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Sample records for improve cognitive performance

  1. Preschoolers' Cognitive Performance Improves Following Massage.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hart, Sybil; Field, Tiffany; Hernandez-Reif, Maria; Lundy, Brenda

    1998-01-01

    Effects of massage on preschoolers' cognitive performance were assessed. Preschoolers were given Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised subtests before and after receiving 15-minute massage or spending 15 minutes reading stories with the experimenter. Children's performance on Block Design improved following massage, and…

  2. Very low birth weight piglets show improved cognitive performance in the spatial cognitive holeboard task

    PubMed Central

    Antonides, Alexandra; Schoonderwoerd, Anne C.; Nordquist, Rebecca E.; van der Staay, Franz Josef

    2015-01-01

    Low birth weight (LBW) is common in humans and has been found to cause lasting cognitive and developmental deficits later in life. It is thought that the primary cause is intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) due to a shortage of oxygen and supply of nutrients to the fetus. Pigs appear to be a good model animal to investigate long-term cognitive effects of LBW, as LBW is common in commercially farmed breeds of pigs. Moreover, pigs are developmentally similar to humans and can be trained to perform complex tasks. In this study, we trained ten very low birth weight (vLBW) piglets and their ten normal birth weight (NBW) siblings in a spatial cognitive holeboard task in order to investigate long-term cognitive effects of LBW. In this task, four out of sixteen holes contain a hidden food reward, which allows measuring working memory (WM) (short-term memory) and reference memory (RM) (long-term memory) in parallel. Piglets were trained for 46–54 trials during the acquisition phase, followed by a 20-trial reversal phase in which a different set of four holes was baited. Both groups acquired the task and improved their performance over time. A mixed model repeated measures ANOVA revealed that vLBW piglets showed better RM performance than NBW piglets in both the acquisition and reversal phase. Additionally, WM scores in the vLBW were less disrupted than in the NBW animals when switched to the reversal phase. These findings are contrary to findings in humans. Moreover, vLBW pigs had lower hair cortisol concentrations (HCCs) than NBW pigs in flank hair at 12 weeks of age. These results could indicate that restricted intra-uterine growth causes compensatory mechanisms to arise in early development that result in beneficial effects for vLBW piglets, increasing their low survival chances in early-life competition. PMID:25774127

  3. Acute exercise performed close to the anaerobic threshold improves cognitive performance in elderly females.

    PubMed

    Córdova, C; Silva, V C; Moraes, C F; Simões, H G; Nóbrega, O T

    2009-05-01

    The objective of the present study was to compare the effect of acute exercise performed at different intensities in relation to the anaerobic threshold (AT) on abilities requiring control of executive functions or alertness in physically active elderly females. Forty-eight physically active elderly females (63.8 +/- 4.6 years old) were assigned to one of four groups by drawing lots: control group without exercise or trial groups with exercise performed at 60, 90, or 110% of AT (watts) and submitted to 5 cognitive tests before and after exercise. Following cognitive pretesting, an incremental cycle ergometer test was conducted to determine AT using a fixed blood lactate concentration of 3.5 mmol/L as cutoff. Acute exercise executed at 90% of AT resulted in significant (P < 0.05, ANOVA) improvement in the performance of executive functions when compared to control in 3 of 5 tests (verbal fluency, Tower of Hanoi test (number of movements), and Trail Making test B). Exercising at 60% of AT did not improve results of any tests for executive functions, whereas exercise executed at 110% of AT only improved the performance in one of these tests (verbal fluency) compared to control. Women from all trial groups exhibited a remarkable reduction in the Simple Response Time (alertness) test (P = 0.001). Thus, physical exercise performed close to AT is more effective to improve cognitive processing of older women even if conducted acutely, and using a customized exercise prescription based on the anaerobic threshold should optimize the beneficial effects. PMID:19377796

  4. Cognitive and Performance Enhancing Medication Use to Improve Performance in Poker.

    PubMed

    Caballero, Joshua; Ownby, Raymond L; Rey, Jose A; Clauson, Kevin A

    2016-09-01

    Use of neuroenhancers has been studied in groups ranging from students to surgeons; however, use of cognitive and performance enhancing medications (CPEMs) to improve performance in poker has remained largely overlooked. To assess the use of CPEMs to improve poker performance, a survey of poker players was conducted. Participants were recruited via Internet poker forums; 198 completed the online survey. Approximately 28 % of respondents used prescription CPEMs, with the most commonly used including: amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (62 %), benzodiazepines (20 %), and methylphenidate (20 %). CPEMs were used in poker to focus (73 %), calm nerves (11 %), and stay awake (11 %). Caffeine (71 %), as well as conventionally counter-intuitive substances like marijuana (35 %) and alcohol (30 %) were also reported to enhance poker performance. Non-users of CPEMs were dissuaded from use due to not knowing where to get them (29 %), apprehension about trying them (26 %), and legal or ethical concerns (16 %). Respondents most frequently acquired CPEMs via friends/fellow poker players (52 %), or prescription from physician (38 %). Additionally, greater use of CPEMs was associated with living outside the United States (p = 0.042), prior use of prescription medications for improving non-poker related performance (p < 0.001), and amateur and semi-professional player status (p = 0.035). Unmonitored use of pharmacologically active agents and their methods of acquisition highlight safety concerns in this cohort of poker players, especially among non-professional players. The current state of guidance from national organizations on CPEM use in healthy individuals could impact prescribing patterns. PMID:26450125

  5. Altitude acclimatization improves submaximal cognitive performance in mice and involves an imbalance of the cholinergic system.

    PubMed

    Guerra-Narbona, R; Delgado-García, J M; López-Ramos, J C

    2013-06-15

    The aim of this work was to reveal a hypothetical improvement of cognitive abilities in animals acclimatized to altitude and performing under ground level conditions, when looking at submaximal performance, once seen that it was not possible when looking at maximal scores. We modified contrasted cognitive tasks (object recognition, operant conditioning, eight-arm radial maze, and classical conditioning of the eyeblink reflex), increasing their complexity in an attempt to find performance differences in acclimatized animals vs. untrained controls. In addition, we studied, through immunohistochemical quantification, the expression of choline acetyltransferase and acetyl cholinesterase, enzymes involved in the synthesis and degradation of acetylcholine, in the septal area, piriform and visual cortexes, and the hippocampal CA1 area of animals submitted to acute hypobaric hypoxia, or acclimatized to this simulated altitude, to find a relationship between the cholinergic system and a cognitive improvement due to altitude acclimatization. Results showed subtle improvements of the cognitive capabilities of acclimatized animals in all of the tasks when performed under ground-level conditions (although not before 24 h), in the three tasks used to test explicit memory (object recognition, operant conditioning in the Skinner box, and eight-arm radial maze) and (from the first conditioning session) in the classical conditioning task used to evaluate implicit memory. An imbalance of choline acetyltransferase/acetyl cholinesterase expression was found in acclimatized animals, mainly 24 h after the acclimatization period. In conclusion, altitude acclimatization improves cognitive capabilities, in a process parallel to an imbalance of the cholinergic system. PMID:23599398

  6. Improved cognitive performance after dietary supplementation with a Pinus radiata bark extract formulation.

    PubMed

    Pipingas, Andrew; Silberstein, Richard B; Vitetta, Luis; Rooy, Cindy Van; Harris, Elizabeth V; Young, Joanna M; Frampton, Christopher M; Sali, Avni; Nastasi, Joseph

    2008-09-01

    Dietary interventions may have the potential to counter age-related cognitive decline. Studies have demonstrated an improvement in age-related cognitive impairment in animals after supplementation with plant extracts containing flavonoids but there are few human studies. This double-blind, controlled study examined the effects on cognitive performance of a 5 week supplementation with Enzogenol Pinus radiata bark extract containing flavonoids, in 42 males aged 50-65 years, with a body mass index >25. Participants were supplemented for 5 weeks either with Enzogenol plus vitamin C, or with vitamin C only. A battery of computerized cognitive tests was administered, and cardiovascular and haematological parameters were assessed prior to and following supplementation. The speed of response for the spatial working memory and immediate recognition tasks improved after supplementation with Enzogenol plus vitamin C, whereas vitamin C alone showed no improvements. A trend in a reduction of systolic blood pressure was observed with Enzogenol plus vitamin C, but not with vitamin C alone. The blood safety parameters were unchanged. The findings suggest a beneficial effect of supplementation with Enzogenol on cognition in older individuals. Larger studies are needed to ascertain its potential as a preventive treatment for age-related cognitive decline. PMID:18683195

  7. A diet based on multiple functional concepts improves cognitive performance in healthy subjects

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Disorders such as the metabolic syndrome (MetS), impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes, are associated with increased risk of cognitive decline. Also several of the individual key features that define the MetS, e.g. hypertension, impaired glucose regulation, dyslipidemia, obesity, and inflammation, are related to an increased risk of cognitive decline. Consequently, a diet that prevents metabolic disorders might be expected to prevent cognitive decline. The purpose of the present study was to, in overweight but otherwise healthy subjects, investigate effects on cognitive functions of a dietary regime combining multiple functional concepts potentially beneficial to risk markers associated with MetS. The purpose was in addition to evaluate cognitive performance in relation to results on cardiometabolic risk variables (BMI, blood pressure, glucose, insulin, cholesterol, triglycerides, free fatty acids, lipoprotein A-1 and B, hs-CRP, HbA1c, interleukin-6, TNF-α, and PAI-1). Methods Fourty-four healthy women and men (50–73 years, BMI 25–33, fasting glycemia ≤ 6.1 mmol/L) participated in a randomized, controlled crossover intervention, comparing a multifunctional diet (active diet (AD)) including foods with a potential anti-inflammatory action, with a control diet (CD) devoid of the “active” components. Both diets were composed in close agreement with the Nordic dietary recommendations. Each diet was consumed during 4 wk, separated by a 4 wk washout period. Cognitive tests were performed at fasting and in the postprandial period after a standardized breakfast, after each diet period. Results In comparison with the CD, the AD improved performance in the Rey Auditory-Verbal Learning test (recognition test, p < 0.05, ANOVA, n = 42) and significantly improved performance in test of selective attention, which also included aspects of working memory (p < 0.05, n = 40). Performance in cognitive tests was inversely associated with

  8. A physical education trial improves adolescents' cognitive performance and academic achievement: the EDUFIT study.

    PubMed

    Ardoy, D N; Fernández-Rodríguez, J M; Jiménez-Pavón, D; Castillo, R; Ruiz, J R; Ortega, F B

    2014-02-01

    To analyze the effects of an intervention focused on increasing the time and intensity of Physical Education (PE), on adolescents' cognitive performance and academic achievement. A 4-month group-randomized controlled trial was conducted in 67 adolescents from South-East Spain, 2007. Three classes were randomly allocated into control group (CG), experimental group 1 (EG1) and experimental group 2 (EG2). CG received usual PE (two sessions/week), EG1 received four PE sessions/week and EG2 received four PE sessions/week of high intensity. Cognitive performance (non-verbal and verbal ability, abstract reasoning, spatial ability, verbal reasoning and numerical ability) was assessed by the Spanish Overall and Factorial Intelligence Test, and academic achievement by school grades. All the cognitive performance variables, except verbal reasoning, increased more in EG2 than in CG (all P < 0.05). Average school grades (e.g., mathematics) increased more in EG2 than in CG. Overall, EG2 improved more than EG1, without differences between EG1 and CG. Increased PE can benefit cognitive performance and academic achievement. This study contributes to the current knowledge by suggesting that the intensity of PE sessions might play a role in the positive effect of physical activity on cognition and academic success. Future studies involving larger sample sizes should confirm or contrast these preliminary findings. PMID:23826633

  9. Does Exercise Improve Cognitive Performance? A Conservative Message from Lord's Paradox

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Sicong; Lebeau, Jean-Charles; Tenenbaum, Gershon

    2016-01-01

    Although extant meta-analyses support the notion that exercise results in cognitive performance enhancement, methodology shortcomings are noted among primary evidence. The present study examined relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in the past 20 years (1996–2015) for methodological concerns arise from Lord's paradox. Our analysis revealed that RCTs supporting the positive effect of exercise on cognition are likely to include Type I Error(s). This result can be attributed to the use of gain score analysis on pretest-posttest data as well as the presence of control group superiority over the exercise group on baseline cognitive measures. To improve accuracy of causal inferences in this area, analysis of covariance on pretest-posttest data is recommended under the assumption of group equivalence. Important experimental procedures are discussed to maintain group equivalence. PMID:27493637

  10. Does Exercise Improve Cognitive Performance? A Conservative Message from Lord's Paradox.

    PubMed

    Liu, Sicong; Lebeau, Jean-Charles; Tenenbaum, Gershon

    2016-01-01

    Although extant meta-analyses support the notion that exercise results in cognitive performance enhancement, methodology shortcomings are noted among primary evidence. The present study examined relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in the past 20 years (1996-2015) for methodological concerns arise from Lord's paradox. Our analysis revealed that RCTs supporting the positive effect of exercise on cognition are likely to include Type I Error(s). This result can be attributed to the use of gain score analysis on pretest-posttest data as well as the presence of control group superiority over the exercise group on baseline cognitive measures. To improve accuracy of causal inferences in this area, analysis of covariance on pretest-posttest data is recommended under the assumption of group equivalence. Important experimental procedures are discussed to maintain group equivalence. PMID:27493637

  11. Increasing stimulus duration improves attention and memory performance in elderly with cognitive impairment

    PubMed Central

    Lavner, Yizhar; Rabinowitz, Israel

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: In this study, we investigated whether increasing stimulus duration could improve performance on a test of attention and short-term memory in cognitively impaired individuals. Methods: A computer-generated forward digit span test was administered to 65 patients with mild cognitive impairment or dementia (28 intervention and 37 controls). After point of failure, testing in the intervention group was continued at the same rate, but with an average 150% digit lengthening to 800 ms. Testing of controls was continued using the standard digit span test. Results: In the intervention group, 13/28 (46.4%) improved their digit span test performance, compared to 2/37 (5.4%) in the control group (p = 0.00005). Conclusion: Cognitively impaired elderly participants improved performance on a test of attention and short-term memory, when stimulus duration was increased in proportion to elongation of the finger tap touch-phase previously found in a similar cohort. A possible mechanism for the effect of increased stimulus duration on attention and short-term memory is discussed. PMID:27081485

  12. Music lessons improve auditory perceptual and cognitive performance in deaf children.

    PubMed

    Rochette, Françoise; Moussard, Aline; Bigand, Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

    Despite advanced technologies in auditory rehabilitation of profound deafness, deaf children often exhibit delayed cognitive and linguistic development and auditory training remains a crucial element of their education. In the present cross-sectional study, we assess whether music would be a relevant tool for deaf children rehabilitation. In normal-hearing children, music lessons have been shown to improve cognitive and linguistic-related abilities, such as phonetic discrimination and reading. We compared auditory perception, auditory cognition, and phonetic discrimination between 14 profoundly deaf children who completed weekly music lessons for a period of 1.5-4 years and 14 deaf children who did not receive musical instruction. Children were assessed on perceptual and cognitive auditory tasks using environmental sounds: discrimination, identification, auditory scene analysis, auditory working memory. Transfer to the linguistic domain was tested with a phonetic discrimination task. Musically trained children showed better performance in auditory scene analysis, auditory working memory and phonetic discrimination tasks, and multiple regressions showed that success on these tasks was at least partly driven by music lessons. We propose that musical education contributes to development of general processes such as auditory attention and perception, which, in turn, facilitate auditory-related cognitive and linguistic processes. PMID:25071518

  13. Music Lessons Improve Auditory Perceptual and Cognitive Performance in Deaf Children

    PubMed Central

    Rochette, Françoise; Moussard, Aline; Bigand, Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

    Despite advanced technologies in auditory rehabilitation of profound deafness, deaf children often exhibit delayed cognitive and linguistic development and auditory training remains a crucial element of their education. In the present cross-sectional study, we assess whether music would be a relevant tool for deaf children rehabilitation. In normal-hearing children, music lessons have been shown to improve cognitive and linguistic-related abilities, such as phonetic discrimination and reading. We compared auditory perception, auditory cognition, and phonetic discrimination between 14 profoundly deaf children who completed weekly music lessons for a period of 1.5–4 years and 14 deaf children who did not receive musical instruction. Children were assessed on perceptual and cognitive auditory tasks using environmental sounds: discrimination, identification, auditory scene analysis, auditory working memory. Transfer to the linguistic domain was tested with a phonetic discrimination task. Musically trained children showed better performance in auditory scene analysis, auditory working memory and phonetic discrimination tasks, and multiple regressions showed that success on these tasks was at least partly driven by music lessons. We propose that musical education contributes to development of general processes such as auditory attention and perception, which, in turn, facilitate auditory-related cognitive and linguistic processes. PMID:25071518

  14. Acute moderate exercise elicits increased dorsolateral prefrontal activation and improves cognitive performance with Stroop test.

    PubMed

    Yanagisawa, Hiroki; Dan, Ippeita; Tsuzuki, Daisuke; Kato, Morimasa; Okamoto, Masako; Kyutoku, Yasushi; Soya, Hideaki

    2010-05-01

    A growing number of human studies have reported the beneficial influences of acute as well as chronic exercise on cognitive functions. However, neuroimaging investigations into the neural substrates of the effects of acute exercise have yet to be performed. Using multichannel functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), we sought cortical activation related to changes in the Stroop interference test, elicited by an acute bout of moderate exercise, in healthy volunteers (N=20). The compactness and portability of fNIRS allowed on-site cortical examination in a laboratory with a cycle ergometer, enabling strict control of the exercise intensity of each subject by assessing their peak oxygen intake (VO2peak). We defined moderate exercise intensity as 50% of a subject's peak oxygen uptake (50%VO2peak). An acute bout of moderate exercise caused significant improvement of cognitive performance reflecting Stroop interference as measured by reaction time. Consistent with previous functional neuroimaging studies, we detected brain activation due to Stroop interference (incongruent minus neutral) in the lateral prefrontal cortices in both hemispheres. This Stroop-interference-related activation was significantly enhanced in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex due to the acute bout of moderate exercise. The enhanced activation significantly coincided with the improved cognitive performance. This suggests that the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is likely the neural substrate for the improved Stroop performance elicited by an acute bout of moderate exercise. fNIRS, which allows physiological monitoring and functional neuroimaging to be combined, proved to be an effective tool for examining the cognitive effects of exercise. PMID:20006719

  15. The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improves cognitive performance and increases subjective alertness.

    PubMed

    Giesbrecht, T; Rycroft, J A; Rowson, M J; De Bruin, E A

    2010-12-01

    The non-proteinic amino acid L-theanine and caffeine, a methylxanthine derivative, are naturally occurring ingredients in tea. The present study investigated the effect of a combination of 97 mg L-theanine and 40 mg caffeine as compared to placebo treatment on cognitive performance, alertness, blood pressure, and heart rate in a sample of young adults (n = 44). Cognitive performance, self-reported mood, blood pressure, and heart rate were measured before L-theanine and caffeine administration (i.e. at baseline) and 20 min and 70 min thereafter. The combination of moderate levels of L-theanine and caffeine significantly improved accuracy during task switching and self-reported alertness (both P < 0.01) and reduced self-reported tiredness (P < 0.05). There were no significant effects on other cognitive tasks, such as visual search, choice reaction times, or mental rotation. The present results suggest that 97 mg of L-theanine in combination with 40 mg of caffeine helps to focus attention during a demanding cognitive task. PMID:21040626

  16. Cardiovascular and Coordination Training Differentially Improve Cognitive Performance and Neural Processing in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Voelcker-Rehage, Claudia; Godde, Ben; Staudinger, Ursula M.

    2011-01-01

    Recent studies revealed a positive influence of physical activity on cognitive functioning in older adults. Studies that investigate the behavioral and neurophysiological effects of type and long term duration of physical training, however, are missing. We performed a 12-month longitudinal study to investigate the effects of cardiovascular and coordination training (control group: relaxation and stretching) on cognitive functions (executive control and perceptual speed) in older adults. We analyzed data of 44 participants aged 62–79 years. Participants were trained three times a week for 12 months. Their physical and cognitive performance was tested prior to training, and after 6 and 12 months. Changes in brain activation patterns were investigated using functional MRI. On the behavioral level, both experimental groups improved in executive functioning and perceptual speed but with differential effects on speed and accuracy. In line with the behavioral findings, neurophysiological results for executive control also revealed changes (increases and reductions) in brain activity for both interventions in frontal, parietal, and sensorimotor cortical areas. In contrast to the behavioral findings, neurophysiological changes were linear without indication of a plateau. In both intervention groups, prefrontal areas showed decreased activation after 6 and 12 months when performing an executive control task, as compared to the control group, indicating more efficient information processing. Furthermore, cardiovascular training was associated with an increased activation of the sensorimotor network, whereas coordination training was associated with increased activation in the visual–spatial network. Our data suggest that besides cardiovascular training also other types of physical activity improve cognition of older adults. The mechanisms, however, that underlie the performance changes seem to differ depending on the intervention. PMID:21441997

  17. Cognitive Performance and Cognitive Style.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    International Journal of Behavioral Development, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Investigates (1) the relationships between cognitive performance and cognitive styles and predictive possibilities and (2) performance differences by sex, school, grade, and income in 92 Indian adolescents. Assessment measures included Liquid Conservation, Islands, Goat-Lion, Hanoi-Tower, Rabbits (Piagetian); Block Design (WISC-R); Paper Cutting…

  18. Computer-aided cognitive rehabilitation improves cognitive performances and induces brain functional connectivity changes in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis patients: an exploratory study.

    PubMed

    Bonavita, S; Sacco, R; Della Corte, M; Esposito, S; Sparaco, M; d'Ambrosio, A; Docimo, R; Bisecco, A; Lavorgna, L; Corbo, D; Cirillo, S; Gallo, A; Esposito, F; Tedeschi, G

    2015-01-01

    To better understand the effects of short-term computer-based cognitive rehabilitation (cCR) on cognitive performances and default mode network (DMN) intrinsic functional connectivity (FC) in cognitively impaired relapsing remitting (RR) multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Eighteen cognitively impaired RRMS patients underwent neuropsychological evaluation by the Rao's brief repeatable battery and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate FC of the DMN before and after a short-term (8 weeks, twice a week) cCR. A control group of 14 cognitively impaired RRMS patients was assigned to an aspecific cognitive training (aCT), and underwent the same study protocol. Correlations between DMN and cognitive performances were also tested. After cCR, there was a significant improvement of the following tests: SDMT (p < 0.01), PASAT 3" (p < 0.00), PASAT 2" (p < 0.03), SRT-D (p < 0.02), and 10/36 SPART-D (p < 0.04); as well as a significant increase of the FC of the DMN in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and bilateral inferior parietal cortex (IPC). After cCR, a significant negative correlation between Stroop Color-Word Interference Test and FC in the PCC emerged. After aCT, the control group did not show any significant effect either on FC or neuropsychological tests. No significant differences were found in brain volumes and lesion load in both groups when comparing data acquired at baseline and after cCR or aCT. In cognitively impaired RRMS patients, cCR improves cognitive performances (i.e., processing speed and visual and verbal sustained memory), and increases FC in the PCC and IPC of the DMN. This exploratory study suggests that cCR may induce adaptive cortical reorganization favoring better cognitive performances, thus strengthening the value of cognitive exercise in the general perspective of building either cognitive or brain reserve. PMID:25308631

  19. Electrical brain stimulation improves cognitive performance by modulating functional connectivity and task-specific activation.

    PubMed

    Meinzer, Marcus; Antonenko, Daria; Lindenberg, Robert; Hetzer, Stefan; Ulm, Lena; Avirame, Keren; Flaisch, Tobias; Flöel, Agnes

    2012-02-01

    Excitatory anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (atDCS) can improve human cognitive functions, but neural underpinnings of its mode of action remain elusive. In a cross-over placebo ("sham") controlled study we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate neurofunctional correlates of improved language functions induced by atDCS over a core language area, the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Intrascanner transcranial direct current stimulation-induced changes in overt semantic word generation assessed behavioral modulation; task-related and task-independent (resting-state) fMRI characterized language network changes. Improved word-retrieval during atDCS was paralleled by selectively reduced task-related activation in the left ventral IFG, an area specifically implicated in semantic retrieval processes. Under atDCS, resting-state fMRI revealed increased connectivity of the left IFG and additional major hubs overlapping with the language network. In conclusion, atDCS modulates endogenous low-frequency oscillations in a distributed set of functionally connected brain areas, possibly inducing more efficient processing in critical task-relevant areas and improved behavioral performance. PMID:22302824

  20. Concurrent cognitive task may improve motor work performance and reduce muscle fatigue.

    PubMed

    Evstigneeva, Maria; Aleksandrov, Aleksandr; Mathiassen, Svend Erik; Lyskov, Eugene

    2012-01-01

    Performance of certain cognitive tasks either during physical load or in rest pauses between boosts might lead to slowing of muscle fatigue and fatigue related decline in performance. Seventeen right-handed healthy volunteers (age 24 ± 1.4, 8 males) participated in this study, aiming to investigate the effect of the level of the cognitive information processing - 1) passive perception of audio stimuli, 2) active stimuli discrimination, 3) active stimuli discrimination following motor response - on motor task performance (handgrip test 30% and 7% of MVC) and muscle fatigue development. Cognitive tasks show the following effects on motor work: i) Perceived fatigue during 30 % MVC (fatiguing) condition developed slower if participant pressed button in response to deviant acoustic stimuli, as compared to passive listening. Counting task, an active task without motor component, took the intermediate position and did not differ significantly from two other cognitive tasks. ii) MVC after 30% MVC (fatiguing) condition tended to decrease stronger when accompanied with passive listening in comparison with both active tasks. iii) Motor task performance during 30% MVC (fatiguing) condition was better for active cognitive task with motor component than for passive task. Active task without motor component took the intermediate position and did not differ significantly from both the other cognitive tasks. PMID:22317158

  1. Monoterpenoid extract of sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) with cholinesterase inhibiting properties improves cognitive performance and mood in healthy adults.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, David O; Dodd, Fiona L; Robertson, Bernadette C; Okello, Edward J; Reay, Jonathon L; Scholey, Andrew B; Haskell, Crystal F

    2011-08-01

    Extracts of sage (Salvia officinalis/lavandulaefolia) with terpenoid constituents have previously been shown to inhibit cholinesterase and improve cognitive function. The current study combined an in vitro investigation of the cholinesterase inhibitory properties and phytochemical constituents of a S. lavandulaefolia essential oil, with a double-blind, placebo-controlled, balanced crossover study assessing the effects of a single dose on cognitive performance and mood. In this latter investigation 36 healthy participants received capsules containing either 50 µL of the essential oil or placebo on separate occasions, 7 days apart. Cognitive function was assessed using a selection of computerized memory and attention tasks and the Cognitive Demand Battery before the treatment and 1-h and 4-h post-dose. The essential oil was a potent inhibitor of human acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and consisted almost exclusively of monoterpenoids. Oral consumption lead to improved performance of secondary memory and attention tasks, most notably at the 1-h post-dose testing session, and reduced mental fatigue and increased alertness which were more pronounced 4-h post-dose. These results extend previous observations of improved cognitive performance and mood following AChE inhibitory sage extracts and suggest that the ability of well-tolerated terpenoid-containing extracts to beneficially modulate cholinergic function and cognitive performance deserves further attention. PMID:20937617

  2. Some strategies to improve performance in school chemistry, based on two cognitive factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danili, Eleni; Reid, Norman

    2004-02-01

    The background to this study are the difficulties facing the majority of Greek pupils in understanding chemistry concepts and, therefore, performing well in the National Examinations. The aim was to explore the problems and to suggest ways in which the situation might be improved. Working with 105 Greek pupils aged 15 to 16, the first stage of the enquiry confirmed that both working memory space and extent of field dependency were two psychological factors affecting performance. This is at least part of the nature of the problem. In the second stage, an attempt was made to explore how the problems might be reduced. New teaching materials were constructed to minimize any limitations to learning caused by working memory space and problems associated with being field dependent. The use of the new materials was compared to the normal teaching process working with 210 Greek pupils aged 15 to16. It was found that there was a significant difference in the average improvement of the experimental group and the control group, in favour of the experimental group. This result was independent of the effect of the teacher, and of the interaction of teaching method and teacher. It is suggested that approaches to learning must take into account cognitive factors in the learners in the context of information processing understandings of learning. If this is done, learning is much more effective.

  3. A vitamin/nutriceutical formulation improves memory and cognitive performance in community-dwelling adults without dementia.

    PubMed

    Chan, A; Remington, R; Kotyla, E; Lepore, A; Zemianek, J; Shea, T B

    2010-03-01

    Adults of both genders without dementia consumed a nutriceutical formulation ("NF," consisting of folic acid, B12, Vitamin E, S-adenosylmethionine, N-acetyl cysteine and Acetyl-L-carnitine), previously shown to improve cognitive performance in Alzheimer's disease, or placebo. Participants receiving NF but not placebo improved statistically and clinically in the California Verbal Learning Test II and the Trail-Making Test. Both groups improved further during a 3-month open-label extension. Additional individuals displayed identical improvement during a separate 6-month open-label trial. Performance declined to baseline following withdrawal of NF, and statistically improved when participants resumed taking NF. Additional participants receiving NF but not placebo demonstrated improvement within 2 weeks in Trail-making and Digit-Memory tests; both groups improved in a 2-week open-label extension. An increased percentage of participants > or = 74 years of age did not show improvement with NF, which may relate to age-related difficulties in adsorption and/or basal nutritional deficiencies, or age-related cognitive decline during the course of this study. These findings support the benefit of nutritional supplements for cognitive performance and suggest that additional supplementation may be required for the elderly. PMID:20191258

  4. High velocity circuit resistance training improves cognition, psychiatric symptoms and neuromuscular performance in overweight outpatients with severe mental illness.

