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Introducing irrigation to smallholder farms in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) can increase food security, improve nutrition, and reduce poverty. To explore the possibility of using drip irrigation on smallholder farms in SSA, we introduce a feasibility study that views the design space from both a user-centered lens, explaining how drip might be successful in the future, and from an engineering lens. With a first-order model, we compare estimated capital costs of drip and sprinkler systems for various farm profiles and show that drip has the potential to be a viable technology for many farms in SSA.
Amazon's Mechanical Turk is widely used for data collection; however, data quality may be declining due to the use of virtual private servers to fraudulently gain access to studies. Unfortunately, we know little about the scale and consequence of this fraud, and tools for social scientists to detect and prevent this fraud are underdeveloped. We first analyze 38 studies and show that this fraud is not new, but has increased recently. We then show that these fraudulent respondents provide particularly low-quality data and can weaken treatment effects. Finally, we provide two solutions: an easy-to-use application for identifying fraud in the existing datasets and a method for blocking fraudulent respondents in Qualtrics surveys.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an important treatment in conjunction with psychopharmacotherapy in schizophrenia. However, there is only very little research on the effects of such interventions on brain function.
Recent studies have suggested that jumping to conclusions and a specific attributional bias is a predominant cognitive style in patients which might lead to the development of delusions. In this multi-centre fMRI trial, we investigated the effect of nine months of CBT on neural correlates of “jumping to conclusions” and the “attributional style” in patients with psychosis. Eighty patients and 80 control subjects were recruited in six centres and measured with 3-Tesla functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) before and after CBT.
It could be shown that CBT ameliorates differences in brain activations between patients and controls after nine months.
These results support the feasibility of fMRI multicenter trials and sheds further light into the mechanisms relating psychotherapy to brain function in Schizophrenia.
There is evidence that patients with persecutory delusions tend to attribute excessively hypothetical positive events to internal causes and hypothetical negative events to external causes, arrive at hasty conclusions and fail in gathering and assessing adequate feedback, particularly when emotionally salient material is involved. Research on the neural correlates of the corresponding neural correlates and even more so on the potential effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on the associated cerebral networks is almost unavailable.
The first and preliminary results of a multicentre fMRI study will be presented.
In this study eighty schizophrenia patients from the POSITIVE clinical trial and eighty healthy subjects were recruited at six German university hospitals (Bonn, Duisburg-Essen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Cologne, Tubingen). After nine months of therapy (either with CBT or Supportive Therapy) patients and controls were re-examined enabling the study correlates of cerebral reorganization processes.
We found reliable differences in brain activation relating to phenomena of decision making under uncertainty, and biased attribution (self- vs. external reference of emotional events).
The comparison of both groups revealed significant decreased activation in key areas for decision making, self-reflection, self-relevance and agency attribution of patients with schizophrenia.
The preliminary data analysis of the still blinded treatment arms shows significantly increased activations in these areas after nine months of CBT. This suggest neuroplasitic changes according to relearning strategies in psychotic patients with schizophrenia and will hopefully give rise to a more widespread application of CBT in treatment of schizophrenia.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) in different targets emerges as a promising therapeutic option for patients with treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder (trOCD). We here describe the acute effects of different stimulation settings on OCD symptoms and mood states in a patient with trOCD after implantation of DBS electrodes in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis/ventral striatum-internal capsule (BNST/VS-IC).
Quadripolar DBS electrodes (Medtronic 3387) were implanted bilaterally with stereotactic guidance and microelectrode recordings in the BNST/VS-IC. Electrode location was confirmed via postoperative stereotactic CT. On the following day, the target was stimulated using different amplitudes (1V, 2V, 3.5V) and different contacts (0−/1+, 0−/3+, 2−/3+) with a constant pulse width of 210 μsec and a frequency of 130 Hz for 5 minutes, respectively. OCD symptoms and mood states were assessed by an independent rater using visual analogue scales.
Subjective intensity of obsessive-compulsive thoughts was reduced most by acute stimulation with 2V but, however, deteriorated with higher amplitudes. Subjective feelings of pleasure and spontaneous smiling were induced also at low voltage. Stimulation of different contact pairs located either in the BNST (0−/1+) or in the IC (2−/3+), and combined stimulation (0−/3+) produced differential and particularly specific effects.
We show acute effects on core symptoms of OCD after stimulation in the BNST/VS-IC. The induction of positive feelings accompanied symptom reduction. One hypothesis to explain our finding is that the induction of pleasure and smiling may be an epiphenomenon of stimulation of a ‘sweet-spot’ that ameliorates OCD symptoms after stimulation.
