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  1. Artisanal salt production in Aveiro/Portugal - an ecofriendly process.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Carolina M; Bio, Ana; Amat, Francisco; Vieira, Natividade

    2011-01-01

    Solar salinas are man-made systems exploited for the extraction of salt, by solar and wind evaporation of seawater. Salt production achieved by traditional methods is associated with landscapes and environmental and patrimonial values generated throughout history. Since the mid-twentieth century, this activity has been facing a marked decline in Portugal, with most salinas either abandoned or subjected to destruction, making it necessary to find a strategy to reverse this trend.It is, however, possible to generate revenue from salinas at several levels, not merely in terms of good quality salt production, but also by obtaining other products that can be commercialized, or by exploring their potential for tourism, and as research facilities, among others. Furthermore, with an adequate management, biodiversity can be restored to abandoned salinas, which constitute important feeding and breeding grounds for resident and migratory aquatic birds, many of which are protected by European Community Directives.The aims of this manuscript are to present a brief overview on the current state of sea salt exploitation in Portugal and to stress the importance of recovering these salinas for the conservation of this particular environment, for the regional economy, the scientific community and the general public. The Aveiro salina complex is presented in detail, to exemplify salina structure and functioning, as well as current problems and potential solutions for artisanal salinas. PMID:22053788

  2. Artisanal salt production in Aveiro/Portugal - an ecofriendly process

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Solar salinas are man-made systems exploited for the extraction of salt, by solar and wind evaporation of seawater. Salt production achieved by traditional methods is associated with landscapes and environmental and patrimonial values generated throughout history. Since the mid-twentieth century, this activity has been facing a marked decline in Portugal, with most salinas either abandoned or subjected to destruction, making it necessary to find a strategy to reverse this trend. It is, however, possible to generate revenue from salinas at several levels, not merely in terms of good quality salt production, but also by obtaining other products that can be commercialized, or by exploring their potential for tourism, and as research facilities, among others. Furthermore, with an adequate management, biodiversity can be restored to abandoned salinas, which constitute important feeding and breeding grounds for resident and migratory aquatic birds, many of which are protected by European Community Directives. The aims of this manuscript are to present a brief overview on the current state of sea salt exploitation in Portugal and to stress the importance of recovering these salinas for the conservation of this particular environment, for the regional economy, the scientific community and the general public. The Aveiro salina complex is presented in detail, to exemplify salina structure and functioning, as well as current problems and potential solutions for artisanal salinas. PMID:22053788

  3. Tsunami Impact from a 1755-like event in the Aveiro Region, Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemos, Catarina R.; Omira, Rachid; Pinheiro, Luis M.; Baptista, Maria A.; Quaresma, Luis S.; Garrido, Carla

    2014-05-01

    In this study, we present 5m-resolution tsunami flooding maps for the Aveiro region, W. Central Portugal. Aveiro is known to have been impacted by the 1st November 1755 earthquake and tsunami. At that time this portion of the coast had almost no constructions nor population but eversince geomorphological changes took place, and there has been a very large population increase living in constructions extremely close to the shore. As such it is important to model and evaluate the potential impact that a similar event to the 1755 earthquake would have in this area at present. Tsunami flooding maps were computed using a digital elevation model produced from the present-day bathymetric and topographic data including bathymetric surveys, LiDAR and photogrammetric data. Tsunami scenarios were generated considering different solutions for the 1755 earthquake seismic source, in faults constrained by multibeam and multichannel seismic data. The modeling of the tsunami propagation was performed with a validated non-linear shallow water model. To compute inundation, we considered four levels of nested grids with resolutions ranging from 320m to 5m. The tsunami-associated flood is discussed in terms of flow depth, run-up height and maximum inundation area. The Ria de Aveiro is characterized by both flattened relief and significant tidal amplitude range, which can contribute to an important variation in flooding due to tsunami-tide interaction. Therefore, the effect of the tide variation on the extent of tsunami inundation is also discussed. Results are compared with the historical descriptions of the consequences in Aveiro. An event similar to the one from 1755 would cause tsunami run-up heights above one meter within the Ria de Aveiro. The Aveiro oceanic coast would also be strongly affected. The results obtained can be used to identify the potential tsunami inundation areas in Aveiro, which is important for the Portuguese tsunami emergency management system. Keywords

  4. Foraminiferal biotopes and their distribution control in Ria de Aveiro (Portugal): a multiproxy approach.

    PubMed

    Martins, Maria Virgínia Alves; Frontalini, Fabrizio; Laut, Lazaro L M; Silva, Frederico S; Moreno, João; Sousa, Silvia; Zaaboub, Noureddine; El Bour, Monia; Rocha, Fernando

    2014-12-01

    Ria de Aveiro, which is located in the centre of Portugal (40° 38' N, 8° 45' W), is a well-mixed and complex coastal lagoon that is separated from the sea by a sandy barrier and connects with the Atlantic through an artificial inlet. Tidal currents are the main factor controlling the lagoon's hydrodynamics and, to a great extent, the sedimentary dynamic. The inner lagoonal zones receive input from several rivers and experience the pressure caused by the accumulation of organic matter and pollutants (namely, trace metals) from diverse anthropic activities. This paper is the first piece of work aiming to recognize, characterize and explain the main benthic foraminiferal biotopes in Ria de Aveiro. To provide a broad overview of this kind of setting, our results are compared to those of previous published studies conducted in similar transitional environments. The research is based on an investigation of 225 sites spread throughout this ecosystem. Utilizing a statistical approach, this study analyses the details of dead benthic foraminiferal assemblages composed of 260 taxa, the texture and composition (mineralogical and geochemical) of the sediment and physicochemical data. On the basis of the results of R-mode and Q-mode cluster analyses, several different biotopes can be defined as marsh biotope/near-marsh biotope; marginal urban/marginal urban mixing biotope; inner-outer lagoon biotope or enclosed lagoon; outer lagoon biotope, mixed sub-biotope; and outer lagoon, marine sub-biotope. These biotopes are related to foraminifera assemblages and substrate type and are influenced by local currents, water depth, chemical and physicochemical conditions, river or oceanic proximity, and anthropogenic impact, as evidenced by the mapping of the six factor loadings of the principal component analysis conducted herein. Based on a similar methodology of analysis as that applied in previous studies in the Lagoon of Venice, comparable biotypes were identified in Lagoon of Aveiro

  5. Benthic biodiversity patterns in Ria de Aveiro, Western Portugal: Environmental-biological relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodrigues, Ana Maria; Quintino, Victor; Sampaio, Leandro; Freitas, Rosa; Neves, Ramiro

    2011-12-01

    This study characterizes the macrobenthic gradients in Ria de Aveiro, Western Portugal. Ria de Aveiro is the meeting place of a number of river basins, resulting in a transition system of complex geometry, with channels running parallel to the coast line, north and south of the entrance, but also inland, creating an intricate system of navigation channels, islands and intertidal sand and mudflats. This renders unique characteristics to this system within the framework of transitional waters. The study was based on the analysis of samples from 248 sites, covering the full salinity gradient and the entire channel system. A total of 120 taxa in more than 76,350 specimens were identified. The most abundant and frequent taxa were all annelids, namely Alkmaria romijni, Streblospio shrubsolii, Tharyx sp., Tubificoides benedii, Nereis diversicolor, Capitella sp., Pygospio elegans, Polydora ligni and an unidentified oligochaete. The spatial distribution of the fauna was found to be mainly related to hydrodynamics and the salinity gradient, whereas sediment grain-size characteristics were much less important. Shear stress, flux, current velocity, salinity and sediment redox potential were the environmental variables which best related to the biological data. Benthic assemblages succeed from the euhaline pole, at the entrance, to the limnetic poles, located in the inner parts of the channels. In this succession, mean abundance increased from the outward to the inward assemblages but species richness and diversity were higher in intermediate assemblages. These descriptors decrease abruptly in the limnetic areas. Using the M-AMBI index, the ecological quality of Ria de Aveiro revealed moderate, poor and bad status. However, the ecological status spatial trend closely followed the benthic assemblages succession, their species richness and diversity, indicating the need for proper reference conditions and inter-calibration exercises in the transition waters before final

  6. Support mechanisms for oil spill accident response in costal lagoon areas (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira, Eduardo R.; Silveira, Bruno; Alves, Fátima L.

    2014-10-01

    Oil spill accidents can be caused by several risk factors associated to maritime transport and port activities, which cannot always be predicted or controlled. Therefore, it is essential to support prevention and contingency plans, whose effectiveness is crucial to produce adequate responses and minimize resulting impacts. Ria de Aveiro (Portugal) is a wide coastal lagoon, within a densely populated area, representing a concentration of important biodiversity resources and several economic activities. This paper presents alternative methodologies to support the optimization of civil protection assets in the occurrence of oil spill events and the results of their application on a section area of the Aveiro Lagoon, using an established geographic information system database containing crucial data. The presented methodologies are based on the Environmental Sensitivity Index developed by the North American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (USA) and the Global Vulnerability Index which were applied on the Bay of Biscay (Spain). However, during the development of this work, neither of these methodologies was considered to entirely assess the study area in its full extent, which led to the need to adapt and define a bespoke approach. The introduced changes include extra categories in shoreline classification, an adapted physical vulnerability index for coastal lagoons, differentiated aspects for highly protected status areas, qualitative assessment of socioeconomic features and an access and operability index created to support emergency operation response. The resulting maps are the subject of analysis, in which considerations regarding control and cleanup methods are introduced, together with guidelines for further integration in local risk management strategies.

  7. Assessment of the health quality of Ria de Aveiro (Portugal): heavy metals and benthic foraminifera.

    PubMed

    Martins, Virgínia A; Frontalini, Fabrizio; Tramonte, Keila M; Figueira, Rubens C L; Miranda, Paulo; Sequeira, Cristina; Fernández-Fernández, Sandra; Dias, João A; Yamashita, Cintia; Renó, Raquel; Laut, Lazaro L M; Silva, Frederico S; Rodrigues, Maria Antonieta da C; Bernardes, Cristina; Nagai, Renata; Sousa, Silvia H M; Mahiques, Michel; Rubio, Belén; Bernabeu, Ana; Rey, Daniel; Rocha, Fernando

    2013-05-15

    This work analyses the distribution of heavy metals in the sediments of Ria de Aveiro (Portugal) assessed by total digestion and sequential chemical extraction of the sediments. The influence of environmental parameters on the living benthic foraminiferal assemblages was studied. The most polluted parts in the Ria de Aveiro are areas where the residence time is high and cohesive sediments are deposited. Organic matter, which is an excellent scavenger for a number of metals, is in general more abundant in the finer deposits of this lagoon, which act as sinks of anthropogenic pollutants. This condition is observed in Aveiro canals and Murtosa channel where sediments with the highest concentrations of Zn, Pb, Cu, and Cr are found. The sediments of Murtosa channel are also enriched in As, Co and Hg. In Aveiro canals the enrichment of heavy metals is mostly related to the past industrial production at their margins (ceramic and metallurgy), whereas in Murtosa channel with effluent discharges of the Chemical Complex of Estarreja. Foraminiferal density and diversity reach higher values near the lagoon mouth under higher marine influence and decline in general under very low-oxygen conditions. Some species seems to be indifferent to the increasing of TOC (e.g. Haynesina germanica and Ammonia tepida) and some have an opportunistic behaviour in areas with very depressed levels of oxygen (e.g. A. tepida and Quinqueloculina seminulum) whereas other species can better tolerate sulphide/reducing conditions (e.g. H. germanica, Bolivina ordinaria, Buliminella elegantissima, Bulimina elongata/gibba and Nonionella stella) a widespread condition in this lagoon. Foraminiferal density and some species are negatively correlated with concentrations of heavy metals. A most sensitive group of species to higher concentrations of heavy metals is identified (such as B. ordinaria, B. pseudoplicata and B. elongata/gibba) and another one of more tolerant species (such as H. germanica A. tepida

  8. Occurrence and sources of selected phenolic endocrine disruptors in Ria de Aveiro, Portugal

    PubMed Central

    Sousa, Ana; Galante-Oliveira, Susana; Barroso, Carlos M.; Kohler, Hans-Peter E.; Giger, Walter

    2009-01-01

    Background, aim and scope Ria de Aveiro (Portugal) is a shallow coastal lagoon of high economic and ecological importance. Hardly any data on its chemical pollution by polar organic pollutants are available in literature. This study focused on the presence and sources of a series of phenolic endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) in this area, including parabens, alkylphenolic compounds and bisphenol-A (BPA). A number of possible sources of pollution are present in the area, including the large harbours present in the lagoon, the city of Aveiro and the rivers discharging into the area. A recently constructed submarine wastewater outfall, located a few kilometres from the lagoon inlet has also been suggested as a possible source of pollution to Ria de Aveiro in several publications. The aim of the current field study was to investigate the occurrence and main sources of phenolic endocrine disruptors in Ria de Aveiro. Materials and methods An extensive sampling campaign was performed, with surface water and wastewater grab samples taken at over 50 locations, in duplicate on different days. Samples were treated using solid phase extraction and analysed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Results and discussion Concentrations in lagoon water were generally low: not exceeding 20 ng/L for most analytes. Levels in river water exceeded those in the lagoon by a factor 3 to 500 (o-phenylphenol (PhP) and nonylphenoxy ethoxy acetic acids (A9PEC), respectively), with concentrations up to 700 ng/L for BPA and 7,300 ng/L for A9PEC. Samples from the harbours showed EDC levels similar to those in the rest of the lagoon, but in the city of Aveiro, elevated concentrations were observed for alkylphenol ethoxylates (A9PEO), A9PEC, PhP and BPA. Wastewater effluents showed low levels for parabens, whilst alkylphenolic compounds reached several micrograms per litre. The effluents are discharged into the ocean via a submarine outfall, but as marine water near the outfall

  9. Early diagenesis and clay mineral adsorption as driving factors of metal pollution in sediments: the case of Aveiro Lagoon (Portugal).

    PubMed

    Martins, Maria Virgínia Alves; Mane, Miguel Ângelo; Frontalini, Fabrizio; Santos, José Francisco; da Silva, Frederico Sobrinho; Terroso, Denise; Miranda, Paulo; Figueira, Rubens; Laut, Lazaro Luiz Mattos; Bernardes, Cristina; Filho, João Graciano Mendonça; Coccioni, Rodolfo; Dias, João M Alveirinho; Rocha, Fernando

    2015-07-01

    This work aims to define the factors driving the accumulation of metals in the sediment of the lagoon of Aveiro (Portugal). The role of initial diagenetic processes in controlling trace metal retention in surface sediment is traced by mineralogy, magnetic susceptibility and geochemical analyses. Although several studies have focused on the metal distribution in this polihaline and anthropized coastal lagoon, most of them have been solely focused on the total metal concentrations. This study instead represents the first attempt to evaluate in a vast area of the Aveiro Lagoon the role of biogeochemical processes in metal availability and distribution in three extracted phases: exchangeable cations adsorbed by clay and elements co-precipitated with carbonates (S1), organic matter (S2) and amorphous Mn hydroxides (S3). According to the sediment guideline values, the sediment is polluted by, for instance, As and Hg in the inner area of the Murtosa Channel, Pb in the Espinheiro Channel, Aveiro City canals and Aveiro Harbour, and Zn in the northern area of the Ovar Channel. These sites are located near the source areas of pollutants and have the highest total available concentrations in each extracted phase. The total available concentrations of all toxic metals are however associated, firstly, with the production of amorphous Mn hydroxides in most of the areas and, secondly, with adsorption by organic compounds. The interplay of the different processes implies that not all of the sites near pollution sources have polluted surface sediment. The accumulation of metals depends on not only the pollution source but also the changing in the redox state of the sediments that may cause alterations in the sediment retention or releasing of redox-sensitive metals. Results of this work suggest that the biogeochemical processes may play a significant role in the increase of the pollutants in the sediment of the Aveiro Lagoon. PMID:25666475

  10. Motional induction voltage measurements in estuarine environments: the Ria de Aveiro Lagoon (Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nolasco, Rita; Soares, António; Dias, João M.; Monteiro Santos, Fernando A.; Palshin, N. A.; Represas, Patricia; Vaz, Nuno

    2006-07-01

    Electromagnetic fluctuations in the ocean have external sources like ionospheric-magnetospheric current systems, and purely internal oceanic sources associated with interaction between water velocity fields and the geomagnetic field, that is, the motionally induced voltage (MIV). During the last decade techniques based on MIV have proven to provide reliable information when applied to the flow monitoring at large oceanic channels. In this paper analysis of data resulting from the implementation of these techniques in a small-scale system, that is, the Ria de Aveiro lagoon (Portugal), is presented. A submarine cable crossing the channel at the entrance of the lagoon (Barra channel) allows the measurement of the potential difference between two electrodes located on both sides of the channel. Spectral analysis of these data reveals that measured voltages are dominated by semidiurnal M2, S2/K2 frequencies. Comparison between the sum of the four main constituents determined by harmonic analysis and the sea surface elevation measured at a tide gauge located at the lagoon mouth reveal that the measured potential difference is proportional to the water flow. To estimate the water flow in this location from the MIV measurements the data collected using this methodology were compared with numerical results obtained from a previously calibrated hydrodynamic model. A value of 720 m3 s-1 mV-1 was estimated for the coefficient relating voltage and water transport at Barra. Taking this value into account a sediment layer of about 20 m is estimated, at Barra. The results show that it is possible to indirectly measure the water transport (by tidal and residual flows) through the channel by measuring the differences of electrical potential. This demonstrates the applicability of the MIV method to a small-scale system.

  11. Trematode communities in cockles (Cerastoderma edule) of the Ria de Aveiro (Portugal): influence of inorganic contamination.

    PubMed

    Freitas, R; Martins, R; Campino, B; Figueira, E; Soares, A M V M; Montaudouin, X

    2014-05-15

    This work aims to assess the trematode parasites infecting the edible cockle Cerastoderma edule, collected in the Ria de Aveiro lagoon, one of the most relevant biodiversity hotspots of the Western Iberia, and evaluate the relationship between the observed patterns and environmental descriptors. A total of 11 of the 16 trematode species known to infect C. edule were identified, including Himasthla continua and Psilostomum brevicolle as new occurrences in this lagoon. Parvatrema minutum was the most abundant and dominant species. Species richness and prevalence were high. The relationship between trematode species abundance, intensity and prevalence, and also environmental variables, showed that most parasites preferred muddy sand areas with euhaline conditions in opposition to areas with contamination and/or distant from the lagoon entrance. This study highlighted the good ecological status of the ecosystem and the transitional biogeographic characteristics of the western Portuguese coast where northern and subtropical faunas can coexist. PMID:24680719

  12. Pollution by endocrine disruptors in a southwest European temperate coastal lagoon (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal).

    PubMed

    Rocha, Maria João; Cruzeiro, Catarina; Reis, Mário; Pardal, Miguel Ângelo; Rocha, Eduardo

    2016-02-01

    Ria de Aveiro is a Portuguese lagoon renowned for its ecological and economic importance. Nonetheless, in literature, few data exist about its organic pollution. Accordingly, this study chemically monitored for the first time a series of 17 endocrine disruptor compounds (EDCs). The target EDCs include natural (17β-oestradiol, oestrone) and pharmaceutical (17α-ethynylestradiol) oestrogens, industrial/household xenoestrogenic pollutants (octylphenols, nonylphenols and their mono and diethoxylates and bisphenol A), phytoestrogens (formononetin, biochanin A, daidzein, genistein) and the phytosterol sitosterol (SITO). For the investigation of these EDCs, water samples were taken from eight sampling sites widely spread along the lagoon, at three different occasions in 2011, and analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Results not only proved the ubiquitous distribution of all analysed EDCs but revealed that their amounts were extremely high at all sampling sites. The annual average concentrations were ≈ 46 ng/L for oestrogens, ≈ 3962 ng/L for industrial/household chemicals, ≈ 1740 ng/L for phytoestrogens and ≈ 908 ng/L for SITO. Normalising these values in ethynylestradiol equivalents (EE2eq), the oestrogenic load in this lagoon attained ≈ 50 ng/L EE2eq, which is a value well above that known to produce oestrogenic-induced disorders in aquatic fauna. Additionally, phosphate concentrations were also above the legal limits (>1 mg/L). Overall, data show EDCs at toxic relevant levels in the Ria de Aveiro and stress the need to enforce depollution measures in this habitat. PMID:26787270

  13. Seasonal and spatial variability of free-living bacterial community composition along an estuarine gradient (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henriques, Isabel S.; Alves, Artur; Tacão, Marta; Almeida, Adelaide; Cunha, Ângela; Correia, António

    2006-06-01

    We examined the dynamics of the free-living bacterial community in the Ria de Aveiro estuary (Portugal) using 16S rDNA PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Samples were collected along the salinity gradient in April, July and October 2003 and January 2004. Analysis of DGGE profiles indicated that the compositional shifts within this community occurred between the brackish and freshwater sections. Those shifts were particularly evident in samples collected in April, October and January. Less pronounced changes were also detected along the salinity gradient in the marine and brackish sections. Seasonally driven changes in microbial community in this estuary also occur. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) revealed that salinity and temperature accounted for a significant amount of the variability in the bacterioplankton community composition (26%). Dominant phylotypes were identified either by direct sequencing or by cloning and sequencing DGGE bands. Analysis of DNA sequences revealed that the dominant bacterial groups changed from Bacteroidetes, Alpha-proteobacteria and Gamma-proteobacteria in the marine-brackish section to Bacteroidetes, Beta-proteobacteria, Delta-proteobacteria and Epsilon-proteobacteria in the freshwater section of the estuary.

  14. Indoor and outdoor characterisation of organic and inorganic compounds in city centre and suburban elementary schools of Aveiro, Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pegas, P. N.; Nunes, T.; Alves, C. A.; Silva, J. R.; Vieira, S. L. A.; Caseiro, A.; Pio, C. A.

    2012-08-01

    Pollutants inside school buildings may affect children's health and influence learning performance and attendance. This study investigated pollutant concentrations inside and outside school buildings at different locations (city centre and suburban) in Aveiro, Portugal, between April and June 2010. The aim was to evaluate simultaneously comfort parameters (temperature, relative humidity, CO2 and CO) and indoor and outdoor concentrations of VOCs, NO2, PM10 and bioaerosols. PM10 samples were analysed and characterised, for the first time, for the water soluble inorganic ions (WSII), organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC), carbonates, and detailed organic speciation. The CO2 and bioaerosol levels were higher than the acceptable maximum values to the occupants' comfort. Concentrations of the traffic tracer NO2 were higher outdoors. The daily indoor PM10 levels were always higher than those outdoors, except on weekends, suggesting that the physical activity of pupils and class works highly contributed to the emission and resuspension of particles. Almost all identified VOCs showed I/O ratios higher than one, which denotes an important contribution from indoor sources at both schools. The suburban school was more exposed to industrial emissions than the institution located in the city centre. Especially at the city centre, infiltration of outdoor particulates leads to contamination of school indoor environment with vehicle emissions and biomass burning smoke likely coming from biofuel use in nearby restaurants and bakeries.

  15. Records of sedimentary dynamics in the continental shelf and upper slope between Aveiro-Espinho (N Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martins, Virgínia; Abrantes, Isabel; Grangeia, Carlos; Martins, Paula; Nagai, Renata; Sousa, Sílvia H. M.; Laut, Lazaro L. M.; Dias, João M. Alveirinho; Dias, João M.; da Silva, Eduardo Ferreira; Rocha, Fernando

    2012-08-01

    The sedimentary unconsolidated cover of the Aveiro-Espinho continental shelf and upper slope (NW Portugal) records a complex interplay of processes including wave energy and currents, fluvial input, sediment transport alongshore and cross-shelf, geological and oceanographic processes and sediment sources and sinks. In order to study this record, a set of surface sediment samples was studied. Sediment grain size and composition, as well as the mineralogical composition (by XRD) of the fine (< 63 μm) and clay (< 2 μm) fractions and benthic microfaunal (foraminifera) data were analysed. Cluster analysis applied to the sedimentological data (grain size, sediment composition and mineralogy) allowed the establishment of three main zones corresponding to the: inner-, mid- and outer-shelf/upper slope. On the inner-shelf, the sedimentary coverture is composed of siliciclastic fine to very fine sand, essentially comprising modern (immature) terrigenous particles. The sediment grain size, as well as mineralogical and microfaunal composition, denote the high energetic conditions of this sector in which the alongshore transport of sand is predominantly southward and occurs mostly during the spring-summer oceanographic regime, when the main river providing sediments to this area, the River Douro, undergoes periods of drought. This effect may emphasize the erosive character of this coastal sector at present, since the Ria de Aveiro provides the shelf with few sediments. On the mid-shelf, an alongshore siliciclastic band of coarse sand and gravel can be found between the 40 m and 60 m isobaths. This gravelly deposit includes relic sediments deposited during lower sea-level stands. This structure stays on the surface due to the high bottom energy, which promotes the remobilization of the fine-grained sediments, and/or events of sediments bypassing. Benthic foraminifera density and "Benthic Foraminifera High Productivity" (BFHP) proxy values are in general low, which is consistent

  16. Response of benthic foraminifera to organic matter quantity and quality and bioavailable concentrations of metals in Aveiro Lagoon (Portugal).

    PubMed

    Martins, Maria Virgínia Alves; Silva, Frederico; Laut, Lazaro L M; Frontalini, Fabrizio; Clemente, Iara M M M; Miranda, Paulo; Figueira, Rubens; Sousa, Silvia H M; Dias, João M Alveirinho

    2015-01-01

    This work analyses the distribution of living benthic foraminiferal assemblages of surface sediments in different intertidal areas of Ria de Aveiro (Portugal), a polihaline and anthropized coastal lagoon. The relationships among foraminiferal assemblages in association with environmental parameters (temperature, salinity, Eh and pH), grain size, the quantity and quality of organic matter (enrichment in carbohydrates, proteins and lipids), pollution caused by metals, and mineralogical data are studied in an attempt to identify indicators of adaptability to environmental stress. In particular, concentrations of selected metals in the surficial sediment are investigated to assess environmental pollution levels that are further synthetically parameterised by the Pollution Load Index (PLI). The PLI variations allowed the identification of five main polluted areas. Concentrations of metals were also analysed in three extracted phases to evaluate their possible mobility, bioavailability and toxicity in the surficial sediment. Polluted sediment in the form of both organic matter and metals can be found in the most confined zones. Whereas enrichment in organic matter and related biopolymers causes an increase in foraminifera density, pollution by metals leads to a decline in foraminiferal abundance and diversity in those zones. The first situation may be justified by the existence of opportunistic species (with high reproduction rate) that can live in low oxic conditions. The second is explained by the sensitivity of some species to pressure caused by metals. The quality of the organic matter found in these places and the option of a different food source should also explain the tolerance of several species to pollution caused by metals, despite their low reproductive rate in the most polluted areas. In this study, species that are sensitive and tolerant to organic matter and metal enrichment are identified, as is the differential sensitivity/tolerance of some species to

  17. Response of Benthic Foraminifera to Organic Matter Quantity and Quality and Bioavailable Concentrations of Metals in Aveiro Lagoon (Portugal)

    PubMed Central

    Martins, Maria Virgínia Alves; Silva, Frederico; Laut, Lazaro L. M.; Frontalini, Fabrizio; Clemente, Iara M. M. M.; Miranda, Paulo; Figueira, Rubens; Sousa, Silvia H. M.; Dias, João M. Alveirinho

    2015-01-01

    This work analyses the distribution of living benthic foraminiferal assemblages of surface sediments in different intertidal areas of Ria de Aveiro (Portugal), a polihaline and anthropized coastal lagoon. The relationships among foraminiferal assemblages in association with environmental parameters (temperature, salinity, Eh and pH), grain size, the quantity and quality of organic matter (enrichment in carbohydrates, proteins and lipids), pollution caused by metals, and mineralogical data are studied in an attempt to identify indicators of adaptability to environmental stress. In particular, concentrations of selected metals in the surficial sediment are investigated to assess environmental pollution levels that are further synthetically parameterised by the Pollution Load Index (PLI). The PLI variations allowed the identification of five main polluted areas. Concentrations of metals were also analysed in three extracted phases to evaluate their possible mobility, bioavailability and toxicity in the surficial sediment. Polluted sediment in the form of both organic matter and metals can be found in the most confined zones. Whereas enrichment in organic matter and related biopolymers causes an increase in foraminifera density, pollution by metals leads to a decline in foraminiferal abundance and diversity in those zones. The first situation may be justified by the existence of opportunistic species (with high reproduction rate) that can live in low oxic conditions. The second is explained by the sensitivity of some species to pressure caused by metals. The quality of the organic matter found in these places and the option of a different food source should also explain the tolerance of several species to pollution caused by metals, despite their low reproductive rate in the most polluted areas. In this study, species that are sensitive and tolerant to organic matter and metal enrichment are identified, as is the differential sensitivity/tolerance of some species to

  18. Juncus maritimus root biochemical assessment for its mercury stabilization potential in Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon (Portugal).

    PubMed

    Anjum, Naser A; Duarte, Armando C; Pereira, Eduarda; Ahmad, Iqbal

    2015-02-01

    Major endogenous biochemical properties can make plants ideal agents for metal/metalloid-contaminated site cleanup. This study investigates the biochemistry of Juncus maritimus (Lam) roots for its high mercury (Hg) stabilization potential in the sediments of the Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon (Portugal), which received Hg-rich effluents from a chlor-alkali industry between 1950 and 1994. J. maritimus plants were collected at a reference (R) site and three sites with the highest (L1), moderate (L2), and the lowest (L3) Hg contamination levels. The highest Hg-harboring/stabilizing J. maritimus roots at L1, exhibited significantly elevated damage endpoints (H2O2; lipid peroxidation, LPO; electrolyte leakage, EL; protein oxidation, PO; proline) which were accompanied by differential changes in H2O2-metabolizing defense system components (ascorbate peroxidase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione S-transferase), glutathione reductase and the contents of both reduced and oxidized glutathione. Trends in measured endpoints reached maximum levels at L1 followed by L2 and L3. Cross-talks on root-Hg status and the studied biochemical traits revealed (a) high Hg-accrued elevations in oxidative stress as an obvious response; (b) Hg-stabilization potential of J. maritimus roots as a result of a successful mitigation of elevated high Hg-induced H2O2, and its anomalies such as LPO, EL, and PO; and (c) the induction of and a fine synchronization between non-glutathione and glutathione-based systems. Overall, the study unveiled biochemical mechanisms underlying root tolerance to Hg burden-accrued anomalies which, in turn, helped J. maritimus during Hg-stabilization. PMID:25175353

  19. Hepatitis A immunity in the District of Aveiro (Portugal): an eleven-year surveillance study (2002-2012).

    PubMed

    Pereira, Sara; Linhares, Inês; Neves, António Ferreira; Almeida, Adelaide

    2014-01-01

    Hepatitis A is a common viral liver disease and brings serious health and economic problems as its epidemiologic pattern changes over time. National serosurveys from developed countries have indicated a decline in HAV (hepatitis A virus) seroprevalence over time due to the improvement of economic and sanitation levels. The hepatitis A virus (HAV) immunity rate was surveyed throughout an eleven-year period by sex and age group in Aveiro District. In this retrospective study, blood samples from patients of Aveiro District, in ambulatory regime, collected at the Clinical Analysis Laboratory Avelab between 2002 and 2012 were screened for the presence of antibodies against HAV antigen using a chemiluminescence immunoassay. The global immunity (positive total anti-HAV) was 60% and only 0.3% of the patients presented recent infection by HAV (positive IgM anti-HAV). The HAV immunity was age-dependent (p < 0.05), but no significant differences (p > 0.05) between sexes were observed. The immunity was similar throughout the study period (p > 0.05). The results of this study indicate that young people (especially under 25 years old) from District of Aveiro are susceptible to HAV infection, constituting a high risk group. The elderly should be also a concern in the future of Hepatitis A infection. PMID:24638206

  20. Hepatitis A Immunity in the District of Aveiro (Portugal): An Eleven-Year Surveillance Study (2002–2012)

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Sara; Linhares, Inês; Neves, António Ferreira; Almeida, Adelaide

    2014-01-01

    Hepatitis A is a common viral liver disease and brings serious health and economic problems as its epidemiologic pattern changes over time. National serosurveys from developed countries have indicated a decline in HAV (hepatitis A virus) seroprevalence over time due to the improvement of economic and sanitation levels. The hepatitis A virus (HAV) immunity rate was surveyed throughout an eleven-year period by sex and age group in Aveiro District. In this retrospective study, blood samples from patients of Aveiro District, in ambulatory regime, collected at the Clinical Analysis Laboratory Avelab between 2002 and 2012 were screened for the presence of antibodies against HAV antigen using a chemiluminescence immunoassay. The global immunity (positive total anti-HAV) was 60% and only 0.3% of the patients presented recent infection by HAV (positive IgM anti-HAV). The HAV immunity was age-dependent (p < 0.05), but no significant differences (p > 0.05) between sexes were observed. The immunity was similar throughout the study period (p > 0.05). The results of this study indicate that young people (especially under 25 years old) from District of Aveiro are susceptible to HAV infection, constituting a high risk group. The elderly should be also a concern in the future of Hepatitis A infection. PMID:24638206

  1. Phenological development stages variation versus mercury tolerance, accumulation, and allocation in salt marsh macrophytes Triglochin maritima and Scirpus maritimus prevalent in Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon (Portugal).

    PubMed

    Anjum, Naser A; Ahmad, Iqbal; Válega, Mónica; Figueira, Etelvina; Duarte, Armando C; Pereira, Eduarda

    2013-06-01

    Efficient and sustainable management of rapidly mounting environmental issues has been the focus of current intensive research. The present study aimed to investigate the impact of plant phenological development stage variation on mercury (Hg) tolerance, accumulation, and allocation in two salt marsh macrophytes Triglochin maritima and Scirpus maritimus prevalent in historically Hg-contaminated Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon (Portugal). Both plant samples and the sediments vegetated by monospecific stands of T. maritima and S. maritimus were collected from reference (R) and sites with moderate (M) and high (H) Hg contamination in Laranjo bay within Ria de Aveiro lagoon. Hg tolerance, uptake, and allocation in T. maritima and S. maritimus, physico-chemical traits (pH, redox potential, and organic matter content) and Hg concentrations in sediments vegetated by these species were impacted differentially by phenological development stages variation irrespective of the Hg contamination level. In T. maritima, Hg concentration increased with increase in Hg contamination gradient where root displayed significantly higher Hg followed by rhizome and leaf maximally at H. However, in S. maritimus, the highest Hg concentration was perceptible in rhizome followed by root maximally at M. Between the two studied plant species, S. maritimus displayed higher Hg tolerance index (depicted by higher plant dry mass allocated to reproductive stage) and higher available Hg at M (during all growth stages) and H (during senescent stage) when compared to T. maritimus. Both plant species proved to be Hg excluder (low root/rhizome-leaf Hg translocation). Additionally, T. maritima also acted as Hg stabilizer while, S. maritimus as Hg accumulator. It can be inferred from the study that (a) the plant phenological development stage variations significantly influenced plant Hg sensitivity by impacting sediment chemistry, plant growth (in terms of plant dry mass), Hg accumulation, and its subsequent

  2. [The emergence and institutionalization of sexology in Portugal: processes, actors, and specificities].

    PubMed

    Alarcão, Violeta; Machado, Fernando Luís; Giami, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Based on Bourdieu's field theory, this article analyzes the emergence and institutionalization of sexology as a science and profession in Portugal, identifying relevant institutions, actors, and professional practices and discussing its relations and specificities. The analysis begins by contextualizing the emergence of modern Western sexology in order to comprehend the Portuguese case in the international sexology context. The second section describes the social, cultural, and institutional factors that have driven the professionalization of sexology. The third section describes the emergence of Portuguese sexology and its principal historical milestones, institutions, and actors. Finally, the article discusses some implications of this process for the role of sexology as a science and profession. The study reveals the dynamics of national and international processes in the field, in the transition from a holistic perspective of sexology to the hegemony of sexual medicine, and sheds light on its mechanisms of legitimation as a transdisciplinary science of sexuality, suggesting future perspectives. PMID:27598015

  3. Ecology of the polychaete Nereis diversicolor in the Canal de Mira (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal): Population dynamics, production and oogenic cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abrantes, António; Pinto, Fátima; Moreira, Maria Helena

    1999-07-01

    The population of Nereis diversicolor O.F. Müller was studied in 1993 and 1994 at three intertidal areas along the estuarine gradient in the Canal de Mira (Ria de Aveiro). The population dynamics, secondary production and growth were followed for the 2-year period, whereas in the second year, a study on the oogenic cycle was also carried out. For the population dynamics and production studies, core samples were collected monthly at each site, and for the study of the oogenic cycle, medium size and large individuals were sampled from the sediment. Mean annual densities were higher (573-718 ind.m -2) at a station located in the middle zone of the channel, followed by the outer (190-275 ind.m -2) and the innermost (43-94 ind.m -2) stations. A cohort analysis by `Bhatta' software enabled the separation of the cohorts present at each date, and two cohorts were followed from recruitment to extinction. The secondary production ranged from 15.9 to 74.2 g ash free dry weight.m -2.year -1 and the P/ overlineBratio from 4.4 to 7.9. The average body growth rate varied between 0.16 and 0.20 mm.d -1 for worms longer than 2 cm. Two recruitment seasons were detected each year. Two spawning periods were also observed, one in the spring and the other in early autumn.

  4. Portugal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eckles, David; Toro, Leonor, Ed.

    Brief information is provided on the region, climate, agriculture and industry of 10 provinces in Portugal: Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, located in Portugal's northeastern region; Beira Alta, the province with Portugal's highest elevation point; Beira Baixa, one of Portugal's poorest regions; Beira Litoral, located in central Portugal along the…

  5. Oxidative stress status, antioxidant metabolism and polypeptide patterns in Juncus maritimus shoots exhibiting differential mercury burdens in Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon (Portugal).

    PubMed

    Anjum, Naser A; Duarte, Armando C; Pereira, Eduarda; Ahmad, Iqbal

    2014-05-01

    This study assessed the oxidative stress status, antioxidant metabolism and polypeptide patterns in salt marsh macrophyte Juncus maritimus shoots exhibiting differential mercury burdens in Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon at reference and the sites with highest, moderate and the lowest mercury contamination. In order to achieve these goals, shoot-mercury burden and the responses of representative oxidative stress indices, and the components of both non-glutathione- and glutathione-based H2O2-metabolizing systems were analyzed and cross-talked with shoot-polypeptide patterns. Compared to the reference site, significant elevations in J. maritimus shoot mercury and the oxidative stress indices such as H2O2, lipid peroxidation, electrolyte leakage and reactive carbonyls were maximum at the site with highest followed by moderate and the lowest mercury contamination. Significantly elevated activity of non-glutathione-based H2O2-metabolizing enzymes such as ascorbate peroxidase and catalase accompanied the studied damage-endpoint responses, whereas the activity of glutathione-based H2O2-scavenging enzymes glutathione peroxidase and glutathione sulfo-transferase was inhibited. Concomitantly, significantly enhanced glutathione reductase activity and the contents of both reduced and oxidized glutathione were perceptible in high mercury-exhibiting shoots. It is inferred that high mercury-accrued elevations in oxidative stress indices were obvious, where non-glutathione-based H2O2-decomposing enzyme system was dominant over the glutathione-based H2O2-scavenging enzyme system. In particular, the glutathione-based H2O2-scavenging system failed to coordinate with elevated glutathione reductase which in turn resulted into increased pool of oxidized glutathione and the ratio of oxidized glutathione-to-reduced glutathione. The substantiation of the studied oxidative stress indices and antioxidant metabolism with approximately 53-kDa polypeptide warrants further studies. PMID:24488555

  6. Seasonal fluctuations of tissue mercury contents in the European shore crab Carcinus maenas from low and high contamination areas (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal).

    PubMed

    Pereira, E; Abreu, S N; Coelho, J P; Lopes, C B; Pardal, M A; Vale, C; Duarte, A C

    2006-11-01

    The main objective was to study the seasonal variation of mercury concentrations in different tissues (muscle, hepatopancreas and gills) of Carcinus maenas from low and high Hg contaminated areas, a valuable resource in temperate estuaries and a possible pathway for human uptake. Individuals of two size classes (around 35 and 55 mm cephalothorax wide) were captured monthly between March 1999 and May 2000 in two areas of Ria de Aveiro: in the main navigation channel that connects the lagoon to the sea, and in the inner lagoon area heavily contaminated by mercury (maximum Hg in sediments of 5.4 microg g(-1)). Pronounced decreases in salinity and temperature and reduced food availability in winter seemed to be the responsible for the decline of the crab condition index (0.75-0.45) in larger individuals. Muscle and hepatopancreas exhibited higher mercury concentrations than gills, with concentrations in the contaminated site ranging from 0.03 to 0.63 microg g(-1) and 0.02 to 0.34 microg g(-1), respectively. Linear regressions between muscle and hepatopancreas (r=0.94, p<0.001) and muscle and gills (r=0.97, p<0.001) suggested a rapid redistribution of mercury inside the organism. During winter, a rapid elimination of mercury was found in the three analysed tissues followed by uptake. Larger crabs presented elimination rates from 18 to 34 ng g(-1) per week, while the smaller crabs showed lower elimination rates (10-24 ng g(-1) per week). The uptake was similar in both size classes (11-15 ng g(-1) and 8.1-15 ng g(-1) per week, respectively for large and small crabs). Our results suggest that C. maenas harvested in the contaminated areas must be considered with caution, since Hg concentrations were found to exceed the threshold concentration allowed for human consumption (0.5 microg g(-1)). PMID:16824552

  7. Portugal.

    PubMed

    1985-03-01

    Portugal's 1983 population of 10.04 million was growing at .7%/year. 97% were Roman Catholic, 80% were literate, and 4.1 million were in the labor force in 1984. Portugal is mountainous north of the Tagus River and consists of rolling plains in the central south. The Azores and Madeira islands belong to Portugal but enjoy considerable autonomy. Portugal's dependency of Macau on the Chinese coast is an autonomous entity under Portuguese administration. The former teritories of Goa and Portuguese Timor were annexed by India and Indonesia respectively in 1961 and 1976, and the former territories in Africa achieved independence in 1974 and 1975. Portugal, 1 of the oldest states in Europe, traces its modern history to A.D. 1140 when the 1st king was crowned. The approximate present day boundaries were secured in 1249. Portugal eventually became a massive colonial empire with territories in Africa and Latin America and outposts in the Far East. The Portuguese Republic replaced the monarchy in 1910. After some years of instability, Antonio Salazar became prime minister, and with his successor, ruled Portugal as an authoritarian "corporate" state for 42 years. An almost bloodless coup in 1974 led to establishment of a parliamentary democracy. The 4 main organs of national government are the presidency, the prime minister and council of ministers, the assembly of the republic, and the courts. Portugal's gross domestic product (GDP) in 1984 was $19.4 billion, and per capita income was $1930. After almost a decade of rapid growth, the economy declined in the mid 1970s due to disruption after the 1974 revolution and the large influx of refugees from Portugal's former colonies in Africa. Growth resumed in the late 1970s, but structural problems and an often adverse international economic climate have slowed progress. The proportion of the labor force in agriculture has dropped from 42% to 24.4% since 1960. Agricultural production now contributes only 8.8% to the GDP, and a

  8. Inputs of organic carbon from Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon to the Atlantic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopes, C. B.; Lillebø, A. I.; Pato, P.; Dias, J. M.; Rodrigues, S. M.; Pereira, E.; Duarte, A. C.

    2008-09-01

    Land/ocean boundaries constitute complex systems with active physical and biogeochemical processes that affect the global carbon cycle. An example of such a system is the mesotidal lagoon named Ria de Aveiro (Portugal, 40°38'N, 08°45'W), which is connected to the Atlantic Ocean by a single channel, 350 m wide. The objective of this study was to estimate the seasonal and inter-tidal variability of organic carbon fluxes between the coastal lagoon and the Ocean, and to assess the contribution of the organic carbon fractions (i.e. dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and particulate organic carbon (POC)) to the export of organic carbon to the Ria de Aveiro plume zone. The organic carbon fractions fluxes were estimated as the product of the appropriate fractional organic carbon concentrations and the water fluxes calculated by a two-dimensional vertically integrated hydrodynamic model (2DH). Results showed that the higher exchanges of DOC and POC fractions at the system cross-section occurred during spring tides but only resulted in a net export of organic carbon in winter, totalling 85 t per tidal cycle. Derived from the winter and summer campaigns, the annual carbon mass balance estimated corresponded to a net export of organic carbon (7957 = 6585 t yr -1 POC + 1372 t yr -1 DOC). On the basis of the spring tidal drainage area, it corresponds to an annual flux of 79 g m -2 of POC and 17 g m -2 of DOC out of the estuary.

  9. Impact of freshwater inflow on bacterial abundance and activity in the estuarine system Ria de Aveiro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, Luísa; Vaz, Leandro; Marcial Gomes, Newton C.; Vaz, Nuno; Dias, João Miguel; Cunha, Ângela; Almeida, Adelaide

    2014-02-01

    The influence of freshwater flow on bacterial communities in the estuarine system Ria de Aveiro (Portugal) was investigated at two sites differently impacted by river inputs, representative of the marine and brackish water zones of the estuary. Sampling events were clustered based on hydrological features. The hydrodynamic was simulated with a Lagrangian model and related to microbiological parameters. Estuarine bacteria responded to different freshwater regimes developing distinct patterns of abundance and activity at the marine and brackish water zones. A circulation pattern induced by high river inflow produced vertical stratification in the marine zone, promoting a seaward flux of bacterioplankton, and stimulating the import of riverine phytoplankton and particle-attached bacteria to the brackish water zone. Advective transport and resuspension processes contributed to a 3-times increase in abundance of particle-attached bacteria during intense freshwater inputs. Additionally, bacterial activity in the estuary was controlled by inorganic nitrogen, responding to different freshwater inputs, which, in association with different prevailing sources of organic substrates induced significant changes in bacterial production. The dynamic and main controlling factors of bacterial communities are clearly impacted by freshwater inputs. Therefore, significant changes in the recycling of nutrients by microbial activities can be expected from alterations in freshwater inputs either related to global climate change or regional hydrological regimes.

  10. Prokaryotes in salt marsh sediments of Ria de Aveiro: Effects of halophyte vegetation on abundance and diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira, Vanessa; Santos, Ana L.; Aguiar, Claúdia; Santos, Luisa; Salvador, Ângelo C.; Gomes, Newton C. M.; Silva, Helena; Rocha, Sílvia M.; Almeida, Adelaide; Cunha, Ângela

    2012-09-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of monospecific colonization of sediment stands by Spartina maritima or Halimione portulacoides on benthic prokaryote assemblages in a salt marsh located in Ria de Aveiro (Portugal). The distribution of Bacteria, Archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in sediments with monospecific plant stands and in unvegetated sediments was characterized by Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH). Total prokaryote abundance (0.4 × 109-1.7 × 109 cells gdw-1) was highest in sediments from the surface layer. The domain Bacteria comprised approximately 40% of total prokaryote communities with the highest percentages occurring in the surface layer. Archaeal cells corresponded to an average of 25% of total prokaryote population, with higher abundance in the vegetation banks, and displaying homogeneous vertical distribution. The relative abundance of SRB represented approximately 3% of total 4', 6-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride (DAPI) stained cells at unvegetated sediment and H. portulacoides stand and 7% at S. maritima stand. Headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) combined with Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography-Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (GC × GC-ToFMS) was used to analyse the volatile and semi-volatile fraction of root exudates. A total of 171 compounds were identified and Principal Component Analysis showed a clear separation between the chemical composition (volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds) of the exudates of the two plants. The patterns of vertical distribution and differences in the proportion of SRB and Archaea in the prokaryote communities developing in sediments colonized by Spartina maritima or Halimione portulacoides suggest the existence of plant-specific interactions between halophyte vegetation and estuarine sediment bacteria in Ria de Aveiro salt marshes, exerted via sediment lithology and root-derived exudates.

  11. Metal concentrations in digestive gland and mantle of Sepia officinalis from two coastal lagoons of Portugal.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Patrícia; Raimundo, Joana; Vale, Carlos; Kadar, Eniko

    2009-01-15

    Concentrations of both essential (Fe, Cu, Zn) and non essential (Cd, Hg and Pb) metals were measured in the digestive gland and mantle of female cephalopods Sepia officinalis captured in two distinct lagoons in Portugal: Aveiro Lagoon, with a history of anthropogenic and industrial pollution, and Formosa Lagoon receiving urban effluents. We provide evidence for the following: (1) the digestive gland is the main target organ for both essential and non essential metals, frequently containing concentrations few orders of magnitude higher as compared to mantle; the sole exception from this was the Hg that is equally distributed in the two tissues; (2) unexpectedly, the higher levels of metals were found in animals captured in the less polluted lagoon, except for Cd whose bioavailability in Aveiro lagoon might be related to industrial sources, while the influence of Cd speciation in local pray composition should not be ruled out (3) size influenced metal concentration in different way: smaller individuals accumulated significantly more Cu, while Hg concentrations showed the opposite trend; (4) Cd is positively correlated to Zn and Cu in digestive gland of specimens collected in spring in Aveiro Lagoon, and no relationship was found in Formosa Lagoon; (5) the molar ratios Cd:Zn and Cd:Cu in digestive gland increased with body weight in specimens from Aveiro area, both ratios becoming particularly higher in older individuals. Metal-specific accumulation patterns in both mantle and digestive gland at the two sites are discussed in the light of their toxicological implications. PMID:19010515

  12. Expectations of a group of Portuguese pregnant women in the districts of Viseu and Aveiro regarding motherhood.

    PubMed

    Coutinho, Emília de Carvalho; Rocha, Ana Maria Anjos; Silva, Alcione Leite da

    2016-08-01

    Motherhood is a complex phenomenon, supplementedwith expectations about the new reality, the hopes of all going well, taking into account the expected care. In order to meet the needs of the Portuguese expectant mother, it is necessary to know what she deems essential for herself and her family, so that strategies may be developed to facilitate the transition process. This study was intended to gain insight into fulfilled and unfulfilled expectations of health care in motherhood with a group pregnant females in Portugal. This is a qualitative, exploratory and descriptive study, with 22 Portuguese women belonging to the Clusters of Health Care Centers of the districts of Viseu and Aveiro. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews and analysed using content analysis proposed by Bardin, supported by QSR NVivo 10. It was observed that fulfilled expectations surpassed those unmet, especially in terms of high quality health care and competent health care professionals. Regarding unfulfilled expectations, they mainly refer to maternity incentives, with an emphasis on the wish of greater financial familly supportfrom the government. PMID:27557007

  13. Seroprevalence of heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) in feline and canine hosts from central and northern Portugal.

    PubMed

    Vieira, L; Silvestre-Ferreira, A C; Fontes-Sousa, A P; Balreira, A C; Morchón, R; Carretón, E; Vilhena, H; Simón, F; Montoya-Alonso, J A

    2015-09-01

    Dirofilaria immitis is endemic in Portugal. Several studies have reported the presence of canine heartworm disease, although no previous studies on feline infections have been published. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of D. immitis in cats and dogs from central and northern Portugal. Blood samples from 434 cats were tested for circulating anti-D. immitis and anti-Wolbachia antibodies. Furthermore, 386 dogs were tested for circulating D. immitis antigens. Overall feline seroprevalence was 15%, while canine prevalence was 2.1%. The highest feline seroprevalences of 18.7% and 17.6% were found in Aveiro and Viseu, respectively, while the highest canine prevalences of 8.8% and 6.8% were found in Coimbra and Aveiro, respectively. Cats and dogs showing respiratory signs presented higher prevalences of 24.4% and 17%, respectively, while 50% of cats with gastrointestinal signs were seropositive. The present study confirms the seropositivity of D. immitis in the feline population in central and northern Portugal, and suggests the importance of including heartworm disease in the list of differential diagnoses of cats and dogs showing clinical signs compatible with the disease. PMID:24824176

  14. Changes in zooplankton communities along a mercury contamination gradient in a coastal lagoon (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal).

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Patrícia Gonçalves; Marques, Sónia Cotrim; D'Ambrosio, Mariaelena; Pereira, Eduarda; Duarte, Armando Costa; Azeiteiro, Ulisses Miranda; Pardal, Miguel Ângelo

    2013-11-15

    The main objective of this paper was to evaluate the impact of mercury on the zooplankton communities' structure and functioning and their bioaccumulation patterns along a contamination gradient in a temperate coastal lagoon. Our results demonstrated that total abundance was not negatively affected by Hg contamination, since the most contaminated areas presented the highest values, being the copepod Acartia tonsa the dominant species, which means that it is a very well adapted and tolerant species to mercury. Nevertheless, negative effects were observed in terms of species diversity, since the most contaminated areas presented the lowest values of species richness, evenness and heterogeneity. Moreover, the spatial mercury gradient was reflected on the bioaccumulation patterns of the zooplankton communities. This reinforces the idea that zooplankton can be considered as an important vehicle of mercury transfer through the food pelagic web since it constitutes a primordial food resource for several commercial fish species. PMID:24064374

  15. Lessons from Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harry, Vickie; Mechling, Ken

    2010-01-01

    Portugal has long been touted as a popular destination for savvy travelers, but now educators are touting it as something else--a professional development (PD) powerhouse for inquiry-based science! This article describes Portugal's ongoing efforts to reform its country's elementary science education program through a project known as the…

  16. Tertiary Education in Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    OECD Publishing (NJ3), 2008

    2008-01-01

    Portugal's tertiary education sector has expanded significantly over the last 20 years, but participation and overall educational attainment levels remain below European standards and enrolment rates have begun to decline. The OECD review recommends that Portugal's national government should focus on strategic direction and leave higher education…

  17. Actors: From Audience to Provider

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Charlier, Bernadette

    2011-01-01

    This article describes and analyzes actors' experiences of distance learning systems in a wide variety of cultural and organizational contexts. In line with the project of this special series of issues, results of research, much of which is longitudinal, allow us to suggest answers to the following questions: Who are the actors of distance…

  18. The urban heat island in a small city in coastal Portugal.

    PubMed

    Pinho, O S; Orgaz, M D

    2000-11-01

    This project arose from the need to study the phenomenon of the urban heat island, since only by recognising this phenomenon can we moderate it to improve the human and urban environments. Not only big cities develop urban heat islands. This study detected the presence and recorded the characteristics of an urban heat island in the small coastal city of Aveiro, Portugal. The study was developed through the scheduled measurements of air temperature and the analysis of the geographical, meteorological and urban conditions. The form and intensity of Aveiro's heat island are a response to the interaction of three principal factors: the urban morphology (the hottest zones in the city are those with the tallest and the highest density of buildings, without green spaces and with intense generation of heat from traffic, commerce and services); the meteorological conditions (the intensity of the island is at its maximum when the sky is totally clear and there is no wind, and at its minimum in those situations when there is atmospheric instability, such as wind, cloud and precipitation); and the proximity of the coastal lagoon (which borders the city to the west and northwest and moderates seasonal temperatures. The urban heat island influences the comfort and health of its inhabitants, thus urban planning is very important in the moderation and prevention of this phenomenon. PMID:11131292

  19. You're a What? Voice Actor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liming, Drew

    2009-01-01

    This article talks about voice actors and features Tony Oliver, a professional voice actor. Voice actors help to bring one's favorite cartoon and video game characters to life. They also do voice-overs for radio and television commercials and movie trailers. These actors use the sound of their voice to sell a character's emotions--or an advertised…

  20. Salt Fluxes in a Complex River Mouth System of Portugal

    PubMed Central

    Vaz, Nuno; Lencart e Silva, João D.; Dias, João Miguel

    2012-01-01

    Measurements of velocity and salinity near the mouth and head of the Espinheiro channel (Ria de Aveiro lagoon, Portugal) are used to study the local variation of physical water properties and to assess the balance, under steady conditions, between the seaward salt transport induced by river discharge and the landward dispersion induced by various mixing mechanisms. This assessment is made using data sampled during complete tidal cycles. Under the assumption that the estuarine tidal channel is laterally homogeneous and during moderate tidal periods (except for one survey), currents and salinity data were decomposed into various spatial and temporal means and their deviations. Near the channel's mouth, the main contributions to the salt transport are the terms due to freshwater discharge and the tidal correlation. Near the channel's head, this last term is less important than the density driven circulation, which is enhanced by the increase in freshwater discharge. The remaining terms, which are dependent on the deviations from the mean depth have a smaller role in the results of salt transport. The computed salt transport per unit width of a section perpendicular to the mean flow is in close agreement to the sum of the advective and dispersive terms (within or very close to 12%). An imbalance of the salt budget across the sections is observed for all the surveys. Considerations are made on how this approach can inform the management of hazardous contamination and how to use these results to best time the release of environmental flows during dry months. PMID:23071793

  1. Multicultural Monologues for Young Actors. The Young Actors Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slaight, Craig, Ed.; Sharrar, Jack, Ed.

    This book presents 62 monologue selections from diverse cultures for young actors to perform. The book's selections offer "quality literature by significant writers." Some of the writers represented in the book are George C. Wolfe, Miguel Pinero, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), John M. Synge, Yukio Mishima, Reynolds Price, and John…

  2. The Actor and His Body.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rubin, Lucille S., Ed.

    Fourteen brief articles deal with training actors to use their bodies effectively on stage. The articles discuss the following topics: the concept of succession-sequential movement (movement that passes through the body joint by joint); learning physical action through staged fight sequences; techniques of empty-handed combat; protecting students…

  3. Actor Interdependence in Collaborative Telelearning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wasson, Barbara; Bourdeau, Jacqueline

    This paper presents a model of collaborative telelearning and describes how coordination theory has provided a framework for the analysis of actor (inter)dependencies in this scenario. The model is intended to inform the instructional design of learning scenarios, the technological design of the telelearning environment, and the design of…

  4. Modernising Portugal's Secondary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heitor, Teresa V.

    2008-01-01

    Portugal has a total of 477 public secondary schools. Some date from the end of the 19th century but the majority were built after 1970, reflecting the period of expansion in the school network and the extension of compulsory schooling. The schools are heterogeneous in terms of building types, architectural features and quality. An assessment of…

  5. Changing Power Actors in a Midwestern Community.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tait, John L.; And Others

    A longitudinal study was made of Prairie City, Iowa wherein the personal and social characteristics of the 1962 power actor pool were compared with characteristics of the 1973 power actor pool to test the hypothesis that: the personal and social characteristics of power actors will not change significantly over time. Procedures for identifying…

  6. Privileged Emotion Managers: The Case of Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Orzechowicz, David

    2008-01-01

    Theatre provides a unique set of conditions for the management of emotions. Drawing on participant observation from one repertory theater, three university productions, and interviews with stage actors, directors, and acting instructors, I conceptualize actors as privileged emotion managers. Actors access structural resources that enable their…

  7. Tagus estuary and Ria de Aveiro salt marsh dynamics and the impact of sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valentim, J. M.; Vaz, N.; Silva, H.; Duarte, B.; Caçador, I.; Dias, J. M.

    2013-09-01

    Different characteristics of Spartina maritima found in two distinct salt marshes located in different estuaries were analysed through interpretation of their local hydrodynamic patterns, as well as the impact of sea level rise on physical processes and consequently on plant dynamics and salt marshes stability. These salt marshes are situated in two of the most important Portuguese coastal systems, Tagus estuary (Rosário salt marsh) and Ria de Aveiro lagoon (Barra salt marsh), which are dominated by physical processes that induce strong tidal currents. They were monitored during one year and plant and sediment samples of S. maritima were collected quarterly in order to determine the vegetation coverage, above and belowground biomass, organic matter and sediment moisture. Residual circulation, tidal asymmetry and tidal dissipation were determined from numerical modelling results of the MOHID 2D model that was applied to each coastal system, considering the actual sea level and a sea level rise (SLR) scenario. Results suggest that the different characteristics found for Spartina maritima in the Rosário and the Barra salt marshes may be related with the diverse hydrodynamic conditions identified for each salt marsh. Consequently, the exploration of SLR scenario predictions indicates how these salt marshes could evolve in the future, showing that the important changes in these hydrodynamic parameters under climate change context might induce significant modifications in the salt marshes dynamics and stability. SLR scenario could lead to changes in nutrients and sediments patterns around the salt marshes and thus vegetation coverage percentage would be affected. Additionally, as a consequence of flood duration increase, sediment moisture will increase causing a stress condition to plants. Hence, the ratio below/aboveground biomass might increase, becoming critical to plants survival under conditions of accelerated sea level rise. Accordingly, both SLR and expected

  8. Phytoplankton Bloom Off Portugal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Turquoise and greenish swirls marked the presence of a large phytoplankton bloom off the coast of Portugal on April 23, 2002. This true-color image was acquired by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA's Terra satellite. There are also several fires burning in northwest Spain, near the port city of A Coruna. Please note that the high-resolution scene provided here is 500 meters per pixel. For a copy of this scene at the sensor's fullest resolution, visit the MODIS Rapidfire site.

  9. Draft genome sequence of Psychrobacter sp. ENNN9_III, a strain isolated from water in a polluted temperate estuarine system (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal).

