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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.
Better understanding of interplay among symptoms, cognition and functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) is crucial to promoting functional recovery. Network analysis is a promising data-driven approach to elucidating complex interactions among psychopathological variables in psychosis, but has not been applied in FEP.
This study employed network analysis to examine inter-relationships among a wide array of variables encompassing psychopathology, premorbid and onset characteristics, cognition, subjective quality-of-life and psychosocial functioning in 323 adult FEP patients in Hong Kong. Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) combined with extended Bayesian information criterion (BIC) model selection was used for network construction. Importance of individual nodes in a generated network was quantified by centrality analyses.
Our results showed that amotivation played the most central role and had the strongest associations with other variables in the network, as indexed by node strength. Amotivation and diminished expression displayed differential relationships with other nodes, supporting the validity of two-factor negative symptom structure. Psychosocial functioning was most strongly connected with amotivation and was weakly linked to several other variables. Within cognitive domain, digit span demonstrated the highest centrality and was connected with most of the other cognitive variables. Exploratory analysis revealed no significant gender differences in network structure and global strength.
Our results suggest the pivotal role of amotivation in psychopathology network of FEP and indicate its critical association with psychosocial functioning. Further research is required to verify the clinical significance of diminished motivation on functional outcome in the early course of psychotic illness.
Studies on the individual gender-specific risk and familial co-aggregation of suicidal behaviour in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are lacking.
We conducted a matched case-cohort study applying conditional logistic regression models on 54 168 individuals recorded in 1987–2013 with ASD in Swedish national registers: ASD without ID n = 43 570 (out of which n = 19035, 43.69% with ADHD); ASD + ID n = 10 598 (out of which n = 2894 individuals, 27.31% with ADHD), and 270 840 controls, as well as 347 155 relatives of individuals with ASD and 1 735 775 control relatives.
The risk for suicidal behaviours [reported as odds ratio OR (95% confidence interval CI)] was most increased in the ASD without ID group with comorbid ADHD [suicide attempt 7.25 (6.79–7.73); most severe attempts i.e. requiring inpatient stay 12.37 (11.33–13.52); suicide 13.09 (8.54–20.08)]. The risk was also increased in ASD + ID group [all suicide attempts 2.60 (2.31–2.92); inpatient only 3.45 (2.96–4.02); suicide 2.31 (1.16–4.57)]. Females with ASD without ID had generally higher risk for suicidal behaviours than males, while both genders had highest risk in the case of comorbid ADHD [females, suicide attempts 10.27 (9.27–11.37); inpatient only 13.42 (11.87–15.18); suicide 14.26 (6.03–33.72); males, suicide attempts 5.55 (5.10–6.05); inpatient only 11.33 (9.98–12.86); suicide 12.72 (7.77–20.82)]. Adjustment for psychiatric comorbidity attenuated the risk estimates. In comparison to controls, relatives of individuals with ASD also had an increased risk of suicidal behaviour.
Clinicians treating patients with ASD should be vigilant for suicidal behaviour and consider treatment of psychiatric comorbidity.
Global inequity in access to and availability of essential mental health services is well recognized. The mental health treatment gap is approximately 50% in all countries, with up to 90% of people in the lowest-income countries lacking access to required mental health services. Increased investment in global mental health (GMH) has increased innovation in mental health service delivery in LMICs. Situational analyses in areas where mental health services and systems are poorly developed and resourced are essential when planning for research and implementation, however, little guidance is available to inform methodological approaches to conducting these types of studies. This scoping review provides an analysis of methodological approaches to situational analysis in GMH, including an assessment of the extent to which situational analyses include equity in study designs. It is intended as a resource that identifies current gaps and areas for future development in GMH. Formative research, including situational analysis, is an essential first step in conducting robust implementation research, an essential area of study in GMH that will help to promote improved availability of, access to and reach of mental health services for people living with mental illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While strong leadership in this field exists, there remain significant opportunities for enhanced research representing different LMICs and regions.
Real time observations of the YBa2Cu3O7-δ (123) melting process by high temperature XRD and optical microscopy reveal a reaction sequence which does not correspond well with the literature. CO2 gas, present in the air, reacts with 123 to produce the Y2CU2O5 phase. This reaction begins well below 800°C and persists up to 970°C when BaCuO2 begins to form. The previously unreported BaCuO2 reaction occurs in either air or oxygen and this phase grows at the expense of the 123 until both rapidly disappear at 1050°C with the appearance of Y2B2CuO5 (211), Formation of Y2O3 from the 211 melt occurs more slowly, beginning at 1150°C. Dynamic 00ℓ orientation has been observed at 950°C upon cooling from the melt. The orientationa) growth is believed to be a surface tension dependent, liquid assisted sintering reaction.
