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Sketching and prototyping are parts of a ‘reflective conversation with materials of a design situation’ (Schön, 1992). To support this conversation, we developed a reflective tool -the Reflection Canvas- that facilitates reflection activities through sketching and prototyping on the one hand and verbalisation on the other. We introduced the reflective tool to design students. Based on observation and answers from a questionnaire data reveal that guided reflection structured the process in a helpful way. It also turned out students had difficulties to switch from visualisation to verbalisation.
Attachment and companionship are fundamental basic needs of human beings and contribute the feeling of security and social affiliation. It is assumed that dysfunctional attachment behaviour in people with Borderline Personality Disorder leads to difficulties in the interpersonal contact. Unsecure and especially disorganized manners of attachment seem to be frequently represented by mentally ill people. In this study the release of oxytocin according to attachment relevant situations was investigated and attachment representations of people with BPD have been analysed.
In order to determine attachment representations of healthy people and of people with BPD we used the validated ‘Adult Attachment Projective’/ ‘AAP’ by George, West and Pettem (1999). The projective contains eight contour drawings of attachment relevant situations. The participant should make up a story of each picture, which was evaluated by its coherence, its content and the used defence mechanisms. Attachment representations of 30 patients with BPD were surveyed. Furthermore we measured the release of oxytocin evoked by an activation of the attachment system via the ‘AAP’ in 10 healthy people. Therefor blood drawings were performed at four different points of time.
Here, we present pilot data on oxytocin measures induced via the ‘AAP’. We could detect a decrease of oxytocin in healthy people caused by an activation of the attachment system. Moreover attachment representations of patients with BPD will be presented and discussed. These preliminary data could lead to further studies on a possible dysregulation of the attachment- and the oxytocin system of people with BPD.
Besides affective instability and identity diffusion, disturbances in social interactions are a core symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Interpersonal problems in BPD have been suggested to be associated with oxytocin dysregulation. To directly address this hypothesis, we investigated oxytocin plasma levels during a social exclusion (ostracism) paradigm in female BPD patients.
Twenty-two female BPD patients (diagnosed according to DSM-IV) and twenty-one healthy controls matched for gender, age, and education underwent repeated neuroendocrine measurements in a standardized laboratory setting during the Cyberball paradigm, a virtual balltossing game that evokes a social exclusion situation. Emotional reactions were assessed and oxytocin and cortisol levels measured at baseline and 5, 15, and 40 min after Cyberball.
After social exclusion, oxytocin plasma levels were lower in BPD patients than in healthy controls, whereas cortisol levels did not differ between groups. BPD patients showed distinct differences in emotion regulation compared to healthy participants and reacted to social exclusion with an increase of other-focused negative emotions, particularly anger and contempt.
Our pilot study suggests that the oxytocin system shows a differential response to social exclusion in BPD patients compared to healthy controls. This difference may be related to the high rejection sensitivity of BPD patients and their difficulties in resolving social conflict.
Ostracism (social exclusion) has been found to be a remarkable stress factor to mentally ill people with difficulties in situations of social interaction. In an earlier study it was found that patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) showed differences in oxytocin dysregulation by having lower oxytocin plasma levels during a social exclusion paradigm (Jobst et al., 2013, submitted). To our knowledge, this is the first study investigating neuroendocrinological changes of social exclusion in chronically depressed patients. Chronic depression (CD) is associated with poor social functioning and behavioral interpersonal problems which are considered to be based on the non-responsiveness of CD patients to environmental consequences.
To manipulate a situation of social exclusion we used the Cyberball Paradigm, a virtual ball tossing game which has been well validated and applied in numerous previous studies on the effects of social exclusion. 19 CD patients (according to DSM-IV) and 19 healthy controls matched for gender, age and education underwent repeated neuroendocrine measurements in a standardized laboratory setting during the Cyberball Paradigm. Assessments of psychological variables as well as measurements of oxytocin plasma levels were performed at baseline, 5 min, 15 min and 40 min after Cyberball.
As an association of interpersonal problems in BPD with oxytocin dysregulation has been found, we suggest differences in changes of oxytocin levels in a social exclusion situation in CD patients versus healthy subjects. The data will be presented and discussed in relation to specific interpersonal problems of patients suffering from CD.
The crystallization process of SrxBiyTa2O5+x+3y/2 thin films grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition was investigated. Phase formation and crystal growth is greatly affected by the film composition and crystallization temperature. Phase diagrams for varying Sr or Bi contents were determined as a function of the crystallization temperature. The higher the Sr or Bi content in the film, the lower the phase transition temperature from the amorphous to the fluorite-type phase and from the fluorite-type to the Bi-layered Aurivillius phase. Low Sr and Bi contents support pyrochlore-type phase formation as a second phase. During annealing, excess Bi is not lost due to evaporation, but due to migration to the bottom electrode. Contrary to the fluorite-type phase, the Aurivillius phase is not able to incorporate the excess of Bi atoms. Decreasing grain size and pyrochlore-type phase formation entail decreasing remanent polarization.
Epitaxial layers of GaN on c-plane sapphire are analyzed by continuous-wave and time-resolved photoluminescence at 4K and by X-ray diffraction. Besides the well-known emissions from hexagonal GaN we observe luminescence bands at 3.279 and 3.15 to 3.21 eV which are identified as the transition of the donor bound exciton and the donor-acceptor pair recombination in cubic GaN, respectively. Measurements of the luminescence decay times are essential for the clarification of the emission processes. Due to the probing depth of about 200 nm in PL we find that the fraction of cubic phase typically decreases with layer thickness. In our best samples, however, we do not detect the cubic phase at all.
Several compositions of the solid solutions (CaxSr1−x)CuO2 and (CaxSr1−x)2CuO3, both of which are found as minor phases in the high-temperature superconductors, were prepared by solid-state reaction. X-ray powder-diffraction patterns for three compositions of (CaxSr1−x)CuO2 and two for (CaxSr1−x)2CuO3 are presented.
Rapid thermal oxidation of porous silicon leads to desorbtion of hydrogen from the inner surface and formation of a thin oxide layer. Despite this dramatic change in the chemical composition oxidized microporous silicon (miPS) shows photoluminescence (PL) in the visible region. This is contradictory to the idea that the observed PL originates from chemical compounds like siloxene or polysilane, which would require a certain stoichiometry. If silicon microcrystallites are still present in the oxidized miPS, the observed luminescence can be explained in terms of a quantum confinement effect. It is the purpose of this work to prove the existence of microcrystallites in oxidized miPS using electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction.
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