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16 Nov 2019 at 01:36
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Bibliography on: Corvids (crows, jays, etc)


Robert J. Robbins is a biologist, an educator, a science administrator, a publisher, an information technologist, and an IT leader and manager who specializes in advancing biomedical knowledge and supporting education through the application of information technology. More About:  RJR | OUR TEAM | OUR SERVICES | THIS WEBSITE

RJR: Recommended Bibliography 16 Nov 2019 at 01:36 Created: 

Corvids (crows, jays, etc)

Wikipedia: Corvidae (crows, jays, etc) is a cosmopolitan family of oscine passerine birds that contains the crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays, magpies, treepies, choughs, and nutcrackers. In common English, they are known as the crow family, or, more technically, corvids. Over 120 species are described. The genus Corvus, including the jackdaws, crows, rooks, and ravens, makes up over a third of the entire family. Corvids display remarkable intelligence for animals of their size and are among the most intelligent birds thus far studied. Specifically, members of the family have demonstrated self-awareness in mirror tests (European magpies) and tool-making ability (crows, rooks), skills which until recently were thought to be possessed only by humans and a few other higher mammals. Their total brain-to-body mass ratio is equal to that of great apes and cetaceans, and only slightly lower than in humans. They are medium to large in size, with strong feet and bills, rictal bristles, and a single moult each year (most passerines moult twice). Corvids are found worldwide except for the tip of South America and the polar ice caps. The majority of the species are found in tropical South and Central America, southern Asia and Eurasia, with fewer than 10 species each in Africa and Australasia. The genus Corvus has re-entered Australia in relatively recent geological prehistory, with five species and one subspecies there. Several species of raven have reached oceanic islands, and some of these species are now highly threatened with extinction or have already gone extinct.

Created with PubMed® Query: (corvus[TIAB] OR corvid[TIAB] OR OR corvids[TIAB] OR corvidae[TIAB] OR crow[TIAB] OR crows[TIAB] OR raven[TIAB] OR ravens[TIAB] OR jay[TIAB] OR jays[TIAB] OR magpie[TIAB] OR magpies[TIAB] OR jackdaw[TIAB] OR jackdaws[TIAB]) NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2019-11-15

Ling H, Mclvor GE, Westley J, et al (2019)

Behavioural plasticity and the transition to order in jackdaw flocks.

Nature communications, 10(1):5174 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-13281-4.

Collective behaviour is typically thought to arise from individuals following fixed interaction rules. The possibility that interaction rules may change under different circumstances has thus only rarely been investigated. Here we show that local interactions in flocks of wild jackdaws (Corvus monedula) vary drastically in different contexts, leading to distinct group-level properties. Jackdaws interact with a fixed number of neighbours (topological interactions) when traveling to roosts, but coordinate with neighbours based on spatial distance (metric interactions) during collective anti-predator mobbing events. Consequently, mobbing flocks exhibit a dramatic transition from disordered aggregations to ordered motion as group density increases, unlike transit flocks where order is independent of density. The relationship between group density and group order during this transition agrees well with a generic self-propelled particle model. Our results demonstrate plasticity in local interaction rules and have implications for both natural and artificial collective systems.

RevDate: 2019-11-14

Sarker S, Batinovic S, Talukder S, et al (2019)

Molecular characterisation of a novel pathogenic avipoxvirus from the Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen).

Virology, 540:1-16 pii:S0042-6822(19)30313-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Avipoxviruses are significant pathogens infecting a wide range of wild and domestic bird species globally. Here, we describe a novel genome sequence of magpiepox virus (MPPV) isolated from an Australian magpie. In the present study, histopathologically confirmed cutaneous pox lesions were used for transmission electron microscopic analysis, which demonstrated brick-shaped virions with regular spaced thread-like ridges, indicative of likely infectious particles. Subsequent analysis of the recovered MPPV genome positioned phylogenetically to a distinct sub-clade with the recently isolated avipoxvirus genome sequences from shearwater and canary bird species, and demonstrates a high degree of sequence similarity with CNPV (96.14%) and SWPV-2 (95.87%). The novel MPPV complete genome is missing 19 genes with a further 41 genes being truncated/fragmented compared to SWPV-2 and contains nine predicted unique genes. This is the first avipoxvirus complete genome sequence that infects Australian magpie.

RevDate: 2019-11-14

Kenny SC (2019)

Capturing Racial Pathology: American Medical Photography in the Era of Jim Crow.

American journal of public health [Epub ahead of print].

This article focuses on the untapped, complicated, fragile, and fluid visual archives of the elite White surgeon Rudolph Matas, a large proportion of which was produced during the late 19th and early 20th century, a time when he was a resident at New Orleans' Charity Hospital in Louisiana and a professor of general and clinical surgery at Tulane University's Medical Department. The article's main aim is to understand the role of visual materials in the production, uses, circulation, and impact of a form of knowledge that Matas termed "racial pathology." A small but representative sample of visual materials from the Matas collection are placed in context and examined in order to make known this untold chapter from the life story of "one of the great pioneers" in American surgery.The article reveals that many of the photographs were most significant in having been produced and assembled in parallel with the making, publication, dissemination, reception, and use of Matas' racialized medical research, in particular his influential 1896 pamphlet, The Surgical Peculiarities of the American Negro. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print November 14, 2019; e1-e9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305357).

RevDate: 2019-11-14

Joffe E, Kumar A, Zheng S, et al (2019)

Genomic Profiling of Mantle Cell Lymphoma Suggests Poor-Risk Profile Is Present at Diagnosis and Does Not Arise By Tumor Evolution.

Blood, 134(Supplement_1):22.

DISCLOSURES: Kumar: Seattle Genetics: Research Funding. Straus:Hope Funds for Cancer Research: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria; Elsevier (PracticeUpdate): Consultancy, Honoraria. Palomba:Hemedicus: Other: Immediate Family Member, Speakers Bureau ; Merck & Co Inc.: Other: Immediate Family Member, Consultancy (includes expert testimony); Seres Therapeutics: Other: Immediate Family Member, Equity Ownership and Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; STRAXIMM: Other: Immediate Family Member, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Kite Pharmaceuticals: Other: Immediate Family Member, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Pharmacyclics: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Noble Insights: Consultancy; Evelo: Other: Immediate family member, Equity Ownership; MSK (IP for Juno and Seres): Other: Immediate Family Member, Patents & Royalties - describe: intellectual property rights . Noy:Janssen: Consultancy; Medscape: Honoraria; Prime Oncology: Honoraria; NIH: Research Funding; Pharamcyclics: Research Funding; Raphael Pharma: Research Funding. Horwitz:Forty-Seven: Research Funding; Kura: Consultancy; Corvus Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Infinity/Verastem: Consultancy, Research Funding; Astex: Consultancy; Innate Pharma: Consultancy; Celgene: Consultancy, Research Funding; Infinity/Verastem: Consultancy, Research Funding; Kyowa Hakko Kirin: Consultancy; Mundipharma: Consultancy; Aileron: Research Funding; Millennium/Takeda: Consultancy, Research Funding; Astex: Consultancy; Astex: Consultancy; Trillium: Research Funding; Trillium: Research Funding; Infinity/Verastem: Consultancy, Research Funding; Innate Pharma: Consultancy; Kura: Consultancy; Millennium/Takeda: Consultancy, Research Funding; Millennium/Takeda: Consultancy, Research Funding; Innate Pharma: Consultancy; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Research Funding; Mundipharma: Consultancy; Aileron: Research Funding; ADCT Therapeutics: Research Funding; Forty-Seven: Research Funding; Affimed: Consultancy; Miragen: Consultancy; Celgene: Consultancy, Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Research Funding; Aileron: Research Funding; ADCT Therapeutics: Research Funding; ADCT Therapeutics: Research Funding; Kura: Consultancy; Celgene: Consultancy, Research Funding; Miragen: Consultancy; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Research Funding; Aileron: Research Funding; Infinity/Verastem: Consultancy, Research Funding; Mundipharma: Consultancy; Miragen: Consultancy; Affimed: Consultancy; Affimed: Consultancy; Corvus Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Astex: Consultancy; Kura: Consultancy; Kyowa Hakko Kirin: Consultancy; Kyowa Hakko Kirin: Consultancy; Miragen: Consultancy; Innate Pharma: Consultancy; Forty-Seven: Research Funding; ADCT Therapeutics: Research Funding; Corvus Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Mundipharma: Consultancy; Forty-Seven: Research Funding; Affimed: Consultancy; Trillium: Research Funding; Portola: Consultancy; Trillium: Research Funding; Portola: Consultancy; Kyowa Hakko Kirin: Consultancy; Millennium/Takeda: Consultancy, Research Funding; Celgene: Consultancy, Research Funding; Portola: Consultancy; Portola: Consultancy; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Research Funding; Corvus Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding. Moskowitz:miRagen Therapeutics Inc: Consultancy, Research Funding; miRagen Therapeutics Inc: Consultancy, Research Funding; Cell Medica: Consultancy; Merck: Research Funding; Cell Medica: Consultancy; ADC Therapeutics: Consultancy; Erytech Pharma: Consultancy; ADC Therapeutics: Consultancy; Erytech Pharma: Consultancy; ADC Therapeutics: Consultancy; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; Cell Medica: Consultancy; Cell Medica: Consultancy; Cell Medica: Consultancy; Cell Medica: Consultancy; Cell Medica: Consultancy; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; ADC Therapeutics: Consultancy; Erytech Pharma: Consultancy; Erytech Pharma: Consultancy; miRagen Therapeutics Inc: Consultancy, Research Funding; ADC Therapeutics: Consultancy; ADC Therapeutics: Consultancy; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; miRagen Therapeutics Inc: Consultancy, Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Cell Medica: Consultancy; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; miRagen Therapeutics Inc: Consultancy, Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; miRagen Therapeutics Inc: Consultancy, Research Funding; ADC Therapeutics: Consultancy; ADC Therapeutics: Consultancy; Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; ADC Therapeutics: Consultancy; ADC Therapeutics: Consultancy; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; miRagen Therapeutics Inc: Consultancy, Research Funding; ADC Therapeutics: Consultancy; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; Cell Medica: Consultancy; ADC Therapeutics: Consultancy; Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Cell Medica: Consultancy; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Erytech Pharma: Consultancy; Erytech Pharma: Consultancy; Erytech Pharma: Consultancy; Erytech Pharma: Consultancy; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; miRagen Therapeutics Inc: Consultancy, Research Funding; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; miRagen Therapeutics Inc: Consultancy, Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; miRagen Therapeutics Inc: Consultancy, Research Funding; Cell Medica: Consultancy; Cell Medica: Consultancy; Cell Medica: Consultancy; Incyte: Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; miRagen Therapeutics Inc: Consultancy, Research Funding; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; Cell Medica: Consultancy; miRagen Therapeutics Inc: Consultancy, Research Funding; Erytech Pharma: Consultancy; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; miRagen Therapeutics Inc: Consultancy, Research Funding; miRagen Therapeutics Inc: Consultancy, Research Funding; Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; miRagen Therapeutics Inc: Consultancy, Research Funding; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Erytech Pharma: Consultancy; Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Erytech Pharma: Consultancy; Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; Erytech Pharma: Consultancy; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; Bristol-Myers Squibb: Consultancy, Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; Erytech Pharma: Consultancy; Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma: Consultancy, Research Funding; ADC Therapeutics: Consultancy; Erytech Pharma: Consultancy; Erytech Pharma: Consultancy; Merck: Research Funding; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Cell Medica: Consultancy; ADC Therapeutics: Consultancy; ADC Therapeutics: Consultancy; Takeda Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy. Matasar:Bayer: Other: Travel, accommodation, expenses; Janssen: Honoraria, Research Funding; Pharmacyclics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; GlaxoSmithKline: Honoraria, Research Funding; Daiichi Sankyo: Consultancy; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Travel, accomodation, expenses, Research Funding; Rocket Medical: Consultancy, Research Funding; Teva: Consultancy; Merck: Consultancy, Equity Ownership; Juno Therapeutics: Consultancy; Roche: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Travel, accommodation, expenses , Research Funding; Bayer: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other; Genentech, Inc.: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: Travel, accommodation, expenses , Research Funding. Batlevi:Juno Therapeutics: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. von Keudell:Genentech: Consultancy; Bayer: Consultancy; Pharmacyclics: Consultancy; Pharmacyclics: Consultancy; Genentech: Consultancy; Bayer: Consultancy. Dogan:Takeda: Consultancy; Novartis: Consultancy; Celgene: Consultancy; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy; Corvus Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; Roche: Consultancy, Research Funding. Younes:Janssen: Honoraria, Research Funding; Roche: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Abbvie: Honoraria; Takeda: Honoraria; Pharmacyclics: Research Funding; AstraZeneca: Research Funding; Genentech: Research Funding; HCM: Consultancy; BMS: Research Funding; Syndax: Research Funding; Merck: Honoraria, Research Funding; Curis: Honoraria, Research Funding; Epizyme: Consultancy, Honoraria; Xynomics: Consultancy; Celgene: Consultancy, Honoraria; Biopath: Consultancy. Zelenetz:Genentech/Roche: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Novartis: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Janssen: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Janssen: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Karyopharm: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Pfizer: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Amgen: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Karyopharm: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; MEI Pharma: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Morphosys: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Verastem: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; DAVA Oncology: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Pharmacyclics/AbbVie: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Astra-Zeneca: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Pharmacyclics/AbbVie: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Beigene: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Morphosys: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Beigene: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Bayer: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Amgen: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; MEI Pharma: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Astra-Zeneca: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Novartis: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Celgene: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; DAVA Oncology: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Genentech/Roche: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Gilead: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Gilead: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Bayer: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Celgene: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Pfizer: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Verastem: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees.

RevDate: 2019-11-14

Anonymous (2019)

"Cellular mechanisms underlying steroid-resistant asthma." Ridhima Wadhwa, Kamal Dua, Ian M. Adcock, Jay C. Horvat, Richard Y. Kim and Philip M. Hansbro. Eur Respir Rev 2019; 28: 190021.

European respiratory review : an official journal of the European Respiratory Society, 28(154): pii:28/154/195096.

RevDate: 2019-11-13

Anand PK, Shin DR, Saxena N, et al (2019)

Accelerated Reliability Growth Test for Magnetic Resonance Imaging System Using Time-of-Flight Three-Dimensional Pulse Sequence.

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), 9(4): pii:diagnostics9040164.

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system is a complex, high cost, and long-life product. It is a widely known fact that performing a system reliability test of a MRI system during the development phase is a challenging task. The major challenges include sample size, high test cost, and long test duration. This paper introduces a novel approach to perform a MRI system reliability test in a reasonably acceptable time with one sample size. Our approach is based on an accelerated reliability growth test, which consists of test cycle made of a very high-energy time-of-flight three-dimensional (TOF3D) pulse sequence representing an actual hospital usage scenario. First, we construct a nominal day usage scenario based on actual data collected from an MRI system used inside the hospital. Then, we calculate the life-time stress based on a usage scenario. Finally, we develop an accelerated reliability growth test cycle based on a TOF3D pulse sequence that exerts highest vibration energy on the gradient coil and MRI system. We use a vibration energy model to map the life-time stress and reduce the test duration from 537 to 55 days. We use a Crow AMSAA plot to demonstrate that system design reaches its useful life after crossing the infant mortality phase.

RevDate: 2019-11-12

Krasheninnikova A, Brucks D, Buffenoir N, et al (2019)

Parrots do not show inequity aversion.

Scientific reports, 9(1):16416 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-52780-8.

Inequity aversion, the negative reaction to unequal treatment, is considered a mechanism for stabilizing cooperative interactions between non-kin group members. However, this might only be adaptive for species that switch cooperative partners. Utilizing a comparative approach, inequity aversion has been assessed in many mammalian species and recently also in corvids and one parrot species, kea, revealing mixed results. To broaden our knowledge about the phylogenetic distribution of inequity aversion, we tested four parrot species in the token exchange paradigm. We varied the quality of rewards delivered to dyads of birds, as well as the effort required to obtain a reward. Blue-headed macaws and African grey parrots showed no reaction to being rewarded unequally. The bigger macaws were less willing to exchange tokens in the "unequal" condition compared to the "equal high" condition in which both birds obtained high quality rewards, but a closer examination of the results and the findings from the control conditions reveal that inequity aversion does not account for it. None of the species responded to inequity in terms of effort. Parrots may not exhibit inequity aversion due to interdependence on their life-long partner and the high costs associated with finding a new partner.

RevDate: 2019-11-09

Tallarita GM, Parente A, AR Giovagnoli (2019)

The visuospatial pattern of temporal lobe epilepsy.

Epilepsy & behavior : E&B, 101(Pt A):106582 pii:S1525-5050(19)30513-X [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: Unlike temporal lobe lesions, temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) has no definite effects on visuospatial functions. This retrospective study evaluated these functions in patients with TLE, aiming to clarify their relationships to TLE laterality and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-detected brain lesions.

METHODS: The Raven Colored Progressive Matrices (RCPM), Attentive Matrices (AM), Trail Making Test A (TMTA), Street Completion Test (SCT), Rey Complex Figure Copying (RCFC) and Delayed Reproduction (RCFDR), and Corsi Blocks Span (CBS) and Supraspan Learning (CBSSL) were used to assess different visuospatial functions in 198 patients with TLE and 90 healthy subjects.