To characterise subjective symptoms in patients undergoing surgical repair of superior semicircular canal dehiscence.
Questionnaires assessing symptom severity and impact on function and quality of life were administered to patients before superior semicircular canal dehiscence surgery, between June 2011 and March 2016. Questionnaire sections included general quality of life, internal amplified sounds, dizziness and tinnitus, with scores of 0–100 points.
Twenty-three patients completed the questionnaire before surgery. Section scores (mean±standard deviation) were: 38.2 ± 25.2 for general quality of life, 52.5 ± 23.9 for internal amplified sounds, 35.1 ± 28.8 for dizziness, 33.3 ± 30.7 for tinnitus, and 39.8 ± 22.2 for the composite score. Cronbach's α statistic averaged 0.93 (range, 0.84–0.97) across section scores, and 0.83 for the composite score.
The Gopen–Yang Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Questionnaire provides a holistic, patient-centred characterisation of superior semicircular canal dehiscence symptoms. Internal consistency analysis validated the questionnaire and provided a quantitative framework for further optimisation in the clinical setting.
The visual system is recognized as an important site of pathology and dysfunction in schizophrenia. In this study, we evaluated different visual perceptual functions in patients with psychotic disorders using a potentially clinically applicable task battery and assessed their relationship with symptom severity in patients, and with schizotypal features in healthy participants.
Five different areas of visual functioning were evaluated in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder (n = 28) and healthy control subjects (n = 31) using a battery that included visuospatial working memory (VSWM), velocity discrimination (VD), contour integration, visual context processing, and backward masking tasks.
The patient group demonstrated significantly lower performance in VD, contour integration, and VSWM tasks. Performance did not differ between the two groups on the visual context processing task and did not differ across levels of interstimulus intervals in the backward masking task. Performances on VSWM, VD, and contour integration tasks were correlated with negative symptom severity but not with other symptom dimensions in the patient group. VSWM and VD performances were also correlated with negative sychizotypal features in healthy controls.
Taken together, these results demonstrate significant abnormalities in multiple visual processing tasks in patients with psychotic disorders, adding to the literature implicating visual abnormalities in these conditions. Furthermore, our results show that visual processing impairments are associated with the negative symptom dimension in patients as well as healthy individuals.
The links between low socioeconomic status and poor health are well established, yet despite adversity, some individuals with low socioeconomic status appear to avoid these negative consequences through adaptive coping. Previous research found a set of strategies, called shift-and-persist (shifting the self to stressors while persisting by finding meaning), to be particularly adaptive for individuals with low socioeconomic status, who typically face more uncontrollable stressors. This study tested (a) whether perceived social status, similar to objective socioeconomic status, would moderate the link between shift-and-persist and health, and (b) whether a specific uncontrollable stressor, unfair treatment, would similarly moderate the health correlates of shift-and-persist. A sample of 308 youth (Meanage = 13.0, range 8–17), physician diagnosed with asthma, completed measures of shift-and-persist, unfair treatment, asthma control, and quality of life in the lab, and 2 weeks of daily diaries about their asthma symptoms. Parents reported on perceived family social status. Results indicated that shift-and-persist was associated with better asthma profiles, only among youth from families with lower (vs. higher) parent-reported perceived social status. Shift-and-persist was also associated with better asthma profiles, only among youth who experienced more (vs. less) unfair treatment. These findings suggest that the adaptive values of coping strategies for youth with asthma depend on the family's perceived social status and on the stressor experienced.
Phenoloxidase (PO) plays a key role in melanin biosynthesis during insect development. Here, we isolated the 2310-bp full-length cDNA of PPO1 from Zeugodacus tau, a destructive horticultural pest. qRT-polymerase chain reaction showed that the ZtPPO1 transcripts were highly expressed during larval–prepupal transition and in the haemolymph. When the larvae were fed a 1.66% kojic acid (KA)-containing diet, the levels of the ZtPPO1 transcripts significantly increased by 2.79- and 3.39-fold in the whole larvae and cuticles, respectively, while the corresponding PO activity was significantly reduced; in addition, the larval and pupal durations were significantly prolonged; pupal weights were lowered; and abnormal phenotypes were observed. An in vitro inhibition experiment indicated that KA was an effective competitive inhibitor of PO in Z. tau. Additionally, the functional analysis showed that 20E could significantly up-regulate the expression of ZtPPO1, induce lower pupal weight, and advance pupation. Knockdown of the ZtPPO1 gene by RNAi significantly decreased mRNA levels after 24 h and led to low pupation rates and incomplete pupae with abnormal phenotypes during the larval-pupal interim period. These results proved that PO is important for the normal growth of Z. tau and that KA can disrupt the development of this pest insect.
