Matching Items (120)

149837-Thumbnail Image.png

The effects of housing conditions and methylphenidate on two volitional inhibition tasks

Description

The failure to withhold inappropriate behavior is a central component of most impulse control disorders, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The present study examined the effects of housing environment and methylphenidate (a drug often prescribed for ADHD) on the

The failure to withhold inappropriate behavior is a central component of most impulse control disorders, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The present study examined the effects of housing environment and methylphenidate (a drug often prescribed for ADHD) on the performance of rats in two response inhibition tasks: differential reinforcement of low rate (DRL) and fixed minimum interval (FMI). Both tasks required rats to wait a fixed amount of time (6 s) before emitting a reinforced response. The capacity to withhold the target response (volitional inhibition) and timing precision were estimated on the basis of performance in each of the tasks. Paradoxically, rats housed in a mildly enriched environment that included a conspecific displayed less volitional inhibition in both tasks compared to rats housed in an isolated environment. Enriched housing, however, increased timing precision. Acute administration of methylphenidate partially reversed the effects of enriched housing. Implications of these results in the assessment and treatment of ADHD-related impulsivity are discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

152489-Thumbnail Image.png

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 SNPs in the nicotinic receptors or other genes that contribute

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

152294-Thumbnail Image.png

Retail lighting and consumer product perception: a cross-cultural study

Description

The study of lighting design has important implications for consumer behavior and is an important aspect of consideration for the retail industry. In today's global economy consumers can come from a number of cultural backgrounds. It is important to understand

The study of lighting design has important implications for consumer behavior and is an important aspect of consideration for the retail industry. In today's global economy consumers can come from a number of cultural backgrounds. It is important to understand various cultures' perceptions of lighting design in order for retailers to better understand how to use lighting as a benefit to provide consumers with a desirable shopping experience. This thesis provides insight into the effects of ambient lighting on product perception among Americans and Middle Easterners. Both cultural groups' possess significant purchasing power in the worldwide market place. This research will allow marketers, designers and consumers a better understanding of how culture may play a role in consumer perceptions and behavior Results of this study are based on data gathered from 164 surveys from individuals of American and Middle Eastern heritage. Follow up interviews were also conducted to examine the nuances of product perception and potential differences across cultures. This study, using qualitative and quantitative methods, was executed using a Sequential Explanatory Strategy. Survey data were analyzed to uncover significant correlations and relationships using measures of descriptive analysis, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and regression analysis. Interviews were analyzed using theme-based coding and reported in narrative form. The results suggest that lighting does in fact have an impact on product perception, however despite minor differences, this perception does not vary much between individuals from American and Middle Eastern cultures. It was found that lighting could affect price and quality perception with reference to store-image and store atmospherics. Additionally, lighting has a higher impact on subjective impressions of product (such as Freshness, Pleasantness, and Attractiveness), more than Price and Quality perceptions. This study suggests that particular lighting characteristics could be responsible for differences in product perception between these two cultures. This is important to note for lighting designers and marketers to create retail atmospheres that are preferable to both cultures.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

152325-Thumbnail Image.png

Chronic stress and plasticity in the limbic system: implications for post traumatic stress disorder

Description

The brain is a fundamental target of the stress response that promotes adaptation and survival but the repeated activation of the stress response has the potential alter cognition, emotion, and motivation, key functions of the limbic system. Three structures of

