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Abnormal effort-based decision-making represents a potential mechanism underlying motivational deficits (amotivation) in psychotic disorders. Previous research identified effort allocation impairment in chronic schizophrenia and focused mostly on physical effort modality. No study has investigated cognitive effort allocation in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Cognitive effort allocation was examined in 40 FEP patients and 44 demographically-matched healthy controls, using Cognitive Effort-Discounting (COGED) paradigm which quantified participants’ willingness to expend cognitive effort in terms of explicit, continuous discounting of monetary rewards based on parametrically-varied cognitive demands (levels N of N-back task). Relationship between reward-discounting and amotivation was investigated. Group differences in reward-magnitude and effort-cost sensitivity, and differential associations of these sensitivity indices with amotivation were explored.
Patients displayed significantly greater reward-discounting than controls. In particular, such discounting was most pronounced in patients with high levels of amotivation even when N-back performance and reward base amount were taken into consideration. Moreover, patients exhibited reduced reward-benefit sensitivity and effort-cost sensitivity relative to controls, and that decreased sensitivity to reward-benefit but not effort-cost was correlated with diminished motivation. Reward-discounting and sensitivity indices were generally unrelated to other symptom dimensions, antipsychotic dose and cognitive deficits.
This study provides the first evidence of cognitive effort-based decision-making impairment in FEP, and indicates that decreased effort expenditure is associated with amotivation. Our findings further suggest that abnormal effort allocation and amotivation might primarily be related to blunted reward valuation. Prospective research is required to clarify the utility of effort-based measures in predicting amotivation and functional outcome in FEP.
The Paleolithic diet excludes two major sources of fibre, grains and legumes. However, it is not known whether this results in changes to resistant starch (RS) consumption. Serum trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) is produced mainly from colonic fermentation and hepatic conversion of animal protein and is implicated in CVD, but changes in RS intake may alter concentrations. We aimed to determine whether intake of RS and serum concentrations of TMAO varied in response to either the Paleolithic or the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE) diets and whether this was related to changes in food group consumption. A total of thirty-nine women (mean age 47 (sd 13) years, BMI 27 (sd 4) kg/m2) were randomised to AGHE (n 17) or Paleolithic diets (n 22) for 4 weeks. Serum TMAO concentrations were measured using liquid chromatography–MS; food groups, fibre and RS intake were estimated from weighed food records. The change in TMAO concentrations between groups (Paleolithic 3·39 μmv. AGHE 1·19 μm, P = 0·654) did not reach significance despite greater red meat and egg consumption in the Paleolithic group (0·65 serves/d; 95 % CI 0·2, 1·1; P <0·01, and 0·22 serves/d; 95 % CI 0·1, 0·4, P <0·05, respectively). RS intake was significantly lower on the Paleolithic diet (P <0·01) and was not associated with TMAO concentrations. However, the limited data for RS and the small sample size may have influenced these findings. While there were no significant changes in TMAO concentrations, increased meat consumption and reduced RS intake warrant further research to examine the markers of gastrointestinal health of Paleolithic diet followers and to update Australian food databases to include additional fibre components.
To determine the effect of mandatory and nonmandatory influenza vaccination policies on vaccination rates and symptomatic absenteeism among healthcare personnel (HCP).
Retrospective observational cohort study.
This study took place at 3 university medical centers with mandatory influenza vaccination policies and 4 Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare systems with nonmandatory influenza vaccination policies.
The study included 2,304 outpatient HCP at mandatory vaccination sites and 1,759 outpatient HCP at nonmandatory vaccination sites.
To determine the incidence and duration of absenteeism in outpatient settings, HCP participating in the Respiratory Protection Effectiveness Clinical Trial at both mandatory and nonmandatory vaccination sites over 3 viral respiratory illness (VRI) seasons (2012–2015) reported their influenza vaccination status and symptomatic days absent from work weekly throughout a 12-week period during the peak VRI season each year. The adjusted effects of vaccination and other modulating factors on absenteeism rates were estimated using multivariable regression models.
The proportion of participants who received influenza vaccination was lower each year at nonmandatory than at mandatory vaccination sites (odds ratio [OR], 0.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.07–0.11). Among HCP who reported at least 1 sick day, vaccinated HCP had lower symptomatic days absent compared to unvaccinated HCP (OR for 2012–2013 and 2013–2014, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72–0.93; OR for 2014–2015, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.69–0.95).
These data suggest that mandatory HCP influenza vaccination policies increase influenza vaccination rates and that HCP symptomatic absenteeism diminishes as rates of influenza vaccination increase. These findings should be considered in formulating HCP influenza vaccination policies.
