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Mental health and wellbeing, including addressing impacts of historical trauma and substance use among young people, has been identified as a key priority by Indigenous communities and leaders across Canada and globally. Yet, research to understand mental health among young Indigenous people who have used drugs is limited.
To examine longitudinal risk and strengths-based factors associated with psychological distress among young Indigenous people who use drugs.
The Cedar Project is an ongoing cohort study involving young Indigenous people who use drugs in Vancouver, Prince George, and Chase, British Columbia, Canada. This study included participants who completed the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, returned for follow-up between 2010 and 2012, and completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Adjusted linear mixed-effects models estimated effects of study variables on changes in area T-scores of psychological distress.
Of 202 eligible participants, 53% were women and the mean age was 28 years. Among men, childhood maltreatment (emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect), any drug use, blackouts from drinking, and sex work were associated with increased distress. Among women, childhood maltreatment (emotional abuse, physical abuse, physical neglect), blackouts from drinking, and sexual assault were associated with increased distress, while having attempted to quit using drugs was associated with reduced distress. Marginal associations were observed between speaking their traditional language and living by traditional culture with lower distress among men.
Culturally safe mental wellness interventions are urgently needed to address childhood trauma and harmful coping strategies that exacerbate distress among young Indigenous people who use drugs.
Previous work has shown that amygdala responsiveness to fearful expressions is inversely related to level of callous-unemotional (CU) traits (i.e. reduced guilt and empathy) in youth with conduct problems. However, some research has suggested that the relationship between pathophysiology and CU traits may be different in those youth with significant prior trauma exposure.
In experiment 1, 72 youth with varying levels of disruptive behavior and trauma exposure performed a gender discrimination task while viewing morphed fear expressions (0, 50, 100, 150 fear) and Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent responses were recorded. In experiment 2, 66 of these youth performed the Social Goals Task, which measures self-reports of the importance of specific social goals to the participant in provoking social situations.
In experiment 1, a significant CU traits-by-trauma exposure interaction was observed within right amygdala; fear intensity-modulated amygdala responses negatively predicted CU traits for those youth with low levels of trauma but positively predicted CU traits for those with high levels of trauma. In experiment 2, a bootstrapped model revealed that the indirect effect of fear intensity amygdala response on social goal importance through CU traits is moderated by prior trauma exposure.
This study, while exploratory, indicates that the pathophysiology associated with CU traits differs in youth as a function of prior trauma exposure. These data suggest that prior trauma exposure should be considered when evaluating potential interventions for youth with high CU traits.
The study aimed to examine the effects of diurnal Ramadan fasting (RF) on substrate oxidation, energy production, blood lipids and glucose as well as body composition. Nine healthy Muslim men (fasting (FAST) group) and eight healthy non-practicing men (control (CNT) group) were assessed pre- and post-RF. FAST were additionally assessed at days 10, 20 and 30 of RF in the morning and evening. Body composition was determined by hydrodensitometry, substrate oxidation and energy production by indirect calorimetry, blood metabolic profile by biochemical analyses and energy balance by activity tracker recordings and food log analyses. A significant group×time interaction revealed that chronic RF reduced body mass and adiposity in FAST, without changing lean mass, whereas CNT subjects remained unchanged. In parallel to these findings, a significant main diurnal effect (morning v. evening) of RF on substrate oxidation (a shift towards lipid oxidation) and blood metabolic profile (a decrease in glucose and an increase in total cholesterol and TAG levels, respectively) was observed, which did not vary over the course of the Ramadan. In conclusion, although RF induces diurnal metabolic adjustments (morning v. evening), no carryover effect was observed throughout RF despite the extended daily fasting period (18·0 (sd 0·3) h) and changes in body composition.
