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This study reports on non-durational acoustic correlates of typologically rare word-initial consonant gemination in Kelantan Malay (KM) by focusing on two acoustic parameters – amplitude and f0. Given the unusual characteristics of the word-initial consonant contrast and its potential maintenance in domain-initial environments, this study sets to examine the extent to which amplitude and f0 can potentially characterise such a contrast in KM in addition to the cross-linguistically established acoustic correlate of closure duration. The production data involved elicited materials from sixteen KM native speakers. RMS and f0 values were measured at the start of the vowel following stops and sonorants produced in isolation (i.e. utterance-initial position) and in a carrier sentence (i.e. utterance-medial position). Results indicate that the consonant contrast is reflected in systematic differences in (i) vowel onset amplitude and f0 following the target consonant and (ii) the ratios of amplitude and f0 across two syllables of disyllabic words. There are also effects of utterance position, manner of articulation and voicing type on the magnitude of contrast between singletons and geminates with utterance-initial voiceless stops generally showing the greatest magnitude difference. The conclusion is drawn that the KM word-initial singleton/geminate consonant contrast can be associated with a set of acoustic parameters alongside closure duration.
A plausible mechanism underlying flavonoid-associated cognitive effects is increased cerebral blood flow (CBF). However, behavioural and CBF effects following flavanone-rich juice consumption have not been explored. The aim of this study was to investigate whether consumption of flavanone-rich juice is associated with acute cognitive benefits and increased regional CBF in healthy, young adults. An acute, single-blind, randomised, cross-over design was applied with two 500-ml drink conditions – high-flavanone (HF; 70·5 mg) drink and an energy-, and vitamin C- matched, zero-flavanone control. A total of twenty-four healthy young adults aged 18–30 years underwent cognitive testing at baseline and 2-h after drink consumption. A further sixteen, healthy, young adults were recruited for functional MRI assessment, whereby CBF was measured with arterial spin labelling during conscious resting state at baseline as well as 2 and 5 h after drink consumption. The HF drink was associated with significantly increased regional perfusion in the inferior and middle right frontal gyrus at 2 h relative to baseline and the control drink. In addition, the HF drink was associated with significantly improved performance on the Digit Symbol Substitution Test at 2 h relative to baseline and the control drink, but no effects were observed on any other behavioural cognitive tests. These results demonstrate that consumption of flavanone-rich citrus juice in quantities commonly consumed can acutely enhance blood flow to the brain in healthy, young adults. However, further studies are required to establish a direct causal link between increased CBF and enhanced behavioural outcomes following citrus juice ingestion.
There is limited evidence of the prevalence of enteric protozoon infections in developed settings. We estimated the prevalence of enteric protozoa and evaluated the outcome of testing algorithms used in hospital settings in Sydney, Australia. This retrospective study assessed microbiological data from four public clinical laboratories. Pooled data from the four hospitals revealed the most common enteric protozoon detected was Blastocystis spp. in an average of 5·4% of cases, followed by Giardia intestinalis (1·1%) and Dientamoeba fragilis (0·8%). Protozoon detection rates between hospitals were significantly different and could be based on multiple factors. The modified iron haematoxylin staining method, consistently detected higher rates of Blastocystis spp., and G. intestinalis in comparison with microscopy of wet preparations, as well as higher rates of G. intestinalis and Cryptosporidium when compared with enzyme immunoassay. The study concludes that there are multiple factors that contribute to the variability in protozoa detection rates in metropolitan hospitals, including widespread variability in the testing protocols for enteric protozoa, individual and population characteristics. A gold standard approach for diagnosis of enteric protozoa is recommended. Molecular diagnostic methods such as polymerase chain reaction would provide consistency across laboratories and yield more reliable estimates of the actual prevalence of enteric protozoa.
It is usual for historians investigating the impact of the work of great scholars of the past to stress the importance of their years spent at university in influencing the development of their mature opinions. Frequently, however, such historians are not fully aware of conditions prevailing inside universities and so unable to provide a proper assessment of the role of academic factors in moulding the formation of a scholar’s personality and prejudices.
Despite clinical observation of the problems in emergent literacy experienced by unintelligible children, there are conflicting data about the possible relationship of expressive speech problems to literacy acquisition. Several confounding factors may explain the inconsistency in results across studies. Potential confounds include specificity and severity of speech impairment, age of participants, and pattern of speech errors. It was hypothesised that the presence of nondevelopmental speech errors can be considered a symptom of a breakdown at the level of processing phonological information that has an impact on both speech and literacy development. A cohort of 21 specifically speech-impaired children entering Year 1 at school was selected and classified into subgroups based on pattern of speech errors. Phonological awareness measures were administered early in Year 1 and literacy measures in Year 3. The results confirmed thot the presence of nondevelopmental speech errors predicted poorer phonological awareness skills and weaker literacy outcomes, particularly spelling.
Advanced machine learning techniques like Gaussian process regression and multi-task learning are novel in the area of wine price prediction; previous research in this area being restricted to parametric linear regression models when predicting wine prices. Using historical price data of the 100 wines in the Liv-Ex 100 index, the main contributions of this paper to the field are, firstly, a clustering of the wines into two distinct clusters based on autocorrelation. Secondly, an implementation of Gaussian process regression on these wines with predictive accuracy surpassing both the trivial and simple ARMA and GARCH time series prediction benchmarks. Lastly, an implementation of an algorithm which performs multi-task feature learning with kernels on the wine returns as an extension to our optimal Gaussian process regression model. Using the optimal covariance kernel from Gaussian process regression, we achieve predictive results which are comparable to that of Gaussian process regression. Altogether, our research suggests that there is potential in using advanced machine learning techniques in wine price prediction. (JEL Classifications: C6, G12)
How did the kings of England and France govern their kingdoms? This volume, the product of a ten-year international project, brings together specialists in late medieval England and France to explore the multiple mechanisms by which monarchs exercised their power in the final centuries of the Middle Ages. Collaborative chapters, mostly co-written by experts on each kingdom, cover topics ranging from courts, military networks and public finance; office, justice and the men of the church; to political representation, petitioning, cultural conceptions of political society; and the role of those excluded from formal involvement in politics. The result is a richly detailed and innovative comparison of the nature of government and political life, seen from the point of view of how the king ruled his kingdom, but bringing to bear the methods of social, cultural and economic history to understand the underlying armature of royal power.
Smoking cessation interventions during routine clinical encounters by health professionals have the potential to reach smokers and facilitate cessation. Although psychologists might appear to be ideal providers of such interventions, international research suggests that their provision is limited. This paper reports the results of a survey conducted in NSW, Australia, of psychologists’ (n = 72) smoking intervention practices, attitudes, and barriers to providing such care. Less than half of the respondents reported assessing smoking status for ‘all or nearly all’ of their clients. Across a range of smoking cessation intervention types, the most frequent response given indicated provision to ‘none or almost none’ of clients who smoked. Only 13% of respondents indicated even ‘advising cessation’ to ‘all or nearly all’ of their smoking clients. Barriers included concern about negative influence on the therapeutic relationship, inadequacy of training and lack of confidence to intervene. Respondents were less likely to provide intervention for smoking than for cannabis, methamphetamine ‘ice’, and alcohol. The study suggests that the potential of Australian psychologists to assist smokers to quit is not being realised, and that there is a need to address the barriers to care provision.