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Social cognition has been associated with functional outcome in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP). Social cognition has also been associated with neurocognition and cognitive reserve. Although cognitive reserve, neurocognitive functioning, social cognition, and functional outcome are related, the direction of their associations is not clear. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to analyze the influence of social cognition as a mediator between cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning in FEP both at baseline and at 2 years.
The sample of the study was composed of 282 FEP patients followed up for 2 years. To analyze whether social cognition mediates the influence of cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning, a path analysis was performed. The statistical significance of any mediation effects was evaluated by bootstrap analysis.
At baseline, as neither cognitive reserve nor the cognitive domains studied were related to functioning, the conditions for mediation were not satisfied. Nevertheless, at 2 years of follow-up, social cognition acted as a mediator between cognitive reserve and functioning. Likewise, social cognition was a mediator between verbal memory and functional outcome. The results of the bootstrap analysis confirmed these significant mediations (95% bootstrapped CI (−10.215 to −0.337) and (−4.731 to −0.605) respectively).
Cognitive reserve and neurocognition are related to functioning, and social cognition mediates in this relationship.
The research reported in this Research Communication evaluates the effect of milk acidification on the physicochemical and sensory properties of Licor de Oro (or Gold Liqueur; LO), a traditional alcoholic beverage produced in Chiloé island, Chile, which is made by mixing milk acidified with lemon juice and alcohol at a ratio of 1.0:1.0, along with sugar and other spices. The mixture is stored for a couple of weeks and then filtered to obtain a product with a yellowish-transparent appearance, sweetness and acidic taste, milky and alcoholic notes. The lack of information regarding LO processing, mainly in the amount of acid added to the mixture, leads to products of highly variable quality. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of milk acidification on the physicochemical and sensory properties of LO. Raw milk was acidified using citric acid to six different pH values: 6.7 (control), 6.0, 5.3, 4.6, 3.9 and 3.2. These milk treatments were then used to make LO. A decrease of milk pH led to LO with higher levels of sensorial and titratable acidity. LO obtained at pH 6.7 and 6.0 had higher levels of total protein than other treatments, leading to excessive turbidity. In contrast, treatments made at pH ≤5.3 had a typical transparent appearance of LO. These results suggest that a minimum level of milk acidification is required to obtain LO with desired appearance and composition.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) patients typically overmonitor their own behavior, as shown by symptoms of excessive doubt and checking. Although this is well established for the patients’ relationship with external stimuli in the environment, no study has explored their monitoring of internal body signals, a process known to be affected in anxiety-related syndromes. Here, we explored this issue through a cardiac interoception task that measures sensing of heartbeats. Our aim was to explore key behavioral and electrophysiological aspects of internal-cue monitoring in OCD, while examining their potential distinctiveness in this condition.
We administered a heartbeat detection (HBD) task (with related interoceptive confidence and awareness measures) to three matched groups (OCD patients, panic disorder patients, healthy controls) and recorded ongoing modulations of two task-relevant electrophysiological markers: the heart evoked potential (HEP) and the motor potential (MP).
Behaviorally, OCD patients outperformed controls and panic patients in the HBD task. Moreover, they exhibited greater amplitude modulation of both the HEP and the MP during cardiac interoception. However, they evinced poorer confidence and awareness of their interoceptive skills.
Convergent behavioral and electrophysiological data showed that overactive monitoring in OCD extends to the sensing of internal bodily signals. Moreover, this pattern discriminated OCD from panic patients, suggesting a condition-distinctive alteration. Our results highlight the potential of exploring interoceptive processes in the OCD spectrum to better characterize the population's cognitive profile. Finally, these findings may lay new bridges between somatic theories of emotion and cognitive models of OCD.
In the present study a comparison of the otolith morphology of two species of parrotfish, family Scaridae, collected from the Red Sea coast of Egypt, is conducted to identify the most appropriate taxonomic characters that separate these species. Ontogenetic changes in the otoliths of the two scarid fishes become evident. In the otoliths of Chlorurus sordidus, the following characters are comparable in small-sized adult fishes: otolith width, otolith depth, mesial surface shape, lateral surface shape, shape of sulcus acusticus, column, rostrum and size of rostrum. The otoliths of young adults (GI) C. sordidus differ from the adult ones in 14 out of the 22 characteristics studied. In the otoliths of Hipposcarus harid, the following characters are comparable in small and large fish: otolith width, otolith depth, mesial and lateral surface shapes, shape of sulcus acusticus, rostrum and size of rostrum.
