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Data quality in survey research remains a paramount concern for those studying mass political behavior. Because surveys are conducted in increasingly diverse contexts around the world, ensuring that best practices are followed becomes ever more important to the field of political science. Bringing together insights from surveys conducted in more than 80 countries worldwide, this article highlights common challenges faced in survey research and outlines steps that researchers can take to improve the quality of survey data. Importantly, the article demonstrates that with the investment of the necessary time and resources, it is possible to carry out high-quality survey research even in challenging environments in which survey research is not well established.
Potentiometric titrations are a widely used technique to quantify proton-active functional groups on microorganisms, their exudates, biominerals, and biofilms. In this chapter, we provide a step-by-step introduction to the preparation of microbial cells for the determination of proton buffering capacity using modern autotitration systems. Following a discussion of how to process titration data and plot titration curves, we review commonly used thermodynamic approaches to model titration curves in order to calculate cell wall functional group acidity constants and corresponding site concentrations. In geomicrobiology, protonation models are primarily used as a basis for the development of surface complexation models that can predict the adsorption of charged species such as metals to biomass. The case example that follows outlines the development of a surface complexation model for the adsorption of cadmium to a species of the marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus, using a protonation model developed from titration data as its basis. In the last section, we introduce the reader to other analytical tools that are complementary to titration results, and discuss a few common complications to the titration approach when it is applied to natural materials.
Objectives: Prior studies have found associations between visual acuity (VA) and cognitive function. However, these studies used a limited range of cognitive measures and did not control for cardiovascular disease risk factors (CVD-RFs) and baseline function. The primary objective of this study was to analyze the associations of VA and cognitive performance using a thorough neuropsychological test battery. Methods: This study used community-dwelling sample data across the sixth (2001–2006) and seventh (2006–2010) waves of the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study (n=655). Wave 6 VA as measured by the Snellen Eye Test was the primary predictor of wave 6 and wave 7 Global cognitive performance, Visual-Spatial Organization and Memory, Verbal Episodic Memory, Working Memory, Scanning and Tracking, and Executive Function. Additionally, VA was used to predict longitudinal changes in wave 7 cognitive performance (wave 6 performance adjusted). We analyzed these relationships with multiple linear and logistic regression models adjusted for age, sex, education, ethnicity, depressive symptoms, physical function deficits in addition to CVD-RFs, chronic kidney disease, homocysteine, continuous systolic blood pressure, and hypertension status. Results: Adjusted for demographic covariates and CVD-RFs, poorer VA was associated with concurrent and approximate 5-year declines in Global cognitive function, Visual-Spatial Organization and Memory, and Verbal Episodic Memory. Discussion: VA may be used in combination with other screening measures to determine risk for cognitive decline. (JINS, 2018, 24, 1–9)
Youths with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) experience severe distress and impaired functioning at school and at home. Critical cognitive domains for daily functioning and academic success are learning, memory, cognitive flexibility and goal-directed behavioural control. Performance in these important domains among teenagers with OCD was therefore investigated in this study.
A total of 36 youths with OCD and 36 healthy comparison subjects completed two memory tasks: Pattern Recognition Memory (PRM) and Paired Associates Learning (PAL); as well as the Intra-Extra Dimensional Set Shift (IED) task to quantitatively gauge learning as well as cognitive flexibility. A subset of 30 participants of each group also completed a Differential-Outcome Effect (DOE) task followed by a Slips-of-Action Task, designed to assess the balance of goal-directed and habitual behavioural control.
Adolescent OCD patients showed a significant learning and memory impairment. Compared with healthy comparison subjects, they made more errors on PRM and PAL and in the first stages of IED involving discrimination and reversal learning. Patients were also slower to learn about contingencies in the DOE task and were less sensitive to outcome devaluation, suggesting an impairment in goal-directed control.
This study advances the characterization of juvenile OCD. Patients demonstrated impairments in all learning and memory tasks. We also provide the first experimental evidence of impaired goal-directed control and lack of cognitive plasticity early in the development of OCD. The extent to which the impairments in these cognitive domains impact academic performance and symptom development warrants further investigation.
We study the dynamics of a domain wall under the influence of applied magnetic fields in a one-dimensional ferromagnetic nanowire, governed by the Landau–Lifshitz–Gilbert equation. Existence of travelling-wave solutions close to two known static solutions is proven using implicit-function-theorem-type arguments.
Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offer a novel, timely approach for investigating the aetiology of neuropsychiatric disorders. Although we are starting to gain more insight into the specific mechanisms that cause Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, this has not resulted in therapies to slow the pathological processes. Animal models have been paramount in studying the neurobiological processes underlying psychiatric disorders. Nonetheless, these human conditions cannot be entirely recapitulated in rodents. Human cell models derived from patients’ cells now offer new hope for improving our understanding of the early molecular stages of these diseases, through to validating therapeutics. The impact of dementia is increasing, and a new model to investigate the early stages of this disease is heralded as an essential, new platform for translational research. In this paper, we review current literature using iPSCs to study Alzheimer's disease, describe drug discovery efforts using this platform, and discuss the future potential for this technology in psychiatry research.
The phylogenetic relationships of the echinoderms remains controversial due to the traditional use of morphological characters which do not reflect convergent evolution. While biochemical techniques and DNA analysis may be used in addition to morphological characters for analysis of living echinoderms, these tools cannot be extended to fossils. Shell matrix proteins - of echinoderms may be trapped and preserved for millions of years in fossil genera.
Analysis of shell matrix protein from Astropectin irregularis, Luidia clathrata and Mellita tenuis, reveal the presence of at least three major proteins of approximate molecular weights 230, 83 and 17 kDa common to all species. Astropectin irregularis showed four additional major bands of molecular weights 150, 90, 52 and 35 kDa along with at least 12 minor bands. Luidia clathrata showed five additional major bands of molecular weights 99, 60, 40, 24 and 21 kDa and at least 13 other minor bands. Mellita tenuis showed three additional bands of molecular weights 115, 96, and 24 kDa along with at least 4 minor bands.
As the three common proteins have been found in both seastars (A. irregularis and L. clathrata) and echinoids (Mellita tenuis), further analysis of these shell matrix proteins may be used to elucidate phylogenetic relationships within the Echinodermata. In addition homoplasies may be identified and phylogenetically reassessed.
Comparing genotype results of tuberculosis (TB) isolates from individuals diagnosed with TB can support or refute transmission; however, these conclusions are based upon the criteria used to define a genotype match. We used a genotype-match definition which allowed for variation in IS6110 restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) to support transmission between epidemiologically linked persons. Contacts of individuals with infectious TB (index cases) diagnosed in New York City from 1997 to 2003 who subsequently developed TB (contact cases) from 1997 to 2007 were identified. For each contact case and index case (case-pair), isolate genotypes (spoligotype and RFLP results) were evaluated. Isolates from case-pairs were classified as exact or non-exact genotype match. Genotypes from non-exact match case-pairs were reviewed at the genotyping laboratory to determine if the isolates met the near-genotype-match criteria (exactly matching spoligotype and similar RFLP banding patterns). Of 118 case-pairs identified, isolates from 83 (70%) had exactly matching genotypes and 14 (12%) had nearly matching genotypes (supporting transmission), while the remaining 21 (18%) case-pairs had discordant genotypes (refuting transmission). Using identical genotype-match criteria for isolates from case-pairs epidemiologically linked through contact investigation may lead to underestimation of transmission. TB programmes should consider the value of expanding genotype-match criteria to more accurately assess transmission between such cases.
Recurrent glioblastoma (GBM) has an unmet need for effective therapies. Toca 511 (vocimagene amiretrorepvec), a retroviral replicating vector with the transgene cytosine deaminase, selectively infects, persists and spreads in tumor. Subsequent oral administration of 5-fluorocytosine (Toca FC) produces 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) within infected cells. 5-FU kills cancer cells and myeloid derived suppressor cells, inducing robust antitumor immune responses in animal models. In 2 Phase 1 studies, Toca 511 was administered into the cavity wall after surgical resection (NCT01470794) or intratumoral injection by biopsy needle (NCT01156584). To provide context to the results observed, subjects were compared to an external lomustine treated control (Courtesy Denovo Biopharma; Wick 2010). Treatment with Toca 511/Toca FC from 2 Phase I studies showed significant improvement in OS HR equals to 0.48, p less than 0.001, with similar effect in the surgical resection (OS HR 0.45, p equals to 0.003) and intratumoral injection (OS HR 0.56, p equals to 0.060). Fewer related greater or equal to Grade 3 adverse events (AEs) were reported for Toca 511/Toca FC (2.5 percent) vs. lomustine (36.9 percent). There was a virtual absence of hematologic toxicity for Toca 511/Toca FC vs. lomustine (Grade greater or equal to 3 thrombocytopenia 23.8 percent). Discontinuations for AEs occurred in 0percent for Toca 511/Toca FC vs. 4.8 percent for lomustine. Toca 511 is surgically delivered and treatment-emergent AEs regardless of attribution included incision site pain (20 percent), procedural pain (12.5 percent), and wound infection (5 percent) vs. 0percent, 1.2 percent, 1.2 percent respectively for lomustine. Toca 511/Toca FC significantly improved survival and safety relative to lomustine. A Phase 2/3 trial has launched (NCT02414165).
