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Antisaccade tasks can be used to index cognitive control processes, e.g. attention, behavioral inhibition, working memory, and goal maintenance in people with brain disorders. Though diagnoses of schizophrenia (SZ), schizoaffective (SAD), and bipolar I with psychosis (BDP) are typically considered to be distinct entities, previous work shows patterns of cognitive deficits differing in degree, rather than in kind, across these syndromes.
Large samples of individuals with psychotic disorders were recruited through the Bipolar-Schizophrenia Network on Intermediate Phenotypes 2 (B-SNIP2) study. Anti- and pro-saccade task performances were evaluated in 189 people with SZ, 185 people with SAD, 96 people with BDP, and 279 healthy comparison participants. Logistic functions were fitted to each group's antisaccade speed-performance tradeoff patterns.
Psychosis groups had higher antisaccade error rates than the healthy group, with SZ and SAD participants committing 2 times as many errors, and BDP participants committing 1.5 times as many errors. Latencies on correctly performed antisaccade trials in SZ and SAD were longer than in healthy participants, although error trial latencies were preserved. Parameters of speed-performance tradeoff functions indicated that compared to the healthy group, SZ and SAD groups had optimal performance characterized by more errors, as well as less benefit from prolonged response latencies. Prosaccade metrics did not differ between groups.
With basic prosaccade mechanisms intact, the higher speed-performance tradeoff cost for antisaccade performance in psychosis cases indicates a deficit that is specific to the higher-order cognitive aspects of saccade generation.
To evaluate age-related differences in the independent/combined association of added sugar intake from soda and body adiposity with hyperuricemia in gender stratified US adults.
Consumption of added sugar from soda was calculated from 24-h dietary interviews and categorized into none, regular, and excessive consumption. Hyperuricemia was defined as serum uric acid levels >7 mg/dL in men and >6 mg/dL in women. Multiple regression models with interaction terms and logistic models adjusted for covariates were conducted under survey-data modules.
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey during 2007-2016.
15,338 adults without gout, failing kidneys, an eGFR<30 or diabetes were selected.
The age stratified prevalence rate of hyperuricemia was 18.8-20.4% in males and 6.8-17.3% in females. Hyperuricemia prevalence of approximately 50% was observed in young and middle age males who consumed excessive added sugar from soda. Excessive added sugar intake was observed to be associated with a 1.5- to 2.0- fold and 2.0- to 2.3- fold increased risk of the probability of hyperuricemia in young and middle age males and middle age females, respectively. Study participants, regardless of age or gender, who were obese and consumed excessive added sugar from soda had the highest risk of having hyperuricemia.
Our study revealed that the association between hyperuricemia and consumption of excessive added sugar from soda may vary by age and gender. Obese adults who consumed excessive added sugar from soda had the highest risk of hyperuricemia, a finding that was found across all age-specific groups for both genders.
ON SEPTEMBER 23, 1904 a new adaptation of Frank Wedekind's Erdgeist premiered at the Neues Theater in Berlin, directed by Max Reinhardt. The production starred Gertrud Eysoldt in the lead as Lulu and, contributing to its novelty, it featured Wedekind himself as the Tierbändiger (animal tamer) in the prologue. At the beginning of the play, Wedekind stepped out from behind the curtain dressed in an iconic ringmaster's costume to deliver the opening lines (figure 3.1):
Walk in! Into the menagerie,
You proud gents, you boisterous women,
With hot desire, and cold dread,
To see the soulless creature,
Tamed by human genius.
The poetic monologue rehearses a well-established opposition between animal and man, who is made master by his intellect and soul. The animal's subjugation on display promises to affirm man's superiority. The Berliner Morgenpost reports that Wedekind “praised the beasts of his circus, all of which he commanded, and introduced a delectable rarity, a poisonous snake: Ms. Eysoldt was carried onto the stage in the pierrot costume of the first act.” The Tierbändiger continues: “She was made to incite calamity / to lure, to seduce, to poison— / to murder without anyone feeling a thing.” To demonstrate his lack of fear and his complete mastery over the deadly creature, he then scratches under her chin like a house pet as he calls her “my sweet beast” (ibid.).
With the overt equation that Wedekind draws between the figure of Lulu and animal predators in the dramatic prologue to Erdgeist it is fitting that reviews of the 1904 stage production also used zoomorphic rhetoric. Critics wrote about “Ms. Eysoldt the all-conquering snake,” or the “snake-woman in the guise of Lulu-Eysoldt.” They praised Eysoldt's performance in the role, to which she brought her “her snake-like grace [Schlangengrazie].” For others, Eysoldt's Lulu was perhaps too convincing and too naturally assimilated. A reviewer for the Volkszeitung comments: “With what uncanny naturalness she plays this snake in human form, this woman, who without conscious reflection coldly steps over the corpses of the men who worship her, and in the end drives the only man who ever loved her to ruin and fires a pistol at him.”
