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Throughout their 250 Myr history, archosaurian reptiles have exhibited a wide array of body sizes, shapes, and locomotor habits, especially in regard to terrestriality. These features make Archosauria a useful clade with which to study the interplay between body size, shape, and locomotor behavior, and how this interplay may have influenced locomotor evolution. Here, digital volumetric models of 80 taxa are used to explore how mass properties and body proportions relate to each other and locomotor posture in archosaurs. One-way, nonparametric, multivariate analysis of variance, based on the results of principal components analysis, shows that bipedal and quadrupedal archosaurs are largely distinguished from each other on the basis of just four anatomical parameters (p < 0.001): mass, center of mass position, and relative forelimb and hindlimb lengths. This facilitates the development of a quantitative predictive framework that can help assess gross locomotor posture in understudied or controversial taxa, such as the crocodile-line Batrachotomus (predicted quadruped) and Postosuchus (predicted biped). Compared with quadrupedal archosaurs, bipedal species tend to have relatively longer hindlimbs and a more caudally positioned whole-body center of mass, and collectively exhibit greater variance in forelimb lengths. These patterns are interpreted to reflect differing biomechanical constraints acting on the archosaurian Bauplan in bipedal versus quadrupedal groups, which may have shaped the evolutionary histories of their respective members.
Twenty-six percent of children experience a traumatic event by the age of 4. Negative events during childhood have deleterious correlates later in life, including antisocial behavior. However, the mechanisms that play into this relation are unclear. We explored deficits in neurocognitive functioning, specifically problems in passive avoidance, a construct with elements of inhibitory control and learning as a potential acquired mediator for the pathway between cumulative early childhood adversity from birth to age 7 and later antisocial behavior through age 18, using prospective longitudinal data from 585 participants. Path analyses showed that cumulative early childhood adversity predicted impaired passive avoidance during adolescence and increased antisocial behavior during late adolescence. Furthermore, poor neurocognition, namely, passive avoidance, predicted later antisocial behavior and significantly mediated the relation between cumulative early childhood adversity and later antisocial behavior. This research has implications for understanding the development of later antisocial behavior and points to a potential target for neurocognitive intervention within the pathway from cumulative early childhood adversity to later antisocial behavior.
Research shows that childhood dysregulation is associated with later psychiatric disorders. It does not yet resolve discrepancies in the operationalization of dysregulation. It is also far from settled on the origins and implications of individual differences in dysregulation. This study tested several operational definitions of dysregulation using Achenbach attention, anxious/depressed, and aggression subscales. Individual growth curves of dysregulation were computed, and predictors of growth differences were considered. The study also compared the predictive utility of the dysregulation indexes to standard externalizing and internalizing indexes. Dysregulation was indexed annually for 24 years in a community sample (n = 585). Hierarchical linear models considered changes in dysregulation in relation to possible influences from parenting, family stress, child temperament, language, and peer relations. In a test of the meaning of dysregulation, it was related to functional and psychiatric outcomes in adulthood. Dysregulation predictions were further compared to those of the more standard internalizing and externalizing indexes. Growth curve analyses showed strong stability of dysregulation. Initial levels of dysregulation were predicted by temperamental resistance to control, and change in dysregulation was predicted by poor language ability and peer relations. Dysregulation and externalizing problems were associated with negative adult outcomes to a similar extent.