    PubMed

    Gomes, Jaqueline Conceição Meireles; Azevedo, Juliana Simão Nina de; Veras, Adonney Allan de Oliveira; Alves, Jorianne Thyeska Castro; Henriques, Isabel; Correia, António; Silva, Artur Luiz da Costa da; Carneiro, Adriana Ribeiro

    2016-06-01

    The genus Psychrobacter includes Gram-negative coccobacilli that are non-pigmented, oxidase-positive, non-motile, psychrophilic or psychrotolerant, and halotolerant. Psychrobacter strain ENNN9_III was isolated from water in a polluted temperate estuarine system, contaminated with hydrocarbons and heavy metals. The genome has a G + C content of 42.7%, 2618 open reading frames (ORFs), three copies of the rRNAs operon, and 29 tRNA genes. Twenty-five sequences related to the degradation of aromatic compounds were predicted, as well as numerous genes related to resistance to metals or metal(loid)s. The genome sequence of Psychrobacter strain ENNN9_III provides the groundwork for further elucidation of the mechanisms of metal resistance and aromatic compounds degradation. Future studies are needed to confirm the usefulness of this strain for bioremediation proposes. PMID:27114904

  10. Early Childhood Education in Portugal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vasconcelos, Teresa

    This booklet provides an overview of the policy and status of early childhood education in Portugal and includes the text of Law 5/97, the Framework Law for Pre-School Education, as well as the Curriculum Guidelines for Pre-School Education adopted by Portugal's government. Two of Law 5/97's nine main goals are: (1) to promote the child's personal…

  11. Women in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, M

    1981-01-01

    Prior to 1974, women in Portugal were restricted by the Penal Code and had little organizational power. Women's groups were formed within the Catholic Church to teach women about cooking, child care, and home economics. There was no contact with international women's groups. The press only reported events such as bra burning. 80% of all illiterates in Portugal are women. The conditions of Portuguese women are described after the revolution of April 25, 1974. Present roles are discussed for work, health, education, religion, trade unions and political parties, and women's organizations. The Women's Liberation Movement (WLM) appeared in May 1974 among a heterogenous group of women in Lisbon who were concerned about the oppression of women. WLM made feminist issues public amid ridicule and promoted the declaration of equal rights for women in the 1976 Republic Constitution and in the Family Code. Wage discrimination became illegal in 1979. Women represent 32.8% of the labor force. Unemployment is particularly high among women and is increasing. Women's wages and levels of skill are the lowest. The Christian Democratic government is actively engaged in a campaign to keep women at home and has formed the special Ministry of Family Affairs, which encourages large families and women's home activity in order to save jobs for men. There is a crisis in education: large class sizes and limited number of schools. Child care for the working mother is expensive when available and rarely available. An obstacle to women's rights has been the role of the Catholic Church, which fought equal rights legislation, condemned the Family Code and divorce laws, forbade the practice of contraception, and supported the movement against abortion. Only 1 member of government is a women, and she is considered a token. Trade unions have a women's section, but little attention is given to the problems of women. Women's groups within larger organizations have little autonomy. Those with autonomy

  12. Accumulation of mercury by Artemia populations of different salinas of Portugal

    SciTech Connect

    Boia, C.M.; Duarte, A.C.

    1995-12-31

    The total mercury content in samples of the brine shrimp Artemia, sediments, water, suspended matter and, when available, algae, from nine salines of Portugal, was evaluated, to find out how mercury present in its natural habitat accumulates in Artemia. This study, carried out between 1990 and 1993, was part of a larger research project aiming to contribute to the knowledge on mercury accumulation and its effects on Artemia. This crustacean is used worldwide for marine species feeding in aquafarms, including in Portugal. The following sampling sites were chosen: some salinas of the lagoon of Aveiro, situated in the northern region of Portugal and partially contaminated with mercury-, the salt-mines of Rio Maior, in the interior of the central region of the country, where there are no sediments (the floor is cemented); and salt-marshes in the Algarve, in the south of Portugal. Mercury was determined by cold vapor absorption espectrofotometry after digestion of samples with sulfuric acid and potassium permanganate, and reference materials have been used to control the analytical performance. The concentrations of total Hg varied from 0.014 to 0.36 mg/Kg in the sediments, 0 to 0.30 {micro}g/g in the Artemia, 0.17 to 0.84 {micro}g/l in the suspended matter and 0.09 to 0.56 {micro}g/l in the water. The content of mercury in the artemias was strongly related to the concentration in the sediments, except when the algae were present, because they also accumulate a significantly percentage of the mercury. No relationships could be established with the Hg in water or in suspended matter (in mass of Hg/volume of filtered water), because their, content in Hg varied a lot with time and weather conditions, such as the wind strength. The presence of Hg in the sediments was due either to significant containing Hg discharges or to the composition of the sediments, being more important in the case of clays.

  13. Bad Actors Criticality Assessment for Pipeline system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nasir, Meseret; Chong, Kit wee; Osman, Sabtuni; Siaw Khur, Wee

    2015-04-01

    Failure of a pipeline system could bring huge economic loss. In order to mitigate such catastrophic loss, it is required to evaluate and rank the impact of each bad actor of the pipeline system. In this study, bad actors are known as the root causes or any potential factor leading to the system downtime. Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) is used to analyze the probability of occurrence for each bad actor. Bimbaum's Importance and criticality measure (BICM) is also employed to rank the impact of each bad actor on the pipeline system failure. The results demonstrate that internal corrosion; external corrosion and construction damage are critical and highly contribute to the pipeline system failure with 48.0%, 12.4% and 6.0% respectively. Thus, a minor improvement in internal corrosion; external corrosion and construction damage would bring significant changes in the pipeline system performance and reliability. These results could also be useful to develop efficient maintenance strategy by identifying the critical bad actors.

  14. Appia, Craig and the Actor: A New Look.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hubbard, Oliver F., Jr.

    Despite the amount of attention paid Adolphe Appia and Edward Gordon Craig, a misconception persists with regard to their ideas concerning the actor; namely, that Appia had the actor dominate all the elements of staging, and that Craig considered the actor less essential. However, to both, the actor was both essential and nonessential to the…

  15. ACToR - Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource

    SciTech Connect

    Judson, Richard Richard, Ann; Dix, David; Houck, Keith; Elloumi, Fathi; Martin, Matthew; Cathey, Tommy; Transue, Thomas R.; Spencer, Richard; Wolf, Maritja

    2008-11-15

    ACToR (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) is a database and set of software applications that bring into one central location many types and sources of data on environmental chemicals. Currently, the ACToR chemical database contains information on chemical structure, in vitro bioassays and in vivo toxicology assays derived from more than 150 sources including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), state agencies, corresponding government agencies in Canada, Europe and Japan, universities, the World Health Organization (WHO) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). At the EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology, ACToR helps manage large data sets being used in a high-throughput environmental chemical screening and prioritization program called ToxCast{sup TM}.

  16. Textiles and Training in Portugal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrez, Jaime Serrao; Dias, Mario Caldeira

    Analyzing the role of vocational training in an economic sector that is declining in Portugal, this document consists of five chapters, a bibliography, and a list of training organizations. An introduction tells why the study is important and explains that the major obstacles to development of the Portuguese textile and clothing sector are the…

  17. Portugal's Secondary School Modernisation Programme

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heitor, Teresa V.; Freire da Silva, Jose M. R.

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the Secondary School Modernisation Programme, being implemented in Portugal by "Parque Escolar, EPE", is based on the pursuit of quality and makes Portuguese education a potential international benchmark. This paper discusses the strategies adopted to reorganise school spaces. It describes the conceptual model and highlights the…

  18. Sex education in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Frade, A; Vilar, D

    1991-05-01

    The article on sex education in Portugal covers background, the educational system, the clashes of the 1960's over sex education, the Committee for the Study of Sexuality and Education (CSSE), the policies, politics and social movements during the period 1974 - 1984, the discussions in Parliament, the 1988 Reform of the Educational System, the Family Planning Association (FPA) and sex education, and the future role of the FPA. It was not until the institution of the multiparity parliamentary system in 1974 that discussing social and political changes was possible, culminating in 1984 with new legislation on abortion, family planning, and sex education. School reform came in 1987/8 with the Ministry of Education primarily responsible for curricula. The 1960's brought with it the influence of the Catholic Church. Change came in the form of progressivism among Catholics who replaced dogma with dialogue and listening. Sex education was considered as preparation for marriage, but masturbation, contraception, and prostitution were also discussed. In addition, the founder of FPA chaired the CSSE in 1971 and opened up debate on sex issues and drafted a bill to establish co-education in Portuguese schools. The revolution of 1974 brought an end to censorship and brought forth a policy of developing family planning. Changed in the Family Code gave women greater equality. UNFPA supported teacher training in non-sexist education. With human reproduction included in the natural sciences, there was still no school sex education policy and contraception was only sometimes represented in the biology curriculum. The focus of FPA was on contraception and abortion. Finally in the 1980's, the first sex education programs were developed for out-of-school youth. Even though in the 1970's there were leftists groups promoting sex education, it took leftist parliamentary power to get legislation on sex education in the schools adopted. The Ministry of Education however was pressured by the

  19. Actor-Network Theory of Cosmopolitan Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saito, Hiro

    2010-01-01

    In the past, philosophers discussed cosmopolitanism as a normative ideal of allegiance to humanity as a whole. A debate among social theorists, however, has examined cosmopolitanism as an incipient empirical phenomenon: an orientation of openness to foreign others and cultures. This paper introduces actor-network theory to elaborate the…

  20. Policy Actors: Doing Policy Work in Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ball, Stephen J.; Maguire, Meg; Braun, Annette; Hoskins, Kate

    2011-01-01

    This paper considers the "policy work" of teacher actors in schools. It focuses on the "problem of meaning" and offers a typology of roles and positions through which teachers engage with policy and with which policies get "enacted". It argues that "policy work" is made up of a set of complex and differentiated activities which involve both…

  1. Public Policies and Strategies of Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loiret, Pierre-Jean

    2011-01-01

    The synthesis "Public Policies and Strategies of Actors" concerns the same theme as Part 4 of the "Handbook of Distance Education" (Moore 2007), which deals with policies, administration, and management. Eleven articles illustrate the theme. Three articles are studies about the experience in France between 2000 and 2003 of the digital campuses.…

  2. Constructing Careers: Actor, Agent, and Author

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savickas, Mark L.

    2011-01-01

    When individuals seek career counseling, they have stories to tell about their working lives. The aim of career construction theory is to be comprehensive in encouraging employment counselors to listen for a client's career story from the perspectives of actor, agent, and author. Taking multiple perspectives on career stories enables counselors to…

  3. [Demography and employment in Portugal].

    PubMed

    Barata, O S

    1981-01-01

    The population of Portugal showed a period of slow growth between 1950-60; however, in the 1970s, the return of large numbers of former residents in African territories along with a reduction in emigration changed the trend so that the 1981 census showed a significant increase. The Portuguese economy, on the other hand, is in a state of crisis which has resulted in large numbers of unemployed. The growth of the population along with these hard times has made it more difficult to reduce the rate of unemployment. It is also more difficult for those leaving school to find jobs. The better educated generations are seeking jobs in industry and in other services that Portugal will find difficult to offer in sufficient numbers in the immediate future. At present, the Portuguese economy has a large component of agricultural labor. In any case, the means of economic and social intervention to fight unemployment have limited potential. Therefore, many of those unable to find jobs in Portugal will attempt to emigrate. Many Portuguese are already working in Germany, France, and in other Western European countries but migration today is much more difficult. In addition, these countries cannot be expected to recive many more migrant workers in the future. In fact, those better educated workers from Portugal will not be very interested in the low paying jobs which can be found more easily by foreign workers in Western Euorpe. Many will therefore attempt to find jobs in non-European countries. There has been a recent increase of migration to Canada and the US. A renewal of interest in jobs in Brazil and other South Amerian countries is also to be expected. There may also be a future increase in the number of experts, technicians, and other qualified personnel emigrating to Portuguese speaking African countries if there is adequate security and if these countries find the way to expand economic growth. (author's modified) PMID:12339773

  4. Two simple models for accounting mussel contamination with diarrhoetic shellfish poisoning toxins at Aveiro lagoon: Control by rainfall and atmospheric forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vale, Paulo

    2012-02-01

    At Aveiro lagoon (Portuguese northwest coast) bivalve contamination with diarrhoetic shellfish poisoning toxins (DSTs), okadaic acid (OA) and dinophysistoxin-2 (DTX2), is a recurrent annual phenomenon seriously affecting seafood safety. The influence of meteorological parameters was studied to understand accumulation of DSTs in mussels, related to the blooming of the causative toxic microalgae, belonging to genus Dinophysis. Two simplified models were useful in predicting the accumulation of DSTs in blue mussels from this lagoon. Either the May river drainage or the rainfall accumulated from January through May could adequately predict the severity of OA accumulated from predation upon Dinophysis acuminata during June/July. In both cases a linear relationship was obtained, with correlation coefficients of 0.85 or greater. Winds with a west direction favour coastal concentration of Dinophysis acuta in Aveiro region. Both OA and DTX2 contamination increased exponentially in September/October with the cumulative number of days with W-wind orientation in the preceding August (correlation coefficients greater than 0.92). This relationship was attributed to the quadratic effect of wind stress on surface currents. August is a transitional month, when the continental runoff effect upon Dinophysis acuminata can still be observed and Dinophysis acuta advection may be promoted by westerly winds occurring in July. The frequency of periods with northerly winds in July can halt accumulation of toxins derived from Dinophysis acuta.

  5. Child Labour and Educational Success in Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goulart, Pedro; Bedi, Arjun S.

    2008-01-01

    The current debate on child labour focuses on developing countries. However, Portugal is an example of a relatively developed country where child labour is still a matter of concern as between 8% and 12% of Portuguese children may be classified as workers. This paper studies the patterns of child labour in Portugal and assesses the consequences of…

  6. Portugal to Accede to ESO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2000-06-01

    The Republic of Portugal will become the ninth member state of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) [1]. Today, during a ceremony at the ESO Headquarters in Garching (Germany), a corresponding Agreement was signed by the Portuguese Minister of Science and Technology, José Mariano Gago and the ESO Director General, Catherine Cesarsky , in the presence of other high officials from Portugal and the ESO member states (see Video Clip 05/00 below). Following subsequent ratification by the Portuguese Parliament of the ESO Convention and the associated protocols [2], it is foreseen that Portugal will formally join this organisation on January 1, 2001. Uniting European Astronomy ESO PR Photo 16/00 ESO PR Photo 16/00 [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 405 pix - 160k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 809 pix - 408k] Caption : Signing of the Portugal-ESO Agreement on June 27, 2000, at the ESO Headquarters in Garching (Germany). At the table, the ESO Director General, Catherine Cesarsky , and the Portuguese Minister of Science and Technology, José Mariano Gago . In his speech, the Portuguese Minister of Science and Technology, José Mariano Gago , stated that "the accession of Portugal to ESO is the result of a joint effort by ESO and Portugal during the last ten years. It was made possible by the rapid Portuguese scientific development and by the growth and internationalisation of its scientific community." He continued: "Portugal is fully committed to European scientific and technological development. We will devote our best efforts to the success of ESO". Catherine Cesarsky , ESO Director General since 1999, warmly welcomed the Portuguese intention to join ESO. "With the accession of their country to ESO, Portuguese astronomers will have great opportunities for working on research programmes at the frontiers of modern astrophysics." "This is indeed a good time to join ESO", she added. "The four 8.2-m VLT Unit Telescopes with their many first-class instruments are nearly ready, and the VLT

  7. Geology and religion in Portugal

    PubMed Central

    Carneiro, Ana; Simoes, Ana; Diogo, Maria Paula; Mota, Teresa Salomé

    2013-01-01

    This paper addresses the relationship between geology and religion in Portugal by focusing on three case studies of naturalists who produced original research and lived in different historical periods, from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. Whereas in non-peripheral European countries religious themes and even controversies between science and religion were dealt with by scientists and discussed in scientific communities, in Portugal the absence of a debate between science and religion within scientific and intellectual circles is particularly striking. From the historiographic point of view, in a country such as Portugal, where Roman Catholicism is part of the religious and cultural tradition, the influence of religion in all aspects of life has been either taken for granted by those less familiar with the national context or dismissed by local intellectuals, who do not see it as relevant to science. The situation is more complex than these dichotomies, rendering the study of this question particularly appealing from the historiographic point of view, geology being by its very nature a well-suited point from which to approach the theme. We argue that there is a long tradition of independence between science and religion, agnosticism and even atheism among local elites. Especially from the eighteenth century onwards, they are usually portrayed as enlightened minds who struggled against religious and political obscurantism. Religion—or, to be more precise, the Roman Catholic Church and its institutions—was usually identified with backwardness, whereas science was seen as the path to progress; consequently men of science usually dissociated their scientific production from religious belief.

  8. Climate change projections for precipitation in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrade, C.; Santos, J. A.

    2013-10-01

    The strong irregularity of precipitation in Portugal, which may e.g. trigger severe/extreme droughts and floods, results in a high vulnerability of the country to precipitation inter-annual variability and to its extremes. Furthermore, dryer future climates are projected for Portugal, though there has also been some growing evidence for a strengthening of precipitation extremes. Due to the central role played byprecipitation on many socio-economic sectors and environmental systems, regional climate change assessments for precipitation in Portugal are necessary. This study is focused on analyzing climate change projections for seasonal (3-month) precipitation totals and their corresponding extremes over mainland Portugal. Taking into account the strong seasonality of the precipitation regimes in Portugal, winter (DJF) and summer (JJA) are considered separately. Precipitation datasets generated by a 16-member ensemble of regional climate model experiments from the ENSEMBLES project are used. Percentile-based indices of precipitation are computed and analyzed for a recent past period (1961-2000) and for a near future period (2041-2070). Results for the R5p, R50p and R95p indices highlight significant projected changes in precipitation, with a clear distinction between northwestern Portugal and the rest of the country in both seasons. Overall, precipitation is projected to decrease in both seasons, particularly over northwestern Portugal in winter, despite some significant regional differences. Although precipitation is projected to decrease in most cases, extremely high seasonal precipitations (above the 95th percentile)areexpected to increase in winter.

  9. [Carbon monoxide intoxications in Portugal].

    PubMed

    Sá, Márcia Christel; Rodrigues, Rui Paulo; Moura, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    The prevalence of carbon monoxide intoxication in the World shows that this is a common situation. In Portugal, there are no concrete data available in literature and its incidence remains unknown. Currently, the use of hyperbaric oxygen is a valid therapeutic for carbon monoxide poisoning management. However, its effectiveness and its proper handling are still controversial. The first aim of this study was to estimate the incidence of carbon monoxide intoxication in Portugal and to analyze its demographic characteristics. The second objective of this work was to evaluate the possible change in the type of treatment applied in areas near de hyperbaric chamber of Unidade Local de Saúde de Matosinhos, since its opening in June 2006. To achieve these objectives, we conducted a survey on admissions data for carbon monoxide intoxication occured between January first, 2000 and December 31, 2007. These data was collected in seven hospitals and in the Administração Central do Sistema de Saúde, I.P. Nationally, 621 hospitalizations were recorded, which represents an incidence of 5,86/100000 in 8 years. In the seven hospitals, there were 93 hospitalizations due to carbon monoxide intoxication during the same period of time. There was a peak of incidence during winter, between November and March and there was a similar distribution in men (47,3%) and women (52,7%). Since June 2006, date of opening of the hyperbaric chamber, the Unidade Local de Saúde de Matosinhos, E.P.E. recorded a sharp increase in the number of hospitalization for carbon monoxide intoxication. The number of admissions in the 19 months after the chamber opening was double the number of all cases occurred in that institution in the 65 months prior. We concluded that, in Portugal, carbon monoxide intoxication is an uncommon situation but it´s still an important cause of hospitalization. The referral of cases to the Unidade Local de Saúde de Matosinhos, E.P.E. since the opening of hyperbaric chamber

  10. Optometry in Portugal: a historical perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teixeira, Eduardo; Baptista, António M. G.; Sousa, Raul A. R. C.

    2011-05-01

    The establishment and development of optometry in Portugal resulted from the committed work of many individuals and institutions. These efforts have had good results in terms of raising the public's awareness of the major role played by optometrists in primary eye care. Back in the late 80's higher education in optometry was started. Ten years ago the results of scientific research on the topic first became available and are now also contributing to the success of optometry in Portugal. In regard to the optometry profession, specific regulations are to be discussed in the national parliament. The Associação de Profissionais Licenciados de Optometria (APLO), as the professional organization representing optometrists in Portugal, has been critically important in this process. This article will present an overview of the history of optometry in Portugal, of change in the foreseeable future and of the APLO's experience and activities.

  11. Astronomy Week in Madeira, Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Augusto, P.; Sobrinho, J. L.

    2012-05-01

    The outreach programme Semanas da Astronomia (Astronomy Weeks) is held in late spring or summer on the island of Madeira, Portugal. This programme has been attracting enough interest to be mentioned in the regional press/TV/radio every year and is now, without doubt, the astronomical highlight of the year on Madeira. We believe that this programme is a good case study for showing how to attract the general public to astronomy in a small (population 250 000, area 900 km2) and fairly isolated place such as Madeira. Our Astronomy Weeks have been different each year and have so far included exhibitions, courses, talks, a forum, documentaries, observing sessions (some with blackouts), music and an astro party. These efforts may contribute towards putting Madeira on the map with respect to observational astronomy, and have also contributed to the planned installation of two observatories in the island.

  12. Integrating actors into a simulation program: a primer.

    PubMed

    Pascucci, Robert C; Weinstock, Peter H; O'Connor, Brigid E; Fancy, Kristina M; Meyer, Elaine C

    2014-04-01

    We describe our more than 10 years' experience working with actors and provide a "how-to" guide to recruiting, auditioning, hiring, training, and mentoring actors for work as simulated patients in simulation programs. We contend that trained actors add great realism, richness, and depth to simulation-based training programs. The actors experience satisfaction from their contributions, and their skill and improvisational talent allow programs to offer ethical and relational training, customized to a wide range of practitioners and adapted across a variety of health care conversations. Such learning opportunities can directly address Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies in preparing capable, confident, and empathic health care practitioners. PMID:24096918

  13. Phytoplankton off the Coast of Portugal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    A large phytoplankton bloom off of the coast of Portugal can be seen in this true-color image taken on April 23, 2002, by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA's Terra satellite. The bloom is roughly half the size of Portugal and forms a bluish-green cloud in the water. The red spots in northwest Spain denote what are likely small agricultural fires. Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC

  14. Basic Needs and Education in Portugal. The Portugal Project. Document No. XIII.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Erasmie, Thord

    The aim of this study was to describe and compare the socio-economic factors that can be expected to influence the education system in Portugal, where urbanization has been very slow. The report examines basic needs in Portugal's 18 districts and makes recommendations about resource allocation to planners of adult education programs. Extensive…

  15. Understanding the Employment of Actors. Research Division Report #3.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC. Research Div.

    Focusing on actors' employment problems, part 1 of this report describes data collected by Actor's Equity primarily in terms of: (1) membership files; (2) the organization's contract department; (3) pension and welfare funds; and (4) employment statistics. Part 2 analyzes these data sets in relation to employment, unemployment, risk factors for…

  16. ACToR: Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (T)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The EPA Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (ACToR) is a set of databases compiling information on chemicals in the environment from a large number of public and in-house EPA sources. ACToR has 3 main goals: (1) The serve as a repository of public toxicology information ...

  17. Teaching, Learning, and Leading: Preparing Teachers as Educational Policy Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heineke, Amy J.; Ryan, Ann Marie; Tocci, Charles

    2015-01-01

    Within the current federal, state, and local contexts of educational reform, teachers must be recognized as central actors in policy work, but rarely do we explicitly consider preparing teachers to become policy actors. Understanding these implications for teacher education, we investigate teacher candidates' learning of the complexity and…

  18. Ecole et communaute au Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melo, Alberto

    1980-09-01

    Since 1974 Portugal has experienced some dramatic changes in educational practices at the local level. The school has been opened to the community and the community to the school. Teacher education now includes community studies, designed to prepare teachers for an active role in this process and for the better understanding of the social background of pupils. One new practice is the publication of local newspapers or news-sheets to enhance the understanding of the community by teachers and pupils. The development of a school garden for the cultivation of flowers and vegetables serves as another bridge between school and community. Other examples of community action are adult literacy classes, the creation of voluntary organisations for women, the running of youth clubs, the formation of co-operatives, and local projects like the purchase of an old tram-car to be converted into a library. The introduction of `Civic and Polytechnic Education' for 13-16 year olds was an important innovation. One half-day a week was to be devoted to the integration of the school with the locality, young people's participation in society as agents of change, the linking of study and productive work, and the involvement of young people in the solution of national problems, working from a concrete knowledge of local and regional life. However, since 1976 there has been a more conservative approach, and only in places with a strong consensus amongst teachers has the new relationship between school and community been maintained.

  19. A false dichotomy? Mental illness and lone-actor terrorism.

    PubMed

    Corner, Emily; Gill, Paul

    2015-02-01

    We test whether significant differences in mental illness exist in a matched sample of lone- and group-based terrorists. We then test whether there are distinct behavioral differences between lone-actor terrorists with and without mental illness. We then stratify our sample across a range of diagnoses and again test whether significant differences exist. We conduct a series of bivariate, multivariate, and multinomial statistical tests using a unique dataset of 119 lone-actor terrorists and a matched sample of group-based terrorists. The odds of a lone-actor terrorist having a mental illness is 13.49 times higher than the odds of a group actor having a mental illness. Lone actors who were mentally ill were 18.07 times more likely to have a spouse or partner who was involved in a wider movement than those without a history of mental illness. Those with a mental illness were more likely to have a proximate upcoming life change, more likely to have been a recent victim of prejudice, and experienced proximate and chronic stress. The results identify behaviors and traits that security agencies can utilize to monitor and prevent lone-actor terrorism events. The correlated behaviors provide an image of how risk can crystalize within the individual offender and that our understanding of lone-actor terrorism should be multivariate in nature. PMID:25133916

  20. Occurrence of persistent organic pollutants in sediments and biota from Portugal versus European incidence: A critical overview.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Cláudia; Ribeiro, Ana Rita; Tiritan, Maria Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are widespread compounds, such as organohalogenated compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and pesticides, which can be found in all types of environmental compartments. Their presence in the aquatic environment is a worldwide problem, with emphasis on sediments which act as depository and consequently as a source of hydrophobic, recalcitrant and harmful compounds. Besides, these pollutants might affect the reproduction and mortality of living organisms, diverging in their potential to bioaccumulate in tissues. The present paper aims to review the occurrence of POPs in sediments and biota from the coastal, estuarine and river areas of Portugal. The list of the studied compounds comprises organohalogenated compounds, PAHs, organometallic compounds, pesticides, sterols, fatty acids and pharmaceutical compounds. The contamination of sediments by various pollutants is presented, such as PAHs up to 7,350 ng g(-1) found in Sado estuary and polychlorinated biphenyls up to 62.2 ng g(-1) in the case of sediments collected in Ria de Aveiro. The occurrence of these persistent toxic substances in sediments demonstrates aquatic contamination from agricultural, industrial and urban discharges and the concern about the potential risks to aquatic organisms, wildlife and humans. In fact, several classes of POPs have also been found in biota, such as polychlorinated biphenyls up to 810.9 ng g(-1) in sentinel fish from the Douro River estuary and pesticides in bivalves from the Sado River estuary. The importance of further systematic research on sediments and biota is here highlighted to compare the contamination of these two reservoirs; to assess their spatial and temporal variation; and to determine other classes of POPs that were not investigated yet (e.g., industrial compounds, estrogens and many classes of pharmaceuticals). PMID:26671606

  1. Development of an online nursing management course: successful experience between Brazil and Portugal.

    PubMed

    Tronchin, Daisy Maria Rizatto; Peres, Heloisa Helena Ciqueto; Lima, Antônio Fernandes Costa; Alavarce, Débora Cristina; Prata, Ana Paula; Santos, Margarida Reis; Aroldi, Juscilynne Barros da Costa

    2015-12-01

    Objective To describe the experience of planning and developing online refresher courses in nursing management for nurses in the contexts of Brazil and Portugal. Method The instructional design was based on meaningful learning theory, andragogy, and dialectical methodology, so it valued interaction between the actors, emphasizing the scenarios of practice and applying the concepts covered. The course structure is divided into nine theoretical units, four case studies, and an essay exam. Results The course was positively evaluated by the participants, who reported opportunities for acquisition of new knowledge, interaction and exchange of experiences, motivation to study the topics, and self-learning. Conclusion It is expected that description of this experience will stimulate proposals for new courses and programs in distance education modalities, improving the processes of teaching and learning so as to give support to future analyses of their impact on the development and enhancement of management skills in nursing. PMID:26959169

  2. Whose Journey Is It? A Critic's Plea to Actors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lasser, Michael

    1999-01-01

    Laments the narcissism that the author sees in too many contemporary approaches to acting and directing. Argues that actors must focus on the world outside themselves, where the play and the audience most need them to be. (SR)

  3. Efficient model learning methods for actor-critic control.

    PubMed

    Grondman, Ivo; Vaandrager, Maarten; Buşoniu, Lucian; Babuska, Robert; Schuitema, Erik

    2012-06-01

    We propose two new actor-critic algorithms for reinforcement learning. Both algorithms use local linear regression (LLR) to learn approximations of the functions involved. A crucial feature of the algorithms is that they also learn a process model, and this, in combination with LLR, provides an efficient policy update for faster learning. The first algorithm uses a novel model-based update rule for the actor parameters. The second algorithm does not use an explicit actor but learns a reference model which represents a desired behavior, from which desired control actions can be calculated using the inverse of the learned process model. The two novel methods and a standard actor-critic algorithm are applied to the pendulum swing-up problem, in which the novel methods achieve faster learning than the standard algorithm. PMID:22156998

  4. ACToR A Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource

    EPA Science Inventory

    We are developing the ACToR system (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) to serve as a repository for a variety of types of chemical, biological and toxicological data that can be used for predictive modeling of chemical toxicology.

  5. 29 CFR 570.125 - Actors and performers.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... an actor or performer in motion pictures or theatrical productions, or in radio or television... definition will be helpful in determining whether a child qualifies as a “* * * performer in motion...

  6. ACToR A Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (S)

    EPA Science Inventory

    We are developing the ACToR system (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) to serve as a repository for a variety of types of chemical, biological and toxicological data that can be used for predictive modeling of chemical toxicology.

  7. CAM within a field force of countervailing powers: The case of Portugal.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Joana; Gabe, Jonathan

    2016-04-01

    This paper examines the extent to which the position of the medical profession and the state towards complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners has changed since the late 1990s, taking Portugal as a case study. Using Light's concept of countervailing powers, we consider the alliances, interests, rhetoric and degrees of control between these three actors over time, focussing particularly on the extent to which CAM practitioners have acted as a countervailing force in their relationship with the medical profession and the state. It also brings to the fore the position of supra-state agencies concerning CAM regulation. A critical discourse analysis was conducted on data derived from a systematic search of information dating from the late 1990s up to 2015. Our analysis suggests that CAM has emerged as an active player and a countervailing power in that it has had significant influence on the process of state policy-making. The medical profession, in turn, has moved from rejecting to 'incorporating' CAM, while the state has acted as a 'broker', trying to accommodate the demands and preferences of both actors while simultaneously demonstrating its power and autonomy in shaping health policy. In sum, the history of countermoves of CAM, the medical profession and the state in recasting power relations regarding CAM regulation in Portugal has highlighted the explanatory value of Light's countervailing power theory and the need to move away from a professional dominance and corporatist approach, in which CAM has simply been seen as subjugated to the power of the medical profession and the state. PMID:26990177

  8. Child Poverty in Portugal: Dimensions and Dynamics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bastos, Amelia; Nunes, Francisco

    2009-01-01

    This article analyses the extent and persistence of child poverty in Portugal between 1995 and 2001. Data from the Portuguese component of the European Community Household Panel Survey (ECHP) are used to estimate child poverty rates and children's flows in and out of poverty. The article focuses upon an analysis based on family income and on a set…

  9. Transnational corporations as 'keystone actors' in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Österblom, Henrik; Jouffray, Jean-Baptiste; Folke, Carl; Crona, Beatrice; Troell, Max; Merrie, Andrew; Rockström, Johan

    2015-01-01

    Keystone species have a disproportionate influence on the structure and function of ecosystems. Here we analyze whether a keystone-like pattern can be observed in the relationship between transnational corporations and marine ecosystems globally. We show how thirteen corporations control 11-16% of the global marine catch (9-13 million tons) and 19-40% of the largest and most valuable stocks, including species that play important roles in their respective ecosystem. They dominate all segments of seafood production, operate through an extensive global network of subsidiaries and are profoundly involved in fisheries and aquaculture decision-making. Based on our findings, we define these companies as keystone actors of the Anthropocene. The phenomenon of keystone actors represents an increasingly important feature of the human-dominated world. Sustainable leadership by keystone actors could result in cascading effects throughout the entire seafood industry and enable a critical transition towards improved management of marine living resources and ecosystems. PMID:26017777

  10. Two-actor conflict with time delay: A dynamical model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qubbaj, Murad R.; Muneepeerakul, Rachata

    2012-11-01

    Recent mathematical dynamical models of the conflict between two different actors, be they nations, groups, or individuals, have been developed that are capable of predicting various outcomes depending on the chosen feedback strategies, initial conditions, and the previous states of the actors. In addition to these factors, this paper examines the effect of time delayed feedback on the conflict dynamics. Our analysis shows that under certain initial and feedback conditions, a stable neutral equilibrium of conflict may destabilize for some critical values of time delay, and the two actors may evolve to new emotional states. We investigate the results by constructing critical delay surfaces for different sets of parameters and analyzing results from numerical simulations. These results provide new insights regarding conflict and conflict resolution and may help planners in adjusting and assessing their strategic decisions.

  11. Geochemistry of biotite granites from the Lamas de Olo Pluton, northern Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandes, Susana; Gomes, Maria; Teixeira, Rui; Corfu, Fernando

    2013-04-01

    .21, and display isotopic signatures of (87Sr/86Sr)i = 0.7044-0.7077 and Nd = -2.2 to -1.1. Six samples of LO define a whole rock isochron age of 285±15 Ma with (87Sr/86Sr)i = 0.7051±0.001 (MSWD = 0.11). Two monazite analyses for the LO granite yield an weighted average 207Pb/235U age of 297.19±0.73 Ma, consistent with the preliminary ID-TIMS U-Pb analyses of two transparent and euhedral prisms of zircon that define a concordia age of 296.37 ±0.52 Ma (MSWD = 0.66). The linear trends of major and trace elements variation diagrams of LO and AC granites and their similar mean values of (87Sr/86Sr)i point, at this stage, to an involvement of mid-crustal sources, probably mixed with asthenospheric material. Therefore, LOP consists of post-D3 biotite granites installed in higher structural crustal levels, testifying the occurrence of a crustal growth episode after the major recycling processes that occurred during the deformation phase D3. We thank Prof. J.F. Santos and Dr. S. Ribeiro and Petrochron project (PTDC/CTE-GIX/112561/2009) for the Rb-Sr isotopic data obtained at LGI of University of Aveiro, Portugal. Dias, G. et al. 1998. Lithos, 45, 349-369. Pereira, E., 1989. Serviços Geológicos de Portugal.

  12. The controversy over the restructuring of perinatal emergency services in Portugal and the importance of citizen participation in health care decision-making processes.

    PubMed

    Matos, Ana Raquel

    2015-01-01

    This article explores the controversial decision made by the Ministry of Health to restructure the perinatal emergency services in Portugal in 2006. Particular emphasis is given to the protests held across the country against, the actors involved, and the arguments put forward for and against the measure, in an attempt to understand the forms of knowledge and experiences brought to the discussion about the issues raised by the decision, and how different forms of knowledge are reconciled under a democratic process. In addition, this article explores the importance of citizen participation, including that which emerges from conflicting relations, in the formulation of health policies. PMID:26331640

  13. Multivariate statistical analysis of wildfires in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, Ricardo; Caramelo, Liliana; Pereira, Mário

    2013-04-01

    Several studies demonstrate that wildfires in Portugal present high temporal and spatial variability as well as cluster behavior (Pereira et al., 2005, 2011). This study aims to contribute to the characterization of the fire regime in Portugal with the multivariate statistical analysis of the time series of number of fires and area burned in Portugal during the 1980 - 2009 period. The data used in the analysis is an extended version of the Rural Fire Portuguese Database (PRFD) (Pereira et al, 2011), provided by the National Forest Authority (Autoridade Florestal Nacional, AFN), the Portuguese Forest Service, which includes information for more than 500,000 fire records. There are many multiple advanced techniques for examining the relationships among multiple time series at the same time (e.g., canonical correlation analysis, principal components analysis, factor analysis, path analysis, multiple analyses of variance, clustering systems). This study compares and discusses the results obtained with these different techniques. Pereira, M.G., Trigo, R.M., DaCamara, C.C., Pereira, J.M.C., Leite, S.M., 2005: "Synoptic patterns associated with large summer forest fires in Portugal". Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 129, 11-25. Pereira, M. G., Malamud, B. D., Trigo, R. M., and Alves, P. I.: The history and characteristics of the 1980-2005 Portuguese rural fire database, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 3343-3358, doi:10.5194/nhess-11-3343-2011, 2011 This work is supported by European Union Funds (FEDER/COMPETE - Operational Competitiveness Programme) and by national funds (FCT - Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology) under the project FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-022692, the project FLAIR (PTDC/AAC-AMB/104702/2008) and the EU 7th Framework Program through FUME (contract number 243888).

  14. Municipal solid waste disposal in Portugal

    SciTech Connect

    Magrinho, Alexandre; Didelet, Filipe; Semiao, Viriato . E-mail: ViriatoSemiao@ist.utl.pt

    2006-07-01

    In recent years municipal solid waste (MSW) disposal has been one of the most important environmental problems for all of the Portuguese regions. The basic principles of MSW management in Portugal are: (1) prevention or reduction, (2) reuse, (3) recovery (e.g., recycling, incineration with heat recovery), and (4) polluter-pay principle. A brief history of legislative trends in waste management is provided herein as background for current waste management and recycling activities. The paper also presents and discusses the municipal solid waste management in Portugal and is based primarily on a national inquiry carried out in 2003 and directed to the MSW management entities. Additionally, the MSW responsibility and management structure in Portugal is presented, together with the present situation of production, collection, recycling, treatment and elimination of MSW. Results showed that 96% of MSW was collected mixed (4% was separately collected) and that 68% was disposed of in landfill, 21% was incinerated at waste-to-energy plants, 8% was treated at organic waste recovery plants and 3% was delivered to sorting. The average generation rate of MSW was 1.32 kg/capita/day.

  15. Population diversity of Theileria annulata in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Jacinto; Salgueiro, Patrícia; Inácio, João; Amaro, Ana; Pinto, João; Tait, Andy; Shiels, Brian; Pereira da Fonseca, Isabel; Santos-Gomes, Gabriela; Weir, William

    2016-08-01

    The tick-borne protozoan parasite Theileria annulata causes tropical theileriosis, a severe disease of cattle that occurs across the Mediterranean littoral, the Middle East and Southern Asia. In the Mediterranean region, the disease has long been perceived as being a constraint to livestock production in North Africa and Turkey but was believed to have minimal impact in Southern European countries. It has recently been demonstrated that in Southern Portugal the prevalence of T. annulata is approximately 30%. While the population genetics of the parasite and the multiplicity of infection in the bovine host have been studied in a number of countries, no information is currently available on the composition of the parasite population in Southern Europe or its relationship to populations in bordering regions. A parasite genotyping system, based on micro- and mini-satellite amplification, was used to perform genetic analysis of T. annulata populations from T. annulata infected cattle in twelve farms in Southern Portugal. A diversity of genotypes and a high multiplicity of infection were found, suggesting that the parasite possesses a panmictic population in this region. In comparison with genotypes found in Tunisia and Turkey, parasites from Portugal form a genetically distinct group and show lower genetic diversity. PMID:27109468

  16. Educational Judgment: Linking the Actor and the Spectator.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coulter, David; Wiens, John R.

    2002-01-01

    Recommends moving from debates between spectators and actors about knowledge and practice to discussions about how all educators can foster good judgment, outlining Aristotle's and Kant's accounts of judgment, which ultimately privilege spectators, and introducing Arendt's work. Arendt linked thinking and acting without privileging either in her…

  17. Actor Networks and the Division of Knowledge in the University.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Busch, Lawrence

    This paper discusses the current division of knowledge at the college and university level, its historical roots, and the application of Actor Network Theory (ANT) to arrive at an explanation of the permanence of the current division of knowledge as well as what form a new division of knowledge might take. It finds fragmentation and disintegration…

  18. Researching the Habitus of Global Policy Actors in Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lingard, Bob; Sellar, Sam; Baroutsis, Aspa

    2015-01-01

    This paper reprises the argument for the emergence of a global education policy field and then focuses on the shared habitus of global and national policy actors and technicians. It is argued that this shared habitus is constituted as a reflection of and a contribution to the creation of the global education policy field. Bourdieu's approach…

  19. Hugh Grant's Image Restoration Discourse: An Actor Apologizes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benoit, William L.

    1997-01-01

    Examines the strategies used by actor Hugh Grant (in his appearances on talk shows) to help restore his reputation after he was arrested for lewd behavior with a prostitute. Uses this case as a springboard to contrast entertainment image repair with political and corporate image repair, arguing that important situational differences can be…

  20. Lifelong Learning in the EU: Changing Conceptualisations, Actors, and Policies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Volles, Nina

    2016-01-01

    This paper explores the changing conceptualisations, actors, and policies of lifelong learning (LLL) in the European Union (EU) from the time the topic first emerged and was promoted by international organisations in the 1960s. The author uses Kingdon's Multiple Streams Framework to analyse how the LLL discourse became an important part of the EU…

  1. Children's Recognition of Plans in the Behavior of Other Actors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walton, Marsha D.; Sedlak, Andrea J.

    An investigation of children's tendencies to infer planfulness from the behavior of other actors revealed systematic differences in the responses of kindergarten and second-grade children to questions about the motives, goals, and knowledge of story characters. Participating in the study were 13 boys and 13 girls attending public school (15…

  2. VR/IS Lab Virtual Actor research overview

    SciTech Connect

    Shawver, D.M.; Stansfield, S.

    1995-06-22

    This overview presents current research at Sandia National Laboratories in the Virtual Reality and Intelligent Simulation Lab. Into an existing distributed VR environment which we have been developing, and which provides shared immersion for multiple users, we are adding virtual actor support. The virtual actor support we are adding to this environment is intended to provide semi-autonomous actors, with oversight and high-level guiding control by a director/user, and to allow the overall action to be driven by a scenario. We present an overview of the environment into which our virtual actors will be added in Section 3, and discuss the direction of the Virtual Actor research itself in Section 4. We will briefly review related work in Section 2. First however we need to place the research in the context of what motivates it. The motivation for our construction of this environment, and the line of research associated with it, is based on a long-term program of providing support, through simulation, for situational training, by which we mean a type of training in which students learn to handle multiple situations or scenarios. In these situations, the student may encounter events ranging from the routine occurance to the rare emergency. Indeed, the appeal of such training systems is that they could allow the student to experience and develop effective responses for situations they would otherwise have no opportunity to practice, until they happened to encounter an actual occurance. Examples of the type of students for this kind of training would be security forces or emergency response forces. An example of the type of training scenario we would like to support is given in Section 4.2.

  3. Immigration and Supplementary Ethnic Schooling: Ukrainian Students in Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tereshchenko, Antonina; Grau Cárdenas, Valeska Valentina

    2013-01-01

    Immigration from Eastern European countries to Portugal is a recent phenomenon. Within the last decade, economic migrants from Ukraine, Russia, Romania and Moldova set up a number of supplementary schools across the country. No academic attention has been given to the phenomenon of supplementary ethnic schools in Portugal, whilst there is a…

  4. OECD Review of the Secondary School Modernisation Programme in Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blyth, Alastair

    2010-01-01

    On 26 February in Lisbon a team from the OECD's Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE) presented its first review of a national school building programme. The school building renovation programme in Portugal, which began in March 2007, involves the renovation of 332 schools by 2015. However, Portugal plans to complete 205 by the end of…

  5. Pre-School Education in Portugal = Educacao Pre-Escolar em Portugal. Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ministry of Education, Lisbon (Portugal).

    This report, containing both English and Portuguese text, describes the historical background and current state of preschool education systems in Portugal, and presents recommendations on guideline consolidation in the implementation of a common preschool education policy. Part 1 of the report, "Historical Background," discusses the social,…

  6. Portugal takes step back on abortion legalization.

    PubMed

    1998-07-01

    According to international press reports, a law that would have allowed Portuguese women abortions through the 10th week of pregnancy and into the 16th week if their physical or mental health was at risk has been rescinded after a referendum to determine the statute's future was voided because of low voter turnout. Passed in February, the law was a liberalization of Portugal's strict anti-abortion laws, which ban all abortions except for narrowly defined medical reasons or in the case of rape (and those are permitted only until the 12th week of pregnancy). Because the issue is such a controversial one, politicians had turned to a national referendum asking Portuguese voters to overturn or ratify the new law. The referendum was the first in the country since the end of its right-wing dictatorship in 1974, and 50% participation was required. Only 31.5% of the country's 8.5 million eligible voters went to the polls on June 28. Of those voting, 50.9% voted against the liberalized new legislation. Sunny weather and World Cup soccer matches were both pointed to as reasons for the low turnout. Officials estimate there are some 20,000 illegal abortions annually in Portugal. Abortion-rights activists in the mostly Roman-Catholic country say hospitals see roughly 10,000 women a year suffering from complications from illegal abortions, and that at least 800 women die each year from the procedure. In the next day's Diario de Noticias, a daily paper in Portugal, the entire front page was filled with a giant question mark. "What now, lawmakers?" the headline read. PMID:12293809

  7. Balancing influence between actors in healthcare decision making

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Healthcare costs in most developed countries are not clearly linked to better patient and public health outcomes, but are rather associated with service delivery orientation. In the U.S. this has resulted in large variation in healthcare availability and use, increased cost, reduced employer participation in health insurance programs, and reduced overall population health outcomes. Recent U.S. healthcare reform legislation addresses only some of these issues. Other countries face similar healthcare issues. Discussion A major goal of healthcare is to enhance patient health outcomes. This objective is not realized in many countries because incentives and structures are currently not aligned for maximizing population health. The misalignment occurs because of the competing interests between "actors" in healthcare. In a simplified model these are individuals motivated to enhance their own health; enterprises (including a mix of nonprofit, for profit and government providers, payers, and suppliers, etc.) motivated by profit, political, organizational and other forces; and government which often acts in the conflicting roles of a healthcare payer and provider in addition to its role as the representative and protector of the people. An imbalance exists between the actors, due to the resources and information control of the enterprise and government actors relative to the individual and the public. Failure to use effective preventive interventions is perhaps the best example of the misalignment of incentives. We consider the current Pareto efficient balance between the actors in relation to the Pareto frontier, and show that a significant change in the healthcare market requires major changes in the utilities of the enterprise and government actors. Summary A variety of actions are necessary for maximizing population health within the constraints of available resources and the current balance between the actors. These actions include improved transparency of

  8. Performance Analysis of an Actor-Based Distributed Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schoeffler, James D.

    1998-01-01

    Object-oriented design of simulation programs appears to be very attractive because of the natural association of components in the simulated system with objects. There is great potential in distributing the simulation across several computers for the purpose of parallel computation and its consequent handling of larger problems in less elapsed time. One approach to such a design is to use "actors", that is, active objects with their own thread of control. Because these objects execute concurrently, communication is via messages. This is in contrast to an object-oriented design using passive objects where communication between objects is via method calls (direct calls when they are in the same address space and remote procedure calls when they are in different address spaces or different machines). This paper describes a performance analysis program for the evaluation of a design for distributed simulations based upon actors.

  9. Teachers as Actors: The Implications of Acting on Physics Teaching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milner-Bolotin, Marina

    2007-10-01

    In the spring of 2006, a rather unusual advertisement by the Centre of Teaching and Academic Growth at UBC (http://www.tag.ubc.ca) came to my attention. Faculty members were invited to take part in a workshop entitled "All the World's a Stage: Teachers as Actors," offered by a zoology instructor and an amateur actor, Greg Bole: Teaching can be seen as creating an interpersonal relationship and hence uses many of the same skills as acting. The investigation and use of acting skills in teacher preparation can allow a greater facility with diverse methods, increase skill at adapting to change in the classroom or lecture hall, and an increased ability to quickly form positive relationships with students. (Greg Bole: http://www.tag.ubc.ca/programs/series-detail.php?series_id=249 )

  10. Extended Generalized Blockmodeling for Compound Communities and External Actors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brendel, Radoslaw; Krawczyk, Henryk

    Some social communities evident their own unique internal structure. In this chapter, we consider social communities composed of several cohesive subgroups which we call compound communities. For such communities, an extended generalized blockmodeling is proposed, taking into account the structure of compound communities and their relations with external actors. Using the extension, the community protection approach is proposed and used in detection of spam directed toward an e-mail local society.

  11. Space Radar Image of Lisbon, Portugal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    This radar image of Lisbon, Portugal illustrates the different land use patterns that are present in coastal Portugal. Lisbon, the national capital, lies on the north bank of the Rio Tejo where the river enters the Atlantic Ocean. The city center appears as the bright area in the center of the image. The green area west of the city center is a large city park called the Parque Florestal de Monsanto. The Lisbon Airport is visible east of the city. The Rio Tejo forms a large bay just east of the city. Many agricultural fields are visible as a patchwork pattern east of the bay. Suburban housing can be seen on the southern bank of the river. Spanning the river is the Ponte 25 de Abril, a large suspension bridge similar in architecture to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. The image was acquired on April 19, 1994 and is centered at 38.8 degrees north latitude, 9.2 degrees west longitude. North is towards the upper right. The image is 50 kilometers by 30 kilometers (31 miles by 19 miles). The colors in this image represent the following radar channels and polarizations: red is L-band, horizontally transmitted and received; green is L-band, horizontally transmitted and vertically received; and blue is C-band, horizontally transmitted and vertically received. SIR-C/X-SAR, a joint mission of the German, Italian, and the United States space agencies, is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth.

  12. Interpersonal violence among immigrants in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Dias, Sónia; Fraga, Sílvia; Barros, Henrique

    2013-02-01

    To assess prevalence of interpersonal violence among a mixed gender sample of immigrants in Portugal, describing the type of violence and associated factors. A cross-sectional study was conducted between October 2008 and May 2009, evaluating a sample of 702 immigrants residing in the Lisbon region. Information was obtained by trained interviewers using a structured questionnaire. Overall, 15.1 % (15.5 % females and 14.7 % males; p = 0.844) of the immigrants reported to be victims of at least one episode of violence during the last year, regardless of which type of violence was involved. The prevalence of intimate-partner violence was 4.1 %, and it was significantly higher among women than men (7.1 % vs. 0.9 %, respectively, p < 0.001). Women who reported being victims of violence during the previous year stated that the episodes occurred more often at home (54.4 %) with the partner as the perpetrator (43.9 %). On the other hand, male victims stated that the violent episodes occurred mostly in public spaces (40.8 %); men indicated that the perpetrator was frequently a stranger (28.6 %) or a co-worker (18.4 %). Violence is a frequent problem among both female and male immigrants living in Portugal, with different gender patterns regarding the perpetrators and settings of abuse. PMID:22618354

  13. A Low-cost System for Generating Near-realistic Virtual Actors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afifi, Mahmoud; Hussain, Khaled F.; Ibrahim, Hosny M.; Omar, Nagwa M.

    2015-06-01

    Generating virtual actors is one of the most challenging fields in computer graphics. The reconstruction of a realistic virtual actor has been paid attention by the academic research and the film industry to generate human-like virtual actors. Many movies were acted by human-like virtual actors, where the audience cannot distinguish between real and virtual actors. The synthesis of realistic virtual actors is considered a complex process. Many techniques are used to generate a realistic virtual actor; however they usually require expensive hardware equipment. In this paper, a low-cost system that generates near-realistic virtual actors is presented. The facial features of the real actor are blended with a virtual head that is attached to the actor's body. Comparing with other techniques that generate virtual actors, the proposed system is considered a low-cost system that requires only one camera that records the scene without using any expensive hardware equipment. The results of our system show that the system generates good near-realistic virtual actors that can be used on many applications.

  14. When More Power Makes Actors Worse off: Turning a Profit in the American Economy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan; Casciaro, Tiziana

    2006-01-01

    We propose a theory which predicts that an increase in an actor's relative power reduces the actor's rewards in high mutual dependence dyads. Our argument is based on the premise that higher relative power gives the more powerful actor a greater share of surplus, but it also reduces dyadic exchange frequency, which lowers the expected magnitude of…

  15. Who Needs What? Some Thoughts on the Possibility of Using Psychology in Actor Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vulova, Marina

    2001-01-01

    Contends that the aim of professional actor training is to reveal and develop an actor's individuality. Proposes that the responsibility of drama teachers is to lead training in such away that students feel accepted, understood, and respected. Proposes that psychodrama is the most appropriate method for student and professional actors' personal…

  16. Breaking into the Business: Experiences of Actors with Disabilities in the Entertainment Industry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raynor, Olivia; Hayward, Katharine

    2009-01-01

    The pursuit of an acting career is a difficult one for anybody. However, studies have yet to factor how disability affects casting opportunities. This study describes the employment of actors with disabilities, along with the unique barriers they encounter in the audition and casting process. Actors with disabilities from the Screen Actors Guild…

  17. Cognitively Central Actors and Their Personal Networks in an Energy Efficiency Training Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hytönen, Kaisa; Palonen, Tuire; Hakkarainen, Kai

    2014-01-01

    This article aims to examine cognitively central actors and their personal networks in the emerging field of energy efficiency. Cognitively central actors are frequently sought for professional advice by other actors and, therefore, they are positioned in the middle of a social network. They often are important knowledge resources, especially in…

  18. Sharing, caring, and surveilling: an actor-partner interdependence model examination of Facebook relational maintenance strategies.

    PubMed

    McEwan, Bree

    2013-12-01

    Abstract Relational maintenance is connected to high quality friendships. Friendship maintenance behaviors may occur online via social networking sites. This study utilized an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model to examine how Facebook maintenance and surveillance affect friendship quality. Bryant and Marmo's (2012) Facebook maintenance scale was evaluated, revealing two factors: sharing and caring. Facebook surveillance was also measured. For friendship satisfaction and liking, significant positive actor and partner effects emerged for caring; significant negative actor, partner, and interaction effects emerged for sharing; and significant positive actor effects emerged for surveillance. For friendship closeness, significant positive actor effects emerged for caring and surveillance. PMID:23962125

  19. Occupational exposure in Portugal in 1999.

    PubMed

    Alves, J G; Martins, M B; Amaral, E M

    2001-01-01

    This study reports the occupational radiation doses for external exposure received in 1999 by the radiation workers monitored by the Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety Department (DPRSN) in Portugal. Occupational exposures arise from conventional industry, research laboratories, the health or medical sector, and mining. There are no nuclear power plants in the country. There are two dosimetry systems running simultaneously at DPRSN, one based on film dosimetry and the other on thermoluminescence dosimetry (TLD). In 1999, 8400 persons were monitored, 3100 with film and 5300 with TLD and the data presented in this report were obtained by using both technologies. The annual mean effective doses received from external radiation in the different fields of activity and the distribution of the annual effective dose by dose intervals are presented. The collective annual dose by field of activity is estimated and the contribution to the total annual collective dose is determined. PMID:11586752

  20. The determinants of lottery sales in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Kaizeler, Maria João; Faustino, Horácio C; Marques, Rafael

    2014-09-01

    In sum, this paper examines the core determinants of lottery sales in Portugal. With panel data analysis covering 18 Portuguese districts and 5 years, this study explains the variations in a district's per-capita lottery sales in terms of key theoretical hypotheses such as per capita district income, age, education index, gender and religion. This paper concludes that the richer Portuguese districts spend more than the poorer districts and there is an inverted-U relationship between lottery sales and per capita income. The paper also concludes that married Catholic citizens spend more on lottery products than others and that the level of education returns a negative effect on lottery spending. PMID:23760689

  1. Production of intoxication states by actors: perception by lay listeners.

    PubMed

    Hollien, H; DeJong, G; Martin, C A

    1998-11-01

    The effects of ingesting ethanol have been shown to be somewhat variable in humans; there appear to be but few universals. Yet, questions about intoxication often are asked by law enforcement personnel (especially relative to DUI), clinicians and various individuals in social settings. A key question: Is it possible to determine if a person is intoxicated by observing them in some manner? A closely associated one: Can speech be used for that purpose? Two of the many issues related to the second of these questions involve the possibility that (1) speakers, especially actors, can effectively mimic the speech of intoxicated individuals, and (2) they may be able to volitionally reduce any speech degradation which results from intoxication. The approach used to test these two questions tasked auditors to determine if these simulations were possible. To this end, young, healthy actors chosen on the basis of a large number of selection criteria were asked to produce several types of controlled utterances (1) during a learning phase, (2) when sober, (3) at three simulated levels of intoxication (mildly, legally and severely drunk), (4) during actual, and parallel, levels of intoxication, and (5) at the highest intoxication level attained but when attempting to sound completely sober. Two aural-perceptual studies were conducted; both involved counterbalanced ABX procedures where each subject was paired with him/herself. Listeners were normally hearing university students drawn from undergraduate phonetics and linguistics courses. In the first study, they rated the actors as being more intoxicated--when they actually were sober but simulating drunkenness--88% more often than when they actually were intoxicated. In the second study, they were judged as sounding less inebriated when attempting to sound sober (than they actually were) 61% of the time. These relationships would appear to impact a number of situations; one of special importance would be the detection of

  2. KLIMHIST: A Project on Historical Climatology in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fragoso, Marcelo; João Alcoforado, Maria; Santos, João A.

    2013-04-01

    Climatic variability from the beginning of regular meteorological observations is now acknowledged. However, climate change prior to 1900 is far from being well known in Portugal, except for the 1675-1800 period in Southern Portugal. An interdisciplinary team is working in the frame of the KLIMHIST PROJECT ("Reconstruction and model simulations of past climate in Portugal using documentary and early instrumental sources, 17th-19th century)", since May 2012. The main objectives of the project are: (i) to contribute to the creation of a long-term history of climate in Portugal by producing databases of documentary evidence and of instrumental data since 1645, a period of natural climate variability that includes the Maunder Minimum and the Dalton Minimum; (ii) to search systematically for the first simultaneous documentary and instrumental data in order to calibrate the series; (iii) to analyse simulated multi-decadal trends over Portugal generated by climate models; (iv) to compare results with those obtained from dendroclimatology and from geothermal studies regarding Portugal and (v) to study extreme events of the past, their impacts and the vulnerability of societies to weather during the last 350 years, and compare them with current analogues. With these tasks, we expect to help completing the spatial coverage of past European climate, as the data gap over SW Europe is often mentioned. As the team members come from four different Universities in Portugal (Évora, Lisbon, Oporto and UTAD), we expect to obtain a good spatial representation of documentary evidence. Teams are now progressing in data search activities in archives. An Access database frame was constructed. Some 18th century extreme events have been and are being studied (Barbara storm, Dec.1739, among others). The first workshop took place in Lisbon (October 2012): Prof Brázdil and Dr. Domínguez-Castro (two of our consultants) were keynote speakers. Key-words: Climate reconstruction, Documentary

  3. Macro-actor execution on multilevel data-driven architectures

    SciTech Connect

    Gaudiot, J.L.; Najjar, W.

    1988-12-31

    The data-flow model of computation brings to multiprocessors high programmability at the expense of increased overhead. Applying the model at a higher level leads to better performance but also introduces loss of parallelism. We demonstrate here syntax directed program decomposition methods for the creation of large macro-actors in numerical algorithms. In order to alleviate some of the problems introduced by the lower resolution interpretation, we describe a multi-level of resolution and analyze the requirements for its actual hardware and software integration.

  4. Construal level and free will beliefs shape perceptions of actors' proximal and distal intent.

    PubMed

    Plaks, Jason E; Robinson, Jeffrey S

    2015-01-01

    Two components of lay observers' calculus of moral judgment are proximal intent (the actor's mind is focused on performing the action) and distal intent (the actor's mind is focused on the broader goal). What causes observers to prioritize one form of intent over the other? The authors observed whether construal level (Studies 1-2) and beliefs about free will (Studies 3-4) would influence participants' sensitivity to the actor's proximal vs. distal intent. In four studies, participants read scenarios in which the actor's proximal and distal intent were independently manipulated. In Study 1, when only distal intent was present in the actor's mind, participants rated the psychologically distant actor more responsible than the psychologically near actor. In Study 2, when only distal intent was in the actor's mind, participants with a chronic high level of action identification rated the actor more responsible than did those with a low level of action identification. In both studies, when only proximal intent was in the actor's mind, construal level did not predict judgments of responsibility. In Study 3, when only proximal intent was present in the actor's mind, the more participants believed in free will, the more they rated the actor responsible. When only distal intent was in the actor's mind, free will belief did not influence ratings of responsibility. In Study 4, the same pattern emerged when free will/determinism beliefs were manipulated and the actor performed a positive (life-saving) act. The authors discuss how these results shed new light on the literatures on moral reasoning and psycho-legal theory. PMID:26106352

  5. Construal level and free will beliefs shape perceptions of actors' proximal and distal intent

    PubMed Central

    Plaks, Jason E.; Robinson, Jeffrey S.

