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08 Feb 2023 at 01:40
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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 08 Feb 2023 at 01:40 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: 2023-02-06

Egede LE, Walker RJ, Campbell JA, et al (2023)

Modern Day Consequences of Historic Redlining: Finding a Path Forward.

There is emerging evidence that structural racism is a major contributor to poor health outcomes for ethnic minorities. Structural racism captures upstream historic racist events (such as slavery, black code, and Jim Crow laws) and more recent state-sanctioned racist laws in the form of redlining. Redlining refers to the practice of systematically denying various services (e.g., credit access) to residents of specific neighborhoods, often based on race/ethnicity and primarily within urban communities. Historical redlining is linked to increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, and early mortality due to heart disease with evidence suggesting it impacts health through suppressing economic opportunity and human capital, or the knowledge, skills, and value one contributes to society. Addressing structural racism has been a rallying call for change in recent years-drawing attention to the racialized impact of historical policies in the USA. Unfortunately, the enormous scope of work has also left people feeling incapable of effecting the very change they seek. This paper highlights a path forward by briefly discussing the origins of historical redlining, highlighting the modern-day consequences both on health and at the societal level, and suggest promising initiatives to address the impact.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Gao L, Zhang X, Yang T, et al (2022)

Conspecific nest-raiding directs more at dominant breeders in the azure-winged magpie.

Current zoology, 68(6):734-736.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Goraichuk IV, Gerilovych A, Bolotin V, et al (2023)

Genetic diversity of Newcastle disease viruses circulating in wild and synanthropic birds in Ukraine between 2006 and 2015.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 10:1026296.

Newcastle disease virus (NDV) infects a wide range of bird species worldwide and is of importance to the poultry industry. Although certain virus genotypes are clearly associated with wild bird species, the role of those species in the movement of viruses and the migratory routes they follow is still unclear. In this study, we performed a phylogenetic analysis of nineteen NDV sequences that were identified among 21,924 samples collected from wild and synanthropic birds from different regions of Ukraine from 2006 to 2015 and compared them with isolates from other continents. In synanthropic birds, NDV strains of genotype II, VI, VII, and XXI of class II were detected. The fusion gene sequences of these strains were similar to strains detected in birds from different geographical regions of Europe and Asia. However, it is noteworthy to mention the isolation of vaccine viruses from synanthropic birds, suggesting the possibility of their role in viral transmission from vaccinated poultry to wild birds, which may lead to the further spreading of vaccine viruses into other regions during wild bird migration. Moreover, here we present the first publicly available complete NDV F gene from a crow (genus Corvus). Additionally, our phylogenetic results indicated a possible connection of Ukrainian NDV isolates with genotype XXI strains circulating in Kazakhstan. Among strains from wild birds, NDVs of genotype 1 of class I and genotype I of class II were detected. The phylogenetic analysis highlighted the possible exchange of these NDV strains between wild waterfowl from the Azov-Black Sea region of Ukraine and waterfowl from different continents, including Europe, Asia, and Africa.

RevDate: 2023-02-03

Lee WW, Fagien S, Murdock J, et al (2023)

A Multi-Center Evaluation of Restorative Eye Treatment and INhance With Trihex Technology to Improve Aesthetic Outcomes When Used Pre- and Post-Blepharoplasty.

Aesthetic surgery journal. Open forum, 5:ojac089.

BACKGROUND: Restorative Eye Treatment with TriHex Technology (RET) is a topical eye product with peptides and botanicals that reduce the appearance of crow's feet, under-eye bags, and dark circles. INhance with TriHex Technology (IH) is a topical product that has been clinically proven to accelerate the clearance of bruises and aid in the reduction of swelling. TriHex Technology has been shown to regenerate collagen and elastin.

OBJECTIVES: Evaluate the use of RET compared to a bland moisturizer prior to blepharoplasty and the bilateral use of INhance postoperatively.

METHODS: Blepharoplasty patients were randomized to use either RET or a bland moisturizer, twice daily, on the designated periocular skin for 4 weeks prior to the procedure. Postoperatively, participants applied IH bilaterally, at least 4 times a day, and returned for follow-up on Days 1 or 3, 7, and 14. The removed upper-eyelid skin (13 patients) underwent independent dermatopathological evaluation.

RESULTS: Investigators noted no differences in peri-operative complications but observed faster improvement in swelling, bruising, discomfort on the treated side. 85% of participants had less edema and bruising on the RET pretreated side. Biopsy results revealed improved extracellular matrix appearance on the RET pretreated side. Participants agreed that IH alleviated their swelling and noted that their skin felt and appeared more hydrated.

CONCLUSIONS: A regimen designed for eyelid surgery employing a pretreatment product component and a post treatment product appear to have a positive impact on measured outcomes in blepharoplasty patients including effects on bruising, swelling and patient comfort.

RevDate: 2023-02-02

Livingston DA (2022)


Health promotion practice, 23(6):930-931.

When it comes to the piano, the term "action" describes the mechanism that causes hammers to strike the strings when a key is pressed. Every piano has its own action; it's what gives the instrument a unique voice and sonic impact. My grandmother, a self-taught musician, born at the height of the Great Depression in a Jim Crow south, relentlessly harnessed her hope and heart in every note. Although she is no longer with us on this side of the heavens she prayed to, her ability to transgress, to disrupt, to agitate, to express joy through music, transcends the ethereal boundary between life and death. This poem is emblematic of the voice and sonic impact of Black women, who, when pressed like those ivory keys, emit a song of liberation; a set of instructions for symbolic remembrance, (re)centering joy as an act of resistance. Such an action is an antecedent to healing that which has been broken within the self, and the systems that particular self inhabits.To view the original version of this poem, see the supplemental material section of this article online.

RevDate: 2023-02-02
CmpDate: 2023-02-02

Walsh SL, Engesser S, Townsend SW, et al (2023)

Multi-level combinatoriality in magpie non-song vocalizations.

Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 20(199):20220679.

Comparative studies conducted over the past few decades have provided important insights into the capacity for animals to combine vocal segments at either one of two levels: within- or between-calls. There remains, however, a distinct gap in knowledge as to whether animal combinatoriality can extend beyond one level. Investigating this requires a comprehensive analysis of the combinatorial features characterizing a species' vocal system. Here, we used a nonlinear dimensionality reduction analysis and sequential transition analysis to quantitatively describe the non-song combinatorial repertoire of the Western Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen dorsalis). We found that (i) magpies recombine four distinct acoustic segments to create a larger number of calls, and (ii) the resultant calls are further combined into larger call combinations. Our work demonstrates two levels in the combining of magpie vocal units. These results are incongruous with the notion that a capacity for multi-level combinatoriality is unique to human language, wherein the combining of meaningless sounds and meaningful words interactively occurs across different combinatorial levels. Our study thus provides novel insights into the combinatorial capacities of a non-human species, adding to the growing evidence of analogues of language-specific traits present in the animal kingdom.

RevDate: 2023-02-02

Parsa FR, Bayley S, Bell F, et al (2023)

Epidemiology of protozoan and helminthic parasites in wild passerine birds of Britain and Ireland.

Parasitology pii:S0031182022001779 [Epub ahead of print].

Avian endoparasites play important roles in conservation, biodiversity and host evolution. Currently, little is known about the epidemiology of intestinal helminths and protozoans infecting wild birds of Britain and Ireland. This study aimed to determine the rates of parasite prevalence, abundance and infection intensity in wild passerines. Fecal samples (n = 755) from 18 bird families were collected from 13 sites across England, Wales and Ireland from March 2020 to June 2021. A conventional sodium nitrate flotation method allowed morphological identification and abundance estimation of eggs/oocysts. Associations with host family and age were examined alongside spatiotemporal and ecological factors using Bayesian phylogenetically controlled models. Parasites were detected in 20.0% of samples, with corvids and finches having the highest prevalences and intensities, respectively. Syngamus (33%) and Isospora (32%) were the most prevalent genera observed. Parasite prevalence and abundance differed amongst avian families and seasons, while infection intensity varied between families and regions. Prevalence was affected by diet diversity, while abundance differed by host age and habitat diversity. Infection intensity was higher in birds using a wider range of habitats, and doubled in areas with feeders present. The elucidation of these patterns will increase the understanding of parasite fauna in British and Irish birds.

RevDate: 2023-01-31

Hunt GR, P Villard (2023)

Oscillatory extraction behaviour suggests functional attributes of crows' hooked-stick tools.

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

New Caledonian crows are the only nonhuman animals known to craft hooked-sticks for use in foraging. Since their first description over 25 years ago, researchers have been unable to provide a detailed account of how these complex tools function in natural probe sites. Using close-up video footage, we document how a New Caledonian crow operated a hooked-stick to extract a large tree weta from a chamber in a tree trunk. The extraction technique had two distinct, separate components: (1) simultaneous oscillating head rotation and reciprocating bill action, and (2) measured pulling with the tool. Analysis of this first detailed field observation of hooked-stick use suggests a link between hooked-stick tool characteristics, functionality and skilled manipulation in natural prey extraction by these technological birds. Our findings also provide a rare, if not novel, example of tool-associated oscillatory manipulation in nonhuman animals.

RevDate: 2023-01-31

Kołodziejczak A, H Rotsztejn (2023)

Objective, measurable assessment of the elasticity of the skin around the eyes following the carboxytherapy treatment.

Journal of cosmetic dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Carboxytherapy is one of the most popular procedures used in dermatology. The treatments are known to be minimally invasive and highly effective for various skin disorders. Therefore, the research carried out in the paper is purposeful and addresses an important area of aesthetic therapies.

AIMS: Objective, apparatus-based assessment of the effect of carboxytherapy on skin elasticity around the eyes.

PATIENTS/METHODS: The study included a group of 39 Caucasian individuals aged 35-55 years. Participants were subjected to a series of five carboxytherapy treatments of eye area at weekly intervals. The Cutometer measuring probe was used to assess skin elasticity. Additionally, photographic documentation was out using the Fotomedicus system.

RESULTS: In this study, statistically significant increase in R2 parameter was found as the result of applied treatment. This parameter is considered to be the most important indicator of changes in skin elasticity. In 29 out of 39 subjects, the carboxytherapy treatment significantly improved skin tension and elasticity. Such therapy may also exert a beneficial effect on flexibility since in 28 participants the favorable change in the R7 parameter was visible.

CONCLUSIONS: The objective analysis of the impact of carboxytherapy treatment on parameters determining skin elasticity revealed that this therapy can be used as an anti-aging method in the eye area. Obtained results are in agreement with other biochemical, histological, and photographical documentation analyses of the effect of carboxytherapy on skin, performed by independent researchers.

RevDate: 2023-01-31

Falholt Elvebakken H, Bruntse AB, Vedel C, et al (2023)

Topical Lactiplantibacillus plantarum LB244R® ointment alleviates skin aging: An exploratory trial.

Journal of cosmetic dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The skin is of vital importance for health and well-being. As people age, the skin undergoes visual and morphological changes such as wrinkling, loss of elasticity, increased pigmentation, and decreased cell turnover. This is not only visually unappealing to many but can also pose health issues.

AIM: In this study, a probiotic ointment (PO) containing live lactic acid bacteria (LAB) (Lactiplantibacillus plantarum LB244R®) was investigated for its ability to alleviate symptoms of skin aging in an exploratory clinical trial.

METHODS: The PO was applied twice daily for 56 days by 21 subjects. Anti-aging efficacy was evaluated by skin ultrasonography, skin biomechanical properties, skin hydration, and clinical evaluations at day 0, 28, and 56.

RESULTS: Sub-epidermal low echogenic band thickness decreased (0.261 ± 0.069 mm to 0.247 ± 0.055 mm) after 56 days. Dermal density increased (324.689 ± 57.506 pixel/mm[2] to 367.831 ± 75.790 pixel/mm[2]). Skin hydration increased (34.1 ± 6.9 to 51.3 ± 10.0 AU). Additionally, skin firmness increased, as shown by decreasing values (0.264 ± 0.038 to 0.228 ± 0.037 mm). Skin elasticity increased (0.578 ± 0.045 to 0.618 ± 0.044). Trans-epidermal water loss decreased (9.1 ± 2.0 g/h/m[2] to 8.5 ± 1.3). All clinical evaluations, Crow's feet, spot score, smoothness score, and complexion radiance, were improved.

CONCLUSION: The PO improved all measured parameters with statistical significance after 56 days of application, clearly demonstrating the potential of the PO as an anti-aging agent and reaffirming the potential of topical probiotic LAB. Future studies need to elucidate the mode of action of anti-aging effects by probiotics, but at present time, this study paves the way for the use of probiotic LAB topically to alleviate aging of the skin.

RevDate: 2023-01-31

Ittyerah M (2022)

Handedness in low-birthweight children: Insights in lateralization.

Frontiers in psychology, 13:1018913.

Low-birthweight (LBW) children (n = 96) weighing less than 2.5 kg at birth and normal birthweight (NBW) children (n = 96) from Delhi, India, between the ages of 5 and 12 years were assessed for intelligence with Ravens Colored Progressive Matrices (RCPM), their handedness and hand proficiency for unimanual and bimanual performance. The objective was to know if there is a relation between birthweight and the development of handedness. Compared with NBW children, the LBW group had lower percentile scores for the RCPM. The LBW children were less lateralized than the NBW children in the hand preference test. The LBW children were faster than the NBW for sorting objects with each hand separately, but they were slower in the bimanual envelope task. This indicates a delay in interhemispheric transfer and the development of the corpus callosum that connects the cerebral hemispheres to enable bimanual coordination. In the absence of more direct evidence, hand skill was used as an index of the extent of lateralized control for performance. Findings indicate a relation between birthweight and lateralization in children tested for hand preference.

RevDate: 2023-01-28

Tatebe LC, Ho VP, Santry HP, et al (2023)

Redefining trauma deserts: novel technique to accurately map prehospital transport time.

Trauma surgery & acute care open, 8(1):e001013.

BACKGROUND: Prehospital transport time has been directly related to mortality for hemorrhaging trauma patients. 'Trauma deserts' were previously defined as being outside of a 5-mile radial distance of an urban trauma center. We postulated that the true 'desert' should be based on transport time rather than transport distance.

METHODS: Using the Chicagoland area that was used to describe 'trauma deserts,' a sequential process to query a commercial travel optimization product to map transport times over coordinates that covered the entire urban area at a particular time of day. This produces a heat map representing prehospital transport times. Travel times were then limited to 15 minutes to represent a temporally based map of transport capabilities. This was repeated during high and low traffic times and for centers across the city.

RESULTS: We demonstrated that the temporally based map for transport to a trauma center in an urban center differs significantly from the radial distance to the trauma center. Primary effects were proximity to highways and the downtown area. Transportation to centers were significantly different when time was considered instead of distance (p<0.001). We were further able to map variations in traffic patterns and thus transport times by time of day. The truly 'closest' trauma center by time changed based on time of day and was not always the closest hospital by distance.

DISCUSSION: As the crow flies is not how the ambulance drives. This novel technique of dynamically mapping transport times can be used to create accurate trauma deserts in an urban setting with multiple trauma centers. Further, this technique can be used to quantify the potential benefit or detriment of adding or removing firehouses or trauma centers.

RevDate: 2023-01-27

Balasubramanian K, Ramya K, K Gayathri Devi (2023)

Optimized adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system based on hybrid grey wolf-bat algorithm for schizophrenia recognition from EEG signals.

Cognitive neurodynamics, 17(1):133-151.

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that impairs a person's thinking capacity, feelings and emotions, behavioural traits, etc., Emotional distortions, delusions, hallucinations, and incoherent speech are all some of the symptoms of schizophrenia, and cause disruption of routine activities. Computer-assisted diagnosis of schizophrenia is significantly needed to give its patients a higher quality of life. Hence, an improved adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system based on the Hybrid Grey Wolf-Bat Algorithm for accurate prediction of schizophrenia from multi-channel EEG signals is presented in this study. The EEG signals are pre-processed using a Butterworth band pass filter and wICA initially, from which statistical, time-domain, frequency-domain, and spectral features are extracted. Discriminating features are selected using the ReliefF algorithm and are then forwarded to ANFIS for classification into either schizophrenic or normal. ANFIS is optimized by the Hybrid Grey Wolf-Bat Algorithm (HWBO) for better efficiency. The method is experimented on two separate EEG datasets-1 and 2, demonstrating an accuracy of 99.54% and 99.35%, respectively, with appreciable F1-score and MCC. Further experiments reveal the efficiency of the Hybrid Wolf-Bat algorithm in optimizing the ANFIS parameters when compared with traditional ANFIS model and other proven algorithms like genetic algorithm-ANFIS, particle optimization-ANFIS, crow search optimization algorithm-ANFIS and ant colony optimization algorithm-ANFIS, showing high R[2] value and low RSME value. To provide a bias free classification, tenfold cross validation is performed which produced an accuracy of 97.8% and 98.5% on the two datasets respectively. Experimental outcomes demonstrate the superiority of the Hybrid Grey Wolf-Bat Algorithm over the similar techniques in predicting schizophrenia.

RevDate: 2023-01-27

Duerr AE, Parsons AE, Nagy LR, et al (2023)

Effectiveness of an artificial intelligence-based system to curtail wind turbines to reduce eagle collisions.

PloS one, 18(1):e0278754 pii:PONE-D-22-00639.