In this study, we applied a stepped-combustion approach to dating post-bomb lake sediment from north-central Mississippi. Samples were combusted at a low temperature (400 °) and then at 900 °. The CO2 was collected separately for both combustions and analyzed. The goal of this work was to develop a methodology to improve the accuracy of 14C dating of sediment by combusting at a lower temperature and reducing the amount of reworked carbon bound to clay minerals in the sample material. The 14C fraction modern results for the low and high temperature fractions of these sediments were compared with well-defined 137Cs determinations made on sediment taken from the same cores. Comparison of “bomb curves” for 14C and 137Cs indicate that low temperature combustion of sediment improved the accuracy of 14C dating of the sediment. However, fraction modern results for the low temperature fractions were depressed compared to atmospheric values for the same time frame, possibly the result of carbon mixing and the low sedimentation rate in the lake system.
The program has been continued thanks to the financial help of IAU, Unesco, and of local authorities. A school has been held in Lembang, Indonesia from May 16 to June 2, 1983, with students from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand. The Local Organizing Committee, chaired by B. Hidayat was very efficient, and the school is considered to be one of the most successful held to date. Both teachers and students expressed their appreciation to the School Secretary, Dr J. Kleczek, and to the IAU Executive Committee. Another school, foreseen in Venezuela for September 1983, had to be cancelled due to the lack of support of the Venezuelan Research Council. There are plans to hold several schools during the 1985-1988 period.
There is evidence of executive function impairment in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) that potentially contributes to symptom development and maintenance. Nevertheless, the precise nature of these executive impairments and their neural basis remains to be defined.
We compared stopping and shifting, two key executive functions previously implicated in OCD, in the same task using functional magnetic resonance imaging, in patients with virtually no co-morbidities and age-, verbal IQ- and gender-matched healthy volunteers. The combined task allowed direct comparison of neural activity in stopping and shifting independent of patient sample characteristics and state variables such as arousal, learning, or current symptom expression.
Both OCD patients and controls exhibited right inferior frontal cortex activation during stopping, and left inferior parietal cortex activation during shifting. However, widespread under-activation across frontal-parietal areas was found in OCD patients compared to controls for shifting but not stopping. Conservative, whole-brain analyses also indicated marked divergent abnormal activation in OCD in the caudate and thalamus for these two cognitive functions, with stopping-related over-activation contrasting with shift-related under-activation.
OCD is associated with selective components of executive function, which engage similar common elements of cortico-striatal regions in different abnormal ways. The results implicate altered neural activation of subcortical origin in executive function abnormalities in OCD that are dependent on the precise cognitive and contextual requirements, informing current theories of symptom expression.
Resilience is the capacity of individuals to resist mental disorders despite exposure to stress. Little is known about its neural underpinnings. The putative variation of white-matter microstructure with resilience in adolescence, a critical period for brain maturation and onset of high-prevalence mental disorders, has not been assessed by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Lower fractional anisotropy (FA) though, has been reported in the corpus callosum (CC), the brain's largest white-matter structure, in psychiatric and stress-related conditions. We hypothesized that higher FA in the CC would characterize stress-resilient adolescents.
Three groups of adolescents recruited from the community were compared: resilient with low risk of mental disorder despite high exposure to lifetime stress (n = 55), at-risk of mental disorder exposed to the same level of stress (n = 68), and controls (n = 123). Personality was assessed by the NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). Voxelwise statistics of DTI values in CC were obtained using tract-based spatial statistics. Regional projections were identified by probabilistic tractography.
Higher FA values were detected in the anterior CC of resilient compared to both non-resilient and control adolescents. FA values varied according to resilience capacity. Seed regional changes in anterior CC projected onto anterior cingulate and frontal cortex. Neuroticism and three other NEO-FFI factor scores differentiated non-resilient participants from the other two groups.
High FA was detected in resilient adolescents in an anterior CC region projecting to frontal areas subserving cognitive resources. Psychiatric risk was associated with personality characteristics. Resilience in adolescence may be related to white-matter microstructure.
