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Neuroticism is associated with increased stress reactivity. In autism spectrum disorders (ASD), emotional stress reactivity is increased and there is some evidence for an increased negative affect (NA) when with less familiar people. The aim of this study was to compare adults with ASD and controls on levels of neuroticism and on interactions between neuroticism and appraised stress or social context in models of NA. This is a cross-sectional observational study comprising a group of 50 adults with ASD and 51 controls. Experience sampling method (ESM) reports were collected for 10 days to measure daily life stress, mood, and social context. Multilevel regression analyses revealed significantly higher neuroticism levels in ASD than in controls. Adults with ASD who scored high on neuroticism showed a significantly stronger association between activity/social stress and NA (i.e., higher stress reactivity) than those with low scores. Furthermore, the association between neuroticism and NA was stronger when adults with ASD were with less familiar people compared with being alone or with familiar people. No consistent corresponding significant interactions were found in the control group. In conclusion, in ASD, neuroticism moderates the association between appraised stress and NA as well as the association between social context and NA.
Recently, artificial intelligence-powered devices have been put forward as potentially powerful tools for the improvement of mental healthcare. An important question is how these devices impact the physician-patient interaction.
Aifred is an artificial intelligence-powered clinical decision support system (CDSS) for the treatment of major depression. Here, we explore the use of a simulation centre environment in evaluating the usability of Aifred, particularly its impact on the physician–patient interaction.
Twenty psychiatry and family medicine attending staff and residents were recruited to complete a 2.5-h study at a clinical interaction simulation centre with standardised patients. Each physician had the option of using the CDSS to inform their treatment choice in three 10-min clinical scenarios with standardised patients portraying mild, moderate and severe episodes of major depression. Feasibility and acceptability data were collected through self-report questionnaires, scenario observations, interviews and standardised patient feedback.
All 20 participants completed the study. Initial results indicate that the tool was acceptable to clinicians and feasible for use during clinical encounters. Clinicians indicated a willingness to use the tool in real clinical practice, a significant degree of trust in the system's predictions to assist with treatment selection, and reported that the tool helped increase patient understanding of and trust in treatment. The simulation environment allowed for the evaluation of the tool's impact on the physician–patient interaction.
The simulation centre allowed for direct observations of clinician use and impact of the tool on the clinician–patient interaction before clinical studies. It may therefore offer a useful and important environment in the early testing of new technological tools. The present results will inform further tool development and clinician training materials.
Pertussis is a highly contagious infectious disease and remains an important cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Over the last decade, vaccination has greatly reduced the burden of pertussis. Yet, uncertainty in individual vaccination coverage and ineffective case surveillance systems make it difficult to estimate burden and the related quantity of population-level susceptibility, which determines population risk. These issues are more pronounced in low-income settings where coverage is often overestimated, and case numbers are under-reported. Serological data provide a direct characterisation of the landscape of susceptibility to infection; and can be combined with vaccination coverage and basic theory to estimate rates of exposure to natural infection. Here, we analysed cross-sectional data on seropositivity against pertussis to identify spatial and age patterns of susceptibility in children in Madagascar. A large proportion of individuals surveyed were seronegative; however, there were patterns suggestive of natural infection in all the regions analysed. Improvements in vaccination coverage are needed to help prevent additional burden of pertussis in the country.
The late Ediacaran (Nama) Fossil Assemblage from the Kushk Series in the Kushk and Chahmir areas of Central Iran highlights a diverse community of globally distributed, soft-bodied (non-skeletonized) Ediacara biota coexisting with skeletonized tubular forms of likely metazoan affinities. Several biostratigraphically and biogeographically important taxa are reported (i.e., erniettomorphs, rangeomorphs, cloudinomorphs, kimberellomorphs, Chuaria, Corumbella), including Convolutubus dargazinensis new genus new species, a new organic-walled tubular organism, allowing for paleoecological studies to be performed. This study highlights the need for continued investigations into the late Ediacaran of Iran, and suggests a biosphere in transition, with a shift in diversity and abundance from large Ediacara biota to organic-walled and skeletonized tubular organisms at the dawn of the Cambrian Explosion.
Justification theory is a unifying semantic framework. While it has its roots in non-monotonic logics, it can be applied to various areas in computer science, especially in explainable reasoning; its most central concept is a justification: an explanation why a property holds (or does not hold) in a model.
