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Preterm birth is associated with an increased risk for cognitive-neurophysiological impairments and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Whether the associations are due to the preterm birth insult per se, or due to other risk factors that characterise families with preterm-born children, is largely unknown.
We employed a within-sibling comparison design, using cognitive-performance and event-related potential (ERP) measures from 104 preterm-born adolescents and 104 of their term-born siblings. Analyses focused on ADHD symptoms and cognitive and ERP measures from a cued continuous performance test, an arrow flanker task and a reaction time task.
Within-sibling analyses showed that preterm birth was significantly associated with increased ADHD symptoms (β = 0.32, p = 0.01, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.58) and specific cognitive-ERP impairments, such as IQ (β = −0.20, p = 0.02, 95% CI −0.40 to −0.01), preparation-vigilance measures and measures of error processing (ranging from β = 0.71, −0.35). There was a negligible within-sibling association between preterm birth with executive control measures of inhibition (NoGo-P3, β = −0.07, p = 0.45, 95% CI −0.33 to 0.15) or verbal working memory (digit span backward, β = −0.05, p = 0.63, 95% CI −0.30 to 0.18).
Our results suggest that the relationship between preterm birth with ADHD symptoms and specific cognitive-neurophysiological impairments (IQ, preparation-vigilance and error processing) is independent of family-level risk and consistent with a causal inference. In contrast, our results suggest that previously observed associations between preterm birth with executive control processes of inhibition and working memory are instead linked to background characteristics of families with a preterm-born child rather than preterm birth insult per se. These findings suggest that interventions need to target both preterm-birth specific and family-level risk factors.
The Orion facility at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in the United Kingdom has the capability to operate one of its two 500 J, 500 fs short-pulse petawatt beams at the second harmonic, the principal reason being to increase the temporal contrast of the pulse on target. This is achieved post-compression, using 3 mm thick type-1 potassium dihydrogen phosphate crystals. Since the beam diameter of the compressed pulse is
mm, it is impractical to achieve this over the full aperture due to the unavailability of the large aperture crystals. Frequency doubling was originally achieved on Orion using a circular sub-aperture of 300 mm diameter. The reduction in aperture limited the output energy to 100 J. The second-harmonic capability has been upgraded by taking two square 300 mm
300 mm sub-apertures from the beam and combining them at focus using a single paraboloidal mirror, thus creating a 200 J, 500 fs, i.e., 400 TW facility at the second harmonic.
Whilst preterm-born individuals have an increased risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and are reported to have ADHD-like attention and arousal impairments, direct group comparisons are scarce.
We directly compared preterm-born adolescents (n = 186) to term-born adolescents with ADHD (n = 69), and term-born controls (n = 135), aged 11–23, on cognitive-performance, event-related potential and skin conductance level (SCL) measures associated with attention and arousal. The measures are from baseline and fast-incentive conditions of a four-choice reaction time task, previously shown to discriminate between the individuals with ADHD and controls. We aimed to establish whether preterm-born adolescents show: (a) identical cognitive-neurophysiological impairments to term-born adolescents with ADHD (b) possible additional impairments, and whether (c) the observed impairments correlate with ADHD symptom scores.
The preterm group, like the term-born ADHD group, showed increased mean reaction time (MRT) and reaction time variability (RTV) in the baseline condition, and attenuated contingent negative variation (CNV) amplitude (response preparation) in the fast-incentive condition. The preterm group, only, did not show significant within-group adjustments in P3 amplitude (attention allocation) and SCL (peripheral arousal). Dimensional analyses showed that ADHD symptoms scores correlated significantly with MRT, RTV and CNV amplitude only.
We find impairments in cognition and brain function in preterm-born adolescents that are linked to increased ADHD symptoms, as well as further impairments, in lack of malleability in neurophysiological processes. Our findings indicate that such impairments extend at least to adolescence. Future studies should extend these investigations into adulthood.
