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Neuroimaging studies of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have revealed structural deviations of the corpus callosum in children and adolescents. However, little is known about the link between callosal morphology and symptoms of inattention or hyperactivity in adulthood, especially later in life.
We aimed to further expand this understudied field by analyzing a large population-based sample of 280 adults (150 males, 130 females) in their late sixties and early seventies.
We applied a well-validated approach capturing the thickness of the corpus callosum with a high regional specificity at 100 equidistant points. In addition to correlating point-wise callosal thickness with ADHD symptom measures within the whole sample, we tested for sex interactions.
There were significant sex interactions with respect to measures of inattention and hyperactivity, with follow-up analyses revealing significant negative correlations in males (see Fig. 1 – Top). In contrast, there were positive correlations with respect to hyperactivity only in females (see Fig. 1 – Bottom).
A thinner corpus callosum may be associated with fewer fibers or less myelination. Thus, the negative correlations, as observed in males, suggest an impaired inter-hemispheric communication necessary to sustain motor control and attention, which may contribute to symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity and/or inattention. The functional relevance and underlying mechanisms of the positive correlations, as detected in females, remain to be resolved.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Decades of research have highlighted the significance of parenting in children's development, yet few studies have focused specifically on the development of parental monitoring strategies in diverse families living in at-risk neighborhoods. The current study investigated the development of active (i.e., parental discussions and curfew rules) and passive (i.e., child communication with parents) parental monitoring strategies across different developmental periods (middle childhood and adolescence; Grades 4–5 and 7–11) as well as individual (child, parent), family, and contextual antecedents (measured in kindergarten) of this parenting behavior. Using an ecological approach, this study evaluated longitudinal data from 753 participants in the Fast Track Project, a multisite study directed at the development and prevention of conduct problems in at-risk children. Latent trajectory modeling results identified little to no mean growth in these monitoring strategies over time, suggesting that families living in at-risk environments may engage in consistent levels of monitoring strategies to ensure children's safety and well-being. Findings also identified several kindergarten antecedents of the growth factors of these parental monitoring strategies including (a) early child conduct problems; (b) parental warmth/involvement, satisfaction, and efficacy; and (c) parent–child relationship quality. These predictive effects largely highlighted the important role of early parenting behaviors on later levels of and growth in parental monitoring strategies. These findings have important implications for potential prevention and intervention targets to promote the development of parental monitoring strategies among families living in more at-risk contexts.
We provide an update on diagnostic methods for the detection of urogenital schistosomiasis (UGS) in men and highlight that satisfactory urine-antigen diagnostics for UGS lag much behind that for intestinal schistosomiasis, where application of a urine-based point-of-care strip assay, the circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) test, is now advocated. Making specific reference to male genital schistosomiasis (MGS), we place greater emphasis on parasitological detection methods and clinical assessment of internal genitalia with ultrasonography. Unlike the advances made in defining a clinical standard protocol for female genital schistosomiasis, MGS remains inadequately defined. Whilst urine filtration with microscopic examination for ova of Schistosoma haematobium is a convenient but error-prone proxy of MGS, we describe a novel low-cost sampling and direct visualization method for the enumeration of ova in semen. Using exemplar clinical cases of MGS from our longitudinal cohort study among fishermen along the shoreline of Lake Malawi, the portfolio of diagnostic needs is appraised including: the use of symptomatology questionnaires, urine analysis (egg count and CCA measurement), semen analysis (egg count, circulating anodic antigen measurement and real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis) alongside clinical assessment with portable ultrasonography.
This study originated in collaboration with Thomas Dishion because of concerns that a group format for aggressive children might dampen the effects of cognitive-behavioral intervention. Three hundred sixty aggressive preadolescent children were screened through teacher and parent ratings. Schools were randomized to receive either an individual or a group format of the child component of the same evidence-based program. The results indicate that there is variability in how group-based cognitive-behavioral intervention can affect aggressive children through a long 4-year follow-up after the end of the intervention. Aggressive children who have higher skin conductance reactivity (potentially an indicator of poorer emotion regulation) and who have a variant of the oxytocin receptor gene that may be associated with being hyperinvolved in social bonding have better outcomes in their teacher-rated externalizing behavior outcomes over time if they were seen individually rather than in groups. Analyses also indicated that higher levels of the group leaders’ clinical skills predicted reduced externalizing behavior problems. Implications for group versus individual format of cognitive-behavioral interventions for aggressive children, and for intensive training for group therapists, informed by these results, are discussed.