This study used a prospective longitudinal design to examine the early developmental pathways that underlie language growth in infants at high risk (n = 50) and low risk (n = 34) for autism spectrum disorder in the first 18 months of life. While motor imitation and responding to joint attention (RJA) have both been found to predict expressive language in children with autism spectrum disorder and those with typical development, the longitudinal relation between these capacities has not yet been identified. As hypothesized, results revealed that 15-month RJA mediated the association between 12-month motor imitation and 18-month expressive vocabulary, even after controlling for earlier levels of RJA and vocabulary. These results provide new information about the developmental sequencing of skills relevant to language growth that may inform future intervention efforts for children at risk for language delay or other developmental challenges.
The monitoring of corrosion in reinforced concrete structures is considered an important preventive factor against the corrosive damage. The present paper shows the design and construction of a device which performs remote measurements of the polarization resistance of reinforcing steel, this was made using the electrochemical technique of linear polarization resistance as a method to obtain the information of the corrosive process. The development was carried out by implementing a potentiostat based on a free development platform. The design allows to store all the data on a physical memory and to send the results through the mobile network to a web server, where the measured values can be analyzed using an internet connection.
The linear polarization resistance measurements were made in cylindrical concrete specimens with rebars of ½ ”, each one instrumented with embedded electrodes of Copper/Copper sulfate and graphite. The specimens were subjected to a saturated environment of chlorides (3.5%) where the corrosive process was monitored with the developed system. The results were compared with tests performed on a commercial potentiostat / galvanostat, where the values obtained have an mean of 4.83%.
Functional remediation is a novel intervention with demonstrated efficacy at improving functional outcome in euthymic bipolar patients. However, in a previous trial no significant changes in neurocognitive measures were detected. The objective of the present analysis was to test the efficacy of this therapy in the enhancement of neuropsychological functions in a subgroup of neurocognitively impaired bipolar patients.
A total of 188 out of 239 DSM-IV euthymic bipolar patients performing below two standard deviations from the mean of normative data in any neurocognitive test were included in this subanalysis. Repeated-measures analyses of variance were conducted to assess the impact of the treatment arms [functional remediation, psychoeducation, or treatment as usual (TAU)] on participants’ neurocognitive and functional outcomes in the subgroup of neurocognitively impaired patients.
Patients receiving functional remediation (n = 56) showed an improvement on delayed free recall when compared with the TAU (n = 63) and psychoeducation (n = 69) groups as shown by the group × time interaction at 6-month follow-up [F2,158 = 3.37, degrees of freedom (df) = 2, p = 0.037]. However, Tukey post-hoc analyses revealed that functional remediation was only superior when compared with TAU (p = 0.04), but not with psychoeducation (p = 0.10). Finally, the patients in the functional remediation group also benefited from the treatment in terms of functional outcome (F2,158 = 4.26, df = 2, p = 0.016).
Functional remediation is effective at improving verbal memory and psychosocial functioning in a sample of neurocognitively impaired bipolar patients at 6-month follow-up. Neurocognitive enhancement may be one of the active ingredients of this novel intervention, and, specifically, verbal memory appears to be the most sensitive function that improves with functional remediation.
The purpose of this study was to describe an unreported entomopathogenic fungus that naturally infects the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Acari: Ixodidae). Engorged female ticks, showed symptoms of fungal infection after controlled tick infestation of cattle. Infected ticks developed a distinctive dark colour, a pale mould grew over the cuticle and the ticks eventually died covered with fungal conidiophores. The responsible fungus was isolated and cultured on mycological medium and submitted to microscopic morphology, biochemical phenotyping and 18S rRNA ribotyping analyses, which identified it as aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus flavus. Spores from the cultured fungus were experimentally sprayed over healthy engorged female ticks, obtaining an 80% prevalence of experimental infection of healthy ticks and their egg masses, the larval progeny after incubation under laboratory conditions was also infected. These results demonstrate that A. flavus is the causative agent of the natural fungal disease of the cattle tick R. microplus described here.
