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In a context of hyper-diversity and social polarisation, it has been suggested that public parks constitute crucial arenas in which to safeguard deliberative democracy and foster social relations that bind loosely connected strangers. Drawing on empirical research, we offer a more circumspect and nuanced understanding of the – nonetheless vital – role that parks can play in fostering civic norms that support the capacity for living with difference. As ‘spaces apart’, parks have distinctive atmospheres that afford opportunities for convivial encounters in which ‘indifference to difference’ underpins ‘openness to otherness’. As places in which difference is rendered routine and unremarkable, the potency of parks for social cohesion derives from fleeting and unanticipated interactions and the weak ties they promote, rather than strong bonds of community that tend to solidify lines of cultural differentiation. Both by design and unintentionally, regulation and law can serve to foster or constrain the conditions that sustain conviviality.
Objectives: Maintaining two active languages may increase cognitive and brain reserve among bilingual individuals. We explored whether such a neuroprotective effect was manifested in the performance of memory tests for participants with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). Methods: We compared 42 bilinguals to 25 monolinguals on verbal and nonverbal memory tests. We used: (a) the Loewenstein-Acevedo Scales for Semantic Interference and Learning (LASSI-L), a sensitive test that taps into proactive, retroactive, and recovery from proactive semantic interference (verbal memory), and (b) the Benson Figure delayed recall (nonverbal memory). A subsample had volumetric MRI scans. Results: The bilingual group significantly outperformed the monolingual group on two LASSI-L cued recall measures (Cued A2 and Cued B2). A measure of maximum learning (Cued A2) showed a correlation with the volume of the left hippocampus in the bilingual group only. Cued B2 recall (sensitive to recovery from proactive semantic interference) was correlated with the volume of the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex of both cerebral hemispheres in the bilingual group, as well as with the left and right hippocampus in the monolingual group. The memory advantage in bilinguals on these measures was associated with higher inhibitory control as measured by the Stroop Color-Word test. Conclusions: Our results demonstrated a superior performance of aMCI bilinguals over aMCI monolinguals on selected verbal memory tasks. This advantage was not observed in nonverbal memory. Superior memory performance of bilinguals over monolinguals suggests that bilinguals develop a different and perhaps more efficient semantic association system that influences verbal recall. (JINS, 2019, 25, 15–28)
Cortical glutamatergic dysfunction is thought to be fundamental for psychosis development, and may lead to structural degeneration through excitotoxicity. Glutamate levels have been related to gray matter volume (GMV) alterations in people at ultra-high risk of psychosis, and we previously reported GMV changes in individuals with high schizotypy (HS), which refers to the expression of schizophrenia-like characteristics in healthy people. This study sought to examine whether GMV changes in HS subjects are related to glutamate levels.
We selected 22 healthy subjects with HS and 23 healthy subjects with low schizotypy (LS) based on their rating on a self-report questionnaire for psychotic-like experiences. Glutamate levels were measured in the bilateral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and GMV was assessed using voxel-based morphometry.
Subjects with HS showed GMV decreases in the rolandic operculum/superior temporal gyrus (pFWE = 0.045). Significant increases in GMV were also detected in HS, in the precuneus (pFWE = 0.043), thereby replicating our previous finding in a separate cohort, as well as in the ACC (pFWE = 0.041). While the HS and LS groups did not differ in ACC glutamate levels, in HS subjects ACC glutamate was negatively correlated with ACC GMV (pFWE = 0.026). Such association was absent in LS.
Our study shows that GMV findings in schizotypy are related to glutamate levels, supporting the hypothesis that glutamatergic function may lead to structural changes associated with the expression of psychotic-like experiences.
In-patient mental health services have a duty to constantly seek to improve patient experience and to assist in the development of new skills that can aid recovery. Horticultural therapy can be implemented in an economic, social and environmentally sustainable way to achieve those goals.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the presence and severity of potential cultural and language bias in widely used cognitive and other assessment instruments, using structural MRI measures of neurodegeneration as biomarkers of disease stage and severity. Methods: Hispanic (n=75) and White non-Hispanic (WNH) (n=90) subjects were classified as cognitively normal (CN), amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and mild dementia. Performance on the culture-fair and educationally fair Fuld Object Memory Evaluation (FOME) and Clinical Dementia Rating Scale (CDR) between Hispanics and WNHs was equivalent, in each diagnostic group. Volumetric and visually rated measures of the hippocampus entorhinal cortex, and inferior lateral ventricles (ILV) were measured on structural MRI scans for all subjects. A series of analyses of covariance, controlling for age, depression, and education, were conducted to compare the level of neurodegeneration on these MRI measures between Hispanics and WNHs in each diagnostic group. Results: Among both Hispanics and WNH groups there was a progressive decrease in volume of the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, and an increase in volume of the ILV (indicating increasing atrophy in the regions surrounding the ILV) from CN to aMCI to mild dementia. For equivalent levels of performance on the FOME and CDR, WNHs had greater levels of neurodegeneration than did Hispanic subjects. Conclusions: Atrophy in medial temporal regions was found to be greater among WNH than Hispanic diagnostic groups, despite the lack of statistical differences in cognitive performance between these two ethnic groups. Presumably, unmeasured factors result in better cognitive performance among WNH than Hispanics for a given level of neurodegeneration. (JINS, 2018, 24, 176–187)
A remarkable stela from Montoro, southern Spain, is unique in its morphology, epigraphic traits and landscape context. A programme of chemical characterisation, digital imaging, and geo-lithological and epigraphic analyses were conducted to determine its age and significance, and the results were integrated with data from archaeological investigations of the surrounding area. This multi-faceted approach allowed the stela to be interpreted within the context of early interactions between literate Mediterranean societies of the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age and non-literate Iberian societies. A key outcome of this research is a wider understanding of the complex patterns in the use and perception of early scripts.
