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This article proposes a new statistical method to measure persuasion within small groups, and applies this approach to a large-scale randomized deliberative experiment. The authors define the construct of ‘persuasion’ as a change in the systematic component of an individual's preference, separate from measurement error, that results from exposure to interpersonal interaction. Their method separately measures persuasion in a latent (left–right) preference space and in a topic-specific preference space. The model's functional form accommodates tests of substantive hypotheses found in the small-group literature. The article illustrates the measurement method by examining changes in study participants' views on US fiscal policy resulting from the composition of the small discussion groups to which they were randomly assigned. The results are inconsistent with the ‘law of small-group polarization’, the typical result found in small-group research; instead, the authors observe patterns of latent and policy-specific persuasion consistent with the aspirations of deliberation.
To develop and validate the Discrepancy-based Evidence for Loss of Thinking Abilities (DELTA) score. The DELTA score characterizes the strength of evidence for cognitive decline on a continuous spectrum using well-established psychometric principles for improving detection of cognitive changes.
DELTA score development used neuropsychological test scores from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) cohort (two tests each from Memory, Executive Function, and Language domains). We derived regression-based normative reference scores using age, gender, years of education, and word-reading ability from robust cognitively normal ADNI participants. Discrepancies between predicted and observed scores were used for calculating the DELTA score (range 0–15). We validated DELTA scores primarily against longitudinal Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes (CDR-SOB) and Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) scores (baseline assessment through Year 3) using linear mixed models and secondarily against cross-sectional Alzheimer’s biomarkers.
There were 1359 ADNI participants with calculable baseline DELTA scores (age 73.7 ± 7.1 years, 55.4% female, 100% white/Caucasian). Higher baseline DELTA scores (stronger evidence of cognitive decline) predicted higher baseline CDR-SOB (ΔR2 = .318) and faster rates of CDR-SOB increase over time (ΔR2 = .209). Longitudinal changes in DELTA scores tracked closely and in the same direction as CDR-SOB scores (fixed and random effects of mean + mean-centered DELTA, ΔR2 > .7). Results were similar for FAQ scores. High DELTA scores predicted higher PET-Aβ SUVr (ρ = 324), higher CSF-pTau/CSF-Aβ ratio (ρ = .460), and demonstrated PPV > .9 for positive Alzheimer’s disease biomarker classification.
Data support initial development and validation of the DELTA score through its associations with longitudinal functional changes and Alzheimer’s biomarkers. We provide several considerations for future research and include an automated scoring program for clinical use.
The influence of combined corrosion and vibration to the anti-loosening performance of a precision locknut used in a machine tool is investigated. Firstly, the locknut was submerged in 5% NaCl solution according to ASTM B895 standard for corrosion testing. The locknuts, after submerged in 1-hr, 2-hr and 4-hr periods, respectively, were then installed on the rotating spindle in a vertical dynamic impact tester for performing anti-loosening test. The initial installed pretension was 9800 N and the spindle was rotating in a constant speed of 1000 rpm. Turmogrease Li 802 EP lubricant was used on the contact surface between spindle thread and locknut. The set screws on the locknut were tightened sequentially and evenly in three-stage of torque: 1.96 N-m, 3.92 N-m and 5.88 N-m. Its real-time pretension variation with the periodic transverse impact and its final loosening torque were measured. Accordingly, the axial force ratio and anti-loosening torque ratio were calculated and discussed. It was found that corrosion treatment had similar influence on both the axial force ratio and the anti-loosening torque ratio. More corrosion on the locknut with longer submersion in NaCl solution deteriorated its anti-loosening characteristics. The result could serve as the reference for evaluating the fastening performance of precision locknut and guide the design and manufacturing for the application improvement.
The Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research (MCTFR) comprises multiple longitudinal, community-representative investigations of twin and adoptive families that focus on psychological adjustment, personality, cognitive ability and brain function, with a special emphasis on substance use and related psychopathology. The MCTFR includes the Minnesota Twin Registry (MTR), a cohort of twins who have completed assessments in middle and older adulthood; the Minnesota Twin Family Study (MTFS) of twins assessed from childhood and adolescence into middle adulthood; the Enrichment Study (ES) of twins oversampled for high risk for substance-use disorders assessed from childhood into young adulthood; the Adolescent Brain (AdBrain) study, a neuroimaging study of adolescent twins; and the Siblings Interaction and Behavior Study (SIBS), a study of adoptive and nonadoptive families assessed from adolescence into young adulthood. Here we provide a brief overview of key features of these established studies and describe new MCTFR investigations that follow up and expand upon existing studies or recruit and assess new samples, including the MTR Study of Relationships, Personality, and Health (MTR-RPH); the Colorado-Minnesota (COMN) Marijuana Study; the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study; the Colorado Online Twins (CoTwins) study and the Children of Twins (CoT) study.