Programmes involving mosquito research and surveillance are normally focused on the study of aquatic larval stages, but sampling methods are varied and not systematized, which hinders the comparative analysis of ecological data. A standardized method for assessing the richness and abundance of mosquito larval populations of value for the analysis of mosquito diversity is presented. Based on the study of all the aquatic sites in a one hectare sample area with a proportional number of dips according to the size of the aquatic habitat, comparative data can be obtained on species richness and relative abundance of species found between pairs of sites or in the same area at different times. This technique provides information on the total mosquito fauna at each site, helps recognize species of medical importance and estimates the abundance of each species; parameters that are not estimated by the current entomological indexes used in surveillance programmes. The quality of the inventory is obtained by estimation of the efficiency effort. Procedures for calculating alpha, beta and gamma diversity are presented. The technique was validated in a natural and an urban zone at La Mancha, Veracruz, Mexico, over two years of sampling made during different climatic seasons.
Raman scattering measurements were carried out on a bulk, single crystal of wurtzite ZnO over a temperature range from 80 to 760 K and the temperature-dependent shift and broadening of the E2high and A1(LO) modes was analyzed. The E2high mode exhibits a visibly asymmetric line shape that can be related to the interaction with the continuum of acoustic two-phonon density of states. A Fermi resonance model was used to describe the E2high temperature dependence. On the other hand, the anharmonic shift and broadening of the A1(LO) mode are adequately accounted for by a decay model with a dominating Ridley channel involving TO and LA modes. Phonon lifetimes of ∼0.9 and 0.5 ps are found for the E2high and A1(LO) modes, respectively, which corroborates that anharmonic decay involves in both cases a three-phonon process. The A1(LO)lifetime is one order of magnitude lower than that of GaN, which suggests that hot phonon effects should be expected to play a less relevant role in carrier relaxation in ZnO as compared with GaN.
The epidemiology of Ancylostoma spp. was studied in the endangered Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) in the Doñana National Park, south-west Spain. Faecal samples were collected throughout a complete annual cycle (August 1997 to September 1998). The overall egg prevalence of Ancylostoma spp. was 57.8%. The pattern of abundance of Ancylostoma spp. eggs in faeces was overdispersed. Juvenile lynx demonstrated a statistically higher prevalence and abundance of Ancylostoma spp. than in adults. These levels of egg output (maximum 21195 epg), as previously reported in free ranging large felid cubs, could be close to disease involvement. The potential pathogenicity of hookworms and the influence of individual and ecological factors on hookworm transmission in the Iberian lynx from the Doñana National Park population are discussed.
This work is an interpretation of a chronological data set on abundances of estuarine soft substrate invertebrates using an ecological approach. The data were collected in the framework of the European programme COST 647 (Coopération Scientifique et Technique) on coastal benthic ecology which terminated in 1992. Species numbers and selected environmental factors were recorded at two stations in the Baie de Somme (France) from 1981 to 1992. Inter-annual and seasonal variations in benthos numbers were analysed using a plotting procedure based on a non-probabilistic approach, proposed by Andrews in 1972. Ecological groups of species were identified and succession in time described, coinciding with alterations in the landings of cockles Cerastoderma edule. The chronological data set was processed through the application of the cumulated function, giving directly intensity and duration of any changes in relation to the climate and water quality, especially potential eutrophication manifestations.
Changes in four macrobenthic assemblages of the muddy-fine sand Abra alba community along the north-west French coast were compared using several numerical analyses (distogram, Eigen vector filtering, clustering and multi-dimensional scaling). The faunistic composition of these four assemblages continuously changed during the 1978–1992 period. These modifications are characterized by more or less rapid and abrupt successions of distinct groups of species, but the amplitude and the frequency of these changes are different between sites. Comparison of the results provided by different analyses also reveal that these four macrobenthic assemblages did not fluctuate in parallel, and that local conditions might play a key role on their temporal variations. However, it is shown that a major mesoscale climatic event, the alternation of mild and cold periods, probably also influenced the temporal variations of these four macrobenthic assemblages. Thus it is likely that there is a combination of both local and mesoscale events influencing these communities. In certain cases, changes in local conditions were the major source of variations. Sometimes the impact of the mesoscale conditions was more apparent, especially at the northern sites where the amplitude of the variations of temperature was greater.