TAOS II is a next-generation occultation survey with the goal of measuring the size distribution of the small end of the Kuiper Belt (objects with diameters 0.5–30 km). Such objects have magnitudes r > 30, and are thus undetectable by direct imaging. The project will operate three telescopes at San Pedro Mártir Observatory in Baja California, México. Each telescope will be equipped with a custom-built camera comprised of a focal-plane array of CMOS imagers. The cameras will be capable of reading out image data from 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz. The telescopes will monitor the same set of stars simultaneously to search for coincident occultation detections, thus minimising the false-positive rate. This talk described the project, and reported on the progress of the development of the survey infrastructure.
The current generation of experiments aiming to detect the neutral hydrogen signal from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) is likely to be limited by systematic effects associated with removing foreground sources from target fields. In this paper, we develop a model for the compact foreground sources in one of the target fields of the MWA’s EoR key science experiment: the ‘EoR1’ field. The model is based on both the MWA’s GLEAM survey and GMRT 150 MHz data from the TGSS survey, the latter providing higher angular resolution and better astrometric accuracy for compact sources than is available from the MWA alone. The model contains 5 049 sources, some of which have complicated morphology in MWA data, Fornax A being the most complex. The higher resolution data show that 13% of sources that appear point-like to the MWA have complicated morphology such as double and quad structure, with a typical separation of 33 arcsec. We derive an analytic expression for the error introduced into the EoR two-dimensional power spectrum due to peeling close double sources as single point sources and show that for the measured source properties, the error in the power spectrum is confined to high k⊥ modes that do not affect the overall result for the large-scale cosmological signal of interest. The brightest 10 mis-modelled sources in the field contribute 90% of the power bias in the data, suggesting that it is most critical to improve the models of the brightest sources. With this hybrid model, we reprocess data from the EoR1 field and show a maximum of 8% improved calibration accuracy and a factor of two reduction in residual power in k-space from peeling these sources. Implications for future EoR experiments including the SKA are discussed in relation to the improvements obtained.
Impulsive solar energetic particle (SEP) events originate from the energy dissipation process in small solar flares. Anomalous abundances in impulsive SEP events provide an evidence on unique, yet unclear, acceleration mechanism. The pattern of heavy-ion enhancements indicates that the temperature of the source plasma that is accelerated is low and not flare-like. We examine the solar source of the 3He-rich SEP event of 2012 November 20 using Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)/ Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) images and investigate its thermal variation. The examined event is associated with recurrent coronal jets. The Differential Emission Measure (DEM) analysis is applied to study the temperature evolution/distribution of the source regions. Preliminary results show that the temperature of the associated solar source is ranged between 1.2-3.1 MK.
Better understanding of the complex interplay among key determinants of functional outcome is crucial to promoting recovery in psychotic disorders. However, this is understudied in the early course of illness. We aimed to examine the relationships among negative symptoms, neurocognition, general self-efficacy and global functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients using structural equation modeling (SEM).
Three hundred and twenty-one Chinese patients aged 26–55 years presenting with FEP to an early intervention program in Hong Kong were recruited. Assessments encompassing symptom profiles, functioning, perceived general self-efficacy and a battery of neurocognitive tests were conducted. Negative symptom measurement was subdivided into amotivation and diminished expression (DE) domain scores based on the ratings in the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms.
An initial SEM model showed no significant association between functioning and DE which was removed from further analysis. A final trimmed model yielded very good model fit (χ2 = 15.48, p = 0.63; comparative fit index = 1.00; root mean square error of approximation <0.001) and demonstrated that amotivation, neurocognition and general self-efficacy had a direct effect on global functioning. Amotivation was also found to mediate a significant indirect effect of neurocognition and general self-efficacy on functioning. Neurocognition was not significantly related to general self-efficacy.
Our results indicate a critical intermediary role of amotivation in linking neurocognitive impairment to functioning in FEP. General self-efficacy may represent a promising treatment target for improvement of motivational deficits and functional outcome in the early illness stage.
We examined two potentially interacting, connected pathways by which parental supportiveness during early adolescence (ages 1–13) may come to be associated with later African American young adult smoking. The first pathway is between parental supportiveness and young adult stress (age 19), with stress, in turn, predicting increased smoking at age 20. The second pathway is between supportive parenting and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) gene methylation (i.e., TNFm), a proinflammatory epitype, with low levels indicating greater inflammatory potential and forecasting increased risk for smoking in response to young adult stress. In a sample of 382 African American youth residing in rural Georgia, followed from early adolescence (age 10–11) to young adulthood (age 20), supportive parenting indirectly predicted smoking via associations with young adult stress, IE = –0.071, 95% confidence interval [–0.132, –0.010]. In addition, supportive parenting was associated with TNFm measured at age 20 (r = .177, p = .001). Further, lower TNFm was associated with a significantly steeper slope (b = 0.583, p = .003) of increased smoking in response to young adult stress compared to those with higher TNFm (b = 0.155, p = .291), indicating an indirect, amplifying role for supportive parenting via TNFm. The results suggest that supportive parenting in early adolescence may play a role in understanding the emergence of smoking in young adulthood.