Building on prior work regarding the potential for peer contagion or deviance training in group delivered interventions (Dishion & Dodge, 2005, 2006; Dodge, Dishion, & Lansford, 2006), we leveraged data from a randomized trial, testing the integration of two preventive interventions (Promoting Alternative THinking Strategies and PAX Good Behavior Game), to explore the extent to which classroom contextual factors served as either a barrier to or a motivator for teachers to implement the evidence-based PAX Good Behavior Game with high frequency or dosage. We included students’ baseline levels of behavior, measured with regard to both positive (i.e., engagement and social emotional skills) and negative (i.e., hyperactive and aggressive-disruptive) behaviors. Data were collected from 204 teachers in 18 urban elementary schools. A series of multilevel structural equation models were fit to the data. The analyses indicated that classrooms with higher classroom levels of aggressive behavior, on average, at baseline had teachers with lower implementation dosage (i.e., played fewer games) across the school year. In addition, teachers who reported higher baseline levels of emotional exhaustion, regardless of student behavior, also reported lower implementation dosage. Taken together, the results indicated that negative, but not positive, contextual factors at baseline were related to lower implementation dosage; this, in turn, suggests that negative contextual factors may serve as a barrier, rather than a motivator, of teachers’ implementation dosage of classroom-based preventive interventions.
Adolescents’ peer networks provide an important context that can contribute to increases in antisocial behavior. By a process called deviancy training, peers can both model and reinforce these behaviors, thereby conveying group norms about the acceptability of such behaviors. This research examined the relationship between the proportion of adolescents’ peers who exchanged antisocial text messages and externalizing behaviors during high school. In Study 1, parent-, teacher-, and self-reports of rule-breaking and aggression were collected for a sample of adolescents (n = 167, 80 girls; 22.2% Black, 51.5% Caucasian, 18.7% Hispanic) during the summers before and after 9th grade. Total text frequency, frequency of antisocial texts, and the proportion of the peer network who exchanged antisocial messages were examined as predictors of antisocial behavior. The proportion of peers who exchanged antisocial texts significantly predicted rule-breaking, but not aggression. Study 2 examined the direction of the relationship documented in Study 1 more thoroughly. Externalizing behaviors at 9th, 10th, and 11th grade were evaluated as predictors of the proportion of the peer network that exchanged texts about antisocial topics (n = 205, 98 girls; 22.4% Black, 53.7% Caucasian, 16.9% Hispanic). Externalizing behaviors predicted the proportion of adolescents’ peer network that exchanged antisocial texts in each of the subsequent years, but this proportion of the peer network exchanging antisocial communication did not predict subsequent externalizing behaviors. The findings suggest that the extent to which antisocial communication permeates the peer group is a selection effect.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
Alcohol use is commonly initiated during adolescence, with earlier onset known to increase the risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD). Altered function in neural reward circuitry is thought to increase the risk for AUD. To test the hypothesis that adolescent alcohol misuse primes the brain for alcohol-related psychopathology in early adulthood, we examined whether adolescent alcohol consumption rates predicted reward responsivity in the ventral striatum (VS), and in turn, AUD symptoms in adulthood.
A total of 139 low income, racially diverse urban males reported on their alcohol use at ages 11, 12, 15, and 17; completed self-reports of personality, psychiatric interviews, and a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan at age 20; and completed a psychiatric interview at age 22. We measured adolescent alcohol use trajectories using latent growth curve modeling and measured neural responses to monetary reward using a VS region of interest. We tested indirect effects of adolescent alcohol use on AUD symptoms at age 22 via VS reward-related reactivity at age 20.
Greater acceleration in adolescent alcohol use predicted increased VS response during reward anticipation at age 20. VS reactivity to reward anticipation at age 20 predicted AUD symptoms at age 22, over and above concurrent symptoms. Accelerated adolescent alcohol use predicted AUD symptoms in early adulthood via greater VS reactivity to reward anticipation.
Prospective findings support a pathway through which adolescent alcohol use increases the risk for AUD in early adulthood by impacting reward-related neural functioning. These results highlight increased VS reward-related reactivity as a biomarker for AUD vulnerability.
Accurate and reproducible patient positioning is a critical step in radiotherapy for breast cancer. This has seen the use of permanent skin markings becoming standard practice in many centres. Permanent skin markings may have a negative impact on long-term cosmetic outcome, which may in turn, have psychological implications in terms of body image. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using a semi-permanent tattooing device for the administration of skin marks for breast radiotherapy set-up.
