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The present electroencephalographical multi-speaker MMN oddball experiment was designed to study the phonological processing of German native and non-native speech sounds. Precisely, we focused on the perception of German /ɪ-iː/, /ɛ-ɛː/, /a-aː/ and the fricatives [ʃ] and [ç] in German natives (GG) and French learners of German (FG). As expected, our results showed that GG were able to discriminate all the critical vowel contrasts. In contrast, FG, despite their high L2 proficiency level, were only marginally sensitive to vowel length variations. Finally, neither GG nor FG discriminated the opposition between [ʃ] and [ç], as revealed by the absence of MMN response. This latter finding was interpreted in terms of low perceptual salience. Taken together, the present findings lend partial support to the Perceptual Assimilation Model for late bilinguals (PAM-L2) for speech perception of non-native phonological contrasts.
This study describes the performance of the Multilingual Naming Test (MINT) by Chinese American older adults who are monolingual Chinese speakers. An attempt was also made to identify items that could introduce bias and warrant attention in future investigation.
The MINT was administered to 67 monolingual Chinese older adults as part of the standard dementia evaluation at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), New York, USA. A diagnosis of normal cognition (n = 38), mild cognitive impairment (n = 12), and dementia (n = 17) was assigned to all participants at clinical consensus conferences using criterion sheets developed at the ADRC at ISMMS.
MINT scores were negatively correlated with age and positively correlated with education, showing sensitivity to demographic factors. One item, butterfly, showed no variations in responses across diagnostic groups. Inclusion of responses from different regions of China changed the answers from “incorrect” to “correct” on 20 items. The last five items, porthole, anvil, mortar, pestle, and axle, yielded a high nonresponse rate, with more than 70% of participants responding with “I don’t know.” Four items, funnel, witch, seesaw, and wig, were not ordered with respect to item difficulty in the Chinese language. Two items, gauge and witch, were identified as culturally biased for the monolingual group.
Our study highlights the cultural and linguistic differences that might influence the test performance. Future studies are needed to revise the MINT using more universally recognized items of similar word frequency across different cultural and linguistic groups.
There are numerous health effects associated with excess sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption. Interventions aimed at reducing population-level consumption require understanding of the relevant barriers and facilitators. This study aimed to identify the variables with the strongest relationship with intentions to reduce SSB consumption from a suite of variables derived from the literature.
Random-digit dialling of landline and mobile phones was used to survey adults using computer-assisted telephone interviews. The outcome variable was ‘likelihood of reducing SSB consumption in next 6 months’, and the predictor variables were demographics, SSB attitudes and behaviour, health risk perceptions and social/environmental exposure.
A subsample of 1630 regular SSB consumers from a nationally representative sample of 3430 Australian adults (38 % female, 51 % aged 18–45 years, 56 % overweight or obese).
Respondents indicated that they were ‘not at all’ (30·1 %), ‘somewhat’ (43·9 %) and ‘very likely’ (25·3 %) to reduce SSB consumption. Multivariate nominal logistic regressions showed that perceiving future health to be ‘very much’ at risk was the strongest predictor of intention to reduce SSB consumption (OR = 8·1, 95 % CI 1·8, 37·0, P < 0·01). Other significant predictors (P < 0·01) included self-perceptions about too much consumption, habitual consumption, difficulty reducing consumption and likelihood of benefitting from reduced consumption.
Health risk perceptions had the strongest relationship with intentions to reduce consumption. Age and consumption perceptions were also predictors in the multivariate models, whereas social/environmental exposure variables were not. Interventions may seek to incorporate strategies to denormalise consumption practices and increase knowledge about perceived susceptibility to health risks.
The ‘16Up’ study conducted at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute from January 2014 to December 2018 aimed to examine the physical and mental health of young Australian twins aged 16−18 years (N = 876; 371 twin pairs and 18 triplet sets). Measurements included online questionnaires covering physical and mental health as well as information and communication technology (ICT) use, actigraphy, sleep diaries and hair samples to determine cortisol concentrations. Study participants generally rated themselves as being in good physical (79%) and mental (73%) health and reported lower rates of psychological distress and exposure to alcohol, tobacco products or other substances than previously reported for this age group in the Australian population. Daily or near-daily online activity was almost universal among study participants, with no differences noted between males and females in terms of frequency or duration of internet access. Patterns of ICT use in this sample indicated that the respondents were more likely to use online information sources for researching physical health issues than for mental health or substance use issues, and that they generally reported partial levels of satisfaction with the mental health information they found online. This suggests that internet-based mental health resources can be readily accessed by adolescent Australians, and their computer literacy augurs well for future access to online health resources. In combination with other data collected as part of the ongoing Brisbane Longitudinal Twin Study, the 16Up project provides a valuable resource for the longitudinal investigation of genetic and environmental contributions to phenotypic variation in a variety of human traits.
To understand how healthy menu labelling information is used by parents/caregivers and where it fits within predictors of healthy meal choices when eating out.
Parents were recruited to complete a 15-min observational, online survey regarding their experiences and hypothetical choices when eating out with their child/ren.
Eligible participants had one or more child/ren aged between 2 and 12 years and attended cafes, restaurants, hotels and clubs (CRHC) for lunch or dinner at least four times a year. Of initial respondents (n 1802), 92·5 % provided complete and valid data. Participants were 84·7 % female, ranging from 18 to 68 years old.
