservation and natural-resource management.

  19. Physical exercise improves strength, balance, mobility, and endurance in people with cognitive impairment and dementia: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Freddy Mh; Huang, Mei-Zhen; Liao, Lin-Rong; Chung, Raymond Ck; Kwok, Timothy Cy; Pang, Marco Yc

    2018-01-01

    Does physical exercise training improve physical function and quality of life in people with cognitive impairment and dementia? Which training protocols improve physical function and quality of life? How do cognitive impairment and other patient characteristics influence the outcomes of exercise training? Systematic review with meta-analysis of randomised trials. People with mild cognitive impairment or dementia as the primary diagnosis. Physical exercise. Strength, flexibility, gait, balance, mobility, walking endurance, dual-task ability, activities of daily living, quality of life, and falls. Forty-three clinical trials (n=3988) were included. According to the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system, the meta-analyses revealed strong evidence in support of using supervised exercise training to improve the results of 30-second sit-to-stand test (MD 2.1 repetitions, 95% CI 0.3 to 3.9), step length (MD 5cm, 95% CI 2 to 8), Berg Balance Scale (MD 3.6 points, 95% CI 0.3 to 7.0), functional reach (3.9cm, 95% CI 2.2 to 5.5), Timed Up and Go test (-1second, 95% CI -2 to 0), walking speed (0.13m/s, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.24), and 6-minute walk test (50m, 95% CI 18 to 81) in individuals with mild cognitive impairment or dementia. Weak evidence supported the use of exercise in improving flexibility and Barthel Index performance. Weak evidence suggested that non-specific exercise did not improve dual-tasking ability or activity level. Strong evidence indicated that exercise did not improve quality of life in this population. The effect of exercise on falls remained inconclusive. Poorer physical function was a determinant of better response to exercise training, but cognitive performance did not have an impact. People with various levels of cognitive impairment can benefit from supervised multi-modal exercise for about 60minutes a day, 2 to 3days a week to improve physical function. [Lam FMH , Huang MZ, Liao LR, Chung RCK, Kwok TCY, Pang MYC

  20. 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

  1. 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...... 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...

  2. Understanding The Process Of Strategic Change From A Structurational And Cognitive Perspective: Case Study Of The Users Of A New Technology

    OpenAIRE

    Slocum, Alesia

    2007-01-01

    How does strategic change happen, and how is it understood around technology? This ethnographic research has sought to better understand this process, from a structurational, cognitive and practice perspective. Researchers have shown that change is a continuous and ongoing process (Tsoukas and Chia, 2002; Weick and Quinn, 1999), while others have shown that change, while not determinate, can be intentional and directed to a large extent by change agents in practice (Balogun ...

  3. 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

  4. Prediction and moderation of improvement in cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic psychotherapy for panic disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambless, Dianne L; Milrod, Barbara; Porter, Eliora; Gallop, Robert; McCarthy, Kevin S; Graf, Elizabeth; Rudden, Marie; Sharpless, Brian A; Barber, Jacques P

    2017-08-01

    To identify variables predicting psychotherapy outcome for panic disorder or indicating which of 2 very different forms of psychotherapy-panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy (PFPP) or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)-would be more effective for particular patients. Data were from 161 adults participating in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) including these psychotherapies. Patients included 104 women; 118 patients were White, 33 were Black, and 10 were of other races; 24 were Latino(a). Predictors/moderators measured at baseline or by Session 2 of treatment were used to predict change on the Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS). Higher expectancy for treatment gains (Credibility/Expectancy Questionnaire d = -1.05, CI 95% [-1.50, -0.60]), and later age of onset (d = -0.65, CI 95% [-0.98, -0.32]) were predictive of greater change. Both variables were also significant moderators: patients with low expectancy of improvement improved significantly less in PFPP than their counterparts in CBT, whereas this was not the case for patients with average or high levels of expectancy. When patients had an onset of panic disorder later in life (≥27.5 years old), they fared as well in PFPP as CBT. In contrast, at low and mean levels of onset age, CBT was the more effective treatment. Predictive variables suggest possibly fruitful foci for improvement of treatment outcome. In terms of moderation, CBT was the more consistently effective treatment, but moderators identified some patients who would do as well in PFPP as in CBT, thereby widening empirically supported options for treatment of this disorder. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Understanding the origin of the solar cyclic activity for an improved earth climate prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turck-Chièze, Sylvaine; Lambert, Pascal

    This review is dedicated to the processes which could explain the origin of the great extrema of the solar activity. We would like to reach a more suitable estimate and prediction of the temporal solar variability and its real impact on the Earth climatic models. The development of this new field is stimulated by the SoHO helioseismic measurements and by some recent solar modelling improvement which aims to describe the dynamical processes from the core to the surface. We first recall assumptions on the potential different solar variabilities. Then, we introduce stellar seismology and summarize the main SOHO results which are relevant for this field. Finally we mention the dynamical processes which are presently introduced in new solar models. We believe that the knowledge of two important elements: (1) the magnetic field interplay between the radiative zone and the convective zone and (2) the role of the gravity waves, would allow to understand the origin of the grand minima and maxima observed during the last millennium. Complementary observables like acoustic and gravity modes, radius and spectral irradiance from far UV to visible in parallel to the development of 1D-2D-3D simulations will improve this field. PICARD, SDO, DynaMICCS are key projects for a prediction of the next century variability. Some helioseismic indicators constitute the first necessary information to properly describe the Sun-Earth climatic connection.

  8. 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.

  9. Nourishing Our Understanding of Role Modeling to Improve Support and Health (NOURISH): design and methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzeo, Suzanne E; Kelly, Nichole R; Stern, Marilyn; Gow, Rachel W; Serdar, Kasey; Evans, Ronald K; Jones, Resa M; Bulik, Cynthia M

    2012-05-01

    Pediatric overweight is associated with numerous physical and psychological health risks, and overweight children are at significant risk for obesity in adulthood. African-American children are at particularly high risk for obesity and related health complications. However, this racial group has traditionally had limited access to obesity treatment and relatively few studies have included sufficient numbers of lower-SES, African American participants. Further, although parental involvement in treatment for pediatric overweight has been found to be beneficial, few studies have examined the efficacy of offering treatment exclusively to parents, a potentially cost-effective approach which could benefit the entire family. This pilot project will evaluate the efficacy of an intensive parenting intervention, (NOURISH; Nourishing Our Understanding of Role modeling to Improve Support and Health), targeting racially diverse parents of overweight children (ages 6-11). NOURISH addresses several urgent research priorities by targeting the underserved and addressing the significant disparity in obesity treatment services. Parents meeting study criteria (having a child between the ages of 6 and 11 with a BMI ≥ the 85th percentile) will be offered participation in the randomized trial comparing NOURISH with a control group. We hypothesize that children whose parents participate in NOURISH will manifest greater decreases in BMI, and greater improvements in dietary intake, and quality of life compared to children whose parents do not participate. This study is designed explicitly to gather preliminary feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness data to inform a subsequent larger randomized controlled trial. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Progress in Understanding Degradation Mechanisms and Improving Stability in Organic Photovoltaics

    KAUST Repository

    Mateker, William R.; McGehee, Michael D.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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 coverage of cellular systems by relay stations will be presented as well.   ...

  16. 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

  17. Souvenaid reduces behavioral deficits and improves social cognition skills in frontotemporal dementia: a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardini, Matteo; Serrati, Carlo; Guida, Silvia; Mattei, Chiara; Abate, Lucia; Massucco, Davide; Sassos, Davide; Amore, Mario; Krueger, Frank; Cocito, Leonardo; Emberti Gialloreti, Leonardo

    2015-01-01

    Souvenaid™ is a nutraceutical compound thought to positively enhance synaptic function. In line with this mechanism of action, Souvenaid™ has been shown to improve cognitive function in subjects with mild Alzheimer's disease in randomized clinical trials. To date, however, the potential of Souvenaid™ to improve cognitive functioning in subjects with other neurodegenerative conditions also characterized by synaptic loss has not been explored. To evaluate the impact of Souvenaid™ on executive functions, social cognition and behavioral disturbances in subjects with the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bv-FTD). Twenty-six subjects with bv-FTD were enrolled in the study and randomized to Souvenaid™ (125 ml/day) or placebo groups. After 12 weeks, subjects were switched between the two groups. All subjects, blinded to treatment, underwent clinical and cognitive evaluations at enrollment, after 12 weeks and after 24 weeks. Treatment with Souvenaid™ was associated with a significant reduction of behavioral symptoms and an increase in Theory of Mind skills compared to placebo, which both returned to baseline when Souvenaid™ was discontinued. Souvenaid™ did not have an effect on executive functions. Our results provide evidence of the potential of Souvenaid™ therapy for the treatment of behavioral disturbances and social cognition skills in FTD. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. 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

  19. Improved multimodal biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment diagnosis: data from ADNI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Torteya, Antonio; Treviño-Alvarado, Víctor; Tamez-Peña, José

    2013-02-01

    The accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) confers many clinical research and patient care benefits. Studies have shown that multimodal biomarkers provide better diagnosis accuracy of AD and MCI than unimodal biomarkers, but their construction has been based on traditional statistical approaches. The objective of this work was the creation of accurate AD and MCI diagnostic multimodal biomarkers using advanced bioinformatics tools. The biomarkers were created by exploring multimodal combinations of features using machine learning techniques. Data was obtained from the ADNI database. The baseline information (e.g. MRI analyses, PET analyses and laboratory essays) from AD, MCI and healthy control (HC) subjects with available diagnosis up to June 2012 was mined for case/controls candidates. The data mining yielded 47 HC, 83 MCI and 43 AD subjects for biomarker creation. Each subject was characterized by at least 980 ADNI features. A genetic algorithm feature selection strategy was used to obtain compact and accurate cross-validated nearest centroid biomarkers. The biomarkers achieved training classification accuracies of 0.983, 0.871 and 0.917 for HC vs. AD, HC vs. MCI and MCI vs. AD respectively. The constructed biomarkers were relatively compact: from 5 to 11 features. Those multimodal biomarkers included several widely accepted univariate biomarkers and novel image and biochemical features. Multimodal biomarkers constructed from previously and non-previously AD associated features showed improved diagnostic performance when compared to those based solely on previously AD associated features.

