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Neuropsychological tests are important instruments to determine a cognitive profile, giving insight into the etiology of dementia; however, these tests cannot readily be used in culturally diverse, low-educated populations, due to their dependence upon (Western) culture, education, and literacy. In this review we aim to give an overview of studies investigating domain-specific cognitive tests used to assess dementia in non-Western, low-educated populations. The second aim was to examine the quality of these studies and of the adaptations for culturally, linguistically, and educationally diverse populations.
A systematic review was performed using six databases, without restrictions on the year or language of publication.
Forty-four studies were included, stemming mainly from Brazil, Hong Kong, Korea, and considering Hispanics/Latinos residing in the USA. Most studies focused on Alzheimer’s disease (n = 17) or unspecified dementia (n = 16). Memory (n = 18) was studied most often, using 14 different tests. The traditional Western tests in the domains of attention (n = 8) and construction (n = 15), were unsuitable for low-educated patients. There was little variety in instruments measuring executive functioning (two tests, n = 13), and language (n = 12, of which 10 were naming tests). Many studies did not report a thorough adaptation procedure (n = 39) or blinding procedures (n = 29).
Various formats of memory tests seem suitable for low-educated, non-Western populations. Promising tasks in other cognitive domains are the Stick Design Test, Five Digit Test, and verbal fluency test. Further research is needed regarding cross-cultural instruments measuring executive functioning and language in low-educated people.
Bog bodies are among the best-known archaeological finds worldwide. Much of the work on these often extremely well-preserved human remains has focused on forensics, whereas the environmental setting of the finds has been largely overlooked. This applies to both the ‘physical’ and ‘cultural’ landscape and constitutes a significant problem since the vast spatial and temporal scales over which the practice appeared demonstrate that contextual assessments are of the utmost importance for our explanatory frameworks. In this article we develop best practice guidelines for the contextual analysis of bog bodies, after assessing the current state of research and presenting the results of three recent case studies including the well-known finds of Lindow Man in the United Kingdom, Bjældskovdal (Tollund Man and Elling Woman) in Denmark, and Yde Girl in the Netherlands. Three spatial and chronological scales are distinguished and linked to specific research questions and methods. This provides a basis for further discussion and a starting point for developing approaches to bog body finds and future discoveries, while facilitating and optimizing the re-analysis of previous studies, making it possible to compare deposition sites across time and space.
The Miocene Solemyidae of Chile are revised. The holotype of Solemya antarctica Philippi, 1887, originally described as Solenomya, is lost. Due to the lack of information on internal characters, its systematic position is considered as uncertain. A new species, Solemya lucifuga n. sp., is described from the lower Miocene Ranquil Formation of south-central Chile. Its dense radial external ornamentation shows that it is clearly different from S. antarctica. It is currently the only confirmed and described Miocene solemyid bivalve from the Southern Hemisphere.
Environmental scientists and managers increasingly recognize that socio-cultural evaluations expand the understanding of human–nature relationships. Here, user groups’ perceptions of the benefits from and threats to nature were analysed in Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina. We hypothesized that the different relationships of users to this place would lead to significantly different valuations among local Ushuaia residents (n = 122), Argentine nationals (n = 147) and international tourists (n = 294). All users perceived a broad spectrum of benefits. The three groups assessed intrinsic and relational values more highly than instrumental benefits, and significant differences included a higher mean valuation of benefits by Argentine visitors. Overall, threats were less perceived than benefits, and significant differences included a higher mean threat assessment by Ushuaia residents. To explain these relationships, we found that mean valuations of benefits and threats were weakly related to increased biodiversity knowledge for residents and international tourists, but not for Argentine visitors. These findings can orient environmental management in Patagonia and elsewhere by identifying areas where information can improve user experiences and by contributing a more pluralistic understanding of nature from multiple stakeholders.