RESULTS: In 169 patients (83 left), MRI revealed focal temporal lobe lesions [unilateral mesial temporal lobe sclerosis (MTLS) in 88 cases]. The patients with left or right TLE obtained normal scores on the RCPM, AM, TMTA, SCT, and RCFC, but their scores were significantly low on the CBS, CBSSL, and RCFDR. The patients with MTLS obtained lower scores in comparison with the controls and the patients without lesions, whereas those with other lesions obtained low scores only on the CBSSL and those without lesions performed normally.

CONCLUSIONS: Temporal lobe epilepsy does not affect nonmemory visuospatial functions but significantly impairs visuosopatial memory and learning. This pattern is independent of TLE laterality, in keeping with a modality-specific memory model. On the contrary, the type of temporal lobe lesion is relevant to the severity of impairment.

RevDate: 2019-11-08

Carter MQ, Pham A, Carychao DK, et al (2019)

Complete Genome Sequences of Two Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Strains Isolated from Crows.

Microbiology resource announcements, 8(45): pii:8/45/e01082-19.

Escherichia coli strains RM9088 and RM10410 were isolated from crows near a leafy greens-growing region in California in April and July 2009, respectively. Both strains carry genes encoding Shiga toxins and other virulence factors in enteric pathogens. Here, we report the complete genome sequences of RM9088 and RM10410.

RevDate: 2019-11-06

Freedman DO (2020)

In Memoriam: Jay Stephen Keystone (1943-2019).

Emerging infectious diseases, 26(1): [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2019-11-06

Coomes JR, McIvor GE, A Thornton (2019)

Correction to 'Evidence for individual discrimination and numerical assessment in collective antipredator behaviour in wild jackdaws (Corvus monedula)'.

Biology letters, 15(11):20190740.

RevDate: 2019-11-05

Holtmann B, Buskas J, Steele M, et al (2019)

Dominance relationships and coalitionary aggression against conspecifics in female carrion crows.

Scientific reports, 9(1):15922 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-52177-7.

Cooperation is a prevailing feature of many animal systems. Coalitionary aggression, where a group of individuals engages in coordinated behaviour to the detriment of conspecific targets, is a form of cooperation involving complex social interactions. To date, evidence has been dominated by studies in humans and other primates with a clear bias towards studies of male-male coalitions. We here characterize coalitionary aggression behaviour in a group of female carrion crows consisting of recruitment, coordinated chase, and attack. The individual of highest social rank liaised with the second most dominant individual to engage in coordinated chase and attack of a lower ranked crow on several occasions. Despite active intervention by the third most highly ranked individual opposing the offenders, the attack finally resulted in the death of the victim. All individuals were unrelated, of the same sex, and naïve to the behaviour excluding kinship, reproduction, and social learning as possible drivers. Instead, the coalition may reflect a strategy of the dominant individual to secure long-term social benefits. Overall, the study provides evidence that members of the crow family engage in coordinated alliances directed against conspecifics as a possible means to manipulate their social environment.

RevDate: 2019-10-31

Tanner EM, Hallerbäck MU, Wikström S, et al (2019)

Early prenatal exposure to suspected endocrine disruptor mixtures is associated with lower IQ at age seven.

Environment international pii:S0160-4120(19)31401-1 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are xenobiotics with the ability to interfere with hormone action, even at low levels. Prior environmental epidemiology studies link numerous suspected EDCs, including phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA), to adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. However, results for some chemicals were inconsistent and most assessed one chemical at a time.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the overall impact of prenatal exposure to an EDC mixture on neurodevelopment in school-aged children, and identify chemicals of concern while accounting for co-exposures.

METHODS: Among 718 mother-child pairs from the Swedish Environmental Longitudinal, Mother and child, Asthma and allergy study (SELMA) study, we used Weighted Quantile Sum (WQS) regression to assess the association between 26 EDCs measured in 1st trimester urine or blood, with Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (IV) Intelligence Quotient (IQ) scores at age 7 years. Models were adjusted for child sex, gestational age, mother's education, mother's IQ (RAVEN), weight, and smoking status. To evaluate generalizability, we conducted repeated holdout validation, a machine learning technique.

RESULTS: Using repeated holdout validation, IQ scores were 1.9-points (CI = -3.6, -0.2) lower among boys for an inter-quartile-range (IQR) change in the WQS index. BPF made the largest contribution to the index with a weight of 14%. Other chemicals of concern and their weights included PBA (9%), TCP (9%), MEP (6%), MBzP (4%), PFOA (6%), PFOS (5%), PFHxS (4%), Triclosan (5%), and BPA (4%). While we did observe an inverse association between EDCs and IQ among all children when training and testing the WQS index estimate on the full dataset, these results were not robust to repeated holdout validation.

CONCLUSION: Among boys, early prenatal exposure to EDCs was associated with lower intellectual functioning at age 7. We identified bisphenol F as the primary chemical of concern, suggesting that the BPA replacement compound may not be any safer for children. Future studies are needed to confirm the potential neurotoxicity of replacement analogues.

RevDate: 2019-10-24

Schoener ER, Tompkins DM, Parker KA, et al (2019)

Presence and diversity of mixed avian Plasmodium spp. infections in introduced birds whose distribution overlapped with threatened New Zealand endemic birds.

New Zealand veterinary journal [Epub ahead of print].

AIMS: To determine the presence of infection and co-infection of Plasmodium lineages in introduced birds at translocation sites for the North Island saddleback (Philesturnus rufusater), to investigate their role as Plasmodium spp. reservoirs.

METHODS: Blood samples were collected from introduced bird species, with a special focus on blackbirds (Turdus merula) and song thrushes (T. philomelos), at six locations in the North Island of New Zealand that were the origin, or translocation sites, for North Island saddleback. Where available, blood smears were examined, and blood samples were tested using nested PCR with subsequent sequence analysis, for the presence of Plasmodium spp.

RESULTS: Of the 55 samples tested using PCR analysis, 39 (71%) were positive for Plasmodium spp., and 28/40 (62%) blood smears were positive for Plasmodium spp. Overall, 31 blood samples were from blackbirds with 28/31 (90%) samples positive for Plasmodium spp. Six distinct avian Plasmodium lineages were identified, including three cosmopolitan lineages; P. vaughani SYAT05 was detected in 16 samples, P. matutinum Linn1 in 10 samples and P. elongatum GRW6 in eight samples. Mixed infections with more than one lineage were detected in 12 samples. Samples from two Australian magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen) were positive for Plasmodium. sp. lineage MYNA02, previously not identified in New Zealand.

This is the first report from New Zealand in which specific Plasmodium spp. mixed infections have been found in introduced birds. Co-infections with several cosmopolitan Plasmodium lineages were identified, as well as the first report in New Zealand of an exotic avian Plasmodium sp. lineage, in Australian magpies. Whilst the role of introduced birds in maintaining and spreading pathogenic avian malaria in New Zealand is unclear, there is a potential infection risk to native birds, especially where distributions overlap.

RevDate: 2019-10-23

Ling H, Mclvor GE, Westley J, et al (2019)

Collective turns in jackdaw flocks: kinematics and information transfer.

Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 16(159):20190450.

The rapid, cohesive turns of bird flocks are one of the most vivid examples of collective behaviour in nature, and have attracted much research. Three-dimensional imaging techniques now allow us to characterize the kinematics of turning and their group-level consequences in precise detail. We measured the kinematics of flocks of wild jackdaws executing collective turns in two contexts: during transit to roosts and anti-predator mobbing. All flocks reduced their speed during turns, probably because of constraints on individual flight capability. Turn rates increased with the angle of the turn so that the time to complete turns remained constant. We also find that context may alter where turns are initiated in the flocks: for transit flocks in the absence of predators, initiators were located throughout the flocks, but for mobbing flocks with a fixed ground-based predator, they were always located at the front. Moreover, in some transit flocks, initiators were far apart from each other, potentially because of the existence of subgroups and variation in individual interaction ranges. Finally, we find that as the group size increased the information transfer speed initially increased, but rapidly saturated to a constant value. Our results highlight previously unrecognized complexity in turning kinematics and information transfer in social animals.

RevDate: 2019-10-22

Nielsen T, Kreiner S, TW Teasdale (2019)

Assessment of cognitive ability at conscription for the Danish army: Is a single total score sufficient?.

Scandinavian journal of psychology [Epub ahead of print].

Børge Priens Prøve (BPP) was developed for the Danish Army by psychologist Børge Prien in the 1950s, as a test of general cognitive ability for use at conscription for the Danish armed forces. The final BPP (1957) had four subtests; a Raven-like matrix subtest, and three subtests measuring verbal, numerical, and visuospatial ability. The BPP is a speeded test counting the number of correct responses within 45 minutes. Thus, we consider the BPP as a measure of "cognitive efficiency" rather than a pure measure of cognitive ability. The BPP is still in use.Using techniques available in 1960, Rasch concluded that the matrices and numerical tests appeared to satisfy the requirements of the Rasch (Probabilistic models for some intelligence and attainment tests, Danish Institute for Educational Research, Copenhagen; 1960) model, while the verbal and visuospatial tests did not. Since then, there have been, to our knowledge, no published studies of the psychometric scaling properties of the BPP, partly because the practice of the Danish draft board has been to record only the total score. We examine these properties by analysis of data from two cohorts (n = 9,491), using the Leunbach (A probabilistic measurement model for assessing whether two tests measure the same personal factor. The Danish Institute of Educational, Copenhagen, Denmark; 1976) model to assess whether the sum of the four subtests provides a statistically sufficient measure of a common latent trait. Since we found only weak evidence against fit to the Leunbach model, we claim that this warrants the use of a summarized total BPP score. We examined whether BPP subscales suffered from differential test functioning (DTF) relative to samples. Weak, and for practical purposes too weak, DTF was suggested for one subscale.

RevDate: 2019-10-21

Kutschera VE, Poelstra JW, Botero-Castro F, et al (2019)

Purifying Selection in Corvids Is Less Efficient on Islands.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:5601620 [Epub ahead of print].

Theory predicts that deleterious mutations accumulate more readily in small populations. As a consequence, mutation load is expected to be elevated in species where life-history strategies and geographic or historical contingencies reduce the number of reproducing individuals. Yet, few studies have empirically tested this prediction using genome-wide data in a comparative framework. We collected whole genome sequencing data for 147 individuals across seven crow species (Corvus spp.). For each species, we estimated the distribution of fitness effects of deleterious mutations (DFE) and compared it with proxies of the effective population size Ne. Island species with comparatively smaller geographic range sizes had a significantly increased mutation load. These results support the view that small populations have an elevated risk of mutational meltdown, which may contribute to the higher extinction rates observed in island species.

RevDate: 2019-10-21

Hudson TB, Auwaijan N, FG Yuan (2019)

Guided Wave-based System for Real-time Cure Monitoring of Composites using Piezoelectric Discs and Phase-shifted Fiber Bragg Gratings.

Journal of composite materials, 53(7):969-979.

A real-time, in-process cure monitoring system employing a guided wave-based concept for carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites was developed. The system included a single piezoelectric disc that was bonded to the surface of the composite for excitation, and an embedded phase-shifted fiber Bragg grating (PS-FBG) for sensing. The PS-FBG almost simultaneously measured both quasi-static strain and the ultrasonic guided wave-based signals throughout the cure cycle. A traditional FBG was also used as a base for evaluating the high sensitivity of the PS-FBG sensor. Composite physical properties (degree of cure and glass transition temperature) were correlated to the amplitude and time of arrival of the guided wave-based measurements during the cure cycle. In addition, key state transitions (gelation and vitrification) were identified from the experimental data. The physical properties and state transitions were validated using cure process modeling software (e.g., RAVEN®). This system demonstrated the capability of using an embedded PS-FBG to sense a wide bandwidth of signals during cure. The distinct advantages of a fiber optic-based system include multiplexing of multiple gratings along a single optical fiber, small size compared to piezoelectric sensors, ability to embed or surface mount, utilization in harsh environments, electrically passive operation, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) immunity. The embedded PS-FBG fiber optic sensor can monitor the entire life-cycle of the composite structure from curing, post-cure/assembly, and in-service creating "smart structures".

RevDate: 2019-10-20

Miller R, Frohnwieser A, Schiestl M, et al (2019)

Delayed gratification in New Caledonian crows and young children: influence of reward type and visibility.

Animal cognition pii:10.1007/s10071-019-01317-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Self-control underlies cognitive abilities such as decision making and future planning. Delay of gratification is a measure of self-control and involves obtaining a more valuable outcome in the future by tolerating a delay or investing a greater effort in the present. Contextual issues, such as reward visibility and type, may influence delayed gratification performance, although there has been limited comparative investigation between humans and other animals, particularly non-primate species. Here, we adapted an automated 'rotating tray' paradigm used previously with capuchin monkeys to test for delay of gratification ability that requires little pre-test training, where the subject must forgo an immediate, less preferred reward for a delayed, more preferred one. We tested New Caledonian crows and 3-5-year-old human children. We manipulated reward types to differ in quality or quantity (Experiments 1 and 2) as well as visibility (Experiment 2). In Experiments 1 and 2, both species performed better when the rewards varied in quality as opposed to quantity, though performed above chance in both conditions. In Experiment 1, both crows and children were able to delay gratification when both rewards were visible. In Experiment 2, 5-year-old children outperformed 3- and 4-year olds, though overall children still performed well, while the crows struggled when reward visibility was manipulated, a result which may relate to difficulties in tracking the experimenters' hands during baiting. We discuss these findings in relation to the role of contextual issues on self-control when making species comparisons and investigating the mechanisms of self-control.

RevDate: 2019-10-17

Held S, Hallett J, Schure M, et al (2019)

Improving chronic illness self-management with the Apsáalooke Nation: Development of the Báa nnilah program.

Social science & medicine (1982), 242:112583 pii:S0277-9536(19)30578-7 [Epub ahead of print].

RATIONALE: Since 1996, members of the Apsáalooke (Crow) Nation and faculty and students at Montana State University have worked in a successful community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership, leading to increased trust and improvements in health awareness, knowledge, and behaviors. As major barriers to health and healthy behaviors have caused inequities in morbidity and mortality rates for multiple chronic diseases among the Apsáalooke people, community members chose to focus the next phase of research on improving chronic illness management.

OBJECTIVE: Existing chronic illness self-management programs include aspects inconsonant with Apsáalooke culture and neglect local factors seen as vital to community members managing their health conditions. The aim of this study was to use CBPR methods grounded in Apsáalooke cultural values to develop an intervention for improving chronic illness self-management.

METHOD: Community members shared stories about what it is like to manage their chronic illness, including facilitators and barriers to chronic illness management. A culturally consonant data analysis method was used to develop a locally-based conceptual framework for understanding chronic illness management and an intervention grounded in the local culture.

RESULTS: Components of the intervention approach and intervention content are detailed and similarities and differences from other chronic illness management programs are described.

CONCLUSIONS: Our collaborative process and product may be helpful for other communities interested in using story data to develop research projects, deepen their understanding of health, and increase health equity.

RevDate: 2019-10-16

El-Sayed AK, S Hassan (2019)

Gross morphological features of the air sacs of the hooded crow (Corvus cornix).

Anatomia, histologia, embryologia [Epub ahead of print].

Air sacs are considered to be one of the controlling factors of bird behaviour and habits in addition to their roles in ventilation, regulating body temperature, swimming and flight. As a scavenger and an omnivorous flight bird, air sacs of the hooded crow were the focus of this study. Eight healthy, adult hooded crows were used to examine the morphological characteristics of the air sacs, which were examined grossly and with latex and cast preparations. In general, the morphological overview of the hooded crow air sacs is similar to other avian species. We observed nine air sacs; four paired sacs (cervical, cranial thoracic, caudal thoracic and abdominal air sacs) and one unpaired sac; the clavicular air sac. The cervical air sac communicated to the lung through the medioventral bronchus and had three diverticula; intermuscular, subscapular and subcutaneous. The clavicular air sac communicated with lung through the medioventral bronchus and had subscapular, axillary, humeral, subpectoral and sternal diverticula. The cranial and caudal thoracic air sacs were communicated with lung through the lateroventral bronchi and the both sacs did not have any diverticula. The abdominal air sacs were posterior to the caudal thoracic air sacs. The left abdominal sac was the largest air sac. The right and left abdominal sacs gave off branches to diverticula that pneumatized synsacrum. The abdominal air sacs gave off femoral diverticula behind the hip joint as well as perirenal diverticula.

RevDate: 2019-10-15

Daneau S, Bourbonnais A, A Legault (2019)

Surrogates' end-of-life decision-making process in nursing homes for residents with a neurocognitive disorder: An integrative review.

International journal of older people nursing [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: The goal of this review is to analyse articles on the experience of surrogates who find themselves making end-of-life decisions for a relative with a major neurocognitive disorder in a nursing home.

DESIGN: An integrative review of the literature based on Whittemore and Knafl's method.

DATA SOURCES: This review used the CINAHL, PubMed, PsycInfo, Embase and Web of Science databases. A complementary search was also conducted via citation pearl searching, and the reference lists from the selected articles were manually verified.

REVIEW METHOD: The quality of the selected articles was assessed using the Crow Critical Appraisal Tool, and the data were extracted systematically and were then organised according to Mishel's uncertainty in illness theory. The data that did not correspond to any concept of the theory were excluded at this stage. Analysis was conducted using the method put forward by Miles, Huberman and Saldaña.

RESULTS: A total of 18 articles were selected: 11 qualitative, 5 quantitative and 1 using a mixed method, as well as 1 ethical argument. The subjects arising from the analysis of the articles were the types of decisions made, the support available for the surrogates, the role and involvement of the surrogates in the process and the factors that influence the decisions.