  20. Cognitive Aids for Role Definition (CARD) to improve interprofessional team crisis resource management: An exploratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renna, Tania Di; Crooks, Simone; Pigford, Ashlee-Ann; Clarkin, Chantalle; Fraser, Amy B; Bunting, Alexandra C; Bould, M Dylan; Boet, Sylvain

    2016-09-01

    This study aimed to assess the perceived value of the Cognitive Aids for Role Definition (CARD) protocol for simulated intraoperative cardiac arrests. Sixteen interprofessional operating room teams completed three consecutive simulated intraoperative cardiac arrest scenarios: current standard, no CARD; CARD, no CARD teaching; and CARD, didactic teaching. Each team participated in a focus group interview immediately following the third scenario; data were transcribed verbatim and qualitatively analysed. After 6 months, participants formed eight new teams randomised to two groups (CARD or no CARD) and completed a retention intraoperative cardiac arrest simulation scenario. All simulation sessions were video recorded and expert raters assessed team performance. Qualitative analysis of the 16 focus group interviews revealed 3 thematic dimensions: role definition in crisis management; logistical issues; and the "real life" applicability of CARD. Members of the interprofessional team perceived CARD very positively. Exploratory quantitative analysis found no significant differences in team performance with or without CARD (p > 0.05). In conclusion, qualitative data suggest that the CARD protocol clarifies roles and team coordination during interprofessional crisis management and has the potential to improve the team performance. The concept of a self-organising team with defined roles is promising for patient safety.

  1. Quality Registries in Sweden, Healthcare Improvements and Elderly Persons with Cognitive Impairments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattsson, Titti

    2016-12-01

    Policy-makers, the medical industry and researchers are demonstrating a keen interest in the potential of large registries of patient data, both nationally and internationally. The registries offer promising ways to measure and develop operational quality within health and medical care services. As a result of certain favourable patient data regulations and government funding, the development of quality registries is advanced in Sweden. The combination of increasing demand for more cost-efficient healthcare that can accommodate the demographic development of a rapidly ageing population, and the emergence of eHealth with an increasing digitalisation of patient data, calls attention to quality registries as a possible way for healthcare improvements. However, even if the use of registries has many advantages, there are some drawbacks from a patient privacy point of view. This article aims to analyse this growing interdependence of quality registries for the healthcare sector. It discusses some lessons from the Swedish case, with particular focus on the collection of data from elderly persons with cognitive impairments.

  2. A model to improve the routing performance of Cognitive Radio Wireless Mesh Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lesiba Morries Kola

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The increasing demand for broadband wireless technologies has led to the scarcity, inefficient utilization, and underutilization of the spectrum. The Cognitive Radio (CR technology has emerged as the promising solution which improves the utilization of the spectrum. However, routing is a challenge due to the dynamic nature of the CR networks. The link quality varies in space and time as nodes join and leave the network. The network connectivity is intermittent due to node mobility and the activities of the primary user. The spectrum aware, spectrum agile, and interference aware routing protocols are vital for the sturdiness of the network and efficient utilization of the resources. We propose an interference aware, spectrum aware, and agile extended Weighted Cumulative Expected Transmission Time (xWCETT routing protocol. The protocol integrates the features of the Ad-hoc On-demand Distance Vector (AODV and the weighted cumulative expected transmission time (WCETT routing protocols. The xWCETT was simulated using the Network Simulator 2 and its performance compared with the AODV and the WCETT routing protocols. The xWCETT was evaluated with respect to quality of service related metrics and the results show that it outperformed the AODV and WCETT routing protocols.

  3. 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

    2012-01-01

    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…

  4. The link between the cognitive structure and modelling to improve mathematics education

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Weerd, Laura; Verhoef, Neeltje Cornelia

    2015-01-01

    This study focuses on the aspects in the cognitive structure that should be trained to develop Dutch students modelling without actual modelling lessons. The research used 16 fifth-grade beta coursed students, to study the development of the cognitive structure and its relation to modelling. The

  5. Cognitive Interviewing: A Qualitative Tool for Improving Questionnaires in Sport Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietrich, Hanno; Ehrlenspiel, Felix

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive models postulate that respondents to a questionnaire follow a four-stage process when answering a question: comprehension, memory retrieval, decision, and response. Cognitive interviewing is a qualitative tool to gain insight into this process by means of letting respondents think aloud or asking them specific questions (Willis, 2005).…

  6. Distinguishing the affective and cognitive bases of implicit attitudes to improve prediction of food choices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trendel, Olivier; Werle, Carolina O C

    2016-09-01

    Eating behaviors largely result from automatic processes. Yet, in existing research, automatic or implicit attitudes toward food often fail to predict eating behaviors. Applying findings in cognitive neuroscience research, we propose and find that a central reason why implicit attitudes toward food are not good predictors of eating behaviors is that implicit attitudes are driven by two distinct constructs that often have diverging evaluative consequences: the automatic affective reactions to food (e.g., tastiness; the affective basis of implicit attitudes) and the automatic cognitive reactions to food (e.g., healthiness; the cognitive basis of implicit attitudes). More importantly, we find that the affective and cognitive bases of implicit attitudes directly and uniquely influence actual food choices under different conditions. While the affective basis of implicit attitude is the main driver of food choices, it is the only driver when cognitive resources during choice are limited. The cognitive basis of implicit attitudes uniquely influences food choices when cognitive resources during choice are plentiful but only for participants low in impulsivity. Researchers interested in automatic processes in eating behaviors could thus benefit by distinguishing between the affective and cognitive bases of implicit attitudes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Applying an empathic design model to gain an understanding of consumers’ cognitive orientations and develop a product prototype

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ding-Bang Luh

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Consideration of consumer opinion is a key success factor when it comes to developing a new product. However, businesses may lack suitable methods for this, and designers may lack practical training, with both situations meaning that firms are unable to precisely adopt consumer opinions. Moreover, consumer cognitions for a product are widely regarded as changeable and abstract. It is worth studying how to determine consumers’ opinions and transform them into references for prototype development. The purpose of this study is thus to create an Empathic Design Model which would be able to determine consumer cognitive orientation.Design/methodology/approach: This model includes observing related phenomena, laddering the cognition, connecting the elements of the Associations Matrix, producing the hierarchy of the following four items, attributes, functional consequences, psychosocial consequences and values, and then producing a prototype to help designers and consumers reach a consensus on the cognitive structure of products.Findings: As demonstrated in a case study of the design of an “electronic tour guide”, the authors developed a prototype that can help a guide to perform their job on a group package tour. Consequently, the Empathic Design Model can be operated and put into practice. By Mind Mapping, the prototype can be then imitated and reinvented by designers as needed.Originality/value: This model focuses on the early phase of the design process, providing the designing industry with a technique to forecast consumers’ potential needs and develop a prototype effectively.