Operating wind-power projects often includes protecting volant wildlife. One method for doing this uses an automated system to detect, identify (through use of artificial intelligence; AI), track animals (targets) and curtail turbines when risk of a collision is high. However, assessments of the effectiveness, in terms of identification accuracy and subsequent turbine curtailment of such systems are lacking. Over 1 year, we assessed such an automated system installed at a wind project in California, USA to determine its identification accuracy and rates at which "virtual" curtailments were ordered (without slowing turbines), for eagles (intended targets) and non-eagle targets. The system correctly identified 77% of eagles and 85% of non-eagles. Curtailment orders occurred 6 times more frequently for non-eagle targets (5,439) than for eagle targets (850). Greater abundance of common ravens that were misidentified as eagles influenced the effectiveness of the system by greatly increasing unintended curtailment orders. The balance between costs (price of the IdentiFlight system, reduced energy generation, turbine wear and maintenance) and benefits (reduced collisions between intended target species and turbines) may depend upon the biological setting, speed at which operators can curtail turbines, and the objectives of the operator when considering the IdentiFlight system.

RevDate: 2023-01-26
CmpDate: 2023-01-25

Likhanov M, Bogdanova O, Alenina E, et al (2023)

No evidence of a positive effect of learning Chinese language as an L2 on spatial ability.

Scientific reports, 13(1):1262.

Spatial ability (SA) was shown to be a robust predictor of success in various educational contexts, including STEM. Thus, ways to improve SA are of interest to educational psychology. There is some evidence that SA might be improved via learning character-based language, e.g. Chinese as a second language (CSL), however, the existing research is quite limited. The study aims to investigate an effect of CSL learning on SA in schoolchildren from Year 2 to Year 7. Current study employs a sample of Russian schoolchildren (N = 283), who learnt: English only, English and Spanish; or English and Chinese. Participants completed Raven's progressive matrices and Mental rotation task at the age of 8 and again at the age of 14. Our data showed negligible group differences in the initial SA level at Year 2 (before learning second language). Similar negligible differences were found at Year 7. Regression analysis showed that SA was predicted by intelligence (Raven's) and gender but not language learnt at both ages. This pattern of results indicates that learning a Chinese as a second language is unlikely to affect SA. Further research is needed to investigate whether other factors, such as length, intensity and context of learning, moderate this link.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Breininger DR, Stolen ED, Carter GM, et al (2023)

Territory and population attributes affect Florida scrub-jay fecundity in fire-adapted ecosystems.

Ecology and evolution, 13(1):e9704.

Fecundity, the number of young produced by a breeding pair during a breeding season, is a primary component in evolutionary and ecological theory and applications. Fecundity can be influenced by many environmental factors and requires long-term study due to the range of variation in ecosystem dynamics. Fecundity data often include a large proportion of zeros when many pairs fail to produce any young during a breeding season due to nest failure or when all young die independently after fledging. We conducted color banding and monthly censuses of Florida scrub-jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens) across 31 years, 15 populations, and 761 territories along central Florida's Atlantic coast. We quantified how fecundity (juveniles/pair-year) was influenced by habitat quality, presence/absence of nonbreeders, population density, breeder experience, and rainfall, with a zero-inflated Bayesian hierarchical model including both a Bernoulli (e.g., brood success) and a Poisson (counts of young) submodel, and random effects for year, population, and territory. The results identified the importance of increasing "strong" quality habitat, which was a mid-successional state related to fire frequency and extent, because strong territories, and the proportion of strong territories in the overall population, influenced fecundity of breeding pairs. Populations subject to supplementary feeding also had greater fecundity. Territory size, population density, breeder experience, and rainfall surprisingly had no or small effects. Different mechanisms appeared to cause annual variation in fecundity, as estimates of random effects were not correlated between the success and count submodels. The increased fecundity for pairs with nonbreeders, compared to pairs without, identified empirical research needed to understand how the proportion of low-quality habitats influences population recovery and sustainability, because dispersal into low-quality habitats can drain nonbreeders from strong territories and decrease overall fecundity. We also describe how long-term study resulted in reversals in our understanding because of complications involving habitat quality, sociobiology, and population density.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Buttler J, DM Drown (2022)

Accuracy and Completeness of Long Read Metagenomic Assemblies.

Microorganisms, 11(1):.

Microbes influence the surrounding environment and contribute to human health. Metagenomics can be used as a tool to explore the interactions between microbes. Metagenomic assemblies built using long read nanopore data depend on the read level accuracy. The read level accuracy of nanopore sequencing has made dramatic improvements over the past several years. However, we do not know if the increased read level accuracy allows for faster assemblers to make as accurate metagenomic assemblies as slower assemblers. Here, we present the results of a benchmarking study comparing three commonly used long read assemblers, Flye, Raven, and Redbean. We used a prepared DNA standard of seven bacteria as our input community. We prepared a sequencing library using a VolTRAX V2 and sequenced using a MinION mk1b. We basecalled with Guppy v5.0.7 using the super-accuracy model. We found that increasing read depth benefited each of the assemblers, and nearly complete community member chromosomes were assembled with as little as 10× read depth. Polishing assemblies using Medaka had a predictable improvement in quality. We found Flye to be the most robust across taxa and was the most effective assembler for recovering plasmids. Based on Flye's consistency for chromosomes and increased effectiveness at assembling plasmids, we would recommend using Flye in future metagenomic studies.

RevDate: 2023-01-19

Thiele JA, Richter A, K Hilger (2023)

Multimodal Brain Signal Complexity Predicts Human Intelligence.

eNeuro pii:ENEURO.0345-22.2022 [Epub ahead of print].

Spontaneous brain activity builds the foundation for human cognitive processing during external demands. Neuroimaging studies based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) identified specific characteristics of spontaneous (intrinsic) brain dynamics to be associated with individual differences in general cognitive ability, i.e., intelligence. However, fMRI research is inherently limited by low temporal resolution, thus, preventing conclusions about neural fluctuations within the range of milliseconds. Here, we used resting-state electroencephalographical (EEG) recordings from 144 healthy adults to test whether individual differences in intelligence (Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices scores) can be predicted from the complexity of temporally highly resolved intrinsic brain signals. We compared different operationalizations of brain signal complexity (multiscale entropy, Shannon entropy, Fuzzy entropy, and specific characteristics of microstates) regarding their relation to intelligence. The results indicate that associations between brain signal complexity measures and intelligence are of small effect sizes (r ∼ .20) and vary across different spatial and temporal scales. Specifically, higher intelligence scores were associated with lower complexity in local aspects of neural processing, and less activity in task-negative brain regions belonging to the default-mode network. Finally, we combined multiple measures of brain signal complexity to show that individual intelligence scores can be significantly predicted with a multimodal model within the sample (10-fold cross-validation) as well as in an independent sample (external replication, N = 57). In sum, our results highlight the temporal and spatial dependency of associations between intelligence and intrinsic brain dynamics, proposing multimodal approaches as promising means for future neuroscientific research on complex human traits.Significance StatementSpontaneous brain activity builds the foundation for intelligent processing - the ability of humans to adapt to various cognitive demands. Using resting-state EEG, we extracted multiple aspects of temporally highly resolved intrinsic brain dynamics to investigate their relationship with individual differences in intelligence. Single associations were of small effect sizes and varied critically across spatial and temporal scales. However, combining multiple measures in a multimodal cross-validated prediction model, allows to significantly predict individual intelligence scores in unseen participants. Our study adds to a growing body of research suggesting that observable associations between complex human traits and neural parameters might be rather small and proposes multimodal prediction approaches as promising tool to derive robust brain-behavior relations despite limited sample sizes.

RevDate: 2023-01-19

Zhou L, Lei J, Zhai X, et al (2023)

Chinese striped-neck turtles vocalize underwater and show differences in peak frequency among different age and sex groups.

PeerJ, 11:e14628.

BACKGROUND: Turtle vocalizations play an important role throughout their lives by expressing individual information (position, emotion, or physiological status), reflecting mating preferences, and synchronizing incubation. The Chinese striped-neck turtle (Mauremys sinensis) is one of the most widely distributed freshwater turtles in China, whose wild population is critically endangered. However, its vocalization has not been studied, which can be the basis for behavioral and ecological studies.

METHODS: Five different sex-age groups of turtles were recorded underwater in a soundproof room. Cluster analysis and principal component analysis for classification of Chinese striped-neck turtle calls were unreasonable. The turtle calls were manually sought using visual and aural inspection of the recordings in Raven Pro 1.5 software and classified according to differences perceived through auditory inspection and the morphological characteristics of the spectrograms. The results of similarity analysis verified the reliability of manual classification. We compared the peak frequency of the calls among different age and sex groups.

RESULTS: We identified ten M. sinensis call types, displayed their spectra and waveforms, and described their auditory characteristics. Most calls produced by the turtles were low-frequency. Some high-frequency call types, that are common in other turtle species were also produced. Similar to other turtles, the Chinese striped-neck turtle generates harmonic vocalizations. Courtship behaviors were observed when one of the call types occurred in the mixed-sex group. Adult females produced more high-frequency call types, and subadult males had higher vocalizations than other groups. These results provide a basis for future research on the function of vocalizations, field monitoring, and conservation of this species.

RevDate: 2023-01-13

Salaün JP, Chagnot A, Cachia A, et al (2023)

Consequences of General Anesthesia in Infancy on Behavior and Brain Structure.

Anesthesia and analgesia, 136(2):240-250.

BACKGROUND: One in 7 children will need general anesthesia (GA) before the age of 3. Brain toxicity of anesthetics is controversial. Our objective was to clarify whether exposure of GA to the developing brain could lead to lasting behavioral and structural brain changes.

METHODS: A first study was performed in mice. The behaviors (fear conditioning, Y-maze, and actimetry) and brain anatomy (high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging) of 6- to 8-week-old Swiss mice exposed or not exposed to GA from 4 to 10 days old were evaluated. A second study was a complementary analysis from the preexisting APprentissages EXécutifs et cerveau chez les enfants d'âge scolaire (APEX) cohort to assess the replicability of our data in humans. The behaviors (behavior rating inventory of executive function, emotional control, and working memory score, Backward Digit Span, and Raven 36) and brain anatomy (high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging) were compared in 102 children 9 to 10 years of age exposed or not exposed to a single GA (surgery) during infancy.

RESULTS: The animal study revealed chronic exacerbated fear behavior in the adult mice (95% confidence interval [CI], 4-80; P = .03) exposed to postnatal GA; this was associated with an 11% (95% CI, 7.5-14.5) reduction of the periaqueductal gray matter (P = .046). The study in humans suggested lower emotional control (95% CI, 0.33-9.10; P = .06) and a 6.1% (95% CI, 4.3-7.8) reduction in the posterior part of the right inferior frontal gyrus (P = .019) in the children who had been exposed to a single GA procedure.

CONCLUSIONS: The preclinical and clinical findings of these independent studies suggest lasting effects of early life exposure to anesthetics on later emotional control behaviors and brain structures.

RevDate: 2023-01-11

Huber L, L Lonardo (2023)

Canine perspective-taking.

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

An important question in the study of canine cognition is how dogs understand humans, given that they show impressive abilities for interacting and communicating with us. In this review, we describe and discuss studies that have investigated dogs' perspective-taking abilities. There is solid evidence that dogs are not only sensitive to the gaze of others, but also their attention. We specifically address the question whether dogs have the ability to take the perspective of others and thus come to understand what others can or cannot perceive. From the latter, they may then infer what others know and use this representation to anticipate what others do next. Still, dogs might simply rely on directly observable cues and on what they themselves can perceive when they assess what others can perceive. And instead of making inferences from representations of others' mental states, they may have just learned that certain behaviours of ours lead to certain outcomes. However, recent research seems to challenge this low-level explanation. Dogs have solved several perspective-taking tasks instantly and reliably across a large number of variations, including geometrical gaze-following, stealing in the dark, concealing information from others, and Guesser/Knower differentiation. In the latter studies, dogs' choices between two human informants were strongly influenced by cues related to the humans' visual access to the food, even when the two informants behaved identically. And finally, we review a recent study that found dogs reacting differently to misleading suggestions of human informants that have either a true or false belief about the location of food. We discuss this surprising result in terms of the comprehension of reality-incongruent mental states, which is considered as a hallmark of Theory of Mind acquisition in human development. Especially on the basis of the latter findings, we conclude that pet dogs might be sensitive to what others see, know, intend, and believe. Therefore, this ability seems to have evolved not just in the corvid and primate lineages, but also in dogs.

RevDate: 2023-01-11

Wu K, Liu Z, Wang W, et al (2022)

An artificially designed elastin-like recombinant polypeptide improves aging skin.

American journal of translational research, 14(12):8562-8571.

BACKGROUND: As a substrate for cell growth, elastin can promote the regeneration and remodeling of the epidermis, which plays an important role in delaying skin aging. However, elastin proteins are more than 700 amino acids long and cannot be absorbed through the skin, which prevents the direct utilization of elastin in the prevention and treatment of aging skin.

METHODS: We designed an elastin-like recombinant polypeptide (ELR) which could be absorbed through the skin based on the property of hexapeptide VGVAPG. Thirty healthy Chinese Han female participants which met the criteria were enrolled in this study and all of them completed the tests including elasticity, tightness, and wrinkle detection. The participants used this polypeptide for 4 weeks and were tested in three visits: one day before trial started (D0), and 14 and 28 days after the trial (D14 and D28, respectively). Paired t-tests or Wilcoxon signed-rank tests for non-parametric measures were used to determine the difference between D0 and D14, or D0 and D28.

RESULTS: The skin elasticity level in the thirty participants was significantly increased after using ELR for 28 days (P=0.024), and the average value of skin firmness (Uf) declined from 3.313 (D0) to 3.292 (D14) and 3.265 (D28), although there was no statistically significant difference between treatment and pre-treatment. Furthermore, the wrinkle count (D14: P<0.001; D28: P<0.001), wrinkles volume (D14: P<0.001; D28: P=0.008), and wrinkles area (D14: P<0.001; D28: P<0.001) of Crow's feet were significantly improved by using ELR for 14 days or 28 days.

CONCLUSION: Continuous use of ELR could significantly improve skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles.

RevDate: 2023-01-11
CmpDate: 2023-01-10

Rezaei H, Tavassoli M, B Esmaeilnejad (2022)

Phylogenetic Diversity of Dermanyssus gallinae (Dermanyssidae) based on Mitochondrial Cytochrome Oxidase-1 Gene Sequence Collected from Different Bird Species in Iran.

Archives of Razi Institute, 77(3):1091-1096.

A wide range of hosts, especially birds, can be infested with Dermanyssus gallinae (D. gallinae), as an obligate hematophagous mite. In this study, cytochrome oxidase 1 (CO1) gene sequences were employed to perform molecular and phylogenetic analyses of D. gallinae collected from different bird species in Iran. Adult mites were collected from the body surface and cage material of ornamental and wild birds in industrial farms located in the Western and Northwestern regions of Iran. The infestation was identified in layer poultry farming by inspecting the eggs and the whole surfaces of the birds' bodies. The holding area and body surface of the ornamental and wild birds were also thoroughly examined. The D. gallinae samples were assigned to two subgroups of haplogroup A (i.e., A1 and A2). The phylogenetic tree suggested that the D. gallinae samples collected from wild birds in the A1 sub-haplogroup should be placed beside Japanese, Norwegian, Italian, and French samples isolated from wild birds in the A2 sub-haplogroup. Additionally, the highest phylogenetic similarity in the A2 sub-group was observed between mites isolated from ornamental and industrial birds in Australia. The findings of the present study suggest that crows and sparrows may play an important role in the transmission of D. gallinae infestation to other species of wild birds due to their high population, as well as their presence in most areas.

RevDate: 2023-01-09

Lima M, Tábuas-Pereira M, Durães J, et al (2023)

Neuropsychological Assessment in the Distinction Between Biomarker Defined Frontal-Variant of Alzheimer's Disease and Behavioral-Variant of Frontotemporal Dementia.

Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD pii:JAD220897 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Frontal-variant of Alzheimer's disease (fvAD) was purposed for patients with AD pathology that, despite the typical amnestic presentation, show early and progressive deterioration of behavior and executive functions, closely resembling the behavioral-variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). This leads to a challenging differential diagnosis where neuropsychological evaluation and in vivo pathological evidence are essential.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the contribution of a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment (NP) battery in distinguishing between fvAD-dementia and bvFTD supported by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers.

METHODS: We included 40 patients with a baseline NP profile with prominent early executive and/or behavioral dysfunction, who meet both diagnosis of bvFTD and fvAD-dementia, according to international criteria. All patients underwent comprehensive NP assessment and CSF-AD biomarker evaluation. Neuropsychological domains as well as clinical and sociodemographic features, and APOE genotype were compared between groups.

RESULTS: 21 patients (52.5%) met the biological criteria for AD (decreased Aβ42 together with increased T-tau or P-tau in CSF) and were therefore classified as fvAD (mean age was 64.57, with 47.6% female). There were no differences between groups regarding age/age-at-onset, gender, or educational level. Regarding neuropsychological profile, performances in language and memory functions were equivalent in both groups. Significant differences were found in visuo-constructional abilities (p = 0.004), Trail Making Test A (p < 0.001), and Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices (p = 0.019), with fvAD patients showing worst performances.

CONCLUSION: In patients with an early prominent frontal profile, a higher impairment in attention and visuo-spatial functions, signaling additional right hemisphere fronto-parietal dysfunction, point towards a diagnosis of fvAD-dementia and may be useful in clinical practice.

