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Experimental work has revealed causal links between physical cleansing and various psychological variables. Empirically, how robust are they? Theoretically, how do they operate? Major prevailing accounts focus on morality or disgust, capturing a subset of cleansing effects, but cannot easily handle cleansing effects in non-moral, non-disgusting contexts. Building on grounded views on cognitive processes and known properties of mental procedures, we propose grounded procedures of separation as a proximate mechanism underlying cleansing effects. This account differs from prevailing accounts in terms of explanatory kind, interpretive parsimony, and predictive scope. Its unique and falsifiable predictions have received empirical support: Cleansing attenuates or eliminates otherwise observed influences of prior events (1) across domains and (2) across valences. (3) Cleansing manipulations produce stronger effects the more strongly they engage sensorimotor capacities. (4) Reversing the causal arrow, motivation for cleansing is triggered more readily by negative than positive entities. (5) Conceptually similar effects extend to other physical actions of separation. On the flipside, grounded procedures of connection are also observed. Together, separation and connection organize prior findings relevant to multiple perspectives (e.g., conceptual metaphor, sympathetic magic) and open up new questions. Their predictions are more generalizable than the specific mappings in conceptual metaphors, but more fine-grained than the broad assumptions of grounded cognition. This intermediate level of analysis sheds light on the interplay between mental and physical processes.
Two new isocrinids are described from the Lower Cretaceous Agrio Formation of the Neuquén Basin, west-central Argentina. Isocrinus (Chladocrinus) covuncoensis new species is based on several beautifully preserved specimens from Valanginian beds of the Pilmatué Member. It is characterized by a small size, multiramose crown with six arm divisions, 240 arm tips, mostly isotomous branching, seven (or rarely eight) secundibrachials, smooth and stout column, short noditaxis, and pentalobate columnals. The species occurs in a 30 m thick interval of cross-bedded sandstones and mixed clastic-carbonate sediments that represent the migration of large, tidally influenced, subaqueous dunes developed in the offshore. Sudden burial of crinoids that dwelled on the dune toes and interdunes, possibly by the acceleration of the lee face migration, provided the exceptional preservation of specimens and thus this finding can be considered as a local crinoid Konservat Lagerstätte. Isocrinus (Chladocrinus) pehuenchensis new species is described from a single articulated specimen preserved in a silty calcareous concretion collected from a late Hauterivian concretion level of the Agua de la Mula Member. It is characterized by isotomous branching, eight or nine secundibrachials (IIBr), slender column ornamented with medial ridge of fine tubercles, interradius acuminated with fine tubercles on its tip, short noditaxis, and pentastellate columnals. It is associated with low-energy fall-out deposits in the offshore. The excellent state of preservation was due to an early cementation process by carbonate that enhanced lithification around the specimen.
Computer based trainings (CBTs) are established in the rehabilitation of mentally ill people to recover cognitive skills (Medalia et al., 2009). The Critique to some CBTs are lack of preparation for real life scenario, no use of tasks that simultaneously engage multiple cognitive processes and lack of enhancing motivation (Medalia & Choi, 2009). This may be summarized as a lack of biotic design in CBTs.
In depressive disorders besides other symptoms a lack of energy/motivation, forgetfulness and difficulty in concentrating are observable. The goal of this pilot study was to develop a new “biotic” designed CBT (Mebitrain) and evaluate its effect on global working memory (GWM) and motivation with data from patients suffering from depression.
To test whether Mebitrain enhances GWM (measured before and after a ten day training period with the LGT from Bäumler) and motivation (measured before and after training with custom rating scales and during the training with time and performance) five depressive (ICD diagnoses F31.0, F33.2, F32.3) patients were tested.
Differences between pre- (mean 33.6 ± 10.35) and post- (mean 38 ± 6) LGT values show a marginal significant trend (p = 0.1) with moderate effect size (d = .54).
The time finishing the training decreased per training session significantly with an increasing in performance (r = −.788, p < .005).
First results indicate that the development of a biotic designed training and its application may increase global cognitive functions and motivation in depressive patients. Limitations (e.g. sample size, transfer, etc.) of this pilot study are discussed.
A proinflammatory state in a subgroup of depressed patients has been reported repeatedly (e.g. increased interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor-alpha). COX-2 inhibitors down-regulate increased inflammatory markers and are therefore investigated as an add-on therapy in depression. Proinflammatory cytokines and/or kynurenine metabolites may predict the outcome of treatment with COX-2 inhibitors.
To prove or disapprove the hypothesis of a better therapy response in the group of add-on celecoxib to sertraline, particularly in patients with a more pronounced proinflammatory state at baseline. The aim is to find a biological predictor (cytokines and/or kynurenine metabolites) for treatment outcome.