7″-resolution CO (1-0) observations of M82 with the Owens Valley millimeter-wave interferometer have resolved 2 components of molecular gas in the central 1.5 arcmin of the galaxy: (1) a high plane of M82, and (2) shell-like or filamentary structures of molecular gas, with size-scale as large as 400 pc, extending most likely out of the plane of the galaxy.
Observations of star formation sites in a number of molecular clouds, including NGC 7538, NGC 2071, Cepheus A and K3-50A, have been made using the Owens Valley millimeter wave interferometer. The measurements of 12CO, 13CO, CS and continuum emission are at resolutions of order 7″. Continuum emission at 2.7 mm is detected from all the cloud cores and, in general, the 12CO interferometer maps reveal the presence of high velocity, bipolar outflows within 10″ of these continuum sources. Thus, the origins of the outflows are readily identifiable; the flows themselves appear to remain collimated on scales of less than 1017 cm. The orientations of the flows are similar to those seen at lower resolution, except in Cepheus A, where the interferometer is capable of distinguishing between two outflows which are confused in single telescope maps.
Maffei 2 is a highly obscured galaxy, probably of type Sbc, at a distance of 5 Mpc (Allen and Raimond 1972; Spinrad et al. 1973). Since it lies close to the Galactic plane, there is considerable confusion in infrared and 21-cm HI observations due to Galactic emission, but investigations of its structure can be carried out at millimeter wavelengths where the Galaxy contribution is confined to a limited velocity range. The high resolution (30″) of our CO J=2–1 observations permits both a detailed examination of Maffei 2 and a study of the nature of the gas in its nucleus, through comparison with the CO J=1–0 observations.
Objectives: This study examined whether children with distinct brain disorders show different profiles of strengths and weaknesses in executive functions, and differ from children without brain disorder. Methods: Participants were children with traumatic brain injury (N=82; 8–13 years of age), arterial ischemic stroke (N=36; 6–16 years of age), and brain tumor (N=74; 9–18 years of age), each with a corresponding matched comparison group consisting of children with orthopedic injury (N=61), asthma (N=15), and classmates without medical illness (N=68), respectively. Shifting, inhibition, and working memory were assessed, respectively, using three Test of Everyday Attention: Children’s Version (TEA-Ch) subtests: Creature Counting, Walk-Don’t-Walk, and Code Transmission. Comparison groups did not differ in TEA-Ch performance and were merged into a single control group. Profile analysis was used to examine group differences in TEA-Ch subtest scaled scores after controlling for maternal education and age. Results: As a whole, children with brain disorder performed more poorly than controls on measures of executive function. Relative to controls, the three brain injury groups showed significantly different profiles of executive functions. Importantly, post hoc tests revealed that performance on TEA-Ch subtests differed among the brain disorder groups. Conclusions: Results suggest that different childhood brain disorders result in distinct patterns of executive function deficits that differ from children without brain disorder. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed. (JINS, 2017, 23, 529–538)
Expert judgement is frequently used within general insurance. It tends to be a method of last resort and used where data is sparse, non-existent or non-applicable to the problem under consideration. Whilst such judgements can significantly influence the end results, their quality is highly variable. The use of the term “expert judgement” itself can lend a generous impression of credibility to what may be a little more than a guess. Despite the increased emphasis placed on the importance of robust expert judgements in regulation, actuarial research to date has focussed on the more technical or data-driven methods, with less emphasis on how to use and incorporate softer information or how best to elicit judgements from others in a way that reduces cognitive biases. This paper highlights the research that the Getting Better Judgement Working Party has conducted in this area. Specifically, it covers the variable quality of expert judgement, both within and outside the regulatory context, and presents methods that may be applied to improve its formation. The aim of this paper is to arm the insurance practitioner with tools to distinguish between low-quality and high-quality judgements and improve the robustness of judgements accordingly, particularly for highly material circumstances.
This paper briefly describes the principle of operation and science goals of the AMANDA high energy neutrino telescope located at the South Pole, Antarctica. Results from an earlier phase of the telescope, called AMANDA-BIO, demonstrate both reliable operation and the broad astrophysical reach of this device, which includes searches for a variety of sources of ultrahigh energy neutrinos: generic point sources, Gamma-Ray Bursts and diffuse sources. The predicted sensitivity and angular resolution of the telescope were confirmed by studies of atmospheric muon and neutrino backgrounds. We also report on the status of the analysis from AMANDA-II, a larger version with far greater capabilities. At this stage of analysis, details of the ice properties and other systematic uncertainties of the AMANDA-II telescope are under study, but we have made progress toward critical science objectives. In particular, we present the first preliminary flux limits from AMANDA-II on the search for continuous emission from astrophysical point sources, and report on the search for correlated neutrino emission from Gamma Ray Bursts detected by BATSE before decommissioning in May 2000. During the next two years, we expect to exploit the full potential of AMANDA-II with the installation of a new data acquisition system that records full waveforms from the in-ice optical sensors.
