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In lexical development, the specificity of phonological representations is important. The ability to build phonologically specific lexical representations predicts the number of words a child knows (vocabulary breadth), but it is not clear if it also fosters how well words are known (vocabulary depth). Sixty-six children were studied in kindergarten (age 5;7) and first grade (age 6;8). The predictive value of the ability to learn phonologically similar new words, phoneme discrimination ability, and phonological awareness on vocabulary breadth and depth were assessed using hierarchical regression. Word learning explained unique variance in kindergarten and first-grade vocabulary depth, over the other phonological factors. It did not explain unique variance in vocabulary breadth. Furthermore, even after controlling for kindergarten vocabulary breadth, kindergarten word learning still explained unique variance in first-grade vocabulary depth. Skill in learning phonologically similar words appears to predict knowledge children have about what words mean.
This study examined electrophysiological correlates of sentence comprehension of native-accented and foreign-accented speech in a second language (L2), for sentences produced in a foreign accent different from that associated with the listeners' L1. Bilingual speaker-listeners process different accents in their L2 conversations, but the effects on real-time L2 sentence comprehension are unknown. Dutch–English bilinguals listened to native American-English accented sentences and foreign (and for them unfamiliarly-accented) Chinese-English accented sentences while EEG was recorded. Behavioral sentence comprehension was highly accurate for both native-accented and foreign-accented sentences. ERPs showed different patterns for L2 grammar and semantic processing of native- and foreign-accented speech. For grammar, only native-accented speech elicited an Nref. For semantics, both native- and foreign-accented speech elicited an N400 effect, but with a delayed onset across both accent conditions. These findings suggest that the way listeners comprehend native- and foreign-accented sentences in their L2 depends on their familiarity with the accent.
After the public outcry over backdating, many firms began scheduling option grants. This eliminates backdating but creates other agency problems: Chief executive officers (CEOs) aware of upcoming option grants have an incentive to temporarily depress stock prices to obtain lower strike prices. We show that some CEOs have manipulated stock prices to increase option compensation, documenting negative abnormal returns before scheduled option grants and positive abnormal returns afterward. These returns are explained by measures of CEOs’ incentives and ability to influence stock prices. We document several mechanisms used to lower stock price, including changing the substance and timing of disclosures.
Children's abilities to process the phonological structure of words are important predictors of their literacy development. In the current study, we examined the interrelatedness between implicit (i.e., speech decoding) and explicit (i.e., phonological awareness) phonological abilities, and especially the role therein of lexical specificity (i.e., the ability to learn to recognize spoken words based on only minimal acoustic-phonetic differences). We tested 75 Dutch monolingual and 64 Turkish–Dutch bilingual kindergartners. SEM analyses showed that speech decoding predicted lexical specificity, which in turn predicted rhyme awareness in the first language learners but phoneme awareness in the second language learners. Moreover, in the latter group there was an impact of the second language: Dutch speech decoding and lexical specificity predicted Turkish phonological awareness, which in turn predicted Dutch phonological awareness. We conclude that language-specific phonological characteristics underlie different patterns of transfer from implicit to explicit phonological abilities in first and second language learners.
Following large-scale disasters and major complex emergencies, especially in resource-poor settings, emergency surgery is practiced by Foreign Medical Teams (FMTs) sent by governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These surgical experiences have not yielded an appropriate standardized collection of data and reporting to meet standards required by national authorities, the World Health Organization, and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee's Global Health Cluster. Utilizing the 2011 International Data Collection guidelines for surgery initiated by Médecins Sans Frontières, the authors of this paper developed an individual patient-centric form and an International Standard Reporting Template for Surgical Care to record data for victims of a disaster as well as the co-existing burden of surgical disease within the affected community. The data includes surgical patient outcomes and perioperative mortality, along with referrals for rehabilitation, mental health and psychosocial care. The purpose of the standard data format is fourfold: (1) to ensure that all surgical providers, especially from indigenous first responder teams and others performing emergency surgery, from national and international (Foreign) medical teams, contribute relevant and purposeful reporting; (2) to provide universally acceptable forms that meet the minimal needs of both national authorities and the Health Cluster; (3) to increase transparency and accountability, contributing to improved humanitarian coordination; and (4) to facilitate a comprehensive review of services provided to those affected by the crisis.
BurkleFMJr, NickersonJW, von SchreebJ, RedmondAD, McQueenKA, NortonI, RoyN. Emergency Surgery Data and Documentation Reporting Forms for Sudden-Onset Humanitarian Crises, Natural Disasters and the Existing Burden of Surgical Disease. Prehosp Disaster Med.2012;27(6):1-6.
Humanitarian surgery is often organized and delivered with short notice and limited time for developing unique strategies for providing care. While some surgical pathologies can be anticipated by the nature of the crisis, the role of foreign medical teams in treating the existing and unmet burden of surgical disease during crises is unclear. The purpose of this study was to examine published data from crises during the years 1990 through 2011 to understand the role of foreign medical teams in providing surgical care in these settings.