Valuable mechanistic information, about the reaction pathway in the
formation of the 2223 phase, has been obtained by the use of a solution
synthesis route. The presence of lead in the starting mixture has remarkable
effects on the nature and stability of the different intermediates: i) the
grain size and morphology of Bi2CuO4 is severely
changed, ii) calcium carbonate is partially decomposed to yield the calcium
plumbate, iii) the 2201 phase results stabilized against the formation of
the collapsed phase
Bi17Sr16Cu7O49-δ, iv) the
melting point of the intermediate 2212 is lowered by about 10 °C. All these
effects, due to lead substitution, contribute to promote the formation of
the 2223 phase, controlling also the morphology and properties of the final
A variation of the solid-state matrix technique has been developed as a
procedure for the preparation of 2223 bismuth superconducting phases
n=3]. The adequate processing of samples of nominal compositions 2223+x
0021, obtained both by this procedure and by the polymer matrix method, has
allowed the modification of the microstructure of the calcium copper excess,
with no noticeable change in that of the 2223 grains. The study of the phase
evolution in the processing of the samples has shown that the formation rate
of the 2223 phase is faster when the particle size of the calcium cuprate is
smaller. A dependence of the intergranular superconducting properties on the
secondary phase is observed, appearing as a maximum in
Jc0/μcer at x=0.2 and x=0.5 for samples prepared by
solid state matrix and polymer matrix methods, respectively.
Several recombinant Trypanosoma cruzi proteins previously isolated were used as antigens to analyse antibody specificities present in sera from human infections. Some parasite proteins such as SAPA (Shed Acute Phase Antigen) are antigenic early after infection. Others, like antigens 1 and 30, are antigenic mainly during the chronic phase of the infection. To understand why different proteins are antigenic at different periods of infection, specificities of antibodies present in the sera of infected mice were compared with the antigens expressed by parasites collected directly from blood. Parasites collected during the acute parasitaemia peak expressed not only antigen SAPA, but also antigens 1 and 30. However, only antibodies against SAPA were frequently observed during the early period and also in the chronic phase of murine infection. Long-lasting antibodies against SAPA were detected regardless of the mouse and parasite strains used. Furthermore, all 8 recombinant clones detected in a T. cruzi expression library with pooled sera from acutely infected mice were homologous to the SAPA gene. These results show that even though parasites from the acute parasitaemia peak in mice may express simultaneously several proteins known to be antigenic, only antibodies against SAPA were consistently detected.
We studied the smoothing of nonuniformities in the quasisteady expansion of a plasm ablated from a spherical target under a weakly nonuniform laser irradiation with overall heat conduction and magnetic generation effects. We also considered light refraction effects.
Powder x-ray diffraction, d.c. and a.c. susceptibilities, and SEM have been used to study (Bi1−xPbx)2Sr2Ca2Cu3O10−δ fibers grown by the Laser Floating Zone method. The well-oriented, long-grained superconductor fiber properties are shown to be highly dependent on the partial pressure of oxygen in the growth atmosphere, as well as on fiber pulling rate. Slowly grown fibers contain initially the 2212 (80 K) phase; the 2223 (110 K) phase also appears upon annealing in air. Faster growth rates result in fibers that contain a mixture of the 2212 and 2201 phases and, in this case, long annealing procedures are necessary to observe the 2223 phase.
By using a linear analysis, a new type of thermal self-focusing instability without inverse bremsstrahlung absorption is analyzed. In the model it is assumed that part of the light is absorbed only at the critical surface and that the heat conduction is restricted to a layer on the target. Perturbations with wavelengths comparable to target radius are studied.
Bismuth superconducting oriented fibers of the compositions 2:2:1:2: and 2:2:2:3 have been grown by the Laser Floating Zone (LFZ) method. Growth conditions have been optimized in order to improve the superconducting properties. The 108 K onset in susceptibility measurements (associated to the 2:2:2:3 phase) only appears well defined when starting from Sr-defective precursors.