Mastering multiple languages is an increasingly important ability in the modern world; furthermore, multilingualism may affect human learning abilities. Here, we test how the brain's capacity to rapidly form new representations for spoken words is affected by prior individual experience in non-native language acquisition. Formation of new word memory traces is reflected in a neurophysiological response increase during a short exposure to novel lexicon. Therefore, we recorded changes in electrophysiological responses to phonologically native and non-native novel word-forms during a perceptual learning session, in which novel stimuli were repetitively presented to healthy adults in either ignore or attend conditions. We found that larger number of previously acquired languages and earlier average age of acquisition (AoA) predicted greater response increase to novel non-native word-forms. This suggests that early and extensive language experience is associated with greater neural flexibility for acquiring novel words with unfamiliar phonology. Conversely, later AoA was associated with a stronger response increase for phonologically native novel word-forms, indicating better tuning of neural linguistic circuits to native phonology. The results suggest that individual language experience has a strong effect on the neural mechanisms of word learning, and that it interacts with the phonological familiarity of the novel lexicon.
Background. Open access (OA) publishing via article processing charges (APCs) is growing as an alternative to subscription publishing. The Pay It Forward (PIF) Project is exploring the feasibility of transitioning from paying subscriptions to funding APCs for faculty at research intensive universities. Estimating of the cost of APCs for the journals authors at research intensive universities tend to publish is essential for the PIF project and similar initiatives. This paper presents our research into this question. Methods. We identified APC prices for publications by authors at the 4 research intensive United States (US) and Canadian universities involved in the study. We also obtained APC payment records from several Western European universities and funding agencies. Both data sets were merged with Web of Science (WoS) metadata. We calculated the average APCs for articles and proceedings in 13 discipline categories published by researchers at research intensive universities. We also identified 41 journals published by traditionally subscription publishers which have recently converted to APC funded OA and recorded the APCs they charge. Results. We identified 7,629 payment records from the 4 European APC payment databases and 14,356 OA articles authored by PIF partner university faculty for which we had listed APC prices. APCs for full OA journals published by PIF authors averaged 1,775 USD; full OA journal APCs paid by Western European funders averaged 1,865 USD; hybrid APCs paid by Western European funders averaged 2,887 USD. The APC for converted journals published by major subscription publishers averaged 1,825 USD. APC funded OA is concentrated in the life and basic sciences. APCs funded articles in the social sciences and humanities are often multidisciplinary and published in journals such as PLOS ONE that largely publish in the life sciences. Conclusions. Full OA journal APCs average a little under 2,000 USD while hybrid articles average about 3,000 USD for publications by researchers at research intensive universities. There is a lack of information on discipline differences in APCs due to the concentration of APC funded publications in a few fields and the multidisciplinary nature of research.
To determine whether government efforts in reducing inequalities in health in European countries have actually made a difference to mortality inequalities by socioeconomic group.
Register based study.
Mortality data by level of education and occupational class in the period 1990-2010, usually collected in a census linked longitudinal study design. We compared changes in mortality between the lowest and highest socioeconomic groups, and calculated their effect on absolute and relative inequalities in mortality (measured as rate differences and rate ratios, respectively).
All European countries for which data on socioeconomic inequalities in mortality were available for the approximate period between years 1990 and 2010. These included Finland, Norway, Sweden, Scotland, England and Wales (data applied to both together), France, Switzerland, Spain (Barcelona), Italy (Turin), Slovenia, and Lithuania.
Substantial mortality declines occurred in lower socioeconomic groups in most European countries covered by this study. Relative inequalities in mortality widened almost universally, because percentage declines were usually smaller in lower socioeconomic groups. However, as absolute declines were often smaller in higher socioeconomic groups, absolute inequalities narrowed by up to 35%, particularly among men. Narrowing was partly driven by ischaemic heart disease, smoking related causes, and causes amenable to medical intervention. Progress in reducing absolute inequalities was greatest in Spain (Barcelona), Scotland, England and Wales, and Italy (Turin), and absent in Finland and Norway. More detailed studies preferably using individual level data are necessary to identify the causes of these variations.