Few studies have examined associations between different subcategories of cholesterol and cognitive function. We examined relationships between total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), triglyceride levels and cognitive performance in the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study, a community-based study of cardiovascular risk factors. Cross-sectional analyses were undertaken on data from 540 participants, aged 60 to 98 years, free of dementia and stroke. TC, HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels were obtained. Cognitive function was assessed using a thorough neuropsychological test battery, including domains of cognitive function indexed by multiple cognitive tests. The cognitive outcomes studied were as follows: Visual-Spatial Memory and Organization, Verbal and Working Memory, Scanning and Tracking, Abstract Reasoning, a Global Composite score, and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Significant positive associations were observed between HDL-cholesterol and the Global Composite score, Working Memory, and the MMSE after adjustment for demographic and cardiovascular risk factors. Participants with desirable levels of HDL (≥60 mg/dL) had the highest scores on all cognitive outcomes. There were no significant associations observed between TC, LDL, or triglyceride concentrations and cognition. In older individuals, HDL-cholesterol was related to a composite of Working Memory tests and for general measures of cognitive ability when adjusted for cardiovascular variables. We speculate that persons over 60 are survivors and thus less likely to show cognitive deficit in relation to TC, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides. Longitudinal studies are needed to examine relations between specific cognitive abilities and the different subcategories of cholesterol. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–10)
High post-release survival, low dispersal and the recruitment of captive-reared individuals into the wild population are critical to the success of any reintroduction programme. Reintroducing a migratory species poses an additional challenge as success also depends on the return of captive-reared individuals to breeding grounds in subsequent years. We investigated the effects of seven husbandry and management factors on the return rate of captive-reared eastern loggerhead shrikes Lanius ludovicianus migrans and documented the recruitment of returning individuals. During 2004–2010, 564 juveniles were released in Ontario, Canada, as part of a field propagation and release programme and there were 27 confirmed sightings of returning birds during 2005–2011. Returning birds were significantly more likely to have been released in large groups of juveniles (9–10 birds) at 5.5 weeks post-fledging from the Carden field propagation site. Comparisons of the number of young fledged and survival to 2 weeks post-fledging revealed similar results for pairs comprising one captive-reared and one wild-reared individual and pairs comprising two wild individuals. These results highlight the contribution of captive-reared shrikes to the recovery of the wild population and the importance of monitoring outcomes and evaluating techniques.
Impulsivity and compulsivity represent useful conceptualizations that involve dissociable cognitive functions, which are mediated by neuroanatomically and neurochemically distinct components of cortico-subcortical circuitry. The constructs were historically viewed as diametrically opposed, with impulsivity being associated with risk-seeking and compulsivity with harm-avoidance. However, they are increasingly recognized to be linked by shared neuropsychological mechanisms involving dysfunctional inhibition of thoughts and behaviors. In this article, we selectively review new developments in the investigation of the neurocognition of impulsivity and compulsivity in humans, in order to advance our understanding of the pathophysiology of impulsive, compulsive, and addictive disorders and indicate new directions for research.
The present study employs Jungian psychological type theory to examine the profile of 236 Readers serving in the Church of England (108 males and 128 females) alongside previously published data providing the psychological type profile of clergy serving within the Church of England (626 men and 237 women). The analysis was interpreted to test two competing accounts of Reader ministry: that Reader ministry expresses similar qualities to those reflected in ordained ministry, and that Reader ministry represents a pioneer ministry on the boundaries of the church. Overall the findings demonstrate significant psychological similarities between those exercising Reader ministry and those exercising ordained ministry, suggesting that, in the current generation, Readers tend to present themselves as clones of the clergy rather than as distinctive voices equipped for pioneer ministry or for fresh expressions of church.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been associated with response inhibition deficits under motivationally neutral contingencies. We examined response inhibition performance in the presence of reward and punishment. We further investigated whether the hypothesized difficulties in flexibly updating behaviour based on external feedback in OCD would also lead to a reduced ability to adjust to changes in the reward and punishment contingencies.
Participants completed a go/no-go task that used punishments or rewards to promote response activation or suppression. The task was administered to OCD patients free of current Axis-I co-morbidities including major depression (n = 20) and a group of healthy controls (n = 32).
Compared with controls, patients with OCD had increased commission errors in punishment conditions, and failed to slow down immediately after receiving punishment. The punishment-induced increase in commission errors correlated with self-report measures of OCD symptom severity. Additionally, patients did not differ from controls in adapting their overall response style to the changes in task contingencies.
Individuals with OCD showed reduced response control selectively under punishment conditions, manifesting in an impulsive response style that was related to their current symptom severity. This stresses failures of cognitive control in OCD, particularly under negative motivational contingencies.