  8. Understanding and remediating social-cognitive dysfunctions in patients with serious mental illness using Relational Frame Theory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriks, A.L.; Barnes-Holmes, Y.; McEnteggart, C.; Mey, H.R.A. De; Janssen, G.T.L.; Egger, J.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

  9. The development of second-order social cognition and its relation with complex language understanding and working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arslan, Burcu; Hohenberger, Annette; Verbrugge, Rineke

    2012-01-01

    In this study, the development of second-order social cognition and its possible relationship with language and memory were investigated. For this reason two second-order false belief tasks (FBT_2), a short term memory task (WST), a complex working memory task (LST), a linguistic perspective-taking

  10. A Social Cognitive Approach to Understanding Engineering Career Interest and Expectations among Underrepresented Students in School-Based Clubs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dika, Sandra L.; Alvarez, Jaquelina; Santos, Jeannette; Suárez, Oscar Marcelo

    2016-01-01

    Interest in engineering at early stages of the educational career is one important precursor to choosing to study engineering in college, and engineering-related clubs are designed to foster such interest and diversify the engineering pipeline. In this study, the researchers employed a social cognitive career theory framework to examine level of…

  11. How to Achieve Synergy between Medical Education and Cognitive Neuroscience? An Exercise on Prior Knowledge in Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiter, Dirk J.; van Kesteren, Marlieke T. R.; Fernandez, Guillen

    2012-01-01

    A major challenge in contemporary research is how to connect medical education and cognitive neuroscience and achieve synergy between these domains. Based on this starting point we discuss how this may result in a common language about learning, more educationally focused scientific inquiry, and multidisciplinary research projects. As the topic of…

  12. Language, Cognitive Flexibility, and Explicit False Belief Understanding: Longitudinal Analysis in Typical Development and Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrant, Brad M.; Maybery, Murray T.; Fletcher, Janet

    2012-01-01

    The hypothesis that language plays a role in theory-of-mind (ToM) development is supported by a number of lines of evidence (e.g., H. Lohmann & M. Tomasello, 2003). The current study sought to further investigate the relations between maternal language input, memory for false sentential complements, cognitive flexibility, and the development of…

  13. Is Perceived Control a Critical Factor in Understanding the Negative Relationship between Cognitive Test Anxiety and Examination Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putwain, David W.; Aveyard, Ben

    2018-01-01

    A well established finding is that the cognitive component of test anxiety (worry) is negatively related to examination performance. The present study examined how 3 self-beliefs (academic buoyancy, perceived control, and test competence) moderated the strength of the relationship between worry and examination performance in a sample of 270 final…

  14. Understanding the Differences of the Cognition Gained from Real and Virtual Tourism based on the Narrative Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azam Ravadrad

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Communication technologies today are greatly developed to the extent that obtaining information from different parts of the world is no more only depended to real and physical traveling. People are now able to travel as far as they want and whenever they wish using cyberspace, while sitting at home. Tourism in this condition is no more dependent on time, place and financial planning. Two important questions raise here, first, can virtual tourism replace the real tourism and eliminate the need for it? Secondly, could cognition produced by the virtual tourism be the same as the cognition formed by the real tourism? To answer these questions, defining the characteristics of virtual and real tourism is needed. The main basis of this comparison is being in special place and an experimental sense of being in that place, in the real tourism, on one hand, and selectivity of places and receiving packaged information in the virtual tourism, on the other. This paper claims that although the virtual tourism could offer vast and complete information to the tourist, but in reality it lacks sense of being in place and lived experience. For these reasons, the obtained cognition is manipulated and unreal. Secondly, this type of tourism can be considered only as a complement to the real tourism. A tourism that begins with virtual space and leads to the real world could have positive and better consequences of both spaces on the process of cognition.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Zingiber officinale Improves Cognitive Function of the Middle-Aged Healthy Women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naritsara Saenghong

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The development of cognitive enhancers from plants possessing antioxidants has gained much attention due to the role of oxidative stress-induced cognitive impairment. Thus, this study aimed to determine the effect of ginger extract, or Zingiber officinale, on the cognitive function of middle-aged, healthy women. Sixty participants were randomly assigned to receive a placebo or standardized plant extract at doses of 400 and 800 mg once daily for 2 months. They were evaluated for working memory and cognitive function using computerized battery tests and the auditory oddball paradigm of event-related potentials at three different time periods: before receiving the intervention, one month, and two months. We found that the ginger-treated groups had significantly decreased P300 latencies, increased N100 and P300 amplitudes, and exhibited enhanced working memory. Therefore, ginger is a potential cognitive enhancer for middle-aged women.

  18. Zingiber officinale Improves Cognitive Function of the Middle-Aged Healthy Women

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saenghong, Naritsara; Wattanathorn, Jintanaporn; Muchimapura, Supaporn; Tongun, Terdthai; Piyavhatkul, Nawanant; Banchonglikitkul, Chuleratana; Kajsongkram, Tanwarat

    2012-01-01

    The development of cognitive enhancers from plants possessing antioxidants has gained much attention due to the role of oxidative stress-induced cognitive impairment. Thus, this study aimed to determine the effect of ginger extract, or Zingiber officinale, on the cognitive function of middle-aged, healthy women. Sixty participants were randomly assigned to receive a placebo or standardized plant extract at doses of 400 and 800 mg once daily for 2 months. They were evaluated for working memory and cognitive function using computerized battery tests and the auditory oddball paradigm of event-related potentials at three different time periods: before receiving the intervention, one month, and two months. We found that the ginger-treated groups had significantly decreased P300 latencies, increased N100 and P300 amplitudes, and exhibited enhanced working memory. Therefore, ginger is a potential cognitive enhancer for middle-aged women. PMID:22235230

  19. Can Social Functioning in Schizophrenia Be Improved through Targeted Social Cognitive Intervention?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David L. Roberts

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Efforts to use cognitive remediation in psychosocial intervention for schizophrenia have increasingly incorporated social cognition as a treatment target. A distinction can be made in this work between “broad-based” interventions, which integrate social cognitive training within a multicomponent suite of intervention techniques and “targeted” interventions; which aim to enhance social cognition alone. Targeted interventions have the potential advantage of being more efficient than broad-based interventions; however, they also face difficult challenges. In particular, targeted interventions may be less likely to achieve maintenance and generalization of gains made in treatment. A novel potential solution to this problem is described which draws on the social psychological literature on social cognition.

  20. Identifying treatment responders and predictors of improvement after cognitive-behavioral therapy for juvenile fibromyalgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sil, Soumitri; Arnold, Lesley M; Lynch-Jordan, Anne; Ting, Tracy V; Peugh, James; Cunningham, Natoshia; Powers, Scott W; Lovell, Daniel J; Hashkes, Philip J; Passo, Murray; Schikler, Kenneth N; Kashikar-Zuck, Susmita

    2014-07-01

    The primary objective of this study was to estimate a clinically significant and quantifiable change in functional disability to identify treatment responders in a clinical trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for youth with juvenile fibromyalgia (JFM). The second objective was to examine whether baseline functional disability (Functional Disability Inventory), pain intensity, depressive symptoms (Children's Depression Inventory), coping self-efficacy (Pain Coping Questionnaire), and parental pain history predicted treatment response in disability at 6-month follow-up. Participants were 100 adolescents (11-18 years of age) with JFM enrolled in a recently published clinical trial comparing CBT to a fibromyalgia education (FE) intervention. Patients were identified as achieving a clinically significant change in disability (i.e., were considered treatment responders) if they achieved both a reliable magnitude of change (estimated as a > or = 7.8-point reduction on the FDI) using the Reliable Change Index, and a reduction in FDI disability grade based on established clinical reference points. Using this rigorous standard, 40% of patients who received CBT (20 of 50) were identified as treatment responders, compared to 28% who received FE (14 of 50). For CBT, patients with greater initial disability and higher coping efficacy were significantly more likely to achieve a clinically significant improvement in functioning. Pain intensity, depressive symptoms, and parent pain history did not significantly predict treatment response. Estimating clinically significant change for outcome measures in behavioral trials sets a high bar but is a potentially valuable approach to improve the quality of clinical trials, to enhance interpretability of treatment effects, and to challenge researchers to develop more potent and tailored interventions. Copyright © 2014 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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 site, sap sensors were installed in fir (4) and spruce (4) trees; at the SCM CZO site, sap sensors were installed at white fir (4) and maple (4) and one dead tree. Meteorological data as well as soil temperature (Ts) and soil moisture (θ) at multiple depths were also collected from each of the two sites. Preliminary analysis of two years of sap flux rate at JRB - SCM CZO shows that the environmental drivers of fir, spruce, and maple are different and also vary throughout the year. For JRB fir

  2. Improvements in Iron Status and Cognitive Function in Young Women Consuming Beef or Non-Beef Lunches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cynthia Blanton

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Iron status is associated with cognitive performance and intervention trials show that iron supplementation improves mental function in iron-deficient adults. However, no studies have tested the efficacy of naturally iron-rich food in this context. This investigation measured the hematologic and cognitive responses to moderate beef consumption in young women. Participants (n = 43; age 21.1 ± 0.4 years were randomly assigned to a beef or non-beef protein lunch group [3-oz (85 g, 3 times weekly] for 16 weeks. Blood was sampled at baseline, and weeks 8 and 16, and cognitive performance was measured at baseline and week 16. Body iron increased in both lunch groups (p < 0.0001, with greater improvement demonstrated in women with lower baseline body iron (p < 0.0001. Body iron had significant beneficial effects on spatial working memory and planning speed (p < 0.05, and ferritin responders (n = 17 vs. non-responders (n = 26 showed significantly greater improvements in planning speed, spatial working memory strategy, and attention (p < 0.05. Lunch group had neither significant interactions with iron status nor consistent main effects on test performance. These findings support a relationship between iron status and cognition, but do not show a particular benefit of beef over non-beef protein consumption on either measure in young women.

  3. Natalizumab Significantly Improves Cognitive Impairment over Three Years in MS: Pattern of Disability Progression and Preliminary MRI Findings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia Mattioli

    Full Text Available Previous studies reported that Multiple Sclerosis (MS patients treated with natalizumab for one or two years exhibit a significant reduction in relapse rate and in cognitive impairment, but the long term effects on cognitive performance are unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of natalizumab on cognitive impairment in a cohort of 24 consecutive patients with relapsing remitting MS treated for 3 years. The neuropsychological tests, as well as relapse number and EDSS, were assessed at baseline and yearly for three years. The impact on cortical atrophy was also considered in a subgroup of them, and are thus to be considered as preliminary. Results showed a significant reduction in the number of impaired neuropsychological tests after three years, a significant decrease in annualized relapse rate at each time points compared to baseline and a stable EDSS. In the neuropsychological assessment, a significant improvement in memory, attention and executive function test scores was detected. Preliminary MRI data show that, while GM volume did not change at 3 years, a significantly greater parahippocampal and prefrontal gray matter density was noticed, the former correlating with neuropsychological improvement in a memory test. This study showed that therapy with Natalizumab is helpful in improving cognitive performance, and is likely to have a protective role on grey matter, over a three years follow-up.