Presenteeism, or working while ill, by healthcare personnel (HCP) experiencing influenza-like illness (ILI) puts patients and coworkers at risk. However, hospital policies and practices may not consistently facilitate HCP staying home when ill.
Objective and methods:
We conducted a mixed-methods survey in March 2018 of Emerging Infections Network infectious diseases physicians, describing institutional experiences with and policies for HCP working with ILI.
Of 715 physicians, 367 (51%) responded. Of 367, 135 (37%) were unaware of institutional policies. Of the remaining 232 respondents, 206 (89%) reported institutional policies regarding work restrictions for HCP with influenza or ILI, but only 145 (63%) said these were communicated at least annually. More than half of respondents (124, 53%) reported that adherence to work restrictions was not monitored or enforced. Work restrictions were most often not perceived to be enforced for physicians-in-training and attending physicians. Nearly all (223, 96%) reported that their facility tracked laboratory-confirmed influenza (LCI) in patients; 85 (37%) reported tracking ILI. For employees, 109 (47%) reported tracking of LCI and 53 (23%) reported tracking ILI. For independent physicians, not employed by the facility, 30 (13%) reported tracking LCI and 11 (5%) ILI.
More than one-third of respondents were unaware of whether their institutions had policies to prevent HCP with ILI from working; among those with knowledge of institutional policies, dissemination, monitoring, and enforcement of these policies was highly variable. Improving communication about work-restriction policies, as well as monitoring and enforcement, may help prevent the spread of infections from HCP to patients.
Perceived loneliness, an increasingly prevalent social issue, is closely associated with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the neural mechanisms previously implicated in key cognitive and affective processes in loneliness and MDD still remain unclear. Such understanding is critical for delineating the psychobiological basis of the relationship between loneliness and MDD.
We isolated the unique and interactive cognitive and neural substrates of loneliness and MDD among 27 MDD patients (mean age = 51.85 years, 20 females), and 25 matched healthy controls (HCs; mean age = 48.72 years, 19 females). We assessed participants' behavioral performance and neural regional and network functions on a Stroop color-word task, and their resting-state neural connectivity.
Behaviorally, we found greater incongruence-related accuracy cost in MDD patients, but reduced incongruence effect on reaction time in lonelier individuals. When performing the Stroop task, loneliness positively predicted prefrontal-anterior cingulate-parietal connectivity across all participants, whereas MDD patients showed a decrease in connectivity compared to controls. Furthermore, loneliness negatively predicted parietal and cerebellar activities in MDD patients, but positively predicted the same activities in HCs. During resting state, MDD patients showed reduced parietal-anterior cingulate connectivity, which again positively correlated with loneliness in this group.
We speculate the distinct neurocognitive profile of loneliness might indicate increase in both bottom-up attention and top-down executive control functions. However, the upregulated cognitive control processes in lonely individuals may eventually become exhausted, which may in turn predispose to MDD onset.
The present study focused on parents’ social cue use in relation to young children's attention. Participants were ten parent–child dyads; all children were 36 to 60 months old and were either typically developing (TD) or were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Children wore a head-mounted camera that recorded the proximate child view while their parent played with them. The study compared the following between the TD and ASD groups: (a) frequency of parent's gesture use; (b) parents’ monitoring of their child's face; and (c) how children looked at parents’ gestures. Results from Bayesian estimation indicated that, compared to the TD group, parents of children with ASD produced more gestures, more closely monitored their children's faces, and provided more scaffolding for their children's visual experiences. Our findings suggest the importance of further investigating parents’ visual and gestural scaffolding as a potential developmental mechanism for children's early learning, including for children with ASD.
Abnormal effort-based decision-making represents a potential mechanism underlying motivational deficits (amotivation) in psychotic disorders. Previous research identified effort allocation impairment in chronic schizophrenia and focused mostly on physical effort modality. No study has investigated cognitive effort allocation in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Cognitive effort allocation was examined in 40 FEP patients and 44 demographically-matched healthy controls, using Cognitive Effort-Discounting (COGED) paradigm which quantified participants’ willingness to expend cognitive effort in terms of explicit, continuous discounting of monetary rewards based on parametrically-varied cognitive demands (levels N of N-back task). Relationship between reward-discounting and amotivation was investigated. Group differences in reward-magnitude and effort-cost sensitivity, and differential associations of these sensitivity indices with amotivation were explored.