    2015-01-01

    Two components of lay observers' calculus of moral judgment are proximal intent (the actor's mind is focused on performing the action) and distal intent (the actor's mind is focused on the broader goal). What causes observers to prioritize one form of intent over the other? The authors observed whether construal level (Studies 1–2) and beliefs about free will (Studies 3–4) would influence participants' sensitivity to the actor's proximal vs. distal intent. In four studies, participants read scenarios in which the actor's proximal and distal intent were independently manipulated. In Study 1, when only distal intent was present in the actor's mind, participants rated the psychologically distant actor more responsible than the psychologically near actor. In Study 2, when only distal intent was in the actor's mind, participants with a chronic high level of action identification rated the actor more responsible than did those with a low level of action identification. In both studies, when only proximal intent was in the actor's mind, construal level did not predict judgments of responsibility. In Study 3, when only proximal intent was present in the actor's mind, the more participants believed in free will, the more they rated the actor responsible. When only distal intent was in the actor's mind, free will belief did not influence ratings of responsibility. In Study 4, the same pattern emerged when free will/determinism beliefs were manipulated and the actor performed a positive (life-saving) act. The authors discuss how these results shed new light on the literatures on moral reasoning and psycho-legal theory. PMID:26106352

  6. Song Perception by Professional Singers and Actors: An MEG Study.

    PubMed

    Rosslau, Ken; Herholz, Sibylle C; Knief, Arne; Ortmann, Magdalene; Deuster, Dirk; Schmidt, Claus-Michael; Zehnhoff-Dinnesen, Antoinetteam; Pantev, Christo; Dobel, Christian

    2016-01-01

    The cortical correlates of speech and music perception are essentially overlapping, and the specific effects of different types of training on these networks remain unknown. We compared two groups of vocally trained professionals for music and speech, singers and actors, using recited and sung rhyme sequences from German art songs with semantic and/ or prosodic/melodic violations (i.e. violations of pitch) of the last word, in order to measure the evoked activation in a magnetoencephalographic (MEG) experiment. MEG data confirmed the existence of intertwined networks for the sung and spoken modality in an early time window after word violation. In essence for this early response, higher activity was measured after melodic/prosodic than semantic violations in predominantly right temporal areas. For singers as well as for actors, modality-specific effects were evident in predominantly left-temporal lateralized activity after semantic expectancy violations in the spoken modality, and right-dominant temporal activity in response to melodic violations in the sung modality. As an indication of a special group-dependent audiation process, higher neuronal activity for singers appeared in a late time window in right temporal and left parietal areas, both after the recited and the sung sequences. PMID:26863437

  7. Understanding Health Information Seeking from an Actor-Centric Perspective.

    PubMed

    Batchelor, Simon; Waldman, Linda; Bloom, Gerry; Rasheed, Sabrina; Scott, Nigel; Ahmed, Tanvir; Khan, Nazib Uz Zaman; Sharmin, Tamanna

    2015-07-01

    This paper presents a conceptual approach for discussing health information seeking among poor households in Africa and Asia. This approach is part of a larger research endeavor aimed at understanding how health systems are adapting; with possibilities and constraints emerging. These health systems can be found in a context of the changing relationships between states, markets and civil society in low and middle income countries. The paper starts from an understanding of the health sector as a "health knowledge economy", organized to provide people with access to knowledge and advice. The use of the term "health knowledge economy" draws attention to the ways the health sector is part of a broader knowledge economy changing the way individuals and households obtain and use specialist information. The paper integrates an actor centric approach with the theory of planned behavior. It seeks to identify the actors engaged in the health knowledge economy as a precursor to longer term studies on the uptake of innovations integrating health services with mobile phones, commonly designated as mHealth, contributing to an understanding of the potential vulnerabilities of poor people, and highlighting possible dangers if providers of health information and advice are strongly influenced by interest groups. PMID:26184275

  8. Understanding Health Information Seeking from an Actor-Centric Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Batchelor, Simon; Waldman, Linda; Bloom, Gerry; Rasheed, Sabrina; Scott, Nigel; Ahmed, Tanvir; Uz Zaman Khan, Nazib; Sharmin, Tamanna

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a conceptual approach for discussing health information seeking among poor households in Africa and Asia. This approach is part of a larger research endeavor aimed at understanding how health systems are adapting; with possibilities and constraints emerging. These health systems can be found in a context of the changing relationships between states, markets and civil society in low and middle income countries. The paper starts from an understanding of the health sector as a “health knowledge economy”, organized to provide people with access to knowledge and advice. The use of the term “health knowledge economy” draws attention to the ways the health sector is part of a broader knowledge economy changing the way individuals and households obtain and use specialist information. The paper integrates an actor centric approach with the theory of planned behavior. It seeks to identify the actors engaged in the health knowledge economy as a precursor to longer term studies on the uptake of innovations integrating health services with mobile phones, commonly designated as mHealth, contributing to an understanding of the potential vulnerabilities of poor people, and highlighting possible dangers if providers of health information and advice are strongly influenced by interest groups. PMID:26184275

  9. What about the "actor's formant" in actresses' voices?

    PubMed

    Master, Suely; De Biase, Noemi Grigolleto; Madureira, Sandra

    2012-05-01

    Spectrographic analysis of male actors' voices showed a cluster, the "actor's formant" (AF), which is related to the perception of good and projected voice quality. To date, similar phenomena have not been described in the voices of actresses. Therefore, the objective of the current investigation was to compare actresses' and nonactresses' voices through acoustic analysis to verify the existence of the "AF" cluster or the strategies used to produce the performing voice. Thirty actresses and 30 nonactresses volunteered as subjects in the present study. All subjects read a 40-second text at both habitual and loud levels. Praat (v.5.1) was then used to analyze equivalent sound pressure level (Leq), speaking fundamental frequency (SFF), and in the long-term average spectrum window, the difference between the amplitude level of the fundamental frequency and first formant (L1-L0), the spectral tilt (alpha ratio), and the amplitude and frequency of the "AF" region. Significant differences between the groups, in both levels, were observed for SFF and L1-L0, with actresses presenting lower values. There were no significant differences between groups for Leq or alpha ratio at either level. There was no evidence of an "AF" cluster in the actresses' voices. Voice projection for this group of actresses seemed to be mainly a result of a laryngeal setting instead of vocal tract resonances. PMID:21376530

  10. Song Perception by Professional Singers and Actors: An MEG Study

    PubMed Central

    Rosslau, Ken; Herholz, Sibylle C.; Knief, Arne; Ortmann, Magdalene; Deuster, Dirk; Schmidt, Claus-Michael; Zehnhoff-Dinnesen, Antoinetteam; Pantev, Christo; Dobel, Christian

    2016-01-01

    The cortical correlates of speech and music perception are essentially overlapping, and the specific effects of different types of training on these networks remain unknown. We compared two groups of vocally trained professionals for music and speech, singers and actors, using recited and sung rhyme sequences from German art songs with semantic and/ or prosodic/melodic violations (i.e. violations of pitch) of the last word, in order to measure the evoked activation in a magnetoencephalographic (MEG) experiment. MEG data confirmed the existence of intertwined networks for the sung and spoken modality in an early time window after word violation. In essence for this early response, higher activity was measured after melodic/prosodic than semantic violations in predominantly right temporal areas. For singers as well as for actors, modality-specific effects were evident in predominantly left-temporal lateralized activity after semantic expectancy violations in the spoken modality, and right-dominant temporal activity in response to melodic violations in the sung modality. As an indication of a special group-dependent audiation process, higher neuronal activity for singers appeared in a late time window in right temporal and left parietal areas, both after the recited and the sung sequences. PMID:26863437

  11. Action adaptation during natural unfolding social scenes influences action recognition and inferences made about actor beliefs.

    PubMed

    Keefe, Bruce D; Wincenciak, Joanna; Jellema, Tjeerd; Ward, James W; Barraclough, Nick E

    2016-07-01

    When observing another individual's actions, we can both recognize their actions and infer their beliefs concerning the physical and social environment. The extent to which visual adaptation influences action recognition and conceptually later stages of processing involved in deriving the belief state of the actor remains unknown. To explore this we used virtual reality (life-size photorealistic actors presented in stereoscopic three dimensions) to see how visual adaptation influences the perception of individuals in naturally unfolding social scenes at increasingly higher levels of action understanding. We presented scenes in which one actor picked up boxes (of varying number and weight), after which a second actor picked up a single box. Adaptation to the first actor's behavior systematically changed perception of the second actor. Aftereffects increased with the duration of the first actor's behavior, declined exponentially over time, and were independent of view direction. Inferences about the second actor's expectation of box weight were also distorted by adaptation to the first actor. Distortions in action recognition and actor expectations did not, however, extend across different actions, indicating that adaptation is not acting at an action-independent abstract level but rather at an action-dependent level. We conclude that although adaptation influences more complex inferences about belief states of individuals, this is likely to be a result of adaptation at an earlier action recognition stage rather than adaptation operating at a higher, more abstract level in mentalizing or simulation systems. PMID:27472496

  12. Real-Time Seismology in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Custodio, S.; Marreiros, C.; Carvalho, S.; Vales, D.; Lima, V.; Carrilho, F.

    2012-12-01

    Portugal is located next to the plate boundary between Eurasia (Iberia) and Africa (Nubia). The country has been repeatedly affected by some of the largest earthquakes, both onshore and offshore, in the historical European record, including the largest historical European earthquake, the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755 (~M8.5). The Portuguese territory has suffered directly the consequences of strong ground shaking (collapse of buildings, etc) and also some of the most destructive consequences of earthquakes (e.g. tsunamis, fires, etc). However, the rate of tectonic deformation in the Portuguese territory is low (the Eurasian-African plates converge at a rate of ~ 5 mm/yr), which results in long recurrence intervals between earthquakes. This low to moderate rate of seismic activity has two major negative effects: 1) it is difficult to study the regional seismo-tectonics with traditional passive methods; 2) the population is little aware of earthquake risk and unprepared to react in case of disaster. In this scenario, real-time seismology is key to monitoring earthquake crisis in real-time, providing early warnings about potentially destructive events, and assisting in the channeling of recovery efforts in case of disaster. In this paper we will present the real-time algorithms implemented at Instituto de Meteorologia (IM), the institution responsible for seismic monitoring in Portugal. In particular, we will focus on the following aspects: 1) Data collection and real-time transmission to the headquarters. Broadband seismological stations are owned and operated by five different institutions. The last years have witnessed an effort for integration, and presently most data arrives at IM lab in real-time. 2) Earthquake location and local magnitude determination. Data is automatically analyzed in order to obtain a first earthquake hypocenter and ML. While this process is mostly automatic, it still requires the revision by an operator, who is available 24h. 3

  13. The actor as context for social judgments: effects of prior impressions and stereotypes.

    PubMed

    Stewart, T L; Doan, K A; Gingrich, B E; Smith, E R

    1998-11-01

    Three experiments identified conditions under which trait judgments made about a behavior were more likely to influence later judgments of the behavior. In Experiment 1, participants made trait judgments about numerous behaviors presented with photos of actors. Some behaviors were repeated, paired with the same or a different actor. All repeated behaviors were judged faster than new behaviors. Facilitation was greatest when repeated behaviors were paired with the same actor, suggesting greater influence of prior judgments in this condition. Experiments 2 and 3 replicated this effect, and the pattern of response times (RTs) suggested a stronger association between the actor and behavior when a prior impression of the actor had been formed (Experiment 2) and when the behavior was stereotypic of the actor's group (Experiment 3). Level of prejudice moderated RT patterns in Experiment 3. Implications for context effects, the nature of trait inferences, and stereotype change are discussed. PMID:9866181

  14. Using actor network theory to understand network centric healthcare operations.

    PubMed

    Wickramasinghe, Nilmini; Bali, Rajeev K; Tatnall, Arthur

    2007-01-01

    The adoption and diffusion of e-health and the application of ICT in healthcare is being heralded as the panacea with both European and US governments making e-health a priority on their agendas. In this context, a model of networkcentric healthcare operations has been proffered as the best way to maximise the benefits of ICT use in healthcare. We suggest that, before we can move forward and realise such a state, it is vital to examine the critical issues, likely barriers and facilitators and, most importantly, the critical success factors. To do this however, we need an appropriate cognitive lens through which we can capture all the complexities of healthcare dynamics. In this paper we suggest why Actor Network Theory (ANT) should be this lens. PMID:18048305

  15. Ship Finds and Their Management as Actor Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuddenham, David Berg

    2012-12-01

    Ship finds in Norwegian waters that are more than 100 years old came under the jurisdiction of the Cultural Heritage Management (CHM) in 1963, when section 12a of the Norwegian Cultural Heritage Act was implemented. As a consequence, a functional division between land and sea was created where management objects receive different values depending on whether or not they belong to a ship. The objective of this paper is to review Norwegian CHM underwater policy, and discuss the creation of a new management object and its borders with the introduction of a section on ship finds specifically focusing on Actor Network Theory. It is argued that the understanding of the ship find and its belongings can not be understood as something based on inherent qualities to the management object. Instead this paper proposes to comprehend the ship find as a phenomenon held together within a heterogeneous network.

  16. Mesenchymal Stem Cells after Polytrauma: Actor and Target.

    PubMed

    Huber-Lang, Markus; Wiegner, Rebecca; Lampl, Lorenz; Brenner, Rolf E

    2016-01-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells that are considered indispensable in regeneration processes after tissue trauma. MSCs are recruited to damaged areas via several chemoattractant pathways where they function as "actors" in the healing process by the secretion of manifold pro- and anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, pro- and anticoagulatory, and trophic/angiogenic factors, but also by proliferation and differentiation into the required cells. On the other hand, MSCs represent "targets" during the pathophysiological conditions after severe trauma, when excessively generated inflammatory mediators, complement activation factors, and damage- and pathogen-associated molecular patterns challenge MSCs and alter their functionality. This in turn leads to complement opsonization, lysis, clearance by macrophages, and reduced migratory and regenerative abilities which culminate in impaired tissue repair. We summarize relevant cellular and signaling mechanisms and provide an up-to-date overview about promising future therapeutic MSC strategies in the context of severe tissue trauma. PMID:27340408

  17. Role of Actors and Gender Factor in Disaster Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gundogdu, Oguz; Isik, Ozden; Ozcep, Ferhat; Goksu, Goksel

    2014-05-01

    In Turkey, the discussions in the modern sense about disaster management begun after the 1992 Erzincan and the 1995 Dinar earthquakes, faulting in terms of features and effects. These earthquakes are "Urban Earthquakes'' with effects and faulting charectristics, and have led to radical changes in terms of disaster and disaster management. Disaster Management, to become a science in the world, but with the 1999 Izmit and Duzce earthquakes in Turkey has begun to take seriously on the agenda. Firstly, such as Civil Defense and Red Crescent organizations, by transforming its own, have entered into a new organizing effort. By these earthquakes, NGO's have contributed the search-rescue efforts in the field and to the process of normalization of life. Because "the authority and responsibilities" of NGO's could not be determined, and could not be in planning and scenario studies, we faced the problems. Thus, to the citizens of our country-specific "voluntary" has not benefited enough from the property. The most important development in disaster management in 2009, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) has been the establishment. However, in terms of coordination and accreditation to the target point has been reached yet. Another important issue in disaster management (need to be addressed along with disaster actors) is the role of women in disasters. After the Golcuk Earthquake, successful field works of women and women's victimization has attracted attention in two different directions. Gender-sensitive policies should be noted by the all disaster actors due to the importance of the mitigation, and these policies should take place in laws, regulations and planning.

  18. [Approach and Registry of Anaphylaxis in Portugal].

    PubMed

    Mota, Inês; Pereira, Ana Margarida; Pereira, Celso; Tomaz, Elza; Ferreira, Manuel Branco; Sabino, Filipa; Coelho, Anabela; Santos, Anabela; Martins, Henrique; Morais-Almeida, Mário

    2015-01-01

    Anaphylaxis has a growing incidence, especially in children. It represents a medical emergency and its successful therapy depends on early and proper intervention. Intramuscular epinephrine, with dose adjustment according to weight and age, is the drug of choice for anaphylaxis treatment. After resolution of the acute reaction, the patient should be kept under clinical surveillance for 6 to 24 hours, due to possible biphasic reactions. Prescription of an epinephrine auto injectable device should be considered in all patients with diagnosed or suspected anaphylaxis; additionally these patients should always be referred to an Immunoallergy consultation, to perform adequate investigation and management in order to reduce future risk. All anaphylaxis episodes must be recorded in The Portuguese Catalogue of Allergies and other Adverse Reactions (Catálogo Português de Alergias e outras Reações Adversas, CPARA), which represents a fundamental tool to share clinical information within the Health System. The present manuscript intends to disclose the most recent Portuguese guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of anaphylaxis, making its clinical approach more effective and homogeneous, and to promote the use of The Portuguese Catalogue of Allergies and other Adverse Reactions as an essential tool to register and share information on anaphylaxis in Portugal. PMID:26849768

  19. Spatial and temporal variability of droughts in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, JoãO. Filipe; Pulido-Calvo, Inmaculada; Portela, Maria Manuela

    2010-03-01

    An analysis of droughts in mainland Portugal based on monthly precipitation data, from September 1910 to October 2004, in 144 rain gages distributed uniformly over the country is presented. The drought events were characterized by means of the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) applied to different time scales (1, 6, and 12 consecutive months and 6 months from April to September and 12 months from October to September). To assess spatial and temporal patterns of droughts, a principal component analysis (PCA) and K-means clustering (KMC) were applied to the SPI series. In this way, three different and spatially well-defined regions with different temporal evolution of droughts were identified (north, central, and south regions of Portugal). A spectral analysis of the SPI patterns obtained with principal component analysis and clusters analysis, using the fast Fourier transform algorithm (FFT), showed that there is a manifest 3.6-year cycle in the SPI pattern in the south of Portugal and evident 2.4-year and 13.4-year cycles in the north of Portugal. The observation of the drought periods supports the occurrence of more frequent cycles of dry events in the south (droughts from moderate to extreme approximately every 3.6 years) than in the north (droughts from severe to extreme approximately every 13.4 years). These results suggest a much stronger immediate influence of the NAO in the south than in the north of Portugal, although these relations remain a challenging task.

  20. Reassembling the Social - An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latour, Bruno

    2005-09-01

    Reassembling the Social is a fundamental challenge from one of the world's leading social theorists to how we understand society and the 'social'. Bruno Latour's contention is that the world 'social' as used by Social Scientists has become laden with assumptions to the point where it has become misnomer. When the adjective is applied to a phenomenon, it is used to indicate a stabilized state of affairs, a bundle of ties that in due course may be used to account for another phenomenon. But Latour also finds the word used as if it described a type of material, in a comparable way to an adjective such as 'wooden' or 'steely'. Rather than simply indicating what is already assembled together, it is now used in a way that makes assumptions about the nature of what is assembled. It has become a word that designates two distinct things: a process of assembling: and a type of material, distinct from others. Latour shows why 'the social' cannot be thought of as a kind of material or domain, and disputes attempts to provide a 'social explanation' of other states of affairs. While these attempts have been productive (and probably necessary) in the past, the very success of the social sciences mean that they are largely no longer so. At the present stage it is no longer possible to inspect the precise constituents entering the social domain. Latour returns to the original meaning of 'the social' to redefine the notion and allow it to trace connections again. It will then be possible to resume the traditional goal of the social sciences, but using more refined tools. Drawing on his extensive work examining the 'assemblages' of nature, Latour finds it necessary to scrutinize thoroughly the exact content of what is assembled under the umbrella of Society. This approach, a 'sociology of associations' has become known as Actor-Network-Theory, and this book is an essential introduction both for those seeking to understand Actor-Network-Theory, or the ideas of one of its most

  1. Commercial Actors and the Governing of Education: The Case of Academy School Sponsors in England

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papanastasiou, Natalie

    2013-01-01

    This article explores the ways in which commercial actors are operating in state education by focusing on the case study of England's academies policy. First of all the discussion outlines the development of academies over time and the way in which the policy has provided opportunities for private actors to become involved in the state…

  2. Nonhumans Unbound: Actor-Network Theory and the Reconsideration of "Things" in Educational Foundations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waltz, Scott B.

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to call attention to the missing discourse of non-humans as social actors in the Social Foundations of Education. The paper outlines three common figuring metaphors that impede the adoption of such a theoretical discourse and shows how Actor-Network Theory (ANT), more recently developed in the nascent field of Science and…

  3. West Side Silence: Producing "West Side Story" with Deaf and Hearing Actors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brewer, Diane

    2002-01-01

    Details a collaborative production of "West Side Story" with hearing actors from MacMurray College and deaf actors from the Illinois School for the Deaf. Explores some of the practical dilemmas encountered as the distinctions between the Deaf and hearing communities were negotiated. Explains that the show explored the ways in which sign language…

  4. Reading Educational Reform with Actor Network Theory: Fluid Spaces, Otherings, and Ambivalences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fenwick, Tara

    2011-01-01

    In considering two extended examples of educational reform efforts, this discussion traces relations that become visible through analytic approaches associated with actor-network theory (ANT). The strategy here is to present multiple readings of the two examples. The first reading adopts an ANT approach to follow ways that all actors--human and…

  5. Managing the Bologna Process at the European Level: Institution and Actor Dynamics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lazetic, Predrag

    2010-01-01

    This article analyses the work of the Bologna Follow Up Group as the main institution of the Bologna Process and the perceptions of the policy actors involved concerning the character of the process in terms of its functioning in contrast to similar multi-level multi-actor European processes, its modes of communication and consensus seeking, as…

  6. CREMA-D: Crowd-sourced Emotional Multimodal Actors Dataset

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Houwei; Cooper, David G.; Keutmann, Michael K.; Gur, Ruben C.; Nenkova, Ani; Verma, Ragini

    2014-01-01

    People convey their emotional state in their face and voice. We present an audio-visual data set uniquely suited for the study of multi-modal emotion expression and perception. The data set consists of facial and vocal emotional expressions in sentences spoken in a range of basic emotional states (happy, sad, anger, fear, disgust, and neutral). 7,442 clips of 91 actors with diverse ethnic backgrounds were rated by multiple raters in three modalities: audio, visual, and audio-visual. Categorical emotion labels and real-value intensity values for the perceived emotion were collected using crowd-sourcing from 2,443 raters. The human recognition of intended emotion for the audio-only, visual-only, and audio-visual data are 40.9%, 58.2% and 63.6% respectively. Recognition rates are highest for neutral, followed by happy, anger, disgust, fear, and sad. Average intensity levels of emotion are rated highest for visual-only perception. The accurate recognition of disgust and fear requires simultaneous audio-visual cues, while anger and happiness can be well recognized based on evidence from a single modality. The large dataset we introduce can be used to probe other questions concerning the audio-visual perception of emotion. PMID:25653738

  7. Two routes to actorhood: lexicalized potency to act and identification of the actor role.

    PubMed

    Frenzel, Sabine; Schlesewsky, Matthias; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina

    2015-01-01

    The inference of causality is a crucial cognitive ability and language processing is no exception: recent research suggests that, across different languages, the human language comprehension system attempts to identify the primary causer of the state of affairs described (the "actor") quickly and unambiguously (Bornkessel-Schlesewsky and Schlesewsky, 2009). This identification can take place verb-independently based on certain prominence cues (e.g., case, word order, animacy). Here, we present two experiments demonstrating that actor potential is also encoded at the level of individual nouns (a king is a better actor than a beggar). Experiment 1 collected ratings for 180 German nouns on 12 scales defined by adjective oppositions and deemed relevant for actorhood potential. By means of structural equation modeling, an actor potential (ACT) value was calculated for each noun. Experiment 2, an event-related potential study, embedded nouns from Experiment 1 in verb-final sentences, in which they were either actors or non-actors. N400 amplitude increased with decreasing ACT values and this modulation was larger for highly frequent nouns and for actor versus non-actor nouns. We argue that potency to act is lexically encoded for individual nouns and, since it modulates the N400 even for non-actor participants, it should be viewed as a property that modulates ease of lexical access (akin, for example, to lexical frequency). We conclude that two separate dimensions of actorhood computation are crucial to language comprehension: an experience-based, lexically encoded (bottom-up) representation of actorhood potential, and a prominence-based, computational mechanism for calculating goodness-of-fit to the actor role in a particular (top-down) sentence context. PMID:25688217

  8. Towards an integrated assessment of the impacts of forest residue mulching following wildfire in eucalypt plantations in north-central Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keizer, Jan Jacob; Abrantes, Nelson; Bastos, Ana; Brandsma, Micha; Campos, Isabel; Faria, Silvia; Malvar, Maruxa; Martins, Martinho; João Oliveira, Maria; Pimpão, Gabriel; Prats, Sergio; Puga, João; Ribeiro, Cristina; Rocha, João; Santos, Liliana; Serpa, Dalila; Silva, Flávio; Silva, Tiago; Valente, Sandra; Vieira, Diana

    2016-04-01

    In the framework of the EU-FP7 project RECARE (www.recare-project.eu) and, in particular, its WP6, the University of Aveiro partner has recently started testing two measures against the soil threat of post-fire erosion by water in an area in north-central Portugal, close to Coimbra that burnt during the summer of 2015. These measures - mulching with forest slash residues and contour ploughing - had been selected by the local and external stakeholders involved in the project, through two subsequent stakeholder workshops. While contour ploughing has still not taken place, the mulching was already carried out, using residues from eucalypt plantations as the burnt areas was dominated by eucalypt plantations, and applying them in a homogeneous fashion at two contrasting application rates, i.e. a "standard" rate of approximately 10 Mg ha-1 and a "reduced" rate of about 3 Mg ha-1. The standard rate was selected for having proved effective in reducing post-fire runoff and erosion in previous field studies in the region (Prats et al., 2012, 2014, 2015a), while the reduced rate had been found to be nearly as effective as the standard rate in a recent study in the hydraulic laboratory of the University of Coimbra (Prats et al., 2015b). Unlike the referred prior studies, however, the present study will also assess the impacts of mulching on two other soil threats - i.e. decline in soil organic matter and in soil biodiversity - and, ultimately, will compare the two measures in terms of their consequences for soil-based ecosystem services, using the framework being developed by RECARE (Schwilch et al. in Stolte et al., 2016). The proposed presentation will show the first results on the effects of the two mulch application rates on post-fire runoff as well as the associated losses of sediments, organic matter/C and nutrients (N, P), and on selected indicators of soil biological activity and diversity. Prats et al., 2015a (in press). LD&D (doi: 10.1002/ldr.2422) Prats et al., 2015

  9. Open Plan Schools in Portugal: Failure or Innovation?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martinho, Miguel; Freire da Silva, Jose M. R.

    2008-01-01

    Open plan schools have been largely contested in Portugal; many teachers, administrators and even parents consider this model of schooling inappropriate and therefore a failure. Recently however the Escola da Ponte, one of the open plan schools that has survived, was recognised as one of the country's most innovative educational facilities.…

  10. Research Management in Portugal: A Quest for Professional Identity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trindade, Margarida; Agostinho, Marta

    2014-01-01

    Research managers at science-intensive institutions appear as a continuously evolving group of professionals whose identity is somewhat fragmented, even to themselves. In Portugal, specialized research manager roles have rapidly emerged over the last years alongside the development of a small but consolidated scientific system. In order to get an…

  11. Quality of Life in Ageing Societies: Italy, Portugal, and Turkey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arun, Ozgur; Cevik, Aylin Cakiroglu

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare and analyze the quality of life of the elderly in three aging countries: Italy, Portugal, and Turkey. This was done by using data provided by the European Quality of Life Survey completed in 2004. By doing so, we could then operationalize the conditions of the elderly in Turkey who have a rapid aging process…

  12. Corporate Blended Learning in Portugal: Current Status and Future Directions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marcal, Julia; Caetano, Antonio

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study is to characterize the current status of blended learning in Portugal, given that b-learning has grown exponentially in the Portuguese market over recent years. 38 organizations (representing 68% of all institutions certified to provide distance training by the Government Labour Office--DGERT-) participated in this study. The…

  13. Christmas, Natal, Navidad in Cuba, Mexico, and Portugal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fontes, Maria Joao, Ed.; Fontes, Manuel da Costa, Ed.

    This material is a compilation of junior high school student-developed stories and games about the way Christmas is celebrated in Portugal, Mexico, and Cuba. The material was developed in the classroom by Portuguese, Mexican, and Cuban immigrant students and by American students who do not have a recent immigrant background, all of whom were…

  14. Early Intervention in Portugal: Family Support and Benefits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Correia Leite, Carina Sofia; Da Silva Pereira, Ana Paula

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated the support and benefits of early intervention (EI) in families with children with special needs. Data were gathered through a written questionnaire, "Family Benefits Inventory," completed by 126 families with children with special needs supported by EI teams, with ages from six months to six years in Portugal.…

  15. Pests of Blueberries on Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In February and March 2006, two plots of 154 plants of two southern high bush blueberries cultivars, Vaccinium corymbosum cv. ‘Emerald’ and ‘Jewel,’ a rabbiteye cultivar, V. virgatum cv. ‘Spring High,’ were planted in two locations on São Miguel Island, Açores, Portugal. One plot was planted near t...

  16. LIS Education in Portugal between Academia and Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ribeiro, Fernanda

    2008-01-01

    There is a brief exposition, in a historical perspective, about the evolution of the professional education in Portugal, in the area of Library and Information Science, since the creation of the Curso de Bibliotecario-Arquivista, in 1887, until its closure in 1982, when it was replaced by the Curso de Especializacao em Ciencias Documentais (CECD).…

  17. Making Sense of TV for Children: The Case of Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pereira, Sara; Pinto, Manuel

    2011-01-01

    Empowering children for a critical and judicious use and consumption of media is a main objective of media literacy. This paper aims to examine the range of television programs available for children in Portugal through a comparative analysis of the programming for children broadcast by the four Portuguese terrestrial channels (RTP1, RTP2, SIC and…

  18. Technological Specialisation Courses in Portugal: Description and Suggested Improvements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    da Costa, Nilza Maria Vilhena Nunes; Simoes, Ana Raquel; Pereira, Giselia Antunes; Pombo, Lucia

    2009-01-01

    This study is a part of the "Post-secondary Vocational Training in Portugal Project: from a description through to suggestions to improve training quality", which ran from 2003 to 2006. This article, which makes use of data obtained from interviews with Directors of Schools which offer technological specialisation courses (CETs) and from…

  19. School Psychology in Portugal: Practitioners' Characteristics and Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mendes, Sofia A.; Abreu-Lima, Isabel; Almeida, Leandro S.; Simeonsson, Rune J.

    2014-01-01

    Little empirical evidence is available on the professional characteristics and practices of school psychologists in Portugal. This study surveyed a total of 477 Portuguese school psychologists employed in public (80%) and private schools (20%). Portuguese school psychologists are described with regard to demographic, professional, and educational…

  20. Predicting Child Outcomes from Preschool Quality in Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abreu-Lima, Isabel M. P.; Leal, Teresa B.; Cadima, Joana; Gamelas, Ana Madalena

    2013-01-01

    The main purpose of this study is to analyze whether quality of preschool classrooms relates to 4- and 5-year-old children developmental outcomes. The study was conducted in 60 classrooms in Porto Metropolitan Area, Portugal. Children (N = 215) were evaluated in the literacy, math, and behavior domains. Preschool quality was assessed through…

  1. Emerging Models of Teacher Training: The Case of Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alexandre, Fernando; Ferreira, Manuela; Miranda, Branca

    2004-01-01

    The structural reforms of geography teacher training in Portugal have been justified by the global evolution of the educational system and took into account: (1) the political will to extend the period of compulsory schooling, which now covers the whole of lower secondary education, but will soon cover upper secondary education as well; (2) the…

  2. Science Policy and the Internationalisation of Research in Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patricio, Maria Teresa

    2010-01-01

    This article will examine Portuguese and European science and higher education policies and their impact on international collaborations. It will do so by looking at two key indicators: international academic mobility and the coauthored international scientific publications. The data show Portugal as an attractive country for foreign students and…

  3. School Closures and Community Revitalisation: The Case of Obidos, Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Godinho, Ana Sofia

    2012-01-01

    Rural communities in many countries are faced with the need to restructure their school networks and close some smaller facilities. Obidos, a town in western Portugal, provides a case study of how to meet these challenges by creating new school complexes that offer improved educational opportunities to the teaching staff, students and local…

  4. School-Based Sexuality Education in Portugal: Strengths and Weaknesses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rocha, Ana Cristina; Leal, Cláudia; Duarte, Cidália

    2016-01-01

    Portugal, like many other countries, faces obstacles regarding school-based sexuality education. This paper explores Portuguese schools' approaches to implementing sexuality education at a local level, and provides a critical analysis of potential strengths and weaknesses. Documents related to sexuality education in a convenience sample of 89…

  5. Deterring Asymmetric Threats from Sub-State Actors

    SciTech Connect

    Homsy, R V

    2002-01-31

    Deterrence means preventing another's actions by influencing their decisionmaking process. Nuclear deterrence was successfully accomplished during the Cold War by holding the adversary's valuable assets at risk by targeting them with nuclear weapons, a policy known as mutually assured destruction (MAD). In this case neither player attacks the other, because the ultimate outcome is self-destruction. Deterrence based upon MAD is largely ineffective against sub-state actors who may have few if any assets, the location of which may be unknown. Furthermore, the threat of destroying their assets may only serve to strengthen their motivation to do more stealthy violence, the threat being interpreted as a taunt. The key to establishing deterrence is understanding the adversary's decision process, starting with the factors upon which decisions are made, called decision attributes. Asymmetric threats are assumed to involve chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) weapons. So, the key decision attributes here are concerned with the acquisition and use of CBRN weapons. We have identified the following five countermeasure objectives for establishing deterrence: (1) Reduce access to CBRN weapons, expertise, materials, and equipment; (2) Make CBRN weapons difficult to use; (3) Reduce the effectiveness of CBRN weapons; (4) Increase the likelihood of being caught acquiring and using CBRN weapons; and (5) Establish a policy of retribution for acquiring and using CBRN weapons. It should be emphasized that an adversary's perception toward these objectives is most important in affecting their decisionmaking. Of course each adversary will respond differently toward these countermeasures, depending upon their motivations, objectives, preferences, resources, and willingness to gamble. Motivation of violence is defined as the fundamental cause or driving force; absent which the intent to do violence no longer exists. Correct understanding of motivations requires adapting your

  6. Force-stabilizing synergies in motor tasks involving two actors.

    PubMed

    Solnik, Stanislaw; Reschechtko, Sasha; Wu, Yen-Hsun; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M; Latash, Mark L

    2015-10-01

    We investigated the ability of two persons to produce force-stabilizing synergies in accurate multi-finger force production tasks under visual feedback on the total force only. The subjects produced a time profile of total force (the sum of two hand forces in one-person tasks and the sum of two subject forces in two-person tasks) consisting of a ramp-up, steady-state, and ramp-down segments; the steady-state segment was interrupted in the middle by a quick force pulse. Analyses of the structure of inter-trial finger force variance, motor equivalence, anticipatory synergy adjustments (ASAs), and the unintentional drift of the sharing pattern were performed. The two-person performance was characterized by a dramatically higher amount of inter-trial variance that did not affect total force, higher finger force deviations that did not affect total force (motor equivalent deviations), shorter ASAs, and larger drift of the sharing pattern. The rate of sharing pattern drift correlated with the initial disparity between the forces produced by the two persons (or two hands). The drift accelerated following the quick force pulse. Our observations show that sensory information on the task-specific performance variable is sufficient for the organization of performance-stabilizing synergies. They suggest, however, that two actors are less likely to follow a single optimization criterion as compared to a single performer. The presence of ASAs in the two-person condition might reflect fidgeting by one or both of the subjects. We discuss the characteristics of the drift in the sharing pattern as reflections of different characteristic times of motion within the subspaces that affect and do not affect salient performance variables. PMID:26105756

  7. Bombing alone: tracing the motivations and antecedent behaviors of lone-actor terrorists,.

    PubMed

    Gill, Paul; Horgan, John; Deckert, Paige

    2014-03-01

    This article analyzes the sociodemographic network characteristics and antecedent behaviors of 119 lone-actor terrorists. This marks a departure from existing analyses by largely focusing upon behavioral aspects of each offender. This article also examines whether lone-actor terrorists differ based on their ideologies or network connectivity. The analysis leads to seven conclusions. There was no uniform profile identified. In the time leading up to most lone-actor terrorist events, other people generally knew about the offender's grievance, extremist ideology, views, and/or intent to engage in violence. A wide range of activities and experiences preceded lone actors' plots or events. Many but not all lone-actor terrorists were socially isolated. Lone-actor terrorists regularly engaged in a detectable and observable range of activities with a wider pressure group, social movement, or terrorist organization. Lone-actor terrorist events were rarely sudden and impulsive. There were distinguishable behavioral differences between subgroups. The implications for policy conclude this article. PMID:24313297

  8. Two routes to actorhood: lexicalized potency to act and identification of the actor role

    PubMed Central

    Frenzel, Sabine; Schlesewsky, Matthias; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina

    2015-01-01

    The inference of causality is a crucial cognitive ability and language processing is no exception: recent research suggests that, across different languages, the human language comprehension system attempts to identify the primary causer of the state of affairs described (the “actor”) quickly and unambiguously (Bornkessel-Schlesewsky and Schlesewsky, 2009). This identification can take place verb-independently based on certain prominence cues (e.g., case, word order, animacy). Here, we present two experiments demonstrating that actor potential is also encoded at the level of individual nouns (a king is a better actor than a beggar). Experiment 1 collected ratings for 180 German nouns on 12 scales defined by adjective oppositions and deemed relevant for actorhood potential. By means of structural equation modeling, an actor potential (ACT) value was calculated for each noun. Experiment 2, an event-related potential study, embedded nouns from Experiment 1 in verb-final sentences, in which they were either actors or non-actors. N400 amplitude increased with decreasing ACT values and this modulation was larger for highly frequent nouns and for actor versus non-actor nouns. We argue that potency to act is lexically encoded for individual nouns and, since it modulates the N400 even for non-actor participants, it should be viewed as a property that modulates ease of lexical access (akin, for example, to lexical frequency). We conclude that two separate dimensions of actorhood computation are crucial to language comprehension: an experience-based, lexically encoded (bottom–up) representation of actorhood potential, and a prominence-based, computational mechanism for calculating goodness-of-fit to the actor role in a particular (top–down) sentence context. PMID:25688217

  9. Inferring the Size of a Goal Object from an Actor's Grasping Movement in 6- and 9-Month-Old Infants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daum, Moritz M.; Vuori, Maria T.; Prinz, Wolfgang; Aschersleben, Gisa

    2009-01-01

    The present study applied a preferential looking paradigm to test whether 6- and 9-month old infants are able to infer the size of a goal object from an actor's grasping movement. The target object was a cup with the handle rotated either towards or away from the actor. In two experiments, infants saw the video of an actor's grasping movement…

  10. Hydrogeology framework of the Azores archipelago (Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruz, J. V.; Coutinho, R. M.

    2011-12-01

    The archipelago of the Azores is made of nine islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean, spread along a 600 km-long NW-SE strip, approximately 1600 km from Portugal mainland. All the islands are of volcanic origin and only in Santa Maria, the eastern most island of the Azores, are there sedimentary units interbedded in the volcanic succession of basic nature. Groundwater resources in the Azores are essential both as drinking water source and for ecosystem support. The Azores climate can be considered as marine temperate, with an average annual precipitation at the Azores equal to 1930 mm, exceeding by far the average annual actual evapotranspiration (581 mm). From October to March about 75% of the annual precipitation is registered, which also influences recharge distribution along the year. Recharge rates range from 8.5% to 62.1%, with the highest values been observed at Pico, Terceira, Faial, São Miguel and Graciosa islands, especially in areas where the terrain is covered by recent basaltic lava flows and the soil cover is thin, and the groundwater resources estimates point to a total volume of about 1600x106 m3/yr. Despite differences in the volcanic successions observed in the several islands, resulting from volcanic eruptions of various types, groundwater occurrence can be generally described in terms of two main aquifers systems: (1) the basal aquifer system, which corresponds to fresh-water lenses floating on underlying salt water, and (2) perched-water bodies, which are usually drained by springs spread in the volcanic edifices slopes. Specific well capacity ranges between 1.40x10-2 L/sm and 266.67 L/sm, with a median of 32.29 L/sm (Cruz 2001a, 2004). The values exhibit marked variability among the wells from the different islands. The highest specific capacity is observed on Pico and Graciosa, with wells drilled in recent basaltic lava flows, which generally are thin and fractured with frequently interbedded clincker levels. Transmissivity values also

  11. Two-factor theory, the actor-critic model, and conditioned avoidance.

    PubMed

    Maia, Tiago V

    2010-02-01

    Two-factor theory (Mowrer, 1947, 1951, 1956) remains one of the most influential theories of avoidance, but it is at odds with empirical findings that demonstrate sustained avoidance responding in situations in which the theory predicts that the response should extinguish. This article shows that the well-known actor-critic model seamlessly addresses the problems with two-factor theory, while simultaneously being consistent with the core ideas that underlie that theory. More specifically, the article shows that (1) the actor-critic model bears striking similarities to two-factor theory and explains all of the empirical phenomena that two-factor theory explains, in much the same way, and (2) there are subtle but important differences between the actor-critic model and two-factor theory, which result in the actor-critic model predicting the persistence of avoidance responses that is found empirically. PMID:20065349

  12. Time-delay effects on dynamics of a two-actor conflict model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rojas-Pacheco, A.; Obregón-Quintana, B.; Liebovitch, L. S.; Guzmán-Vargas, L.

    2013-02-01

    We present a study of time-delay effects on a two-actor conflict model based on nonlinear differential equations. The state of each actor depends on its own state in isolation, its previous state, its inertia to change, the positive or negative feedback and a time delay in the state of the other actor. We use both theoretical and numerical approaches to characterize the evolution of the system for several values of time delays. We find that, under particular conditions, a time delay leads to the appearance of oscillations in the states of the actors. Besides, phase portraits for the trajectories are presented to illustrate the evolution of the system for different time delays. Finally, we discuss our results in the context of social conflict models.

  13. Vocal range and intensity in actors: a studio versus stage comparison.

    PubMed

    Emerich, Kate A; Titze, Ingo R; Svec, Jan G; Popolo, Peter S; Logan, Gary

    2005-03-01

    A voice range profile (VRP) was obtained from each of eight professional actors and compared with two speech range profiles (SRPs). One speech profile was obtained during the dramatic reading of a scene in the laboratory and the other during a performance on stage in a professional theater. The objective was to determine the pitch and loudness ranges used by the actors in speech relative to the VRP. The principal question of interest was whether the actors stayed within the center of the VRP, or whether they tended to drift toward the boundaries of intensity and frequency. A second question was whether the performance within the laboratory accurately reflects that of a stage performance. The results suggest that some subjects tend to exceed the center of the VRP during the stage performance. It is hypothesized that these actors may stress their vocal mechanism during performance and are more likely candidates for vocal injury. PMID:15766852

  14. Modeling and training emotional talking faces of virtual actors in synthetic movies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karunaratne, Savant; Yan, Hong

    2000-05-01

    This paper presents an overview of a virtual actor system composed of several subsystems designed to automate some of these animation tasks. Our emphasis is on the facial animation of virtual actors. The paper specifically details the situations processor component of the framework, which is a major building block in the automatic virtual actor system. An expert system using a fuzzy knowledge-based control system is used to realize the automated system. Fuzzy linguistic rules are used to train virtual actors to know the appropriate emotions and gestures to use in different situations of a synthetic movie, the higher level parameters of which are provided by human directors. Theories of emotion, personality, dialogue, and acting, as well as empirical evidence is incorporated into our framework and knowledge bases to produce promising results.

  15. Human case of West Nile neuroinvasive disease in Portugal, summer 2015.

    PubMed

    Zé-Zé, Líbia; Proença, Paula; Osório, Hugo C; Gomes, Salomé; Luz, Teresa; Parreira, Paulo; Fevereiro, Miguel; Alves, Maria João

    2015-01-01

    A case of West Nile virus (WNV) infection was reported in the Algarve region, Portugal, in the first week of September 2015. WNV is known to circulate in Portugal, with occasional reports in horses and birds (2004 to 2011) and very sporadically human cases (in 2004 and in 2010). Here we present the clinical and laboratory aspects related to the first human case of West Nile neuroinvasive disease reported in Portugal. PMID:26535915

  16. Portugal and United States cooperative energy assessment. Volume 3. Reference reports, Part 1

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-09-01

    Statistical data on energy production and consumption and supporting information were obtained from US Bureau of Mines records supplemented by additional data obtained in Portugal. Geologic descriptions and analysis of known areas and of areas having possible future potential have been prepared by the US Geological Survey. Portugal lacks sufficient indigenous supplies of organic fuels to meet its energy demands, and so must import large quantities of petroleum and coal. Approximately 80% of Portugal's electric energy is produced by hydroelectric stations; thermal stations produce the other 20%. Portugal has produced no crude oil, natural gas, or condensate; no resources or reserves in these categories are listed for Portugal in the 1976 World Energy Conference report. Until the last year or so (1980), no significant onshore petroleum exploration had been done in Portugal since 1963. Production of coal in Portugal has declined steadily to the present annual yield of about 200,000 metric tons. On the basis of estimates in only three coal fields, resources of coal of all ranks in Portugal total at least 76 million (10/sup 6/) metric tons. Uranium is mined near Viseu and Guarda in the northern part of Portugal; the Nisa mine in east-central Portugal will begin producing uranium ore in 1985 after installation of a processing plant. Portugal produced 95 metric tons of uranium oxide (U/sub 3/O/sub 8/) from ore stocks in each year from 1972 through 1974; production is assumed to have continued at the same rate since then. Geothermal energy has not been developed in mainland Portugal; however, hot springs that may have geothermal energy potential are known in the Minho district in the northwest. Geothermal energy resources exist in the Azores and a program of evaluation and exploration with technical assistance from the USGS is presently in progress there.

  17. Neuroimaging of the joint Simon effect with believed biological and non-biological co-actors

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Tanya; Hsieh, Shulan

    2015-01-01

    Performing a task alone or together with another agent can produce different outcomes. The current study used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural underpinnings when participants performed a Go/Nogo task alone or complementarily with another co-actor (unseen), whom was believed to be another human or a computer. During both complementary tasks, reaction time data suggested that participants integrated the potential action of their co-actor in their own action planning. Compared to the single-actor task, increased parietal and precentral activity during complementary tasks as shown in the fMRI data further suggested representation of the co-actor’s response. The superior frontal gyrus of the medial prefrontal cortex was differentially activated in the human co-actor condition compared to the computer co-actor condition. The medial prefrontal cortex, involved thinking about the beliefs and intentions of other people, possibly reflects a social-cognitive aspect or self-other discrimination during the joint task when believing a biological co-actor is present. Our results suggest that action co-representation can occur even offline with any agent type given a priori information that they are co-acting; however, additional regions are recruited when participants believe they are task-sharing with another human. PMID:26388760

  18. False recollection of the role played by an actor in an event.

    PubMed

    Kersten, Alan W; Earles, Julie L; Upshaw, Christin

    2013-11-01

    Two experiments demonstrated that eyewitnesses more frequently associate an actor with the actions of another person when those two people had appeared together in the same event, rather than in different events. This greater likelihood of binding an actor with the actions of another person from the same event was associated with high-confidence recognition judgments and "remember" responses in a remember-know task, suggesting that viewing an actor together with the actions of another person led participants to falsely recollect having seen that actor perform those actions. An analysis of age differences provided evidence that familiarity also contributed to false recognition independently of a false-recollection mechanism. In particular, older adults were more likely than young adults to falsely recognize a novel conjunction of a familiar actor and action, regardless of whether that actor and action were from the same or from different events. Older adults' elevated rate of false recognition was associated with intermediate confidence levels, suggesting that it stemmed from increased reliance on familiarity rather than from false recollection. The implications of these results are discussed for theories of conjunction errors in memory and of unconscious transference in eyewitness testimony. PMID:23722927

  19. False recollection of the role played by an actor in an event

    PubMed Central

    Earles, Julie L.; Upshaw, Christin

    2013-01-01

    Two experiments demonstrated that eyewitnesses more frequently associate an actor with the actions of another person when those two people had appeared together in the same event, rather than in different events. This greater likelihood of binding an actor with the actions of another person from the same event was associated with high-confidence recognition judgments and “remember” responses in a remember–know task, suggesting that viewing an actor together with the actions of another person led participants to falsely recollect having seen that actor perform those actions. An analysis of age differences provided evidence that familiarity also contributed to false recognition independently of a false-recollection mechanism. In particular, older adults were more likely than young adults to falsely recognize a novel conjunction of a familiar actor and action, regardless of whether that actor and action were from the same or from different events. Older adults’ elevated rate of false recognition was associated with intermediate confidence levels, suggesting that it stemmed from increased reliance on familiarity rather than from false recollection. The implications of these results are discussed for theories of conjunction errors in memory and of unconscious transference in eyewitness testimony. PMID:23722927

  20. Getting acquainted: Actor and partner effects of attachment and temperament on young children's peer behavior.

    PubMed

    McElwain, Nancy L; Holland, Ashley S; Engle, Jennifer M; Ogolsky, Brian G

    2014-06-01

    Guided by a dyadic view of children's peer behavior, this study assessed actor and partner effects of attachment security and temperament on young children's behavior with an unfamiliar peer. At 33 months of age, child-mother attachment security was assessed via a modified Strange Situation procedure, and parents reported on child temperament (anger proneness and social fearfulness). At 39 months, same-sex children (N = 114, 58 girls) were randomly paired, and child dyads were observed during 3 laboratory visits occurring over 1 month. Actor-partner interdependence models, tested via multilevel modeling, revealed that actor security, partner anger proneness, and acquaintanceship (e.g., initial vs. later visits) combined to predict child behavior. Actor security predicted more responsiveness to the new peer partner at the initial visit, regardless of partner anger proneness. Actor security continued to predict responsiveness at the 2nd and 3rd visits when partner anger was low, but these associations were nonsignificant when partner anger was high. Actor security also predicted a less controlling assertiveness style at the initial visit when partner anger proneness was high, yet this association was nonsignificant by the final visit. The findings shed light on the dynamic nature of young children's peer behavior and indicate that attachment security is related to behavior in expected ways during initial interactions with a new peer, but may change as children become acquainted. PMID:24635647

  1. Characteristics of pornography film actors: self-report versus perceptions of college students.

    PubMed

    Griffith, James D; Hayworth, Michelle; Adams, Lea T; Mitchell, Sharon; Hart, Christian

    2013-05-01

    The assumed characteristics of individuals in the adult entertainment industry have been used to advocate positions for and against pornography. Although prior studies have investigated perceptions of porn actors, no data on the actual characteristics of this group exist. The present study compared the self-reports of 105 male and 177 female porn actors to the perceptions of 399 college students on childhood sexual abuse (CSA), self-esteem, work and non-work sexual behaviors, and safe sex issues. College students were asked to identify the characteristics associated with either a male or female porn star. College students provided underestimates for both female and male porn actors on self-esteem, age of first intercourse, lifetime number of partners outside of work, ideal experience in a romantic partner, concerns regarding sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), enjoyment of sex, and condom use during a first time sexual encounter, but overestimated earnings. Additional differences among male porn stars included an underestimate of the number of partners at work. For female porn stars, college students underestimated their enjoyment of work, the probability of catching an STD, and having unprotected sex. Although there were no significant differences on perceived rates of childhood abuse of porn actors, the incidence of CSA among the porn actor participants were within the ranges of the general population. The majority of college student stereotypes were not supported regarding the perceptions of porn actors. These findings were discussed within the context of attributing unfounded characteristics of individuals to an entire industry. PMID:23179237

  2. Bombing Alone: Tracing the Motivations and Antecedent Behaviors of Lone-Actor Terrorists*,†,‡

    PubMed Central

    Gill, Paul; Horgan, John; Deckert, Paige

    2014-01-01

    This article analyzes the sociodemographic network characteristics and antecedent behaviors of 119 lone-actor terrorists. This marks a departure from existing analyses by largely focusing upon behavioral aspects of each offender. This article also examines whether lone-actor terrorists differ based on their ideologies or network connectivity. The analysis leads to seven conclusions. There was no uniform profile identified. In the time leading up to most lone-actor terrorist events, other people generally knew about the offender’s grievance, extremist ideology, views, and/or intent to engage in violence. A wide range of activities and experiences preceded lone actors’ plots or events. Many but not all lone-actor terrorists were socially isolated. Lone-actor terrorists regularly engaged in a detectable and observable range of activities with a wider pressure group, social movement, or terrorist organization. Lone-actor terrorist events were rarely sudden and impulsive. There were distinguishable behavioral differences between subgroups. The implications for policy conclude this article. PMID:24313297

  3. Detection of Dirofilaria repens microfilariae in a dog from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Maia, Carla; Lorentz, Susanne; Cardoso, Luís; Otranto, Domenico; Naucke, Torsten J

    2016-01-01

    Dirofilaria repens causes subcutaneous infection in dogs and cats, and is the main agent of human dirofilariosis in Europe. Detection of D. repens is described in a dog from Portugal, a finding that simultaneously represents the first presumable case of autochthonous infection with the parasite in any animal host species in the country. A mixed D. repens/Dirofilaria immitis infection (20:1 ratio) was found, with an overall density of 1267 microfilariae per millilitre of blood. Morphological features, including morphometry, and acid phosphatase histochemical staining confirmed identity of the two filarioids. Distribution of D. repens in Portugal should be further assessed at the population level both in vertebrate hosts and in vectors. Due to the zoonotic potential of the parasite, preventive measures such as the administration of microfilaricides and insect repellents should be put into practice to protect animals and public health. PMID:26486944

  4. Molecular Identification of Borrelia miyamotoi in Ixodes ricinus from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Mónica; Parreira, Ricardo; Lopes, Nádia; Maia, Carla; Carreira, Teresa; Sousa, Carmelita; Faria, Sofia; Campino, Lenea; Vieira, M Luísa

    2015-08-01

    Borrelia miyamotoi, a relapsing fever spirochete, has been found recently in Ixodes ricinus ticks; however, little is known about its spatial distribution and potential local impact on human health. A total of 640 ticks (447 nymphs and 193 adults) collected throughout Portugal were analyzed using two nested PCR protocols, one targeting the flagellin gene and the other the internal transcribed space region between the 5S and the 23S rRNA. As a result, B. miyamotoi was detected, for the first time, in one guesting I. ricinus nymph collected in the Lisboa district. In addition, a prevalence of 11% (71/640) for B. burgdorferi sensu lato was obtained. Even though no human relapsing fever cases due to infection by B. miyamotoi have been reported yet in Portugal, surveillance must be improved to provide better insight into the prevalence and distribution of this spirochete in ticks. PMID:26273814

  5. Zika virus infections imported from Brazil to Portugal, 2015.

    PubMed

    Zé-Zé, L; Prata, M B; Teixeira, T; Marques, N; Mondragão, A; Fernandes, R; Saraiva da Cunha, J; Alves, M J

    2016-01-01

    Zika virus is an emerging arbovirus transmitted by Aedes sp. mosquitoes like the Dengue and Chikungunya viruses. Zika virus was until recently considered a mild pathogenic mosquito-borne flavivirus with very few reported benign human infections. In 2007, an epidemic in Micronesia initiated the turnover in the epidemiological history of Zika virus and more recently, the potential association with congenital microcephaly cases in Brazil 2015, still under investigation, led the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on February 1, 2016. Here, we present the clinical and laboratory aspects related to the first four imported human cases of Zika virus in Portugal from Brazil, and alert, regarding the high level of traveling between Portugal and Brazil, and the ongoing expansion of this virus in the Americas, for the threat for Zika virus introduction in Europe and the possible introduction to Madeira Island where Aedes aegypti is present. PMID:27134823

  6. Zika virus infections imported from Brazil to Portugal, 2015

    PubMed Central

    Zé-Zé, L.; Prata, M.B.; Teixeira, T.; Marques, N.; Mondragão, A.; Fernandes, R.; Saraiva da Cunha, J.; Alves, M.J.

    2016-01-01

    Zika virus is an emerging arbovirus transmitted by Aedes sp. mosquitoes like the Dengue and Chikungunya viruses. Zika virus was until recently considered a mild pathogenic mosquito-borne flavivirus with very few reported benign human infections. In 2007, an epidemic in Micronesia initiated the turnover in the epidemiological history of Zika virus and more recently, the potential association with congenital microcephaly cases in Brazil 2015, still under investigation, led the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on February 1, 2016. Here, we present the clinical and laboratory aspects related to the first four imported human cases of Zika virus in Portugal from Brazil, and alert, regarding the high level of traveling between Portugal and Brazil, and the ongoing expansion of this virus in the Americas, for the threat for Zika virus introduction in Europe and the possible introduction to Madeira Island where Aedes aegypti is present. PMID:27134823

  7. Epidemiological review of Toxoplasma gondii infection in humans and animals in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Lopes, A P; Dubey, J P; Dardé, M-L; Cardoso, L

    2014-11-01

    Toxoplasmosis is a worldwide zoonosis. However, data from Portugal are limited and a considerable part of the literature is in Portuguese. Currently, the rate of congenital infection in Portugal is unknown, and almost nothing is known of sequelae of congenital toxoplasmosis. There is no recent general population-based serological survey of Toxoplasma gondii in humans in Portugal. In addition, there is little information on genetic characteristics of T. gondii in animals and humans. In the present paper, we review prevalence, clinical spectrum and epidemiology of T. gondii in humans and animals in Portugal. This knowledge should be useful to biologists, public health workers, physicians and veterinarians. PMID:25215422

  8. Asthma in an Urban Population in Portugal: A prevalence study

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The prevalence and incidence of asthma are believed to be increasing but research on the true incidence, prevalence and mortality from asthma has met methodological obstacles since it has been difficult to define and diagnose asthma in epidemiological terms. New and widely accepted diagnostic criteria for asthma present opportunities for progress in this field. Studies conducted in Portugal have estimated the disease prevalence between 3% and 15%. Available epidemiological data present a significant variability due to methodological obstacles. Aim To estimate the true prevalence of asthma by gender and age groups in the population of the area covered by one urban Health Centre in Portugal. Method An observational study was conducted between February and July 2009 at the Horizonte Family Health Unit in Matosinhos, Portugal. A random sample of 590 patients, stratified by age and gender was obtained from the practice database of registered patients. Data was collected using a patient questionnaire based on respiratory symptoms and the physician's best knowledge of the patient's asthma status. The prevalence of asthma was calculated by age and gender. Results Data were obtained from 576 patients (97.6% response rate). The mean age for patients with asthma was 27.0 years (95% CI: 20.95 to 33.16). This was lower than the mean age for non-asthmatics but the difference was not statistically significant. Asthma was diagnosed in 59 persons giving a prevalence of 10.24% (95% CI: 8.16 to 12.32). There was no statistically significant difference in the prevalence of asthma by gender. Conclusion The prevalence of asthma found in the present study was higher than that found in some studies, though lower than that found in other studies. Further studies in other regions of Portugal are required to confirm these findings. PMID:21595928

  9. Syphilis hospitalisations in Portugal over the last decade.

    PubMed

    Sousa-Pinto, B; Freitas, A; Lisboa, C

    2016-02-01

    Although several studies have reported an increase of syphilis incidence over the last decade in Western Europe, information concerning syphilis epidemiology in Portugal remains scarce. Therefore, we sought to characterise acquired syphilis-associated hospitalisations in Portugal according to demographic and clinical data. We used a database containing all hospitalisations that occurred in mainland Portugal public hospitals with discharges between 2000 and 2014. We analysed all hospitalisations associated with ICD-9-CM codes 091-097.x (corresponding to acquired syphilis diagnosis) concerning inpatients' gender, age and comorbidities. The median length of stay and in-hospital mortality rates were also studied. Between 2000 and 2014, there were a total of 8974 syphilis-related hospitalisations in mainland Portugal. The rate of acquired syphilis hospitalisations per 100,000 inhabitants increased by 33 % during the studied period. Syphilis hospitalisation rates increased by 70 % in males and 139 % among patients aged over 55 years. On the other hand, they declined by 10 % in females and 20 % among patients younger than 55 years old. The percentage of syphilis episodes presenting cardiovascular and neuropsychiatric comorbidities increased, while the percentage of syphilis episodes presenting HIV co-infection decreased by 69 %. A fatal outcome was reported in 5 % of episodes; 4.6 % of them had acquired syphilis as the main reason for hospitalisation. This study illustrates that, despite being a preventable infection, syphilis remains a public health problem. The analysis of hospitalisation and administrative data helps to understand syphilis epidemiology and provides a supplement to traditional case notifications. PMID:26581424

  10. Chewing lice (Phthiraptera) from wild birds in southern Portugal.

    PubMed

    Tomás, André; Palma, Ricardo L; Rebelo, Maria Teresa; da Fonseca, Isabel Pereira

    2016-06-01

    This study was carried out to determine chewing louse species of wild birds in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, located in southern Portugal. In addition, the hypothesis that bird age, avian migration and social behaviour have an impact on the louse prevalence was tested. Between September and December of 2013, 122 birds (belonging to 10 orders, 19 families, 31 genera and 35 species) captured in scientific ringing sessions and admitted to the Wildlife Rehabilitation and Investigation Centre of Ria Formosa were examined for lice. Twenty-six (21.3%) birds were found to be infested with at least one chewing louse species. The chewing lice identified include 18 species. Colonial birds (34.9%) and migratory birds (29.5%) had statistically significant higher prevalence than territorial birds (6.8%) and resident birds (13.1%), respectively. This paper records 17 louse species for the first time in southern Portugal: Laemobothrion maximum, Laemobothrion vulturis, Actornithophilus piceus lari, Actornithophilus umbrinus, Austromenopon lutescens, Colpocephalum heterosoma, Colpocephalum turbinatum, Eidmanniella pustulosa, Nosopon casteli, Pectinopygus bassani, Pseudomenopon pilosum, Trinoton femoratum, Trinoton querquedulae, Craspedorrhynchus platystomus, Degeeriella fulva, Falcolipeurus quadripustulatus, Lunaceps schismatus. Also a nymph of the genus Strigiphilus was collected from a Eurasian eagle-owl. These findings contribute to the knowledge of avian chewing lice from important birds areas in Portugal. PMID:26899014

  11. Atmospheric circulation classification comparison based on wildfires in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, M. G.; Trigo, R. M.