  4. Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in the Improvement of Coping Strategies and Addiction Symptoms in Drug-Dependent Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H BrockieMilan

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available 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 Carroll style while the control group received only methadone and the physical pills. All the participants completed coping strategies questionnaire at the beginning, during (after three months, and three months after treatment (follow-up. As well, they were assessed for the rate of improvement in symptoms of addiction and process of addiction treatment using by Madzly’s addiction profile questionnaire. Findings: The results proved the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy and its survival. Conclusion: Cognitive behavioral therapy is very influential in the boost of coping strategies and the improvement of mental and physical health in drug-dependent patients.

  5. Dynamic Neuro-Cognitive Imagery Improves Mental Imagery Ability, Disease Severity, and Motor and Cognitive Functions in People with Parkinson’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amit Abraham

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available People with Parkinson’s disease (PD experience kinesthetic deficits, which affect motor and nonmotor functions, including mental imagery. Imagery training is a recommended, yet underresearched, approach in PD rehabilitation. Dynamic Neuro-Cognitive Imagery (DNI™ is a codified method for imagery training. Twenty subjects with idiopathic PD (Hoehn and Yahr stages I–III were randomly allocated into DNI training (experimental; n=10 or in-home learning and exercise program (control; n=10. Both groups completed at least 16 hours of training within two weeks. DNI training focused on anatomical embodiment and kinesthetic awareness. Imagery abilities, disease severity, and motor and nonmotor functions were assessed pre- and postintervention. The DNI participants improved (p<.05 in mental imagery abilities, disease severity, and motor and spatial cognitive functions. Participants also reported improvements in balance, walking, mood, and coordination, and they were more physically active. Both groups strongly agreed they enjoyed their program and were more mentally active. DNI training is a promising rehabilitation method for improving imagery ability, disease severity, and motor and nonmotor functions in people with PD. This training might serve as a complementary PD therapeutic approach. Future studies should explore the effect of DNI on motor learning and control strategies.

  6. An innovative intervention for the treatment of cognitive impairment–Emisymmetric bilateral stimulation improves cognitive functions in Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment: an open-label study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guerriero F

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Fabio Guerriero,1–3 Emanuele Botarelli,3 Gianni Mele,3 Lorenzo Polo,3 Daniele Zoncu,3 Paolo Renati,3,4 Carmelo Sgarlata,1 Marco Rollone,2 Giovanni Ricevuti,1,2 Niccolo Maurizi,1 Matthew Francis,1 Mariangela Rondanelli,5 Simone Perna,5 Davide Guido,2,6 Piero Mannu3 1Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Therapy, Section of Geriatrics, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy; 2Agency for Elderly People Services, Santa Margherita Hospital, Pavia, Italy; 3Ambra Elektron, Italian Association of Biophysics for the Study of Electromagnetic Fields in Medicine, 4Alberto Sorti Research Institute, Medicine and Metamolecular Biology, Turin, Italy; 5Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, Section of Human Nutrition, Endocrinology and Nutrition Unit, 6Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, Biostatistics and Clinical Epidemiology Unit, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy Background and aims: In the last decade, the development of different methods of brain stimulation by electromagnetic fields (EMF provides a promising therapeutic tool for subjects with impaired cognitive functions. Emisymmetric bilateral stimulation (EBS is a novel and innovative EMF brain stimulation, whose working principle is to introduce very weak noise-like stimuli through EMF to trigger self-arrangements in the cortex of treated subjects, thereby improving cognitive faculties. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate in patients with cognitive impairment the effectiveness of EBS treatment with respect to global cognitive function, episodic memory, and executive functions. Methods: Fourteen patients with cognitive decline (six with mild cognitive impairment and eight with Alzheimer’s disease underwent three EBS applications per week to both the cerebral cortex and auricular-specific sites for a total of 5 weeks. At baseline, after 2 weeks and 5 weeks, a neuropsychological assessment was performed through mini–mental state

  7. Understanding and improving treatment adherence in patients with psychotic disorders : A review and a proposed intervention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Staring, Anton B.P.; van der Gaag, Mark; Selten, Jean-Paul; Loonen, Anton J.M.; Hengeveld, Michiel W.; Mulder, Cornelis L.

    2006-01-01

    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 sealing-over

  8. Understanding an improved cookstove program in rural Mexico: An analysis from the implementers' perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Troncoso, Karin; Castillo, Alicia; Merino, Leticia; Lazos, Elena; Masera, Omar R.

    2011-01-01

    The adoption of innovations in rural areas depends, among many different factors, on the way development workers approach a community. Through a qualitative research methodology this study documented the adoption of a new technology, by following an improved cookstove implementation program carried out by a Mexican NGO. This technology reduces fuel consumption and addresses health impacts of indoor air pollution caused by the widespread use of traditional biomass fuels in open fires in developing countries. Different demographic and socio-economic factors have been analyzed to explain the low success rates implementation projects have faced worldwide, but there are almost no studies that examine the problem from the perspective of implementers. The aim of this study was to understand how the different visions of the individuals involved in an implementation program affect its outcome. Findings showed that the NGO work was constrained by the need to meet the commitment with sponsors. The adoption rates did not change between the first and the second stage of the project, even though the approach towards users was very different. A lack of a shared vision among the work team towards the project was found and the existence of two main perspectives among program workers—broadly described as people-centered and technology-centered—, gave place to differences in attitudes towards the program. - Highlights: ► This study assesses a Mexican NGO ICS implementation program that followed three distinct approaches. ► The first two had similar adoption rates despite their different approaches towards the users. ► An improvement in the technology proved to be more important in raising the adoption rates. ► Two visions were observed among stakeholders: people-centered and technology-centered. ► The NGO work was constrained by the need to meet the commitments with sponsors.

  9. Understanding Variability in Beach Slope to Improve Forecasts of Storm-induced Water Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doran, K. S.; Stockdon, H. F.; Long, J.

    2014-12-01

    The National Assessment of Hurricane-Induced Coastal Erosion Hazards combines measurements of beach morphology with storm hydrodynamics to produce forecasts of coastal change during storms for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coastlines of the United States. Wave-induced water levels are estimated using modeled offshore wave height and period and measured beach slope (from dune toe to shoreline) through the empirical parameterization of Stockdon et al. (2006). Spatial and temporal variability in beach slope leads to corresponding variability in predicted wave setup and swash. Seasonal and storm-induced changes in beach slope can lead to differences on the order of a meter in wave runup elevation, making accurate specification of this parameter essential to skillful forecasts of coastal change. Spatial variation in beach slope is accounted for through alongshore averaging, but temporal variability in beach slope is not included in the final computation of the likelihood of coastal change. Additionally, input morphology may be years old and potentially very different than the conditions present during forecast storm. In order to improve our forecasts of hurricane-induced coastal erosion hazards, the temporal variability of beach slope must be included in the final uncertainty of modeled wave-induced water levels. Frequently collected field measurements of lidar-based beach morphology are examined for study sites in Duck, North Carolina, Treasure Island, Florida, Assateague Island, Virginia, and Dauphin Island, Alabama, with some records extending over a period of 15 years. Understanding the variability of slopes at these sites will help provide estimates of associated water level uncertainty which can then be applied to other areas where lidar observations are infrequent, and improve the overall skill of future forecasts of storm-induced coastal change. Stockdon, H. F., Holman, R. A., Howd, P. A., and Sallenger Jr, A. H. (2006). Empirical parameterization of setup

  10. Does using active learning in thermodynamics lectures improve students’ conceptual understanding and learning experiences?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Georgiou, H; Sharma, M D

    2015-01-01

    Encouraging ‘active learning’ in the large lecture theatre emerges as a credible recommendation for improving university courses, with reports often showing significant improvements in learning outcomes. However, the recommendations are based predominantly on studies undertaken in mechanics. We set out to examine those claims in the thermodynamics module of a large first year physics course with an established technique, called interactive lecture demonstrations (ILDs). The study took place at The University of Sydney, where four parallel streams of the thermodynamics module were divided into two streams that experienced the ILDs and two streams that did not. The programme was first implemented in 2011 to gain experience and refine logistical matters and repeated in 2012 with approximately 500 students. A validated survey, the thermal concepts survey, was used as pre-test and post-test to measure learning gains while surveys and interviews provided insights into what the ‘active learning’ meant from student experiences. We analysed lecture recordings to capture the time devoted to different activities in a lecture, including interactivity. The learning gains were in the ‘high gain’ range for the ILD streams and ‘medium gain’ for the other streams. The analysis of the lecture recordings showed that the ILD streams devoted significantly more time to interactivity while surveys and interviews showed that students in the ILD streams were thinking in deep ways. Our study shows that ILDs can make a difference in students’ conceptual understanding as well as their experiences, demonstrating the potential value-add that can be provided by investing in active learning to enhance lectures. (paper)