Alterations in reinforcement-based decision making may be associated with increased psychiatric vulnerability in children who have experienced maltreatment. A probabilistic passive avoidance task and a model-based functional magnetic resonance imaging analytic approach were implemented to assess the neurocomputational components underlying decision making: (a) reinforcement expectancies (the representation of the outcomes associated with a stimulus) and (b) prediction error signaling (the ability to detect the differences between expected and actual outcomes). There were three main findings. First, the maltreated group (n = 18; mean age = 13), relative to nonmaltreated peers (n = 19; mean age = 13), showed decreased activity during expected value processing in a widespread network commonly associated with reinforcement expectancies representation, including the striatum (especially the caudate), the orbitofrontal cortex, and medial temporal structures including the hippocampus and insula. Second, consistent with previously reported hyperresponsiveness to negative cues in the context of childhood abuse, the maltreated group showed increased prediction error signaling in the middle cingulate gyrus, somatosensory cortex, superior temporal gyrus, and thalamus. Third, the maltreated group showed increased activity in frontodorsal regions and in the putamen during expected value representation. These findings suggest that early adverse environments disrupt the development of decision-making processes, which in turn may compromise psychosocial functioning in ways that increase latent vulnerability to psychiatric disorder.
Children who grow up in poverty are more likely to experience chronic stressors that generate “wear” on stress regulatory systems including the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. This can have long-term consequences for health and well-being. Prior research has examined the role of proximal family and home contributions to HPA axis functioning. However, there is evidence to suggest that more distal levels of context, including neighborhoods, also matter. Prior evidence has primarily focused on adolescents and adults, with little evidence linking the neighborhood context with HPA activity in infancy and toddlerhood. We tested whether neighborhood disadvantage (indexed by US Census data) was associated with basal salivary cortisol levels at 7, 15, and 24 months of child age in a large sample of families (N = 1,292) residing in predominately low-income and rural communities in the United States. Multilevel models indicated that neighborhood disadvantage was positively associated with salivary cortisol levels and that this effect emerged across time. This effect was moderated by the race/ethnicity of children such that the association was only observed in White children in our sample. Findings provide preliminary evidence that the neighborhood context is associated with stress regulation during toddlerhood, elucidating a need for future work to address possible mechanisms.
A powerful young supernova remnant (SNR) similar to Cas A has recently been discovered in the irregular galaxy NGC 4449. We have obtained X-ray, optical and ultraviolet data which allow us to investigate possible models for this object and estimate its age. Several lines of argument indicate a massive star of order 25 M⊙ as the precursor to this remnant. If the x-ray emission is attributed to a reverse shock in the ejecta, the remnant should be ∼ 120 years old.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) are co-morbid and associated with similar neural disruptions during emotion regulation. In contrast, the lack of optimism examined here may be specific to GAD and could prove an important biomarker for that disorder.
Unmedicated individuals with GAD (n = 18) and age-, intelligence quotient- and gender-matched SAD (n = 18) and healthy (n = 18) comparison individuals were scanned while contemplating likelihoods of high- and low-impact negative (e.g. heart attack; heartburn) or positive (e.g. winning lottery; hug) events occurring to themselves in the future.
As expected, healthy subjects showed significant optimistic bias (OB); they considered themselves significantly less likely to experience future negative but significantly more likely to experience future positive events relative to others (p < 0.001). This was also seen in SAD, albeit at trend level for positive events (p < 0.001 and p < 0.10, respectively). However, GAD patients showed no OB for positive events (t17 = 0.82, n.s.) and showed significantly reduced neural modulation relative to the two other groups of regions including the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and caudate to these events (p < 0.001 for all). The GAD group further differed from the other groups by showing increased neural responses to low-impact events in regions including the rostral mPFC (p < 0.05 for both).
The neural dysfunction identified here may represent a unique feature associated with reduced optimism and increased worry about everyday events in GAD. Consistent with this possibility, patients with SAD did not show such dysfunction. Future studies should consider if this dysfunction represents a biomarker for GAD.
Cryogenic detectors for gravitational wave astronomy promise greatly improved sensitivity over room temperature detectors. The 3 mK detector which we have under construction should give an improvement of 106 over existing detectors. The cryogenic antennae are described and the calculated low temperature performance is detailed. New superconducting instrumentation is described.
