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How to restore citizens’ trust and cooperation with the police in the wake of civil war? We report results from an experimental evaluation of the Liberian National Police’s (LNP) “Confidence Patrols” program, which deployed teams of newly retrained, better-equipped police officers on recurring patrols to rural communities across three Liberian counties over a period of 14 months. We find that the program increased knowledge of the police and Liberian law, enhanced security of property rights, and reduced the incidence of some types of crime, notably simple assault and domestic violence. The program did not, however, improve trust in the police, courts, or government more generally. We also observe higher rates of crime reporting in treatment communities, concentrated almost entirely among those who were disadvantaged under prevailing customary mechanisms of dispute resolution. We consider implications of these findings for post-conflict policing in Liberia and weak and war-torn states more generally.
The National Institute of Mental Health launched the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative to better understand dimensions of behavior and identify targets for treatment. Examining dimensions across psychiatric illnesses has proven challenging, as reliable behavioral paradigms that are known to engage specific neural circuits and translate across diagnostic populations are scarce. Delay discounting paradigms seem to be an exception: they are useful for understanding links between neural systems and behavior in healthy individuals, with potential for assessing how these mechanisms go awry in psychiatric illnesses. This article reviews relevant literature on delay discounting (or the rate at which the value of a reward decreases as the delay to receipt increases) in humans, including methods for examining it, its putative neural mechanisms, and its application in psychiatric research. There exist rigorous and reproducible paradigms to evaluate delay discounting, standard methods for calculating discount rate, and known neural systems probed by these paradigms. Abnormalities in discounting have been associated with psychopathology ranging from addiction (with steep discount rates indicating relative preference for immediate rewards) to anorexia nervosa (with shallow discount rates indicating preference for future rewards). The latest research suggests that delay discounting can be manipulated in the laboratory. Extensively studied in cognitive neuroscience, delay discounting assesses a dimension of behavior that is important for decision-making and is linked to neural substrates and to psychopathology. The question now is whether manipulating delay discounting can yield clinically significant changes in behavior that promote health. If so, then delay discounting could deliver on the RDoC promise.
Children reared in impoverished environments are at risk for enduring psychological and physical health problems. Mechanisms by which poverty affects development, however, remain unclear. To explore one potential mechanism of poverty's impact on social–emotional and cognitive development, an experimental examination of a rodent model of scarcity-adversity was conducted and compared to results from a longitudinal study of human infants and families followed from birth (N = 1,292) who faced high levels of poverty-related scarcity-adversity. Cross-species results supported the hypothesis that altered caregiving is one pathway by which poverty adversely impacts development. Rodent mothers assigned to the scarcity-adversity condition exhibited decreased sensitive parenting and increased negative parenting relative to mothers assigned to the control condition. Furthermore, scarcity-adversity reared pups exhibited decreased developmental competence as indicated by disrupted nipple attachment, distress vocalization when in physical contact with an anesthetized mother, and reduced preference for maternal odor with corresponding changes in brain activation. Human results indicated that scarcity-adversity was inversely correlated with sensitive parenting and positively correlated with negative parenting, and that parenting fully mediated the association of poverty-related risk with infant indicators of developmental competence. Findings are discussed from the perspective of the usefulness of bidirectional–translational research to inform interventions for at-risk families.
Previous work has shown that amygdala responsiveness to fearful expressions is inversely related to level of callous-unemotional (CU) traits (i.e. reduced guilt and empathy) in youth with conduct problems. However, some research has suggested that the relationship between pathophysiology and CU traits may be different in those youth with significant prior trauma exposure.
In experiment 1, 72 youth with varying levels of disruptive behavior and trauma exposure performed a gender discrimination task while viewing morphed fear expressions (0, 50, 100, 150 fear) and Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent responses were recorded. In experiment 2, 66 of these youth performed the Social Goals Task, which measures self-reports of the importance of specific social goals to the participant in provoking social situations.
In experiment 1, a significant CU traits-by-trauma exposure interaction was observed within right amygdala; fear intensity-modulated amygdala responses negatively predicted CU traits for those youth with low levels of trauma but positively predicted CU traits for those with high levels of trauma. In experiment 2, a bootstrapped model revealed that the indirect effect of fear intensity amygdala response on social goal importance through CU traits is moderated by prior trauma exposure.
This study, while exploratory, indicates that the pathophysiology associated with CU traits differs in youth as a function of prior trauma exposure. These data suggest that prior trauma exposure should be considered when evaluating potential interventions for youth with high CU traits.