RevDate: 2023-01-09

Kapoor B, Nagpal B, Jain PK, et al (2022)

Epileptic Seizure Prediction Based on Hybrid Seek Optimization Tuned Ensemble Classifier Using EEG Signals.

Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 23(1): pii:s23010423.

Visual analysis of an electroencephalogram (EEG) by medical professionals is highly time-consuming and the information is difficult to process. To overcome these limitations, several automated seizure detection strategies have been introduced by combining signal processing and machine learning. This paper proposes a hybrid optimization-controlled ensemble classifier comprising the AdaBoost classifier, random forest (RF) classifier, and the decision tree (DT) classifier for the automatic analysis of an EEG signal dataset to predict an epileptic seizure. The EEG signal is pre-processed initially to make it suitable for feature selection. The feature selection process receives the alpha, beta, delta, theta, and gamma wave data from the EEG, where the significant features, such as statistical features, wavelet features, and entropy-based features, are extracted by the proposed hybrid seek optimization algorithm. These extracted features are fed forward to the proposed ensemble classifier that produces the predicted output. By the combination of corvid and gregarious search agent characteristics, the proposed hybrid seek optimization technique has been developed, and is used to evaluate the fusion parameters of the ensemble classifier. The suggested technique's accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity are determined to be 96.6120%, 94.6736%, and 91.3684%, respectively, for the CHB-MIT database. This demonstrates the effectiveness of the suggested technique for early seizure prediction. The accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of the proposed technique are 95.3090%, 93.1766%, and 90.0654%, respectively, for the Siena Scalp database, again demonstrating its efficacy in the early seizure prediction process.

RevDate: 2023-01-03

Rey A, J Fagot (2023)

Associative learning accounts for recursive-structure generation in crows.

Learning & behavior [Epub ahead of print].

Recursive sequence generation (i.e., the ability to transfer recursive patterns to novel items) was recently reported in crows (Liao et al., 2022, Science Advances, 8[44], eabq3356). Here, we argue that although the reported data are certainly compatible with the recursion hypothesis, they can also be explained by other, much simpler mechanisms of associative learning.

RevDate: 2023-01-03

Söyler HÇ, Altintoprak AE, EÖ Aldemir (2022)

How Do Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids Affect Neurocognitive Functions?.

Turk psikiyatri dergisi = Turkish journal of psychiatry, 33(4):233-247.

OBJECTIVE: In this study, the losses of neurocognitive function caused by the use of cannabis and synthetic cannabinoid were studied on specific cognitive areas (attention and working memory, executive functions, visuospatial perception, learning and memory, planning and problem solving, word naming) and were described in comparision with healthy controls (control group).

METHOD: In this study, while 52 participants who applied to Ege University Faculty of Medicine Department of Mental Health and Mental Disorders Drug Addiction Treatment Center Clinic between March 2015 - February 2017 and used cannabis at least for one year in the past and 51 participants who used synthetic cannabinoids for at least one year in the past were participant groups with a history of substance use; 57 staff/student of Ege University with no history of any substance use were participants of the control group. The research sample consisted of 160 participants. The sample group consisted of 160 men aged 18-35, and also 16 participants aged 36-54 were involved in the study in order to observe neuropsychological functions that changed with age. Stroop Test for attention area, Raven Standart Progressive Matrices Test for executive functions area, Line Orientation Test and Cancellation Test for visuospatial perception area, Serial Digit Learning Test and Öktem Verbal Memory Progresses Scale for learning and memory area, The Tower of London Test for planning and problem solving skill, Boston Naming Test for word naming area were used.

RESULTS: In this study, while the lowest perfomance on the ability of focused attention, visuospatial cognition, visual scanning, orientation, sustained attention, general ability, short-term memory, learning, long-term memory, word naming was shown by the participants with a history of synthetic cannabis use, the participants with a history of cannabis use had the lowest performance on the ability of response rate, perseveration, conceptualizing, abstract thinking, changing sets, recognition. Participants' history of substance use did not affect the ability of planning and problem solving.

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, this study suggests that the addition of cognitive rehabilitation programs to medical and psychosocial improvement studies carried out in the field of addiction will increase the success.

RevDate: 2022-12-29

Balter LJT, Sundelin T, Holding BC, et al (2022)

Intelligence predicts better cognitive performance after normal sleep but larger vulnerability to sleep deprivation.

Journal of sleep research [Epub ahead of print].

Fluid intelligence is seen as a beneficial attribute, protecting against stress and ill-health. Whether intelligence provides resilience to the cognitive effects of insufficient sleep was tested in the current pre-registered experimental study. Participants (N = 182) completed the Raven's test (measuring fluid intelligence) and a normal night of sleep or a night of total sleep deprivation. Sleepiness and four cognitive tests were completed at 22:30 hours (baseline), and the following day after sleep manipulation. At baseline, higher fluid intelligence was associated with faster and more accurate arithmetic calculations, and better episodic memory, but not with spatial working memory, simple attention or sleepiness. Those with higher fluid intelligence were more, not less, impacted by sleep deprivation, evident for arithmetic ability, episodic memory and spatial working memory. We need to establish a more nuanced picture of the benefits of intelligence, where intelligence is not related to cognitive advantages in all situations.

RevDate: 2022-12-27

Cipolotti L, Ruffle JK, Mole J, et al (2022)

Graph lesion-deficit mapping of fluid intelligence.

Brain : a journal of neurology pii:6842292 [Epub ahead of print].

Fluid intelligence is arguably the defining feature of human cognition. Yet the nature of its relationship with the brain remains a contentious topic. Influential proposals drawing primarily on functional imaging data have implicated 'multiple demand' frontoparietal and more widely distributed cortical networks, but extant lesion-deficit studies with greater causal power are almost all small, methodologically constrained, and inconclusive. The task demands large samples of patients, comprehensive investigation of performance, fine-grained anatomical mapping, and robust lesion-deficit inference, yet to be brought to bear on it. We assessed 165 healthy controls and 227 frontal or non-frontal patients with unilateral brain lesions on the best-established test of fluid intelligence, Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices, employing an array of lesion-deficit inferential models responsive to the potentially distributed nature of fluid intelligence. Non-parametric Bayesian stochastic block models were used to reveal the community structure of lesion deficit networks, disentangling functional from confounding pathological distributed effects. Impaired performance was confined to patients with frontal lesions [F(2,387) = 18.491; P < 0.001; frontal worse than non-frontal and healthy participants P < 0.01, P <0.001], more marked on the right than left [F(4,385) = 12.237; P < 0.001; right worse than left and healthy participants P < 0.01, P < 0.001]. Patients with non-frontal lesions were indistinguishable from controls and showed no modulation by laterality. Neither the presence nor the extent of multiple demand network involvement affected performance. Both conventional network-based statistics and non-parametric Bayesian stochastic block modelling heavily implicated the right frontal lobe. Crucially, this localization was confirmed on explicitly disentangling functional from pathology-driven effects within a layered stochastic block model, prominently highlighting a right frontal network involving middle and inferior frontal gyrus, pre- and post-central gyri, with a weak contribution from right superior parietal lobule. Similar results were obtained with standard lesion-deficit analyses. Our study represents the first large-scale investigation of the distributed neural substrates of fluid intelligence in the focally injured brain. Combining novel graph-based lesion-deficit mapping with detailed investigation of cognitive performance in a large sample of patients provides crucial information about the neural basis of intelligence. Our findings indicate that a set of predominantly right frontal regions, rather than a more widely distributed network, is critical to the high-level functions involved in fluid intelligence. Further they suggest that Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices is a useful clinical index of fluid intelligence and a sensitive marker of right frontal lobe dysfunction.

RevDate: 2022-12-27

Jang SI, Jung YC, Suk J, et al (2022)

A long term study of the difference in efficacy and effect rate of various concentrations of retinol (1500-6600 IU) in middle aged women.

Archives of dermatological research [Epub ahead of print].

Retinol is widely used for topical application for antiaging. However, the efficacy and effect rate of different concentrations of retinol have been rarely analyzed. Therefore, in this study, the efficacy and rate of effect of retinol concentrations from 1500 to 6600 IU, on various skin parameters, have been compared. Seventy-two Korean women aged 40-59 years participated in this study. Retinol was used by them for 24 weeks; the effects were measured at 0, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 weeks. The measurement parameters for aging were crow's feet, forehead wrinkles, nasolabial fold, dermal density, and elasticity and that for skin color were skin brightness, yellowness, redness, and standard deviation of skin brightness. The texture of the skin was measured by measuring the skin roughness and pores, and the skin barrier function was evaluated through hydration, sebum, and desquamation. Low concentration retinol (1500-2500 IU) had a significantly higher effect in skin color, brightness, and elasticity and faster improvement rate in skin brightness and elasticity compared to that for high concentration (3300-6600 IU). High concentration of retinol had a significantly higher effect in wrinkles, dermal density and pores and faster improvement rate for wrinkles, skin texture, pores, and desquamation compared to that for low concentration. This study evaluated the changes caused by different concentration of retinol over a long period of time. The results of this study have great implications as the optimal concentration of retinol can be prescribed for an accurate period for the desired results without side effects.

RevDate: 2022-12-23
CmpDate: 2022-12-23

Cheng W, Lin D, Liu P, et al (2022)

Achieving Fano resonance with an ultra-high slope rate by silicon nitride CROW embedded in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer.

Optics express, 30(26):46147-46156.

Fano resonance with asymmetric line shape is very promising in many applications such as optical switching, sensing, slow light, laser. Fano resonances based on some integrated structures have been demonstrated on the silicon on insulator platform. However, the extinction ratios and slope rates of the most proposed integrated Fano resonances are relatively low, which limits their applications. In this paper, a tunable silicon nitride coupled resonator optical waveguide (CROW) embedded in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) is proposed to achieve Fano resonance. Benefiting from fine tuning supported by the low thermo-optic coefficient of the silicon nitride optical waveguide, the optical amplitudes and phases in the two arms of the MZI were accurately adjusted to achieve destructive interference, which gives an ultra-high extinction ratio. Furthermore, high quality factor CROW, supported by the native low loss silicon nitride optical waveguide, greatly shrinks the resonance bandwidth. Combining the above two superiorities, a Fano resonance with a very high extinction ratio of up to 57 dB and slope rate as high as 8.1 × 10[4] dB/nm was obtained, which is an order of magnitude larger than the reported integrated Fano resonances. We believe that the proposed structure would be a promising candidate for high-performance switching and high-sensitivity sensing.

RevDate: 2022-12-23

Beauchamp G, R Bowman (2022)

Visual Monitoring Strategies of Sentinels in a Cooperative Breeder.

Biology, 11(12): pii:biology11121769.

Vigilance is important for early detection of threats. Previous studies have focused on the allocation of time to vigilance but neglected how animals monitor their surroundings during vigilance. Where animals look and how long each look lasts can affect the quality of visual monitoring and thus the ability to detect threats during vigilance. We examined visual monitoring strategies in the Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), a cooperative breeder with sentinel behaviour. Sentinels in this species make head turns from vantage points to detect the arrival of predators and intruding neighbours. We found that sentinels initiated head turns at regular intervals and also returned their gaze to areas previously monitored at regular intervals, which is predicted when predators and intruders rely on surprise rather than stealth to approach. Sentinels made head turns in several directions, but often more frequently on one side of the body than the other, which was not predicted for regular vigilance. Average look duration during sentinel bouts was shorter in smaller groups and in juveniles. We argue that shorter looks are beneficial to increase visual coverage in more threatening situations. Our study highlights how visual monitoring strategies during vigilance reflect the risk posed by predators and intruders.

RevDate: 2022-12-22

Rössler T, AM Auersperg (2022)

Recent developments in parrot cognition: a quadrennial update.

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

Psittacines, along with corvids, are commonly referred to as 'feathered apes' due to their advanced cognitive abilities. Until rather recently, the research effort on parrot cognition was lagging behind that on corvids, however current developments show that the number of parrot studies is steadily increasing. In 2018, M. L. Lambert et al. provided a comprehensive review on the status of the most important work done so far in parrot and corvid cognition. Nevertheless, only a little more than 4 years after this publication, more than 50 new parrot studies have been published, some of them chartering completely new territory. On the 25th anniversary of Animal Cognition we think this warrants a detailed review of parrot cognition research over the last 4 years. We aim to capture recent developments and current trends in this rapidly expanding and diversifying field.

RevDate: 2022-12-22

Mantilla C, Z Murad (2022)

Ego-relevance in team production.

PloS one, 17(12):e0279391.

We study how individuals' effort contribution to a team production task varies depending on whether the task is ego relevant or not. We conduct an experiment to test the effect of ego-relevance when the team production depends on the team's top- or bottom-performer. Ego-relevance is manipulated by calling the Raven IQ Test an "IQ Task" or a "Pattern Task." We find that the effort contributed to the task is affected by ego-relevance and the impact of the team production function on effort contribution is mediated by the teammate's expected effort contribution. Ego-relevance increases the responsiveness to the teammate's expected effort contributions. Similarly, more responsive behavior is noticeable when the team production depends on the bottom-performer. However, we do not observe interaction-effects between ego-relevance and the team production function that affect effort contributions.

RevDate: 2022-12-21

O'Coin D, Mclvor GE, Thornton A, et al (2022)

Velocity correlations in jackdaw flocks in different ecological contexts.

Physical biology, 20(1):.

Velocity correlation is an important feature for animal groups performing collective motions. Previous studies have mostly focused on the velocity correlation in a single ecological context. It is unclear whether correlation characteristics vary in a single species in different contexts. Here, we studied the velocity correlations in jackdaw flocks in two different contexts: transit flocks where birds travel from one location to another, and mobbing flocks where birds respond to an external stimulus. We found that in both contexts, although the interaction rules are different, the velocity correlations remain scale-free, i.e. the correlation length (the distance over which the velocity of two individuals is similar) increases linearly with the group size. Furthermore, we found that the correlation length is independent of the group density for transit flocks, but increases with increasing group density in mobbing flocks. This result confirms a previous observation that birds obey topological interactions in transit flocks, but switch to metric interactions in mobbing flocks. Finally, in both contexts, the impact of group polarization on correlation length is not significant. Our results suggest that wild animals are always able to respond coherently to perturbations regardless of context.

RevDate: 2022-12-19

Iqbal F, Wilson R, Ayub Q, et al (2022)

Biomonitoring of heavy metals in the feathers of House crow (Corvus splendens) from some metropolitans of Asia and Africa.

Environmental science and pollution research international [Epub ahead of print].

Urban-dwelling birds can be useful biomonitors to assess the impact of the urbanisation on both public and wildlife health. Widely distributed urban bird species, the House crow, was studied for heavy metal accumulation levels from nine cities of South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa that border the Indian Ocean. Feathers were spectroscopically investigated for the deposition of ten heavy metals, i.e. As, Zn, Pb, Cd, Ni, iron Fe, Mn, Cr, Cu and Li. Fe and Zn were found to be the most prevalent metals in all sites. Measured concentrations of Pb (4.38-14.77 mg kg[-1]) overall, and Fe (935.66 mg kg[-1]) and Cu (67.17 mg kg[-1]) at some studied sites were above the toxicity levels reported lethal in avian toxicological studies. Multivariate analysis and linear models supported geographical location as a significant predictor for the level of most of the metals. Zn and Cu, generally and Pb, Cd, Mn, Cr at some sites exhibited potential bioaccumulation from surrounding environments. Inter-species comparisons strengthen the inference that the House crow is a reliable bioindicator species for the qualitative assessment of local urban environmental pollution and could be a useful tool for inter-regional monitoring programs.

RevDate: 2022-12-16
CmpDate: 2022-12-16

Kim J, Lee SG, Lee J, et al (2022)

Oral Supplementation of Low-Molecular-Weight Collagen Peptides Reduces Skin Wrinkles and Improves Biophysical Properties of Skin: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Study.

Journal of medicinal food, 25(12):1146-1154.

Orally administered collagen peptides could contribute to antiaging by replacing the degraded extracellular matrix proteins caused by photoaging. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of low-molecular-weight collagen peptides for treating photoaged and dry skin. In this randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, double-blinded trial, we randomly assigned study participants (n = 100) to either the test product group or placebo group at a 1:1 ratio for 12 weeks. The wrinkle scale score, eye wrinkle volume, roughness parameters, such as the average maximum height of the wrinkle (Rz), arithmetic average within the total measuring length of the wrinkle (Ra), maximum profile valley depth of the wrinkle (Rv), and skin hydration, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), overall elasticity (R2), and ratio of elastic recovery to total deformation (R7) were evaluated at baseline, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks. Safety assessments with serial blood tests were also conducted. Efficacy assessments of data from 84 participants were conducted as the per-protocol analysis. After 12 weeks, the 10-grade crow's feet photo scale score, eye wrinkle volume, skin roughness parameters (Rz, Ra, and Rv), skin elasticity (R2 and R7), skin hydration, and TEWL were significantly improved in the test product group compared to the placebo group. There were no adverse events or abnormalities according to laboratory analysis associated with using the test material during the study period. This study showed that the oral supplementation of low-molecular-weight collagen peptides could improve the wrinkles, elasticity, hydration, and barrier integrity of photoaged facial skin. This clinical study was registered with the Korean Clinical Research Information Service and International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (No: KCT0006500).

RevDate: 2022-12-15
CmpDate: 2022-12-15

Apprey C, Asamoah-Boakye O, Annaful VT, et al (2022)

Comparative analysis of methyl-donor nutrient intakes and RCPM cognitive performance among school-aged children.