A literature search was completed using PubMed, MEDLINE, and EMBASE databases to locate relevant manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals. A qualitative review of the surgical activities reported in the studies was performed.
Of 185 papers where humanitarian surgical care was provided by a foreign medical team, only 11 articles met inclusion criteria. The reporting of surgical activities varied significantly, and pooled statistical analysis was not possible. The quality of reporting was notably poor, and produced neither reliable estimates of the pattern of surgical consultations nor data on the epidemiology of the burden of surgical diseases. The qualitative trend analysis revealed that the most frequent procedures were related to soft tissue or orthopedic surgery. Procedures such as caesarean sections, hernia repairs, and appendectomies also were common. As length of deployment increased, the surgical caseload became more reflective of the existing, unmet burden of surgical disease.
This review suggests that where foreign medical teams are indicated and requested, multidisciplinary surgical teams capable of providing a range of emergency and essential surgical, and rehabilitation services are required. Standardization of data collection and reporting tools for surgical care are needed to improve the reporting of surgical epidemiology in crisis-affected populations.
Nickerson JW, Chackungal S, Knowlton L, McQueen K, Burkle FM Jr. Surgical care during humanitarian crises: a systematic review of published surgical caseload data from foreign medical teams. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012;27(2):1-6.
Limb amputations are frequently performed as a result of trauma inflicted during conflict or disasters. As demonstrated during the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, coordinating care of these patients in austere settings is complex. During the 2011 Humanitarian Action Summit, consensus statements were developed for international organizations providing care to limb amputation patients during disasters or humanitarian emergencies. Expanded planning is needed for a multidisciplinary surgical care team, inclusive of surgeons, anesthesiologists, rehabilitation specialists and mental health professionals. Surgical providers should approach amputation using an operative technique that optimizes limb length and prosthetic fitting. Appropriate anesthesia care involves both peri-operative and long-term pain control. Rehabilitation specialists must be involved early in treatment, ideally before amputation, and should educate the surgical team in prosthetic considerations. Mental health specialists must be included to help the patient with community reintegration. A key step in developing local health systemsis the establishment of surgical outcomes monitoring. Such monitoring can optimizepatient follow-up and foster professional accountability for the treatment of amputation patients in disaster settings and humanitarian emergencies.
The provision of surgery within humanitarian crises is complex, requiring coordination and cooperation among all stakeholders. During the 2011 Humanitarian Action Summit best practice guidelines were proposed to provide greater accountability and standardization in surgical humanitarian relief efforts. Surgical humanitarian relief planning should occur early and include team selection and preparation, appropriate disaster-specific anticipatory planning, needs assessment, and an awareness of local resources and limitations of cross-cultural project management. Accurate medical record keeping and timely follow-up is important for a transient surgical population. Integration with local health systems is essential and will help facilitate longer term surgical health system strengthening.
Do Slovak–German bilinguals apply native Slovak phonological and lexical knowledge when segmenting German speech? When Slovaks listen to their native language, segmentation is impaired when fixed-stress cues are absent (Hanulíková, McQueen & Mitterer, 2010), and, following the Possible-Word Constraint (PWC; Norris, McQueen, Cutler & Butterfield, 1997), lexical candidates are disfavored if segmentation leads to vowelless residues, unless those residues are existing Slovak words. In the present study, fixed-stress cues on German target words were again absent. Nevertheless, in support of the PWC, both German and Slovak listeners recognized German words (e.g., Rose “rose”) faster in syllable contexts (suckrose) than in single-consonant contexts (krose, trose). But only the Slovak listeners recognized, for example, Rose faster in krose than in trose (k is a Slovak word, t is not). It appears that non-native listeners can suppress native stress segmentation procedures, but that they suffer from prevailing interference from native lexical knowledge.
Thermal cycles in advanced CMOS processing can nucleate an annular ring of oxygen precipitate-induced stacking faults (OSF-ring) via activation of bulk nuclei grown-in during the crystal pulling process. Because the OSF-ring can adversely affect device characteristics, it is important that substrates with OSF-ring characteristics be detected early in the process. Results are presented in this paper from a typical DRAM device which show that the ring can act either in a beneficial gettering mode or as a device-degrading zone, depending on the depth distribution of the OSF-ring defects and the background iron impurity concentration.
Biological specimen collection is an integral part of many longitudinal epidemiological studies. It is important to achieve high participant satisfaction for continuing involvement, and high sample quality for accurate biomarker measurement. We conducted a study to evaluate these issues on the sample collection proposed for the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA). There were 85 participants recruited, and 65 attended either a hospital laboratory or private laboratory. Approximately 100 mL of blood and a random urine specimen were collected from each participant for a total of 2,108 sample aliquots. Quality standards were met for more than 90 per cent of samples and were similar for samples collected in both laboratories. More than 90 per cent of participants rated satisfaction with the collection as being good or excellent, and 84 per cent would be willing to repeat the collection in one to three years.