Mental health and wellbeing, including addressing impacts of historical trauma and substance use among young people, has been identified as a key priority by Indigenous communities and leaders across Canada and globally. Yet, research to understand mental health among young Indigenous people who have used drugs is limited.
To examine longitudinal risk and strengths-based factors associated with psychological distress among young Indigenous people who use drugs.
The Cedar Project is an ongoing cohort study involving young Indigenous people who use drugs in Vancouver, Prince George, and Chase, British Columbia, Canada. This study included participants who completed the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, returned for follow-up between 2010 and 2012, and completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Adjusted linear mixed-effects models estimated effects of study variables on changes in area T-scores of psychological distress.
Of 202 eligible participants, 53% were women and the mean age was 28 years. Among men, childhood maltreatment (emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect), any drug use, blackouts from drinking, and sex work were associated with increased distress. Among women, childhood maltreatment (emotional abuse, physical abuse, physical neglect), blackouts from drinking, and sexual assault were associated with increased distress, while having attempted to quit using drugs was associated with reduced distress. Marginal associations were observed between speaking their traditional language and living by traditional culture with lower distress among men.
Culturally safe mental wellness interventions are urgently needed to address childhood trauma and harmful coping strategies that exacerbate distress among young Indigenous people who use drugs.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) are co-morbid and associated with similar neural disruptions during emotion regulation. In contrast, the lack of optimism examined here may be specific to GAD and could prove an important biomarker for that disorder.
Unmedicated individuals with GAD (n = 18) and age-, intelligence quotient- and gender-matched SAD (n = 18) and healthy (n = 18) comparison individuals were scanned while contemplating likelihoods of high- and low-impact negative (e.g. heart attack; heartburn) or positive (e.g. winning lottery; hug) events occurring to themselves in the future.
As expected, healthy subjects showed significant optimistic bias (OB); they considered themselves significantly less likely to experience future negative but significantly more likely to experience future positive events relative to others (p < 0.001). This was also seen in SAD, albeit at trend level for positive events (p < 0.001 and p < 0.10, respectively). However, GAD patients showed no OB for positive events (t17 = 0.82, n.s.) and showed significantly reduced neural modulation relative to the two other groups of regions including the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and caudate to these events (p < 0.001 for all). The GAD group further differed from the other groups by showing increased neural responses to low-impact events in regions including the rostral mPFC (p < 0.05 for both).
The neural dysfunction identified here may represent a unique feature associated with reduced optimism and increased worry about everyday events in GAD. Consistent with this possibility, patients with SAD did not show such dysfunction. Future studies should consider if this dysfunction represents a biomarker for GAD.
The foetal mammary gland is sensitive to maternal weight and nutrition during gestation, which could affect offspring milk production. It has previously been shown that ewes born to dams offered maintenance nutrition during pregnancy (day 21 to 140 of gestation) produced greater milk, lactose and CP yields in their first lactation when compared with ewes born to dams offered ad libitum nutrition. In addition, ewes born to heavier dams produced greater milk and lactose yields when compared with ewes born to lighter dams. The objective of this study was to analyse and compare the 5-year lactation performance of the previously mentioned ewes, born to heavy or light dams that were offered maintenance or ad libitum pregnancy nutrition. Ewes were milked once per week, for the first 6 weeks of their lactation, for 5 years. Using milk yield and composition data, accumulated yields were calculated over a 42-day period for each year for milk, milk fat, CP, true protein, casein and lactose using a Legendre orthogonal polynomial model. Over the 5-year period, ewes born to heavy dams produced greater average milk (P=0.04), lactose (P=0.01) and CP (P=0.04) yields than offspring born to light dams. In contrast, over the 5-year period dam nutrition during pregnancy did not affect average (P>0.05) offspring milk yields or composition, but did increase milk and lactose accumulated yield (P=0.03 and 0.01, respectively) in the first lactation. These results indicate that maternal gestational nutrition appears to only affect the first lactational performance of ewe offspring. Neither dam nutrition nor size affected grand-offspring live weight gain to, or live weight at weaning (P>0.05). Combined these data indicate that under the conditions of the present study, manipulating dam weight or nutrition in pregnancy can have some effects of offspring lactational performance, however, these effects are not large enough to alter grand-offspring growth to weaning. Therefore, such manipulations are not a viable management tool for farmers to influence lamb growth to weaning.