Patients displayed significantly greater reward-discounting than controls. In particular, such discounting was most pronounced in patients with high levels of amotivation even when N-back performance and reward base amount were taken into consideration. Moreover, patients exhibited reduced reward-benefit sensitivity and effort-cost sensitivity relative to controls, and that decreased sensitivity to reward-benefit but not effort-cost was correlated with diminished motivation. Reward-discounting and sensitivity indices were generally unrelated to other symptom dimensions, antipsychotic dose and cognitive deficits.
This study provides the first evidence of cognitive effort-based decision-making impairment in FEP, and indicates that decreased effort expenditure is associated with amotivation. Our findings further suggest that abnormal effort allocation and amotivation might primarily be related to blunted reward valuation. Prospective research is required to clarify the utility of effort-based measures in predicting amotivation and functional outcome in FEP.
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections in 592 hospitals immediately declined after federal value-based incentive program implementation, but this was fully attributable to a concurrent surveillance case definition revision. Post revision, more hospitals had favorable standardized infection ratios, likely leading to artificial inflation of their performance scores unrelated to changes in patient safety.
Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) by infants and young children are less explored in Asian populations. The Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes cohort study examined associations between SSB intake at 18 months and 5 years of age, with adiposity measures at 6 years of age. We studied Singaporean infants/children with SSB intake assessed by FFQ at 18 months of age (n 555) and 5 years of age (n 767). The median for SSB intakes is 28 (interquartile range 5·5–98) ml at 18 months of age and 111 (interquartile range 57–198) ml at 5 years of age. Association between SSB intake (100 ml/d increments and tertile categories) and adiposity measures (BMI standard deviation scores (sd units), sum of skinfolds (SSF)) and overweight/obesity status were examined using multivariable linear and Poisson regression models, respectively. After adjusting for confounders and additionally for energy intake, SSB intake at age 18 months were not significantly associated with later adiposity measures and overweight/obesity outcomes. In contrast, at age 5 years, SSB intake when modelled as 100 ml/d increments were associated with higher BMI by 0·09 (95 % CI 0·02, 0·16) sd units, higher SSF thickness by 0·68 (95 % CI 0·06, 1·44) mm and increased risk of overweight/obesity by 1·2 (95 % CI 1·07, 1·23) times at age 6 years. Trends were consistent with SSB intake modelled as categorical tertiles. In summary, SSB intake in young childhood is associated with higher risks of adiposity and overweight/obesity. Public health policies working to reduce SSB consumption need to focus on prevention programmes targeted at young children.
To understand the implications of archaeological site recording practices and associated inventories for studying Indigenous persistence after the arrival of Europeans, we examined the documentary record associated with nearly 900 archaeological sites in Marin County, California. Beginning with the first regional surveys conducted during the early 1900s and continuing into the present, the paper trail created by archaeologists reveals an enduring emphasis on precontact materials to the exclusion of more recent patterns of Indigenous occupation and land use. In assessing sites occupied by Indigenous people from the late sixteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries, we discuss how the use of multiple lines of evidence—including temporally diagnostic artifacts, chronometric dating techniques, and historical documentation—may help illuminate subtle but widespread patterns of Native presence that have been obscured by essentialist assumptions about Indigenous culture change. Our findings further reveal the shortcomings of traditional site recording systems, in which archaeologists typically categorize sites within the prehistoric-protohistoric-historic triad on the basis of commonsense decisions that conflate chronology with identity. Instead, we argue for recording practices that focus specifically on the calendric ages of occupation for any given site.
Better understanding of interplay among symptoms, cognition and functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) is crucial to promoting functional recovery. Network analysis is a promising data-driven approach to elucidating complex interactions among psychopathological variables in psychosis, but has not been applied in FEP.
This study employed network analysis to examine inter-relationships among a wide array of variables encompassing psychopathology, premorbid and onset characteristics, cognition, subjective quality-of-life and psychosocial functioning in 323 adult FEP patients in Hong Kong. Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) combined with extended Bayesian information criterion (BIC) model selection was used for network construction. Importance of individual nodes in a generated network was quantified by centrality analyses.
