Matching Items (24)

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Emotional response to an exercise questionnaire in overweight women

Description

This study aimed to identify the emotional/affective sources of discrepancies between physical activity behavior and a widely used self-perception measure of physical activity motivation. Overweight women (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 25 kg/m2, 18-64 years of age; N=37) were recruited

This study aimed to identify the emotional/affective sources of discrepancies between physical activity behavior and a widely used self-perception measure of physical activity motivation. Overweight women (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 25 kg/m2, 18-64 years of age; N=37) were recruited from Arizona State University community through flyers and online newsletters. Participants wore a SenseWear accelerometer for 6 nights and 7 days and followed their normal patterns of daily living. Participants then completed a single lab visit and verbally responded to questions from the Behavorial Regulation Exercise Questionnaire (BREQ-2) while being video and audio recorded. Captured emotional responses were evaluated with facial recognition software (Noldus FaceReader). Discrepancies between BREQ-2 responses and physical activity behavior were associated with happiness and sadness emotional responses extracted from the facial recognition software using regression-based analyses. Results indicated an association between monitored physical activities and captured emotional response - specifically sadness - and that as intensity in physical activity increases, motivation increases. Associations between happiness/sadness and physical activity were not observed for all intensities of physical activity. A marginally significant association was observed for amotivation and sedentary, light-intensity physical activity, and moderate-vigorous physical activity in the sample. This study demonstrates a proof-of-concept for the integration of an empirical evaluation of happiness and sadness emotional states into the relationship between physical activity motivation and behavior.

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Date Created
2016

Learning joint actions in human-human interactions

Description

Understanding human-human interactions during the performance of joint motor tasks is critical for developing rehabilitation robots that could aid therapists in providing effective treatments for motor problems. However, there is a lack of understanding of strategies (cooperative or competitive) adopted

Understanding human-human interactions during the performance of joint motor tasks is critical for developing rehabilitation robots that could aid therapists in providing effective treatments for motor problems. However, there is a lack of understanding of strategies (cooperative or competitive) adopted by humans when interacting with other individuals. Previous studies have investigated the cues (auditory, visual and haptic) that support these interactions but understanding how these unconscious interactions happen even without those cues is yet to be explained. To address this issue, in this study, a paradigm that tests the parallel efforts of pairs of individuals (dyads) to complete a jointly performed virtual reaching task, without any auditory or visual information exchange was employed. Motion was tracked with a NDI OptoTrak 3D motion tracking system that captured each subject’s movement kinematics, through which we could measure the level of synchronization between two subjects in space and time. For the spatial analyses, the movement amplitudes and direction errors at peak velocities and at endpoints were analyzed. Significant differences in the movement amplitudes were found for subjects in 4 out of 6 dyads which were expected due to the lack of feedback between the subjects. Interestingly, subjects in this study also planned their movements in different directions in order to counteract the visuomotor rotation offered in the test blocks, which suggests the difference in strategies for the subjects in each dyad. Also, the level of de-adaptation in the control blocks in which no visuomotor rotation was offered to the subjects was measured. To further validate the results obtained through spatial analyses, a temporal analyses was done in which the movement times for the two subjects were compared. With the help of these results, numerous interaction scenarios that are possible in the human joint actions in without feedback were analyzed.

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Date Created
2016

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Dynamic Modeling, System Identification, and Control Engineering Approaches for Designing Optimized and Perpetually Adaptive Behavioral Health Interventions

Description

Behavior-driven obesity has become one of the most challenging global epidemics since the 1990s, and is presently associated with the leading causes of death in the U.S. and worldwide, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, strokes, and some forms of cancer. The

