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Cognitive theories of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) posit that cognitive and behavioural factors maintain the disorder. This study examined whether avoidance and safety behaviours mediated the relationship between cognitive factors and GAD symptoms. We also examined the reverse mediation model; that is, whether cognitive factors mediated the relationship between maladaptive behaviours and GAD symptoms. Undergraduate psychology students (N = 125 and N = 292) completed the Worry Behaviours Inventory (a recently developed measure of maladaptive behaviours associated with GAD), in addition to measures of intolerance of uncertainty, cognitive avoidance, metacognitive beliefs, and symptoms of GAD and depression. Analyses supported the reliability and validity of the WBI. We consistently found that engagement in maladaptive behaviours significantly mediated the relationship between cognitive factors and symptoms of GAD. The reverse mediation model was also supported. Our results are consistent with the contention that cognitive and behavioural factors contribute to GAD symptom severity.
Background: Cognitive models of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) suggest that maladaptive behaviours may contribute to the maintenance of the disorder; however, little research has concentrated on identifying and measuring these behaviours. To address this gap, the Worry Behaviors Inventory (WBI) was developed and has been evaluated within a classical test theory (CTT) approach. Aims: As CTT is limited in several important respects, this study examined the psychometric properties of the WBI using an Item Response Theory approach. Method: A large sample of adults commencing treatment for their symptoms of GAD (n = 537) completed the WBI in addition to measures of GAD and depression symptom severity. Results: Patients with a probable diagnosis of GAD typically engaged in four or five maladaptive behaviours most or all of the time in an attempt to prevent, control or avoid worrying about everyday concerns. The two-factor structure of the WBI was confirmed, and the WBI scales demonstrated good reliability across a broad range of the respective scales. Together with previous findings, our results suggested that hypervigilance and checking behaviours, as well as avoidance of saying or doing things that are worrisome, were the most relevant maladaptive behaviours associated with GAD, and discriminated well between adults with low, moderate and high degrees of the respective WBI scales. Conclusions: Our results support the importance of maladaptive behaviours to GAD and the utility of the WBI to index these behaviours. Ramifications for the classification, theoretical conceptualization and treatment of GAD are discussed.
PSR B1828–11 is a young pulsar once thought to be undergoing free precession and recently found instead to be switching magnetospheric states in tandem with spin-down changes. Here we show the two extreme states of the mode-changing found for this pulsar and comment briefly on its interpretation.
Background: The use of maladaptive behaviors by individuals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is theoretically important and clinically meaningful. However, little is known about the specificity of avoidant behaviors to GAD and how these behaviors can be reliably assessed. Aims: This study replicated and extended the psychometric evaluation of the Worry Behaviors Inventory (WBI), a brief self-report measure of avoidant behaviors associated with GAD. Method: The WBI was administered to a hospital-based sample of adults seeking treatment for symptoms of anxiety and/or depression (n = 639) and to a community sample (n = 55). Participants completed measures of symptom severity (GAD, depression, panic disorder, health anxiety, and personality disorder), and measures of checking, reassurance-seeking and behavioral inhibition. Analyses evaluated the factor structure, convergent, divergent, incremental, and discriminant validity, as well the temporal stability and treatment sensitivity of the WBI. Results: The two-factor structure found in the preliminary psychometric evaluation of the WBI was replicated. The WBI was sensitive to changes across treatment and correlated well with measures of GAD symptom severity and maladaptive behaviors. The WBI was more strongly related to GAD symptom severity than other disorders. The WBI discriminated between clinical and community samples. Conclusions: The WBI provides clinicians and researchers with a brief, clinically meaningful index of problematic behaviors that may guide treatment decisions and contribute to our understanding of maintaining factors in GAD.