Our results showed that amotivation played the most central role and had the strongest associations with other variables in the network, as indexed by node strength. Amotivation and diminished expression displayed differential relationships with other nodes, supporting the validity of two-factor negative symptom structure. Psychosocial functioning was most strongly connected with amotivation and was weakly linked to several other variables. Within cognitive domain, digit span demonstrated the highest centrality and was connected with most of the other cognitive variables. Exploratory analysis revealed no significant gender differences in network structure and global strength.
Our results suggest the pivotal role of amotivation in psychopathology network of FEP and indicate its critical association with psychosocial functioning. Further research is required to verify the clinical significance of diminished motivation on functional outcome in the early course of psychotic illness.
Several life-threatening diseases of the kidney have their origins in mutational events that occur during embryonic development. In this study, we investigate the role of the Wolffian duct (WD), the earliest embryonic epithelial progenitor of renal tubules, in the etiology of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). ADPKD is associated with a germline mutation of one of the two Pkd1 alleles. For the disease to occur, a second event that disrupts the expression of the other inherited Pkd1 allele must occur. We postulated that this secondary event can occur in the pronephric WD. Using Cre-Lox recombination, mice with WD-specific deletion of one or both Pkd1 alleles were generated. Homozygous Pkd1-targeted deletion in WD-derived tissues resulted in mice with large cystic kidneys and serologic evidence of renal failure. In contrast, heterozygous deletion of Pkd1 in the WD led to kidneys that were phenotypically indistinguishable from control in the early postnatal period. High-throughput sequencing, however, revealed underlying gene and microRNA (miRNA) changes in these heterozygous mutant kidneys that suggest a strong predisposition toward developing ADPKD. Bioinformatic analysis of this data demonstrated an upregulation of several miRNAs that have been previously associated with PKD; pathway analysis further demonstrated that the differentially expressed genes in the heterozygous mutant kidneys were overrepresented in signaling pathways associated with maintenance and function of the renal tubular epithelium. These results suggest that the WD may be an early epithelial target for the genetic or molecular signals that can lead to cyst formation in ADPKD.
In this study, the pull-in phenomenon of a Nano-actuator is investigated employing a nonlocal Bernoulli-Euler beam model with clamped-clamped conditions. The model accounts for viscous damping, residual stresses, the van der Waals (vdW) force and electrostatic forces with nonlocal effects. The hybrid differential transformation/finite difference method (HDTFDM) is used to analyze the nonlocal effects on a graphene sheet nanobeam, which is electrostatically actuated under the influence of the coupling effect, the von Kármán nonlinear strains and the fringing field effect. The pull-in voltage as calculated by the presented model deviates by no more than 0.29% from previous literature, verifying the validity of the HDTFDM. Furthermore, the nonlocal nonlinear behavior of the electrostatically actuated nanobeam is investigated, and the effects of viscous damping, residual stresses, and length-gap ratio are examined in detail. Overall, the results reveal that small scale effects significantly influence the characteristics of the graphene sheet nanobeam actuator.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
One of the main goals in biogeochemistry is to explore the global relationships between organisms and chemical elements in different ecosystems. A diversity of analytical techniques based on chemical-physical or molecular biological procedures are available to explore different organisms and their abiotic and biotic interactions in a variety of ecosystems. Even though many of these modern analytical techniques are irreplaceable in today´s research, most of them can only provide indirect results because they are built on a “black-box” approach, where the biological species in an ecosystem or a geological environment are disrupted for extraction of nucleic acids, proteins, etc. Essential biological information, such as the morphology of specific species, their location, distribution, association with other organisms in their natural environment, and individual activities and functions, is therefore lost. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) helps retrieve this information without either cultivation or extraction of cell components, and can therefore provide a quick and useful complement to different “black-box”-based approaches. FISH is based on fluorescently labeled gene probes with a unique nucleotide composition designed to match specific genes in different cellular species. Thus, different biological species can be identified simultaneously with different gene probes labeled with different fluorochromes in their natural environment. The technique has undergone extensive development with around 30 variations for different applications. FISH is evaluated either by microscopy (e.g., fluorescence microscopy, Raman micro spectroscopy, Nano-SIMS), or by nonmicroscope-based methods, such as flow cytometry, microarray technology, or molecular biological methods such as proteomics. This chapter will serve as a guide for sample preparation, selection of appropriate FISH protocols, evaluation and design of gene probes, and evaluation of FISH experiments.