Matching Items (96)

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Utilizing Best Practices and Behavioral Science to Increase the Effectiveness of University Residential Community Composting Program

Description

Solutions to mitigating the negative externalities of climate change are deemed necessary for a sustainable future. Residential community composting, such as the Community Compost Program at Vista del Sol, could

Solutions to mitigating the negative externalities of climate change are deemed necessary for a sustainable future. Residential community composting, such as the Community Compost Program at Vista del Sol, could potentially play an important role within Arizona State University’s (ASU) solution to develop a sustainable institution as programs aspire to develop sustainable behaviors and integrate environmentally positive practices within students’ lives. The research and review of how universities can utilize a residential community compost program to ignite sustainable action within on-campus communities could present helpful information for additional universities to implement on their own. This review will aim to tackle the research question: how can the operational functions of existing university residential composting programs and behavioral science research be implemented within the Community Compost Program at Arizona State University? The review from existing university residential composting programs and behavioral sciences will be completed to provide an explanation of how residential community composting can overall be effectively prompted.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Young Adult and Middle-Age Rats Display Unique Working Memory Impairment and Differential Neurobiological Profiles following Hysterectomy

Description

Hysterectomy is the second most common gynecological surgery performed in women. Half of these surgeries involve removal of the uterus alone, and half involve concomitant removal of the ovaries. While

Hysterectomy is the second most common gynecological surgery performed in women. Half of these surgeries involve removal of the uterus alone, and half involve concomitant removal of the ovaries. While the field has retained the notion that the nonpregnant uterus is dormant, more recent findings suggest that hysterectomy is associated with cognitive detriment. Of note, the clinical literature suggests that an earlier age at hysterectomy, with or without concomitant ovarian removal, increases dementia risk, implicating age at surgery as a variable of interest. While preclinical work in a rodent model of hysterectomy has demonstrated spatial working memory impairments, the role of age at surgery has yet to be addressed. The current experiment utilized a rodent model of hysterectomy to investigate the importance of age at surgery in post- surgical cognitive outcomes and to evaluate relative protein expression related to brain activity, FosB and ∆FosB, in regions critical to spatial learning processes. Young adult and middle-aged female rats underwent sham surgery, hysterectomy, or hysterectomy with ovariectomy, and were tested on a behavioral battery that evaluated spatial working and reference memory. Following the behavioral battery, animals were sacrificed and brain tissues from the Dorsal Hippocampus and Entorhinal Cortex were processed via Western Blot for relative FosB and ∆FosB expression. Behavioral analyses demonstrated that animals receiving hysterectomy, regardless of age or ovarian status, were generally impaired in learning a complex spatial working memory task. However, rats that received hysterectomy in middle-age uniquely demonstrated persistent working memory impairment, particularly with a high working memory demand. Subsequent neurobiological analyses revealed young rats that underwent hysterectomy had reduced relative FosB expression in the Entorhinal Cortex compared to sham controls, where no significant effects were observed for rats that received surgery in middle-age. Finally, unique relationships between neurobiological and behavioral outcomes were observed largely for sham rats, suggesting that such surgical manipulations might modulate these relationships. Taken together, these findings suggest that age at surgery plays an important role in learning and memory outcomes following hysterectomy, and demonstrate the need for further research into the role of the uterus in communications between the reproductive tract and brain.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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The evolution of addiction: a case study of nicotine dependence

Description

A variety of studies have shown that the tendency toward nicotine dependence has a genetic component. The work described in this thesis addresses three separate questions: i) are there unidentified

A variety of studies have shown that the tendency toward nicotine dependence has a genetic component. The work described in this thesis addresses three separate questions: i) are there unidentified SNPs in the nicotinic receptors or other genes that contribute to the risk for nicotine dependence; ii) is there evidence of ongoing selection at nicotinic receptor loci; and, iii) since nicotine dependence is unlikely to be the phenotype undergoing selection, is a positive effect on memory or cognition the selected phenotype. I first undertook a genome –wide association scan of imputed data using samples from the Collaborative Study of the Genetics of Nicotine Dependence (COGEND). A novel association was found between nicotine dependence and SNPs at 13q31. The genes at this newly associated locus on chromosome 13 encode a group of micro-RNAs and a member of the glypican gene family. These are among the first findings to implicate a non-candidate gene in risk for nicotine dependence. I applied several complimentary methods to sequence data from the 1000 Genomes Project to test for evidence of selection at the nicotinic receptor loci. I found strong evidence for selection for alleles in the nicotinic receptor cluster on chromosome 8 that confer risk of nicotine dependence. I then used the dataset from the Collaborative Studies on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) and looked for an association between neuropsychological phenotypes and SNPs conferring risk of nicotine dependence. One SNP passed multiple test correction for association with WAIS digit symbol score. This SNP is not itself associated with nicotine dependence but is in reasonable (r 2 = 0.75) LD with SNPs that are associated with nicotine dependence. These data suggest at best, a weak correlation between nicotine dependence and any of the tested cognitive phenotypes. Given the reproducible finding of an inverse relationship between SNPs associated with risk for nicotine dependence and cocaine dependence, I hypothesize that the apparently detrimental phenotype of nicotine dependence may confer decreased risk for cocaine dependence. As cocaine use impairs the positive rewards associated with social interactions, reducing the risk of cocaine addiction may be beneficial to both the individual and the group.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Cellular mechanisms underlying the effects of repeated D₂-like agonist treatment on prepulse Inhibition