CONCLUSION: The results of this integrative review stimulate reflection on the needs of family members involved in making decisions, as well as on the nursing practice and research. Published literature is mainly from North America, and thus, more research is needed to better understand the impact of cultural and ethnic differences in the process, which was poorly covered by the existing literature. Also, exploring nurses' involvement in supporting surrogates may eventually better equip nurses for their interventions with surrogates.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Describing the illness progression and the signification of palliative care to the resident with a NCD and their surrogate decision makers, as well as discussing end-of-life care preferences as early as possible are all nursing interventions that could potentially enhance surrogates' end-of-life decision-making process.

RevDate: 2019-10-12

Freeman NE, Norris DR, Sutton AO, et al (2019)

Raising young with limited resources: supplementation improves body condition and advances fledging of Canada jays.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Food availability early in life can play a vital role in an individual's development and success, but experimental evidence for the direct effects of food on body condition, physiology, and survival of young animals in the wild is still relatively scarce. Food-caching Canada jays (Perisoreus canadensis) begin breeding in the late winter and, therefore, rely on either cached food or seemingly limited quantities of fresh food to feed nestlings in the early spring. Using a two-year food supplementation experiment conducted during the nestling period and 40 years of observational data on food supplemented by the public, we examined whether food quantity during early life influenced the physiology, body condition, timing of fledging and survival of young Canada jays in Algonquin Provincial Park, ON. Experimental food supplementation of breeding pairs advanced the fledging date of young by 24% (5.5 d) compared to controls. In one year of the experiment, nestlings raised on experimentally supplemented territories had lower feather corticosterone concentrations and were in higher body condition than controls. Across treatment and control nests, young that successfully fledged had lower concentrations of feather corticosterone and were in higher body condition than those that did not fledge. Based on 40 years of observational data, nestling body condition was positively related to the degree of food supplementation by park visitors and nestlings in higher body condition were more likely to be observed in the population in the following fall. Our results demonstrate how food availability early in life can have important downstream consequences on metrics related to individual fitness, including first year survival.

RevDate: 2019-10-10

Mo L, Zheng X, Zhu C, et al (2019)

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in oriental magpie-robins from e-waste, urban, and rural sites: Site-specific biomagnification of POPs.

Ecotoxicology and environmental safety, 186:109758 pii:S0147-6513(19)31089-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Plenty of banned and emerging persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its metabolites (DDTs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), dechlorane plus (DP), and decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), were measured in oriental magpie-robins from an e-waste recycling site, an urban site (Guangzhou City), and a rural site in South China. Median concentrations of DDTs, PCBs, PBDEs, DP, and DBDPE ranged from 1,000-1,313, 800-59,368, 244-5,740, 24.1-127, and 14.7-36.0 ng/g lipid weight, respectively. Birds from the e-waste site had significantly higher concentrations of PCBs and PBDEs than those from urban and rural sites (p < 0.05), implying contamination of PCBs and PBDEs brought by e-waste recycling activities. DDTs were the predominant POPs in birds from urban and rural sites. The values of δ15N were significantly and positively correlated with concentrations of p,p'-DDE and low-halogenated chemicals in samples from the e-waste site (p < 0.05), indicating the trophic magnification of these chemicals in birds. However, concentrations of most POPs were not significantly correlated with the δ15N values in birds from urban and rural sites. PCBs and PBDEs in birds from urban and rural sites were not likely from local sources, and the biomagnification of POPs in different sites needed to be further investigated with caution.

RevDate: 2019-10-10

Lee VE, Régli N, McIvor GE, et al (2019)

Social learning about dangerous people by wild jackdaws.

Royal Society open science, 6(9):191031 pii:rsos191031.

For animals that live alongside humans, people can present both an opportunity and a threat. Previous studies have shown that several species can learn to discriminate between individual people and assess risk based on prior experience. To avoid potentially costly encounters, it may also pay individuals to learn about dangerous people based on information from others. Social learning about anthropogenic threats is likely to be beneficial in habitats dominated by human activity, but experimental evidence is limited. Here, we tested whether wild jackdaws (Corvus monedula) use social learning to recognize dangerous people. Using a within-subjects design, we presented breeding jackdaws with an unfamiliar person near their nest, combined with conspecific alarm calls. Subjects that heard alarm calls showed a heightened fear response in subsequent encounters with the person compared to a control group, reducing their latency to return to the nest. This study provides important evidence that animals use social learning to assess the level of risk posed by individual humans.

RevDate: 2019-10-07

Vanhooland LC, Bugnyar T, JJM Massen (2019)

Crows (Corvus corone ssp.) check contingency in a mirror yet fail the mirror-mark test.

Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983) pii:2019-59593-001 [Epub ahead of print].

Mirror reflections can elicit various behavioral responses ranging from social behavior, which suggests that an animal treats its own reflection as a conspecific, to mirror-guided self-directed behaviors, which appears to be an indication for mirror self-recognition (MSR). MSR is scarcely spread in the animal kingdom. Until recently, only great apes, dolphins, and elephants had successfully passed this test. The range of convergence was, however, expanded by an avian species, the Eurasian magpie (Pica pica). Efforts to find MSR in other corvid species have so far failed, and with only a few studies conducted, the cause of these discrepancies is difficult to identify. In the present study, we examined the responses to mirrors and the ability of MSR in hitherto untested species: the carrion and hooded crows (Corvus corone ssp.). These crows showed a pronounced and lasting interest in the mirror; unlike many species, they did not exhibit social behaviors on their first encounters but immediately started investigating the mirror. Some crows showed contingent behaviors in front of the mirror, but none of the crows showed significant mirror-guided self-directed behaviors nor mark-directed behavior during the subsequent mark test. This lack of mark-directed behavior could not be explained by a lack of interest in the mirror nor in the mark. These findings could indicate that crows lack a concept of self, or the need for other means of investigating self-recognition and self-awareness in avian species. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

RevDate: 2019-10-06

Wilkins C, N Clayton (2019)

Reflections on the spoon test.

Neuropsychologia pii:S0028-3932(19)30264-7 [Epub ahead of print].

In this paper, we shall use Tulving's seminal empirical and theoretical research including the 'Spoon Test' to explore memory and mental time travel and its origins and role in planning for the future. We will review the comparative research on future planning and episodic foresight in pre-verbal children and non-verbal animals to explore how this may be manifest as wordless thoughts.

RevDate: 2019-10-03

Hendricks J (2018)

Quantum for pressure.

Nature physics, 14:.

Jay Hendricks tells about ongoing work to change the realization and dissemination of the pascal, which will lead to the elimination of mercury-barometer pressure standards.

RevDate: 2019-10-02

Saakian DB, KH Cheong (2019)

Solution of the Crow-Kimura model with a periodically changing (two-season) fitness function.

Physical review. E, 100(2-1):022403.

Since the origin of life, both evolutionary dynamics and rhythms have played a key role in the functioning of living systems. The Crow-Kimura model of periodically changing fitness function has been solved exactly, using integral equation with time-ordered exponent. We also found a simple approximate solution for the two-season case. The evolutionary dynamics accompanied by the rhythms provide important insights into the properties of certain biological systems and processes.

RevDate: 2019-10-01

Coomes JR, McIvor GE, A Thornton (2019)

Evidence for individual discrimination and numerical assessment in collective antipredator behaviour in wild jackdaws (Corvus monedula).

Biology letters, 15(10):20190380.

Collective responses to threats occur throughout the animal kingdom but little is known about the cognitive processes underpinning them. Antipredator mobbing is one such response. Approaching a predator may be highly risky, but the individual risk declines and the likelihood of repelling the predator increases in larger mobbing groups. The ability to appraise the number of conspecifics involved in a mobbing event could therefore facilitate strategic decisions about whether to join. Mobs are commonly initiated by recruitment calls, which may provide valuable information to guide decision-making. We tested whether the number of wild jackdaws responding to recruitment calls was influenced by the number of callers. As predicted, playbacks simulating three or five callers tended to recruit more individuals than playbacks of one caller. Recruitment also substantially increased if recruits themselves produced calls. These results suggest that jackdaws use individual vocal discrimination to assess the number of conspecifics involved in initiating mobbing events, and use this information to guide their responses. Our results show support for the use of numerical assessment in antipredator mobbing responses and highlight the need for a greater understanding of the cognitive processes involved in collective behaviour.

RevDate: 2019-10-01

Sajan SM, Ajayan N, Nair GD, et al (2019)

Anaesthetic Challenges in a Rare Syndrome: Perioperative Management of a Patient with POEMS Syndrome Who Underwent Umbilical Hernioplasty.

Turkish journal of anaesthesiology and reanimation, 47(5):420-422.

Polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal gammopathy, and skin changes (POEMS) syndrome also known as 'Crow Fukase syndrome' is a rare paraneoplastic disorder, first described by Crow and Fukase with distinctive features of polyradiculoneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal gammopathy and skin changes. There is a paucity of literature about anaesthetic management of patients with POEMS syndrome with isolated case reports of surgery under general anaesthesia and central neuraxial blockade. We present here the anaesthetic management of a patient with POEMS syndrome posted for umbilical hernia repair, which was successfully managed with a transverse abdominis plane (TAP) block.

RevDate: 2019-09-30

Poole KG, Jordan BL, JM Bostwick (2019)

Mission Drift: Are Medical School Admissions Committees Missing the Mark on Diversity?.

Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges [Epub ahead of print].

Diversity initiatives in U.S. medical education, following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, were geared towards increasing the representation of African Americans-blacks born in the United States whose ancestors suffered under slavery and Jim Crow laws. Over time, blacks and, subsequently, underrepresented groups in medicine (URMs), became a proxy for African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Mexican Americans, and Native Americans, thus obscuring efforts to identify and recruit specifically African Americans. Moreover, demographic shifts resulting from recent immigration of black people from Africa and the Caribbean have both expanded the definition of "African American medical students" and shifted the emphasis from those with a history of suffering under U.S. oppression and poverty to anyone who meets a black phenotype.Increasingly, research indicates that African American patients fare better when their physicians share similar historical and social experiences. While all people of color risk discrimination based on their skin color, not all have the lived experience of U.S.-based, systematic, multigenerational discrimination shared by African Americans. In the high-stakes effort to increase URM representation in medical school classes, admissions committees may fail to look beyond the surface of phenotype, thus missing the original intent of diversity initiatives while simultaneously conflating all people of color, disregarding their divergent historical and social experiences. In this Perspective, the authors contend that medical school admissions committees must show greater discernment in their holistic reviews of black applicants if historical wrongs and continued underrepresentation of African Americans in medicine are to be redressed.

RevDate: 2019-09-30

Latas P, Auckland LD, Teel PD, et al (2019)


Journal of wildlife diseases pii:10.7589/2018-11-275 [Epub ahead of print].

Changing climatic conditions and the northward expansion of ticks and pathogens are of immense importance to human, animal, and environmental health assessment and risk management. From 2014 through 2015, a wildlife rehabilitation center in south-central Arizona noted soft ticks (Argasidae) infesting 23 birds, including Cooper's Hawks (Accipiter cooperii), Gray Hawks (Buteo plagiatus), Harris's Hawks (Parabuteo unicinctus), Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus), Common Ravens (Corvus corax), and a Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus), during the late summer seasonal rainy seasons. The parasites numbered in the hundreds on individual birds. Infested birds were moribund, obtunded, or paralyzed on presentation, with no prior histories of illness or evidence of trauma. Tick and avian blood samples were collected for vector-borne pathogen analysis focusing on the molecular detection of Rickettsia and Borrelia species. Ticks were identified as the neotropical species of soft tick, Argas (Persicargas) giganteus; their occurrence in the southern US on raptors represented an expansion of host range. Pathogen testing of ticks showed that 41% of 54 ticks were infected with Rickettsia hoogstraalii and 23% of 26 ticks were infected with a relapsing fever Borrelia; both agents are associated with uncertain health consequences. Among the blood samples, one was infected with the same Borrelia spp.; this Red-tailed Hawk also had Borrelia-positive ticks. With supportive therapy, the majority of birds, 74% (17/23), recovered and were released or permanent residents. The management of soft tick-infested birds and mitigation of future disease risk will require additional characterizations of these poorly studied soft ticks and their associated pathogens.

RevDate: 2019-09-30

Forti LR, Haddad CFB, Leite F, et al (2019)

Notes on vocalizations of Brazilian amphibians IV: advertisement calls of 20 Atlantic Forest frog species.

PeerJ, 7:e7612 pii:7612.

Bioacoustics is a powerful tool used for anuran species diagnoses, given that advertisement calls are signals related to specific recognition and mate attraction. Thus, call descriptions can support species taxonomy. In spite of that, call descriptions are lacking for many species, delaying advances in biodiversity research. Here, we describe the advertisement calls of 20 anuran species from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We accessed 50 digital recordings deposited in the Fonoteca Neotropical Jacques Vielliard. Acoustic analyses were carried out in the software Raven pro 1.5. We provide a general comparison of call structure among species inside taxonomic groups and genera. The vocalizations described here belong to poorly known species, which are representatives of six families: Brachycephalidae, Bufonidae, Ceratophryidae, Cycloramphidae, Hylidae, and Phyllomedusidae. Despite this, still there are 163 species of anurans from Atlantic Forest with calls not formally described. Our work represents an important step in providing data for a taxonomic perspective and improving the knowledge of the Atlantic Forest anuran diversity.

RevDate: 2019-09-25

Galal TM, Al-Sodany YM, HM Al-Yasi (2019)

Phytostabilization as a phytoremediation strategy for mitigating water pollutants by the floating macrophyte Ludwigia stolonifera (Guill. & Perr.) P.H. Raven.

International journal of phytoremediation [Epub ahead of print].

The present study evaluated the phytoremediation potential of the floating macrophyte Ludwigia stolonifera for removing trace metals from contaminated water bodies. Forty quadrats, distributed equally in eight sites (six polluted two unpolluted sites) were selected seasonally for water, sediment and plant investigations. The leaf area, fresh and dry biomass, chlorophyll b and carotenoids contents of L. stolonifera were significantly reduced in polluted sites. L. stolonifera plants accumulated concentrations of the investigated trace metals in their roots higher than the shoots. The roots contributed to the highest concentrations of Al and Cu during spring; Fe, Mn and Ni during summer; Cd and Zn during autumn; and Cr and Pb during winter. Compared to the unpolluted sites, the below- and above-ground parts from the polluted sites accumulated higher concentrations of most investigated trace metals, except Fe. The below-ground parts of L. stolonifera had high seasonal potential for seasonal accumulation of Cd, Cu, Ni, Zn and Pb with a bioaccumulation factor that exceeded 1, the translocation factor of the investigated metals was <1. Therefore, the study species is suitable for metals phytostabilization and thus can be considered a potential phytoremediator of these metals.

RevDate: 2019-09-24

Kilpatrick AM, SS Wheeler (2019)

Impact of West Nile Virus on Bird Populations: Limited Lasting Effects, Evidence for Recovery, and Gaps in Our Understanding of Impacts on Ecosystems.

Journal of medical entomology pii:5572355 [Epub ahead of print].

The introduction of West Nile virus to North America in 1999 had profound impacts on human and wildlife health. Here, we review studies of WNV impacts on bird populations and find that overall impacts have been less than initially anticipated, with few species showing sustained changes in population size or demographic rates across multiple regions. This raises four questions: 1) What is the evidence for WNV impact on bird populations and how can we strengthen future analyses? We argue that future studies of WNV impacts should explicitly incorporate temporal variation in WNV transmission intensity, integrate field data with laboratory experimental infection studies, and correct for multiple comparisons. 2) What mechanisms might explain the relatively modest impact of WNV on most bird populations? We suggest that spatial and temporal variation in WNV transmission moderates WNV impacts on species that occur in multiple habitats, some of which provide refugia from infection. 3) Have species recovered from the initial invasion of WNV? We find evidence that many species and populations have recovered from initial WNV impact, but a few have not. 4) Did WNV cause cascading effects on other species and ecosystems? Unfortunately, few studies have examined the cascading effects of WNV population declines, but evidence suggests that some species may have been released from predation or competition. We close by discussing potentially overlooked groups of birds that may have been affected by WNV, and one highlight species, the yellow-billed magpie (Pica nutalli Audubon, 1837 [Passeriformes: Corvidae]), that appears to have suffered the largest range-wide impact from WNV.

RevDate: 2019-09-24

Jiménez de Oya N, Escribano-Romero E, Blázquez AB, et al (2019)

Current Progress of Avian Vaccines Against West Nile Virus.

Vaccines, 7(4): pii:vaccines7040126.

Birds are the main natural host of West Nile virus (WNV), the worldwide most distributed mosquito-borne flavivirus, but humans and equids can also be sporadic hosts. Many avian species have been reported as susceptible to WNV, particularly corvids. In the case that clinical disease develops in birds, this is due to virus invasion of different organs: liver, spleen, kidney, heart, and mainly the central nervous system, which can lead to death 24-48 h later. Nowadays, vaccines have only been licensed for use in equids; thus, the availability of avian vaccines would benefit bird populations, both domestic and wild ones. Such vaccines could be used in endangered species housed in rehabilitation and wildlife reserves, and in animals located at zoos and other recreational installations, but also in farm birds, and in those that are grown for hunting and restocking activities. Even more, controlling WNV infection in birds can also be useful to prevent its spread and limit outbreaks. So far, different commercial and experimental vaccines (inactivated, attenuated, and recombinant viruses, and subunits and DNA-based candidates) have been evaluated, with various regimens, both in domestic and wild avian species. However, there are still disadvantages that must be overcome before avian vaccination can be implemented, such as its cost-effectiveness for domestic birds since in many species the pathogenicity is low or zero, or the viability of being able to achieve collective immunity in wild birds in freedom. Here, a comprehensive review of what has been done until now in the field of avian vaccines against WNV is presented and discussed.