“THE PROBLEM OF the actor has disquieted me the longest,” Friedrich Nietzsche confessed in 1887. In the expanded, second edition of Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (The Gay Science) he addresses this concern in §361, “On the Problem of the Actor.” He wonders whether the actor might give him access to the “dangerous conception of ‘artist’” (ibid.) that preoccupies him throughout the book. For Nietzsche, the actor comprises: “Falsity with good conscience; delight in dissimulation breaking forth as power, pushing aside, overflowing, and sometimes extinguishing the so-called ‘character’ (Charakter); the inner longing for a role and mask, for an appearance (Schein)” (ibid.). Establishing the actor as a problem, Nietzsche foregrounds his concern with the relationship between Charakter, that is selfhood or one's very being, and Schein, appearance, or more specifically in this case, performance. Not surprisingly, Nietzsche is also interested in how performance enables individuals to attain power. While he first frames the problem of the actor in relation to modern man generally, moreover, the question becomes more urgent when he ties the propensity for acting to those who should not be powerful: lower-class men, Jews, and, most essentially, women. Concluding §361 he asks: “If we consider the whole history of women, are they not obliged first of all, and above all to be actresses?” (ibid., 226). Nietzsche's problem of the actor thus becomes the problem of the actress.
This book borrows its title from Nietzsche; however, he was certainly not the only modern thinker to contemplate the problem of the actress or to find it disquieting. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the so-called Frauenfrage (woman question) was among the most pressing matters of the age, across the broadest spectrum of modern German and Austrian culture and thought the actress emerged as a recurring, powerful, and highly complex figure. Female performers captured public interest on and off the stage. Actresses featured prominently in modernist literary works across genres. Painters and writers frequently chose actresses as their muses, portraying them in and out of character (figure Many artists, authors, and other public figures had significant including Corinth, August Renoir, and Franz von Stuck, who produced numerous studies of the actress.
ADDRESSING THE “particular allure that the actress has always exercised over the world of men,” Heinrich Stümcke foregrounds an affinity between authors and actresses, writing: “It is precisely the poet who sees in the actress a corporeal embodiment of his dreams, the shaper of his wishes and hopes [die Gestalterin seiner Wünsche und Hoffnungen].” Here Stümcke offers a conflicted dynamic in the actress-author relationship. On the one hand, he presents the actress as a passive carrier, a body animated by the author's imagination. On the other, he attributes to the actress a semi-agentic status by combining the active feminine noun Gestalterin and the genitive seiner, which assigns creative agency to the poet. In the next sentence he further suggests: “yet another thing about [the actress] has tingling allure: the knowledge that the beloved woman is the object of the wishes and desires of countless hundreds, who powerlessly bounce off of her like arrows fired too short” (ibid., 101–2). Foregrounding the actress as an object of desire and implying the author's exclusive right to that object, he formalizes active-passive, subject-object positions in the author-actress relationship. In doing so, he also summons the centuries-old fantasy of artist and muse in its gender-specific relational, aesthetic, and erotic dimensions.
Stümcke was not wrong to identify a notable affinity between authors and actresses at the turn of the century. Several modernist writers had significant personal relationships—sibling bonds, friendships, affairs, marriages—with one or more actress-muses. Arthur Schnitzler, Frank Wedekind, and Heinrich Mann are among the most prominent. Dramatic authors were, not surprisingly, particularly apt to have close affiliation with actresses. They often collaborated with theater directors and companies on new productions of their work and thus had frequent contact and at times intensive working relationships with the actresses who performed in their plays. Ties to a prominent author or artist could also be advantageous to an actress. The connection could lead to roles in stage productions, contracts with desirable theater companies, and contact with other important artists and public figures. The partnership could be mutually beneficial, defined by respect and co-productive creative exchange. Some authors jealously guarded their protégées, however, at times even preventing them from performing in plays by other authors.
IN THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY, the magazine Das Theater published a survey on the question, “Sollen Künstlerinnen heiraten?” (Should Female Artists Marry?). Numerous actresses responded to the poll with differing opinions on the matter. One answered: “In principle I say no; because the greatest sphere of the married woman, being a mother and housewife, is unfortunately very difficult to fulfill” (ibid.). Similar replies outlined the demanding work schedule of the career, concluding that between rehearsals and performances, sewing costumes, and frequent travel, actresses had little time for life outside of the theater. Some flatly denied the possibility for a woman to be an actress, a wife, and a mother. Yet others refuted this claim with personal experience: “I can also say completely objectively that I am a very good housewife, which proves that the artistic career and the domestic can be combined very well” (ibid.). Still others argued that marriage and motherhood were in fact essential to expanding the actress's repertoire. “Stage performers should marry,” Else Wassermann (of the Deutsches Theater) wrote, “because in order to represent the character of many kinds of beings truly, the artist must be familiar with love and sorrow, joy and grief in her own life” (ibid.).
