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Objectives: The Tower of London (TOL) test has probably become the most often used task to assess planning ability in clinical and experimental settings. Since its implementation, efforts were made to provide a task version with adequate psychometric properties, but extensive normative data are not publicly available until now. The computerized TOL-Freiburg Version (TOL-F) was developed based on theory-grounded task analyses, and its psychometric adequacy has been repeatedly demonstrated in several studies but often with small and selective samples. Method: In the present study, we now report reliability estimates and normative data for the TOL-F stratified for age, sex, and education from a large population-representative sample collected in the Gutenberg Health Study in Mainz, Germany (n=7703; 40–80 years). Results: The present data confirm previously reported adequate indices of reliability (>.70) of the TOL-F. We also provide normative data for the TOL-F stratified for age (5-year intervals), sex, and education (low vs. high education). Conclusions: Together, its adequate reliability and the representative age-, sex-, and education-fair normative data render the computerized TOL-F a suitable diagnostic instrument to assess planning ability. (JINS, 2019, 25, 520–529)
Parasite infection in young animals can affect host traits related to demographic processes such as survival and reproduction, and is therefore crucial to population viability. However, variation in infection among juvenile hosts is poorly understood. Experimental studies have indicated that effects of parasitism can vary with host sex, hatching order and hatch date, yet it remains unclear whether this is linked to differences in parasite burdens. We quantified gastrointestinal nematode burdens of wild juvenile European shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) using two in situ measures (endoscopy of live birds and necropsy of birds that died naturally) and one non-invasive proxy measure (fecal egg counts (FECs)). In situ methods revealed that almost all chicks were infected (98%), that infections established at an early age and that older chicks hosted more worms, but FECs underestimated prevalence. We found no strong evidence that burdens differed with host sex, rank or hatch date. Heavier chicks had higher burdens, demonstrating that the relationship between burdens and their costs is not straightforward. In situ measures of infection are therefore a valuable tool in building our understanding of the role that parasites play in the dynamics of structured natural populations.
It is unclear which potentially modifiable risk factors best predict post-trauma psychiatric disorders. We aimed to identify pre-trauma risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression (MD) that could be targeted with resilience interventions.
Newly recruited paramedics (n = 453) were assessed for history of mental disorders with structured clinical interviews within the first week of their paramedic training and completed self-report measures to assess hypothesized predictors. Participants were assessed every 4 months for 2 years to identify any episodes of PTSD and MD; 386 paramedics (85.2%) participated in the follow-up interviews.
In all, 32 participants (8.3%) developed an episode of PTSD and 41 (10.6%) an episode of MD during follow-up. In all but nine cases (2.3%), episodes had remitted by the next assessment 4 months later. At 2 years, those with episodes of PTSD or MD during follow-up reported more days off work, poorer sleep, poorer quality of life, greater burn-out; and greater weight-gain for those with PTSD. In line with theories of PTSD and depression, analyses controlling for psychiatric and trauma history identified several pre-trauma predictors (cognitive styles, coping styles and psychological traits). Logistic regressions showed that rumination about memories of stressful events at the start of training uniquely predicted an episode of PTSD. Perceived resilience uniquely predicted an episode of MD.
Participants at risk of developing episodes of PTSD or depression could be identified within the first week of paramedic training. Cognitive predictors of episodes of PTSD and MD are promising targets for resilience interventions.
Monoclinic Cu2SnS3 was made by solution based processing of the precursor metals after which the samples are annealed in a sulphur environment. XRD and Raman spectra shows that the monoclinic phase was synthesised. One sample was further etched in KCN and HCl to remove possible secondary phases. Transmission spectra show that the material has two optical transitions and in conjunction with reflection data absorption spectra were calculated. The two optical transitions are determined to be 0.91 and 0.98 for the unetched sample and 0.90 and 0.95 eV for the etched sample. The values of the optical transitions are within the error the same and thus etching does not affect the values of these optical transitions. Photoluminescence spectra map show only one luminescence peak with a maximum at 0.95 eV, which is consistent with the values found by absorption spectra. This in combination with the Raman spectra and XRD indicates that the sample contains only one polymorph of Cu2SnS3, which is monoclinic. Therefore the two optical transitions are intrinsic to monoclinic Cu2SnS3.
The Chauvet-Pont d'Arc Cave is one of the most important sites for the study of the earliest manifestations and development of prehistoric art at the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic. Different dating techniques have been performed thus far (AMS 14C, U/Th TIMS, 36Cl dating) to model the chronological framework of this decorated cave. The cave yielded several large charcoal fragments, which enabled the opportunity for obtaining multiple dates; thus, a First Radiocarbon Intercomparison Program (FIP) was initiated in 2004 using three charcoal pieces. The FIP demonstrated that those cross-dated samples belonged to a time period associated with the first human occupation. One of the statistical interests of an intercomparison program is to reduce the uncertainty on the sample age; thus, to further assess the accuracy of the chronological framework, the Second Intercomparison Program (SIP) involving 10 international 14C laboratories was carried out on two pieces of charcoal found inside two hearth structures of the Galerie des Mégacéros. Each laboratory used its own pretreatment and AMS facilities. In total, 21 and 22 measurements were performed, respectively, which yielded consistent results averaging ∼32 ka BP. Two strategies have currently been developed to identify statistical outliers and to deal with them; both lead to quasi-identical calibrated combined densities. Finally, the new results were compared with those of the FIP, leading to the important conclusion that five different samples from at least three different hearth structures give really tightened temporal densities, associated with one short human occupation in the Galerie des Mégacéros.