Materials and methods
This was designed as a phase II double-blinded randomised-controlled study comparing our standard permanent tattoos with the Precision Plus Micropigmentation (PPMS) device method. Patients referred for radical breast radiotherapy were eligible for the study. Each study participant had three marks applied using a randomised combination of the standard permanent and PPMS methods and was blinded to the type of each mark. Follow up was at routine appointments until 24 months post radiotherapy. Participants and a blind assessor were invited to score the visibility of each tattoo at each follow-up using a Visual Analogue Scale. Tattoo scores at each time point and change in tattoo scores at 24 months were analysed by a general linear model using the patient as a fixed effect and the type of tattoo (standard or research) as covariate. A simple questionnaire was used to assess radiographer feedback on using the PPMS.
In total, 60 patients were recruited to the study, of which 55 were available for follow-up at 24 months. Semi-permanent tattoos were more visible at 24 months than the permanent tattoos. Semi-permanent tattoos demonstrated a greater degree of fade than the permanent tattoos at 24 months (final time point) post completion of radiotherapy. This was not statistically significant, although it was more apparent for the patient scores (p=0·071) than the blind assessor scores (p=0·27). No semi-permanent tattoos required re-marking before the end of radiotherapy and no adverse skin reactions were observed.
The PPMS presents a safe and feasible alternative to our permanent tattooing method. An extended period of follow-up is required to fully assess the extent of semi-permanent tattoo fade.
Unusual speleothems, associated with hyperalkaline (pH > 12) groundwaters
have formed within a shallow, abandoned railway tunnel at Peak Dale,
Derbyshire, UK. The hyperalkaline groundwaters are produced by the leaching
of a thin layer (<2 m) of old lime-kiln waste on the soil-bedrock surface
above the tunnel by rainwater. This results in a different reaction and
chemical process to that more commonly associated with the formation of
calcium carbonate speleothems from Ca-HCO3-type groundwaters and
degassing of CO2. Stalagmites within the Peak Daletunnel have
grown rapidly (averaging 33 mm y–1), following the closure of the
tunnel 70 years ago. They have an unusual morphology comprising a central
sub-horizontally-laminated column of micro- to nano-crystalline calcium
carbonate encompassed by an outer sub-vertical assymetricripple-laminated
layer. The stalagmites are composed largely of secondary calcite forming
pseudomorphs (<1 mm) that we believe to be predominantly after the 'cold
climate' calcium carbonate polymorph, ikaite (calcium carbonate hexahydrate:
CaCO3·6H2O), withminor volumes of small (<5 μm)
pseudomorphs after vaterite. The tunnel has a near constant temperature of
8–9°C, which is slightly above the previously published crystallization
temperatures for ikaite (<6°C). Analysis of a stalagmite actively growing
at the time ofsampling, and preserved immediately within a dry nitrogen
cryogenic vessel, indicates that following crystallization of ikaite,
decomposition to calcite occurs rapidly, if not instantaneously. We believe
this is the first occurrence of this calcium carbonate polymorph observed
There is now ample evidence that the quality of early attachment experiences shapes expectations for supportive and responsive care and ultimately serves to scaffold adaptation to the salient tasks of development. Nonetheless, few studies have identified neural mechanisms that might give rise to these associations. Using a moderately large sample of low-income male participants recruited during infancy (N = 171), we studied the predictive significance of attachment insecurity and disorganization at age 18 months (as measured in the Strange Situation Procedure) for patterns of neural activation to reward and loss at age 20 years (assessed during a reward-based task as part of a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan). Results indicated that individuals with a history of insecure attachment showed hyperactivity in (a) reward- and emotion-related (e.g., basal ganglia and amygdala) structures and (b) emotion regulation and self-referential processing (cortical midline structures) in response to positive and negative outcomes (and anticipation of those outcomes). Further, the neural activation of individuals with a history of disorganized attachment suggested that they had greater emotional reactivity in anticipation of reward and employed greater cognitive control when negative outcomes were encountered. Overall, results suggest that the quality of early attachments has lasting impacts on brain function and reward processing.
Previous studies demonstrate that boys' monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) genotype interacts with adverse rearing environments in early childhood, including punitive discipline, to predict later antisocial behavior. Yet the mechanisms by which MAOA and punitive parenting interact during childhood to amplify risk for antisocial behavior are not well understood. In the present study, hostile attributional bias and aggressive response generation during middle childhood, salient aspects of maladaptive social information processing, were tested as possible mediators of this relation in a sample of 187 low-income men followed prospectively from infancy into early adulthood. Given racial–ethnic variation in MAOA allele frequencies, analyses were conducted separately by race. In both African American and Caucasian men, those with the low-activity MAOA allele who experienced more punitive discipline at age 1.5 generated more aggressive responses to perceived threat at age 10 relative to men with the high-activity variant. In the African American subsample only, formal mediation analyses indicated a marginally significant indirect effect of maternal punitiveness on adult arrest records via aggressive response generation in middle childhood. The findings suggest that maladaptive social information processing may be an important mechanism underlying the association between MAOA × Parenting interactions and antisocial behavior in early adulthood. The present study extends previous work in the field by demonstrating that MAOA and harsh parenting assessed in early childhood interact to not only predict antisocial behavior in early adulthood, but also predict social information processing, a well-established social–cognitive correlate of antisocial behavior.
