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Evidence suggests that autism and schizophrenia share similarities in genetic, neuropsychological and behavioural aspects. Although both disorders are associated with theory of mind (ToM) impairments, a few studies have directly compared ToM between autism patients and schizophrenia patients. This study aimed to investigate to what extent high-functioning autism patients and schizophrenia patients share and differ in ToM performance.
Thirty high-functioning autism patients, 30 schizophrenia patients and 30 healthy individuals were recruited. Participants were matched in age, gender and estimated intelligence quotient. The verbal-based Faux Pas Task and the visual-based Yoni Task were utilised to examine first- and higher-order, affective and cognitive ToM. The task/item difficulty of two paradigms was examined using mixed model analyses of variance (ANOVAs). Multiple ANOVAs and mixed model ANOVAs were used to examine group differences in ToM.
The Faux Pas Task was more difficult than the Yoni Task. High-functioning autism patients showed more severely impaired verbal-based ToM in the Faux Pas Task, but shared similar visual-based ToM impairments in the Yoni Task with schizophrenia patients.
The findings that individuals with high-functioning autism shared similar but more severe impairments in verbal ToM than individuals with schizophrenia support the autism–schizophrenia continuum. The finding that verbal-based but not visual-based ToM was more impaired in high-functioning autism patients than schizophrenia patients could be attributable to the varied task/item difficulty between the two paradigms.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders and identifying effective treatment strategies is crucial for the control of depression. Well-conducted systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses can provide the best evidence for supporting treatment decision-making. Nevertheless, the trustworthiness of conclusions can be limited by lack of methodological rigour. This study aims to assess the methodological quality of a representative sample of SRs on depression treatments.
A cross-sectional study on the bibliographical and methodological characteristics of SRs published on depression treatments trials was conducted. Two electronic databases (the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects) were searched for potential SRs. SRs with at least one meta-analysis on the effects of depression treatments were considered eligible. The methodological quality of included SRs was assessed using the validated AMSTAR (Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews) tool. The associations between bibliographical characteristics and scoring on AMSTAR items were analysed using logistic regression analysis.
A total of 358 SRs were included and appraised. Over half of included SRs (n = 195) focused on non-pharmacological treatments and harms were reported in 45.5% (n = 163) of all studies. Studies varied in methods and reporting practices: only 112 (31.3%) took the risk of bias among primary studies into account when formulating conclusions; 245 (68.4%) did not fully declare conflict of interests; 93 (26.0%) reported an ‘a priori’ design and 104 (29.1%) provided lists of both included and excluded studies. Results from regression analyses showed: more recent publications were more likely to report ‘a priori’ designs [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.31, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09–1.57], to describe study characteristics fully (AOR 1.16, 95% CI 1.06–1.28), and to assess presence of publication bias (AOR 1.13, 95% CI 1.06–1.19), but were less likely to list both included and excluded studies (AOR 0.86, 95% CI 0.81–0.92). SRs published in journals with higher impact factor (AOR 1.14, 95% CI 1.04–1.25), completed by more review authors (AOR 1.12, 95% CI 1.01–1.24) and SRs on non-pharmacological treatments (AOR 1.62, 95% CI 1.01–2.59) were associated with better performance in publication bias assessment.
The methodological quality of included SRs is disappointing. Future SRs should strive to improve rigour by considering of risk of bias when formulating conclusions, reporting conflict of interests and authors should explicitly describe harms. SR authors should also use appropriate methods to combine the results, prevent language and publication biases, and ensure timely updates.
Experiments on the National Ignition Facility show that multi-dimensional effects currently dominate the implosion performance. Low mode implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instabilities seeded by capsule mounting features appear to be two key limiting factors for implosion performance. One reason these factors have a large impact on the performance of inertial confinement fusion implosions is the high convergence required to achieve high fusion gains. To tackle these problems, a predictable implosion platform is needed meaning experiments must trade-off high gain for performance. LANL has adopted three main approaches to develop a one-dimensional (1D) implosion platform where 1D means measured yield over the 1D clean calculation. A high adiabat, low convergence platform is being developed using beryllium capsules enabling larger case-to-capsule ratios to improve symmetry. The second approach is liquid fuel layers using wetted foam targets. With liquid fuel layers, the implosion convergence can be controlled via the initial vapor pressure set by the target fielding temperature. The last method is double shell targets. For double shells, the smaller inner shell houses the DT fuel and the convergence of this cavity is relatively small compared to hot spot ignition. However, double shell targets have a different set of trade-off versus advantages. Details for each of these approaches are described.