  11. Computer-Based Cognitive Programs for Improvement of Memory, Processing Speed and Executive Function during Age-Related Cognitive Decline: A Meta-Analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan-kun Shao

    Full Text Available Several studies have assessed the effects of computer-based cognitive programs (CCP in the management of age-related cognitive decline, but the role of CCP remains controversial. Therefore, this systematic review evaluated the evidence on the efficacy of CCP for age-related cognitive decline in healthy older adults.Six electronic databases (through October 2014 were searched. The risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration tool. The standardized mean difference (SMD and 95% confidence intervals (CI of a random-effects model were calculated. The heterogeneity was assessed using the Cochran Q statistic and quantified with the I2 index.Twelve studies were included in the current review and were considered as moderate to high methodological quality. The aggregated results indicate that CCP improves memory performance (SMD, 0.31; 95% CI 0.16 to 0.45; p < 0.0001 and processing speed (SMD, 0.50; 95% CI 0.14 to 0.87; p = 0.007 but not executive function (SMD, -0.12; 95% CI -0.33 to 0.09; p = 0.27. Furthermore, there were long-term gains in memory performance (SMD, 0.59; 95% CI 0.13 to 1.05; p = 0.01.CCP may be a valid complementary and alternative therapy for age-related cognitive decline, especially for memory performance and processing speed. However, more studies with longer follow-ups are warranted to confirm the current findings.

  12. Intensive Auditory Cognitive Training Improves Verbal Memory in Adolescents and Young Adults at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loewy, Rachel; Fisher, Melissa; Schlosser, Danielle A; Biagianti, Bruno; Stuart, Barbara; Mathalon, Daniel H; Vinogradov, Sophia

    2016-07-01

    Individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis demonstrate cognitive impairments that predict later psychotic transition and real-world functioning. Cognitive training has shown benefits in schizophrenia, but has not yet been adequately tested in the CHR population. In this double-blind randomized controlled trial, CHR individuals (N = 83) were given laptop computers and trained at home on 40 hours of auditory processing-based exercises designed to target verbal learning and memory operations, or on computer games (CG). Participants were assessed with neurocognitive tests based on the Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia initiative (MATRICS) battery and rated on symptoms and functioning. Groups were compared before and after training using a mixed-effects model with restricted maximum likelihood estimation, given the high study attrition rate (42%). Participants in the targeted cognitive training group showed a significant improvement in Verbal Memory compared to CG participants (effect size = 0.61). Positive and Total symptoms improved in both groups over time. CHR individuals showed patterns of training-induced cognitive improvement in verbal memory consistent with prior observations in schizophrenia. This is a particularly vulnerable domain in individuals at-risk for psychosis that predicts later functioning and psychotic transition. Ongoing follow-up of this cohort will assess the durability of training effects in CHR individuals, as well as the potential impact on symptoms and functioning over time. Clinical Trials Number: NCT00655239. URL: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00655239?term=vinogradov&rank=5. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center 2016.

  13. D-amphetamine improves cognitive deficits and physical therapy promotes fine motor rehabilitation in a rat embolic stroke model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Rune Skovgaard; Overgaard, K; Hildebrandt-Eriksen, E S

    2006-01-01

    regarding gross motor performance. CONCLUSIONS: After embolization, physical therapy improved fine motor performance and D-amph accelerated rehabilitation of cognitive performance as observed in the rats of the THERAPY and D-AMPH groups. As a result of the administration of a high dose of D-amph, the rats......BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of D-amphetamine (D-amph) and physical therapy separately or combined on fine motor performance, gross motor performance and cognition after middle cerebral artery thromboembolization in rats. METHODS: Seventy-four rats...... on days 21-28 after surgery, rats of the SHAM and THERAPY groups had better fine motor performance than those of the CONTROL (P cognitive performance than CONTROL rats (P

  14. A 9-Week Aerobic and Strength Training Program Improves Cognitive and Motor Function in Patients with Dementia : A Randomized, Controlled Trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bossers, Willem J. R.; van der Woude, Lucas H. V.; Boersma, Froukje; Hortobagyi, Tibor; Scherder, Erik J. A.; van Heuvelen, Marieke J. G.

    Objective: To compare training and follow-up effects of combined aerobic and strength training versus aerobic-only training on cognitive and motor function in institutionalized patients with dementia and to explore whether improved motor function mediates improved cognitive function. Methods: Using

  15. Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Anxious and Depressed Youth: Improving Homework Adherence Through Mobile Technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilansky, Pamela; Eklund, J Mikael; Milner, Tracy; Kreindler, David; Cheung, Amy; Kovacs, Tim; Shooshtari, Shahin; Astell, Arlene; Ohinmaa, Arto; Henderson, Joanna; Strauss, John; Mills, Rosemary Sl

    2016-11-10

    Anxiety and mood disorders are the most common mental illnesses, peaking during adolescence and affecting approximately 25% of Canadians aged 14-17 years. If not successfully treated at this age, they often persist into adulthood, exerting a great social and economic toll. Given the long-term impact, finding ways to increase the success and cost-effectiveness of mental health care is a pressing need. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment for mood and anxiety disorders throughout the lifespan. Mental health technologies can be used to make such treatments more successful by delivering them in a format that increases utilization. Young people embrace technologies, and many want to actively manage their mental health. Mobile software apps have the potential to improve youth adherence to CBT and, in turn, improve outcomes of treatment. The purpose of this project is to improve homework adherence in CBT for youth anxiety and/or depression. The objectives are to (1) design and optimize the usability of a mobile app for delivering the homework component of CBT for youth with anxiety and/or depression, (2) assess the app's impact on homework completion, and (3) implement the app in CBT programs. We hypothesize that homework adherence will be greater in the app group than in the no-app group. Phase 1: exploratory interviews will be conducted with adolescents and therapists familiar with CBT to obtain views and perspectives on the requirements and features of a usable app and the challenges involved in implementation. The information obtained will guide the design of a prototype. The prototype will be optimized via think-aloud procedures involving an iterative process of evaluation, modification, and re-evaluation, culminating in a fully functional version of the prototype that is ready for optimization in a clinical context. Phase 2: a usability study will be conducted to optimize the prototype in the context of treatment at clinics that provide

  16. Using process elicitation and validation to understand and improve chemotherapy ordering and delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertens, Wilson C; Christov, Stefan C; Avrunin, George S; Clarke, Lori A; Osterweil, Leon J; Cassells, Lucinda J; Marquard, Jenna L

    2012-11-01

    Chemotherapy ordering and administration, in which errors have potentially severe consequences, was quantitatively and qualitatively evaluated by employing process formalism (or formal process definition), a technique derived from software engineering, to elicit and rigorously describe the process, after which validation techniques were applied to confirm the accuracy of the described process. The chemotherapy ordering and administration process, including exceptional situations and individuals' recognition of and responses to those situations, was elicited through informal, unstructured interviews with members of an interdisciplinary team. The process description (or process definition), written in a notation developed for software quality assessment purposes, guided process validation (which consisted of direct observations and semistructured interviews to confirm the elicited details for the treatment plan portion of the process). The overall process definition yielded 467 steps; 207 steps (44%) were dedicated to handling 59 exceptional situations. Validation yielded 82 unique process events (35 new expected but not yet described steps, 16 new exceptional situations, and 31 new steps in response to exceptional situations). Process participants actively altered the process as ambiguities and conflicts were discovered by the elicitation and validation components of the study. Chemotherapy error rates declined significantly during and after the project, which was conducted from October 2007 through August 2008. Each elicitation method and the subsequent validation discussions contributed uniquely to understanding the chemotherapy treatment plan review process, supporting rapid adoption of changes, improved communication regarding the process, and ensuing error reduction.

  17. The Promise and Limitations of Using Analogies to Improve Decision-Relevant Understanding of Climate Change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaitlin T Raimi

    Full Text Available To make informed choices about how to address climate change, members of the public must develop ways to consider established facts of climate science and the uncertainties about its future trajectories, in addition to the risks attendant to various responses, including non-response, to climate change. One method suggested for educating the public about these issues is the use of simple mental models, or analogies comparing climate change to familiar domains such as medical decision making, disaster preparedness, or courtroom trials. Two studies were conducted using online participants in the U.S.A. to test the use of analogies to highlight seven key decision-relevant elements of climate change, including uncertainties about when and where serious damage may occur, its unprecedented and progressive nature, and tradeoffs in limiting climate change. An internal meta-analysis was then conducted to estimate overall effect sizes across the two studies. Analogies were not found to inform knowledge about climate literacy facts. However, results suggested that people found the medical analogy helpful and that it led people-especially political conservatives-to better recognize several decision-relevant attributes of climate change. These effects were weak, perhaps reflecting a well-documented and overwhelming effect of political ideology on climate change communication and education efforts in the U.S.A. The potential of analogies and similar education tools to improve understanding and communication in a polarized political environment are discussed.

