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Objectives: This study examined the effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) on sentence and word comprehension in healthy adults. Methods: Healthy adult participants, aged between 19 and 30 years, received either a-tDCS over the left inferior frontal gyrus (n=18) or sham stimulation (n=18). Participants completed sentence comprehension and word comprehension tasks before and during stimulation. Accuracy and reaction times (RTs) were recorded as participants completed both tasks. Results: a-tDCS was found to significantly decrease RT on the sentence comprehension task compared to baseline. There was no change in RT following sham stimulation. a-tDCS was not found to have a significant effect on accuracy. Also, a-tDCS did not affect accuracy or RTs on the word comprehension task. Conclusions: The study provides evidence that non-invasive anodal electrical stimulation can modulate sentence comprehension in healthy adults, at least compared to their baseline performance. (JINS, 2019, 25, 331–335)
In early fifth-century Roman Africa, Augustine faced pagan opponents who thought that the Roman empire was at risk because Christian emperors banned the worship of its gods, and that Christian ethics were no way to run an empire. He also faced Christian opponents who held that theirs was the true Church, and that the Roman empire was the oppressive power of Babylon. For Augustine, Church and empire consist of people. Everyone belongs either to the heavenly city, the community of all who love God even to disregard of themselves, or to the earthly city, the community of all who love themselves even to disregard of God. The two cities are intermixed until the final judgement shows that some who share Christian sacraments belong to the earthly city, and some officers of empire belong to the heavenly city. Empire manifests the earthly city's desire to dominate, but imperium, the acknowledged right to give orders, is necessary to avoid permanent conflict. Empire, like everything else, is given or permitted by God, for purposes we do not know.
Declines in populations of the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaeus have been rapid, with the breeding population now perhaps numbering fewer than 120 pairs. The reasons for this decline remain unresolved. Whilst there is evidence that hunting in wintering areas is an important factor, loss of suitable habitat on passage and wintering areas is also of concern. While some key sites for the species are already documented, many of their wintering locations are described here for the first time. Their wintering range primarily stretches from Bangladesh to China. Comprehensive surveys of potential Spoon-billed Sandpiper wintering sites from 2005 to 2013 showed a wide distribution with three key concentrations in Myanmar and Bangladesh, but also regular sites in China, Vietnam and Thailand. The identification of all important non-breeding sites remains of high priority for the conservation of the species. Here, we present the results of field surveys of wintering Spoon-billed Sandpipers that took place in six countries between 2005 and 2013 and present species distribution models which map the potential wintering areas. These include known and currently unrecognised wintering locations. Our maximum entropy model did not identify any new extensive candidate areas within the winter distribution, suggesting that most key sites are already known, but it did identify small sites on the coast of eastern Bangladesh, western Myanmar, and the Guangxi and Guangdong regions of China that may merit further investigation. As no extensive areas of new potential habitat were identified, we suggest that the priorities for the conservation of this species are habitat protection in important wintering and passage areas and reducing hunting pressure on birds at these sites.
Smoking prevalence of pregnant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women is quadruple that of pregnant women in the Australian population, and is associated with significant adverse outcomes in pregnancy. While cessation is a priority, there is as yet little evidence for effective interventions. This paper provides a pragmatic approach to addressing the complexities of smoking in pregnant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and informs clinicians about the initiation of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in pregnancy. Experts agree that nicotine replacement is safer than continuing to smoke in pregnancy. Although a pharmacotherapy-free attempt is initially recommended, if abstinence is not able to be achieved in the first few days, the women should be offered an accelerated option of NRT starting with oral forms and then, if required, progressing to nicotine patch or combined oral and transdermal therapy. Support should be offered for at least 12 weeks and post-partum. Offering counselling and cessation support to partners and family is also important, as is linking the woman in with appropriate social and community support and Aboriginal specific services. As long as oral forms of NRT are not included in the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women a significant and inequitable barrier will remain.
Who shared paradise in late antiquity? Was it only for Jews and Christians who shared a sacred text, or did pagans too have a dream of paradise as it had been and as it would be? This question can be approached through two of the most influential writers in western tradition: Virgil the classical poet and Augustine the Christian theologian. Augustine had good reason to take Virgil as the representative of Roman culture and belief. For Latin speakers of the late fourth century, education was based on Roman classical authors of four or five centuries earlier. Everyone who could afford more than primary education read some Virgil, and in later life could evoke this shared culture by references to him. Augustine himself read Virgil as a schoolboy, taught Virgil in his years as a grammaticus, and knew how teachers could use Virgil as the basis for instruction not only in literature and history, but also in religion. Commentaries (commentarii) began as lecture notes on the text that students were reading, and in the surviving commentary by Augustine's contemporary Servius, there are historical explanations of Virgil's references to Roman religious tradition and philosophical interpretations of the truths symbolized by myths and cults. Such lectures might be the only religious instruction available to pagans, unless they went on to study philosophy, for temples and priests did not provide teaching.
He said: A man prepared a great dinner, and invited many people, and at the time of the dinner he sent his slave to say to those invited, ‘Come, for everything is ready.’ And one after another they made excuses. The first said ‘I have bought some land and must go and look at it: please excuse me.’ Another said ‘I have bought five pairs of oxen and am on my way to try them out: please excuse me.’ Another said ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’ The slave came back and told his master. Then the master of the house was angry, and said to the slave ‘Go quickly to the streets and the lanes of the city, and bring here the beggars and the cripples and the blind and the lame.’ The slave said ‘Master, your order has been carried out, and there is still room.’ The master said to the slave ‘Go out to the roads and the roadsides and make them come in, so that my house shall be full. I tell you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my dinner.’
(Luke 14: 16–24)
The parables of Jesus have many applications, and this one can be applied in many ways to the relationship of dialogue and Christianity. First, the story: the host and his intended guests belong to the wealthy elite, for whom dinner parties are a normal mode of sociability.
To develop a scale to measure social satisfaction in people with substance use disorders and to test its psychometric properties. The rationale is that social satisfaction is more universal and relevant to treatment planning than assessing social problems. The new Social Satisfaction Questionnaire (SSQ) was derived from an existing social problems questionnaire and validation was undertaken on two large clinic populations.
An eight-item SSQ was tested and found to have good psychometric properties in terms of test–retest reliability, internal consistency, distribution of responses and concurrent validity.
The SSQ is suitable for use as the social domain element of an outcome measures package.