Answering the seemingly straightforward question that the survey posed, the women who responded revealed the complex sociocultural circumstances and a field of ideas encapsulated in the recurring juxtaposition of actress as woman and woman as actress. In Julius Bab and Heinrich Stümcke's two studies of Die Frau als Schauspielerin and in other texts from the period a paradox emerges in simultaneous claims that women are naturally actresses, and that being an actress goes against woman's natural instinct as wife and mother. Bab summarizes the contrast, writing: “While many alluring and compelling possibilities bring woman to the art of acting, just as many deep-seated inhibitions remain and make ‘woman as actress’ into a problematic nature” (FaS, 39). In almost every respect, working actresses did not conform to normative cultural expectations for German women at the turn of the twentieth century; yet Heinrich Mann would assert through one of his dramatic characters: “the quintessential woman is above all the actress.”
Reconstructs the constitutive role that German actresses played on and off the stage in shaping not only modernist theater aesthetics and performance practices, but also influential strains of modern thought.
HUGO VON HOFMANNSTHAL'S one-act drama Elektra premiered on October 30, 1903 at the Kleines Theater in Berlin. Directed by Max Reinhardt and starring Gertrud Eysoldt, the modernist production sent shock waves through the audience that reverberated across the country as reviews of the performance circulated in the days that followed. Writing for the Hamburger Fremdenblatt, the critic Eduard Engel recounts the extraordinary experience: “As the curtain slowly fell after the murder's instigator, Elektra, performed her gruesome dance of triumph, the hushed crowd was rapt and awestruck with such solemn emotion as I, in my considerable experience as a theater critic, have never yet seen and experienced.” Engel was not the only critic to report on the general astonishment of viewers. Numerous reviews describe how the audience sat in silence for several minutes after the curtain fell before bursting into thunderous applause, calling the author and the lead actress out to the stage repeatedly. The furious pace and macabre poetic dialogue of Hofmannsthal's dramatic text, the masterful application of lighting and set design under Reinhardt's direction, and above all else Eysoldt's stunning physical performance as Elektra captivated and astounded viewers.
Hofmannsthal wrote Elektra specifically for Eysoldt and Reinhardt. Their fateful meeting at Hermann Bahr's home in Austria confirmed their aesthetic kinship and the three immediately discussed future collaborations. In his diary, Hofmannsthal writes: “At this breakfast I promised Reinhardt that I would write him an ‘Elektra’ for his theater and for Eysoldt” (DSE, 115–16). Hofmannsthal had long been interested in writing a modern adaptation of Sophocles's Electra, but his radical conception of the work did not crystalize until he saw Eysoldt perform. The actress was thus central to the drama from its inception and her remarkable performance in the role would extend her influence into the theatrical production and its reception.
Critics had intense and conflicting responses to the drama and its production. Hofmannsthal, Reinhardt and Eysoldt provoked even stronger reactions by presenting a radically modern adaptation of a beloved Greek tragedy. The critic for the Berliner Börsen-Kurier announced: “Classicism in contact with decadence and Ms. Eysoldt as the goddess of revenge, as Elektra!” The critic for the Tilsiter Zeitung was not excited but rather angry, insisting: “The entire Berlin press is outraged about the misusage of Sophocles's drama by the Viennese neurasthenic poet.”
THE FIGURE OF THE ACTRESS occupied German and Austrian culture and thought in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and prominent actresses such as Gertrud Eysoldt and Tilla Durieux became recognizable and recognized participants in modern aesthetic, social, and philosophical discourses. Actresses thus played a significant and active part in shaping emerging modernist theater aesthetics and performance practices as well as influential strains of modern thought. The power and influence that actresses exerted in this period did not go unnoticed by their contemporaries. In his 1908 tract on Die Frau in der Kunst (Woman in Art), the conservative critic Karl Scheffler acknowledged that actresses had achieved a notable and influential position in the theater. He writes: “With the current circumstances of our time we must regularly deal with the actress. One could no longer do without her.” Scheffler was not pleased with these circumstances. Indeed, for Scheffler and other antifeminists, as the performances and careers of individual actresses attracted interest, the figure of the actress came to serve as a crystallization point for anxieties about modernity, gender, and subjectivity. He thus hoped that the future might bring an end to this trend, concluding: “But it is not impossible that a time will come when her position in the theater arts will be greatly limited again” (ibid., 70). Here, in closing, I will take Scheffler's proposition as impetus to look forward from the turn of the century to the Weimar Republic, and offer a few concluding remarks about the figure of the actress as a continuously problematic subject and actresses as continuously problematic subjects.