Clinical nutrition ESPEN, 52:105-112.

BACKGROUND: Evidence shows a link between methyl-donor nutrient intakes and a child's cognitive ability. However, this is less known among Ghanaian children who might be at higher risk of methyl-donor nutrient deficiencies. This study showed comparative analysis of methyl-donor nutrient intakes and Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPM) test performance among 2073 Ghanaian school children aged 9-13 years across four regions of Ghana.

METHODS: Data for the present study were obtained from the Child Nutrition, Fitness, and Cognition project; a cross-sectional survey conducted in four regions of Ghana. Dietary methyl-donor nutrient values were based on repeated 24 h recall data collected during the study periods. Cognitive tests were performed on the 2073 children using Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPM) test.

RESULTS: We found dietary zinc (adjusted: β = 0.21, p = 0.003) and methionine (adjusted: β = 0.60, p = 0.044) intakes to be associated with RCPM scores in the linear regression model. School children living in Northern Region (adjusted OR = 0.6, p < 0.001, 95% CI = 0.4-0.7) and Volta Region (adjusted OR = 0.7, p = 0.006, 95% CI = 0.5-0.9) had lower odds of scoring above the 50th percentile on the RCPM test compared with those living in Greater Accra Region. Children who consumed below the RDA for dietary folate (unadjusted OR = 0.8, p = 0.055, 95% CI = 0.7-1.0) and zinc (unadjusted OR = 0.8, p = 0.049, 95%CI = 0.7-1.0) had lower odds of scoring above the 50th percentile on the RCPM test compared with those who consumed above the RDA for dietary folate and zinc respectively. Children who consumed below the EAR for dietary vitamin B12 (unadjusted OR = 0.7, p = 0.004, 95% CI = 0.6-0.9) had reduced odds of scoring above the 50th percentile on the RCPM test compared with those who consumed above the EAR for dietary vitamin B12.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher dietary methionine intake was strongly associated with higher RCPM scores. Regional differences, and children's dietary consumption below the EAR/RDA for dietary folate, vitamin B12, and zinc were associated with poor RCPM test performance. School children's nutrient intake should be prioritized for improved cognition.

RevDate: 2022-12-12

Singh MP, Popli R, Brar S, et al (2022)

CHSI costing study-Challenges and solutions for cost data collection in private hospitals in India.

PloS one, 17(12):e0276399 pii:PONE-D-22-03972.

INTRODUCTION: Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) has enabled the Government of India to become a strategic purchaser of health care services from private providers. To generate base cost evidence for evidence-based policymaking the Costing of Health Services in India (CHSI) study was commissioned in 2018 for the price setting of health benefit packages. This paper reports the findings of a process evaluation of the cost data collection in the private hospitals.

METHODS: The process evaluation of health system costing in private hospitals was an exploratory survey with mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative). We used three approaches-an online survey using a semi-structured questionnaire, in-depth interviews, and a review of monitoring data. The process of data collection was assessed in terms of time taken for different aspects, resources used, level and nature of difficulty encountered, challenges and solutions.

RESULTS: The mean time taken for data collection in a private hospital was 9.31 (± 1.0) person months including time for obtaining permissions, actual data collection and entry, and addressing queries for data completeness and quality. The longest time was taken to collect data on human resources (30%), while it took the least time for collecting information on building and space (5%). On a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest) difficulty levels, the data on human resources was the most difficult to collect. This included data on salaries (8), time allocation (5.5) and leaves (5).

DISCUSSION: Cost data from private hospitals is crucial for mixed health systems. Developing formal mechanisms of cost accounting data and data sharing as pre-requisites for empanelment under a national insurance scheme can significantly ease the process of cost data collection.

RevDate: 2022-12-12

Wang L, Sheng A, Chang L, et al (2022)

Improving fluid intelligence of children through working memory training: The role of inhibition control.

Frontiers in psychology, 13:1025036.

Intelligence is strongly associated with working memory. Working memory training can improve fluid intelligence, but the underlying mechanism requires further investigation. Because inhibition control may play a key role in working memory training, this study investigated this process from an electrophysiological perspective. In total, 40 children aged 9 to 11 years were enrolled and randomly divided into a training group (n = 20) and a control group (n = 20). The training group received 20 days of working memory training, whereas the control group did not receive any training. Before and after the training period, all participants were tested using Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices (RSPM), and electrophysiological indicators were recorded while they performed go/no-go and Stroop tasks. The results revealed that relative to the control group, the training group had significantly improved RSPM scores in the test conducted after their training. For the go/no-go tasks, the training group exhibited a significant decrease in N2 amplitude, a significant increase in P3 amplitude, a significant decrease in theta band energy, and an improvement in response inhibition ability. No significant change was observed for the Stroop task. Correlation analysis revealed that an improvement in individual response inhibition can positively predict an improvement in fluid intelligence. These results suggest that working memory training enhances the fluid intelligence of children by enhancing their response inhibition ability.

RevDate: 2022-12-12

Blum CR, Fitch WT, T Bugnyar (2022)

Social dynamics impact scolding behaviour in captive groups of common ravens (Corvus corax).

Frontiers in zoology, 19(1):32.

BACKGROUND: Predator avoidance can have immense impacts on fitness, yet individual variation in the expression of anti-predator behaviour remains largely unexplained. Existing research investigating learning of novel predators has focused either on individuals or groups, but not both. Testing in individual settings allows evaluations of learning or personality differences, while testing in group settings makes it impossible to distinguish any such individual differences from social dynamics. In this study, we investigate the effect of social dynamics on individual anti-predator behaviour. We trained 15 captive ravens to recognize and respond to a novel experimental predator and then exposed them to this predator in both group and isolation settings across 1.5 years to tease apart individual differences from social effects and evaluate two hypotheses: (1) weaker anti-predator responses of some individuals in the group occurred, because they failed to recognize the experimental predator as a threat, leading to weak responses when separated, or (2) some individuals had learned the new threat, but their scolding intensity was repressed in the group trials due to social dynamics (such as dominance rank), leading to increased scolding intensity when alone.

RESULTS: We found that dominance significantly influences scolding behaviour in the group trials; top-ranked individuals scold more and earlier than lower ranking ones. However, in the separation trials scolding duration is no longer affected by rank.

CONCLUSIONS: We speculate that, while top-ranked individuals use their anti-predator responses to signal status in the group, lower-ranking ravens may be suppressed from, or are less capable of, performing intense anti-predator behaviour while in the group. This suggests that, in addition to its recruitment or predator-deterrent effects, alarm calling may serve as a marker of individual quality to conspecifics.

RevDate: 2022-12-11

Faber D, Grosse GM, Klietz M, et al (2022)

Towards the Validation of Executive Functioning Assessments: A Clinical Study.

Journal of clinical medicine, 11(23): pii:jcm11237138.

Neuropsychological assessment needs a more profound grounding in psychometric theory. Specifically, psychometrically reliable and valid tools are required, both in patient care and in scientific research. The present study examined convergent and discriminant validity of some of the most popular indicators of executive functioning (EF). A sample of 96 neurological inpatients (aged 18-68 years) completed a battery of standardized cognitive tests (Raven's matrices, vocabulary test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, verbal fluency test, figural fluency test). Convergent validity of indicators of intelligence (Raven's matrices, vocabulary test) and of indicators of EF (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, verbal fluency test, figural fluency) were calculated. Discriminant validity of indicators of EF against indicators of intelligence was also calculated. Convergent validity of indicators of intelligence (Raven's matrices, vocabulary test) was good (rxtyt = 0.727; R[2] = 0.53). Convergent validity of fluency indicators of EF against executive cognition as indicated by performance on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test was poor (0.087 ≤ rxtyt ≤ 0.304; 0.008 ≤ R[2] ≤ 0.092). Discriminant validity of indicators of EF against indicators of intelligence was good (0.106 ≤ rxtyt ≤ 0.548; 0.011 ≤ R[2] ≤ 0.300). Our conclusions from these data are clear-cut: apparently dissimilar indicators of intelligence converge on general intellectual ability. Apparently dissimilar indicators of EF (mental fluency, executive cognition) do not converge on general executive ability. Executive abilities, although non-unitary, can be reasonably well distinguished from intellectual ability. The present data contribute to the hitherto meager evidence base regarding the validity of popular indicators of EF.

RevDate: 2022-12-09

Anonymous (1884)

Eating Crow: The Origin of the Phrase That Is Just Now of Such Interest.

Hall's journal of health, 31(6):111-112.

RevDate: 2022-12-08

Cella F, Marchak KA, Bianchi C, et al (2022)

Generic Language for Social and Animal Kinds: An Examination of the Asymmetry Between Acceptance and Inferences.

Cognitive science, 46(12):e13209.

Generics (e.g., "Ravens are black") express generalizations about categories or their members. Previous research found that generics about animals are interpreted as broadly true of members of a kind, yet also accepted based on minimal evidence. This asymmetry is important for suggesting a mechanism by which unfounded generalizations may flourish; yet, little is known whether this finding extends to generics about groups of people (heretofore, "social generics"). Accordingly, in four preregistered studies (n = 665), we tested for an inferential asymmetry for generics regarding novel groups of animals versus people. Participants were randomly assigned to either an Implied Prevalence task (given a generic, asked to estimate the prevalence of a property) or a Truth-Conditions task (given prevalence information, asked whether a generic was true or false). A generic asymmetry was found in both domains, at equivalent levels. The asymmetry also extended to properties varying in valence (dangerous and neutral). Finally, there were differences as a function of property valence in the Implied Prevalence task and a small but consistent interaction between domain and prevalence in the Truth-Conditions task. We discuss the implications of these results for the semantics of generics, theoretical accounts of the asymmetry, and the relation between generics and stereotyping.

RevDate: 2022-12-08

Parisi D, Srivastava S, Parmar D, et al (2022)

Awareness of India's national health insurance scheme (PM-JAY): A cross-sectional study across six states.

Health policy and planning pii:6881114 [Epub ahead of print].

The literature suggests that a first barrier towards accessing benefits of health insurance in low- and middle-income countries is lack of awareness of one's benefits. Yet, across settings and emerging schemes, limited scientific evidence is available on levels of awareness and their determinants. To fill this gap, we assessed socio-demographic and economic determinants of beneficiaries' awareness of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), the national health insurance scheme launched in India in 2018, and their awareness of own eligibility. We relied on cross-sectional household survey data collected in six Indian states between 2019 and 2020. Representative data of households eligible for PM-JAY from 11 618 respondents (an adult representative from each surveyed household) were used. We used descriptive statistics and multivariable logistic regression models to explore the association between awareness of PM-JAY and of one's own eligibility, and socio-economic and demographic characteristics. About 62% of respondents were aware of PM-JAY, and among the aware, 78% knew that they were eligible for the scheme. Regression analysis confirmed that older respondents with higher educational level and salaried jobs were more likely to know about PM-JAY. Awareness was lower among respondents from Meghalaya and Tamil Nadu. Respondents from other backward classes, of wealthier socio-economic status, or from Meghalaya or Gujarat were more likely to be aware of their eligibility status. Respondents from Chhattisgarh were less likely to know about their eligibility. Our study confirms that while more than half the eligible population was aware of PM-JAY, considerable efforts are needed to achieve universal awareness. Socio-economic gradients confirm that the more marginalized are still less aware. We recommend implementing tailored, state-specific information dissemination approaches focusing on knowledge of specific scheme features to empower beneficiaries to demand their entitled services.

RevDate: 2022-12-08

Soga E, Sakaguchi K, Takizawa S, et al (2022)

Emergence of Vibrio cincinnatiensis, a Rare Human Pathogen, in Urban Crows.

RevDate: 2022-12-06

Hilger K, MJ Euler (2022)

Intelligence and Visual Mismatch Negativity: Is Pre-Attentive Visual Discrimination Related to General Cognitive Ability?.

Journal of cognitive neuroscience pii:114117 [Epub ahead of print].

EEG has been used for decades to identify neurocognitive processes related to intelligence. Evidence is accumulating for associations with neural markers of higher-order cognitive processes (e.g., working memory); however, whether associations are specific to complex processes or also relate to earlier processing stages remains unclear. Addressing these issues has implications for improving our understanding of intelligence and its neural correlates. The MMN is an ERP that is elicited when, within a series of frequent standard stimuli, rare deviant stimuli are presented. As stimuli are typically presented outside the focus of attention, the MMN is suggested to capture automatic pre-attentive discrimination processes. However, the MMN and its relation to intelligence has largely only been studied in the auditory domain, thus preventing conclusions about the involvement of automatic discrimination processes in humans' dominant sensory modality-vision. EEG was recorded from 50 healthy participants during a passive visual oddball task that presented simple sequence violations and deviations within a more complex hidden pattern. Signed area amplitudes and fractional area latencies of the visual MMN were calculated with and without Laplacian transformation. Correlations between visual MMN and intelligence (Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices) were of negligible to small effect sizes, differed critically between measurement approaches, and Bayes Factors provided anecdotal to substantial evidence for the absence of an association. We discuss differences between the auditory and visual MMN, the implications of different measurement approaches, and offer recommendations for further research in this evolving field.

RevDate: 2022-12-05

Erdil D, Manav V, Türk CB, et al (2022)

The clinical effect of botulinum toxin on pigmentation.

International journal of dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Botulinum toxin injection is a common cosmetic procedure often used to treat dynamic wrinkles, but it has also been observed to have a lightening effect on the skin. It is thought that this lightening effect develops due to muscle innervation blockage; however, the change in the amount of melanin levels has not been quantified.

METHOD: Thirty-one patients who presented to the dermatology clinic of a tertiary hospital for botulinum toxin injection for wrinkle treatment were included in the study. A standard dose of botulinum toxin was injected to each patient's forehead, glabellar, and crow's feet region, and then the melanin index (MI) was measured with the Mexameter® MX 18 (Courage + Khazaka Electronic, Köln).

RESULTS: After botulinum toxin treatment, a statistically significant decrease was found in the forehead and upper face MI. The upper face total baseline MI was significantly lower in the Glogau 1 group than in the Glogau 2 group (P = 0.033). The forehead 15th day MI was significantly lower in the Glogau 1 group than in the Glogau 2, 3, and 4 groups (P = 0.030).

DISCUSSION: Botulinum toxin application to healthy skin for wrinkle treatment can cause facial skin lightening by reducing MI. It was also remarkable that this decrease was more pronounced in the forehead, which is a region that is particularly vulnerable to sun exposure, compared to other regions. Younger people, who are included in the Glogau type 1 group, may benefit more from this lightening effect.

RevDate: 2022-12-05

Cahill LS (2022)

Black dreams matter: Exploring the polyphonic realms of the Black Radical Imaginary.

Journal of personality [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: Charles Cobb Jr. and Alex Davis are two Black American men who have never experienced the full capacity of freedom. The routine denial of their full humanity, or social equity, has counterintuitively sparked an impetus inside of them both to commit their lives to seek to dismantle oppressive systems.

METHOD: Through a series of oral histories with both organizers, I learned that they have been engaged with radical dreaming and imagination as a survivalist movement strategy.

RESULTS: Despite the dehumanizing violence of slavery, the political humiliation of Reconstruction, the brutal segregation and state terrorism of Jim Crow, and the many Civil Rights successes and Neoliberal disappointments that have followed, Cobb and Davis have embodied a steadfast commitment to freedom, unwavering trust in their people, in some contexts, a just daring that defies current dominant reason.

CONCLUSION: I argue that by drawing through lines between the meaning-making experiences of Charles Cobb Jr. 's and Alex Davis' incredible lives we can better understand their critical consciousness and sociopolitical development have influenced their dreams of freedom, cultivated their radical imaginations, and sustained their collectivism.

RevDate: 2022-12-06

Cicero C, Mason NA, Oong Z, et al (2022)

Deep ecomorphological and genetic divergence in Steller's Jays (Cyanocitta stelleri, Aves: Corvidae).

Ecology and evolution, 12(12):e9517.

The relationship between ecology and morphology is a cornerstone of evolutionary biology, and quantifying variation across environments can shed light on processes that give rise to biodiversity. Three morphotypes of the Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) occupy different ecoregions in western North America, which vary in climate and landcover. These morphotypes (Coastal, Interior, Rocky Mountain) differ in size, plumage coloration, and head pattern. We sampled 1080 Steller's Jays from 68 populations (plus 11 outgroups) to address three main questions using data on morphology, plumage, genetics (mtDNA, microsatellites), and ecological niches: (1) How do phenotypic and genetic traits vary within and among populations, morphotypes, and ecoregions? (2) How do population-level differences in Steller's Jays compare with other sister species pairs of North American birds? (3) What can we infer about the population history of Steller's Jays in relation to past climates, paleoecology, and niche evolution? We found substantial morphological, genetic, and ecological differentiation among morphotypes. The greatest genetic divergence separated Coastal and Interior morphotypes from the Rocky Mountain morphotype, which was associated with warmer, drier, and more open habitats. Microsatellites revealed additional structure between Coastal and Interior groups. The deep mtDNA split between Coastal/Interior and Rocky Mountain lineages of Steller's Jay (ND2 ~ 7.8%) is older than most North American avian sister species and dates to approximately 4.3 mya. Interior and Rocky Mountain morphotypes contact across a narrow zone with steep clines in traits and reduced gene flow. The distribution of the three morphotypes coincides with divergent varieties of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. Species distribution models support multiple glacial refugia for Steller's Jays. Our integrative dataset combined with extensive geographic sampling provides compelling evidence for recognizing at least two species of Steller's Jay.