RevDate: 2019-09-23

Madsen TE, CR Wira (2019)

The Future of Minor Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack: The RAVEN Approach Is Promising but Not Ready for Prime Time.

Annals of emergency medicine, 74(4):572-574.

RevDate: 2019-09-22

Blasco R, Rosell J, Sánchez-Marco A, et al (2019)

Feathers and food: Human-bird interactions at Middle Pleistocene Qesem Cave, Israel.

Journal of human evolution, 136:102653 pii:S0047-2484(19)30129-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The presence of fast-moving small game in the Paleolithic archaeological faunal record has long been considered a key variable to assess fundamental aspects of human behavior and subsistence. Birds occupy a prominent place in this debate not only due to their small size and to the difficulties in capturing them (essentially due to their ability to fly and their elusiveness), but also due to their possible role in the symbolic array in regard to non-nutritional elements (feathers, talons, etc.) and as reflectors of complex human-world relationships. In this study, we attempt to contribute to this topic by presenting taphonomical data of bird specimens from Qesem Cave (Israel), dated between 420 and 200 ka. Human-induced damage, including cut marks, peeling and human gnawing, has been identified on wing bones of Cygnus sp., Columba sp., Corvus ruficollis and Sturnus sp. Our evidence suggests that avian exploitation was not limited to food only-either to complement the human diet or as occasional food item-but also presumably for the use of feathers. While the consumption of birds as a dietary source seems to be evident as early as the Early Pleistocene, the non-alimentary use of inedible elements, such as feathers and talons, appears to be a practice from the Middle Paleolithic onwards. We argue that the combined nutritional and symbolic use of birds is one characteristic of the new mode of adaptation practiced already by the late Lower Paleolithic Acheulo-Yabrudian hominins in the Levant starting 400 ka. The Qesem findings point to the possible emergence of new cognitive and behavioral skills, which are followed in later periods in the Old World. Finally, we discuss the possible ontological and cosmological significance of human-bird interactions to illuminate our hypothesis regarding the emergence of a new perception of human relationships with the world as an integral part of the new Acheulo-Yabrudian mode of adaptation.

RevDate: 2019-09-18

Lynn SJ, Green JP, Polizzi CP, et al (2019)

HYPNOSIS, HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA, AND HYPNOTIC RESPONSIVENESS: Clinical and Research Foundations-A 40-Year Perspective.

The International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis, 67(4):475-511.

The authors summarize research findings, their clinical implications, and directions for future research derived from 40 years of study of hypnosis, hypnotic phenomena, and hypnotic responsiveness at Steven Jay Lynn's Laboratory of Consciousness, Cognition, and Psychopathology and Joseph P. Green's Laboratory of Hypnosis. We discuss (a) the accumulating body of evidence that hypnosis can be used to advantage in psychotherapy; (b) the fact that hypnosis can facilitate a broad array of subjective experiences and suggestions; (c) the failure to find a reliable marker of a trance or radically altered state of consciousness and reservations about conceptualizing hypnosis in such terms; (d) determinants of hypnotic responsiveness, including attitudes and beliefs, personality traits, expectancies, motivation, and rapport; (e) efforts to modify hypnotic suggestibility; and (f) the need to further examine attentional abilities and the role of adopting a readiness response set that the authors argue is key in maximizing hypnotic responsiveness.

RevDate: 2019-09-16

Silvestri A, Morgan K, AR Ridley (2019)

The association between evidence of a predator threat and responsiveness to alarm calls in Western Australian magpies (Cracticus tibicen dorsalis).

PeerJ, 7:e7572 pii:7572.

Alarm calls are a widespread form of antipredator defence and being alerted to the presence of predators by the alarm calls of conspecifics is considered one of the benefits of group living. However, while social information can allow an individual to gain additional information, it can also at times be inaccurate or irrelevant. Such variation in the accuracy of social information is predicted to select for receivers to discriminate between sources of social information. In this study, we used playback experiments to determine whether Western Australian magpies (Cracticus tibicen dorsalis) respond to the predator information associated with alarm calls. Magpies were exposed to the alarm calls of two group members that differed in the threat associated with the alarm call: one call was played in the presence of a predator model while the other was not-in order to establish differences in the predator information provided by each caller. We then played back the alarm calls of the same group members in the absence of the predator model to determine whether magpies responded differently to signallers in response to the previous association between the alarm call and a predator threat. We found that receivers showed significantly greater levels of responsiveness to signallers that previously gave alarm calls in the appropriate context. Thus, the accuracy of threat-based information influenced subsequent receiver response.

RevDate: 2019-09-13

Sense F, Maaß S, Gluck K, et al (2019)

Within-Subject Performance on a Real-Life, Complex Task and Traditional Lab Experiments: Measures of Word Learning, Raven Matrices, Tapping, and CPR.

Journal of cognition, 2(1):12.

In this data report, we describe a three-session experiment spanning six months. Several well-controlled laboratory tasks (Word Learning, Raven Matrices, and Tapping) and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), a complex but well-defined real-world task, were administered. Data are reported from 50 participants for the first session, 40 for the second, and 34 for the third. CPR is a useful domain for studying real-world performance inside the laboratory because clear performance standards can be applied to quantifying learners' proficiency covering both the first steps that need to be taken prior to the initiation of CPR (declarative knowledge) as well as the compressions and ventilations themselves (procedural skill). This research resulted in a rich dataset with a range of different measures for all participants. For all tasks, the complete set of raw data are made available along with relevant aggregate performance scores (see https://osf.io/m8bxe/). The raw data in particular will enable other researchers to explore potential analyses and modeling beyond the scope of our own. The details of the data collection protocol and available data are documented here to facilitate this process.

RevDate: 2019-09-13

Shekhawat S, A Saxena (2019)

Development and applications of an intelligent crow search algorithm based on opposition based learning.

ISA transactions pii:S0019-0578(19)30419-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Metaheuristics are proven beneficial tools for solving complex, hard optimization problems. Recently, a plethora of work has been reported on bio inspired optimization algorithms. These algorithms are mimicry of behavior of animals, plants and processes into mathematical paradigms. With these developments, a new entrant in this group is Crow Search Algorithm (CSA). CSA is based on the strategic behavior of crows while searching food, thievery and chasing behavior. This algorithm sometimes suffers with local minima stagnation and unbalance exploration and exploitation phases. To overcome this problem, a cosine function is proposed first, to accelerate the exploration and retard the exploitation process with due course of the iterative process. Secondly the opposition based learning concept is incorporated for enhancing the exploration virtue of CSA. The evolved variant with the inculcation of these two concepts is named as Intelligent Crow Search Algorithm (ICSA). The algorithm is benchmarked on two benchmark function sets, one is the set of 23 standard test functions and another is set of latest benchmark function CEC-2017. Further, the applicability of this variant is tested over structural design problem, frequency wave synthesis problem and Model Order Reduction (MOR). Results reveal that ICSA exhibits competitive performance on benchmarks and real applications when compared with some contemporary optimizers.

RevDate: 2019-09-12

Mustelin T, Ukadike K, LaCava J, et al (2019)

To the editor in reply to Dr. Crow's letter.

Arthritis & rheumatology (Hoboken, N.J.) [Epub ahead of print].

We are delighted that our discovery of autoantibodies directed against LINE-1 retroelement-encoded p40/ORF1p in SLE patients (1) has been so rapidly replicated and we thank Dr. Crow for her excellent summary of our findings. Her group's detection of LINE-1 mRNA and immunoreactive p40 protein in salivary gland biopsies from primary Sjögren's syndrome patients and in kidney biopsies from SLE patients (2) was an important impetus for our study. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-09-12

Anonymous (2019)

"Inquiry into the correlation between burnout and depression": Correction to Schonfeld et al. (2019).

Journal of occupational health psychology pii:2019-54511-001 [Epub ahead of print].

Reports an error in "Inquiry into the correlation between burnout and depression" by Irvin Sam Schonfeld, Jay Verkuilen and Renzo Bianchi (Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Advanced Online Publication, Apr 04, 2019, np). In the article, there were wording errors in the Results section. Specifically, we referred to imposing "constraints" when we meant the opposite, namely, relaxing constraints, such as allowing residuals to correlate. We corrected the wording errors, added chi-square statistics, and corrected four small typographic errors bearing on fit statistics (three changes of .001 and one change of .003). The results remain fundamentally the same. All versions of this article have been corrected. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2019-18074-001.) The extent to which burnout refers to anything other than a depressive condition remains an object of controversy among occupational health specialists. In three studies conducted in two different countries and two different languages, we investigated the discriminant validity of burnout scales by evaluating the magnitude of the correlation between (latent) burnout and (latent) depression. In Study 1 (N = 911), burnout was assessed with the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey's Exhaustion subscale and depression with the depression module of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ). In Study 2 (N = 1,386), the Shirom-Melamed Burnout Measure was used to assess burnout and the PHQ, depression. In Study 3 (N = 734), burnout was assessed with the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey and depression, with the PHQ and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale; additionally, anxiety was measured with the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale. In each study, we examined the burnout-depression association based on confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), controlling for item-level content overlap. In the three studies, latent exhaustion, the core of burnout, and latent depression were highly correlated (correlations ranging from .83 to .88). In Studies 2 and 3, second-order CFAs indicated that depressive (and anxiety) symptoms and the exhaustion and depersonalization components of burnout are reflective of the same second-order distress/dysphoria factor. Our findings, with their replication across samples, languages, and measures, together with meta-analytic findings, cast serious doubt on the discriminant validity of the burnout construct. The implications of burnout's problematic discriminant validity are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Mugal CF, Kutschera VE, Botero-Castro F, et al (2019)

Polymorphism data assist estimation of the non-synonymous over synonymous fixation rate ratio ω for closely related species.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:5556818 [Epub ahead of print].

The ratio of non-synonymous over synonymous sequence divergence, dN/dS, is a widely-used estimate of the non-synonymous over synonymous fixation rate ratio ω, which measures the extent to which natural selection modulates protein sequence evolution. Its computation is based on a phylogenetic approach and computes sequence divergence of protein-coding DNA between species, traditionally using a single representative DNA sequence per species. This approach ignores the presence of polymorphisms and relies on the indirect assumption that new mutations fix instantaneously, an assumption which is generally violated and reasonable only for distantly related species. The violation of the underlying assumption leads to a time-dependence of sequence divergence, and biased estimates of ω in particular for closely related species, where the contribution of ancestral and lineage-specific polymorphisms to sequence divergence is substantial. We here use a time-dependent Poisson random field model to derive an analytical expression of dN/dS as a function of divergence time and sample size. We then extend our framework to the estimation of the proportion of adaptive protein evolution α. This mathematical treatment enables us to show that the joint usage of polymorphism and divergence data can assist the inference of selection for closely related species. Moreover, our analytical results provide the basis for a protocol for the estimation of ω and α for closely related species. We illustrate the performance of this protocol by studying a population dataset of four corvid species, which involves the estimation of ω and α at different time-scales and for several choices of sample sizes.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Tiukova IA, Prigent S, Nielsen J, et al (2019)

Genome-scale model of Rhodotorula toruloides metabolism.

Biotechnology and bioengineering [Epub ahead of print].

The basidiomycete red yeast Rhodotorula toruloides is a promising platform organism for production of biooils. We present rhto-GEM, the first genome-scale model (GEM) of R. toruloides metabolism, that was largely reconstructed using RAVEN toolbox. The model includes 852 genes, 2731 reactions, and 2277 metabolites, while lipid metabolism is described using the SLIMEr formalism allowing direct integration of lipid class and acyl chain experimental distribution data. The simulation results confirmed that the R. toruloides model provides valid growth predictions on glucose, xylose and glycerol, while prediction of genetic engineering targets to increase production of linolenic acid, triacylglycerols and carotenoids identified genes - some of which have previously been engineered to successfully increase production. This renders rtho-GEM valuable for future studies to improve the production of other oleochemicals of industrial relevance including value-added fatty acids and carotenoids, in addition to facilitate system-wide omics-data analysis in R. toruloides. Expanding the portfolio of GEMs for lipid accumulating fungi contributes to both understanding of metabolic mechanisms of the oleaginous phenotype but also uncover particularities of the lipid production machinery in R. toruloides. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Mikhailyuk T, Vinogradova O, Holzinger A, et al (2019)

New record of the rare genus Crinalium Crow (Oscillatoriales, Cyanobacteria) from sand dunes of the Baltic Sea, Germany: epitypification and emendation of Crinalium magnum Fritsch et John based on an integrative approach.

Phytotaxa, 400(3):165-179.

Representatives of the Gomontiellaceae (Oscillatoriales) are rare and hence unstudied cyanobacteria with unusual morphology, distributed in terrestrial and aquatic habitats all over the world. Investigation of the group based on an integrative approach is only beginning, and to understand the actual biodiversity and ecology, a greater number of cultivated strains is necessary. However, some ecological traits of these cyanobacteria (e.g. low population densities, the absence of conspicuous growth in nature) led to methodological difficulties during isolation in culture. One species in the family Gomontiellaceae, Crinalium magnum Fritsch et John, is characterized by prominent wide and flattened trichomes, and represented by the non-authentic strain SAG 34.87. Detailed previous investigation of this strain clearly showed its morphological discrepancy with the original description of C. magnum and the genus Crinalium in general. The new isolate from maritime sand dunes of the Baltic Sea coast (Germany), however, revealed morphological characters completely corresponding with the diagnosis of C. magnum. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA sequences indicated a position of the new strain inside Gomontiellaceae. Both morphology and ultrastructure of the strain are congruous with characters of the family. Epitypification and emendation of C. magnum are proposed since the ecology and habitat of the original strain are congruent with the type locality of this rare species (sand, Irish Sea coast, North Wales, UK). We expanded the description of C. magnum by details of the filament development and specified dimensional ranges for trichomes and cells, as well as by new data about the transversely striated structure of mucilaginous sheath.

RevDate: 2019-09-06

Story SM, Vila FD, Kas JJ, et al (2019)

Corvus: a framework for interfacing scientific software for spectroscopic and materials science applications.

Journal of synchrotron radiation, 26(Pt 5):1694-1704.

Corvus, a Python-based package designed for managing workflows of physical simulations that utilize multiple scientific software packages, is presented. Corvus can be run as an executable script with an input file and automatically generated or custom workflows, or interactively, in order to build custom workflows with a set of Corvus-specific tools. Several prototypical examples are presented that link density functional, vibrational and X-ray spectroscopy software packages and are of interest to the synchrotron community. These examples highlight the simplification of complex spectroscopy calculations that were previously limited to expert users, and demonstrate the flexibility of the Corvus infrastructure to tackle more general problems in other research areas.

RevDate: 2019-09-05

Arabkhazaeli F, Madani SA, A Ghorbani (2019)

Parasitological and molecular survey of scattered parasitism by trichomonads in some avian species in Iran.

Avian pathology : journal of the W.V.P.A [Epub ahead of print].

Outbreaks of avian trichomonosis are being reported worldwide meanwhile the genetic and virulence variations are under investigation. In this study, the occurrence and genetic variability of oral or fecal trichomonads among various avian species were investigated. Samples obtained from either the oropharyngeal cavity, crop/esophagus, droppings/cloaca, or conjunctival swabs of avian species were inspected for flagellates. Phylogenetic analysis of partial ITS1-5.8s rRNA-ITS2 sequences from selected samples was performed to investigate the genetic diversity of the isolates. Investigation of 737 birds, revealed the infection rate of 15.7% in the upper gastrointestinal tract, 7.3% in the fecal samples and 0.7% involvement of the conjunctiva. Phylogenetic analysis of partial ITS1-5.8s rRNA-ITS2 sequences from selected samples, identified genotypes A and B of T. gallinae and genogroups A-C and E of Tetratrichomonas gallinarum. Novel ITS genotype of intestinal trichomonads was also detected in hooded crow (Corvus cornix) and common mynah (Acridotheres tristis). In the present study, in addition to Columbiformes and Falconiformes, trichomonads were detected in Passeriformes and Galliformes with the involvement of organs other than the gastrointestinal tract. Genotype A T. gallinae has been detected in domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica), a laughing dove (Spilopelia senegalensis), a common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), a budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulates), and a canary (Serinus canaria). Distinct genotype B has been detected in a common mynah and a budgerigar. Genogroups A-C of T. gallinarum was also demonstrated in Galliformes and Anseriformes. Furthermore, two novel trichomonad ITS genotypes were detected in hooded crows and a common mynah warranting detailed multi-loci molecular analysis. Research highlights: ITS diversity of trichomonads in various avian species Diversity of the parasites' target organ and clinical manifestations Two novel ITS genotype trichomonads from common mynah and hooded crow.

RevDate: 2019-08-27

Brecht KF, Hage SR, Gavrilov N, et al (2019)

Volitional control of vocalizations in corvid songbirds.

PLoS biology, 17(8):e3000375 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-19-00036.