This is a dual-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group phase IIa study. It investigates the mean change in clinical outcome and in serum cytokine and kynurenine levels from baseline to endpoint (week 6) in patients with major depression (HAMD-17 ≥ 22) treated with sertraline plus celecoxib versus sertraline plus placebo for six weeks. 51 depressed patients of both gender, aged between 18 and 60 years without any recent inflammatory disease were enrolled. The study comprises six study visits (6x ratings, 3x blood collections) during six weeks of treatment and a follow-up visit 10 weeks after baseline. Cytokines were measured by Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), kynurenine and its metabolites by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).
Results and Conclusion
The study was completed quite recently and the results are in progress.
In schizophrenia, sex differences related to age of onset, course of illness and response to antipsychotic treatment may be mirrored by differences in the underlying molecular pathways. We attempted to increase our understanding of these phenomena by carrying out multiplex immunoassay profiling of 95 serum molecules using samples from 4 independent cohorts of male and female first episode antipsychotic naive schizophrenia patients (n=133) and matched controls (n=133). The concentrations of 16 molecules associated with hormonal, inflammation and growth factor pathways showed significant sex differences in schizophrenia patients compared with controls. In line with the numerous sex differences reported in schizophrenia, our findings included alterations in the levels of several hormones, including elevated free and total testosterone in female patients and concomitant sex differences in sex hormone binding globulin and prolactin concentrations. We also found higher levels of thyroxine binding globulin and seven inflammatory markers in male schizophrenia patients only, raising the possibility that some aspects of the widely-reported immunological abnormalities in schizophrenia may be specific for males. Several of these markers showed sexspecific associations with positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS) scores and changes in concentration after 6 weeks of treatment with antipsychotics. Finally, we also evaluated overlapping and distinct sex-specific biomarkers for schizophrenia, Asperger syndrome, major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. We propose that future studies should investigate the common and sex-specific aetiologies of schizophrenia, as the current findings suggest that different therapeutic strategies may be required for male and female patients.
A proinflammatory state in a subgroup of depressed patients has been reported repeatedly, for example an increase in interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor-a is well documented. Treatment with COX-2 inhibitors down-regulate increased inflammatory markers. Therefore an adjunctive treatment of depression with COX-2 in combination with an antidepressant might lead to a better clinical outcome.
To prove or disapprove the hypothesis of a better clinical outcome in the group with add-on celecoxib to sertraline in terms of improvement of HamD-17 and MADRS scores from baseline to endpoint.
This is a dual-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group phase IIa study to investigate the mean change in clinical outcome and in serum expression of inflammation markers from baseline to endpoint (week 6) in patients with major depression (HAMD-17 ≥ 22) treated with celecoxib in combination with sertraline compared to sertraline combined with placebo. 51 depressed patients of both gender, aged between 18 and 60 without any recent inflammatory related disease were enrolled. The study comprises six study visits (6x ratings including HAMD-17 and MADRS, 3x blood collections) during six weeks of treatment and a follow-up visit 10 weeks after baseline.
Results and Conclusion
The study was completed quite recently and the results are in progress.
Thought about abstract concepts is grounded in more concrete physical experiences. Applying this grounded cognition perspective to Boyer & Petersen's (B&P's) folk-economic beliefs, we highlight its implications for the activation, application, cultural acceptance, and context sensitivity of folk-economic beliefs.
Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection can cause serious diseases and complications in the HIV-positive population. Due to successful vaccination programmes measles, mumps and congenital rubella syndrome has become neglected in Germany. However, recent outbreaks of measles have occurred from import-associated cases. In this cross-sectional study the serostatus for MMR and VZV in 2013 HIV-positive adults from three different university outpatient clinics in Bonn (n = 544), Cologne (n = 995) and Munich (n = 474) was analysed. Sera were tested for MMR- and VZV-specific immunglobulin G antibodies using commercial immunoassays. Seronegativity was found in 3% for measles, 26% for mumps, 11% for rubella and 2% for VZV. Regarding MMR, 35% of patients lacked seropositivity against at least one infectious agent. In multivariable analysis younger age was strongly associated with seronegativity against all four viruses, measles, mumps, rubella (P < 0·001, P < 0·001 and P = 0·001, respectively) and VZV (P = 0·001). In conclusion, there is high need for MMR and VZV vaccination in people living with HIV in Germany born in 1970 or later. Thus, systematic MMR and VZV antibody screening and vaccination should be implemented in the HIV-positive population to prevent serious disease and complications of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Data are scarce regarding combined high Se and Mn supplementation in livestock diets, however, as Se and Mn are functionally related as cofactors of glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and Mn-superoxide dismutase (SOD), respectively, beneficial synergistic effects on oxidative stability of tissues may result. This experiment evaluated the effect of an oversupply of Se and Mn within European legal limits compared with recommendations on performance, oxidative stability of the organism and meat quality in a randomised complete block design. A total of 60 crossbred gilts were fed maize–barley–soya bean meal diets formulated in a 2×2 factorial approach with inorganic Se (0.2 v. 0.5 mg/kg Se dry matter (DM)) or inorganic Mn (20 v. 150 mg/kg Mn DM) from 31 to 116 kg BW. Se supplementation reduced feed intake, whereas high Mn diets impaired average daily gain (P<0.05). Qualitative carcass characteristics were impaired by Se and Mn predominantly in the semimembranosus muscle. Activity of GPx in liver was increased by high Se diets (P<0.05). Mn supplementation increased catalase (CAT) activity in liver, GPx in plasma and total antioxidative capacity (TAC) in muscle, whereas it decreased CAT activity in plasma (P<0.05). Cu/Zn-SOD in muscle showed higher activity in high-Se-low-Mn diets but lower activity when both high Se and Mn were combined (Se×Mn P<0.05). Mn supplementation increased Mn concentration in longissimus thoracis et lumborum, but simultaneously reduced Se concentration (P<0.05). Upon retail display, Mn increased lipid oxidation more pronouncedly (higher thiobarbituric acid reactive substances; P<0.05) than Se (P<0.10). Despite some positive effects (Mn increased TAC, Se increased GPx, Se and Mn increased tenderness), no synergistic effects of high Se and Mn diets or an overall beneficial impact on meat quality, especially during storage, could be observed. Including the negative effects on performance, feeding Se and Mn up to the maximum legal level cannot be recommended.
New observations of the Magellanic Stream were made in December 1976 with the 64-m radio telescope at the Parkes Observatory of CSIRO. The ridges of H I emission of the Stream were traced from near its tip at ℓ = 90°, b = -40° to the Magellanic Clouds. This was the first time that the total length of the Stream was observed with the one system (only possible from the southern hemisphere) and with high spatial (15’ of arc) and velocity (4 km s-1) resolution. The results of this survey are presented in Figures 1 and 2 and the main features are listed below.
Our objective was to determine whether a Symbol Search paradigm developed for functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) is a reliable and valid measure of cognitive processing speed (CPS) in healthy older adults. As all older adults are expected to experience cognitive declines due to aging, and CPS is one of the domains most affected by age, establishing a reliable and valid measure of CPS that can be administered inside an MR scanner may prove invaluable in future clinical and research settings. We evaluated the reliability and construct validity of a newly developed FMRI Symbol Search task by comparing participants’ performance in and outside of the scanner and to the widely used and standardized Symbol Search subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). A brief battery of neuropsychological measures was also administered to assess the convergent and discriminant validity of the FMRI Symbol Search task. The FMRI Symbol Search task demonstrated high test–retest reliability when compared to performance on the same task administered out of the scanner (r=.791; p<.001). The criterion validity of the new task was supported, as it exhibited a strong positive correlation with the WAIS Symbol Search (r=.717; p<.001). Predicted convergent and discriminant validity patterns of the FMRI Symbol Search task were also observed. The FMRI Symbol Search task is a reliable and valid measure of CPS in healthy older adults and exhibits expected sensitivity to the effects of age on CPS performance. (JINS, 2015, 22, 1–8)
This study examined whether Ascaridia galli infection can be controlled by dietary non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) in chickens. One-day-old chicks were fed either a basal diet (CON) or CON plus insoluble NSP (I-NSP), or CON plus soluble NSP (S-NSP) for 11 weeks. Three weeks later, birds from half of each feeding group were inoculated with 250 embryonated eggs of A. galli, and slaughtered 8 weeks post-infection to determine worm counts. Both NSP diets, particularly S-NSP, increased prevalence of infection (P<0·05) and worm burden (roughly +50%) of the birds (P<0·001). A. galli infection caused a less efficient (P=0·013) feed utilization for body weight gain (BWG) resulting in lower body weights (P<0·001) irrespective of type of diet consumed. NSP-fed birds, particularly those on I-NSP, consumed more (+8%) feed per unit BWG and showed retarded (P<0·001) BW development compared to CON-fed birds. Intracaecal pH was lowered by S-NSP (P<0·05). Both NSP diets increased the volatile fatty acids pool size in caeca (P<0·001) with S-NSP exerting a greater effect (+46%) than I-NSP (+24%). It is concluded that both NSPs supplemented diets alter gastrointestinal environment in favour of the nematode establishment, and thus have no potential for controlling A. galli infection in chickens.