AS THE ELDEST son of the rector of Winnal, a small parish partly in. Winchester, Joseph Spence appeared to have no special prospects at birth; they were not enhanced by his mother's connection with minor aristocracy (through her grandfather, Sir Thomas Lunsford, of dubious reputation, who died in Virginia in 1653). His education began in the Berkshire village of Mortimer. Not until a generous and wealthy relative offered to pay for his transfer to Winchester College did his fortunes improve; but then they most certainly did—by the move to Winchester he became a Wykehamist, and thereby a member of an elite group who would expect and achieve accelerated advancement. Spence went up to New College, Oxford, in 1720, and was elected a full Fellow of the College in 1722, one year after his Wykehamist friend Christopher Pitt (1699–1748) and two years ahead of Wykehamist Glocester Ridley (1702–74)—both men who achieved some reputation, Pitt as a poet and translator of Virgil, and Ridley as an Oxford don, prebendary of Salisbury Cathedral, and miscellaneous writer. Already established in Oxford with an All Souls Fellowship was Wykehamist and poet, Edward Young (1683–1765); then, younger than Spence, came yet another Wykehamist, Robert Lowth (1710–87) who was to become Bishop of London and also author of the significant Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews (translated in 1787). Collegiate loyalty was important, as were social cachet and scholarly distinction; Spence's friends, equipped in both respects, were prepared to exert their influence on his behalf.
AN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY guidebook for travellers on the Grand Tour. starts with the remarks:
Travelling, even in the remotest ages, was reckoned so useful a custom, as to be judged the only means of improving the understanding, and of acquiring a high degree of reputation… The first civilized nations had so exalted an idea of those who had been in foreign countries, that they honoured even such as made but short voyages, with the title of philosophers and conquerors.
If the spirit of the Grand Tour could thus be traced back to the ancient Greeks, the concept and the term itself were relatively new. Its first use is often attributed to Richard Lassels (c.1603–68), a Catholic priest, who made the trip on several occasions as tutor to the sons of nobility; he died in Montpellier in France ‘on what would heave been his sixth voyage to Italy’. Among many other seventeenth-century travellers were Thomas Coryat (c.1577–1617), author of Coryats Crudities (1611), the architect Inigo Jones (1573–1652), Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679), who went as tutor to the future Earl of Devonshire in 1614–15, and John Milton in 1638–9. William Bromley (1664–1732) added to a growing fashion by publishing an account of his journey, Remarks in the Grand Tour of France and Italy. Perform'd by a Person of Quality, in the Year, 1691, claiming with becoming modesty that ‘when this Journal was writ, he had no Intentions of making it publick, and now is above the proposing to himself an Advantage thereby’.
I love vastly to see places where such and such people have been, and where great Events have hap'ned. And that pleasure is great in Italy, the more so as the things hap'ned so long ago, and that just now I'm more read in Antient than modern History… The ruins and remains of the Roman Empire really amuse [i.e astonish] me. [19 December 1766]
IN WORDS which could have been used by perhaps the majority of travellers on the Grand Tour, Caroline Lennox wrote from Naples to her sister Emily, Marchioness of Kildare (from November 1766, Duchess of Leinster). Her social position made the ambition she describes one that could be realised. Her father, Charles Lennox (1701–50), prominent in the English Court, succeeded to the title of Duke of Richmond in the year of her birth; her mother, Lady Sarah Cadogan (1706–51), born at The Hague, was accustomed all her life to living in the Dutch Court where Caroline's grandfather, Earl Cadogan, had been British Envoy, and then Ambassador. It is therefore not surprising that Caroline was used to Continental travel and was encouraged by education (partly in French) to pursue interests beyond the borders of her native country. There seem to have been few or no constraints on her visits to France: no paternal warnings about expenditure such as dogged George Lyttelton, no paternal directions as to where or how often she should travel such as suffered by James Boswell. But she had her own difficulties.
This book provides a selection of private letters written to family and friends from a variety of people while they were on the Grand Tour in the eighteenth century. Although many have been published previously, this is the first time that letters of this kind have been brought together in a single volume. Readers can compare the various responses of travellers to the sights, pleasures and discomforts encountered on the journey. People of diverse backgrounds, with different expectations and interests, give personal accounts of their particular experiences of the Grand Tour. Unlike most collections of letters from the Tour, which recount the views of a single person, this selection emphasises diversity. Readers can juxtapose for example the letters of a conscientious young nobleman like Lyttelton with those of the excitable philanderer Boswell, or the well-travelled aristocratic lady, Caroline Lennox. While the travellers represented here follow much the same route via Paris, through France and across the Alps via the terrifying Mount Cenis, to Rome, in the pursuit of learning and pleasure, the Tour turns out to mean something quite different to each of them.