To test the vascular depression hypothesis in the general population, we analyzed the association between current depression, medical history of depression, cognitive and somatic depressive symptom dimensions and measures of atherosclerosis [intima–media thickness (IMT) and carotid plaques].
We included a representative sample of 5000 participants from the Gutenberg Health Study (GHS). Depression was assessed by the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), and IMT and carotid plaques were measured at both common carotid arteries using an edge detection system. Regression analyses were performed separately for participants with and without cardiovascular disease, adjusting for medical history, cardiovascular risk factors and psychotropic medication.
Contrary to hypotheses, we found no increased IMT for somatic symptoms of depression; the same was true for depression and cognitive symptoms in the fully adjusted model. Only a moderate relationship between medical history of depression and the presence of atherosclerotic plaques was maintained after correction.
The relationship between depression and atherosclerosis may be more complex than previously assumed. Although the vascular depression hypothesis was not supported, our results support the hypothesis that lasting depression leads to arteriosclerosis.
Radiocarbon dating of plant remains is often difficult due to the complete dissolution of the samples in the alkaline step of the ABA pretreatment. At the VERA laboratory, this problem was encountered frequently when numerous Bronze and Early Iron Age samples from the eastern Mediterranean were dated in the course of the special research program SCIEM2000 and in other collaborations with archaeologists focused on that area and time period. For these samples, only a 14C age determination of the humic acid fraction was possible. Humic acids from archaeological samples are always assessed as a second-choice material for 14C dating. It is assumed that the 14C ages may be affected by the presence of humic acids originating from other (younger) organic material, e.g. from soil horizons located above a sample. Therefore, when humic acids are dated a verification of the dates is crucial. To address this basic requirement, we started some time ago to date both fractions of charred seeds, wood, and charcoal samples whenever available, i.e. the residue after the ABA treatment and the humic acids extracted from the samples in the alkaline step. The results of this comparison showed that for the investigated eastern Mediterranean archaeological sites, 50 (out of 52) humic acid dates were in agreement with the 14C dates of the respective ABA-treated samples. Statistical analysis of the age differences leads to the conclusion that the extracted humic acids originated from the samples themselves or from contemporaneous material and were not appreciably contaminated by extraneous material of different age.
This chapter provides an overview of Earth system models, the various model ‘flavours’, their state of development including model evaluation, benchmarking and optimization against observational data and their application to climate change issues.
The Earth system can be conceptualized as a suite of interacting physical, chemical, biological and anthropogenic processes that regulate the planet’s low of matter and energy. Earth system models (ESMs; Box 5.1 ) are built to mirror these processes. In fact, ESMs are the only tool available to the scientific community to investigate the system properties of the Earth, as we do not have an alternative planet to manipulate that could serve as a scientist’s laboratory.
The term ‘Earth system model’ is commonly used to describe coupled land–ocean–atmosphere models that include interactive biogeochemical components. Such models have developed progressively from the physical climate models first created in the 1960s and 1970s. Conventional climate models apply physical laws to simulate the general circulation of atmosphere and ocean. As our understanding of the natural and anthropogenic controls on climate has grown, and given the steady advances in computing power, global climate models have been extended to include more comprehensive representations of biological and geochemical processes, involving the addition of the various interacting components of the Earth system with their own feedback mechanisms. Figure 5.1 shows the conceptual differences between a conventional global coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model (AOGCM) and an ESM. In terms of the coupling between components, ESMs are more complex, and they have correspondingly higher computational demands.
This article examines the utility of the concept of resilience to the field of critical gerontology. Resilience is an increasingly popular concept within the social sciences. We explore some key ideas about individual and social resilience from varied fields, and propose new ways to conceptualise these in relation to resilience in later life. This article examines the history of the concept of resilience; explores some of the diverse ways that gerontologists are attempting to apply it to later life; and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of using resilience as a conceptual framework within critical ageing research. We also suggest ways of conceptualising resilience and ageing, highlighting the different scales of resilience that impact on the ability of older people to negotiate adversity, and some key areas of resilience relevant to later life. The example of mobility resilience is used to illustrate how different scales of resilience operate within an area of resilience central to the ageing experience. Finally, some key principles for the use of resilience within critical gerontology are outlined, providing guidance on how to maximise the potential of the concept whilst avoiding some of the limitations associated with its historical usage.