The brain is a fundamental target of the stress response that promotes adaptation and survival but the repeated activation of the stress response has the potential alter cognition, emotion, and motivation, key functions of the limbic system. Three structures of the limbic system in particular, the hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and amygdala, are of special interest due to documented structural changes and their implication in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One of many notable chronic stress-induced changes include dendritic arbor restructuring, which reflect plasticity patterns in parallel with the direction of alterations observed in functional imaging studies in PTSD patients. For instance, chronic stress produces dendritic retraction in the hippocampus and mPFC, but dendritic hypertrophy in the amygdala, consistent with functional imaging in patients with PTSD. Some have hypothesized that these limbic region's modifications contribute to one's susceptibility to develop PTSD following a traumatic event. Consequently, we used a familiar chronic stress procedure in a rat model to create a vulnerable brain that might develop traits consistent with PTSD when presented with a challenge. In adult male rats, chronic stress by wire mesh restraint (6h/d/21d) was followed by a variety of behavioral tasks including radial arm water maze (RAWM), fear conditioning and extinction, and fear memory reconsolidation to determine chronic stress effects on behaviors mediated by these limbic structures. In chapter 2, we corroborated past findings that chronic stress caused hippocampal CA3 dendritic retraction. Importantly, we present new findings that CA3 dendritic retraction corresponded with poor spatial memory in the RAWM and that these outcomes reversed after a recovery period. In chapter 3, we also showed that chronic stress impaired mPFC-mediated extinction memory, findings that others have reported. Using carefully assessed behavior, we present new findings that chronic stress impacted nonassociative fear by enhancing contextual fear during extinction that generalized to a new context. Moreover, the generalization behavior corresponded with enhanced functional activation in the hippocampus and amygdala during fear extinction memory retrieval. In chapter 5, we showed for the first time that chronic stress enhanced amygdala functional activation during fear memory retrieval, i.e., reactivation. Moreover, these enhanced fear memories were resistant to protein synthesis interference to disrupt a previously formed memory, called reconsolidation in a novel attempt to weaken chronic stress enhanced traumatic memory. Collectively, these studies demonstrated the plastic and dynamic effects of chronic stress on limbic neurocircuitry implicated in PTSD. We showed that chronic stress created a structural and functional imbalance across the hippocampus, mPFC, and amygdala, which lead to a PTSD-like phenotype with persistent and exaggerated fear following fear conditioning. These behavioral disruptions in conjunction with morphological and functional imaging data reflect a chronic stress-induced imbalance between hippocampal and mPFC regulation in favor of amygdala function overdrive, and supports a novel approach for traumatic memory processing in PTSD.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

152203-Thumbnail Image.png

Music therapist-child interaction for a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder with applied behavior analysis prompts and fading procedures

Description

The purpose of this research study provided observational techniques and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) prompts and fading procedures to analyze music therapist-child interaction for child with autism spectrum disorder. Impaired social interaction is the primary symptom of a child with

The purpose of this research study provided observational techniques and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) prompts and fading procedures to analyze music therapist-child interaction for child with autism spectrum disorder. Impaired social interaction is the primary symptom of a child with autism spectrum disorder. However, social interaction exists everywhere and throughout human life. Therefore, to improve interaction is the primary and significant goal in music therapy treatment for a child with autism spectrum disorder. The music therapist designs a series of music therapy activity interventions in order to create a therapeutic environment, based on a child's interests and favorite activities. Additionally, the music therapist utilizes the music to build the quality of relationship and interaction with child and support child practicing interaction with the therapist. Then music therapist utilizes the process of interaction to improve child's social interaction. Once the child achieves at desired behavior, he/she has ability to apply the music therapy techniques independently in the real world situations, such as family and schools that the child has learned throughout the process of interaction with therapist. The participants were three children with autism spectrum disorder and two certified music therapists (MT-BC). The researcher calculated the number of prompts and cues which the therapists provided, and the number of appropriate responses by each child in each activity intervention. Then the researcher utilized Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), prompt and fading procedure in order to analyze the progress of therapist-child interactions during the sessions. The result showed that the children had improvement in the interactions with their therapist.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

151302-Thumbnail Image.png

Age related changes in cognition and brain: a focus on progestogens

Description

Cognitive function declines with normal age and disease states, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Loss of ovarian hormones at menopause has been shown to exacerbate age-related memory decline and may be related to the increased risk of AD in women