In this paper, we continue the study of justification theory by means of three major contributions. The first is studying the relation between justification theory and game theory. We show that justification frameworks can be seen as a special type of games. The established connection provides the theoretical foundations for our next two contributions. The second contribution is studying under which condition two different dialects of justification theory (graphs as explanations vs trees as explanations) coincide. The third contribution is establishing a precise criterion of when a semantics induced by justification theory yields consistent results. In the past proving that such semantics were consistent took cumbersome and elaborate proofs.
We show that these criteria are indeed satisfied for all common semantics of logic programming.
We have previously shown that higher intake of cruciferous vegetables is inversely associated with carotid artery intima-media thickness. To further test the hypothesis that an increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with reduced indicators of structural vascular disease in other areas of the vascular tree, we aimed to investigate the cross-sectional association between cruciferous vegetable intake and extensive calcification in the abdominal aorta. Dietary intake was assessed, using a FFQ, in 684 older women from the Calcium Intake Fracture Outcome Study. Cruciferous vegetables included cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. Abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) was scored using the Kauppila AAC24 scale on dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry lateral spine images and was categorised as ‘not extensive’ (0–5) or ‘extensive’ (≥6). Mean age was 74·9 (sd 2·6) years, median cruciferous vegetable intake was 28·2 (interquartile range 15·0–44·7) g/d and 128/684 (18·7 %) women had extensive AAC scores. Those with higher intakes of cruciferous vegetables (>44·6 g/d) were associated with a 46 % lower odds of having extensive AAC in comparison with those with lower intakes (<15·0 g/d) after adjustment for lifestyle, dietary and CVD risk factors (ORQ4 v. Q1 0·54, 95 % CI 0·30, 0·97, P = 0·036). Total vegetable intake and each of the other vegetable types were not related to extensive AAC (P > 0·05 for all). This study strengthens the hypothesis that higher intake of cruciferous vegetables may protect against vascular calcification.
The present study aimed to (i) evaluate the association between insight and measures of executive functions and working memory in a sample of 132 patients with schizophrenia and (ii) to explore to what proportion neurocognitive dysfunction contributed to the variance in insight after controlling for symptomatology.
Subjects were evaluated with a standardized neurocognitive test battery and a semi-structured interview, the Psychosis Evaluation tool for Common use by Caregivers (PECC). PECC, apart from evaluating symptoms and side-effects, measures insight on a 4-point scale by two of its dimensions: awareness of having a mental illness (AMI) and awareness of having symptoms attributed to a mental illness (ASAMI). Executive functioning was measured by the Wisconsin Card Sort Test (WCST) and the Trail Making B (TMB). Working memory was measured by the Letter Number Sequencing (LNS) test from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS).
Only one significant association was found after correction for multiple testing, between WCST categories completed and AMI (r = −0.29, p = 0.0006). WCST categories completed explained only 7.9% of the variance in AMI, while symptomatology explained 20% of variance in AMI and 16.5% of variance in ASAMI.
The current results show a significant but subtle association with the WCST, which is in agreement with earlier literature. No other associations between cognitive functioning and insight were found. In general, these findings seem to suggest that factors other than cognition have a greater impact on insight in patients with schizophrenia.
This study searched for sociodemographic influences on visual memory and visuoconstructive ability in healthy and clinical samples evaluated with Benton Visual Retention Test (BVRT) in two studies. In Study 1, we searched for changes related to age in children, adolescents, adults and elderly on the performance of the BVRT. In Study 2, we investigated the relations among age, years of education and intellectual quotient (IQ) on the performance of the BVRT using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Participants were 624 individuals aged between six and 89 years old (M = 25.40; SD = 22.34) from the normatization and evidence validity studies at Brazil. We used a sociodemographic questionnaire, BVRT and IQ measure was estimated. Study 1 has shown a performance similar to the developmental graphics with a U-inverted pattern in relation to age: An increase of the visual memory ability in the children and adolescent groups as age increases, a tendency of a decrease in the performance in the adult group that intensifies in the elderly group. Study 2 found that the model for the BVRT performance tested by SEM denoted satisfactory goodness-of-fit indexes, χ2/gl = 2.67, p < .001; CFI = .92; TLI = .93; RMSEA = .004, 90% CI = [.03, .05];WLSMV = 1.79, and corroborated the theoretical assumption. The SEM model confirmed in this study highlight the strong role of years of education in the prediction of BVRT scores.