Experiments were conducted to determine the effectiveness of controlling vortex breakdown in a confined cylindrical vessel using a small rotating disk, which was flush-mounted into the opposite endwall to the rotating endwall driving the primary recirculating flow. The results show that the control disk, with relatively little power input, can modify the azimuthal and axial flow significantly, changing the entire flow structure in the cylinder. Co-rotation was found to precipitate vortex breakdown onset whereas counter-rotation delays it. Furthermore, for the Reynolds-number range over which breakdown normally exists, co-rotation increases the bubble radial and axial dimensions, while shifting the bubble in the upstream direction. By contrast, counter-rotation tends to reduce the size of the bubble, or completely suppress it, while shifting the bubble in the downstream direction. These effects are amplified substantially by the use of larger control disks and higher rotation ratios. A series of numerical simulations close to the onset Reynolds number reveals that the control disk acts to generate a rotation-rate-invariant local positive or negative azimuthal vorticity source away from the immediate vicinity of the control disk but upstream of breakdown. Advection of this source along streamlines modifies the strength of the azimuthal vorticity ring, which effectively controls whether the flow reverses on the axis, and thus, in turn, whether vortex breakdown occurs. The vorticity source generated by the control disk scales approximately linearly with rotation ratio and cubically with disk diameter; this allows the observed variation of the critical Reynolds number to be approximately predicted.
The Millimetre Astronomy Legacy Team 90 GHz (MALT90) survey aims to characterise the physical and chemical evolution of high-mass star-forming clumps. Exploiting the unique broad frequency range and on-the-fly mapping capabilities of the Australia Telescope National Facility Mopra 22 m single-dish telescope1, MALT90 has obtained 3′ × 3′ maps towards ~2 000 dense molecular clumps identified in the ATLASGAL 870 μm Galactic plane survey. The clumps were selected to host the early stages of high-mass star formation and to span the complete range in their evolutionary states (from prestellar, to protostellar, and on to
regions and photodissociation regions). Because MALT90 mapped 16 lines simultaneously with excellent spatial (38 arcsec) and spectral (0.11 km s−1) resolution, the data reveal a wealth of information about the clumps’ morphologies, chemistry, and kinematics. In this paper we outline the survey strategy, observing mode, data reduction procedure, and highlight some early science results. All MALT90 raw and processed data products are available to the community. With its unprecedented large sample of clumps, MALT90 is the largest survey of its type ever conducted and an excellent resource for identifying interesting candidates for high-resolution studies with ALMA.
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) will give us an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the transient sky at radio wavelengths. In this paper we present VAST, an ASKAP survey for Variables and Slow Transients. VAST will exploit the wide-field survey capabilities of ASKAP to enable the discovery and investigation of variable and transient phenomena from the local to the cosmological, including flare stars, intermittent pulsars, X-ray binaries, magnetars, extreme scattering events, interstellar scintillation, radio supernovae, and orphan afterglows of gamma-ray bursts. In addition, it will allow us to probe unexplored regions of parameter space where new classes of transient sources may be detected. In this paper we review the known radio transient and variable populations and the current results from blind radio surveys. We outline a comprehensive program based on a multi-tiered survey strategy to characterise the radio transient sky through detection and monitoring of transient and variable sources on the ASKAP imaging timescales of 5 s and greater. We also present an analysis of the expected source populations that we will be able to detect with VAST.
A survey of the Milky Way disk and the Magellanic System at the wavelengths of the 21-cm atomic hydrogen (H i) line and three 18-cm lines of the OH molecule will be carried out with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. The survey will study the distribution of H i emission and absorption with unprecedented angular and velocity resolution, as well as molecular line thermal emission, absorption, and maser lines. The area to be covered includes the Galactic plane (|b| < 10°) at all declinations south of δ = +40°, spanning longitudes 167° through 360°to 79° at b = 0°, plus the entire area of the Magellanic Stream and Clouds, a total of 13 020 deg2. The brightness temperature sensitivity will be very good, typically σT≃ 1 K at resolution 30 arcsec and 1 km s−1. The survey has a wide spectrum of scientific goals, from studies of galaxy evolution to star formation, with particular contributions to understanding stellar wind kinematics, the thermal phases of the interstellar medium, the interaction between gas in the disk and halo, and the dynamical and thermal states of gas at various positions along the Magellanic Stream.