    PubMed

    Strassnig, Martin T; Signorile, Joseph F; Potiaumpai, Melanie; Romero, Matthew A; Gonzalez, Carolina; Czaja, Sara; Harvey, Philip D

    2015-09-30

    We developed a physical exercise intervention aimed at improving multiple determinants of physical performance in severe mental illness. A sample of 12 (9M, 3F) overweight or obese community-dwelling patients with schizophrenia (n=9) and bipolar disorder (n=3) completed an eight-week, high-velocity circuit resistance training, performed twice a week on the computerized Keiser pneumatic exercise machines, including extensive pre/post physical performance testing. Participants showed significant increases in strength and power in all major muscle groups. There were significant positive cognitive changes, objectively measured with the Brief Assessment of Cognition Scale: improvement in composite scores, processing speed and symbol coding. Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale total scores improved significantly. There were large gains in neuromuscular performance that have functional implications. The cognitive domains that showed the greatest improvements (memory and processing speed) are most highly predictive of disability in schizophrenia. Moreover, the improvements seen in depression suggest this type of exercise intervention may be a valuable add-on therapy for bipolar depression. PMID:26187340

  5. β-alanine supplementation improves tactical performance but not cognitive function in combat soldiers

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background There are no known studies that have examined β-alanine supplementation in military personnel. Considering the physiological and potential neurological effects that have been reported during sustained military operations, it appears that β-alanine supplementation may have a potential benefit in maintaining physical and cognitive performance during high-intensity military activity under stressful conditions. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of 28 days of β-alanine ingestion in military personnel while fatigued on physical and cognitive performance. Methods Twenty soldiers (20.1 ± 0.9 years) from an elite combat unit were randomly assigned to either a β-alanine (BA) or placebo (PL) group. Soldiers were involved in advanced military training, including combat skill development, navigational training, self-defense/hand-to-hand combat and conditioning. All participants performed a 4-km run, 5-countermovement jumps using a linear position transducer, 120-m sprint, a 10-shot shooting protocol with assault rifle, including overcoming a misfire, and a 2-min serial subtraction test to assess cognitive function before (Pre) and after (Post) 28 days of supplementation. Results The training routine resulted in significant increases in 4-km run time for both groups, but no between group differences were seen (p = 0.597). Peak jump power at Post was greater for BA than PL (p = 0.034), while mean jump power for BA at Post was 10.2% greater (p = 0.139) than PL. BA had a significantly greater (p = 0.012) number of shots on target at Post (8.2 ± 1.0) than PL (6.5 ± 2.1), and their target engagement speed at Post was also significantly faster (p = 0.039). No difference in serial subtraction performance was seen between the groups (p = 0.844). Conclusion Results of this study indicate that 4-weeks of β-alanine ingestion in young, healthy soldiers did not impact cognitive performance, but did enhance power

  6. Hydration and cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Sécher, M; Ritz, P

    2012-04-01

    A clinical link exists between severe dehydration and cognitive performance. Using rapid and severe water loss induced either by intense exercise and/or heat stress, initial studies suggested there were alterations in short-term memory and cognitive function related to vision, but more recent studies have not all confirmed these data. Some studies argue that water loss is not responsible for the observations made, and studies compensating water losses have failed to prevent the symptoms. Studies in children have suggested that drinking extra water helps cognitive performance, but these data rely on a small number of children. In older adults (mean age around 60) the data are not strong enough to support a relationship between mild dehydration and cognitive function. Data on frail elderly and demented people are lacking. Methodological heterogeneity in these studies are such that the relationship between mild dehydration and cognitive performance cannot be supported. PMID:22499450

  7. Cognitive aspects of performance.

    PubMed Central

    Kane, J. E.

    1978-01-01

    The study of cognitive structures and processes in the control of skilled performance is considered and reviewed with special reference to a proposed hierarchical system incorporating levels of motor integration. Cognitive styles and dispositions of general behaviour are suggested as factors which may determine performance levels. The relative importance of these personal factors and stronger personality traits in accounting for variance in performance is considered in the light of a critique of the current interactional controversy. PMID:444808

  8. Cognitive aspects of performance.

    PubMed

    Kane, J E

    1978-12-01

    The study of cognitive structures and processes in the control of skilled performance is considered and reviewed with special reference to a proposed hierarchical system incorporating levels of motor integration. Cognitive styles and dispositions of general behaviour are suggested as factors which may determine performance levels. The relative importance of these personal factors and stronger personality traits in accounting for variance in performance is considered in the light of a critique of the current interactional controversy. PMID:444808

  9. Slowing down after a mild traumatic brain injury: a strategy to improve cognitive task performance?

    PubMed

    Ozen, Lana J; Fernandes, Myra A

    2012-01-01

    Long-term persistent attention and memory difficulties following a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) often go undetected on standard neuropsychological tests, despite complaints by mild TBI individuals. We conducted a visual Repetition Detection working memory task to digits, in which we manipulated task difficulty by increasing cognitive load, to identify subtle deficits long after a mild TBI. Twenty-six undergraduate students with a self-report of one mild TBI, which occurred at least 6 months prior, and 31 non-head-injured controls took part in the study. Participants were not informed until study completion that the study's purpose was to examine cognitive changes following a mild TBI, to reduce the influence of "diagnosis threat" on performance. Neuropsychological tasks did not differentiate the groups, though mild TBI participants reported higher state anxiety levels. On our working memory task, the mild TBI group took significantly longer to accurately detect repeated targets on our task, suggesting that slowed information processing is a long-term consequence of mild TBI. Accuracy was comparable in the low-load condition and, unexpectedly, mild TBI performance surpassed that of controls in the high-load condition. Temporal analysis of target identification suggested a strategy difference between groups: mild TBI participants made a significantly greater number of accurate responses following the target's offset, and significantly fewer erroneous distracter responses prior to target onset, compared with controls. Results suggest that long after a mild TBI, high-functioning young adults invoke a strategy of delaying their identification of targets in order to maintain, and facilitate, accuracy on cognitively demanding tasks. PMID:22068441

  10. A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids does not improve or protect cognitive performance in Alzheimer's transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Arendash, G W; Jensen, M T; Salem, N; Hussein, N; Cracchiolo, J; Dickson, A; Leighty, R; Potter, H

    2007-10-26

    Although a number of epidemiologic studies reported that higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids (largely associated with fish consumption) is protective against Alzheimer's disease (AD), other human studies reported no such effect. Because retrospective human studies are problematic and controlled longitudinal studies over decades are impractical, the present study utilized Alzheimer's transgenic mice (Tg) in a highly controlled study to determine whether a diet high in omega-3 fatty acid, equivalent to the 13% omega-3 fatty acid diet of Greenland Eskimos, can improve cognitive performance or protect against cognitive impairment. Amyloid precursor protein (APP)-sw+PS1 double transgenic mice, as well as nontransgenic (NT) normal littermates, were given a high omega-3 supplemented diet or a standard diet from 2 through 9 months of age, with a comprehensive behavioral test battery administered during the final 6 weeks. For both Tg and NT mice, long-term n-3 supplementation resulted in cognitive performance that was no better than that of mice fed a standard diet. In NT mice, the high omega-3 diet increased cortical levels of omega-3 fatty acids while decreasing omega-6 levels. However, the high omega-3 diet had no effect on cortical fatty acid levels in Tg mice. Irrespective of diet, no correlations existed between brain omega-3 levels and cognitive performance for individual NT or Tg mice. In contrast, brain levels of omega-6 fatty acids were strongly correlated with cognitive impairment for both genotypes. Thus, elevated brain levels of omega-3 fatty acids were not relevant to cognitive function, whereas high brain levels of omega-6 were associated with impaired cognitive function. In Tg mice, the omega-3 supplemental diet did not induce significant changes in soluble/insoluble Abeta within the hippocampus, although strong correlations were evident between hippocampal Abeta(1-40) levels and cognitive impairment. While these studies involved a genetically manipulated

  11. Memory Decline in Peri- and Post-menopausal Women: The Potential of Mind–Body Medicine to Improve Cognitive Performance

    PubMed Central

    Sliwinski, Jim R; Johnson, Aimee K; Elkins, Gary R

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive decline is a frequent complaint during the menopause transition and among post-menopausal women. Changes in memory correspond with diminished estrogen production. Further, many peri- and post-menopausal women report sleep concerns, depression, and hot flashes, and these factors may contribute to cognitive decline. Hormone therapy can increase estrogen but is contraindicated for many women. Mind–body medicine has been shown to have beneficial effects on sleep, mood, and hot flashes, among post-menopausal women. Further, mind–body medicine holds potential in addressing symptoms of cognitive decline post-menopause. This study proposes an initial framework for how mind–body interventions may improve cognitive performance and inform future research seeking to identify the common and specific factors associated with mind–body medicine for addressing memory decline in peri- and post-menopausal women. It is our hope that this article will eventually lead to a more holistic and integrative approach to the treatment of cognitive deficits in peri- and post-menopausal women. PMID:25125972

  12. Semi-supervised multimodal relevance vector regression improves cognitive performance estimation from imaging and biological biomarkers.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Bo; Zhang, Daoqiang; Chen, Songcan; Kaufer, Daniel I; Shen, Dinggang

    2013-07-01

    Accurate estimation of cognitive scores for patients can help track the progress of neurological diseases. In this paper, we present a novel semi-supervised multimodal relevance vector regression (SM-RVR) method for predicting clinical scores of neurological diseases from multimodal imaging and biological biomarker, to help evaluate pathological stage and predict progression of diseases, e.g., Alzheimer's diseases (AD). Unlike most existing methods, we predict clinical scores from multimodal (imaging and biological) biomarkers, including MRI, FDG-PET, and CSF. Considering that the clinical scores of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subjects are often less stable compared to those of AD and normal control (NC) subjects due to the heterogeneity of MCI, we use only the multimodal data of MCI subjects, but no corresponding clinical scores, to train a semi-supervised model for enhancing the estimation of clinical scores for AD and NC subjects. We also develop a new strategy for selecting the most informative MCI subjects. We evaluate the performance of our approach on 202 subjects with all three modalities of data (MRI, FDG-PET and CSF) from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database. The experimental results show that our SM-RVR method achieves a root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 1.91 and a correlation coefficient (CORR) of 0.80 for estimating the MMSE scores, and also a RMSE of 4.45 and a CORR of 0.78 for estimating the ADAS-Cog scores, demonstrating very promising performances in AD studies. PMID:23504659

  13. Semi-Supervised Multimodal Relevance Vector Regression Improves Cognitive Performance Estimation from Imaging and Biological Biomarkers

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Bo; Chen, Songcan; Kaufer, Daniel I.

    2013-01-01

    Accurate estimation of cognitive scores for patients can help track the progress of neurological diseases. In this paper, we present a novel semi-supervised multimodal relevance vector regression (SM-RVR) method for predicting clinical scores of neurological diseases from multimodal imaging and biological biomarker, to help evaluate pathological stage and predict progression of diseases, e.g., Alzheimer’s diseases (AD). Unlike most existing methods, we predict clinical scores from multimodal (imaging and biological) biomarkers, including MRI, FDG-PET, and CSF. Considering that the clinical scores of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subjects are often less stable compared to those of AD and normal control (NC) subjects due to the heterogeneity of MCI, we use only the multimodal data of MCI subjects, but no corresponding clinical scores, to train a semi-supervised model for enhancing the estimation of clinical scores for AD and NC subjects. We also develop a new strategy for selecting the most informative MCI subjects. We evaluate the performance of our approach on 202 subjects with all three modalities of data (MRI, FDG-PET and CSF) from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database. The experimental results show that our SM-RVR method achieves a root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 1.91 and a correlation coefficient (CORR) of 0.80 for estimating the MMSE scores, and also a RMSE of 4.45 and a CORR of 0.78 for estimating the ADAS-Cog scores, demonstrating very promising performances in AD studies. PMID:23504659

  14. Initial Cognitive Performance Predicts Longitudinal Aviator Performance

    PubMed Central

    Jo, Booil; Adamson, Maheen M.; Kennedy, Quinn; Noda, Art; Hernandez, Beatriz; Zeitzer, Jamie M.; Friedman, Leah F.; Fairchild, Kaci; Scanlon, Blake K.; Murphy, Greer M.; Taylor, Joy L.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives. The goal of the study was to improve prediction of longitudinal flight simulator performance by studying cognitive factors that may moderate the influence of chronological age. Method. We examined age-related change in aviation performance in aircraft pilots in relation to baseline cognitive ability measures and aviation expertise. Participants were aircraft pilots (N = 276) aged 40–77.9. Flight simulator performance and cognition were tested yearly; there were an average of 4.3 (± 2.7; range 1–13) data points per participant. Each participant was classified into one of the three levels of aviation expertise based on Federal Aviation Administration pilot proficiency ratings: least, moderate, or high expertise. Results. Addition of measures of cognitive processing speed and executive function to a model of age-related change in aviation performance significantly improved the model. Processing speed and executive function performance interacted such that the slowest rate of decline in flight simulator performance was found in aviators with the highest scores on tests of these abilities. Expertise was beneficial to pilots across the age range studied; however, expertise did not show evidence of reducing the effect of age. Discussion. These data suggest that longitudinal performance on an important real-world activity can be predicted by initial assessment of relevant cognitive abilities. PMID:21586627

  15. The increased potassium intake improves cognitive performance and attenuates histopathological markers in a model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Cisternas, Pedro; Lindsay, Carolina B; Salazar, Paulina; Silva-Alvarez, Carmen; Retamales, Rocio M; Serrano, Felipe G; Vio, Carlos P; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C

    2015-12-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by hallmarks that include an accumulation of amyloid-β peptide (Aβ), inflammation, oxidative stress and synaptic dysfunction, which lead to a decrease in cognitive function. To date, the onset and progression of AD have been associated with pathologies such as hypertension and diabetes. Hypertension, a disease with a high incidence worldwide, is characterized by a chronic increase in blood pressure. Interestingly, this disease has a close relationship to the eating behavior of patients because high Na(+) intake is a significant risk factor for hypertension. In fact, a decrease in Na(+) consumption, along with an increase in K(+) intake, is a primary non-pharmacological approach to preventing hypertension. In the present work, we examined whether an increase in K(+) intake affects the expression of certain neuropathological markers or the cognitive performance of a murine model of AD. We observed that an increase in K(+) intake leads to a change in the aggregation pattern of the Aβ peptide, a partial decrease in some epitopes of tau phosphorylation and improvement in the cognitive performance. The recovery in cognitive performance was correlated with a significant improvement in the generation of long-term potentiation. We also observed a decrease in markers related to inflammation and oxidative stress such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE). Together, our data support the idea that changes in diet, such as an increase in K(+) intake, may be important in the prevention of AD onset as a non-pharmacological therapy. PMID:26391254

  16. Some Strategies to Improve Performance in School Chemistry, Based on Two Cognitive Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danili, Eleni; Reid, Norman

    2004-01-01

    The background to this study are the difficulties facing the majority of Greek pupils in understanding chemistry concepts and, therefore, performing well in the National Examinations. The aim was to explore the problems and to suggest ways in which the situation might be improved. Working with 105 Greek pupils aged 15 to 16, the first stage of the…

  17. Improvements in cognition, quality of life, and physical performance with clinical Pilates in multiple sclerosis: a randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Küçük, Fadime; Kara, Bilge; Poyraz, Esra Çoşkuner; İdiman, Egemen

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to determine the effects of clinical Pilates in multiple sclerosis patients. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty multiple sclerosis patients were enrolled in this study. The participants were divided into two groups as the clinical Pilates and control groups. Cognition (Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite), balance (Berg Balance Scale), physical performance (timed performance tests, Timed up and go test), tiredness (Modified Fatigue Impact scale), depression (Beck Depression Inventory), and quality of life (Multiple Sclerosis International Quality of Life Questionnaire) were measured before and after treatment in all participants. [Results] There were statistically significant differences in balance, timed performance, tiredness and Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite tests between before and after treatment in the clinical Pilates group. We also found significant differences in timed performance tests, the Timed up and go test and the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite between before and after treatment in the control group. According to the difference analyses, there were significant differences in Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite and Multiple Sclerosis International Quality of Life Questionnaire scores between the two groups in favor of the clinical Pilates group. There were statistically significant clinical differences in favor of the clinical Pilates group in comparison of measurements between the groups. Clinical Pilates improved cognitive functions and quality of life compared with traditional exercise. [Conclusion] In Multiple Sclerosis treatment, clinical Pilates should be used as a holistic approach by physical therapists. PMID:27134355

  18. Improvements in cognition, quality of life, and physical performance with clinical Pilates in multiple sclerosis: a randomized controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Küçük, Fadime; Kara, Bilge; Poyraz, Esra Çoşkuner; İdiman, Egemen

    2016-03-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to determine the effects of clinical Pilates in multiple sclerosis patients. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty multiple sclerosis patients were enrolled in this study. The participants were divided into two groups as the clinical Pilates and control groups. Cognition (Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite), balance (Berg Balance Scale), physical performance (timed performance tests, Timed up and go test), tiredness (Modified Fatigue Impact scale), depression (Beck Depression Inventory), and quality of life (Multiple Sclerosis International Quality of Life Questionnaire) were measured before and after treatment in all participants. [Results] There were statistically significant differences in balance, timed performance, tiredness and Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite tests between before and after treatment in the clinical Pilates group. We also found significant differences in timed performance tests, the Timed up and go test and the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite between before and after treatment in the control group. According to the difference analyses, there were significant differences in Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite and Multiple Sclerosis International Quality of Life Questionnaire scores between the two groups in favor of the clinical Pilates group. There were statistically significant clinical differences in favor of the clinical Pilates group in comparison of measurements between the groups. Clinical Pilates improved cognitive functions and quality of life compared with traditional exercise. [Conclusion] In Multiple Sclerosis treatment, clinical Pilates should be used as a holistic approach by physical therapists. PMID:27134355

  19. Does Cognitively Focused Instruction Improve the Academic Performance of Low-Achieving Students?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kearns, Devin M.; Fuchs, Douglas

    2013-01-01

    Stakeholders are debating the value of cognitively focused instruction for students who have not benefited from a skills-based approach. Much of the discussion, however, is occurring without recognition of research that has been conducted in the past 2 decades. In this article, we reviewed the research. Electronic databases and hard copies of…

  20. Dietary supplementation with coffee improves motor and cognitive performance in aged rats

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Polyphenols found in fruits and nuts have anti-inflammatory properties that may provide protection against the decline of cognitive, motor and neuronal function in senescence. The presence of a number of bioactive compounds (e.g., polyphenols) implicates coffee as a potential nutritional therapeutic...

  1. Multi-domain computerized cognitive training program improves performance of bookkeeping tasks: a matched-sampling active-controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Lampit, Amit; Ebster, Claus; Valenzuela, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive skills are important predictors of job performance, but the extent to which computerized cognitive training (CCT) can improve job performance in healthy adults is unclear. We report, for the first time, that a CCT program aimed at attention, memory, reasoning and visuo-spatial abilities can enhance productivity in healthy younger adults on bookkeeping tasks with high relevance to real-world job performance. 44 business students (77.3% female, mean age 21.4 ± 2.6 years) were assigned to either (a) 20 h of CCT, or (b) 20 h of computerized arithmetic training (active control) by a matched sampling procedure. Both interventions were conducted over a period of 6 weeks, 3–4 1-h sessions per week. Transfer of skills to performance on a 60-min paper-based bookkeeping task was measured at three time points—baseline, after 10 h and after 20 h of training. Repeated measures ANOVA found a significant Group X Time effect on productivity (F = 7.033, df = 1.745; 73.273, p = 0.003) with a significant interaction at both the 10-h (Relative Cohen's effect size = 0.38, p = 0.014) and 20-h time points (Relative Cohen's effect size = 0.40, p = 0.003). No significant effects were found on accuracy or on Conners' Continuous Performance Test, a measure of sustained attention. The results are discussed in reference to previous findings on the relationship between brain plasticity and job performance. Generalization of results requires further study. PMID:25120510

  2. Multi-domain computerized cognitive training program improves performance of bookkeeping tasks: a matched-sampling active-controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Lampit, Amit; Ebster, Claus; Valenzuela, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive skills are important predictors of job performance, but the extent to which computerized cognitive training (CCT) can improve job performance in healthy adults is unclear. We report, for the first time, that a CCT program aimed at attention, memory, reasoning and visuo-spatial abilities can enhance productivity in healthy younger adults on bookkeeping tasks with high relevance to real-world job performance. 44 business students (77.3% female, mean age 21.4 ± 2.6 years) were assigned to either (a) 20 h of CCT, or (b) 20 h of computerized arithmetic training (active control) by a matched sampling procedure. Both interventions were conducted over a period of 6 weeks, 3-4 1-h sessions per week. Transfer of skills to performance on a 60-min paper-based bookkeeping task was measured at three time points-baseline, after 10 h and after 20 h of training. Repeated measures ANOVA found a significant Group X Time effect on productivity (F = 7.033, df = 1.745; 73.273, p = 0.003) with a significant interaction at both the 10-h (Relative Cohen's effect size = 0.38, p = 0.014) and 20-h time points (Relative Cohen's effect size = 0.40, p = 0.003). No significant effects were found on accuracy or on Conners' Continuous Performance Test, a measure of sustained attention. The results are discussed in reference to previous findings on the relationship between brain plasticity and job performance. Generalization of results requires further study. PMID:25120510

  3. Low-dose add-on memantine treatment may improve cognitive performance and self-reported health conditions in opioid-dependent patients undergoing methadone-maintenance-therapy

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Yun-Hsuan; Chen, Shiou-Lan; Lee, Sheng-Yu; Chen, Po See; Wang, Tzu-Yun; Lee, I. Hui; Chen, Kao Chin; Yang, Yen Kuang; Hong, Jau-Shyong; Lu, Ru-Band

    2015-01-01

    An important interaction between opioid and dopamine systems has been indicated, and using opioids may negatively affect cognitive functioning. Memantine, a medication for Alzheimer's disease, increasingly is being used for several disorders and maybe important for cognitive improvement. Opioid-dependent patients undergoing methadone-maintenance-therapy (MMT) and healthy controls (HCs) were recruited. Patients randomly assigned to the experimental (5 mg/day memantine (MMT+M) or placebo (MMT+P) group: 57 in MMT+M, 77 in MMT+P. Those completed the cognitive tasks at the baseline and after the 12-week treatment were analyzed. Thirty-seven age- and gender-matched HCs, and 42 MMT+P and 39 MMT+M patients were compared. The dropout rates were 49.4% in the MMT+P and 26.3% in the MMT+M. Both patient groups' cognitive performances were significantly worse than that of the HCs. After the treatment, both patient groups showed improved cognitive performance. We also found an interaction between the patient groups and time which indicated that the MMT+M group's post-treatment improvement was better than that of the MMT+P group. Memantine, previously reported as neuroprotective may attenuate chronic opioid-dependence-induced cognitive decline. Using such low dose of memantine as adjuvant treatment for improving cognitive performance in opioid dependents; the dose of memantine might be a worthy topic in future studies. PMID:25989606

  4. Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1996

    This document contains four papers presented at a symposium on performance improvement moderated by Edward Schorer at the 1996 conference of the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) "The Organizational Ecology of Ethical Problems: International Case Studies in the Light of HPT [Human Performance Technology]" (Peter J. Dean, Laurence…

  5. Cognitive Readiness Assessment and Reporting: An Open Source Mobile Framework for Operational Decision Support and Performance Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heric, Matthew; Carter, Jenn

    2011-01-01

    Cognitive readiness (CR) and performance for operational time-critical environments are continuing points of focus for military and academic communities. In response to this need, we designed an open source interactive CR assessment application as a highly adaptive and efficient open source testing administration and analysis tool. It is capable…

  6. An enriched environment improves cognitive performance in mice from the senescence-accelerated prone mouse 8 strain

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Zhenyun; Wang, Mingwei; Yan, Baoyong; Gu, Ping; Jiang, Xiangming; Yang, Xiufen; Cui, Dongsheng

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we examined 3-month-old female mice from the senescence-accelerated prone mouse 8 strain and age-matched homologous normal aging female mice from the senescence accelerated- resistant mouse 1 strain. Mice from each strain were housed in an enriched environment (including a platform, running wheels, tunnel, and some toys) or a standard environment for 3 months. The mice housed in the enriched environment exhibited shorter escape latencies and a greater percentage of time in the target quadrant in the Morris water maze test, and they exhibited reduced errors and longer latencies in step-down avoidance experiments compared with mice housed in the standard environment. Correspondently, brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA and protein expression in the hippocampus was significantly higher in mice housed in the enriched environment compared with those housed in the standard environment, and the level of hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein was positively correlated with the learning and memory abilities of mice from the senescence-accelerated prone mouse 8 strain. These results suggest that an enriched environment improved cognitive performance in mice form the senescence-accelerated prone mouse 8 strain by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in the hippocampus. PMID:25624804

  7. Improved motor and cognitive performance with sodium nitrite supplementation is related to small metabolite signatures: a pilot trial in middle-aged and older adults

    PubMed Central

    DeVan, Allison E.; Cruickshank-Quinn, Charmion; Reisdorph, Nichole; Bassett, Candace J.; Evans, Trent D.; Brooks, Forrest A.; Bryan, Nathan S.; Chonchol, Michel B.; Giordano, Tony; McQueen, Matthew B.; Seals, Douglas R.

    2015-01-01

    Advancing age is associated with reductions in nitric oxide bioavailability and changes in metabolic activity, which are implicated in declines in motor and cognitive function. In preclinical models, sodium nitrite supplementation (SN) increases plasma nitrite and improves motor function, whereas other nitric oxide-boosting agents improve cognitive function. This pilot study was designed to translate these findings to middle-aged and older (MA/O) humans to provide proof-of-concept support for larger trials. SN (10 weeks, 80 or 160 mg/day capsules, TheraVasc, Inc.) acutely and chronically increased plasma nitrite and improved performance on measures of motor and cognitive outcomes (all p<0.05 or better) in healthy MA/O adults (62 ± 7 years). Untargeted metabolomics analysis revealed that SN significantly altered 33 (160 mg/day) to 45 (80 mg/day) different metabolites, 13 of which were related to changes in functional outcomes; baseline concentrations of 99 different metabolites predicted functional improvements with SN. This pilot study provides the first evidence that SN improves aspects of motor and cognitive function in healthy MA/O adults, and that these improvements are associated with, and predicted by, the plasma metabolome. Our findings provide the necessary support for larger clinical trials on this promising pharmacological strategy for preserving physiological function with aging. PMID:26626856

  8. Improved motor and cognitive performance with sodium nitrite supplementation is related to small metabolite signatures: a pilot trial in middle-aged and older adults.

    PubMed

    Justice, Jamie N; Johnson, Lawrence C; DeVan, Allison E; Cruickshank-Quinn, Charmion; Reisdorph, Nichole; Bassett, Candace J; Evans, Trent D; Brooks, Forrest A; Bryan, Nathan S; Chonchol, Michel B; Giordano, Tony; McQueen, Matthew B; Seals, Douglas R

    2015-11-01

    Advancing age is associated with reductions in nitric oxide bioavailability and changes in metabolic activity, which are implicated in declines in motor and cognitive function. In preclinical models, sodium nitrite supplementation (SN) increases plasma nitrite and improves motor function, whereas other nitric oxide-boosting agents improve cognitive function. This pilot study was designed to translate these findings to middle-aged and older (MA/O) humans to provide proof-of-concept support for larger trials. SN (10 weeks, 80 to 160 mg/day capsules, TheraVasc, Inc.) acutely and chronically increased plasma nitrite and improved performance on measures of motor and cognitive outcomes (all p<0.05 or better) in healthy MA/O adults (62 ± 7 years). Untargeted metabolomics analysis revealed that SN significantly altered 33 (160 mg/day) to 45 (80 mg/day) different metabolites, 13 of which were related to changes in functional outcomes; baseline concentrations of 99 different metabolites predicted functional improvements with SN. This pilot study provides the first evidence that SN improves aspects of motor and cognitive function in healthy MA/O adults, and that these improvements are associated with, and predicted by, the plasma metabolome. Our findings provide the necessary support for larger clinical trials on this promising pharmacological strategy for preserving physiological function with aging. PMID:26626856

  9. Improving temporal cognition by enhancing motivation.

    PubMed

    Avlar, Billur; Kahn, Julia B; Jensen, Greg; Kandel, Eric R; Simpson, Eleanor H; Balsam, Peter D

    2015-10-01

    Increasing motivation can positively impact cognitive performance. Here we employed a cognitive timing task that allows us to detect changes in cognitive performance that are not influenced by general activity or arousal factors such as the speed or persistence of responding. This approach allowed us to manipulate motivation using three different methods; molecular/genetic, behavioral and pharmacological. Increased striatal D2Rs resulted in deficits in temporal discrimination. Switching off the transgene improved motivation in earlier studies, and here partially rescued the temporal discrimination deficit. To manipulate motivation behaviorally, we altered reward magnitude and found that increasing reward magnitude improved timing in control mice and partially rescued timing in the transgenic mice. Lastly, we manipulated motivation pharmacologically using a functionally selective 5-HT2C receptor ligand, SB242084, which we previously found to increase incentive motivation. SB242084 improved temporal discrimination in both control and transgenic mice. Thus, while there is a general intuitive belief that motivation can affect cognition, we here provide a direct demonstration that enhancing motivation, in a variety of ways, can be an effective strategy for enhancing temporal cognition. Understanding the interaction of motivation and cognition is of clinical significance since many psychiatric disorders are characterized by deficits in both domains. PMID:26371378

  10. Exercise-induced improvement in cognitive performance after traumatic brain-injury in rats is dependent on BDNF Activation

    PubMed Central

    Griesbach, Grace Sophia; Hovda, David Allen; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2009-01-01

    We have previously shown that voluntary exercise upregulates brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) within the hippocampus and is associated with an enhancement of cognitive recovery after a lateral fluid-percussion injury (FPI). In order to determine if BDNF is critical to this effect we used an immunoadhesin chimera (TrkB-IgG) that inactivates free BDNF. This BDNF inhibitor was administered to adult male rats two weeks after they had received a mild fluid percussion injury (FPI) or sham surgery. These animals were then housed with or without access to a running wheel (RW) from post-injury-day (PID) 14 to 20. On PID 21, rats were tested for spatial learning in a Morris Water Maze. Results showed that exercise counteracted the cognitive deficits associated with the injury. However this exercise-induced cognitive improvement was attenuated in the FPI-RW rats that were treated with TrkB-IgG. Molecules important for synaptic plasticity and learning were measured in a separate group of rats that were sacrificed immediately after exercise (PID 21). Western blot analyses showed that exercise increased the mature form of BDNF, synapsin I and cyclic-AMP response-element-binding protein (CREB) in the vehicle treated Sham-RW group. However, only the mature form of BDNF and CREB were increased in the vehicle treated FPI-RW group. Blocking BDNF (pre administration of TrkB-IgG) greatly reduced the molecular effects of exercise in that exercise-induced increases of BDNF, synapsin I and CREB were not observed. These studies provide evidence that BDNF has a major role in exercise's cognitive effects in traumatically injured brain. PMID:19555673

  11. Cognitive Performance in Operational Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russo, Michael; McGhee, James; Friedler, Edna; Thomas, Maria

    2005-01-01

    Optimal cognition during complex and sustained operations is a critical component for success in current and future military operations. "Cognitive Performance, Judgment, and Decision-making" (CPJD) is a newly organized U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command research program focused on sustaining operational effectiveness of Future Force Warriors by developing paradigms through which militarily-relevant, higher-order cognitive performance, judgment, and decision-making can be assessed and sustained in individuals, small teams, and leaders of network-centric fighting units. CPJD evaluates the impact of stressors intrinsic to military operational environments (e.g., sleep deprivation, workload, fatigue, temperature extremes, altitude, environmental/physiological disruption) on military performance, evaluates noninvasive automated methods for monitoring and predicting cognitive performance, and investigates pharmaceutical strategies (e.g., stimulant countermeasures, hypnotics) to mitigate performance decrements. This manuscript describes the CPJD program, discusses the metrics utilized to relate militarily applied research findings to academic research, and discusses how the simulated combat capabilities of a synthetic battle laboratory may facilitate future cognitive performance research.