Salmonella is a leading cause of bacterial foodborne illness. We report the collaborative investigative efforts of US and Canadian public health officials during the 2013–2014 international outbreak of multiple Salmonella serotype infections linked to sprouted chia seed powder. The investigation included open-ended interviews of ill persons, traceback, product testing, facility inspections, and trace forward. Ninety-four persons infected with outbreak strains from 16 states and four provinces were identified; 21% were hospitalized and none died. Fifty-four (96%) of 56 persons who consumed chia seed powder, reported 13 different brands that traced back to a single Canadian firm, distributed by four US and eight Canadian companies. Laboratory testing yielded outbreak strains from leftover and intact product. Contaminated product was recalled. Although chia seed powder is a novel outbreak vehicle, sprouted seeds are recognized as an important cause of foodborne illness; firms should follow available guidance to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination during sprouting.
PSRs J1847–0130 and J1718–37184 have inferred surface dipole magnetic fields greater than those of any other known pulsars and well above the “quantum critical field” above which some models predict radio emission should not occur. These fields are similar to those of the anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs), which growing evidence suggests are “magnetars”. The lack of AXP-like X-ray emission from these radio pulsars (and the non-detection of radio emission from the AXPs) creates new challenges for understanding pulsar emission physics and the relationship between these classes of apparently young neutron stars.
We discuss the relative gas-phase abundances found for the predominantly neutral interstellar clouds — located in the Galactic disk and halo, in the LMC or SMC, and (perhaps) in between — along the lines of sight to Sk 108 in the SMC and to SN 1987A in the LMC.
Post-traumatic symptomatology is one of the signature effects of the pernicious exposures endured by responders to the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster of 11 September 2001 (9/11), but the long-term extent of diagnosed Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its impact on quality of life are unknown. This study examines the extent of DSM-IV PTSD 11–13 years after the disaster in WTC responders, its symptom profiles and trajectories, and associations of active, remitted and partial PTSD with exposures, physical health and psychosocial well-being.
Master's-level psychologists administered sections of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV and the Range of Impaired Functioning Tool to 3231 responders monitored at the Stony Brook University World Trade Center Health Program. The PTSD Checklist (PCL) and current medical symptoms were obtained at each visit.
In all, 9.7% had current, 7.9% remitted, and 5.9% partial WTC-PTSD. Among those with active PTSD, avoidance and hyperarousal symptoms were most commonly, and flashbacks least commonly, reported. Trajectories of symptom severity across monitoring visits showed a modestly increasing slope for active and decelerating slope for remitted PTSD. WTC exposures, especially death and human remains, were strongly associated with PTSD. After adjusting for exposure and critical risk factors, including hazardous drinking and co-morbid depression, PTSD was strongly associated with health and well-being, especially dissatisfaction with life.
This is the first study to demonstrate the extent and correlates of long-term DSM-IV PTSD among responders. Although most proved resilient, there remains a sizable subgroup in need of continued treatment in the second decade after 9/11.
The wetter tropical zones of northern Australia are linked by their monsoonal climates. Their archaeology shows its own distinctive pattern as well, and rock-art is an important source of evidence and insight. This study focusses on a part of Queensland, setting this local sequence alongside Arnhem Land (reported by the paper of Taçon & Brockwell) and in the northern pattern as a whole.
Amphiprion tricinctus is an anemonefish endemic to the Marshall Islands that was previously reported to inhabit four species of sea anemone. Underwater visual surveys in 2009 and 2010 located five individuals of the anemone Stichodactyla haddoni in the shallow lagoon of Majuro Atoll. This is the first record of S. haddoni in the Marshall Islands and a significant north-eastern range extension by 2200 km from its nearest record in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. Stichodactyla haddoni was inhabited by juvenile and adult A. tricinctus. This report is the first to describe a symbiotic relationship between A tricinctus and S. haddoni. The number of host anemone species inhabited by A. tricinctus now extends to five.
Depressive symptoms are prominent psychopathological features of Huntington's disease (HD), making a negative impact on social functioning and well-being.
We compared the frequencies of a history of depression, previous suicide attempts and current subthreshold depression between 61 early-stage HD participants and 40 matched controls. The HD group was then split based on the overall HD group's median Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-depression score into a group of 30 non-depressed participants (mean 0.8, s.d. = 0.7) and a group of 31 participants with subthreshold depressive symptoms (mean 7.3, s.d. = 3.5) to explore the neuroanatomy underlying subthreshold depressive symptoms in HD using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).