Cognitive function declines with normal age and disease states, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Loss of ovarian hormones at menopause has been shown to exacerbate age-related memory decline and may be related to the increased risk of AD in women versus men. Some studies show that hormone therapy (HT) can have beneficial effects on cognition in normal aging and AD, but increasing evidence suggests that the most commonly used HT formulation is not ideal. Work in this dissertation used the surgically menopausal rat to evaluate the cognitive effects and mechanisms of progestogens proscribed to women. I also translated these questions to the clinic, evaluating whether history of HT use impacts hippocampal and entorhinal cortex volumes assessed via imaging, and cognition, in menopausal women. Further, this dissertation investigates how sex impacts responsiveness to dietary interventions in a mouse model of AD. Results indicate that the most commonly used progestogen component of HT, medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), impairs cognition in the middle-aged and aged surgically menopausal rat. Further, MPA is the sole hormone component of the contraceptive Depo Provera, and my research indicates that MPA administered to young-adult rats leads to long lasting cognitive impairments, evident at middle age. Natural progesterone has been gaining increasing popularity as an alternate option to MPA for HT; however, my findings suggest that progesterone also impairs cognition in the middle-aged and aged surgically menopausal rat, and that the mechanism may be through increased GABAergic activation. This dissertation identified two less commonly used progestogens, norethindrone acetate and levonorgestrel, as potential HTs that could improve cognition in the surgically menopausal rat. Parameters guiding divergent effects on cognition were discovered. In women, prior HT use was associated with larger hippocampal and entorhinal cortex volumes, as well as a modest verbal memory enhancement. Finally, in a model of AD, sex impacts responsiveness to a dietary cognitive intervention, with benefits seen in male, but not female, transgenic mice. These findings have clinical implications, especially since women are at higher risk for AD diagnosis. Together, it is my hope that this information adds to the overarching goal of optimizing cognitive aging in women.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

152443-Thumbnail Image.png

iPhone applications and improvement in weight and health parameters: a randomized controlled trial

Description

Dietary counseling from a registered dietitian has been shown in previous studies to aid in weight loss for those receiving counseling. With the increasing use of smartphone diet/weight loss applications (app), this study sought to investigate if an iPhone diet

Dietary counseling from a registered dietitian has been shown in previous studies to aid in weight loss for those receiving counseling. With the increasing use of smartphone diet/weight loss applications (app), this study sought to investigate if an iPhone diet app providing feedback from a registered dietitian improved weight loss and bio-markers of health. Twenty-four healthy adults who owned iPhones (BMI > 24 kg/m2) completed this trial. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three app groups: the MyDietitian app with daily feedback from a registered dietitian (n=7), the MyDietitian app without feedback (n=7), and the MyPlate feedback control app (n=10). Participants used their respective diet apps daily for 8-weeks while their weight loss, adherence to self-monitoring, blood bio-markers of health, and physical activity were monitored. All of the groups had a significant reduction in waist and hip circumference (p<0.001), a reduction in A1c (p=0.002), an increase in HDL cholesterol levels (p=0.012), and a reduction in calories consumed (p=0.022) over the duration of the trial. Adherence to diet monitoring via the apps did not differ between groups during the study. Body weight did not change during the study for any groups. However, when the participants were divided into low (<50% of days) or high adherence (>50% of days) groups, irrespective of study group, the high adherence group had a significant reduction in weight when compared to the low adherence group (p=0.046). These data suggest that diet apps may be useful tools for self-monitoring and even weight loss, but that the value appears to be the self-monitoring process and not the app specifically.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

152468-Thumbnail Image.png

Feedbacks, critical transitions and social change in forager-resource systems: an integrated modeling and ethnoarchaeological analysis

Description

My dissertation contributes to a body of knowledge useful for understanding the evolution of subsistence economies based on agriculture from those based on hunting and gathering, as well as the development of formal rules and norms of territorial ownership in

My dissertation contributes to a body of knowledge useful for understanding the evolution of subsistence economies based on agriculture from those based on hunting and gathering, as well as the development of formal rules and norms of territorial ownership in hunter-gatherer societies. My research specifically combines simple formal and conceptual models with the empirical analysis of large ethnographic and environmental data sets to study feedback processes in coupled forager-resource systems. I use the formal and conceptual models of forager-resource systems as tools that aid in the development of two alternative arguments that may explain the adoption of food production and formal territorial ownership among hunter-gatherers. I call these arguments the Uncertainty Reduction Hypothesis and the Social Opportunity Hypothesis. Based on the logic of these arguments, I develop expectations for patterns of food production and formal territorial ownership documented in the ethnographic record of hunter-gatherer societies and evaluate these expectations with large ethnographic and environmental data sets. My analysis suggests that the Uncertainty Reduction Hypothesis is more consistent with the data than the Social Opportunity Hypothesis. Overall, my approach combines the intellectual frameworks of evolutionary ecology and resilience thinking. The result is a theory of subsistence change that integrates elements of three classic models of economic development with deep intellectual roots in human ecology: The Malthusian, Boserupian and Weberian models. A final take home message of my study is that evolutionary ecology and resilience thinking are complementary frameworks for archaeologists who study the transition from hunting and gathering to farming.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

