Matching Items (24)

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Predicting and Promoting Healthy Diet in College-Aged Women Using the Health Action Process Approach Model

Description

One of the nation's most pressing health related issues is that of healthy diet and proper nutrition. Because much research has shown that many Americans are in poor health or

One of the nation's most pressing health related issues is that of healthy diet and proper nutrition. Because much research has shown that many Americans are in poor health or are at risk to become so due to poor diet and nutrition, understanding the psychological factors of a healthy diet or lack thereof is of the utmost importance. In order to understand the adoption and maintenance of health related behaviors, the link between intentions and behaviors must be evaluated. Of current health behavior models, the model utilized in this study was the Health Action Process Approach model (HAPA), which addressed this "intention-behavior gap." The HAPA model proposes that planning is the key mediator of the link between intentions and behavior. The current research was performed in two stages. The first stage evaluated the psychosocial constructs of the HAPA model, and their predictive utility for current diet and the second stage evaluated a planning-based intervention that aimed to increase proper nutrition in college-aged women. All HAPA constructs were found to be significantly correlated with one another, and planning was found to significantly and fully mediate the link between intention and healthy diet. The intervention did not lead to an increase in healthy diet relative to a standard-of-care control, although all participants across conditions reported increased intention, self-efficacy, and healthy diet from pre-test to follow-up.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-12

Facial Expressions and Deception in the Court Room

Description

Evidence thus far has not lent credence to facilitate lie detection by the average person. According to studies, there are five major signs of lying: lip pursing, narrowed eyebrows, shoulder

Evidence thus far has not lent credence to facilitate lie detection by the average person. According to studies, there are five major signs of lying: lip pursing, narrowed eyebrows, shoulder shrugs, looking to the left, and smirking. The present study aims to determine whether training people in detecting the five signs of lying will facilitate lie detection in the average person. We analyzed the accuracy of lie detection by examining the verdicts of 155 undergraduate students during simulated police interrogations. Comparisons between the trained and untrained subjects support the hypothesis that the average person is no better than chance at detecting lies through non-verbal cues.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-12

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Motor system integrity in older adults with autism spectrum disorder

Description

Background: Gait disturbance, clumsiness, and other mild movement problems are often observed in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (Maurer and Damasio 1982). As the brain ages, these symptoms may

Background: Gait disturbance, clumsiness, and other mild movement problems are often observed in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (Maurer and Damasio 1982). As the brain ages, these symptoms may persist or worsen in late adulthood in those diagnosed with ASD. This study focused on older adults with ASD to study motor behavior and underlying brain integrity. Using a finger tapping task, motor performance was measured in a cross-sectional study comparing older adults with ASD and age-matched typically developing (TD) controls. We hypothesized that older adults with ASD would show poorer motor performance (slower finger tapping speed). We also hypothesized that underlying brain differences, measured using MRI, in regions associated with motor function including the primary motor cortex, basal ganglia, and cerebellum, as well as the white matter connecting tracts would exist between groups and be associated with the proposed disparity in motor performance.

Method: A finger oscillation (Finger Tapping) test was administered to both ASD (n=21) and TD (n=20) participants aged 40-70 year old participants as a test of fine motor speed. Magnetic resonance (MR) images were collected using a Philips 3 Tesla scanner. 3D T1-weighted and diffusion tensor images (DTI) were obtained to measure gray and white matter volume and white matter integrity, respectively. FreeSurfer, an automated volumetric measurement software, was used to determine group volumetric differences. Mean, radial, and axial diffusivity, fractional anisotropy, and local diffusion homogeneity were measured from DTI images using PANDA software in order to evaluate white matter integrity.