The current study used data from two longitudinal samples to test whether self-regulation, depressive symptoms, and aggression/antisociality were mediators in the relation between a polygenic score indexing serotonin (5-HT) functioning and alcohol use in adolescence. The results from an independent genome-wide association study of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid in the cerebrospinal fluid were used to create 5-HT polygenic risk scores. Adolescents and/or parents reported on adolescents’ self-regulation (Time 1), depressive symptoms (Time 2), aggression/antisociality (Time 2), and alcohol use (Time 3). The results showed that 5-HT polygenic risk did not predict self-regulation. However, adolescents with higher levels of 5-HT polygenic risk showed greater depression and aggression/antisociality. Adolescents’ aggression/antisociality mediated the relation between 5-HT polygenic risk and later alcohol use. Deficits in self-regulation also predicted depression and aggression/antisociality, and indirectly predicted alcohol use through aggression/antisociality. Pathways to alcohol use were especially salient for males from families with low parental education in one of the two samples. The results provide insights into the longitudinal mechanisms underlying the relation between 5-HT functioning and alcohol use (i.e., earlier aggression/antisociality). There was no evidence that genetically based variation in 5-HT functioning predisposed individuals to deficits in self-regulation. Genetically based variation in 5-HT functioning and self-regulation might be separate, transdiagnostic risk factors for several types of psychopathology.
Parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus (Apicomplexa: Haemosporida) are a diverse group of pathogens that infect birds nearly worldwide. Despite their ubiquity, the ecological and evolutionary factors that shape the diversity and distribution of these protozoan parasites among avian communities and geographic regions are poorly understood. Based on a survey throughout the Neotropics of the haemosporidian parasites infecting manakins (Pipridae), a family of Passerine birds endemic to this region, we asked whether host relatedness, ecological similarity and geographic proximity structure parasite turnover between manakin species and local manakin assemblages. We used molecular methods to screen 1343 individuals of 30 manakin species for the presence of parasites. We found no significant correlations between manakin parasite lineage turnover and both manakin species turnover and geographic distance. Climate differences, species turnover in the larger bird community and parasite lineage turnover in non-manakin hosts did not correlate with manakin parasite lineage turnover. We also found no evidence that manakin parasite lineage turnover among host species correlates with range overlap and genetic divergence among hosts. Our analyses indicate that host switching (turnover among host species) and dispersal (turnover among locations) of haemosporidian parasites in manakins are not constrained at this scale.
Excavations at the Middle Pleistocene site of La Cotte de St Brelade, on the
island of Jersey in the English Channel, have revealed a long sequence of
occupation. The continued use of the site by Neanderthals throughout an
extended period of changing climate and environment reveals how, despite
changes in the types of behaviour recorded at the site, La Cotte emerged as
a persistent place in the memory and landscape of its early hominin
inhabitants. The site's status as a persistent place for these people
suggests a level of social and cognitive development permitting reference to
and knowledge of places distant in time and space as long ago as at least
This study considers the developmental origins of alcohol use in young adulthood. Despite substantial evidence linking committed romantic relationships to less problematic alcohol use in adulthood, the uniformity of these protective benefits across different romantic relationships is unclear. Further, the extent to which the establishment and maintenance of these romantic relationships is preceded by earlier adolescence alcohol use remains unknown. To address these gaps in the literature, the current study utilized multitiple-dimensional, multiple-informant data spanning 20 years on 585 individuals in the Child Development Project. Findings from both variable- and person-centered analyses support a progression of associations predicting adolescent alcohol use (ages 15–16), drinking, and romantic relationships in early adulthood (ages 18–25), and then problematic young adult alcohol use (age 27). Although adolescent alcohol use predicted greater romantic involvement and turnover in early adulthood, romantic involvement, but not turnover, appeared to reduce the likelihood of later problematic drinking. These findings remained robust even after accounting for a wide array of selection and socialization factors. Moreover, characteristics of the individuals (e.g., gender) and of their romantic relationships (e.g., partner substance use problems and romantic relationship satisfaction) did not moderate these findings. Findings underscore the importance of using a developmental–relational perspective to consider the antecedents and consequences of alcohol use early in the life span.