  18. The Promise and Limitations of Using Analogies to Improve Decision-Relevant Understanding of Climate Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raimi, Kaitlin T; Stern, Paul C; Maki, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    To make informed choices about how to address climate change, members of the public must develop ways to consider established facts of climate science and the uncertainties about its future trajectories, in addition to the risks attendant to various responses, including non-response, to climate change. One method suggested for educating the public about these issues is the use of simple mental models, or analogies comparing climate change to familiar domains such as medical decision making, disaster preparedness, or courtroom trials. Two studies were conducted using online participants in the U.S.A. to test the use of analogies to highlight seven key decision-relevant elements of climate change, including uncertainties about when and where serious damage may occur, its unprecedented and progressive nature, and tradeoffs in limiting climate change. An internal meta-analysis was then conducted to estimate overall effect sizes across the two studies. Analogies were not found to inform knowledge about climate literacy facts. However, results suggested that people found the medical analogy helpful and that it led people-especially political conservatives-to better recognize several decision-relevant attributes of climate change. These effects were weak, perhaps reflecting a well-documented and overwhelming effect of political ideology on climate change communication and education efforts in the U.S.A. The potential of analogies and similar education tools to improve understanding and communication in a polarized political environment are discussed.

  19. Improve Student Understanding Ability Through Gamification in Instructional Media Based Explicit Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firdausi, N.; Prabawa, H. W.; Sutarno, H.

    2017-02-01

    In an effort to maximize a student’s academic growth, one of the tools available to educators is the explicit instruction. Explicit instruction is marked by a series of support or scaffold, where the students will be guided through the learning process with a clear statement of purpose and a reason for learning new skills, a clear explanation and demonstration of learning targets, supported and practiced with independent feedback until mastery has been achieved. The technology development trend of todays, requires an adjustment in the development of learning object that supports the achievement of explicit instruction targets. This is where the gamification position is. In the role as a pedagogical strategy, the use of gamification preformance study class is still relatively new. Gamification not only use the game elements and game design techniques in non-game contexts, but also to empower and engage learners with the ability of motivation on learning approach and maintains a relaxed atmosphere. With using Reseach and Development methods, this paper presents the integration of technology (which in this case using the concept of gamification) in explicit instruction settings and the impact on the improvement of students’ understanding.

  20. The Promise and Limitations of Using Analogies to Improve Decision-Relevant Understanding of Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Paul C.; Maki, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    To make informed choices about how to address climate change, members of the public must develop ways to consider established facts of climate science and the uncertainties about its future trajectories, in addition to the risks attendant to various responses, including non-response, to climate change. One method suggested for educating the public about these issues is the use of simple mental models, or analogies comparing climate change to familiar domains such as medical decision making, disaster preparedness, or courtroom trials. Two studies were conducted using online participants in the U.S.A. to test the use of analogies to highlight seven key decision-relevant elements of climate change, including uncertainties about when and where serious damage may occur, its unprecedented and progressive nature, and tradeoffs in limiting climate change. An internal meta-analysis was then conducted to estimate overall effect sizes across the two studies. Analogies were not found to inform knowledge about climate literacy facts. However, results suggested that people found the medical analogy helpful and that it led people—especially political conservatives—to better recognize several decision-relevant attributes of climate change. These effects were weak, perhaps reflecting a well-documented and overwhelming effect of political ideology on climate change communication and education efforts in the U.S.A. The potential of analogies and similar education tools to improve understanding and communication in a polarized political environment are discussed. PMID:28135337

  1. Innovative learning model for improving students’ argumentation skill and concept understanding on science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nafsiati Astuti, Rini

    2018-04-01

    Argumentation skill is the ability to compose and maintain arguments consisting of claims, supports for evidence, and strengthened-reasons. Argumentation is an important skill student needs to face the challenges of globalization in the 21st century. It is not an ability that can be developed by itself along with the physical development of human, but it must be developed under nerve like process, giving stimulus so as to require a person to be able to argue. Therefore, teachers should develop students’ skill of arguing in science learning in the classroom. The purpose of this study is to obtain an innovative learning model that are valid in terms of content and construct in improving the skills of argumentation and concept understanding of junior high school students. The assessment of content validity and construct validity was done through Focus Group Discussion (FGD), using the content and construct validation sheet, book model, learning video, and a set of learning aids for one meeting. Assessment results from 3 (three) experts showed that the learning model developed in the category was valid. The validity itself shows that the developed learning model has met the content requirement, the student needs, state of the art, strong theoretical and empirical foundation and construct validity, which has a connection of syntax stages and components of learning model so that it can be applied in the classroom activities

  2. Short-term improvement in oral self-care of adolescents with social-cognitive theory-guided intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall-Scullin, Emma P

    2015-12-01

    Cluster randomised controlled trial. Clusters of adolescents (classrooms of 15- to 16-year-olds) in each school were allocated either into a control group or into an intervention group. The interventions consisted of peer cooperation (peer support) and peer interactive learning (observational learning) facilitated through feedback from a dentist (professional support). Three intervention sessions with preselected pairs of adolescents were delivered in the first three weeks. Gender, family socio-economic status (baseline) and different social-cognitive domain variables (baseline, six, and 12 months) were assessed using a questionnaire. Dental plaque levels were the primary outcome measure and they were measured at baseline, after the intervention measured only in the social-cognitive theory-guided group, at six and 12 months. At the six-month follow-up there was a statistically significant difference in means ± SD between the social-cognitive intervention group (27.4 ± 19.4) and the control group (35.1 ± 20.0). At the 12-month follow-up, there was no statistically significant difference in means ± SD between the social-cognitive intervention group (27.4 ± 18.5) and the control group (31.9 ± 17.8). Variations in dental plaque levels at different time periods were explained by the following predictors: family's socio-economic status, social-cognitive domain variables, group affiliation and baseline plaque levels. Social-cognitive theory-guided interventions improved oral self-care of adolescents in the short term. This improvement lasted only for five months after the intervention was discontinued.

  3. Tartary buckwheat improves cognition and memory function in an in vivo amyloid-β-induced Alzheimer model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Ji Yeon; Cho, Eun Ju; Lee, Hae Song; Lee, Jeong Min; Yoon, Young-Ho; Lee, Sanghyun

    2013-03-01

    Protective effects of Tartary buckwheat (TB) and common buckwheat (CB) on amyloid beta (Aβ)-induced impairment of cognition and memory function were investigated in vivo in order to identify potential therapeutic agents against Alzheimer's disease (AD) and its associated progressive memory deficits, cognitive impairment, and personality changes. An in vivo mouse model of AD was created by injecting the brains of ICR mice with Aβ(25-35), a fragment of the full-length Aβ protein. Damage of mice recognition ability through following Aβ(25-35) brain injections was confirmed using the T-maze test, the object recognition test, and the Morris water maze test. Results of behavior tests in AD model showed that oral administration of the methanol (MeOH) extracts of TB and CB improved cognition and memory function following Aβ(25-35) injections. Furthermore, in groups receiving the MeOH extracts of TB and CB, lipid peroxidation was significantly inhibited, and nitric oxide levels in tissue, which are elevated by injection of Aβ(25-35), were also decrease. In particular, the MeOH extract of TB exerted a stronger protective activity than CB against Aβ(25-35)-induced memory and cognition impairment. The results indicate that TB may play a promising role in preventing or reversing memory and cognition loss associated with Aβ(25-35)-induced AD. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Improvement of postoperative cognitive dysfunction and attention network function of patients with ischemic cerebrovascular disease via dexmedetomidine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jingchao; Wang, Guoliang; Zhang, Fangxiang; Zhao, Qian

    2018-03-01

    The protective effect of dexmedetomidine on cognitive dysfunction and decreased attention network function of patients with ischemic cerebrovascular disease after stenting was investigated. Fifty-eight patients with ischemic cerebrovascular disease undergoing stenting in Guizhou Provincial People's Hospital were selected and randomly divided into control group (n=29) and dexmedetomidine group (n=29). The dexmedetomidine group was treated with dexmedetomidine before induced anesthesia, while the control group was given the same dose of normal saline; and the normal volunteers of the same age were selected as the normal group (n=29). At 3 days after operation, the levels of serum S100B and nerve growth factor (NGF) in each group were detected using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was detected via western blotting. Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA) and attention network test (ANT) were performed. Moreover, the cognitive function and attention network function, and the effects of dexmedetomidine on cognitive function and attention network function were evaluated. The concentrations of serum S100B and NGF in dexmedetomidine group was lower than those in control group (Pfunction scores, attention scores, delayed memory scores, targeted network efficiency and executive control network efficiency in dexmedetomidine group were obviously higher than those in control group (Pcognitive function and attention network function of patients with ischemic cerebrovascular disease have a certain degree of damage, and the preoperative administration of dexmedetomidine can effectively improve the patient's cognitive dysfunction and attention network function after operation.

  5. 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

    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...... this micro-macro approach and explore its implications for protected-area management. First, data from nineteen-state study conducted in 2004 via mail survey in the united States show how two contrasting orientations - dominations and mutualism - produce different attitudes and behaviors toward wildlife....... Hierarchical linear modeling of these data supports a societal-level shift from domination to mutualism in response to modernization. Second, a 2007-8 exploratory application of outdoor approach in ten European countries provides further evidence of the role of value orientations in shaping individual response...