    2009-04-01

    Atmospheric circulation classifications are not a simple description of atmospheric states but a tool to understand and interpret the atmospheric processes and to model the relation between atmospheric circulation and surface climate and other related variables (Radan Huth et al., 2008). Classifications were initially developed with weather forecasting purposes, however with the progress in computer processing capability, new and more robust objective methods were developed and applied to large datasets prompting atmospheric circulation classification methods to one of the most important fields in synoptic and statistical climatology. Classification studies have been extensively used in climate change studies (e.g. reconstructed past climates, recent observed changes and future climates), in bioclimatological research (e.g. relating human mortality to climatic factors) and in a wide variety of synoptic climatological applications (e.g. comparison between datasets, air pollution, snow avalanches, wine quality, fish captures and forest fires). Likewise, atmospheric circulation classifications are important for the study of the role of weather in wildfire occurrence in Portugal because the daily synoptic variability is the most important driver of local weather conditions (Pereira et al., 2005). In particular, the objective classification scheme developed by Trigo and DaCamara (2000) to classify the atmospheric circulation affecting Portugal have proved to be quite useful in discriminating the occurrence and development of wildfires as well as the distribution over Portugal of surface climatic variables with impact in wildfire activity such as maximum and minimum temperature and precipitation. This work aims to present: (i) an overview the existing circulation classification for the Iberian Peninsula, and (ii) the results of a comparison study between these atmospheric circulation classifications based on its relation with wildfires and relevant meteorological

  12. Not My Problem: Vicarious Conflict Adaptation with Human and Virtual Co-actors

    PubMed Central

    Spapé, Michiel M.; Ravaja, Niklas

    2016-01-01

    The Simon effect refers to an incompatibility between stimulus and response locations resulting in a conflict situation and, consequently, slower responses. Like other conflict effects, it is commonly reduced after repetitions, suggesting an executive control ability, which flexibly rewires cognitive processing and adapts to conflict. Interestingly, conflict is not necessarily individually defined: the Social Simon effect refers to a scenario where two people who share a task show a conflict effect where a single person does not. Recent studies showed these observations might converge into what could be called vicarious conflict adaptation, with evidence indicating that observing someone else's conflict may subsequently reduce one's own. While plausible, there is reason for doubt: both the social aspect of the Simon Effect, and the degree to which executive control accounts for the conflict adaptation effect, have become foci of debate in recent studies. Here, we present two experiments that were designed to test the social dimension of the effect by varying the social relationship between the actor and the co-actor. In Experiment 1, participants performed a conflict task with a virtual co-actor, while the actor-observer relationship was manipulated as a function of the similarity between response modalities. In Experiment 2, the same task was performed both with a virtual and with a human co-actor, while heart-rate measurements were taken to measure the impact of observed conflict on autonomous activity. While both experiments replicated the interpersonal conflict adaptation effects, neither showed evidence of the critical social dimension. We consider the findings as demonstrating that vicarious conflict adaptation does not rely on the social relationship between the actor and co-actor. PMID:27199839

  13. Not My Problem: Vicarious Conflict Adaptation with Human and Virtual Co-actors.

    PubMed

    Spapé, Michiel M; Ravaja, Niklas

    2016-01-01

    The Simon effect refers to an incompatibility between stimulus and response locations resulting in a conflict situation and, consequently, slower responses. Like other conflict effects, it is commonly reduced after repetitions, suggesting an executive control ability, which flexibly rewires cognitive processing and adapts to conflict. Interestingly, conflict is not necessarily individually defined: the Social Simon effect refers to a scenario where two people who share a task show a conflict effect where a single person does not. Recent studies showed these observations might converge into what could be called vicarious conflict adaptation, with evidence indicating that observing someone else's conflict may subsequently reduce one's own. While plausible, there is reason for doubt: both the social aspect of the Simon Effect, and the degree to which executive control accounts for the conflict adaptation effect, have become foci of debate in recent studies. Here, we present two experiments that were designed to test the social dimension of the effect by varying the social relationship between the actor and the co-actor. In Experiment 1, participants performed a conflict task with a virtual co-actor, while the actor-observer relationship was manipulated as a function of the similarity between response modalities. In Experiment 2, the same task was performed both with a virtual and with a human co-actor, while heart-rate measurements were taken to measure the impact of observed conflict on autonomous activity. While both experiments replicated the interpersonal conflict adaptation effects, neither showed evidence of the critical social dimension. We consider the findings as demonstrating that vicarious conflict adaptation does not rely on the social relationship between the actor and co-actor. PMID:27199839

  14. Representing Micro-Macro Linkages by Actor-Based Dynamic Network Models

    PubMed Central

    Snijders, Tom A.B.; Steglich, Christian E.G.

    2014-01-01

    Stochastic actor-based models for network dynamics have the primary aim of statistical inference about processes of network change, but may be regarded as a kind of agent-based models. Similar to many other agent-based models, they are based on local rules for actor behavior. Different from many other agent-based models, by including elements of generalized linear statistical models they aim to be realistic detailed representations of network dynamics in empirical data sets. Statistical parallels to micro-macro considerations can be found in the estimation of parameters determining local actor behavior from empirical data, and the assessment of goodness of fit from the correspondence with network-level descriptives. This article studies several network-level consequences of dynamic actor-based models applied to represent cross-sectional network data. Two examples illustrate how network-level characteristics can be obtained as emergent features implied by micro-specifications of actor-based models. PMID:25960578

  15. Emotional labor actors: a latent profile analysis of emotional labor strategies.

    PubMed

    Gabriel, Allison S; Daniels, Michael A; Diefendorff, James M; Greguras, Gary J

    2015-05-01

    Research on emotional labor focuses on how employees utilize 2 main regulation strategies-surface acting (i.e., faking one's felt emotions) and deep acting (i.e., attempting to feel required emotions)-to adhere to emotional expectations of their jobs. To date, researchers largely have considered how each strategy functions to predict outcomes in isolation. However, this variable-centered perspective ignores the possibility that there are subpopulations of employees who may differ in their combined use of surface and deep acting. To address this issue, we conducted 2 studies that examined surface acting and deep acting from a person-centered perspective. Using latent profile analysis, we identified 5 emotional labor profiles-non-actors, low actors, surface actors, deep actors, and regulators-and found that these actor profiles were distinguished by several emotional labor antecedents (positive affectivity, negative affectivity, display rules, customer orientation, and emotion demands-abilities fit) and differentially predicted employee outcomes (emotional exhaustion, job satisfaction, and felt inauthenticity). Our results reveal new insights into the nature of emotion regulation in emotional labor contexts and how different employees may characteristically use distinct combinations of emotion regulation strategies to manage their emotional expressions at work. PMID:25068812

  16. Training in the Retail Trade in Portugal. Report for the FORCE Programme. Retail Sector.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cerdeira, Maria Conceicao; And Others

    A study examined training in the retail trade in Portugal. Employment, work, and training patterns in Portugal's retail sector were researched, and case studies of two firms in the supermarket/hypermarket group, one firm in the stationary/cigarette shop sector, and one clothing manufacturer/retailer were conducted. Teams of researchers interviewed…

  17. Developmental Dyslexia: Perspectives on Teacher Training and Learning Disabilities in Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carvalhais, Lenia; da Silva, Carlos Fernandes

    2010-01-01

    The focus of this study was to explore primary teachers' attitudes and perceptions toward their training experiences, instructional practices, and supports received in their schools toward working with students with dyslexia in Portugal. Primary school teachers from the centre of Portugal, working with children between the first and fourth grades,…

  18. Epidemiological review of Toxoplasma gondii infection in humans and animals in Portugal

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Toxoplasmosis is a worldwide zoonosis. However, data from Portugal are limited and a considerable part of the literature is in Portuguese. Currently, the rate of congenital infection in Portugal is unknown, and almost nothing is known of sequelae of congenital toxoplasmosis. There is no general popu...

  19. Assessing International Product Design and Development Graduate Courses: The MIT-Portugal Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dori, Yehudit Judy; Silva, Arlindo

    2010-01-01

    The Product Design and Development (PDD) course is part of the graduate curriculum in the Engineering Design and Advanced Manufacturing (EDAM) study in the MIT-Portugal Program. The research participants included about 110 students from MIT, EDAM, and two universities in Portugal, Instituto Superior Técnico-Universidade Técnica de Lisboa (IST) and…

  20. The Financing of Vocational Education and Training in Portugal. Financing Portrait. CEDEFOP Panorama Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Centeno, Luis Gomes; Sarmento, Ana Leonor

    The financing of vocational education and training (VET) in Portugal was examined. The examination focused on the following topics: (1) the economic, political, legal, and administrative contexts of funding; (2) the funding framework for VET in Portugal; (3) initial vocational training (IVT); (4) continuing vocational training (CVT); and (5)…

  1. When private actors matter: Information-sharing network and surveillance of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Delabouglise, A; Dao, T H; Truong, D B; Nguyen, T T; Nguyen, N T X; Duboz, R; Fournié, G; Antoine-Moussiaux, N; Grosbois, V; Vu, D T; Le, T H; Nguyen, V K; Salem, G; Peyre, M

    2015-07-01

    The effectiveness of animal health surveillance systems depends on their capacity to gather sanitary information from the animal production sector. In order to assess this capacity we analyzed the flow of sanitary information regarding Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) suspicions in poultry in Vietnam. Participatory methods were applied to assess the type of actors and likelihood of information sharing between actors in case of HPAI suspicion in poultry. While the reporting of HPAI suspicions is mandatory, private actors had more access to information than public actors. Actors of the upstream sector (medicine and feed sellers) played a key role in the diffusion of information. The central role of these actors and the influence of the information flow on the adoption by poultry production stakeholders of behaviors limiting (e.g. prevention measures) or promoting disease transmission (e.g. increased animal movements) should be accounted for in the design of surveillance and control programs. PMID:25847263

  2. Application of the Actor-Critic Architecture to Functional Electrical Stimulation Control of a Human Arm.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Philip; Branicky, Michael; van den Bogert, Antonie; Jagodnik, Kathleen

    2009-01-01

    Clinical tests have shown that the dynamics of a human arm, controlled using Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES), can vary significantly between and during trials. In this paper, we study the application of the actor-critic architecture, with neural networks for the both the actor and the critic, as a controller that can adapt to these changing dynamics of a human arm. Development and tests were done in simulation using a planar arm model and Hill-based muscle dynamics. We begin by training it using a Proportional Derivative (PD) controller as a supervisor. We then make clinically relevant changes to the dynamics of the arm and test the actor-critic's ability to adapt without supervision in a reasonable number of episodes. Finally, we devise methods for achieving both rapid learning and long-term stability. PMID:20689654

  3. Weather types and the regime of wildfires in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, M. G.; Trigo, R. M.; Dacamara, C. C.

    2009-04-01

    An objective classification scheme, as developed by Trigo and DaCamara (2000), was applied to classify the daily atmospheric circulation affecting Portugal between 1980 and 2007 into a set of 10 basic weather types (WTs). The classification scheme relies on a set of atmospheric circulation indices, namely southerly flow (SF), westerly flow (WF), total flow (F), southerly shear vorticity (ZS), westerly shear vorticity (ZW) and total vorticity (Z). The weather-typing approach, together with surfacemeteorological variables (e.g. intensity and direction of geostrophic wind, maximum and minimum temperature and precipitation) were then associated to wildfire events as recorded in the official Portuguese fire database consisting of information on each fire occurred in the 18 districts of Continental Portugal within the same period (>450.000 events). The objective of this study is to explore the dependence of wildfire activity on weather and climate and then evaluate the potential of WTs to discriminate among recorded wildfires on what respects to their occurrence and development. Results show that days characterised by surface flow with an eastern component (i.e. NE, E and SE) account for a high percentage of daily burnt area, as opposed to surface westerly flow (NW, W and SW), which represents about a quarter of the total number of days but only accounts for a very low percentage of active fires and of burnt area. Meteorological variables such as minimum and maximum temperatures, that are closely associated to surface wind intensity and direction, also present a good ability to discriminate between the different types of fire events.. Trigo R.M., DaCamara C. (2000) "Circulation Weather Types and their impact on the precipitation regime in Portugal". Int J of Climatology, 20, 1559-1581.

  4. Holocene estuary development in the Algarve Region (Southern Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Heike; Höfer, Dana; Trog, Carmen; Hempel, Rita; Daut, Gerhard; Mäusbacher, Roland

    2010-05-01

    Former coastal estuaries in the Algarve region of South Portugal are used for reconstruction coastal evolution since first marine transgression processes at about 8.000 years before. The sediments of these archives allow high resolution analyses of geochemical and palynological signals. Drillings in different lagoons of the Algarve region contain the sequences from the fluvial sediments during the early Holocene, marine transgression facies during the middle Holocene and the marine/fluvial sediment deposits until present. The results of the sedimentological, geochemical and palynological analyses show that each estuary developed differently, depending on the morphology of the paleovalley, environmental conditions and especially the influence of the sea and the formation of barrier systems. The estuaries were flooded between 7500 and 5500 cal a BP by sea level rise and were almost completely filled by sediment by the beginning of the Roman occupation (226 y BC / 2176 cal a BP). A clear change in sedimentological processes is evident in the estuaries between 5500 and 3000 cal a BP and is interpreted as a result of high energy events such as storms or tsunamis (Schneider et al. 2009, Hilbich et al. 2008 ). Palynological as well as archaeological investigations show distinct anthropogenic influences since 3500 cal. BP by increasing values in maquies, cereals and open land communities. References Hilbich, C., Mügler, I., Daut, G., Frenzel, P., van der Borg, K., Mäusbacher, R. (2008): Reconstruction of the depositional history of the former coastal lagoon of Vilamoura (Algarve, Portugal): A sedimentological, microfaunal and geophysical approach.- Journal of Coastal Research 24(2B), 83-91. Schneider, H., Höfer, D., Trog, C., Busch, S., Schneider, M., Baade, J., Daut, G. & R. Mäusbacher (2009): Holocene estuary development in the Algarve Region (Southern Portugal) - A reconstruction of sedimentological and ecological evolution. - Quaternary International (In Press

  5. Determinants of birth weight in Portugal: 1988 to 2011.

    PubMed

    Fuster, Vicente; Santos, Carlota

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to analyse temporal birth weight variation, its relationship to the frequency of premature births in Portugal, and the influence of native and immigrant mothers' characteristics as well as to determine the possible existence of a pattern of temporal change in birth weight in the Iberian Peninsula as a whole. Individual mother-child data from the Portuguese National Institute of Statistics regarding live births (N = 2,661,542) permitted an analysis, for the first time, of weight at birth in Portugal from a bio-demographic perspective. The results obtained show that from 1988 to 2011 there was a gradual decline in the average weight at birth in Portugal that may be related to shifts in the duration of gestation. An initial rapid decline in the relative frequency of post-term births took place, followed by small variations from 1995 on. Logistic regressions indicated a pattern unaffected by maternal origin or the sex of the newborn. With regard to weeks of gestation, the odds values obtained were < 1 when the reference category was < 28 weeks. For this factor, no significant differences were found in relation to the mother's origin. Portuguese mothers over 35 years were associated with a higher incidence of low birth weight. Regardless of maternal origin, being a newborn of parity 1, and with the mother not in a couple, resulted in unfavourable outcomes with regard to low birth weight. On the other hand, long gestation periods and having secondary or university education constituted a protective factor. PMID:26754741

  6. Drought and vegetation stress monitoring in Portugal using satellite data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gouveia, C.; Trigo, R. M.; Dacamara, C. C.

    2009-02-01

    Remote sensed information on vegetation and soil moisture, namely the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the Soil Water Index (SWI), is employed to monitor the spatial extent, severity and persistence of drought episodes over Continental Portugal, from 1999 to 2006. The severity of a given drought episode is assessed by evaluating the cumulative impact over time of drought conditions on vegetation. Special attention is given to the drought episodes that have occurred in the last decade, i.e., 1999, 2002 and particularly the major event of 2005. During both the 1999 and 2005 drought episodes negative anomalies of NDVI are observed over large sectors of Southern Portugal for up to nine months (out of eleven) of the vegetative cycle. On the contrary, the 2002 event was characterized by negative anomalies in the northern half of Portugal and for a shorter period (eight out of eleven months). The impact of soil moisture on vegetation dynamics is evaluated by analyzing monthly anomalies of SWI and by studying the annual cycle of SWI vs. NDVI. While in the case of the drought episode of 1999 the scarcity of water in the soil persisted until spring, in the recent episode of 2005 the deficit in greenness was already apparent at the end of summer. The impact of dry periods on vegetation is clearly observed in both arable land and forest, and it is found that arable land presents a higher sensitivity. From an operational point of view, obtained results reveal the possibility of using the developed methodology to monitor, in quasi real-time, vegetation stress and droughts in Mediterranean ecosystems.

  7. Evolution of upwelling fronts off the coast of Portugal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    We have analyzed the spatial and temporal variability of chlorophyll in the Atlantic Ocean off the Portugal coast using satellite imagery from 1979 to 1986 in conjunction with wind data. The spatial patterns in the imagery show the typical inshore-offshore and east-west gradients, while the temporal patterns show seasonal high winter values and low summer values. In the satellite imagery for the period 1979-1986, stable mesoscale and large scale patterns recurred despite interannual differences in absolute satellite-derived pigment concentrations.

  8. [Fever and dry cough in a construction worker from Portugal].

    PubMed

    Wiesli, P; Flepp, M; Greminger, P

    1997-07-30

    A 33-year-old Portugese worker presented with a one-week history of nonproductive cough and fever. A presumptive diagnosis "viral infection of the respiratory tract" was made. However, because of persisting cough and fever further investigations were necessary, and finally Brucella melitensis was isolated in blood cultures. Three months before admission to the hospital the man was dressing the carcasses of a goat in Portugal and consumpted fresh goats milk cheese. Antibiotic therapy with Rifampicin and Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazol over 6 weeks improved the signs and symptoms of the infection. PMID:9340710

  9. Ochratoxin A in Portugal: A Review to Assess Human Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Duarte, Sofia C.; Pena, Angelina; Lino, Celeste M.

    2010-01-01

    In Portugal, the climate, dietary habits, and food contamination levels present the characteristics for higher population susceptibility to ochratoxin A (OTA), one of the known mycotoxins with the greatest public health and agro-economic importance. In this review, following a brief historical insight on OTA research, a summary of the available data on OTA occurrence in food (cereals, bread, wine, meat) and biological fluids (blood, urine) is made. With this data, an estimation of intake is made to ascertain and update the risk exposure estimation of the Portuguese population, in comparison to previous studies and other populations. PMID:22069635

  10. Formaldehyde and acetaldehyde emissions from residential wood combustion in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerqueira, Mário; Gomes, Luís; Tarelho, Luís; Pio, Casimiro

    2013-06-01

    A series of experiments were conducted to characterize formaldehyde and acetaldehyde emissions from residential combustion of common wood species growing in Portugal. Five types of wood were investigated: maritime pine (Pinus pinaster), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), cork oak (Quercus suber), holm oak (Quercus rotundifolia) and pyrenean oak (Quercus pyrenaica). Laboratory experiments were performed with a typical wood stove used for domestic heating in Portugal and operating under realistic home conditions. Aldehydes were sampled from diluted combustion flue gas using silica cartridges coated with 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine and analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography with diode array detection. The average formaldehyde to acetaldehyde concentration ratio (molar basis) in the stove flue gas was in the range of 2.1-2.9. Among the tested wood types, pyrenean oak produced the highest emissions for both formaldehyde and acetaldehyde: 1772 ± 649 and 1110 ± 454 mg kg-1 biomass burned (dry basis), respectively. By contrast, maritime pine produced the lowest emissions: 653 ± 151 and 371 ± 162 mg kg-1 biomass (dry basis) burned, respectively. Aldehydes were sampled separately during distinct periods of the holm oak wood combustion cycles. Significant variations in the flue gas concentrations were found, with higher values measured during the devolatilization stage than in the flaming and smoldering stages.

  11. Ditched enclosures in Southern Portugal: an Archaeoastronomical view

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mejuto, A J.; Valera, A. Carlos; Castaño, J. Gómez; Rodríguez-Caderot, G.; Becker, Helmut

    2015-05-01

    Since the very first ages, human beings have attempted to understand and manage their environment in order to survive. This is the case regarding wildlife, weather cycles and gathering periods. This is also reflected in the areas surrounding sites where individuals live; they changed the landscape with different aims. This type of archaeology has risen very recently - in the last few years - and is usually called Landscape Archaeology. Traditional landscape archaeology has dealt with earth and location related studies; the relationship of ancient peoples with the sky has been disregarded. The archaeoastronomical studies have mitigated this fact. Archaeoastronomy has revealed an important number of archaeological sites; many of them reveal a clear intention of astronomically designed buildings or structures. This implies a planned detailed design and obviously a deep understanding of astronomical knowledge. As examples of these sites a number of megalithic ditched enclosures sited in Portugal will be shown which were studied inside the project "Ditched enclosures plants and Neolithic cosmologies: A landscape, archaeoastronomical and geophysical perspective". The ideological and astronomical aspects inside the architecture of these types of sites will be explained. In this paper we present a new methodology applied in the archaeoastronomical calculations for southern Portugal sites. It includes GIS techniques and the development of an archaeoastronomical layer that can be used to display the computations over cartographic information from the archaeological sites. A Spatial Data Infrastructure is also created in order to expose the results.

  12. Portugal's contribution to navigation and discovery of the New World.

    PubMed

    da Silva, M L

    1993-01-01

    Even before the birth of Prince Henry the Navigator (1394) Portugal had displayed a maritime calling due to its 500-mile shore line and numerous natural bays. Inspired by the riches of India he saw during the Portuguese exploration along the coast of West Africa, Prince Henry set out methodically to collect information by bringing together Jews and Moors with geographical knowledge to found his School of Navigation. From 1415 until his death in 1460 he attracted to his school the foremost contemporary scholars in mathematics, astronomy, and cartography along with experts in knowledge of the compass, astrolabe, water currents, and the winds. This concentration of talent yielded the invention of the caravel, the most important navigational advancement of the time, crucial for long voyages across the high seas. Although the rest of Europe busied itself in political and religious wars, for 70 years (1415-1492) Portugal alone pursued the discovery of the Atlantic. "No nation in the 15th century exhibited so great a spirit of maritime enterprise as the Portuguese." PMID:8354483

  13. Trichinella britovi in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Ana Patrícia; Vila-Viçosa, Maria João; Coutinho, Teresa; Cardoso, Luís; Gottstein, Bruno; Müller, Norbert; Cortes, Helder C E

    2015-06-15

    Trichinellosis is one of the most important foodborne parasitic zoonoses, caused by nematodes of the genus Trichinella. Pigs and other domestic and wild animals, including red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), are sources of Trichinella infection for human beings. Trichinella britovi is the major agent of infection in sylvatic animals and the most important species circulating in the European wildlife. The present study aimed at assessing Trichinella spp. infection in red foxes from the North of Portugal. Forty-seven carcasses of wild red foxes shot during the official hunting season or killed in road accidents were obtained between November 2008 and March 2010. In order to identify the presence of Trichinella spp. larvae in red foxes, an individual artificial digestion was performed using approximately 30 g of muscle samples. Larvae of Trichinella spp. were detected in one (2.1%) out of the 47 assessed foxes. After a multiplex polymerase chain reaction analysis, T. britovi was molecularly identified as the infecting species. The recognition of T. britovi in a red fox confirms that a sylvatic cycle is present in the North of Portugal and that the local prevalence of Trichinella infection in wildlife must not be ignored due to its underlying zoonotic risks. PMID:25934252

  14. The 23 April 1909 Benavente earthquake (Portugal): macroseismic field revision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teves-Costa, Paula; Batlló, Josep

    2011-01-01

    The 23 April 1909 earthquake, with epicentre near Benavente (Portugal), was the largest crustal earthquake in the Iberian Peninsula during the twentieth century ( M w = 6.0). Due to its importance, several studies were developed soon after its occurrence, in Portugal and in Spain. A perusal of the different studies on the macroseismic field of this earthquake showed some discrepancies, in particular on the abnormal patterns of the isoseismal curves in Spain. Besides, a complete list of intensity data points for the event is unavailable at present. Seismic moment, focal mechanism and other earthquake parameters obtained from the instrumental records have been recently reviewed and recalculated. Revision of the macroseismic field of this earthquake poses a unique opportunity to study macroseismic propagation and local effects in central Iberian Peninsula. For this reasons, a search to collect new macroseismic data for this earthquake has been carried out, and a re-evaluation of the whole set has been performed and it is presented here. Special attention is paid to the observed low attenuation of the macroseismic effects, heterogeneous propagation and the distortion introduced by local amplifications. Results of this study indicate, in general, an overestimation of the intensity degrees previously assigned to this earthquake in Spain; also it illustrates how difficult it is to assign an intensity degree to a large town, where local effects play an important role, and confirms the low attenuation of seismic propagation inside the Iberian Peninsula from west and southwest to east and northeast.

  15. Air Liquide builds H{sub 2} plant in Portugal

    SciTech Connect

    1996-06-19

    Air Liquide will spend $18 million to build a naphtha steam reforming unit in Estarreja, Portugal that will produce 3,700 cu meters/hour of hydrogen (H{sub 2}). The new plant will raise Air Liquide`s H{sub 2} capacity at the site to 8,000 cu meters/hour. The company supplies Anilina de Portugal with H{sub 2}. In addition, Air Liquide supplies Dow Chemical with carbon monoxide used in its methylene di-para-phenylene isocyanate plant at the site. Anilina is spending Esc1.8 billion ($11.3 million) to expand aniline capacity from 60,000 m.t./year to 95,000 m.t./year by the end of 1997 and nitrobenzene from 100,000 m.t./year to 170,000 m.t./year. This year Dow will buy more than 50,000 m.t./year of aniline from the Portuguese firm for its MDI production.

  16. Scientific Journals of Universities of Chile, Colombia, and Venezuela: Actors and Roles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Delgado, Jorge Enrique

    2014-01-01

    A qualitative study was carried out to identify the roles of actors associated with the publication of scientific journals in Chilean, Colombian, and Venezuelan universities. Twenty-four semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with journal editors, university authorities, and other experts. The categories of analysis included university…

  17. Whose Quality? Social Actors in the Interface of Transnational and National Higher Education Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saarinen, Taina

    2008-01-01

    The article analyzes the construction of national reactions to a transnational higher education policy from the point of view of the representation of social actors in policy documents. The data are provided by the so-called Bologna Process, particularly the development of comparable quality assurance systems, and Finnish responses to those…

  18. Learning Science in a Virtual Reality Application: The Impacts of Animated-Virtual Actors' Visual Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kartiko, Iwan; Kavakli, Manolya; Cheng, Ken

    2010-01-01

    As the technology in computer graphics advances, Animated-Virtual Actors (AVAs) in Virtual Reality (VR) applications become increasingly rich and complex. Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML) suggests that complex visual materials could hinder novice learners from attending to the lesson properly. On the other hand, previous studies have…

  19. Reading Theatre, Parents as Actors: Movie Production in a Family Literacy Workshop

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Grace; Dolejs, Barbara

    2007-01-01

    The goal of the family literacy workshop "Reading Theatre, Parents as Actors: Movie production in a Family Literacy Workshop" is to empower and motivate parents to learn various storytelling strategies through theatrical production experiences and apply them at home. This is a theory-based family literacy practice supported by McClelland's…

  20. Learning through Civic Participation: Policy Actors' Perspectives on Curriculum Reform Involvement in Ontario

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pinto, Laura Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    When citizens participate in policy production, the advantages go beyond policy outcomes--though the presumption is that participation leads to better public policy. Robust democracy characterized by agonistic exchanges among policy actors ought to encourage learning, dialogue, empow­erment, equity, and a shared spirit of inquiry. This article…

  1. Attachment Anxiety and Avoidance and Perceptions of Group Climate: An Actor-Partner Interdependence Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kivlighan, Dennis M.; Lo Coco, Gianluca; Gullo, Salvatore

    2012-01-01

    There is a lack of research examining group members' attachment styles and group climate perceptions in the context of the attachment styles and group climate perceptions of the other group members. In the current study, the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) was used to examine the relationships among (a) a group member's attachment…

  2. Coordination between Governance Actors in Universities: The Role of Policy Documents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macheridis, Nikos

    2015-01-01

    This article focuses on coordination between governance actors in a public university. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate and analyze policy documents as governance tools that allow departmental management to coordinate with the authorities, the board, and the management at different university levels. A central finding is that the…

  3. Developing Integrated Rural Tourism: Actor Practices in the English/Welsh Border

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saxena, Gunjan; Ilbery, Brian

    2010-01-01

    This paper examines community attitudes and distinctive practices that shape local responses to integrated rural tourism (IRT) development in the lagging rural region of the English/Welsh border area. The focus is on how actors acquire attributes as a result of their relations with others and how these assumed identities are performed in, by and…

  4. Learning to Act/Acting to Learn: Children as Actors, Critics, and Characters in Classroom Theatre.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolf, Shelby Anne

    1994-01-01

    Investigates the experiences of 17 "remedial" readers as they interpreted and performed texts through classroom theater. Discusses results of a study aimed at analyzing patterns of children's text interpretation. Details the students' evolving conception of themselves as actors and interpreters of texts. (HB)

  5. Tolerance of Practices by Muslim Actors: An Integrative Social-Developmental Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gieling, Maike; Thijs, Jochem; Verkuyten, Maykel

    2010-01-01

    Using social-cognitive domain theory and social identity theory, tolerance judgments of practices by Muslim actors among Dutch adolescents (12-17) were investigated. The findings for Study 1 (N = 180) demonstrated that participants evaluated 4 practices using different types of reasons: personal, social-conventional, and moral. In Study 2 (N =…

  6. Beyond Dyadic Interdependence: Actor-Oriented Models for Co-Evolving Social Networks and Individual Behaviors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burk, William J.; Steglich, Christian E. G.; Snijders, Tom A. B.

    2007-01-01

    Actor-oriented models are described as a longitudinal strategy for examining the co-evolution of social networks and individual behaviors. We argue that these models provide advantages over conventional approaches due to their ability to account for inherent dependencies between individuals embedded in a social network (i.e., reciprocity,…

  7. Seven Consciousness-Expanding Techniques and Their Relevance to Actor Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feldshuh, David Mark

    This dissertation explores techniques that assist actors in getting their minds and bodies out of the way through consciousness-expanding. The techniques examined here attempt to promote a permeability, a childlike quality of presence, and are largely drawn from Eastern philosophies. Part one of this dissertation discusses structural integration,…

  8. Extended mind and after: socially extended mind and actor-network.

    PubMed

    Kono, Tetsuya

    2014-03-01

    The concept of extended mind has been impressively developed over the last 10 years by many philosophers and cognitive scientists. The extended mind thesis (EM) affirms that the mind is not simply ensconced inside the head, but extends to the whole system of brain-body-environment. Recently, some philosophers and psychologists try to adapt the idea of EM to the domain of social cognition research. Mind is socially extended (SEM). However, EM/SEM theory has problems to analyze the interactions among a subject and its surroundings with opposition, antagonism, or conflict; it also tends to think that the environment surrounding the subject is passive or static, and to neglect the power of non-human actants to direct and regulate the human subject. In these points, actor-network theory (ANT) proposed by Latour and Callon is more persuasive, while sharing some important ideas with EM/SEM theory. Actor-network is a hybrid community which is composed of a series of heterogeneous elements, animate and inanimate for a certain period of time. I shall conclude that EM/SEM could be best analyzed as a special case of actor-network. EM/SEM is a system which can be controlled by a human agent alone. In order to understand collective behavior, philosophy and psychology have to study the actor-network in which human individuals are situated. PMID:23975479

  9. Students' Inventory of Social Actors Concerned by the Controversy Surrounding Cellular Telephones: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pouliot, Chantal

    2008-01-01

    The present article scrutinizes the manner with which a group of three postsecondary students (in Quebec, Canada) describe the social actors concerned by the controversy surrounding cellular telephones. The study was conducted on the basis of an ethnographic approach. Participant observation was performed by the researcher for 3 hours during each…

  10. Managing the Dynamics of the Bologna Reforms: How Institutional Actors Re-Construct the Policy Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veiga, Amélia; Neave, Guy

    2015-01-01

    How do the constituencies in higher education re-interpret Bologna's function with regard to the European Higher Education Area? This research examines how institutional actors re-construct the policy framework in the light of their own institutional agendas. Drawing on empirical data from a survey of academics, students and administrative and…

  11. Exchange Studies as Actor-Networks: Following Korean Exchange Students in Swedish Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ahn, Song-ee

    2011-01-01

    This article explores how Korean exchange students organized their studies during exchange programs in Swedish higher education. For most students, the programs became a disordered period in relation to their education. The value of exchange studies seems mainly to be extra-curricular. Drawing upon actor network theory, the article argues that the…

  12. ("un")Doing the Next Generation Science Standards: Climate Change Education Actor-Networks in Oklahoma

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colston, Nicole M.; Ivey, Toni A.

    2015-01-01

    This exploratory research investigated how science education communities of practice in Oklahoma engage in translations of climate change education (CCE). Applications of actor-network theory to educational policymaking facilitate this analysis of the spaces of prescription and spaces of negotiation that characterize CCE in Oklahoma. Informed by…

  13. ("Un")Doing Standards in Education with Actor-Network Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fenwick, Tara J.

    2010-01-01

    Recent critiques have drawn important attention to the depoliticized consensus and empty promises embedded in network discourses of educational policy. While acceding this critique, this discussion argues that some forms of network analysis--specifically those adopting actor-network theory (ANT) approaches--actually offer useful theoretical…

  14. Recent Trends in Intergovernmental Relations: The Resurgence of Local Actors in Education Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marsh, Julie A.; Wohlstetter, Priscilla

    2013-01-01

    In this essay, the authors explore trends in intergovernmental relations (IGR) by analyzing recent education policies--No Child Left Behind Act, Common Core State Standards, and local empowerment policies. Identifying a resurgent role for local actors in education policy, the authors argue that recent federal efforts to exert more control have in…

  15. Early Social Fear in Relation to Play with an Unfamiliar Peer: Actor and Partner Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walker, Olga L.; Degnan, Kathryn A.; Fox, Nathan A.; Henderson, Heather A.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between maternal reports of social fear at 24 months and social behaviors with an unfamiliar peer during play at 36 months, using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM; Kashy & Kenny, 1999). The APIM model was used to not only replicate previous findings of direct effects of…

  16. The Role of Key Actors in School Governance: An Italian Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salvioni, Daniela; Gandini, Giuseppina; Franzoni, Simona; Gennari, Francesca

    2012-01-01

    The greater awareness of the role of key actors in the school governance processes and the need to expect a "new leader" in the increasing school complexity are essential conditions to reform the schools from within, so as to provide them with skills related to globalisation, improvement to the educational quality, strengthening of positive…

  17. Modeling Homophily over Time with an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Popp, Danielle; Laursen, Brett; Kerr, Margaret; Stattin, Hakan; Burk, William J.

    2008-01-01

    Selection and socialization have been implicated in friendship homophily, but the relative contributions of each are difficult to measure simultaneously because of the nonindependent nature of the data. To address this problem, the authors applied a multiple-groups longitudinal actor-partner interdependence model (D. A. Kashy & D. A. Kenny, 2000)…

  18. Assessing Mediation in Dyadic Data Using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ledermann, Thomas; Macho, Siegfried; Kenny, David A.

    2011-01-01

    The assessment of mediation in dyadic data is an important issue if researchers are to test process models. Using an extended version of the actor-partner interdependence model the estimation and testing of mediation is complex, especially when dyad members are distinguishable (e.g., heterosexual couples). We show how the complexity of the model…

  19. New Plays from A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory. Volume II. Young Actors Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slaight, Craig, Ed.

    This collection of new plays for young actors comes from the repertoire of the Young Conservatory, a professional theater training program for young people ages 8 to 18 at the American Conservatory Theater. Each of the five plays in the collection was developed in this way: an outstanding professional playwright is invited to create a new play…

  20. Effects Of Principal Actor Time Structuring On Goal Attainment In Group Counseling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jessell, John C.; Bush, John F.

    1973-01-01

    Subjects were 84 university and high school students. Data was obtained from responses to a behavioral goal questionnaire and the Truax Relationship Inventory. Structuring of group counseling through the use of principal actor time did not result in differential goal attainment between clients of structured or unstructured groups. Neither was any…

  1. Movement Actors in the Education Bureaucracy: The Figured World of Activity Based Learning in Tamil Nadu

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niesz, Tricia; Krishnamurthy, Ramchandar

    2014-01-01

    Tamil Nadu has gained international recognition for reforming its government school classrooms into active, child-centered learning environments. Our exploration of the history of the Activity Based Learning movement suggests that this reform was achieved by social movement actors serving in and through the state's administration.…

  2. Social health insurance without corporate actors: changes in self-regulation in Germany, Poland and Turkey.

    PubMed

    Wendt, Claus; Agartan, Tuba I; Kaminska, Monika Ewa

    2013-06-01

    Social health insurance in Western Europe has for many years been characterized by self-regulation in which specific conditions of healthcare financing and provision have been regulated by social-insurance institutions through mutual self-governance. However, the principle of self-regulation has recently been weakened by increased state regulation and market competition, which were introduced in response to economic and social changes. Even in Germany, which has been regarded as an "ideal-type" health insurance system and in which self-regulation remains at the core of healthcare governance, more direct state intervention has gained in importance. On the other hand, in countries such as Poland and Turkey, where this tradition of self-regulation is missing, social health insurance is deemed a financing instrument but not an instrument of governance and corporate actors are not accorded a significant role in regulation. This article investigates how social health insurance systems are regulated in contexts in which corporate actors' role is either diminishing or absent by focusing on three crucial areas of regulation: financing, the remuneration of medical doctors, and the definition of the healthcare benefit package. In Germany, state regulation has increased in healthcare financing and remuneration while the role of corporate actors has grown in the definition of the benefits package. In Poland and Turkey, on the other hand, reforms have maintained the status quo in terms of the strong regulatory, budgetary, and managerial powers of the state and very limited involvement of corporate actors. PMID:23608097

  3. Toddlers as Both More and Less Competent Social Actors in Finnish Day Care Centres

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalliala, Marjatta

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, the notion of the competent child has, in the field of Early Childhood Education, become a powerful discourse. In this paradigm, inspired by the sociology of childhood, the child is seen as a competent social actor having agency in his or her life. However, critical comments have been made at both the micro-and macro-level about…

  4. Inside the Actors' Studio: Exploring Dietetics Education Practices through Dialogical Inquiry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Ann L.; Gingras, Jacqui

    2012-01-01

    Two colleagues, Ann and Jacqui, came together, within the safety of an imagined actors' studio, to explore the challenges that Ann faced in planning a new graduate program in public health nutrition. They met before, during, and after program implementation to discuss Ann's experiences, and audio-taped and transcribed the discussions. When all…

  5. What the Words Mean: Teaching Young Actors the Value of Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Bruce

    1999-01-01

    Confronts the challenges of getting young actors to embrace the use of language. Presents a series of exercises designed to expose students to the potential power of the spoken word by using three different kinds of texts: advertising copy, children's storybooks, and the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Discusses how the author engages his…

  6. Ordering Subjects: Actor-Networks and Intellectual Technologies in Lifelong Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Richard

    2003-01-01

    Argues that discourses of lifelong learning act as intellectual technologies that construct individuals as subjects in a learning society. Discuses three discourses using actor-network theory: (1) economics/human capital (individuals as accumulators of skills for competitiveness); (2) humanistic psychology (individuals seeking fulfilment through…

  7. Invisible Actors: The Oromo and the Creation of Modern Ethiopia (1855-1913)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yates, Brian James

    2009-01-01

    This is a comprehensive study of key Oromo actors in the central Ethiopia traditional provinces of Wallo and Shawa, specifically the Mammadoch of Wallo and the Tulama of Shawa during the reigns of Emperors Tewodros II (r.1855-68), Yohannes IV (1872-1888) and Menilek II (1889-1913). The Oromo entered the political arena in the highlands of Ethiopia…

  8. Temporal Effects of Performance on Causal Attributions in Actors and Observers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bryant, Fred B.

    Although understanding how causal attributions for performance develop is important to attribution theory, little research has been done on this topic. To explore changes in attributions during task performance for both actors and observers, 90 female undergraduates participated in a procedure in which they received either 80 percent or 20 percent…

  9. Actor Vocal Training for the Habilitation of Speech in Adolescent Users of Cochlear Implants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holt, Colleen M.; Dowell, Richard C.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined changes to speech production in adolescents with hearing impairment following a period of actor vocal training. In addition to vocal parameters, the study also investigated changes to psychosocial factors such as confidence, self-esteem, and anxiety. The group were adolescent users of cochlear implants (mean age at commencement…

  10. Why Do Policy Frames Change? Actor-Idea Coevolution in Debates over Welfare Reform

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steensland, Brian

    2008-01-01

    One shortcoming in the literature on policy framing has been the absence of analytic models through which to explicate change. This paper advances research in this area in three related ways. First, it links policy frames to the actors who employ them. Second, based upon this linkage it proposes two complementary approaches for examining…

  11. Empirical rainfall thresholds for landslide occurrence in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zêzere, José Luis; Vaz, Teresa; Pereira, Susana; Oliveira, Sérgio C.; Marques, Rui; Garcia, Ricardo A. C.

    2015-04-01

    Rainfall is the most important physical process responsible for the landslide triggering in Portugal. Following the work of Zêzere et al. (2014), we present the state of the art concerning the proposition of empirical rainfall thresholds in Portugal for different types of landslides observed in different zones of the country: the Lisbon region, the Douro Valley and the NW Mountains, and the Povoação Municipality in São Miguel Island (Azores). The empirical thresholds applied in Portugal are based on the identification of 120 landslide events and include (i) the computation of antecedent rainfall threshold defined by linear regression, (ii) the normalization of rainfall by the mean annual precipitation, (iii) the definition of combined rainfall thresholds, which integrates the rainfall event and the antecedent rainfall for different time periods, and (iv) the definition of lower limit and upper limit rainfall thresholds. The intensity-duration (ID) threshold is the empirical rainfall threshold more used worldwide. In mainland Portugal, the highest ID rainfall threshold is registered in the NW Mountains, which is the rainiest zone of the country. The Lisbon Region typically receives less rain per year and the corresponding ID threshold is lower than that obtained in the north part of the country. The Povoação study area evidence a contrasting situation, which is associated to the highest value of the negative exponential of the threshold (-0.66). As a consequence, for short duration (< 10 h) this threshold is only exceeded in the NW Mountains, while for long durations (>1,000 h) it is below the remaining thresholds. The normalization of the ID threshold by the mean annual precipitation (MAP) has showed that, in relative terms: (i) the ID threshold is highest in Lisbon Region for duration less than 50 h; (ii) in the north of the country, the ID threshold is more exigent in the Douro Valley than in the NW Mountains and (iii) the ID threshold in Povoa

  12. Actor-critic models of the basal ganglia: new anatomical and computational perspectives.

    PubMed

    Joel, Daphna; Niv, Yael; Ruppin, Eytan

    2002-01-01

    A large number of computational models of information processing in the basal ganglia have been developed in recent years. Prominent in these are actor-critic models of basal ganglia functioning, which build on the strong resemblance between dopamine neuron activity and the temporal difference prediction error signal in the critic, and between dopamine-dependent long-term synaptic plasticity in the striatum and learning guided by a prediction error signal in the actor. We selectively review several actor-critic models of the basal ganglia with an emphasis on two important aspects: the way in which models of the critic reproduce the temporal dynamics of dopamine firing, and the extent to which models of the actor take into account known basal ganglia anatomy and physiology. To complement the efforts to relate basal ganglia mechanisms to reinforcement learning (RL), we introduce an alternative approach to modeling a critic network, which uses Evolutionary Computation techniques to 'evolve' an optimal RL mechanism, and relate the evolved mechanism to the basic model of the critic. We conclude our discussion of models of the critic by a critical discussion of the anatomical plausibility of implementations of a critic in basal ganglia circuitry, and conclude that such implementations build on assumptions that are inconsistent with the known anatomy of the basal ganglia. We return to the actor component of the actor-critic model, which is usually modeled at the striatal level with very little detail. We describe an alternative model of the basal ganglia which takes into account several important, and previously neglected, anatomical and physiological characteristics of basal ganglia-thalamocortical connectivity and suggests that the basal ganglia performs reinforcement-biased dimensionality reduction of cortical inputs. We further suggest that since such selective encoding may bias the representation at the level of the frontal cortex towards the selection of rewarded

  13. Actor-specific contributions to the deforestation slowdown in the Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Godar, Javier; Gardner, Toby A; Tizado, E Jorge; Pacheco, Pablo

    2014-10-28

    Annual deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon fell by 77% between 2004 and 2011, yet have stabilized since 2009 at 5,000-7,000 km(2). We provide the first submunicipality assessment, to our knowledge, of actor-specific contributions to the deforestation slowdown by linking agricultural census and remote-sensing data on deforestation and forest degradation. Almost half (36,158 km(2)) of the deforestation between 2004 and 2011 occurred in areas dominated by larger properties (>500 ha), whereas only 12% (9,720 km(2)) occurred in areas dominated by smallholder properties (<100 ha). In addition, forests in areas dominated by smallholders tend to be less fragmented and less degraded. However, although annual deforestation rates fell during this period by 68-85% for all actors, the contribution of the largest landholders (>2,500 ha) to annual deforestation decreased over time (63% decrease between 2005 and 2011), whereas that of smallholders went up by a similar amount (69%) during the same period. In addition, the deforestation share attributable to remote areas increased by 88% between 2009 and 2011. These observations are consistent across the Brazilian Amazon, regardless of geographical differences in actor dominance or socioenvironmental context. Our findings suggest that deforestation policies to date, which have been particularly focused on command and control measures on larger properties in deforestation hotspots, may be increasingly limited in their effectiveness and fail to address all actors equally. Further reductions in deforestation are likely to be increasingly costly and require actor-tailored approaches, including better monitoring to detect small-scale deforestation and a shift toward more incentive-based conservation policies. PMID:25313087

  14. E-health approach to link-up actors in the health care system of Austria.

    PubMed

    Schabetsberger, Thomas; Ammenwerth, Elske; Breu, Ruth; Hoerbst, Alexander; Goebel, Georg; Penz, Robert; Schindelwig, Klaus; Toth, Herlinde; Vogl, Raimund; Wozak, Florian

    2006-01-01

    "Electronic health services are important" the EU commission stated in the E-Health action plan. By these means access to health care can be improved and the quality and effect of the offered medical services can be increased. By introducing the e-card in Austria, an overall link-up of nearly all health service providers of the external sector (e.g. family doctors) was achieved. In 2005 the Austrian E-Health Initiative (EHI) of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Health and Women mapped out a strategy to organise the development of the health system towards an integrated patient-centred. Hereby the electronic health record (EHR) plays a decisive role. The aim of this study is to analyse requirements for a virtual, cross-institutional and patient-centred electronic health record from the point of view of the exemplary main actors (Doctor and Patient), to define conditions, and then to evaluate the thus derived, specific concept of implementation. Aside from the two main actors regarding medical acts, namely the institution treating a patient (e.g. doctor, paramedic or nurse) and the patient receiving treatment, a row of other actors could be identified. Group assessment techniques with representatives of these actors resulted in an overview of required functions of an EHR. As a proof-of-concept an information system architecture conformable to the IHE XDS architecture for cross enterprise document sharing is currently being constructed and evaluated in the course of a pilot-project. If the core architecture fulfils the expectations, then a further extension to other hospitals and resident doctors, and subsequently also to the other actors of the health system, is planned. Since both legal and socio-technical requirements are presently not yet entirely met, and since there are also deficits from a methodical viewpoint, a complete implementation and widespread introduction will be a long term goal. PMID:17108555

  15. Teachers as Language-Policy Actors: Contending with the Erasure of Lesser-Used Languages in Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Kara

    2010-01-01

    On the basis of an ethnographic study of the Voro-language revitalization in Estonia, this article explores the way teachers function as policy actors in the broader context of the school. As policy actors, the language teachers' appropriation of regional-language policy helps simultaneously to reproduce and challenge existing ideologies in the…

  16. Side Effects: An Analysis of Mind the Gap's "Boo" and the Reception of Theatre Involving Learning Disabled Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hargrave, Matt

    2010-01-01

    This article analyses Mind the Gap's Boo, a re-imagining of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird", which features a cast of learning disabled actors. It is concerned with the public reception of the work, particularly the "effect" of an all-disabled cast. What are the consequences, both ethical and aesthetic, for these actors to tell this story on…

  17. From Capitol Hill to Dupont Circle and Beyond: The Influence of Policy Actors in the Federal Higher Education Rulemaking Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Natow, Rebecca S.

    2015-01-01

    The federal higher education rulemaking process develops policies that can profoundly affect college students, higher education institutions, and other actors in the higher education policy community. But little has been researched about the influence that different types of actors have on higher education rulemaking. By analyzing interviews with…

  18. Action observers implicitly expect actors to act goal-coherently, even if they do not: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Hrkać, Mari; Wurm, Moritz F; Schubotz, Ricarda I

    2014-05-01

    Actions observed in everyday life normally consist of one person performing sequences of goal-directed actions. The present fMRI study tested the hypotheses that observers are influenced by the actor's identity, even when this information is task-irrelevant, and that this information shapes their expectation on subsequent actions of the same actor. Participants watched short video clips of action steps that either pertained to a common action with an overarching goal or not, and were performed by either one or by varying actors (2 × 2 design). Independent of goal coherence, actor coherence elicited activation in dorsolateral and ventromedial frontal cortex, together pointing to a spontaneous attempt to integrate all actions performed by one actor. Interestingly, watching an actor performing unrelated actions elicited additional activation in left inferior frontal gyrus, suggesting a search in semantic memory in an attempt to construct an overarching goal that can reconcile the disparate action steps with a coherent intention. Post-experimental surveys indicate that these processes occur mostly unconsciously. Findings strongly suggest a spontaneous expectation bias toward actor-related episodes in action observers, and hence to the immense impact of actor information on action observation. PMID:23983202

  19. Marital Relationship Quality and Couples' Cognitive Stimulation Practices toward Their Infants: Actor and Partner Effects of White and Hispanic Parents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sotomayor-Peterson, Marcela; Wilhelm, Mari S.; Card, Noel A.

    2011-01-01

    The present study explores actor and partner effects on mothers' and fathers' cognitive stimulation within an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM). This model allows us to evaluate whether mothers' and fathers' practices are impacted not only by their own experiences but also by their partners' experiences. The APIM treats the couple as the…

  20. Anisotropic Tomography of Portugal (West Iberia) from ambient seismic noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silveira, Graça; Stutzmann, Éléonore; Schimmel, Martin; Dias, Nuno; Kiselev, Sergey; Custódio, Susana; Dundar, Suleyman

    2016-04-01

    Located on the western Iberian Peninsula, Portugal constitutes a key area for accretionary terrane and basin research, providing the best opportunity to probe a crustal formation shaped by the Paleozoic Variscan orogeny followed by the Mesozoic-Cenozoic extensions. The geology of Portugal documents a protracted history from Paleozoic basement formation to the Mesozoic opening of the North Atlantic Ocean. The inheritance of such complex geologic history is yet to be fully determined, playing an important role in the current geodynamic framework influencing, for example, the observed regional seismicity. The physical properties of its crust have largely remained undetermined so far, with unevenly distributed knowledge on the spatial distributions of a detailed crustal structure. Also, the deep seismic reflection/refraction surveys conducted in Western Iberia do not provide a clear picture of the regional characteristics of the crust. Using Seismic Broad Band observations from a dense temporary deployment, conducted between 2010 and 2012 in the scope of the WILAS project and covering the entire Portuguese mainland, we computed a 3D anisotropic model from ambient seismic noise. The dispersion measurements were computed for each station pair using empirical Green's functions generated by cross-correlating one-day-length seismic ambient-noise records. After dispersion analysis, group velocity measurements were regionalized to obtain 2D anisotropic tomographic images. Afterwards, the dispersion curves, extracted from each cell of the 2D group velocity maps, were inverted as a function of depth to obtain a 3D shear wave anisotropic model, using a bayesian approach. A simulated annealing method, in which the number of splines that describes the model, is adapted within the inversion. The models are jointly interpreted with the models gathered from Ps receiver functions as well as with the regional seismicity, enabling to obtain a more detailed picture of the crustal

  1. Integration of care systems in Portugal: anatomy of recent reforms

    PubMed Central

    Santana, Silvina; Szczygiel, Nina; Redondo, Patrícia

    2014-01-01

    Background Integrated care is increasingly present in the agenda of policy-makers, health professionals and researchers as a way to improve care services in relation to access, quality, user satisfaction and efficiency. These are overarching objectives of most sectoral reforms. However, health care and social care services and systems are more and more dependent on the performance of each other, imposing the logic of network. Demographic, epidemiologic and cultural changes result in pressure to increase efficiency and efficacy of services and organisations in both sectors and that is why integrated care has become so relevant in the last years. Methods We first used concept maps to organise and systematise information that we had gathered through deep literature review in order to set a framework where to base the subsequent work. Then, we interviewed informants at several levels of the health and social care systems and we built a list of major recent reforms addressing integrated care in Portugal. In a third step, we conducted two independent focus groups where those reforms were discussed and evaluated within the context of the concepts and frameworks identified from the literature. Results were confronted and reconciled, giving place to a list of requisites and guidelines that oriented further search for documentation on those reforms. Results Several important health reforms are in course in primary and hospital care in Portugal, while a so-called third level of care has been introduced with the launch of the National Network of Long-Term Integrated Care (RNCCI – Rede Nacional de Cuidados Continuados Integrados). The social care sector has itself been a subject of alternative models springing from opposite political orientations. All these changes are having repercussions on the way the systems work with each other as they are leading to ongoing and ill-evaluated reformulations on the way they are governed, financed, structured and operated. Conclusions Care

  2. The Ançã limestones, Coimbra, Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinta-Ferreira, Mário; Gil Catarino, Lídia; Delgado Rodrigues, José

    2016-04-01

    Ançã is located in the Lusitanian Basin (western Meso-Cenozoic sedimentary basin), in the municipality of Cantanhede, close to Coimbra, Portugal. This constitutes the northernmost Dogger (Bajocian) limestone sequence in Portugal. The use of the Ançã limestones is documented since the Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. It was used for the construction of houses, palaces, churches, fine sculptures, carving, paving and for the production of lime. These limestones vary from white and very soft varieties, with very high porosity used for sculpture and carving to white and hard varieties used for masonry and as aggregates and to white to bluish with low porosity and high strength varieties, mainly used for paving. The softer and whiter variety is worldwide known as Ançã Stone (Pedra de Ançã) exhibiting a porosity of 26-29 %. It became famous after being largely used by Coimbra most famous Renaissance sculptors like João de Ruão and Nicolau de Chanterenne. The Pedra de Ançã was used mainly in the region of Coimbra, but also in several other places in Portugal, in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and Brazil. Some examples of heritage in Coimbra using the Pedra de Ançã are the renaissance portal of the Saint Cross Church, the tombs of the first two Portuguese kings located in this church, the altar of the Saint Cross Church or of the Old Cathedral, or in sculptures at the University of Coimbra. It is quite prone to deteriorate when exposed to atmospheric agents and to soluble salts, mainly due to its high porosity. Deteriorated surfaces needing treatment constitute difficult conservation problems, especially when consolidation and protection treatments are required. The less porous varieties of the Ançã limestones (< 20 % porosity) were mainly used for masonry, paving and production of lime. The royal Palace of Buçaco is a remarkable masonry building constructed at the end of the XIX century with the less porous varieties of the Ançã limestones

  3. Multivariate cluster analysis of forest fire events in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonini, Marj; Pereira, Mario; Vega Orozco, Carmen; Parente, Joana

    2015-04-01

    Portugal is one of the major fire-prone European countries, mainly due to its favourable climatic, topographic and vegetation conditions. Compared to the other Mediterranean countries, the number of events registered here from 1980 up to nowadays is the highest one; likewise, with respect to the burnt area, Portugal is the third most affected country. Portuguese mapped burnt areas are available from the website of the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF). This official geodatabase is the result of satellite measurements starting from the year 1990. The spatial information, delivered in shapefile format, provides a detailed description of the shape and the size of area burnt by each fire, while the date/time information relate to the ignition fire is restricted to the year of occurrence. In terms of a statistical formalism wildfires can be associated to a stochastic point process, where events are analysed as a set of geographical coordinates corresponding, for example, to the centroid of each burnt area. The spatio/temporal pattern of stochastic point processes, including the cluster analysis, is a basic procedure to discover predisposing factorsas well as for prevention and forecasting purposes. These kinds of studies are primarily focused on investigating the spatial cluster behaviour of environmental data sequences and/or mapping their distribution at different times. To include both the two dimensions (space and time) a comprehensive spatio-temporal analysis is needful. In the present study authors attempt to verify if, in the case of wildfires in Portugal, space and time act independently or if, conversely, neighbouring events are also closer in time. We present an application of the spatio-temporal K-function to a long dataset (1990-2012) of mapped burnt areas. Moreover, the multivariate K-function allowed checking for an eventual different distribution between small and large fires. The final objective is to elaborate a 3D

  4. Vocal projection in actors: the long-term average spectral features that distinguish comfortable acting voice from voicing with maximal projection in male actors.

    PubMed

    Pinczower, Rachel; Oates, Jennifer

    2005-09-01

    This study explored whether acoustic and perceptual features could distinguish comfortable from maximally projected acting voice. Thirteen professional male actors performed a passage from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar twice. The first delivery used their comfortably projected voices, whereas the second used maximal projection. Acoustic measures, expert ratings, and self-ratings of projection and voice quality were investigated. Long-term average spectra (LTAS) and sound pressure level (SPL) analyses were conducted. Perceptual variables included projection, breathiness, roughness, and strain. When comparing the intensity difference between the higher (2-4 kHz) and lower (0-2 kHz) regions of the spectrum in voice samples from the maximal projected condition, LTAS analyses demonstrated increased acoustic energy in the higher part of the spectrum. This LTAS pattern was not as evident in the comfortable projected condition. These findings offered some preliminary support for the existence of an actor's formant (prominent peak in the upper part of the spectrum) during maximal projection. PMID:16102670

  5. A climate game based on a Multi-Actor Dynamic Integrated Assessment Model (MADIAM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, M.; Hasselmann, K.

    2003-04-01

    In November 2002 a special exhibition on climate issues opened in the German Museum for Science and Techniques ('Deutsches Museum') in Munich. Within this exposition we present an interactive game in which visitors control future climate policy by adopting the role of either the government, a CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of a global company or a typical private household of an industrialized country. The players endeavor to maintain a sustainable climate in the future (global goal) while pursuing their own individual welfare goals. Task of the exhibition visitor is to combine the personal interests of the actor he is adopting with the global goal. The individual goal of government is maintain economic growth while avoiding conflicts due to inter-regional or societal inequalities. The CEO seeks to maximize total profits (business earnings). The goal of households is to maximize wages and interest earnings. The evolution of the economic system and climate is governed by the decisions of the actors. Government sets economic side conditions in terms of carbon taxes, subsidies for R&D or market infusion support for climate-friendly technologies, and transfers development aid to less advanced regions. The CEOs decide how much to invest in a number of alternative investment options and in which region. Households influences the economy by their purchasing and savings decisions. The model considers four regions, three real actors (mentioned above) and two different goods (climate-adverse and a climate-friendly). We introduce four different kinds of energy (coal, oil/gas, nuclear, renewable). A World Bank handles money flows. At different points in time the actors can cooperate with other actors in order to reach the global goal Stochastic elements regarding future technology and future climate are included. A touch-screen monitor with user friendly interface is used to present animations and videos. An animated climate scientist uses a climate simulator to compute future

  6. A Poor Man's Nuclear Deterrent: Assessing the Value of Radiological Weapons for State Actors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donohue, Nathan

    The threat of weapons of mass destruction is an issue which remains at the forefront on national security. Nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons are all considered very dangerous by both state and non-state actors. Radiological weapons exist in that same category yet are not held in the same regard; the reason that is given is that these types of weapons are not the weapons of mass destruction that the other three are. Instead, radiological weapons are better considered weapons of mass disruption. Accordingly, in the academic and policy literature there has been very little perceived value associated with such weapons for use by state actors. However the historical focus on the military efficacy of radiological weapons has obscured the obvious truth that they may pose significant value for state actors. What this research shows is that the explosion of a radiological weapon could disrupt a target area in ways which could cripple the economy of an adversary state and promote widespread fear concerning exposure to radiation. Any such attack would not only necessitate large scale evacuation, but cleanup, decontamination, demolition, territory exclusion, and relocation. Moreover, the effects of such an attack would be unlikely to remain an isolated event as evacuated and displaced citizens spread across the nation carrying both fear and residual radiation. All of these factors would only be compounded by a state actor's ability to not only develop such weapons, but to manufacture them in such a composition that contemporary examples of such weapons grossly underestimate their impact. Accordingly, radiological weapons could hold great value for any state actor wishing to pursue their development and to threaten their use. Moreover, "while RDDs may not be well suited as "military weapons" in the classic sense, the use of RDDs could be powerfully coercive."1 In that sense, state actors could even acquire radiological weapons for their deterrent value. 1James L. Ford

  7. Will new gender policies stop the decrease of women physicists in Portugal?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosa, Carla Carmelo; Peña, Maria Teresa; Saavedra, Luisa; Providência, Constança

    2013-03-01

    The present context of women physicists in Portugal is discussed, updating our report for the 2002 IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics, in which the 30 years prior to 2000 were analyzed.

  8. Elemental composition of four farmed fish produced in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Helena M; Afonso, Cláudia; Anacleto, Patrícia; Martins, Maria F; Nunes, Maria L; Lino, Ana R

    2012-11-01

    Farmed gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata), European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and turbot (Psetta maxima) produced in Portugal were analysed in order to characterize their elemental composition. Atomic absorption (flame and cold vapour) and molecular absorption spectrometry techniques were used to determine all the studied elements. Similar patterns of macro, trace and ultra trace elements were observed for all fish species. The main elements were potassium (K), sodium (Na), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca), followed by zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn) and nickel (Ni). Cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) concentrations, obtained in this study, allow concluding that these species do not present a hazard for human consumption. In addition, they contain almost all essential elements at concentrations sufficient to suit the dietary reference intake. Nevertheless, P. maxima nutritious trace element content is relatively low compared with the other three species. PMID:22574998

  9. Comparing Consumer Resistance to Mobile Banking in Finland and Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laukkanen, Tommi; Cruz, Pedro

    This study compares two distinct European countries namely Finland and Portugal in terms of consumer resistance to mobile banking services. We explored how the five adoption barriers namely usage, value, risk, tradition and image, derived from the earlier literature, differ between these two countries. Using an Internet questionnaire a total of 3.597 usable responses was collected. A confirmatory factor analysis was implemented with SEM to build the constructs’ latent score levels. Using non-parametric difference tests we concluded that the resistance is significantly lower among the Portuguese online bank customers in terms of four out of the five barriers. The results can be used for a better understanding and enhancement of adoption of this specific case of mobile communication.