The flow rate of a pressure-driven liquid through a microchannel may be enhanced by texturing its no-slip boundaries with grooves aligned with the flow. In such cases, the grooves may contain vapour and/or an inert gas and the liquid is trapped in the Cassie state, resulting in (apparent) slip. The flow-rate enhancement is of benefit to different applications including the increase of throughput of a liquid in a lab-on-a-chip, and the reduction of thermal resistance associated with liquid metal cooling of microelectronics. At any given cross-section, the meniscus takes the approximate shape of a circular arc whose curvature is determined by the pressure difference across it. Hence, it typically protrudes into the grooves near the inlet of a microchannel and is gradually drawn into the microchannel as it is traversed and the liquid pressure decreases. For sufficiently large Reynolds numbers, the variation of the meniscus shape and hence the flow geometry necessitates the inclusion of inertial (non-parallel) flow effects. We capture them for a slender microchannel, where our small parameter is the ratio of ridge pitch-to-microchannel height, and order-one Reynolds numbers. This is done by using a hybrid analytical–numerical method to resolve the nonlinear three-dimensional (3-D) problem as a sequence of two-dimensional (2-D) linear ones in the microchannel cross-section, allied with non-local conditions that determine the slowly varying pressure distribution at leading and first orders. When the pressure difference across the microchannel is constrained by the advancing contact angle of the liquid on the ridges and its surface tension (which is high for liquid metals), inertial effects can significantly reduce the flow rate for realistic parameter values. For example, when the solid fraction of the ridges is 0.1, the microchannel height-to-(half) ridge pitch ratio is 6, the Reynolds number of the flow is 1 and the small parameter is 0.1, they reduce the flow rate of a liquid metal (Galinstan) by approximately 50 %. Conversely, for sufficiently large microchannel heights, they enhance it. Physical explanations of both of these phenomena are given.
The ability to successfully conduct radical innovations is mandatory for mature industrial companies that want to remain competitive in the global market. This ability relies on several ingredients, namely: (1) the structuring of the innovation process; (2) managerial principles; (3) methodological tools; (4) the presence of a culture of innovation. This paper reports about the impact of applying the User eXperience-Fuzzy Front End (UX-FFE) model, which brings together the systemic innovation process with the social, economical, and methodological aspects on the outcomes of the innovation process. Firstly, it appears that the operational performance of the upstream innovation process relies on the quality of the social context, intrinsic to the group of co-creators, corresponding to the reported perceived experience. Secondly, the UX-FFE model application, therefore, allows optimizing the upstream innovation process performance. Indeed, we argue that the evaluation of the co-creators perceived experience brings new opportunities to optimize the operational performance of the upstream innovation process. The first part of this paper presents deeper a theoretical model, named UX-FFE, which combines a UX approach with an upstream innovation process (FFE). The main interest of this UX-FFE model is that it allows evaluating the social aspect of the upstream innovation process, which may be detrimental to the success of radical innovation projects in mature companies. The second part presents the results of previous experiments that validated the model. The results allow the design of an instrument dedicated to the evaluation of the user experience of co-creators in the ideation stage. Finally, the third part reports about the experimentation of the UX-FFE in a mature company. Results present the impact of the co-creators' experience on the performance of radical innovation projects.
A lasting legacy of the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007–2008 was the promotion of the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN), initially an IPY outreach and education activity by the International Permafrost Association (IPA). With the momentum of IPY, PYRN developed into a thriving network that still connects young permafrost scientists, engineers, and researchers from other disciplines. This research note summarises (1) PYRN’s development since 2005 and the IPY’s role, (2) the first 2015 PYRN census and survey results, and (3) PYRN’s future plans to improve international and interdisciplinary exchange between young researchers. The review concludes that PYRN is an established network within the polar research community that has continually developed since 2005. PYRN’s successful activities were largely fostered by IPY. With >200 of the 1200 registered members active and engaged, PYRN is capitalising on the availability of social media tools and rising to meet environmental challenges while maintaining its role as a successful network honouring the legacy of IPY.