Description

Patients with schizophrenia have deficits in sensorimotor gating, the ability to gate out irrelevant stimuli in order to attend to relevant stimuli. Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response is

Patients with schizophrenia have deficits in sensorimotor gating, the ability to gate out irrelevant stimuli in order to attend to relevant stimuli. Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response is a reliable and valid model of sensorimotor gating across species. Repeated D2-like agonist treatment alleviates prior PPI deficits in rats, termed a PPI recovery, and is observable 28 days after treatment. The aim of the current project is to illuminate the underlying mechanism for this persistent change of behavior and determine the clinical relevance of repeated D2-like agonist treatment. Our results revealed a significant increase in Delta FosB, a transcription factor, in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) 10 days after repeated D2-like agonist treatment. Additionally, we investigated if Delta FosB was necessary for long-lasting PPI recovery and discovered a bilateral infusion of dominant-negative Delta JunD prevented PPI recovery after repeated D2-like agonist treatment. To further develop the underlying mechanism of PPI recovery, we observed that dominant negative mutant cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response biding element protein (CREB) prevented repeated D2-like agonist-induced Delta FosB expression in the NAc. We then compared our previous behavioral and intracellular findings to the results of repeated aripiprazole, a novel D2-like partial agonist antipsychotic, to determine if repeated D2-like receptor agonist action is a clinically relevant pharmacological approach. As compared to previous PPI recovery and Delta FosB expression after repeated D2-like agonist treatment, we found similar PPI recovery and Delta FosB expression after repeated aripiprazole treatment in rats. We can conclude that repeated D2-like agonist treatment produces persistent PPI recovery through CREB phosphorylation and Delta FosB, which is necessary for PPI recovery. Furthermore, this pharmacological approach produces behavioral and intracellular changes similar to an effective novel antipsychotic. These findings suggest the underlying intracellular mechanism for sustained PPI recovery is clinically relevant and may be a potential target of therapeutic intervention to alleviate sensorimotor gating deficits, which are associated with cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Effects of Odorant-environment Complexity on Behavioral and Neural Plasticity at Different Time Scales

Description

The ability to detect and appropriately respond to chemical stimuli is important for many organisms, ranging from bacteria to multicellular animals. Responses to these stimuli can be plastic over multiple

The ability to detect and appropriately respond to chemical stimuli is important for many organisms, ranging from bacteria to multicellular animals. Responses to these stimuli can be plastic over multiple time scales. In the short-term, the synaptic strengths of neurons embedded in neural circuits can be modified and result in various forms of learning. In the long-term, the overall developmental trajectory of the olfactory network can be altered and synaptic strengths can be modified on a broad scale as a direct result of long-term (chronic) stimulus experience. Over evolutionary time the olfactory system can impose selection pressures that affect the odorants used in communication networks. On short time scales, I measured the effects of repeated alarm pheromone exposure on the colony-level defense behaviors in a social bee. I found that the responses to the alarm pheromone were plastic. This suggests that there may be mechanisms that affect individual plasticity to pheromones and regulate how these individuals act in groups to coordinate nest defense. On longer time scales, I measured the behavioral and neural affects of bees given a single chronic odor experience versus bees that had a natural, more diverse olfactory experience. The central brains of bees with a deprived odor experience responded more similarly to odorants in imaging studies, and did not develop a fully mature olfactory network. Additionally, these immature networks showed behavioral deficits when recalling odor mixture components. Over evolutionary time, signals need to engage the attention of and be easily recognized by bees. I measured responses of bees to a floral mixture and its constituent monomolecular components. I found that natural floral mixtures engage the orientation of bees’ antennae more strongly than single-component odorants and also provide more consistent central brain responses between stimulations. Together, these studies highlight the importance of olfactory experience on different scales and how the nervous system might impose pressures to select the stimuli used as signals in communication networks.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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When Beauty Backfires: Negative Effects of Product and Payment Aesthetics

Description

This dissertation uncovers the negative aspects of aesthetics by examining when and how enhanced product and payment aesthetics can backfire and lead to unfavorable consumer responses. The first essay examines