  10. Holocene morphologic changes offshore the Quarteira region, Algarve, south Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noiva, João.; Duarte, Henrique; Terrinha, Pedro; Gonçalves, Daniela

    2010-05-01

    A 160 km long SPARKER single channel seismic reflection survey was acquired in November 2008 on the shallow continental shelf of south Portugal to investigate the recent tectonics of the S.Marcos - Quarteira Fault (SMQF) and of the Carcavai Fault. The NW-SE trending S.Marcos - Quarteira Fault (SMQF) can be traced on the onshore-offshore region of south Portugal for an extension of 160 km. It is a Variscan (Hercynian) orogenic thrust that was inverted as an extensional fault during the Mesozoic rifting in south Portugal, during which it played a major role in the segmentation of the Algarve Basin. The SMQF was re-inverted as a transpressive fault during the Paleogene-Miocene compression and folding and thrusting of Pleistocene terrigenous strata attest for its present day tectonic activity. The Carcavai fault trends NE-SW, intersects the SMQF. The Carcavai fault also played the role of rift fault during the Mesozoic and was inverted as a thrust during the Cenozoic compression. The mapping of both SMQ and Carcavai Faults offshore south Portugal attests for a complex interaction between the two in what concerns the Holocene and tectonics and paleogeography. The Carcavai Fault accommodates most of the Pliocene-Quaternary compression on its hanging-wall, whilst the SMQF takes up the deformation on the foot-wall of the Carcavai Fault. In what refers the early Holocene paleogeography, the interpretation of the seismic profiles shows the existence of two sedimentary bodies of possible Holocene age separated by a peninsula that consists of Pliocene-Pleistocene prograding clastics that make up the present day coastal cliff. This peninsula is parallel to the present day coastline, which is also parallel to the SMQF. The two bodies have different seismic facies. The offshore Holocene displays fairly continuous reflections, whilst the internal Holocene is made up of more discontinuous reflections. The isobaths map of the base of the external Holocene unit shows a smooth gently

  11. Conservation and sustainability in freshwater ecosystems in Tavira (Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonçalves, Esmeralda; Fonseca, José; Lopes, Luís; João Costa, Maria; Cunha, Miguel

    2013-04-01

    This interdisciplinary project carried out with 8th and 9th grade students involved five teachers from three different subjects (Physics and Chemistry, Natural Science and Geography). Framed in the Water Framework Directive, it aimed at verifying the ecological quality of water in two rivers in the municipality of Tavira (South Portugal). The development of this project has been structured in accordance with the following objectives: evaluate the quality of freshwater ecosystems through the existence of certain living organisms; present proposals on ways to preserve water resources in a sustainable perspective; sensitize students to the importance of their participation in collective action by volunteering for ecological protection. This is an innovative educational experience that allowed students an integrated approach to content and procedures applied to real problems in their local environment.

  12. Assessing fire risk in Portugal during the summer fire season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dacamara, C. C.; Pereira, M. G.; Trigo, R. M.

    2009-04-01

    Since 1998, Instituto de Meteorologia, the Portuguese Weather Service has relied on the Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI) System (van Wagner, 1987) to produce daily forecasts of fire risk. The FWI System consists of six components that account for the effects of fuel moisture and wind on fire behavior. The first three components, i.e. the Fine Fuel Moisture Code (FFMC), the Duff Moisture Code (DMC) and the Drought Code (DC) respectively rate the average moisture content of surface litter, decomposing litter, and organic (humus) layers of the soil. Wind effects are then added to FFMC leading to the Initial Spread Index (ISI) that rates fire spread. The remaining two fuel moisture codes (DMC and DC) are in turn combined to produce the Buildup Index (BUI) that is a rating of the total amount of fuel available for combustion. BUI is finally combined with ISI to produce the Fire Weather Index (FWI) that represents the rate of fire intensity. Classes of fire danger and levels of preparedness are commonly defined on an empirical way for a given region by calibrating the FWI System against wildfire activity as defined by the recorded number of events and by the observed burned area over a given period of time (Bovio and Camia, 1998). It is also a well established fact that distributions of burned areas are heavily skewed to the right and tend to follow distributions of the exponential-type (Cumming, 2001). Based on the described context, a new procedure is presented for calibrating the FWI System during the summer fire season in Portugal. Two datasets were used covering a 28-year period (1980-2007); i) the official Portuguese wildfire database which contains detailed information on fire events occurred in the 18 districts of Continental Portugal and ii) daily values of the six components of the FWI System as derived from reanalyses (Uppala et al., 2005) of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). Calibration of the FWI System is then performed in two

  13. Parasite communities in stray cat populations from Lisbon, Portugal.

    PubMed

    Waap, H; Gomes, J; Nunes, T

    2014-12-01

    Stray cats live in high-density colonies in urban areas and pose a health hazard to household cats and humans. In Portugal, information on the parasitic fauna of stray cats is limited and relies mostly on results from faecal analysis. The present survey aimed to determine the prevalence, diversity and intensity of parasites in stray cats from the urban area of Lisbon by means of parasitological necropsy. Internal organs were collected from 162 cats captured in different areas of the city and systematically subjected to parasitological dissection. Helminths were identified by macro- and microscopic examination and protozoa by faecal floatation and sedimentation techniques. The overall prevalence of parasites was 90.7% (95% confidence interval (CI): 85.3-94.6%). A total of 12 parasite species was recorded: Cystoisospora felis (14.2%), Cystoisospora rivolta (46.3%), Sarcocystis sp. (1.2%), Ancylostoma tubaeforme (19.1%), Toxocara cati (38.3%), Ollulanus tricuspis (30.9%), Aelurostrongylus abstrusus (12.4%), Eucoleus aerophilus (0.6%), Taenia taeniaeformis (3.1%), Dipylidium caninum (53.1%), Joyeuxiella pasqualei (15.4%) and Diplopylidium nölleri (3.7%). Overall mean species richness was 2.36 ±  1.52. Helminth mean intensity was highest for O. tricuspis (285.8), followed by D. caninum (42.4), J. pasqualei (14.4), A. tubaeforme (8.1) and T. cati (5.9). The prevalence and variety of parasites found in our sampling are substantially higher than the numbers previously reported in Portugal. Some of the parasites, including T. cati and A. tubaeforme, are zoonotic, which emphasizes the need for parasite control strategies based on demographic containment of stray cat populations in urban areas to promote public health protection. PMID:23719370

  14. Suicides in the Centre of Portugal: seven years analysis.

    PubMed

    Dias, Daniel; Mendonça, M Cristina; Real, Francisco Corte; Vieira, Duarte Nuno; Teixeira, Helena M

    2014-01-01

    As one of the more specific and distinctive problems of human beings, suicide has been investigated with increasing attention all over the world. Several risk factors have been described as well as limitations arising from their study. The World Health Organization estimates that this scourge affects one million people annually, which corresponds to one death every 40s worldwide. According to recent studies, Portugal, despite the good rates (10 suicide deaths per 100,000 inhabitants), had shown an increasing trend among younger people. This work aims to characterize the evolution of the suicidal profile autopsied at the Forensic Pathology Department of the Centre Branch of the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences of Portugal, analyzing several variables: age, gender, marital status, employment status, suicidal methodology, toxicological analysis and some conditions/behaviors regarding personal history (alcoholism, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, physical illness, psychiatric disorder). All the autopsies from the 1 January, 2003 to 31 December, 2009 were analyzed. The suicide profile achieved corresponded to a man (77%), aged between 65 and 74 years old (20.4%), married (54.5%), employed, who committed suicide by hanging, in September, May or February. Clinical records include an organic health problem or psychiatric one, in addition to risk behaviors such as alcoholism, suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts. The number of suicides autopsied at the Centre Branch has increased, resembling the profile to the result of many other authors. However, new medical and social developments place hanging as the favorite suicide method in our study. Many barriers remain to overthrow but several prevention programs begin to be designed and implemented. Future evaluations and interventions at the social and medical level, including the death certification process, will be fundamental to a better realistic understanding of this phenomenon. PMID:24378298

  15. Prevalence of asthma in Portugal - The Portuguese National Asthma Survey

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Asthma is a frequent chronic respiratory disease in both children and adults. However, few data on asthma prevalence are available in Portugal. The Portuguese National Asthma Survey is the first nationwide study that uses standardized methods. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of current asthma in the Portuguese population and to assess the association between ‘Current asthma’ and comorbidities such as upper airways disease. Methods A cross-sectional, population-based, telephone interview survey including all municipalities of Portugal was undertaken. Participants were randomly selected to answer a questionnaire based on the Portuguese version of the GA2LEN survey. ‘Current asthma’ was defined as self-reported lifetime asthma and at least one of 3 symptoms in the last 12 months: wheezing, waking with breathlessness or having an asthma attack. Results Data were obtained for 6 003 respondents, with mean age of 38.9 (95%CI 38.2-39.6) years and 57.3% females. In the Portuguese population, the prevalence of ‘Current asthma’ was 6.8% (95%CI 6.0-7.7) and of ‘Lifetime asthma’ was 10.5% (95%CI 9.5-11.6) Using GA2LEN definition for asthma, our prevalence estimate was 7.8% (95%CI 7.0-8.8). Rhinitis had a strong association with asthma (Adjusted OR 3.87, 95%CI 2.90-5.18) and the association between upper airway diseases and asthma was stronger in patients with both rhinitis and sinusitis (Adjusted OR 13.93, 95%CI 6.60-29.44). Conclusions Current asthma affects 695 000 Portuguese, with a prevalence of 6.8%. People who reported both rhinitis and sinusitis had the highest risk of having asthma. PMID:22931550

  16. [Epidemiological study of lung cancer in Portugal (2000/2002)].

    PubMed

    Parente, Bárbara; Queiroga, H; Teixeira, E; Sotto-Mayor, R; Barata, F; Sousa, A; Melo, M J; João, F; Neveda, R; Cunha, J; Fernandes, A; Manuel, M; Cardoso, T; Ferreira, L; Nogueira, F; Duarte, J; Semedo, E; Brito, U; Pimentel, F; Barros, S; Costa, F; Almodôvar, T; Araújo, A

    2007-01-01

    Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer death in the world. Five-year survival is about 15%, without any change to this picture envisaged. It is the 3rd most prevalent type of cancer in Portugal and the primary cause of cancer death. 85% of lung cancer cases are attributable to smoking. One study performed in Portugal for 3 years (2000/2002) by the Lung Oncology Work Committee of the Portuguese Society of Pulmonology in 22 Hospitals showed that of a total of 4396 patients with lung cancer, 81.8% were male and 18.2% were female, with a mean age of 64.49 +/- 11.28 years. About 70% of patients were smokers or former smokers, with 50.3% of patients presenting with performance status (Zubrod) 1. Histologically, 37.5% were adenocarcinoma, followed by squamous carcinoma in 30.5% of cases, and small cell lung cancer in 12.5%; neuroendocrine carcinoma presented in 1.4% of cases; non small cell lung cancer in 10.5%; mixed carcinoma in 0.7%; large cell carcinoma in 2.3%; and others/not specified in 4.6% of cases. Staging (known in 4097 patients), showed 113 patients in stage IA (2.8%)and 250 patients in stage IB (6.1%); only 0.8% in stage IIA and 4.5% in stage IIB; 9.1% in stage IIIA and 29.9% in stage IIIB; 46.9% were already in stage IV by the time of diagnosis. The first therapeutic option was known in 3855 patients. Surgery was performed in 8.2% and 21.8% of cases were treated with combined therapies (surgery and chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy); chemotherapy alone was first choice in 43.7% of patients and in 20.3% only best support therapy was chosen. PMID:17571453

  17. Influence of meteorological conditions on RSV infection in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira-Santos, M.; Santos, J. A.; Soares, J.; Dias, A.; Quaresma, M.

    2016-04-01

    Acute viral bronchiolitis is a common cause for infant hospital admissions. Of all etiological agents, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is commonly the most frequent. The present study assesses relationships between atmospheric factors and RSV infections in under 3-year-old patients admitted to the Inpatient Paediatric Service of Vila Real (North of Portugal). For this purpose, (1) clinical files of children admitted with a diagnosis of acute bronchiolitis from September 2005 to December 2015 (>10 years) were scrutinised and (2) local daily temperature/precipitation series, as well as six weather types controlling meteorological conditions in Portugal, were used. Fifty-five percent of all 770 admitted children were effectively infected with a given virus, whilst 48 % (367) were RSV+, i.e. 87 % of virus-infected children were RSV+. The bulk of incidence is verified in the first year of age (82 %, 302), slightly higher in males. RSV outbreaks are typically from December to March, but important inter-annual variability is found in both magnitude and shape. Although no clear connections were found between monthly temperatures/precipitation and RSV outbreaks apart from seasonality, a linkage to wintertime cold spells is apparent on a daily basis. Anomalously low minimum temperatures from the day of admittance back to 10 days before are observed. This relationship is supported by anomalously high occurrences of the E and AA weather types over the same period, which usually trigger dry and cold weather. These findings highlight some predictability in the RSV occurrences, revealing potential for modelling and risk assessments.

  18. Tsunami flooding along Tagus estuary, Portugal, the 1531 event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baptista, M. A.; Miranda, J. M.; Batlo, J.; Ferreira, H.

    2012-04-01

    TSUNAMI FLOODING ALONG TAGUS ESTUARY (PORTUGAL), THE 1531 EVENT The city of Lisbon one of the main towns in Europe between the XVI and XVIII centuries was severely damaged by two strong earthquakes: 1531-01-26 and 1755-11-01 and the companion tsunamis. In this study we present a re-evaluation of the data available for this event. The 26 January 1531 earthquake occurred between 4 and 5 am and was felt mainly in Lisbon and surroundings dwellings along the Tagus river estuary. The shock heavily destroyed Lisbon downtown causing approximately 1000 casualties Two foreshocks preceded the event: on the 2nd and the 7th January 1531, respectively. The maximum MSK intensity is IX, making it one of the most disastrous earthquakes in the recent history of Portugal. The historical descriptions clearly describe the observation of high waves and the ships touching the riverbed. Although, the difference between tsunamis and storms is sometimes unclear in some historical documents, in this case, the occurrence of the of the earthquake definitively states clearly excludes the hypothesis of a storm. Moreover, the king's chronicle clearly states the observation of high waves and the lack of wind. Other reports consistent with the occurrence of a tsunami are the observation of strong fluxes and refluxes in the river the division of islands into smaller ones and the observation of the riverbed. In this study we present a re-appraisal of the historical information available, a new isoseismal map and the relocation of the epicentre. Finally, we present a tsunami simulation and propagation along a section of 70 km along Tagus estuary compatible with the earthquake data and the historical accounts.

  19. Spatio-temporal clustering of wildfires in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, R.; Pereira, M. G.; Caramelo, L.; Vega Orozco, C.; Kanevski, M.

    2012-04-01

    Several studies have shown that wildfires in Portugal presenthigh temporal as well as high spatial variability (Pereira et al., 2005, 2011). The identification and characterization of spatio-temporal clusters contributes to a comprehensivecharacterization of the fire regime and to improve the efficiency of fire prevention and combat activities. The main goalsin this studyare: (i) to detect the spatio-temporal clusters of burned area; and, (ii) to characterize these clusters along with the role of human and environmental factors. The data were supplied by the National Forest Authority(AFN, 2011) and comprises: (a)the Portuguese Rural Fire Database, PRFD, (Pereira et al., 2011) for the 1980-2007period; and, (b) the national mapping burned areas between 1990 and 2009. In this work, in order to complement the more common cluster analysis algorithms, an alternative approach based onscan statistics and on the permutation modelwas used. This statistical methodallows the detection of local excess events and to test if such an excess can reasonably have occurred by chance.Results obtained for different simulations performed for different spatial and temporal windows are presented, compared and interpreted.The influence of several fire factors such as (climate, vegetation type, etc.) is also assessed. Pereira, M.G., Trigo, R.M., DaCamara, C.C., Pereira, J.M.C., Leite, S.M., 2005:"Synoptic patterns associated with large summer forest fires in Portugal".Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 129, 11-25. Pereira, M. G., Malamud, B. D., Trigo, R. M., and Alves, P. I.: The history and characteristics of the 1980-2005 Portuguese rural fire database, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 3343-3358, doi:10.5194/nhess-11-3343-2011, 2011 AFN, 2011: AutoridadeFlorestalNacional (National Forest Authority). Available at http://www.afn.min-agricultura.pt/portal.

  20. Thromboprophylaxis in critically ill children in Spain and Portugal

    PubMed Central

    Nñnez, A. Rodríguez; Fonte, M.; Faustino, E.V.S.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Although critically ill children may be at risk from developing deep venous thrombosis (DVT), data on its incidence and effectiveness of thromboprophylaxis are lacking. Objective To describe the use of thromboprophylaxis in critically ill children in Spain and Portugal, and to compare the results with international data. Material and methods Secondary analysis of the multinational study PROTRACT, carried out in 59 PICUs from 7 developed countries (4 from Portugal and 6 in Spain). Data were collected from patients less than 18 years old, who did not receive therapeutic thromboprophylaxis. Results A total of 308 patients in Spanish and Portuguese (Iberian) PICUS were compared with 2176 admitted to international PICUs. Risk factors such as femoral vein (P = .01), jugular vein central catheter (P < .001), cancer (P = .03), and sepsis (P < .001), were more frequent in Iberian PICUs. The percentage of patients with pharmacological thromboprophylaxis was similar in both groups (15.3% vs. 12.0%). Low molecular weight heparin was used more frequently in Iberian patients (P < .001). In treated children, prior history of thrombosis (P = .02), femoral vein catheter (P < .001), cancer (P = .02) and cranial trauma or craniectomy (P = .006), were more frequent in Iberian PICUs. Mechanical thromboprophylaxis was used in only 6.8% of candidates in Iberian PICUs, compared with 23.8% in the international PICUs (P < .001). Conclusions Despite the presence of risk factors for DVT in many patients, thromboprophylaxis is rarely prescribed, with low molecular weight heparin being the most used drug. Passive thromboprophylaxis use is anecdotal. There should be a consensus on guidelines of thromboprophylaxis in critically ill children. PMID:24907863

  1. Linguistic isolates in Portugal: insights from the mitochondrial DNA pattern.

    PubMed

    Mairal, Quim; Santos, Cristina; Silva, Marina; Marques, Sofia L; Ramos, Amanda; Aluja, Maria Pilar; Amorim, Antonio; Prata, Maria João; Alvarez, Luis

    2013-12-01

    Miranda do Douro, located in the northeastern region of Portugal, has notable characteristics not only from a geographic or naturalistic point of view, but also from a cultural perspective. A remarkable one is the coexistence of two different languages: Portuguese and Mirandese, the second being an Astur-Leonese dialect. The current persistence of the Astur-Leonese dialect in this population falls on the singularity of the region: relative isolation, implying difficulties to communicate with other Portuguese regions, while the same location facilitated the establishment of social and commercial relationships with adjacent Spanish territories, origin of the Astur-Leonese language. The objective of this study was to characterize the population from Miranda through the analysis of maternal lineages in order to evaluate whether its mitochondrial DNA diversity fitted the patterns previously reported for other populations from the Iberian Peninsula. Viewing that, the entire control region of mitochondrial DNA from 121 individuals was examined. Miranda showed a haplogroup composition usual for a Western European population, in the sense that as high as 63.6% of sequences belonged to macro-haplogroup R0. Lineages ascribed to have an African (L2a and L1b) origin, were detected, but reaching an amount commonly found in Portugal. Miranda also presented a few haplogroups typically found in Jewish populations, while rarely observed in other Iberian populations. The finding can be explained by gene flow with crypto-Jew communities that since long are known to be established in the region where Miranda is located. In Miranda, both genetic and nucleotide diversities presented low values (0.9292 ± 0.0180 and 0.01101 ± 0.00614 respectively) when compared to populations from its micro-geographical framework, which constitute a sign of population isolation that certainly provided conditions for the survival of the Astur-Leonese dialect in the region. PMID:24041913

  2. Actor-network theory: a tool to support ethical analysis of commercial genetic testing.

    PubMed

    Williams-Jones, Bryn; Graham, Janice E

    2003-12-01

    Social, ethical and policy analysis of the issues arising from gene patenting and commercial genetic testing is enhanced by the application of science and technology studies, and Actor-Network Theory (ANT) in particular. We suggest the potential for transferring ANT's flexible nature to an applied heuristic methodology for gathering empirical information and for analysing the complex networks involved in the development of genetic technologies. Three concepts are explored in this paper--actor-networks, translation, and drift--and applied to the case of Myriad Genetics and their commercial BRACAnalysis genetic susceptibility test for hereditary breast cancer. Treating this test as an active participant in socio-technical networks clarifies the extent to which it interacts with, shapes and is shaped by people, other technologies, and institutions. Such an understanding enables more sophisticated and nuanced technology assessment, academic analysis, as well as public debate about the social, ethical and policy implications of the commercialization of new genetic technologies. PMID:15115034

  3. Reinforcement learning for a biped robot based on a CPG-actor-critic method.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Yutaka; Mori, Takeshi; Sato, Masa-aki; Ishii, Shin

    2007-08-01

    Animals' rhythmic movements, such as locomotion, are considered to be controlled by neural circuits called central pattern generators (CPGs), which generate oscillatory signals. Motivated by this biological mechanism, studies have been conducted on the rhythmic movements controlled by CPG. As an autonomous learning framework for a CPG controller, we propose in this article a reinforcement learning method we call the "CPG-actor-critic" method. This method introduces a new architecture to the actor, and its training is roughly based on a stochastic policy gradient algorithm presented recently. We apply this method to an automatic acquisition problem of control for a biped robot. Computer simulations show that training of the CPG can be successfully performed by our method, thus allowing the biped robot to not only walk stably but also adapt to environmental changes. PMID:17412559

  4. Alternative manifestations of actor responses to urban flooding: case studies from Bradford and Glasgow.

    PubMed

    Cashman, A C

    2009-01-01

    Flooding processes are complex and can occur throughout urban areas sometimes with devastating consequences. Traditionally flood risks have been managed through a combination of structural defence measures, warnings and emergency measures. More recently they have included development controls and land zoning policies. When such measures fail, individuals, authorities and the economy have to cope with the consequences. There is a growing realization that the resilience of individuals and institutions to floods and the risks from flooding need to be addressed. In the past few years there has been what some have referred to as a paradigm shift in the way responses to flooding are being conceptualized and the way this affects actors and actions. Based on fieldwork including interviews this paper presents two examples of actor and institutional responses to flooding events from the cities of Bradford and Glasgow in the United Kingdom. PMID:19587405

  5. The international right to health: state obligations and private actors in the health care system.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Paula

    2013-09-01

    Most health systems have historically used a mix of public and private actors for financing and delivering care. But the last 30 years have seen many rich and middle-income countries moving to privatise parts of their health care systems. This phenomenon has generated concerns, especially about equitable access to health care. This article examines what the international right to the highest attainable standard of health in Art 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights says about the obligations of states which use private actors in health care. The article involves a close study of the primary documents of the key institutions responsible for interpreting and promoting Art 12. From this study, the article concludes that in mixed public-private health care systems, states not only retain primary responsibility for fulfilling the right to health but are subject to a range of additional specific responsibilities. PMID:24218792

  6. Inferring the size of a goal object from an actor's grasping movement in 6- and 9-month-old infants.

    PubMed

    Daum, Moritz M; Vuori, Maria T; Prinz, Wolfgang; Aschersleben, Gisa

    2009-11-01

    The present study applied a preferential looking paradigm to test whether 6- and 9-month old infants are able to infer the size of a goal object from an actor's grasping movement. The target object was a cup with the handle rotated either towards or away from the actor. In two experiments, infants saw the video of an actor's grasping movement towards an occluded target object. The aperture size of the actor's hand was varied as between-subjects factor. Subsequently, two final states of the grasping movement were presented simultaneously with the occluder being removed. In Experiment 1, the expected final state showed the actor's hand holding a cup in a way that would be expected after the performed grasping movement. In the unexpected final state, the actor's hand held the cup at the side which would be unexpected after the performed grasping movement. Results show that 6- as well as 9-month-olds looked longer at the unexpected than at the expected final state. Experiment 2 excluded an alternative explanation of these findings, namely that the discrimination of the final states was due to geometrical familiarity or novelty of the final states. These findings provide evidence that infants are able to infer the size of a goal object from the aperture size of the actor's hand during the grasp. PMID:19840041

  7. Daily Associations Among Self-control, Heavy Episodic Drinking, and Relationship Functioning: An Examination of Actor and Partner Effects

    PubMed Central

    Crane, Cory A.; Testa, Maria; Derrick, Jaye L.; Leonard, Kenneth E.

    2014-01-01

    An emerging literature suggests that temporary deficits in the ability to inhibit impulsive urges may be proximally associated with intimate partner aggression. The current study examined the experience of alcohol use and the depletion of self-control in the prediction of relationship functioning. Daily diary data collected from 118 heterosexual couples were analyzed using parallel multi-level Actor Partner Interdependence Models to assess the effects of heavy episodic drinking and depletion of self-control across partners on outcomes of participant-reported daily arguing with and anger toward an intimate partner. Heavy episodic drinking among actors predicted greater arguing but failed to interact with either actor or partner depletion. We also found that greater arguing was reported on days of high congruent actor and partner depletion. Both actor and partner depletion, as well as their interaction, predicted greater partner-specific anger. Greater partner-specific anger was generally reported on days of congruent actor and partner depletion, particularly on days of high partner depletion. The current results highlight the importance of independently assessing partner effects (i.e., depletion of self-control), which interact dynamically with disinhibiting actor effects, in the prediction of daily adverse relationship functioning. Results offer further support for the development of prospective individualized and couples-based interventions for partner conflict. PMID:24700558

  8. Modelling the Impact of Human Actors on Groundwater Resources under Conditions of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barthel, R.; Reichenau, T. G.; Krimly, T.; Dabbert, S.; Schneider, K.; Mauser, W.; Hennicker, R.

    2012-12-01

    Water resources, activities of human actors and climate change are related in many different and complex ways because of the existence of and strong interactions between various influencing factors, including those that are natural-environmental and socio-economic. The GLOWA-Danube research cooperation has developed the integrated simulation system DANUBIA to simulate water-related influences of global change in different spatial and temporal contexts. DANUBIA is a modular system comprised of 17 dynamically-coupled, process-based model components and a framework which controls the interaction of these components with respect to space and time. This contribution describes approaches and capabilities of DANUBIA with regard to the simulation of global change effects on human decisions in water related fields with a focus on agriculture and groundwater. In agriculture, market prices and legislation can be equally or even more important than water availability in determining farmers' behavior and thus in determining the agricultural impact on water resources quantity and quality. The DANUBIA simulation framework and the associated DeepActor-framework for simulation of decision-making by human actors are presented together with the model components which are most relevant to the interactions between agriculture and groundwater. The approach for developing combination climate and socio-economic scenarios is explained. Exemplary scenario results are shown for the Upper Danube Catchment in Southern Germany. References Barthel, R., Janisch, S., N. Schwarz, A. Trifkovic, D. Nickel, C. Schulz, W. Mauser (2008): An integrated modelling framework for simulating regional-scale actor responses to global change in the water domain. Environmental Modelling and Software, 23, 1095-1121 (doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2008.02.004) Barthel, R., Reichenau T., Krimly, T., Dabbert, S., Schneider, K., Mauser, W. (2012) Integrated modeling of climate change impacts on agriculture and groundwater

  9. Virtual actors and avatars in a flexible user-determined-scenario environment

    SciTech Connect

    Shawver, D.M.

    1997-02-01

    VRaptor, a VR system for situational training that uses trainer-defined scenarios is described. The trainee is represented by an avatar; the rest of the virtual world is populated by virtual actors, which are under the control of trainer-defined scripts. The scripts allow reactive behaviors, but the trainer can control the overall scenario. This type of training system may be very useful in supplementing physical training.

  10. Forest biodiversity monitoring for REDD+: a case study of actors' views in Peru.

    PubMed

    Entenmann, Steffen K; Kaphegyi, Thomas A M; Schmitt, Christine B

    2014-02-01

    The climate change mitigation mechanism Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD+) is currently being negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Integrating biodiversity monitoring into REDD+ facilitates compliance with the safeguards stipulated by the UNFCCC to exclude environmental risks. Interviews with actors engaged in REDD+ implementation and biodiversity conservation at the national and sub-national level in Peru (n = 30) and a literature review (n = 58) were conducted to pinpoint constraints and opportunities for monitoring effects of REDD+ management interventions on biodiversity, and to identify relevant biodiversity data and indicators. It was found that particularly sub-national actors, who were frequently involved in REDD+ pilot projects, acknowledge the availability of biodiversity data. Actors at both the national and sub-national levels, however, criticized data gaps and data being scattered across biodiversity research organizations. Most of the literature reviewed (78 %) included indicators on the state of certain biodiversity aspects, especially mammals. Indicators for pressure on biodiversity, impacts on environmental functions, or policy responses to environmental threats were addressed less frequently (31, 21, and 10 %, respectively). Integrating biodiversity concerns in carbon monitoring schemes was considered to have potential, although few specific examples were identified. The involvement of biodiversity research organizations in sub-national REDD+ activities enhances monitoring capacities. It is discussed how improvements in collaboration among actors from the project to the national level could facilitate the evaluation of existing information at the national level. Monitoring changes in ecosystem services may increase the ecological and socioeconomic viability of REDD+. PMID:24178126

  11. Forest Biodiversity Monitoring for REDD+: A Case Study of Actors' Views in Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Entenmann, Steffen K.; Kaphegyi, Thomas A. M.; Schmitt, Christine B.

    2014-02-01

    The climate change mitigation mechanism Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD+) is currently being negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Integrating biodiversity monitoring into REDD+ facilitates compliance with the safeguards stipulated by the UNFCCC to exclude environmental risks. Interviews with actors engaged in REDD+ implementation and biodiversity conservation at the national and sub-national level in Peru ( n = 30) and a literature review ( n = 58) were conducted to pinpoint constraints and opportunities for monitoring effects of REDD+ management interventions on biodiversity, and to identify relevant biodiversity data and indicators. It was found that particularly sub-national actors, who were frequently involved in REDD+ pilot projects, acknowledge the availability of biodiversity data. Actors at both the national and sub-national levels, however, criticized data gaps and data being scattered across biodiversity research organizations. Most of the literature reviewed (78 %) included indicators on the state of certain biodiversity aspects, especially mammals. Indicators for pressure on biodiversity, impacts on environmental functions, or policy responses to environmental threats were addressed less frequently (31, 21, and 10 %, respectively). Integrating biodiversity concerns in carbon monitoring schemes was considered to have potential, although few specific examples were identified. The involvement of biodiversity research organizations in sub-national REDD+ activities enhances monitoring capacities. It is discussed how improvements in collaboration among actors from the project to the national level could facilitate the evaluation of existing information at the national level. Monitoring changes in ecosystem services may increase the ecological and socioeconomic viability of REDD+.

  12. [Status quo and potential of health services research: the perspective of Bavarian actors].

    PubMed

    Hollederer, A; Voigtländer, S; Wildner, M; Zapf, A; Zellner, A

    2015-03-01

    In 2011, the Bavarian Parliament decided to advance health services research (HSR) in Bavaria by bundling scientific competencies in a State Working Group and integrating other actors in it. The establishment of such a State Working Group "Health Services Research" -(LAGeV) together with members from science, health care and politics followed in 2012. The objective of this study is to identify the status quo of HSR in Bavaria including its determinants and potential for development based on the actors' perspective.After the inaugural meeting a semi-structured questionnaire was sent to all 36 members from 28 organisations. Items comprise information on the respondent's background as well as status quo, future topics and potential for development of HSR in Bavaria.27 members took part in the survey, resulting in a response rate of 75.0%. Satisfaction of actors with the status quo of HSR is rather low, especially regarding the effectiveness of policy advice. Researchers and health care providers are also not much satisfied with the HSR environment. For the future of HSR, respondents prioritise the topics interface and networking research, followed by innovative care concepts, care for patients with multiple or chronic conditions as well as evaluation of innovations, processes and technologies. Potential for development and thus improvement of care is primarily seen in the abolishment of existing constraints by an overall HSR concept (including selective research promotion), networking and cooperation, research funding as well as improving the interface between politics and science. Respondents assess the benefit of an increased networking within the LAGeV as high.Status quo of HSR in Bavaria is not very satisfactory. The survey reveals important constraints as well as promoting factors based on the viewpoints of different groups of actors. It also prioritises future HSR topics and identifies potential for development, which are important for the LAGeV. The findings

  13. The Empathy Enigma: Does It Still Exist? Comparison of Empathy Using Students and Standardized Actors.

    PubMed

    Ward, Julia

    2016-01-01

    Empathy is at the heart of all nurse-patient interactions. Yet empathy often declines during students' nursing education. Nurse educators are challenged to find ways to offset this decline. A mixed-methods research design was used to assess whether an educational intervention using standardized actors influenced nursing student empathy. The results suggest that the educational intervention holds potential for improving empathy in nursing students. PMID:26779692

  14. Experiential learning in nursing consultation education via clinical simulation with actors: action research.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Saionara Nunes; do Prado, Marta Lenise; Kempfer, Silvana Silveira; Martini, Jussara Gue; Caravaca-Morera, Jaime Alonso; Bernardi, Mariely Carmelina

    2015-02-01

    This was an action research study conducted during an undergraduate nursing course. The objective was to propose and implement experiential learning for nursing consultation education using clinical simulation with actors. The 4 steps of action research were followed: planning, action, observation and reflection. Three nursing undergraduate students participated in the study. Data were collected in May and July 2013 via participant comments and interviews and were analyzed in accordance with the operative proposal for qualitative data analysis. Planning included constructing and validating the clinical guides, selecting and training the actors, organizing and preparing the scenario and the issuing invitations to the participants. The action was carried out according to Kolb's (1984) 4 stages of learning cycles: Concrete Experience, Reflective Observation, Abstract Conceptualization and Active Experimentation. Clinical simulation involves different subjects' participation in all stages, and action research is a method that enables the clinical stimulation to be implemented. It must be guided by clear learning objectives and by a critical pedagogy that encourages critical thinking in students. Using actors and a real scenario facilitated psychological fidelity, and debriefing was the key moment of the reflective process that facilitated the integral training of students through experiential learning. PMID:25563657

  15. Humanoids Learning to Walk: A Natural CPG-Actor-Critic Architecture.

    PubMed

    Li, Cai; Lowe, Robert; Ziemke, Tom

    2013-01-01

    The identification of learning mechanisms for locomotion has been the subject of much research for some time but many challenges remain. Dynamic systems theory (DST) offers a novel approach to humanoid learning through environmental interaction. Reinforcement learning (RL) has offered a promising method to adaptively link the dynamic system to the environment it interacts with via a reward-based value system. In this paper, we propose a model that integrates the above perspectives and applies it to the case of a humanoid (NAO) robot learning to walk the ability of which emerges from its value-based interaction with the environment. In the model, a simplified central pattern generator (CPG) architecture inspired by neuroscientific research and DST is integrated with an actor-critic approach to RL (cpg-actor-critic). In the cpg-actor-critic architecture, least-square-temporal-difference based learning converges to the optimal solution quickly by using natural gradient learning and balancing exploration and exploitation. Futhermore, rather than using a traditional (designer-specified) reward it uses a dynamic value function as a stability indicator that adapts to the environment. The results obtained are analyzed using a novel DST-based embodied cognition approach. Learning to walk, from this perspective, is a process of integrating levels of sensorimotor activity and value. PMID:23675345

  16. Humanoids Learning to Walk: A Natural CPG-Actor-Critic Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Li, Cai; Lowe, Robert; Ziemke, Tom

    2013-01-01

    The identification of learning mechanisms for locomotion has been the subject of much research for some time but many challenges remain. Dynamic systems theory (DST) offers a novel approach to humanoid learning through environmental interaction. Reinforcement learning (RL) has offered a promising method to adaptively link the dynamic system to the environment it interacts with via a reward-based value system. In this paper, we propose a model that integrates the above perspectives and applies it to the case of a humanoid (NAO) robot learning to walk the ability of which emerges from its value-based interaction with the environment. In the model, a simplified central pattern generator (CPG) architecture inspired by neuroscientific research and DST is integrated with an actor-critic approach to RL (cpg-actor-critic). In the cpg-actor-critic architecture, least-square-temporal-difference based learning converges to the optimal solution quickly by using natural gradient learning and balancing exploration and exploitation. Futhermore, rather than using a traditional (designer-specified) reward it uses a dynamic value function as a stability indicator that adapts to the environment. The results obtained are analyzed using a novel DST-based embodied cognition approach. Learning to walk, from this perspective, is a process of integrating levels of sensorimotor activity and value. PMID:23675345

  17. Creating Inquiry Between Technology Developers and Civil Society Actors: Learning from Experiences Around Nanotechnology.

    PubMed

    Krabbenborg, Lotte

    2016-06-01

    Engaging civil society actors as knowledgeable dialogue partners in the development and governance of emerging technologies is a new challenge. The starting point of this paper is the observation that the design and orchestration of current organized interaction events shows limitations, particularly in the articulation of issues and in learning how to address the indeterminacies that go with emerging technologies. This paper uses Dewey's notion of 'publics' and 'reflective inquiry' to outline ways of doing better and to develop requirements for a more productive involvement of civil society actors. By studying four novel spaces for interaction in the domain of nanotechnology, this paper examines whether and how elements of Dewey's thought are visible and under what conditions. One of the main findings is that, in our society, special efforts are needed in order for technology developers and civil society actors to engage in a joint inquiry on emerging nanotechnology. Third persons, like social scientists and philosophers, play a role in this respect in addition to external input such as empirically informed scenarios and somewhat protected spaces. PMID:26040841

  18. Finding a voice. Like individuals, organizations are moral speakers and actors.

    PubMed

    Ozar, David T

    2006-01-01

    Though "good people' are important for the life of any organization, it is a myth to think that enough good people will make for a good organization. To break free of this myth, a health care organization, which is made up of numerous persons and groups, ought to be regarded as a single, unitary actor in society. When seen as a single actor, the organization's systems for carrying out its mission can be better assessed and improved if necessary. If the organization's systems are not functioning as they should, then even good people will be hindered in their efforts. It can be said, therefore, that organizational ethics takes seriously the idea that every Catholic health care organization is a moral actor needing to reflect carefully on what it does in relation to its employees, leaders, and the outside community. In an environment where the organization's actions are reflected upon, and its character is carefully and continually shaped according to its mission, individual persons in that organization will be better equipped for making and carrying out good decisions that are aligned with that same regard for the mission. PMID:17086792

  19. Acoustic changes in student actors' voices after 12 months of training.

    PubMed

    Walzak, Peta; McCabe, Patricia; Madill, Cate; Sheard, Christine

    2008-05-01

    This study was to evaluate acoustic changes in student actors' voices after 12 months of actor training. The design used was a longitudinal study. Eighteen students enrolled in an Australian tertiary 3-year acting program (nine male and nine female) were assessed at the beginning of their acting course and again 12 months later using a questionnaire, interview, maximum phonation time (MPT), reading, spontaneous speaking, sustained phonation tasks, and a pitch range task. Samples were analyzed for MPT, fundamental frequency across tasks, pitch range for speaking and reading, singing pitch range, noise-to-harmonic ratio, shimmer, and jitter. After training, measures of shimmer significantly increased for both male and female participants. Female participants' pitch range significantly increased after training, with a significantly lower mean frequency for their lowest pitch. The finding of limited or negative changes for some measures indicate that further investigation is required into the long-term effects of actor voice training and which parameters of voicing are most targeted and valued in training. Particular investigation into the relationship between training targets and outcomes could more reliably inform acting programs about changes in teaching methodologies. Further research into the relationship between specific training techniques, physiological changes, and vocal changes may also provide information on implementing more evidence-based training methods. PMID:17512170

  20. Integrated management of natural resources: dealing with ambiguous issues, multiple actors and diverging frames.

    PubMed

    Dewulf, A; Craps, M; Bouwen, R; Taillieu, T; Pahl-Wostl, C

    2005-01-01

    Uncertainty is an increasingly important concern when trying to manage complex systems of interrelated natural resources. Scientific knowledge or necessary information may be lacking or incomplete. Additionally, the multiple and interdependent users of those resources may diverge in defining what really is at stake. When they frame issues in very different ways, ambiguity results, i.e., the existence of two or more equally plausible interpretation possibilities. Environmental management in these conditions implies a shift in attention from solving clearly delineated problems to continuous negotiating and tuning between different actors and expertise domains. This requires dealing with the frame differences in a reciprocal way by mutually acknowledging frames and connecting them. Some or all parties will have to revise, enlarge or reframe the way they relate to the issues and to each other, in order to support mutual understanding and common action. The contribution of experts does not consist then in providing total predictability nor in predefining issues and solutions, but in supporting a joint learning and negotiation process among different actors and in feeding this process with relevant information. Behavioural simulations may play an important function to stimulate multi-actor learning and negotiation processes. PMID:16304943

  1. Application of actor level social characteristic indicator selection for the precursory detection of bullies in online social networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Holly M.; Fields, Jeremy; Hall, Robert T.; White, Joshua S.

    2016-05-01

    Bullying is a national problem for families, courts, schools, and the economy. Social, educational, and professional lives of victims are affected. Early detection of bullies mitigates destructive effects of bullying. Our previous research found, given specific characteristics of an actor, actor logics can be developed utilizing input from natural language processing and graph analysis. Given similar characteristics of cyberbullies, in this paper, we create specific actor logics and apply these to a select social media dataset for the purpose of rapid identification of cyberbullying.

  2. Local energy governance in vermont: an analysis of energy system transition strategies and actor capacity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowse, Tarah

    While global, national, and regional efforts to address climate and energy challenges remain essential, local governments and community groups are playing an increasingly stronger and vital role. As an active state in energy system policy, planning and innovation, Vermont offers a testing ground for research into energy governance at the local level. A baseline understanding of the energy planning and energy organizing activities initiated at the local level can support efforts to foster a transition to a sustainable energy system in Vermont. Following an inductive, applied and participatory approach, and grounded in the fields of sustainability transitions, energy planning, and community energy, this research project identifies conditions for change, including opportunities and challenges, within Vermont energy system decision-making and governance at the local level. The following questions are posed: What are the main opportunities and challenges for sustainable energy development at the town level? How are towns approaching energy planning? What are the triggers that will facilitate a faster transition to alternative energy systems, energy efficiency initiatives, and localized approaches? In an effort to answer these questions two studies were conducted: 1) an analysis of municipal energy plans, and 2) a survey of local energy actors. Study 1 examined Vermont energy planning at the state and local level through a review and comparison of 40 municipal plan energy chapters with the state 2011 Comprehensive Energy Plan. On average, municipal plans mentioned just over half of the 24 high-level strategies identified in the Comprehensive Energy Plan. Areas of strong and weak agreement were examined. Increased state and regional interaction with municipal energy planners would support more holistic and coordinated energy planning. The study concludes that while municipalities are keenly aware of the importance of education and partnerships, stronger policy mechanisms

  3. Opponent actor learning (OpAL): modeling interactive effects of striatal dopamine on reinforcement learning and choice incentive.

    PubMed

    Collins, Anne G E; Frank, Michael J

    2014-07-01

    The striatal dopaminergic system has been implicated in reinforcement learning (RL), motor performance, and incentive motivation. Various computational models have been proposed to account for each of these effects individually, but a formal analysis of their interactions is lacking. Here we present a novel algorithmic model expanding the classical actor-critic architecture to include fundamental interactive properties of neural circuit models, incorporating both incentive and learning effects into a single theoretical framework. The standard actor is replaced by a dual opponent actor system representing distinct striatal populations, which come to differentially specialize in discriminating positive and negative action values. Dopamine modulates the degree to which each actor component contributes to both learning and choice discriminations. In contrast to standard frameworks, this model simultaneously captures documented effects of dopamine on both learning and choice incentive-and their interactions-across a variety of studies, including probabilistic RL, effort-based choice, and motor skill learning. PMID:25090423

  4. Early Childhood Education and Care Policy in Portugal = A Educacao Pre-Escolar e os Cuidados para a Infancia em Portugal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ministry of Education, Lisbon (Portugal).

    Based on the view that the rapid expansion and development of preschool education requires careful scrutiny of both educational policy and practices, this book presents information on current early childhood education and care policy in Portugal. Section 1 of the book provides a historical framework for the development of early childhood education…

  5. A strategic approach for Water Safety Plans implementation in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Vieira, Jose M P

    2011-03-01

    Effective risk assessment and risk management approaches in public drinking water systems can benefit from a systematic process for hazards identification and effective management control based on the Water Safety Plan (WSP) concept. Good results from WSP development and implementation in a small number of Portuguese water utilities have shown that a more ambitious nationwide strategic approach to disseminate this methodology is needed. However, the establishment of strategic frameworks for systematic and organic scaling-up of WSP implementation at a national level requires major constraints to be overcome: lack of legislation and policies and the need for appropriate monitoring tools. This study presents a framework to inform future policy making by understanding the key constraints and needs related to institutional, organizational and research issues for WSP development and implementation in Portugal. This methodological contribution for WSP implementation can be replicated at a global scale. National health authorities and the Regulator may promote changes in legislation and policies. Independent global monitoring and benchmarking are adequate tools for measuring the progress over time and for comparing the performance of water utilities. Water utilities self-assessment must include performance improvement, operational monitoring and verification. Research and education and resources dissemination ensure knowledge acquisition and transfer. PMID:21301119

  6. Distribution of materials in construction and demolition waste in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Coelho, André; de Brito, Jorge

    2011-08-01

    It may not be enough simply to know the global volume of construction and demolition waste (CDW) generated in a certain region or country if one wants to estimate, for instance, the revenue accruing from separating several types of materials from the input entering a given CDW recycling plant. A more detailed determination of the distribution of the materials within the generated CDW is needed and the present paper addresses this issue, distinguishing different buildings and types of operation (new construction, retrofitting and demolition). This has been achieved by measuring the materials from buildings of different ages within the Portuguese building stock, and by using direct data from demolition/retrofitting sites and new construction average values reported in the literature. An attempt to establish a benchmark with other countries is also presented. This knowledge may also benefit industry management, especially that related to CDW recycling, helping to optimize procedures, equipment size and operation and even industrial plant spatial distribution. In an extremely competitive market, where as in Portugal low-tech and high environmental impact procedures remain the norm in the construction industry (in particular, the construction waste industry), the introduction of a successful recycling industry is only possible with highly optimized processes and based on a knowledge-based approach to problems. PMID:20498131

  7. Female independence in Portugal: effect on suicide rates.

    PubMed

    de Castro, E F; Pimenta, F; Martins, I

    1988-08-01

    The greater incidence of suicide among males could be ascribed to the distinct roles still attributed to each sex. Progress towards female independence could reduce this different incidence. We analysed the following in Portugal: male and female suicide rates; profiles; and male/female suicide ratio before (1955-1969) and after the development of a movement for women's independence (1970-85). Concomitant with progress towards female independence there is a significant rise in female suicide and a decrease in male/female suicide ratio. The highest rates are among professional/technical women living in urban areas. In professional groups there is significant correlation between deaths caused by suicide and by liver cirrhosis. It is concluded that alcoholism often leads to suicide; in women, taboos about alcoholism and suicide explain a higher incidence of suicide among culturally freer professional groups; female independence will catalyse a rise in alcoholism, which together with other factors resulting from that independence will lead to a predictable increase of suicide among Portuguese women and a reduced difference in rates of suicide between the sexes. PMID:3265573

  8. Granite geomorphology and its geological controls, Serra da Estrela, Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migoń, Piotr; Vieira, Gonçalo

    2014-12-01

    Serra da Estrela is an elevated granite massif in central Portugal, characterized by extensive plateau surfaces incised by deep valleys affected by Quaternary glaciation, bounded by steep fault-generated escarpments. The presence of seven major textural variants of granite provides an opportunity to study the relationships between lithology and relief, whereas DEM analysis helped to show the relationships between lithology and topography objectively. The higher ground is associated with fine- to medium-grained granites and is typified by planar surfaces of low gradient, with occasional angular tors and rock pedestals. Block fields built by angular material are common in the parts that were not previously glaciated. Less elevated parts of the plateau are supported by medium- to coarse-grained granites and show more varied topography, with an abundance of tors, boulder piles, and depressions. Lithological boundaries locally coincide with slope breaks but this is not the rule. In the northern part of the massif a deep topographic basin has evolved in biotite granite, whereas deeply incised valleys follow major fault lines. Geological controls show a hierarchy, in that gross relief reflects the pattern of tectonic uplift and subsidence, whereas lithology and then fracture patterns become more and more important if one focuses on smaller and smaller landforms.

  9. Hereditary anaemias in Portugal: epidemiology, public health significance, and control.

    PubMed Central

    Martins, M C; Olim, G; Melo, J; Magalhães, H A; Rodrigues, M O

    1993-01-01

    A countrywide prospective study aimed at establishing the prevalence of the haemoglobinopathy genes in the Portuguese population was carried out by screening 15,208 randomly selected blood samples from young males. This male based survey provided the opportunity of assessing simultaneously the prevalence of the red cell enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, thus giving a picture of these important hereditary anaemias in Portugal. The results showed a low average frequency of beta thalassaemia (0.45%) and haemoglobin S (0.32%) carriers as well as G6PD deficiency (0.51%). However, these disorders are unevenly distributed throughout the country with a higher prevalence in some areas, mainly in the south. The relationship of this pattern of haemoglobinopathies to the known haplotypes linked to beta thalassaemia and sickle cell disease, relevant historical events, and local selective pressure was investigated. Hb D and Hb J are the commonest other structural variants. The implemented programme for control of these hereditary anaemias is described. PMID:8474108

  10. Anaplasma marginale and Theileria annulata in questing ticks from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Antunes, S; Ferrolho, J; Domingues, N; Santos, A S; Santos-Silva, M M; Domingos, A

    2016-09-01

    Ticks are ubiquitous arthropods and vectors of several pathogenic agents in animals and humans. Monitoring questing ticks is of great importance to ascertain the occurrence of pathogens and the potential vector species, offering an insight into the risk of disease transmission in a given area. In this study 428 host-seeking ticks, belonging to nine species of Ixodidae and collected from 17 of the 23 Portuguese mainland subregions, were screened for several tick-borne agents with veterinary relevance: Anaplasma marginale, Anaplasma ovis, Anaplasma centrale, Babesia spp., Coxiella burnetii and Theileria spp. Prevalence was assessed by PCR and amplified amplicons sequenced for validation of results. Twenty ticks, in a total of 428, were found positive: one Ixodes ventalloi for Theileria annulata and four Dermacentor marginatus, one Haemaphysalis punctata, five Ixodes ricinus, five I. ventalloi, and four Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato for A. marginale. According to the reviewed literature, this is the first report of A. marginale and T. annulata detection in I. ventalloi. Furthermore, the amplification of A. marginale DNA in several tick species suggests a broad range for this agent in Portugal that might include other uncommon species as R. sanguineus s.l. This work provides new data towards a better understanding of tick-pathogen associations and also contributes to the surveillance of tick-borne agents in geographic areas with limited information. PMID:27394441

  11. Isolation of Besnoitia besnoiti from infected cattle in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Cortes, H C E; Reis, Y; Waap, H; Vidal, R; Soares, H; Marques, I; Pereira da Fonseca, I; Fazendeiro, I; Ferreira, M L; Caeiro, V; Shkap, V; Hemphill, A; Leitão, A

    2006-11-01

    Besnoitia besnoiti, an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite belonging to the phylum apicomplexa, is the causative agent of bovine besnoitiosis. Besnoitiosis is responsible for significant losses in the cattle industry of Africa and Mediterranean countries due to the high morbidity rate, abortion and infertility in males. The acute stage of disease is associated with the proliferative forms (tachyzoites) and is characterized by fever, whimpery, general weakness and swelling of the superficial lymph nodes. During the following chronic stage, a huge number of cysts are formed mainly in the subcutaneous tissues. This process is non-reversible, and chronic besnoitiosis is characterized by hyper-sclerodermia, hyperkeratosis, alopecia and, in bulls, atrophy, sclerosis and focal necrosis that cause irreversible lesions in the testis. In this paper we report on the identification of large cysts in the skin of a cow and a bull in Portugal, which presented loss of hair and enlargement and pachydermis all over the body. The observation of a two-layered cyst wall within the host cell, the encapsulation of the host cell by a large outer cyst wall, and the subcutaneous localization of the cysts within the host, were characteristic for B. besnoiti. The parasites were isolated from the infected animals and successfully propagated in Vero cells without prior passages in laboratory animals. Morphological characterization of B. besnoiti tachyzoites and the amplification of the 149 bp segment from the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1), aided with specific primers, confirmed the identification of B. besnoiti. PMID:16822614

  12. Burkholderia pseudomallei: First case of melioidosis in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Pelerito, Ana; Nunes, Alexandra; Coelho, Susana; Piedade, Cátia; Paixão, Paulo; Cordeiro, Rita; Sampaio, Daniel; Vieira, Luís; Gomes, João Paulo; Núncio, Sofia

    2016-01-01

    Burkholderia pseudomallei is a Gram-negative bacillus and the causative agent of melioidosis, a serious infection associated with high mortality rate in humans. It can be naturally found as an environmental saprophyte in soil or stagnant water, and rice paddies that predominate in regions of endemicity such as Northeast Thailand. B. pseudomallei is a Biosafety Level 3 organism due to risks of aerosolization and severe disease and is now included in formal emergency preparedness plans and guidelines issued by various authorities in the United States and Europe. Here, we report the first case of imported melioidosis in Portugal. B. pseudomallei was isolated from the patient's blood as well as from a left gluteal abscess pus. The isolate strain showed the unusual resistance profile to first-line eradication therapy trimethroprim/sulfamethoxazole. Whole genome sequencing revealed its similarity with isolates from Southeast Asia, suggesting the Thai origin of this Portuguese isolate, which is in agreement with a recent patient's travel to Thailand. PMID:26962474

  13. Evaluation of compliance with national legislation on emissions in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Gomes, João F P

    2005-04-01

    More than 13 years after publication of the first air quality laws in Portugal and more than 10 years after the publication of the respective emission limits, it seems appropriate to analyze the degree of compliance by the Portuguese manufacturing industry. Using the data from emission measurements made regularly by the Instituto de Soldadura e Qualidade, the only officially accredited laboratory according to standard ISO 17025, I analyzed a set of approximately 400 sources in terms of compliance with the emission limits regarding total suspended particulates, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds. I evaluated compliance through a nondimensional parameter and plotted it versus the emission flow rate to derive conclusions: the results indicate that emission limits are generally met regarding sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides but not for the other pollutants considered in this study. However, noncompliance occurs mainly for very low emission flow rates, which suggests some alterations in the emission limits, which are being revised at the moment. These alterations will include the exemption of measurements in minor sources. PMID:15887892

  14. The Great Recession in Portugal: impact on hospital care use.

    PubMed

    Perelman, Julian; Felix, Sónia; Santana, Rui

    2015-03-01

    The Great Recession started in Portugal in 2009, coupled with severe austerity. This study examines its impact on hospital care utilization, interpreted as caused by demand-side effects (related to variations in population income and health) and supply-side effects (related to hospitals' tighter budgets and reduced capacity). The database included all in-patient stays at all Portuguese NHS hospitals over the 2001-2012 period (n=17.7 millions). We analyzed changes in discharge rates, casemix index, and length of stay (LOS), using a before-after methodology. We additionally measured the association of health care indicators to unemployment. A 3.2% higher rate of discharges was observed after 2009. Urgent stays increased by 2.5%, while elective in-patient stays decreased by 1.4% after 2011. The LOS was 2.8% shorter after the crisis onset, essentially driven by the 4.5% decrease among non-elective stays. A one percentage point increase in unemployment rate was associated to a 0.4% increase in total volume, a 2.3% decrease in day cases, and a 0.1% decrease in LOS. The increase in total and urgent cases may reflect delayed out-patient care and health deterioration; the reduced volume of elective stays possibly signal a reduced capacity; finally, the shorter stays may indicate either efficiency-enhancing measures or reduced quality. PMID:25583679

  15. Practice of biopsychosocial medicine in Portugal: perspectives of professionals involved.

    PubMed

    Pereira, M Graça; Fachada, Alfonso Alonso; Smith, Thomas Edward

    2009-05-01

    Although, recently, the biopsychosocial approach has been emphasized in the practice of family medicine, how psychologists and physicians interact in collaborative family health care practice is still emerging in Portugal. This article describes a qualitative study that focused on the understanding of psychologists and family physicians' perceptions of their role and the collaborative approach in health care. A questionnaire gathered information regarding collaboration, referral, training and the practice of biopsychosocial medicine. A content analysis on respondents' discourse was performed. Results show that both physicians and psychologists agree on the importance of the biopsychosocial model and interdisciplinary collaboration. However, they also mentioned several difficulties that have to do with the lack of psychologists working full time in health care centers, lack of communication and different expectancies regarding each other roles in health care delivery. Both physicians and psychologists acknowledge the lack of academic training and consider the need for multidisciplinary teams in their training and practice to improve collaboration and integrative care. Implications for future research and for the practice of biopsychosocial medicine are addressed. PMID:19476234

  16. Burkholderia pseudomallei: First case of melioidosis in Portugal

    PubMed Central

    Pelerito, Ana; Nunes, Alexandra; Coelho, Susana; Piedade, Cátia; Paixão, Paulo; Cordeiro, Rita; Sampaio, Daniel; Vieira, Luís; Gomes, João Paulo; Núncio, Sofia

    2016-01-01

    Burkholderia pseudomallei is a Gram-negative bacillus and the causative agent of melioidosis, a serious infection associated with high mortality rate in humans. It can be naturally found as an environmental saprophyte in soil or stagnant water, and rice paddies that predominate in regions of endemicity such as Northeast Thailand. B. pseudomallei is a Biosafety Level 3 organism due to risks of aerosolization and severe disease and is now included in formal emergency preparedness plans and guidelines issued by various authorities in the United States and Europe. Here, we report the first case of imported melioidosis in Portugal. B. pseudomallei was isolated from the patient's blood as well as from a left gluteal abscess pus. The isolate strain showed the unusual resistance profile to first-line eradication therapy trimethroprim/sulfamethoxazole. Whole genome sequencing revealed its similarity with isolates from Southeast Asia, suggesting the Thai origin of this Portuguese isolate, which is in agreement with a recent patient's travel to Thailand. PMID:26962474

  17. Exploratory study of air quality in elementary schools, Coimbra, Portugal

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Ana Maria Conceição; Cardoso, Salvador Massano

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To analyze the air quality in elementary schools and their structural and functional conditions. METHODS Air quality in 51 elementary schools (81 classrooms) in the city of Coimbra, Portugal, both inside and outside of the rooms was evaluated during the four seasons, from 2010 to 2011. Temperature (T°), relative humidity (Hr), concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), compounds were evaluated, as were volatile organics (VOC), formaldehyde and particulate matter (PM10), from November 2010 to February 2011 (autumn/winter) and March 2011 to June 2011 (spring/summer). A grid characterizing the structural and functional conditions of the schools was created. The statistical Student t test for paired samples and the Wilcoxon t test were applied. RESULTS In 47 schools, the average CO2concentrations were above the maximum reference concentration (984 ppm) mentioned in Portuguese legislation. The maximum concentration values found inside the rooms were critical, especially in the fall/winter (5,320 ppm). In some schools the average concentrations of VOC and PM10within the maximum concentration exceeded the reference legislated. The values (risk) of CO, formaldehyde, NO2, SO2and O3detected were not relevant. CONCLUSIONS There was a higher concentration of pollutants inside the rooms compared with outside. Inadequate ventilation is associated with high CO2concentration in the classroom. PMID:24626544

  18. Litter in submarine canyons off the west coast of Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mordecai, Gideon; Tyler, Paul A.; Masson, Douglas G.; Huvenne, Veerle A. I.

    2011-12-01

    Marine litter is of global concern and is present in all the world's oceans, including deep benthic habitats where the extent of the problem is still largely unknown. Litter abundance and composition were investigated using video footage and still images from 16 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives in Lisbon, Setúbal, Cascais and Nazaré Canyons located west of Portugal. Litter was most abundant at sites closest to the coastline and population centres, suggesting the majority of the litter was land sourced. Plastic was the dominant type of debris, followed by fishing gear. Standardised mean abundance was 1100 litter items km -2, but was as high as 6600 litter items km -2 in canyons close to Lisbon. Although all anthropogenic material may be harmful to biota, debris was also used as a habitat by some macro-invertebrates. Litter composition and abundance observed in the canyons of the Portuguese margin were comparable to those seen in other deep sea areas around the world. Accumulation of litter in the deep sea is a consequence of human activities both on land and at sea. This needs to be taken into account in future policy decisions regarding marine pollution.

  19. [A sociography of elderly victims of family violence in Portugal].