RevDate: 2022-12-06

Hiono T, Kobayashi D, Kobayashi A, et al (2022)

Virological, pathological, and glycovirological investigations of an Ezo red fox and a tanuki naturally infected with H5N1 high pathogenicity avian influenza viruses in Hokkaido, Japan.

Virology, 578:35-44 pii:S0042-6822(22)00206-9 [Epub ahead of print].

In winter/spring 2021-2022, high pathogenicity avian influenza viruses (HPAIVs) that are genetically closely related to each other were detected worldwide. In a public garden in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, a crow die-off by HPAIV infection occurred from March 29 to May 18, 2022. During the event, H5N1 HPAIVs were isolated from an Ezo red fox (Vulpes vulpes schrencki) and a tanuki (Nyctereutes procyonoides albus) found in the same garden. The fox showed viral meningoencephalitis and moderate virus replication in the upper respiratory tract, whereas the tanuki showed viral conjunctivitis and secondary bacterial infection in the eyes accompanied with visceral larva migrans. Viruses isolated from the fox and the tanuki were genetically closely related to those isolated from crows in the same garden. Various α2-3 sialosides were found in the respiratory tracts of these canid mammals, consistent with HPAIV infections in these animals. This study highlighted the importance of monitoring HPAIV infections in wild carnivore mammals to detect the potential virus spreading in nature.

RevDate: 2022-12-02
CmpDate: 2022-12-02

Livingston DA (2022)


Health promotion practice, 23(6):930-931.

When it comes to the piano, the term "action" describes the mechanism that causes hammers to strike the strings when a key is pressed. Every piano has its own action; it's what gives the instrument a unique voice and sonic impact. My grandmother, a self-taught musician, born at the height of the Great Depression in a Jim Crow south, relentlessly harnessed her hope and heart in every note. Although she is no longer with us on this side of the heavens she prayed to, her ability to transgress, to disrupt, to agitate, to express joy through music, transcends the ethereal boundary between life and death. This poem is emblematic of the voice and sonic impact of Black women, who, when pressed like those ivory keys, emit a song of liberation; a set of instructions for symbolic remembrance, (re)centering joy as an act of resistance. Such an action is an antecedent to healing that which has been broken within the self, and the systems that particular self inhabits.To view the original version of this poem, see the supplemental material section of this article online.

RevDate: 2022-11-29

Michon A (2022)

Botulinum toxin for cosmetic treatments in young adults: An evidence-based review and survey on current practice among aesthetic practitioners.

Journal of cosmetic dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Botulinum toxin A (BoNTA) treatments are popular worldwide. Young adults, less than 41 years of age, are an important cohort of patients seen in practice, and the optimal dosage of BoNTA in this age group remains poorly defined.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVE: To determine the optimal dosing of BoNTA across different age-matched cohorts by reviewing the literature and to evaluate current BoNTA practices among aesthetic practitioners when treating younger versus older adults.

METHODS: An evidence-based literature review was performed to evaluate the current evidence on BoNTA injections for cosmetic indications in millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and young adults. A cross-sectional online survey was distributed to aesthetic practitioners to assess their current practice with BoNTA.

RESULTS: There is a paucity of high-quality research on BoNT in millennials. Our literature review suggests different patterns of practice when treating younger adults. Specifically, our survey revealed that: (1) younger adults are receiving, on average, fewer units of BoNTA at the glabella, forehead, and crow's feet, (2) younger toxin-naïve patients are also afraid to look frozen or unnatural, and (3) wrinkles prevention was the most common reason for seeking treatment in younger patients.

CONCLUSION: The literature review supports the efficacy of BoNTA for correcting wrinkles in millennials. Our findings provide further insight into the dosing pattern of cosmetic BoNTA and motivating factors for seeking treatments in young adults. This valuable information will help practitioners with treatment planning when seeing patients from different age cohorts. An individualized approach and a lower dosage of BoNTA in toxin-naïve younger adults are recommended.

RevDate: 2022-11-30
CmpDate: 2022-11-30

Quest M, Rinnert P, Hahner L, et al (2022)

Exogenous and endogenous spatial attention in crows.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(49):e2205515119.

Attention describes the ability to selectively process a particular aspect of the environment at the expense of others. Despite the significance of selective processing, the types and scopes of attentional mechanisms in nonprimate species remain underexplored. We trained four carrion crows in Posner spatial cueing tasks using two separate protocols where the attention-capturing cues are shown at different times before target onset at either the same or a different location as the impending target. To probe automatic bottom-up, or exogenous, attention, two naïve crows were tested with a cue that had no predictive value concerning the location of the subsequent target. To examine volitional top-down, or endogenous, attention, the other two crows were tested with the previously learned cues that predicted the impending target location. Comparing the performance for valid (cue and target at same location) and invalid (cue and target at opposing locations) cues in the nonpredictive cue condition showed a transient, mild reaction time advantage signifying exogenous attention. In contrast, there was a strong and long-lasting performance advantage for the valid conditions with predictive cues indicating endogenous attention. Together, these results demonstrate that crows possess two different attention mechanisms (exogenous and endogenous). These findings signify that crows possess a substantial attentional capacity and robust cognitive control over attention allocation.

RevDate: 2022-11-28

Amano S, Yoshikawa T, Ito C, et al (2022)

Prediction and association analyses of skin phenotypes in Japanese females using genetic, environmental, and physical features.

Skin research and technology : official journal of International Society for Bioengineering and the Skin (ISBS) [and] International Society for Digital Imaging of Skin (ISDIS) [and] International Society for Skin Imaging (ISSI) [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Skin characteristics show great variation from person to person and are affected by multiple factors, including genetic, environmental, and physical factors, but details of the involvement and contributions of these factors remain unclear.

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to characterize genetic, environmental, and physical factors affecting 16 skin features by developing models to predict personal skin characteristics.

METHODS: We analyzed the associations of skin phenotypes with genetic, environmental, and physical features in 1472 Japanese females aged 20-80 years. We focused on 16 skin characteristics, including melanin, brightness/lightness, yellowness, pigmented spots, wrinkles, resilience, moisture, barrier function, texture, and sebum amount. As genetic factors, we selected 74 single-nucleotide polymorphisms of genes related to skin color, vitamin level, hormones, circulation, extracellular matrix (ECM) components and ECM-degrading enzymes, inflammation, and antioxidants. Histories of ultraviolet (UV) exposure and smoking as environmental factors and age, height, and weight as physical factors were acquired by means of a questionnaire.

RESULTS: A linear association with age was prominent for increase in the area of crow's feet, increase in number of pigmented spots, decrease in forehead sebum, and increase in VISIA wrinkle parameters. Associations were analyzed by constructing linear regression models for skin feature changes and logistic regression models to predict whether subjects show lower or higher skin measurement values in the same age groups. Multiple genetic factors, history of UV exposure and smoking, and body mass index were statistically selected for each skin characteristic. The most important association found for skin spots, such as lentigines and wrinkles, was adolescent sun exposure.

CONCLUSION: Genetic, environmental, and physical factors associated with interindividual differences of the selected skin features were identified. The developed models should be useful to predict the skin characteristics of individuals and their age-related changes.

RevDate: 2022-11-29
CmpDate: 2022-11-29

Esmaeilifallah M, Sadraei J, Pirestani M, et al (2022)

Molecular characterization and genotyping of Toxoplasma gondii in free-living animals in Iran: Effect of One Health.

Veterinary parasitology, regional studies and reports, 36:100808.

To understand the transmission of Toxoplasma gondii, this parasite's genetic diversity distribution in free-living hosts is essential. This research's objective is the molecular genotyping of T. gondii isolates from the brain and muscles of Columbidae, Corvidae, Rattus, and Felidae of Mianeh County, East-Azerbaijan Province, Northwest Iran. Three hundred fifty samples were taken. For the genotyping of T. gondii, the GRA6 gene was amplified and digested by the Tru1I (MseI) enzyme. Results of RFLP were confirmed by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. In total, 52%, 34%, 24%, and 50% of Columbidae, Corvidae, Rattus, and Felidae were positive for T. gondii DNA, respectively. All isolated Columbidae were identified as genotype III (100%). Also, 94.1% and 5.9% of Corvidae isolates, 84.4% and 15.6% of the Rattus isolates, and 51.7% and 48.3% of the Felidae isolates belonged to genotypes III and II, respectively. This study is the first to evaluate genetic similarity and phylogenetic analysis between many definitive and intermediated hosts in northwestern Iran. The finding indicates that the T. gondii cycle is maintained among these hosts. As a result, their presence in the environment can be a risk factor for transmitting the infection to humans. Due to demographic and geographic differences in various regions, further studies are required to determine the genetic population structure.

RevDate: 2022-11-24

Morin TM, Moore KN, Isenburg K, et al (2022)

Functional reconfiguration of task-active frontoparietal control network facilitates abstract reasoning.

Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991) pii:6843797 [Epub ahead of print].

While the brain's functional network architecture is largely conserved between resting and task states, small but significant changes in functional connectivity support complex cognition. In this study, we used a modified Raven's Progressive Matrices Task to examine symbolic and perceptual reasoning in human participants undergoing fMRI scanning. Previously, studies have focused predominantly on discrete symbolic versions of matrix reasoning, even though the first few trials of the Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices task consist of continuous perceptual stimuli. Our analysis examined the activation patterns and functional reconfiguration of brain networks associated with resting state and both symbolic and perceptual reasoning. We found that frontoparietal networks, including the cognitive control and dorsal attention networks, were significantly activated during abstract reasoning. We determined that these same task-active regions exhibited flexibly-reconfigured functional connectivity when transitioning from resting state to the abstract reasoning task. Conversely, we showed that a stable network core of regions in default and somatomotor networks was maintained across both resting and task states. We propose that these regionally-specific changes in the functional connectivity of frontoparietal networks puts the brain in a "task-ready" state, facilitating efficient task-based activation.

RevDate: 2022-11-23

Aota I, Yatsuda C, EI Izawa (2022)

Salivary corticosterone measurement in large-billed crows by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

The Journal of veterinary medical science [Epub ahead of print].

Salivary corticosteroid measurement, as a surrogate for plasma corticosteroid levels to evaluate an animal's stress or metabolic state, commonly used in mammals. However, the validity of salivary corticosterone (CORT) measurements in birds has not yet been reported. We aimed to measure salivary CORT in crows using a commercially available CORT enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. An adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) challenge experiment using synthetic cosyntropin, an ACTH analogue, was conducted to compare CORT level elevations between the serum and the saliva in a 10-60 min range. Both salivary and blood CORT was significantly elevated 10 min after injecting synthetic cosyntropin. The results supported the validation of salivary CORT as a surrogate for a blood CORT in crows.

RevDate: 2022-11-24
CmpDate: 2022-11-24

Mohamed A, Taylor GK, Watkins S, et al (2022)

Opportunistic soaring by birds suggests new opportunities for atmospheric energy harvesting by flying robots.

Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 19(196):20220671.

The use of flying robots (drones) is increasing rapidly, but their utility is limited by high power demand, low specific energy storage and poor gust tolerance. By contrast, birds demonstrate long endurance, harvesting atmospheric energy in environments ranging from cluttered cityscapes to open landscapes, coasts and oceans. Here, we identify new opportunities for flying robots, drawing upon the soaring flight of birds. We evaluate mechanical energy transfer in soaring from first principles and review soaring strategies encompassing the use of updrafts (thermal or orographic) and wind gradients (spatial or temporal). We examine the extent to which state-of-the-art flying robots currently use each strategy and identify several untapped opportunities including slope soaring over built environments, thermal soaring over oceans and opportunistic gust soaring. In principle, the energetic benefits of soaring are accessible to flying robots of all kinds, given atmospherically aware sensor systems, guidance strategies and gust tolerance. Hence, while there is clear scope for specialist robots that soar like albatrosses, or which use persistent thermals like vultures, the greatest untapped potential may lie in non-specialist vehicles that make flexible use of atmospheric energy through path planning and flight control, as demonstrated by generalist flyers such as gulls, kites and crows.

RevDate: 2022-11-23

Zambolli AH, Manzano MCR, Honda LK, et al (2022)

Performance of autonomous recorders to detect a cryptic and endangered primate species, the black lion-tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysopygus).

American journal of primatology [Epub ahead of print].

Information about species distribution is important for conservation but the monitoring of populations can demand a high sampling effort with traditional methods (e.g., line transects, sound playback) that are poorly efficient for cryptic primates, such as the black lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysopygus). Here we investigated the effectiveness of passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) as an alternative method to identify the presence of vocalizing lion tamarins in the wild. We aimed to: (1) determine the maximum distance at which autonomous recorders (Song Meter 3) and Raven Pro acoustic software can respectively detect and identify lion tamarin long calls emitted by two captive subjects (ex situ study); and (2) determine the sampling effort required to confirm the presence of the species in the wild (in situ study). In captive settings, we recorded lion tamarin long calls with one to two autonomous recorders operating at increasing distances from the animals' enclosure (8-202 m). In a 515 ha forest fragment, we deployed 12 recorders in a grid, 300 m apart from each other, within the estimated 100 ha home range of one group, and let them record for 10 consecutive days, totaling 985 h. In the ex situ study, hand-browsing of spectrograms yielded 298 long calls emitted from 8 to 194 m, and Raven's Template Detector identified 54.6% of them, also emitted from 8 to 194 m. In the in situ study, we manually counted 1115 long calls, and the Raven's Template Detector identified 44.75% of them. Furthermore, the presence of lion tamarins was confirmed within 1 day using four randomly sorted recorders, whereas 5 days on average were necessary with only one device. While specific protocols still need to be developed to determine primate population size using this technology, we concluded that PAM is a promising tool when considering long term costs and benefits.

RevDate: 2022-11-19

Kaur D, Kaur K, Sharma A, et al (2022)

Assessment of Fluoride Content in Water and Its Impact on the Intelligence Quotient of School Children Aged 12-13 Years.

Cureus, 14(10):e30157.

BACKGROUND: The preliminary study was undertaken with the aim to assess the effect of fluoride content in water on the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of school children aged 12-13 years residing in areas that differ with respect to fluoride levels.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The IQ was measured using Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices in 90 children, who were life-long residents in three villages (30 children each) of similar population size but differing in the level of fluoride in drinking water. Urinary fluoride concentration was measured using the selective ion electrode technique. One-way ANOVA was used for the statistical analysis of the data. Results: Children who lived in locations with fluoride levels of 1.60, 6.70, or 2.80 parts per million in their drinking water had urinary fluoride concentrations of 1.60, 6.82, or 2.69 parts per million, and IQ scores of 16.77 + 8.24, 19.36 + 9.98, or 21.87 + 7.47, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The results indicated that there was a positive correlation between excess fluoride in drinking water and IQ.

RevDate: 2022-11-15

Martinez A, Swaner R, Ramdath C, et al (2022)

Police, courts, and corrections: Experiences of procedural injustice among Black adults.

American journal of community psychology [Epub ahead of print].

Racial disparities and a corresponding lack of trust have been documented within the criminal legal system. In response, criminal legal system actors have sought to strengthen the legitimacy of their agencies. However, legitimizing these agencies can be problematic. Some argue that the current criminal legal system continues the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow as Blacks are disproportionately policed and incarcerated. As a framework, procedural injustice can offer a unique backdrop and interrogate ways in which the criminal legal system engages in delegitimizing actions that provoke noncompliance and enable social control. Using a procedural injustice lens, this study examines how justice-involved Black adults experience mistreatment by justice system actors. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 84 Black adults in Newark and Cleveland. Study findings offer a comprehensive account of how participants experience procedural injustice as arrestees, defendants, and incarcerated persons. More specifically, participant narratives describe deliberately antagonistic, abusive, and dehumanizing treatment by justice-system agents-often depicted as racially motivated. Participant accounts also describe this mistreatment as occurring in a context of coercion and powerlessness and as being institutionally sanctioned. Implications for the preservation of racial hierarchies, research, practice, and community psychology are discussed.

RevDate: 2022-11-18
CmpDate: 2022-11-16

Kirschhock ME, A Nieder (2022)

Number selective sensorimotor neurons in the crow translate perceived numerosity into number of actions.

Nature communications, 13(1):6913.

Translating a perceived number into a matching number of self-generated actions is a hallmark of numerical reasoning in humans and animals alike. To explore this sensorimotor transformation, we trained crows to judge numerical values in displays and to flexibly plan and perform a matching number of pecks. We report number selective sensorimotor neurons in the crow telencephalon that signaled the impending number of self-generated actions. Neuronal population activity during the sensorimotor transformation period predicted whether the crows mistakenly planned fewer or more pecks than instructed. During sensorimotor transformation, both a static neuronal code characterized by persistently number-selective neurons and a dynamic code originating from neurons carrying rapidly changing numerical information emerged. The findings indicate there are distinct functions of abstract neuronal codes supporting the sensorimotor number system.

RevDate: 2022-11-14

Gracia-Darder I, Llull Ramos A, Giacaman A, et al (2022)

Report of a case of RAVEN, hair heterochromia and autism in the setting of FGFR2 mutation.

Pediatric dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

A newborn presented with extensive rounded and velvety epidermal nevus (RAVEN) with a genetic study of the cutaneous lesions revealing a heterozygous mutation in FGFR2 (p.Cys382Arg). By 2 years of age, the patient developed hair heterochromia and autism spectrum disorder. Although RAVEN was initially associated with fibroblast growth factor 3 (FGFR3) mutations, three cases of RAVEN have been identified with mutations in FGFR2 (p.Ser252Trp) and one case of linear keratinocytic epidermal nevi has been identified with the same mutation as the mutation identified in our patient. This strongly supports the pathogenic role of these mutations.