Frequencies of history of depression, previous suicide attempts or current subthreshold depressive symptoms were higher in HD than in controls. The severity of current depressive symptoms was also higher in HD, but not associated with the severity of HD motor signs or disease burden. Compared with the non-depressed HD group DTI revealed lower fractional anisotropy (FA) values in the frontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, insula and cerebellum of the HD group with subthreshold depressive symptoms. In contrast, VBM measures were similar in both HD groups. A history of depression, the severity of HD motor signs or disease burden did not correlate with FA values of these regions.
Current subthreshold depressive symptoms in early HD are associated with microstructural changes – without concomitant brain volume loss – in brain regions known to be involved in major depressive disorder, but not those typically associated with HD pathology.
The extraordinary DIBs observed toward Herschel 36 (Dahlstrom et al. 2013) have been analyzed (Oka et al. 2013). The analysis led us to a new way to classify the carriers of DIBs depending on whether the molecules are polar or non-polar. The pronounced Extended Tails toward Red (ETR) observed for DIBs λ5780.5, λ5797.1, and λ6613.6 are explained as due to radiative excitation of high rotational levels of polar carrier molecules in an environment with high radiative temperature ~90 K. Other DIBs (e.g., λ5849.8, λ6196.0, and λ6379.3) which do not show ETR are likely due to non-polar molecules. Model calculations taking into account the interplay of radiative and collisional effects reproduce the observed ETR using realistic molecular parameters if the radiative temperature is sufficiently high (~90 K). The calculation suggests that the carriers of DIBs with ETR are likely medium size molecules with 3 - 6 heavy atoms unless the radiative temperature is much higher.
We present the first results of a dedicated search for Diffuse Interstellar Bands that have profiles with FWHM > 6 Å. Broad DIBs have been noticed in past surveys using averages of multiple sight lines (e.g. Jenniskens & Désert, 1994), but careful detection, measurement, and cataloguing for individual sight lines has not been done since the pioneering work of Herbig (1995). We have initiated an observing campaign using the Apache Point Observatory in order to obtain low-resolution spectra to search for such broad DIBs and monitor their behaviour from star to star. A first sample of 21 stars with 0.3 < E(B-V) < 3.3 mag, along with 15 matched low-reddening stars, were observed with the APO/DIS B400 (R ~ 450) and R300 (R ~ 1000) gratings to obtain spectra having S/N > 500.
Anomalously broad diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) at 5780.5, 5797.1, 6196.0, and 6613.6 Å are found in absorption along the line of sight to Herschel 36, an O star system next to the bright Hourglass nebula of the Hii region Messier 8. Excited lines of CH and CH+ are seen as well. We show that the region is very compact and itemize other anomalies of the gas. An infrared-bright star within 400 AU is noted. The combination of these effects produces anomalous DIBs, interpreted by Oka et al. (2013, see also this volume) as being caused predominantly by infrared pumping of rotational levels of relatively small molecules.
The first direct detection of gravitational waves may be made through observations of pulsars. The principal aim of pulsar timing-array projects being carried out worldwide is to detect ultra-low frequency gravitational waves (f ∼ 10−9–10−8 Hz). Such waves are expected to be caused by coalescing supermassive binary black holes in the cores of merged galaxies. It is also possible that a detectable signal could have been produced in the inflationary era or by cosmic strings. In this paper, we review the current status of the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array project (the only such project in the Southern hemisphere) and compare the pulsar timing technique with other forms of gravitational-wave detection such as ground- and space-based interferometer systems.