Results: All participants were right-handed and there were no significant differences in demographic variables (ASD/TD, means) including age (51.9/49.1 years), IQ (107/112) and years education (15/16). Total brain volume was not significantly different between groups. No statistically significant group differences were observed in finger tapping speed. ASD participants compared to TDs showed a trend of slower finger tapping (taps/10 seconds) speed on the dominant hand (47.00 (±11.2) vs. (50.5 (±6.6)) and nondominant hand (44.6 (±7.6) vs. (47.2 (±6.6)). However, a large degree of variability was observed in the ASD group, and the Levene’s test for homogeneity of variance approached significance (p=0.053) on the dominant, but not the nondominant, hand. No significant group differences in gray matter regional volume were found for brain regions associated with performing motor tasks. In contrast, group differences were found on several measures of white matter including the corticospinal tract, anterior internal capsule and middle cerebellar peduncle. Brain-behavior correlations showed that dominant finger tapping speed correlated with left hemisphere white matter integrity of the corticospinal tract and right hemisphere cerebellar white matter in the ASD group.

Conclusions: No significant differences were observed between groups in finger tapping speed but the high degree of variability seen in the ASD group. Differences in motor performance appear to be associated with observed brain differences, particularly in the integrity of white matter tracts contributing to motor functioning.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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The GABAA Antagonist Bicuculline Attenuates Progesterone-Induced Memory Impairments in Middle-Aged Ovariectomized Rats

Description

In women, high levels of natural progesterone have been associated with detrimental cognitive effects via the “maternal amnesia” phenomenon as well as in controlled experiments. In aged ovariectomized (Ovx) rats,

In women, high levels of natural progesterone have been associated with detrimental cognitive effects via the “maternal amnesia” phenomenon as well as in controlled experiments. In aged ovariectomized (Ovx) rats, progesterone has been shown to impair cognition and impact the GABAergic system in cognitive brain regions. Here, we tested whether the GABAergic system is a mechanism of progesterone’s detrimental cognitive effects in the Ovx rat by attempting to reverse progesterone-induced impairments via concomitant treatment with the GABAA antagonist, bicuculline. Thirteen month old rats received Ovx plus daily vehicle, progesterone, bicuculline, or progesterone+bicuculline injections beginning 2 weeks prior to testing. The water radial-arm maze was used to evaluate spatial working and reference memory. During learning, rats administered progesterone made more working memory errors than those administered vehicle, and this impairment was reversed by the addition of bicuculline. The progesterone impairment was transient and all animals performed similarly by the end of regular testing. On the last day of testing, a 6 hour delay was administered to evaluate memory retention. Progesterone-treated rats were the only group to increase working memory errors with the delay relative to baseline performance; again, the addition of bicuculline prevented the progesterone-induced impairment. The vehicle, bicuculline, and progesterone+bicuculline groups were not impaired by the delay. The current rodent findings corroborate prior research reporting progesterone-induced detriments on cognition in women and in the aging Ovx rat. Moreover, the data suggest that the progesterone-induced cognitive impairment is, in part, related to the GABAergic system. Given that progesterone is included in numerous clinically-prescribed hormone therapies and contraceptives (e.g., micronized), and as synthetic analogs, further research is warranted to better understand the parameters and mechanism(s) of progesterone-induced cognitive impairments.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-08-14

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Enhancing Studies of the Connectome in Autism Using the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange II

Description

The second iteration of the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE II) aims to enhance the scope of brain connectomics research in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Consistent with the initial

The second iteration of the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE II) aims to enhance the scope of brain connectomics research in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Consistent with the initial ABIDE effort (ABIDE I), that released 1112 datasets in 2012, this new multisite open-data resource is an aggregate of resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and corresponding structural MRI and phenotypic datasets. ABIDE II includes datasets from an additional 487 individuals with ASD and 557 controls previously collected across 16 international institutions. The combination of ABIDE I and ABIDE II provides investigators with 2156 unique cross-sectional datasets allowing selection of samples for discovery and/or replication. This sample size can also facilitate the identification of neurobiological subgroups, as well as preliminary examinations of sex differences in ASD. Additionally, ABIDE II includes a range of psychiatric variables to inform our understanding of the neural correlates of co-occurring psychopathology; 284 diffusion imaging datasets are also included. It is anticipated that these enhancements will contribute to unraveling key sources of ASD heterogeneity.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-03-14