Several studies suggest that neighborhood deprivation is a unique risk factor in child and adolescent development of problem behavior. We sought to examine whether previously established intervention effects of the Family Check-Up (FCU) on child conduct problems at age 7.5 would persist through age 9.5, and whether neighborhood deprivation would moderate these effects. In addition, we examined whether improvements in parent–child interaction during early childhood associated with the FCU would be related to later reductions in child aggression among families living in the highest risk neighborhoods. Using a multisite cohort of at-risk children identified on the basis of family, child, and socioeconomic risk and randomly assigned to the FCU, intervention effects were found to be moderated by neighborhood deprivation, such that they were only directly present for those living at moderate versus extreme levels of neighborhood deprivation. In addition, improvements in child aggression were evident for children living in extreme neighborhood deprivation when parents improved the quality of their parent–child interaction during the toddler period (i.e., moderated mediation). Implications of the findings are discussed in relation to the possibilities and possible limitations in prevention of early problem behavior for those children living in extreme and moderate levels of poverty.
In the Ecuadorian cloud forest, males of the parasitoid braconid wasp Napo townsendi Shaw displayed facultative lekking, appearing both singly and in groups of 2–7 on the leaf tops of various plant species. To attract females, they constantly employed a stereotypical, spread-winged calling behaviour, apparently releasing a sex pheromone combed from the lateral metasomal exocrine glands and applied to the wings and hind legs. Aggregated males used the same posture in conspecific agonistic displays, often leading to physical fighting. While female wasps were attracted to and mated with displaying singletons, they also made a choice among aggregated males. When females approached, males vibrated their wings in a brief courtship and mounted. Details of copulation behaviour, which lasted on an average of 3–4 min, are described. Without apparent physical weaponry, the displaying wasps successfully warded off attacks from an assortment of predatory arthropods, particularly salticid spiders. We present case studies of repeated unsuccessful predation attempts by salticids. Here, we postulate that calling and release of sex pheromone may double as both an intrasexual agonistic display and an aposematic advisory to predators that the wasps employ a chemical defence.
Parental depressive symptoms are associated with emotional and behavioural problems in offspring. However, genetically informative studies are needed to distinguish potential causal effects from genetic confounds, and longitudinal studies are required to distinguish parent-to-child effects from child-to-parent effects.
We conducted cross-sectional analyses on a sample of Swedish twins and their adolescent offspring (n = 876 twin families), and longitudinal analyses on a US sample of children adopted at birth, their adoptive parents, and their birth mothers (n = 361 adoptive families). Depressive symptoms were measured in parents, and externalizing and internalizing problems measured in offspring. Structural equation models were fitted to the data.
Results of model fitting suggest that associations between parental depressive symptoms and offspring internalizing and externalizing problems remain after accounting for genes shared between parent and child. Genetic transmission was not evident in the twin study but was evident in the adoption study. In the longitudinal adoption study child-to-parent effects were evident.
We interpret the results as demonstrating that associations between parental depressive symptoms and offspring emotional and behavioural problems are not solely attributable to shared genes, and that bidirectional effects may be present in intergenerational associations.
Risk factors for the childhood development of co-occurring internalizing and externalizing symptoms are not well understood, despite a high prevalence and poor clinical outcomes associated with this co-occurring phenotype. We examined inherited and environmental risk factors for co-occurring symptoms in a sample of children adopted at birth and their birth mothers and adoptive mothers (N = 293). Inherited risk factors (i.e., birth mothers' processing speed and internalizing symptoms) and environmental risk factors (i.e., adoptive mothers' processing speed, internalizing symptoms, and uninvolved parenting) were examined as predictors for the development of internalizing-only, externalizing-only, or co-occurring symptoms using structural equation modeling. Results suggested a unique pattern of predictive factors for the co-occurring phenotype, with risk conferred by adoptive mothers' uninvolved parenting, birth mothers' slower processing speed, and the birth mothers' slower processing speed in tandem with adoptive mothers' higher internalizing symptoms. Additional analyses indicated that when co-occurring-symptom children were incorporated into internalizing and externalizing symptom groups, differential risk factors for externalizing and internalizing symptoms emerged. The findings suggest that spurious results may be found when children with co-occurring symptoms are not examined as a unique phenotypic group.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.