RevDate: 2022-11-16

Chang X, Zhao W, Kang J, et al (2022)

Language abnormalities in schizophrenia: binding core symptoms through contemporary empirical evidence.

Schizophrenia (Heidelberg, Germany), 8(1):95.

Both the ability to speak and to infer complex linguistic messages from sounds have been claimed as uniquely human phenomena. In schizophrenia, formal thought disorder (FTD) and auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are manifestations respectively relating to concrete disruptions of those abilities. From an evolutionary perspective, Crow (1997) proposed that "schizophrenia is the price that Homo sapiens pays for the faculty of language". Epidemiological and experimental evidence points to an overlap between FTD and AVHs, yet a thorough investigation examining their shared neural mechanism in schizophrenia is lacking. In this review, we synthesize observations from three key domains. First, neuroanatomical evidence indicates substantial shared abnormalities in language-processing regions between FTD and AVHs, even in the early phases of schizophrenia. Second, neurochemical studies point to a glutamate-related dysfunction in these language-processing brain regions, contributing to verbal production deficits. Third, genetic findings further show how genes that overlap between schizophrenia and language disorders influence neurodevelopment and neurotransmission. We argue that these observations converge into the possibility that a glutamatergic dysfunction in language-processing brain regions might be a shared neural basis of both FTD and AVHs. Investigations of language pathology in schizophrenia could facilitate the development of diagnostic tools and treatments, so we call for multilevel confirmatory analyses focused on modulations of the language network as a therapeutic goal in schizophrenia.

RevDate: 2022-11-17
CmpDate: 2022-11-14

Carvalho IP, Peixoto B, Caldas JC, et al (2022)

Association between Elevated Iodine Intake and IQ among School Children in Portugal.

Nutrients, 14(21):.

The goal of this work was to examine whether elevated iodine intake was associated with adverse effects on IQ among school-age children in Portugal. In a representative sample of children from the north of the country, IQ percentiles by age (assessed with Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices) were dichotomized to <50 ("below-average" IQs) and ≥50. Morning urine iodine concentrations, corrected for creatinine, were dichotomized to <250 µg/g and ≥250 µg/g, according to the European Commission/Scientific Committee on Food's tolerable upper level of daily iodine intake for young children. Data were examined with Chi-square tests, logistic regression, and GLM univariate analysis. The sample (N = 1965) was classified as generally iodine-adequate (median urinary iodine concentration = 129 µg/L; median iodine-to-creatinine ratio = 126 µg/g) according to the WHO's criteria. A greater proportion of children in the ≥250 µg/g group had below-average IQs, compared to children with less than 250 µg/g (p = 0.037), despite a sizable (though non-significant) proportion of children in the less-than-250 µg/g group also presenting below-average IQs, at the bottom of the iodine distribution (<50 µg/g). The proportion of below-average IQs increased with increasingly elevated iodine concentrations (p = 0.047). The association remained significant after the adjustment for confounders, with the elevated iodine group showing increased odds of having below-average IQs when compared with the non-elevated iodine group (OR 1.55; 95% CI 1.11-2.17; p = 0.011). Consistently, the former group presented a lower mean IQ than the latter (p = 0.006). High iodine intake was associated with lower IQs even in a population classified as iodine-adequate. These results bear on child cognition and on initiatives involving iodine supplementation.

RevDate: 2022-11-17

Guo S, Wu W, Liu Y, et al (2022)

Effects of Valley Topography on Acoustic Communication in Birds: Why Do Birds Avoid Deep Valleys in Daqinggou Nature Reserve?.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 12(21):.

To investigate the effects of valley topography on the acoustic transmission of avian vocalisations, we carried out playback experiments in Daqinggou valley, Inner Mongolia, China. During the experiments, we recorded the vocalisations of five avian species, the large-billed crow (Corvus macrorhynchos Wagler, 1827), common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus Linnaeus, 1758), Eurasian magpie (Pica pica Linnaeus, 1758), Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus Linnaeus, 1758), and meadow bunting (Emberiza cioides Brand, 1843), at transmission distances of 30 m and 50 m in the upper and lower parts of the valley and analysed the intensity, the fundamental frequency (F0), and the first three formant frequencies (F1/F2/F3) of the sounds. We also investigated bird species diversity in the upper and lower valley. We found that: (1) at the distance of 30 m, there were significant differences in F0/F1/F2/F3 in Eurasian magpies, significant differences in F1/F2/F3 in the meadow bunting and Eurasian tree sparrow, and partially significant differences in sound frequency between the upper and lower valley in the other two species; (2) at the distance of 50 m, there were significant differences in F0/F1/F2/F3 in two avian species (large-billed crow and common cuckoo) between the upper and lower valley and partially significant differences in sound frequency between the upper and lower valley in the other three species; (2) there were significant differences in the acoustic intensities of crow, cuckoo, magpie, and bunting calls between the upper and lower valley. (3) Species number and richness were significantly higher in the upper valley than in the lower valley. We suggested that the structure of valley habitats may lead to the breakdown of acoustic signals and communication in birds to varying degrees. The effect of valley topography on acoustic communication could be one reason for animal species avoiding deep valleys.

RevDate: 2022-12-01
CmpDate: 2022-11-14

Lu H, Kerkhoven EJ, J Nielsen (2022)

A Pan-Draft Metabolic Model Reflects Evolutionary Diversity across 332 Yeast Species.

Biomolecules, 12(11):.

Yeasts are increasingly employed in synthetic biology as chassis strains, including conventional and non-conventional species. It is still unclear how genomic evolution determines metabolic diversity among various yeast species and strains. In this study, we constructed draft GEMs for 332 yeast species using two alternative procedures from the toolbox RAVEN v 2.0. We found that draft GEMs could reflect the difference in yeast metabolic potentials, and therefore, could be utilized to probe the evolutionary trend of metabolism among 332 yeast species. We created a pan-draft metabolic model to account for the metabolic capacity of every sequenced yeast species by merging all draft GEMs. Further analysis showed that the pan-reactome of yeast has a "closed" property, which confirmed the great conservatism that exists in yeast metabolic evolution. Lastly, the quantitative correlations among trait similarity, evolutionary distances, genotype, and model similarity were thoroughly investigated. The results suggest that the evolutionary distance and genotype, to some extent, determine model similarity, but not trait similarity, indicating that multiple mechanisms shape yeast trait evolution. A large-scale reconstruction and integrative analysis of yeast draft GEMs would be a valuable resource to probe the evolutionary mechanism behind yeast trait variety and to further refine the existing yeast species-specific GEMs for the community.

RevDate: 2022-11-11

Chevrier B, Lamore K, Untas A, et al (2022)

Young adult carers' identification, characteristics, and support: A systematic review.

Frontiers in psychology, 13:990257.

UNLABELLED: Young Adult Carers (YAC) are informal carers aged 18-25 years. This is an unrecognized population. The present systematic review aims to respond to: (1) how YAC are identified in research; (2) the prevalence of YAC; (3) the characteristics of YAC; and (4) how to support YAC. Five electronic databases (Google Scholar, PsycArticle, PsycInfo, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, and PubMed) were searched for studies, scientific articles, and gray literature on YAC published prior to January 18, 2021. The quality of included studies was assessed using the Crow Critical Appraisal Tool, and a narrative method was used to underline major findings. Twenty-three studies were included and revealed that there were several ways to identify YAC, resulting in heterogeneous prevalence. Nine themes were highlighted for YAC characteristics (way into caring; care receiver; caring responsibilities; amount of caring; self-identification as a carer; living arrangement; physical, psychological, and adaptative outcomes; interpersonal relationships; education and employment); and three for YAC support (needs, available support services, and recommendations). The findings showed the diversity of YAC experiences. Although YAC expressed several needs, there are few or no support services devoted to them. More research is needed to improve political awareness.

https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?ID=CRD42021231882, identifier: CRD42021231882.

RevDate: 2022-11-10
CmpDate: 2022-11-10

Cohen JL, Fagien S, Ogilvie P, et al (2022)

High Patient Satisfaction for up to 6 Months With OnabotulinumtoxinA Treatment for Upper Facial Lines.

Dermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.], 48(11):1191-1197.

BACKGROUND: OnabotulinumtoxinA safety and efficacy are well established for upper facial lines (UFL), including forehead lines (FHL), glabellar lines (GL), and crow's feet lines (CFL).

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association of onabotulinumtoxinA efficacy with patient-reported psychological impacts and satisfaction in UFL.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A pooled analysis of data from 4 pivotal Phase 3 trials (onabotulinumtoxinA vs placebo in FHL ± GL, FHL + GL ± CFL, CFL, and CFL + GL for ≤180 days) evaluated investigator-assessed ≥1-grade severity improvement on the Allergan Facial Wrinkle Scale at Day 30 (responders). Facial Line Outcomes (FLO-11) Questionnaire, Facial Line Satisfaction Questionnaire (FLSQ), and Subject Assessment of Satisfaction of Appearance (SASA) were used to evaluate responder appearance-related psychological impacts and satisfaction.

RESULTS: OnabotulinumtoxinA patients, by primary study focus (FHL, GL, or CFL), totaled 921, 921, and 833, respectively; 786 patients received placebo. Most patients were female, White, and aged 45 to 50 years (median). Through 150 days, >42% FHL, >43% GL, and ≥32% CFL patients were onabotulinumtoxinA responders. Responders reported improvements in appearance-related psychological impacts (FLO-11) and high satisfaction (FLSQ and SASA), sustained through ≥150 days.

CONCLUSION: A ≥1-grade improvement with onabotulinumtoxinA is a clinically meaningful outcome in UFL, associated with long-lasting improved patient-reported psychological impacts and high satisfaction.

RevDate: 2022-12-06
CmpDate: 2022-12-06

Hahn LA, Balakhonov D, Lundqvist M, et al (2022)

Oscillations without cortex: Working memory modulates brainwaves in the endbrain of crows.

Progress in neurobiology, 219:102372.

Complex cognition requires coordinated neuronal activity at the network level. In mammals, this coordination results in distinct dynamics of local field potentials (LFP) central to many models of higher cognition. These models often implicitly assume a cortical organization. Higher associative regions of the brains of birds do not have cortical layering, yet single-cell correlates of higher cognition are very similar to those found in mammals. We recorded LFP in the avian equivalent of prefrontal cortex while crows performed a highly controlled and cognitively demanding working memory task. We found signatures in local field potentials, modulated by working memory. Frequencies of a narrow gamma and the beta band contained information about the location of target items and were modulated by working memory load. This indicates a critical involvement of these bands in ongoing cognitive processing. We also observed bursts in the beta and gamma frequencies, similar to those that play a vital part in 'activity silent' models of working memory. Thus, despite the lack of a cortical organization the avian associative pallium can create LFP signatures reminiscent of those observed in primates. This points towards a critical cognitive function of oscillatory dynamics evolved through convergence in species capable of complex cognition.

RevDate: 2022-11-05

Liao DA, Brecht KF, Johnston M, et al (2022)

Recursive sequence generation in crows.

Science advances, 8(44):eabq3356.

Recursion, the process of embedding structures within similar structures, is often considered a foundation of symbolic competence and a uniquely human capability. To understand its evolution, we can study the recursive aptitudes of nonhuman animals. We adopted the behavioral protocol of a recent study demonstrating that humans and nonhuman primates grasp recursion. We presented sequences of bracket pair stimuli (e.g., [ ] and { }) to crows who were instructed to peck at training lists. They were then tested on their ability to transfer center-embedded structure to never-before-seen pairings of brackets. We reveal that crows have recursive capacities; they perform on par with children and even outperform macaques. The crows continued to produce recursive sequences after extending to longer and thus deeper embeddings. These results demonstrate that recursive capabilities are not limited to the primate genealogy and may have occurred separately from or before human symbolic competence in different animal taxa.

RevDate: 2022-11-01

Datta R, Russell DR, Tang I, et al (2022)

Time-resolved velocity and ion sound speed measurements from simultaneous bow shock imaging and inductive probe measurements.

The Review of scientific instruments, 93(10):103530.

We present a technique to measure the time-resolved velocity and ion sound speed in magnetized, supersonic high-energy-density plasmas. We place an inductive ("b-dot") probe in a supersonic pulsed-power-driven plasma flow and measure the magnetic field advected by the plasma. As the magnetic Reynolds number is large (RM > 10), the plasma flow advects a magnetic field proportional to the current at the load. This enables us to estimate the flow velocity as a function of time from the delay between the current at the load and the signal at the probe. The supersonic flow also generates a hydrodynamic bow shock around the probe, the structure of which depends on the upstream sonic Mach number. By imaging the shock around the probe with a Mach-Zehnder interferometer, we determine the upstream Mach number from the shock Mach angle, which we then use to determine the ion sound speed from the known upstream velocity. We use the sound speed to infer the value of Z̄Te, where Z̄ is the average ionization and Te is the electron temperature. We use this diagnostic to measure the time-resolved velocity and sound speed of a supersonic (MS ∼ 8), super-Alfvénic (MA ∼ 2) aluminum plasma generated during the ablation stage of an exploding wire array on the Magpie generator (1.4 MA, 250 ns). The velocity and Z̄Te measurements agree well with the optical Thompson scattering measurements reported in the literature and with 3D resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations in GORGON.

RevDate: 2022-11-09
CmpDate: 2022-11-01

Schnell AK, Boeckle M, NS Clayton (2022)

Waiting for a better possibility: delay of gratification in corvids and its relationship to other cognitive capacities.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 377(1866):20210348.

Self-control, the ability to resist temptation and wait for better but delayed possibilities, is an important cognitive skill that underpins decision-making and planning. The capacity to exert self-control has been linked to intelligence in humans, chimpanzees and most recently cuttlefish. Here, we presented 10 Eurasian jays, Garrulus glandarius, with a delayed maintenance task, which measured the ability to choose a preferred outcome as well as the ability to sustain the delay prior to that outcome. Jays were able to wait for better possibilities, but maximum wait times varied across the subjects. We also presented them with five cognitive tasks that assessed spatial memory, spatial relationships and learning capacity. These tasks are commonly used as measures of general intelligence within an ecological context. Individual performance was correlated across the cognitive tasks, which suggests that there was a general intelligence factor underlying their performance. Performance in these tasks was correlated significantly with the jays' capacity to wait for better possibilities. This study demonstrates that self-control and intelligence are correlated in jays. The fact that this correlation exists in diverse species suggests that self-control is a fundamental feature of cognition. Our results are discussed in the context of convergent evolution. This article is part of the theme issue 'Thinking about possibilities: mechanisms, ontogeny, functions and phylogeny'.

RevDate: 2022-11-22

Zhao S, Wang P, Heidari AA, et al (2023)

Boosted crow search algorithm for handling multi-threshold image problems with application to X-ray images of COVID-19.

Expert systems with applications, 213:119095.

COVID-19 is pervasive and threatens the safety of people around the world. Therefore, now, a method is needed to diagnose COVID-19 accurately. The identification of COVID-19 by X-ray images is a common method. The target area is extracted from the X-ray images by image segmentation to improve classification efficiency and help doctors make a diagnosis. In this paper, we propose an improved crow search algorithm (CSA) based on variable neighborhood descent (VND) and information exchange mutation (IEM) strategies, called VMCSA. The original CSA quickly falls into the local optimum, and the possibility of finding the best solution is significantly reduced. Therefore, to help the algorithm avoid falling into local optimality and improve the global search capability of the algorithm, we introduce VND and IEM into CSA. Comparative experiments are conducted at CEC2014 and CEC'21 to demonstrate the better performance of the proposed algorithm in optimization. We also apply the proposed algorithm to multi-level thresholding image segmentation using Renyi's entropy as the objective function to find the optimal threshold, where we construct 2-D histograms with grayscale images and non-local mean images and maximize the Renyi's entropy on top of the 2-D histogram. The proposed segmentation method is evaluated on X-ray images of COVID-19 and compared with some algorithms. VMCSA has a significant advantage in segmentation results and obtains better robustness than other algorithms. The available extra info can be found at https://github.com/1234zsw/VMCSA.

RevDate: 2022-11-14
CmpDate: 2022-11-14

Ioan I, Weick D, Sevin F, et al (2022)

Neurocognitive evaluation of children with down syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

Sleep medicine, 100:542-549.

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) treatment has been shown to improve cardiac behavioral and cognitive functions in typically developing children. Early OSAS diagnosis in children with Down syndrome (DS) would be important to prevent its complications, especially cognitive ones, but remains overlooked. The main objective of our study was to assess the cognitive function of children with DS, with and without OSAS. The second objective was to determine the impact of the therapeutic intervention on the cognitive function of children with OSAS. This study included 41 children with DS who underwent polysomnography for OSAS diagnosis and a cognitive evaluation. They were aged between 3.4 and 17.3 years and 24 (59%) were boys. Their median OAHI was 2.6 (0-31)/h of sleep, 30 (73%) were diagnosed with OSAS (15 had mild OSAS, and 15 had moderate/severe OSAS). Some scores of the Raven's colored progressive matrices were negatively correlated with the respiratory arousal index, OAHI tended to be positively correlated with Reiss behavioral problems. 24 (59%) patients received a treatment. Even if we were unable to demonstrate this formally due that only 16 children (39%) accepted a follow-up visit, some displayed improvement in their neuropsychological scores, especially those with moderate/severe OSAS after treatment. Children with DS have low intellectual abilities and more risk of developing OSAS compared to the general population, which may lead to further neurocognitive impairment. Early screening and management are important in this population to prevent any further neurocognitive delay in their development.