Integrated Modular Avionics enables applications of different criticality levels to share the same hardware platform with an established temporal and spatial isolation. On-chip communication systems for such platforms must support different bandwidth and latency requirements of applications while preserving time predictability. In this paper, our concern is a time-predictable on-chip network architecture for targeting applications in mixed-criticality aerospace systems. The proposed architecture introduces a mixed, priority-based and time-division-multiplexed arbitration scheme to accommodate different bandwidth and latency in the same network while preserving worst-case time predictability for end-to-end communication without packet loss. Furthermore, as isolation of erroneous transmission by a faulty application is a key aspect of contingency management, the communication system should support isolation mechanisms to prevent interference. For this reason, a sampling port and isolated sampling buffer-based approach is proposed with a transmission authorisation control mechanism, guaranteeing spatial and temporal isolation between communicating systems.
Care of archaeological materials should begin when recovered in the field. Care and stabilization of objects in the field will greatly increase their research and exhibit potential. Identifying problems and understanding basic solutions to object care and stabilization is an important part of training for all potential object handlers. Proper care and stabilization of objects can and should be a priority for all object users—excavators, lab analysts, museum staff, and researchers. Constant dialogue and communication between repository specialists and archaeologists can be the most useful source for care of all archaeological objects.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest natural twinning rate in the world. Unfortunately, due to lack of adequate care during pregnancy, labor and postnatally, twin mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa also remains very high. Thus, it has been estimated that one in five twins dies during the childhood years. In spite of this, surprisingly few twin studies have been conducted in the region, making additional epidemiological data much needed. In 2009, we established one of the first twin registries in Sub-Saharan Africa at the Bandim Health Project in Guinea-Bissau. The registry had two main objectives. First, we wanted to describe the twinning rate and mortality patterns among newborn twins, including mortality risk factors and hospitalization patterns. Such studies can help the local clinicians improve twin health by identifying the most vulnerable children. Second, and in light of the rapidly increasing diabetes rates in Africa, we wanted to use the registry to particularly focus on metabolic disorders. Twins are often born with low birth weight, which according to the ‘thrifty phenotype hypothesis’ could predispose them to metabolic disorders later in life. Yet, no such ‘fetal programming’ data have previously been available from African twins despite the fact that nutritional patterns and influences from other factors (e.g., infections) could be markedly different here compared to high-income settings. In this article, we summarize the findings and current status of the Guinea-Bissau twin registry.
South Asian migrants have a higher burden of life-threatening diseases and chronic diseases compared to other ethnic groups. Yet, knowledge gaps remain around their palliative care needs in the host countries. The aim of the review was to present results from a systematic literature review of available international evidence on experiences with and perspectives on palliative care among older South Asian migrants, relatives, and healthcare providers.
A systematic review in accordance with PRISMA guidelines was conducted in February 2018, searching PubMed, CINAHL, PsychINFO, and EMBASE databases. PROSPERO #CRD42018093464. Studies included empirical research, providing international evidence on experiences and perspectives on palliative care of South Asian migrants and were published between 2000 and 2018. Thematic synthesis was used to analyze data.
A total of 30 articles were included: qualitative (24), quantitative (5), and mixed methods (1). Three main themes were discovered: 1) palliative care practice within the family, 2) trust as a precondition of palliative care, and 3) the importance of knowledge and cultural competency. All the themes, to a greater or lesser extent, are related to access to and use of palliative care services by South Asian migrant families.
Significance of results
Involvement of family members in palliative care decision making could improve the satisfaction of South Asian migrant families toward the service. For example, Advanced Care Planning involving family members could be a possible way to engage family members in palliative care decision making. Supportive interventions, e.g. providing knowledge, aimed at patients and their family members might improve knowledge and increase awareness among South Asian migrant families of palliative care. Knowledge gained from this review could be implemented with other ethnic minority groups.