Over the past two decades, trends in inequalities in mortality have been more favourable in most European countries than is commonly assumed. Absolute inequalities have decreased in several countries, probably more as a side effect of population wide behavioural changes and improvements in prevention and treatment, than as an effect of policies explicitly aimed at reducing health inequalities.
Ibrahim-Verbaas, C. A.; Bressler, J.; Debette, S.; Schuur, M.; Smith, A. V.; Bis, J. C.; Davies, G.; Trompet, S.; Smith, J. A.; Wolf, C.; Chibnik, L. B.; Liu, Y.; Vitart, V.; Kirin, M.; Petrovic, K.; Polasek, O.; Zgaga, L.; Fawns-Ritchie, C.; Hoffmann, P.; Karjalainen, J.
To identify common variants contributing to normal variation in two specific domains of cognitive functioning, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of executive functioning and information processing speed in non-demented older adults from the CHARGE (Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology) consortium. Neuropsychological testing was available for 5429-32 070 subjects of European ancestry aged 45 years or older, free of dementia and clinical stroke at the time of cognitive testing from 20 cohorts in the discovery phase. We analyzed performance on the Trail Making Test parts A and B, the Letter Digit Substitution Test (LDST), the Digit Symbol Substitution Task (DSST), semantic and phonemic fluency tests, and the Stroop Color and Word Test. Replication was sought in 1311-21860 subjects from 20 independent cohorts. A significant association was observed in the discovery cohorts for the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs17518584 (discovery P-value=3.12 × 10(-8)) and in the joint discovery and replication meta-analysis (P-value=3.28 × 10(-9) after adjustment for age, gender and education) in an intron of the gene cell adhesion molecule 2 (CADM2) for performance on the LDST/DSST. Rs17518584 is located about 170 kb upstream of the transcription start site of the major transcript for the CADM2 gene, but is within an intron of a variant transcript that includes an alternative first exon. The variant is associated with expression of CADM2 in the cingulate cortex (P-value=4 × 10(-4)). The protein encoded by CADM2 is involved in glutamate signaling (P-value=7.22 × 10(-15)), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transport (P-value=1.36 × 10(-11)) and neuron cell-cell adhesion (P-value=1.48 × 10(-13)). Our findings suggest that genetic variation in the CADM2 gene is associated with individual differences in information processing speed.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 14 April 2015; doi:10.1038/mp.2015.37.
To estimate the simultaneous effects of social isolation and loneliness on mortality.
We analyzed a representative Finnish sample (n = 8650) from the cross-sectional Living Conditions Survey of 1994, with a 17-year follow-up period (1995-2011), by using Cox regression models adjusted for several possible confounding variables. We examined the possible nonlinear threshold effect of social isolation on mortality.
The analyses revealed that social isolation predicted mortality even after we controlled for loneliness and control variables. The connection between social isolation and mortality was linear in nature and there was no synergistic effect between social isolation and loneliness. The effect of loneliness became nonsignificant when studied simultaneously with social isolation.
This study reveals strong evidence for an adverse effect of social isolation on mortality. Social isolation and loneliness seem to have distinct pathways to mortality and health. The results imply that the risk of mortality exists along a continuum, affecting not only those who experience extreme social isolation, but also those who suffer from mild to progressively increasing intensity of isolation. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print September 15, 2016: e1-e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2016.303431).
The paradox of enjoying listening to music that evokes sadness is yet to be fully understood. Unlike prior studies that have explored potential explanations related to lyrics, memories, and mood regulation, we investigated the types of emotions induced by unfamiliar, instrumental sad music, and whether these responses are consistently associated with certain individual difference variables. One hundred and two participants were drawn from a representative sample to minimize self-selection bias. The results suggest that the emotional responses induced by unfamiliar sad music could be characterized in terms of three underlying factors: Relaxing sadness, Moving sadness, and Nervous sadness. Relaxing sadness was characterized by felt and perceived peacefulness and positive valence. Moving sadness captured an intense experience that involved feelings of sadness and being moved. Nervous sadness was associated with felt anxiety, perceived scariness and negative valence. These interpretations were supported by indirect measures of felt emotion. Experiences of Moving sadness were strongly associated with high trait empathy and emotional contagion, but not with other previously suggested traits such as absorption or nostalgia-proneness. Relaxing sadness and Nervous sadness were not significantly predicted by any of the individual difference variables. The findings are interpreted within a theoretical framework of embodied emotions.