Postoperative cognitive impairment is among the most common medical complications associated with surgical interventions – particularly in elderly patients. In our aging society, it is an urgent medical need to determine preoperative individual risk prediction to allow more accurate cost–benefit decisions prior to elective surgeries. So far, risk prediction is mainly based on clinical parameters. However, these parameters only give a rough estimate of the individual risk. At present, there are no molecular or neuroimaging biomarkers available to improve risk prediction and little is known about the etiology and pathophysiology of this clinical condition. In this short review, we summarize the current state of knowledge and briefly present the recently started BioCog project (Biomarker Development for Postoperative Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly), which is funded by the European Union. It is the goal of this research and development (R&D) project, which involves academic and industry partners throughout Europe, to deliver a multivariate algorithm based on clinical assessments as well as molecular and neuroimaging biomarkers to overcome the currently unsatisfying situation.
Antenna-pattern measurements obtained from a double-metal supra-terahertz-frequency (supra-THz) quantum cascade laser (QCL) are presented. The QCL is mounted within a mechanically micro-machined waveguide cavity containing dual diagonal feedhorns. Operating in continuous-wave mode at 3.5 THz, and at an ambient temperature of ~60 K, QCL emission has been directed via the feedhorns to a supra-THz detector mounted on a multi-axis linear scanner. Comparison of simulated and measured far-field antenna patterns shows an excellent degree of correlation between beamwidth (full-width-half-maximum) and sidelobe content and a very substantial improvement when compared with unmounted devices. Additionally, a single output has been used to successfully illuminate and demonstrate an optical breadboard arrangement associated with a future supra-THz Earth observation space-borne payload. Our novel device has therefore provided a valuable demonstration of the effectiveness of supra-THz diagonal feedhorns and QCL devices for future space-borne ultra-high-frequency Earth-observing heterodyne radiometers.
Analyzing audiovisual communication is challenging because its content is highly symbolic and less rule-governed than verbal material. But audiovisual messages are important to understand: they amplify, enrich, and complicate the meaning of textual information. We describe a fully-reproducible approach to analyzing video content using minimally—but systematically—trained online workers. By aggregating the work of multiple coders, we achieve reliability, validity, and costs that equal those of traditional, intensively trained research assistants, with much greater speed, transparency, and replicability. We argue that measurement strategies relying on the “wisdom of the crowd” provide unique advantages for researchers analyzing complex and intricate audiovisual political content.
Evolutionary economics sees the economy as always in motion with change being driven largely by continuing innovation. This approach to economics, heavily influenced by the work of Joseph Schumpeter, saw a revival as an alternative way of thinking about economic advancement as a result of Richard Nelson and Sidney Winter's seminal book, An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change, first published in 1982. In this long-awaited follow-up, Nelson is joined by leading figures in the field of evolutionary economics, reviewing in detail how this perspective has been manifest in various areas of economic inquiry where evolutionary economists have been active. Providing the perfect overview for interested economists and social scientists, readers will learn how in each of the diverse fields featured, evolutionary economics has enabled an improved understanding of how and why economic progress occurs.
There is now a clear focus on incorporating, and integrating, multiple levels of analysis in developmental science. The current study adds to research in this area by including markers of the immune and neuroendocrine systems in a longitudinal study of temperament in infants. Observational and parent-reported ratings of infant temperament, serum markers of the innate immune system, and cortisol reactivity from repeated salivary collections were examined in a sample of 123 infants who were assessed at 6 months and again when they were, on average, 17 months old. Blood from venipuncture was collected for analyses of nine select innate immune cytokines; salivary cortisol collected prior to and 15 min and 30 min following a physical exam including blood draw was used as an index of neuroendocrine functioning. Analyses indicated fairly minimal significant associations between biological markers and temperament at 6 months. However, by 17 months of age, we found reliable and nonoverlapping associations between observed fearful temperament and biological markers of the immune and neuroendocrine systems. The findings provide some of the earliest evidence of robust biological correlates of fear behavior with the immune system, and identify possible immune and neuroendocrine mechanisms for understanding the origins of behavioral development.
Research organizations face challenges in creating infrastructures that cultivates and sustains interdisciplinary team science. The objective of this paper is to identify structural elements of organizations and training that promote team science.
We qualitatively analyzed the National Institutes of Health’s Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health, K12 using organizational psychology and team science theories to identify organizational design factors for successful team science and training.
Seven key design elements support team science: (1) semiformal meta-organizational structure, (2) shared context and goals, (3) formal evaluation processes, (4) meetings to promote communication, (5) role clarity in mentoring, (6) building interpersonal competencies among faculty and trainees, and (7) designing promotion and tenure and other organizational processes to support interdisciplinary team science.
This application of theory to a long-standing and successful program provides important foundational elements for programs and institutions to consider in promoting team science.