RevDate: 2022-11-01
CmpDate: 2022-11-01

Nwatah VE, Ahmed PA, Audu LI, et al (2022)

Socio-demographic factors influencing measures of cognitive function of early adolescent students in abuja, Nigeria.

The Nigerian postgraduate medical journal, 29(4):317-324.

BACKGROUND: The brain in the early adolescent period undergoes enhanced changes with the radical reorganisation of the neuronal network leading to improvement in cognitive capacity. A complex interplay exists between environment and genetics that influences the outcome of intellectual capability. We, therefore, aimed to evaluate the relationship between socio-demographic variables and measures of cognitive function (intelligence quotient [IQ] and academic performance) of early adolescents.

METHODS: The study was a descriptive cross-sectional study of early adolescents aged 10-14 years. Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices was used to assess the IQ and academic performance was assessed by obtaining the average of all the subjects' scores in the last three terms that made up an academic year. A confidence interval of 95% was assumed and a value of P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

RESULTS: The overall mean (standard deviation) age of the study population was 11.1 years (±1.3) with male-to-female ratio of 1:1. Female sex was associated with better academic performance with P = 0.004. The students with optimal IQ performance were more likely (61.7%) to perform above average than those with sub-optimal IQ performance (28.6%). As the mother's age increased, the likelihood of having optimal IQ performance increased 1.04 times (odds ratio [OR] = 1.04; 95 confidence interval [CI] = 1.01-1.07). Students in private schools were three times more likely to have optimal IQ performance than those from public schools (OR = 2.79; 95 CI = 1.65-4.71).

CONCLUSION: The present study demonstrated that students' IQ performance and the female gender were associated with above-average academic performance. The predictors of optimal IQ performance found in this study were students' age, maternal age and school type.

RevDate: 2022-10-28

Takeda K, Takahashi N, EI Izawa (2022)

Social encounters produce different autonomic response between dominants and subordinates in crows.

Royal Society open science, 9(10):220972.

Recent studies of behavioural physiology on animals have suggested the crucial role of peripherally physiological signals in eliciting arousal and emotion. Heart rate (HR) is one of the useful and critical signals to measure autonomic regulation as a physiological basis for arousal and emotion in response to biologically significant stimuli such as social encounter with conspecific individuals. However, our understanding of peripherally physiological response such as HRs and autonomic activities under social contexts of non-human animals is still limited, particularly in birds. Here, we examined the autonomic activity of behaving crows exposed to a dominant and a subordinate conspecific by using non-invasive electrocardiogram recording. We found different patterns of autonomic responses dependent on the relative dominance position: dominant crows encountering subordinates showed the elevation of sympathetic activity, whereas subordinates encountering dominants showed decreased HR with elevated parasympathetic activity. This is the first study in birds to report different autonomic responses dependent on relative dominance positions during dyadic social encounters. The present study advances our understanding of the role of the peripheral autonomic system, as an interactive system with the brain, in eliciting emotion/arousal associated with socially challenging environments from an evolutionary perspective.

RevDate: 2022-10-27

Román-García DA, Maldonado-Villamizar FH, Jaramillo-Ávila B, et al (2022)

Non-local scattering control in coupled resonator networks.

Optics express, 30(22):39382-39395.

We demonstrate scattering control of Gaussian-like wave packets propagating with constant envelope velocity and invariant waist through coupled resonator optical waveguides (CROW) via an external resonator coupled to multiple sites of the CROW. We calculate the analytical reflectance and transmittance using standard scattering methods from waveguide quantum electrodynamics and show it is possible to approximate them for an external resonator detuned to the CROW. Our analytical and approximate results are in good agreement with numerical simulations. We engineer various configurations using an external resonator coupled to two sites of a CROW to show light trapping with effective exponential decay between the coupling sites, wave packet splitting into two pairs of identical Gaussian-like wave packets, and a non-local Mach-Zehnder interferometer.

RevDate: 2022-11-04
CmpDate: 2022-10-28

Isoda N, Onuma M, Hiono T, et al (2022)

Detection of New H5N1 High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza Viruses in Winter 2021-2022 in the Far East, Which Are Genetically Close to Those in Europe.

Viruses, 14(10):.

Many high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) cases in wild birds due to H5N1 HPAI virus (HPAIV) infection were reported in northern Japan in the winter of 2021-2022. To investigate the epidemiology of HPAIVs brought to Japan from surrounding areas, a genetic analysis of H5 HPAIVs isolated in northern Japan was performed, and the pathogenicity of the HPAIV in chickens was assessed by experimental infection. Based on the genetic analysis of the hemagglutinin gene, pathogenic viruses detected in northern Japan as well as one in Sakhalin, the eastern part of Russia, were classified into the same subgroup as viruses prevalent in Europe in the same season but distinct from those circulating in Asia in winter 2020-2021. High identities of all eight segment sequences of A/crow/Hokkaido/0103B065/2022 (H5N1) (Crow/Hok), the representative isolates in northern Japan in 2022, to European isolates in the same season could also certify the unlikeliness of causing gene reassortment between H5 HPAIVs and viruses locally circulating in Asia. According to intranasal challenge results in six-week-old chickens, 50% of the chicken-lethal dose of Crow/Hok was calculated as 10[4.5] times of the 50% egg-infectious dose. These results demonstrated that the currently prevalent H5 HPAIVs could spread widely from certain origins throughout the Eurasian continent, including Europe and the Far East, and implied a possibility that contagious viruses are gathered in lakes in the northern territory via bird migration. Active monitoring of wild birds at the global level is essential to estimate the geographical source and spread dynamics of HPAIVs.

RevDate: 2022-10-30

Bailote HB, Linhares D, Carvalho C, et al (2022)

Iodine Intake and Related Cognitive Function Impairments in Elementary Schoolchildren.

Biology, 11(10):.

Iodine deficiency, the most common cause of preventable mental impairment worldwide, has been linked to poorer intellectual function in several studies. However, to our knowledge, no studies have been performed in moderate iodine-deficient schoolchildren using the complete form of Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-III; Portuguese version). The main purpose of this study was to ascertain whether moderate iodine deficiency would affect the cognitive function of schoolchildren (7-11 years old; 3rd and 4th grades). Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices (CPM; Portuguese version) were used for measuring the intelligence quotient (IQ) of the total population (n = 256; median UIC = 66.2 μg/L), and the WISC-III was used to study two selected subgroups: one moderately iodine-deficient (n = 30) and the other with adequate iodine intake (n = 30). WISC-III was shown to be the prime instrument for cognitive function assessment among moderate iodine-deficient schoolchildren; this subgroup had a Full-Scale IQ 15.13 points lower than the adequate iodine intake subgroup, with a magnitude effect of d = 0.7 (p = 0.013). Significant differences were also registered in 6 of the 13 Verbal-Performance IQ subtests. Moderate iodine deficiency has a substantial impact on mental development and cognitive functioning of schoolchildren, with significant impairment in both Performance IQ and Verbal IQ spectrum, adversely impacting their educational performance.

RevDate: 2022-10-30

Wu T, Ma X, Wang F, et al (2022)

First Description of the Mitogenome Features of Neofoleyellides Genus (Nematoda: Onchocercidae) Isolated from a Wild Bird (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax).

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 12(20):.

The Onchocercidae family is composed of more than 30 valid nematode species with notable zoonotic potential. Current limitations in molecular characterization methods and species identification are the main obstacles to a better understanding of the biology of Onchocercidae species, particularly in wildlife. This study describes for the first time the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome sequence of Neofoleyellides sp. isolated from a wild bird (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and belonging to the Neofoleyellides genus (Nematoda: Onchocercidae). The mt genome of Neofoleyellides sp. (GenBank accession number: ON641583) was a typical circular DNA molecule of 13,628 bp in size with an AT content of 76.69%. The complete mt genome comprised 36 functional subunits, including 12 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 2 ribosomal RNA genes, and 22 transfer RNA genes. The most common start codon was ATT/ATG except for nad2 with TTG, and TAA was the termination codon for all protein-coding genes (PCGs). Phylogenetic analysis of the concatenated and aligned amino acid sequences of the 12 PCGs showed that the trees generated using different methods (Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood) with different partition schemes shared similar topologies. The isolated Neofoleyellides sp. was placed in the Onchocercidae family and formed a sister branch with the genera Onchocerca and Dirofilaria. The entire mt genome of Neofoleyellides sp. presented in this study could provide useful data for studying the population genetics and phylogenetic relationships of Onchocercidae species.

RevDate: 2022-10-26

Burris WM, Kinziger AP, Black JM, et al (2022)


Journal of wildlife diseases pii:487940 [Epub ahead of print].

Steller's Jays (Cyanocitta stelleri) with swollen legs and feet resembling the signs of scaly leg have been commonly seen around Arcata, California, US. The clinical signs are thought to be caused by knemidokoptic mites, a group of parasites specialized on avian hosts. Between February 2019 and March 2020, we analyzed the long-term database of Steller's Jays collected by Humboldt State University for trends in the prevalence of signs of scaly leg, compared the gripping position in the feet of Steller's Jays with variable signs of this condition as an index of their ability to perch, identified the mites using a partial sequence of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene, and examined genetic distances between mites collected from different host species both sequenced in this study and from GenBank. Overall, 27% of jays recorded in the long-term database had shown signs of scaly leg. Jays with signs captured in this study had greater variability in and a reduced degree of contraction in the gripping position of their feet compared to jays without signs, suggesting that infestation may have an impact on the host's ability to perch. The cytochrome oxidase subunit I sequence (578 base pairs) from mites collected from Steller's Jays was compared to sequences from Knemidokoptes jamaicensis, Knemidokoptes derooi, and to unidentified Knemidokoptes spp. collected from different hosts. The mites from Steller's Jays were most closely related to Knemidokoptes jamaicensis but had a relatively high sequence divergence, 7.8%, supporting the possibility that the form infesting these jays may be an undescribed species.

RevDate: 2022-11-15
CmpDate: 2022-10-27

Fielding MW, Cunningham CX, Buettel JC, et al (2022)

Dominant carnivore loss benefits native avian and invasive mammalian scavengers.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 289(1985):20220521.

Scavenging by large carnivores is integral for ecosystem functioning by limiting the build-up of carrion and facilitating widespread energy flows. However, top carnivores have declined across the world, triggering trophic shifts within ecosystems. Here, we compare findings from previous work on predator decline against areas with recent native mammalian carnivore loss. Specifically, we investigate top-down control on utilization of experimentally placed carcasses by two mesoscavengers-the invasive feral cat and native forest raven. Ravens profited most from carnivore loss, scavenging for five times longer in the absence of native mammalian carnivores. Cats scavenged on half of all carcasses in the region without dominant native carnivores. This was eight times more than in areas where other carnivores were at high densities. All carcasses persisted longer than the three-week monitoring period in the absence of native mammalian carnivores, while in areas with high carnivore abundance, all carcasses were fully consumed. Our results reveal that top-carnivore loss amplifies impacts associated with carnivore decline-increased carcass persistence and carrion access for smaller scavengers. This suggests that even at low densities, native mammalian carnivores can fulfil their ecological functions, demonstrating the significance of global carnivore conservation and supporting management approaches, such as trophic rewilding.

RevDate: 2022-11-13
CmpDate: 2022-10-27

Storms RF, Carere C, Musters R, et al (2022)

Deterrence of birds with an artificial predator, the RobotFalcon.

Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 19(195):20220497.

Collisions between birds and airplanes can damage aircrafts, resulting in delays and cancellation of flights, costing the international civil aviation industry more than 1.4 billion US dollars annually. Driving away birds is therefore crucial, but the effectiveness of current deterrence methods is limited. Live avian predators can be an effective deterrent, because potential prey will not habituate to them, but live predators cannot be controlled entirely. Thus, there is an urgent need for new deterrence methods. We developed the RobotFalcon, a device modelled after the peregrine falcon, and tested its effectiveness to deter flocks of corvids, gulls, starlings and lapwings. We compared its effectiveness with that of a drone, and of conventional methods routinely applied at a military airbase. The RobotFalcon scared away bird flocks from fields immediately, and these fields subsequently remained free of bird flocks for hours. The RobotFalcon outperformed the drone and the best conventional method at the airbase (distress calls). Importantly, there was no evidence that bird flocks habituated to the RobotFalcon over the course of the fieldwork. We conclude that the RobotFalcon is a practical and ethical solution to drive away bird flocks with all advantages of live predators but without their limitations.

RevDate: 2022-11-03
CmpDate: 2022-11-03

Samoilova YG, Matveeva MV, Oleinik OA, et al (2022)

[Cerebral perfusion and tractography in obese children].

Zhurnal nevrologii i psikhiatrii imeni S.S. Korsakova, 122(10):96-101.

OBJECTIVE: To study the relationship of the structure of the white matter of the brain, neurovascularization and cognitive functions in obese children and adolescents.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study included 64 obese patients, aged 12-17 years, and 54 children without excess body weight. A general clinical examination, neuropsychological testing (the Raven's test with the calculation of IQ, MoCA, the Rey 15-Item Memory Test (RMT), 1 and 2), magnetic resonance imaging (MR) tractography and contrast-free perfusion of the brain were conducted.

RESULTS: Obese children and adolescents had both a decrease in scores on MoCA and the Raven's test, and in terms of IQ, while according to RMT-1, there were significant differences in the two groups, and in RMT-2 the results were comparable. Perfusion analysis showed a decrease in vascularization in the white matter area of the occipital lobe on the left and its increase in the temporal lobe area also on the left. When assessing the white matter according to MR tractography, a decrease in fractional anisotropy was noted in the area of the hook-shaped beam on the right and left, anterior and posterior commissural tracts. These changes were correlated with neuropsychological results.

CONCLUSION: In obese children and adolescents, there was a destruction of the integrity of the white matter and neurovascularization of the brain associated with a deficit of cognitive functions.

RevDate: 2022-10-21
CmpDate: 2022-10-21

Wang Y, Song J, Z Teng (2022)

An Improved New Caledonian Crow Learning Algorithm for Global Function Optimization.

Computational intelligence and neuroscience, 2022:9248771.

The New Caledonian crow learning algorithm (NCCLA) is a novel metaheuristic algorithm inspired by the learning behavior of New Caledonian crows learning to make tools to obtain food. However, it suffers from the problems of easily falling into local optima and insufficient convergence accuracy and convergence precision. To further improve the convergence performance of NCCLA, an improved New Caledonian crow learning algorithm (INCCLA) is proposed in this paper. By determining the parent individuals based on the cosine similarity, the juveniles are guided to search toward different ranges to maintain the population diversity; a novel hybrid mechanism of complete and incomplete learning is proposed to balance the exploration and exploitation capabilities of the algorithm; the update strategy of juveniles and parent individuals is improved to enhance the convergence speed and precision of the algorithm. The test results of the CEC2013 and CEC2020 test suites show that, compared with the original NCCLA algorithm and four of the best metaheuristics to date, INCCLA has significant advantages in terms of convergence speed, convergence precision, and stability.

RevDate: 2022-10-19

Passarello N, Varini L, Liparoti M, et al (2022)

Boosting effect of regular sport practice in young adults: Preliminary results on cognitive and emotional abilities.

Frontiers in psychology, 13:957281.

Several studies have shown that physical exercise (PE) improves behavior and cognitive functioning, reducing the risk of various neurological diseases, protecting the brain from the detrimental effects of aging, facilitating body recovery after injuries, and enhancing self-efficacy and self-esteem. Emotion processing and regulation abilities are also widely acknowledged to be key to success in sports. In this study, we aim to prove that regular participation in sports enhances cognitive and emotional functioning in healthy individuals. A sample of 60 students (mean age = 22.12; SD = 2.40; M = 30), divided into sportive and sedentary, were subjected to a neuropsychological tests battery to assess their overall cognitive abilities (Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices, APM), verbal and graphic fluency (Word Fluency Task and modified Five Point Test, m-FPT), as well as their emotional awareness skills (Toronto Alexithymia Scale, TAS-20). Our results showed that sportive students performed better than sedentary ones in all cognitive tasks. Regarding emotional processing abilities, significant differences were found in the TAS-20 total score as well as in the Difficulty Describing Feelings (DDF) subscale and the Difficulty Identifying Feeling (DIF) subscale. Lastly, gender differences were found in the External-Oriented Thinking (EOT) subscale. Overall, our findings evidence that PE has positive effects on cognitive functioning and emotion regulation, suggesting how sports practice can promote mental health and wellbeing.

RevDate: 2022-10-19

Matsimbe J, Dinka M, Olukanni D, et al (2022)

A Bibliometric Analysis of Research Trends in Geopolymer.

Materials (Basel, Switzerland), 15(19):.