98·3 % believed that healthier alternatives should be available for children in CRHC. For general food choices, health was a strong motivator (45·7 %); however, parents reported eating at CRHC mainly for pleasure or a treat (61·2 %) and being driven by children’s taste preferences (85·9 %) when selecting menu items. 59·0 % of orders included a combination of healthy and traditional items. 42·0 % of the sample were influenced by the healthy choice (HC) labelling. Multiple regression revealed that, in addition to some demographic variables, the percent of HC ordered was positively associated with self-reported parent vegetable consumption, making food choices for the children for health reasons, familiarity with HC items and making order choices due to dietary needs and good nutrition.
Despite a preference for availability of healthier children’s menu choices in CRHC, menu labelling highlighting healthy options may have limited impact relative to child preferences.
In the biographical materials included in the first volume of the Oxford edition of Ben Jonson (1925–52) are some reminiscences entitled Memorandums of the Immortal Ben. Based on early handwritten marginalia found in a copy of the 1674 quarto of Catiline, these purport to be an account of Jonson’s writing habits, in his own voice.
The DESCANT (Dementia Early Stage Cognitive Aids New Trial) intervention provided a personalised care package to improve the cognitive abilities, function and well -being of people with early-stage dementia and their carers by providing a range of memory aids, with training and support for use. This presentation will explore findings from a goal attainment scaling exercise undertaken within a multi-site pragmatic randomised trial, part of a NIHR-funded research programme ‘Effective Home Support in Dementia Care: Components, Impacts and Costs of Tertiary Prevention.’
The aim was to describe the Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) approach developed; investigate the types of goals identified by people with dementia and their carers and subsequent attainment; and explore the role of Dementia Support Practitioners (DSPs) in the process. This GAS exercise was designed by researchers, a clinical psychologist, a clinician and a DSP. Goal setting and attainment were conducted with the person with dementia and their carer and recorded by DSPs. Data were obtained from 117 intervention records and semi-structured interviews with five DSPs delivering the intervention across seven NHS Trusts in England and Wales. The GAS exercise was conducted as planned with goals and extent of involvement in the exercise tailored to individual participants and engagement was high. Demographic characteristics from the trial baseline dataset were analysed. Measures were created from intervention records to permit quantification and descriptive analysis. Interviews were professionally transcribed and subject to thematic analysis to identify salient themes.
A total of 293 goals were identified across the 117 participants. From these 17 goal types were distinguished across six domains: self -care; household tasks; daily occupation; orientation; communication; and well-being and safety. A measure of goal attainment appropriate to both the client group and a modest intervention was obtained. On average participants had evidenced some improvement regarding goals set. Qualitative findings suggested overall DSPs were positive about their experience of goal setting. Although several challenges were identified, if these were overcome, measuring goal attainment was generally viewed as straightforward. GAS can be used in the context of a psychosocial intervention for people with early-stage dementia to identify and measure attainment of personalised care goals.
Chordoma is a rare bone cancer for which there are no approved drugs. Surgery is the principle treatment but complete resection can be challenging due to the location of the tumours in the spine and therefore finding an effective drug treatment is a pressing unmet clinical need. A major recent study identified the transcription factor Brachyury as the primary vulnerability and drug target in chordoma. Previously, all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) has been shown to negatively influence expression of the Brachyury gene, TBXT. Here we extend this finding and demonstrate that ATRA lowers Brachyury protein levels in chordoma cells and reduces proliferation of the chordoma cell line U-CH1 as well as causing loss of distinctive chordoma cell morphology. ATRA is available as a generic drug and is the first line treatment for acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL). This study implies ATRA could have therapeutic value if repurposed for chordoma.
Bringing together leading Jonson scholars, Ben Jonson and Posterity provides new insights into this remarkable writer's reception and legacy over four centuries. Jonson was recognised as the outstanding English writer of his day and has had a powerful influence on later generations, yet his reputation is one of the most multifaceted and conflicted for any writer of the early modern period. The volume brings together multiple critical perspectives, addressing book history, the practice of reading, theatrical influence and adaptation, the history of performance, cultural representation in portraiture, film, fiction, and anecdotes to interrogate Jonson's 'myth'. The collection will be of great interest to all Jonson scholars, as well as having a wider appeal among early modern literary scholars, theatre historians, and scholars interested in intertextuality and reception from the Renaissance to the present day.
The principal aim of this study was to optimize the diagnosis of canine neuroangiostrongyliasis (NA). In total, 92 cases were seen between 2010 and 2020. Dogs were aged from 7 weeks to 14 years (median 5 months), with 73/90 (81%) less than 6 months and 1.7 times as many males as females. The disease became more common over the study period. Most cases (86%) were seen between March and July. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was obtained from the cisterna magna in 77 dogs, the lumbar cistern in f5, and both sites in 3. Nucleated cell counts for 84 specimens ranged from 1 to 146 150 cells μL−1 (median 4500). Percentage eosinophils varied from 0 to 98% (median 83%). When both cisternal and lumbar CSF were collected, inflammation was more severe caudally. Seventy-three CSF specimens were subjected to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing for antibodies against A. cantonensis; 61 (84%) tested positive, titres ranging from <100 to ⩾12 800 (median 1600). Sixty-one CSF specimens were subjected to real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) testing using a new protocol targeting a bioinformatically-informed repetitive genetic target; 53/61 samples (87%) tested positive, CT values ranging from 23.4 to 39.5 (median 30.0). For 57 dogs, it was possible to compare CSF ELISA serology and qPCR. ELISA and qPCR were both positive in 40 dogs, in 5 dogs the ELISA was positive while the qPCR was negative, in 9 dogs the qPCR was positive but the ELISA was negative, while in 3 dogs both the ELISA and qPCR were negative. NA is an emerging infectious disease of dogs in Sydney, Australia.