We observed the Planetary Nebula NGC 6720 with the Gemini Telescope and the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrographs. We obtained spatial maps of 36 emission-lines in the wavelength range between 3600 Å and 9400 Å. We derived maps of c(Hβ), electronic densities, electronic temperatures, ionic and elemental abundances, and Ionization Correction Factors (ICFs) in the source and investigated the mass-loss history of the progenitor. The elemental abundance results indicate the need for ICFs based on three-dimensional photoionization models.
Social anxiety disorder involves fear of social objects or situations. Social referencing may play an important role in the acquisition of this fear and could be a key determinant in future biomarkers and treatment pathways. However, the neural underpinnings mediating such learning in social anxiety are unknown. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined social reference learning in social anxiety disorder. Specifically, would patients with the disorder show increased amygdala activity during social reference learning, and further, following social reference learning, show particularly increased response to objects associated with other people's negative reactions?
A total of 32 unmedicated patients with social anxiety disorder and 22 age-, intelligence quotient- and gender-matched healthy individuals responded to objects that had become associated with others’ fearful, angry, happy or neutral reactions.
During the social reference learning phase, a significant group × social context interaction revealed that, relative to the comparison group, the social anxiety group showed a significantly greater response in the amygdala, as well as rostral, dorsomedial and lateral frontal and parietal cortices during the social, relative to non-social, referencing trials. In addition, during the object test phase, relative to the comparison group, the social anxiety group showed increased bilateral amygdala activation to objects associated with others’ fearful reactions, and a trend towards decreased amygdala activation to objects associated with others’ happy and neutral reactions.
These results suggest perturbed observational learning in social anxiety disorder. In addition, they further implicate the amygdala and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in the disorder, and underscore their importance in future biomarker developments.
The objective of this study was to determine whether altered maternal energy supply during mid-gestation results in differences in muscle histology or genes regulating fetal adipose and muscle development. In total, 22 Angus cross-bred heifers (BW=527.73±8.3 kg) were assigned randomly to the three dietary treatments providing 146% (HIGH; n=7), 87% (INT; n=7) or 72% (LOW; n=8) of the energy requirements for heifers from day 85 to day 180 of gestation. Fetuses were removed via cesarean section at day 180 of gestation and longissimus muscle (LM) and subcutaneous fat were collected and prepared for analysis of gene expression. Samples from the LM and semitendinosus (ST) were evaluated for muscle fiber diameter, area and number. The right hind limb was dissected and analyzed to determine compositional analysis. Fetal growth and muscle histology characteristics of the LM and ST were similar among treatments. Preadipocyte factor-1 expression was up-regulated in fetal LM (P<0.05) of HIGH fetuses as compared with INT, whereas LOW fetuses showed increased CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-β (C/EBP-β) expression in LM as compared with INT (P<0.05). Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γand C/EBP-α did not differ as a result of dietary treatment in LM or subcutaneous fat samples. There was a tendency for increased expression of fatty acid synthase in LM of LOW fetuses as compared with INT (P<0.10). Myogenin was more highly expressed (P<0.05) in LM of the LOW fetuses, whereas μ-calpain expression was increased in the HIGH treatment compared with INT. A tendency for increased expression of IGF-II was observed for both LOW and HIGH fetuses compared with INT (P<0.10). Expression of stearoyl-CoA desaturase, myoblast determination protein 1, myogenic factor 5, myogenic regulatory factor-4, m-calpain, calpastatin, IGF-I and myostatin was similar between treatments. Collectively, these results suggest that fetal growth characteristics are not affected by the level of maternal nutritional manipulation imposed in this study during mid-gestation. However, differences in expression of fetal genes regulating adipose and muscle tissue growth and development could lead to differences in postnatal composition and warrants further investigation.
The Perth Astronomy Research Group (PARG), consisting of members from Curtin University of Technology, Perth Observatory and the University of Western Australia, is in the process of developing an automated supernova search system, using the 61-cm Lowell-Perth reflector, a CCD camera and an 80386-based computer for image analysis. Computer control of the telescope and dome, a liquid-nitrogen-cooled CCD camera, and modified VISTA image analysis software will be completed in late 1990, allowing initial semi-automatic searching of external galaxies, together with CCD photometry of flare stars and newly discovered supernovae. Full-scale automation will be introduced subsequently, in collaboration with the Berkeley group. This paper describes the project, and reports on its current status.