Our previous observations established the small angular size and high brightness temperature of emission from the v=1, J=1-0 transition of SiO from the circumstellar envelopes of the supergiant VX Sgr and the Mira variable R Cas. We performed a second VLBI experiment on the SiO masers in several late type stars on 31 Oct.-2 Nov. 1978 to compare the physical characteristics of the SiO masers in the v=1 and v=2 states. With an energy separation of 1258 cm-1 (an equivalent temperature of 1753 K) between the two vibrational states, differences in excitation and pumping of the maser states may lead to different maser properties.
Transparent films of platinum nanoparticles on graphene nanohybrids were synthesized in a two-step process. Reduction of homogeneously dispersed Pt precursor and graphene in water and solution coating/annealing afforded thin films with high catalytic performance as counter electrodes in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC). The requisite dispersant consisting of poly(oxyethylene)-(POE) segments and cyclic imide functionalities allowed the in-situ reduction of dihydrogen hexachloroplatinate by ethanol and the formation of nanohybrids of graphene-supported Pt nanoparticles at 4.0 nm diameter. Characterizations of polymeric dispersants by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and nanohybrids by transmission electron microscope were performed. After screening various compositions of Pt/graphene, the nanohybrid film at the specific ratio of 5/1 by weight was fabricated into a counter electrode (CE) for DSSC by the solution casting method. The evaluation of cell performance demonstrated the most improved power conversion efficiency of 8.00%. This is significant achievement in comparison with 7.14% for the DSSC with the conventional platinum sputtered CE. Furthermore, the solution casting method allows the preparation of transparent CE films that are suitable for using as rear-illuminated DSSC. The approach was proven to be feasible by measuring the cell efficiency under rear light illumination. The power efficiency up to 7.01%, comparable to 8.00% by a normally front illumination, has been accomplished. In contrast, the rear illumination at merely 2.36% efficiency was obtained for the DSSC with sputtered platinum CE. Analyses of cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectra were well correlated to the high efficiency of the performance caused by this nanohybrid film.
A retrospective case–case control study was conducted, including 60 cases with daptomycin-nonsusceptible vancomycin-resistant enterococci (DNS-VRE) matched to cases with daptomycin-susceptible VRE and to uninfected controls (1:1:3 ratio). Immunosuppression, presence of comorbid conditions, and prior exposure to antimicrobials were independent predictors of DNS-VRE, although prior daptomycin exposure occurred rarely. In summary, a case–case control study identified independent risk factors for the isolation of DNS-VRE: immunosuppression, multiple comorbid conditions, and prior exposures to cephalosporines and metronidazole.
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) has been used to investigate grain boundary diffusion of Cu and Cr through 1000 Å thick Co films in the temperature range of 325°C to 400°C. Grain boundary diffusivities were determined by modeling the accumulation of Cu or Cr on Co surfaces as a function of time at fixed annealing temperature. The grain boundary diffusivity of Cu through Co is characterized by a diffusion coefficient, D0gb, of 2 × 104 cm2/sec and an activation energy, Ea,gb, of 2.4 eV. Similarly, Cr grain boundary diffusion through Co thin films occurs with a diffusion coefficient, Do,gb, of 6 × 10-2cm2/sec and an activation energy, Ea,gb of 1.8 eV. The Co film microstructure has been investigated before and after annealing by x-ray diffraction and transmission electron Microscopy. Extensive grain growth and texturing of the film occurred during annealing for Co deposited on a Cu underlayer. In contrast, the microstructure of Co deposited on a Cr underlayer remained relatively unchanged upon annealing. Magnetometer Measurements have shown that increased in-plane coercivity Hc, reduced remanence squareness S, and reduced coercive squareness S* result from grain boundary diffusion of Cu and Cr into the Co films.