The Universe is permeated by hot, turbulent, magnetized plasmas. Turbulent plasma is a major constituent of active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, the intergalactic and interstellar medium, the solar corona, the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere, just to mention a few examples. Energy dissipation of turbulent fluctuations plays a key role in plasma heating and energization, yet we still do not understand the underlying physical mechanisms involved. THOR is a mission designed to answer the questions of how turbulent plasma is heated and particles accelerated, how the dissipated energy is partitioned and how dissipation operates in different regimes of turbulence. THOR is a single-spacecraft mission with an orbit tuned to maximize data return from regions in near-Earth space – magnetosheath, shock, foreshock and pristine solar wind – featuring different kinds of turbulence. Here we summarize the THOR proposal submitted on 15 January 2015 to the ‘Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESAs Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4)’. THOR has been selected by European Space Agency (ESA) for the study phase.
An outbreak of acute hepatitis recently occurred in a nursing home in Zhejiang Province, China. The objectives of this study were to confirm the outbreak and identify the aetiology, source and transmission patterns. All residents and staff in or near the nursing home during the period from 1 October 2014 to 21 May 2015 were investigated regarding hygiene and for epidemiological information including water and food (eating meat especially pork products). Serum and stool specimens were collected for detection of hepatitis E virus (HEV) antibodies using ELISA and RNA using RT–PCR. Samples that were RNA positive were genotyped. Of 185 senior residents and 24 staff in the nursing home, there were 37 laboratory-confirmed cases during the outbreak. Of these cases, 12 patients (three deaths) were symptomatic with jaundice, a common clinical symptom for hepatitis E infection. HEV strains were isolated from three cases and they formed a single cluster within genotype 4d. A case-control study was conducted to investigate potential risk factors for the outbreak and the results revealed that cases more often washed their dishes and rinsed their mouths using tap water than the controls (P < 0·05). Based on hygiene investigation and meteorological information, it is likely that HEV-infected sewage and faeces contaminated the water network on rainy days. Collectively, these results suggest that the outbreak of HEV genotype 4 infection was most likely caused by contaminated tap water rather than food.
The effects of various parameters, such as thermal properties of substrates, thermal interface materials (TIMs) and heat sinks on the thermal performance of the light emitting diode (LED) light bars and backlight module are investigated experimentally and numerically in terms of junction temperature (Tj) and thermal resistances from junction to air (Rj-a). The results show that the measured Rj-a of the light bars by powering-on five LEDs in the test is different from one by powering-on only one LED, resulting from the extra heat coming from the adjacent LED packages affecting the Tj for the case of powering-on five LEDs. For the modules, Rj-a is significantly reduced by using the heat sinks for all backlight modules, and aluminum and iron heat sinks do not show any obvious difference in heat dissipation along with any substrates and TIMs. Furthermore, both experimental and simulation results show that the thermal conductivity of the substrates are more important and dominant than TIM and heat sink for the Rj-a of the backlight modules concerned, and also demonstrate that the thermal field for the local model can represent the one in full-scale backlight module.
Differences by ethnic group in STI diagnosis rates have long been recognized in England. We investigated whether these may be explained by ethnic disparities in socioeconomic deprivation (SED). Data on all diagnoses made in sexual health clinics in England in 2013 were obtained from the mandatory STI surveillance system. Poisson regression was used to calculate incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of STIs, by ethnicity, with and without adjustment for index of multiple deprivation (IMD) a measure of area-level deprivation. Unadjusted IRRs (95% confidence intervals) were highest for gonorrhoea [8·18 (7·77–8·61) and 5·76 (5·28–6·29)] and genital herpes [4·24 (3·99–4·51) and 3·58 (3·23–3·98)] for people of black Caribbean and non-Caribbean/non-African black ethnicity and IRRs were highest for syphilis [8·76 (7·97–9·63)] and genital warts [2·23 (2·17–2·29)] for people of non-British/non-Irish white ethnicity compared to white British ethnicity. After adjustment for IMD, IRRs for gonorrhoea [5·76 (5·47–6·07)] and genital herpes [3·73 (3·50–3·97)] declined but remained highest for black Caribbeans and IRRs for syphilis [7·35 (6·68–8·09)] and genital warts [2·10 (2·04–2·16)] declined but remained highest for non-British/non-Irish white compared to white British. In England, ethnic disparities in STI diagnosis rates are partially explained by SED, but behavioural and contextual factors likely contribute. Clinic and community-based interventions should involve social peer networks to ensure they are targeted and culturally sensitive.