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Video materials require learners to manage concurrent verbal and pictorial processing. To facilitate second language (L2) learners’ video comprehension, the amount of presented information should thus be compatible with human beings’ finite cognitive capacity. In light of this, the current study explored whether a reduction in multimodal comprehension scaffolding would lead to better L2 comprehension gain when viewing captioned videos and, if so, which type of reduction (verbal vs. nonverbal) is more beneficial. A total of 62 L2 learners of English were randomly assigned to one of the following viewing conditions: (1) full captions + animation, (2) full captions + static key frames, (3) partial captions + animation, and (4) partial captions + static key frames. They then completed a comprehension test and cognitive load questionnaire. The results showed that while viewing the video with reduced nonverbal visual information (static key frames), the participants had well-rounded performance in all aspects of comprehension. However, their local comprehension (extraction of details) was particularly enhanced after viewing a key-framed video with full captions. Notably, this gain in local comprehension was not as manifest after viewing animated video content with full captions. The qualitative data also revealed that although animation may provide a perceptually stimulating viewing experience, its transient feature most likely taxed the participants’ attention, thus impacting their comprehension outcomes. These findings underscore the benefit of a reduction in nonverbal input and the interplay between verbal and nonverbal input. The findings are discussed in relation to the use of verbal and nonverbal input for different pedagogical purposes.
Support vector machines (SVMs) based on brain-wise functional connectivity (FC) have been widely adopted for single-subject prediction of patients with schizophrenia, but most of them had small sample size. This study aimed to evaluate the performance of SVMs based on a large single-site dataset and investigate the effects of demographic homogeneity and training sample size on classification accuracy.
The resting functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) dataset comprised 220 patients with schizophrenia and 220 healthy controls. Brain-wise FCs was calculated for each participant and linear SVMs were developed for automatic classification of patients and controls. First, we evaluated the SVMs based on all participants and homogeneous subsamples of men, women, younger (18–30 years), and older (31–50 years) participants by 10-fold nested cross-validation. Then, we hold out a fixed test set of 40 participants (20 patients and 20 controls) and evaluated the SVMs based on incremental training sample sizes (N = 40, 80, …, 400).
We found that the SVMs based on all participants had accuracy of 85.05%. The SVMs based on male, female, young, and older participants yielded accuracy of 84.66, 81.56, 80.50, and 86.13%, respectively. Although the SVMs based on older subsamples had better performance than those based on all participants, they generalized poorly to younger participants (77.24%). For incremental training sizes, the classification accuracy increased stepwise from 72.6 to 83.3%, with >80% accuracy achieved with sample size >240.
The findings indicate that SVMs based on a large dataset yield high classification accuracy and establish models using a large sample size with heterogeneous properties are recommended for single subject prediction of schizophrenia.
Despite the fact that social deficits among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are lifelong and impact many aspects of personal functioning, evidence-based programs for social skills training were not available until recently. The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) has been shown to effectively improve social skills for adolescents on the spectrum across different social cultures. However, the effectiveness for young adults beyond North America has yet to be examined. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of the PEERS intervention in Taiwanese young adults with ASD, and examine its durability and clinical correlates.
We recruited 82 cognitively-able young adults with ASD, randomized to the PEERS treatment or treatment-as-usual.
Following treatment, significant improvement was found in aspects of social deficits, autism severity, social interaction anxiety, empathy, and social skills knowledge either by self-report or coach-report. Additionally, communicative behaviors rated by observers improved throughout the sessions, showing a trend toward more appropriate eye contact, gestures, facial expression during conversation, and appropriate maintenance of conversation and reciprocity. Most effects maintained at 3-month and 6-month follow-ups. The improvement of social deficits was positively correlated with baseline severity, while gains in social skills knowledge were positively correlated with IQ. The improvement of social deficits, autism severity, and empathy were positively correlated with each other.
Overall, the PEERS intervention appears to effectively improve social functioning in Taiwanese young adults with ASD. Improvement of social response and knowledge may be predicted by baseline severity and intelligence respectively.