  12. Background music and cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Angel, Leslie A; Polzella, Donald J; Elvers, Greg C

    2010-06-01

    The present experiment employed standardized test batteries to assess the effects of fast-tempo music on cognitive performance among 56 male and female university students. A linguistic processing task and a spatial processing task were selected from the Criterion Task Set developed to assess verbal and nonverbal performance. Ten excerpts from Mozart's music matched for tempo were selected. Background music increased the speed of spatial processing and the accuracy of linguistic processing. The findings suggest that background music can have predictable effects on cognitive performance. PMID:20865993

  13. Antecedents and correlates of improved cognitive performance in children exposed in Utero to low levels of lead

    SciTech Connect

    Bellinger, D.; Leviton, A. Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA ); Sloman, J. Wheelock College, Boston, MA )

    1990-11-01

    Up to 2 years of age, children with umbilical cord blood lead levels of 10 to 25 {mu}g/dL achieve significantly lower scores on tests of cognitive development than do children with lower prenatal exposures. By age 5 years, however, they appear to have recovered from, or at least compensated for, this early insult. Change in performance between 24 and 57 months of age was examined in relation to level of postnatal lead exposure and various sociodemographic factors. Among children with high prenatal lead exposure, greater recovery of function was associated with lower blood level at 57 months, higher socioeconomic status, higher Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment scores, higher maternal IQ, and female gender. The difference between the scores at 57 months of children with optimal and less optimal values on these variables generally exceed 1/2 standard deviation. Higher prenatal lead exposure is associated with an increased risk of early cognitive deficit. Furthermore, the risk that a deficit will persist through the preschool years is increased among children with high prenatal exposure and either high postnatal exposure or less optimal sociodemographic characteristics.

  14. Cognitive Style and Drafting Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guster, Dennis

    1986-01-01

    The relationships between drafting performance and the cognitive style construct of field dependence/field independence are examined. The analysis revealed that the performance of the field-independent individual is likely to be superior to that of the field-dependent student. (Author/CT)

  15. Updating the Cognitive Performance Scale.

    PubMed

    Morris, John N; Howard, Elizabeth P; Steel, Knight; Perlman, Christopher; Fries, Brant E; Garms-Homolová, Vjenka; Henrard, Jean-Claude; Hirdes, John P; Ljunggren, Gunnar; Gray, Len; Szczerbińska, Katarzyna

    2016-01-01

    This study presents the first update of the Cognitive Performance Scale (CPS) in 20 years. Its goals are 3-fold: extend category options; characterize how the new scale variant tracks with the Mini-Mental State Examination; and present a series of associative findings. Secondary analysis of data from 3733 older adults from 8 countries was completed. Examination of scale dimensions using older and new items was completed using a forward-entry stepwise regression. The revised scale was validated by examining the scale's distribution with a self-reported dementia diagnosis, functional problems, living status, and distress measures. Cognitive Performance Scale 2 extends the measurement metric from a range of 0 to 6 for the original CPS, to 0 to 8. Relating CPS2 to other measures of function, living status, and distress showed that changes in these external measures correspond with increased challenges in cognitive performance. Cognitive Performance Scale 2 enables repeated assessments, sensitive to detect changes particularly in early levels of cognitive decline. PMID:26251111

  16. Cognitive Strategies in Spatial Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cochran, Kathryn F.; Wheatley, Grayson H.

    Individual differences in verbal/analytic and nonverbal/holistic cognitive strategies were studied in relationship to performance levels in spatial tasks, sex and handedness. Analytic processes are described as sequential, resulting in decomposition of stimulus information, and holistic processes, as parallel, involving information synthesis.…

  17. An improved cognitive model of the Iowa and Soochow Gambling Tasks with regard to model fitting performance and tests of parameter consistency

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Junyi; Kerestes, Rebecca; Upton, Daniel J.; Busemeyer, Jerome R.; Stout, Julie C.

    2015-01-01

    The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and the Soochow Gambling Task (SGT) are two experience-based risky decision-making tasks for examining decision-making deficits in clinical populations. Several cognitive models, including the expectancy-valence learning (EVL) model and the prospect valence learning (PVL) model, have been developed to disentangle the motivational, cognitive, and response processes underlying the explicit choices in these tasks. The purpose of the current study was to develop an improved model that can fit empirical data better than the EVL and PVL models and, in addition, produce more consistent parameter estimates across the IGT and SGT. Twenty-six opiate users (mean age 34.23; SD 8.79) and 27 control participants (mean age 35; SD 10.44) completed both tasks. Eighteen cognitive models varying in evaluation, updating, and choice rules were fit to individual data and their performances were compared to that of a statistical baseline model to find a best fitting model. The results showed that the model combining the prospect utility function treating gains and losses separately, the decay-reinforcement updating rule, and the trial-independent choice rule performed the best in both tasks. Furthermore, the winning model produced more consistent individual parameter estimates across the two tasks than any of the other models. PMID:25814963

  18. Pain neurophysiology education improves cognitions, pain thresholds, and movement performance in people with chronic whiplash: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Van Oosterwijck, Jessica; Nijs, Jo; Meeus, Mira; Truijen, Steven; Craps, Julie; Van den Keybus, Nick; Paul, Lorna

    2011-01-01

    Chronic whiplash is a debilitating condition characterized by increased sensitivity to painful stimuli, maladaptive illness beliefs, inappropriate attitudes, and movement dysfunctions. Previous work in people with chronic low back pain and chronic fatigue syndrome indicates that pain neurophysiology education is able to improve illness beliefs and attitudes as well as movement performance. This single-case study (A-B-C design) with six patients with chronic whiplash associated disorders (WAD) was aimed at examining whether education about the neurophysiology of pain is accompanied by changes in symptoms, daily functioning, pain beliefs, and behavior. Periods A and C represented assessment periods, while period B consisted of the intervention (pain neurophysiology education). Results showed a significant decrease in kinesiophobia (Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia), the passive coping strategy of resting (Pain Coping Inventory), self-rated disability (Neck Disability Index), and photophobia (WAD Symptom List). At the same time, significantly increased pain pressure thresholds and improved pain-free movement performance (visual analog scale on Neck Extension Test and Brachial Plexus Provocation Test) were established. Although the current results need to be verified in a randomized, controlled trial, they suggest that education about the physiology of pain is able to increase pain thresholds and improve pain behavior and pain-free movement performance in patients with chronic WAD. PMID:21328162

  19. Cognitive behavioral strategies in athletic performance enhancement.

    PubMed

    Meyers, A W; Whelan, J P; Murphy, S M

    1996-01-01

    While we might debate the role of sport in our culture, its influence is certainly pervasive. Each day millions of Americans engage in some form of competition, training, or physical exercise. Such popularity and the value our culture places on competition have made sport a valid area of psychological inquiry. Within the cognitive behavioral model, sport psychology and, specifically, athletic performance enhancement have experienced vigorous growth over the past two decades. Behavior change strategies familiar to most cognitive behaviorists form the core of virtually all athletic performance enhancement interventions. Goal setting, imagery or mental rehearsal, relaxation training, stress management, self-monitoring, self-instruction, cognitive restructuring, and modeling interventions dominate this literature. Our examination of these performance enhancement programs, both through a qualitative review and the Whelan et al. (1989) meta-analysis, supports the efficacy of cognitive behavioral interventions for the enhancement of sport performance. First, the average effect size across the empirical literature indicates that these interventions are reliably effective. Furthermore, this positive result is observed across variations in treatment conditions, control conditions, and across different types of dependent measures. Evidence on goal setting, imagery, arousal management, cognitive self-regulation, and packaged programs specifically support the behavior change efficacy of these interventions. These findings are encouraging, but much work needs to be done. Few investigators cited in this review attend to crucial internal and external validity issues. Attention to treatment integrity, including training of behavior change agents, verification of intervention implementation, and verification of reception of the treatment, is sorely lacking. Psychological skill development and its relationship to performance improvements are rarely checked. Now that cognitive

  20. 5-Hydroxytryptophan during critical postnatal period improves cognitive performances and promotes dendritic spine maturation in genetic mouse model of phenylketonuria

    PubMed Central

    Andolina, Diego; Conversi, David; Cabib, Simona; Trabalza, Antonio; Ventura, Rossella; Puglisi-Allegra, Stefano; Pascucci, Tiziana

    2011-01-01

    Although phenylketonuria (PKU) is the most common genetic cause of mental retardation, the cellular mechanisms underlying impaired brain function are still unclear. Using PAHenu2 mice (ENU2), the genetic mouse model of PKU, we previously demonstrated that high phenylalanine levels interfere with brain tryptophan hydroxylase activity by reducing the availability of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT), crucial for maturation of neuronal connectivity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), around the third postnatal week, a critical period for cortical maturation. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), the product of tryptophan hydroxylation, is known to be a better treatment to increase brain 5-HT levels. In this study we investigated the role of 5-HT during the early postnatal period in cognitive disturbances and in cortical dendritic alterations of PKU subjects by restoring temporarily (postnatal days 14–21) physiological brain levels of 5-HT in ENU2 through 5-HTP treatment. In adult ENU2 mice early 5-HTP treatment reverses cognitive deficits in spatial and object recognition tests accompanied by an increase in spine maturation of pyramidal neurons in layer V of the prelimbic/infralimbic area of the PFC, although locomotor deficits are not recovered by treatment. Taken together, our results support the hypothesis that mental retardation in PKU depends on reduced availability of brain 5-HT during critical developmental periods that interferes with cortical maturation and point to 5-HTP supplementation as a highly promising additional tool to heal PKU patients. PMID:21040618

  1. Using Relaxation, Cognitive Therapy, and Mental Imagery To Reduce Test Anxiety and Improve Performance among Firefighter Trainees.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mogen, David S.

    The significant number of firefighter trainees experiencing performance evaluation anxiety during fire training school was addressed by the implementation of anxiety reduction and performance enhancement strategies. Audiotape recordings were chosen as the primary intervention medium to facilitate program effectiveness within an established fire…

  2. A racket-sport intervention improves behavioral and cognitive performance in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Pan, Chien-Yu; Chu, Chia-Hua; Tsai, Chia-Liang; Lo, Shen-Yu; Cheng, Yun-Wen; Liu, Yu-Jen

    2016-10-01

    The present study assessed the effects of a 12-week table tennis exercise on motor skills, social behaviors, and executive functions in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In the first 12-week phase, 16 children (group I) received the intervention, whereas 16 children (group II) did not. A second 12-week phase immediately followed with the treatments reversed. Improvements were observed in executive functions in both groups after the intervention. After the first 12-week phase, some motor and behavioral functions improved in group I. After the second 12-week phase, similar improvements were noted for group II, and the intervention effects achieved in the first phase were persisted in group I. The racket-sport intervention is valuable in promoting motor skills, social behaviors, and executive functions and should be included within the standard-of-care treatment for children with ADHD. PMID:27344348

  3. Stimulation of postsynapse adrenergic α2A receptor improves attention/cognition performance in an animal model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Kawaura, Kazuaki; Karasawa, Jun-ichi; Chaki, Shigeyuki; Hikichi, Hirohiko

    2014-08-15

    A 5-trial inhibitory avoidance test using spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) pups has been used as an animal model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the roles of noradrenergic systems, which are involved in the pathophysiology of ADHD, have not been investigated in this model. In the present study, the effects of adrenergic α2 receptor stimulation, which has been an effective treatment for ADHD, on attention/cognition performance were investigated in this model. Moreover, neuronal mechanisms mediated through adrenergic α2 receptors were investigated. We evaluated the effects of both clonidine, a non-selective adrenergic α2 receptor agonist, and guanfacine, a selective adrenergic α2A receptor agonist, using a 5-trial inhibitory avoidance test with SHR pups. Juvenile SHR exhibited a shorter transfer latency, compared with juvenile Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats. Both clonidine and guanfacine significantly prolonged the transfer latency of juvenile SHR. The effects of clonidine and guanfacine were significantly blocked by pretreatment with an adrenergic α2A receptor antagonist. In contrast, the effect of clonidine was not attenuated by pretreatment with an adrenergic α2B receptor antagonist, or an adrenergic α2C receptor antagonist, while it was attenuated by a non-selective adrenergic α2 receptor antagonist. Furthermore, the effects of neither clonidine nor guanfacine were blocked by pretreatment with a selective noradrenergic neurotoxin. These results suggest that the stimulation of the adrenergic α2A receptor improves the attention/cognition performance of juvenile SHR in the 5-trial inhibitory avoidance test and that postsynaptic, rather than presynaptic, adrenergic α2A receptor is involved in this effect. PMID:24882610

  4. Significant Improvements in Cognitive Performance Post-Transcranial, Red/Near-Infrared Light-Emitting Diode Treatments in Chronic, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Open-Protocol Study

    PubMed Central

    Zafonte, Ross; Krengel, Maxine H.; Martin, Paula I.; Frazier, Judith; Hamblin, Michael R.; Knight, Jeffrey A.; Meehan, William P.; Baker, Errol H.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract This pilot, open-protocol study examined whether scalp application of red and near-infrared (NIR) light-emitting diodes (LED) could improve cognition in patients with chronic, mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Application of red/NIR light improves mitochondrial function (especially in hypoxic/compromised cells) promoting increased adenosine triphosphate (ATP) important for cellular metabolism. Nitric oxide is released locally, increasing regional cerebral blood flow. LED therapy is noninvasive, painless, and non-thermal (cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration [FDA], an insignificant risk device). Eleven chronic, mTBI participants (26–62 years of age, 6 males) with nonpenetrating brain injury and persistent cognitive dysfunction were treated for 18 outpatient sessions (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, for 6 weeks), starting at 10 months to 8 years post- mTBI (motor vehicle accident [MVA] or sports-related; and one participant, improvised explosive device [IED] blast injury). Four had a history of multiple concussions. Each LED cluster head (5.35 cm diameter, 500 mW, 22.2 mW/cm2) was applied for 10 min to each of 11 scalp placements (13 J/cm2). LEDs were placed on the midline from front-to-back hairline; and bilaterally on frontal, parietal, and temporal areas. Neuropsychological testing was performed pre-LED, and at 1 week, and 1 and 2 months after the 18th treatment. A significant linear trend was observed for the effect of LED treatment over time for the Stroop test for Executive Function, Trial 3 inhibition (p=0.004); Stroop, Trial 4 inhibition switching (p=0.003); California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT)-II, Total Trials 1–5 (p=0.003); and CVLT-II, Long Delay Free Recall (p=0.006). Participants reported improved sleep, and fewer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, if present. Participants and family reported better ability to perform social, interpersonal, and occupational functions. These open-protocol data suggest

  5. Significant improvements in cognitive performance post-transcranial, red/near-infrared light-emitting diode treatments in chronic, mild traumatic brain injury: open-protocol study.

    PubMed

    Naeser, Margaret A; Zafonte, Ross; Krengel, Maxine H; Martin, Paula I; Frazier, Judith; Hamblin, Michael R; Knight, Jeffrey A; Meehan, William P; Baker, Errol H

    2014-06-01

    This pilot, open-protocol study examined whether scalp application of red and near-infrared (NIR) light-emitting diodes (LED) could improve cognition in patients with chronic, mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Application of red/NIR light improves mitochondrial function (especially in hypoxic/compromised cells) promoting increased adenosine triphosphate (ATP) important for cellular metabolism. Nitric oxide is released locally, increasing regional cerebral blood flow. LED therapy is noninvasive, painless, and non-thermal (cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration [FDA], an insignificant risk device). Eleven chronic, mTBI participants (26-62 years of age, 6 males) with nonpenetrating brain injury and persistent cognitive dysfunction were treated for 18 outpatient sessions (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, for 6 weeks), starting at 10 months to 8 years post- mTBI (motor vehicle accident [MVA] or sports-related; and one participant, improvised explosive device [IED] blast injury). Four had a history of multiple concussions. Each LED cluster head (5.35 cm diameter, 500 mW, 22.2 mW/cm(2)) was applied for 10 min to each of 11 scalp placements (13 J/cm(2)). LEDs were placed on the midline from front-to-back hairline; and bilaterally on frontal, parietal, and temporal areas. Neuropsychological testing was performed pre-LED, and at 1 week, and 1 and 2 months after the 18th treatment. A significant linear trend was observed for the effect of LED treatment over time for the Stroop test for Executive Function, Trial 3 inhibition (p=0.004); Stroop, Trial 4 inhibition switching (p=0.003); California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT)-II, Total Trials 1-5 (p=0.003); and CVLT-II, Long Delay Free Recall (p=0.006). Participants reported improved sleep, and fewer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, if present. Participants and family reported better ability to perform social, interpersonal, and occupational functions. These open-protocol data suggest that placebo

  6. How Performance Improves

    SciTech Connect

    Jerry L. Harbour; Julie L. Marble

    2005-09-01

    Countless articles and books have been written about and numerous programs have been developed to improve performance. Despite this plethora of activity on how to improve performance, we have largely failed to address the more fundamental question of how performance actually improves. To begin exploring this more basic question, we have plotted some 1,200 performance records to date and found that irrespective of venue, industry, or business, there seems to be a fundamental and repeatable set of concepts regarding how performance improves over time. Such gained insights represent both opportunities and challenges to the performance technologist. Differences in performance outcomes may, for example, be as much a function of the life cycle stage of a performance system as the efficacy of the selected improvement method itself. Accordingly, it may be more difficult to compare differing performance improvement methods than previously thought.

  7. Xanthohumol improved cognitive flexibility in young mice.

    PubMed

    Zamzow, Daniel R; Elias, Valerie; Legette, LeeCole L; Choi, Jaewoo; Stevens, J Fred; Magnusson, Kathy R

    2014-12-15

    The protein palmitoylation cycle has been shown to be important for protein signaling and synaptic plasticity. Data from our lab showed a change in the palmitoylation status of certain proteins with age. A greater percentage of the NMDA receptor subunits GluN2A and GluN2B, along with Fyn and PSD95 proteins, were palmitoylated in the old mice. The higher level of protein palmitoylation was also associated with poorer learning scores. Xanthohumol is a prenylated flavonoid that has been shown to increase beta-oxidation in the livers of rodents, decreasing circulating free fatty acids in the serum. What is not known is whether the application of xanthohumol could influence the palmitoylation status of proteins. In this study, young and old mice were fed a diet supplemented with xanthohumol for 8 weeks. Spatial memory was assessed with the Morris water maze and protein palmitoylation quantified. The young xanthohumol-treated mice showed a significant improvement in cognitive flexibility. However, this appeared to be associated with the young control mice, on a defined, phytoestrogen-deficient diet, performing as poorly as the old mice and xanthohumol reversing this effect. The old mice receiving xanthohumol did not significantly improve their learning scores. Xanthohumol treatment was unable to affect the palmitoylation of NMDA receptor subunits and associated proteins assessed in this study. This evidence suggests that xanthohumol may play a role in improving cognitive flexability in young animals, but it appears to be ineffective in adjusting the palmitoylation status of neuronal proteins in aged individuals. PMID:25192637

  8. Xanthohumol improved cognitive flexibility in young mice

    PubMed Central

    Zamzow, Daniel R; Elias, Valerie; Legette, LeeCole L; Choi, Jaewoo; Stevens, J. Fred; Magnusson, Kathy R

    2014-01-01

    The protein palmitoylation cycle has been shown to be important for protein signaling and synaptic plasticity. Data from our lab showed a change in the palmitoylation status of certain proteins with age. A greater percentage of the NMDA receptor subunits GluN2A and GluN2B, along with Fyn and PSD95 proteins, were palmitoylated in the old mice. The higher level of protein palmitoylation was also associated with poorer learning scores. Xanthohumol is a prenylated flavonoid that has been shown to increase beta-oxidation in the livers of rodents, decreasing circulating free fatty acids in the serum. What is not known is whether the application of xanthohumol could influence the palmitoylation status of proteins. In this study, young and old mice were fed a diet supplemented with xanthohumol for 8 weeks. Spatial memory was assessed with the Morris water maze and protein palmitoylation quantified. The young xanthohumol-treated mice showed a significant improvement in cognitive flexibility. However, this appeared to be associated with the young control mice, on a defined, phytoestrogen-deficient diet, performing as poorly as the old mice and xanthohumol reversing this effect. The old mice receiving xanthohumol did not significantly improve their learning scores. Xanthohumol treatment was unable to affect the palmitoylation of NMDA receptor subunits and associated proteins assessed in this study. This evidence suggests that xanthohumol may play a role in improving cognitive flexability in young animals, but it appears to be ineffective in adjusting the palmitoylation status of neuronal proteins in aged individuals. PMID:25192637

  9. Individual variation in cognitive performance: developmental and evolutionary perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Thornton, Alex; Lukas, Dieter

    2012-01-01

    Animal cognition experiments frequently reveal striking individual variation but rarely consider its causes and largely ignore its potential consequences. Studies often focus on a subset of high-performing subjects, sometimes viewing evidence from a single individual as sufficient to demonstrate the cognitive capacity of a species. We argue that the emphasis on demonstrating species-level cognitive capacities detracts from the value of individual variation in understanding cognitive development and evolution. We consider developmental and evolutionary interpretations of individual variation and use meta-analyses of data from published studies to examine predictors of individual performance. We show that reliance on small sample sizes precludes robust conclusions about individual abilities as well as inter- and intraspecific differences. We advocate standardization of experimental protocols and pooling of data between laboratories to improve statistical rigour. Our analyses show that cognitive performance is influenced by age, sex, rearing conditions and previous experience. These effects limit the validity of comparative analyses unless developmental histories are taken into account, and complicate attempts to understand how cognitive traits are expressed and selected under natural conditions. Further understanding of cognitive evolution requires efforts to elucidate the heritability of cognitive traits and establish whether elevated cognitive performance confers fitness advantages in nature. PMID:22927576

  10. Embarking on performance improvement.

    PubMed

    Brown, Bobbi; Falk, Leslie Hough

    2014-06-01

    Healthcare organizations should approach performance improvement as a program, not a project. The program should be led by a guidance team that identifies goals, prioritizes work, and removes barriers to enable clinical improvement teams and work groups to realize performance improvements. A healthcare enterprise data warehouse can provide the initial foundation for the program analytics. Evidence-based best practices can help achieve improved outcomes and reduced costs. PMID:24968632

  11. Improved Visual Cognition through Stroboscopic Training

    PubMed Central

    Appelbaum, L. Gregory; Schroeder, Julia E.; Cain, Matthew S.; Mitroff, Stephen R.

    2011-01-01

    Humans have a remarkable capacity to learn and adapt, but surprisingly little research has demonstrated generalized learning in which new skills and strategies can be used flexibly across a range of tasks and contexts. In the present work we examined whether generalized learning could result from visual–motor training under stroboscopic visual conditions. Individuals were assigned to either an experimental condition that trained with stroboscopic eyewear or to a control condition that underwent identical training with non-stroboscopic eyewear. The training consisted of multiple sessions of athletic activities during which participants performed simple drills such as throwing and catching. To determine if training led to generalized benefits, we used computerized measures to assess perceptual and cognitive abilities on a variety of tasks before and after training. Computer-based assessments included measures of visual sensitivity (central and peripheral motion coherence thresholds), transient spatial attention (a useful field of view – dual task paradigm), and sustained attention (multiple-object tracking). Results revealed that stroboscopic training led to significantly greater re-test improvement in central visual field motion sensitivity and transient attention abilities. No training benefits were observed for peripheral motion sensitivity or peripheral transient attention abilities, nor were benefits seen for sustained attention during multiple-object tracking. These findings suggest that stroboscopic training can effectively improve some, but not all aspects of visual perception and attention. PMID:22059078

  12. Subjective cognitive complaints, affective distress, and objective cognitive performance in Persian Gulf War veterans.

    PubMed

    Binder, L M; Storzbach, D; Anger, W K; Campbell, K A; Rohlman, D S; of the Portland Environmental, O M; Center, H R

    1999-08-01

    We examined subjective cognitive complaints, affective distress, and cognitive performance in Persian Gulf veterans who reported illness and cognitive complaints. We predicted a stronger relationship between subjective cognitive complaints and affective distress than between subjective cognitive complaints and objective cognitive performance. This prediction was confirmed in a sample of 100 veterans. The results suggest that cognitive impairment should not be diagnosed in this population without objective confirmation with cognitive testing. PMID:14590580

  13. Performance evaluation of cognitive radio in advanced metering infrastructure communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiew, Yik-Kuan; Mohd Aripin, Norazizah; Din, Norashidah Md

    2016-03-01

    Smart grid is an intelligent electricity grid system. A reliable two-way communication system is required to transmit both critical and non-critical smart grid data. However, it is difficult to locate a huge chunk of dedicated spectrum for smart grid communications. Hence, cognitive radio based communication is applied. Cognitive radio allows smart grid users to access licensed spectrums opportunistically with the constraint of not causing harmful interference to licensed users. In this paper, a cognitive radio based smart grid communication framework is proposed. Smart grid framework consists of Home Area Network (HAN) and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), while AMI is made up of Neighborhood Area Network (NAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN). In this paper, the authors only report the findings for AMI communication. AMI is smart grid domain that comprises smart meters, data aggregator unit, and billing center. Meter data are collected by smart meters and transmitted to data aggregator unit by using cognitive 802.11 technique; data aggregator unit then relays the data to billing center using cognitive WiMAX and TV white space. The performance of cognitive radio in AMI communication is investigated using Network Simulator 2. Simulation results show that cognitive radio improves the latency and throughput performances of AMI. Besides, cognitive radio also improves spectrum utilization efficiency of WiMAX band from 5.92% to 9.24% and duty cycle of TV band from 6.6% to 10.77%.

  14. Performance Improvement Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1997

    This document contains four papers from a symposium on performance improvement processes. In "Never the Twain Shall Meet?: A Glimpse into High Performance Work Practices and Downsizing" (Laurie J. Bassi, Mark E. Van Buren) evidence from a national cross-industry of more than 200 establishments is used to demonstrate that high-performance work…

  15. [Cognitive dimensions used in rating work performance].

    PubMed

    Yanagizawa, Saori

    2008-12-01

    This study explored the cognitive dimensions used by individuals in judging work performance based on the individual scale methodology of Hayashi, Ohashi, & Hirooka (1983). The participants were fifteen undergraduate students and nine workers. First, the participants described the characteristics of eight high performers and eight low performers whom they had worked with. Second, from these characteristics, they selected twenty characteristics that they considered as determinants in judging whether performers are superior or inferior. Third, using an individual scale consisting of the selected characteristics, they rated sixteen high performers and sixteen low performers. Factor analyses were conducted for each participant's ratings on the individual scale. The results suggested that three or four dimensions were generally used in judging performers, although there were individual differences in the number of dimensions used. Undergraduate students judged performers using more cognitive dimensions than workers did. The contents of the cognitive dimensions were relevant to technical skill, work attitude, cognitive ability, motivation, interpersonal competence, leadership, and personality. Undergraduate students used fewer cognitive ability dimensions and more personality dimensions than workers used. PMID:19172909

  16. Sarcopenia and impairment in cognitive and physical performance

    PubMed Central

    Tolea, Magdalena I; Galvin, James E

    2015-01-01

    Background Whether older adults with sarcopenia who underperform controls on tests of physical performance and cognition also have a higher likelihood of combined cognitive-physical impairment is not clear. We assessed the impact of sarcopenia on impairment in both aspects of functionality and the relative contribution of its components, muscle mass and strength. Methods Two hundred and twenty-three community-dwelling adults aged 40 years and older (mean age =68.1±10.6 years; 65% female) were recruited and underwent physical functionality, anthropometry, and cognitive testing. Participants with low muscle mass were categorized as pre-sarcopenic; those with low muscle mass and muscle strength as sarcopenic; those with higher muscle mass and low muscle strength only were categorized as non-sarcopenic and were compared on risk of cognitive impairment (Montreal Cognitive Assessment <26; Ascertaining Dementia 8 ≥2), physical impairment (Mini Physical Performance Test <12), both, or neither by ordinal logistic regression. Results Compared to controls, those with sarcopenia were six times more likely to have combined cognitive impairment/physical impairment with a fully adjusted model showing a three-fold increased odds ratio. The results were consistent across different measures of global cognition (odds ratio =3.46, 95% confidence interval =1.07–11.45 for the Montreal Cognitive Assessment; odds ratio =3.61, 95% confidence interval =1.11–11.72 for Ascertaining Dementia 8). Pre-sarcopenic participants were not different from controls. The effect of sarcopenia on cognition is related to low muscle strength rather than low muscle mass. Conclusion Individuals with sarcopenia are not only more likely to have single but also to have dual impairment in cognitive and physical function. Interventions designed to prevent sarcopenia and improve muscle strength may help reduce the burden of cognitive and physical impairments of functionality in community-dwelling seniors

  17. Distributed Cognition: A Foundation for Performance Support.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenberg, Jan D.; Dickelman, Gary J.