The use of stoma covers has been a common clinical practice for laryngectomized patients for several years. In the province of Québec, Canada, laryngectomized patients can obtain stoma covers through a dedicated program providing them with medical supplies and voice re-education services. For many years, the program's supply has included cloth and/or foam covers, but the supply of Heat and Moisture Exchangers (HME) has been limited. Two hospital-based HTA units joined their expertise to assess the opportunity of providing HMEs to more patients, depending on their clinical characteristics.
Their joined assessment rested on a systematic review (SR) and a field assessment. The systematic review aimed at assessing the efficacy, clinical effectiveness and safety of various types of stoma covers. The field inquiries intended to assess the perceptions of clinicians and managers towards stoma covers in clinical practice.
We included 27 studies in the SR. Most of them appraised the clinical effectiveness or safety of HME filters. Their methodological quality was very low with potential conflicts of interest whereas many studies were financed by the industry. The heterogeneity of study designs, expected outcomes and paucity of comparative studies prevented the pooling of results. Industry sponsorship appeared to be an important issue, since 17 of the included studies were sponsored. The SR did not provide conclusive evidence concerning the efficacy, clinical effectiveness and safety of the various types of stoma covers. The field inquiries intended to assess the perceptions of clinicians and managers towards stoma covers in clinical practice. It showed that industry representatives are quite active in clinical settings, promoting their products. Clinicians’ opinions and preferences were coherent with the systematic review main observations: in a context where the quality of the evidence is low, clinicians’ recommendations of stoma protectors for laryngectomies are mainly based on their professional experience and academic training.
Future research of high methodological quality would strengthen the evidence concerning the relative efficacy and safety of different stoma protectors. These studies would help define evidence-based allocation criteria and set parameters so that the choice of a stoma protector is best adapted to a laryngectomized patients’ condition.
The poor fens of the Laforge region, northeastern Canada, have developed under subarctic conditions. They are characterized by a microtopography of large pools and low, narrow strings. Paleorecords suggest some of these systems were once ombrotrophic and relatively dry. Taking account of their current bioclimatic position, we aimed to explore the possible pathways towards the current wet state, a process referred to as “aqualysis”. We combined paleoecological methods applied to a peat core with conceptual modelling to identify factors that might plausibly explain aqualysis. Reconstructions showed the Abeille peatland became minerotrophic with high water tables between 2400 and 2100 cal yr BP. Conceptual modelling, supported by simulations using the numerical DigiBog model, allowed us to identify the effects of cooling and increased precipitation on productivity, decay, peat hydraulic conductivity and vertical peat accumulation. Both cooling and increased precipitation were required for aqualysis to occur and for wet surface conditions to persist to the present day. Increased recharge from the catchment, which also restricted drainage from the peatland center laterally, was likely critical for the development of minerotrophic conditions. The scenario of cooling and wetting in these peatlands is supported by available paleoclimate records for eastern Canada.
Geometrical features are known to be very important in neuronal growth and the formation of neuronal networks. We present an experimental and theoretical investigation of axonal growth and dynamics for neurons cultured on patterned polydimethylsiloxane surfaces. We utilize fluorescence microscopy to image the axonal dynamics and show that these substrates impart a strong directional bias to neuronal growth. We model axonal dynamics using a general stochastic model and use this framework to extract key dynamical parameters. These results provide novel insight into how geometrical cues influence neuronal growth and represent important advances toward bioengineering neuronal growth platforms.
We present the first data release of the SkyMapper Southern Survey, a hemispheric survey carried out with the SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Here, we present the survey strategy, data processing, catalogue construction, and database schema. The first data release dataset includes over 66 000 images from the Shallow Survey component, covering an area of 17 200 deg2 in all six SkyMapper passbands uvgriz, while the full area covered by any passband exceeds 20 000 deg2. The catalogues contain over 285 million unique astrophysical objects, complete to roughly 18 mag in all bands. We compare our griz point-source photometry with Pan-STARRS1 first data release and note an RMS scatter of 2%. The internal reproducibility of SkyMapper photometry is on the order of 1%. Astrometric precision is better than 0.2 arcsec based on comparison with Gaia first data release. We describe the end-user database, through which data are presented to the world community, and provide some illustrative science queries.