Emotion dysregulation is a key feature of schizophrenia, a brain disorder strongly associated with genetic risk and aberrant dopamine signalling. Dopamine is inactivated by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), whose gene contains a functional polymorphism (COMT Val158Met) associated with differential activity of the enzyme and with brain physiology of emotion processing. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether genetic risk for schizophrenia and COMT Val158Met genotype interact on brain activity during implicit and explicit emotion processing.
A total of 25 patients with schizophrenia, 23 healthy siblings of patients and 24 comparison subjects genotyped for COMT Val158Met underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging during implicit and explicit processing of facial stimuli with negative emotional valence.
We found a main effect of diagnosis in the right amygdala, with decreased activity in patients and siblings compared with control subjects. Furthermore, a genotype × diagnosis interaction was found in the left middle frontal gyrus, such that the effect of genetic risk for schizophrenia was evident in the context of the Val/Val genotype only, i.e. the phenotype of reduced activity was present especially in Val/Val patients and siblings. Finally, a complete inversion of the COMT effect between patients and healthy subjects was found in the left striatum during explicit processing.
Overall, these results suggest complex interactions between genetically determined dopamine signalling and risk for schizophrenia on brain activity in the prefrontal cortex during emotion processing. On the other hand, the effects in the striatum may represent state-related epiphenomena of the disorder itself.
In this work, Dopant Segregated Schottky Barrier (DSSB) and Schottky Barrier (SB) vertical silicon nanowire (VSiNW) diodes were fabricated on p-type Si substrate using CMOS-compatible processes to investigate the effects of segregated dopants at the silicide/silicon interface and different annealing processes on nickel silicide formation in DSSB VSiNW diodes. With segregated dopants at the silicide/silicon interface, VSiNW diodes showed higher on-current, due to an enhanced carrier tunneling, and much lower leakage current. This can be attributed to the altered energy bands caused by the accumulated Arsenic dopants at the interface. Moreover, DSSB VSiNW diodes also gave ideality factor much closer to unity and exhibited lower electron SBH (ΦBn) than SB VSiNW diodes. This proved that interfacial accumulated dopants could impede the inhomogeneous nature of the Schottky diodes and simultaneously, minimize the effect of Fermi level pinning and ionization of surface defect states. Comparing the impact of different silicide formation annealing using DSSB VSiNW diodes, the 2-step anneal process reduces the silicide intrusion length within the SiNW by ~ 5X and the silicide interface was smooth along the (100) direction. Furthermore, the 2-step DSSB VSiNW diode also exhibited much lower leakage current and an ideality factor much closer to unity, as compared to 1-step DSSB VSiNW diode.
The effects of source field plates on AlGaN/GaN High Electron Mobility Transistor reliability under off-state stress conditions were investigated using step-stress cycling. The source field plate enhanced the drain breakdown voltage from 55V to 155V and the critical voltage for off-state gate stress from 40V to 65V, relative to devices without the field plate. Transmission electron microscopy was used to examine the degradation of the gate contacts. The presence of cracking that appeared on both source and drain side of the gate edges was attributed to the inverse piezoelectric effect. In addition, a thin oxide layer was observed between the Ni gate contact and the AlGaN layer, and both Ni and oxygen had diffused into the AlGaN layer. The critical degradation voltage of AlGaN/GaN High Electron Mobility Transistors during off-state electrical stress was determined as a function of Ni/Au gate dimensions (0.1-0.17μm). Devices with different gate length and gate-drain distances were found to exhibit the onset of degradation at different source-drain biases but similar electric field strengths, showing that the degradation mechanism is primarily field-driven. The temperature dependence of sub-threshold drain current versus gate voltage at a constant drain bias voltage were used to determine the trap densities in AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) before and after the off-state stress. Two different trap densities were obtained for the measurements conducted at 300-493K and 493-573K, respectively.
The thermal decomposition of disilane in a hydrogen or helium flow has been used for the deposition of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) films on the surface of several substrates at 450°-500°C. The concentration of disilane in the reaction mixture has been found to affect strongly the deposition rate and the photoconductivity of a-Si:H films. The AMI conductivity of a-Si:H films increases with increasing disilane concentration and approaches lO−5(ohm-cm)−l at disilane concentrations higher than about 4%, and the conductivity ratio is about lO5. The density of gap states in CVD a-Si:H films have been determined by the photothermal deflection spectroscopy, capacitancetemperature, capacitance-frequency, and space-charged-limited current measurements with similar results.