Most tall fescue in the United States is infected with a fungal endophyte which imparts certain advantages to the plant, such as drought tolerance, insect feeding deterrence, and enhanced mineral uptake. However, the endophyte also produces ergot alkaloids that are harmful to livestock and contribute to fescue toxicosis. Because the alkaloids are concentrated in seed and stems, a potential way to reduce the likelihood of fescue toxicosis is by suppressing seedhead formation with herbicides. Research was conducted from 2012 to 2014 using metsulfuron applied alone and in combination with other herbicides in spring to determine the growth response of tall fescue, effects on forage quality, and ergot alkaloid concentration. Clipping or metsulfuron applied alone or in combination with aminocyclopyrachlor or aminopyralid reduced seedhead density by 36 to 55% compared to the nontreated control. Treatments containing metsulfuron reduced spring harvest yield 35 to 61%, but no differences were observed in the summer or year-after harvests. The same treatments increased crude protein levels by 1.03 to 2.14% and reduced acid detergent fiber levels by 1.60 to 2.76% compared to the nontreated control at spring harvest. Treatments containing metsulfuron reduced ergot alkaloid concentration 26 to 34% at the spring harvest, but no differences were observed in summer-harvested forage. Results from this study indicate metsulfuron applied alone or in combination with aminocyclopyrachlor or aminopyralid can potentially reduce the severity of fescue toxicosis and improve forage quality.
Objective: Despite an increasing recognition that psychiatric disorders can be diagnosed as early as preschool, little is known how early genetic and environmental risk factors contribute to the development of psychiatric disorders during this very early period of development. Method: We assessed infant temperament at age 1, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and separation anxiety disorder (SAD) at ages 3 through 5 years in a sample of Hispanic twins. Genetic, shared, and non-shared environmental effects were estimated for each temperamental construct and psychiatric disorder using the statistical program MX. Multivariate genetic models were fitted to determine whether the same or different sets of genes and environments account for the co-occurrence between early temperament and preschool psychiatric disorders. Results: Additive genetic factors accounted for 61% of the variance in ADHD, 21% in ODD, and 28% in SAD. Shared environmental factors accounted for 34% of the variance in ODD and 15% of SAD. The genetic influence on difficult temperament was significantly associated with preschool ADHD, SAD, and ODD. The association between ODD and SAD was due to both genetic and family environmental factors. The temperamental trait of resistance to control was entirely accounted for by the shared family environment. Conclusions: There are different genetic and family environmental pathways between infant temperament and psychiatric diagnoses in this sample of Puerto Rican preschool age children.
We conducted a developmental analysis of genetic moderation of the effect of the Fast Track intervention on adult externalizing psychopathology. The Fast Track intervention enrolled 891 children at high risk to develop externalizing behavior problems when they were in kindergarten. Half of the enrolled children were randomly assigned to receive 10 years of treatment, with a range of services and resources provided to the children and their families, and the other half to usual care (controls). We previously showed that the effect of the Fast Track intervention on participants' risk of externalizing psychopathology at age 25 years was moderated by a variant in the glucocorticoid receptor gene. Children who carried copies of the A allele of the single nucleotide polymorphism rs10482672 had the highest risk of externalizing psychopathology if they were in the control arm of the trial and the lowest risk of externalizing psychopathology if they were in the treatment arm. In this study, we test a developmental hypothesis about the origins of this for better and for worse Gene × Intervention interaction (G × I): that the observed G × I effect on adult psychopathology is mediated by the proximal impact of intervention on childhood externalizing problems and adolescent substance use and delinquency. We analyzed longitudinal data tracking the 270 European American children in the Fast Track randomized control trial with available genetic information (129 intervention children, 141 control group peers, 69% male) from kindergarten through age 25 years. Results show that the same pattern of for better and for worse susceptibility to intervention observed at the age 25 follow-up was evident already during childhood. At the elementary school follow-ups and at the middle/high school follow-ups, rs10482672 predicted better adjustment among children receiving the Fast Track intervention and worse adjustment among children in the control condition. In turn, these proximal G × I effects early in development mediated the ultimate G × I effect on externalizing psychopathology at age 25 years. We discuss the contribution of these findings to the growing literature on genetic susceptibility to environmental intervention.