Behavior-driven obesity has become one of the most challenging global epidemics since the 1990s, and is presently associated with the leading causes of death in the U.S. and worldwide, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, strokes, and some forms of cancer. The use of system identification and control engineering principles in the design of novel and perpetually adaptive behavioral health interventions for promoting physical activity and healthy eating has been the central theme in many recent contributions. However, the absence of experimental studies specifically designed with the purpose of developing control-oriented behavioral models has restricted prior efforts in this domain to the use of hypothetical simulations to demonstrate the potential viability of these interventions. In this dissertation, the use of first-of-a-kind, real-life experimental results to develop dynamic, participant-validated behavioral models essential for the design and evaluation of optimized and adaptive behavioral interventions is examined. Following an intergenerational approach, the first part of this work aims to develop a dynamical systems model of intrauterine fetal growth with the prime goal of predicting infant birth weight, which has been associated with subsequent childhood and adult-onset obesity. The use of longitudinal input-output data from the “Healthy Mom Zone” intervention study has enabled the estimation and validation of this fetoplacental model. The second part establishes a set of data-driven behavioral models founded on Social Cognitive Theory (SCT). The “Just Walk” intervention experiment, developed at Arizona State University using system identification principles, has lent a unique opportunity to estimate and validate both black-box and semiphysical SCT models for predicting physical activity behavior. Further, this dissertation addresses some of the model estimation challenges arising from the limitations of “Just Walk”, including the need for developing nontraditional modeling approaches for short datasets, as well as delivers a new theoretical and algorithmic framework for structured state-space model estimation that can be used in a broader set of application domains. Finally, adaptive closed-loop intervention simulations of participant-validated SCT models from “Just Walk” are presented using a Hybrid Model Predictive Control (HMPC) control law. A simple HMPC controller reconfiguration strategy for designing both single- and multi-phase intervention designs is proposed.

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Date Created
2021

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Cognitive changes across the menopause transition: a longitudinal evaluation of the impact of age and ovarian status on spatial memory

Description

Aging and the menopause transition are both intricately linked to cognitive changes

during mid-life and beyond. Clinical literature suggests the age at menopause onset can differentially impact cognitive status later in life. Yet, little is known about the relationship between behavioral

Aging and the menopause transition are both intricately linked to cognitive changes

during mid-life and beyond. Clinical literature suggests the age at menopause onset can differentially impact cognitive status later in life. Yet, little is known about the relationship between behavioral and brain changes that occur during the transitional stage into the post-menopausal state. Much of the pre-clinical work evaluating an animal model of menopause involves ovariectomy in rodents; however, ovariectomy results in an abrupt loss of circulating hormones and ovarian tissue, limiting the ability to evaluate gradual follicular depletion. The 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD) model simulates transitional menopause in rodents by selectively depleting the immature ovarian follicle reserve and allowing animals to retain their follicle-deplete ovarian tissue, resulting in a profile similar to the majority of menopausal women. Here, Vehicle or VCD treatment was administered to ovary-intact adult and middle-aged Fischer-344 rats to assess the cognitive effects of transitional menopause via VCD-induced follicular depletion over time, as well as to understand potential interactions with age, with VCD treatment beginning at either six or twelve months of age. Results indicated that subjects that experience menopause onset at a younger age had impaired spatial working memory early in the transition to a follicle-deplete state. Moreover, in the mid- and post- menopause time points, VCD-induced follicular depletion amplified an age effect, whereby Middle-Aged VCD-treated animals had poorer spatial working and reference memory performance than Young VCD-treated animals. Correlations suggested that in middle age, animals with higher circulating estrogen levels tended to perform better on spatial memory tasks. Overall, these findings suggest that the age at menopause onset is a critical parameter to consider when evaluating learning and memory across the transition to reproductive senescence. From a translational perspective, this study informs the field with respect to how the age at menopause onset might impact cognition in menopausal women, as well as provides insight into time points to explore for the window of opportunity for hormone therapy during the menopause transition to attenuate age- and menopause- related cognitive decline, and produce healthy brain aging profiles in women who retain their ovaries throughout the lifespan.

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Date Created
2015

Certainty, Severity, and Low Latency Deception

Description

There has been an ongoing debate between the relative deterrent power of certainty and severity on deceptive and criminal activity, certainty being the likelihood of capture and severity being the magnitude of the potential punishment. This paper is a review

There has been an ongoing debate between the relative deterrent power of certainty and severity on deceptive and criminal activity, certainty being the likelihood of capture and severity being the magnitude of the potential punishment. This paper is a review of the current body of research regarding risk assessment and deception in games, specifically regarding certainty and severity. The topics of game theoretical foundations, balance, and design were covered, as were heuristics and individual differences in deceptive behavior. Using this background knowledge, this study implemented a methodology through which the risk assessments of certainty and severity can be compared behaviorally in a repeated conflict context. It was found that certainty had a significant effect on a person’s likelihood to lie, while severity did not. Exploratory data was collected using the dark triad personality quiz, though it did not ultimately show a pattern.