Prior research with selected clinical and forensic samples suggests associations between paraphilic sexual interests (e.g., exhibitionism and sexual sadism) and sexually coercive behavior. However, no study to date used a large, representative and genetically informative population sample to address the potential causal nature of this association. We used self-report data on paraphilic and sexually coercive behavior from 5990 18- to 32-year-old male and female twins from a contemporary Finnish population cohort. Logistic regression and co-twin control models were employed to examine if paraphilic behaviors were causally related to coercive behavior or if suggested links were confounded by familial (genetic or common family environment) risk factors. Results indicated that associations between four out of five tested paraphilic behaviors (exhibitionism, masochism, sadism, and voyeurism, respectively) and sexually coercive behavior were moderate to strong. Transvestic fetishism was not independently associated with sexual coercion. Comparisons of twins reporting paraphilic behavior with their paraphilic behavior-discordant twin further suggested that associations were largely independent of shared genetic and environmental confounds, consistent with a causal association. In conclusion, similar to previously reported predictive effects of paraphilias on sexual crime recidivism, paraphilic behavior among young adults in the general population increases sexual offending risk. Further, early identification of paraphilic interest and preventive interventions with at-risk individuals might also reduce perpetration of first-time sexual violence.
Personality has been associated with reproductive success in humans and other animals, suggesting potential evolutionary selection pressures. However, studies to date have only examined these associations on a phenotypic level, which may be inadequate in estimating evolutionary change. Using a large longitudinal twin dataset of contemporary Finns, we compared the phenotypic (breeder's equation) and genetically informed (the Robertson-Price identity) associations between lifetime reproductive success (LRS) and two personality traits-neuroticism and extraversion. Neuroticism was not associated with LRS at the phenotypic nor genetic level, while extraversion was associated with higher LRS in men both phenotypically and genetically. Compared to the univariate phenotypic analysis, the genetic analysis suggested a larger selection response of extraversion, and a selection response of neuroticism due to indirect selection. We estimated that neuroticism decreases by .05 standard deviations and extraversion increases by .11 standard deviations by one generation. Our results highlight the importance of considering genetic associations between personality and fitness and investigating several inter-related personality traits and their covariance with each other to predict responses to selection more accurately.
Lack of physical activity (PA) and high levels of sedentary behaviour (SB) have been associated with health problems. This systematic review evaluates the effectiveness of school-based interventions to increase PA and decrease SB among 15-19-year-old adolescents, and examines whether intervention characteristics (intervention length, delivery mode and intervention provider) and intervention content (i.e. behaviour change techniques, BCTs) are related to intervention effectiveness. A systematic search of randomised or cluster randomised controlled trials with outcome measures of PA and/or SB rendered 10 results. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Intervention content was coded using Behaviour Change Technique Taxonomy v1. Seven out of 10 studies reported significant increases in PA. Effects were generally small and short-term (Cohen's d ranged from 0.132 to 0.659). Two out of four studies that measured SB reported significant reductions in SB. Interventions that increased PA included a higher number of BCTs, specific BCTs (e.g., goal setting, action planning and self-monitoring), and were delivered by research staff. Intervention length and mode of delivery were unrelated to effectiveness. More studies are needed that evaluate long-term intervention effectiveness and target SBs among older adolescents.