  6. Understanding Risky Behavior: The Influence of Cognitive, Emotional and Hormonal Factors on Decision-Making under Risk

    OpenAIRE

    Kusev, Petko; Purser, Harry; Heilman, Renata; Cooke, Alex J.; Van Schaik, Paul; Baranova, Victoria; Martin, Rose; Ayton, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Financial risky decisions and evaluations pervade many human everyday activities. Scientific research in such decision-making typically explores the influence of socio-economic and cognitive factors on financial behavior. However, very little research has explored the holistic influence of contextual, emotional, and hormonal factors on preferences for risk in insurance and investment behaviors. Accordingly, the goal of this review article is to address the complexity of individual risky behav...

  7. The promise of multimedia technology for STI/HIV prevention: frameworks for understanding improved facilitator delivery and participant learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Maria R; Epperson, Matthew W; Gilbert, Louisa; Goddard, Dawn; Hunt, Timothy; Sarfo, Bright; El-Bassel, Nabila

    2012-10-01

    There is increasing excitement about multimedia sexually transmitted infection (STI) and HIV prevention interventions, yet there has been limited discussion of how use of multimedia technology may improve STI/HIV prevention efforts. The purpose of this paper is to describe the mechanisms through which multimedia technology may work to improve the delivery and uptake of intervention material. We present conceptual frameworks describing how multimedia technology may improve intervention delivery by increasing standardization and fidelity to the intervention material and the participant's ability to learn by improving attention, cognition, emotional engagement, skills-building, and uptake of sensitive material about sexual and drug risks. In addition, we describe how the non-multimedia behavioral STI/HIV prevention intervention, Project WORTH, was adapted into a multimedia format for women involved in the criminal justice system and provide examples of how multimedia activities can more effectively target key mediators of behavioral change in this intervention.

  8. Using meta-ethnography to understand the emotional impact of caring for people with increasing cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grose, Jane; Frost, Julia; Richardson, Janet; Skirton, Heather

    2013-03-01

    The majority of people with degenerative neurological conditions are cared for within their own families. Cognitive impairment can be a significant and increasing symptom of these conditions. In this article we report how a team of experienced researchers carried out a meta-ethnography of qualitative research articles focusing on the impact of caring for a loved one with cognitive impairment. We followed the seven-step process outlined by Noblit and Hare. Synthesized findings from 31 papers suggest emotional impact is complex and uncertain and varies from day to day. The benefit of using meta-ethnography is that the results represent a larger sample size and a reinterpretation of multiple studies can hold greater application for practice. The results of this study offer an opportunity for nurses to be aware of both the positive and negative sides of caring and being cared for. This knowledge can be used to discuss with patients and carers how best to prepare for decreasing cognition and still maintain a worthwhile quality of life. © 2013 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  9. A mid-layer model for human reliability analysis: understanding the cognitive causes of human failure events

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shen, Song-Hua; Chang, James Y.H.; Boring, Ronald L.; Whaley, April M.; Lois, Erasmia; Langfitt Hendrickson, Stacey M.; Oxstrand, Johanna H.; Forester, John Alan; Kelly, Dana L.; Mosleh, Ali

    2010-01-01

    The Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research (RES) at the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) is sponsoring work in response to a Staff Requirements Memorandum (SRM) directing an effort to establish a single human reliability analysis (HRA) method for the agency or guidance for the use of multiple methods. As part of this effort an attempt to develop a comprehensive HRA qualitative approach is being pursued. This paper presents a draft of the method's middle layer, a part of the qualitative analysis phase that links failure mechanisms to performance shaping factors. Starting with a Crew Response Tree (CRT) that has identified human failure events, analysts identify potential failure mechanisms using the mid-layer model. The mid-layer model presented in this paper traces the identification of the failure mechanisms using the Information-Diagnosis/Decision-Action (IDA) model and cognitive models from the psychological literature. Each failure mechanism is grouped according to a phase of IDA. Under each phase of IDA, the cognitive models help identify the relevant performance shaping factors for the failure mechanism. The use of IDA and cognitive models can be traced through fault trees, which provide a detailed complement to the CRT.

  10. A Mid-Layer Model for Human Reliability Analysis: Understanding the Cognitive Causes of Human Failure Events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stacey M. L. Hendrickson; April M. Whaley; Ronald L. Boring; James Y. H. Chang; Song-Hua Shen; Ali Mosleh; Johanna H. Oxstrand; John A. Forester; Dana L. Kelly; Erasmia L. Lois

    2010-06-01

    The Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research (RES) is sponsoring work in response to a Staff Requirements Memorandum (SRM) directing an effort to establish a single human reliability analysis (HRA) method for the agency or guidance for the use of multiple methods. As part of this effort an attempt to develop a comprehensive HRA qualitative approach is being pursued. This paper presents a draft of the method’s middle layer, a part of the qualitative analysis phase that links failure mechanisms to performance shaping factors. Starting with a Crew Response Tree (CRT) that has identified human failure events, analysts identify potential failure mechanisms using the mid-layer model. The mid-layer model presented in this paper traces the identification of the failure mechanisms using the Information-Diagnosis/Decision-Action (IDA) model and cognitive models from the psychological literature. Each failure mechanism is grouped according to a phase of IDA. Under each phase of IDA, the cognitive models help identify the relevant performance shaping factors for the failure mechanism. The use of IDA and cognitive models can be traced through fault trees, which provide a detailed complement to the CRT.

  11. Mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease is improved by transcranial direct current stimulation combined with physical therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manenti, Rosa; Brambilla, Michela; Benussi, Alberto; Rosini, Sandra; Cobelli, Chiara; Ferrari, Clarissa; Petesi, Michela; Orizio, Italo; Padovani, Alessandro; Borroni, Barbara; Cotelli, Maria

    2016-05-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by both motor and cognitive deficits. In PD, physical exercise has been found to improve physical functioning. Recent studies demonstrated that repeated sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation led to an increased performance in cognitive and motor tasks in patients with PD. The present study investigated the effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation applied over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and combined with physical therapy in PD patients. A total of 20 patients with PD were assigned to 1 of 2 study groups: group 1, anodal transcranial direct current stimulation plus physical therapy (n = 10) or group 2, placebo transcranial direct current stimulation plus physical therapy (n = 10). The 2 weeks of treatment consisted of daily direct current stimulation application for 25 minutes during physical therapy. Long-term effects of treatment were evaluated on clinical, neuropsychological, and motor task performance at 3-month follow-up. An improvement in motor abilities and a reduction of depressive symptoms were observed in both groups after the end of treatment and at 3-month follow-up. The Parkinson's Disease Cognitive Rating Scale and verbal fluency test performances increased only in the anodal direct current stimulation group with a stable effect at follow-up. The application of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation may be a relevant tool to improve cognitive abilities in PD and might be a novel therapeutic strategy for PD patients with mild cognitive impairment. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  12. Understanding Negative Self-Evaluations in Borderline Personality Disorder-a Review of Self-Related Cognitions, Emotions, and Motives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, Dorina; Bohus, Martin; Lis, Stefanie

    2017-03-01

    Self-conscious emotions, such as guilt, shame, or self-disgust, as well as self-related motives, such as self-enhancement or self-verification, influence how people perceive, evaluate, memorize, and respond to self-related information. They not only influence peoples' concepts of themselves but may also affect their behavior in social environments. In the current review, we describe alterations of self-related processing in borderline personality disorder (BPD). We chose BPD as an example of a mental disorder of which impairments in self-functioning and identity constitute a major feature. Since terminology used in clinical research on self-referential processing is diverse and often confusing, we start with reviewing some of the main concepts in this area of research using a conceptual framework provided from social psychology. Most studies on self-referential processing in BPD focused on descriptions of self-esteem and revealed a negative self-concept, particularly expressed by explicitly reported low self-esteem. Moreover, self-esteem is unstable in BPD and likely reactive to self-relevant cues. BPD patients are prone to negative emotions with respect to themselves, such as self-disgust and shame. First data point to altered self-related motives, too. In conclusion, although explicit self-esteem is widely studied as a global and trait-like feature of BPD, there is a strong lack of studies that take the complexity of the construct self-esteem into account. Further studies on alterations in self-related processes are required to deepen our understanding of impairments of the self-concept in BPD and enable the improvement of psychosocial therapeutic approaches.

  13. Triangulated Proxy Reporting: a technique for improving how communication partners come to know people with severe cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Gordon; De Bortoli, Tania; Arthur-Kelly, Michael

    2017-09-01

    This paper explains and demonstrates the pilot application of Triangulated Proxy Reporting (TPR); a practical technique for enhancing communication around people who have severe cognitive impairment (SCI). An introduction explains SCI and how this impacts on communication; and consequently on quality of care and quality of life. This is followed by an explanation of TPR and its origins in triangulation research techniques. An illustrative vignette explicates its utility and value in a group home for a resident with profound multiple disabilities. The Discussion and Conclusion sections propose the wider application of TPR for different cohorts of people with SCIs, their communication partners and service providers. TPR presents as a practical technique for enhancing communication interactions with people who have SCI. The paper demonstrates the potential of the technique for improving engagement amongst those with profound multiple disabilities, severe acquired brain injury and advanced dementia and their partners in and across different care settings. Implications for Rehabilitation Triangulated Proxy Reporting (TPR) shows potential to improve communications between people with severe cognitive impairments and their communication partners. TPR can lead to improved quality of care and quality of life for people with profound multiple disabilities, very advanced dementia and severe acquired brain injury, who otherwise are very difficult to support. TPR is a relatively simple and inexpensive technique that service providers can incorporate into practice to improving communications between clients with severe cognitive impairments, their carers and other support professionals.