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Created

Date Created
2019

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A comparison of Los Angeles and Phoenix homeowners' attitudes and behaviors towards outdoor water conservation

Description

Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona are two naturally water-scarce regions that rely on imported water to meet their local water needs. Both areas have been experiencing an ongoing drought that has negatively affected their local water supply. Populations in

Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona are two naturally water-scarce regions that rely on imported water to meet their local water needs. Both areas have been experiencing an ongoing drought that has negatively affected their local water supply. Populations in both cities continue to grow, increasing overall demand for water as the supply decreases. Water conservation is important for the sustainability of each town. However, the methods utilized to conserve residential water in the two areas differ drastically; Los Angeles has implemented involuntary water rationing and Phoenix has not.

The widespread effectiveness of involuntary restrictions makes them a popular management scheme. Despite their immediate effectiveness, little is known about how involuntary restrictions affect attitudinal precursors towards the behavior in question and thus, whether or not the restrictions are potentially helpful or harmful to lasting behavior change. This study adapted the Theory of Planned Behavior to survey 361 homeowners in Los Angeles and Phoenix to examine how involuntary water restrictions shape attitudinal precursors to outdoor water conservation.

This study found that when involuntary water restrictions are present, residents feel less in control of their outdoor water use. However, in the presence of involuntary water restrictions, stronger social norms and stronger support for policy prescriptions over outdoor water use were found. The favorable societal support towards water conservation, conceptualized as social norms and policy attitudes, in the presence of involuntary water restrictions is potentially promising for lasting behavior change.

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Date Created
2016

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Mechanisms of recovery from chronic stress

Description

Chronic stress results in functional and structural changes to the hippocampus. Decades of research has led to insights into the mechanisms underlying the chronic stress-induced deficits in hippocampal-mediated cognition and reduction of dendritic complexity of hippocampal neurons. Recently, a considerable

Chronic stress results in functional and structural changes to the hippocampus. Decades of research has led to insights into the mechanisms underlying the chronic stress-induced deficits in hippocampal-mediated cognition and reduction of dendritic complexity of hippocampal neurons. Recently, a considerable focus of chronic stress research has investigated the mechanisms behind the improvements in hippocampal mediated cognition when chronic stress ends and a post-stress rest period is given. Consequently, the goal of this dissertation is to uncover the mechanisms that allow for spatial ability to improve in the aftermath of chronic stress. In chapter 2, the protein brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was investigated as a mechanism that allows for spatial ability to show improvements following the end of chronic stress. It was found that decreasing the expression of BDNF in the hippocampus prevented spatial memory improvements following a post-stress rest period. Chapter 3 was performed to determine whether hippocampal CA3 apical dendritic complexity requires BDNF to show improvements following a post-stress rest period, and whether a receptor for BDNF, TrkB, mediates the improvements of spatial ability and dendritic complexity in a temporal manner, i.e. during the rest period only. These experiments showed that decreased hippocampal BDNF expression prevented improvements in dendritic complexity, and administration of a TrkB antagonist during the rest period also prevented the improvements in spatial ability and dendritic complexity. In chapter 4, the role of the GABAergic system on spatial ability following chronic stress and a post-stress rest period was investigated. Following chronic stress, it was found that male rats showed impairments on the acquisition phase of the RAWM and this correlated with limbic glutamic acid decarboxylase, a marker for GABA. In chapter 5, a transgenic mouse that expresses a permanent marker on all GABAergic interneurons was used to assess the effects of chronic stress and a post-stress rest period on hippocampal GABAergic neurons. While no changes were found on the total number of GABAergic interneurons, specific subtypes of GABAergic interneurons were affected by stressor manipulations. Collectively, these studies reveal some mechanisms behind the plasticity seen in the hippocampus in response to a post-stress rest period.