    2000-01-01

    Discusses distributed cognition theory, a viable framework and methodology for examining interactions between individuals and artifacts, and how it relates to performance support. Highlights include knowledge representation; applications in learning and performance support; learning communities; collaborative learning; and computer technology and…

  18. Review of Human Cognitive Performance in Spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strangman, Gary; Bevan, Gary

    2012-01-01

    Human space exploration is inherently hazardous, particularly for lon g duration (LD) missions (22 days or longer). Maintenance of cognitive functioning is essential, but flight environments pose numerous pote ntial risks to the brain and cognitive performance (eg, radiation, to xins, chronic stress, sleep deprivation, hypercarbia, fluid shifts, h ormone imbalances, and injury). There have been persistent anecdotal reports of cognitive deficits during missions, but an up?-to-date rev iew of the evidence for such changes has remained unavailable. Method s: We identified and reviewed English language publications found via electronic searches in PubMed, PsycInfo, Inspec, the NASA Technical Report Server, and the Defense Technical Information Center, plus rec ursive searches of publication bibliographies. Search terms included the word cognition, cognitive, or performance along with spaceflight, flight, mission, or closely related terms. Results: Inter?-study variability precluded meta?-analysis. Some 32 published studies involving cognitive assessment during spaceflight were identified, involving a total of 110 participants (mean: 3.4 participants per study). The lo ngest?-duration study spanned 438 days, with six additional studies i nvolving flight durations of 90 days, and 11 more studies involved fl ight durations exceeding 21 days. The available evidence failed to st rongly support or refute the existence of cognitive deficits in LD sp aceflight, in part due to inadequate power or control conditions. Evi dence of increased variability in cognitive performance during spacef light, both within and between individuals, was common. Discussion: T hese results represent a negative finding based on small numbers of s ubjects for any given cognitive function. The increased variability within and (particularly) between individuals highlights the potential danger of generalizing from case studies. A mismatch therefore remain s between anecdotal reports describing

  19. MCNP Progress & Performance Improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Forrest B.; Bull, Jeffrey S.; Rising, Michael Evan

    2015-04-14

    Twenty-eight slides give information about the work of the US DOE/NNSA Nuclear Criticality Safety Program on MCNP6 under the following headings: MCNP6.1.1 Release, with ENDF/B-VII.1; Verification/Validation; User Support & Training; Performance Improvements; and Work in Progress. Whisper methodology will be incorporated into the code, and run speed should be increased.

  20. Improving Surface Irrigation Performance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Surface irrigation systems often have a reputation for poor performance. One key feature of efficient surface irrigation systems is precision (e.g. laser-guided) land grading. Poor land grading can make other improvements ineffective. An important issue, related to land shaping, is developing the pr...

  1. Cognitive performance in pediatric liver transplant recipients.

    PubMed

    Kaller, T; Langguth, N; Petermann, F; Ganschow, R; Nashan, B; Schulz, K-H

    2013-11-01

    To date, the course of cognitive development in children after liver transplantation (Ltx) is poorly understood. Cognitive performance, however, is crucial in all developmental stages and for educational achievement. This cross-sectional single-center study examined the prevalence of long-term cognitive impairment in a cohort of 64 pediatric patients after Ltx. Median age at Ltx was 12 months. The revised Wechsler Intelligence Scale IV was administered to assess cognitive performance. Patients were compared with an age- and gender-matched group of children without a chronic health condition. Liver transplanted children performed significantly worse in three of four cognitive domains as well as in the Total Intelligence Quotient (Total IQ) (p = 0.017 to p = 0.005). Liver transplant recipients showed substantially more "serious delays" (IQ < 70) compared to the reference group (9.4% vs. 4.7%). Children with a genetic-metabolic disease performed worse than the other groups in three of the four WISC Indices and in the Total IQ (p = 0.05 to p = 0.01). The strongest association was revealed between height at Ltx and Verbal Comprehension (R(2)  = 0.21), Perceptual Reasoning (R(2)  = 0.30), Working Memory (R(2)  = 0.23) and Total IQ (R(2)  = 0.25). Our results indicate a high impact of primary diagnosis and height percentile at Ltx even on children's long-term cognitive performance. PMID:24102763

  2. Improving CSF Biomarkers’ Performance for Predicting Progression from Mild Cognitive Impairment to Alzheimer’s Disease by Considering Different Confounding Factors: A Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Daniel; Rivero-Santana, Amado; Perestelo-Pérez, Lilisbeth; Westman, Eric; Wahlund, Lars-Olof; Sarría, Antonio; Serrano-Aguilar, Pedro

    2014-01-01

    Background: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers’ performance for predicting conversion from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is still suboptimal. Objective: By considering several confounding factors we aimed to identify in which situations these CSF biomarkers can be useful. Data Sources: A systematic review was conducted on MEDLINE, PreMedline, EMBASE, PsycInfo, CINAHL, Cochrane, and CRD (1990–2013). Eligibility Criteria: (1) Prospective studies of CSF biomarkers’ performance for predicting conversion from MCI to AD/dementia; (2) inclusion of Aβ42 and T-tau and/or p-tau. Several meta-analyses were performed. Results: Aβ42/p-tau ratio had high capacity to predict conversion to AD in MCI patients younger than 70 years. The p-tau had high capacity to identify MCI cases converting to AD in ≤24 months. Conclusions: Explaining how different confounding factors influence CSF biomarkers’ predictive performance is mandatory to elaborate a definitive map of situations, where these CSF biomarkers are useful both in clinics and research. PMID:25360114

  3. Aerobic Exercise Improves Cognition and Motor Function Poststroke

    PubMed Central

    Quaney, Barbara M.; Boyd, Lara A.; McDowd, Joan M.; Zahner, Laura H.; He, Jianghua; Mayo, Matthew S.; Macko, Richard F.

    2010-01-01

    Background Cognitive deficits impede stroke recovery. Aerobic exercise (AEX) improves cognitive executive function (EF) processes in healthy individuals, although the learning benefits after stroke are unknown. Objective To understand AEX-induced improvements in EF, motor learning, and mobility poststroke. Methods Following cardiorespiratory testing, 38 chronic stroke survivors were randomized to 2 different groups that exercised 3 times a week (45-minute sessions) for 8 weeks. The AEX group (n = 19; 9 women; 10 men; 64.10 ± 12.30 years) performed progressive resistive stationary bicycle training at 70% maximal heart rate, whereas the Stretching Exercise (SE) group (n = 19; 12 women; 7 men; 58.96 ± 14.68 years) performed stretches at home. Between-group comparisons were performed on the change in performance at “Post” and “Retention” (8 weeks later) for neuropsychological and motor function measures. Results Vo2max significantly improved at Post with AEX (P = .04). AEX also improved motor learning in the less-affected hand, with large effect sizes (Cohen’s d calculation). Specifically, AEX significantly improved information processing speed on the serial reaction time task (SRTT; ie, “procedural motor learning”) compared with the SE group at Post (P = .024), but not at Retention. Also, at Post (P = .038), AEX significantly improved predictive force accuracy for a precision grip task requiring attention and conditional motor learning of visual cues. Ambulation and sit-to-stand transfers were significantly faster in the AEX group at Post (P = .038), with balance control significantly improved at Retention (P = .041). EF measurements were not significantly different for the AEX group. Conclusion AEX improved mobility and selected cognitive domains related to motor learning, which enhances sensorimotor control after stroke. PMID:19541916

  4. Adult Cognitive Styles and Test Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrulis, Richard S.; Bush, David

    1977-01-01

    Adult males (N=90) ages 25 to 58 were individually tested with three cognitive style measures. Error scores on the MFF (Matching Familiar Figures Test) are a better predictor of test performance than are latencies. Presented at the 84th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C., 1976. (Author)

  5. Aging, Cognitive Performance, and Mental Speed.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nettelbeck, Ted; Rabbitt, Patrick M. A.

    1992-01-01

    Measures of four-choice reaction time, inspection time, and scores on a speeded coding-substitution task obtained from 104 adults aged 54 to 85 years were found to account for almost all age-related changes in cognitive performance on a number of indices of general fluid ability. (SLD)

  6. Effects of flavonoids on cognitive performance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent studies suggest that nutritional interventions, such as increasing dietary intake of fruits and vegetables, could possibly delay and even reverse age-related declines in brain function such as cognitive and motor performance. Fruits and vegetables rich in flavonoids play a critical role in pr...

  7. Word Recall: Cognitive Performance Within Internet Surveys

    PubMed Central

    Craig, Benjamin M; Jim, Heather S

    2015-01-01

    Background The use of online surveys for data collection has increased exponentially, yet it is often unclear whether interview-based cognitive assessments (such as face-to-face or telephonic word recall tasks) can be adapted for use in application-based research settings. Objective The objective of the current study was to compare and characterize the results of online word recall tasks to those of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and determine the feasibility and reliability of incorporating word recall tasks into application-based cognitive assessments. Methods The results of the online immediate and delayed word recall assessment, included within the Women’s Health and Valuation (WHV) study, were compared to the results of the immediate and delayed recall tasks of Waves 5-11 (2000-2012) of the HRS. Results Performance on the WHV immediate and delayed tasks demonstrated strong concordance with performance on the HRS tasks (ρc=.79, 95% CI 0.67-0.91), despite significant differences between study populations (P<.001) and study design. Sociodemographic characteristics and self-reported memory demonstrated similar relationships with performance on both the HRS and WHV tasks. Conclusions The key finding of this study is that the HRS word recall tasks performed similarly when used as an online cognitive assessment in the WHV. Online administration of cognitive tests, which has the potential to significantly reduce participant and administrative burden, should be considered in future research studies and health assessments. PMID:26543924

  8. Cognitive Correlates of Performance in Advanced Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wei, Wei; Yuan, Hongbo; Chen, Chuansheng; Zhou, Xinlin

    2012-01-01

    Background: Much research has been devoted to understanding cognitive correlates of elementary mathematics performance, but little such research has been done for advanced mathematics (e.g., modern algebra, statistics, and mathematical logic).Aims: To promote mathematical knowledge among college students, it is necessary to understand what factors…

  9. CF6 performance improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lennard, D. J.

    1978-01-01

    Potential CF6 engine performance improvements directed at reduced fuel consumption were identified and screened relative to airline acceptability and are reviewed. The screening process developed to provide evaluations of fuel savings and economic factors including return on investment and direct operating cost is described. In addition, assessments of development risk and production potential are made. Several promising concepts selected for full-scale development based on a ranking involving these factors are discussed.

  10. Microgravity effects on standardized cognitive performance measures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schiflett, Samuel G.

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of this experiment, selected to fly on the International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2) Spacelab mission, is to determine the effects of microgravity upon the cognitive skills which are critical to successful performance of many tasks on board the Space Shuttle. Six tests from the Unified Tri-service Cognitive Performance Assessment Battery (UTC-PAB) will be administered to the Mission Specialists to fulfill the goals of this experiment. These tests are based upon current theoretical models of human performance and the hypothesized effects of microgravity. The principle objective is the identification of the effects of microgravity upon specific information processing skills affecting performance from those of fatigue and shifts in work/rest cycles. Multiple measures of both short and long term fatigue will be obtained and used as a major independent variable for the analysis of these performance data. Scientific supporting studies will determine optimum practice and performance testing schedules for the astronauts. The same tests will be used post-flight to collect data on the recovery of any cognitive performance impairment compared with pre-flight, baseline levels.

  11. Concurrent and Longitudinal Relationships Between Cognitive Activity, Cognitive Performance, and Brain Volume in Older Adult Women

    PubMed Central

    Erickson, Kirk I.; Espeland, Mark A.; Smith, J. Carson; Tindle, Hilary A.; Rapp, Stephen R.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. We investigated (a) cross-sectional associations between cognitive activity, cognitive performance, and MRI measures and (b) longitudinal associations between cognitive activity and change in cognitive performance, using structural equation modeling (SEM). Method. Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS) Extension participants who continued annual neuropsychological assessments by telephone and completed a concurrent questionnaire of cognitive activities and MRI scans were included (mean age = 81.4 years; N = 393). Cognitive performance was measured by tests of attention, working memory, verbal fluency, executive function, and memory. Cognitive activity was measured by self-reported participation in a variety of cognitive activities (e.g., reading books, playing games, computer activities; N = 11 items) during the previous 12 months. MRI measures included gray and white matter normal and white matter lesion volumes. Results. SEM demonstrated a significant association between cognitive activity and baseline cognitive performance but not change over 2–3 years. Gray and white matter was associated with cognitive performance but not cognitive activity. All effects remained significant after modeling covariates (age, education, depressive symptoms, WHIMS intervention assignment, and intracranial volume). Conclusions. Cognitive activity benefits current cognitive performance but is not associated with change over 2–3 years. Cognitive activity and MRI volumes are independently associated with cognitive performance, suggesting distinct cognitive and brain reserve constructs. PMID:25209372

  12. Sleep deprivation: Impact on cognitive performance

    PubMed Central

    Alhola, Paula; Polo-Kantola, Päivi

    2007-01-01

    Today, prolonged wakefulness is a widespread phenomenon. Nevertheless, in the field of sleep and wakefulness, several unanswered questions remain. Prolonged wakefulness can be due to acute total sleep deprivation (SD) or to chronic partial sleep restriction. Although the latter is more common in everyday life, the effects of total SD have been examined more thoroughly. Both total and partial SD induce adverse changes in cognitive performance. First and foremost, total SD impairs attention and working memory, but it also affects other functions, such as long-term memory and decision-making. Partial SD is found to influence attention, especially vigilance. Studies on its effects on more demanding cognitive functions are lacking. Coping with SD depends on several factors, especially aging and gender. Also interindividual differences in responses are substantial. In addition to coping with SD, recovering from it also deserves attention. Cognitive recovery processes, although insufficiently studied, seem to be more demanding in partial sleep restriction than in total SD. PMID:19300585

  13. Fluid consumption, exercise, and cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Backes, T P; Fitzgerald, K

    2016-09-01

    Laboratory evidence supports the notion that dehydration degrades exercise performance and impairs certain cognitive processes. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of a voluntary versus a dictated drinking condition on exercise and cognitive performance. The study used a double-blind and paired design. Twenty male and female college students (10 women, 10 men) participated in an exercise protocol consisting of 1 hr of treadmill running followed by a high intensity portion continuing until voluntary exhaustion. The dictated drinking condition consisted of 900 ml of water equally distributed in 4 pre-prepared opaque bottles. At 15 min intervals the subject was instructed to drink the entire contents until the end of the 1 hr treadmill protocol. The voluntary drinking condition consisted of 225 ml of water within arm's reach of the subjects while on the treadmill. Exercise performance was significantly better (longer duration and faster speed) in the voluntary condition compared with the dictated condition. Cognitive test outcomes were not significantly different between drinking conditions. A difference in fluid absorption is a potential source of exercise impairment seen in the dictated fluid condition. The higher fluid consumption rate presumably would cause greater gastric and esophageal distention resulting in the diversion of blood flow from working muscles to the gastrointestinal system. In situations where dehydration is likely, drinking to recommended guidelines may protect individuals from dehydration and its negative effects. However, when dehydration is not likely, allowing an individual to follow voluntary drinking behavior is preferable for exercise performance. PMID:27601785

  14. Fluid consumption, exercise, and cognitive performance

    PubMed Central

    Fitzgerald, K

    2016-01-01

    Laboratory evidence supports the notion that dehydration degrades exercise performance and impairs certain cognitive processes. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of a voluntary versus a dictated drinking condition on exercise and cognitive performance. The study used a double-blind and paired design. Twenty male and female college students (10 women, 10 men) participated in an exercise protocol consisting of 1 hr of treadmill running followed by a high intensity portion continuing until voluntary exhaustion. The dictated drinking condition consisted of 900 ml of water equally distributed in 4 pre-prepared opaque bottles. At 15 min intervals the subject was instructed to drink the entire contents until the end of the 1 hr treadmill protocol. The voluntary drinking condition consisted of 225 ml of water within arm's reach of the subjects while on the treadmill. Exercise performance was significantly better (longer duration and faster speed) in the voluntary condition compared with the dictated condition. Cognitive test outcomes were not significantly different between drinking conditions. A difference in fluid absorption is a potential source of exercise impairment seen in the dictated fluid condition. The higher fluid consumption rate presumably would cause greater gastric and esophageal distention resulting in the diversion of blood flow from working muscles to the gastrointestinal system. In situations where dehydration is likely, drinking to recommended guidelines may protect individuals from dehydration and its negative effects. However, when dehydration is not likely, allowing an individual to follow voluntary drinking behavior is preferable for exercise performance. PMID:27601785

  15. Oral zinc supplementation may improve cognitive function in schoolchildren.

    PubMed

    de Moura, José Edson; de Moura, Edna Nubia Oliveira; Alves, Camila Xavier; Vale, Sancha Helena de Lima; Dantas, Márcia Marília Gomes; Silva, Alfredo de Araújo; Almeida, Maria das Graças; Leite, Lúcia Dantas; Brandão-Neto, José

    2013-10-01

    Zinc is an important micronutrient for humans, and zinc deficiency among schoolchildren is deleterious to growth and development, immune competence, and cognitive function. However, the effect of zinc supplementation on cognitive function remains poorly understood. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effect of oral zinc supplementation (5 mg Zn/day for 3 months) on the Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ), Verbal Intelligence Quotient (VIQ), and Performance Intelligence Quotient (PIQ) using a Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-III). We studied 36 schoolchildren aged 6 to 9 years (7.8 ± 1.1) using a nonprobability sampling method. The baseline serum zinc concentrations increased significantly after zinc supplementation (p < 0.0001), with no difference between sexes. Tests were administered under basal conditions before and after zinc supplementation, and there was no difference in FSIQ according to gender or age. The results demonstrated that zinc improved the VIQ only in the Information Subtest (p = 0.009), although the supplementation effects were more significant in relation to the PIQ, as these scores improved for the Picture Completion, Picture Arrangement, Block Design, and Object Assembly Subtests (p = 0.0001, for all subtests). In conclusion, zinc supplementation improved specific cognitive abilities, thereby positively influencing the academic performance of schoolchildren, even those without marginal zinc deficiency. PMID:23892699

  16. Cognitive intervention with elite performers: reversal theory.

    PubMed Central

    Kerr, J H

    1987-01-01

    Noticeable in the literature associated with the application of psychology to the area of sport and sports performance in particular has been the increasing frequency of references to the use of cognitive intervention in the sports context. Currently utilised in clinical psychology and behavioural medicine, and receiving increasing attention in sports psychology, are a number of intervention techniques primarily oriented towards altering the individual's level of arousal. These techniques, which have been advocated for use by sports performers as an aid to adapting and coping during competition, have been largely concerned with arousal reduction. This paper presents an alternative approach, the case of reversal theory, a new general theory of psychology concerned with motivation, and emphasises the conceptual implications of this new approach for the use of cognitive intervention techniques in sport. PMID:3620801

  17. Cognitive performance baseline measurement and eye movement performance measures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viirre, Erik S.; Chase, Bradley; Tsai, Yi-Fang

    2005-05-01

    Personnel are often required to perform multiple simultaneous tasks at the limits of their cognitive capacity. In research surrounding cognitive performance resources for tasks during stress and high cognitive workload, one area of deficiency is measurement of individual differences. To determine the amount of attentional demand a stressor places on a subject, one must first know that all subjects are performing at the same level with the same amount of available capacity in the control condition. By equating the baselines of performance across all subjects ("baselining") we can control for differing amounts of performance capacity or attentional resources in each individual. For example, a given level of task performance without a time restriction may be equated across subjects to account for attentional resources. Training to a fixed level of proficiency with time limits might obliterate individual differences in mental resources. Eye movement parameters may serve as a real-time measure of attentional demand. In implementing a baselining technique to control for individual differences, eye movement behaviors will be associated with the true cognitive demands of task loading or other stressors. Using eye movement data as a proxy for attentional state, it may be possible to "close the loop" on the human-machine system, providing a means by which the system can adapt to the attentional state of the human operator. In our presentation, eye movement data will be shown with and without the benefit of the baselining technique. Experimental results will be discussed within the context of this theoretical framework.

  18. Improving Construct Validity with Cognitive Psychology Principles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Embretson, Susan; Gorin, Joanna

    2001-01-01

    Examines testing practices in: (1) the past, in which the traditional paradigm left little room for cognitive psychology principles; (2) the present, in which testing research is enhanced by principles of cognitive psychology; and (3) the future, in which the potential of cognitive psychology should be fully realized through item design.…

  19. Clock drawing performance in cognitively normal elderly.

    PubMed

    Hubbard, Emily J; Santini, Veronica; Blankevoort, Christiaan G; Volkers, Karin M; Barrup, Melissa S; Byerly, Laura; Chaisson, Christine; Jefferson, Angela L; Kaplan, Edith; Green, Robert C; Stern, Robert A

    2008-05-01

    The Clock Drawing Test (CDT) is a common neuropsychological measure sensitive to cognitive changes and functional skills (e.g., driving test performance) among older adults. However, normative data have not been adequately developed. We report the distribution of CDT scores using three common scoring systems [Mendez, M. F., Ala, T., & Underwood, K. L. (1992). Development of scoring criteria for the Clock Drawing Task in Alzheimer's Disease. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 40, 1095-1099; Cahn, D. A., Salmon, D. P., Monsch, A. U., Butters, N., Wiederholt, W. C., & Corey-Bloom, J. (1996). Screening for dementia of the Alzheimer type in the community: The utility of the Clock Drawing Test. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 11(6), 529-539], among 207 cognitively normal elderly. The systems were well correlated, took little time to use, and had high inter-rater reliability. We found statistically significant differences in CDT scores based on age and WRAT-3 Reading score, a marker of education quality. We present means, standard deviations, and t- and z-scores based on these subgroups. We found that "normal" CDT performance includes a wider distribution of scores than previously reported. Our results may serve as useful comparisons for clinicians wishing to know whether their patients perform in the general range of cognitively normal elderly. PMID:18243644

  20. Novel television-based cognitive training improves working memory and executive function.

    PubMed

    Shatil, Evelyn; Mikulecká, Jaroslava; Bellotti, Francesco; Bureš, Vladimír

    2014-01-01

    The main study objective was to investigate the effect of interactive television-based cognitive training on cognitive performance of 119 healthy older adults, aged 60-87 years. Participants were randomly allocated to a cognitive training group or to an active control group in a single-blind controlled two-group design. Before and after training interactive television cognitive performance was assessed on well validated tests of fluid, higher-order ability, and system usability was evaluated. The participants in the cognitive training group completed a television-based cognitive training programme, while the participants in the active control group completed a TV-based programme of personally benefiting activities. Significant improvements were observed in well validated working memory and executive function tasks in the cognitive training but not in the control group. None of the groups showed statistically significant improvement in life satisfaction score. Participants' reports of "adequate" to "high" system usability testify to the successful development and implementation of the interactive television-based system and compliant cognitive training contents. The study demonstrates that cognitive training delivered by means of an interactive television system can generate genuine cognitive benefits in users and these are measurable using well-validated cognitive tests. Thus, older adults who cannot use or afford a computer can easily use digital interactive television to benefit from advanced software applications designed to train cognition. PMID:24992187

  1. Cognitive Performance in a Subclinical Obsessive-Compulsive Sample 1: Cognitive Functions

    PubMed Central

    Johansen, Thomas; Dittrich, Winand H.

    2013-01-01

    Individuals who are not clinically diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) but still display obsessive-compulsive (OC) tendencies may show cognitive impairments. The present study investigated whether there are subgroups within a healthy group showing characteristic cognitive and emotional performance levels similar to those found in OCD patients and whether they differ from OCD subgroups regarding performance levels. Of interest are those cases showing subclinical symptomatology. The results revealed no impairments in the subclinical OC participants on the neuropsychological tasks, while evidence suggests that there exist high and low scores on two standardised clinical instruments (Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale and Cognitive Assessment Instrument of Obsessions and Compulsions) in a healthy sample. OC symptoms may diminish the quality of life and prolong sustainable return to work. It may be that occupational rehabilitation programmes are more effective in rectifying subclinical OC tendencies compared to the often complex symptoms of diagnosed OCD patients. The relationship between cognitive style and subclinical OC symptoms is discussed in terms of how materials and information might be processed. Although subclinical OC tendencies would not seem to constitute a diagnosis of OCD, the quality of treatment programmes such as cognitive behavioural therapy can be improved based on the current investigation. PMID:24236282

  2. The influence of agility training on physiological and cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Lennemann, Lynette M; Sidrow, Kathryn M; Johnson, Erica M; Harrison, Catherine R; Vojta, Christopher N; Walker, Thomas B

    2013-12-01

    Agility training (AT) has recently been instituted in several military communities in hopes of improving combat performance and general fitness. The purpose of this study was to determine how substituting AT for traditional military physical training (PT) influences physical and cognitive performance. Forty-one subjects undergoing military technical training were divided randomly into 2 groups for 6 weeks of training. One group participated in standard military PT consisting of calisthenics and running. A second group duplicated the amount of exercise of the first group but used AT as their primary mode of training. Before and after training, subjects completed a physical and cognitive battery of tests including V[Combining Dot Above]O2max, reaction time, Illinois Agility Test, body composition, visual vigilance, dichotic listening, and working memory tests. There were significant improvements within the AT group in V[Combining Dot Above]O2max, Illinois Agility Test, visual vigilance, and continuous memory. There was a significant increase in time-to-exhaustion for the traditional group. We conclude that AT is as effective or more effective as PT in enhancing physical fitness. Further, it is potentially more effective than PT in enhancing specific measures of physical and cognitive performance, such as physical agility, memory, and vigilance. Consequently, we suggest that AT be incorporated into existing military PT programs as a way to improve war-fighter performance. Further, it seems likely that the benefits of AT observed here occur in various other populations. PMID:23442271

  3. Neural correlates of cognitive improvements following cognitive remediation in schizophrenia: a systematic review of randomized trials

    PubMed Central

    Isaac, Clémence; Januel, Dominique

    2016-01-01

    Background Cognitive impairments are a core feature in schizophrenia and are linked to poor social functioning. Numerous studies have shown that cognitive remediation can enhance cognitive and functional abilities in patients with this pathology. The underlying mechanism of these behavioral improvements seems to be related to structural and functional changes in the brain. However, studies on neural correlates of such enhancement remain scarce. Objectives We explored the neural correlates of cognitive enhancement following cognitive remediation interventions in schizophrenia and the differential effect between cognitive training and other therapeutic interventions or patients’ usual care. Method We searched MEDLINE, PsycInfo, and ScienceDirect databases for studies on cognitive remediation therapy in schizophrenia that used neuroimaging techniques and a randomized design. Search terms included randomized controlled trial, cognitive remediation, cognitive training, rehabilitation, magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography, near infrared spectroscopy, and diffusion tensor imaging. We selected randomized controlled trials that proposed multiple sessions of cognitive training to adult patients with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder and assessed its efficacy with imaging techniques. Results In total, 15 reports involving 19 studies were included in the systematic review. They involved a total of 455 adult patients, 271 of whom received cognitive remediation. Cognitive remediation therapy seems to provide a neurobiological enhancing effect in schizophrenia. After therapy, increased activations are observed in various brain regions mainly in frontal – especially prefrontal – and also in occipital and anterior cingulate regions during working memory and executive tasks. Several studies provide evidence of an improved functional connectivity after cognitive training, suggesting a neuroplastic effect of

  4. EEG markers of future cognitive performance in the elderly.

    PubMed

    van der Hiele, Karin; Bollen, Eduard L E M; Vein, Alla A; Reijntjes, Robert H A M; Westendorp, Rudi G J; van Buchem, Mark A; Middelkoop, Huub A M; van Dijk, J Gert

    2008-04-01

    This exploratory follow-up study investigated whether EEG parameters can predict future cognitive performance. Forty elderly subjects, ranging from cognitively unimpaired to those with Alzheimer disease underwent EEG registration at baseline and neuropsychological examination at both baseline and follow-up. We assessed relations between EEG measures and future cognitive performance (i.e., global cognition, memory, language, and executive functioning) controlling for age, follow-up time, and baseline cognitive performance. Regression models were constructed to predict performance on the Cambridge Cognitive Examination, a widely used tool within dementia screenings. Baseline EEG measures, i.e., increased theta activity (4-8 Hz) during eyes closed and less alpha reactivity (8-13 Hz) during eyes open and memory activation, indicated lower global cognitive, language (trend significant), and executive performance at follow-up. A regression model combining baseline cognitive and EEG measures provided the best prediction of future Cambridge Cognitive Examination performance (93%). EEG and cognitive measures alone predicted, respectively, 43% and 92% of variance. EEG and cognitive measures combined provided the best prediction of future cognitive performance. Although the "cognition only" model showed similar predictive power, the EEG provided significant additional value. The added value of EEG registration in the diagnostic work-up of dementia should be further assessed in larger samples. PMID:18340274

  5. Whole body vibration improves cognition in healthy young adults.

    PubMed

    Regterschot, G Ruben H; Van Heuvelen, Marieke J G; Zeinstra, Edzard B; Fuermaier, Anselm B M; Tucha, Lara; Koerts, Janneke; Tucha, Oliver; Van Der Zee, Eddy A

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the acute effects of passive whole body vibration (WBV) on executive functions in healthy young adults. Participants (112 females, 21 males; age: 20.5±2.2 years) underwent six passive WBV sessions (frequency 30 Hz, amplitude approximately 0.5 mm) and six non-vibration control sessions of two minutes each while sitting on a chair mounted on a vibrating platform. A passive WBV session was alternated with a control session. Directly after each session, performance on the Stroop Color-Block Test (CBT), Stroop Color-Word Interference Test (CWIT), Stroop Difference Score (SDS) and Digit Span Backward task (DSBT) was measured. In half of the passive WBV and control sessions the test order was CBT-CWIT-DSBT, and DSBT-CBT-CWIT in the other half. Passive WBV improved CWIT (p = 0.009; effect size r = 0.20) and SDS (p = 0.034; r = 0.16) performance, but only when the CBT and CWIT preceded the DSBT. CBT and DSBT performance did not change. This study shows that two minutes passive WBV has positive acute effects on attention and inhibition in young adults, notwithstanding their high cognitive functioning which could have hampered improvement. This finding indicates the potential of passive WBV as a cognition-enhancing therapy worth further evaluation, especially in persons unable to perform active forms of exercise. PMID:24949870

  6. Enhancement of human cognitive performance using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

    PubMed Central

    Luber, Bruce; Lisanby, and Sarah H.