James Barry, the eldest child of John and Juliana Barry of Cork in Ireland, had shown promise as an artist from his earliest days. At just 20 he was awarded a premium at the Dublin Society's annual exhibition for his painting The Baptism of the King of Cashel by St Patrick. At about the same time he met Edmund Burke in Dublin through their mutual friend Dr Fenn Sleigh, a physician in Cork who had schooled Barry in the classics. Burke soon arranged for Barry to move to London where, in 1764, he found him a position as an assistant to the antiquarian and painter ‘Athenian’ Stuart. Both Sleigh and Burke recognised his talent and encouraged him to pursue his art studies on the Continent. But Barry could not afford that. By mid-1765, however, the finances of Burke and his kinsman William Burke had so improved that they agreed to pay for Barry to study on the Continent, and he left for Paris in October. Overwhelmed by the kindness of his patrons, and determined to live up to their expectations, he set off on a tour that would take him to the great art galleries of France and Italy. There he would study and practise art on the grand scale: his ambition was to be a great history painter. If the Grand Tour was designed to educate young gentlemen by exposure to the finest art of Classical and Renaissance culture, Barry was one of its exemplary pupils.
IT WAS NOT UNUSUAL for a young man with an eye to a legal career to spend a year studying law in Holland; Boswell's father, a senior Scottish judge, Lord Auchinleck, had done so in Leyden; his son chose Utrecht, where he went in August 1763. Once there he was determined to make Utrecht the launching pad for the Grand Tour. His father was strenuously opposed to the idea, insisting that he should complete his studies and establish himself in the practice of the law. The prospect of his son loose on the Continent, and spending parental money without restraint, no doubt alarmed Auchinleck. It is more than likely that he entertained ‘gloomy suspicions’ about his son's prodigality. He wrote in August 1765 expressing the hope that Boswell would ‘return with a proper taste and relish for [his] own country’; otherwise,
I should most heartily repent that ever I agreed to your going abroad, and shall consider the money spent in the tour you have made as much worse than thrown away.
Both the message and the tone recall Sir Thomas Lyttelton's warning to his son George.
However, as Boswell told his friend John Johnston, Laird of Grange (in Annandale, Dumfriesshire), his ‘worthy Father’ eventually and reluctantly agreed that he should accept an invitation from the 10th Earl Marischal, George Keith, to accompany him to Berlin. The young traveller would also be able to draw on ‘a genteel credit’ provided by his father. Not that Boswell and his father had reached a common view about the purpose of a Continental tour.
THE REASONS for collecting classical and Renaissance works of art in eighteenth-century Britain are many and complex. One could argue that the trend had been set by King Charles I, who started by purchasing ‘the entire cabinet of the Duke of Mantua, consisting of eighty-two pictures, and esteemed the most valuable in Europe, for which he paid £20,000’. Not far below the surface of the burgeoning interest was an awareness that British achievements in painting and sculpture did not yet rival those of France or Italy. The Reformation had been a major factor in explaining the decline of art in Britain and distinguishing it from art in Continental Europe. The 1688 Revolution marked the turning point, after which Britain gradually acquired a more confident outward-looking identity. As one critic puts it, the new ‘Great Britain’ was based ‘on a Protestant culture, which was seen as providing the basis for free enquiry and commercial success’. Commerce brought considerable prosperity to the upper classes, along with a desire for improvement. Hence, the Grand Tour was not just an opportunity for the traveller's self-improvement, but part of a larger trend to re-establish links with certain aspects of European culture.
There were various ways in which this became apparent, but for our purposes three interlinking factors are of particular interest.