A four-man party representing the Arctic Institute of North America and the Department of Geology, Dartmouth College, went to the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf in 1960 to obtain ice cores for subsequent laboratory analysis. The overall objective of the project was to study the structural and stratigraphic history of the shelf and its relationship to the environment through laboratory analysis of the cores, using stratigraphic. petrologic, chemical, and physical methods.
The four cores obtained were logged, packed, and shipped to Dartmouth College for detailed study. The stratigraphy and structure of the ice were studied under natural and plane polarized light conditions. The results of this initial work showed that the cores were composed of four ice types: glacier ice, lake ice, sea ice, and transition ice. Chlorinity, sulfate, and density profiles complemented megascopic studies and were most useful criteria for plotting stratigraphie changes in ice type.
Results of the investigations thus far have yielded new information about the gross structure and stratigraphy of the ice shelf and re-entrant. They have also shown that the physical and chemical techniques employed will be useful in future ice-core analysis.
The foetal mammary gland is sensitive to maternal weight and nutrition during gestation, which could affect offspring milk production. It has previously been shown that ewes born to dams offered maintenance nutrition during pregnancy (day 21 to 140 of gestation) produced greater milk, lactose and CP yields in their first lactation when compared with ewes born to dams offered ad libitum nutrition. In addition, ewes born to heavier dams produced greater milk and lactose yields when compared with ewes born to lighter dams. The objective of this study was to analyse and compare the 5-year lactation performance of the previously mentioned ewes, born to heavy or light dams that were offered maintenance or ad libitum pregnancy nutrition. Ewes were milked once per week, for the first 6 weeks of their lactation, for 5 years. Using milk yield and composition data, accumulated yields were calculated over a 42-day period for each year for milk, milk fat, CP, true protein, casein and lactose using a Legendre orthogonal polynomial model. Over the 5-year period, ewes born to heavy dams produced greater average milk (P=0.04), lactose (P=0.01) and CP (P=0.04) yields than offspring born to light dams. In contrast, over the 5-year period dam nutrition during pregnancy did not affect average (P>0.05) offspring milk yields or composition, but did increase milk and lactose accumulated yield (P=0.03 and 0.01, respectively) in the first lactation. These results indicate that maternal gestational nutrition appears to only affect the first lactational performance of ewe offspring. Neither dam nutrition nor size affected grand-offspring live weight gain to, or live weight at weaning (P>0.05). Combined these data indicate that under the conditions of the present study, manipulating dam weight or nutrition in pregnancy can have some effects of offspring lactational performance, however, these effects are not large enough to alter grand-offspring growth to weaning. Therefore, such manipulations are not a viable management tool for farmers to influence lamb growth to weaning.
Social anxiety disorder involves fear of social objects or situations. Social referencing may play an important role in the acquisition of this fear and could be a key determinant in future biomarkers and treatment pathways. However, the neural underpinnings mediating such learning in social anxiety are unknown. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined social reference learning in social anxiety disorder. Specifically, would patients with the disorder show increased amygdala activity during social reference learning, and further, following social reference learning, show particularly increased response to objects associated with other people's negative reactions?
A total of 32 unmedicated patients with social anxiety disorder and 22 age-, intelligence quotient- and gender-matched healthy individuals responded to objects that had become associated with others’ fearful, angry, happy or neutral reactions.
During the social reference learning phase, a significant group × social context interaction revealed that, relative to the comparison group, the social anxiety group showed a significantly greater response in the amygdala, as well as rostral, dorsomedial and lateral frontal and parietal cortices during the social, relative to non-social, referencing trials. In addition, during the object test phase, relative to the comparison group, the social anxiety group showed increased bilateral amygdala activation to objects associated with others’ fearful reactions, and a trend towards decreased amygdala activation to objects associated with others’ happy and neutral reactions.
These results suggest perturbed observational learning in social anxiety disorder. In addition, they further implicate the amygdala and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in the disorder, and underscore their importance in future biomarker developments.
The Southern Hemisphere VLBI Experiment (SHEVE) program is aimed at producing high-resolution images of southern radio sources. The radio telescopes of the present SHEVE array are described below and some recent results presented.