    2014-01-01

    Here we review the usefulness of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in modulating cortical networks in ways that might produce performance enhancements in healthy human subjects. To date over sixty studies have reported significant improvements in speed and accuracy in a variety of tasks involving perceptual, motor, and executive processing. Two basic categories of enhancement mechanisms are suggested by this literature: direct modulation of a cortical region or network that leads to more efficient processing, and addition-by-subtraction, which is disruption of processing which competes or distracts from task performance. Potential applications of TMS cognitive enhancement, including research into cortical function, rehabilitation therapy in neurological and psychiatric illness, and accelerated skill acquisition in healthy individuals are discussed, as are methods of optimizing the magnitude and duration of TMS-induced performance enhancement, such as improvement of targeting through further integration of brain imaging with TMS. One technique, combining multiple sessions of TMS with concurrent TMS/task performance to induce Hebbian-like learning, appears to be promising for prolonging enhancement effects. While further refinements in the application of TMS to cognitive enhancement can still be made, and questions remain regarding the mechanisms underlying the observed effects, this appears to be a fruitful area of investigation that may shed light on the basic mechanisms of cognitive function and their therapeutic modulation. PMID:23770409

  7. Disentangling the Relationship between Hemispheric Asymmetry and Cognitive Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hirnstein, Marco; Leask, Stuart; Rose, Jonas; Hausmann, Markus

    2010-01-01

    It is widely believed that advantages of hemispheric asymmetries originated in better cognitive processing, hence it is often implied that the relationship between hemispheric asymmetry and cognitive performance is linearly positive: the higher the degree of lateralization in a specific cognitive domain, the better the performance in a…

  8. Performance Improvement Assuming Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowland, Gordon

    2007-01-01

    Individual performers, work teams, and organizations may be considered complex adaptive systems, while most current human performance technologies appear to assume simple determinism. This article explores the apparent mismatch and speculates on future efforts to enhance performance if complexity rather than simplicity is assumed. Included are…

  9. Performance Improvement [in HRD].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1995

    These four papers are from a symposium that was facilitated by Richard J. Torraco at the 1995 conference of the Academy of Human Resource Development (HRD). "Performance Technology--Isn't It Time We Found Some New Models?" (William J. Rothwell) reviews briefly two classic models, describes criteria for the high performance workplace (HPW), and…

  10. Repeated systemic administration of the nutraceutical alpha-linolenic acid exerts neuroprotective efficacy, an antidepressant effect and improves cognitive performance when given after soman exposure.

    PubMed

    Pan, Hongna; Piermartiri, Tetsade C B; Chen, Jun; McDonough, John; Oppel, Craig; Driwech, Wafae; Winter, Kristin; McFarland, Emylee; Black, Katelyn; Figueiredo, Taiza; Grunberg, Neil; Marini, Ann M

    2015-12-01

    Exposure to nerve agents results in severe seizures or status epilepticus caused by the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, a critical enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine to terminate neurotransmission. Prolonged seizures cause brain damage and can lead to long-term consequences. Current countermeasures are only modestly effective against the brain damage supporting interest in the evaluation of new and efficacious therapies. The nutraceutical alpha-linolenic acid (LIN) is an essential omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid that has a wide safety margin. Previous work showed that a single intravenous injection of alpha-linolenic acid (500 nmol/kg) administered before or after soman significantly protected against soman-induced brain damage when analyzed 24h after exposure. Here, we show that administration of three intravenous injections of alpha-linolenic acid over a 7 day period after soman significantly improved motor performance on the rotarod, enhanced memory retention, exerted an anti-depressant-like activity and increased animal survival. This dosing schedule significantly reduced soman-induced neuronal degeneration in four major vulnerable brain regions up to 21 days. Taken together, alpha-linolenic acid reduces the profound behavioral deficits induced by soman possibly by decreasing neuronal cell death, and increases animal survival. PMID:26386148

  11. The effect of exercise-induced arousal on cognitive task performance: a meta-regression analysis.

    PubMed

    Lambourne, Kate; Tomporowski, Phillip

    2010-06-23

    The effects of acute exercise on cognitive performance were examined using meta-analytic techniques. The overall mean effect size was dependent on the timing of cognitive assessment. During exercise, cognitive task performance was impaired by a mean effect of -0.14. However, impairments were only observed during the first 20min of exercise. Otherwise, exercise-induced arousal enhanced performance on tasks that involved rapid decisions and automatized behaviors. Following exercise, cognitive task performance improved by a mean effect of 0.20. Arousal continued to facilitate speeded mental processes and also enhanced memory storage and retrieval. Positive effects were observed following exercise regardless of whether the study protocol was designed to measure the effects of steady-state exercise, fatiguing exercise, or the inverted-U hypothesis. Finally, cognitive performance was affected differentially by exercise mode. Cycling was associated with enhanced performance during and after exercise, whereas treadmill running led to impaired performance during exercise and a small improvement in performance following exercise. These results are indicative of the complex relation between exercise and cognition. Cognitive performance may be enhanced or impaired depending on when it is measured, the type of cognitive task selected, and the type of exercise performed. PMID:20381468

  12. Cognitive Performance during a 24-Hour Cold Exposure Survival Simulation

    PubMed Central

    Hartley, Geoffrey L.; Zaharieva, Dessi; Basset, Fabien A.; Hynes, Zach

    2016-01-01

    Survivor of a ship ground in polar regions may have to wait more than five days before being rescued. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore cognitive performance during prolonged cold exposure. Core temperature (Tc) and cognitive test battery (CTB) performance data were collected from eight participants during 24 hours of cold exposure (7.5°C ambient air temperature). Participants (recruited from those who have regular occupational exposure to cold) were instructed that they could freely engage in minimal exercise that was perceived to maintaining a tolerable level of thermal comfort. Despite the active engagement, test conditions were sufficient to significantly decrease Tc after exposure and to eliminate the typical 0.5–1.0°C circadian rise and drop in core temperature throughout a 24 h cycle. Results showed minimal changes in CTB performance regardless of exposure time. Based on the results, it is recommended that survivors who are waiting for rescue should be encouraged to engage in mild physical activity, which could have the benefit of maintaining metabolic heat production, improve motivation, and act as a distractor from cold discomfort. This recommendation should be taken into consideration during future research and when considering guidelines for mandatory survival equipment regarding cognitive performance. PMID:27478839

  13. Cognitive Performance during a 24-Hour Cold Exposure Survival Simulation.

    PubMed

    Taber, Michael J; Hartley, Geoffrey L; McGarr, Gregory W; Zaharieva, Dessi; Basset, Fabien A; Hynes, Zach; Haman, Francois; Pinet, Bernard M; DuCharme, Michel B; Cheung, Stephen S

    2016-01-01

    Survivor of a ship ground in polar regions may have to wait more than five days before being rescued. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore cognitive performance during prolonged cold exposure. Core temperature (T c) and cognitive test battery (CTB) performance data were collected from eight participants during 24 hours of cold exposure (7.5°C ambient air temperature). Participants (recruited from those who have regular occupational exposure to cold) were instructed that they could freely engage in minimal exercise that was perceived to maintaining a tolerable level of thermal comfort. Despite the active engagement, test conditions were sufficient to significantly decrease T c after exposure and to eliminate the typical 0.5-1.0°C circadian rise and drop in core temperature throughout a 24 h cycle. Results showed minimal changes in CTB performance regardless of exposure time. Based on the results, it is recommended that survivors who are waiting for rescue should be encouraged to engage in mild physical activity, which could have the benefit of maintaining metabolic heat production, improve motivation, and act as a distractor from cold discomfort. This recommendation should be taken into consideration during future research and when considering guidelines for mandatory survival equipment regarding cognitive performance. PMID:27478839

  14. Aerobic and Cognitive Exercise (ACE) Pilot Study for Older Adults: Executive Function Improves with Cognitive Challenge While Exergaming.

    PubMed

    Barcelos, Nicole; Shah, Nikita; Cohen, Katherine; Hogan, Michael J; Mulkerrin, Eamon; Arciero, Paul J; Cohen, Brian D; Kramer, Arthur F; Anderson-Hanley, Cay

    2015-11-01

    Dementia cases are increasing worldwide; thus, investigators seek to identify interventions that might prevent or ameliorate cognitive decline in later life. Extensive research confirms the benefits of physical exercise for brain health, yet only a fraction of older adults exercise regularly. Interactive mental and physical exercise, as in aerobic exergaming, not only motivates, but has also been found to yield cognitive benefit above and beyond traditional exercise. This pilot study sought to investigate whether greater cognitive challenge while exergaming would yield differential outcomes in executive function and generalize to everyday functioning. Sixty-four community based older adults (mean age=82) were randomly assigned to pedal a stationary bike, while interactively engaging on-screen with: (1) a low cognitive demand task (bike tour), or (2) a high cognitive demand task (video game). Executive function (indices from Trails, Stroop and Digit Span) was assessed before and after a single-bout and 3-month exercise intervention. Significant group × time interactions were found after a single-bout (Color Trails) and after 3 months of exergaming (Stroop; among 20 adherents). Those in the high cognitive demand group performed better than those in the low cognitive dose condition. Everyday function improved across both exercise conditions. Pilot data indicate that for older adults, cognitive benefit while exergaming increased concomitantly with higher doses of interactive mental challenge. PMID:26581789

  15. Helping Others Improve Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durfee, Arthur E.

    1970-01-01

    Because individuals are motivated by work which they regard as challenging and worthwhile, their motivation is increased as they are given clear-cut responsibility. A performance appraisal system based on these new insights is available and may be used by supervisors. (NL)

  16. Effect of Vinpocetine (Cognitol™) on Cognitive Performances of a Nigerian Population

    PubMed Central

    Ogunrin, AO

    2014-01-01

    Background: Chronic medical disorders are often complicated by cognitive impairments, making medical intervention that can alleviate cognitive disturbances desirable. Vinpocetine enhances cerebral utilization of oxygen and glucose and consequently improves cerebral functions including memory. Aim: This study assessed the efficacy of vinpocetine (Cognitol™) in improving memory and concentration in cognitively impaired patients. Subjects and Methods: A prospective analytical study of 56 cognitively impaired patients compared with age, sex and level of education matched 56 controls. Cognitive performance was assessed with the Short Blessed Test, which was pilot-tested. Baseline cognitive performances of the patients and controls were obtained and thereafter cognitive performances of the patients were assessed at 6 and 12 weeks after administration of vinpocetine at a dose of 5 mg twice-a-day. Comparative analysis of their performances at baseline was done using the Student t-test, while the improvement in patients’ performances and effect of disease variables on cognitive performances were analyzed with one-way analysis of variance and likelihood ratio analysis respectively. Results: The mean (standard deviation) [SD] ages of the cognitively impaired patients (56/112) and controls (56/112) were 49.5 (18.9) and 53.8 (15.8) years respectively (P = 0.19; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.2-10.8). The pilot study yielded an optimal cut-off error score of 6 with a sensitivity of 71.4%, specificity of 96.4% and accuracy of 83.9%. Patients performed significantly worse than the controls (P < 0.001; 95% CI 6.7-11.4). There were significant improvements in memory and concentration with vinpocetine therapy (P < 0.05). The clinical variables of the patients had no effect on the trend of cognitive performances. Conclusions: Vinpocetine was effective in improving memory and concentration of patients with epilepsy and dementia although the efficacy was minimal in demented

  17. Performance improvement on the battlefield.

    PubMed

    De Jong, Marla J; Martin, Kathleen D; Huddleston, Michele; Spott, Mary Ann; McCoy, Jennifer; Black, Julie A; Bolenbaucher, Rose

    2008-01-01

    The Joint Theater Trauma System (JTTS) is a formal system of trauma care designed to improve the medical care and outcomes for combat casualties of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. This article describes the JTTS Trauma Performance Improvement Plan and how JTTS personnel use it to facilitate performance improvement across the entire continuum of combat casualty care. PMID:19092506

  18. Interactions between Sex, Socioeconomic Level, and Children's Cognitive Performance.

    PubMed

    Alves, Ana-Filipa; Martins, Ana; Almeida, Leandro S

    2016-04-01

    This study assesses the interactions between sex, socioeconomic level, and children's cognitive performance. Cognitive performance was measured for a sample of 453 Portuguese children, aged between 4 and 10 years, with 218 boys and 235 girls; verbal and nonverbal cognitive ability and intelligence quotient were measured by the Cognitive Skills Scale for Children. Multivariate analysis of variance assessed the effects of sex and family's socioeconomic level on intelligence quotient. A statistically significant interaction between sex and socioeconomic level was observed for nonverbal intelligence quotient, total intelligence quotient, and two subtests. Socioeconomic level had more influence than sex on most of the cognitive tests. PMID:27154374

  19. Using Simulations To Improve Cognitive Reasoning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGee, Steven; Corriss, Darlene; Shia, Regina

    This study investigated changes in students' cognitive reasoning as they analyzed the dynamics of a rainforest ecosystem (El Yunque) in the aftermath of a hurricane in Puerto Rico. Students explore the virtual rainforest to study what happened to a type of frog after the hurricane. The culminating event is a simulation in which students manipulate…

  20. Social Priming Improves Cognitive Control in Elderly Adults—Evidence from the Simon Task

    PubMed Central

    Aisenberg, Daniela; Cohen, Noga; Pick, Hadas; Tressman, Iris; Rappaport, Michal; Shenberg, Tal; Henik, Avishai

    2015-01-01

    We examined whether social priming of cognitive states affects the inhibitory process in elderly adults, as aging is related to deficits in inhibitory control. Forty-eight elderly adults and 45 young adults were assigned to three groups and performed a cognitive control task (Simon task), which was followed by 3 different manipulations of social priming (i.e., thinking about an 82 year-old person): 1) negative—characterized by poor cognitive abilities, 2) neutral—characterized by acts irrelevant to cognitive abilities, and 3) positive—excellent cognitive abilities. After the manipulation, the Simon task was performed again. Results showed improvement in cognitive control effects in seniors after the positive manipulation, indicated by a significant decrease in the magnitude of the Simon and interference effects, but not after the neutral and negative manipulations. Furthermore, a healthy pattern of sequential effect (Gratton) that was absent before the manipulation in all 3 groups appeared after the positive manipulation. Namely, the Simon effect was only present after congruent but not after incongruent trials for the positive manipulation group. No influence of manipulations was found in young adults. These meaningful results were replicated in a second experiment and suggest a decrease in conflict interference resulting from positive cognitive state priming. Our study provides evidence that an implicit social concept of a positive cognitive condition in old age can affect the control process of the elderly and improve cognitive abilities. PMID:25635946

  1. How Does Exercise Benefit Performance on Cognitive Tests in Primary-School Pupils?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Liam J. B.; Williams, Justin H. G.; Aucott, Lorna; Thomson, Jenny; Mon-Williams, Mark

    2011-01-01

    Aim: We have previously demonstrated improved cognitive performance after a classroom-based exercise regime. In this study, we examined the reproducibility of this effect in a more socio-economically diverse sample and also investigated whether cognitive benefits of exercise were moderated by body mass index (BMI) or symptoms of…

  2. Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone Differentially Improve Cognition in Aged Female Mice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benice, Ted S.; Raber, Jacob

    2009-01-01

    Compared with age-matched male mice, female mice experience a more severe age-related cognitive decline (ACD). Since androgens are less abundant in aged female mice compared with aged male mice, androgen supplementation may enhance cognition in aged female mice. To test this, we assessed behavioral performance on a variety of tasks in 22- to…

  3. Electroencephalogram associations to cognitive performance in clinically active nurses.

    PubMed

    Lees, Ty; Khushaba, Rami; Lal, Sara

    2016-07-01

    Cognitive impairment is traditionally identified via cognitive screening tools that have limited ability in detecting early or transitional stages of impairment. The dynamic nature of physiological variables such as the electroencephalogram (EEG) may provide alternate means for detecting these transitions. However, previous research examining EEG and cognitive performance is largely confined to samples with diagnosed cognitive impairments, and research examining non-impaired, and occupation specific samples, is limited. The present study aimed to investigate the associations between frontal pole and central EEG and cognitive performance in a sample of male and female nurses, and to determine the significance of these associations. Fifty seven nurses participated in the study, in which two lead bipolar EEG was recorded at positions Fp1 (frontal polar), Fp2, C3 (central) and C4 during a baseline and an active phase involving the common neuropsychological Stroop test. Participants' cognitive performance was assessed using the mini-mental state exam (MMSE) and Cognistat screening tools. Significant correlations between EEG beta activity and the outcome of MMSE and Cognistat were revealed, where an increased beta activity was associated to an increased global cognitive performance. Additionally, domain specific cognitive performance was also significantly associated to various EEG variables. The study identified potential EEG biomarkers for global and domain specific cognitive performance, and provides initial groundwork for the development of future EEG based biomarkers for detection of cognitive pathologies. PMID:27244262

  4. Donepezil Improved Cognitive Deficits in a Patient With Neurosyphilis.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yi-Shan; Lane, Hsien-Yuan; Lin, Chieh-Hsin

    2015-01-01

    A large number of patients with neurosyphilis present dementia with a progressive course and psychiatric symptoms such as depression, mania, and psychosis. Despite prompt and proper antibiotic treatment, the recovery is often incomplete, especially when tissue damage has occurred. We reported a patient with persisted cognitive decline associated with neurosyphilis that improved substantially after donepezil therapy. A 43-year-old man manifested significant psychiatric symptoms such as mania, psychosis, and cognitive impairment due to neurosyphilis. Subsequently, the patient was treated with antipsychotics and donepezil concurrent with an adequate antibiotic treatment for neurosyphilis. During the 1-year follow-up, his rapid plasma reagin titer approached from 1:256 to 1:64. His Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale scores improved from 12 to 25 and 42.3 to 6.3, respectively, after a 6-month donepezil treatment. Donepezil was discontinued. Three months later, worsening of cognitive impairment (MMSE score, 23) was noted. After donepezil was started again for 3 months, his MMSE score improved to 26. Persistent cognitive impairment is commonly associated with neurosyphilis despite adequate penicillin treatment. Treatment of the cognitive impairment is important but difficult. Cholinergic pathways are considered as involving in the cognitive deficit induced by neurosyphilis and donepezil, a cholinesterase inhibitor, which may be useful for the improvement of cognition. In this case report, we described for the first time the successful use of donepezil in treating cognitive impairment associated with neurosyphilis. The role of cholinesterase inhibitors in the treatment of cognitive impairments caused by neurosyphilis needs further studies. PMID:26166240

  5. RC2S: A Cognitive Remediation Program to Improve Social Cognition in Schizophrenia and Related Disorders.

    PubMed

    Peyroux, Elodie; Franck, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    In people with psychiatric disorders, particularly those suffering from schizophrenia and related illnesses, pronounced difficulties in social interactions are a key manifestation. These difficulties can be partly explained by impairments in social cognition, defined as the ability to understand oneself and others in the social world, which includes abilities such as emotion recognition, theory of mind (ToM), attributional style, and social perception and knowledge. The impact of several kinds of interventions on social cognition has been studied recently. The best outcomes in the area of social cognition in schizophrenia are those obtained by way of cognitive remediation programs. New strategies and programs in this line are currently being developed, such as RC2S (cognitive remediation of social cognition) in Lyon, France. Considering that the social cognitive deficits experienced by patients with schizophrenia are very diverse, and that the main objective of social cognitive remediation programs is to improve patients' functioning in their daily social life, RC2S was developed as an individualized and flexible program that allows patients to practice social interaction in a realistic environment through the use of virtual reality techniques. In the RC2S program, the patient's goal is to assist a character named Tom in various social situations. The underlying idea for the patient is to acquire cognitive strategies for analyzing social context and emotional information in order to understand other characters' mental states and to help Tom manage his social interactions. In this paper, we begin by presenting some data regarding the social cognitive impairments found in schizophrenia and related disorders, and we describe how these deficits are targeted by social cognitive remediation. Then we present the RC2S program and discuss the advantages of computer-based simulation to improve social cognition and social functioning in people with psychiatric disorders. PMID

  6. RC2S: A Cognitive Remediation Program to Improve Social Cognition in Schizophrenia and Related Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Peyroux, Elodie; Franck, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    In people with psychiatric disorders, particularly those suffering from schizophrenia and related illnesses, pronounced difficulties in social interactions are a key manifestation. These difficulties can be partly explained by impairments in social cognition, defined as the ability to understand oneself and others in the social world, which includes abilities such as emotion recognition, theory of mind (ToM), attributional style, and social perception and knowledge. The impact of several kinds of interventions on social cognition has been studied recently. The best outcomes in the area of social cognition in schizophrenia are those obtained by way of cognitive remediation programs. New strategies and programs in this line are currently being developed, such as RC2S (cognitive remediation of social cognition) in Lyon, France. Considering that the social cognitive deficits experienced by patients with schizophrenia are very diverse, and that the main objective of social cognitive remediation programs is to improve patients’ functioning in their daily social life, RC2S was developed as an individualized and flexible program that allows patients to practice social interaction in a realistic environment through the use of virtual reality techniques. In the RC2S program, the patient’s goal is to assist a character named Tom in various social situations. The underlying idea for the patient is to acquire cognitive strategies for analyzing social context and emotional information in order to understand other characters’ mental states and to help Tom manage his social interactions. In this paper, we begin by presenting some data regarding the social cognitive impairments found in schizophrenia and related disorders, and we describe how these deficits are targeted by social cognitive remediation. Then we present the RC2S program and discuss the advantages of computer-based simulation to improve social cognition and social functioning in people with psychiatric disorders

  7. Age dependent levels of plasma homocysteine and cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Aruna; Ilango, K; Singh, Praveen K; Karmakar, Dipankar; Singh, G P I; Kumari, Rinki; Dubey, G P

    2015-04-15

    Elevated plasma homocysteine (hcy) levels, also known as hyperhomocysteinemia (hhcy), have been associated with cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative disorders. Hhcy has been attributed to deficiency of B vitamins which can adversely affect the brain and result in memory loss and poor attention power. Monitoring hcy levels and the use of vitamin supplementation to treat hhcy may therefore prove advantageous for the prevention and management of cognitive impairment. With this in consideration, we measured plasma hcy, folate and vitamin B12 levels in 639 subjects from different age groups in two sub-regions of India. Cognitive function was also measured using attention span and immediate and delayed memory recall tests. Depression scores were obtained using the Beck Depression Inventory-II and functional impairment was assessed using the functional activities questionnaire (FAQ) score. As hhcy has also been linked to inflammation, plasma levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were also measured. The results demonstrated significant negative correlations between hcy levels and folic acid levels, vitamin B12 levels and cognitive performance (attention span and delayed but not immediate memory recall) along with significant positive correlations between hcy levels and depression scores and hsCRP (but not IL-6) levels. A positive correlation was also observed between hcy levels and FAQ scores, however this was not found to be significant. Based on these results, folic acid and vitamin B12 intervention in people with elevated hcy levels in India could prove to be effective in lowering hcy levels and help maintain or improve cognitive function. PMID:25601573

  8. QUASAR's QStates cognitive gauge performance in the cognitive state assessment competition 2011.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Neil J; Soussou, Walid

    2011-01-01

    The Cognitive State Assessment Competition 2011 was organized by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to compare the performance of real-time cognitive state classification software. This paper presents results for QUASAR's data classification module, QStates, which is a software package for real-time (and off-line) analysis of physiologic data collected during cognitive-specific tasks. The classifier's methodology can be generalized to any particular cognitive state; QStates identifies the most salient features extracted from EEG signals recorded during different cognitive states or loads. PMID:22255838

  9. Martial Art Training and Cognitive Performance in Middle-Aged Adults.

    PubMed

    Douris, Peter; Douris, Christopher; Balder, Nicole; LaCasse, Michael; Rand, Amir; Tarapore, Freya; Zhuchkan, Aleskey; Handrakis, John

    2015-09-29

    Cognitive performance includes the processes of attention, memory, processing speed, and executive functioning, which typically declines with aging. Previous research has demonstrated that aerobic and resistance exercise improves cognitive performance immediately following exercise. However, there is limited research examining the effect that a cognitively complex exercise such as martial art training has on these cognitive processes. Our study compared the acute effects of 2 types of martial art training to aerobic exercise on cognitive performance in middle-aged adults. We utilized a repeated measures design with the order of the 3 exercise conditions randomly assigned and counterbalanced. Ten recreational middle-aged martial artists (mean age = 53.5 ± 8.6 years) participated in 3 treatment conditions: a typical martial art class, an atypical martial art class, and a one-hour walk at a self-selected speed. Cognitive performance was assessed by the Stroop Color and Word test. While all 3 exercise conditions improved attention and processing speed, only the 2 martial art conditions improved the highest order of cognitive performance, executive function. The effect of the 2 martial art conditions on executive function was not different. The improvement in executive function may be due to the increased cortical demand required by the more complex, coordinated motor tasks of martial art exercise compared to the more repetitive actions of walking. PMID:26672872

  10. The effects of cognitive rehabilitation on Alzheimer’s dementia patients’ cognitive assessment reference diagnosis system performance based on level of cognitive functioning

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Jung-Ha; Cha, Hyun-Gyu; Cho, Hyuk-Shin

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study is to apply cognitive rehabilitation according to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients’ level of cognitive functioning to compare changes in Cognitive Assessment Reference Diagnosis System performance and present standards for effective intervention. [Subjects] Subjects were 30 inpatients diagnosed with AD. Subjects were grouped by Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) class (CDR-0.5, CDR-1, or CDR-2, n = 10 per group), which is based on level of cognitive functioning, and cognitive rehabilitation was applied for 50 minutes per day, five days per week, for four weeks. [Methods] After cognitive rehabilitation intervention, CARDS tests were conducted to evaluate memory. [Results] Bonferroni tests comparing the three groups revealed that the CDR-0.5 and CDR-1 groups showed significant increases in Delayed 10 word-list, Delayed 10 object-list, Recognition 10 object, and Recent memory performance compared to the CDR-2 group. In addition, the CDR-0.5 group showed significant decreases in Recognition 10 word performance compared to the CDR-1 group. [Conclusion] Cognitive rehabilitation, CDR-0.5 or CDR-1 subjects showed significantly greater memory improvements than CDR-2 subjects. Moreover, was not effective for CDR-2 subjects. PMID:26504315

  11. The NASA performance assessment workstation: Cognitive performance during head-down bed rest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shehab, Randa L.; Schlegel, Robert E.; Schiflett, Samuel G.; Eddy, Douglas R.

    The NASA Performance Assessment Workstation was used to assess cognitive performance changes in eight males subjected to seventeen days of 6 ° head-down bed rest. PAWS uses six performance tasks to assess directed and divided attention, spatial, mathematical, and memory skills, and tracking ability. Subjective scales assess overall fatigue and mood state. Subjects completed training trials, practice trials, bed rest trials, and recovery trials. The last eight practice trials and all bed rest trials were performed with subjects lying face-down on a gurney. In general, there was no apparent cumulative effect of bed rest. Following a short period of performance stabilization, a slight but steady trend of performance improvement was observed across all trials. For most tasks, this trend of performance improvement was enhanced during recovery. No statistically significant differences in performance were observed when comparing bed rest with the control period. Additionally, fatigue scores showed little change across all periods.

  12. Fluid Intake and Cognitive Performance: Should Schoolchildren Drink during Lessons?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuchs, Tanja; Lührmann, Petra; Simpson, Faith; Dohnke, Birte

    2016-01-01

    Background: Evidence suggests that an insufficient fluid intake impairs cognitive performance. Drinking policies at schools--especially drinking during lessons--is a point of controversy. To provide a scientific base for this debate, more empirical evidence is needed on which aspects of fluid intake are crucial for cognitive performance. This…

  13. Musical Distracters, Personality Type and Cognitive Performance in School Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furnham, Adrian; Stephenson, Rebecca

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this study was to ascertain the nature of the interaction between the affective value of musical distraction, personality type and performance on the cognitive tasks of reading comprehension, free recall, mental arithmetic and verbal reasoning in children aged 11-12 years. It was hypothesized that the cognitive performance of extraverts…

  14. The Effect of Colour on Children's Cognitive Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooker, Alice; Franklin, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Background: The presence of red appears to hamper adults' cognitive performance relative to other colours (see Elliot & Maier, 2014, "Ann. Rev. Psychol." 65, 95). Aims and sample: Here, we investigate whether colour affects cognitive performance in 8- and 9-year-olds. Method: Children completed a battery of tasks once in the presence…

  15. The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive Performance

    PubMed Central

    Riebl, Shaun K; Davy, Brenda M.