Geopolymer is an inorganic material formed through the chemical reaction of an aluminosilicate precursor and an alkaline or acidic activating solution. It is seen as a green new alternative binder to ordinary Portland cement (OPC) for sustainable infrastructure development. The strength of the unary or blended geopolymer product is dependent on the composition and properties of the polymeric gel influenced by the ratios of Al2O3/SiO2, CaO/SiO2, CaO/(SiO2 + Al2O3), Na2SiO3/NaOH, SiO2/Na2O, and liquid/binder (L/B). Essential scientific inquiry has been progressively addressed by utilizing expert assessment and research metrics. The network visualization of bibliometric co-occurrence and co-citations is of particular significance. The present study aims to highlight the trends and progress of the most influential publication sources, keywords, authors, articles, and countries in geopolymer research in the last 10 years. Bibliometric data were retrieved through Scopus and visualized in VOSviewer to create bibliometric networks. The yearly distribution and growth trends (April 2011-2022) of geopolymer, geopolymer mortar, and geopolymer concrete before (after) applying inclusion criteria were from 754 to 9887 (5186), 47 to 1374 (866), and 145 to 3721 (2253), respectively, attributed to the discoveries in more precursor materials such as laterite and the growing interest in fire and heat-resistant structures, water and wastewater treatment, cement and concrete, and brick manufacturing. The top three journals in terms of prestige for geopolymer publications were the Journal of Hazardous Materials with an impact factor equal to 14.224 and h-index equal to 307, Cement and Concrete Research with an impact factor equal to 11.958 and h-index equal to 239, and the Journal of Cleaner Production with an impact factor equal to 11.072 and h-index equal to 232. The top three journals in terms of average citation per document were Cement and Concrete Research (135.75), Materials and Design (75), and Cement and Concrete Composites (68.35). Keywords such as "geopolymers", "inorganic polymer", "geopolymer", "compressive strength", "fly ash", and "geopolymer concrete" had the highest occurrences in publications. John Provis-University of Sheffield, Prinya Chindaprasirt-Khon Kaen University, and Jay Sanjayan-Swinburne University of Technology had the highest total citations of 6377, 5626, and 4311, respectively. The highest number of publications were from China, India, Australia, the United States of America, and Malaysia. The bibliometric findings from this study can act as a tool for academicians and policymakers to exchange research expertise, collaborate on novel geopolymer research, and create innovative joint ventures.

RevDate: 2022-10-31

Majewski GP, Marchesi P, K Bojanowski (2022)

Niacinamide + "Linefade" ameliorate crow's feet wrinkles and facial sagging in a split-face image analysis study.

RevDate: 2022-10-12

Sollis JG, Ashton BJ, Speechley EM, et al (2022)

Repeated testing does not confound cognitive performance in the Western Australian magpie (Cracticus tibicen dorsalis).

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

A robust understanding of cognitive variation at the individual level is essential to understand selection for and against cognitive traits. Studies of animal cognition often assume that within-individual performance is highly consistent. When repeated tests of individuals have been conducted, the effects of test order (the overall sequence in which different tests are conducted) and test number (the ordinal number indicating when a specific test falls within a sequence)-in particular the potential for individual performance to improve with repeated testing-have received limited attention. In our study, we investigated test order and test number effects on individual performance in three inhibitory control tests in Western Australian magpies (Cracticus tibicen dorsalis). We presented adult magpies with three novel inhibitory control tasks (detour-reaching apparatuses) in random order to test whether experience of cognitive testing and the order in which the apparatuses were presented were predictors of cognitive performance. We found that neither test number nor test order had an effect on cognitive performance of individual magpies when presenting different variants of inhibitory control tasks. This suggests that repeated testing of the same cognitive trait, using causally identical but visually distinct cognitive tasks, does not confound cognitive performance. We recommend that repeated testing effects of cognitive performance in other species be studied to broadly determine the validity of repeated testing in animal cognition studies.

RevDate: 2022-10-25
CmpDate: 2022-10-10

Romeo Z, Marino M, Angrilli A, et al (2022)

Altered language network lateralization in euthymic bipolar patients: a pilot study.

Translational psychiatry, 12(1):435.

Bipolar patients (BD) in the euthymic phase show almost no symptoms, nevertheless possibility of relapse is still present. We expected to find a psychobiological trace of their vulnerability by analyzing a specific network-the Language Network (LN)-connecting many high-level processes and brain regions measured at rest. According to Crow's hypothesis on the key role of language in the origin of psychoses, we expected an altered asymmetry of the LN in euthymic BDs. Eighteen euthymic BD patients (10 females; age = 54.50 ± 11.38 years) and 16 healthy controls (HC) (8 females; age = 51.16 ± 11.44 years) underwent a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan at rest. The LN was extracted through independent component analysis. Then, LN time series was used to compute the fractional amplitude of the low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) index, which was then correlated with clinical scales. Compared with HC, euthymic patients showed an altered LN with greater activation of Broca's area right homologous and anterior insula together with reduced activation of left middle temporal gyrus. The normalized fALFF analysis on BD patients' LN time series revealed that the Slow-5 fALFF band was positively correlated with residual mania symptoms but negatively associated with depression scores. In line with Crow's hypothesis postulating an altered language hemispheric asymmetry in psychoses, we revealed, in euthymic BD patients, a right shift involving both the temporal and frontal linguistic hubs. The fALFF applied to LN allowed us to highlight a number of significant correlations of this measure with residual mania and depression psychiatric symptoms.

RevDate: 2022-12-02
CmpDate: 2022-12-02

McElderry RM, Paxton EH, Nguyen AV, et al (2022)

Predation thresholds for reintroduction of native avifauna following suppression of invasive Brown Treesnakes on Guam.

Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America, 32(8):e2716.

The brown treesnake (BTS) (Boiga irregularis) invasion on Guåhan (in English, Guam) led to the extirpation of nearly all native forest birds. In recent years, methods have been developed to reduce BTS abundance on a landscape scale. To help assess the prospects for the successful reintroduction of native birds to Guåhan following BTS suppression, we modeled bird population persistence based on their life history characteristics and relative sensitivity to BTS predation. We constructed individual-based models and simulated BTS predation in hypothetical founding populations for each of seven candidate bird species. We represented BTS predation risk in two steps: risk of being encountered and risk of mortality if encountered. We link encounter risk from the bird's perspective to snake contact rates at camera traps with live animal lures, the most direct practical means of estimating BTS predation risk. Our simulations support the well-documented fact that Guåhan's birds cannot persist with an uncontrolled population of BTS but do indicate that bird persistence in Guåhan's forests is possible with suppression short of total eradication. We estimate threshold BTS contact rates would need to be below 0.0002-0.0006 snake contacts per bird per night for these birds to persist on the landscape, which translates to an annual encounter probability of 0.07-0.20. We simulated the effects of snake-proof nest boxes for Sihek (Todiramphus cinnamominus) and Såli (Aplonis opaca), but the benefits were small relative to the overall variation in contact rate thresholds among species. This variation among focal bird species in sustainable predation levels can be used to prioritize species for reintroduction in a BTS-suppressed landscape, but variation among these species is narrow relative to the required reduction from current BTS levels, which may be four orders of magnitude higher (>0.18). Our modeling indicates that the required predation thresholds may need to be lower than have yet been demonstrated with current BTS management. Our predation threshold metric provides an important management tool to help estimate target BTS suppression levels that can be used to determine when bird reintroduction campaigns might begin and serves as a model for other systems to match predator control with reintroduction efforts.

RevDate: 2022-09-29

Pascali M, O Massarelli (2022)

The Temporal Subcutaneous Brow Lift (TSBL) with Orbicularis Oculi Muscle (OOM) Elastic Flap: Technical Considerations, Systematic Review and Terminology Standardization.

Facial plastic surgery : FPS [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: As facial aging occurs, aesthetic changes of the periorbital region include eyebrow ptosis, sagging in lateral temporo-orbital region with superior eyelid hooding, ptosis of orbicularis oculi muscle associated to drooping of malar area with multiple "crow feets", a deeper lid-cheek junction and malar festoons. All theese periorbital structures should be considered as a single anatomical entity METHODS : Numerous techniques have been described to correct brow aesthetics in facial rejuvenation. We report the senior author's (M.P.) current approach utilizing a temporal subcutaneous brow lift (TSBL) associated to an orbicularis oculi muscle (OOM) elastic flap. Furthermore, a systematic review of the literature was performed comparing the different surgical approaches striving to clarify its terminology. A total of 298 patients underwent this procedure in 4 years period. Of theese, 230 patients, with at the least 12 months of follow-up, were submitted to subjective and objective methods to evaluate the self perception of scar and their overall aesthetic satisfaction. A Committee of experts, blinded to each other's assessment, evaluated the same outcomes. A mesure of amount of eyebrow's tail lifting was recorded for each patients.

RESULTS: The most satisfying aspect of these techniques is dramatic periorbital rejuvenation and preservation of the patient's original youthful identity. In fact the postoperative results appear very natural and do not suffer from an "operated" look. This aspect is noticeable from both the surgeon's and the patient's perceptions. There were no major complications in any of the cases.

CONCLUSIONS: The proposed TSBL with OOM elastic flap technique, in the hands of senior author (M.P.) has emerged as a reliable, effective, and highly reproducible method to treat sagging and aging of the lateral region of the orbit, even without associated blepharoplasties.

RevDate: 2022-09-29

Vanhooland LC, Szabó A, Bugnyar T, et al (2022)

A comparative study of mirror self-recognition in three corvid species.

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

Mirror self-recognition (MSR) assessed by the Mark Test has been the staple test for the study of animal self-awareness. When tested in this paradigm, corvid species return discrepant results, with only the Eurasian magpies and the Indian house crow successfully passing the test so far, whereas multiple other corvid species fail. The lack of replicability of these positive results and the large divergence in applied methodologies calls into question whether the observed differences are in fact phylogenetic or methodological, and, if so, which factors facilitate the expression of MSR in some corvids. In this study, we (1) present new results on the self-recognition abilities of common ravens, (2) replicate results of azure-winged magpies, and (3) compare the mirror responses and performances in the mark test of these two corvid species with a third corvid species: carrion crows, previously tested following the same experimental procedure. Our results show interspecies differences in the approach of and the response to the mirror during the mirror exposure phase of the experiment as well as in the subsequent mark test. However, the performances of these species in the Mark Test do not provide any evidence for their ability of self-recognition. Our results add to the ongoing discussion about the convergent evolution of MSR and we advocate for consistent methodologies and procedures in comparing this ability across species to advance this discussion.

RevDate: 2022-09-28

Rist B, Pearce AJ, AC Clarke (2022)

Investigating the Psychophysiological Response to Grade One Muscular Injuries in Professional Australian Football Athletes.

International journal of exercise science, 15(5):1052-1063.

The purpose of this study was to examine Australian Football athletes' responses to a grade one muscular injury from a psychophysiological perspective to understand the strength of the association between stress, optimism, and cortisol. Forty-five players listed with one professional Australian Football club volunteered for this study. Inclusion criteria consisted of sustaining a muscular injury during the course of the season with four-weeks predicted recovery time (as diagnosed by club medical staff, n=9). The control group were age, position, and career history matched players from the same sample. Players were also matched for their personality (10-item Big Five Personality Inventory) and fluid intelligence (Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices). Injured players and matched controls completed perceived stress and optimism measures (paper-based questions) as well as salivary cortisol testing once per week for four weeks. Significant increases in cortisol (p=0.015) and perceived stress (p<0.001) were observed in injured players, along with a reduction in optimism (p<0.001) returning by week 4. A significant positive correlation was found between perceived stress and cortisol (r= 0.426), and significant negative correlations observed between optimism and cortisol r= -0.257 and perceived stress r= -0.391. This study showed that athletes were significantly stressed and less optimistic during the first two-weeks of recovery compared to matched controls. While not statistically significant, large effects observed in cortisol and stress in the week prior to returning to competition in the injured group suggest these results demonstrate that a multi-modality approach can improve understanding of psychophysiological stress following a grade one muscular injury in Australian Football athletes.

RevDate: 2022-09-28

Ngo KM, Hosaka T, S Numata (2022)

Attitudes and preferences of wildlife and their relationship with childhood nature experience amongst residents in a tropical urban city.

Urban ecosystems [Epub ahead of print].

UNLABELLED: How people relate to biodiversity and whether they are supportive of conservation programs and policies has implications on global and local biodiversity conservation efforts. Nature experiences in childhood has been shown to be strongly correlated to positive attitudes towards nature and wildlife in adulthood. In this study, we examined wildlife experience, attitudes and willingness to coexist with 26 vertebrates and invertebrates amongst residents in a highly urbanized tropical city, Singapore. A total of 1004 respondents were surveyed and their childhood nature experience and various socioeconomic variables were obtained. The animals were grouped by their likeability and preferred habitat from the respondents' answers. Three main groups of animals were discerned - unfavorable animals, mammals, and favorable animals. Singapore residents generally had high direct experiences of animals that are common in urban settings, for both favorable and unfavorable animals, such as butterflies, dragonflies, crows and bees, but low direct experiences of forest-dependent wildlife. Animals that were well-liked and acceptable near homes include the common urban ones and some forest-dependent ones, while animals that were disliked included stinging insects (bees and hornets) and reptiles (snakes and water monitors). Structured equation modelling showed that both childhood nature experience and wildlife experience had strong effects on wildlife likeability and habitat preference. The apparent mismatch between greening policies and people's willingness to coexist with wildlife may be problematic as urban development further encroaches on forest habitats, and this study highlights the importance of preserving forest habitats so that young children and adults have opportunities to be exposed to them.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11252-022-01280-1.

RevDate: 2022-10-21
CmpDate: 2022-09-28

Olivotto S, Duse A, Bova SM, et al (2022)

Glut1 deficiency syndrome throughout life: clinical phenotypes, intelligence, life achievements and quality of life in familial cases.

Orphanet journal of rare diseases, 17(1):365.

BACKGROUND: Glut1 deficiency syndrome (Glut1-DS) is a rare metabolic encephalopathy. Familial forms are poorly investigated, and no previous studies have explored aspects of Glut1-DS over the course of life: clinical pictures, intelligence, life achievements, and quality of life in adulthood. Clinical, biochemical and genetic data in a cohort of familial Glut1-DS cases were collected from medical records. Intelligence was assessed using Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices and Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices in adults and children, respectively. An ad hoc interview focusing on life achievements and the World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire were administered to adult subjects.

RESULTS: The clinical picture in adults was characterized by paroxysmal exercise-induced dyskinesia (PED) (80%), fatigue (60%), low intelligence (60%), epilepsy (50%), and migraine (50%). However, 20% of the adults had higher-than-average intelligence. Quality of Life (QoL) seemed unrelated to the presence of PED or fatigue in adulthood. An association of potential clinical relevance, albeit not statistically significant, was found between intelligence and QoL. The phenotype of familial Glut1-DS in children was characterized by epilepsy (83.3%), intellectual disability (50%), and PED (33%).

CONCLUSION: The phenotype of familial Glut1-DS shows age-related differences: epilepsy predominates in childhood; PED and fatigue, followed by epilepsy and migraine, characterize the condition in adulthood. Some adults with familial Glut1-DS may lead regular and fulfilling lives, enjoying the same QoL as unaffected individuals. The disorder tends to worsen from generation to generation, with new and more severe symptoms arising within the same family. Epigenetic studies might be useful to assess the phenotypic variability in Glut1-DS.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Nakayama DK (2022)

Thurgood Marshall, Hero of American Medicine.

One of the heroes in American history, Associate Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993) sought legal remedies against racial discrimination in education and health care. As director of the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) of NAACP from 1940 to 1961, his success in integrating law schools in Texas led to the first black medical student admitted to a state medical school in the South. Representing doctors and dentists needing a facility to perform surgery, the LDF brought cases before the courts in North Carolina that moved the country toward justice in health care. His ultimate legal victory came in 1954, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the decision that declared racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional. In 1964, the LDF under Jack Greenberg, Marshall's successor as director, won Simkins v. Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, a decision that held that hospitals accepting federal funds had to admit black patients. The two decisions laid the judicial foundation for the laws and administrative acts that changed America's racial history, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Social Security Act Amendments of 1965 that established Medicare and Medicaid. His achievements came during the hottest period of the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Well past the middle of the twentieth century, black Americans were denied access to the full resources of American medicine, locked in a "separate-but-equal" system woefully inadequate in every respect. In abolishing segregation, Marshall initiated the long overdue remedy of the unjust legacies of slavery and Jim Crow.

RevDate: 2022-10-04
CmpDate: 2022-09-26

Wang CW, Chen YL, Mao SJT, et al (2022)

Pathogenicity of Avian Polyomaviruses and Prospect of Vaccine Development.

Viruses, 14(9):.

Polyomaviruses are nonenveloped icosahedral viruses with a double-stranded circular DNA containing approximately 5000 bp and 5-6 open reading frames. In contrast to mammalian polyomaviruses (MPVs), avian polyomaviruses (APVs) exhibit high lethality and multipathogenicity, causing severe infections in birds without oncogenicity. APVs are classified into 10 major species: Adélie penguin polyomavirus, budgerigar fledgling disease virus, butcherbird polyomavirus, canary polyomavirus, cormorant polyomavirus, crow polyomavirus, Erythrura gouldiae polyomavirus, finch polyomavirus, goose hemorrhagic polyomavirus, and Hungarian finch polyomavirus under the genus Gammapolyomavirus. This paper briefly reviews the genomic structure and pathogenicity of the 10 species of APV and some of their differences in terms of virulence from MPVs. Each gene's genomic size, number of amino acid residues encoding each gene, and key biologic functions are discussed. The rationale for APV classification from the Polyomavirdae family and phylogenetic analyses among the 10 APVs are also discussed. The clinical symptoms in birds caused by APV infection are summarized. Finally, the strategies for developing an effective vaccine containing essential epitopes for preventing virus infection in birds are discussed. We hope that more effective and safe vaccines with diverse protection will be developed in the future to solve or alleviate the problems of viral infection.


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.

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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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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

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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