We consider truncated (or conditional) sum of squares estimation of a parametric model composed of a fractional time series and an additive generalized polynomial trend. Both the memory parameter, which characterizes the behavior of the stochastic component of the model, and the exponent parameter, which drives the shape of the deterministic component, are considered not only unknown real numbers but also lying in arbitrarily large (but finite) intervals. Thus, our model captures different forms of nonstationarity and noninvertibility. As in related settings, the proof of consistency (which is a prerequisite for proving asymptotic normality) is challenging due to nonuniform convergence of the objective function over a large admissible parameter space, but, in addition, our framework is substantially more involved due to the competition between stochastic and deterministic components. We establish consistency and asymptotic normality under quite general circumstances, finding that results differ crucially depending on the relative strength of the deterministic and stochastic components. Finite-sample properties are illustrated by means of a Monte Carlo experiment.
Headdresses, as opulent markers of rank and affiliation, offer a unique opportunity to examine sociopolitical roles and offices at Teotihuacan. In particular, in light of the few surviving glyphic texts from the site, the representations of headdresses, either in isolation, as part ritual investitures, or actively worn by individuals, are in fact one of the few ways to achieve a deeper understanding of the nature, structure, and institutional aspects of social stations and in the ancient metropolis. In this paper, we will first discuss the elemental properties of headdresses in Teotihuacan iconography as well as the rites of accession upon which these symbolic markers were acquired. Thereafter, we suggest that several kinds of headdresses are also associated with specific named houses at Teotihuacan, which indicate their close affiliation with certain powerful institutions. Finally, we focus on some of the specific types of headdresses, and especially those qualified by the so-called Year Sign (Figure 1). Based on comparisons with Classic and Epiclassic calendrical records, wherein dates are also crowned by the same headdress, as well as with the diadem of the Late Postclassic Mexica rulers, the xiuhhuitzolli, we put forth a new interpretation of its meaning at Teotihuacan.
Species distribution models (SDMs) are statistical tools used to develop continuous predictions of species occurrence. ‘Integrated SDMs’ (ISDMs) are an elaboration of this approach with potential advantages that allow for the dual use of opportunistically collected presence-only data and site-occupancy data from planned surveys. These models also account for survey bias and imperfect detection through the use of a hierarchical modelling framework that separately estimates the species–environment response and detection process. This is particularly helpful for conservation applications and predictions for rare species, where data are often limited and prediction errors may have significant management consequences. Despite this potential importance, ISDMs remain largely untested under a variety of scenarios. We performed an exploration of key modelling decisions and assumptions on an ISDM using the endangered Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii) as a test species. We found that site area had the strongest effect on the magnitude of population estimates and underlying intensity surface and was driven by estimates of model intercepts. Selecting a site area that accounted for the individual movements of the species within an average home range led to population estimates that coincided with expert estimates. ISDMs that do not account for the individual movements of species will likely lead to less accurate estimates of species intensity (number of individuals per unit area) and thus overall population estimates. This bias could be severe and highly detrimental to conservation actions if uninformed ISDMs are used to estimate global populations of threatened and data-deficient species, particularly those that lack natural history and movement information. However, the ISDM was consistently the most accurate model compared to other approaches, which demonstrates the importance of this new modelling framework and the ability to combine opportunistic data with systematic survey data. Thus, we recommend researchers use ISDMs with conservative movement information when estimating population sizes of rare and data-deficient species. ISDMs could be improved by using a similar parameterization to spatial capture–recapture models that explicitly incorporate animal movement as a model parameter, which would further remove the need for spatial subsampling prior to implementation.
We have become accustomed to regarding the question of the author in literary criticism and theory in anti-authorial terms. It is a quaintness of modern literary theory that the author, whom we would, commonsensically, expect to be the central agent in the production of the literary work, has, for the most part of the past century, been considered a liminal character of minor importance to literary criticism, and, if not completely dead, then at least a ghost haunting the limits of the literary work of art.