THE GRAND TOUR has in recent decades become the focus of much s cholarly research and comment, which understandably treats it as a striking phenomenon, a significant cultural feature of eighteenth-century life. Scholars look, as it were, from the outside in. What this volume offers is a view from the inside. The travellers speak for themselves: each responded differently, was curious about different things, enjoyed different pleasures. The Tour emerges as a vast panorama of opportunities and experiences, far wider than any individual could take in. The point is all the more evident from the fact that none of these correspondents was writing with a view to publishing his or her letters; these have an immediacy unhampered or refined by thoughts of an eventual public readership. Spence did think of publishing, but nothing came of the idea. Others followed the fashion of disseminating their experiences to the general public. To publish one's letters meant shaping them as a corpus, endowing seemingly impromptu and personal letters with a kind of homogeneity, and providing a discursive unity. Such a volume could then be read and criticized as a crafted response to the Tour. For example William Beckford, who published his Tour letters as Dreams, Waking Thoughts and Incidents (1783), is said by one critic to illustrate ‘the movement from North to South that the Tour entails’. The letters in this collection are strictly ‘familiar’ and informal: that is part of their distinctive appeal.
THE JULIAN CALENDAR—‘Old Style’ (OS) —was introduced by Julius Caesar in 45 BC; ‘New Style’ (NS) was based on the Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory III in 1582. The date of the adoption of NS in preference to OS varied from country to country. In England the change followed an Act of Parliament in March 1751; this decreed that the next 1 January should be the first day of 1752, and that 2 September 1752 should be followed by 14 September to eliminate the discrepancy between the two calendars. It became common in mid-century for correspondents to give both forms of date in their letters; where this occurs in letters printed here — as in the case of Joseph Spence—the writer's practice is strictly followed.
FINE TRAVEL writing in any century exists primarily in accounts by individual travellers recording their immediate personal responses to people, places, historic scenes, natural phenomena, seemingly strange diurnal activities and the like, which fascinate or repel, excite or instruct them. In the case of travellers on the Grand Tour, the immediacy of record was ensured by their addressing readers who were as eager to receive their intimacies as the writers to send them. Letters—the most intimate and direct form of written communication—were directed to individuals who were of great personal consequence to the senders: a parent, close relative, long-standing friend or patron who had a vivid existence in the writer's memory and imagination. Those imagined persons come alive to the modern reader: we cannot fail to create a multidimensional image of George Lyttelton's father or Joseph Spence's mother, Boswell's old friend Johnston, Barry's patron Edmund Burke, or Caroline Lennox's ennobled and much-loved sister Emilia. Their interests, anxieties, experiences and prejudices are readily deduced from letters written exclusively to them. Inevitably we become engaged in their concerns, as voyeurs perhaps — certainly as favourably-minded observers.
This volume, then, is not a guidebook for the Grand Tour. It provides an opportunity to explore the wide variety of motives, achievements and reactions of a diverse collection of specific individuals travelling. Their language is faithfully presented without modernisation or editorial interference, wherever possible direct from the actual autograph letters they sent.
THE FOLLOWING passages are examples of the kind of advice available to travellers in guidebooks and in the accounts of people who had already made the Tour.
PREPARING FOR THE GRAND TOUR
THERE IS certainly no Place in the World where a Man may Travel with greater Pleasure and Advantage than in Italy. One finds something more particular in the Face of the Country, and more astonishing in the Works of Nature, than can be met with in any other Part of Europe. It is the great School of Musick and Painting, and contains in it all the noblest Productions of Statuary and Architecture both Ancient and Modern. It abounds with Cabinets of Curiosities, and vast Collections of all Kinds of Antiquities. No other Country in the World has such a Variety of Governments, that are so different in their Constitutions, and so refined in their Politicks, There is scarce any Part of the Nation that is not Famous in History, nor so much as a Mountain or River that has not been the Scene of some extraordinary Action.
As there are few Men that have Talents or Opportunities for examining so copious a Subject, one may observe among those who have written on Italy, that different Authors have succeded best on different sorts of Curiosities. Some have been more particular in their Accounts of Pictures, Statues and Buildings; some have search'd into Libraries, Cabinets of Rarities, and Collections of Medals, as others have been wholly taken up with Inscriptions, Ruins and Antiquities.