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Aging in Autism: Changes in the Hippocampal System and Verbal/ Visual Memory

Description

The aim of this study was to explore cross-sectional and longitudinal aging differences in immediate and delayed visual and verbal memory abilities in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) compared

The aim of this study was to explore cross-sectional and longitudinal aging differences in immediate and delayed visual and verbal memory abilities in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) compared with neurotypicals (NTs). We measured hippocampal size, fornix fractional anisotropy (FA), and hippocampal and fornix freewater to understand how aging impacts memory structures. Longitudinal findings highlight vulnerabilities in immediate verbal memory and hippocampal volume, while cross-sectional findings indicate fornix freewater may increase at a faster rate in adults with ASD. Future research will examine cognitive and structural sex differences and will study how cognitive measures correlate with structural measures.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Testing the limits of latent class analysis

Description

The purpose of this study was to examine under which conditions "good" data characteristics can compensate for "poor" characteristics in Latent Class Analysis (LCA), as well as to set forth

The purpose of this study was to examine under which conditions "good" data characteristics can compensate for "poor" characteristics in Latent Class Analysis (LCA), as well as to set forth guidelines regarding the minimum sample size and ideal number and quality of indicators. In particular, we studied to which extent including a larger number of high quality indicators can compensate for a small sample size in LCA. The results suggest that in general, larger sample size, more indicators, higher quality of indicators, and a larger covariate effect correspond to more converged and proper replications, as well as fewer boundary estimates and less parameter bias. Based on the results, it is not recommended to use LCA with sample sizes lower than N = 100, and to use many high quality indicators and at least one strong covariate when using sample sizes less than N = 500.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Estimating causal direct and indirect effects in the presence of post-treatment confounders: a simulation study

Description

In investigating mediating processes, researchers usually use randomized experiments and linear regression or structural equation modeling to determine if the treatment affects the hypothesized mediator and if the mediator affects

In investigating mediating processes, researchers usually use randomized experiments and linear regression or structural equation modeling to determine if the treatment affects the hypothesized mediator and if the mediator affects the targeted outcome. However, randomizing the treatment will not yield accurate causal path estimates unless certain assumptions are satisfied. Since randomization of the mediator may not be plausible for most studies (i.e., the mediator status is not randomly assigned, but self-selected by participants), both the direct and indirect effects may be biased by confounding variables. The purpose of this dissertation is (1) to investigate the extent to which traditional mediation methods are affected by confounding variables and (2) to assess the statistical performance of several modern methods to address confounding variable effects in mediation analysis. This dissertation first reviewed the theoretical foundations of causal inference in statistical mediation analysis, modern statistical analysis for causal inference, and then described different methods to estimate causal direct and indirect effects in the presence of two post-treatment confounders. A large simulation study was designed to evaluate the extent to which ordinary regression and modern causal inference methods are able to obtain correct estimates of the direct and indirect effects when confounding variables that are present in the population are not included in the analysis. Five methods were compared in terms of bias, relative bias, mean square error, statistical power, Type I error rates, and confidence interval coverage to test how robust the methods are to the violation of the no unmeasured confounders assumption and confounder effect sizes. The methods explored were linear regression with adjustment, inverse propensity weighting, inverse propensity weighting with truncated weights, sequential g-estimation, and a doubly robust sequential g-estimation. Results showed that in estimating the direct and indirect effects, in general, sequential g-estimation performed the best in terms of bias, Type I error rates, power, and coverage across different confounder effect, direct effect, and sample sizes when all confounders were included in the estimation. When one of the two confounders were omitted from the estimation process, in general, none of the methods had acceptable relative bias in the simulation study. Omitting one of the confounders from estimation corresponded to the common case in mediation studies where no measure of a confounder is available but a confounder may affect the analysis. Failing to measure potential post-treatment confounder variables in a mediation model leads to biased estimates regardless of the analysis method used and emphasizes the importance of sensitivity analysis for causal mediation analysis.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Improving sentence comprehension post-stroke using neuroimaging and neuropsychological approaches