System software subsystems in an unmanned aircraft system share hardware resources due to space, weight, and power constraints. Such subsystems have different criticality, requirements, and failure rates, and can cause undesired interference when sharing the same hardware. A component with high failure rate can reduce the reliability of the system unless a fault containment mechanism is adopted.
This work proposes an asymmetric multiprocessor architecture to establish isolation at the hardware level for distributed implementation of safety-critical subsystems along with user defined payload subsystems on the same hardware with minimally reduced reliability of the system. To achieve that, subsystems are strategically segregated in separate processors, connected to an on-chip protective interconnect for inter-processor communications. A custom watchdog and reset mechanism are implemented to reset a specific processor without affecting the entire system if required. The architecture is demonstrated on a FPGA chip. In addition, an example of an optimised distribution is provided for a specific flight control system with five subsystems.
Growing evidence from across the cognitive sciences indicates that iconicity plays an important role in a number of fundamental language processes, spanning learning, comprehension, and online use. One benefit of this recent upsurge in empirical work is the diversification of methods available for measuring iconicity. In this paper, we provide an overview of methods in the form of a ‘toolbox’. We lay out empirical methods for measuring iconicity at a behavioural level, in the perception, production, and comprehension of iconic forms. We also discuss large-scale studies that look at iconicity on a system-wide level, based on objective measures of similarity between signals and meanings. We give a detailed overview of how different measures of iconicity can better address specific hypotheses, providing greater clarity when choosing testing methods.
We show that propensity score matching (PSM), an enormously popular method of preprocessing data for causal inference, often accomplishes the opposite of its intended goal—thus increasing imbalance, inefficiency, model dependence, and bias. The weakness of PSM comes from its attempts to approximate a completely randomized experiment, rather than, as with other matching methods, a more efficient fully blocked randomized experiment. PSM is thus uniquely blind to the often large portion of imbalance that can be eliminated by approximating full blocking with other matching methods. Moreover, in data balanced enough to approximate complete randomization, either to begin with or after pruning some observations, PSM approximates random matching which, we show, increases imbalance even relative to the original data. Although these results suggest researchers replace PSM with one of the other available matching methods, propensity scores have other productive uses.
Steps to regulate surrogacy in South Africa predate the advent of democracy. In 1987, in a much publicised case, Karen Ferreira Jorge gave birth to triplets, born of the gametes of her daughter (she was the gestational mother and the biological grandmother). At the time there was no legal regulation for this unprecedented state of events, leading to a project committee of the South African Law Commission (now the South African Law Reform Commission (hereafter ‘SALRC’) being appointed to investigate the issue. Although this Committee had completed its work in the 1990s, there was no further legislative action (notwithstanding a post-1994 Ad Hoc Parliamentary Committee being convened to conduct public hearings on surrogacy) to finalise new laws. Ultimately surrogacy was added as a final chapter to the Children ‘s Act 38 of 2005, which came fully into force in April 2010. The project committee which had deliberated upon the development of the omnibus Children’ s Act had not considered surrogacy during its lifespan, so the impetus to add surrogacy to the Children ‘s Act came from within the SALRC. The initial work of the SALRC has survived, and many of the current provisions can be traced to the original report. The location of regulations on surrogacy within the overarching tenets of the Children’ s Act has, however, shaped the current interpretation of the provisions, as will be shown below. By way of a preliminary point, the Act allows only altruistic surrogacy: commercial surrogacy is barred.
South Africa stands out for its progressive constitution, with two particular clauses worthy of discussion. First, s. 28 provides a mini charter of children ‘s rights, including the injunction that the best interests of the child are of paramount concern in all matters affecting the child. As a justiciable constitutional right, the best interests provision has provided an important standard which has at times been overriding. Second, South Africa’ s equality clause (s. 9) prohibits discrimination on a wide range of bases, including gender, marital status and sexual orientation. All have proved to be relevant in the context of surrogacy, which is equally available to hetero and same-sex couples.