Since the dawn of capitalism, corporations have been regarded by the law as separate legal “persons.” Corporate “personhood” has nonetheless remained controversial, and our understanding of corporate personhood often influences our thinking about the social responsibilities of corporations. This essay, written in honor of Prof. Thomas Donaldson, explores the tension in recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Delaware Chancery Court about what corporations are, whose interests they serve, and who gets to make decisions about what they do. These decisions suggest that the law does not unequivocally support Donaldson’s vision of corporations as “moral” persons.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more popular due to concerns about the environment and rising gasoline prices. However, the charging infrastructure is lacking, and most people can only charge their EVs at home if they remember to plug in their cars. Using the principles of magnetic inductance and magnetic resonance, wireless charging (WC) could help significantly with these infrastructure problems by making charging secure and convenient. WC systems also have the potential to provide dynamic charging, making long road trips with EVs feasible and eliminating range anxiety. In this paper, we review the companies available in the literature that have developed electric vehicle wireless charging systems, automobile manufacturers interested in such technology, and research from universities and laboratories on the topic. While the field is still very young, there are many promising technologies available today. Some systems have already been in use for years, recharging public transit buses at bus stops. Safety and regulations are also discussed.
Marble, a non-porous stone composed of calcite, is subject to acid rain dissolution due to its relatively high dissolution rate. With the goal of preventing such damage, we have investigated the deposition of films of relatively insoluble hydroxyapatite (HAP) on marble. This paper investigates the factors that affect the nucleation and growth kinetics of HAP on marble. A mild, wet chemical synthesis route, in which diammonium hydrogen phosphate (DAP) salt was reacted with marble, alone and with cationic and anionic precursors under different reaction conditions, was used to produce inorganic HAP films on the mineral surface. Film nucleation, growth and metastable phase evolution were studied, using techniques such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and grazing incidence X-ray diffraction (GID). The onset of nucleation, and the growth rate of the film, increased with cationic (calcium) and anionic (carbonate) precursor additions. The calcium and phosphate precursors also influenced metastable phase formation, introducing a new phase.
Increasing evidence shows attachment security influences symptom expression and adaptation in people diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychoses.
To describe the distribution of secure and insecure attachment in a cohort of individuals with first-episode psychosis, and to explore the relationship between attachment security and recovery from positive and negative symptoms in the first 12 months.
The study was a prospective 12-month cohort study. The role of attachment, duration of untreated psychosis (DUP), baseline symptoms and insight in predicting and mediating recovery from symptoms was investigated using multiple regression analysis and path analysis.
Of the 79 participants, 54 completed the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI): 37 (68.5%) were classified as insecure, of which 26 (48.1%) were insecure/dismissing and 11 (20.4%) insecure preoccupied. Both DUP and insight predicted recovery from positive symptoms at 12 months. Attachment security, DUP and insight predicted recovery from negative symptoms at 12 months.
Attachment is an important construct contributing to understanding and development of interventions promoting recovery following first-episode psychosis.
To describe treatment and referral patterns and National Health Service resource use in patients with chronic pain associated with low back pain or osteoarthritis, from a Primary Care perspective.
Osteoarthritis and low back pain are the two commonest debilitating causes of chronic pain, with high health and social costs, and particularly important in primary care. Understanding current practice and resource use in their management will inform health service and educational requirements and the design and optimisation of future care.
Multi-centre, retrospective, descriptive study of adults (⩾18 years) with chronic pain arising from low back pain or osteoarthritis, identified through primary care records. Five general practices in Scotland, England (two), Northern Ireland and Wales. All patients with a diagnosis of low back pain or osteoarthritis made on or before 01/09/2006 who had received three or more prescriptions for pain medication were identified and a sub-sample randomly selected then consented to an in-depth review of their medical records (n=264). Data on management of chronic pain were collected retrospectively from patients’ records for three years from diagnosis (‘newly diagnosed’ patients) or for the most recent three years (‘established’ patients).
Patients received a wide variety of pain medications with no overall common prescribing pattern. GP visits represented the majority of the resource use and ‘newly diagnosed’ patients were significantly more likely to visit their GP for pain management than ‘established’ patients. Although ‘newly diagnosed’ patients had more referrals outside the GP practice, the number of visits to secondary care for pain management was similar for both groups.
This retrospective study confirmed the complexity of managing these causes of chronic pain and the associated high resource use. It provides an in-depth picture of prescribing and referral patterns and of resource use.