This dissertation uncovers the negative aspects of aesthetics by examining when and how enhanced product and payment aesthetics can backfire and lead to unfavorable consumer responses. The first essay examines the downstream effects of nondurable product aesthetics on usage behavior and consumption enjoyment. Across a series of field and lab experiments, I document an inhibiting effect of aesthetics on consumption. I find that highly aesthetic products elicit greater inferences of effort in their creation, and that people have an intrinsic appreciation for such effort. Because the consumption process indirectly destroys the effort originally invested to make the product beautiful, people reduce consumption of such products because usage would involve destroying something they naturally appreciate. Further, I show that in cases where individuals do consume a beautiful product, they exhibit lower consumption enjoyment. These negative post-consumption outcomes are driven in parallel by concerns over having actually destroyed the effort that made the product beautiful as well as the decrements in beauty that become visible when aesthetic products are made less attractive through consumption. The second essay investigates how the aesthetics and design of a payment (e.g., beautiful gift card packaging) can influence the purchase experience. Three field and lab experiments reveal the negative impact of beautified payments on spending and purchase satisfaction, particularly in situations where usage involves compromising its aesthetic appeal. Specifically, when consumers must damage a payment’s appearance before using it (e.g., ripping gift card packaging), they are less likely to use that payment, and experience lower purchase satisfaction when they do, an effect driven by the pain of payment. In doing so, I identify aesthetics as a novel antecedent to the pain of payment that carries important consequences for spending behavior, purchase satisfaction, and the overall customer experience. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Effects of Heroin on Prosocial Behavior in Rats and its Modulation by the Anterior Insula

Description

Opioid use rates and related deaths continue to be a public health crisis; while there are many contributing factors to opioid use disorders, criteria for diagnosis include problems related to

Opioid use rates and related deaths continue to be a public health crisis; while there are many contributing factors to opioid use disorders, criteria for diagnosis include problems related to social functioning. Previous research indicates that laboratory rats, which are frequently used as animal models of addiction-related behaviors, are capable of prosocial behavior. The following collection of studies were performed to determine the effects of heroin on prosocial behavior in rats, as well as the role of the insula in both self-administration of heroin and prosocial behaviors. All of the experiments were conducted utilizing an established model of prosocial behavior in rats in which a performing rat releases a cagemate from a restrainer. The occurrence of and latency to free the confined rat was recorded. After baseline rescuing behavior was established, rats were allowed to self-administer heroin (0.06 mg/kg/infusion i.v.), and subsequent experimental conditions were imposed.

Experimental conditions, in a series of different studies, included comparing heroin reinforcers with sucrose, chemogenetically modulating the insular cortex (both stimulatory and inhibitory processes) and administering excitotoxic lesions in the insula. There were significant differences in saving behaviors between heroin and sucrose groups demonstrating an opioid induced loss of prosocial behavior. Modulating the insula chemogenetically resulted in some restoration of these opioid related deficits, and insular lesions did not significantly impact prosocial behaviors, however, there were significant differences between rates of heroin intake in lesioned animals versus non-lesioned controls. Taken together, these results demonstrate the deleterious effects of heroin on prosocial behaviors and offer further support for the role of the insula in both addiction and social constructs.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Implementing the Exercise is MedicineTM solution: a process evaluation conducted in a university-based healthcare system

Description

Background: Exercise is Medicine (EIM) is a health promotion strategy for addressing physical inactivity in healthcare. However, it is unknown how to successfully implement the processes.

Purpose: The purpose of

Background: Exercise is Medicine (EIM) is a health promotion strategy for addressing physical inactivity in healthcare. However, it is unknown how to successfully implement the processes.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to understand how implementing EIM influenced provider behaviors in a university-based healthcare system, using a process evaluation.

Methods: A multiple baseline, time series design was used. Providers were allocated to three groups. Group 1 (n=11) was exposed to an electronic medical record (EMR) systems change, EIM-related resources, and EIM training session. Group 2 (n=5) received the EMR change and resources but no training. Group 3 (n=6) was only exposed to the systems change. The study was conducted across three phases. Outcomes included asking about patient physical activity (PA) as a vital sign (PAVS), prescribing PA (ExRx), and providing PA resources or referrals. Patient surveys and EMR data were examined. Time series analysis, chi-square, and logistic regression were used.

Results: Patient survey data revealed the systems change increased patient reports of being asked about PA, χ2(4) = 95.47, p < .001 for all groups. There was a significant effect of training and resource dissemination on patients receiving PA advice, χ2(4) = 36.25, p < .001. Patients receiving PA advice was greater during phase 2 (OR = 4.7, 95% CI = 2.0-11.0) and phase 3 (OR = 2.9, 95% CI = 1.2-7.4). Increases were also observed in EMR data for PAVS, χ2(2) = 29.27, p <. 001 during implementation for all groups. Increases in PA advice χ2(2) = 140.90, p < .001 occurred among trained providers only. No statistically significant change was observed for ExRx, PA resources or PA referrals. However, visual analysis showed an upwards trend among trained providers.