Songbirds are renowned for their acoustically elaborate songs. However, it is unclear whether songbirds can cognitively control their vocal output. Here, we show that crows, songbirds of the corvid family, can be trained to exert control over their vocalizations. In a detection task, three male carrion crows rapidly learned to emit vocalizations in response to a visual cue with no inherent meaning (go trials) and to withhold vocalizations in response to another cue (catch trials). Two of these crows were then trained on a go/nogo task, with the cue colors reversed, in addition to being rewarded for withholding vocalizations to yet another cue (nogo trials). Vocalizations in response to the detection of the go cue were temporally precise and highly reliable in all three crows. Crows also quickly learned to withhold vocal output in nogo trials, showing that vocalizations were not produced by an anticipation of a food reward in correct trials. The results demonstrate that corvids can volitionally control the release and onset of their vocalizations, suggesting that songbird vocalizations are under cognitive control and can be decoupled from affective states.

RevDate: 2019-08-23

Fung KW, Xu J, Ameye F, et al (2019)

Map-Assisted Generation of Procedure and Intervention Encoding (Magpie): An Innovative Approach for ICD-10-PCS Coding.

Studies in health technology and informatics, 264:428-432.

ICD-10-PCS coding is challenging because of the large number of codes, non-intuitive terms and paucity of the ICD-10-PCS index. We previously repurposed the richer ICD-9-CM procedure index for ICD-10-PCS coding. We have developed the MAGPIE tool based on the repurposed ICD-9-CM index with other lexical and mapping resources. MAGPIE helps the user to identify SNOMED CT and ICD-10-PCS codes for medical procedures. MAGPIE uses three innovative search approaches: cascading search (SNOMED CT to ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-PCS), hybrid lexical and map-assisted matching, and semantic filtering of ICD-10-PCS codes. Our evaluation showed that MAGPIE found the correct SNOMED CT code and ICD-10-PCS table in 70% and 85% of cases respectively, without any user intervention. MAGPIE is available online from the NLM website: magpie.nlm.nih.gov.

RevDate: 2019-08-21

Vonk J (2019)

Emotional contagion or sensitivity to behavior in ravens?.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Colombo M (2019)

Avian Brains: Primate-like Functions of Neurons in the Crow Brain.

Current biology : CB, 29(16):R794-R796.

Despite the negative connotations of the term 'birdbrain', birds possess cognitive abilities on par with primates. A new study finds that neurons in the crow's brain display characteristics similar to those displayed by neurons in the primate's brain.

RevDate: 2019-08-18

Keyes CA (2019)

How reliable is the charred body scale? An interobserver reliability study on scoring burned remains.

Burns : journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries pii:S0305-4179(18)30611-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The error rates of forensic techniques need to be evaluated. The charred body scale is a method for quantifying the level of decomposition in burned remains. 51 files containing photographs of burned pigs at different stages of decomposition were scored by nine participants. Each pig in the photographs was uniformly burned to a different level (Crow Glassman Scale levels 1 to 3). The Crow Glassman Scale describes five levels of burns that include singing of hair and epidermal blistering (CGS level 1) up to complete cremation of the body reducing it to ash (CGS level 5). The three CGS levels were selected to isolate potential scoring errors that may be caused by different burn levels (not accounted for in the development of the charred body scale). Each of the 51 photograph files was scored by participants using the charred body scale as if it were a unique forensic case at an unknown initial burn level and decomposition stage. Interobserver error, hence reliability, of the scores was tested using individual and average absolute agreement interclass correlations. The charred body scale is reliable for remains burned to a Crow Glassman Scale level 1 but not in higher burn levels. It is suggested that a universal scoring method be developed that accounts for multiple burn levels in a single case.

RevDate: 2019-08-18

Agnoli S, Mancini G, Andrei F, et al (2019)

The Relationship Between Trait Emotional Intelligence, Cognition, and Emotional Awareness: An Interpretative Model.

Frontiers in psychology, 10:1711.

Emotional awareness (EA) has been defined as the cognitive skill devoted to the identification and description of one's own and others' emotional experiences, an ability that has usually been conceptualized along with the development of cognitive intelligence. Despite this, EA has also been deemed a central constituent of Emotional Intelligence (EI), a construct that captures individual differences in how we perceive, communicate, regulate, and understand our own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. The overlap between the cognitive and the emotional domain in the definition of the EA construct has created several difficulties in both its understanding and its usage, so much so that several questions regarding its nature and structure remain unanswered. The aim of the present work was to test in a unique model the explanatory role of both trait EI and fluid nonverbal intelligence on EA variability in children, controlling for the effect of age, a variable strictly related to cognitive development, as well as gender, which is highly associated with trait EI during childhood. Four hundred and eighty-eight pupils (258 females and 230 males) ranging from 8 to 12 years old completed the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale for Children, the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire - Child Form, and a measure of pure non-verbal reasoning ability, the Raven's Progressive Matrices. The results of a structural equation model showed a positive explanatory power of both Raven and TEIQue scores on EA, revealing that both cognitive intelligence and trait EI significantly explained EA. The same model also showed an indirect effect of age, via intelligence scores, on EA, suggesting that the increase of EA with age could be partially imputed to the development of intelligence. Finally, a relation between gender and TEIQue scores confirmed higher trait EI scores in girls than in boys. The implications emerging from this model are discussed.

RevDate: 2019-08-18

Wang L, Luo Y, Wang X, et al (2019)

Azure-winged magpies solve string-pulling tasks by partial understanding of the physical cognition.

Current zoology, 65(4):385-392.

String-pulling is one of the most widely used paradigms in animal cognition research. We investigated how azure-winged magpies Cyanopica cyanus solve multiple-string problems that they have never encountered before. In Experiment 1, the strings were arranged in parallel, slanted, or crossed to investigate what rules azure-winged magpies use to solve multiple spatial relations of strings. Experiment 2 assessed whether the subjects understood the connection between the string and the bait while taking advantage of broken strings. In Experiment 3, the subjects were confronted with strings of different lengths attached to rewards in order to explore whether the string length, as a proxy for the pulling efficiency or reward distance, was crucial for the birds' choice of which string to pull. Generally, the birds were successful in tasks where the reward was close to the correct string's end, and they relied on a "proximity rule" in most cases. The results showed that azure-winged magpies had a partial understanding of the physical principles underlying the string-pulling but were stumped by complex spatial relations. They likely relied on simple strategies such as the proximity rule to solve the tasks. The effects of individual difference and experiential learning on string-pulling performance are also discussed.

RevDate: 2019-08-13

Probst C, Gethmann J, Amler S, et al (2019)

The potential role of scavengers in spreading African swine fever among wild boar.

Scientific reports, 9(1):11450 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-47623-5.

Understanding the transmission patterns of African swine fever (ASF) among wild boar (Sus scrofa) is an issue of major interest, especially in the wake of the current ASF epidemic. Given the high stability of ASF-virus, there is concern about scavengers spreading infectious carcass material in the environment. Here, we describe scavenging activities on 32 wild boar carcasses in their natural habitat in Germany. Using digital cameras, we detected 22 vertebrates at the study sites, thereof two mammal and three bird species scavenging. The most frequently detected species was the raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides (44% of all visits). Raccoon dogs, red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), and buzzards (Buteo buteo) scavenged in the warm and the cold season, while ravens (Corvus corax) and white-tailed eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) scavenged only in the cold season. In summer, however, insects removed most of the carcass biomass. Although most of the material was consumed on the spot, foxes, raccoon dogs and ravens left the study sites in rare cases with a small piece of meat in their mouths or beaks. We conclude that scavengers represent a minor risk factor for spreading ASF, but may contribute to reducing local virus persistence by metabolizing infected carcasses.

RevDate: 2019-08-07

Napp S, Montalvo T, Piñol-Baena C, et al (2019)

Usefulness of Eurasian Magpies (Pica pica) for West Nile virus Surveillance in Non-Endemic and Endemic Situations.

Viruses, 11(8): pii:v11080716.

: In September 2017, passive surveillance allowed the detection of West Nile virus (WNV) lineage 2 for the first time in northern Spain in a northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis). However, a cross sectional study carried out in Eurasian magpies (Pica pica) in a nearby area evidenced that WNV had been circulating two months earlier. Therefore, active surveillance in Eurasian magpies proved its effectiveness for the early detection of WNV in a non-endemic area. Further surveys in 2018 and the beginning of 2019 using young magpies (i.e., born after 2017) showed the repeated circulation of WNV in the same region in the following transmission season. Therefore, active surveillance in Eurasian magpies as well proved to be useful for the detection of WNV circulation in areas that may be considered as endemic. In this manuscript we present the results of those studies and discuss reasons that make the Eurasian magpies an ideal species for the surveillance of WNV, both in endemic and non-endemic areas.

RevDate: 2019-08-05

Johann V, Könen T, J Karbach (2019)

The unique contribution of working memory, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and intelligence to reading comprehension and reading speed.

Child neuropsychology : a journal on normal and abnormal development in childhood and adolescence [Epub ahead of print].

There are several studies showing that executive functions such as working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility are related to reading abilities. However, most of these studies did not simultaneously take different executive functions and intelligence into account. Therefore, the aim of our study was to investigate if working memory, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and fluid intelligence uniquely contribute to reading. Furthermore, we tested the hypothesis that reading comprehension and reading speed are correlated but separable reading abilities with different relations to other cognitive functions. To test this assumption, we examined if executive functions and fluid intelligence unequally relate to reading comprehension and reading speed. A total of 186 school children (mean age = 9.31 years) participated in our study and performed a complex span task (working memory), task switching (cognitive flexibility), a stroop-like task (inhibition), raven matrices (fluid intelligence), a reading speed task and three reading comprehension tasks. Structural equation modeling (SEM) showed that working memory, inhibition, cognitive flexibility and fluid intelligence differently contributed to reading speed and reading comprehension. Working memory, inhibition and fluid intelligence were related to reading speed, indicating that a higher working memory capacity, better inhibitory abilities and higher fluid intelligence were associated with higher reading speed. Moreover, cognitive flexibility and fluid intelligence were related to reading comprehension, suggesting that higher cognitive flexibility and fluid intelligence were associated with better reading comprehension. Thus, our results point to differential contributions of executive functions to reading comprehension and reading speed.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

McCoy DE, Schiestl M, Neilands P, et al (2019)

New Caledonian Crows Behave Optimistically after Using Tools.

Current biology : CB, 29(16):2737-2742.e3.

Are complex, species-specific behaviors in animals reinforced by material reward alone or do they also induce positive emotions? Many adaptive human behaviors are intrinsically motivated: they not only improve our material outcomes, but improve our affect as well [1-8]. Work to date on animal optimism, as an indicator of positive affect, has generally focused on how animals react to change in their circumstances, such as when their environment is enriched [9-14] or they are manipulated by humans [15-23], rather than whether complex actions improve emotional state. Here, we show that wild New Caledonian crows are optimistic after tool use, a complex, species-specific behavior. We further demonstrate that this finding cannot be explained by the crows needing to put more effort into gaining food. Our findings therefore raise the possibility that intrinsic motivation (enjoyment) may be a fundamental proximate cause in the evolution of tool use and other complex behaviors. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Rinnert P, Kirschhock ME, A Nieder (2019)

Neuronal Correlates of Spatial Working Memory in the Endbrain of Crows.

Current biology : CB, 29(16):2616-2624.e4.

Birds are renowned for their excellent spatial cognition. Corvid songbirds, in particular, rely on explicit representation of spatial cues in memory when caching food and retrieving caches for later consumption. However, the neuronal correlates of flexible spatial memory abilities are largely unknown in birds. We therefore trained carrion crows (Corvus corone) on a spatial delayed-response task in which they had to maintain the variable location of a visual item for a few seconds in working memory. After the crows performed this task with high precision, we recorded single-cell activity from the associative endbrain area Nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL) in the behaving crows. A large fraction of NCL neurons were tuned to individual preferred locations and selectively maintained the spatial location of items in working memory. A comparison of firing rates with reaction times suggested that the majority of delay-selective neurons represented stored location information rather than motor preparation. Almost 30% of all recorded neurons were tuned during both visual presentation and memory delay, and their spatial tuning was significantly correlated. The population of recorded neurons stably maintained spatial information over the course of the working memory period. Importantly, the neural responses of spatially tuned neurons were relevant for the crows' choices and allowed a statistical classifier to predict the subsequently chosen target location in free-choice trials. Our findings demonstrate the pivotal role of the avian NCL in spatial working memory that is reminiscent of the function of the convergently evolved primate prefrontal cortex in spatial working memory.

RevDate: 2019-08-02

Domingues P, Eletto D, Magnus C, et al (2019)

Profiling host ANP32A splicing landscapes to predict influenza A virus polymerase adaptation.

Nature communications, 10(1):3396 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-11388-2.

Species' differences in cellular factors limit avian influenza A virus (IAV) zoonoses and human pandemics. The IAV polymerase, vPol, harbors evolutionary sites to overcome restriction and determines virulence. Here, we establish host ANP32A as a critical driver of selection, and identify host-specific ANP32A splicing landscapes that predict viral evolution. We find that avian species differentially express three ANP32A isoforms diverging in a vPol-promoting insert. ANP32As with shorter inserts interact poorly with vPol, are compromised in supporting avian-like IAV replication, and drive selection of mammalian-adaptive vPol sequences with distinct kinetics. By integrating selection data with multi-species ANP32A splice variant profiling, we develop a mathematical model to predict avian species potentially driving (swallow, magpie) or maintaining (goose, swan) mammalian-adaptive vPol signatures. Supporting these predictions, surveillance data confirm enrichment of several mammalian-adaptive vPol substitutions in magpie IAVs. Profiling host ANP32A splicing could enhance surveillance and eradication efforts against IAVs with pandemic potential.

RevDate: 2019-07-29

S R SC, H Rajaguru (2019)

Lung Cancer Detection using Probabilistic Neural Network with modified Crow-Search Algorithm.

Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention : APJCP, 20(7):2159-2166.

RevDate: 2019-08-02

Vinciguerra NT, Tsai WLE, Faircloth BC, et al (2019)

Comparison of ultraconserved elements (UCEs) to microsatellite markers for the study of avian hybrid zones: a test in Aphelocoma jays.

BMC research notes, 12(1):456 pii:10.1186/s13104-019-4481-z.

OBJECTIVE: Hybrid zones are geographic regions where genetically distinct taxa interbreed, resulting in offspring of mixed ancestry. California Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma californica) and Woodhouse's Scrub-Jays (A. woodhouseii) come into secondary contact and hybridize in western Nevada. Although previous work investigated divergence and gene flow between these species using a handful of microsatellite markers, the hybrid zone has not been studied using genome-scale markers, providing an opportunity to assess genome-wide introgression, test for a genetic basis for ecomorphological traits, and compare these estimates to those derived from microsatellites.

RESULTS: Using variant sites flanking ultraconserved elements (UCEs), we performed population assignment and quantified hybrid ancestry for 16 individuals across the zone of secondary contact. Our study included 2468 SNPs distributed throughout the genome, allowing discrimination of genetic affinities of hybrid individuals that were similar to estimates from microsatellites. We show a relationship between bill and wing length and the genetic composition of individuals that was not found in prior work using microsatellites, suggesting a genetic basis for these traits. Our analyses demonstrate the utility of UCEs for the analysis of hybrid zones and provide a basis for future studies to identify the genomic architecture of speciation and phenotypic differences between these incipient species.

RevDate: 2019-08-15

Moberly AC, J Reed (2019)

Making Sense of Sentences: Top-Down Processing of Speech by Adult Cochlear Implant Users.

Journal of speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR, 62(8):2895-2905.

Purpose Speech recognition relies upon a listener's successful pairing of the acoustic-phonetic details from the bottom-up input with top-down linguistic processing of the incoming speech stream. When the speech is spectrally degraded, such as through a cochlear implant (CI), this role of top-down processing is poorly understood. This study explored the interactions of top-down processing, specifically the use of semantic context during sentence recognition, and the relative contributions of different neurocognitive functions during speech recognition in adult CI users. Method Data from 41 experienced adult CI users were collected and used in analyses. Participants were tested for recognition and immediate repetition of speech materials in the clear. They were asked to repeat 2 sets of sentence materials, 1 that was semantically meaningful and 1 that was syntactically appropriate but semantically anomalous. Participants also were tested on 4 visual measures of neurocognitive functioning to assess working memory capacity (Digit Span; Wechsler, 2004), speed of lexical access (Test of Word Reading Efficiency; Torgeson, Wagner, & Rashotte, 1999), inhibitory control (Stroop; Stroop, 1935), and nonverbal fluid reasoning (Raven's Progressive Matrices; Raven, 2000). Results Individual listeners' inhibitory control predicted recognition of meaningful sentences when controlling for performance on anomalous sentences, our proxy for the quality of the bottom-up input. Additionally, speed of lexical access and nonverbal reasoning predicted recognition of anomalous sentences. Conclusions Findings from this study identified inhibitory control as a potential mechanism at work when listeners make use of semantic context during sentence recognition. Moreover, speed of lexical access and nonverbal reasoning were associated with recognition of sentences that lacked semantic context. These results motivate the development of improved comprehensive rehabilitative approaches for adult patients with CIs to optimize use of top-down processing and underlying core neurocognitive functions.

RevDate: 2019-07-22

Lazareva OF, Gould K, Linert J, et al (2019)

Smaller on the left? Flexible association between space and magnitude in pigeons (Columba livia) and blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata).

Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983) pii:2019-41901-001 [Epub ahead of print].

Humans and other apes represent magnitudes spatially, demonstrated by their responding faster and more accurately to one side of space when presented with small quantities and to the other side of space when presented with large quantities. This representation is flexible and shows substantial variability between cultural groups in humans and between and within individuals in great apes. In contrast, recent findings suggest that chicks show a spatial representation of magnitude that is highly lateralized and inflexible, implying a qualitatively different underlying representation than in primates. Using methods similar to those used with great apes and humans, we trained adult domestic pigeons (Columba livia) and blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) to select the smaller (or larger) of two nonadjacent quantity arrays; later, this task was reversed. At test, birds were presented with novel probe pairs consisting of adjacent quantity pairs (e.g., 2 vs. 3). Both species showed robust evidence for a flexible spatial representation of magnitude with considerable individual variability in the orientation of this representation. These results are not consistent with an inflexible, lateralized, left-to-right representation of magnitude in birds, but are consistent with the flexible spatial representation of magnitude observed in apes and humans. We conclude that the tendency to organize quantities spatially may be a fundamental and evolutionarily ancient feature of cognition that is widespread among vertebrates. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

RevDate: 2019-07-21

Chang BP, Rostanski S, Willey J, et al (2019)

Safety and Feasibility of a Rapid Outpatient Management Strategy for Transient Ischemic Attack and Minor Stroke: The Rapid Access Vascular Evaluation-Neurology (RAVEN) Approach.

Annals of emergency medicine pii:S0196-0644(19)30437-8 [Epub ahead of print].

STUDY OBJECTIVE: Although most transient ischemic attack and minor stroke patients in US emergency departments (EDs) are admitted, experience in other countries suggests that timely outpatient evaluation of transient ischemic attack and minor stroke can be safe. We assess the feasibility and safety of a rapid outpatient stroke clinic for transient ischemic attack and minor stroke: Rapid Access Vascular Evaluation-Neurology (RAVEN).

METHODS: Transient ischemic attack and minor stroke patients presenting to the ED with a National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score of 5 or less and nondisabling deficit were assessed for potential discharge to RAVEN with a protocol incorporating social and medical criteria. Outpatient evaluation by a vascular neurologist, including vessel imaging, was performed within 24 hours at the RAVEN clinic. Participants were evaluated for compliance with clinic attendance and 90-day recurrent transient ischemic attack and minor stroke and hospitalization rates.

RESULTS: Between December 2016 and June 2018, 162 transient ischemic attack and minor stroke patients were discharged to RAVEN. One hundred fifty-four patients (95.1%) appeared as scheduled and 101 (66%) had a final diagnosis of transient ischemic attack and minor stroke. Two patients (1.3%) required hospitalization (one for worsening symptoms and another for intracranial arterial stenosis caused by zoster) at RAVEN evaluation. Among the 101 patients with confirmed transient ischemic attack and minor stroke, 18 (19.1%) had returned to an ED or been admitted at 90 days. Five were noted to have had recurrent neurologic symptoms diagnosed as transient ischemic attack (4.9%), whereas one had a recurrent stroke (0.9%). No individuals with transient ischemic attack and minor stroke died, and none received thrombolytics or thrombectomy, during the interval period. These 90-day outcomes were similar to historical published data on transient ischemic attack and minor stroke.

CONCLUSION: Rapid outpatient management appears a feasible and safe strategy for transient ischemic attack and minor stroke patients evaluated in the ED, with recurrent stroke and transient ischemic attack rates comparable to historical published data.

RevDate: 2019-07-25

Williams K, Colquhoun A, Munday R, et al (2019)

Antibiotic dispensation rates among participants in community-driven health research projects in Arctic Canada.

BMC public health, 19(1):949 pii:10.1186/s12889-019-7193-3.

BACKGROUND: Community-driven projects that aim to address public concerns about health risks from H. pylori infection in Indigenous Arctic communities (estimated H. pylori prevalence = 64%) show frequent failure of treatment to eliminate the bacterium. Among project participants, treatment effectiveness is reduced by antibiotic resistance of infecting H. pylori strains, which in turn, is associated with frequent exposure to antibiotics used to treat other infections. This analysis compares antibiotic dispensation rates in Canadian Arctic communities to rates in urban and rural populations in Alberta, a southern Canadian province.

METHODS: Project staff collected antibiotic exposure histories for 297 participants enrolled during 2007-2012 in Aklavik, Tuktoyaktuk, and Fort McPherson in the Northwest Territories, and Old Crow, Yukon. Medical chart reviews collected data on systemic antibiotic dispensations for the 5-year period before enrolment for each participant. Antibiotic dispensation data for urban Edmonton, Alberta (average population ~ 860,000) and rural northern Alberta (average population ~ 450,000) during 2010-2013 were obtained from the Alberta Government Interactive Health Data Application.

RESULTS: Antibiotic dispensation rates, estimated as dispensations/person-years (95% confidence interval) were: in Arctic communities, 0.89 (0.84, 0.94); in Edmonton, 0.55 (0.55, 0.56); in rural northern Alberta, 0.63 (0.62, 0.63). Antibiotic dispensation rates were higher in women and older age groups in all regions. In all regions, the highest dispensation rates occurred for β-lactam and macrolide antibiotic classes.

CONCLUSIONS: These results show more frequent antibiotic dispensation in Arctic communities relative to an urban and rural southern Canadian population.

RevDate: 2019-08-07

Maharaj PD, Langevin SA, Bolling BG, et al (2019)

N-linked glycosylation of the West Nile virus envelope protein is not a requisite for avian virulence or vector competence.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 13(7):e0007473 pii:PNTD-D-19-00105.

The N-linked glycosylation motif at amino acid position 154-156 of the envelope (E) protein of West Nile virus (WNV) is linked to enhanced murine neuroinvasiveness, avian pathogenicity and vector competence. Naturally occurring isolates with altered E protein glycosylation patterns have been observed in WNV isolates; however, the specific effects of these polymorphisms on avian host pathogenesis and vector competence have not been investigated before. In the present study, amino acid polymorphisms, NYT, NYP, NYF, SYP, SYS, KYS and deletion (A'DEL), were reverse engineered into a parental WNV (NYS) cDNA infectious clone to generate WNV glycosylation mutant viruses. These WNV glycosylation mutant viruses were characterized for in vitro growth, pH-sensitivity, temperature-sensitivity and host competence in American crows (AMCR), house sparrows (HOSP) and Culex quinquefasciatus. The NYS and NYT glycosylated viruses showed higher viral replication, and lower pH and temperature sensitivity than NYP, NYF, SYP, SYS, KYS and A'DEL viruses in vitro. Interestingly, in vivo results demonstrated asymmetric effects in avian and mosquito competence that were independent of the E-protein glycosylation status. In AMCRs and HOSPs, all viruses showed comparable viremias with the exception of NYP and KYS viruses that showed attenuated phenotypes. Only NYP showed reduced vector competence in both Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. tarsalis. Glycosylated NYT exhibited similar avian virulence properties as NYS, but resulted in higher mosquito oral infectivity than glycosylated NYS and nonglycosylated, NYP, NYF, SYP and KYS mutants. These data demonstrated that amino acid polymorphisms at E154/156 dictate differential avian host and vector competence phenotypes independent of E-protein glycosylation status.

RevDate: 2019-07-11

Parvathy VS, S Pothiraj (2019)

Multi-modality medical image fusion using hybridization of binary crow search optimization.

Health care management science pii:10.1007/s10729-019-09492-2 [Epub ahead of print].

In clinical applications, single modality images do not provide sufficient diagnostic information. Therefore, it is necessary to combine the advantages or complementarities of different modalities of images. In this paper, we propose an efficient medical image fusion system based on discrete wavelet transform and binary crow search optimization (BCSO) algorithm. Here, we consider two different patterns of images as the input of the system and the output is the fused image. In this approach, at first, to enhance the image, we apply a median filter which is used to remove the noise present in the input image. Then, we apply a discrete wavelet transform on both the input modalities. Then, the approximation coefficients of modality 1 and detailed coefficients of modality 2 are combined. Similarly, approximation coefficients of modality 2 and detailed coefficients of modality 1 are combined. Finally, we fuse the two modality information using novel fusion rule. The fusion rule parameters are optimally selected using binary crow search optimization (BCSO) algorithm. To evaluate the performance of the proposed method, we used different quality metrics such as structural similarity index measure (SSIM), Fusion Factor (FF), and entropy. The presented model shows superior results with 6.63 of entropy, 0.849 of SSIM and 5.9 of FF.

RevDate: 2019-08-09

Schlötelburg A, Plekat A, Bellingrath-Kimura S, et al (2019)

Self-service traps inspected by avian and terrestrial predators as a management option for rodents.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Worldwide, serval rodent species are major pests in agricultural landscapes. A vole-specific tub-trap combining trapping and natural predators was developed to minimize the migration of rodents into agricultural crops. The trap was tested in enclosures in terms of its trapability of common voles (Microtus arvalis Pallas) and in the field regarding predator access and removal of voles, both in comparison to a commercially available self-service trap (standby-box).

RESULTS: The trapability of voles was equal for tub-traps and standby-boxes. The removal of voles occurred four times more often from tub-traps by a wider variety of predators (e.g. smaller terrestrial predators, birds of prey). Visits by predators were most likely if study sites were not surrounded by artificial surfaces (70% visit probability by terrestrial predators) or if they were in areas that were more than 25% (semi)natural (95% visit probability by avian predators). Furthermore, visits by avian predators increased with time and a learning effect could be demonstrated for magpies (Pica pica L.). From the first to the fifth day, the visit probability of magpies quadrupled.

CONCLUSIONS: Visits by predators decreased with increasing cover of artificial surfaces or decreasing cover of (semi)natural areas, proving the importance of (semi)natural areas in the agricultural landscape. Long-term trials with different baiting techniques and in landscapes characterized by organic farming should be conducted to ensure the regular removal of voles. The use of tub-traps that are frequently visited by predators could support crop protection, which might limit the use of rodenticide and the associated exposure risk of non-target wildlife. © 2019 Society of Chemical Industry.

RevDate: 2019-08-29

Valdés Hernández MDC, Abu-Hussain J, Qiu X, et al (2019)

Structural neuroimaging differentiates vulnerability from disease manifestation in colombian families with Huntington's disease.

Brain and behavior, 9(8):e01343.

INTRODUCTION: The volume of the striatal structures has been associated with disease progression in individuals with Huntington's disease (HD) from North America, Europe, and Australia. However, it is not known whether the gray matter (GM) volume in the striatum is also sensitive in differentiating vulnerability from disease manifestation in HD families from a South-American region known to have high incidence of the disease. In addition, the association of enlarged brain perivascular spaces (PVS) with cognitive, behavioral, and motor symptoms of HD is unknown.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We have analyzed neuroimaging indicators of global atrophy, PVS burden, and GM tissue volume in the basal ganglia and thalami, in relation to behavioral, motor, and cognitive scores, in 15 HD patients with overt disease manifestation and 14 first-degree relatives not genetically tested, which represent a vulnerable group, from the region of Magdalena, Colombia.

RESULTS: Poor fluid intelligence as per the Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices was associated with global brain atrophy (p = 0.002) and PVS burden (p ≤ 0.02) in HD patients, where the GM volume in all subcortical structures, with the exception of the right globus pallidus, was associated with motor or cognitive scores. Only the GM volume in the right putamen was associated with envy and MOCA scores (p = 0.008 and 0.015 respectively) in first-degree relatives.

CONCLUSION: Striatal GM volume, global brain atrophy and PVS burden may serve as differential indicators of disease manifestation in HD. The Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices could be a cognitive test worth to consider in the differentiation of vulnerability versus overt disease in HD.

RevDate: 2019-07-17

Hartshorn S, Barrett MJ, Lyttle MD, et al (2019)

Inhaled methoxyflurane (Penthrox®) versus placebo for injury-associated analgesia in children-the MAGPIE trial (MEOF-002): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.

Trials, 20(1):393 pii:10.1186/s13063-019-3511-4.

BACKGROUND: Pain from injuries is one of the commonest symptoms in children attending emergency departments (EDs), and this is often inadequately treated in both the pre-hospital and ED settings, in part due to challenges of continual assessment and availability of easily administered analgesic options. Pain practices are therefore a key research priority, including within the field of paediatric emergency medicine. Methoxyflurane, delivered via a self-administered Penthrox® inhaler, belongs to the fluorinated hydrocarbon group of volatile anaesthetics and is unique among the group in having analgesic properties at low doses. Despite over 30 years of clinical acute analgesia use, and a large volume of evidence supporting its safety and efficacy, there is a paucity of randomised controlled trial data for Penthrox®.

METHODS: This is an international multi-centre randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III trial assessing the efficacy and safety of methoxyflurane delivered via the Penthrox® inhaler for the management of moderate to severe acute traumatic pain in children and young people aged 6-17 years. Following written informed consent, eligible participants are randomised to self-administer either inhaled methoxyflurane (maximum dose of 2 × 3 ml) or normal saline placebo (maximum dose 2 × 5 ml). Patients, treating clinicians and research nurses are blinded to the treatment. The primary outcome is the change in pain intensity at 15 min after the commencement of treatment, as measured by the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) or the Wong-Baker FACES® Pain Rating scale, with the latter converted to VAS values. Secondary outcome measures include the number and proportion of responders who achieve a 30% reduction in VAS score compared to baseline, rescue medication requested, time and number of inhalations to first pain relief, global medication performance assessment by the patient, clinician and research nurse, and evaluation of adverse events experienced during treatment and during the subsequent 14 ± 2 days. The primary analysis will be by intention to treat. The total sample size is 110 randomised and treated patients per treatment arm.

DISCUSSION: The Methoxyflurane AnalGesia for Paediatric InjuriEs (MAGPIE) trial will provide efficacy and safety data for methoxyflurane administered via the Penthrox® inhaler, in children and adolescents who present to EDs with moderate to severe injury-related pain.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT, 2016-004290-41 . Registered on 11 April 2017. ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03215056 . Registered on 12 July 2017.

RevDate: 2019-07-04

Vonk J (2019)

Sticks and stones: Associative learning alone?.

Learning & behavior pii:10.3758/s13420-019-00387-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Gruber et al. (Current Biology, 29, 686-692, 2019) report that New Caledonian crows engage in mental representation to solve a problem involving a tool. Although the crows' success is impressive, an associative account of their behavior calls into question the extent to which the data reflect representation of future states.

RevDate: 2019-07-30

Ling H, Mclvor GE, van der Vaart K, et al (2019)

Local interactions and their group-level consequences in flocking jackdaws.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1906):20190865.

As one of nature's most striking examples of collective behaviour, bird flocks have attracted extensive research. However, we still lack an understanding of the attractive and repulsive forces that govern interactions between individuals within flocks and how these forces influence neighbours' relative positions and ultimately determine the shape of flocks. We address these issues by analysing the three-dimensional movements of wild jackdaws (Corvus monedula) in flocks containing 2-338 individuals. We quantify the social interaction forces in large, airborne flocks and find that these forces are highly anisotropic. The long-range attraction in the direction perpendicular to the movement direction is stronger than that along it, and the short-range repulsion is generated mainly by turning rather than changing speed. We explain this phenomenon by considering wingbeat frequency and the change in kinetic and gravitational potential energy during flight, and find that changing the direction of movement is less energetically costly than adjusting speed for birds. Furthermore, our data show that collision avoidance by turning can alter local neighbour distributions and ultimately change the group shape. Our results illustrate the macroscopic consequences of anisotropic interaction forces in bird flocks, and help to draw links between group structure, local interactions and the biophysics of animal locomotion.

RevDate: 2019-07-02

Garcia-Garzon E, Abad FJ, LE Garrido (2019)

Searching for G: A New Evaluation of SPM-LS Dimensionality.

Journal of Intelligence, 7(3): pii:jintelligence7030014.

There has been increased interest in assessing the quality and usefulness of short versions of the Raven's Progressive Matrices. A recent proposal, composed of the last twelve matrices of the Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM-LS), has been depicted as a valid measure of g. Nonetheless, the results provided in the initial validation questioned the assumption of essential unidimensionality for SPM-LS scores. We tested this hypothesis through two different statistical techniques. Firstly, we applied exploratory graph analysis to assess SPM-LS dimensionality. Secondly, exploratory bi-factor modelling was employed to understand the extent that potential specific factors represent significant sources of variance after a general factor has been considered. Results evidenced that if modelled appropriately, SPM-LS scores are essentially unidimensional, and that constitute a reliable measure of g. However, an additional specific factor was systematically identified for the last six items of the test. The implications of such findings for future work on the SPM-LS are discussed.

RevDate: 2019-07-01

Congdon JV, Hahn AH, Filippi P, et al (2019)

Hear them roar: A comparison of black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) and human (Homo sapiens) perception of arousal in vocalizations across all classes of terrestrial vertebrates.

Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983) pii:2019-36327-001 [Epub ahead of print].