We present evidence that the properties of the high-velocity cloud catalogued as #187 by Wakker & van Woerden (1991) (HVC287+22+240) can be explained if it is part of a leading arm counterpart of the Magellanic Stream, and we use this to argue that the HVC originated in the Magellanic Clouds after a tidal interaction.
Supernova remnant shocks produce a rich spectrum of lines in the ultraviolet. Among these are important diagnostic resonance lines of O VI, C III, and N III which lie in the bandpass observable with the recently launched Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer. We present an overview of a PI program to observe several supernova remnants using this new telescope.
Objectives: Visuospatial processing deficits have been reported in Huntington’s disease (HD). To date, no study has examined associations between visuospatial cognition and posterior brain findings in HD. Methods: We compared 119 premanifest (55> and 64<10.8 years to expected disease onset) and 104 early symptomatic (59 stage-1 and 45 stage-2) gene carriers, with 110 controls on visual search and mental rotation performance at baseline and 12 months. In the disease groups, we also examined associations between task performance and disease severity, functional capacity and structural brain measures. Results: Cross-sectionally, there were strong differences between all disease groups and controls on visual search, and between diagnosed groups and controls on mental rotation accuracy. Only the premanifest participants close to onset took longer than controls to respond correctly to mental rotation. Visual search negatively correlated with disease burden and motor symptoms in diagnosed individuals, and positively correlated with functional capacity. Mental rotation (“same”) was negatively correlated with motor symptoms in stage-2 individuals, and positively correlated with functional capacity. Visual search and mental rotation were associated with parieto-occipital (pre-/cuneus, calcarine, lingual) and temporal (posterior fusiform) volume and cortical thickness. Longitudinally, visual search deteriorated over 12 months in stage-2 individuals, with no evidence of declines in mental rotation. Conclusions: Our findings provide evidence linking early visuospatial deficits to functioning and posterior cortical dysfunction in HD. The findings are important since large research efforts have focused on fronto-striatal mediated cognitive changes, with little attention given to aspects of cognition outside of these areas. (JINS, 2016, 22, 595–608)
The objective of this study was to determine whether altered maternal energy supply during mid-gestation results in differences in muscle histology or genes regulating fetal adipose and muscle development. In total, 22 Angus cross-bred heifers (BW=527.73±8.3 kg) were assigned randomly to the three dietary treatments providing 146% (HIGH; n=7), 87% (INT; n=7) or 72% (LOW; n=8) of the energy requirements for heifers from day 85 to day 180 of gestation. Fetuses were removed via cesarean section at day 180 of gestation and longissimus muscle (LM) and subcutaneous fat were collected and prepared for analysis of gene expression. Samples from the LM and semitendinosus (ST) were evaluated for muscle fiber diameter, area and number. The right hind limb was dissected and analyzed to determine compositional analysis. Fetal growth and muscle histology characteristics of the LM and ST were similar among treatments. Preadipocyte factor-1 expression was up-regulated in fetal LM (P<0.05) of HIGH fetuses as compared with INT, whereas LOW fetuses showed increased CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-β (C/EBP-β) expression in LM as compared with INT (P<0.05). Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γand C/EBP-α did not differ as a result of dietary treatment in LM or subcutaneous fat samples. There was a tendency for increased expression of fatty acid synthase in LM of LOW fetuses as compared with INT (P<0.10). Myogenin was more highly expressed (P<0.05) in LM of the LOW fetuses, whereas μ-calpain expression was increased in the HIGH treatment compared with INT. A tendency for increased expression of IGF-II was observed for both LOW and HIGH fetuses compared with INT (P<0.10). Expression of stearoyl-CoA desaturase, myoblast determination protein 1, myogenic factor 5, myogenic regulatory factor-4, m-calpain, calpastatin, IGF-I and myostatin was similar between treatments. Collectively, these results suggest that fetal growth characteristics are not affected by the level of maternal nutritional manipulation imposed in this study during mid-gestation. However, differences in expression of fetal genes regulating adipose and muscle tissue growth and development could lead to differences in postnatal composition and warrants further investigation.