Description

Cognitive deficits often accompany language impairments post-stroke. Past research has focused on working memory in aphasia, but attention is largely underexplored. Therefore, this dissertation will first quantify attention deficits post-stroke

Cognitive deficits often accompany language impairments post-stroke. Past research has focused on working memory in aphasia, but attention is largely underexplored. Therefore, this dissertation will first quantify attention deficits post-stroke before investigating whether preserved cognitive abilities, including attention, can improve auditory sentence comprehension post-stroke. In Experiment 1a, three components of attention (alerting, orienting, executive control) were measured in persons with aphasia and matched-controls using visual and auditory versions of the well-studied Attention Network Test. Experiment 1b then explored the neural resources supporting each component of attention in the visual and auditory modalities in chronic stroke participants. The results from Experiment 1a indicate that alerting, orienting, and executive control are uniquely affected by presentation modality. The lesion-symptom mapping results from Experiment 1b associated the left angular gyrus with visual executive control, the left supramarginal gyrus with auditory alerting, and Broca’s area (pars opercularis) with auditory orienting attention post-stroke. Overall, these findings indicate that perceptual modality may impact the lateralization of some aspects of attention, thus auditory attention may be more susceptible to impairment after a left hemisphere stroke.

Prosody, rhythm and pitch changes associated with spoken language may improve spoken language comprehension in persons with aphasia by recruiting intact cognitive abilities (e.g., attention and working memory) and their associated non-lesioned brain regions post-stroke. Therefore, Experiment 2 explored the relationship between cognition, two unique prosody manipulations, lesion location, and auditory sentence comprehension in persons with chronic stroke and matched-controls. The combined results from Experiment 2a and 2b indicate that stroke participants with better auditory orienting attention and a specific left fronto-parietal network intact had greater comprehension of sentences spoken with sentence prosody. For list prosody, participants with deficits in auditory executive control and/or short-term memory and the left angular gyrus and globus pallidus relatively intact, demonstrated better comprehension of sentences spoken with list prosody. Overall, the results from Experiment 2 indicate that following a left hemisphere stroke, individuals need good auditory attention and an intact left fronto-parietal network to benefit from typical sentence prosody, yet when cognitive deficits are present and this fronto-parietal network is damaged, list prosody may be more beneficial.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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The roles of sensation seeking and level of response to negative, sedative alcohol effects in the intergenerational transmission of risk for developing alcohol use disorders

Description

The present study tested the respective mediating effects of sensation seeking and initial level of response (LR) to negative, sedative alcohol effects on the relation between the density of familial

The present study tested the respective mediating effects of sensation seeking and initial level of response (LR) to negative, sedative alcohol effects on the relation between the density of familial history of alcoholism and adolescent alcohol use. Additionally, the present study tested the direct effect of LR to negative, sedative alcohol effects on adolescent drinking over and above the effects of sensation seeking; and also tested the moderating effect of sensation seeking on the relation between level of response negative, sedative alcohol effects and adolescent drinking. Specifically, OLS regression models first estimated the effects of sensation seeking, LR to negative, sedative alcohol effects, and their interaction on alcohol outcomes, over and above the influence of covariates. Indirect effects were then tested using the PRODCLIN method through RMediation. Analyses failed to support sensation seeking as a mediator in the relation between familial history of alcoholism and adolescent drinking, and as a moderator of the relation between LR and adolescent drinking. However, analyses did support a robust direct effect of LR to negative, sedative alcohol effects on adolescent alcohol involvement. A significant mediating effect of initial LR to negative, sedative alcohol effects on the relation between familial alcoholism and adolescent drinking was found, however failed to maintain significance in post-hoc analyses attenuating the downward bias of the measure of initial LR. Initial LR to negative, sedative alcohol effects continued to predict adolescent drinking after attenuating measure bias. These findings strengthen research on initial LR to negative, sedative alcohol effects as a risk for greater alcohol involvement in adolescence, and underscore the complexity of studying the familial transmission of alcoholism in adolescent populations

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015