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Somatosensory Modulation during Speech Planning

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Previous studies have found that the detection of near-threshold stimuli is decreased immediately before movement and throughout movement production. This has been suggested to occur through the use of the internal forward model processing an efferent copy of the motor

Previous studies have found that the detection of near-threshold stimuli is decreased immediately before movement and throughout movement production. This has been suggested to occur through the use of the internal forward model processing an efferent copy of the motor command and creating a prediction that is used to cancel out the resulting sensory feedback. Currently, there are no published accounts of the perception of tactile signals for motor tasks and contexts related to the lips during both speech planning and production. In this study, we measured the responsiveness of the somatosensory system during speech planning using light electrical stimulation below the lower lip by comparing perception during mixed speaking and silent reading conditions. Participants were asked to judge whether a constant near-threshold electrical stimulation (subject-specific intensity, 85% detected at rest) was present during different time points relative to an initial visual cue. In the speaking condition, participants overtly produced target words shown on a computer monitor. In the reading condition, participants read the same target words silently to themselves without any movement or sound. We found that detection of the stimulus was attenuated during speaking conditions while remaining at a constant level close to the perceptual threshold throughout the silent reading condition. Perceptual modulation was most intense during speech production and showed some attenuation just prior to speech production during the planning period of speech. This demonstrates that there is a significant decrease in the responsiveness of the somatosensory system during speech production as well as milliseconds before speech is even produced which has implications for speech disorders such as stuttering and schizophrenia with pronounced deficits in the somatosensory system.

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2019-05

COVID-19 and College Students: The Relationships among Fear of COVID-19, Preventative Behaviors, & Vaccination Intention

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Objective: This study looked at three key variables of fear of COVID-19, preventative behaviors, and vaccination intent among college students in the United Sates. In addition, the three key variables were compared between genders, age groups, race groups, and over

Objective: This study looked at three key variables of fear of COVID-19, preventative behaviors, and vaccination intent among college students in the United Sates. In addition, the three key variables were compared between genders, age groups, race groups, and over time to see if there were any significant findings. <br/>Method: This longitudinal study consisted of two anonymous online surveys administered on REDCap before and after a COVID-19 vaccine became available. <br/>Results: The findings suggested positive correlations between students’ fear of COVID-19 and their preventative behaviors with the passing of time. Hispanic/Latino participants had significantly higher fear of COVID-19 scores compared to Non-Hispanic Whites and other races at Wave I and II. Participants between 25 and 30 years old had a marginally greater difference fear of COVID-19 score compared to those less than 25. Females had significantly higher mean preventative behavior score than males at Wave II. There was a significant association between race/ethnicity groups and vaccination intent. <br/>Conclusion: Knowing why different groups do not engage in recommended preventative behaviors or receive vaccinations can tell us more about what tailored interventions may need to be developed and implemented to promote health and wellbeing in this population. Further research needs to be done regarding race, gender, and age and how these different groups of college students are responding to COVID-19 and why.

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2021-05

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The Transition to Telehealth in Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Description

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare professionals including occupational therapy practitioners (OTPs) were required to transition to working utilizing an online-service delivery model called telehealth. The use of telehealth for occupational therapy (OT) sessions was limited prior to the pandemic,

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare professionals including occupational therapy practitioners (OTPs) were required to transition to working utilizing an online-service delivery model called telehealth. The use of telehealth for occupational therapy (OT) sessions was limited prior to the pandemic, and this shift required OTPs to provide services in ways many had never experienced. The purpose of this study was to identify how the transition to telehealth impacted OTPs and their ability to provide proper care to the pediatric population via telehealth. The final analytic sample included 32 female OTPs who worked with the pediatric population. Results from qualitative and quantitative analyses showed that OTPs had positive feelings toward using telehealth and that the telehealth modality had a moderate impact on their job performance. The areas that pediatric OTPs want to be addressed included technology and internet issues, lack of parent involvement, decreased quality of care, inaccessibility of materials, decreased attention span and increased distractions, and lack of general knowledge about telehealth among clients, parents, and professionals. Despite these drawbacks, a positive theme emerged that the telehealth model is good for current circumstances. The results show telehealth is a positive experience for OTPs and allows OT to be more accessible to their clients. Implications for increasing education for healthcare professionals, clients, and parents/guardians to make telehealth accessible to clients on a large scale are discussed.