Intestinal atresia (IA), a common cause of neonatal intestinal obstruction, is a developmental defect, which disrupts the luminal continuity of the intestine. Here, we investigated (i) the process of lumen formation in human embryos; and (ii) how a defective lumen formation led to IA. We performed histological and histochemical study on 6–10 gestation week human embryos and on IA septal regions. To investigate the topology of embryonic intestine development, we conducted 3D reconstruction. We showed that a 6–7th gestation week embryonic gut has no lumen, but filled with mesenchyme cells and vacuoles of a monolayer of epithelial cells. A narrow gut lumen was formed by gestation week-9, the gut was filled with numerous vacuoles of different sizes, some vacuoles were merging with the developing embryonic gut wall. At gestation week-10, a prominent lumen was developed, only few vacuoles were present and were merging with the intestine wall. At IA septal regions, vacuoles were located in the submucous layer, covered by a single layer of epithelium without glandular structure, and surrounded with fibrous tissue. The mucosal epithelium was developed with lamina propria and basement membrane, but the submucosa and the longitudinal smooth muscle layers were not properly developed. Hence, the vacuoles in IA septum could represent a remnant of vacuoles of embryonic gut. In conclusion, the fusion of vacuoles with the developing intestine wall associates with the disappearance of vacuoles and gut lumen formation in human embryos, and perturbation of these developmental events could lead to IA.
Ti/Al/Mg/Al/Ti laminates were fabricated by hot rolling at 450 °C with various rolling reductions, and the relationship between the mechanical properties and microstructures was investigated in detail. Both Al–Mg and Ti–Al interfaces are well bonded without pore, crack, and intermetallics. Mg layer of 50% rolling reduction has the most dynamic recrystallized (DRXed) grains around the deformation bands, and tensile twins appear in Mg layer when the rolling reduction increases to 60%. Large numbers of twins are formed to absorb the further strain as reduction increases. Ti layer shows equiaxed grains, which are not sensitive to thickness strain. Mg layers of laminates with various rolling reductions all exhibit typical (0002) basal texture. Fifty-percent rolling reduction has the largest ultimate tensile strength of 337.8 MPa, which is mainly owing to grain refinement caused by the extensive DRX. The differences of elongation among the three samples with different rolling reductions are small.
Improvement of environmental cleaning in hospitals has been shown to decrease in-hospital cross transmission of pathogens. Several objective methods, including aerobic colony counts (ACCs), the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence assay, and the fluorescent marker method have been developed to assess cleanliness. However, the standard interpretation of cleanliness using the fluorescent marker method remains uncertain.
To assess the fluorescent marker method as a tool for determining the effectiveness of hospital cleaning.
A prospective survey study.
An academic medical center.
The same 10 high-touch surfaces were tested after each terminal cleaning using (1) the fluorescent marker method, (2) the ATP assay, and (3) the ACC method. Using the fluorescent marker method under study, surfaces were classified as totally clean, partially clean, or not clean. The ACC method was used as the standard for comparison.
According to the fluorescent marker method, of the 830 high-touch surfaces, 321 surfaces (38.7%) were totally clean (TC group), 84 surfaces (10.1%) were partially clean (PC group), and 425 surfaces (51.2%) were not clean (NC group). The TC group had significantly lower ATP and ACC values (mean ± SD, 428.7 ± 1,180.0 relative light units [RLU] and 15.6 ± 77.3 colony forming units [CFU]/100 cm2) than the PC group (1,386.8 ± 2,434.0 RLU and 34.9 ± 87.2 CFU/100 cm2) and the NC group (1,132.9 ± 2,976.1 RLU and 46.8 ± 119.2 CFU/100 cm2).
The fluorescent marker method provided a simple, reliable, and real-time assessment of environmental cleaning in hospitals. Our results indicate that only a surface determined to be totally clean using the fluorescent marker method could be considered clean.
Sedative–hypnotic medication use has been related to severe adverse events and risks. This study investigated the prevalence of and characteristics associated with the use of sedatives and hypnotics among community-dwelling elderly persons aged 65 years and over in Taiwan.