Touching is a powerful means for eliciting sexual arousal. Here, we establish the topographical organization of bodily regions triggering sexual arousal in humans. A total of 704 participants were shown images of same and opposite sex bodies and asked to color the bodily regions whose touching they or members of the opposite sex would experience as sexually arousing while masturbating or having sex with a partner. Resulting erogenous zone maps (EZMs) revealed that the whole body was sensitive to sexual touching, with erogenous hotspots consisting of genitals, breasts, and anus. The EZM area was larger while having sex with a partner versus while masturbating, and was also dependent on sexual desire and heterosexual and homosexual interest levels. We conclude that tactile stimulation of practically all bodily regions may trigger sexual arousal. Extension of the erogenous zones while having sex with a partner may reflect the role of touching in maintenance of reproductive pair bonds.
Television viewers' attention is increasingly more often divided between television and "second screens", for example when viewing television broadcasts and following their related social media discussion on a tablet computer. The attentional costs of such multitasking may vary depending on the ebb and flow of the social media channel, such as its emotional contents. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that negative social media messages would draw more attention than similar positive messages. Specifically, news broadcasts were presented in isolation and with simultaneous positive or negative Twitter messages on a tablet to 38 participants in a controlled experiment. Recognition memory, gaze tracking, cardiac responses, and self-reports were used as attentional indices. The presence of any tweets on the tablet decreased attention to the news broadcasts. As expected, negative tweets drew longer viewing times and elicited more attention to themselves than positive tweets. Negative tweets did not, however, decrease attention to the news broadcasts. Taken together, the present results demonstrate a negativity bias exists for social media messages in media multitasking; however, this effect does not amplify the overall detrimental effects of media multitasking.
Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (NVP) affects about 70 % of all expectant mothers and commonly impacts their physical health and psychosocial functioning. The aim of this study was to estimate the heritability of the presence, duration and severity of NVP. The sample consisted of 1723 women (M age = 41.78, SD = 11.67) including twins in both complete and incomplete pairs and their sisters from two cohorts participating in the NVP Genetics Consortium. The sample comprised 159 monozygotic and 140 dizygotic complete twin pairs, and 69 twin-sister pairs. We applied an extended twin design using OpenMx and Mx for secondary analysis. Individual differences in NVP were best explained by additive genetic and unique environmental effects. Heritability estimates were 73 % (95 % CIs = 57-84 %) for presence, 51 % (95 % CIs = 36-63 %) for duration and 53 % (95 % CIs = 38-65 %) for severity of NVP. The genetic correlation between duration and severity was almost perfect. Our results show that genes play an important role in different aspects of NVP and justify the importance of searching for genetic variants.
Although acquired amusia is a relatively common disorder after stroke, its precise neuroanatomical basis is still unknown. To evaluate which brain regions form the neural substrate for acquired amusia and its recovery, we performed a voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM) and morphometry (VBM) study with 77 human stroke subjects. Structural MRIs were acquired at acute and 6 month poststroke stages. Amusia and aphasia were behaviorally assessed at acute and 3 month poststroke stages using the Scale and Rhythm subtests of the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA) and language tests. VLSM analyses indicated that amusia was associated with a lesion area comprising the superior temporal gyrus, Heschl's gyrus, insula, and striatum in the right hemisphere, clearly different from the lesion pattern associated with aphasia. Parametric analyses of MBEA Pitch and Rhythm scores showed extensive lesion overlap in the right striatum, as well as in the right Heschl's gyrus and superior temporal gyrus. Lesions associated with Rhythm scores extended more superiorly and posterolaterally. VBM analysis of volume changes from the acute to the 6 month stage showed a clear decrease in gray matter volume in the right superior and middle temporal gyri in nonrecovered amusic patients compared with nonamusic patients. This increased atrophy was more evident in anterior temporal areas in rhythm amusia and in posterior temporal and temporoparietal areas in pitch amusia. Overall, the results implicate right temporal and subcortical regions as the crucial neural substrate for acquired amusia and highlight the importance of different temporal lobe regions for the recovery of amusia after stroke.