    PubMed

    Gil, Ana Paula; Santos, Ana João; Kislaya, Irina; Santos, César; Mascoli, Luísa; Ferreira, Alexandra Inácio; Vieira, Duarte Nuno

    2015-06-01

    This article presents data on violence against persons aged 60 years or older and living in Portugal for at least 12 months. The cross-sectional descriptive study collected data with a face-to-face questionnaire applied to victims that had sought assistance at three government institutions and one non-governmental support service for victims. The non-probabilistic sample included 510 victims of violence in family settings. Physical and psychological violence were the most common (87.8% and 69.6%, respectively). Financial violence was reported by 47.5% of the victims, followed by sexual assault (7.5%) and neglect (6.5%). The majority of victims (74.1%) reported more than one type of violence. Victims were mostly women, and mean age was 70.7 years. Most of the perpetrators belonged to the nuclear family, namely spouses or partners, sons/sons-in-law, and daughters/daughters-in-law. However, differences were observed according to victim's gender. The results indicate that violence is not a uniform phenomenon, presenting different configurations. PMID:26200371

  20. Actor groups, related needs, and challenges at the climate downscaling interface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rössler, Ole; Benestad, Rasmus; Diamando, Vlachogannis; Heike, Hübener; Kanamaru, Hideki; Pagé, Christian; Margarida Cardoso, Rita; Soares, Pedro; Maraun, Douglas; Kreienkamp, Frank; Christodoulides, Paul; Fischer, Andreas; Szabo, Peter

    2016-04-01

    At the climate downscaling interface, numerous downscaling techniques and different philosophies compete on being the best method in their specific terms. Thereby, it remains unclear to what extent and for which purpose these downscaling techniques are valid or even the most appropriate choice. A common validation framework that compares all the different available methods was missing so far. The initiative VALUE closes this gap with such a common validation framework. An essential part of a validation framework for downscaling techniques is the definition of appropriate validation measures. The selection of validation measures should consider the needs of the stakeholder: some might need a temporal or spatial average of a certain variable, others might need temporal or spatial distributions of some variables, still others might need extremes for the variables of interest or even inter-variable dependencies. Hence, a close interaction of climate data providers and climate data users is necessary. Thus, the challenge in formulating a common validation framework mirrors also the challenges between the climate data providers and the impact assessment community. This poster elaborates the issues and challenges at the downscaling interface as it is seen within the VALUE community. It suggests three different actor groups: one group consisting of the climate data providers, the other two groups being climate data users (impact modellers and societal users). Hence, the downscaling interface faces classical transdisciplinary challenges. We depict a graphical illustration of actors involved and their interactions. In addition, we identified four different types of issues that need to be considered: i.e. data based, knowledge based, communication based, and structural issues. They all may, individually or jointly, hinder an optimal exchange of data and information between the actor groups at the downscaling interface. Finally, some possible ways to tackle these issues are

  1. Performance evaluation of a simulated data-flow computer with low-resolution actors

    SciTech Connect

    Gaudiot, J.L.; Ercegovac, M.D.

    1985-11-01

    In the ambition to go beyond a single-processor architecture, to enhance programmability, and to take advantage of the power brought by VLSI devices, data-flow systems and languages were devised. Indeed, due to their functional semantics, these languages offer promise in the area of multiprocessor systems design and will possibly enable the development of computers comprising large numbers of processors with a corresponding increase in performance. Several important design problems have to be surmounted and are described here. The authors thus present a ''variable-resolution'' scheme, where the level of primitives can be selected so that the overhead due to the data-flow mode of operation is reduced. A deterministic simulation of a data-flow machine with a variable number of processing elements was undertaken and is described here. The tests were performed using various program structures such as directed acyclic graphs, vector operations, and array handling. The performance results observed confirm the advantage of actors with variable size and indicate the presence of a trade-off between overhead control and the need to control parallelism in the program. The authors also look at some of the communication issues and examine the effect of several interconnection networks (dual counter-rotating rings, daisy chain, and optimal double loop network) on the performance. It is shown how increasing communication costs induce a performance degradation that can be masked when the size of the basic data-flow actor is increased. The associative memory cycle time is also changed with similar conclusions. Finally, the lower-resolution scheme is applied to the array handling case; the observations confirm the advantage of a more complex actor at the array level.

  2. Is Brain Activity during Action Observation Modulated by the Perceived Fairness of the Actor?

    PubMed

    Etzel, Joset A; Valchev, Nikola; Gazzola, Valeria; Keysers, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Perceiving other people's actions triggers activity in premotor and parietal areas, brain areas also involved in executing and sensing our own actions. Paralleling this phenomenon, observing emotional states (including pain) in others is associated with activity in the same brain areas as activated when experiencing similar emotions directly. This emotion perception associated activity has been shown to be affected by the perceived fairness of the actor, and in-group membership more generally. Here, we examine whether action observation associated brain activity is also affected by the perceived social fairness of the actors. Perceived fairness was manipulated using an alternating iterated Prisoner's Dilemma game between the participant and two confederates, one of whom played fairly and the other unfairly. During fMRI scanning the participants watched movies of the confederates performing object-directed hand actions, and then performed hand actions themselves. Mass-univariate analysis showed that observing the actions triggered robust activation in regions associated with action execution, but failed to identify a strong modulation of this activation based on perceived fairness. Multivariate pattern analysis, however, identified clusters potentially carrying information about the perceived fairness of the actor in the middle temporal gyrus, left postcentral gyrus, right inferior parietal lobule, right middle cingulate cortex, right angular gyrus, and right superioroccipital gyrus. Despite being identified by a whole-brain searchlight analysis (and so without anatomical restriction), these clusters fall into areas frequently associated with action observation. We conclude that brain activity during action observation may be modulated by perceived fairness, but such modulation is subtle; robust activity is associated with observing the actions of both fair and unfair individuals. PMID:26820995

  3. Is Brain Activity during Action Observation Modulated by the Perceived Fairness of the Actor?

    PubMed Central

    Gazzola, Valeria; Keysers, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Perceiving other people’s actions triggers activity in premotor and parietal areas, brain areas also involved in executing and sensing our own actions. Paralleling this phenomenon, observing emotional states (including pain) in others is associated with activity in the same brain areas as activated when experiencing similar emotions directly. This emotion perception associated activity has been shown to be affected by the perceived fairness of the actor, and in-group membership more generally. Here, we examine whether action observation associated brain activity is also affected by the perceived social fairness of the actors. Perceived fairness was manipulated using an alternating iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma game between the participant and two confederates, one of whom played fairly and the other unfairly. During fMRI scanning the participants watched movies of the confederates performing object-directed hand actions, and then performed hand actions themselves. Mass-univariate analysis showed that observing the actions triggered robust activation in regions associated with action execution, but failed to identify a strong modulation of this activation based on perceived fairness. Multivariate pattern analysis, however, identified clusters potentially carrying information about the perceived fairness of the actor in the middle temporal gyrus, left postcentral gyrus, right inferior parietal lobule, right middle cingulate cortex, right angular gyrus, and right superioroccipital gyrus. Despite being identified by a whole-brain searchlight analysis (and so without anatomical restriction), these clusters fall into areas frequently associated with action observation. We conclude that brain activity during action observation may be modulated by perceived fairness, but such modulation is subtle; robust activity is associated with observing the actions of both fair and unfair individuals. PMID:26820995

  4. New insights into the reconstructed temperature in Portugal over the last 400 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, J. A.; Carneiro, M. F.; Correia, A.; Alcoforado, M. J.; Zorita, E.; Gómez-Navarro, J. J.

    2015-06-01

    The consistency of an existing reconstructed annual (December-November) temperature series for the Lisbon region (Portugal) from 1600 onwards, based on a European-wide reconstruction, with (1) five local borehole temperature-depth profiles; (2) synthetic temperature-depth profiles, generated from both reconstructed temperatures and two regional paleoclimate simulations in Portugal; (3) instrumental data sources over the twentieth century; and (4) temperature indices from documentary sources during the late Maunder Minimum (1675-1715) is assessed. The low-frequency variability in the reconstructed temperature in Portugal is not entirely consistent with local borehole temperature-depth profiles and with the simulated response of temperature in two regional paleoclimate simulations driven by reconstructions of various climate forcings. Therefore, the existing reconstructed series is calibrated by adjusting its low-frequency variability to the simulations (first-stage adjustment). The annual reconstructed series is then calibrated in its location and scale parameters, using the instrumental series and a linear regression between them (second-stage adjustment). This calibrated series shows clear footprints of the Maunder and Dalton minima, commonly related to changes in solar activity and explosive volcanic eruptions, and a strong recent-past warming, commonly related to human-driven forcing. Lastly, it is also in overall agreement with annual temperature indices over the late Maunder Minimum in Portugal. The series resulting from this post-reconstruction adjustment can be of foremost relevance to improve the current understanding of the driving mechanisms of climate variability in Portugal.

  5. The Eclipse, the Astronomer and His Audience: Frederico Oom and the Total Solar Eclipse of 28 May 1900 in Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carolino, Luis Miguel; Simoes, Ana

    2012-01-01

    This study offers a detailed analysis of an episode of the popularization of astronomy which took place in Portugal, a peripheral country of Europe, and occurring in the early twentieth century. The episode was driven by the 28 May 1900 total solar eclipse which was seen on the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain). Instead of focusing on one of…

  6. Genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii isolates from Portugal, Austria, and Israel reveals higher genetic variability within the type II lineage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study compared genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii isolates from Portugal, Austria and Israel. For this, we genotyped 90 T. gondii isolates (16 from Portugal, 67 from Austria and 7 from Israel) using 10 nested PCR-restriction length polymorphism (RFLP) genetic markers and 15 microsatellite (...

  7. Optical fiber sensors: a route from University of Kent to Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, José L.; Lobo Ribeiro, António B.

    2011-06-01

    In this work the authors first summarily describe the main topics that were the subject of their post-graduate activity in fiber sensing at the Applied Optics Group of University of Kent in the late 1980s and early 1990s. After their return to Porto, Portugal, the know-how acquired during their stay at Kent and the collaboration paths that followed between the University of Porto and University of Kent were instrumental in the start-up and progress of optical fiber sensing activity in Portugal. The main topics addressed in this field, the description of some of the relevant developments achieved in recent years, the present situation and the guidelines for the future research and development activity in Portugal in fiber sensing will be the core of this work.

  8. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 recombinant B/G subtypes circulating in Coimbra, Portugal.

    PubMed

    Duque, V; Holguín, A; Silvestre, M; González-Lahoz, J; Soriano, V

    2003-05-01

    An increasing prevalence of HIV-1 non-B variants is being noticed in several European regions, particularly in countries such as Portugal, which have closer contacts with African endemic areas, where multiple HIV subtypes cocirculate. HIV-1 subtyping by phylogenetic analyses of reverse transcriptase, protease and env (C2-V3) genomic regions was carried out in plasma collected from 18 HIV-1-infected subjects living in Coimbra, Portugal, and suspected to be infected with non-B variants. Three (16.7%) subjects carried recombinant B/G viruses (BV3/BRT/Gpro; GV3/URT/Bpro; AV3/GRT/Bpro), whereas all the remaining individuals were infected with HIV-1 subtype B. This is the first report of recombinant B/G subtypes in Portugal. PMID:12848757

  9. Surveillance of norovirus in Portugal and the emergence of the Sydney variant, 2011-2013.

    PubMed

    Costa, I; Mesquita, J R; Veiga, E; Oleastro, M; Nascimento, M J S

    2015-09-01

    This report presents the results of the national surveillance system of diarrhea etiology of the National Institute of Health of Portugal concerning norovirus (NoV) during a two-year period, May 2011-2013. Of the total 580 stool samples collected from patients hospitalized for acute diarrhea in 13 Hospitals of Portugal, 67 (11.6%) tested positive for NoV. From May 2011 to March 2012 the GII.4 variant New Orleans 2009 was the most predominant strain having been replaced by the new GII.4 variant Sydney 2012 since then till the end of the survey. To our knowledge this is the first study showing the circulation of GII.4 as the norovirus strain most commonly associated to gastroenteritis and the first to report the replacement of GII.4 New Orleans by GII.4 Sydney 2012 variant in Portugal. PMID:26305815

  10. Mathematics diagnostic testing in engineering: an international comparison between Ireland and Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carr, M.; Fidalgo, C.; Bigotte de Almeida, M. E.; Branco, J. R.; Santos, V.; Murphy, E.; Fhloinn, E. Ní

    2015-09-01

    Concern has been expressed throughout Europe about the significant deficiencies in the basic mathematical skills of many engineering undergraduates. Mathematics diagnostic tests in the UK, Ireland and Portugal have shown these shortcomings, which provide a challenge to those striving to introduce more innovative educational practices into engineering education, such as projects or real-world problems. Every year, in the Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland) and the Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Coimbra (Portugal), a diagnostic test is given to incoming first-year students. A comparison showed some potentially interesting differences between these students. In September 2013, a project was undertaken to compare mathematical competencies of incoming engineering students in both countries. A modified diagnostic test was devised and the results were then compared to ascertain if there are common areas of difficulty between students in Ireland and Portugal, or evidence of one group significantly outperforming the other in a particular area.

  11. The impact of winter cold weather on acute myocardial infarctions in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Vasconcelos, João; Freire, Elisabete; Almendra, Ricardo; Silva, Giovani L; Santana, Paula

    2013-12-01

    Mortality due to cardiovascular diseases shows a seasonal trend that can be associated with cold weather. Portugal is the European country with the highest excess winter mortality, but nevertheless, the relationship between cold weather and health is yet to be assessed. The main aim of this study is to identify the contribution of cold weather to cardiovascular diseases within Portugal. Poisson regression analysis based on generalized additive models was applied to estimate the influence of a human-biometeorological index (PET) on daily hospitalizations for myocardial infarction. The main results revealed a negative effect of cold weather on acute myocardial infarctions in Portugal. For every degree fall in PET during winter, there was an increase of up to 2.2% (95% CI = 0.9%; 3.3%) in daily hospital admissions. This paper shows the need for public policies that will help minimize or, indeed, prevent exposure to cold. PMID:23410618

  12. Actor-critic-based optimal tracking for partially unknown nonlinear discrete-time systems.

    PubMed

    Kiumarsi, Bahare; Lewis, Frank L

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a partially model-free adaptive optimal control solution to the deterministic nonlinear discrete-time (DT) tracking control problem in the presence of input constraints. The tracking error dynamics and reference trajectory dynamics are first combined to form an augmented system. Then, a new discounted performance function based on the augmented system is presented for the optimal nonlinear tracking problem. In contrast to the standard solution, which finds the feedforward and feedback terms of the control input separately, the minimization of the proposed discounted performance function gives both feedback and feedforward parts of the control input simultaneously. This enables us to encode the input constraints into the optimization problem using a nonquadratic performance function. The DT tracking Bellman equation and tracking Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman (HJB) are derived. An actor-critic-based reinforcement learning algorithm is used to learn the solution to the tracking HJB equation online without requiring knowledge of the system drift dynamics. That is, two neural networks (NNs), namely, actor NN and critic NN, are tuned online and simultaneously to generate the optimal bounded control policy. A simulation example is given to show the effectiveness of the proposed method. PMID:25312944

  13. The actor-critic learning is behind the matching law: matching versus optimal behaviors.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Yutaka; Fukai, Tomoki

    2008-01-01

    The ability to make a correct choice of behavior from various options is crucial for animals' survival. The neural basis for the choice of behavior has been attracting growing attention in research on biological and artificial neural systems. Alternative choice tasks with variable ratio (VR) and variable interval (VI) schedules of reinforcement have often been employed in studying decision making by animals and humans. In the VR schedule task, alternative choices are reinforced with different probabilities, and subjects learn to select the behavioral response rewarded more frequently. In the VI schedule task, alternative choices are reinforced at different average intervals independent of the choice frequencies, and the choice behavior follows the so-called matching law. The two policies appear robustly in subjects' choice of behavior, but the underlying neural mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we show that these seemingly different policies can appear from a common computational algorithm known as actor-critic learning. We present experimentally testable variations of the VI schedule in which the matching behavior gives only a suboptimal solution to decision making and show that the actor-critic system exhibits the matching behavior in the steady state of the learning even when the matching behavior is suboptimal. However, it is found that the matching behavior can earn approximately the same reward as the optimal one in many practical situations. PMID:18045007

  14. Brain-Machine Interface control of a robot arm using actor-critic rainforcement learning.

    PubMed

    Pohlmeyer, Eric A; Mahmoudi, Babak; Geng, Shijia; Prins, Noeline; Sanchez, Justin C

    2012-01-01

    Here we demonstrate how a marmoset monkey can use a reinforcement learning (RL) Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) to effectively control the movements of a robot arm for a reaching task. In this work, an actor-critic RL algorithm used neural ensemble activity in the monkey's motor cortext to control the robot movements during a two-target decision task. This novel approach to decoding offers unique advantages for BMI control applications. Compared to supervised learning decoding methods, the actor-critic RL algorithm does not require an explicit set of training data to create a static control model, but rather it incrementally adapts the model parameters according to its current performance, in this case requiring only a very basic feedback signal. We show how this algorithm achieved high performance when mapping the monkey's neural states (94%) to robot actions, and only needed to experience a few trials before obtaining accurate real-time control of the robot arm. Since RL methods responsively adapt and adjust their parameters, they can provide a method to create BMIs that are robust against perturbations caused by changes in either the neural input space or the output actions they generate under different task requirements or goals. PMID:23366831

  15. An Actor-Critic architecture and simulator for goal-directed Brain-Machine Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Mahmoudi, Babak; Principe, Jose C; Sanchez, Justin C

    2009-01-01

    The Perception-Action Cycle (PAC) is a central component of goal-directed behavior because it links internal percepts with external outcomes in the environment. Using inspiration from the PAC, we are developing a Brain-Machine Interface control architecture that utilizes both motor commands and goal information directly from the brain to navigate to novel targets in an environment. An Actor-Critic algorithm was selected for decoding the neural motor commands because it is a PAC-based computational framework where the perception component is implemented in the critic structure and the actor is responsible for taking actions. We develop in this work a biologically realistic simulator to analyze the performance of the decoder in terms of convergence and target acquisition. Experience from the simulator will guide parameter selection and assist in understanding the architecture before animal experiments. By varying the signal to noise ratio of the neural input and error signal, we were able to demonstrate how the learning rate and initial conditions affect a motor control target selection task. In this framework, the naïve decoder was able to reach targets in the presence of noise in the error signal and neural motor command with 98% accuracy. PMID:19963795

  16. Actors and networks in resource conflict resolution under climate change in rural Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ngaruiya, Grace W.; Scheffran, Jürgen

    2016-05-01

    The change from consensual decision-making arrangements into centralized hierarchical chieftaincy schemes through colonization disrupted many rural conflict resolution mechanisms in Africa. In addition, climate change impacts on land use have introduced additional socio-ecological factors that complicate rural conflict dynamics. Despite the current urgent need for conflict-sensitive adaptation, resolution efficiency of these fused rural institutions has hardly been documented. In this context, we analyse the Loitoktok network for implemented resource conflict resolution structures and identify potential actors to guide conflict-sensitive adaptation. This is based on social network data and processes that are collected using the saturation sampling technique to analyse mechanisms of brokerage. We find that there are three different forms of fused conflict resolution arrangements that integrate traditional institutions and private investors in the community. To effectively implement conflict-sensitive adaptation, we recommend the extension officers, the council of elders, local chiefs and private investors as potential conduits of knowledge in rural areas. In conclusion, efficiency of these fused conflict resolution institutions is aided by the presence of holistic resource management policies and diversification in conflict resolution actors and networks.

  17. Real-time reinforcement learning by sequential Actor-Critics and experience replay.

    PubMed

    Wawrzyński, Paweł

    2009-12-01

    Actor-Critics constitute an important class of reinforcement learning algorithms that can deal with continuous actions and states in an easy and natural way. This paper shows how these algorithms can be augmented by the technique of experience replay without degrading their convergence properties, by appropriately estimating the policy change direction. This is achieved by truncated importance sampling applied to the recorded past experiences. It is formally shown that the resulting estimation bias is bounded and asymptotically vanishes, which allows the experience replay-augmented algorithm to preserve the convergence properties of the original algorithm. The technique of experience replay makes it possible to utilize the available computational power to reduce the required number of interactions with the environment considerably, which is essential for real-world applications. Experimental results are presented that demonstrate that the combination of experience replay and Actor-Critics yields extremely fast learning algorithms that achieve successful policies for non-trivial control tasks in considerably short time. Namely, the policies for the cart-pole swing-up [Doya, K. (2000). Reinforcement learning in continuous time and space. Neural Computation, 12(1), 219-245] are obtained after as little as 20 min of the cart-pole time and the policy for Half-Cheetah (a walking 6-degree-of-freedom robot) is obtained after four hours of Half-Cheetah time. PMID:19523786

  18. Actor coalitions and implementation in strategic delta planning: Opening the Haringvliet sluices in the Netherlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vermoolen, Myrthe; Hermans, Leon

    2016-04-01

    The sustained development of urbanizing deltas is influenced by natural and societal processes. These processes are characterized by their long time span, in which conflicting interests of different stakeholders have to be reconciled. Reaching consent between actors is a challenge itself, but maintaining this consent throughout different stages of strategic planning - from advocacy and agenda setting to implementation - over these long periods of time is even more difficult. The implementation stage still includes many different actors involved, some of which are different than the ones who agreed before, due to both the long run of the strategic delta planning, and to a shift of tasks and responsibilities. Thus, implementation of strategic plans often features delays, deviations of agreed plans and unintended outcomes. A key question therefore is how coalition dynamics in (pre-)planning stages influence and are influenced by the coalition dynamics during implementation. The different stages in strategic planning are often studied from either a plan formulation or an implementation perspective, but the connection between the two proves an important bottleneck for strategic planning in deltas. For instance, many building with nature solutions are still in their pilot-phase, and their upscaling can profit from lessons concerning past implementation efforts. The proposed contribution will use the case of the management of the Dutch Haringvliet sluices and the decision ('Kierbesluit') in 2000 to put these sluices ajar, to study the link between the different strategic delta planning stages and the role of the formation and change of actor coalitions herein. With the completion of the Haringvliet dam with outlet sluices in 1970, the Haringvliet estuary of the rivers Rhine and Meuse was closed off from the sea, creating a fresh water lake. This was done to make the Dutch Southwest delta safe from flooding, and had positive effects for agricultural water supply and

  19. Eucisia schist a natural stone from Northern Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aires, Silvia; Carvalho, Cristina; Noronha, Fernando

    2013-04-01

    : CS 53 Mpa, FS 16.3 MPa, AD 25220 kg/m3 , OP 9.3%, WA 1,2 % AR 26.0mm and RTS resistant. For settling the recommended applications, European standards for natural stone products were considered. Considering the technical specifications that exist in some European countries, "Eucisia schist" can be applied on rustic masonary units, on colums, on paving (low traffic, mainly indoors) and on cladding (mainly indoors). This work was performed under the project PTDC/CTE-GIN/70704/2006, "SCHISTRESOURCE funded by FCT (Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation). SFRH/BD/86641/2012 a FCT grant financially supports Silvia Aires. [1] A.Ribeiro, E. Pereira and R. Dias, in Pre-Mesozoic Geology of Iberia edited by R.D. Dallmeyer and E. Martinez-Garcia, Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. (1990). [2] E. Pereira, in: E. Pereira, coord. Carta Geológica de Portugal. Notícia Explicativa da Folha 2. (2006) [3] E. Pereira, A. Ribeiro, in: E. Pereira, coord. Carta Geológica de Portugal. Notícia Explicativa da Folha 2. (2006).

  20. Surveillance of imported hospital requiring malaria in Portugal: can it be improved?

    PubMed

    Fonseca, Ana Glória; Simões Dias, Sara; Baptista, João Luís; Torgal, Jorge

    2016-06-01

    Although eradicated in Portugal, malaria keeps taking its toll on travellers and migrants from endemic countries. Completeness of hospital requiring malaria notification in Portugal 2000-11 was estimated, using two-source capture-recapture method. Data sources were: national surveillance database of notifiable diseases and the national database of the Diagnosis-Related Groups resulting from National Health Service (NHS) hospital episodes. The completeness of notification was 21,2% for all malaria cases and 26,5% for malaria deaths, indicating significant underreporting and urging for complementary data source in surveillance, for disease burden estimates and retrospective monitoring, namely hospital episodes statistics. PMID:27069002

  1. Feasibility Studies and Design of High-Speed Railway (TGV) Projects in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira, Ricardo; Abreu, Rui

    Portugal is starting a large program of high-speed train routes connecting the main cities in the country and these cities to central Europe throughout Spain. The country has a very wide range of lithological types and the main routes cross some important hilly zones. These facts, together with the severe geometric restrictions associated with the High-Speed Trains, attach an important role to Engineering Geology both at the Feasibility stage and at the Design stage of the projects. The paper illustrates this important role with examples of studies currently under way in Portugal.

  2. Modeling fecal contamination in the Aljezur coastal stream (Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodrigues, Marta; Oliveira, Anabela; Guerreiro, Martha; Fortunato, André Bustorff; Menaia, José; David, Luís Mesquita; Cravo, Alexandra

    2011-06-01

    This study aims at understanding the fecal contamination behavior in a small coastal stream (Aljezur, Portugal), which has significant economic and ecological values. Like in most small coastal systems, circulation and water renewal in the Aljezur stream exhibit a strong variability due to their dependence on tides, waves, intermittent river flows, and a highly variable morphology. Hence, the problem was approached through a combination of field surveys and the development and application of a hard-coupled three-dimensional hydrodynamic and fecal contamination model. Salinity and temperature results have shown that mixing and transport in the stream are very sensitive to the river flow and wind forcing. The model is able to represent the main patterns and trends observed in Escherichia coli and fecal enterococcus concentrations along the stream, for different environmental and contamination conditions, suggesting die-off rates on the order of 0.50-0.55 day-1. Die-off rate and the representation of the sediment-associated processes were identified as the major remaining sources of uncertainty in the model. Results show that, owing to the processes that occur along the stream, fecal bacteria reach the beaches water in numbers that comply with the European Bathing Waters Directive, even during the summer periods when the upstream concentrations are larger. In particular, results suggest a direct relation between the tidal propagation upstream and the reduction of the fecal bacteria concentrations along the stream that can be relevant for the development of a strategy for the management of the system's water safety.

  3. Risk assessment in submarine outfall projects: the case of Portugal.

    PubMed

    Mendonça, Ana; Losada, Miguel Ángel; Reis, Maria Teresa; Neves, Maria Graça

    2013-02-15

    Submarine outfalls need to be evaluated as part of an integrated environmental protection system for coastal areas. Although outfalls are tight with the diversity of economic activities along a densely populated coastline being effluent treatment and effluent reuse a sign of economic prosperity, precautions must be taken in the construction of these structures. They must be designed so as to have the least possible impact on the environment and at the same time be economically viable. This paper outlines the initial phases of a risk assessment procedure for submarine outfall projects. This approach includes a cost-benefit analysis in which risks are systematically minimized or eliminated. The methods used in this study also allow for randomness and uncertainty. The input for the analysis is a wide range of information and data concerning the failure probability of outfalls and the consequences of an operational stoppage or failure. As part of this risk assessment, target design levels of reliability, functionality, and operationality were defined for the outfalls. These levels were based on an inventory of risks associated with such construction projects, and thus afforded the possibility of identifying possible failure modes. This assessment procedure was then applied to four case studies in Portugal. The results obtained were the values concerning the useful life of the outfalls at the four sites and their joint probability of failure against the principal failure modes assigned to ultimate and serviceability limit states. Also defined were the minimum operationality of these outfalls, the average number of admissible technical breakdowns, and the maximum allowed duration of a stoppage mode. It was found that these values were in consonance with the nature of the effluent (tourist-related, industrial, or mixed) as well as its importance for the local economy. Even more important, this risk assessment procedure was able to measure the impact of the outfalls on

  4. Late Pleistocene raised beaches of coastal Estremadura, central Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benedetti, Michael M.; Haws, Jonathan A.; Funk, Caroline L.; Daniels, J. Michael; Hesp, Patrick A.; Bicho, Nuno F.; Minckley, Thomas A.; Ellwood, Brooks B.; Forman, Steven L.

    2009-12-01

    We present new stratigraphic, sedimentological, and chronological data for a suite of tectonically raised beaches dating to Marine Isotope Stages 5, 4, and 3 along the Estremadura coast of west-central Portugal. The beach deposits are found in association with ancient tidal channels and coastal dunes, pollen bearing mud and peat, and Middle Paleolithic archaeological sites that confirm occupation of the coastal zone by Neanderthal populations. The significance of these deposits is discussed in terms of the archaeological record, the tectonic and geomorphic evolution of the coast, and correlation with reconstructions of global climate and eustatic sea-level change. Direct correlation between the Estremadura beach sections is complicated by the tectonic complexity of the area and the age of the beach deposits (which are near or beyond the limit of radiocarbon dating). Evidence from multiple sites dated by AMS radiocarbon and optical luminescence methods suggests broad synchroneity in relative sea-level changes along this coast during Marine Isotope Stage 3. Two beach complexes with luminescence and radiocarbon age control date to about 35 ka and 42 ka, recording a rise in relative sea level around the time of Heinrich Event 4 at 39 ka. Depending on assumptions about eustatic sea level at the time they were deposited, we estimate that these beaches have been uplifted at rates of 0.4-4.3 mm yr -1 by the combined effects of tectonic, halokinetic, and isostatic processes. Uplift rates of 1-2 mm yr -1 are likely if the beaches represent sea level stands at roughly 40 m below modern, as suggested by recent eustatic sea level reconstructions. Evidence from coastal bluffs and the interior of the study area indicates extensive colluvial, fluvial, and aeolian sedimentation beginning around 31 ka and continuing into the Holocene. These geomorphic adjustments are related to concomitant changes in climate and sea level, providing context that improves our understanding of Late

  5. Rehabilitation of adobe buildings. Understanding different materials from Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, Cristiana; Rocha, Fernando; Velosa, Ana

    2016-04-01

    Earth construction is the oldest building material known, with documented cases of the use of earth bricks since Mesopotamia around 10 000 BC (Heathcote, 1995). The earth construction exists throughout the majority of the world in different cultures, and for some countries, nowadays it continues to be the main process of construction (Vega et al, 2011). Around 30% of the world's population lives in buildings made of earth materials. Earthen construction is an environmentally friendly technique with a social and cultural contribution; this advantage is increased when this type of construction is applied in developing countries where the material costs counterbalance with labour costs, and where other materials and techniques cannot be available (Ciancio et al, 2013). Studies of materials characterization are required in order to understand the composition and specific properties of the earth buildings, their heterogeneity and their degradation mechanisms. Some adobes from different buildings, ages and regions of Portugal were collected in order to characterize them (mineralogically, chemically and physically). It was possible to understand the composition of these materials and their differences. Main minerals are quartz, feldspars, calcite and phyllosilicates (mica and kaolinite). The mechanical behaviour of these materials isn't the best, but it is possible to improve it with some simple and cheap natural additives (kaolinitic soils). The characterization of these materials allows us to understand the differences between the materials from the different regions (controlled by locally available raw materials). Understanding these materials, and their properties, it is possible to formulate new ones for repair, conservation and rehabilitation works. The adobe bricks are an alternative of kiln baked bricks which has several advantages and one of the most important is that these materials are recyclable. Adobes are an excellent option for building rehabilitation, if

  6. Occurrence of springs in massifs of crystalline rocks, northern Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pacheco, Fernando António Leal; Alencoão, Ana Maria Pires

    2002-02-01

    An inventory of artesian springs emerging from fractures (fracture springs) was conducted in the Pinhão River Basin and Morais Massif, northern Portugal, comprising an area of approximately 650 km2. Over 1,500 springs were identified and associated with geological domains and fracture sets. Using cross-tabulation analysis, spring distributions by fracture sets were compared among geological environments, and the deviations related to differences in rock structure and, presumably, to differences in deformational histories. The relation between spring frequencies and rock structures was further investigated by spectral determination, the model introduced in this study. Input data are the spring frequencies and fracture lengths in each geological domain, in addition to the angles between fracture strikes and present-day stress-field orientation (θ). The model's output includes the so-called intrinsic densities, a parameter indexing spring occurrence to factors such as fracture type and associated deformational regime and age. The highest densities (12.2 springs/km of lineament) were associated with young shear fractures produced by brittle deformation, and the lowest (0.1) with old tensional and ductile fractures. Spectral determination also relates each orientation class to a dominant structural parameter: where spring occurrence is controlled by θ, the class is parallel to the present-day stress-field orientation; where the control is attributed to the length of fractures, the spring occurrence follows the strike of large-scale normal faults crossing the region. Résumé. Un inventaire des sources artésiennes émergeant de fractures (sources de fractures) a été réalisé dans le bassin de la rivière Pinhão et dans le massif de Morais, dans le nord du Portugal, dans une région couvrant environ 650 km2. Plus de 1,500 sources ont été identifiées et associées à des domaines géologiques et à des ensembles de fractures. Grâce à une analyse de tableaux

  7. The Establishment of Marine Protected Areas in Senegal: Untangling the Interactions Between International Institutions and National Actors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferraro, Gianluca; Brans, Marleen; Dème, Moustapha; Failler, Pierre

    2011-04-01

    International institutions, understood as sets of rules contained in international agreements, are aimed at orienting national governments towards specific policy options. Nevertheless, they can determine a change in national policies and practices only if states are willing and capable of incorporating international obligations into their national legislations and ensuring their application and enforcement in areas that follow completely under national jurisdiction. The establishment of marine protected areas promoted by international agreements as a tool for the protection of marine resources represents an interesting case for revealing the complex interactions between international institutions and national actors. Particularly, the establishment of these areas in Senegal shows the salience of domestic constellations of actors who may support or undercut national commitments to international regimes: political elites, bureaucracies, the general public and target groups. By anchoring the empirical analysis to an actor-centred institutionalist perspective, the article explains how dynamic constellations of actors can distort the penetration of international objectives in the national policy framework. Different constellations of national actors can indeed bend international institutions at different moments: during the formulation of a new law in line with international obligations; in the definition of its implementation framework; and in the enforcement of national policies.

  8. The key actors maintaining elders in functional autonomy in Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Globally, a significant increase in functional disability among the elderly is expected in the near future. It is therefore vital to begin considering how Sub-Saharan Africa countries can best start building or strengthening the care and support system for that target population. Study objectives are: 1) identify the key actors of the social system who maintain elders in functional autonomy at home in Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso) and 2) to describe the functional status of older people living at home. Methods We conducted a longitudinal descriptive study among the elderly aged 60 and above (351). Their functional status was evaluated using the Functional Autonomy Measurement System (SMAF). Data analysis was done using the statistical software package STATA (SE11). Results In Bobo-Dioulasso, 68% of seniors have good functional capacity or a slight incapacity and 32% have moderate to severe incapacities. Older people die before (3%) or during (14%) moderate to severe disabilities. This would mean that the quality of medical and/or social care is not good for maintaining functional autonomy of older people with moderate to severe disabilities. Two main groups of people contribute to maintain elders in functional autonomy: the elderly themselves and their family. Community, private or public structures for maintaining elders in functional autonomy are non-existent. The social system for maintaining elders in functional autonomy is incomplete and failing. In case of functional handicap at home, the elders die. But stakeholders are not conscious of this situation; they believe that this system is good for maintaining elders in functional autonomy. Conclusion It is likely that the absence of formal care and support structure likely shortens the lifespan of severely disabled older people. Stakeholders have not yet looked at this possibility. The stakeholders should seriously think about: 1) how to establish the third level of actors who can fulfill the needs to

  9. Visions of the Future - the Changing Role of Actors in Data-Intensive Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schäfer, L.; Klump, J. F.

    2013-12-01

    Around the world scientific disciplines are increasingly facing the challenge of a burgeoning volume of research data. This data avalanche consists of a stream of information generated from sensors and scientific instruments, digital recordings, social-science surveys or drawn from the World Wide Web. All areas of the scientific economy are affected by this rapid growth in data, from the logging of digs in Archaeology, telescope data with observations of distant galaxies in Astrophysics or data from polls and surveys in the Social Sciences. The challenge for science is not only to process the data through analysis, reduction and visualization, but also to set up infrastructures for provisioning and storing the data. The rise of new technologies and developments also poses new challenges for the actors in the area of research data infrastructures. Libraries, as one of the actors, enable access to digital media and support the publication of research data and its long-term archiving. Digital media and research data, however, introduce new aspects into the libraries' range of activities. How are we to imagine the library of the future? The library as an interface to the computer centers? Will library and computer center fuse into a new service unit? What role will scientific publishers play in future? Currently the traditional form of publication still carry greater weight - articles for conferences and journals. But will this still be the case in future? New forms of publication are already making their presence felt. The tasks of the computer centers may also change. Yesterday their remit was provisioning of rapid hardware, whereas now everything revolves around the topic of data and services. Finally, how about the researchers themselves? Not such a long time ago, Geoscience was not necessarily seen as linked to Computer Science. Nowadays, modern Geoscience relies heavily on IT and its techniques. Thus, in how far will the profile of the modern geoscientist change

  10. Actor-Network Theory and its role in understanding the implementation of information technology developments in healthcare

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Actor-Network Theory (ANT) is an increasingly influential, but still deeply contested, approach to understand humans and their interactions with inanimate objects. We argue that health services research, and in particular evaluations of complex IT systems in health service organisations, may benefit from being informed by Actor-Network Theory perspectives. Discussion Despite some limitations, an Actor-Network Theory-based approach is conceptually useful in helping to appreciate the complexity of reality (including the complexity of organisations) and the active role of technology in this context. This can prove helpful in understanding how social effects are generated as a result of associations between different actors in a network. Of central importance in this respect is that Actor-Network Theory provides a lens through which to view the role of technology in shaping social processes. Attention to this shaping role can contribute to a more holistic appreciation of the complexity of technology introduction in healthcare settings. It can also prove practically useful in providing a theoretically informed approach to sampling (by drawing on informants that are related to the technology in question) and analysis (by providing a conceptual tool and vocabulary that can form the basis for interpretations). We draw on existing empirical work in this area and our ongoing work investigating the integration of electronic health record systems introduced as part of England's National Programme for Information Technology to illustrate salient points. Summary Actor-Network Theory needs to be used pragmatically with an appreciation of its shortcomings. Our experiences suggest it can be helpful in investigating technology implementations in healthcare settings. PMID:21040575

  11. [The prevention of voice disorders in the actor: protocol and follow-up nine months of professional theater].

    PubMed

    Ormezzano, Y; Delale, A; Lamy-Simonian, A

    2011-01-01

    In July 2009, at the beginning of this work, 26 theses addressing professional principles of voice were listed in the database of SUDOC (Système Universitaire de Documentation): 9 related to voices of teachers (about 900,000* professionals in France), 14 theses relating to singers (7500** professionals), and only 3 about the voice of actors (20 000*** professional actors in France in 2006). The latter pertaining to concerning rookie actors (sensibilisation vocale auprès du comédien débutant Bichet, Linda, Bordeaux II, 2006), the mechanical larynx (étude des mécanismes laryngés dans la voix projetée: cas particulier des comédiennes Guerin, Mélanie, Paris VI, 2009), vocal fatigue (Fatigue vocale après une tâche d'utilisation prolongée de la voix chez le comédien Canaan Baggioni, Brigitte, Aix-Marseille II, 2009). Professional actors are plentiful; their training in vocal technique is very heterogeneous, or non-existent: it is not a prerequisite to have a degree to work as an actor! This lack of vocal technique is associated with risk factors specific to the acting profession: numerous travels in air-conditioned vehicles, unsuitable workplaces; dusty or poorly heated, irregular working patterns, excessive demands from directors... All this makes the actors highly susceptible to voice disorders. The protocol for the prevention of voice disorders presented here is holistic and ecological. This work also examines the effectiveness of such a preventive protocol aimed at theatre comedians. PMID:21977701

  12. Industry Actors, Think Tanks, and Alcohol Policy in the United Kingdom

    PubMed Central

    McCambridge, Jim

    2014-01-01

    Corporate actors seek to influence alcohol policies through various means, including attempts to shape the evidential content of policy debates. In this case study, we examined how SABMiller engaged the think tank Demos to produce reports on binge drinking, which were heavily promoted among policymakers at crucial stages in the development of the UK government’s 2012 alcohol strategy. One key report coincided with other SABMiller-funded publications, advocating measures to enhance parenting as an alternative to minimum unit pricing. In this instance, the perceived independence of an influential think tank was used to promote industry interests in tactics similar to those of transnational tobacco corporations. This approach is in keeping with other alcohol industry efforts to marginalize the peer-reviewed literature. PMID:24922137

  13. Ethics in actor networks, or: what Latour could learn from Darwin and Dewey.

    PubMed

    Waelbers, Katinka; Dorstewitz, Philipp

    2014-03-01

    In contemporary Science, Technology and Society (STS) studies, Bruno Latour's Actor Network Theory (ANT) is often used to study how social change arises from interaction between people and technologies. Though Latour's approach is rich in the sense of enabling scholars to appreciate the complexity of many relevant technological, environmental, and social factors in their studies, the approach is poor from an ethical point of view: the doings of things and people are couched in one and the same behaviorist (third person) vocabulary without giving due recognition to the ethical relevance of human intelligence, sympathy and reflection in making responsible choices. This article argues that two other naturalist projects, the non-teleological virtue ethics of Charles Darwin and the pragmatist instrumentalism of John Dewey can enrich ANT-based STS studies, both, in a descriptive and in a normative sense. PMID:23371512

  14. Ensuring Mobility-Supporting Environments for an Aging Population: Critical Actors and Collaborations

    PubMed Central

    Kochtitzky, Chris S.; Freeland, Amy L.; Yen, Irene H.

    2011-01-01

    Successful aging takes on an array of attributes, including optimal health and community participation. Research indicates that (1) persons with disabilities, including age-related disabilities, report frequent barriers to community participation, including unsuitable building design (43%), transportation (32%), and sidewalks/curbs (31%), and (2) many seniors report an inability to cross roads safely near their homes. This paper attempts to define mobility-related elements that contribute to optimal health and quality of life, within the context of successful aging. It then examines the impacts of community design on individual mobility, delving into which traditional and nontraditional actors—including architects, urban planners, transportation engineers, occupational therapists, and housing authorities—play critical roles in ensuring that community environments serve as facilitators (rather than barriers) to mobility. As America ages, mobility challenges for seniors will only increase unless both traditional aging specialists and many nontraditional actors make a concerted effort to address the challenges. PMID:21766029

  15. A spiking neural network model of an actor-critic learning agent.

    PubMed

    Potjans, Wiebke; Morrison, Abigail; Diesmann, Markus

    2009-02-01

    The ability to adapt behavior to maximize reward as a result of interactions with the environment is crucial for the survival of any higher organism. In the framework of reinforcement learning, temporal-difference learning algorithms provide an effective strategy for such goal-directed adaptation, but it is unclear to what extent these algorithms are compatible with neural computation. In this article, we present a spiking neural network model that implements actor-critic temporal-difference learning by combining local plasticity rules with a global reward signal. The network is capable of solving a nontrivial gridworld task with sparse rewards. We derive a quantitative mapping of plasticity parameters and synaptic weights to the corresponding variables in the standard algorithmic formulation and demonstrate that the network learns with a similar speed to its discrete time counterpart and attains the same equilibrium performance. PMID:19196231

  16. Online human training of a myoelectric prosthesis controller via actor-critic reinforcement learning.

    PubMed

    Pilarski, Patrick M; Dawson, Michael R; Degris, Thomas; Fahimi, Farbod; Carey, Jason P; Sutton, Richard S

    2011-01-01

    As a contribution toward the goal of adaptable, intelligent artificial limbs, this work introduces a continuous actor-critic reinforcement learning method for optimizing the control of multi-function myoelectric devices. Using a simulated upper-arm robotic prosthesis, we demonstrate how it is possible to derive successful limb controllers from myoelectric data using only a sparse human-delivered training signal, without requiring detailed knowledge about the task domain. This reinforcement-based machine learning framework is well suited for use by both patients and clinical staff, and may be easily adapted to different application domains and the needs of individual amputees. To our knowledge, this is the first my-oelectric control approach that facilitates the online learning of new amputee-specific motions based only on a one-dimensional (scalar) feedback signal provided by the user of the prosthesis. PMID:22275543

  17. Impedance learning for robotic contact tasks using natural actor-critic algorithm.

    PubMed

    Kim, Byungchan; Park, Jooyoung; Park, Shinsuk; Kang, Sungchul

    2010-04-01

    Compared with their robotic counterparts, humans excel at various tasks by using their ability to adaptively modulate arm impedance parameters. This ability allows us to successfully perform contact tasks even in uncertain environments. This paper considers a learning strategy of motor skill for robotic contact tasks based on a human motor control theory and machine learning schemes. Our robot learning method employs impedance control based on the equilibrium point control theory and reinforcement learning to determine the impedance parameters for contact tasks. A recursive least-square filter-based episodic natural actor-critic algorithm is used to find the optimal impedance parameters. The effectiveness of the proposed method was tested through dynamic simulations of various contact tasks. The simulation results demonstrated that the proposed method optimizes the performance of the contact tasks in uncertain conditions of the environment. PMID:19696001

  18. Multirate parallel distributed compensation of a cluster in wireless sensor and actor networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Chun-xi; Huang, Ling-yun; Zhang, Hao; Hua, Wang

    2016-01-01

    The stabilisation problem for one of the clusters with bounded multiple random time delays and packet dropouts in wireless sensor and actor networks is investigated in this paper. A new multirate switching model is constructed to describe the feature of this single input multiple output linear system. According to the difficulty of controller design under multi-constraints in multirate switching model, this model can be converted to a Takagi-Sugeno fuzzy model. By designing a multirate parallel distributed compensation, a sufficient condition is established to ensure this closed-loop fuzzy control system to be globally exponentially stable. The solution of the multirate parallel distributed compensation gains can be obtained by solving an auxiliary convex optimisation problem. Finally, two numerical examples are given to show, compared with solving switching controller, multirate parallel distributed compensation can be obtained easily. Furthermore, it has stronger robust stability than arbitrary switching controller and single-rate parallel distributed compensation under the same conditions.

  19. Clients' and therapists' real relationship and session quality in brief therapy: an actor partner interdependence analysis.

    PubMed

    Markin, Rayna D; Kivlighan, Dennis M; Gelso, Charles J; Hummel, Ann M; Spiegel, Eric B

    2014-09-01

    This study used the Actor Partner Interdependence Model (APIM; Kenny & Cook, 1999) to examine the associations of client- and therapist-rated real relationship (RR) and session quality over time. Eighty-seven clients and their therapists (n = 25) completed RR and session quality measures after every session of brief therapy. Therapists' current session quality ratings were significantly related to all of the following: session number (b = .04), their session quality rating of the previous session (b = .24), their RR in the previous session (b = 1.091), their client's RR in the previous session (b = .17), and interactions between their own and their clients' RR and session number (b = -.16 and β = -.04, respectively). Clients' ratings of current session quality were significantly related to only their own RR in the previous session (b = .47). Implications for future research and practice are discussed. PMID:24773091

  20. Explicit recognition of emotional facial expressions is shaped by expertise: evidence from professional actors

    PubMed Central

    Conson, Massimiliano; Ponari, Marta; Monteforte, Eva; Ricciato, Giusy; Sarà, Marco; Grossi, Dario; Trojano, Luigi

    2013-01-01

    Can reading others' emotional states be shaped by expertise? We assessed processing of emotional facial expressions in professional actors trained either to voluntary activate mimicry to reproduce character's emotions (as foreseen by the “Mimic Method”), or to infer others' inner states from reading the emotional context (as foreseen by “Stanislavski Method”). In explicit recognition of facial expressions (Experiment 1), the two experimental groups differed from each other and from a control group with no acting experience: the Mimic group was more accurate, whereas the Stanislavski group was slower. Neither acting experience, instead, influenced implicit processing of emotional faces (Experiment 2). We argue that expertise can selectively influence explicit recognition of others' facial expressions, depending on the kind of “emotional expertise”. PMID:23825467

  1. Testing crossover effects in an actor-partner interdependence model among Chinese dual-earner couples.

    PubMed

    Liu, Huimin; Cheung, Fanny M

    2015-03-01

    The purpose of the present study is to examine the crossover effects from one partner's work-family interface (work-family conflict [WFC] and work-family enrichment [WFE]) to the other partner's four outcomes (psychological strain, life satisfaction, marital satisfaction and job satisfaction) in a sample of Chinese dual-earner couples. Married couples (N = 361) completed a battery of questionnaires, including the work-family interface scale, the psychological strain scale, the life, marital, as well as job satisfaction scale. Results from the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) analyses showed that wives' WFE was negatively associated with husbands' psychological strain, and positively associated with husbands' life, marital and job satisfaction. Furthermore, husbands' WFC was negatively related to wives' marital satisfaction, whereas husbands' WFE was positively related to wives' marital satisfaction. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed, and future research directions were provided. PMID:25721880

  2. Rejection sensitivity and depressive symptoms: Longitudinal actor-partner effects in adolescent romantic relationships.

    PubMed

    Norona, Jerika C; Roberson, Patricia N E; Welsh, Deborah P

    2016-08-01

    The present study utilizes the actor-partner interdependence model to examine the longitudinal relationship between rejection sensitivity and one's own and one's partner's depressive symptoms. The sample included adolescent romantic couples from the U.S. (N = 198 adolescents; 50% girls; 90.2% Caucasian) whose rejection sensitivity at Time 1 and depressive symptoms approximately one year later (Time 2) were assessed. Additionally, aggressive behaviors and maintenance behaviors that commonly associated with rejection sensitivity (e.g., self-silencing) are explored as mediators. Results indicate that boyfriends' rejection sensitivity at Time 1 predicted girlfriends' depressive symptoms at Time 2. Additionally, girls' rejection sensitivity predicted their own and their boyfriends' self-silencing. Developmental and clinical implications are discussed. PMID:27254083

  3. THEORIZING HYBRIDITY: INSTITUTIONAL LOGICS, COMPLEX ORGANIZATIONS, AND ACTOR IDENTITIES: THE CASE OF NONPROFITS

    PubMed Central

    SKELCHER, CHRIS; SMITH, STEVEN RATHGEB

    2015-01-01

    We propose a novel approach to theorizing hybridity in public and nonprofit organizations. The concept of hybridity is widely used to describe organizational responses to changes in governance, but the literature seldom explains how hybrids arise or what forms they take. Transaction cost and organizational design literatures offer some solutions, but lack a theory of agency. We use the institutional logics approach to theorize hybrids as entities that face a plurality of normative frames. Logics provide symbolic and material elements that structure organizational legitimacy and actor identities. Contradictions between institutional logics offer space for them to be elaborated and creatively reconstructed by situated agents. We propose five types of organizational hybridity – segmented, segregated, assimilated, blended, and blocked. Each type is theoretically derived from empirically observed variations in organizational responses to institutional plurality. We develop propositions to show how our approach to hybridity adds value to academic and policy-maker audiences. PMID:26640298

  4. Performance evaluation of a simulated data-flow computer with low-resolution actors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaudiot, J. L.; Ercegovac, M. D.

    1985-01-01

    Basic problems related to the exploitation of parallelism in a program include sequencing of the instructions and communication of the data. It is pointed out that the data-flow approach offers an elegant solution to the sequencing problem, since all data dependencies are automatically handled and only instructions with ready input sets are activated. It is shown that a change in the level of subcomputations (actors) affects communications costs. The concept of variable resolution is discussed, and the testbed environment is examined. Attention is given to the architecture of the processing elements, the communication network, and the simulators. A description of the analytical model is also provided. Simulation and results are discussed, taking into account test programs and allocation, the variation of the number of processing elements, the variation of the resolution in directed acyclic graphs, performance in processing loops, and array handling.

  5. Free-viewpoint video of human actors using multiple handheld Kinects.

    PubMed

    Ye, Genzhi; Liu, Yebin; Deng, Yue; Hasler, Nils; Ji, Xiangyang; Dai, Qionghai; Theobalt, Christian

    2013-10-01

    We present an algorithm for creating free-viewpoint video of interacting humans using three handheld Kinect cameras. Our method reconstructs deforming surface geometry and temporal varying texture of humans through estimation of human poses and camera poses for every time step of the RGBZ video. Skeletal configurations and camera poses are found by solving a joint energy minimization problem, which optimizes the alignment of RGBZ data from all cameras, as well as the alignment of human shape templates to the Kinect data. The energy function is based on a combination of geometric correspondence finding, implicit scene segmentation, and correspondence finding using image features. Finally, texture recovery is achieved through jointly optimization on spatio-temporal RGB data using matrix completion. As opposed to previous methods, our algorithm succeeds on free-viewpoint video of human actors under general uncontrolled indoor scenes with potentially dynamic background, and it succeeds even if the cameras are moving. PMID:23893757

  6. Reinforcement learning using a continuous time actor-critic framework with spiking neurons.

    PubMed

    Frémaux, Nicolas; Sprekeler, Henning; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2013-04-01

    Animals repeat rewarded behaviors, but the physiological basis of reward-based learning has only been partially elucidated. On one hand, experimental evidence shows that the neuromodulator dopamine carries information about rewards and affects synaptic plasticity. On the other hand, the theory of reinforcement learning provides a framework for reward-based learning. Recent models of reward-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity have made first steps towards bridging the gap between the two approaches, but faced two problems. First, reinforcement learning is typically formulated in a discrete framework, ill-adapted to the description of natural situations. Second, biologically plausible models of reward-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity require precise calculation of the reward prediction error, yet it remains to be shown how this can be computed by neurons. Here we propose a solution to these problems by extending the continuous temporal difference (TD) learning of Doya (2000) to the case of spiking neurons in an actor-critic network operating in continuous time, and with continuous state and action representations. In our model, the critic learns to predict expected future rewards in real time. Its activity, together with actual rewards, conditions the delivery of a neuromodulatory TD signal to itself and to the actor, which is responsible for action choice. In simulations, we show that such an architecture can solve a Morris water-maze-like navigation task, in a number of trials consistent with reported animal performance. We also use our model to solve the acrobot and the cartpole problems, two complex motor control tasks. Our model provides a plausible way of computing reward prediction error in the brain. Moreover, the analytically derived learning rule is consistent with experimental evidence for dopamine-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity. PMID:23592970

  7. Reinforcement Learning Using a Continuous Time Actor-Critic Framework with Spiking Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Frémaux, Nicolas; Sprekeler, Henning; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2013-01-01

    Animals repeat rewarded behaviors, but the physiological basis of reward-based learning has only been partially elucidated. On one hand, experimental evidence shows that the neuromodulator dopamine carries information about rewards and affects synaptic plasticity. On the other hand, the theory of reinforcement learning provides a framework for reward-based learning. Recent models of reward-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity have made first steps towards bridging the gap between the two approaches, but faced two problems. First, reinforcement learning is typically formulated in a discrete framework, ill-adapted to the description of natural situations. Second, biologically plausible models of reward-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity require precise calculation of the reward prediction error, yet it remains to be shown how this can be computed by neurons. Here we propose a solution to these problems by extending the continuous temporal difference (TD) learning of Doya (2000) to the case of spiking neurons in an actor-critic network operating in continuous time, and with continuous state and action representations. In our model, the critic learns to predict expected future rewards in real time. Its activity, together with actual rewards, conditions the delivery of a neuromodulatory TD signal to itself and to the actor, which is responsible for action choice. In simulations, we show that such an architecture can solve a Morris water-maze-like navigation task, in a number of trials consistent with reported animal performance. We also use our model to solve the acrobot and the cartpole problems, two complex motor control tasks. Our model provides a plausible way of computing reward prediction error in the brain. Moreover, the analytically derived learning rule is consistent with experimental evidence for dopamine-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity. PMID:23592970

  8. Integrating Water, Actors, and Structure to Study Socio-Hydro-Ecological Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hale, R. L.; Armstrong, A.; Baker, M. A.; Bedingfield, S.; Betts, D.; Buahin, C. A.; Buchert, M.; Crowl, T.; Dupont, R.; Endter-Wada, J.; Flint, C.; Grant, J.; Hinners, S.; Horns, D.; Horsburgh, J. S.; Jackson-Smith, D.; Jones, A. S.; Licon, C.; Null, S. E.; Odame, A.; Pataki, D. E.; Rosenberg, D. E.; Runburg, M.; Stoker, P.; Strong, C.

    2014-12-01

    Urbanization, climate uncertainty, and ecosystem change represent major challenges for managing water resources. Water systems and the forces acting upon them are complex, and there is a need to understand and generically represent the most important system components and linkages. We developed a framework to facilitate understanding of water systems including potential vulnerabilities and opportunities for sustainability. Our goal was to produce an interdisciplinary framework for water resources research to address water issues across scales (e.g., city to region) and domains (e.g., water supply and quality, urban and transitioning landscapes). An interdisciplinary project (iUTAH - innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion Hydro-sustainability) with a large (N=~100), diverse team having expertise spanning the hydrologic, biological, ecological, engineering, social, planning, and policy sciences motivated the development of this framework. The framework was developed through review of the literature, meetings with individual researchers, and workshops with participants. The Structure-Water-Actor Framework (SWAF) includes three main components: water (quality and quantity), structure (natural, built, and social), and actors (individual and organizational). Key linkages include: 1) ecological and hydrological processes, 2) ecosystem and geomorphic change, 3) planning, design, and policy, 4) perceptions, information, and experience, 5) resource access, and 6) operational water use and management. Our expansive view of structure includes natural, built, and social components, allowing us to examine a broad set of tools and levers for water managers and decision-makers to affect system sustainability and understand system outcomes. We validate the SWAF and illustrate its flexibility to generate insights for three research and management problems: green stormwater infrastructure in an arid environment, regional water supply and demand, and urban river restoration

  9. iSAW: Integrating Structure, Actors, and Water to study socio-hydro-ecological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hale, Rebecca L.; Armstrong, Andrea; Baker, Michelle A.; Bedingfield, Sean; Betts, David; Buahin, Caleb; Buchert, Martin; Crowl, Todd; Dupont, R. Ryan; Ehleringer, James R.; Endter-Wada, Joanna; Flint, Courtney; Grant, Jacqualine; Hinners, Sarah; Horsburgh, Jeffery S.; Jackson-Smith, Douglas; Jones, Amber S.; Licon, Carlos; Null, Sarah E.; Odame, Augustina; Pataki, Diane E.; Rosenberg, David; Runburg, Madlyn; Stoker, Philip; Strong, Courtenay

    2015-03-01

    Urbanization, climate, and ecosystem change represent major challenges for managing water resources. Although water systems are complex, a need exists for a generalized representation of these systems to identify important components and linkages to guide scientific inquiry and aid water management. We developed an integrated Structure-Actor-Water framework (iSAW) to facilitate the understanding of and transitions to sustainable water systems. Our goal was to produce an interdisciplinary framework for water resources research that could address management challenges across scales (e.g., plot to region) and domains (e.g., water supply and quality, transitioning, and urban landscapes). The framework was designed to be generalizable across all human-environment systems, yet with sufficient detail and flexibility to be customized to specific cases. iSAW includes three major components: structure (natural, built, and social), actors (individual and organizational), and water (quality and quantity). Key linkages among these components include: (1) ecological/hydrologic processes, (2) ecosystem/geomorphic feedbacks, (3) planning, design, and policy, (4) perceptions, information, and experience, (5) resource access and risk, and (6) operational water use and management. We illustrate the flexibility and utility of the iSAW framework by applying it to two research and management problems: understanding urban water supply and demand in a changing climate and expanding use of green storm water infrastructure in a semi-arid environment. The applications demonstrate that a generalized conceptual model can identify important components and linkages in complex and diverse water systems and facilitate communication about those systems among researchers from diverse disciplines.