The future of centimetre and metre-wave astronomy lies with the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a telescope under development by a consortium of 17 countries that will be 50 times more sensitive than any existing radio facility. Most of the key science for the SKA will be addressed through large-area imaging of the Universe at frequencies from a few hundred MHz to a few GHz. The Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a technology demonstrator aimed in the mid-frequency range, and achieves instantaneous wide-area imaging through the development and deployment of phased-array feed systems on parabolic reflectors. The large field-of-view makes ASKAP an unprecedented synoptic telescope that will make substantial advances in SKA key science. ASKAP will be located at the Murchison Radio Observatory in inland Western Australia, one of the most radio-quiet locations on the Earth and one of two sites selected by the international community as a potential location for the SKA. In this paper, we outline an ambitious science program for ASKAP, examining key science such as understanding the evolution, formation and population of galaxies including our own, understanding the magnetic Universe, revealing the transient radio sky and searching for gravitational waves.
The PULSE@Parkes project has been designed to monitor the rotation of radio pulsars over time spans of days to years. The observations are obtained using the Parkes 64-m and 12-m radio telescopes by Australian and international high school students. These students learn the basis of radio astronomy and undertake small projects with their observations. The data are fully calibrated and obtained with the state-of-the-art pulsar hardware available at Parkes. The final data sets are archived and are currently being used to carry out studies of 1) pulsar glitches, 2) timing noise, 3) pulse profile stability over long time scales and 4) the extreme nulling phenomenon. The data are also included in other projects such as gamma-ray observatory support and for the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array project. In this paper we describe the current status of the project and present the first scientific results from the Parkes 12-m radio telescope. We emphasise that this project offers a straightforward means to enthuse high school students and the general public about radio astronomy while obtaining scientifically valuable data sets.
A ‘pulsar timing array’ (PTA), in which observations of a large sample of pulsars spread across the celestial sphere are combined, allows investigation of ‘global’ phenomena such as a background of gravitational waves or instabilities in atomic timescales that produce correlated timing residuals in the pulsars of the array. The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) is an implementation of the PTA concept based on observations with the Parkes 64-m radio telescope. A sample of 20 ms pulsars is being observed at three radio-frequency bands, 50 cm (~700 MHz), 20 cm (~1400 MHz), and 10 cm (~3100 MHz), with observations at intervals of two to three weeks. Regular observations commenced in early 2005. This paper describes the systems used for the PPTA observations and data processing, including calibration and timing analysis. The strategy behind the choice of pulsars, observing parameters, and analysis methods is discussed. Results are presented for PPTA data in the three bands taken between 2005 March and 2011 March. For 10 of the 20 pulsars, rms timing residuals are less than 1 μs for the best band after fitting for pulse frequency and its first time derivative. Significant ‘red’ timing noise is detected in about half of the sample. We discuss the implications of these results on future projects including the International Pulsar Timing Array and a PTA based on the Square Kilometre Array. We also present an ‘extended PPTA’ data set that combines PPTA data with earlier Parkes timing data for these pulsars.
We report here on two years of timing of 168 pulsars using the Parkes radio telescope. The vast majority of these pulsars have spin-down luminosities in excess of 1034 erg s−1 and are prime target candidates to be detected in gamma-rays by the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. We provide the ephemerides for the ten pulsars being timed at Parkes which have been detected by Fermi in its first year of operation. These ephemerides, in conjunction with the publicly available photonlist, can be used to generate gamma-ray profiles from the Fermi archive. We will make the ephemerides of any pulsars of interest available to the community upon request. In addition to the timing ephemerides, we present the parameters for 14 glitches which have occurred in 13 pulsars, seven of which have no previously known glitch history.The Parkes timing programme, in conjunction with Fermi observations, is expected to continue for at least the next four years.
The Parkes pulsar data archive currently provides access to 144044 data files obtained from observations carried out at the Parkes observatory since the year 1991. Around 105 files are from surveys of the sky, the remainder are observations of 775 individual pulsars and their corresponding calibration signals. Survey observations are included from the Parkes 70 cm and the Swinburne Intermediate Latitude surveys. Individual pulsar observations are included from young pulsar timing projects, the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array and from the PULSE@Parkes outreach program. The data files and access methods are compatible with Virtual Observatory protocols. This paper describes the data currently stored in the archive and presents ways in which these data can be searched and downloaded.