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Human alteration of the planet’s terrestrial landscapes for agriculture, habitation and commerce is reshaping wildlife communities. The threat of land cover change to wildlife is pronounced in regions with rapidly growing human populations. We investigated how species richness and species-specific occurrence of bats changed as a function of land cover and canopy (tree) cover across a rapidly changing region of Florida, USA. Contrary to our predictions, we found negligible effects of agriculture and urban development on the occurrence of all species. In contrast, we found that a remotely sensed metric of canopy cover on a broad scale (25 km2) was a good predictor of the occurrence of eight out of ten species. The occurrence of all smaller bats (vespertilionids) in our study increased with 0–50% increases in canopy cover, while larger bats showed different patterns. Occurrence of Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) decreased with increasing canopy cover, and Florida bonneted bats (Eumops floridanus) were not influenced by canopy cover. We conclude that remotely sensed measures of canopy cover can provide a more reliable predictor of bat species richness than land-cover types, and efforts to prevent the loss of bat diversity should consider maintaining canopy cover across mosaic landscapes with diverse land-cover types.
Maternal pre-pregnancy weight has been related with young singletons’ cognitive and behavioral development, but it is not clear if it has an effect on temperament. We used a twin cohort to evaluate the association between maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and infants’ temperament. The mothers of 834 twins answered questions regarding their pre-pregnancy BMI and their 0- to 18-month-old children’s temperament using the Revised Infant Behavior Questionnaire. Three temperamental dimensions were examined: activity level, distress to limitation and duration of orienting. The relationship between maternal pre-pregnancy BMI and each temperamental component was investigated by means of multilevel mixed-effects linear regression analysis. We found no clear evidence of an association of maternal pre-pregnancy BMI with twins’ temperament. The development of temperament is influenced by a large number of factors, probably different from those influencing children’s emotional and behavioral development.
Mismatch negativity (MMN) is an event-related potential (ERP) component reflecting auditory predictive coding. Repeated standard tones evoke increasing positivity (‘repetition positivity’; RP), reflecting strengthening of the standard's memory trace and the prediction it will recur. Likewise, deviant tones preceded by more standard repetitions evoke greater negativity (‘deviant negativity’; DN), reflecting stronger prediction error signaling. These memory trace effects are also evident in MMN difference wave. Here, we assess group differences and test-retest reliability of these indices in schizophrenia patients (SZ) and healthy controls (HC).
Electroencephalography was recorded twice, 2 weeks apart, from 43 SZ and 30 HC, during a roving standard paradigm. We examined ERPs to the third, eighth, and 33rd standards (RP), immediately subsequent deviants (DN), and the corresponding MMN. Memory trace effects were assessed by comparing amplitudes associated with the three standard repetition trains.
Compared with controls, SZ showed reduced MMNs and DNs, but normal RPs. Both groups showed memory trace effects for RP, MMN, and DN, with a trend for attenuated DNs in SZ. Intraclass correlations obtained via this paradigm indicated good-to-moderate reliabilities for overall MMN, DN and RP, but moderate to poor reliabilities for components associated with short, intermediate, and long standard trains, and poor reliability of their memory trace effects.
MMN deficits in SZ reflected attenuated prediction error signaling (DN), with relatively intact predictive code formation (RP) and memory trace effects. This roving standard MMN paradigm requires additional development/validation to obtain suitable levels of reliability for use in clinical trials.
Problem behaviors are of increasing public health concern. Twin studies have revealed substantial genetic and environmental influences on children's behavior, and examining birth-weight difference could allow the identification of the specific contribution of multiple non-shared prenatal environmental factors. The Twins and Multiple Births Association Heritability Study, a UK, volunteer-based study, recruited mothers of twins aged 18 months to 5 years; 960 twins (480 pairs) were included in the analysis. Twins’ mothers answered questions relative to their pregnancy and their twins’ characteristics, and completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) 1½–5. The association between the absolute birth-weight difference and each CBCL scale's score difference was analyzed by means of multiple linear regressions. Expected mean CBCL score differences were calculated. In monozygotic (MZ) twins, statistically and clinically significant associations were found between intrapair birth-weight difference and difference in total problems, internalizing problems, and emotional reactiveness. No significant results were observed neither in dizygotic (DZ) twins when analyzed as a separate group nor in MZ and DZ twins combined. The results of the present study suggest that with increasing the absolute birth-weight difference, the intrapair difference in total problems, internalizing behaviors and emotionality increases, with smaller twins being at major risk for later behavior problems. Moreover, these results suggest a causal association between birth weight and behavior development.