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a toxic fungal metabolite found on wheat, maize and barley. We previously reported a significant association between the amount of DON in a single 24 h urine sample and the average cereal intake over 7 d for 300 UK adults. In this more detailed analysis of the data, food diary information (n 255) for the day of urine collection (model I), the previous 24 h period (model II) and the day of urine collection plus the previous 24 h combined (model III) were further examined to assess whether the recent intake of cereal correlated more strongly with urinary DON, compared with the longer-term assessment of usual cereal intake from 7 d food diaries (model IV). DON was detected in 254/255 (99·6 %) urine samples (mean 12·0 μg/d; range not detected–66 μg/d). For all the models, total cereal intake was positively associated with urinary DON (P < 0·001) in each model. The goodness of fit (adjusted R2 value) was used to assess how well each model explained the variation in urinary DON. Model I provided a better goodness of fit (adjusted R2 0·22) than model IV (adjusted R2 0·19), whereas model III provided the best fit (adjusted R2 0·27). These data suggest that the inter-individual variation in urinary DON was somewhat better explained by recent cereal intake compared with usual cereal intake assessed over 7 d.
In the course of new excavations at the Upper Paleolithic site at Krems-Wachtberg in the loess region near Krems, Lower Austria, a double burial of newborns was discovered in 2005. One year later, a single grave of an infant was excavated nearby. Both graves are associated with the well-preserved living floor of an Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherer camp with distinct archaeological features and a rich Gravettian find assemblage. Several charcoal samples from different stratigraphic positions were 14C dated with the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) method at VERA. The 14C ages confirm the archaeological assessment of the site to the Gravettian time period. According to the uncalibrated 14C ages, the formation time of the living floor is ~27.0 14C kyr BP. 14C data of ~28.6 14C kyr BP determined for an archaeological horizon below the living floor indicate that the location may have been used earlier by people in the Middle Upper Paleolithic.
Studies on the effects of caffeine on health, while numerous, have produced inconsistent results. One of the most uncertain and controversial effects is on pregnancy outcome. Studies have produced conflicting results due to a number of methodological variations. The major challenge is the accurate assessment of caffeine intake. The aim of the present study was to explore different methods of assessing caffeine exposure in pregnant women. Twenty-four healthy pregnant women from the UK city of Leeds completed both a detailed questionnaire, the caffeine assessment tool (CAT) designed specifically to assess caffeine intake and a prospective 3 d food and drink diary. The women also provided nine saliva samples over two consecutive days for estimation of caffeine and a metabolite (paraxanthine). Caffeine intakes from the CAT and diary showed adequate agreement (intra-class correlation coefficient of 0·5). For saliva caffeine and paraxanthine measures, the between-sample variation (within the same woman) was greater than between-woman and between-day variation. However, there was still adequate agreement between these measures and the CAT. The CAT is a valuable tool that is now being used in a large prospective study investigating caffeine's role in pregnancy outcome.
Previous studies have suggested that the female menstrual cycle, pregnancy and the oral contraceptive pill have an effect upon nasal physiology.
This study aimed to assess the effects upon nasal physiology of female hormone replacement therapy in post-menopausal women. This has not been previously studied.
Twenty post-menopausal women (age range 36 to 70 years; mean age 57.0 years) underwent measurements of the nasal airway, including anterior rhinoscopy, peak nasal inspiratory flow rate, acoustic rhinometry, anterior rhinomanometry, mucociliary clearance time and rhinitis quality of life questionnaire. Measurements of nasal patency were recorded prior to commencing hormone replacement therapy and at a time point 77–195 days (mean 101.9 days) following commencement.
There was no statistical difference found for any of the variables, using the paired t-test (p > 0.05 for all).
Female hormone replacement therapy has no discernable effect upon nasal physiology and should not be considered a cause of rhinitic symptoms.
The open-air archaeological site at Krems-Hundssteig is a well-known Upper Paleolithic site located in Lower Austria. The site was discovered in the late 19th/early 20th centuries when a large number of archaeological remains were collected during the course of loess quarrying. Although no systematic excavation has ever been performed, Krems-Hundssteig has been described since its discovery as typical of the Aurignacian period in this region based on the numerous archaeological finds; accordingly, the culture has been named Kremsien by some authors. Surprisingly, the artifacts found in a recent excavation adjacent to this location showed solely Gravettian features, calling into question the original assignment to the Aurignacian. Although the earlier assignment was supported by a radiocarbon date of ∼35 kyr BP (Hahn 1977), new accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) 14C dates proved that the recently excavated cultural layer originates from the Gravettian period. Older paleosols were also detected by sondage drillings at some depth below it.
The new results indicate that a large Aurignacian level and a substantial complex of Gravettian layers are present in this area. Therefore, it must be assumed that more than 1 cultural level was affected and destroyed by the historic loess quarrying, and that the assemblage of Krems-Hundssteig artifacts, traditionally ascribed to the Aurignacian, might be interspersed with Gravettian pieces.