  14. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhary, Dnyanraj; Bhattacharyya, Sauvik; Bose, Sekhar

    2017-11-02

    Cognitive decline is often associated with the aging process. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) has long been used in the traditional Ayurvedic system of medicine to enhance memory and improve cognition. This pilot study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) in improving memory and cognitive functioning in adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted in 50 adults. Subjects were treated with either ashwagandha-root extract (300 mg twice daily) or placebo for eight weeks. After eight weeks of study, the ashwagandha treatment group demonstrated significant improvements compared with the placebo group in both immediate and general memory, as evidenced by Wechsler Memory Scale III subtest scores for logical memory I (p = 0.007), verbal paired associates I (p = 0.042), faces I (p = 0.020), family pictures I (p = 0.006), logical memory II (p = 0.006), verbal paired associates II (p = 0.031), faces II (p = 0.014), and family pictures II (p = 0.006). The treatment group also demonstrated significantly greater improvement in executive function, sustained attention, and information-processing speed as indicated by scores on the Eriksen Flanker task (p = 0.002), Wisconsin Card Sort test (p = 0.014), Trail-Making test part A (p = 0.006), and the Mackworth Clock test (p = 0.009). Ashwagandha may be effective in enhancing both immediate and general memory in people with MCI as well as improving executive function, attention, and information processing speed.

  15. MoREK: The learning media to improve students understanding about electrical circuit in informatics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indrianto; Nur Indah Susanti, Meilia; Arianto, Rakhmat

    2018-03-01

    The needs for labor in the world is already increasing especially in Indonesia. According to the World Bank, Indonesia is a country that ranks 9th in the world’s largest economic growth. To meet that needs, Indonesia needs 55 million workers who are experts in the field of electricity. Therefore, it takes a lot of human resources and has been equipped with knowledge and expertise in the field of electricity. To be able to meet these needs, it takes a better method of learning to increase knowledge and expertise in the field of electricity since college, especially in the field of informatics. Prototype of Electrical Module (The MoREK) requires a Prototype method for the Practicum Module to be created as desired. This method is often used in the real world or it could be said Prototype method is part of the product that expresses the logic and physical external interface that is displayed. For data retrieval is used Pre-experimental method where students will be given pre-test and post-test. The Design of Electrical Module has a purpose to improve the students understanding of Electric Circuit Engineering Courses with the creation of The MoREK so that students are more competent to the course and can meet the needs of manpower or Human Resources (SDM) in the field of electricity. By using The Morek, the score of student learning outcomes increased by 7.8% and informatics students who conduct research in the field of electricity increased to 21%.

  16. Towards an Enhanced Understanding of Plant–Microbiome Interactions to Improve Phytoremediation: Engineering the Metaorganism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thijs, Sofie; Sillen, Wouter; Rineau, Francois; Weyens, Nele; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2016-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a promising technology to clean-up contaminated soils based on the synergistic actions of plants and microorganisms. However, to become a widely accepted, and predictable remediation alternative, a deeper understanding of the plant–microbe interactions is needed. A number of studies link the success of phytoremediation to the plant-associated microbiome functioning, though whether the microbiome can exist in alternative, functional states for soil remediation, is incompletely understood. Moreover, current approaches that target the plant host, and environment separately to improve phytoremediation, potentially overlook microbial functions and properties that are part of the multiscale complexity of the plant-environment wherein biodegradation takes place. In contrast, in situ studies of phytoremediation research at the metaorganism level (host and microbiome together) are lacking. Here, we discuss a competition-driven model, based on recent evidence from the metagenomics level, and hypotheses generated by microbial community ecology, to explain the establishment of a catabolic rhizosphere microbiome in a contaminated soil. There is evidence to ground that if the host provides the right level and mix of resources (exudates) over which the microbes can compete, then a competitive catabolic and plant-growth promoting (PGP) microbiome can be selected for as long as it provides a competitive superiority in the niche. The competition-driven model indicates four strategies to interfere with the microbiome. Specifically, the rhizosphere microbiome community can be shifted using treatments that alter the host, resources, environment, and that take advantage of prioritization in inoculation. Our model and suggestions, considering the metaorganism in its natural context, would allow to gain further knowledge on the plant–microbial functions, and facilitate translation to more effective, and predictable phytotechnologies. PMID:27014254

  17. Improved understanding of the acoustophoretic focusing of dense suspensions in a microchannel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karthick, S.; Sen, A. K.

    2017-11-01

    We provide improved understanding of acoustophoretic focusing of a dense suspension (volume fraction φ >10 % ) in a microchannel subjected to an acoustic standing wave using a proposed theoretical model and experiments. The model is based on the theory of interacting continua and utilizes a momentum transport equation for the mixture, continuity equation, and transport equation for the solid phase. The model demonstrates the interplay between acoustic radiation and shear-induced diffusion (SID) forces that is critical in the focusing of dense suspensions. The shear-induced particle migration model of Leighton and Acrivos, coupled with the acoustic radiation force, is employed to simulate the continuum behavior of particles. In the literature, various closures for the diffusion coefficient Dφ* are available for rigid spheres at high concentrations and nonspherical deformable particles [e.g., red blood cells (RBCs)] at low concentrations. Here we propose a closure for Dφ* for dense suspension of RBCs and validate the proposed model with experimental data. While the available closures for Dφ* fail to predict the acoustic focusing of a dense suspension of nonspherical deformable particles like RBCs, the predictions of the proposed model match experimental data within 15%. Both the model and experiments reveal a competition between acoustic radiation and SID forces that gives rise to an equilibrium width w* of a focused stream of particles at some distance Leq* along the flow direction. Using different shear rates, acoustic energy densities, and particle concentrations, we show that the equilibrium width is governed by Péclet number Pe and Strouhal number Stas w*=1.4(PeSt) -0.5 while the length required to obtain the equilibrium-focused width depends on St as Leq*=3.8 /(St)0.6 . The proposed model and correlations would find significance in the design of microchannels for acoustic focusing of dense suspensions such as undiluted blood.

  18. Towards an Enhanced Understanding of Plant-Microbiome Interactions to Improve Phytoremediation: Engineering the Metaorganism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofie eThijs

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Phytoremediation is a promising technology to clean-up contaminated soils based on the synergistic actions of plants and microorganisms. However, to become a widely accepted, and predictable remediation alternative, a deeper understanding of the plant-microbe interactions is needed. A number of studies link the success of phytoremediation to the plant-associated microbiome functioning, though whether the microbiome can exist in alternative, functional states for soil remediation, is incompletely understood. Moreover, current approaches that target the plant host, and environment separately to improve phytoremediation, potentially overlook microbial functions and properties that are part of the multiscale complexity of the plant-environment wherein biodegradation takes place. In contrast, in situ studies of phytoremediation research at the metaorganism level (host and microbiome together are lacking. Here, we discuss a competition-driven model, based on recent evidence from the metagenomics level, and hypotheses generated by microbial community ecology, to explain the establishment of a catabolic rhizosphere microbiome in a contaminated soil. There is evidence to ground that if the host provides the right level and mix of resources (exudates over which the microbes can compete, then a competitive catabolic and plant-growth promoting (PGP microbiome can be selected for as long as it provides a competitive superiority in the niche. The competition-driven model indicates four strategies to interfere with the microbiome. Specifically, the rhizosphere microbiome community can be shifted using treatments that alter the host, resources, environment, and that take advantage of prioritization in inoculation. Our model and suggestions, considering the metaorganism in its natural context, would allow to gain further knowledge on the plant-microbial functions, and facilitate translation to more effective, and predictable phytotechnologies.

  19. Adjunctive sarcosine plus benzoate improved cognitive function in chronic schizophrenia patients with constant clinical symptoms: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Chun-Yuan; Liang, Sun-Yuan; Chang, Yue-Cune; Ting, Shuo-Yen; Kao, Ching-Ling; Wu, Yu-Hsin; Tsai, Guochuan E; Lane, Hsien-Yuan

    2017-08-01

    Objectives Hypofunction of NMDA receptor is implicated in the pathophysiology, particularly cognitive impairment, of schizophrenia. Sarcosine, a glycine transporter I (GlyT-1) inhibitor, and sodium benzoate, a d-amino acid oxidase (DAAO) inhibitor, can both enhance NMDA receptor-mediated neurotransmission. We proposed simultaneously inhibiting DAAO and GlyT-1 may be more effective than inhibition of either in improving the cognitive and global functioning of schizophrenia patients. Methods This study compared add-on sarcosine (2 g/day) plus benzoate (1 g/day) vs. sarcosine (2 g/day) for the clinical symptoms, as well as the cognitive and global functioning, of chronic schizophrenia patients in a 12-week, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Participants were measured with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale every 3 weeks. Seven cognitive domains, recommended by the Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia Committee, were measured at weeks 0 and 12. Results Adjunctive sarcosine plus benzoate, but not sarcosine alone, improved the cognitive and global funct