The World Health Organization estimates that the burden of surgical disease due to war, self-inflicted injuries, and road traffic incidents will rise dramatically by 2020. During the 2009 Harvard Humanitarian Initiative's Humanitarian Action Summit (HHI/HAS), members of the Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group met to review the state of surgical epidemiology, the unmet global surgical need, and the role international organizations play in filling the surgical gap during humanitarian crises, conflict, and war. An outline of the group's findings and recommendations is provided.
Inagglutinable strains of B. typhosus are of considerable interest bacteriologists both from a practical and theoretical aspect. These strains present the usual characteristics of the typhoid bacillus, with exception that they are not agglutinated by anti-typhoid sera, if and such a contingency be overlooked one may fail to recognise that one dealing with a typhoid infection. This feature persists in the subcultures for many months, thus differentiating the inagglutinable strains from the many strains of B. typhosus which agglutinate with difficulty when freshly isolated but which regain their full agglutinability after one or two subcultures. Since their discovery these inagglutinable strains have been investigated on several occasions without any definite agreement as to the condition being arrived at.
It is common for international organizations to provide surgical corrective care to vulnerable populations in developing countries. However, a current worsening of the overall surgical burden of disease in developing countries reflects an increasing lack of sufficient numbers of trained healthcare personnel, and renders outside volunteer assistance more desirable and crucial than ever. Unfortunately, program evaluation and monitoring, including outcome indices and measures of effectiveness, is not measured commonly. In 2005, Operation Smile International implemented an electronic medical record system that helps monitor a number of critical indices during surgical missions that are essential for quality assurance reviews. This record system also provided an opportunity to retrospectively evaluate cases from previous missions. Review of data sets from >8,000 cases in 2005 and 2006 has provided crucial information regarding the priority of surgery, perioperative and operative complications, and surgical program development.
The most common procedure provided was unilateral cleft lip repair, followed closely by cleft palate. A majority of these interventions occurred for patients who were older than routinely provided for in the western world. The average child treated had an age:weight ratio at or below the [US] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 50th percentile, with a small percentage falling below the CDC 20th percentile. A majority of children had acceptable levels of hemoglobin, but the relative decreased age:weight ratio nonetheless can reflect mild malnutrition. Complications requiring medical intervention were seen in 1.2% of cases in 2005 and 1.0% in 2006. Thirty percent were reported as anesthesia complications, and 61% reported as surgical complications. One death was reported, but occurred after discharge outside the perioperative period. Complication rates are similar to rates reported in the US and UK and emphasizes the importance of standardization with uniform indices to compare quality performance and equity of care. This study offers an important example of the importance of collecting, analyzing, and reporting measures of effectiveness in all surgical settings.
The current insurgency warfare in Iraq is of an unconventional or asymmetrical nature. The deteriorating security has resulted in problems recovering and maintaining essential health services. Before the 2003 war, Iraq was considered a developed country with the capacity to routinely perform baseline medical and surgical care. These procedures now are performed irregularly, if at all. Due to the unconventional warfare, traditional Military Medical Civilian Assistance Programs (MEDCAPs) and civilian humanitarian missions, which routinely are mobilized post-conflict, are unable to function. In December 2005, an international medical mission conducted by the Operation Smile International Chapter in neighboring Jordan employed civilian physicians and nurses to provide surgery and post-operative care for Iraqi children with newly diagnosed cleft lip and palates and the complications that had occurred from previous surgical repair. Seventy-one children, their families, and a team of Iraqi physicians were safely transported to Jordan and returned to Iraq across the Iraqi western province war zone. Although complications may occur during transport, treatment within a safe zone is a solution for providing services in an insecure environment.
Top-down feedback does not benefit speech recognition; on the contrary, it can hinder it. No experimental data imply that feedback loops are required for speech recognition. Feedback is accordingly unnecessary and spoken word recognition is modular. To defend this thesis, we analyse lexical involvement in phonemic decision making. TRACE (McClelland & Elman 1986), a model with feedback from the lexicon to prelexical processes, is unable to account for all the available data on phonemic decision making. The modular Race model (Cutler & Norris 1979) is likewise challenged by some recent results, however. We therefore present a new modular model of phonemic decision making, the Merge model. In Merge, information flows from prelexical processes to the lexicon without feedback. Because phonemic decisions are based on the merging of prelexical and lexical information, Merge correctly predicts lexical involvement in phonemic decisions in both words and nonwords. Computer simulations show how Merge is able to account for the data through a process of competition between lexical hypotheses. We discuss the issue of feedback in other areas of language processing and conclude that modular models are particularly well suited to the problems and constraints of speech recognition.
The central thesis of our target article is that feedback is never necessary in spoken word recognition. In this response we begin by clarifying some terminological issues that have led to a number of misunderstandings. We provide some new arguments that the feedforward model Merge is indeed more parsimonious than the interactive alternatives, and that it provides a more convincing account of the data than alternative models. Finally, we extend the arguments to deal with new issues raised by the commentators such as infant speech perception and neural architecture.