The increasing importance of landscape-scale research and preservation goals within the archaeological profession coincides with expanded threats to the archaeological record through massive energy exploration and infrastructure projects and through the cumulative effects of smaller-scale development. It is further stimulated by the recognition that conservation strategies that span multiple resource classes and disciplines are best formulated at multiple and larger spatial scales. These are key drivers behind efforts to improve the ways that archaeological resources are considered in the context of development-related planning and implementation, including mitigation measures. In a prominent example, recent department-level direction from the Secretary of the Interior calls specifically for landscape-level planning as a critical component of responses to both large-scale development and climate change. This article reviews three current approaches to landscape-level planning in archaeology and calls for increased commitment to advancing their development and effectiveness.
In this chapter a group at Illinois State University describe how they used the scholarship of teaching and learning to investigate whether having preservice teachers participate in a mathematical research experience for undergraduates (REU) program influenced their beliefs about teaching and learning mathematics. Unable to find an appropriate survey instrument, they developed their own. They explain the organization and content of the survey, tell how they piloted and tested it for reliability, and describe how the results are being used to improve the REU program.
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) can serve as a critical tool for improving instruction at the post-secondary level. If we, mathematicians and mathematics educators, can systematically explore, share, and reflect on our understanding of quality collegiate instruction, improvement in overall course quality and student learning can follow. The multifaceted nature of student learning presents a challenge for any educational study. One such facet is student beliefs. For example, an effective instructional strategy for teaching an honors calculus course for mathematics majors may not translate to a calculus course designed for business majors because of the different attitudes and beliefs of these two groups. Differences in students' views of the nature of mathematics, the importance of building mathematical understanding, the beauty of mathematics, or the standards for reasoning and proof, all can influence the success of instruction. In this chapter, we describe a SoTL study designed to inform and improve a mathematics education program that engages future secondary teachers in authentic mathematics research experiences. One of the goals of the program, the REU Site: Mathematics Research Experience for Pre-service and In-service Teachers (REU), is to change teachers' beliefs about mathematics and about the teaching and learning of mathematics and thus to influence the way they teach.
Impact of Beliefs on Secondary Mathematics Teachers
Numerous researchers have cited the impact of beliefs on teaching and learning (Ernest, 1989; Philipp, 2007; Schoenfeld, 1985; Silver, 1985; Thompson, 1992).
Background: Environmental factors have been associated with psychosis but there is little qualitative research looking at how the ongoing interaction between individual and environment maintains psychotic symptoms. Aims: The current study investigates how people with persecutory delusions interpret events in a virtual neutral social environment using qualitative methodology. Method: 20 participants with persecutory delusions and 20 controls entered a virtual underground train containing neutral characters. Under these circumstances, people with persecutory delusions reported similar levels of paranoia as non-clinical participants. The transcripts of a post-virtual reality interview of the first 10 participants in each group were analysed. Results: Thematic analyses of interviews focusing on the decision making process associated with attributing intentions of computer-generated characters revealed 11 themes grouped in 3 main categories (evidence in favour of paranoid appraisals, evidence against paranoid appraisals, other behaviour). Conclusions: People with current persecutory delusions are able to use a range of similar strategies to healthy volunteers when making judgements about potential threat in a neutral environment that does not elicit anxiety, but they are less likely than controls to engage in active hypothesis-testing and instead favour experiencing “affect” as evidence of persecutory intention.