The revolutionary spirit of the immediate postwar period and the new laws and policies that attended the Weimar Republic's founding affected the theater no less than other areas of life in Germany. In 1919 the Deutscher Bühnenverein (German Stage Association), which represented theater management, and the Genossenschaft deutscher Bühnenangehöriger (Association of German Stage Professionals), the union for performers and other practitioners, negotiated a Tarifvertrag (wage contract) that offered significantly increased stability and protections for professional actors and theater artists (set and lighting designers, wardrobe, hair and make-up artists, etc.).
BY 1903 THE BERLIN ACTRESS Gertrud Eysoldt was famous for her unusual acting style, her captivating physical performances, and perhaps even more so for her startling work in the most controversial female roles in modern German theater. She starred as Henriette in Strindberg's Rausch (Intoxication), Nora in Ibsen's A Doll's House, Lulu in Wedekind's Erdgeist, Nastja in Gorki's Nachtasyl (A Night's Lodgings), and the title roles in Wilde's Salome and Hofmannsthal's Elektra. In an essay for Bühne und Welt in 1903, culture and theater critic Marie Luise Becker commented on Eysoldt's seeming affinity for such characters:
They say after the success of last winter that Gertrud Eysoldt is best suited for the roles of women of modern decadence. Those who scatter around them that secret, wildly sensual and unspeakable bliss and a nameless debauchery. These female figures, the demons and witches of our time—this will turned woman, which modern man seems to fear—are the heroines of the young dramatists. Earthspirits, abhorred by the bourgeoisie just as they were burned centuries ago, rise up before the poet out of the fog and haze. Gertrud Eysoldt makes them human.
In these notable roles Eysoldt became an icon of the modernist theater. Becker also indicates that she embodied many other key points of interest in the modern age. Her description illustrates how the actress could present Nietzsche with a problem encompassing crucial categories including selfhood (Charakter), appearance (Schein), and power (Macht). If, as Becker further contends, men “tremble[d] before the demon of the female spirit” (ibid.), then actresses like Eysoldt became very real incarnations of that fear in their performances on stage and in their defiant existence as women in the social world.
It should therefore come as little surprise that the actress appears as a recurring discursive figure in a range of texts concerned with the interrelated issues of “the modern,” gender, and subjectivity. These were contested categories for artists, cultural critics, philosophers, and scientists, raising issues that frequently divided the German and Austrian intellectual and cultural elite along the lines of conservative and progressive views on modernity.
There is increasing evidence for the health benefits of dietary nitrates including lowering blood pressure and enhancing cardiovascular health. Although commensal oral bacteria play an important role in converting dietary nitrate to nitrite, very little is known about the potential role of these bacteria in blood pressure regulation and maintenance of vascular tone. The main purpose of this review is to present the current evidence on the involvement of the oral microbiome in mediating the beneficial effects of dietary nitrate on vascular function and to identify sources of inter-individual differences in bacterial composition. A systematic approach was used to identify the relevant articles published on PubMed and Web of Science in English from January 1950 until September 2019 examining the effects of dietary nitrate on oral microbiome composition and association with blood pressure and vascular tone. To date, only a limited number of studies have been conducted, with nine in human subjects and three in animals focusing mainly on blood pressure. In general, elimination of oral bacteria with use of a chlorhexidine-based antiseptic mouthwash reduced the conversion of nitrate to nitrite and was accompanied in some studies by an increase in blood pressure in normotensive subjects. In conclusion, our findings suggest that oral bacteria may play an important role in mediating the beneficial effects of nitrate-rich foods on blood pressure. Further human intervention studies assessing the potential effects of dietary nitrate on oral bacteria composition and relationship to real-time measures of vascular function are needed, particularly in individuals with hypertension and those at risk of developing CVD.
Helminth infections in wood mice (n = 483), trapped over a period of 26 years in the woods surrounding Malham Tarn in North Yorkshire, were analysed. Although 10 species of helminths were identified, the overall mean species richness was 1.01 species/mouse indicating that the helminth community was relatively depauperate in this wood mouse population. The dominant species was Heligmosomoides polygyrus, the prevalence (64.6%) and abundance (10.4 worms/mouse) of which declined significantly over the study period. Because of the dominance of this species, analyses of higher taxa (combined helminths and combined nematodes) also revealed significantly declining values for prevalence, although not abundance. Helminth species richness (HSR) and Brillouin's index of diversity (BID) did not show covariance with year, neither did those remaining species whose overall prevalence exceeded 5% (Syphacia stroma, Aonchotheca murissylvatici and Plagiorchis muris). Significant age effects were detected for the prevalence and abundance of all higher taxa, H. polygyrus and P. muris, and for HSR and BID, reflecting the accumulation of helminths with increasing host age. Only two cases of sex bias were found; male bias in abundance of P. muris and combined Digenea. We discuss the significance of these results and hypothesize about the underlying causes.