151807-Thumbnail Image.png

The effects of maternal separation on adult methamphetamine self-administration: extinction, reinstatement, and MeCP2 immunoreactivity in the nucleus accumbens

Description

The maternal separation (MS) paradigm is an animal model of early life stress. Animals subjected to MS during the first two weeks of life display altered behavioral and neuroendocrinological stress responses as adults. MS also produces altered responsiveness to and

The maternal separation (MS) paradigm is an animal model of early life stress. Animals subjected to MS during the first two weeks of life display altered behavioral and neuroendocrinological stress responses as adults. MS also produces altered responsiveness to and self-administration (SA) of various drugs of abuse including cocaine, ethanol, opioids, and amphetamine. Methamphetamine (METH) causes great harm to both the individual user and to society; yet, no studies have examined the effects of MS on METH SA. This study was performed to examine the effects of MS on the acquisition of METH SA, extinction, and reinstatement of METH-seeking behavior in adulthood. Given the known influence of early life stress and drug exposure on epigenetic processes, group differences in levels of the epigenetic marker methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core were also investigated. Long-Evans pups and dams were separated on postnatal days (PND) 2-14 for either 180 (MS180) or 15 min (MS15). Male offspring were allowed to acquire METH SA (0.05 mg/kg/infusion) in 15 2-hr daily sessions starting at PND67, followed by extinction training and cue-induced reinstatement of METH-seeking behavior. Rats were then assessed for MeCP2 levels in the NAc core by immunohistochemistry. The MS180 group self-administered significantly more METH and acquired SA earlier than the MS15 group. No group differences in extinction or cue-induced reinstatement were observed. MS15 rats had significantly elevated MeCP2-immunoreactive cells in the NAc core as compared to MS180 rats. Together, these data suggest that MS has lasting influences on METH SA as well as epigenetic processes in the brain reward circuitry.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

152346-Thumbnail Image.png

Negotiated tourist identities: nationality and tourist adaptation

Description

Within the media there is an abundance of reports that claim tourists are being harassed, kidnapped and even killed in some instances as a result of their representation of their country's political ideology and international relations. A qualitative study was

Within the media there is an abundance of reports that claim tourists are being harassed, kidnapped and even killed in some instances as a result of their representation of their country's political ideology and international relations. A qualitative study was undertaken in Bolivia to determine how a tourist avoids or copes with the fear of severe political retribution or harassment in a country whose political environment is largely opposed to that of the traveler's home country. Interviews were conducted in multiple regions of Bolivia, and the data were coded. The results show that tourists experience political retribution on a much smaller scale than initially thought, usually through non-threatening social encounters. The overall themes influencing traveler behaviors are the (Un)Apologetic American, the George W. Bush foreign policy era, avoiding perceived unsafe countries or regions, and Bolivian borders. Respondents, when asked to reflect upon their behavioral habits, do not usually forthrightly deny their country of origin but merely adapt their national identities based on their familial origins, dual citizenship, language abilities or lack thereof, familiarity with the world/regional politics or lack thereof and associating oneself with a popular region in the United States (e.g. New York), rather than the US as a whole. Interestingly, none of the Americans interviewed candidly deny their American nationality or express future intention to deny their nationality. The Americans did express feeling "singled out" at the Bolivian borders which leads to the management implication to implement an automated receipt when purchasing a Bolivian visa and improving the Ministry of Tourism website that would more clearly state visa requirements. Additionally, the image of Bolivia as a culturally and politically homogeneous country is discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013