Previous studies have suggested that motivational aspects of executive functioning, which may be disrupted in schizophrenia patients with negative symptoms, are mediated in part by the striatum. Negative symptoms have been linked to impaired recruitment of both the striatum and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Here we tested the hypothesis that negative symptoms are associated primarily with striatal dysfunction, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Working-memory load-dependent activation and gray matter volumes of the striatum and DLPFC were measured using a region-of-interest (ROI) approach, in 147 schizophrenia patients and 160 healthy controls. In addition to testing for a linear relationships between striatal function and negative symptoms, we chose a second, categorical analytic strategy in which we compared three demographically and behaviorally matched subgroups: patients with a high burden of negative symptoms, patients with minimal negative symptoms, and healthy subjects.
There were no differences in striatal response magnitudes between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls, but right DLPFC activity was higher in patients than in controls. Negative symptoms were inversely associated with striatal, but not DLPFC, activity. In addition, patients with a high burden of negative symptoms exhibited significantly lower bilateral striatal, but not DLPFC, activation than schizophrenia patients with minimal negative symptoms. Working memory performance, antipsychotic exposure and changes in gray matter volumes did not account for these differences.
These data provide further evidence for a robust association between negative symptoms and diminished striatal activity. Future work will determine whether low striatal activity in schizophrenia patients could serve as a reliable biomarker for negative symptoms.
To assess the measles seroepidemiology of healthcare workers (HCWs), from 2004 to 2009 all newly recruited staff at a university hospital in Taiwan, were tested for specific immunoglobulin G antibodies for measles virus using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. A total of 1584 HCWs were included. The positivity rate of measles antibody for physicians and nurses was about 90%. The positivity of measles antibody in different age groups was 78·1%, 93·9% and 94·2% for 20–29, 30–39 and ⩾40 years age groups, respectively. Equivocal results were more frequent in the 20–29 (17·1%) years age group. A lack of antibody against measles was reported for 66 (4·2%) of those tested. Medical student (8·3%) and housekeeping personnel (5·3%) had the greatest lack of antibodies. This study demonstrates the waning measles immunity in younger HCWs in Taiwan, which poses the potential risk of nosocomial transmission of measles. Periodic surveillance and revaccination of susceptible HCWs is recommended.
Pulsed excimer-laser processing of amorphous silicon on non-crystalline substrates allows for the fabrication of high-quality polysilicon thin-film transistors (TFTs). It also provides procedures for doping self-aligned amorphous silicon TFTs. In addition, laser-crystallized polysilicon exhibits some interesting materials properties, such as, large lateral grain growth with a corresponding enhancement in the electron mobility. Under optimized processing conditions, excellent polysilicon TFTs with high mobilities, sharp turn on, low off-state leakage currents and good spatial uniformity have been achieved. These improved parameters, particularly the low off-state leakage currents and good uniformity, enable not only displays but also the moredemanding flat-panel imaging arrays to be fabricated in polysilicon. Results on both polysilicon CMOS circuits and a polysilicon flat-panel imager are presented.
Pulsed Excimer-Laser Annealing (ELA) has become an important technology to produce high performance, poly-Si Thin Film Transistors (TFTs) for large area electronics. The much-improved performance of these poly-Si TFTs over the conventional hydrogenated amorphous Si TFTs enables the possibility of building next generation flat panel imagers with higher-level integration and better noise performance. Both the on-glass integration of peripheral driver electronics to reduce the cost of interconnection and the integration of a pixel level amplifier to improve the noise performance of large area imagers have been demonstrated and are discussed in this paper.
Beams of nitrogen and hydrogen radicals were investigated as surface
pre-treatment and process enhancement techniques for atomic layer deposition
(ALD) of tantalum nitride barrier layer on a dense organosilicate (OSG) low
k film. In-situ x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)
studies of the evolution of the low k surface chemistry revealed an initial
transient growth region controlled mainly by the substrate surface
chemistry. Pre-treatment of the low k surface with radical beams,
particularly with nitrogen radicals, was found to enhance significantly the
chemisorption of the TaCl5 precursor on the OSG surfaces. The
enhancement was attributed to the dissociation of the weakly bonded methyl
groups from the low k surface followed by nitridation with the nitrogen
radicals. In the subsequent linear growth region, atomic hydrogen species
was able to reduce the chlorine content under appropriate temperature and
with sufficient purge. The role of the atomic hydrogen in this process
enhancement is discussed.