A representative sample of community-dwelling adults was recruited. Clinical and sociodemographic data were collected for assessing physical, mental, and cognitive functioning and disorders. Sedatives and hypnotics use was determined via both self-reporting and prescription records. Logistic regression modeling was used to evaluate associations between sedative–hypnotic use and demographic and health status.
Among the 3,978 participants aged 65 years and over, the rate of sedative–hypnotic use was 19.7% (n = 785). 4.5% (n = 35) of users reported sedative–hypnotic use without a doctor's prescription. Several sociodemographic characteristics were positively associated with sedative and hypnotic use, including older age, female gender, higher education level, married status, unemployment, and current alcohol consumption. Comorbid chronic and cardiovascular diseases, mental illness, depression, pain, and sleep problems also increased the likelihood of sedative–hypnotic use.
This study is one of the largest pioneer studies to date to survey sedatives–hypnotics use among community-dwelling elderly. One in five community-dwelling older adults reported sedative–hypnotic drugs use in Taiwan, and about 5% of sedative and/or hypnotics usage was without a doctor's prescription. Findings could be helpful for drug-use safety interventions to identify target geriatric patients who are in general at higher risk of downstream harm associated with sedative–hypnotic use in geriatric patients.
A novel scheme for power-combined frequency tripler adopting 2N diodes is proposed in this work. Even mode coupled suspended substrate stripline is used to divide and recombine the input and output power. The circuits of the tripler are printed on both sides of the substrate, with N diodes on the front side and the other N diodes on the back side. The front diodes and back diodes are in anti-parallel connection, and DC biased separately to increase the bandwidth and power capacity. Three Q-band prototypes with two, four, and six diodes are fabricated and tested. The output compression powers at output frequency of 43.5 GHz for two/four/six-diode tripler are 9.2, 11, and 12 dBm, respectively. Power capacity is improved with the proposed tripler. Optimum DC bias is also discussed in this work, and it is found that it first increases with drive power, and then drops when large drive power applied because of the increased series resistance of the diode due to high junction temperature.
Mesocrystal—a new class of crystals compared with conventional single crystals and randomly distributed nanocrystal systems—has captured significant attention in recent decades. Current studies have been focused on the advanced synthesis as well as the intriguing properties of mesocrystal. In order to create new opportunities upon functional mesocrystals, they can be regarded as a new functional entirety when integrated with unique matrix environments. The elegant combination of mesocrystals and matrices has enabled researchers to realize enthralling tunabilities and to derive new functionalities that cannot be found in individual components. Therefore, mesocrystal-embedded system forms a new playground towards multifunctionalities. This review article delivers a general roadmap that portrays the enhancement of intrinsic properties and new functionalities driven by novel mesocrystal-embedded oxide systems. An in-depth understanding and breakthroughs achieved in mesocrystal-embedded oxide systems are highlighted. This article concludes with a brief discussion on potential directions and perspectives along this research field.
This study investigated how cross-functional teams can influence their business model innovation and firm performance through team learning, consisting of multiple modes of within-team, cross-team, and market learning. Using a matched dyadic data set from a study of 330 cross-functional team members and their supervisors sampled from 165 electronics and information industries in China, the empirical results clearly indicate that within-team, cross-team, and market learning can improve business model innovation and firm performance. The results of the mediating model show how the business model innovation mediates the relationship between team learning and firm performance.
Polyaniline nanofiber (PANF) was synthesized using interfacial polymerization and was mixed with aqueous solution of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) to form PANF–PVA binaries. The PANF suspension in water could be stabilized by PVA for more than 3 months due to the hydrogen bonding interaction between PANF and PVA. The specific characteristics of PANF–PVA films was checked by scanning electron microscopy, conductivity measurement, thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry. The composite film contained 25 wt% PVA (PANF–PVA25) casting at 105 °C was found to have a porous structure and good conductivity. The presence of hydrogen bonding interaction between PANF and PVA improves the electroactivity and electroactive stability of PANF–PVA25 for electrochemical applications. However, an ether linkage between PANF and PVA polymer chain was also found as casting the PANF–PVA film at 200 °C, which is unfavorable for electrochemical applications.