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Date Created
2021-05

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Desired Purchasing Behavior during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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The present study explored the relationship between desired purchasing behavior and individual differences using two nationally-representative, longitudinal samples of the U.S. population early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Past research has shown that individual differences provide information about how one might

The present study explored the relationship between desired purchasing behavior and individual differences using two nationally-representative, longitudinal samples of the U.S. population early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Past research has shown that individual differences provide information about how one might respond to threat. Therefore, we predicted changes in desired purchasing behavior across different sociodemographic variables that might reflect those differences. Specifically, we investigated hypotheses related to political orientation, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and whether or not the participant had children. We measured participants’ reported desired purchasing behavior across eleven categories of goods and investigated the connection between specific demographic variables and desired purchasing behavior. We found that conservatives desired to purchase more basic protection goods (guns/ammunition, cash, gas) and that older people desired to purchase more cleaning supplies and toiletries. These findings illustrate possible explanations for purchasing behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic and reveal directions for marketing designed to influence purchasing behavior.

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Created

Date Created
2021-05

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Accuracy in Spotting Misinformation about COVID-19: A Pilot Intervention and the Role of Political Affiliation

Description

In the past year, considerable misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic has circulated on social media platforms. Faced with this pervasive issue, it is important to identify the extent to which people are able to spot misinformation on social media and

In the past year, considerable misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic has circulated on social media platforms. Faced with this pervasive issue, it is important to identify the extent to which people are able to spot misinformation on social media and ways to improve people’s accuracy in spotting misinformation. Therefore, the current study aims to investigate people’s accuracy in spotting misinformation, the effectiveness of a game-based intervention, and the role of political affiliation in spotting misinformation. In this study, 235 participants played a misinformation game in which they evaluated COVID-19-related tweets and indicated whether or not they thought each of the tweets contained misinformation. Misinformation accuracy was measured using game scores, which were based on the correct identification of misinformation. Findings revealed that participants’ beliefs about how accurate they are at spotting misinformation about COVID-19 did not predict their actual accuracy. Participants’ accuracy improved after playing the game, but democrats were more likely to improve than republicans.

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Date Created
2021-05

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Arizona University Students’ Perceptions of COVID-19

Description

This study looked at student’s perceptions of COVID-19 and differences in how universities handled COVID-19. It aimed to assess what measures made students feel safe and were the most effective in lessening spread. A risk-perception survey scored feelings of safety/risk,

This study looked at student’s perceptions of COVID-19 and differences in how universities handled COVID-19. It aimed to assess what measures made students feel safe and were the most effective in lessening spread. A risk-perception survey scored feelings of safety/risk, and semi-structured interviews provided context. Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis showed mixed opinions on university measures, and interviews identified wearing masks, social distancing, isolating, and limiting social contacts as measures that were effective in curbing spread.

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Date Created
2021-05

Future Self-Identification on Depression, Perceived Alcohol Consumption, and Academic or Career Goal Changes in the Face of a Global Crisis

Description

Graduating from college is an important time of life transitions and career development for undergraduates and their future. Future self-identification, the connection between an individual’s current and future self, can negatively predict depression and utilize self-control as a mechanism to

Graduating from college is an important time of life transitions and career development for undergraduates and their future. Future self-identification, the connection between an individual’s current and future self, can negatively predict depression and utilize self-control as a mechanism to achieve later academic goals. Investigating an individual’s future self- identification, depression scores, and behavioral outcomes in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic can help optimize college graduate success in an uncertain world. The present study aimed to (1) determine if earlier future self-identification moderated the changes between later outcomes (e.g., depression, perceived alcohol consumption, and academic and career goals) from pre-COVID-19 to during COVID-19, (2) investigate if psychological resources (e.g., self-control and emotion regulation) had any intermediary effects between earlier future self-identification and later depression and behavioral outcomes during the pandemic, and (3) test for any moderation effects of future self-identification on the relationship between available psychological resources before COVID-19 and during COVID-19. The present research demonstrated that students with greater earlier future self-identification were less likely to change their academic and career goals and were less likely to experience symptoms of depression during the pandemic. Additionally, self-control was demonstrated as an intermediary factor between earlier future self-identification and later academic and career goal changes. These findings may help college graduates develop resilience in other stressful situations.