An electromigration study has determined the lifetime characteristics and failure mode of dual-damascene Cu/oxide interconnects at temperatures ranging between 200 and 325 °C at a current density of 1.0 MA/cm2. A novel test structure design is used which incorporates a repeated chain of “Blech-type” line elements. The large interconnect ensemble permits a statistical approach to addressing interconnect reliability issues using typical failure analysis tools such as focused ion beam imaging. The larger sample size of the test structure thus enables efficient identification of “early failure” or extrinsic modes of interconnect failure associated with process development. The analysis so far indicates that two major damage modes are observable: (1) via-voiding and (2) voiding within the damascene trench.
Stress-induced void formation (SIV) was studied in dual damascene Cu/oxide
and Cu/low k interconnects over a temperature range of 140 ∼ 350 °C. Two
modes of stressmigration were observed depending on the baking temperature
and sample geometry. At lower temperatures (T < 290 °C), voids were
formed under the periphery of via connecting to narrow lines. This mode of
stressmigration showed a typical behavior of stressmigration with peak
damage at 240 °C, and an activation energy (Q) of 0.75 eV for Cu/oxide
interconnects. At a higher temperature range (T > 290 °C), voids were
found in via bottoms which were connected to wide lines. The rate of high
temperature stressmigration increased exponentially with temperature up to
350 °C and did not show a peak at a certain temperature. The activation
energy was 1.0 eV for Cu/oxide, 0.86 eV for Cu/OSG, and ∼1.0 eV for Cu/FSG
interconnects. The dependence of stressmigration on linewidth, sample
geometry, and ILD material is presented in this paper.
Electromigration (EM) failure statistics and the origin of the lognormal
deviation (σ) for Cu interconnects have been investigated by analyzing the
lifetime statistics and void size distributions at various stages during EM
testing. Experiments were performed on 0.18 μm wide Cu interconnects with
tests terminated after specific amounts of resistance increases, or after a
specified test time. Void size distributions of resistance-based, as well as
time-based EM tests were obtained using focused ion beam (FIB) microscopy.
The lifetime and void size distributions were found to follow lognormal
distribution functions. The σ values of EM lifetime and time-based void size
distributions decrease with higher percentages of resistance increase,
reaching an asymptotic value of σ ∼ 0.14. In contrast, σ values of
resistance-based void size distributions are significantly smaller and do
not show an obvious dependence on time. The statistics of resistance-based
void size distributions can mainly be accounted for by geometrical
variations of the void shape, while the statistics of time-based void size
distributions requires consideration of kinetic aspects of the EM process.
The σ values of EM lifetime distributions at long times can be simulated
based on measured void size distributions, taking into account geometrical
and experimental factors of EM. In contrast, for short times the statistics
of initial void formation and the kinetics of interfacial mass transport
have to be considered.
In this study, we developed a system allowing interfacial adhesion
measurements as a function of mode-mixity, from pure tension to pure shear.
Results show that the debonding energy increases, by a factor of 3 to 10, as
the amount of shear stress increases, approaching mode II conditions. For
low k dielectrics, the debonding energy was found to decrease with
increasing porosity and increase with increasing plasticity. The crack
propagation is also dependent on mode-mixity.
The formation of titanium suicide over polycrystalline silicon has been investigated after rapid thermal annealing treatment in nitrogen and argon ambients. After rapid thermal annealing 300 Å thick titanium overlayer at 900°C for 10 seconds, the sheet resistance of about 3 Ω/□ was achieved, which decreased to 2 Ω/□ after 1100°C / 10s treatment. The TiSi2 Phase was found to be stable after RTA treatments up to 1100°C /10s with no or negligible migration of titanium along the grain boundaries in polycrystalline silicon. In the nitrogen ambient, an external layer (titanium rich, mixture of titanium oxide and nitride) was observed to form after the RTA treatment, but the surface was found clean in the argon ambient.