    2013-01-01

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES To become aware of the most practical measures of hydration status.To describe sources of water input and output and the basics of water balance.To understand how hydration status may impact daily cognitive performance. CONDENSED VERSION AND BOTTOM LINE Water is a crucial nutrient and euhydration is necessary for optimal daily functioning. Water balance is precisely regulated within the body and many methods exist for assessing hydration status. Cognitive performance measures an individual’s attentiveness, critical thinking skills, and memory. Traditionally a 2% or more body water deficit was thought to produce cognitive performance decrements; however, recent literature suggests that even mild dehydration – a body water loss of 1–2% – can impair cognitive performance. Counseling clients about their health and wellbeing should include conveying the importance of water for normal body functioning, as well as its effects on physical and cognitive performance. PMID:25346594

  16. Effects of Gestational Age at Birth on Cognitive Performance: A Function of Cognitive Workload Demands

    PubMed Central

    Jaekel, Julia; Baumann, Nicole; Wolke, Dieter

    2013-01-01

    Objective Cognitive deficits have been inconsistently described for late or moderately preterm children but are consistently found in very preterm children. This study investigates the association between cognitive workload demands of tasks and cognitive performance in relation to gestational age at birth. Methods Data were collected as part of a prospective geographically defined whole-population study of neonatal at-risk children in Southern Bavaria. At 8;5 years, n = 1326 children (gestation range: 23–41 weeks) were assessed with the K-ABC and a Mathematics Test. Results Cognitive scores of preterm children decreased as cognitive workload demands of tasks increased. The relationship between gestation and task workload was curvilinear and more pronounced the higher the cognitive workload: GA2 (quadratic term) on low cognitive workload: R2 = .02, p<0.001; moderate cognitive workload: R2 = .09, p<0.001; and high cognitive workload tasks: R2 = .14, p<0.001. Specifically, disproportionally lower scores were found for very (<32 weeks gestation) and moderately (32–33 weeks gestation) preterm children the higher the cognitive workload of the tasks. Early biological factors such as gestation and neonatal complications explained more of the variance in high (12.5%) compared with moderate (8.1%) and low cognitive workload tasks (1.7%). Conclusions The cognitive workload model may help to explain variations of findings on the relationship of gestational age with cognitive performance in the literature. The findings have implications for routine cognitive follow-up, educational intervention, and basic research into neuro-plasticity and brain reorganization after preterm birth. PMID:23717694

  17. Immediate effect of yogic visual concentration on cognitive performance

    PubMed Central

    Raghavendra, B.R.; Singh, Prashanth

    2015-01-01

    The ancient Indian yoga text, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, describes six cleansing techniques. The objective of cleansing techniques is to purify and prepare the body for the practice of yoga postures, breath regulation, and meditation. Yogic visual concentration technique (trataka) is one of these techniques. A previous study showed an increase in critical flicker fusion (CFF) following yogic visual concentration (trataka). The present study planned to assess the immediate effect of trataka on cognitive performance using the Stroop color–word test. Performance on the Stroop color–word test was assessed in 30 healthy male volunteers with ages ranging from 18 years to 31 years old (22.57 ± 3.65 years). The participants were tested before and after yogic visual concentration (trataka) and during a control session on two separate days. There was a significant improvement in performance on the Stroop color–word test after trataka compared to the control session [repeated measures analysis of variance (RM ANOVA) with Bonferroni adjustment; p < 0.001]. Performance on the Stroop color–word test was better after trataka compared to the control session suggesting that the trataka technique increased the selective attention, cognitive flexibility, and response inhibition. PMID:26870677

  18. Immediate effect of yogic visual concentration on cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Raghavendra, B R; Singh, Prashanth

    2016-01-01

    The ancient Indian yoga text, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, describes six cleansing techniques. The objective of cleansing techniques is to purify and prepare the body for the practice of yoga postures, breath regulation, and meditation. Yogic visual concentration technique (trataka) is one of these techniques. A previous study showed an increase in critical flicker fusion (CFF) following yogic visual concentration (trataka). The present study planned to assess the immediate effect of trataka on cognitive performance using the Stroop color-word test. Performance on the Stroop color-word test was assessed in 30 healthy male volunteers with ages ranging from 18 years to 31 years old (22.57 ± 3.65 years). The participants were tested before and after yogic visual concentration (trataka) and during a control session on two separate days. There was a significant improvement in performance on the Stroop color-word test after trataka compared to the control session [repeated measures analysis of variance (RM ANOVA) with Bonferroni adjustment; p < 0.001]. Performance on the Stroop color-word test was better after trataka compared to the control session suggesting that the trataka technique increased the selective attention, cognitive flexibility, and response inhibition. PMID:26870677

  19. Cognitive fatigue influences students' performance on standardized tests.

    PubMed

    Sievertsen, Hans Henrik; Gino, Francesca; Piovesan, Marco

    2016-03-01

    Using test data for all children attending Danish public schools between school years 2009/10 and 2012/13, we examine how the time of the test affects performance. Test time is determined by the weekly class schedule and computer availability at the school. We find that, for every hour later in the day, test performance decreases by 0.9% of an SD (95% CI, 0.7-1.0%). However, a 20- to 30-minute break improves average test performance by 1.7% of an SD (95% CI, 1.2-2.2%). These findings have two important policy implications: First, cognitive fatigue should be taken into consideration when deciding on the length of the school day and the frequency and duration of breaks throughout the day. Second, school accountability systems should control for the influence of external factors on test scores. PMID:26884183

  20. Cognitive fatigue influences students’ performance on standardized tests

    PubMed Central

    Sievertsen, Hans Henrik; Gino, Francesca; Piovesan, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Using test data for all children attending Danish public schools between school years 2009/10 and 2012/13, we examine how the time of the test affects performance. Test time is determined by the weekly class schedule and computer availability at the school. We find that, for every hour later in the day, test performance decreases by 0.9% of an SD (95% CI, 0.7–1.0%). However, a 20- to 30-minute break improves average test performance by 1.7% of an SD (95% CI, 1.2–2.2%). These findings have two important policy implications: First, cognitive fatigue should be taken into consideration when deciding on the length of the school day and the frequency and duration of breaks throughout the day. Second, school accountability systems should control for the influence of external factors on test scores. PMID:26884183

  1. Improving Facial Emotion Recognition in Schizophrenia: a Controlled Study Comparing Specific and Attentional Focused Cognitive Remediation.

    PubMed

    Gaudelus, Baptiste; Virgile, Jefferson; Geliot, Sabrina; Franck, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia are very frequent. They concern both neurocognition and social cognition, including facial emotion recognition. These impairments have a negative impact on the daily functioning, in particular the social and vocational rehabilitation of people with schizophrenia. Previous studies in this area clearly demonstrated the interest of cognitive remediation to improve neurocognitive and social cognitive functioning in schizophrenia. They also established clear links between facial emotion recognition skills and attentional processes. The present study compares the GAÏA s-face program (GAÏA arm), which focuses on facial emotion recognition processes, with the RECOS program (RECOS arm), a neurocognitive remediation therapy focusing on selective attention. Forty people with schizophrenia were randomly distributed between each study arm and assessed pre- (T1) and post- (T2) therapy. The single-blind assessment focused on facial emotion recognition (the main criteria), symptoms, social and subjective functioning, and neurocognitive and social cognitive performance. Both programs were conducted by nurses after a 3-day training session. The study showed a significant improvement in facial emotion recognition performance in both groups, with a significantly larger effect in the GAÏA arm. Symptoms and social functioning also improved in the GAÏA arm, and certain neurocognitive and social cognitive processes improved in both study arms. Further studies are recommended, with larger population samples and a follow-up assessing the long-term preservation of these improvements. PMID:27445866

  2. Improving Facial Emotion Recognition in Schizophrenia: a Controlled Study Comparing Specific and Attentional Focused Cognitive Remediation

    PubMed Central

    Gaudelus, Baptiste; Virgile, Jefferson; Geliot, Sabrina; Dupuis, M.; Franck, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia are very frequent. They concern both neurocognition and social cognition, including facial emotion recognition. These impairments have a negative impact on the daily functioning, in particular the social and vocational rehabilitation of people with schizophrenia. Previous studies in this area clearly demonstrated the interest of cognitive remediation to improve neurocognitive and social cognitive functioning in schizophrenia. They also established clear links between facial emotion recognition skills and attentional processes. The present study compares the GAÏA s-face program (GAÏA arm), which focuses on facial emotion recognition processes, with the RECOS program (RECOS arm), a neurocognitive remediation therapy focusing on selective attention. Forty people with schizophrenia were randomly distributed between each study arm and assessed pre- (T1) and post- (T2) therapy. The single-blind assessment focused on facial emotion recognition (the main criteria), symptoms, social and subjective functioning, and neurocognitive and social cognitive performance. Both programs were conducted by nurses after a 3-day training session. The study showed a significant improvement in facial emotion recognition performance in both groups, with a significantly larger effect in the GAÏA arm. Symptoms and social functioning also improved in the GAÏA arm, and certain neurocognitive and social cognitive processes improved in both study arms. Further studies are recommended, with larger population samples and a follow-up assessing the long-term preservation of these improvements. PMID:27445866

  3. Improved cognition after control of risk factors for multi-infarct dementia

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, J.S.; Judd, B.W.; Tawaklna, T.; Rogers, R.L.; Mortel, K.F.

    1986-10-24

    A cohort of 52 patients (30 men and 22 women) with multi-infarct dementia (MID) has been followed up prospectively for a mean interval of 22.2 months. Clinical course has been documented by serial history taking and interviews and neurological, medical, and psychological examinations, and correlated with measurements of cerebral blood flow. The clinical course and cognitive performance have been compared with those of age-matched normal volunteers and patients with Alzheimer's disease. Patients with MID were subdivided into hypertensive and normotensive groups, and also into those displaying stabilized or improved cognition and those whose condition deteriorated. Among hypertensive patients with MID, improved cognition and clinical course correlated with control of systolic blood pressure within upper limits of normalf (135 to 150 mm Hg), but if systolic blood pressure was reduced below this level, patients with MID deteriorated. Among normotensive patients with MID, improved cognition was associated with cessation of smoking cigarettes.

  4. A single dose of oxytocin nasal spray improves higher-order social cognition in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Guastella, Adam J; Ward, Philip B; Hickie, Ian B; Shahrestani, Sara; Hodge, Marie Antoinette Redoblado; Scott, Elizabeth M; Langdon, Robyn

    2015-11-01

    Schizophrenia is associated with significant impairments in both higher and lower order social cognitive performance and these impairments contribute to poor social functioning. People with schizophrenia report poor social functioning to be one of their greatest unmet treatment needs. Recent studies have suggested the potential of oxytocin as such a treatment, but mixed results render it uncertain what aspects of social cognition are improved by oxytocin and, subsequently, how oxytocin might best be applied as a therapeutic. The aim of this study was to determine whether a single dose of oxytocin improved higher-order and lower-order social cognition performance for patients with schizophrenia across a well-established battery of social cognition tests. Twenty-one male patients received both a single dose of oxytocin nasal spray (24IU) and a placebo, two weeks apart in a randomized within-subjects placebo controlled design. Following each administration, participants completed the social cognition tasks, as well as a test of general neurocognition. Results revealed that oxytocin particularly enhanced performance on higher order social cognition tasks, with no effects on general neurocognition. Results for individual tasks showed most improvement on tests measuring appreciation of indirect hints and recognition of social faux pas. These results suggest that oxytocin, if combined to enhance social cognition learning, may be beneficial when targeted at higher order social cognition domains. This study also suggests that these higher order tasks, which assess social cognitive processing in a social communication context, may provide useful markers of response to oxytocin in schizophrenia. PMID:26150070

  5. Do cognitive interventions improve general cognition in dementia? A meta-analysis and meta-regression

    PubMed Central

    Huntley, J D; Gould, R L; Liu, K; Smith, M; Howard, R J

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To review the efficacy of cognitive interventions on improving general cognition in dementia. Method Online literature databases and trial registers, previous systematic reviews and leading journals were searched for relevant randomised controlled trials. A systematic review, random-effects meta-analyses and meta-regression were conducted. Cognitive interventions were categorised as: cognitive stimulation (CS), involving a range of social and cognitive activities to stimulate multiple cognitive domains; cognitive training (CT), involving repeated practice of standardised tasks targeting a specific cognitive function; cognitive rehabilitation (CR), which takes a person-centred approach to target impaired function; or mixed  CT and stimulation (MCTS). Separate analyses were conducted for general cognitive outcome measures and for studies using ‘active’ (designed to control for non-specific therapeutic effects) and non-active (minimal or no intervention) control groups. Results 33 studies were included. Significant positive effect sizes (Hedges’ g) were found for CS with the mini-mental state examination (MMSE) (g=0.51, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.69; p<0.001) compared to non-active controls and (g=0.35, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.65; p=0.019) compared to active controls. Significant benefit was also seen with the Alzheimer's disease Assessment Scale-Cognition (ADAS-Cog) (g=−0.26, 95% CI −0.445 to −0.08; p=0.005). There was no evidence that CT or MCTS produced significant improvements on general cognition outcomes and not enough CR studies for meta-analysis. The lowest accepted minimum clinically important difference was reached in 11/17 CS studies for the MMSE, but only 2/9 studies for the ADAS-Cog. Additionally, 95% prediction intervals suggested that although statistically significant, CS may not lead to benefits on the ADAS-Cog in all clinical settings. Conclusions CS improves scores on MMSE and ADAS-Cog in dementia, but benefits on the ADAS-Cog are generally

  6. Improving Reading Performance through Hypnosis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fillmer, H. Thompson; And Others

    1981-01-01

    Describes a study investigating the effects of group hypnosis on the reading performance of university students in a reading and writing center. Discusses study procedures and presents data on pretest scores and gains in vocabulary and comprehension scores. Concludes that regular use of self-hypnosis significantly improved performance. (DMM)

  7. Evaluating and Improving Teacher Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manatt, Richard P.

    This workbook, coordinated with Manatt Teacher Performance Evaluation (TPE) workshops, summarizes large group presentation in sequence with the transparancies used. The first four modules of the workbook deal with the state of the art of evaluating and improving teacher performance; the development of the TPE system, including selection of…

  8. Improving Performance Appraisal in Libraries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vincelette, Joyce P.; Pfister, Fred C.

    1984-01-01

    This article identifies problems with current practice in evaluating employee performance and presents currently accepted performance appraisal methods (behaviorally anchored rating scales, management by objectives). A research project designed to improve appraisals for school media specialists which was field-tested in four Florida school…

  9. Improving Cognition: A Multi-Cultural Approach. Final Report, MICA Project: Multi-Cultural Improvement of Cognitive Abilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Avila, Edward; And Others

    Described and summarized are the results of a program designed to improve the intellectual, academic, and linguistic functioning of children in a linguistically and culturally mixed setting. The program, Multicultural Improvement of Cognitive Abilities (MICA), was installed and supported by project staff in nine participating classrooms under two…

  10. Exergames: neuroplastic hypothesis about cognitive improvement and biological effects on physical function of institutionalized older persons.

    PubMed

    Monteiro-Junior, Renato Sobral; Vaghetti, César Augusto Otero; Nascimento, Osvaldo José M; Laks, Jerson; Deslandes, Andrea Camaz

    2016-02-01

    Exergames can be considered a dual task because the games are performed by a man-videogame interface, requiring cognitive and motor functions simultaneously. Although the literature has shown improvements of cognitive and physical functions due to exergames, the intrinsic mechanisms involved in these functional changes have still not been elucidated. The aims of the present study were (1) to demonstrate the known biological mechanisms of physical exercise regarding muscle adaptation and establish a relationship with exergames; and (2) to present a neurobiological hypothesis about the neuroplastic effects of exergames on the cognitive function of institutionalized older persons. These hypotheses are discussed. PMID:27073355

  11. Exergames: neuroplastic hypothesis about cognitive improvement and biological effects on physical function of institutionalized older persons

    PubMed Central

    Monteiro-Junior, Renato Sobral; Vaghetti, César Augusto Otero; Nascimento, Osvaldo José M.; Laks, Jerson; Deslandes, Andrea Camaz

    2016-01-01

    Exergames can be considered a dual task because the games are performed by a man-videogame interface, requiring cognitive and motor functions simultaneously. Although the literature has shown improvements of cognitive and physical functions due to exergames, the intrinsic mechanisms involved in these functional changes have still not been elucidated. The aims of the present study were (1) to demonstrate the known biological mechanisms of physical exercise regarding muscle adaptation and establish a relationship with exergames; and (2) to present a neurobiological hypothesis about the neuroplastic effects of exergames on the cognitive function of institutionalized older persons. These hypotheses are discussed. PMID:27073355

  12. The Effect of Anxiety and Boredom on Cognitive Test Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, George H.; Carroll, C. Dennis

    Two factors which act to depress cognitive test performance are referred to as anxiety and boredom. The responses to a 20-item adjectival checklist administered to high school seniors after completing a cognitive test battery were subjected to iterative principal axes factor analysis. The relationships between anxiety or boredom and test…

  13. Cardiac Rehabilitation is Associated with Lasting Improvements in Cognitive Function in Older Adults with Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    Alosco, Michael L.; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Cohen, Ronald; Sweet, Lawrence H.; Josephson, Richard; Hughes, Joel; Rosneck, Jim; Gunstad, John

    2016-01-01

    Objective Heart failure (HF) is a known risk factor for cognitive impairment. Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) may attenuate poor neurocognitive outcomes in HF via improved physical fitness—a significant promoter of cognitive function. However, no study has examined the possible acute and lasting benefits of CR on cognitive function in persons with HF. Methods and Results 52 patients with HF completed a 12-week Phase II CR program. All participants were administered neuropsychological testing and completed a brief physical fitness assessment at baseline, completion of CR (i.e. 12-weeks), and 12-month follow-up. Repeated measures analyses showed a significant time effect for both attention/executive function and memory (p < 0.05). Attention/executive function performance increased from baseline to 12-weeks and these gains remained up to 12-months; memory was unchanged from baseline to 12-weeks, but then improved between the 12-week and 12-month time points. Physical fitness improved from baseline to 12-weeks and these benefits were maintained 12-months later. Changes in physical fitness and cognitive function over time did not reach a statistically significant association, though poorer physical fitness was associated with decreased cognitive performance at the baseline and 12-month time points. Conclusions CR is associated with both acute and lasting cognitive benefits in patients with HF. Prospective studies with extended follow-ups are needed to clarify the mechanisms that underpin cognitive improvements following CR (e.g., improved cerebral perfusion) and whether CR can ultimately reduce risk for cognitive decline and conditions like Alzheimer’s disease in HF. PMID:25181916

  14. LEARNING AND COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE IN ADULTS. BIBLIOGRAPHY.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    KUHLEN, RAYMOND G.; AND OTHERS

    THIS RETROSPECTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF OVER 1,500 ITEMS IS LARGELY DEVOTED TO VARIOUS TYPES OF ADULT LEARNING AND COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR (CONDITIONING, SKILL LEARNING, DISCRIMINATION, VERBAL LEARNING, PROBLEM SOLVING AND COMPLEX BEHAVIOR, MEMORY, VERBAL BEHAVIOR, AND SET), TO STUDIES ON INTELLIGENCE AND TEST BEHAVIOR (AGE CHANGES, CORRELATIONAL AND FACTOR…

  15. Interval Running Training Improves Cognitive Flexibility and Aerobic Power of Young Healthy Adults.

    PubMed

    Venckunas, Tomas; Snieckus, Audrius; Trinkunas, Eugenijus; Baranauskiene, Neringa; Solianik, Rima; Juodsnukis, Antanas; Streckis, Vytautas; Kamandulis, Sigitas

    2016-08-01

    Venckunas, T, Snieckus, A, Trinkunas, E, Baranauskiene, N, Solianik, R, Juodsnukis, A, Streckis, V, and Kamandulis, S. Interval running training improves cognitive flexibility and aerobic power of young healthy adults. J Strength Cond Res 30(8): 2114-2121, 2016-The benefits of regular physical exercise may well extend beyond the reduction of chronic diseases risk and augmentation of working capacity, to many other aspects of human well-being, including improved cognitive functioning. Although the effects of moderate intensity continuous training on cognitive performance are relatively well studied, the benefits of interval training have not been investigated in this respect so far. The aim of the current study was to assess whether 7 weeks of interval running training is effective at improving both aerobic fitness and cognitive performance. For this purpose, 8 young dinghy sailors (6 boys and 2 girls) completed the interval running program with 200 m and 2,000 m running performance, cycling maximal oxygen uptake, and cognitive function was measured before and after the intervention. The control group consisted of healthy age-matched subjects (8 boys and 2 girls) who continued their active lifestyle and were tested in the same way as the experimental group, but did not complete any regular training. In the experimental group, 200 m and 2,000 m running performance and cycling maximal oxygen uptake increased together with improved results on cognitive flexibility tasks. No changes in the results of short-term and working memory tasks were observed in the experimental group, and no changes in any of the measured indices were evident in the controls. In conclusion, 7 weeks of interval running training improved running performance and cycling aerobic power, and were sufficient to improve the ability to adjust behavior to changing demands in young active individuals. PMID:26808852

  16. Neighborhood Integration and Connectivity Predict Cognitive Performance and Decline

    PubMed Central

    Watts, Amber; Ferdous, Farhana; Moore, Keith Diaz; Burns, Jeffrey M.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Neighborhood characteristics may be important for promoting walking, but little research has focused on older adults, especially those with cognitive impairment. We evaluated the role of neighborhood characteristics on cognitive function and decline over a 2-year period adjusting for measures of walking. Method In a study of 64 older adults with and without mild Alzheimer's disease (AD), we evaluated neighborhood integration and connectivity using geographical information systems data and space syntax analysis. In multiple regression analyses, we used these characteristics to predict 2-year declines in factor analytically derived cognitive scores (attention, verbal memory, mental status) adjusting for age, sex, education, and self-reported walking. Results Neighborhood integration and connectivity predicted cognitive performance at baseline, and changes in cognitive performance over 2 years. The relationships between neighborhood characteristics and cognitive performance were not fully explained by self-reported walking. Discussion Clearer definitions of specific neighborhood characteristics associated with walkability are needed to better understand the mechanisms by which neighborhoods may impact cognitive outcomes. These results have implications for measuring neighborhood characteristics, design and maintenance of living spaces, and interventions to increase walking among older adults. We offer suggestions for future research measuring neighborhood characteristics and cognitive function. PMID:26504889

  17. Priming Ability-Relevant Social Categories Improves Intellectual Test Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lin, Phoebe S.; Kennette, Lynne N.; Van Havermaet, Lisa R.; Frank, Nichole M.; McIntyre, Rusty B.

    2012-01-01

    Research shows that priming affects behavioral tasks; fewer studies, however, have been conducted on how social category primes affect cognitive tasks. The present study aimed to examine the effects of social category primes on math performance and word recall. It was hypothesized that Asian prime words would improve math performance and word…

  18. Surviving Performance Improvement "Solutions": Aligning Performance Improvement Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bernardez, Mariano L.

    2009-01-01

    How can organizations avoid the negative, sometimes chaotic, effects of multiple, poorly coordinated performance improvement interventions? How can we avoid punishing our external clients or staff with the side effects of solutions that might benefit our bottom line or internal efficiency at the expense of the value received or perceived by…

  19. Practice of Contemporary Dance Improves Cognitive Flexibility in Aging

    PubMed Central

    Coubard, Olivier A.; Duretz, Stéphanie; Lefebvre, Virginie; Lapalus, Pauline; Ferrufino, Lena

    2011-01-01

    As society ages and frequency of dementia increases exponentially, counteracting cognitive aging decline is a challenging issue for countries of the developed world. Previous studies have suggested that physical fitness based on cardiovascular and strength training helps to improve attentional control in normal aging. However, how motor activity based on motor-skill learning can also benefit attentional control with age has been hitherto a neglected issue. This study examined the impact of contemporary dance (CD) improvisation on attentional control of older adults, as compared to two other motor training programs, fall prevention and Tai Chi Chuan. Participants performed setting, suppressing, and switching attention tasks before and after 5.7-month training in either CD or fall prevention or Tai Chi Chuan. Results indicated that CD improved switching but not setting or suppressing attention. In contrast, neither fall prevention nor Tai Chi Chuan showed any effect. We suggest that CD improvisation works as a training for change, inducing plasticity in flexible attention. PMID:21960971

  20. Smartphone-based system to improve transportation access for the cognitively impaired.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Shane M; Riehle, Timothy H; Lichter, Patrick A; Brown, Allen W; Panescu, Dorin

    2015-08-01

    This project developed and evaluated a smartphone-based system to improve mobility and transportation access for the cognitively impaired. The proposed system is intended to allow the cognitively impaired to use public transportation systems, community transportation and dedicated transportation services for the disabled with greater ease and safety. Individuals with cognitive disabilities are often unable to operate an automobile, or may require a prolonged recovery period before resuming driving. Public transportation systems represent a significant means to allow these individuals to maintain independence. Yet public transportation systems can pose significant challenges to individuals with cognitive impairment. The goal of this project is to develop a system to reduce these barriers via a technological solution consisting of components developed both for the cognitively impaired user and their caregiver or family member. The first component consists of a cognitive prosthetic device featuring traditional memory cueing and reminders as well as custom location-based transportation specific functions. This cognitive mobility assistant will leverage the computing power and GPS location determination capabilities of inexpensive, powerful smart phones. The second component consists of a management application which offers caregivers the ability to configure and program the reminder and transit functions remotely via the Internet. Following completion of the prototype system a pilot human test was performed with cognitively disabled individuals and family members or caregivers to assess the usability and acceptability of both system components. PMID:26738091

  1. Arctic cognition: a study of cognitive performance in summer and winter at 69 degrees N

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brennen, T.; Martinussen, M.; Hansen, B. O.; Hjemdal, O.

    1999-01-01

    Evidence has accumulated over the past 15 years that affect in humans is cyclical. In winter there is a tendency to depression, with remission in summer, and this effect is stronger at higher latitudes. In order to determine whether human cognition is similarly rhythmical, this study investigated the cognitive processes of 100 participants living at 69 degrees N. Participants were tested in summer and winter on a range of cognitive tasks, including verbal memory, attention and simple reaction time tasks. The seasonally counterbalanced design and the very northerly latitude of this study provide optimal conditions for detecting impaired cognitive performance in winter, and the conclusion is negative: of five tasks with seasonal effects, four had disadvantages in summer. Like the menstrual cycle, the circannual cycle appears to influence mood but not cognition.

  2. Effects of Motion in the Far Peripheral Visual Field on Cognitive Test Performance and Cognitive Load.

    PubMed

    Bevilacqua, Andy; Paas, Fred; Krigbaum, Genomary

    2016-04-01

    Cognitive load theory posits that limited attention is in actuality a limitation in working memory resources. The load theory of selective attention and cognitive control sees the interplay between attention and awareness as separate modifying functions that act on working memory. Reconciling the theoretical differences in these two theories has important implications for learning. Thirty-nine adult participants performed a cognitively demanding test, with and without movement in the far peripheral field. Although the results for movement effects on cognitive load in this experiment were not statistically significant, men spent less time on the cognitive test in the peripheral movement condition than in the conditions without peripheral movement. No such difference was found for women. The implications of these results and recommendations for future research that extends the present study are presented. PMID:27166327

  3. The impact of motivation on cognitive performance in an animal model of the negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Ryan D.; Winiger, Vanessa; Higa, Kerin K.; Kahn, Julia B.; Kandel, Eric R.; Balsam, Peter D; Simpson, Eleanor H.

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between motivation and cognition are implicated in producing functional impairments and poor quality of life in psychiatric patients. This interaction, however, is not well understood at either the behavioral or neural level. We developed a procedure for mice in which a cognitive measure, sustained attention, is modulated by a motivationally-relevant signal which predicts reward probability on a trial-by-trial basis. Using this paradigm, we tested the interaction between motivation and cognition in mice which model the increased striatal D2 receptor activity observed in schizophrenia patients (D2R-OE mice). In control mice, attention was modulated by signaled-reward probability. In D2R-OE mice, however, attention was not modulated by reward-related cues. This impairment was not due to any global deficits in attention or maintenance of the trial-specific information in working memory. Turning off the transgene in D2R-OE mice rescued the motivational modulation of attention. These results indicate that deficits in motivation impair the ability to use reward-related cues to recruit attention, and that improving motivation improves functional cognitive performance. These results further suggest that addressing motivational impairments in patients is critical to achieving substantive cognitive and functional gains. PMID:25914923

  4. The impact of motivation on cognitive performance in an animal model of the negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Ward, Ryan D; Winiger, Vanessa; Higa, Kerin K; Kahn, Julia B; Kandel, Eric R; Balsam, Peter D; Simpson, Eleanor H

    2015-06-01

    Interactions between motivation and cognition are implicated in producing functional impairments and poor quality of life in psychiatric patients. This interaction, however, is not well understood at either the behavioral or neural level. We developed a procedure for mice in which a cognitive measure, sustained attention, is modulated by a motivationally relevant signal that predicts reward probability on a trial-by-trial basis. Using this paradigm, we tested the interaction between motivation and cognition in mice that model the increased striatal D2 receptor activity observed in schizophrenia patients (D2R-OE mice). In control mice, attention was modulated by signaled-reward probability. In D2R-OE mice, however, attention was not modulated by reward-related cues. This impairment was not due to any global deficits in attention or maintenance of the trial-specific information in working memory. Turning off the transgene in D2R-OE mice rescued the motivational modulation of attention. These results indicate that deficits in motivation impair the ability to use reward-related cues to recruit attention and that improving motivation improves functional cognitive performance. These results further suggest that addressing motivational impairments in patients is critical to achieving substantive cognitive and functional gains. PMID:25914923

  5. Does Variability in Cognitive Performance Correlate with Frontal Brain Volume?

    PubMed Central

    Lövdén, Martin; Schmiedek, Florian; Kennedy, Kristen M.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Lindenberger, Ulman; Raz, Naftali

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the neural correlates of within-person variability in cognitive performance. We investigated associations between regional brain volumes and trial-to-trial, block-to-block, and day-to-day variability in choice-reaction time, and episodic and working memory accuracy. Healthy younger (n = 25) and older (n = 18) adults underwent 101 daily assessments of cognitive performance, and their regional brain volumes were measured manually on magnetic resonance images. Results showed that smaller prefrontal white matter volumes were associated with higher block-to-block variability in choice-reaction time performance, with a stronger association observed among older adults. Smaller volumes of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex covaried with higher block-to-block variability in episodic memory (number-word pair) performance. This association was stronger for younger adults. The observed associations between variability and brain volume were not due to individual differences in mean performance. Trial-to-trial and day-to-day variability in cognitive performance were unrelated to regional brain volume. We thus report novel findings demonstrating that block-by-block variability in cognitive performance is associated with integrity of the prefrontal regions and that between-person differences in different measures of variability of cognitive performance reflect different age-related constellations of behavioral and neural antecedents. PMID:23000256

  6. Loss-Aversion or Loss-Attention: The Impact of Losses on Cognitive Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yechiam, Eldad; Hochman, Guy

    2013-01-01

    Losses were found to improve cognitive performance, and this has been commonly explained by increased weighting of losses compared to gains (i.e., loss aversion). We examine whether effects of losses on performance could be modulated by two alternative processes: an attentional effect leading to increased sensitivity to task incentives; and a…

  7. Acai fruit improves motor and cognitive function in aged rats

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aged rats show impaired performance on motor and cognitive tasks that require the use of spatial learning and memory. In previous studies, we have shown the beneficial effects of various berry fruits (blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries) in reversing age-related deficits in behavioral and ne...