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Date Created
2021-05

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Startle-evoked movement in multi-jointed, two-dimensional reaching tasks

Description

Previous research has shown that a loud acoustic stimulus can trigger an individual's prepared movement plan. This movement response is referred to as a startle-evoked movement (SEM). SEM has been observed in the stroke survivor population where results have shown

Previous research has shown that a loud acoustic stimulus can trigger an individual's prepared movement plan. This movement response is referred to as a startle-evoked movement (SEM). SEM has been observed in the stroke survivor population where results have shown that SEM enhances single joint movements that are usually performed with difficulty. While the presence of SEM in the stroke survivor population advances scientific understanding of movement capabilities following a stroke, published studies using the SEM phenomenon only examined one joint. The ability of SEM to generate multi-jointed movements is understudied and consequently limits SEM as a potential therapy tool. In order to apply SEM as a therapy tool however, the biomechanics of the arm in multi-jointed movement planning and execution must be better understood. Thus, the objective of our study was to evaluate if SEM could elicit multi-joint reaching movements that were accurate in an unrestrained, two-dimensional workspace. Data was collected from ten subjects with no previous neck, arm, or brain injury. Each subject performed a reaching task to five Targets that were equally spaced in a semi-circle to create a two-dimensional workspace. The subject reached to each Target following a sequence of two non-startling acoustic stimuli cues: "Get Ready" and "Go". A loud acoustic stimuli was randomly substituted for the "Go" cue. We hypothesized that SEM is accessible and accurate for unrestricted multi-jointed reaching tasks in a functional workspace and is therefore independent of movement direction. Our results found that SEM is possible in all five Target directions. The probability of evoking SEM and the movement kinematics (i.e. total movement time, linear deviation, average velocity) to each Target are not statistically different. Thus, we conclude that SEM is possible in a functional workspace and is not dependent on where arm stability is maximized. Moreover, coordinated preparation and storage of a multi-jointed movement is indeed possible.

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Date Created
2016-12

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Agoraphobia and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Description

When the Covid-19 virus began to spread worldwide in the spring of 2020, life across the globe changed rapidly. Government restrictions required people to move into prolonged social isolation and the resulting impact of this isolation on mental health has

When the Covid-19 virus began to spread worldwide in the spring of 2020, life across the globe changed rapidly. Government restrictions required people to move into prolonged social isolation and the resulting impact of this isolation on mental health has been profound (Brooks et al., 2020). Initial research has begun to be conducted to understand the scope of how social isolation and the pandemic have influenced people’s psychological well-being. Thus far there has been a marked increase in depression and anxiety disorders (Eyice Karabacak et al., 2021). Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by fear and avoidance of certain settings. Undoubtedly, fear and avoidance of certain settings during the pandemic cannot be considered abnormal behavior as it is in line with a normative response to such a threatening phenomenon.
This study investigates how normative avoidance of certain settings during the pandemic may have now evolved into fear of the settings themselves. In particular, it tested if the start of the pandemic is associated with the prevalence rate of Agoraphobia. This was done via a retrospective study that uses self-report data to examine whether participants presented symptoms of Agoraphobia prior to the start of the pandemic and if they currently exhibit symptoms of Agoraphobia. In addition to the study, the website designed to host this study also provided mental health resources to participants, in light of the documented increase in mental illness since the start of the pandemic (Brooks et al., 2020).

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Date Created
2022-05

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Analysis and Comparisons of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Select High Income Countries

Description

From 2019, a severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2, began to be a global pandemic. Many high income countries developed different strategies in response. This analysis intends to highlight how the COVID-19 became a global pandemic and the strategies that

From 2019, a severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2, began to be a global pandemic. Many high income countries developed different strategies in response. This analysis intends to highlight how the COVID-19 became a global pandemic and the strategies that account for successes and failures. In identifying key policy differences, the high income countries of the United States, New Zealand and France were examined. The analysis found that New Zealand had proactive elimination strategies that proved highly effective, whereas the United States and France both struggled with mitigation factors that resulted in disproportionately higher confirmed cases and mortality rates. The analysis highlights how the airborne virus became a pandemic and then followed public policies’ effectiveness in terms of existing political institutions,and then their ability to be successful in preventing the spread of the virus.

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2022-05