Employing a comparative experimental design drawing on over 18,000 interviews across eleven countries on four continents, this article revisits the discussion about the economic and cultural drivers of attitudes towards immigrants in advanced democracies. Experiments manipulate the occupational status, skin tone and national origin of immigrants in short vignettes. The results are most consistent with a Sociotropic Economic Threat thesis: In all countries, higher-skilled immigrants are preferred to their lower-skilled counterparts at all levels of native socio-economic status (SES). There is little support for the Labor Market Competition hypothesis, since respondents are not more opposed to immigrants in their own SES stratum. While skin tone itself has little effect in any country, immigrants from Muslim-majority countries do elicit significantly lower levels of support, and racial animus remains a powerful force.
The Taipan galaxy survey (hereafter simply ‘Taipan’) is a multi-object spectroscopic survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2π steradians over the southern sky (δ ≲ 10°, |b| ≳ 10°), and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z < 0.4. Taipan will use the newly refurbished 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument, which includes an innovative ‘Starbugs’ positioning system capable of rapidly and simultaneously deploying up to 150 spectroscopic fibres (and up to 300 with a proposed upgrade) over the 6° diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating in the range from 370 to 870 nm with resolving power R ≳ 2000. The main scientific goals of Taipan are (i) to measure the distance scale of the Universe (primarily governed by the local expansion rate, H0) to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the total mass distribution and motions in the local Universe, using peculiar velocities based on improved Fundamental Plane distances, which will enable sensitive tests of gravitational physics; and (iii) to deliver a legacy sample of low-redshift galaxies as a unique laboratory for studying galaxy evolution as a function of dark matter halo and stellar mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 yrs, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i ⩽ 17) of about 1.2 × 106 galaxies supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i ⩽ 18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8 × 106 galaxies. Observations and data processing will be carried out remotely and in a fully automated way, using a purpose-built automated ‘virtual observer’ software and an automated data reduction pipeline. The Taipan survey is deliberately designed to maximise its legacy value by complementing and enhancing current and planned surveys of the southern sky at wavelengths from the optical to the radio; it will become the primary redshift and optical spectroscopic reference catalogue for the local extragalactic Universe in the southern sky for the coming decade.
How party strategies vary by electoral system remains largely unexplored in election studies. Using qualitative and quantitative data from Spanish national and European elections, we test how party strategies diverge between districted electoral systems and systems using a single national district. We use the number of visits to districts by the party leaders to determine if targeted party strategies are driven by district magnitude, the share of the population entitled to vote in every district, the number of districts or the strength of parties’ local organizations. Our results show that only the frequency of visits to districts by large parties are clearly affected by electoral systems and, more specifically, by the number of districts and district population.
The mid-late Ediacaran Period (~579–541 Ma) is characterized by globally distributed marine soft-bodied organisms of unclear phylogenetic affinities colloquially called the “Ediacara biota.” Despite an absence of systematic agreement, previous workers have tested for underlying factors that may control the occurrence of Ediacaran macrofossils in space and time. Three taxonomically distinct “assemblages,” termed the Avalon, White Sea, and Nama, were identified and informally incorporated into Ediacaran biostratigraphy. After ~15 years of new fossil discoveries and taxonomic revision, we retest the validity of these assemblages using a comprehensive database of Ediacaran macrofossil occurrences. Using multivariate analysis, we also test the degree to which taphonomy, time, and paleoenvironment explain the taxonomic composition of these assemblages. We find that: (1) the three assemblages remain distinct taxonomic groupings; (2) there is little support for a large-scale litho-taphonomic bias present in the Ediacaran; and (3) there is significant chronostratigraphic overlap between the taxonomically and geographically distinct Avalonian and White Sea assemblages ca. 560–557 Ma. Furthermore, both assemblages show narrow bathymetric ranges, reinforcing that they were paleoenvironmental–ecological biotopes and spatially restricted in marine settings. Meanwhile, the Nama assemblage appears to be a unique faunal stage, defined by a global loss of diversity, coincident with a noted expansion of bathymetrically unrestricted, long-ranging Ediacara taxa. These data reinforce that Ediacaran biodiversity and stratigraphic ranges of its representative taxa must first statistically account for varying likelihood of preservation at a local scale to ultimately aggregate the Ediacaran macrofossil record into a global biostratigraphic context.