Recently, evidence for acoustic universals in vocal communication was found by demonstrating that humans can identify levels of arousal in vocalizations produced by species across three biological classes (Filippi et al., 2017). Here, we extend this work by testing whether two vocal learning species, humans and chickadees, can discriminate vocalizations of high and low arousal using operant discrimination go/no-go tasks. Stimuli included vocalizations from nine species: giant panda, American alligator, common raven, hourglass treefrog, African elephant, Barbary macaque, domestic pig, black-capped chickadee, and human. Subjects were trained to respond to high or low arousal vocalizations, then tested with additional high and low arousal vocalizations produced by each species. Chickadees (Experiment 1) and humans (Experiment 2) learned to discriminate between high and low arousal stimuli and significantly transferred the discrimination to additional panda, human, and chickadee vocalizations. Finally, we conducted discriminant function analyses using four acoustic measures, finding evidence suggesting that fundamental frequency played a role in responding during the task. However, these analyses also suggest roles for other acoustic factors as well as familiarity. In sum, the results from these studies provide evidence that chickadees and humans are capable of perceiving arousal in vocalizations produced by multiple species. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

RevDate: 2019-06-30

Graham LJ, Spake R, Gillings S, et al (2019)

Incorporating fine-scale environmental heterogeneity into broad-extent models.

Methods in ecology and evolution, 10(6):767-778.

A key aim of ecology is to understand the drivers of ecological patterns, so that we can accurately predict the effects of global environmental change. However, in many cases, predictors are measured at a finer resolution than the ecological response. We therefore require data aggregation methods that avoid loss of information on fine-grain heterogeneity.We present a data aggregation method that, unlike current approaches, reduces the loss of information on fine-grain spatial structure in environmental heterogeneity for use with coarse-grain ecological datasets. Our method contains three steps: (a) define analysis scales (predictor grain, response grain, scale-of-effect); (b) use a moving window to calculate a measure of variability in environment (predictor grain) at the process-relevant scale (scale-of-effect); and (c) aggregate the moving window calculations to the coarsest resolution (response grain). We show the theoretical basis for our method using simulated landscapes and the practical utility with a case study. Our method is available as the grainchanger r package.The simulations show that information about spatial structure is captured that would have been lost using a direct aggregation approach, and that our method is particularly useful in landscapes with spatial autocorrelation in the environmental predictor variable (e.g. fragmented landscapes) and when the scale-of-effect is small relative to the response grain. We use our data aggregation method to find the appropriate scale-of-effect of land cover diversity on Eurasian jay Garrulus glandarius abundance in the UK. We then model the interactive effect of land cover heterogeneity and temperature on G. glandarius abundance. Our method enables us quantify this interaction despite the different scales at which these factors influence G. glandarius abundance.Our data aggregation method allows us to integrate variables that act at varying scales into one model with limited loss of information, which has wide applicability for spatial analyses beyond the specific ecological context considered here. Key ecological applications include being able to estimate the interactive effect of drivers that vary at different scales (such as climate and land cover), and to systematically examine the scale dependence of the effects of environmental heterogeneity in combination with the effects of climate change on biodiversity.

RevDate: 2019-07-31

Walsh JP, G Akopian (2019)

Physiological aging at striatal synapses.

Journal of neuroscience research [Epub ahead of print].

Mike Levine's body of work guides thinking on how the basal ganglia process information to create coordinated movements and skill learning throughout the life span and in disease. This special issue is a nod to Mike's career and a well-deserved gesture by the neuroscience community thanking him for the impact he has made on many people's careers and the field of basal ganglia physiology. This paper reviews how aging impacts basal ganglia processing with a focus on single cell and synaptic physiology. This review begins with the work Mike did with his collaborators Nat Buchwald, Chester Hull and Jay Schneider. These early studies paved the way for subsequent studies on changes in synaptic processing that occur with aging in the basal ganglia. The primary focus of this review is aging at corticostriatal synapses. Corticostriatal synapses show reduced expression of both short-term and long-term synaptic potentiation. The roles of age-related changes in calcium homeostasis, vesicle cycling, dopamine modulation, and NMDA receptor function in aging's effect on synaptic plasticity are discussed. The article ends with a review of mitochondrial aging theory as it applies to age-induced changes in corticostriatal synaptic function.

RevDate: 2019-06-27

Jiménez de Oya N, Escribano-Romero E, Camacho MC, et al (2019)

A Recombinant Subviral Particle-Based Vaccine Protects Magpie (Pica pica) Against West Nile Virus Infection.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1133.

The mosquito-borne West Nile virus (WNV) is a highly neurovirulent Flavivirus currently representing an emergent zoonotic concern. WNV cycles in nature between mosquito vectors and birds that act as amplifier hosts and play an essential role in virus ecology, being, thus, WNV a threat to many species. Availability of an efficient avian vaccine would benefit certain avian populations, both birds grown for hunting and restocking activities, as well as endangered species in captive breeding projects, wildlife reservations, and recreation installations, and would be useful to prevent and contain outbreaks. Avian vaccination would be also of interest to limit WNV spillover to humans or horses from susceptible bird species that live in urbanized landscapes, like magpies. Herein, we have addressed the efficacy of a single dose of a WNV recombinant subviral particle (RSP) vaccine in susceptible magpie (Pica pica). The protective capacity of the RSP-based vaccine was demonstrated upon challenge of magpies with 5 × 103 plaque forming units of a neurovirulent WNV strain. A significant improvement in survival rates of immunized birds was recorded when compared to vehicle-inoculated animals (71.4 vs. 22.2%, respectively). Viremia, which is directly related to the capacity of a host to be competent for virus transmission, was reduced in vaccinated animals, as was the presence of infectious virus in feather follicles. Bird-to-bird transmission was recorded in three of six unchallenged (contact) magpies housed with non-vaccinated WNV-infected birds, but not in contact animals housed with vaccinated WNV-infected magpies. These results demonstrate the protective efficacy of the RSP-based vaccine in susceptible birds against WNV infection and its value in controlling the spread of the virus.

RevDate: 2019-06-22

Lyman RL (2019)

Misunderstanding graphs: The confusion of biological clade diversity diagrams and archaeological frequency seriation diagrams.

Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences pii:S1369-8486(18)30176-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Graph perception involves the accurate decipherment of (often quantitative) data displayed in visual form. Because graph style may reflect discipline-specific tradition, similar graph styles in distinct disciplines can be subject to misinterpretation. Both archaeologist James A. Ford and paleobiologist Stephen Jay Gould confused spindle diagrams representing archaeological frequency seriation and paleontological clade diversity analysis as displaying the same kinds of data and representing the same processes. Similarities between the two kinds of analysis are, however, limited to the use of the same graph style-spindle diagrams-to illustrate the history of frequencies of things. The kinds of frequencies differ in two ways between the two disciplines; frequencies are of low-level Linnaean taxa within a clade representing a higher taxon in paleobiology, and are frequencies of artifact specimens within each of several types in archaeology. Further, frequencies are absolute in clade diversity and relative in frequency seriation. Clade diversity analysis, as practiced by Gould and colleagues, is a time-series analysis that requires knowing the age of taxa prior to analysis of the shape of the spindle diagram. Frequency seriation in archaeology involves ordering multiple collections of artifacts that share at least some types; ordering is based on similar frequencies and a presumed unimodal frequency distribution, and the order is inferred to be a chronology. Different analytical assumptions and goals result in discipline specific rules of graph decipherment, though each of the two kinds of analyses can be performed in each of the two disciplines.

RevDate: 2019-08-05

Liu D, Brice B, Elliot A, et al (2019)

Isospora coronoideae n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the Australian raven (Corvus coronoides) (Passeriformes: Corvidae) (Linnaeus, 1758) in Western Australia.

Parasitology research, 118(8):2399-2408.

A new Isospora (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) species is described from an Australian raven (Corvus coronoides) in Western Australia. Sporulated oocysts (n = 21) are ovoid, 21.2 (18.4-23.9) μm in length and 18.8 (16.9-20.6) μm in width, with a shape index of 1.13. The bi-layered oocyst wall is smooth and colourless, 1.2 μm thick. A polar granule and oocyst residuum is present, but the micropyle is absent. The sporocysts are ovoid-shaped, 16.3 (13.7-18.9) × 10.7 (8.4-12.9) μm, with a shape index (length/width) of 1.52. Stieda and substieda bodies are present, the Stieda body being small and hemidome-shaped and the substieda being indistinct. Each sporocyst with four vermiform sporozoites arranged head to tail. The sporozoites are crescent-shaped, 9.0 (8.9-9.2) × 2.7 (2.3-3.0) μm, with a shape index (length/width) of 3.33. The sporocyst residuum is present. The isolated oocysts had different morphological characteristics when compared with all known Isospora spp. The coccidian parasite was analysed at the 18S and 28S ribosomal RNA and the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase (COI) loci. At the 18S locus, I. coronoideae n. sp. exhibited 98.9% similarity to I. neochmiae from a captive-bred red-browed finch (KT224380) and Isospora sp. from domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica) (AB757860), 98.5% similarity to I. gryphoni (AF080613) from an American goldfinch and 98.3% similarity to I. manorinae (KT224379) from a yellow-throated miner. At the 28S locus, it exhibited 95.4% and 94.8% similarity to I. manorinae (KT224381) and I. anthochaerae (KF766053), respectively. At the COI locus, it exhibited 99.8% and 99.7% similarity to I. butcherae (KY801687) and I. neochmiae (KT224378), respectively. Based on morphological and molecular data, this isolate is a new species of Isospora, which is named Isospora coronoideae n. sp. after its host, the Australian raven (Corvus coronoides) (Passeriformes: Corvidae) (Linnaeus, 1758).

RevDate: 2019-06-18

Calabro A (2019)

Obituary A Remembrance of Juan "Jay" Rodrigo MD (1943-2018).

Clinical orthopaedics and related research, 477(7):1760-1761.

RevDate: 2019-07-07

Firooz S, SK Setarehdan (2019)

IQ estimation by means of EEG-fNIRS recordings during a logical-mathematical intelligence test.

Computers in biology and medicine, 110:218-226.

Intelligence differences of individuals are attributed to the structural and functional differences of the brain. Neural processing operations of the human brain vary according to the difficulty level of the problem and the intelligence level of individuals. In this study, we used a bimodal system consisting of functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) and Electroencephalogram (EEG) to investigate these inter-individual differences. A continuous wave 32-channel fNIRS from OxyMonfNIRS device (Artinis) and 19-channel EEG from (g.tec's company) were utilized to study the oxygenation procedure as well as the electrical activity of the brain when doing the problems of Raven's Progressive Matrix (RPM) intelligence test. We used this information to estimate the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of the individual without performing a complete logical-mathematical intelligence test in a long-time period and examining the answers of people to the questions. After EEG preprocessing, different features including Higuchi's fractal dimension, Shannon entropy values from wavelet transform coefficients, and average power of frequency sub-bands were extracted. Clean fNIRS signals were also used to compute features such as slope, mean, variance, kurtosis, skewness, and peak. Then dimension reduction algorithms such as Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) were applied to select an effective feature set from fNIRS and EEG in order to improve the IQ estimation process. We utilized two regression methods, i.e., Linear Regression (LR) and Support Vector Regression (SVR), to extract optimum models for the IQ determination. The best regression models based on fNIRS-EEG and fNIRS presented 3.093% and 3.690% relative error for 11 subjects, respectively.

RevDate: 2019-07-09

Muhammad N, Suleman , Ma J, et al (2019)

Characterization of the complete mitochondrial genome of Sphaerirostris picae (Rudolphi, 1819) (Acanthocephala: Centrorhynchidae), representative of the genus Sphaerirostris.

Parasitology research, 118(7):2213-2221.

The Centrorhynchidae (Acanthocephala: Palaeacanthocephala) is a cosmopolitan family commonly found in various avian and mammalian hosts. Within Centrorhynchidae, species of the genus Sphaerirostris Golvan, 1956 are usually parasitic in the digestive tract of various passerine birds. In the present study, adult specimens of Sphaerirostris picae (Rudolphi, 1819), the type species of this genus, were recovered from the small intestine of Acridotheres tristis (Sturnidae) and Dendrocitta vagabunda (Corvidae) in Pakistan. Molecular data from the nuclear or mitochondrial genome is either very limited or completely absent from this phylogenetically understudied group of acanthocephalans. To fill this knowledge gap, we sequenced and determined the internal transcribed spacers of ribosomal DNA (ITS rDNA) and the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of S. picae. The ITS rDNA of S. picae was 95.2% similar to that of Sphaerirostris lanceoides which is the only member of the Centrorhynchidae whose ITS rDNA is available in GenBank. The phylogenetic tree based on the amino acid sequences of 12 mt protein-coding genes (PCGs) placed S. picae close to Centrorhynchus aluconis in a monophyletic clade of Polymorphida which also contain members of the families Polymorphidae and Plagiorhynchidae on separate branches. The mt gene arrangement, nucleotide composition and codon usage of 12 PCGs were discussed and compared with those of other acanthocephalan mt genomes. Within the Centrorhynchidae, S. picae and C. aluconis showed 67.7-86.8% similarity in the nucleotide sequences of 12 PCGs and 2 rRNAs, where nad4L is the most conserved gene while atp6 is the least conserved. The similarity in amino acid sequences ranged from 68.1 to 91.8%, where cox1 was recorded as the most conserved gene, while atp6 is highly variable among 12 PCGs. This novel mt genome of S. picae provides genetic resources for further studies of phylogenetics and molecular epidemiology of acanthocephalans.

RevDate: 2019-06-13

Sutton AO, Strickland D, Freeman NE, et al (2019)

Autumn freeze-thaw events carry over to depress late-winter reproductive performance in Canada jays.

Royal Society open science, 6(4):181754 pii:rsos181754.

Evidence suggests that range-edge populations are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, but few studies have examined the specific mechanisms that are driving observed declines. Species that store perishable food for extended periods of time may be particularly susceptible to environmental change because shifts in climatic conditions could accelerate the natural degradation of their cached food. Here, we use 40 years of breeding data from a marked population of Canada jays (Perisoreus canadensis) located at the southern edge of their range in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, to examine whether climatic conditions prior to breeding carry over to influence reproductive performance. We found that multiple measures of Canada jay reproductive performance (brood size, nest success and nestling condition) in the late winter were negatively correlated with the number of freeze-thaw events the previous autumn. Our results suggest that freeze-thaw events have a significant detrimental impact on the quality and/or quantity of cached food available to Canada jays. Future increases in such events, caused by climate change, could pose a serious threat to Canada jays and other food caching species that store perishable foods for long periods of time.

RevDate: 2019-08-07
CmpDate: 2019-08-07

Van Hemert C, Meixell BW, Smith MM, et al (2019)

Prevalence and diversity of avian blood parasites in a resident northern passerine.

Parasites & vectors, 12(1):292 pii:10.1186/s13071-019-3545-1.

BACKGROUND: Climate-related changes are expected to influence the prevalence and distribution of vector-borne haemosporidian parasites at northern latitudes, although baseline information about resident birds is still lacking. In this study, we investigated prevalence and genetic diversity of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon parasites infecting the northwestern crow (Corvus caurinus), a non-migratory passerine with unique life-history characteristics. This species occupies both intertidal and forested habitats and is subject to high prevalence of avian keratin disorder (AKD), a disease that causes gross beak deformities. Investigation of avian blood parasites in northwestern crows at sites broadly distributed across coastal Alaska provided an opportunity to evaluate specific host factors related to parasite infection status and assess geographical patterns of prevalence.

RESULTS: We used molecular methods to screen for haemosporidian parasites in northwestern crows and estimated genus-specific parasite prevalence with occupancy modeling that accounts for imperfect detection of parasite infection. We observed considerable geographical and annual variation in prevalence of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon, but these patterns were not correlated with indices of local climatic conditions. Our models also did not provide support for relationships between the probability of parasite infection and body condition or the occurrence of co-infections with other parasite genera or clinical signs of AKD. In our phylogenetic analyses, we identified multiple lineages of each parasite genus, with Leucocytozoon showing greater diversity than Plasmodium or Haemoproteus.

CONCLUSIONS: Results from this study expand our knowledge about the prevalence and diversity of avian blood parasites in northern resident birds as well as corvids worldwide. We detected all three genera of avian haemosporidians in northwestern crows in Alaska, although only Leucocytozoon occurred at all sites in both years. Given the strong geographical and annual variation in parasite prevalence and apparent lack of correlation with climatic variables, it appears that there are other key factors responsible for driving transmission dynamics in this region. Thus, caution is warranted when using standard climatic or geographical attributes in a predictive framework. Our phylogenetic results demonstrate lower host specificity for some lineages of Leucocytozoon than is typically reported and provide insights about genetic diversity of local haemosporidian parasites in Alaska.

RevDate: 2019-06-09

Ramchandran K, Zeien E, NC Andreasen (2019)

Distributed neural efficiency: Intelligence and age modulate adaptive allocation of resources in the brain.

Trends in neuroscience and education, 15:48-61.

Whether superior intelligence is associated with global lower resource consumption in the brain remains unresolved. In order to tap fluid intelligence "Gf" cortical networks, 50 neurologically healthy adults were functionally neuro-imaged while solving a modified version of the Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices. "Gf" predicted increased activation of key components of the dorsal attention network (DAN); and age predicted extent of simultaneous deactivation in key components of the default mode network (DMN) during problem-solving. However, there was no significant difference in mean levels of whole brain activation even when cognitively taxed. This suggests that the brain may dynamically switch resource consumption between these anti-correlated DAN and DMN networks, concentrating processing power in regions critical to enhanced cognitive performance. We term this mechanism of activation increase and decrease of these anti-correlated DAN/DMN systems, modulated by "Gf" and age, as "distributed neural efficiency". This may achieve local cost-efficiency trade-offs, while maintaining global energy homeostasis.