Objectives: Confabulations occur in schizophrenia and certain severe neuropsychiatric conditions, and to a lesser degree in healthy individuals. The present study used a forced confabulation paradigm to assess differences in confabulation between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls. Methods: Schizophrenia patients (n=60) and healthy control participants (n=19) were shown a video with missing segments, asked to fill in the gaps with speculations, and tested on their memory for the story. Cognitive functions and severity of symptoms were also evaluated. Results: Schizophrenia patients generated significantly more confabulations than healthy control participants and had a greater tendency to generate confabulations that were related to each other. Schizophrenic confabulations were positively associated with temporal context confusions and formal thought disorder, and negatively with delusions. Conclusions: Our findings show that the schizophrenia patients generate more confabulations than healthy controls and schizophrenic confabulations are associated with positive symptoms. (JINS, 2016, 22, 911–919)
Previous studies have documented the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) as a genetic susceptibility variant that contributes to variability in outcomes related to affective psychopathology, with the short allele associated with negative affectivity and the long allele associated with positive affectivity. In a separate but related line of research, extensive evidence suggests that frontal electroencephalography (EEG) hemispheric asymmetry in the alpha band is also associated with risk for affective psychopathologies, with leftward asymmetry associated with approach-related behavior patterns and rightward frontal EEG asymmetry associated with withdrawn behavioral tendencies. We examined frontal EEG hemispheric asymmetries in relation to 5-HTTLPR genotyping in 70 children between 4 and 6 years of age. Analyses revealed that frontal EEG lateralization interacted with genotype such that children homozygous for the short allele exhibited rightward frontal EEG asymmetries, children who were homozygous for the long allele consistently exhibited a positive pattern of leftward asymmetry, and heterozygotes exhibited equivalent left and right frontal activity. These findings suggest that the 5-HTTLPR short allele may provide a degree of susceptibility for later affective psychopathology in adolescence and adulthood, through mediation of frontal brain activity that is associated with cognitive–behavioral withdrawal tendencies and negative affectivity.
The number of separable cognitive dimensions in schizophrenia has been debated. Guided by the extant factor analytic literature, the NIMH Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) initiative selected seven cognitive domains relevant to treatment studies in schizophrenia: speed of processing, attention/vigilance, working memory, verbal learning, visual learning, reasoning and problem solving, and social cognition. These domains are assessed in the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). The aim of this study was to conduct a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the beta battery of the MCCB to compare the fit of the MATRICS consensus seven-domain model to other models in the current literature on cognition in schizophrenia.
Using data from 281 schizophrenia outpatients, we compared the seven correlated factors model with alternative models. Specifically, we compared the 7-factor model to (a) a single-factor model, (b) a three correlated factors model including speed of processing, working memory, and general cognition, and (c) a hierarchical model in which seven first-order factors loaded onto a second-order general cognitive factor.
Multiple fit indices indicated the seven correlated factors model was the best fit for the data and provided significant improvement in model fit beyond the comparison models.
These results support the assessment of these seven cognitive dimensions in clinical trials of interventions to improve cognition in schizophrenia. Because these cognitive factors are separable to some degree, it is plausible that specific interventions may have differential effects on the domains.
A book is a machine for generating meaning; the material form of the book itself contributes to the creation of meaning and, in so doing, shapes the reader. Often statements like this are produced as if the book historian or textual critic were discovering new truths rather than restating shared knowledge in a new vocabulary. The Royal Engineers conducting the Ordnance Survey in Brian Friel's Translations (1981) rename the places of Donegal; they give the authority of print and lend the status of officialdom to the new names. Yet the people of Donegal have known, and worked and lived in, these places for countless years under their original names. Publishers, who take the decisions about the material form that the text will take, can be relegated to the same status. Their role in making calculated and calculating judgements is ignored in the renaming of paratext and in the analysis of its generation or qualification of meaning. This essay attempts to reinstate publishers as active agents in making books and shaping readers, through a case study of the 1969 Penguin edition of Ulysses.
The establishment of Joyce's novel in the academy in the UK, the essay will argue, was a deliberate result of the marketing of that 1969 paperback edition, Penguin number 3,000. The date is significant.
Cook et al. argue that mirror neurons originate from associative learning processes, without evolutionary influence from social-cognitive mechanisms. We disagree with this claim and present arguments based upon cross-species comparisons, EEG findings, and developmental neuroscience that the evolution of mirror neurons is most likely driven simultaneously and interactively by evolutionarily adaptive psychological mechanisms and lower-level biological mechanisms that support them.
A microcompressor is a precision mechanical device that flattens and immobilizes living cells and small organisms for optical microscopy, allowing enhanced visualization of sub-cellular structures and organelles. We have developed an easily fabricated device, which can be equipped with microfluidics, permitting the addition of media or chemicals during observation. This device can be used on both upright and inverted microscopes. The apparatus permits micrometer precision flattening for nondestructive immobilization of specimens as small as a bacterium, while also accommodating larger specimens, such as Caenorhabditis elegans, for long-term observations. The compressor mount is removable and allows easy specimen addition and recovery for later observation. Several customized specimen beds can be incorporated into the base. To demonstrate the capabilities of the device, we have imaged numerous cellular events in several protozoan species, in yeast cells, and in Drosophila melanogaster embryos. We have been able to document previously unreported events, and also perform photobleaching experiments, in conjugating Tetrahymena thermophila.