Conclusions: An EMR systems change is effective for increasing the collection of the PAVS. Training and resources may influence provider behavior but training alone increased provider documentation. The low levels of documented outcomes for PA advice, ExRx, resources, or referrals may be due to the limitations of the EMR system. This approach was effective for examining the EIM Solution and scaled-up, longer trials may yield more robust results.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Effects of a Tai Chi/Qigong Intervention on Body Composition, Sleep Quality, and Emotional Eating in Midlife and Older Women

Description

Weight gain and unfavorable body composition are prevalent among midlife and older women; shifts in these characteristics can have detrimental implications on emotional and physical health and longevity. Efforts

Weight gain and unfavorable body composition are prevalent among midlife and older women; shifts in these characteristics can have detrimental implications on emotional and physical health and longevity. Efforts to attenuate weight-related factors detailing the potential development of obesity are traditionally driven by manipulation of nutrition and/or physical activity; however, sustained results are limited. Novel and integrative approaches are needed to reduce the burden of adverse changes in weight and associated consequences.

This dissertation is built around a model of effects of Tai Chi/Qigong in body composition and a pilot test of this intervention and model factors in a group of midlife/older women (N = 36). Three resulting manuscripts include: 1) a proposed biobehavioral model detailing how a Tai Chi/Qigong intervention may improve weight-related outcomes through psychological, behavioral, and physiological pathways, 2) a paper examining pre- to post- intervention differences in the primary outcomes of percent body fat, sleep quality, and emotional eating and the exploratory outcomes of perceived stress, mood state, mindfulness, self-compassion and body awareness; and 3) an exploratory analysis examining correlations between primary (sleep quality, emotional eating), exploratory (perceived stress, mood state, mindfulness, self-compassion and body awareness), and neurophysiological (heart rate variability) outcomes of interest—further, regression models were conducted to explore the predictive value of the independent variables on the dependent variables and associated changes.

In manuscript two, dependent t-tests were used to assess pre/post-differences (percent body fat and survey measures); this single group study (8-weeks of Tai Chi/Qigong) did not have a control group. Results of manuscript two demonstrate significant changes in sleep quality (p = .04), perceived stress (p = .05), and body awareness (p = .01). Findings of manuscript three indicate changes in the dependent variable of sleep quality were partially explained by perceived stress (adjusted R2 = 13.4%) and changes in the dependent variable of emotional eating were significantly explained by self-compassion (adjusted R2 = 42.1%). In the context of weight gain and unfavorable body composition in midlife/older women, results of this pilot study, using a standardized Tai Chi/Qigong intervention, indicate that select psycho-emotional factors may be important to explore further.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Walkability Around the Worksite and Physical Activity

Description

Features of the built environment (BE) are related to a wide range of health factors, including leisure-time physical activity (PA) and active forms of transportation. For working adults, worksite neighborhood

Features of the built environment (BE) are related to a wide range of health factors, including leisure-time physical activity (PA) and active forms of transportation. For working adults, worksite neighborhood is likely an important BE to better understand the impact of various factors on PA patterns. Compared to home neighborhood walkability research, worksite walkability has received relatively less attention. The objective of this project was to identify if worksite walkability was significantly associated with PA behavior.

Aims: to evaluate 1) the PA variation explained by work walkability, 2) the moderating effects of person-level characteristics to the relationship between PA and work walkability, and 3) the differences in the rate of change in PA over time by worksite walkability.

Methods: self-report and accelerometer measured PA at baseline (aim 1, 2); longitudinal accelerometer PA during the initial 56 days of a behavioral intervention (aim 3). Adults were generally healthy and reported part- or full-time employment with a geocodeable address outside the home. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) measured walkability followed established techniques (i.e., residential, intersection, and transit densities, and land-use-mix).

Results: On average, worksite walkability did not show direct relationships with PA (aim 1); yet certain person-level characteristics moderated the relationships: sex, race, and not having young children in the household (aim 2). During 56 days of intervention, the PA rate of change over time showed no evidence of a moderating effect by worksite walkability.

Discussion: Worksite walkability was generally not shown to relate to the overall PA. However, specific subgroups (women, those without young children) appeared more responsive to their worksite neighborhood walkability. Prior literature shows certain demographics respond differently with various BE exposures, and this study adds a potentially novel moderator of interest regarding young children at home. Understanding who benefits from access to walkable BE may inform targeted interventions and policy to improve PA levels and foster health equity.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019