  8. Human cognitive performance in spaceflight and analogue environments.

    PubMed

    Strangman, Gary E; Sipes, Walter; Beven, Gary

    2014-10-01

    Maintaining intact cognitive performance is a high priority for space exploration. This review seeks to summarize the cumulative results of existing studies of cognitive performance in spaceflight and analogue environments. We focused on long-duration (>21 d) studies for which no review has previously been conducted. There were 11 published studies identified for long-duration spaceflight (N = 42 subjects) as well as 21 shorter spaceflight studies (N = 70 subjects). Overall, spaceflight cognitive studies ranged from 6-438 d in duration. Some 55 spaceflight analogue studies were also identified, ranging from 6 to 520 d. The diverse nature of experimental procedures and protocols precluded formal meta-analysis. In general, the available evidence fails to strongly support or refute the existence of specific cognitive deficits in low Earth orbit during long-duration spaceflight, which may be due in large part to small numbers of subjects. The studies consistently suggest that novel environments (spaceflight or other) induce variable alterations in cognitive performance across individuals, consistent with known astronaut experiences. This highlights the need to better quantify the magnitude and scope of this interindividual variability, and understand its underlying factors, when predicting in-flight cognitive functioning for extended periods. PMID:25245904

  9. Psychological Intervention for Improving Cognitive Function in Cancer Survivors: A Literature Review and Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    King, Summer; Green, Heather Joy

    2015-01-01

    Although the impact of cancer and associated treatments on cognitive functioning is becoming an increasingly recognized problem, there are few published studies that have investigated psychological interventions to address this issue. A waitlist randomized controlled trial methodology was used to assess the efficacy of a group cognitive rehabilitation intervention (“ReCog”) that successfully targeted cancer-related cognitive decline in previously published pilot research. Participants were 29 cancer survivors who were randomly allocated to either the intervention group or a waitlist group who received the intervention at a later date, and 16 demographically matched community volunteers with no history of cancer (trial registration ACTRN12615000009516, available at http://www.ANZCTR.org.au/ACTRN12615000009516.aspx). The study was the first to include an adapted version of the Traumatic Brain Injury Self-Efficacy Scale to assess cognitive self-efficacy (CSE) in people who have experienced cancer. Results revealed participating in the intervention was associated with significantly faster performance on one objective cognitive task that measures processing speed and visual scanning. Significantly larger improvements for the intervention group were also found on measures of perceived cognitive impairments and CSE. There was some evidence to support the roles of CSE and illness perceptions as potential mechanisms of change for the intervention. Overall, the study provided additional evidence of feasibility and efficacy of group psychological intervention for targeting cancer-related cognitive decline. PMID:25859431

  10. Interactive Cognitive-Motor Step Training Improves Cognitive Risk Factors of Falling in Older Adults – A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Schoene, Daniel; Valenzuela, Trinidad; Toson, Barbara; Delbaere, Kim; Severino, Connie; Garcia, Jaime; Davies, Thomas A.; Russell, Frances; Smith, Stuart T.; Lord, Stephen R.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Interactive cognitive-motor training (ICMT) requires individuals to perform both gross motor movements and complex information processing. This study investigated the effectiveness of ICMT on cognitive functions associated with falls in older adults. Methods A single-blinded randomized controlled trial was conducted in community-dwelling older adults (N = 90, mean age 81.5±7) without major cognitive impairment. Participants in the intervention group (IG) played four stepping games that required them to divide attention, inhibit irrelevant stimuli, switch between tasks, rotate objects and make rapid decisions. The recommended minimum dose was three 20-minute sessions per week over a period of 16 weeks unsupervised at home. Participants in the control group (CG) received an evidence-based brochure on fall prevention. Measures of processing speed, attention/executive function (EF), visuo-spatial ability, concerns about falling and depression were assessed before and after the intervention. Results Eighty-one participants (90%) attended re-assessment. There were no improvements with respect to the Stroop Stepping Test (primary outcome) in the intervention group. Compared to the CG, the IG improved significantly in measures of processing speed, visuo-spatial ability and concern about falling. Significant interactions were observed for measures of EF and divided attention, indicating group differences varied for different levels of the covariate with larger improvements in IG participants with poorer baseline performance. The interaction for depression showed no change for the IG but an increase in the CG for those with low depressive symptoms at baseline. Additionally, low and high-adherer groups differed in their baseline performance and responded differently to the intervention. Compared to high adherers, low adherers improved more in processing speed and visual scanning while high-adherers improved more in tasks related to EF. Conclusions This study shows

  11. Insight in cognition: self-awareness of performance across cognitive domains.

    PubMed

    Schoo, Linda A; van Zandvoort, Martine J E; Biessels, G J; Kappelle, L Jaap; Postma, Albert

    2013-01-01

    Loss of cognitive functions, as apparent through self-awareness, is considered an important indicator of cognitive deficits and is therefore commonly used in clinical practice. However, little is known about self-awareness of cognitive performance, including its accuracy, its basis, and whether people can distinguish their performance across different cognitive domains. In the present study, 20 university students (M (age) = 21.7 ± 2.2 years, 9 males) and 20 middle-aged participants (M (age) = 52.8 ± 3.9 years, 10 males) gave estimations of their performances on executive functioning, memory, attention, and visuoperception before and after confrontation with their capacities. A repeated-measures analysis of variance with age group as a between-subjects factor was performed on the calculated estimation errors, before and after neuropsychological testing. Overall, the estimation errors were significantly higher before than after experience with test performance, ps < .01, partial η²s = .17. An overall effect of domain (four levels), ps < .001, partial η²s = .22 was found. These results suggest that self-awareness is domain-specific, and although it is adaptive to the experience of mental effort, it is most dependent on preexisting beliefs about one's own cognitive abilities. PMID:23397995

  12. l-Carnitine improves cognitive and renal functions in a rat model of chronic kidney disease.

    PubMed

    Abu Ahmad, Nur; Armaly, Zaher; Berman, Sylvia; Jabour, Adel; Aga-Mizrachi, Shlomit; Mosenego-Ornan, Efrat; Avital, Avi

    2016-10-01

    Over the past decade, the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) has reached epidemic proportions. The search for novel pharmacological treatment for CKD has become an area of intensive clinical research. l-Carnitine, considered as the "gatekeeper" responsible for admitting long chain fatty acids into cell mitochondria. l-Carnitine synthesis and turnover are regulated mainly by the kidney and its levels inversely correlate with serum creatinine of normal subjects and CKD patients. Previous studies showed that l-carnitine administration to elderly people is improving and preserving cognitive function. As yet, there are no clinical intervention studies that investigated the effect of l-carnitine administration on cognitive impairment evidenced in CKD patients. Thus, we aimed to investigate the effects of l-carnitine treatment on renal function and on the cognitive performance in a rat model of progressive CKD. To assess the role of l-carnitine on CKD condition, we estimated the renal function and cognitive abilities in a CKD rat model. We found that all CKD animals exhibited renal function deterioration, as indicated by elevated serum creatinine, BUN, and ample histopathological abnormalities. l-Carnitine treatment of CKD rats significantly reduced serum creatinine and BUN, attenuated renal hypertrophy and decreased renal tissue damage. In addition, in the two way shuttle avoidance learning, CKD animals showed cognitive impairment which recovered by the administration of l-carnitine. We conclude that in a rat model of CKD, l-carnitine administration significantly improved cognitive and renal functions. PMID:27241631

  13. Cognitive Performance Profiles by Latent Classes of Drug Use

    PubMed Central

    Harrell, PT; Mancha, B; Martins, SS; Mauro, PM; Kuo, JH; Scherer, M; Bolla, KI; Latimer, WW

    2014-01-01

    Background and Objectives The relationship between substance use and cognitive deficits is complex and requires innovative methods to enhance understanding. The present study is the first to use LCA to examine associations of drug use patterns with cognitive performance. Methods Cocaine/heroin users (N=552) completed questionnaires, and cognitive measures. LCA identified classes based on past-month drug use and adjusted for probabilities of group membership when examining cognitive performance. Latent indicators were: alcohol (ALC), cigarettes (CIG), marijuana (MJ), crack smoking (CS), nasal heroin (NH), injection cocaine (IC), injection heroin (IH), and injection speedball (IS). Age and education were included as covariates in model creation. Results Bootstrap Likelihood Ratio Test (BLRT) supported a 5-class model. Prevalent indicators (estimated probability of over 50%) for each class are as follows: “Older Nasal Heroin/Crack Smokers” (ONH/CS, n=166.9): ALC, CIG, NH, CS; “Older, Less Educated Polysubstance” (OLEP, n=54.8): ALC, CIG, CS, IH, IC, and IS; “Younger Multi-Injectors” (MI, n=128.7): ALC, CIG, MJ, IH, IC, and IS; “Less Educated Heroin Injectors” (LEHI, n=87.4): CIG, IH; and “More Educated Nasal Heroin” users (MENH, n = ALC, CIG, NH). In general, all classes performed worse than established norms and older, less educated classes performed worse, with the exception that MENH demonstrated worse cognitive flexibility than YMI. Discussion and Conclusions This study demonstrated novel applications of a methodology for examining complicated relationships between polysubstance use and cognitive performance. Scientific Significance Education and/or nasal heroin use are associated with reduced cognitive flexibility in this sample of inner city drug users. PMID:24628774

  14. Dual Motor-Cognitive Virtual Reality Training Impacts Dual-Task Performance in Freezing of Gait.

    PubMed

    Killane, Isabelle; Fearon, Conor; Newman, Louise; McDonnell, Conor; Waechter, Saskia M; Sons, Kristian; Lynch, Timothy; Reilly, Richard B

    2015-11-01

    Freezing of gait (FOG), an episodic gait disturbance characterized by the inability to generate effective stepping, occurs in more than half of Parkinson's disease patients. It is associated with both executive dysfunction and attention and becomes most evident during dual tasking (performing two tasks simultaneously). This study examined the effect of dual motor-cognitive virtual reality training on dual-task performance in FOG. Twenty community dwelling participants with Parkinson's disease (13 with FOG, 7 without FOG) participated in a pre-assessment, eight 20-minute intervention sessions, and a post-assessment. The intervention consisted of a virtual reality maze (DFKI, Germany) through which participants navigated by stepping-in-place on a balance board (Nintendo, Japan) under time pressure. This was combined with a cognitive task (Stroop test), which repeatedly divided participants' attention. The primary outcome measures were pre- and post-intervention differences in motor (stepping time, symmetry, rhythmicity) and cognitive (accuracy, reaction time) performance during single- and dual-tasks. Both assessments consisted of 1) a single cognitive task 2) a single motor task, and 3) a dual motor-cognitive task. Following the intervention, there was significant improvement in dual-task cognitive and motor parameters (stepping time and rhythmicity), dual-task effect for those with FOG and a noteworthy improvement in FOG episodes. These improvements were less significant for those without FOG. This is the first study to show benefit of a dual motor-cognitive approach on dual-task performance in FOG. Advances in such virtual reality interventions for home use could substantially improve the quality of life for patients who experience FOG. PMID:26394439

  15. Aging and Concurrent Task Performance: Cognitive Demand and Motor Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Albinet, Cedric; Tomporowski, Phillip D.; Beasman, Kathryn

    2006-01-01

    A motor task that requires fine control of upper limb movements and a cognitive task that requires executive processing--first performing them separately and then concurrently--was performed by 18 young and 18 older adults. The motor task required participants to tap alternatively on two targets, the sizes of which varied systematically. The…

  16. Changes in Cognitive Performance Are Associated with Changes in Sleep in Older Adults With Insomnia.

    PubMed

    Wilckens, Kristine A; Hall, Martica H; Nebes, Robert D; Monk, Timothy H; Buysse, Daniel J

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined sleep features associated with cognition in older adults and examined whether sleep changes following insomnia treatment were associated with cognitive improvements. Polysomnography and cognition (recall, working memory, and reasoning) were assessed before and after an insomnia intervention (Brief Behavioral Treatment of Insomnia [BBTI] or information control [IC]) in 77 older adults with insomnia. Baseline wake-after-sleep-onset (WASO) was associated with recall. Greater NREM (nonrapid eye movement) delta power and lower NREM sigma power were associated with greater working memory and reasoning. The insomnia intervention did not improve performance. However, increased absolute delta power and decreased relative sigma power were associated with improved reasoning. Findings suggest that improvements in executive function may occur with changes in NREM architecture. PMID:26322904

  17. Hydration effects on cognitive performance during military tasks in temperate and cold environments.

    PubMed

    Adam, Gina E; Carter, Robert; Cheuvront, Samuel N; Merullo, Donna J; Castellani, John W; Lieberman, Harris R; Sawka, Michael N

    2008-03-18

    Body water deficits or hypohydration (HYP) may degrade cognitive performance during heat exposure and perhaps temperate conditions. Cold exposure often induces HYP, but the combined effects of cold and HYP on cognitive performance are unknown. This study investigated whether HYP degrades cognitive performance during cold exposure and if physical exercise could mitigate any cold-induced performance decline. On four occasions, eight volunteers completed one hour of militarily-relevant cognitive testing: 30 min of simulated sentry duty/marksmanship, 20 min of a visual vigilance task, a self-report workload assessment, and a mood questionnaire. Testing was conducted in a cold (2 degrees C) or temperate (20 degrees C) environment before and after cycle ergometer (60 min at 60% of VO(2peak)) exercise. Each trial was preceded by 3 h of passive heat stress (45 degrees C) in the early morning with (euhydration, EUH) or without (hypohydration, HYP; 3% body mass) fluid replacement followed by prolonged recovery. HYP did not alter any cognitive, psychomotor, or self-report parameter in either environment before or after exercise. Cold exposure increased (p<0.05) target detection latency in the sentry duty task, adversely affected mood and workload ratings, but had no impact on any other cognitive or psychomotor measure. After completing the exercise bout, there were modest improvements in friend-foe discrimination and total response latency in the sentry duty task, but not on any other performance measures. Moderate HYP had no effect on cognitive and psychomotor performance in either environment, cold exposure produced equivocal effects, and aerobic exercise improved some aspects of military task performance. PMID:18166204

  18. Reducing postural sway by concurrently performing challenging cognitive tasks.

    PubMed

    Polskaia, Nadia; Lajoie, Yves

    2016-04-01

    The present experiment varied cognitive complexity and sensory modality on postural control in young adults. Seventeen participants (23.71±1.99years) were instructed to stand feet together on a force platform while concurrently performing cognitive tasks of varying degrees of difficulty (easy, moderate and difficult). The cognitive tasks were presented both, auditorily and visually. Auditory tasks consisted of counting the occurrence of one or two letters and repeating a string of words. Visual tasks consisted of counting the occurrence of one or two numbers. With increasing cognitive demand, area of 95% confidence ellipse and ML sway variability was significantly reduced. The visual tasks reduced ML sway variability, whereas the auditory tasks increased COP irregularity. We suggest that these findings are primarily due to an increase in sensorimotor integration as a result of a shift in attentional focus. PMID:26796418

  19. Neuroimaging predictors of cognitive performance across a standardized neurocognitive battery

    PubMed Central

    Roalf, David R.; Ruparel, Kosha; Gur, Raquel E.; Bilker, Warren; Gerraty, Raphael; Elliott, Mark A.; Gallagher, R. Sean; Almasy, Laura; Pogue-Geile, Michael F.; Prasad, Konasale; Wood, Joel; Nimgaonkar, Vishwajit L.; Gur, Ruben C.

    2014-01-01

    Objective The advent of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) enables the identification of brain regions recruited for specific behavioral tasks. Most fMRI studies focus on group effects in single tasks, which limits applicability where assessment of individual differences and multiple brain systems is needed. Method We demonstrate the feasibility of concurrently measuring fMRI activation patterns and performance on a computerized neurocognitive battery (CNB) in 212 healthy individuals at two sites. Cross-validated sparse regression of regional brain amplitude and extent of activation were used to predict concurrent performance on six neurocognitive tasks: abstraction/mental flexibility, attention, emotion processing, and verbal, face and spatial memory. Results Brain activation was task-responsive and domain-specific as reported in previous single-task studies. Prediction of performance was robust for most tasks, particularly for abstraction/mental flexibility and visuo-spatial memory. Conclusions The feasibility of administering a comprehensive neuropsychological battery in the scanner was established, and task-specific brain activation patterns improved prediction beyond demographic information. This benchmark index of performance-associated brain activation can be applied to link brain activation with neurocognitive performance during standardized testing. This first step in standardizing a neurocognitive battery for use in fMRI may enable quantitative assessment of patients with brain disorders across multiple cognitive domains. Such data may facilitate identification of neural dysfunction associated with poor performance, allow for identification of individuals at-risk for brain disorders, and help guide early intervention and rehabilitation of neurocognitive deficits. PMID:24364396

  20. Dexmedetomidine improves early postoperative cognitive dysfunction in aged mice.

    PubMed

    Qian, Xiao-Lan; Zhang, Wei; Liu, Ming-Zheng; Zhou, Yu-Bing; Zhang, Jing-Min; Han, Li; Peng, You-Mei; Jiang, Jin-hua; Wang, Qing-Duan

    2015-01-01

    Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is a frequent complication following major surgery in the elderly. However, the exact pathogenic mechanisms are still unknown. Dexmedetomidine, a selective alpha 2 adrenal receptor agonist, was revealed anesthesia and brain protective role. The present study aimed to examine whether dexmedetomdine protects against POCD induced by major surgical trauma under general anesthesia in aged mice. In the present study, cognitive function was assessed by Y-maze. Proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), apoptosis-related factor caspase-3 and Bax were detected by real-time PCR, Western blot or immunohistochemistry. The results showed that anesthesia alone caused weak cognitive dysfunction on the first day after general anesthesia. Cognitive function in mice with splenectomy under general anesthesia was significantly exacerbated at the first and third days after surgery, and was significantly improved by dexmedetomidine administration. Splenectomy increased the expression of IL-1β, TNF-α, Bax and caspase-3 in hippocampus. These changes were significantly inversed by dexmedetomidine. These results suggest that hippocampal inflammatory response and neuronal apoptosis may contribute to POCD, and selective alpha 2 adrenal receptor excitation play a protective role. PMID:25460022

  1. The relationship between dopamine receptor D1 and cognitive performance

    PubMed Central

    Tsang, Jonathan; Fullard, John F; Giakoumaki, Stella G; Katsel, Pavel; Katsel, Pavel; Karagiorga, Vasiliki Eirini; Greenwood, Tiffany A; Braff, David L; Siever, Larry J; Bitsios, Panos; Haroutunian, Vahram; Roussos, Panos

    2015-01-01

    Background: Cognitive impairment cuts across traditional diagnostic boundaries and is one of the most typical symptoms in various psychiatric and neurobiological disorders. Aims: The objective of this study was to examine the genetic association between 94 candidate genes, including receptors and enzymes that participate in neurotransmission, with measures of cognition. Methods: The Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR), a global measure of cognition, and genotypes derived from a custom array of 1,536 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 94 genes were available for a large postmortem cohort of Caucasian cases with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), schizophrenia and controls (n=727). A cohort of healthy young males (n=1,493) originating from the LOGOS project (Learning On Genetics Of Schizophrenia Spectrum) profiled across multiple cognitive domains was available for targeted SNP genotyping. Gene expression was quantified in the superior temporal gyrus of control samples (n=109). The regulatory effect on transcriptional activity was assessed using the luciferase reporter system. Results: The rs5326-A allele at the promoter region of dopamine receptor D1 (DRD1) locus was associated with: (i) poorer cognition (higher CDR) in the postmortem cohort (P=9.325×10−4); (ii) worse cognitive performance relevant to strategic planning in the LOGOS cohort (P=0.008); (iii) lower DRD1 gene expression in the superior temporal gyrus of controls (P=0.038); and (iv) decreased transcriptional activity in human neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) cells (P=0.026). Conclusions: An interdisciplinary approach combining genetics with cognitive and molecular neuroscience provided a possible mechanistic link among DRD1 and alterations in cognitive performance. PMID:27336024

  2. Cognitive enhancement therapy improves emotional intelligence in early course schizophrenia: preliminary effects.

    PubMed

    Eack, Shaun M; Hogarty, Gerard E; Greenwald, Deborah P; Hogarty, Susan S; Keshavan, Matcheri S

    2007-01-01

    This research examined the preliminary effects of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET) on social cognition in early course schizophrenia, using an objective, performance-based measure of emotional intelligence. Individuals in the early course of schizophrenia were randomly assigned to either CET (n=18) or Enriched Supportive Therapy (n=20), and assessed at baseline and after 1 year of treatment with the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test. A series of analyses of covariance showed highly significant (p=.005) and large (Cohen's d=.96) effects favoring CET for improving emotional intelligence, with the most pronounced improvements occurring in patients' ability to understand and manage their own and others' emotions. These findings lend preliminary support to the previously documented benefits of CET on social cognition in schizophrenia, and suggest that such benefits can be extended to patients in the early course of the illness. PMID:17055227

  3. Towards improved animal models for evaluating social cognition and its disruption in schizophrenia: the CNTRICS initiative.

    PubMed

    Millan, Mark J; Bales, Karen L

    2013-11-01

    Social cognition refers to processes used to monitor and interpret social signals from others, to decipher their state of mind, emotional status and intentions, and select appropriate social behaviour. Social cognition is sophisticated in humans, being embedded with verbal language and enacted in a complex cultural environment. Its disruption characterises the entire course of schizophrenia and is correlated with poor functional outcome. Further, deficits in social cognition are related to impairment in other cognitive domains, positive symptoms (paranoia and delusions) and negative symptoms (social withdrawal and reduced motivation). In light of the significance and inadequate management of social cognition deficits, there is a need for translatable experimental procedures for their study, and identification of effective pharmacotherapy. No single paradigm captures the multi-dimensional nature of social cognition, and procedures for assessing ability to infer mental states are not well-developed for experimental therapeutic settings. Accordingly, a recent CNTRICS meeting prioritised procedures for measuring a specific construct: "acquisition and recognition of affective (emotional) states", coupled to individual recognition. Two complementary paradigms for refinement were identified: social recognition/preference in rodents, and visual tracking of social scenes in non-human primates (NHPs). Social recognition is disrupted in genetic, developmental or pharmacological disease models for schizophrenia, and performance in both procedures is improved by the neuropeptide oxytocin. The present article surveys a broad range of procedures for studying social cognition in rodents and NHPs, discusses advantages and drawbacks, and focuses on development of social recognition/preference and gaze-following paradigms for improved study of social cognition deficits in schizophrenia and their potential treatment. PMID:24090822

  4. Improving brain injury cognitive rehabilitation by personalized telerehabilitation services: Guttmann neuropersonal trainer.

    PubMed

    Solana, Javier; Cáceres, César; García-Molina, Alberto; Opisso, Eloy; Roig, Teresa; Tormos, José M; Gómez, Enrique J

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive rehabilitation aims to remediate or alleviate the cognitive deficits appearing after an episode of acquired brain injury (ABI). The purpose of this work is to describe the telerehabilitation platform called Guttmann Neuropersonal Trainer (GNPT) which provides new strategies for cognitive rehabilitation, improving efficiency and access to treatments, and to increase knowledge generation from the process. A cognitive rehabilitation process has been modeled to design and develop the system, which allows neuropsychologists to configure and schedule rehabilitation sessions, consisting of set of personalized computerized cognitive exercises grounded on neuroscience and plasticity principles. It provides remote continuous monitoring of patient's performance, by an asynchronous communication strategy. An automatic knowledge extraction method has been used to implement a decision support system, improving treatment customization. GNPT has been implemented in 27 rehabilitation centers and in 83 patients' homes, facilitating the access to the treatment. In total, 1660 patients have been treated. Usability and cost analysis methodologies have been applied to measure the efficiency in real clinical environments. The usability evaluation reveals a system usability score higher than 70 for all target users. The cost efficiency study results show a relation of 1-20 compared to face-to-face rehabilitation. GNPT enables brain-damaged patients to continue and further extend rehabilitation beyond the hospital, improving the efficiency of the rehabilitation process. It allows customized therapeutic plans, providing information to further development of clinical practice guidelines. PMID:25204001

  5. Program of arithmetic improvement by means of cognitive enhancement: an intervention in children with special educational needs.

    PubMed

    Deaño, Manuel Deaño; Alfonso, Sonia; Das, Jagannath Prasad

    2015-03-01

    This study reports the cognitive and arithmetic improvement of a mathematical model based on the program PASS Remedial Program (PREP), which aims to improve specific cognitive processes underlying academic skills such as arithmetic. For this purpose, a group of 20 students from the last four grades of Primary Education was divided into two groups. One group (n=10) received training in the program and the other served as control. Students were assessed at pre and post intervention in the PASS cognitive processes (planning, attention, simultaneous and successive processing), general level of intelligence, and arithmetic performance in calculus and solving problems. Performance of children from the experimental group was significantly higher than that of the control group in cognitive process and arithmetic. This joint enhancement of cognitive and arithmetic processes was a result of the operationalization of training that promotes the encoding task, attention and planning, and learning by induction, mediation and verbalization. The implications of this are discussed. PMID:25594486

  6. Rich Club Organization and Cognitive Performance in Healthy Older Participants.

    PubMed

    Baggio, Hugo C; Segura, Barbara; Junque, Carme; de Reus, Marcel A; Sala-Llonch, Roser; Van den Heuvel, Martijn P

    2015-09-01

    The human brain is a complex network that has been noted to contain a group of densely interconnected hub regions. With a putative "rich club" of hubs hypothesized to play a central role in global integrative brain functioning, we assessed whether hub and rich club organizations are associated with cognitive performance in healthy participants and whether the rich club might be differentially involved in cognitive functions with a heavier dependence on global integration. A group of 30 relatively older participants (range = 39-79 years of age) underwent extensive neuropsychological testing, combined with diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging to reconstruct individual structural brain networks. Rich club connectivity was found to be associated with general cognitive performance. More specifically, assessing the relationship between the rich club and performance in two specific cognitive domains, we found rich club connectivity to be differentially associated with attention/executive functions-known to rely on the integration of distributed brain areas-rather than with visuospatial/visuoperceptual functions, which have a more constrained neuroanatomical substrate. Our findings thus provide first empirical evidence of a relevant role played by the rich club in cognitive processes. PMID:25941870

  7. APOE, MAPT, SNCA, and Cognitive Performance in Parkinson Disease

    PubMed Central

    Mata, Ignacio F.; Leverenz, James B.; Weintraub, Daniel; Trojanowski, John Q.; Hurtig, Howard I.; Van Deerlin, Vivianna M.; Ritz, Beate; Rausch, Rebecca; Rhodes, Shannon L; Factor, Stewart A.; Wood-Siverio, Cathy; Quinn, Joseph F.; Chung, Kathryn A.; Peterson, Amie L.; Espay, Alberto J.; Revilla, Fredy J.; Devoto, Johnna; Hu, Shu-Ching; Cholerton, Brenna A.; Wan, Jia Y.; Montine, Thomas J.; Edwards, Karen L.; Zabetian, Cyrus P.