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Date Created
2018

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Sequencing Effects and Loss Aversion in a Delay Discounting Task

Description

The attractiveness of a reward depends in part on the delay to its receipt, with more distant rewards generally being valued less than more proximate ones. The rate at which people discount the value of delayed rewards has been associated

The attractiveness of a reward depends in part on the delay to its receipt, with more distant rewards generally being valued less than more proximate ones. The rate at which people discount the value of delayed rewards has been associated with a variety of clinically and socially relevant human behaviors. Thus, the accurate measurement of delay discounting rates is crucial to the study of mechanisms underlying behaviors such as risky sex, addiction, and gambling. In delay discounting tasks, participants make choices between two alternatives: one small amount of money delivered immediately versus a large amount of money delivered after a delay. After many choices, the experimental task will converge on an indifference point: the value of the delayed reward that approximates the value of the immediate one. It has been shown that these indifference points are systematically biased by the direction in which one of the alternatives adjusts. This bias is termed a sequencing effect.

The present research proposed a reference-dependent model of choice drawn from Prospect Theory to account for the presence of sequencing effects in a delay discounting task. Sensitivity to reference frames and sequencing effects were measured in two computer tasks. Bayesian and frequentist analyses indicated that the reference-dependent model of choice cannot account for sequencing effects. Thus, an alternative, perceptual account of sequencing effects that draws on a Bayesian framework of magnitude estimation is proposed and furnished with some preliminary evidence. Implications for future research in the measurement of delay discounting and sensitivity to reference frames are discussed.

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Date Created
2018

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Deliberate Self-Harm in the Prison Setting

Description

Although the earliest discussions on deliberate self-harm can be traced in medical literature as early as the mid-1800s, it wasn’t until the 1960s when the psychiatry community became interested in studying self-harming behavior (Favazza, 1998). Since then, psychiatrists and psychologists

Although the earliest discussions on deliberate self-harm can be traced in medical literature as early as the mid-1800s, it wasn’t until the 1960s when the psychiatry community became interested in studying self-harming behavior (Favazza, 1998). Since then, psychiatrists and psychologists alike have spent time researching self-harm behaviors and evaluating treatment methods for individuals who engage in self-harming behaviors. The vast majority of the existing research focuses on patients in the community who self-harm. However, little research has been dedicated to examining self-harming behaviors among the incarcerated population. This dissertation seeks to fill the gap in the literature by analyzing self-harming behaviors among prison inmates in Arizona. Based on record reviews, data was gathered on every self-harm event that happened between September 1, 2018 until September 30th, 2019 by the inmate population incarcerated within the state of Arizona’s 16 state and private prisons. During the 13-month study time period, a total of 2,845 self-harm events were gathered, which were produced by 647 inmates. The results indicate that a large portion of the deliberate self-harm events that occurred in the prison setting served a functional purpose for those who engaged in the self-harm. Specifically, offenders who engaged in deliberate self-harm behaviors did so to obtain a desired outcome or for some kind of secondary gain. The results also indicated that many offenders engaged in deliberate self-harm to obtain a transfer to a safe housing location, and that the number of self-harm event these offenders engaged in decreased once they were transferred to their coveted housing location.

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Date Created
2021

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Bias and the Bias Blind Spot among Social Workers in a Simulated Child Abuse Case

Description

Cognitive heuristics, or mental shortcuts, sometimes give rise to biases that can influence decision making. These biases may be particularly impactful in a legal context where decision making has lifelong consequences. One such legal decision falls upon social workers who

Cognitive heuristics, or mental shortcuts, sometimes give rise to biases that can influence decision making. These biases may be particularly impactful in a legal context where decision making has lifelong consequences. One such legal decision falls upon social workers who are often tasked with providing custodial recommendations in child custody cases. Across a series of 2 studies, I explored the role of confirmation bias in social worker decision making, the potential value of blinding to reduce bias, as well as social workers’ perceptions of their own biases. Social workers were given detailed case materials describing a custody case between the state and a father. Participants were randomly assigned to read a previous examiner’s positive evaluation of a father, a negative evaluation of the father, or were blinded to a previous examiners rating. Social workers engaged in confirmation bias, such that those who read a positive evaluation of the father viewed him more positively than participants who read a negative evaluation of the father, despite the fact that all of the actual case evidence remained constant. Blinding did not appear to mitigate the bias. In study 2, social workers viewed themselves as less biased than their peers and less biased than other experts in a different field – signifying the presence of a bias blindspot. Together, my findings suggest the need to further explore how bias might affect judgments and also how to mitigate biases, such as making experts aware of their potential for bias.

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Created

Date Created
2021