Somatic cell count (SCC) is generally regarded as an indicator of udder health. A cut-off value of 100×103 cells/ml is currently used in Germany to differentiate between normal and abnormal secretion of quarters. In addition to SCC, differential cell counts (DCC) can be applied for a more detailed analysis of the udder health status. The aim of this study was to differentiate somatic cells in foremilk samples of udder quarters classified as normal secreting by SCC <100×103 cells/ml. Twenty cows were selected and 72 normal secreting udder quarters were compared with a control group of six diseased quarters (SCC >100×103 cells/ml). In two severely diseased quarters of the control group (SCC of 967×103 cells/ml and 1824×103 cells/ml) Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus were detected. DCC patterns of milk samples (n=25) with very low SCC values of ⩽6·25×103 cells/ml revealed high lymphocyte proportions of up to 92%. Milk cell populations in samples (n=41) with SCC values of (>6·25 to ⩽25)×103 cells/ml were also dominated by lymphocytes (mean value 47%), whereas DCC patterns of milk from udder quarters (n=6) with SCC values (>25 to ⩽100)×103 cells/ml changed. While in samples (n=3) with SCC values of (27–33)×103 cells/ml macrophages were predominant (35–40%), three milk samples with (43–45)×103 cells/ml indicated already inflammatory reactions based on the predominance of polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMN) (54–63%). In milk samples of diseased quarters PMN were categorically found as dominant cell population with proportions of ⩾65%. Macrophages were the second predominant cell population in almost all samples tested in relationship to lymphocytes and PMN. To our knowledge, this is the first study evaluating cell populations in low SCC milk in detail. Udder quarters classified as normal secreting by SCC <100×103 cells/ml revealed already inflammatory processes based on DCC.
This study used statistical methods to investigate linkages in phenotypic resistance profiles in a population sample of 321 Salmonella Typhimurium isolates from sporadic salmonellosis cases in Lower Saxony, Germany, collected during 2008–2010. A resistance index was applied to calculate the conditional probability of resistance to one antimicrobial agent given the resistance to one or more other antimicrobial agent(s). A susceptibility index was defined analogously. A contingency plot, which visualizes the association between resistances to two antimicrobial agents, facilitated the interpretation. Linkages between minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) were analysed using Spearman's rank correlation coefficient and jittered scatter plots. Applying these methods provided a compact description of multi-resistance and linkages between resistance properties in large datasets. Moreover, this approach will improve monitoring of antimicrobial resistance dynamics of bacteria in human or animal populations by identifying linked resistance to antimicrobial agents (cross- or co-resistance) with a non-molecular method.
Mechanical energy harvesting from ambient vibrations is an attractive renewable source of energy for various applications. Prior research was solely based on lead-containing materials which are detrimental to the environment and health. Therefore, lead-free materials are becoming more attractive for harvesting applications. The present work is focused on the development of lead-free piezoelectric materials based on solid solution having composition (KNa)NbO3-xABO3, (where A = Li, and B = Nb; x = 0, 5, 5.5, 6, and 6.5 wt%). The solid solutions of the above ceramics were prepared by using solid-state reaction method. The X-ray diffraction spectra exhibited single phase formation and good crystallinity with LiNbO3 addition up to x = 6.5 wt%. Dielectric studies reveal that the composition with LiNbO3 = 6.5 wt% exhibits superior properties suitable for piezoelectric energy harvesting applications. The nanoscale piezoelectric data obtained with piezoresponse force microscopy provide a direct evidence of strong piezoelectricity with LN doping. The best piezoelectric properties are obtained for the composition K0.5Na0.5NbO3 – 6.5%LiNbO3.
In the present article, the experimental investigation of optical breakdown induced by ns/mJ pulses at two wavelengths, 1064 nm and 532 nm, in air of atmospheric pressure is reported and discussed. The obtained breakdown thresholds were compared with theory and are in good agreement. The generated plasmas have been characterized by their amount of scattered laser light, energy transmission, and change of the transmitted temporal shape. Laser-induced plasma formation in a gas, in air, also generates an acoustic pressure wave. The acoustic energy is compared to the laser pulse energy and is found to be linearly dependent. Moreover, the frequency distribution of the characteristic acoustic pressure wave was analyzed. The experiments described were accomplished in order to optimize a laser ignition system with regard to efficiency and costs. The laser system employed for these investigations is a compact high peak power, passively Q-switched, longitudinally diode-pumped solid-state laser. Such a “laser spark plug” should replace conventional spark plugs in internal combustion engines because conventional ignition has reached its limits in terms of efficiency and durability. Thereby, a reduction of pollutant emission should also be feasible.