The flow of blood to an organ is a fundamental physiological factor affecting tissue health, growth, and repair. Blood flow and volume are perturbed in many disease conditions, most notably in vascular disease and in tumors. The ability to determine non-invasively blood flow and blood volume using imaging methods therefore has important diagnostic and therapeutic implications. Since the early days of radiological imaging, scientists and physicians have been searching for methods that can accurately and non-invasively depict the major blood vessels of the body, and measure blood flow in tissue. For instance, X-ray projection imaging of blood vessels (angiography) was first demonstrated in 1927 by Moniz , using iodinated contrast agents injected intravascularly, while early measurements of tissue blood flow were based on the inhalation of freely diffusible tracers (e.g., nitrous oxide [N2O] , or radioactive xenon or krypton ). Subsequently, stable (i.e., non-radioactive) xenon was used in conjunction with X-ray computed tomography (CT) to image cerebral blood flow (CBF) , while other methods such as single-photon emission CT (SPECT) [5, 6] and positron emission tomography (PET) [7, 8] imaging using a variety of radiotracers also became available. More recently, dynamic CT perfusion imaging using bolus injection of iodinated contrast agents has been growing in popularity , particularly as fast multi-slice CT scanners have become widely available.
Caves and rockshelters are a key component of the archaeological record but are often regarded as natural places conveniently exploited by human communities. Archaeomorphological study shows however that they are not inert spaces but have frequently been modified by human action, sometimes in ways that imply a strong symbolic significance. In this paper the concept of ‘aménagement’, the re-shaping of a material space or of elements within it, is applied to Chauvet Cave in France and Nawarla Gabarnmang rockshelter in Australia. Deep within Chauvet Cave, fallen blocks were moved into position to augment the natural structure known as The Cactus, while at Nawarla Gabarnmang, blocks were removed from the ceiling and supporting pillars removed and discarded down the talus slope. These are hence not ‘natural’ places, but modified and socially constructed.
To consider findings from a study that evaluated case management of individuals with long-term conditions (LTCs) by a community matron (CM) service. The paper highlights issues related to the implementation of a new role and the impact this had on the experience of care across hospital and community settings for patients and their carers.
The introduction of the role of CM was intended to increase effective management of patients with complex comorbid LTCs through the introduction of case management, thereby reducing unplanned hospital admissions.
The overall methodological approach was one of mixed methods. This paper reports the qualitative findings from CMs (n = 15); patients (n = 13); family carers (n = 8); and secondary care staff who interface with the CM service (n = 7). Data were collected between October 2009 and May 2010.
A thematic analysis resulted in the identification of four themes: (1) visibility; (2) interpersonal relationships; (3) leadership; and (4) systems/professional boundaries. Patients enjoyed being seen as a whole and family carers appreciated the coordination aspect of the role. Difficulties arose from the limited understanding of the CM role and from a lack of a shared vision across healthcare professionals concerning the role and its goals.
A number of studies suggest that breast-feeding has beneficial effects on an individual's cardiovascular risk factors in adulthood, although the mechanisms involved are unknown. One possible explanation is that adults who were breastfed differ in their health behaviours. In a historical cohort, adult health behaviours were examined in relation to type of milk feeding in infancy. From 1931 to 1939, records were kept on all infants born in Hertfordshire, UK. Their type of milk feeding was summarised as breastfed only, breast and bottle-fed, or bottle-fed only. Information about adult health behaviours was collected from 3217 of these men and women when they were aged 59–73 years. Diet was assessed using an administered FFQ; the key dietary pattern was a ‘prudent’ pattern that described compliance with ‘healthy’ eating recommendations. Of the study population, 60 % of the men and women were breastfed, 31 % were breast and bottle-fed, and 9 % were bottle-fed. Type of milk feeding did not differ according to social class at birth, and was not related to social class attained in adult life. There were no differences in smoking status, alcohol intake or reported physical activity according to type of milk feeding, but there were differences in the participants' dietary patterns. In a multivariate model that included sex and infant weight gain, there were independent associations between type of feeding and prudent diet scores in adult life (P= 0·009), such that higher scores were associated with having been breastfed. These data support experimental findings which suggest that early dietary exposures can have lifelong influences on food choice.
Four pedons on each of four drift sheets in the Lake Wellman area of the Darwin Mountains were sampled for chemical and microbial analyses. The four drifts, Hatherton, Britannia, Danum, and Isca, ranged from early Holocene (10 ka) to mid-Quaternary (c. 900 ka). The soil properties of weathering stage, salt stage, and depths of staining, visible salts, ghosts, and coherence increase with drift age. The landforms contain primarily high-centred polygons with windblown snow in the troughs. The soils are dominantly complexes of Typic Haplorthels and Typic Haploturbels. The soils were dry and alkaline with low levels of organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. Electrical conductivity was high accompanied by high levels of water soluble anions and cations (especially calcium and sulphate in older soils). Soil microbial biomass, measured as phospholipid fatty acids, and numbers of culturable heterotrophic microbes, were low, with highest levels detected in less developed soils from the Hatherton drift. The microbial community structure of the Hatherton soil also differed from that of the Britannia, Danum and Isca soils. Ordination revealed the soil microbial community structure was influenced by soil development and organic carbon.