  10. Vocal fold self-disruption after phonotrauma on a lead actor: a case presentation.

    PubMed

    Behlau, Mara; Oliveira, Gisele; Pontes, Paulo

    2009-11-01

    It is well known that phonotraumatic events may produce laryngeal inflammation, vocal fold hemorrhage and different types of mass lesions. This study describes a vocal fold self-disruption that occurred on stage to a lead actor in the role of Richard III. The study design is as case presentation. A 43-year-old actor presented with a sudden voice loss that first occurred on stage after a series of presentations. He also had a cold-like condition that had not been treated. His past medical history included an average of ten cigarettes per day for ten years and a 10-year history of gastritis and stomach ulcer. Perceptual, acoustic, and laryngeal analyses were performed following pharmacological and voice therapy. Perceptual and acoustic analyses showed mild deviations whereas laryngeal visual examination revealed a complete right vocal fold detachment from the anterior commissure to the vocal process, with generalized hyperemia. A mild diffuse Reinke's edema was observed on the left vocal fold. Mild discomfort was present only during the first day of the acute period. Modified vocal rest was recommended and a series of vocal exercises were administered. The patient performed again 4 days later, after following a series of behavioral modification techniques that included casting guidelines during the subsequent 15 days. Healing was exceptional and his voice returned to normal. This unique case with an exceptional recovery emphasizes the etiological aspects of scar formation after phonotrauma. Positive contributing factors may include a good vocal technique and adequate training as well as the protective upregulated genes present in Reinke's edema. PMID:18538985

  11. Brominated, chlorinated and phosphate organic contaminants in house dust from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Sónia D; Sousa, Ana C A; Isobe, Tomohiko; Kim, Joon-Woo; Kunisue, Tatsuya; Nogueira, António J A; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2016-11-01

    House dust is an important matrix to evaluate the human exposure to a large number of contaminants including organochlorine compounds and flame retardants. In this study, we measured the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDDs), 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy) ethane (BTBPE), decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and several organophosphorus flames retardants (PFRs) in 28 house dust samples collected between 2010 and 2011 in two Portuguese cities, Aveiro and Coimbra. Among the measured compounds, PFRs, particularly tris(2-ethylhexyl) phosphate (TEHP), triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), 2-ethylhexyl diphenyl phosphate (EHDPP) and tris(methylphenyl) phosphate (TMPP), were the dominant group (median: 3200ngg(-1)). PBDE levels were the second highest (median: 340ngg(-1)) with great predominance of BDE 209 (median 270ngg(-1)), followed by HBCDDs (median: 150ngg(-1)), DBDPE (54ngg(-1)), PCBs (median: 6.3ngg(-1)) and BTBPE (median: 1.2ngg(-1)). Estimated daily intakes (EDIs) via dust ingestion showed a higher intake of PFRs (median: 4.6ngkg-bw(-1)day); however for all contaminants the EDIs were much lower than the established reference dose (RfD) values. Therefore, the studied population is exposed to non-hazardous levels of the target compounds when considering the exposure through house dust ingestion. PMID:27351149

  12. Employment and Training by Sector in Greece, Spain and Portugal. CEDEFOP Flash 9/89.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    CEDEFOP Flash, 1989

    1989-01-01

    This publication of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) describes a project investigating employment and training in Greece, Spain, and Portugal. An introduction tells why CEDEFOP has given priority to those countries. The second section reports the project's examination of the textiles and ready-to-wear…

  13. Seroprevalence of circulating Angiostrongylus vasorum antigen and parasite-specific antibodies in dogs from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Alho, Ana Margarida; Schnyder, Manuela; Schaper, Roland; Meireles, José; Belo, Silvana; Deplazes, Peter; de Carvalho, Luís Madeira

    2016-07-01

    Angiostrongylus vasorum is a nematode that lives in the pulmonary arteries and right cardiac ventricle of domestic dogs and wild canids. It is increasingly being reported in several European countries and North America. This parasite induces inflammatory verminous pneumonia, causing severe respiratory disease in dogs. In some instances, coagulopathies, neurological signs and even death may occur. Scant data are available regarding the occurrence of A. vasorum in Portugal. Therefore, sera of 906 shelter dogs from North to South mainland Portugal were collected. ELISAs to detect A. vasorum circulating antigen and specific antibodies against this parasite were performed. A total of six dogs [0.66 %, 95 % confidence intervals (CI) 0.24-1.43] were positive for both A. vasorum antigen and antibody detection, indicating an active infection, and 12 dogs (1.32 %, CI 0.68-2.30) were A. vasorum antibody-positive only. Regions with antigen- and antibody-positive animals overlapped and were distributed over nearly all sampled areas in the country. This is the first large-scale ELISA-based serological survey for A. vasorum in dogs from Portugal. The endemic occurrence of A. vasorum in dogs from different geographical areas of Portugal is therefore confirmed. PMID:27000086

  14. Comparing Higher Education Reforms in Finland and Portugal: Different Contexts, Same Solutions?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kauko, Jaakko; Diogo, Sara

    2012-01-01

    This article provides a comparative analysis of recent governance reforms in both Finnish and Portuguese higher education institutions (HEIs), following the OECD's recent reviews of both countries' tertiary education systems. While in the case of Finland the major problem was identified as being a lack of entrepreneurialism, Portugal was…

  15. European Gender Lessons: Girls and Boys at Scout Camps in Denmark, Portugal, Russia and Slovakia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nielsen, Harriet Bjerrum

    2004-01-01

    The article investigates the tensions between and within models of gender equality and gender complementarity by studying children who are in the midst of learning to apply these gender models in practice. Children (aged 11-15 years) were observed and interviewed while they participated in scout camps in Denmark, Portugal, Slovakia and Russia.…

  16. Employability, Skills and Training in Portugal (1988-2000): Evidence from Official Data

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tome, Eduardo

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyse the determinants of employability in Portugal. Design/methodology/approach: Calculations were made using official data for 1991, 1994 and 1997 on education, skills and tenure, and on 1990, 1991, 1996 and 1997 regarding training. Findings: High skills, high levels of education and high levels of…

  17. Construction and Modification of the Autonomy of School Mathematical Knowledge in Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matos, José Manuel

    2016-01-01

    During the second half of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century the discipline of secondary mathematics was gradually built in Portugal and certified teachers, textbooks, programs, special teaching techniques emerge. This consolidation process ends with the emergency of school subjects that develop some kind of autonomy as Chervel…

  18. Associations between Early Family Risk, Children's Behavioral Regulation, and Academic Achievement in Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cadima, Joana; Gamelas, Ana M.; McClelland, Megan; Peixoto, Carla

    2015-01-01

    Research Findings: This study examined concurrent associations between family sociodemographic risk, self-regulation, and early literacy and mathematics in young children from Azores, Portugal (N = 186). Family sociodemographic risk was indexed by low maternal education, low family income, and low occupational status. Behavioral aspects of…

  19. Education Returns of Wage Earners and Self-Employed Workers: Portugal Vs. Spain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia-Mainar, I.; Montuenga-Gomez, V.M.

    2005-01-01

    This paper investigates the returns to education in two Southern EU countries, Portugal and Spain, both characterized by a relatively high self-employment rate. The impact of education on both wage earners and the self-employed is analyzed by using a comparable data set coming from the European Community Household Panel during the period…

  20. Lessons Learnt from a Secondary School Sex Education Program in Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sousa, Ana Paula; Soares, Isabel; Vilar, Duarte

    2007-01-01

    Based on a developmental framework, a study was conducted in Portugal in two groups of youth in terms of relevant aspects related to adolescent psychosexual development: one group participated in an Experimental Project of Sex Education and Health Promotion during high school, whereas the other did not receive any formal sex education in school.…

  1. Mathematics Diagnostic Testing in Engineering: An International Comparison between Ireland and Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr, M.; Fidalgo, C.; Bigotte de Almeida, M. E.; Branco, J. R.; Santos, V.; Murphy, E.; Ní Fhloinn, E.

    2015-01-01

    Concern has been expressed throughout Europe about the significant deficiencies in the basic mathematical skills of many engineering undergraduates. Mathematics diagnostic tests in the UK, Ireland and Portugal have shown these shortcomings, which provide a challenge to those striving to introduce more innovative educational practices into…

  2. Research in Foreign Language Education in Portugal (2006-2011): Its Transformative Potential

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vieira, Flávia; Moreira, Maria Alfredo; Peralta, Helena

    2014-01-01

    This article reviews a selective corpus of empirical and theoretical texts on foreign language pedagogy and teacher education, produced in Portugal between 2006 and 2011. A descriptive and interpretative approach is adopted to inquire into the transformative potential of research, with a focus on its scope, purposes, conceptual and methodological…

  3. Waves of (Dis)Satisfaction: Effects of the "Numerus Clausus" System in Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fonseca, Madalena; Dias, Diana; Sá, Carla; Amaral, Alberto

    2014-01-01

    Access to higher education in Portugal is governed by a quota system (numerus clausus). The purpose of this article is to answer two questions: First, how does the "numerus clausus" system shape the demand for medical studies? Second, how do non-enrolled medical candidates influence the global allocation system and generate waves of…

  4. Child and Partner Abuse: Self-Reported Prevalence and Attitudes in the North of Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Machado, Carla; Goncalves, Miguel; Matos, Marlene; Dias, Ana Rita

    2007-01-01

    Objectives: To determine the self-reported prevalence of child and partner physical and emotional abuse in the north of Portugal and to investigate attitudes about these forms of family violence. Methods: Data were collected by questionnaire from a representative sample of parents in two-parent families with children under the age of 18 years. A…

  5. Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in dogs from northeastern Portugal

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii was investigated in 673 domestic dogs from northeastern Portugal, by using the modified agglutination test (MAT) with 1:20 as cut-off for seropositivity; antibodies were found in 256 dogs (38.0%). Differences between seroprevalence levels in males (36.7%...

  6. The Role of the Company in Generating Skills. The Learning Effects of Work Organization. Portugal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodriguez, Maria Joao; Lopes, Helena

    The impact of changes in work organization on development of Portugese workers' skills was examined. At the macro level, a national study was conducted to identify current and possible future relationships among initial training, continuing training, the labor market, and industrial relations in Portugal. At the micro level, cases studies of three…

  7. Continuing Vocational Training in Local Government in Portugal, 2000-05--What Has Changed?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cabrito, Belmiro Gil; Simao, Ana Margarida Veiga; Alves, Mariana Gaio; Almeida, Antonio

    2009-01-01

    Local government in Portugal had a good opportunity to modernise through the Programa de Formacao para as Autarquias Locais (Foral) [Training programme for local authorities], implemented between 2000 and 2005. Substantial financial resources were made available through the programme to retrain local government human resources in order to improve…

  8. Translating University-Industry Relations: The Development of a Knowledge Link in Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graca, Manuel

    2005-01-01

    INESC was created in 1980 in Portugal to link universities with industry. Starting within a university as the initiative of three young academics, the organization soon became a pivotal player in the modernization of the country through the development of applied research in science and technology to enhance the competitiveness of Portuguese…

  9. School Effectiveness Research Findings in the Portuguese Speaking Countries: Brazil and Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferrão, Maria Eugénia

    2014-01-01

    This paper provides findings of research on school effectiveness and discusses implications for evaluation in Brazil and Portugal. Most findings reported over the last decade have been published in Brazilian or Portuguese refereed journals. Thus, a brief literature review of such studies enables that knowledge to reach international scholars and…

  10. Teaching Writing to Middle School Students in Portugal and in Brazil: An Exploratory Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veiga Simão, Ana Margarida; Malpique, Anabela Abreu; Frison, Lourdes Maria Bragagnolo; Marques, André

    2016-01-01

    Learning how to write is a challenging process, typically developed in schools. Teachers' practices in teaching writing, however, have been under researched. The aim of this study was to survey a sample of teachers from Portugal (n = 96) and Brazil (n = 99) about their practices for and perceptions about writing instruction. Teachers reported on…

  11. Epidemiology of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Portugal: Prevalence, Clinical Characterization, and Medical Conditions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oliveira, Guiomar; Ataide, Assuncao; Marques, Carla; Miguel, Teresa S.; Coutinho, Ana Margarida; Mota-Vieira, Luisa; Goncalves, Esmeralda; Lopes, Nazare Mendes; Rodrigues, Vitor; Carmona da Mota, Henrique; Vicente, Astrid Moura

    2007-01-01

    The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and identify its clinical characterization, and medical conditions in a paediatric population in Portugal. A school survey was conducted in elementary schools, targeting 332 808 school-aged children in the mainland and 10 910 in the Azores islands.…

  12. Emergy analysis of a silvo-pastoral system, a case study in southern Portugal

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Mediterranean silvo-pastoral system known as Montado, in Portugal, is a complex land use system composed of an open tree stratum in various densities and an herbaceous layer, used for livestock grazing. Livestock also profit from the acorns, and the grazing contributes to avo...

  13. Early Childhood Intervention in Portugal: An Overview Based on the Developmental Systems Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pinto, Ana Isabel; Grande, Catarina; Aguiar, Cecilia; de Almeida, Isabel Chaves; Felgueiras, Isabel; Pimentel, Julia Serpa; Serrano, Ana Maria; Carvalho, Leonor; Brandao, Maria Teresa; Boavida, Tania; Santos, Paula; Lopes-dos-Santos, Pedro

    2012-01-01

    Research studies on early childhood intervention (ECI) in Portugal are diffuse regarding both program components and the geographical area under scrutiny. Since the 1990s, a growing body of knowledge and evidence in ECI is being gathered, based on postgraduate teaching, in-service training, and research. This article draws on the systems theory…

  14. The Induction and Mentoring of New Teachers in Portugal: Contradictions, Needs and Opportunities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flores, Maria Assuncao; Ferreira, Fernando Ilidio

    2009-01-01

    In this article, policy and research on teacher induction in Portugal are examined. The lack of a formal induction system (despite recognition of its relevance in legal policy documents) and the mismatch between national regulations and practice are also discussed. The authors argue the need for a coherent and sustained induction and support…

  15. Higher Education Distance Learning in Portugal--State of the Art and Current Policy Issues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hasan, Abrar; Laaser, Wolfram

    2010-01-01

    The paper is based on a recent report given to the Portuguese Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education on "Reforming Higher Education Distance Learning in Portugal" (Hasan et. al. 2009). The report was grounded on on-site visits of leading Portuguese Universities, Polytechnics and Business Schools as well as on written statements of…

  16. European Social Fund in Portugal: A Complex Question for Human Resource Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tome, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: This article aims to review the application of the funds awarded by the European Social Fund (ESF) to Portugal, since 1986, from a human resource development (HRD) perspective. Design/methodology/approach: Several variables are analyzed: investment, absorption, people, impact of investment, evolution of skills, main programs, supply and…

  17. Education and Gender Wage Differentials in Portugal: What Can We Learn from an Age Cohort Analysis?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gonzalez, Pilar; Santos, Luis Delfim; Santos, Maria Clementina

    2009-01-01

    Important changes characterize the recent evolution of the schooling of workers in Portugal. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the consequences of those changes in the gender wage gap. In particular, we analyze and compare the way that this process has evolved in the groups of young workers and older workers. Our findings suggest that…

  18. Learning Transfer--Validation of the Learning Transfer System Inventory in Portugal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Velada, Raquel; Caetano, Antonio; Bates, Reid; Holton, Ed

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the construct validity of learning transfer system inventory (LTSI) for use in Portugal. Furthermore, it also aims to analyze whether LTSI dimensions differ across individual variables such as gender, age, educational level and job tenure. Design/methodology/approach: After a rigorous translation…

  19. Unprotected Girls and Teacher Training in Portugal in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mogarro, Maria Joao; Martinez, Silvia Alicia

    2009-01-01

    Throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, the cultural panorama in Portugal was largely dominated by education issues. The awareness of the weaknesses of the Portuguese education system was now based on a growing interest in statistics, which allowed the reinforcement of arguments regarding the country's backwardness and the need to…

  20. Prevalence of antibodies to Leishmania infantum and Toxoplasma gondii in horses from the north of Portugal

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background Leishmania infantum and Toxoplasma gondii are protozoa with zoonotic and economic importance. Prevalences of antibodies to these agents were assessed in 173 horses from the north of Portugal. Findings Antibodies to L. infantum were detected by the direct agglutination test (DAT); seven (...

  1. Arts and Cultural Education at School in Europe. Portugal 2007/08

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sousa, Isabel Susana

    2008-01-01

    This paper focuses on Portugal's arts and cultural education. The Ministry of Education (ME) is fundamentally responsible for establishing aims to develop the cultural and creative aspects of education, in accordance with the following aims defined for the whole curriculum. At the level of compulsory education, the Portuguese education system,…

  2. Seroepidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection in women from the North of Portugal in their childbearing years

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection and associated risk factors were investigated in 401 women of childbearing age from the North of Portugal. Among the 98 (24.4%) seropositive women, 92 (93.9%) were detected as positive only for imunoglobulin (Ig) G, two women (2.0%) were positive only fo...

  3. Reinterpreting Lifelong Learning: Meanings of Adult Education Policy in Portugal, 1999-2010

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guimaraes, Paula

    2013-01-01

    This article analyses Portugal's adult education policy between 1999 and 2010. Our empirical material consists of Portuguese as well as supranational policy documents. We use a theoretical framework which distinguishes three models of public policy, with different views on the roles of public policy and of education: (1) participative…

  4. Teacher Professionalisation and Professionalism in Portugal and Brazil: What Do the Policy Documents Tell?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flores, Maria Assuncao; Shiroma, Enida

    2003-01-01

    Examines teacher education policy in Portugal and Brazil over the past decade, discussing implications for teacher professionalization and professionalism; identifying the emergence of competing discourses arising from policy texts and other formal documents; and asserting that the intertwined concepts of professionalization and professionalism,…

  5. The Democratisation of Access and Success in Higher Education: The Case of Portugal and Brazil

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dias, Diana; Marinho-Araujo, Claisy; Almeida, Leandro; Amaral, Alberto

    2011-01-01

    Given that higher education systems everywhere have opened to the masses, this paper analyses to what extent this phenomenon has really been accompanied by an effective democratisation of access and success in Portugal and Brazil. It looks at the expansion of higher education and discusses how the political system and higher education institutions…

  6. Educational Journals and Worldwide Circulation of Pedagogical Knowledge: Brazil and Portugal (1921?1935)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Francisco, Jaime; Cordeiro, Parreira; Carvalho, Luis Miguel

    2005-01-01

    This article focuses on the circulation of educational models between Portugal and Brazil (from 1920 to 1935), within a broader context of an intensive international transfer of "ways of thinking" about education. It describes and analyses the results from research on two educational journals, one Portuguese (Revista Escolar) the other from the…

  7. Career Adapt-Abilities Scale--Portugal Form: Psychometric Properties and Relationships to Employment Status

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duarte, M. Eduarda; Soares, M. C.; Fraga, S.; Rafael, M.; Lima, M. R.; Paredes, I.; Agostinho, R.; Djalo, A.

    2012-01-01

    The Career-Adaptabilities Scale (CAAS)--Portugal Form consists of four scales, each with seven items, which measure concern, control, curiosity, and confidence as psychosocial resources for managing occupational transitions, developmental tasks, and work traumas. Internal consistency estimates for the subscale and total scores ranged from good to…

  8. 62 FR 61036 - Changes in Disease Status of Belgium, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Spain

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    1997-11-14

    ... specified conditions, based on the regions' disease status (see 62 FR 56000-56033, October 28, 1997, Dockets..., Greece, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Spain AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION...-mouth disease; Greece free of rinderpest; France, Greece, Luxembourg, and Spain free of exotic...

  9. Homogenisation of minimum and maximum air temperature in northern Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freitas, L.; Pereira, M. G.; Caramelo, L.; Mendes, L.; Amorim, L.; Nunes, L.

    2012-04-01

    Homogenization of minimum and maximum air temperature has been carried out for northern Portugal for the period 1941-2010. The database corresponds to the values of the monthly arithmetic averages calculated from daily values observed at stations within the network of stations managed by the national Institute of Meteorology (IM). Some of the weather stations of IM's network are collecting data for more than a century; however, during the entire observing period, some factors have affected the climate series and have to be considered such as, changes in the station surroundings and changes related to replacement of manually operated instruments. Besides these typical changes, it is of particular interest the station relocation to rural areas or to the urban-rural interface and the installation of automatic weather stations in the vicinity of the principal or synoptic stations with the aim of replacing them. The information from these relocated and new stations was merged to produce just one but representative time series of that site. This process starts at the end 90's and the information of the time series fusion process constitutes the set of metadata used. Two basic procedures were performed: (i) preliminary statistical and quality control analysis; and, (ii) detection and correction of problems of homogeneity. In the first case, was developed and used software for quality control, specifically dedicated for the detection of outliers, based on the quartile values of the time series itself. The analysis of homogeneity was performed using the MASH (Multiple Analysis of Series for Homogenisation) and HOMER, which is a software application developed and recently made available within the COST Action ES0601 (COST-ES0601, 2012). Both methods provide a fast quality control of the original data and were developed for automatic processing, analyzing, homogeneity testing and adjusting of climatological data, but manual usage is also possible. Obtained results with both

  10. Assessment of post forest fire reclamation in Algarve, Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrade, Rita; Panagopoulos, Thomas; Guerrero, Carlos; Martins, Fernando; Zdruli, Pandi; Ladisa, Gaetano

    2014-05-01

    Fire is a common phenomenon in Mediterranean landscapes and it plays a crucial role in its transformations, making the determination of its impact on the ecosystem essential for land management. During summer of 2012, a wildfire took place in Algarve, Portugal, on an area mainly covered by sclerophyllous vegetation (39.44%, 10080ha), broad-leaved forest (20.80%, 5300ha), agriculture land with significant areas of natural vegetation (17.40%, 4400ha) and transitional woodlands-shrubs (16.17%, 4100ha). The objective of the study was to determine fire severity in order to plan post-fire treatments and to aid vegetation recovery and land reclamation. Satellite imagery was used to estimate burn severity by detecting physical and ecological changes in the landscape caused by fire. Differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (DNBR) was used to measure burn severity with pre and post fire data of four Landsat images acquired in October 2011, February and August 2012 and April 2013. The initial and extended differenced normalized burn ratio (DiNBR and DeNBR) were calculated. The calculated burned area of 24291 ha was 552ha lower than the map data determined with field reports. The 19.5% of that area was burned with high severity, 45% with moderate severity and 28.3% with low severity. Comparing fire severity and regrowth with land use, it is shown in DiNBR that the most severely burned areas were predominantly sclerophyllous vegetation (37.6%) and broad-leaved forests (31.1%). From the DeNRB it was found that the reestablishment of vegetation was slower in mixed forests and higher in sclerophyllous vegetation and in land with significant areas of natural vegetation. Faster recovery was calculated for the land uses of sclerophyllous vegetation (46.7%) and significant regrowth in areas of natural vegetation and lands occupied by agriculture (25.4%). Next steps of the study are field validation and crossing with erosion risk maps before to take land reclamation decisions.

  11. Gravity and magnetic modeling of granitic bodies in Central Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machadinho, Ana; Figueiredo, Fernando; Pereira, Alcides

    2015-04-01

    A better understanding of the subsurface geometry of the granitic bodies in Central Portugal is the main goal of this work. The results are also relevant for the assessment of the geothermal potential of the same region. The study area is located in the Central Iberian Zone where the Beiras granite batholith outcrops. These variscan granitoids were emplaced into the "Complexo Xisto-Grauváquico" (CXG), a thick and monotonous megasequences of metapelites and metagreywackes. This metasedimentary sequence is affected by the Variscan deformation phases and a late Proterozoic to Cambrian age has been generally assumed for this rocks. The granitoids in the region are attributed to the magmatic activity associated to the post-collisional stages of the Variscan orogeny during the D3 stage. The granitic bodies in the study area are considered syn-D3 and late to post-D3. To achieve the goal of the research, magnetic and gravimetric surveys where performed in order to obtain the Bouguer and magnetic anomalies. All the standard corrections were applied to the gravimetric and magnetic data. Considering and integrating all the available geological data and physical proprieties (density and magnetic susceptibility) the mentioned potential fields were simultaneously modeled. In this way it was possible to characterize the subsurface geometry of the granitic bodies in the studied region. The modeling results show that the regional tectonic setting controls the geometry of the granitic bodies as well as the structure of the host CXG metasedimentary sequence. Through the modeling of the potential field the overall geometry, average and maximum depths of the granitic bodies in the study area was obtained. Some late to post-D3 plutons outcrop in spatial continuity and as they have similar ages, a common feeding zone is assumed as the most likely scenario. The sin-D3 pluton is more abrupt and vertical, suggesting the presence of a fault contact with the late-D3 pluton. According to the

  12. Ground Penetrating Radar technique for railway track characterization in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Chiara, Francesca; Fontul, Simona; Fortunato, Eduardo; D'Andrea, Antonio

    2013-04-01

    Maintenance actions are significant for transport infrastructures but, today, costs have to be necessary limited. A proper quality control since the construction phase is a key factor for a long life cycle and for a good economy policy. For this reason, suitable techniques have to be chosen and non-destructive tests represent an efficient solution, as they allow to evaluate infrastructure characteristics in a continuous or quasi-continuous way, saving time and costs, enabling to make changes if tests results do not comply with the project requirements. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a quick and effective technique to evaluate infrastructure condition in a continuous manner, replacing or reducing the use of traditional drilling method. GPR application to railways infrastructures, during construction and monitoring phase, is relatively recent. It is based on the measuring of layers thicknesses and detection of structural changes. It also enables the assessment of materials properties that constitute the infrastructure and the evaluation of the different types of defects such as ballast pockets, fouled ballast, poor drainage, subgrade settlement and transitions problems. These deteriorations are generally the causes of vertical deviations in track geometry and they cannot be detected by the common monitoring procedures, namely the measurements of track geometry. Moreover, the development of new GPR systems with higher antenna frequencies, better data acquisition systems, more user friendly software and new algorithms for calculation of materials properties can lead to a regular use of GPR. Therefore, it represents a reliable technique to assess track geometry problems and consequently to improve maintenance planning. In Portugal, rail inspection is performed with Plasser & Theurer EM120 equipment and recently 400 MHz IDS antennas were installed on it. GPR tests were performed on the Portuguese rail network and, as case study in this paper, a renewed track was

  13. Actor-Network Theory as a sociotechnical lens to explore the relationship of nurses and technology in practice: methodological considerations for nursing research.

    PubMed

    Booth, Richard G; Andrusyszyn, Mary-Anne; Iwasiw, Carroll; Donelle, Lorie; Compeau, Deborah

    2016-06-01

    Actor-Network Theory is a research lens that has gained popularity in the nursing and health sciences domains. The perspective allows a researcher to describe the interaction of actors (both human and non-human) within networked sociomaterial contexts, including complex practice environments where nurses and health technology operate. This study will describe Actor-Network Theory and provide methodological considerations for researchers who are interested in using this sociotechnical lens within nursing and informatics-related research. Considerations related to technology conceptualization, levels of analysis, and sampling procedures in Actor-Network Theory based research are addressed. Finally, implications for future nursing research within complex environments are highlighted. PMID:26531190

  14. Post-fire vegetation recovery in Portugal based on spot/vegetation data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gouveia, C.; Dacamara, C. C.; Trigo, R. M.

    2010-04-01

    A procedure is presented that allows identifying large burned scars and the monitoring of vegetation recovery in the years following major fire episodes. The procedure relies on 10-day fields of Maximum Value Composites of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (MVC-NDVI), with a 1 km×1 km spatial resolution obtained from the VEGETATION instrument. The identification of fire scars during the extremely severe 2003 fire season is performed based on cluster analysis of NDVI anomalies that persist during the vegetative cycle of the year following the fire event. Two regions containing very large burned scars were selected, located in Central and Southwestern Portugal, respectively, and time series of MVC-NDVI analysed before the fire events took place and throughout the post-fire period. It is shown that post-fire vegetation dynamics in the two selected regions may be characterised based on maps of recovery rates as estimated by fitting a monoparametric model of vegetation recovery to MVC-NDVI data over each burned scar. Results indicated that the recovery process in the region located in Central Portugal is mostly related to fire damage rather than to vegetation density before 2003, whereas the latter seems to have a more prominent role than vegetation conditions after the fire episode, e.g. in the case of the region in Southwestern Portugal. These differences are consistent with the respective predominant types of vegetation. The burned area located in Central Portugal is dominated by Pinus Pinaster whose natural regeneration crucially depends on the destruction of seeds present on the soil surface during the fire, whereas the burned scar in Southwestern Portugal was populated by Eucalyptus that may quickly re-sprout from buds after fire. Besides its simplicity, the monoparametric model of vegetation recovery has the advantage of being easily adapted to other low-resolution satellite data, as well as to other types of vegetation indices.

  15. Trends in gastric cancer mortality and in the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Morais, Samantha; Ferro, Ana; Bastos, Ana; Castro, Clara; Lunet, Nuno; Peleteiro, Bárbara

    2016-07-01

    Portugal has the highest gastric cancer mortality rates in Western Europe, along with high prevalences of Helicobacter pylori infection. Monitoring their trends is essential to predict the burden of this cancer. We aimed to quantify time trends in gastric cancer mortality in Portugal and in each administrative region, and to compute short-term predictions, as well as to describe the prevalence of H. pylori infection, through a systematic review. Joinpoint analyses were used to identify significant changes in sex-specific trends in gastric cancer age-standardized mortality rates (ASMR) and to estimate annual percent changes (APC). The most recent trends were considered to compute estimates up to 2020 by adjusting Poisson regression models. We searched PubMed and IndexRMP to identify studies carried out in Portugal reporting the prevalence of H. pylori. Gastric cancer mortality has been decreasing in Portugal since 1971 in men (from ASMR=55.3/100 000; APC=-2.4, 95% confidence interval: -2.5 to -2.3) and since 1970 in women (from ASMR=28.0/100 000; APC=-2.8, 95% confidence interval: -2.9 to -2.7), although large regional differences were observed. Predicted ASMR for 2015 and 2020 were 18.8/100 000 and 16.7/100 000 for men and 8.5/100 000 and 7.4/100 000 for women, respectively. The prevalence of H. pylori varied from almost 5% at 0.5-2 years to just over 90% at 70 years or more. No consistent variation was observed since the 1990s. The downward trends in mortality rates are expected to remain in the next decades. The high prevalence of H. pylori infection across age groups and studies from different periods shows a large potential for decrease in the burden of gastric cancer in Portugal. PMID:26186469

  16. Expectations as a key to understanding actor strategies in the field of fuel cell and hydrogen vehicles.

    PubMed

    Budde, Björn; Alkemade, Floortje; Weber, K Matthias

    2012-07-01

    Due to its environmental impact, the mobility system is increasingly under pressure. The challenges to cope with climate change, air quality, depleting fossil resources imply the need for a transition of the current mobility system towards a more sustainable one. Expectations and visions have been identified as crucial in the guidance of such transitions, and more specifically of actor strategies. Still, it remained unclear why the actors involved in transition activities appear to change their strategies frequently and suddenly. The empirical analysis of the expectations and strategies of three actors in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell technology indicates that changing actor strategies can be explained by rather volatile expectations related to different levels. Our case studies of the strategies of two large car manufacturers and the German government demonstrate that the car manufacturers refer strongly to expectations about the future regime, while expectations related to the socio-technical landscape level appear to be crucial for the strategy of the German government. PMID:24850974

  17. Learning about a Fish from an ANT: Actor Network Theory and Science Education in the Postgenomic Era

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pierce, Clayton

    2015-01-01

    This article uses actor network theory (ANT) to develop a more appropriate model of scientific literacy for students, teachers, and citizens in a society increasingly populated with biotechnological and bioscientific nonhumans. In so doing, I take the recent debate surrounding the first genetically engineered animal food product under review by…

  18. Parental Self-Efficacy and Positive Contributions Regarding Autism Spectrum Condition: An Actor-Partner Interdependence Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    García-López, Cristina; Sarriá, Encarnación; Pozo, Pilar

    2016-01-01

    Couples affect each other cognitively, emotionally and behaviorally. The goal of this study is to test the benefits and potential use of the actor-partner interdependence model in examining how parental self-efficacy and positive contributions of fathers and mothers of children with Autism Spectrum Condition influence each other's psychological…

  19. A novel approach to locomotion learning: Actor-Critic architecture using central pattern generators and dynamic motor primitives

    PubMed Central

    Li, Cai; Lowe, Robert; Ziemke, Tom

    2014-01-01

    In this article, we propose an architecture of a bio-inspired controller that addresses the problem of learning different locomotion gaits for different robot morphologies. The modeling objective is split into two: baseline motion modeling and dynamics adaptation. Baseline motion modeling aims to achieve fundamental functions of a certain type of locomotion and dynamics adaptation provides a “reshaping” function for adapting the baseline motion to desired motion. Based on this assumption, a three-layer architecture is developed using central pattern generators (CPGs, a bio-inspired locomotor center for the baseline motion) and dynamic motor primitives (DMPs, a model with universal “reshaping” functions). In this article, we use this architecture with the actor-critic algorithms for finding a good “reshaping” function. In order to demonstrate the learning power of the actor-critic based architecture, we tested it on two experiments: (1) learning to crawl on a humanoid and, (2) learning to gallop on a puppy robot. Two types of actor-critic algorithms (policy search and policy gradient) are compared in order to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different actor-critic based learning algorithms for different morphologies. Finally, based on the analysis of the experimental results, a generic view/architecture for locomotion learning is discussed in the conclusion. PMID:25324773

  20. A novel approach to locomotion learning: Actor-Critic architecture using central pattern generators and dynamic motor primitives.

    PubMed

    Li, Cai; Lowe, Robert; Ziemke, Tom

    2014-01-01

    In this article, we propose an architecture of a bio-inspired controller that addresses the problem of learning different locomotion gaits for different robot morphologies. The modeling objective is split into two: baseline motion modeling and dynamics adaptation. Baseline motion modeling aims to achieve fundamental functions of a certain type of locomotion and dynamics adaptation provides a "reshaping" function for adapting the baseline motion to desired motion. Based on this assumption, a three-layer architecture is developed using central pattern generators (CPGs, a bio-inspired locomotor center for the baseline motion) and dynamic motor primitives (DMPs, a model with universal "reshaping" functions). In this article, we use this architecture with the actor-critic algorithms for finding a good "reshaping" function. In order to demonstrate the learning power of the actor-critic based architecture, we tested it on two experiments: (1) learning to crawl on a humanoid and, (2) learning to gallop on a puppy robot. Two types of actor-critic algorithms (policy search and policy gradient) are compared in order to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different actor-critic based learning algorithms for different morphologies. Finally, based on the analysis of the experimental results, a generic view/architecture for locomotion learning is discussed in the conclusion. PMID:25324773

  1. The Seductive Power of an Innovation: Enrolling Non-Conventional Actors in a Drip Irrigation Community in Morocco

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benouniche, Maya; Errahj, Mostafa; Kuper, Marcel

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of this study was to analyze the motivations of non-conventional innovation actors to engage in innovation processes, how their involvement changed the technology and their own social-professional status, and to analyze their role in the diffusion of the innovation. Design/methodology/approach: We studied the innovation process of…

  2. Neural basis of understanding communicative actions: Changes associated with knowing the actor's intention and the meanings of the actions.

    PubMed

    Möttönen, Riikka; Farmer, Harry; Watkins, Kate E

    2016-01-29

    People can communicate by using hand actions, e.g., signs. Understanding communicative actions requires that the observer knows that the actor has an intention to communicate and the meanings of the actions. Here, we investigated how this prior knowledge affects processing of observed actions. We used functional MRI to determine changes in action processing when non-signers were told that the observed actions are communicative (i.e., signs) and learned the meanings of half of the actions. Processing of hand actions activated the left and right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG, BA 44 and 45) when the communicative intention of the actor was known, even when the meanings of the actions remained unknown. These regions were not active when the observers did not know about the communicative nature of the hand actions. These findings suggest that the left and right IFG play a role in understanding the intention of the actor, but do not process visuospatial features of the communicative actions. Knowing the meanings of the hand actions further enhanced activity in the anterior part of the IFG (BA 45), the inferior parietal lobule and posterior inferior and middle temporal gyri in the left hemisphere. These left-hemisphere language regions could provide a link between meanings and observed actions. In sum, the findings provide evidence for the segregation of the networks involved in the neural processing of visuospatial features of communicative hand actions and those involved in understanding the actor's intention and the meanings of the actions. PMID:26752450

  3. Colombian Lay People's Willingness to Forgive Different Actors of the Armed Conflict: Results from a Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lopez-Lopez, Wilson; Pineda Marin, Claudia; Murcia Leon, Maria Camila; Perilla Garzon, Diana Carolina; Mullet, Etienne

    2012-01-01

    A pilot study examined lay people's willingness to forgive acts that were committed by actors of the armed conflicts in Colombia. The participants (100 persons living in Bogota) were shown vignettes describing cases in which a member of the guerilla or a member of the former paramilitary forces asks for forgiveness to a victim's family, and were…

  4. The Pursuit of Memory: Examining Art Teaching and Pedagogical Practices through Hannah Arendt's Actor-Spectator Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Mun Yee

    2011-01-01

    Memories of our schooling and teaching experiences shape our curriculum and pedagogical decision-making process in art education when we become teachers and teacher educators. In this paper, using Hannah Arendt's Actor-Spectator Theory, I engage in retrospective critical introspection of my practices as an art teacher and curriculum developer in…

  5. Expectations as a key to understanding actor strategies in the field of fuel cell and hydrogen vehicles

    PubMed Central

    Budde, Björn; Alkemade, Floortje; Weber, K. Matthias

    2012-01-01

    Due to its environmental impact, the mobility system is increasingly under pressure. The challenges to cope with climate change, air quality, depleting fossil resources imply the need for a transition of the current mobility system towards a more sustainable one. Expectations and visions have been identified as crucial in the guidance of such transitions, and more specifically of actor strategies. Still, it remained unclear why the actors involved in transition activities appear to change their strategies frequently and suddenly. The empirical analysis of the expectations and strategies of three actors in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell technology indicates that changing actor strategies can be explained by rather volatile expectations related to different levels. Our case studies of the strategies of two large car manufacturers and the German government demonstrate that the car manufacturers refer strongly to expectations about the future regime, while expectations related to the socio-technical landscape level appear to be crucial for the strategy of the German government. PMID:24850974

  6. If You Get Better, Will I? An Actor-Partner Analysis of the Mutual Influence of Group Therapy Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paquin, Jill D.; Kivlighan, D. Martin, III; Drogosz, Lisa M.

    2013-01-01

    The effectiveness of group psychotherapy has been empirically studied and supported over several decades; however, there remains much to understand regarding the specific factors contributing to effective group psychotherapy. The current study uses Kashy and Kenny's (2000) actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) to examine the relationship…

  7. ACToR Chemical Structure processing using Open Source ChemInformatics Libraries (FutureToxII)

    EPA Science Inventory

    ACToR (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) is a centralized database repository developed by the National Center for Computational Toxicology (NCCT) at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Free and open source tools were used to compile toxicity data from ove...

  8. Getting Acquainted: Actor and Partner Effects of Attachment and Temperament on Young Children's Peer Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McElwain, Nancy L.; Holland, Ashley S.; Engle, Jennifer M.; Ogolsky, Brian G.

    2014-01-01

    Guided by a dyadic view of children's peer behavior, this study assessed actor and partner effects of attachment security and temperament on young children's behavior with an unfamiliar peer. At 33 months of age, child-mother attachment security was assessed via a modified Strange Situation procedure, and parents reported on child…

  9. Actors' General Conceptions and Strategies for Local Development: An Application of Perspective Text Analysis. Cognitive Science Research No. 28.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gabrielsson, Ake; Paulsson, Margareta

    A study was conducted to examine the interdependence between "actors'" (persons responsible for solving problems within their municipalities) conceptions and local strategies for development. Two peripheral municipalities with development problems are compared. The municipalities have a shared history and culture and a similar economic life, yet…

  10. A Changed Language of Education with New Actors and Solutions: The Authorization of Promotion and Prevention Programmes in Swedish Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bergh, Andreas; Englund, Tomas

    2014-01-01

    This article demonstrates how changes in the language of Swedish education policy have opened up a new social perception of education, in which space has been created for new actors, models and solutions in terms of managing activities in schools. Specifically, it seeks to illustrate how various "promotion" and "prevention…

  11. The Externals of Character: The Work that Needs To Be Done To Make an Actor's Actions Effective.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Bruce

    2003-01-01

    Presents an exercise to guide student actors through the process of building a character by identifying the story and conflict, finding and playing actions that serve the story and define character, selecting and using props, choosing costume and make-up that will help reveal character, and choosing a physicality and voice consistent with the…

  12. Exploring Actor-Partner Interdependence in Family Therapy: Whose View (Parent or Adolescent) Best Predicts Treatment Progress?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Friedlander, Myrna L.; Kivlighan, Dennis M., Jr.; Shaffer, Katharine S.

    2012-01-01

    Predictions of family therapy outcome consistently vary depending on which client rates the alliance. We used the actor-partner interdependence model (Kenny, Kashy, & Cook, 2006) to test the interdependence of parents' and adolescents' ratings of alliance, session depth/value, and improvement-so-far after Sessions 3, 6, and 9. Initial analyses…

  13. Thinking Management and Leadership within Colleges and Schools Somewhat Differently: A Practice-Based, Actor-Network Theory Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mulcahy, Dianne; Perillo, Suzanne

    2011-01-01

    This article examines the significance of materiality for management and leadership in education using resources provided by actor-network theory (ANT). Espousing the idea that human interactions are mediated by material objects and that these objects participate in the production of practices, ANT affords thinking management and leadership in a…

  14. Understanding the Roles of Non-State Actors in Global Governance: Evidence from the Global Partnership for Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Menashy, Francine

    2016-01-01

    The study detailed in this paper examines the growing role of non-state actors in the transnational policy-making landscape through a case study of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE)--a partnership of donor and developing country governments, multilateral organizations, civil society, private companies and foundations, dedicated to…

  15. Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Disaggregation Analysis for the South of Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodrigues, I.; Sousa, M.; Teves-Costa, P.

    2010-12-01

    Probabilistic seismic hazard disaggregation analysis was performed and seismic scenarios were identified for Southern Mainland Portugal. This region’s seismicity is characterized by small and moderate magnitude events and by the sporadic occurrence of large earthquakes (e.g. the 1755 Lisbon earthquake). Thus, the Portuguese Civil Protection Agency (ANPC) sponsored a collaborative research project for the study of the seismic and tsunami risks in the Algarve (project ERSTA). In the framework of this project, a series of new developments were obtained, namely the revision of the seismic catalogue (IM, 2008), the delineation of new seismogenic zones affecting the Algarve region, which reflects the growing knowledge of this region's seismotectonic context, the derivation of new spectral attenuation laws (Carvalho and Campos Costa, 2008) and the revision of the probabilistic seismic hazard (Sousa et al. 2008). Seismic hazard was disaggregated considering different spaces of random variables, namely, bivariate conditional hazard distributions of X-Y (seismic source latitude and longitude) and multivariate 4D conditional hazard distributions of M-(X-Y)-ɛ (ɛ - deviation of ground motion to the median value predicted by an attenuation model). These procedures were performed for the peak ground acceleration (PGA) and for the 5% damped 1.0 and 2.5 Hz spectral acceleration levels of three return periods: 95, 475 and 975 years. The seismic scenarios controlling the hazard of a given ground motion level, were identified as the modal values of the 4D disaggregation analysis for each of the 84 parishes of the Algarve region. Those scenarios, based on a probabilistic analysis, are meant to be used in the emergency planning as a complement to the historical scenarios that severely affected this region. Seismic scenarios share a few number of geographical locations for all return periods. Moreover, seismic hazard of most Algarve’s parishes is dominated by the seismicity located

  16. Bedforms and sediment distribution in the Minho estuary (Northern Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duarte, Henrique

    2010-05-01

    Here are presented preliminary results of the MINHO09 cruise, carried out within the scope of the paleoclimatic research task of the MINHO project (PROYECTO 0234_NATURA_MIÑO_MINHO). Bed features and sediment distribution were mapped in the Minho estuary (Northern Portugal) using a dual frequency sidescan sonar mosaic (EdgeTech 4200-MP), and bottom sediment texture data from 71 sites sampled with a winch operated sediment grab (Van Veen type). The survey was done within 5 days, in low flow energy conditions of summer dry weather and neap tides, close to optimal conditions for correlating the acoustic imagery with the bottom sediment data. A DGPS (Omnistar 8200HP) was used to determine the horizontal position of the acoustic imagery and the sediment sample sites with sub-meter accuracy. Uncorrected water depths were determined with a depth echo-sounder (Odom HYDROTRAC echo sounder), and the water depths referred to the local datum was later determined using data from a tidal gauge (Valeport model 740) deployed specifically for this survey. Overall the sampled sediments were mostly poorly calibrated, with grain sizes ranging from gravel to mud coexisting in the same sample, probably reflecting the great seasonal contrast in flow conditions in the Minho River. The predominantly muddy sediments were observed along the river margins (frequently charged with gas) and, locally, along relatively deeper portions of the channel bed. The bedforms observed in the sidescan sonar data are dominated by 2D and 3D dunes and ripples. There are several locations were the bedforms suddenly change from larger dunes (wave lengths greater than 5m) to smaller ripples (wave lengths smaller than 1m). These changes may be related to the occurrence of supercritical flow conditions (Froude number > 1): hydraulic jumps in places were there is a sudden change in depth without any change in channel width, or chutes and pools in places were there is a sudden change in channel width; future work is

  17. Randomized controlled trial of high fidelity patient simulators compared to actor patients in a pandemic influenza drill scenario.

    PubMed

    Wallace, David; Gillett, Brian; Wright, Brian; Stetz, Jessica; Arquilla, Bonnie

    2010-07-01

    During disaster drills hospitals traditionally use actor victims. This has been criticized for underestimating true provider resource burden during surges; however, robotic patient simulators may better approximate the challenges of actual patient care. This study quantifies the disparity between the times required to resuscitate simulators and actors during a drill and compares the times required to perform procedures on simulator patients to published values for real patients. A randomized controlled trial was conducted during an influenza disaster drill. Twelve severe influenza cases were developed for inclusion in the study. Case scenarios were randomized to either human actor patients or simulator patients for drill integration. Clinical staff participating in the drill were blinded to the study objectives. The study was recorded by trained videographers and independently scored using a standardized form by two blinded attending physicians. All critical actions took longer to perform on simulator patients compared to actor patients. The median time to provide a definitive airway (8.9min vs. 3.2min, p=0.013), to initiate vasopressors through a central line (17.4min vs. 5.2min, p=0.01) and time to disposition (16.9min vs. 5.2min, p=0.01) were all significantly longer on simulator patients. Agreement between video reviewers was excellent, ranging between 0.95 and 1 for individual domain scores. Times required to perform procedures on simulators were similar to published results on real-world patients. Patient actors underestimate resource utilization in drills. Integration of high fidelity simulator patients is one way institutions can create more realistic challenges and better evaluate disaster scenario preparedness. PMID:20398993

  18. Contribution of marital conflict to marital quality in short and long-term marriages: An actor-partner interdependence model

    PubMed Central

    Ahmadi, Khodabakhsh; Rezazade, Majid; Saadat, Hassan; Kimiaei, Seyed Ali; Zade, Nima Hoseyn

    2015-01-01

    Aims: In the field of family research, previous studies have made great strides toward understanding the relationship between marital conflict and quality. However, they have only studied couples in short-term marriages. Therefore, much remains to be unraveled with regard to long-term marriages. We aimed investigate the comparative contribution of aspects of marital conflict to marital quality in short-and long-term marriages in Iranian families. Materials and Methods: Using random clustered sampling, 400 dyads in intact first marriages were surveyed across eight provinces of Iran. Complete surveys for both husbands and wives were returned for 162 households (couple's response rate: 40.5%). Survey measures included demographics questionnaire, Barati and Sanai's Marital Conflict Questionnaire and Blum and Mehrabian's Comprehensive Marital Satisfaction Scale. Structural equation modeling was used to test the actor-partner interdependence model of marital conflict-marital quality. Results: Generalized additive models were incorporated to define what constitutes short-and long-term marriages. Based on the models regressed, duration ≤ 10 years was defined as short-term, whereas duration ≥ 25 years was labeled long-term. In short-term marriages (n = 44), decreased sexual relations, increased daily hassles and sidedness in relations with parents were negatively associated with marital quality in both actor and actor-to-partner paths. In long-term married couples (n = 46), only increased daily hassles (P < 0.001) and disagreement over financial affairs (P = 0.005) contributed to actor paths and only sidedness in relationships with parents showed significant negative association to marital quality in actor-to-partner paths. Conclusions: Different themes of conflict contribute to the diminished level of marital quality in early and late stages of the marriage. Conflicts over sex, relationship with extended family and daily hassles are emphasized in the early years of

  19. Utilizing Actors to Simulate Clients in Social Work Student Role Plays: Does This Approach Have a Place in Social Work Education?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petracchi, Helen E.; Collins, Kathryn S.

    2006-01-01

    The social work education literature contains limited discussion of the use of role play in the classroom. This article discusses the logistics of recruiting and utilizing professionally-trained actors to simulate clients in social work role plays. Promising results from assessments of BSW and MSW students with actor-simulated clients are…

  20. An overview of the RAIDEN project: a study of lightning in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fragoso, Marcelo; Leite, Solange; Sousa, João; Correia, Sandra; Reis, Margarida; Santos, João Andrade

    2013-04-01

    Atmospheric lightning is an important atmospheric hazard, as cloud-to-ground discharges (CGD) can affect people, can lead to severe damages in buildings, equipment, and can trigger forest fires. The potential damages directly linked to CGD have been increasing as society develops (e.g. due to greater use of electronic equipment). However, an adequate risk assessment requires an analysis in depth of the CGD spatial-temporal distributions. Further, the climate change impacts on the lightning activity still present many uncertainties. Nevertheless, there is a wide agreement in the scientific community that climate change in Europe is likely to impact on frequency, severity and location of extreme events. The Portuguese meteorological office (IPMA) maintains a lightning detection network (LDN) over mainland Portugal since June 2002. Due to the recent and short time period of available data, there are only few studies using this dataset. The RAIDEN project (contract number PTDC/CTE-ATM/101931/2008) - Lightning activity in Portugal: variability patterns and socioeconomic impacts - aims (1) to characterize the spatial-temporal variability of the lightning activity over mainland Portugal and (2) to assess its corresponding risks and socioeconomic impacts. This study is based on data provided by the Portuguese LDN and follows a multidisciplinary approach. As such, the project is focused on a 7-year period (2003-2009) of CGD data and the research program started studying the main climatological aspects of lightning activity, regarding the spatial patterns of the CGD occurrences, as well as their temporal variability at different time scales (inter-annual, seasonal and daily variability). The spatial patterns of the CGD occurrences over Portugal have also been categorized taking into account their spatial spread and strength using a clustering methodology. Furthermore, the dynamical mechanisms underlying the CGD occurrences, including the identification of the main lightning

  1. Disastrous floods and landslides in Portugal in the 20th century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quaresma, Ivânia; Zêzere, José Luis

    2010-05-01

    The record and analysis of statistical information on disaster occurrence, impacts and losses have been made worldwide in recent years. The development of natural disasters databases is crucial for risk management purposes, because it allows improving systems of indicators on disaster risk and vulnerability at national and sub-national scales. During the last century, Portugal was affected by several destructive natural disasters, namely of hydrologic (floods) and geomorphologic (landslides) origin. However, only recently risk prevention and management was assumed to be a national priority by the Portuguese Government. The basic information on past floods and landslides that occurred in Portugal is disperse and incomplete, and this is a shortcoming for the implementation of effective disaster mitigation measures, particularly when it is expectable an increase of frequency, magnitude, dimension and complexity of the hydro-geomorphologic phenomena resulting from climate change. In this work we present a preliminary assessment of hydro-geomorphologic disasters occurred in Portugal during the 20th century, based on the systematic survey of daily national newspapers. We included into a database those floods and landslides that produced, alternatively, dead people, injured people, missing people, evacuated and homeless. A total of 937 hydro-geomorphologic events were registered. In addition to physical and material damages, these events produced economic losses amounting to millions Euros. Our attention will focus on the geographic distribution and the temporal dimension of disastrous floods and landslides occurred in Portugal, and the temporal trends of hydro-geomorphologic disasters will be presented. The preliminary results shown that disastrous floods and landslides have been more frequent on the most populated regions of Portugal: the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Oporto. In addition, data shows that disastrous hydrologic and geomorphologic phenomena were more

  2. Testing continuous earthquake detection and location in Alentejo (South Portugal) by waveform coherency analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matos, Catarina; Grigoli, Francesco; Cesca, Simone; Custódio, Susana

    2015-04-01

    In the last decade a permanent seismic network of 30 broadband stations, complemented by dense temporary deployments, covered Portugal. This extraordinary network coverage enables now the computation of a high-resolution image of the seismicity of Portugal, which in turn will shed light on the seismotectonics of Portugal. The large data volumes available cannot be analyzed by traditional time-consuming manual location procedures. In this presentation we show first results on the automatic detection and location of earthquakes occurred in a selected region in the south of Portugal Our main goal is to implement an automatic earthquake detection and location routine in order to have a tool to quickly process large data sets, while at the same time detecting low magnitude earthquakes (i.e., lowering the detection threshold). We present a modified version of the automatic seismic event location by waveform coherency analysis developed by Grigoli et al. (2013, 2014), designed to perform earthquake detections and locations in continuous data. The event detection is performed by continuously computing the short-term-average/long-term-average of two different characteristic functions (CFs). For the P phases we used a CF based on the vertical energy trace, while for S phases we used a CF based on the maximum eigenvalue of the instantaneous covariance matrix (Vidale 1991). Seismic event detection and location is obtained by performing waveform coherence analysis scanning different hypocentral coordinates. We apply this technique to earthquakes in the Alentejo region (South Portugal), taking advantage from a small aperture seismic network installed in the south of Portugal for two years (2010 - 2011) during the DOCTAR experiment. In addition to the good network coverage, the Alentejo region was chosen for its simple tectonic setting and also because the relationship between seismicity, tectonics and local lithospheric structure is intriguing and still poorly understood. Inside

  3. Vicious and Virtuous Cycles and the Role of External Non-government Actors in Community Forestry in Oaxaca and Michoacán, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Barsimantov, James A

    2010-02-01

    Community forestry offers potential for socioeconomic benefits while maintaining ecosystem services. In Mexico, government and donor efforts to develop this sector focus on issues within forest communities. Often overlooked are effects of external non-government actors (NGOs and foresters) as links or barriers between communities and funding, capacity building, and technical support. To analyze the role of these actors, I analyze household survey and interview data from 11 communities with varying levels of vertical integration of forestry production in states with divergent records of community forestry, Oaxaca and Michoacán. Results suggest that strong community governance is necessary but not sufficient for vertical integration, and strong interactions with non-government actors are critical. These actors, operating within the existing framework of government regulations, have a range of incentives for engaging communities. Availability of these actors motivated by concern for community capacity instead of timber income may be a determinant of community forestry development. PMID:20208983

  4. Multiple actor-critic structures for continuous-time optimal control using input-output data.

    PubMed

    Song, Ruizhuo; Lewis, Frank; Wei, Qinglai; Zhang, Hua-Guang; Jiang, Zhong-Ping; Levine, Dan

    2015-04-01

    In industrial process control, there may be multiple performance objectives, depending on salient features of the input-output data. Aiming at this situation, this paper proposes multiple actor-critic structures to obtain the optimal control via input-output data for unknown nonlinear systems. The shunting inhibitory artificial neural network (SIANN) is used to classify the input-output data into one of several categories. Different performance measure functions may be defined for disparate categories. The approximate dynamic programming algorithm, which contains model module, critic network, and action network, is used to establish the optimal control in each category. A recurrent neural network (RNN) model is used to reconstruct the unknown system dynamics using input-output data. NNs are used to approximate the critic and action networks, respectively. It is proven that the model error and the closed unknown system are uniformly ultimately bounded. Simulation results demonstrate the performance of the proposed optimal control scheme for the unknown nonlinear system. PMID:25730830

  5. Puppets, robots, critics, and actors within a taxonomy of attention for developmental disorders.

    PubMed

    Dennis, Maureen; Sinopoli, Katia J; Fletcher, Jack M; Schachar, Russell

    2008-09-01

    This review proposes a new taxonomy of automatic and controlled attention. The taxonomy distinguishes among the role of the attendee (puppet and robot, critic and actor), the attention process (stimulus orienting vs. response control), and the attention operation (activation vs. inhibition vs. adjustment), and identifies cognitive phenotypes by which attention is overtly expressed. We apply the taxonomy to four childhood attention disorders: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, spina bifida meningomyelocele, traumatic brain injury, and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Variations in attention are related to specific brain regions that support normal attention processes when intact, and produce disordered attention when impaired. The taxonomy explains group differences in behavioral inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness, as well as medication response. We also discuss issues relevant to theories of the cognitive and neural architecture of attention: functional dissociations within and between automatic and controlled attention; the relative importance of type of brain damage and developmental timing to attention profile; cognitive-energetic models of attention and white matter damage; temporal processing deficits, attention deficits and cerebellar damage; and the issue of cognitive phenotypes as candidate endophenotypes. PMID:18764966

  6. An Actor-Critic based controller for glucose regulation in type 1 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Daskalaki, Elena; Diem, Peter; Mougiakakou, Stavroula G

    2013-02-01

    A novel adaptive approach for glucose control in individuals with type 1 diabetes under sensor-augmented pump therapy is proposed. The controller, is based on Actor-Critic (AC) learning and is inspired by the principles of reinforcement learning and optimal control theory. The main characteristics of the proposed controller are (i) simultaneous adjustment of both the insulin basal rate and the bolus dose, (ii) initialization based on clinical procedures, and (iii) real-time personalization. The effectiveness of the proposed algorithm in terms of glycemic control has been investigated in silico in adults, adolescents and children under open-loop and closed-loop approaches, using announced meals with uncertainties in the order of ±25% in the estimation of carbohydrates. The results show that glucose regulation is efficient in all three groups of patients, even with uncertainties in the level of carbohydrates in the meal. The percentages in the A+B zones of the Control Variability Grid Analysis (CVGA) were 100% for adults, and 93% for both adolescents and children. The AC based controller seems to be a promising approach for the automatic adjustment of insulin infusion in order to improve glycemic control. After optimization of the algorithm, the controller will be tested in a clinical trial. PMID:22502983

  7. Drug scheduling of cancer chemotherapy based on natural actor-critic approach.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Inkyung; Park, Jooyoung

    2011-11-01

    Recently, reinforcement learning methods have drawn significant interests in the area of artificial intelligence, and have been successfully applied to various decision-making problems. In this paper, we study the applicability of the NAC (natural actor-critic) approach, a state-of-the-art reinforcement learning method, to the drug scheduling of cancer chemotherapy for an ODE (ordinary differential equation)-based tumor growth model. ODE-based cancer dynamics modeling is an active research area, and many different mathematical models have been proposed. Among these, we use the model proposed by de Pillis and Radunskaya (2003), which considers the growth of tumor cells and their interaction with normal cells and immune cells. The NAC approach is applied to this ODE model with the goal of minimizing the tumor cell population and the drug amount while maintaining the adequate population levels of normal cells and immune cells. In the framework of the NAC approach, the drug dose is regarded as the control input, and the reward signal is defined as a function of the control input and the cell populations of tumor cells, normal cells, and immune cells. According to the control policy found by the NAC approach, effective drug scheduling in cancer chemotherapy for the considered scenarios has turned out to be close to the strategy of continuing drug injection from the beginning until an appropriate time. Also, simulation results showed that the NAC approach can yield better performance than conventional pulsed chemotherapy. PMID:21839140

  8. Assessing and accounting for time heterogeneity in stochastic actor oriented models

    PubMed Central

    Schweinberger, Michael; Snijders, Tom A. B.; Ripley, Ruth M.

    2011-01-01

    This paper explores time heterogeneity in stochastic actor oriented models (SAOM) proposed by Snijders (Sociological Methodology. Blackwell, Boston, pp 361–395, 2001) which are meant to study the evolution of networks. SAOMs model social networks as directed graphs with nodes representing people, organizations, etc., and dichotomous relations representing underlying relationships of friendship, advice, etc. We illustrate several reasons why heterogeneity should be statistically tested and provide a fast, convenient method for assessment and model correction. SAOMs provide a flexible framework for network dynamics which allow a researcher to test selection, influence, behavioral, and structural properties in network data over time. We show how the forward-selecting, score type test proposed by Schweinberger (Chapter 4: Statistical modeling of network panel data: goodness of fit. PhD thesis, University of Groningen 2007) can be employed to quickly assess heterogeneity at almost no additional computational cost. One step estimates are used to assess the magnitude of the heterogeneity. Simulation studies are conducted to support the validity of this approach. The ASSIST dataset (Campbell et al. Lancet 371(9624):1595–1602, 2008) is reanalyzed with the score type test, one step estimators, and a full estimation for illustration. These tools are implemented in the RSiena package, and a brief walkthrough is provided. PMID:22003370

  9. Health workforce governance: Processes, tools and actors towards a competent workforce for integrated health services delivery.