Lesion studies are essential in uncovering the brain regions causally linked to a given behavior or skill. For music perception ability, previous lesion studies of amusia have been methodologically limited in both spatial accuracy and time domain as well as by small sample sizes, providing coarse and equivocal information about which brain areas underlie amusia. By using longitudinal MRI and behavioral data from a large sample of stroke patients coupled with modern voxel-based analyses methods, we were able provide the first systematic evidence for the causal role of right temporal and striatal areas in music perception. Clinically, these results have important implications for the diagnosis and prognosis of amusia after stroke and for rehabilitation planning.
Statistical learning and the social contexts of language addressed to infants are hypothesized to play important roles in early language development. Previous behavioral work has found that the exaggerated prosodic contours of infant-directed speech (IDS) facilitate statistical learning in 8-month-old infants. Here we examined the neural processes involved in on-line statistical learning and investigated whether the use of IDS facilitates statistical learning in sleeping newborns. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while newborns were exposed to12 pseudo-words, six spoken with exaggerated pitch contours of IDS and six spoken without exaggerated pitch contours (ADS) in ten alternating blocks. We examined whether ERP amplitudes for syllable position within a pseudo-word (word-initial vs. word-medial vs. word-final, indicating statistical word learning) and speech register (ADS vs. IDS) would interact. The ADS and IDS registers elicited similar ERP patterns for syllable position in an early 0-100 ms component but elicited different ERP effects in both the polarity and topographical distribution at 200-400 ms and 450-650 ms. These results provide the first evidence that the exaggerated pitch contours of IDS result in differences in brain activity linked to on-line statistical learning in sleeping newborns.
During hippocampal sharp wave/ripple (SWR) events, previously occurring, sensory input-driven neuronal firing patterns are replayed. Such replay is thought to be important for plasticity-related processes and consolidation of memory traces. It has previously been shown that the electrical stimulation-induced disruption of SWR events interferes with learning in rodents in different experimental paradigms. On the other hand, the cognitive map theory posits that the plastic changes of the firing of hippocampal place cells constitute the electrophysiological counterpart of the spatial learning, observable at the behavioral level. Therefore, we tested whether intact SWR events occurring during the sleep/rest session after the first exploration of a novel environment are needed for the stabilization of the CA1 code, which process requires plasticity. We found that the newly-formed representation in the CA1 has the same level of stability with optogenetic SWR blockade as with a control manipulation that delivered the same amount of light into the brain. Therefore our results suggest that at least in the case of passive exploratory behavior, SWR-related plasticity is dispensable for the stability of CA1 ensembles.
Different basic emotions (anger, fear, disgust, happiness, sadness, and surprise) are consistently associated with distinct bodily sensation maps, which may underlie subjectively felt emotions. Here we investigated the development of bodily sensations associated with basic emotions in 6- to 17-year-old children and adolescents (n = 331). Children as young as 6 years of age associated statistically discernible, discrete patterns of bodily sensations with happiness, fear, and surprise, as well as with emotional neutrality. The bodily sensation maps changed from less to more specific, adult-like patterns as a function of age. We conclude that emotion-related bodily sensations become increasingly discrete over child development. Developing awareness of their emotion-related bodily sensations may shape the way children perceive, label, and interpret emotions.