RevDate: 2019-06-08

Ghafouri SA, Fallah Mehrabadi MH, Talakesh SF, et al (2019)

Full genome characterization of Iranian H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus from Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix), 2017: The first report.

Comparative immunology, microbiology and infectious diseases, 64:73-80.

During 2014-2017 Clade H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIVs) have spread worldwide. In 2016, an epidemic of HPAIV H5N8 in Iran caused mass deaths among wild birds, and several commercial poultry farms and captive bird holdings were affected and continue to experience problems. Several outbreaks were reported in 2017. One of them is related to Hooded crow (Corvus cornix) in a national park in Esfahan province in 2017. Whole genome sequencing and characterization have been done on the detected H5N8 sample. Based on HA sequencing results, it belongs to clade, and the cleavage site is (PLREKRRKR/G). Phylogenetic analysis of the HA gene showed that the Iran 2017 H5N8 virus clustered within subgroup Russia 2016 b of group B in H5 clade HPAIV. On the other hand, the NA gene of the virus is placed in group C of Eurasian lineage. Complete genome characterization of this virus revealed probable reassortment of the virus with East-Asian low-pathogenic influenza viruses. Furthermore, the virus possessed some phenotypic markers related to the increased potential for transmission and pathogenicity to mammals at internal segments. This study is the first full genome characterization H5N8 HPAIV in Iran. The data complete the puzzle of molecular epidemiology of H5N8 HPAIV in Iran and the region. Our study provides evidence for fast and continuing reassortment of H5 clade viruses, that might lead to changes in virus structural and functional characteristics such as the route and method of transmission of the virus and virus infective, pathogenic and zoonotic potential.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Warne RT, Burton JZ, Gibbons A, et al (2019)

Stephen Jay Gould's Analysis of the Army Beta Test in The Mismeasure of Man: Distortions and Misconceptions Regarding a Pioneering Mental Test.

Journal of Intelligence, 7(1): pii:jintelligence7010006.

In The Mismeasure of Man, Stephen Jay Gould argued that the preconceived beliefs and biases of scientists influence their methods and conclusions. To show the potential consequences of this, Gould used examples from the early days of psychometrics and allied fields, arguing that inappropriate assumptions and an elitist desire to rank individuals and/or groups produced incorrect results. In this article, we investigate a section of The Mismeasure of Man in which Gould evaluated the Army Beta intelligence test for illiterate American draftees in World War I. We evaluated Gould's arguments that the Army Beta (a) had inappropriate content, (b) had unsuitable administration conditions, (c) suffered from short time limits, and (d) could not have measured intelligence. By consulting the historical record and conducting a pre-registered replication of Gould's administration of the test to a sample of college students, we show that Gould mischaracterized the Army Beta in a number of ways. Instead, the Army Beta was a well-designed test by the standards of the time, and all evidence indicates that it measured intelligence a century ago and can, to some extent, do so today.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Wang Y, Guo J, Wang L, et al (2019)

Transcriptome analysis revealed potential mechanisms of differences in physiological stress responses between caged male and female magpies.

BMC genomics, 20(1):447 pii:10.1186/s12864-019-5804-0.

BACKGROUND: Under caged conditions, birds are affected more severely by environmental stressors such as dietary structure, activity space, human disturbances, and pathogens, which may be reflected in the gene expression in peripheral blood or other tissues. Elucidating the molecular mechanism of these stress responses will help improve animal welfare.

RESULTS: In the present study, the blood transcriptomes of six male and five female caged magpies (Pica pica) were sequenced, and a total of ~ 100 Gb in clean reads were generated using the Illumina HiSeq 2000 sequencer. A total of 420,291 unigenes were identified after assembly, of which 179,316 were annotated in five databases, 7471 were assigned to 269 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways, and 566 were assigned to the Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COG) functional classification "defense mechanisms". Analysis of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) showed that 2657 unigenes were differentially expressed between males and females (q < 0.1), and these DEGs were assigned to 45 KEGG pathways involving stress resistance, immunity, energy metabolism, reproduction, lifespan regulation, and diseases. Further analysis revealed that females might be more sensitive to stress through upregulation of c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) and 5'AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and were also possibly more sensitive to dynamic changes in energy. Females expressed higher major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II levels than males, enhancing resistance to pathogens, and the DEGs related to reproduction included MAPK, CaMK, CPEB, and Cdc25. The genes related to stress, energy, and immunity were also likely related to the regulation of longevity. The upregulated JNKs in females might prolong lifespan and relieve antioxidant stress. Females may also activate the AMPK pathway and implement dietary restrictions to prolong lifespan, whereas males may upregulate SIRT1 and CRAB to increase lifespan.

CONCLUSIONS: Female magpies might be more sensitive to stress and dynamic changes in energy thus enhanced resistance to pathogens, and the genes related to stress, energy, and immunity were also possibly related to the regulation of longevity. Further confirmations with techniques such as RT-qPCR and western blot are necessary to validate the above arguments.

RevDate: 2019-06-10

Sen K, Berglund T, Soares MA, et al (2019)

Antibiotic Resistance of E. coli Isolated From a Constructed Wetland Dominated by a Crow Roost, With Emphasis on ESBL and AmpC Containing E. coli.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1034.

Information on the dissemination of antibiotic resistance mechanisms in the environment as well as wild life is needed in North America. A constructed wetland (where ∼15,000 American crows roost) was sampled on the University of Washington Bothell Campus for the presence of antibiotic resistant E. coli (ARE). Crow droppings from individual birds and grab samples of water were collected in 2014-2015. E. coli were isolated by selective agar plating. The most frequent antibiotic resistance (AR) of the fecal isolates was to ampicillin (AMP) (53%), followed by amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (AMC) (45%), streptomycin (S) (40%), and nalidixic acid (NA) (33%). Water isolates had similar AR pattern and ∼40% were multidrug resistant. Isolates from water samples collected during storm events showed higher resistance than isolates from no rain days to tetracycline, AMP, AMC, NA, and gentamycin. Extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) containing E. coli with the blactx-M was found in three water and nine fecal isolates while blacmy-2 in 19 water and 16 fecal isolates. Multilocus Sequence Typing analysis (MLST) yielded 13 and 12 different sequence types (STs) amongst fecal and water isolates, many of which could be correlated to livestock, bird, and humans. MLST identified ESBL E. coli belonging to the clinically relevant ST131 clone in six fecal and one water isolate. Three STs found in feces could be found in water on the same dates of collection but not subsequently. Thus, the strains do not appear to survive for long in the wetland. Phylogenetic analysis revealed similar distribution of the water and fecal isolates among the different phylo-groups, with the majority belonging to the commensal B1 phylo-group, followed by the pathogenic B2 phylo-group. This study demonstrates that corvids can be reservoirs and vectors of ARE and pathogenic E. coli, posing a significant environmental threat.

RevDate: 2019-08-22

Federspiel IG, Boeckle M, von Bayern AMP, et al (2019)

Exploring individual and social learning in jackdaws (Corvus monedula).

Learning & behavior, 47(3):258-270.

Information about novel environments or foods can be gathered via individual or social learning. Whereas individual learning is assumed to be more costly and less effective than social learning, it also yields more detailed information. Juveniles are often found to be more explorative than adults. Still under the protection of their parents, this allows them to sample their environment in preparation for later in life. We tested individual and social learning in jackdaws (Corvus monedula) of different age groups in a semi-natural group setting. Juvenile and adult jackdaws differed in their learning propensity. Juveniles spent more time at the test apparatus, were more explorative, and caused the apparatus to open. Almost all the openings at the apparatus matched the demonstrated method. As more observers became available, the juveniles could observe each other. Individuals preferentially watched successful conspecifics and those they could scrounge food from. Lower-ranking individuals tended to watch higher ranking ones; higher ranking individuals preferentially watched conspecifics of similar rank. The control group did not manipulate the apparatus. Due to the lack of this baseline, it was difficult to determine for certain whether the opening technique was acquired via individual or social learning. We conclude that if social learning played a role, the underlying mechanism was most likely local or stimulus enhancement. It is, however, more parsimonious to assume that juveniles were more explorative than adults, and that their opening technique was potentially easier to acquire than the one demonstrated to adults.

RevDate: 2019-07-18

Gellrich J, Dabow ML, Vogelberg C, et al (2019)

Influence of chronic diseases on the olfactory function in children.

European journal of pediatrics, 178(8):1185-1193.

The association between smell impairment and chronic diseases has been reported in some studies in adults. Such information is not available for chronic diseases in children. The aim of this study was to examine olfactory function of children with chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus type 1, hypothyroidism, and bronchial asthma in combination with allergic rhinitis in comparison to healthy controls. The data were obtained from n = 205 participants (104 boys, 101 girls) between the age of 6 and 17 years. Seventy-eight of the participants were healthy controls, n = 43 had diabetes mellitus type 1, n = 50 suffer from allergic rhinitis or bronchial asthma, and 34 presented a reduced function of their thyroid in medical history. All participants underwent olfactory testing including olfactory threshold using "Sniffin' Sticks" and odor identification using the "U-Sniff" test. In addition, a depression inventory and cognitive testing using the Ravens Progressive Matrices was performed. No significant difference in olfactory function was observed for any of the chronic diseases in children in comparison to healthy controls. Further analysis showed a trend in significance for a subpopulation of children with bronchial asthma and comorbidities performed worse on the olfactory threshold test compared to patients with bronchial asthma without comorbidities. Pediatric patients suffering from chronic diseases scored higher on the depression inventory compared to healthy controls.Conclusion: In conclusion, this study demonstrates that the influence of chronic diseases (bronchial asthma, diabetes mellitus type 1 and hypothyroidism) on olfactory function in childhood, if any, seems to be insignificant. This is partly in contrast to adult patients. Further research should be conducted in a subgroup of patients with bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis or other comorbidities to better understand the association of allergic diathesis and olfactory function and the putative pathogenesis of olfactory dysfunction. What is known: • The association between smell impairment and chronic diseases has been reported in some studies in adults. • Such information is not available for chronic diseases in children. What is new: • The influence of chronic diseases (bronchial asthma, diabetes mellitus type 1, and hypothyroidism) on olfactory function in childhood, if any, seems to be insignificant. • In patients with bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis, only a subgroup of patients with additional comorbidity (atopic dermatitis) showed a tendency to a reduced sense of smell.

RevDate: 2019-08-01

Mudry A, RJ Ruben (2019)

The Fox and the Crow: Predatory Open Access Journals in Otolaryngology.

Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 161(2):193-194.

RevDate: 2019-06-18

Adriaense JEC, Martin JS, Schiestl M, et al (2019)

Negative emotional contagion and cognitive bias in common ravens (Corvus corax).

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(23):11547-11552.

Emotional contagion is described as an emotional state matching between subjects, and has been suggested to facilitate communication and coordination in complex social groups. Empirical studies typically focus on the measurement of behavioral contagion and emotional arousal, yet, while highly important, such an approach often disregards an additional evaluation of the underlying emotional valence. Here, we studied emotional contagion in ravens by applying a judgment bias paradigm to assess emotional valence. We experimentally manipulated positive and negative affective states in demonstrator ravens, to which they responded with increased attention and interest in the positive condition, as well as increased redirected behavior and a left-eye lateralization in the negative condition. During this emotion manipulation, another raven observed the demonstrator's behavior, and we used a bias paradigm to assess the emotional valence of the observer to determine whether emotional contagion had occurred. Observers showed a pessimism bias toward the presented ambiguous stimuli after perceiving demonstrators in a negative state, indicating emotional state matching based on the demonstrators' behavioral cues and confirming our prediction of negative emotional contagion. We did not find any judgment bias in the positive condition. This result critically expands upon observational studies of contagious play in ravens, providing experimental evidence that emotional contagion is present not only in mammalian but also in avian species. Importantly, this finding also acts as a stepping stone toward understanding the evolution of empathy, as this essential social skill may have emerged across these taxa in response to similar socioecological challenges.

RevDate: 2019-05-20

Miller R, Boeckle M, Jelbert SA, et al (2019)

Self-control in crows, parrots and nonhuman primates.

Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Cognitive science [Epub ahead of print].

Self-control is critical for both humans and nonhuman animals because it underlies complex cognitive abilities, such as decision-making and future planning, enabling goal-directed behavior. For instance, it is positively associated with social competence and life success measures in humans. We present the first review of delay of gratification as a measure of self-control in nonhuman primates, corvids (crow family) and psittacines (parrot order): disparate groups that show comparable advanced cognitive abilities and similar socio-ecological factors. We compare delay of gratification performance and identify key issues and outstanding areas for future research, including finding the best measures and drivers of delayed gratification. Our review therefore contributes to our understanding of both delayed gratification as a measure of self-control and of complex cognition in animals. This article is categorized under: Cognitive Biology > Evolutionary Roots of Cognition Psychology > Comparative Psychology.

RevDate: 2019-05-20

Forzán MJ, Renshaw RW, Bunting EM, et al (2019)


Journal of wildlife diseases pii:10.7589/2019-01-015 [Epub ahead of print].

Epizootic mortalities in American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) during the winter months, referred to as winter mortality of crows, have been recorded in North America for almost two decades. The most common postmortem findings include necrotizing enteritis, colitis, and fibrinous splenic necrosis. These findings are proposed to be due to infection with a Reovirus sp. Our objectives were to characterize the pathology and seasonality of the epizootics in New York State (NYS), confirm the causative role of an Orthoreovirus sp., and determine its phylogeny. On the basis of our proposed case definition for reovirosis, we examined case data collected by the NYS Wildlife Health Program for 16 yr. A total of 558 cases of reovirosis were recorded between 2001 and 2017. Reovirosis had a clear seasonal presentation: cases occurred almost exclusively in winter months (71% in December-January). Detailed data from a 2-yr period (2016 and 2017) demonstrated that reovirosis caused up to 70% of all recorded crow deaths during epizootic months. Crows with positive orthoreovirus isolation from the spleen or intestine were 32 times more likely to die with characteristic histologic lesions of enteritis or enterocolitis and splenic necrosis than crows with negative isolation results. An in situ hybridization probe specific to virus isolated from NYS crow reovirosis cases demonstrated a direct association between viral presence and characteristic histologic lesions. Sigma C (capsid protein) sequences of isolates from NYS crows showed high homology with Tvärminne avian virus, recently proposed as a novel Corvus orthoreovirus clade, and only distantly related to the avian orthoreovirus clade. Our study indicated that a novel orthoreovirus was the cause of winter mortality (or reovirosis) of American Crows and placed the NYS isolates in the newly proposed genus of Corvid orthoreovirus.

RevDate: 2019-05-22

Chuang KY, Chen YH, Balachandran P, et al (2019)

Revealing the Electrophysiological Correlates of Working Memory-Load Effects in Symmetry Span Task With HHT Method.

Frontiers in psychology, 10:855.

Complex span task is one of the commonly used cognitive tasks to evaluate an individual's working memory capacity (WMC). It is a dual task consisting of a distractor subtask and a memory subtask. Though multiple studies have utilized complex span tasks, the electrophysiological correlates underlying the encoding and retrieval processes in working memory span task remain uninvestigated. One previous study that assessed electroencephalographic (EEG) measures utilizing complex span task found no significant difference between its working memory loads, a typical index observed in other working memory tasks (e.g., n-back task and digital span task). The following design constructs of the paradigm might have been the reason. (1) The fixed-time limit of the distractor subtask may have hindered the assessment of individual WMC precisely. (2) Employing a linear-system-favoring EEG data analysis method for a non-linear system such as the human brain. In the current study, the participants perform the Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices (RAMP) task on 1 day and the symmetry span (Sspan) task on the other. Prior to the formal Sspan task, the participants were instructed to judge 15 simple symmetry questions as quickly as possible. A participant-specific time-limit is chartered from these symmetry questions. The current study utilizes the Sspan task sequential to a distractor subtask. Instead of the fixed time-limit exercised in the previous study, the distractor subtask of the current study was equipped with the participant-specific time-limit obtained from the symmetry questions. This could provide a precise measure of individual WMC. This study investigates if the complex span task resonates EEG patterns similar to the other working memory tasks in terms of working memory-load by utilizing ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) of Hilbert-Huang transform (HHT). Prior expectations were to observe a decrement in the P300 component of event-related mode (ERM) and a decrement in the power of alpha and beta band frequency with increasing working memory-load. We observed a significantly higher P300 amplitude for the low-load condition compared to the high-load condition over the circumscribed brain network across F4 and C4 electrodes. Time-frequency analysis revealed a significant difference between the high- and low-load conditions at alpha and beta band over the frontal, central, and parietal channels. The results from our study demonstrate precise differences in EEG data pertaining to varied memory-load differences in the complex span task. Thus, assessing complex span tasks with the HHT-based analysis may aid in achieving a better signal to noise ratio and effect size for the results in working memory EEG studies.


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.

Order from Amazon

This is a must read book for anyone with an interest in invasion biology. The full title of the book lays out the author's premise — The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature's Salvation. Not only is species movement not bad for ecosystems, it is the way that ecosystems respond to perturbation — it is the way ecosystems heal. Even if you are one of those who is absolutely convinced that invasive species are actually "a blight, pollution, an epidemic, or a cancer on nature", you should read this book to clarify your own thinking. True scientific understanding never comes from just interacting with those with whom you already agree. R. Robbins

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E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

Collection of publications by R J Robbins

Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. According to a study by Nature and an article in Times Higher Education , it is the largest academic social network in terms of active users.

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

RJR Picks from Around the Web (updated 11 MAY 2018 )