    PubMed

    Barbazza, Erica; Langins, Margrieta; Kluge, Hans; Tello, Juan

    2015-12-01

    A competent health workforce is a vital resource for health services delivery, dictating the extent to which services are capable of responding to health needs. In the context of the changing health landscape, an integrated approach to service provision has taken precedence. For this, strengthening health workforce competencies is an imperative, and doing so in practice hinges on the oversight and steering function of governance. To aid health system stewards in their governing role, this review seeks to provide an overview of processes, tools and actors for strengthening health workforce competencies. It draws from a purposive and multidisciplinary review of literature, expert opinion and country initiatives across the WHO European Region's 53 Member States. Through our analysis, we observe distinct yet complementary roles can be differentiated between health services delivery and the health system. This understanding is a necessary prerequisite to gain deeper insight into the specificities for strengthening health workforce competencies in order for governance to rightly create the institutional environment called for to foster alignment. Differentiating between the contribution of health services and the health system in the strengthening of health workforce competencies is an important distinction for achieving and sustaining health improvement goals. PMID:26489924

  10. Comprehending Body Language and Mimics: An ERP and Neuroimaging Study on Italian Actors and Viewers

    PubMed Central

    Proverbio, Alice Mado; Calbi, Marta; Manfredi, Mirella; Zani, Alberto

    2014-01-01

    In this study, the neural mechanism subserving the ability to understand people’s emotional and mental states by observing their body language (facial expression, body posture and mimics) was investigated in healthy volunteers. ERPs were recorded in 30 Italian University students while they evaluated 280 pictures of highly ecological displays of emotional body language that were acted out by 8 male and female Italian actors. Pictures were briefly flashed and preceded by short verbal descriptions (e.g., “What a bore!”) that were incongruent half of the time (e.g., a picture of a very attentive and concentrated person shown after the previous example verbal description). ERP data and source reconstruction indicated that the first recognition of incongruent body language occurred 300 ms post-stimulus. swLORETA performed on the N400 identified the strongest generators of this effect in the right rectal gyrus (BA11) of the ventromedial orbitofrontal cortex, the bilateral uncus (limbic system) and the cingulate cortex, the cortical areas devoted to face and body processing (STS, FFA EBA) and the premotor cortex (BA6), which is involved in action understanding. These results indicate that face and body mimics undergo a prioritized processing that is mostly represented in the affective brain and is rapidly compared with verbal information. This process is likely able to regulate social interactions by providing on-line information about the sincerity and trustfulness of others. PMID:24608244

  11. T Lymphocyte Migration: An Action Movie Starring the Actin and Associated Actors

    PubMed Central

    Dupré, Loïc; Houmadi, Raïssa; Tang, Catherine; Rey-Barroso, Javier

    2015-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is composed of a dynamic filament meshwork that builds the architecture of the cell to sustain its fundamental properties. This physical structure is characterized by a continuous remodeling, which allows cells to accomplish complex motility steps such as directed migration, crossing of biological barriers, and interaction with other cells. T lymphocytes excel in these motility steps to ensure their immune surveillance duties. In particular, actin cytoskeleton remodeling is a key to facilitate the journey of T lymphocytes through distinct tissue environments and to tune their stop and go behavior during the scanning of antigen-presenting cells. The molecular mechanisms controlling actin cytoskeleton remodeling during T lymphocyte motility have been only partially unraveled, since the function of many actin regulators has not yet been assessed in these cells. Our review aims to integrate the current knowledge into a comprehensive picture of how the actin cytoskeleton drives T lymphocyte migration. We will present the molecular actors that control actin cytoskeleton remodeling, as well as their role in the different T lymphocyte motile steps. We will also highlight which challenges remain to be addressed experimentally and which approaches appear promising to tackle them. PMID:26635800

  12. Puppets, robots, critics, and actors within a taxonomy of attention for developmental disorders

    PubMed Central

    DENNIS, MAUREEN; SINOPOLI, KATIA J.; FLETCHER, JACK M.; SCHACHAR, RUSSELL

    2008-01-01

    This review proposes a new taxonomy of automatic and controlled attention. The taxonomy distinguishes among the role of the attendee (puppet and robot, critic and actor), the attention process (stimulus orienting vs. response control), and the attention operation (activation vs. inhibition vs. adjustment), and identifies cognitive phenotypes by which attention is overtly expressed. We apply the taxonomy to four childhood attention disorders: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, spina bifida meningomyelocele, traumatic brain injury, and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Variations in attention are related to specific brain regions that support normal attention processes when intact, and produce disordered attention when impaired. The taxonomy explains group differences in behavioral inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness, as well as medication response. We also discuss issues relevant to theories of the cognitive and neural architecture of attention: functional dissociations within and between automatic and controlled attention; the relative importance of type of brain damage and developmental timing to attention profile; cognitive-energetic models of attention and white matter damage; temporal processing deficits, attention deficits and cerebellar damage; and the issue of cognitive phenotypes as candidate endophenotypes. PMID:18764966

  13. International humanitarian actors and governments in areas of conflict: challenges, obligations, and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Paul

    2013-10-01

    For too long international humanitarian aid has neglected the primary responsibility of the state to assist and protect its citizens in times of disaster. A focus on the role of the state in contexts where governments are active parties to a conflict and are failing to live up to these responsibilities is difficult and underpins many of the recurring dilemmas of humanitarian action. The fundamental principles of humanitarian action should offer a framework for principled engagement with governments in situations of conflict but too often they are still interpreted as shorthand for ignoring governments. Using principles to inform engagement with both states and other international actors engaged in crises could provide a way forward. However, this would need to be a humanitarian agenda that engages with developing country governments, with non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) donors, and with the stabilisation and security agendas of Western governments, and not one that attempts to ring-fence an ever-shrinking isolationist humanitarian space. PMID:23876011

  14. T Lymphocyte Migration: An Action Movie Starring the Actin and Associated Actors.

    PubMed

    Dupré, Loïc; Houmadi, Raïssa; Tang, Catherine; Rey-Barroso, Javier

    2015-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is composed of a dynamic filament meshwork that builds the architecture of the cell to sustain its fundamental properties. This physical structure is characterized by a continuous remodeling, which allows cells to accomplish complex motility steps such as directed migration, crossing of biological barriers, and interaction with other cells. T lymphocytes excel in these motility steps to ensure their immune surveillance duties. In particular, actin cytoskeleton remodeling is a key to facilitate the journey of T lymphocytes through distinct tissue environments and to tune their stop and go behavior during the scanning of antigen-presenting cells. The molecular mechanisms controlling actin cytoskeleton remodeling during T lymphocyte motility have been only partially unraveled, since the function of many actin regulators has not yet been assessed in these cells. Our review aims to integrate the current knowledge into a comprehensive picture of how the actin cytoskeleton drives T lymphocyte migration. We will present the molecular actors that control actin cytoskeleton remodeling, as well as their role in the different T lymphocyte motile steps. We will also highlight which challenges remain to be addressed experimentally and which approaches appear promising to tackle them. PMID:26635800

  15. The proof is in the pudding: putting Actor-Network-Theory to work in medical education.

    PubMed

    Bleakley, Alan

    2012-01-01

    What constitutes valid evidence from medical education research is typically grounded in the scientific paradigm of proof through experiment. Here, explanation through single meaning is privileged over exploration of multiple presentations of phenomena--short, interpretation eclipses appreciation. This approach is challenged as reductive by naturalistic qualitative methods such as rich ethnographic field reports, presented as narratives. Contemporary ethnographic approaches have entered medical education by a back door--disguised as a stable of 'social learning theories'. Communities of Practice theory, Activity Theory and Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) all serve as research practices forming identifiable contemporary ethnographies. 'Evidence' is conceived as exploratory rather than explanatory, through baroque descriptions of innovations in learning organizations, including medicine. ANT is then both a theory of innovation in organizations and an ethnographic method, where practice and theory coincide. ANT is interested primarily not in epistemologies, but in how a phenomenon such as an 'illness' is conceived across differing practices as multiple ontologies (experienced meanings), each meaning generated and suspended within a particular network of effects. How such networks are initiated and developed has significance for rethinking the nature of 'evidence', restoring faith in the value of a good story. PMID:22489979

  16. Assessing and accounting for time heterogeneity in stochastic actor oriented models.

    PubMed

    Lospinoso, Joshua A; Schweinberger, Michael; Snijders, Tom A B; Ripley, Ruth M

    2011-07-01

    This paper explores time heterogeneity in stochastic actor oriented models (SAOM) proposed by Snijders (Sociological Methodology. Blackwell, Boston, pp 361-395, 2001) which are meant to study the evolution of networks. SAOMs model social networks as directed graphs with nodes representing people, organizations, etc., and dichotomous relations representing underlying relationships of friendship, advice, etc. We illustrate several reasons why heterogeneity should be statistically tested and provide a fast, convenient method for assessment and model correction. SAOMs provide a flexible framework for network dynamics which allow a researcher to test selection, influence, behavioral, and structural properties in network data over time. We show how the forward-selecting, score type test proposed by Schweinberger (Chapter 4: Statistical modeling of network panel data: goodness of fit. PhD thesis, University of Groningen 2007) can be employed to quickly assess heterogeneity at almost no additional computational cost. One step estimates are used to assess the magnitude of the heterogeneity. Simulation studies are conducted to support the validity of this approach. The ASSIST dataset (Campbell et al. Lancet 371(9624):1595-1602, 2008) is reanalyzed with the score type test, one step estimators, and a full estimation for illustration. These tools are implemented in the RSiena package, and a brief walkthrough is provided. PMID:22003370

  17. An actor-partner interdependence analysis of associations between affect and parenting behavior among couples.

    PubMed

    Murdock, Kyle W; Lovejoy, M Christine; Oddi, Kate B

    2014-03-01

    Prior studies evaluating associations between parental affect and parenting behavior have typically focused on either mothers or fathers despite evidence suggesting that affect and parenting behavior may be interdependent among couples. This study addressed this gap in the literature by evaluating associations between self-reported affect and parenting behavior using an actor-partner interdependence analysis among a sample of 53 mother-father dyads of 3- to 5-year-old children. Results suggested that mothers' and fathers' negative affect, as well as mothers' and fathers' positive affect, were positively associated. Both mothers' and fathers' negative affect were negatively associated with fathers' positive affect. Mothers' and fathers' harsh/negative parenting behavior, and supportive/engaged parenting behavior, were positively associated. Furthermore, mothers' negative affect was positively associated with mothers' and fathers' harsh/negative parenting behavior while mothers' positive affect was negatively associated with mothers' harsh/negative behavior and positively associated with mothers' supportive/engaged behavior. Fathers' negative affect was positively associated with fathers' supportive/engaged parenting behavior, while fathers' positive affect was positively associated with mothers' and fathers' supportive/engaged behavior. Results highlight the importance of conceptualizing and measuring characteristics of both mothers and fathers, if applicable, when researching the dynamics of interpersonal relationships within families. PMID:24438316

  18. Uranium accumulation by aquatic plants from uranium-contaminated water in Central Portugal.

    PubMed

    Pratas, João; Favas, Paulo J C; Paulo, Carlos; Rodrigues, Nelson; Prasad, M N V

    2012-03-01

    Several species of plants have developed a tolerance to metal that enables them to survive in metal contaminated and polluted sites. Some of these aquatic plants have been reported to accumulate significant amounts of specific trace elements and are, therefore, useful for phytofiltration. This work focuses the potential of aquatic plants for the phytofiltration of uranium (U) from contaminated water. We observed that Callitriche stagnalis, Lemna minor, and Fontinalis antipyretica, which grow in the uraniferous geochemical province of Central Portugal, have been able to accumulate significant amounts of U. The highest concentration of U was found in Callitriche stagnalis (1948.41 mg/kg DW), Fontinalis antipyretica (234.79 mg/kg DW), and Lemna minor (52.98 mg/kg DW). These results indicate their potential for the phytofiltration of U through constructed treatment wetlands or by introducing these plants into natural water bodies in the uraniferous province of Central Portugal. PMID:22567707

  19. A transnational perspective on psychosurgery: beyond Portugal and the United States.

    PubMed

    Collins, Brianne M; Stam, Henderikus J

    2014-01-01

    The history of psychosurgery is most often recounted as a narrative wherein Portuguese and American physicians play the leading role. It is a traditional narrative in which the United States and, at times, Portugal are central in the development and spread of psychosurgery. Here we largely abandon the archetypal narrative and provide one of the first transnational accounts of psychosurgery to demonstrate the existence of a global psychosurgical community in which more than 40 countries participated, bolstered, critiqued, modified and heralded the treatment. From its inception in 1935 until its decline in the mid-1960s, psychosurgery was performed on almost all continents. Rather than being a phenomenon isolated to the United States and Portugal, it became a truly transnational movement. PMID:25116422

  20. Reed warblers migrating through Portugal: climatic influence on stopover ecology over the last decade.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Pedro M; da Silva, Luís P; Paiva, Vitor H; Ramos, Jaime A

    2016-06-01

    The arrival and breeding dates of small migrant birds have advanced throughout Europe. This study evaluates the hypothesis of a faster migration along the migratory route, which should lead to a decrease in stopover duration in staging areas over the last decades. Several climatic predictors were analysed as proxies to understand the stopover ecology of reed warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus migrating through Central Portugal. The minimum stopover duration of migratory reed warblers decreased significantly over the last decade during both the spring and autumn migrations. Warmer conditions en route should increase food availability, increasing the body condition of departing birds and the quality of departing sites en route to Portugal, such that migrants will reduce the stopover duration at Portuguese reedbeds. PMID:26948014

  1. Evaluating macroinvertebrate biological metrics for ecological assessment of streams in northern Portugal.

    PubMed

    Varandas, Simone G; Cortes, Rui Manuel Vitor

    2010-07-01

    A procedure to select the most relevant metrics for assessing the ecological condition of the Douro basin (north Portugal) was developed based upon a set of 184 benthic community metrics. They were grouped into 16 biological categories selected from literature using data collected over 2 years from 54 sites along 31 rivers covering the whole perceived range of human disturbance. Multivariate analyses were carried out to identify the main trends in the macroinvertebrate data, to select reference versus impaired sites, to avoid multicolinearity between metrics, and to identify those that were clearly independent from natural stream typology. Structural metrics, adaptation metrics, and tolerance measures most effectively responded across a range of human influence. We find these attributes to be ecologically sound for monitoring Portugal's lotic ecosystems and providing information relevant to the Water Framework Directive, which asserts that the definition of water quality depends on its "ecological status", independent of the actual or potential uses of those waters. PMID:19488735

  2. An overview about the medical use of antifungals in Portugal in the last years.

    PubMed

    Manuel da S Azevedo, Maria; Cruz, Luisa; Pina-Vaz, Cidália; Gonçalves-Rodrigues, Acácio

    2016-05-01

    Despite the introduction of new antifungal agents, the frequency of invasive and mucocutaneous fungal infections as well as resistance to antifungal drugs continues to increase. Over 300 million persons are infected annually with fungi. Resistance to antimicrobials is one of today's major health threats. Can the possible causes of fungal antimicrobial resistance be understood and prevented to minimize risks to public health. We provide an overview of antifungal drug use in European countries, particularly Portugal. We reviewed prescriptions for and over-the-counter sales (OTC) of azoles in Portuguese pharmacies and in alternative shops. We conclude that in Portugal, azole antifungal sales, as well as medical prescribed azoles are very high. The Portuguese population consumes more antifungal drugs per capita than others in Europe. PMID:26865319

  3. Decrease in rate of multiple sclerosis-related hospitalizations in Portugal

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Marta; Lambrelli, Dimitra; Ramagopalan, Sreeram V.

    2016-01-01

    We sought to investigate the rate of multiple sclerosis (MS)-related hospitalizations in Portugal and assess whether there have been temporal changes as described in other countries. Using data from the Portuguese National Discharge Registry, we observed that between 2008 and 2013 the rate of MS-related hospitalizations decreased by 44%, from 15.9/100 person-years (95% confidence interval (CI: 14.9-16.9) in 2008 to 8.9/100 person-years (95% CI: 8.2-9.6) in 2013. The change in hospitalization rates is in accordance with what has been observed in other countries, and coincides with the release of new therapies for MS in Portugal.

  4. Health-related knowledge of primary prevention of cancer in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Costa, Ana Rute; Silva, Susana; Moura-Ferreira, Pedro; Villaverde-Cabral, Manuel; Santos, Osvaldo; do Carmo, Isabel; Barros, Henrique; Lunet, Nuno

    2016-01-01

    The increasing number of new cases of cancer highlights the relevance of primary prevention for cancer control, which is influenced, among other factors, by the population's health-related knowledge. Therefore, we aimed to describe cancer-related knowledge in Portugal, including perception of risk, awareness of cancer causes and preventive behaviours. We evaluated 1624 Portuguese-speaking dwellers, aged between 16 and 79 years, through face-to-face interviews conducted using a structured questionnaire. We computed adjusted (sex, age, education) regression coefficients and prevalence ratios, using linear and Poisson regression, respectively, to quantify associations with cancer-specific knowledge. The proportions of nonresponse ranged from 13.4 to 63.5% for the most frequent cancer in Portugal and the leading cause of cancer, respectively. The mean of the estimated lifetime risk of cancer in the Portuguese population was 37.0%. A total of 47.5% of the respondents identified breast cancer as the most frequent in Portugal, 72.0% named lifestyles as the leading cause of cancer and 40.2% selected not smoking as the most important preventive behaviour. Lower levels of education were associated with higher proportions of nonresponse, but not consistently with inaccurate knowledge. Men provided lower estimates of the lifetime risk of cancer, indicated breast cancer less frequently and more often lung cancer as the most frequent, and were more likely to select not smoking as the most important preventive behaviour. The present study provides relevant data on knowledge of cancer prevention, which may be used for the planning and evaluation of awareness-raising and primary prevention interventions in Portugal. PMID:25642793

  5. Climate change and pollutant emissions impacts on air quality in 2050 over Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sá, E.; Martins, H.; Ferreira, J.; Marta-Almeida, M.; Rocha, A.; Carvalho, A.; Freitas, S.; Borrego, C.

    2016-04-01

    Changes in climate and air pollutant emissions will affect future air quality from global to urban scale. In this study, regional air quality simulations for historical and future periods are conducted, with CAMx version 6.0, to investigate the impacts of future climate and anthropogenic emission projections on air quality over Portugal and the Porto metropolitan area in 2050. The climate and the emission projections were derived from the Representative Concentrations Pathways (RCP8.5) scenario. Modelling results show that climate change will impact NO2, PM10 and O3 concentrations over Portugal. The NO2 and PM10 annual means will increase in Portugal and in the Porto municipality, and the maximum 8-hr daily O3 value will increase in the Porto suburban areas (approximately 5%) and decrease in the urban area (approximately 2%). When considering climate change and projected anthropogenic emissions, the NO2 annual mean decreases (approximately 50%); PM10 annual mean will increase in Portugal and decrease in Porto municipality (approximately 13%); however PM10 and O3 levels increase and extremes occur more often, surpassing the currently legislated annual limits and displaying a higher frequency of daily exceedances. This air quality degradation is likely to be related with the trends found for the 2046-2065 climate, which implies warmer and dryer conditions, and with the increase of background concentrations of ozone and particulate matter. The results demonstrate the need for Portuguese authorities and policy-makers to design and implement air quality management strategies that take climate change impacts into account.

  6. Draft Genome Sequence of the First NDM-1-Producing Providencia stuartii Strain Isolated in Portugal

    PubMed Central

    Manageiro, Vera; Sampaio, Daniel A.; Pereira, Patrícia; Rodrigues, Paulo; Vieira, Luís; Palos, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    We report here the draft genome sequence of the first NDM-1-producing Providencia stuartii strain isolated in Portugal. Sequence analyses revealed the presence of an incompatibility group A/C2 (IncA/C2) plasmid and of diverse acquired genes conferring resistance to β-lactams, aminoglycosides, tetracycline, macrolides, chloramphenicol, and sulfonamides. This sequence contributes to the evaluation of the spread of NDM-1 producers. PMID:26404603

  7. Forecasting Portugal's Wind Power Production by a Fuzzy-PCA Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonçalves, Lio; Salgado, Paulo

    2011-09-01

    The increased integration of wind power into the electric grid, as nowadays occurs in Portugal, poses new challenges due to its intermittency and volatility. Wind power prediction plays a key role in tackling these challenges. The contribution of this paper is to propose a new approach, combining fuzzy clustering and PCA, that uses historical data and wind speed data to get estimates of power curves that are very accurate.

  8. Draft Genome Sequence of the First NDM-1-Producing Providencia stuartii Strain Isolated in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Manageiro, Vera; Sampaio, Daniel A; Pereira, Patrícia; Rodrigues, Paulo; Vieira, Luís; Palos, Carlos; Caniça, Manuela

    2015-01-01

    We report here the draft genome sequence of the first NDM-1-producing Providencia stuartii strain isolated in Portugal. Sequence analyses revealed the presence of an incompatibility group A/C2 (IncA/C2) plasmid and of diverse acquired genes conferring resistance to β-lactams, aminoglycosides, tetracycline, macrolides, chloramphenicol, and sulfonamides. This sequence contributes to the evaluation of the spread of NDM-1 producers. PMID:26404603

  9. Acute Q fever in Portugal. Epidemiological and clinical features of 32 hospitalized patients

    PubMed Central

    Palmela, Carolina; Badura, Robert; Valadas, Emília

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Q fever is a worldwide zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii. The main characteristic of acute Q fever is its clinical polymorphism, usually presenting as a febrile illness with varying degrees of hepatitis and/or pneumonia. Q fever is endemic in Portugal, and it is an obligatory notifiable disease since 1999. However, its epidemiological and clinical characteristics are still incompletely described. Methods We performed a retrospective study of 32 cases admitted in the Infectious Diseases Department, Santa Maria’s University Hospital, from January 2001 to December 2010, in whom acute Q fever was diagnosed by the presence of antibodies to phase II Coxiella burnetii antigens associated with a compatible clinical syndrome. Results Out of the 32 cases recorded, 29 (91%) were male, with a male:female ratio of 9.7:1. Individuals at productive age were mainly affected (88%, n=28, with ages between 25 and 64 years). Clinically, the most common manifestation of acute Q fever was hepatic involvement (84%, n=27), which occurred isolated in 53% (n=17) of the cases. Hepatitis was more severe, presenting with higher values of liver function tests, in patients presenting both pulmonary and hepatic involvement. Additionally, we report one case of myocarditis and another one with neurological involvement. Empiric but appropriate antibiotic therapy was given in 66% (n=21) of the cases. There was a complete recovery in 94% (n=30) of the patients, and one death. We confirmed the sub-notification of this disease in Portugal, with only 47% (n=15) of the cases notified. Conclusion In Portugal further studies are needed to confirm our results. From the 32 cases studied, acute Q fever presented more frequently as a febrile disease with hepatic involvement affecting mainly young male individuals. Furthermore, acute Q fever is clearly underdiagnosed and underreported in Portugal, which suggests that an increased awareness of the disease is needed, together with a broader use

  10. Effects of apparent temperature on daily mortality in Lisbon and Oporto, Portugal

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Evidence that elevated temperatures can lead to increased mortality is well documented, with population vulnerability being location specific. However, very few studies have been conducted that assess the effects of temperature on daily mortality in urban areas in Portugal. Methods In this paper time-series analysis was used to model the relationship between mean apparent temperature and daily mortality during the warm season (April to September) in the two largest urban areas in Portugal: Lisbon and Oporto. We used generalized additive Poisson regression models, adjusted for day of week and season. Results Our results show that in Lisbon, a 1°C increase in mean apparent temperature is associated with a 2.1% (95%CI: 1.6, 2.5), 2.4% (95%CI: 1.7, 3.1) and 1.7% (95%CI: 0.1, 3.4) increase in all-causes, cardiovascular, and respiratory mortality, respectively. In Oporto the increase was 1.5% (95%CI: 1.0, 1.9), 2.1% (95%CI: 1.3, 2.9) and 2.7% (95%CI: 1.2, 4.3) respectively. In both cities, this increase was greater for the group >65 years. Conclusion Even without extremes in apparent temperature, we observed an association between temperature and daily mortality in Portugal. Additional research is needed to allow for better assessment of vulnerability within populations in Portugal in order to develop more effective heat-related morbidity and mortality public health programs. PMID:20219128

  11. Hydro-meteorological extreme events in the 18th century in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fragoso, Marcelo; João Alcoforado, Maria; Taborda, João Paulo

    2013-04-01

    The present work is carried out in the frame of the KLIMHIST PROJECT ("Reconstruction and model simulations of past climate in Portugal using documentary and early instrumental sources, 17th-19th century)", and is devoted to the study of hydro-meteorological extreme events during the last 350 years, in order to understand how they have changed in time and compare them with current analogues. More specifically, the results selected to this presentation will focus on some hydro-meteorological extreme events of the 18th century, like severe droughts, heavy precipitation episodes and windstorms. One of the most noteworthy events was the winterstorm Bárbara (3rd to 6th December 1739), already studied in prior investigations (Taborda et al, 2004; Pfister et al, 2010), a devastating storm with strong impacts in Portugal caused by violent winds and heavy rainfall. Several other extreme events were detected by searching different documentary archives, including individual, administrative and ecclesiastic sources. Moreover, a more detailed insight to the 1783-1787 period will be made with regard the Lisbon region, taking into consideration the availability of information for daily meteorological observations as well as documentary evidences, like descriptions from Gazeta de Lisboa, the periodic with more continuous publication in the 18thcentury. Key-words: Instrumental data, Documentary data, Extreme events, Klimhist Project, Portugal References Pfister, C., Garnier, E., Alcoforado, M.J., Wheeler, D. Luterbacher, J. Nunes, M.F., Taborda, J.P. (2010) The meteorological framework and the cultural memory of three severe winter-storms in early eighteenth-century Europe, Climatic Change, 101, 1-2, 281-310 Taborda, JP; Alcoforado, MJ and Garcia, JC (2004) O Clima do Sul de Portugal no Séc.XVIII, Centro de Estudos Geográficos, Área de de Investigação de Geo-Ecologia, relatório no 2

  12. High seroprevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in wild animals from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Ana Patrícia; Sargo, Roberto; Rodrigues, Manuela; Cardoso, Luís

    2011-05-01

    We report an investigation of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in 52 wild birds and 20 wild mammals from northern and central areas of Portugal by using the modified agglutination test. The birds comprised 26 common buzzards (Buteo buteo), five tawny owls (Strix aluco), four white storks (Ceconia ceconia), three Eurasian eagle owls (Bubo bubo), three northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis), two booted eagles (Hieraaetus pennatus), two common barn owls (Tyto alba), two Eurasian sparrowhawks (Accipiter nisus), two short-toed eagles (Circaetus gallicus), one black kite (Milvus migrans), one Griffin vulture (Gyps fulvus), and one peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). The mammals were eight wild boars (Sus scrofa), six red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), two common genets (Genetta genetta), two European badgers (Meles meles), one European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), and one Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus). Fifty percent of the wild birds and 90% of the wild mammals were seropositive; the overall seroprevalence of infection was 61.1%. When comparing the prevalence of antibodies in birds and mammals from northern Portugal, a significant difference was found, but the same was not true for birds and mammals from central Portugal. Seroprevalence levels were 30.0% in juvenile and 62.5% in adult birds (p=0.046), 0.0% in juvenile and 94.7% in adult mammals (p=0.100), 80.0% in female and 66.7% in male birds (p=1.000), and 81.8% in female and 100% in male mammals (p=0.479). This is the first study performed on T. gondii in birds of prey, white storks, and wild carnivores in Portugal. PMID:21104273

  13. [APF. Open letter to the political parties, on the abortion situation in Portugal].

    PubMed

    1995-01-01

    On the eve of legislative elections on September 21, 1995, the Portuguese Family Planning Association published an open letter to the political parties about the situation of abortion in Portugal. This was part of the activities of the Working Group on the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy which has been carrying out relevant work about abortion in Portugal since 1991. This group unites diverse nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) of women, trade unions, and professionals. The open letter was approved by 19 NGOs and scores of personalities. Clandestine abortion continues to be one of the most severe health problems for women in reproductive age in Portugal and the primary cause of maternal death. The law of 6/84 on abortion, which allows for exceptions to the voluntary interruption of pregnancy for certain causes, has been considered inadequate by numerous civic and professional organizations. Only a small proportion of abortions are carried out in medical establishments out of the 16,000 abortions estimated to occur every year in Portugal. It is known that in many instances fetal malformations are diagnosed after 16 weeks of gestation, which is the limit for legal abortion stipulated in this law. Furthermore, the law has not been applied in flagrant cases, such as drug-addicted pregnant women and/or women infected with HIV. There was an attempt to revise the Penal Code with regard to this matter; however, its submission for debate to the National Assembly has been blocked. This shows that the question of illegal abortion continues to be a taboo topic for many politicians instead of a serious public health concern. The reasons why women undergo abortion are: contraceptive failure or method unreliability, and socioeconomic as well as emotional factors. The political parties are exhorted to exhibit the courage to amend the existing law and solve this problem. PMID:12179259

  14. New insights into the reconstructed temperature in Portugal over the last 400 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, J. A.; Carneiro, M. F.; Correia, A.; Alcoforado, M. J.; Zorita, E.; Gómez-Navarro, J. J.

    2015-01-01

    The reliability of an existing reconstructed annual (December-November) temperature series for the Lisbon region (Portugal) from 1600 onwards is assessed in the present study. The consistency of this series with: (1) five local borehole temperature-depth profiles; (2) synthetic temperature-depth profiles generated from both reconstructed temperatures and paleoclimate simulations in Portugal; (3) instrumental data sources over the twentieth century; and (4) temperature indices from documentary sources during the late Maunder Minimum (1675-1715) is assessed. It is found that reconstructed annual mean temperature series in Portugal, after European-wide reconstructions, is not consistent with both borehole profiles and paleoclimate simulations in their long-term variability and trends. Hence, the non-linear trend in the paleoclimate simulations is estimated and added to the reconstructed series (first-stage calibration). The annual reconstructed series is then calibrated in its location and scale parameters, using the instrumental series and a linear regression between them (second-stage calibration). The resulting calibrated series is then in clear accordance with the low-frequency variability of both borehole temperature-depth profiles and paleoclimate simulations. This calibrated series shows clear footprints of the Maunder and Dalton minima, mainly attributed to changes in solar activity and explosive volcanic eruptions, and a strong recent-past warming, attributed to human-driven forcing. Lastly, it is also in overall agreement with independently-derived annual temperature indices for the late Maunder Minimum. Thus, the series resulting of this re-calibration process for Lisbon can be of foremost relevance to improve the current understanding of the driving mechanisms of climate variability in Portugal.

  15. Estimation of the Crustal Bulk Properties Beneath Mainland Portugal from P-Wave Teleseismic Receiver Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dündar, Süleyman; Dias, Nuno A.; Silveira, Graça; Kind, Rainer; Vinnik, Lev; Matias, Luís; Bianchi, Marcelo

    2016-03-01

    In this work, we present results from teleseismic P-wave receiver functions (PRFs) obtained in Portugal, Western Iberia. A dense seismic station deployment conducted between 2010 and 2012, in the scope of the WILAS project and covering the entire country, allowed the most spatially extensive probing on the bulk crustal seismic properties of Portugal up to date. The application of the H-κ stacking algorithm to the PRFs enabled us to estimate the crustal thickness (H) and the average crustal ratio of the P- and S-waves velocities V p/V s (κ) for the region. Observations of Moho conversions indicate that this interface is relatively smooth with the crustal thickness ranging between 24 and 34 km, with an average of 30 km. The highest V p/V s values are found on the Mesozoic-Cenozoic crust beneath the western and southern coastal domain of Portugal, whereas the lowest values correspond to Palaeozoic crust underlying the remaining part of the subject area. An average V p/V s is found to be 1.72, ranging 1.63-1.86 across the study area, indicating a predominantly felsic composition. Overall, we systematically observe a decrease of V p/V s with increasing crustal thickness. Taken as a whole, our results indicate a clear distinction between the geological zones of the Variscan Iberian Massif in Portugal, the overall shape of the anomalies conditioned by the shape of the Ibero-Armorican Arc, and associated Late Paleozoic suture zones, and the Meso-Cenozoic basin associated with Atlantic rifting stages. Thickened crust (30-34 km) across the studied region may be inherited from continental collision during the Paleozoic Variscan orogeny. An anomalous crustal thinning to around 28 km is observed beneath the central part of the Central Iberian Zone and the eastern part of South Portuguese Zone.

  16. Estimation of the Crustal Bulk Properties Beneath Mainland Portugal from P-Wave Teleseismic Receiver Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dündar, Süleyman; Dias, Nuno A.; Silveira, Graça; Kind, Rainer; Vinnik, Lev; Matias, Luís; Bianchi, Marcelo

    2016-06-01

    In this work, we present results from teleseismic P-wave receiver functions (PRFs) obtained in Portugal, Western Iberia. A dense seismic station deployment conducted between 2010 and 2012, in the scope of the WILAS project and covering the entire country, allowed the most spatially extensive probing on the bulk crustal seismic properties of Portugal up to date. The application of the H- κ stacking algorithm to the PRFs enabled us to estimate the crustal thickness ( H) and the average crustal ratio of the P- and S-waves velocities V p/ V s ( κ) for the region. Observations of Moho conversions indicate that this interface is relatively smooth with the crustal thickness ranging between 24 and 34 km, with an average of 30 km. The highest V p/ V s values are found on the Mesozoic-Cenozoic crust beneath the western and southern coastal domain of Portugal, whereas the lowest values correspond to Palaeozoic crust underlying the remaining part of the subject area. An average V p/ V s is found to be 1.72, ranging 1.63-1.86 across the study area, indicating a predominantly felsic composition. Overall, we systematically observe a decrease of V p/ V s with increasing crustal thickness. Taken as a whole, our results indicate a clear distinction between the geological zones of the Variscan Iberian Massif in Portugal, the overall shape of the anomalies conditioned by the shape of the Ibero-Armorican Arc, and associated Late Paleozoic suture zones, and the Meso-Cenozoic basin associated with Atlantic rifting stages. Thickened crust (30-34 km) across the studied region may be inherited from continental collision during the Paleozoic Variscan orogeny. An anomalous crustal thinning to around 28 km is observed beneath the central part of the Central Iberian Zone and the eastern part of South Portuguese Zone.

  17. Genotyping Characterization of Toxoplasma gondii in Cattle, Sheep, Goats and Swine from the North of Portugal

    PubMed Central

    LOPES, Ana Patrícia; VILARES, Anabela; NETO, Francisco; RODRIGUES, Alcina; MARTINS, Tânia; FERREIRA, Idalina; GARGATÉ, Maria João; RODRIGUES, Manuela; CARDOSO, Luís

    2015-01-01

    Background: Epidemiological investigations on Toxoplasma gondii infection have found a significant association between human toxoplasmosis and consumption of raw or undercooked meat. The present study aimed to characterize genotypes of T. gondii in 20 cattle, 40 sheep, 15 goats and 16 pigs from the North of Portugal. Methods: Nested PCR amplified the surface antigen 2 (SAG2) gene. Sequencing analysis was performed in order to assess the prevalence of SAG2 type strains (I, II and III). Results: Three and 4 strains of SAG2 type II were identified in heart samples of cattle and sheep, respectively. Three SAG2 type II strains were detected in brain, diaphragm and heart of 3 pigs. Three strains detected in heart samples of 3 goats belonged to SAG2 types I or II; with the same result being observed in heart samples from 2 sheep and in 2 brain and 1 heart samples from 3 pigs. Conclusion: SAG2 type II has been shown for the first time to infect cattle in North of Portugal. In addition, SAG2 type II has also been confirmed as the predominant strain in sheep and pigs in the same region. This is the first molecular report of T. gondii in goats from Portugal. PMID:26622302

  18. Phylogenetic status and matrilineal structure of the biting midge, Culicoides imicola, in Portugal, Rhodes and Israel.

    PubMed

    Dallas, J F; Cruickshank, R H; Linton, Y-M; Nolan, D V; Patakakis, M; Braverman, Y; Capela, R; Capela, M; Pena, I; Meiswinkel, R; Ortega, M D; Baylis, M; Mellor, P S; Mordue Luntz, A J

    2003-12-01

    The biting midge Culicoides imicola Kieffer (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) is the most important Old World vector of African horse sickness (AHS) and bluetongue (BT). Recent increases of BT incidence in the Mediterranean basin are attributed to its increased abundance and distribution. The phylogenetic status and genetic structure of C. imicola in this region are unknown, despite the importance of these aspects for BT epidemiology in the North American BT vector. In this study, analyses of partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene (COI) sequences were used to infer phylogenetic relationships among 50 C. imicola from Portugal, Rhodes, Israel, and South Africa and four other species of the Imicola Complex from southern Africa, and to estimate levels of matrilineal subdivision in C. imicola between Portugal and Israel. Eleven haplotypes were detected in C. imicola, and these formed one well-supported clade in maximum likelihood and Bayesian trees implying that the C. imicola samples comprise one phylogenetic species. Molecular variance was distributed mainly between Portugal and Israel, with no haplotypes shared between these countries, suggesting that female-mediated gene flow at this scale has been either limited or non-existent. Our results provide phylogenetic evidence that C. imicola in the study areas are potentially competent AHS and BT vectors. The geographical structure of the C. imicola COI haplotypes was concordant with that of BT virus serotypes in recent BT outbreaks in the Mediterranean basin, suggesting that population subdivision in its vector can impose spatial constraints on BT virus transmission. PMID:14651651

  19. Parental Self-Efficacy and Positive Contributions Regarding Autism Spectrum Condition: An Actor-Partner Interdependence Model.

    PubMed

    García-López, Cristina; Sarriá, Encarnación; Pozo, Pilar

    2016-07-01

    Couples affect each other cognitively, emotionally and behaviorally. The goal of this study is to test the benefits and potential use of the actor-partner interdependence model in examining how parental self-efficacy and positive contributions of fathers and mothers of children with Autism Spectrum Condition influence each other's psychological adaptation. The sample includes 76 Spanish couples who completed validated questionnaires measuring predictors, i.e., self-efficacy and positive contributions, and adaptation outcomes i.e., stress, anxiety, depression and psychological well-being. Multilevel analysis revealed many actor and some partner effects of parental self-efficacy and positive contributions to be important determinants of adaptation above and beyond child and sociodemographic factors, and as such, these effects should be targeted in clinical intervention programs. PMID:27007725

  20. Theorising big IT programmes in healthcare: strong structuration theory meets actor-network theory.

    PubMed

    Greenhalgh, Trisha; Stones, Rob

    2010-05-01

    The UK National Health Service is grappling with various large and controversial IT programmes. We sought to develop a sharper theoretical perspective on the question "What happens - at macro-, meso- and micro-level - when government tries to modernise a health service with the help of big IT?" Using examples from data fragments at the micro-level of clinical work, we considered how structuration theory and actor-network theory (ANT) might be combined to inform empirical investigation. Giddens (1984) argued that social structures and human agency are recursively linked and co-evolve. ANT studies the relationships that link people and technologies in dynamic networks. It considers how discourses become inscribed in data structures and decision models of software, making certain network relations irreversible. Stones' (2005) strong structuration theory (SST) is a refinement of Giddens' work, systematically concerned with empirical research. It views human agents as linked in dynamic networks of position-practices. A quadripartite approcach considers [a] external social structures (conditions for action); [b] internal social structures (agents' capabilities and what they 'know' about the social world); [c] active agency and actions and [d] outcomes as they feed back on the position-practice network. In contrast to early structuration theory and ANT, SST insists on disciplined conceptual methodology and linking this with empirical evidence. In this paper, we adapt SST for the study of technology programmes, integrating elements from material interactionism and ANT. We argue, for example, that the position-practice network can be a socio-technical one in which technologies in conjunction with humans can be studied as 'actants'. Human agents, with their complex socio-cultural frames, are required to instantiate technology in social practices. Structurally relevant properties inscribed and embedded in technological artefacts constrain and enable human agency. The fortunes

  1. Sulfate-Reducing Microorganisms in Wetlands – Fameless Actors in Carbon Cycling and Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Pester, Michael; Knorr, Klaus-Holger; Friedrich, Michael W.; Wagner, Michael; Loy, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Freshwater wetlands are a major source of the greenhouse gas methane but at the same time can function as carbon sink. Their response to global warming and environmental pollution is one of the largest unknowns in the upcoming decades to centuries. In this review, we highlight the role of sulfate-reducing microorganisms (SRM) in the intertwined element cycles of wetlands. Although regarded primarily as methanogenic environments, biogeochemical studies have revealed a previously hidden sulfur cycle in wetlands that can sustain rapid renewal of the small standing pools of sulfate. Thus, dissimilatory sulfate reduction, which frequently occurs at rates comparable to marine surface sediments, can contribute up to 36–50% to anaerobic carbon mineralization in these ecosystems. Since sulfate reduction is thermodynamically favored relative to fermentative processes and methanogenesis, it effectively decreases gross methane production thereby mitigating the flux of methane to the atmosphere. However, very little is known about wetland SRM. Molecular analyses using dsrAB [encoding subunit A and B of the dissimilatory (bi)sulfite reductase] as marker genes demonstrated that members of novel phylogenetic lineages, which are unrelated to recognized SRM, dominate dsrAB richness and, if tested, are also abundant among the dsrAB-containing wetland microbiota. These discoveries point toward the existence of so far unknown SRM that are an important part of the autochthonous wetland microbiota. In addition to these numerically dominant microorganisms, a recent stable isotope probing study of SRM in a German peatland indicated that rare biosphere members might be highly active in situ and have a considerable stake in wetland sulfate reduction. The hidden sulfur cycle in wetlands and the fact that wetland SRM are not well represented by described SRM species explains their so far neglected role as important actors in carbon cycling and climate change. PMID:22403575

  2. The current structure of key actors involved in research on land and soil degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Escadafal, Richard; Barbero, Celia; Exbrayat, Williams; Marques, Maria Jose; Ruiz, Manuel; El Haddadi, Anass; Akhtar-Schuster, Mariam

    2013-04-01

    Land and soil conservation topics, the final mandate of the United Convention to Combat desertification in drylands, have been diagnosed as still suffering from a lack of guidance. On the contrary, climate change and biodiversity issues -the other two big subjects of the Rio Conventions- seem to progress and may benefit from the advice of international panels. Arguably the weakness of policy measures and hence the application of scientific knowledge by land users and stakeholders could be the expression of an inadequate research organization and a lack of ability to channel their findings. In order to better understand the size, breadth and depth of the scientific communities involved in providing advice to this convention and to other bodies, this study explores the corpus of international publications dealing with land and/or with soils. A database of several thousands records including a significant part of the literature published so far was performed using the Web of Science and other socio-economic databases such as FRANCIS and CAIRN. We extracted hidden information using bibliometric methods and data mining applied to these scientific publications to map the key actors (laboratories, teams, institutions) involved in research on land and on soils. Several filters were applied to the databases in combination with the word "desertification". The further use of Tetralogie software merges databases, analyses similarities and differences between keywords, disciplines, authors and regions and identifies obvious clusters. Assessing their commonalities and differences, the visualisation of links and gaps between scientists, organisations, policymakers and other stakeholders is possible. The interpretation of the 'clouds' of disciplines, keywords, and techniques will enhance the understanding of interconnections between them; ultimately this will allow diagnosing some of their strengths and weaknesses. This may help explain why land and soil degradation remains a

  3. Pharmaceutical digital marketing and governance: illicit actors and challenges to global patient safety and public health

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Digital forms of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing (eDTCA) have globalized in an era of free and open information exchange. Yet, the unregulated expansion of eDTCA has resulted in unaddressed global public health threats. Specifically, illicit online pharmacies are engaged in the sale of purportedly safe, legitimate product that may in fact be counterfeit or substandard. These cybercriminal actors exploit available eDTCA mediums over the Internet to market their suspect products globally. Despite these risks, a detailed assessment of the public health, patient safety, and cybersecurity threats and governance mechanisms to address them has not been conducted. Discussion Illicit online pharmacies represent a significant global public health and patient safety risk. Existing governance mechanisms are insufficient and include lack of adequate adoption in national regulation, ineffective voluntary governance mechanisms, and uneven global law enforcement efforts that have allowed proliferation of these cybercriminals on the web. In order to effectively address this multistakeholder threat, inclusive global governance strategies that engage the information technology, law enforcement and public health sectors should be established. Summary Effective global “eHealth Governance” focused on cybercrime is needed in order to effectively combat illicit online pharmacies. This includes building upon existing Internet governance structures and coordinating partnership between the UN Office of Drugs and Crime that leads the global fight against transnational organized crime and the Internet Governance Forum that is shaping the future of Internet governance. Through a UNODC-IGF governance mechanism, investigation, detection and coordination of activities against illicit online pharmacies and their misuse of eDTCA can commence. PMID:24131576

  4. "mysterium Cosmographicum", for Orchestra, Narrator/actor, and Computer Music on Tape. (with Original Composition)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keefe, Robert Michael

    Mysterium Cosmographicum is a musical chronicle of an astronomy treatise by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630). Kepler's Mysterium Cosmographicum (Tubingen, 1596), or "Secret of the Universe," was a means by which he justified the existence of the six planets discovered during his lifetime. Kepler, through flawless a priori reasoning, goes to great lengths to explain that the reason there are six and only six planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) is because God had placed one of the five regular solids (tetrahedron, cube, octa-, dodeca-, and icosahedron) around each orbiting body. Needless to say, the publication was not very successful, nor did it gain much comment from Kepler's peers, Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) and Tycho Brahe (1546-1601). But hidden within the Mysterium Cosmographicum, almost like a new planet waiting to be discovered, is one of Kepler's three laws of planetary motion, a law that held true for planets discovered long after Kepler's lifetime. Mysterium Cosmographicum is a monologue with music in three parts for orchestra, narrator/actor, and computer music on tape. All musical data structures are generated via an interactive Pascal computer program that computes latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates for each of the nine planets as seen from a fixed point on Earth for any given time frame. These coordinates are then mapped onto selected musical parameters as determined by the composer. Whenever Kepler reads from his treatise or from a lecture or correspondence, the monologue is supported by orchestral planetary data generated from the exact place, date, and time of the treatise, lecture, or correspondence. To the best of my knowledge, Mysterium Cosmographicum is the first composition ever written that employs planetary data as a supporting chronology to action and monologue.

  5. Contracting private sector providers for public sector health services in Jalisco, Mexico: perspectives of system actors

    PubMed Central

    Nigenda, Gustavo H; González, Luz María

    2009-01-01

    Introduction Contracting out health services is a strategy that many health systems in the developing world are following, despite the lack of decisive evidence that this is the best way to improve quality, increase efficiency and expand coverage. A large body of literature has appeared in recent years focusing on the results of several contracting strategies, but very few papers have addressed aspects of the managerial process and how this can affect results. Case description This paper describes and analyses the perceptions and opinions of managers and workers about the benefits and challenges of the contracting model that has been in place for almost 10 years in the State of Jalisco, Mexico. Both qualitative and quantitative information was collected. An open-ended questionnaire was used to obtain information from a group of managers, while information provided by a self-selected group of workers was collected via a closed-ended questionnaire. The analysis contrasted the information obtained from each source. Discussion and Evaluation Findings show that perceptions of managers and workers vary for most of the items studied. For managers the model has been a success, as it has allowed for expansion of coverage based on a cost-effective strategy, while for workers the model also possesses positive elements but fails to provide fair labour relationships, which negatively affects their performance. Conclusion Perspectives of the two main groups of actors in Jalisco's contracting model are important in the design and adjustment of an adequate contracting model that includes managerial elements to give incentives to worker performance, a key element necessary to achieve the model's ultimate objectives. Lessons learnt from this study could be relevant for the experience of contracting models in other developing countries. PMID:19849831

  6. Politics, class actors, and health sector reform in Brazil and Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Mahmood, Qamar; Muntaner, Carles

    2013-03-01

    involves various actors within the state, the political society and civil society. PMID:23563780

  7. Origin and Population Dynamics of a Novel HIV-1 Subtype G Clade Circulating in Cape Verde and Portugal.

    PubMed

    de Pina-Araujo, Isabel Inês M; Delatorre, Edson; Guimarães, Monick L; Morgado, Mariza G; Bello, Gonzalo

    2015-01-01

    The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) subtype G is the most prevalent and second most prevalent HIV-1 clade in Cape Verde and Portugal, respectively; but there is no information about the origin and spatiotemporal dispersal pattern of this HIV-1 clade circulating in those countries. To this end, we used Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian coalescent-based methods to analyze a collection of 578 HIV-1 subtype G pol sequences sampled throughout Portugal, Cape Verde and 11 other countries from West and Central Africa over a period of 22 years (1992 to 2013). Our analyses indicate that most subtype G sequences from Cape Verde (80%) and Portugal (95%) branched together in a distinct monophyletic cluster (here called G(CV-PT)). The G(CV-PT) clade probably emerged after a single migration of the virus out of Central Africa into Cape Verde between the late 1970s and the middle 1980s, followed by a rapid dissemination to Portugal a couple of years later. Reconstruction of the demographic history of the G(CV-PT) clade circulating in Cape Verde and Portugal indicates that this viral clade displayed an initial phase of exponential growth during the 1980s and 1990s, followed by a decline in growth rate since the early 2000s. Our data also indicate that during the exponential growth phase the G(CV-PT) clade recombined with a preexisting subtype B viral strain circulating in Portugal, originating the CRF14_BG clade that was later disseminated to Spain and Cape Verde. Historical and recent human population movements between Angola, Cape Verde and Portugal probably played a key role in the origin and dispersal of the G(CV-PT )and CRF14_BG clades. PMID:25993094

  8. Origin and Population Dynamics of a Novel HIV-1 Subtype G Clade Circulating in Cape Verde and Portugal

    PubMed Central

    Guimarães, Monick L.; Morgado, Mariza G.; Bello, Gonzalo

    2015-01-01

    The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) subtype G is the most prevalent and second most prevalent HIV-1 clade in Cape Verde and Portugal, respectively; but there is no information about the origin and spatiotemporal dispersal pattern of this HIV-1 clade circulating in those countries. To this end, we used Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian coalescent-based methods to analyze a collection of 578 HIV-1 subtype G pol sequences sampled throughout Portugal, Cape Verde and 11 other countries from West and Central Africa over a period of 22 years (1992 to 2013). Our analyses indicate that most subtype G sequences from Cape Verde (80%) and Portugal (95%) branched together in a distinct monophyletic cluster (here called GCV-PT). The GCV-PT clade probably emerged after a single migration of the virus out of Central Africa into Cape Verde between the late 1970s and the middle 1980s, followed by a rapid dissemination to Portugal a couple of years later. Reconstruction of the demographic history of the GCV-PT clade circulating in Cape Verde and Portugal indicates that this viral clade displayed an initial phase of exponential growth during the 1980s and 1990s, followed by a decline in growth rate since the early 2000s. Our data also indicate that during the exponential growth phase the GCV-PT clade recombined with a preexisting subtype B viral strain circulating in Portugal, originating the CRF14_BG clade that was later disseminated to Spain and Cape Verde. Historical and recent human population movements between Angola, Cape Verde and Portugal probably played a key role in the origin and dispersal of the GCV-PT and CRF14_BG clades. PMID:25993094

  9. Associations between Perceived HIV Stigma and Quality of Life at the Dyadic Lvel: The Actor-Partner Interdependence Model

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Hongjie; Xu, Yongfang; Lin, Xinjin; Shi, Jian; Chen, Shiyi

    2013-01-01

    Background Few studies have investigated the relationship between HIV-related stigma and quality life at the dyadic level. The objective of this study was to examine the actor and partner effects of stigma that was perceived by people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) and caregivers on quality of life at the dyadic level. Method A survey was conducted among 148 dyads consisting of one PLWHA and one caregiver (296 participants) in Nanning, China. The interdependent relationship between a pair of dyadic members that influences the associations between stigma and quality of life was analyzed, using an innovative dyadic analysis technique: the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM). Results We found in this dyadic analysis that (1) PLWHAs compared to their caregivers exhibited a higher level of perceived HIV stigma and lower level of quality of life measured in four domains; (2) both PLWHAs' and caregivers' perceived HIV stigma influenced their own quality of life; (3) The quality of life was not substantially influenced by their partners' perceived stigma; and (4) Both actor and partner effects of stigma on quality of life were similar among PLWHAs and their caregivers. Conclusion As HIV stigma and quality of life are complex phenomena rooted in cultures, intervention programs should be carefully planned based on social or cognitive theories and should be culturally adopted. PMID:23383343

  10. Trends of cross-border mobility of physicians and nurses between Portugal and Spain

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Context Health workforce cross-border mobility has an impact not only on individual health workers, but also on how health services are organized, planned, and delivered. This paper presents the results of a study of current mobility trends of health professionals along the borders between Portugal and Spain. The objective was to describe the profile of mobile physicians and nurses; to elicit the opinions of employers on mobility factors; to describe incentive policies to retain or attract health professionals; and to collect and analyse employers’ opinions on the impact of this mobility on their health services. Methods Phone interviews of key informants were used to collect relevant data. The interviews were conducted during December 2010 and January 2011 in health organizations along the border of the two countries. In Portugal and Spain, four and 13 organizations were selected, respectively. Interviews were obtained in all the Portuguese organizations and in four of the Spanish organizations. Results Findings suggest that cross-border mobility between the two countries has decreased. From Spain to Portugal, mobility trends are mainly of physicians who seek professional development in the form of specialization, the availability of positions, better salaries, and the perceived good living conditions. The mobility of nurses lasted until 2008, when reforms improved working conditions in Spain and contributed to reversing the flow. Since then, there has been an increase of Portuguese nurses going to Spain seeking better working conditions or simply a job. Portuguese nurses as well as Spanish physicians are well considered in terms of professionalism and qualifications by their Spanish and Portuguese hosts, respectively. Conclusions There is a deficit of valid data on the health workforce in general. The present study allowed further exploration of the reality of the mobility trends between Portugal and Spain. At present, the mobility trends are mainly of Spanish

  11. Spatial variation of the scaling structure of short-term rainfall over Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Lima, M. I. P.; Coelho, M. F. E. S.; de Lima, J. L. M. P.

    2009-04-01

    The spatial and temporal structure of rain, which typically exhibits extreme variability, is a core issue in studies that span a variety of research areas, e.g. hydrology, hydraulics, environment, energy, economics, society. The interest in rain can demand its study and characterization at a variety of space- and time-scales. Different tools and methodologies are used for this purpose, which are usually complementary. Mainland Portugal is located in the transitional region between the sub-tropical anticyclone and the sub-polar depression zones. The spatial distribution of precipitation over the territory and its seasonal variability are due to the characteristics of the global circulation. One specific feature is the Atlantic origin of many synoptic disturbances, e.g. seasonal movements of the Azores high pressure system, in the context of the regional geography (e.g. latitude, orography, oceanic and continental influences). Although the variation in climate factors is fairly small, it is sufficient to justify significant variations in precipitation. Compared with the northern region of Portugal, the southern region is warmer and drier; there the climate is semi-arid, and the region is well-known for its vulnerability to climate variability. Two storm types dominate the occurrence of rainfall in mainland Portugal: convective storms and frontal storms. Convective storms are typical during the summer and in early and mid autumn, and are more frequent in the southern regions; frontal storms occur principally in the winter season, and affect the northern regions more. In this work we discuss results of scale-invariant analyses of the temporal structure of rain from several locations in mainland Portugal. The aim was to investigate the statistical signature of rain events of different origins, resulting from the large number of mechanisms and factors affecting the rainfall climate over Portugal. The study uses hourly rainfall time series covering periods of about 30

  12. Global health actors no longer in favor of user fees: a documentary study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Since the advent of health user fees in low- and middle-income countries in the 1980s, the discourse of global health actors (GHAs) has changed to the disadvantage of this type of healthcare financing mechanism. The aim of the study was to identify and analyze the stance of GHAs in the debate on user fees. Methods We conducted documentary research using public documents published by and officially attributed to GHAs from 2005 to 2011. We categorized GHAs into four groups: intergovernmental organizations, international non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and working groups and networks. We then classified the GHAs according to their stance relative to the abolition of user fees, and conducted a thematic analysis of their discourse to understand the arguments used by each GHA to justify its stance. Results We identified 56 GHAs, for which we analyzed 140 documents. Among them, 55% were in favor of the abolition of user fees or in favor of free care at the point of delivery. None of the GHAs stated that they were in favor of user fees; however, 30% did not take a stand. Only the World Bank declares that it is both in favor of user fees and in favor of free care at point of service. GHAs generally circumscribe their stance to specific populations (pregnant women, children under 5 years, etc.) or to specific health services (primary, basic, essential). Three types of arguments are used by GHAs to justify their stance: economic, moral and ethical, and pragmatic. Conclusions The principle of “user pays” seems to have fizzled. Production and dissemination of evidence, as well as certain advocacy networks, may have contributed to this change in discourse. However, GHAs should go a step further and translate their words into action, so that free healthcare at the point of delivery becomes a reality in low- and middle-income countries. They should provide technical and financial support to those countries that have chosen to implement user fee

  13. Sense of agency in joint action: influence of human and computer co-actors.

    PubMed

    Obhi, Sukhvinder S; Hall, Preston

    2011-06-01

    Intentional binding is the perceived shortening of the time between a voluntary action and its consequent effect and has been suggested as an implicit measure of agency. This shortening has been linked to processes underlying action preparation and is also affected by post-movement feedback. Intentional binding has been demonstrated in joint action tasks involving two humans, but it is unknown whether it occurs for tasks involving a human working alongside a non-human partner. This experiment investigated the influence of high-level feedback on the experience of agency and whether binding occurs in human-computer joint action settings. Participants were involved in two versions an action task involving another 'agent'. In one version, two participants (a genuine participant and a confederate) sat side by side, separated by a curtain that prevented vision of the other person. In baseline conditions, both participants were instructed to make a self-paced action and judge the time of the action by reporting the position of a rotating clock-hand on a computer screen. In other baseline conditions, participants judged the time of an auditory tone. In operant conditions, participants made actions and the genuine participant's action was followed 200 ms later by a tone on every trial. To examine the effect of post-movement information on binding and explicit agency judgments, a colour cue was presented on each trial informing participants about which person's action caused the tone. In another version of the task, participants were paired with a computer instead of a human co-actor. Post-movement information affected the genuine participant's explicit agency judgments but had no effect on intentional binding, which always occurred. In the human-computer version, participants never showed binding, even when they explicitly judged that their action had caused the tone. We suggest that human-human partnerships result in the formation of a new 'we' agentic identity, but that

  14. The Afrotropical Miomantiscaffra Saussure 1871 and Miomantispaykullii Stal 1871: first records of alien mantid species in Portugal and Europe, with an updated checklist of Mantodea in Portugal (Insecta: Mantodea).

    PubMed

    Marabuto, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    The recent growing interest on the Mantodea fauna of southern Europe and Portugal in particular, has enabled the discovery of two geographically separated populations of hitherto unknown species in Europe. Analysis of specimens shows that they belong to two Afrotropical mantids: Miomantiscaffra Saussure, 1871 and Miomantispaykullii Stal, 1871, thus raising the number of known species in Europe to 39 and in Portugal to 11. While these are remarkable findings, they also represent the first alien mantis species recorded from this continent. As yet, these species appear to be confined to artificial humanised gardened areas but call for more attention to the problem of biological invasions and the need for better bio-security measures for the conservation of natural ecosystems. In the absence of recent revisionary work on the Mantodea of Portugal and given the need to provide an accessible identification tool, both a checklist and a key to species are provided for all species in the country. PMID:25425938

  15. The Afrotropical Miomantis caffra Saussure 1871 and Miomantis paykullii Stal 1871: first records of alien mantid species in Portugal and Europe, with an updated checklist of Mantodea in Portugal (Insecta: Mantodea)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The recent growing interest on the Mantodea fauna of southern Europe and Portugal in particular, has enabled the discovery of two geographically separated populations of hitherto unknown species in Europe. Analysis of specimens shows that they belong to two Afrotropical mantids: Miomantis caffra Saussure, 1871 and Miomantis paykullii Stal, 1871, thus raising the number of known species in Europe to 39 and in Portugal to 11. While these are remarkable findings, they also represent the first alien mantis species recorded from this continent. As yet, these species appear to be confined to artificial humanised gardened areas but call for more attention to the problem of biological invasions and the need for better bio-security measures for the conservation of natural ecosystems. In the absence of recent revisionary work on the Mantodea of Portugal and given the need to provide an accessible identification tool, both a checklist and a key to species are provided for all species in the country. PMID:25425938

  16. "Houses and Fields and Vineyards Shall Yet Again Be Bought in This Land": The Story of Ana, a Public Kindergarten Teacher in Portugal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vasconcelos, Teresa Maria Sena

    This study examined the teaching style and methods of Ana, a kindergarten teacher in Portugal, chosen because she is considered a master teacher by colleagues and parents and because she grew up in Portugal before democracy. The study attempted to answer the questions: (1) What are the commitments and competencies that distinguish Ana as a master…

  17. First survey for Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina infection in cattle from Central and Southern regions of Portugal using serological and DNA detection methods

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Incidence of bovine babesiosis in Portugal is currently unknown. In this study, a first survey of Babesia bovis and B. bigemina infection in cattle was carried out using blood samples from 406 clinically healthy individuals from different districts from Central and Southern regions of Portugal and a...

  18. sup 40 Ar- sup 39 Ar dating of the Beja gabbro: Timing of the accretion of southern Portugal

    SciTech Connect

    Ruffet, G. )

    1990-11-01

    The {sup 40}Ar-{sup 39}Ar dating of the amphibole from the Beja gabbro (Southern Portugal) yields a plateau age at 336.4 {plus minus} 0.8 Ma (2{sigma} level). The corresponding calculated isotopic closure temperature is around 800C. The comparison of this temperature with the magnetic blocking temperature ({approximately}570C) allows an estimation of a probable thermoremanent acquisition age for the characteristic magnetization component of the Beja gabbro between 335Ma and 315Ma, assuming cooling rates between 10C/Ma and 100C/Ma. These results, combined wtih paleomagnetic results from the Beja gabbro and Late Paleozoic rocks from Southern Portugal (Perroud et al., 1985), suggest that the southermost part of Spain and Portugal was separated from Northern Iberia in Early Carboniferous times and was accreted to Europe during the Late Carboniferous.

  19. Place-Based Initiatives to Improve Health in Disadvantaged Communities: Cross-Sector Characteristics and Networks of Local Actors in North Carolina

    PubMed Central

    Moody, James; Nelson, Alicia; Willis, Janese M.; Fuller, Lori; Smart, Allen J.; Easterling, Doug; Silberberg, Mina

    2016-01-01

    Objectives. To examine the leadership attributes and collaborative connections of local actors from the health sector and those outside the health sector in a major place-based health initiative. Methods. We used survey data from 340 individuals in 4 Healthy Places North Carolina counties from 2014 to assess the leadership attributes (awareness, attitudes, and capacity) and network connections of local actors by their organizational sector. Results. Respondents’ leadership attributes—scored on 5-point Likert scales—were similar across Healthy Places North Carolina counties. Although local actors reported high levels of awareness and collaboration around community health improvement, we found lower levels of capacity for connecting diversity, identifying barriers, and using resources in new ways to improve community health. Actors outside the health sector had generally lower levels of capacity than actors in the health sector. Those in the health sector exhibited the majority of network ties in their community; however, they were also the most segregated from actors in other sectors. Conclusions. More capacity building around strategic action—particularly in nonhealth sectors—is needed to support efforts in making widespread changes to community health. PMID:27459443

  20. Retrospective and prospective analysis of policy incentives for wind power in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pena Cabra, Ivonne A.

    Concerns over climate change impacts, goals to increase environmental sustainability, and questions about the reliability of fuel supply have led several countries to pursue the goal of increasing the share of renewable energy sources in their electricity grid. Portugal is one of the leading countries for wind electricity generation. Wind diffusion in Portugal started in the early 2000's and in 2013 wind electricity generation accounted for more than 24% (REN 2013b). The large share of wind in Portuguese electricity production is a consequence of European Union (E.U.) mandates and national policies, mainly feed-in tariffs. Discussions on the appropriate policy design and level of incentive to promote renewable energy adoption and meet further renewable capacity goals are ongoing in Portugal, namely in what concerns the level and duration of feed-in tariffs that should be provided to independent power producers. This, in turn, raises the question of whether the past feed-in tariff levels were well designed to achieve the goals of a larger penetration of renewables in the Portuguese grid. The policies to induce wind adoption have led to a growth in wind installed capacity and share of electricity generated by wind in Portugal from less than 1% in 2000 to approximately 24% in 2013, but questions arise on their cost-effectiveness and whether alternative policy designs would have led to the same goal. The Portuguese wind feed-in tariffs are a guaranteed incentive which has varied between 85- 180/MWh over the last 20 years (ERSE 2011), and remained approximately constant since 2001 at $101/MWh. They are currently guaranteed for 20 years of production or 44GWh of electricity generation per MW installed (Diario da Republica 2013) - the longest period among countries with high wind electricity share. They do not incorporate any digression rate besides inflation, and are guaranteed for every unit of electricity fed to the grid. There are no power plants that have already