Grietje Baars, Jennifer Bair, Liam Campling, Dan Danielsen, Dennis Davis, Klaas Hendrik Eller, Dez Farkas, Tomaso Ferrando, Jason Jackson, David Hansen-Miller, Elizabeth Havice, Claire Mummé, Jesse Salah Ovadia, David Quentin, Brishen Rogers, Jaakko Salminen, Alvaro Santos, Benjamin Selwyn, Marlese von Broembsen, Lucie E. White
London Review of International Law
Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages lrw003–79
The consensus is that both ecological and social factors are essential dimensions of conservation research and practice. However, much of the literature on multiple disciplinary collaboration focuses on the difficulties of undertaking it. This review of the challenges of conducting multiple disciplinary collaboration offers a framework for thinking about the diversity and complexity of this endeavor. We focused on conceptual challenges, of which 5 main categories emerged: methodological challenges, value judgments, theories of knowledge, disciplinary prejudices, and interdisciplinary communication. The major problems identified in these areas have proved remarkably persistent in the literature surveyed (c.1960-2012). Reasons for these failures to learn from past experience include the pressure to produce positive outcomes and gloss over disagreements, the ephemeral nature of many such projects and resulting lack of institutional memory, and the apparent complexity and incoherence of the endeavor. We suggest that multiple disciplinary collaboration requires conceptual integration among carefully selected multiple disciplinary team members united in investigating a shared problem or question. We outline a 9-point sequence of steps for setting up a successful multiple disciplinary project. This encompasses points on recruitment, involving stakeholders, developing research questions, negotiating power dynamics and hidden values and conceptual differences, explaining and choosing appropriate methods, developing a shared language, facilitating on-going communications, and discussing data integration and project outcomes. Although numerous solutions to the challenges of multiple disciplinary research have been proposed, lessons learned are often lost when projects end or experienced individuals move on. We urge multiple disciplinary teams to capture the challenges recognized, and solutions proposed, by their researchers while projects are in process. A database of well-documented case studies would showcase theories and methods from a variety of disciplines and their interactions, enable better comparative study and evaluation, and provide a useful resource for developing future projects and training multiple disciplinary researchers.
The rapid expansion in the use of electronic health records (EHR) has increased the number of medical errors originating in health information systems (HIS). The sociotechnical approach helps in understanding risks in the development, implementation, and use of EHR and health information technology (HIT) while accounting for complex interactions of technology within the health care system.
This study addresses two important questions: (1) "which of the common EHR error types are associated with perceived high- and extreme-risk severity ratings among EHR users?", and (2) "which variables are associated with high- and extreme-risk severity ratings?"
This study was a quantitative, non-experimental, descriptive study of EHR users. We conducted a cross-sectional web-based questionnaire study at the largest hospital district in Finland. Statistical tests included the reliability of the summative scales tested with Cronbach's alpha. Logistic regression served to assess the association of the independent variables to each of the eight risk factors examined.
A total of 2864 eligible respondents provided the final data. Almost half of the respondents reported a high level of risk related to the error type "extended EHR unavailability". The lowest overall risk level was associated with "selecting incorrectly from a list of items". In multivariate analyses, profession and clinical unit proved to be the strongest predictors for high perceived risk. Physicians perceived risk levels to be the highest ( P<.001 in six of eight error types), while emergency departments, operating rooms, and procedure units were associated with higher perceived risk levels ( P<.001 in four of eight error types). Previous participation in eLearning courses on EHR-use was associated with lower risk for some of the risk factors.
Based on a large number of Finnish EHR users in hospitals, this study indicates that HIT safety hazards should be taken very seriously, particularly in operating rooms, procedure units, emergency departments, and intensive care units/critical care units. Health care organizations should use proactive and systematic assessments of EHR risks before harmful events occur. An EHR training program should be compulsory for all EHR users in order to address EHR safety concerns resulting from the failure to use HIT appropriately.
It is widely believed that warm and supportive parenting fosters all kinds of prosocial behaviors in the offspring, including civic engagement. However, accumulating international evidence suggests that the effects of family support on civic engagement may sometimes be negative. To address this apparent controversy, we identified several scenarios for the negative effects of supportive parenting on youth civic engagement and tested them using four waves of data from the Finnish Educational Transitions Studies. They followed 1549 students (55 % female) from late adolescence into young adulthood, included both maternal (n = 231) and offspring reports of parental support, and assessed civic engagement in young adulthood. Control variables included socioeconomic status, other sociodemographic indicators, church belonging, personality traits, and earlier civic engagement. Higher maternal warmth and support and a stronger identification with the parental family in adolescence predicted offspring's lower political activism up to 10 years later. Perceived parental support in young adulthood predicted lower volunteering 2 years later. There were no significant effects on general organizational involvement (e.g., in student and hobby associations). None of the a priori scenarios that we identified from the literature appeared to explain the pattern of results satisfactorily. We put forth cultural and life stage explanations of our findings.