This longitudinal study considers externalizing behavior problems from ages 5 to 27 (N = 585). Externalizing problem ratings by mothers, fathers, teachers, peers, and self-report were modeled with growth curves. Risk and protective factors across many different domains and time frames were included as predictors of the trajectories. A major contribution of the study is in demonstrating how heterotypic continuity and changing measures can be handled in modeling changes in externalizing behavior over long developmental periods. On average, externalizing problems decreased from early childhood to preadolescence, increased during adolescence, and decreased from late adolescence to adulthood. There was strong nonlinear continuity in externalizing problems over time. Family process, peer process, stress, and individual characteristics predicted externalizing problems beyond the strong continuity of externalizing problems. The model accounted for 70% of the variability in the development of externalizing problems. The model's predicted values showed moderate sensitivity and specificity in prediction of arrests, illegal drug use, and drunk driving. Overall, the study showed that by using changing, developmentally relevant measures and simultaneously taking into account numerous characteristics of children and their living situations, research can model lengthy spans of development and improve predictions of the development of later, severe externalizing problems.
Previous research has found associations but not established mechanisms of developmental linkage between language ability and inattentive–hyperactive (I-H) behavior problems. The present study examined whether self-regulation mediates the effect of language ability on later I-H behavior problems among young children (N = 120) assessed at 30, 36, and 42 months of age. Cross-lagged panel models tested the direction of effect between language ability and self-regulation and longitudinal effects of language ability on later I-H problems mediated by self-regulation. Language ability was measured by children's scores on the receptive and expressive language subtests of the Differential Ability Scales. Self-regulation was measured by three behavioral tasks requiring inhibitory control. I-H problems were reported by parents and secondary caregivers. Language ability predicted later self-regulation as measured by all three tasks. There was no association, however, between self-regulation and later language ability, suggesting that the direction of effect was stronger from language ability to later self-regulation. Moreover, the effect of language ability on later I-H behavior problems was mediated by children's self-regulation in one of the tasks (for secondary caregivers' but not parents' ratings). Findings suggest that language deficits may explain later I-H behavior problems via their prediction of poorer self-regulatory skills.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether five subcomponents of children's externalizing behavior showed distinctive patterns of long-term growth and predictive correlates. We examined growth in teachers' ratings of overt aggression, covert aggression, oppositional defiance, impulsivity/inattention, and emotion dysregulation across three developmental periods spanning kindergarten through Grade 8 (ages 5–13 years). We also determined whether three salient background characteristics, family socioeconomic status, child ethnicity, and child gender, differentially predicted growth in discrete categories of child externalizing symptoms across development. Participants were 543 kindergarten-age children (52% male, 81% European American, 17% African American) whose problem behaviors were rated by teachers each successive year of development through Grade 8. Latent growth curve analyses were performed for each component scale, contrasting with overall externalizing, in a piecewise fashion encompassing three developmental periods: kindergarten–Grade 2, Grades 3–5, and Grades 6–8. We found that most subconstructs of externalizing behavior increased significantly across the early school age period relative to middle childhood and early adolescence. However, overt aggression did not show early positive growth, and emotion dysregulation significantly increased across middle childhood. Advantages of using subscales were most clear in relation to illustrating different growth functions between the discrete developmental periods. Moreover, growth in some discrete subcomponents was differentially associated with variations in family socioeconomic status and ethnicity. Our findings strongly affirmed the necessity of adopting a developmental approach to the analysis of growth in children's externalizing behavior and provided unique data concerning similarities and differences in growth between subconstructs of child and adolescent externalizing behavior.
Changes in the geological interpretation of the history of the ancient Solent river basin have focused attention on the handaxes discovered in the Corfe Mullen area during quarrying before the Second World War. Recent geological research suggests that the fluvial terrace the handaxes are associated with may pre-date the Anglian glaciation. This is important because it contributes to the question of just when the Solent basin was first occupied by hominins, and how this relates to other areas of possible contemporary pre-Anglian occupation such as the Boxgrove Marine embayment. However, the artefacts were believed to come from the bluff of the river terrace and were thus not in situ. This paper explores that question and re-examines the context from which the handaxes at Corfe Mullen were discovered.