    2014-01-01

    Importance Cognitive impairment (CI) is a common and disabling problem in Parkinson’s disease (PD) that is not well understood and is difficult to treat. Identification of genetic variants that influence the rate of cognitive decline or pattern of early cognitive deficits in PD might provide a clearer understanding of the etiopathogenesis of this important non-motor feature. Objectives To determine if common variation in the APOE, MAPT, and SNCA genes is associated with cognitive performance in patients with PD. Design, Setting and Participants We studied 1,079 PD patients from six academic centers in the U.S. who underwent assessments of memory (Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised [HVLT-R]), attention/executive function (Letter-Number Sequencing and Trail Making Test), language processing (semantic and phonemic verbal fluency), visuospatial skills (Benton Judgment of Line Orientation) and global cognitive function (Montreal Cognitive Assessment [MoCA]). Subjects were genotyped for APOE ε2/ε3/ε4, MAPT H1/H2 haplotypes, and SNCA rs356219. Linear regression was used to test for association between genotype and baseline cognitive performance adjusting for age, sex, years of education, disease duration, and site. We used a Bonferroni correction to adjust for the nine comparisons that were performed for each gene. Main Outcomes and Measures Nine variables derived from seven psychometric tests. Results APOE ε4 was associated with lower performance on HVLT-R total learning (P=6.7×10−6; corrected P [Pc]=6.0×10−5), delayed recall (P=0.001; Pc=0.009), and recognition discrimination index (P=0.004; Pc=0.04), and semantic verbal fluency (P=0.002; Pc=0.018), Letter-Number sequencing (P=1 × 10−5; Pc=9 × 10−5), and Trails B-A (P=0.002; Pc=0.018). In a subset of 645 non-demented patients, APOE ε4 was associated with lower scores on HVLT-R total learning (P=0.005; Pc=0.045) and semantic verbal fluency (P=0.005; Pc=0.045). MAPT and SNCA variants were not

  8. Predictors of neuropsychological improvement following cognitive rehabilitation in patients with gliomas.

    PubMed

    Gehring, Karin; Aaronson, Neil K; Gundy, Chad M; Taphoorn, Martin J B; Sitskoorn, Margriet M

    2011-03-01

    This study investigated the specific patient factors that predict responsiveness to a cognitive rehabilitation program. The program has previously been demonstrated to be successful at the group level in patients with gliomas, but it is unclear which patient characteristics optimized the effect of the intervention at the individual level. Four categories of possible predictors of improvement were selected for evaluation: sociodemographic and clinical variables, self-reported cognitive symptoms, and objective neuropsychological test performance. Hierarchical logistic regression analyses were conducted, beginning with the most accessible (sociodemographic) variables and ending with the most difficult (baseline neuropsychological) to identify in clinical practice. Nearly 60% of the participants of the intervention were classified as reliably improved. Reliable improvement was predicted by age (p = .003) and education (p = .011). Additional results suggested that younger patients were more likely to benefit specifically from the cognitive rehabilitation program (p = .001), and that higher education was also associated with improvement in the control group (p = .024). The findings are discussed in light of brain reserve theory. A practical implication is that cognitive rehabilitation programs should take the patients' age into account and, if possible, adapt programs to increase the likelihood of improvement among older participants. PMID:21205412

  9. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves cognitive functioning after brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Su; Shen, Guangyu; Deng, Shukun; Wang, Xiubin; Wu, Qinfeng; Guo, Aisong

    2013-01-01

    Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been widely applied and recognized in the treatment of brain injury; however, the correlation between the protective effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and changes of metabolites in the brain remains unclear. To investigate the effect and potential mechanism of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on cognitive functioning in rats, we established traumatic brain injury models using Feeney's free falling method. We treated rat models with hyperbaric oxygen therapy at 0.2 MPa for 60 minutes per day. The Morris water maze test for spatial navigation showed that the average escape latency was significantly prolonged and cognitive function decreased in rats with brain injury. After treatment with hyperbaric oxygen therapy for 1 and 2 weeks, the rats’ spatial learning and memory abilities were improved. Hydrogen proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy analysis showed that the N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratio in the hippocampal CA3 region was significantly increased at 1 week, and the N-acetylaspartate/choline ratio was significantly increased at 2 weeks after hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Nissl staining and immunohistochemical staining showed that the number of nerve cells and Nissl bodies in the hippocampal CA3 region was significantly increased, and glial fibrillary acidic protein positive cells were decreased after a 2-week hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment. Our findings indicate that hyperbaric oxygen therapy significantly improves cognitive functioning in rats with traumatic brain injury, and the potential mechanism is mediated by metabolic changes and nerve cell restoration in the hippocampal CA3 region. PMID:25206655

  10. Physical Education Performance Outcomes and Cognitive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castelli, Darla M.; Hillman, Charles H.

    2007-01-01

    This article intends to inform physical education teachers about the current research describing the relationship between physical education performance outcomes as identified by the national physical education standards (i.e., regular participation in physical activity, physical fitness, motor competence; National Association of Physical…

  11. Musicians' Cognitive Processing of Imagery-Based Instructions for Expressive Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woody, Robert H.

    2006-01-01

    This study addressed the cognitive processes of musicians using imagery to improve expressive performance. Specifically, it was an examination of the extent to which musicians translate imagery into explicit plans for the sound properties of music. Eighty-four undergraduate and graduate music majors completed a research packet during individual…

  12. Influence of energy drink ingredients on mood and cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Childs, Emma

    2014-10-01

    Sales of energy products have grown enormously in recent years. Manufacturers claim that the products, in the form of drinks, shots, supplements, and gels, enhance physical and cognitive performance, while users believe the products promote concentration, alertness, and fun. Most of these products contain caffeine, a mild psychostimulant, as their foremost active ingredient. However, they also contain additional ingredients, e.g., carbohydrates, amino acids, herbal extracts, vitamins, and minerals, often in unspecified amounts and labeled as an "energy blend." It is not clear whether these additional ingredients provide any physical or cognitive enhancement beyond that provided by caffeine alone. This article reviews the available empirical data on the interactive effects of these ingredients and caffeine on sleep and cognitive performance and suggests objectives for future study. PMID:25293543

  13. Sleep Quality Improvement During Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders.

    PubMed

    Ramsawh, Holly J; Bomyea, Jessica; Stein, Murray B; Cissell, Shadha H; Lang, Ariel J

    2016-01-01

    Despite the ubiquity of sleep complaints among individuals with anxiety disorders, few prior studies have examined whether sleep quality improves during anxiety treatment. The current study examined pre- to posttreatment sleep quality improvement during cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for panic disorder (PD; n = 26) or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; n = 24). Among sleep quality indices, only global sleep quality and sleep latency improved significantly (but modestly) during CBT. Sleep quality improvement was greater for treatment responders, but did not vary by diagnosis. Additionally, poor baseline sleep quality was independently associated with worse anxiety treatment outcome, as measured by higher intolerance of uncertainty. Additional intervention targeting sleep prior to or during CBT for anxiety may be beneficial for poor sleepers. PMID:26244485

  14. Study Abroad Field Trip Improves Test Performance through Engagement and New Social Networks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Houser, Chris; Brannstrom, Christian; Quiring, Steven M.; Lemmons, Kelly K.

    2011-01-01

    Although study abroad trips provide an opportunity for affective and cognitive learning, it is largely assumed that they improve learning outcomes. The purpose of this study is to determine whether a study abroad field trip improved cognitive learning by comparing test performance between the study abroad participants (n = 20) and their peers who…

  15. Age and individual sleep characteristics affect cognitive performance in anesthesiology residents after a 24-hour shift.

    PubMed

    Tadinac, Meri; Sekulić, Ante; Hromatko, Ivana; Mazul-Sunko, Branka; Ivancić, Romina

    2014-03-01

    Previous research has shown that both shift work and sleep deprivation have an adverse influence on various aspects of human cognitive performance. The aim of this study was to explore changes in cognitive functioning and subjective sleepiness of anesthesiology residents after a 24-hour shift. Twenty-six anesthesiology residents completed a set of psychological instruments at the beginning and at the end of the shift, as well as a questionnaire regarding information about the shift, Stanford Sleepiness Scale, and Circadian Type Questionnaire. There was a significant decline in cognitive performance measured by the Auditory Verbal Learning Test after the shift. The effect was stronger in older participants and in those with high scores on rigidity of sleep scale and low scores on the ability to overcome sleepiness scale. There were no differences in the digits forward test (a measure of concentration), while digits backward test (a measure of working memory) even showed an improved performance after the shift. Although participants reported being significantly sleepier after the shift, the subjective sleepiness did not correlate with any of the objective measures of cognitive performance. In conclusion, the performance in short tasks involving concentration and working memory was not impaired, while performance in long-term and monotone tasks declined after sleep deprivation, and the magnitude of this decline depended on the specific individual characteristics of sleep and on age Surprisingly, age seemed to have an important impact on cognitive functions after shift work even in the relatively age-homogeneous population of young anesthesiology residents. PMID:24974663

  16. Improve Relationships to Improve Student Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arum, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Attempts to raise student performance have focused primarily on either relationships between adults in the system or formal curriculum. Relatively ignored has been a focus on what sociologists believe is the primary relationship of consequence for student outcomes--authority relationships between students and educators. Successful school reform is…

  17. Homocysteine and Cognitive Performance in Elders with Self-Neglect

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burnett, J.; Smith, S.M.; Aung, K.; Dyer, C.

    2009-01-01

    Elevated plasma homocysteine has been associated with altered cognitive performance in older adults. Elders referred to Adult Protective Services (APS) for self-neglect have been reported to have elevated plasma homocysteine levels and to suffer from cognitive impairment. This study assesses the association, if any, between plasma homocysteine and cognitive performance among elders with self-neglect. Methods: Sixty-five community-living adults, 65 years of age and older, reported to Adult Protective Services for self-neglect and 55 matched controls (matched for age, ethnicity, gender and socio-economic status) consented and participated in this study. The research team conducted in-home comprehensive geriatric assessments which included the mini-mental state exam (MMSE), the 15-item geriatric depression scale (GDS), the Wolf-Klein Clock Drawing Tests (CDT) and a comprehensive nutritional biochemistry panel, which included plasma homocysteine. Student s t tests and Pearson correlations were conducted to assess for bivariate associations. Results: Elders with self-neglect had significantly higher plasma homocysteine levels (M=12.68umol/L, sd=4.4) compared to the controls (M=10.40umol/L, sd=3.61;t=3.21, df=127, p=.002). There were no statistically significant associations between cognitive performance and plasma homocysteine in the self-neglect group, however there was a significant correlation between plasma homocysteine and the CDT among the controls (r=-.296, p=.022). Conclusion: Mean plasma homocysteine levels were significantly higher in elders with self-neglect, however, they do not appear to be related to cognitive performance, indicating that cognitive impairment in elder self-neglect involve mechanisms other than hyperhomocysteinemia. These findings warrant further investigation

  18. Expert music performance: cognitive, neural, and developmental bases.

    PubMed

    Brown, Rachel M; Zatorre, Robert J; Penhune, Virginia B

    2015-01-01

    In this chapter, we explore what happens in the brain of an expert musician during performance. Understanding expert music performance is interesting to cognitive neuroscientists not only because it tests the limits of human memory and movement, but also because studying expert musicianship can help us understand skilled human behavior in general. In this chapter, we outline important facets of our current understanding of the cognitive and neural basis for music performance, and developmental factors that may underlie musical ability. We address three main questions. (1) What is expert performance? (2) How do musicians achieve expert-level performance? (3) How does expert performance come about? We address the first question by describing musicians' ability to remember, plan, execute, and monitor their performances in order to perform music accurately and expressively. We address the second question by reviewing evidence for possible cognitive and neural mechanisms that may underlie or contribute to expert music performance, including the integration of sound and movement, feedforward and feedback motor control processes, expectancy, and imagery. We further discuss how neural circuits in auditory, motor, parietal, subcortical, and frontal cortex all contribute to different facets of musical expertise. Finally, we address the third question by reviewing evidence for the heritability of musical expertise and for how expertise develops through training and practice. We end by discussing outlooks for future work. PMID:25725910

  19. Eeg-Derived Estimators of Present and Future Cognitive Performance

    PubMed Central

    Stikic, Maja; Johnson, Robin R.; Levendowski, Daniel J.; Popovic, Djordje P.; Olmstead, Richard E.; Berka, Chris

    2011-01-01

    Previous electroencephalography (EEG)-based fatigue-related research primarily focused on the association between concurrent cognitive performance and time-locked physiology. The goal of this study was to investigate the capability of EEG to assess the impact of fatigue on both present and future cognitive performance during a 20-min sustained attention task, the 3-choice active vigilance task (3CVT), that requires subjects to discriminate one primary target from two secondary non-target geometric shapes. The current study demonstrated the ability of EEG to estimate not only present, but also future cognitive performance, utilizing a single, combined reaction time (RT), and accuracy performance metric. The correlations between observed and estimated performance, for both present and future performance, were strong (up to 0.89 and 0.79, respectively). The models were able to consistently estimate “unacceptable” performance throughout the entire 3CVT, i.e., excessively missed responses and/or slow RTs, while acceptable performance was recognized less accurately later in the task. The developed models were trained on a relatively large dataset (n = 50 subjects) to increase stability. Cross-validation results suggested the models were not over-fitted. This study indicates that EEG can be used to predict gross-performance degradations 5–15 min in advance. PMID:21927601

  20. Recent performance improvements on FXR

    SciTech Connect

    Kulke, B.; Kihara, R.

    1983-01-01

    The FXR machine is a nominal 4-kA, 20-MeV, linear-induction, electron accelerator for flash radiography at LLNL. The machine met its baseline requirements in March 1982. Since then, the performance has been greatly improved. We have achieved stable and repeatable beam acceleration and transport, with over 80% transmission to the tungsten bremsstrahlung target located some 35 m downstream. For best stability, external-beam steering has been eliminated almost entirely. We regularly produce over 500 Roentgen at 1 m from the target (TLD measurement), with a radiographic spot size of 3 to 5 mm. Present efforts are directed towards the development of a 4-kA tune, working interactively with particle-field and beam transport code models. A remaining uncertainty is the possible onset of RF instabilities at the higher current levels.

  1. Cognitive aid use improves transition of care by graduating medical students during a simulated crisis

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Brooke; Rebel, Annette; Dilorenzo, Amy; Schell, Randall M.; Dority, Jeremy S.; Lukens, Faith; Sloan, Paul A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Residents are expected to have transition of care (ToC) skills upon entering graduate medical education. It is unclear whether experience and training during medical school is adequate. Objective The aim of the project was to assess: 1) graduating medical students’ ability to perform ToC in a crisis situation, and 2) whether using a cognitive aid improves the ToC quality. Methods The authors developed simulation scenarios for rapid response teams and a cognitive aid to assist in the ToC during crisis situations. Graduating medical students were enrolled and randomly divided into teams of three students, randomly assigned into one of two groups: teams using a cognitive aid for ToC (CA), or not using a cognitive aid (nCA). In the scenario, teams respond to a deteriorating patient and then transfer care to the next provider after stabilization. Three faculty reviewed the recording to assess completeness of the ToC and the overall quality. A completeness score was expressed as a fraction of the maximum score. Statistical analysis was performed using a t-test and Mann-Whitney U test. Results A total of 112 senior medical students participated: CA n=19, nCA n=17. The completeness score of the ToC and overall quality improved when using the cognitive aid (completeness score: CA 0.80±0.06 vs. nCA 0.52±0.07, p<0.01; ToC quality: CA 3.16±0.65 vs. nCA 1.92±0.56, p<0.01). Participants’ rating of knowledge and comfort with the ToC process increased after the simulation. Conclusion The completeness of information transfer during the ToC process by graduating medical students improved by using a cognitive aid in a simulated patient crisis. PMID:27435838

  2. [Neuroprogression and cognition in Bipolar Disorders: A systematic review of cognitive performance in euthymic patients].

    PubMed

    Lolich, María; Holtzman, Jessica N; Rago, Carlo M; Vázquez, Gustavo H

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, investigators have begun to consider the possibility of explaining the physiopathology of bipolar disorder from a neuroprogressive perspective. The evidence that supports the feasibility of such an approach is varied, and arises from neuroimaging studies, batteries of neurocognitive evaluations, and tests to identify the specific biomarkers of the disorder. The present article seeks to perform a review of the research that investigates the cognitive deficits in bipolar disorder. A bibliographic revision was performed of articles published between 1990 and 2015. Levels of cognitive performance were explored in both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. The compiled studies signal the presence of altered cognitive function, even during periods of euthymia. However, there are contradictory results as to whether bipolar disorder presents a degenerative course. New lines of investigation suggest that only a percentage of individuals with bipolar disorder are affected in a progressive manner. It is of paramount importance to perform new longitudinal studies in high-risk populations, so as to validate or refute a neuroprogressive model of cognitive deficits in patients with bipolar disorder. PMID:26672503

  3. Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Predictors of College Readiness and Performance: Role of Academic Discipline

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Komarraju, Meera; Ramsey, Alex; Rinella, Virginia

    2013-01-01

    Identifying the best predictors of academic performance is crucial for postsecondary institutions seeking students with the greatest promise. We investigated the relative strength of standardized test scores (ACT), high school GPA, and non-cognitive, college readiness skills in predicting college GPA. College freshmen (505) completed the 108-item…

  4. Cognitive Determinants of Academic Performance in Nigerian Pharmacy Schools.

    PubMed

    Ubaka, Chukwuemeka M; Sansgiry, Sujit S; Ukwe, Chinwe V

    2015-09-25

    Objective. To evaluate cognitive factors that might influence academic performance of students in Nigerian pharmacy schools. Methods. A cross-sectional, multi-center survey of Nigerian pharmacy students from 7 schools of pharmacy was conducted using 2 validated questionnaires measuring cognitive constructs such as test anxiety, academic competence, test competence, time management, and strategic study habits. Results. Female students and older students scored significantly better on time management skills and study habits, respectively. Test anxiety was negatively associated with academic performance while test competence, academic competence, and time management were positively associated with academic performance. These 4 constructs significantly discriminated between the lower and higher performing students, with the first 2 contributing to the most differences. Conclusion. Test and academic competence, test anxiety, and time management were significant factors associated with low and high academic performance among Nigerian pharmacy students. The study also demonstrated the significant effects of age, gender, and marital status on these constructs. PMID:27168614

  5. Cognitive Determinants of Academic Performance in Nigerian Pharmacy Schools

    PubMed Central

    Sansgiry, Sujit S.; Ukwe, Chinwe V.

    2015-01-01

    Objective. To evaluate cognitive factors that might influence academic performance of students in Nigerian pharmacy schools. Methods. A cross-sectional, multi-center survey of Nigerian pharmacy students from 7 schools of pharmacy was conducted using 2 validated questionnaires measuring cognitive constructs such as test anxiety, academic competence, test competence, time management, and strategic study habits. Results. Female students and older students scored significantly better on time management skills and study habits, respectively. Test anxiety was negatively associated with academic performance while test competence, academic competence, and time management were positively associated with academic performance. These 4 constructs significantly discriminated between the lower and higher performing students, with the first 2 contributing to the most differences. Conclusion. Test and academic competence, test anxiety, and time management were significant factors associated with low and high academic performance among Nigerian pharmacy students. The study also demonstrated the significant effects of age, gender, and marital status on these constructs. PMID:27168614

  6. Performance and Cognitive Assessment in 3-D Modeling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fahrer, Nolan E.; Ernst, Jeremy V.; Branoff, Theodore J.; Clark, Aaron C.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate identifiable differences between performance and cognitive assessment scores in a 3-D modeling unit of an engineering drafting course curriculum. The study aimed to provide further investigation of the need of skill-based assessments in engineering/technical graphics courses to potentially increase…

  7. Prospective Associations between Dietary Patterns and Cognitive Performance during Adolescence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nyaradi, Anett; Foster, Jonathan K.; Hickling, Siobhan; Li, Jianghong; Ambrosini, Gina L.; Jacques, Angela; Oddy, Wendy H.

    2014-01-01

    Background: The aim of the study was to investigate prospective associations between dietary patterns and cognitive performance during adolescence. Methods: Participants were sourced from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study that includes 2868 children born between 1989 and 1992 in Perth, Western Australia. When the children were…

  8. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Determinants of Performance: A Process Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dorfman, Peter W.; Stephan, Walter G.

    Literature from organizational and social psychology has suggested that three types of factors influence performance, i.e., cognitive, affective and behavioral. A model was developed to test a set of propositions concerning the relationship between the three kinds of factors, and included attributions, expectancies, general emotional responses to…

  9. HYDRATION STATUS AND COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE IN YOUNG ADULTS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Adequate hydration levels are important for both mental and physical functioning. Research conducted in young adults suggests that mild levels of dehydration (2%-4%) can negatively influence cognitive performance in a variety of tasks, but these data are inconsistent. Dehydration may be relatively...

  10. Qualitative Pedagogical Inquiry into Cognitive Modulation of Musical Performance Anxiety.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Picard, Andre

    1999-01-01

    Presents a study that identifies some concepts involved in the cognitive modulation of naturalistic Musical Performance Anxiety (MPA) episodes among undergraduate music students and elaborates an alternative to psychological apprehension in regard to MPA. The research was exploratory and consisted of eight case studies. Data were collected and…

  11. Cognitive Somatic Behavioral Interventions for Maximizing Gymnastic Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ravizza, Kenneth; Rotella, Robert

    Psychological training programs developed and implemented for gymnasts of a wide range of age and varying ability levels are examined. The programs utilized strategies based on cognitive-behavioral intervention. The approach contends that mental training plays a crucial role in maximizing performance for most gymnasts. The object of the training…

  12. Modeling Cognitive Strategies during Complex Task Performing Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mazman, Sacide Guzin; Altun, Arif

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine individuals' computer based complex task performing processes and strategies in order to determine the reasons of failure by cognitive task analysis method and cued retrospective think aloud with eye movement data. Study group was five senior students from Computer Education and Instructional Technologies…

  13. Sibsize, Family Environment, Cognitive Performance, and Affective Characteristics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marjoribanks, Kevin

    1976-01-01

    Incorporates measures of family environment (parent-child interaction) into research methodology to study the effects of sibsize (family size and birth order) on a child's cognitive performance and affective behavior. Provides tentative support for the confluence model of sibsize influences on children's behaviors. (RL)

  14. The Influence of Cognitive Abilities on Mathematical Problem Solving Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bahar, Abdulkadir

    2013-01-01

    Problem solving has been a core theme in education for several decades. Educators and policy makers agree on the importance of the role of problem solving skills for school and real life success. A primary purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of cognitive abilities on mathematical problem solving performance of students. The…

  15. Distributed Cognition in Sports Teams: Explaining Successful and Expert Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williamson, Kellie; Cox, Rochelle

    2014-01-01

    In this article we use a hybrid methodology to better understand the skilful performance of sports teams as an exemplar of distributed cognition. We highlight key differences between a team of individual experts (an aggregate system) and an expert team (an emergent system), and outline the kinds of shared characteristics likely to be found in an…

  16. Midsagittal Brain Shape Correlation with Intelligence and Cognitive Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bruner, Emiliano; Martin-Loeches, Manuel; Burgaleta, Miguel; Colom, Roberto

    2011-01-01

    Brain shape might influence cognitive performance because of the relationships between functions, spatial organization, and differential volumetric development of cortical areas. Here we analyze the relationships between midsagittal brain shape variation and a set of basic psychological measures. Coordinates in 2D from 102 MRI-scanned young adult…

  17. Composition Instruction and Cognitive Performance: Results of a Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bugos, Jennifer; Jacobs, Edward

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a composition program, Composers in Public Schools (CiPS), on cognitive skills essential for academic success. The underlying hypothesis is that composition instruction will promote creative expression and increase performance on music-specific skills such as music reading, as well as foster…

  18. Influence of cognitive abilities and age on word recall performance across trials and list segments.

    PubMed

    Krueger, Lacy E; Salthouse, Timothy A

    2011-01-01

    The influence of cognitive abilities and age on multitrial word recall performance was examined for different list segments (i.e., first, middle, and last) and across trials by having 2497 participants ages 18-98 complete a multitrial word list test along with reference cognitive ability tests. As expected, higher episodic memory ability was associated with better recall on all list segments but with a smaller influence for the last items on the early trials. Performance improved across trials, but there were no relations of the fluid intelligence construct that might be postulated to be associated with effective strategy implementation with any of the recall measures. Advanced age was associated with lower levels of performance, but very few of the age relations were significant after the variation in the reference cognitive abilities was controlled for. PMID:21977691

  19. Hair cortisol and cognitive performance in working age adults.

    PubMed

    McLennan, Skye N; Ihle, Andreas; Steudte-Schmiedgen, Susann; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Kliegel, Matthias

    2016-05-01

    It has been hypothesized that prolonged exposure to high cortisol levels results in cognitive impairment. However, previous research into the relationship between cortisol and cognition has produced mixed results, most likely due to difficulties achieving valid estimates of long-term cortisol exposure based on salivary or plasma cortisol assessments at a single time point. Furthermore, there has been little research on the cognitive effects of long-term cortisol exposure in working-age adults. In the present study, hair samples were collected from 246 nurses (89.8% female) aged from 21 to 62 (M=42.0, SD=11.2). Hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) in the proximal 3-cm hair segment were analyzed providing an estimate of integrated cortisol secretion over the 3 month-period prior to hair sampling. Cognition was measured using a battery of 15 neuropsychological tests, measuring core dimensions of memory, inductive reasoning, processing speed, crystalized intelligence and major aspects of executive functioning. HCC was not significantly related to any of the cognitive abilities measured, either before or after controlling for potential moderators such as age, sex, education, health, well-being, work ability and burnout. Tests for nonlinear relationships also yielded non-significant results. Thus, despite the study being well powered, long term cortisol exposure did not appear to be related to cognitive performance in this sample of working-age adults, suggesting that long term cortisol exposure may be less relevant to cognition in younger and middle-aged adults than was previously thought. PMID:26881835

  20. Children's Cognitive Performance and Selective Attention Following Recent Community Violence

    PubMed Central

    McCoy, Dana Charles; Raver, C. Cybele; Sharkey, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Research has shown robust relationships between community violence and psychopathology, yet relatively little is known about the ways in which community violence may affect cognitive performance and attention. The present study estimates the effects of police-reported community violence on 359 urban children's performance on a computerized neuropsychological task using a quasi-experimental fixed-effects design. Living in close proximity to a recent violent crime predicted faster but marginally less accurate task performance for the full sample, evolutionarily adaptive patterns of “vigilant” attention (i.e., less attention toward positive stimuli, more attention toward negative stimuli) for children reporting low trait anxiety, and potentially maladaptive patterns of “avoidant” attention for highly anxious children. These results suggest that community violence can directly affect children's cognitive performance while also having different (and potentially orthogonal) impacts on attention deployment depending on children's levels of biobehavioral risk. Implications for mental health and sociological research are discussed. PMID:25663176

  1. Cognition and the Placebo Effect – Dissociating Subjective Perception and Actual Performance

    PubMed Central

    Schwarz, Katharina A.; Büchel, Christian

    2015-01-01

    The influence of positive or negative expectations on clinical outcomes such as pain relief or motor performance in patients and healthy participants has been extensively investigated for years. Such research promises potential benefit for patient treatment by deliberately using expectations as means to stimulate endogenous regulation processes. Especially regarding recent interest and controversies revolving around cognitive enhancement, the question remains whether mere expectancies might also yield enhancing or impairing effects in the cognitive domain, i.e., can we improve or impair cognitive performance simply by creating a strong expectancy in participants about their performance? Moreover, previous literature suggests that especially subjective perception is highly susceptible to expectancy effects, whereas objective measures can be affected in certain domains, but not in others. Does such a dissociation of objective measures and subjective perception also apply to cognitive placebo and nocebo effects? In this study, we sought to investigate whether placebo and nocebo effects can be evoked in cognitive tasks, and whether these effects influence objective and subjective measures alike. To this end, we instructed participants about alleged effects of different tone frequencies (high, intermediate, low) on brain activity and cognitive functions. We paired each tone with specific success rates in a Flanker task paradigm as a preliminary conditioning procedure, adapted from research on placebo hypoalgesia. In a subsequent test phase, we measured reaction times and success rates in different expectancy conditions (placebo, nocebo, and control) and then asked participants how the different tone frequencies affected their performance. Interestingly, we found no effects of expectation on objective measures, but a strong effect on subjective perception, i.e., although actual performance was not affected by expectancy, participants strongly believed that the placebo

  2. Is Education Associated with Improvements in General Cognitive Ability, or in Specific Skills?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ritchie, Stuart J.; Bates, Timothy C.; Deary, Ian J.

    2015-01-01

    Previous research has indicated that education influences cognitive development, but it is unclear what, precisely, is being improved. Here, we tested whether education is associated with cognitive test score improvements via domain-general effects on general cognitive ability ("g"), or via domain-specific effects on particular cognitive…

  3. The effect of breakfast cereal consumption on adolescents' cognitive performance and mood

    PubMed Central

    Defeyter, Margaret A.; Russo, Riccardo

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of breakfast consumption on cognitive performance and mood in adolescents, and any interaction that breakfast consumption might have with cognitive load. The rationale for this approach was that the beneficial effects of any intervention with regard to cognitive function may be more readily apparent when more demands are placed on the system. Furthermore, as skipping breakfast is particularly prevalent within this age group, thus, we focused on adolescents who habitually skip breakfast. Cognitive load was modulated by varying the level of difficulty of a series of cognitive tasks tapping memory, attention, and executive functions. Mood measured with Bond–Lader scales (1974) as well as measures of thirst, hunger, and satiety were recorded at each test session both at baseline and after the completion of each test battery. Forty adolescents (mean age = 14:2) participated in this within-subjects design study. According to treatment, all participants were tested before and after the intake of a low Glycaemic index breakfast (i.e., a 35 g portion of AllBran and 125 ml semi-skimmed milk) and before and after no breakfast consumption. Assessment time had two levels: 8.00 am (baseline) and 10.45 am. The orders of cognitive load tasks were counterbalanced. Overall it appeared that following breakfast participants felt more alert, satiated, and content. Following breakfast consumption, there was evidence for improved cognitive performance across the school morning compared to breakfast omission in some tasks (e.g., Hard Word Recall, Serial 3's and Serial 7's). However, whilst participants performance on the hard version of each cognitive task was significantly poorer compared to the corresponding easy version, there was limited evidence to support the hypothesis that the effect of breakfast was greater in the more demanding versions of the tasks. PMID:24312043

  4. The effect of breakfast cereal consumption on adolescents' cognitive performance and mood.

    PubMed

    Defeyter, Margaret A; Russo, Riccardo

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of breakfast consumption on cognitive performance and mood in adolescents, and any interaction that breakfast consumption might have with cognitive load. The rationale for this approach was that the beneficial effects of any intervention with regard to cognitive function may be more readily apparent when more demands are placed on the system. Furthermore, as skipping breakfast is particularly prevalent within this age group, thus, we focused on adolescents who habitually skip breakfast. Cognitive load was modulated by varying the level of difficulty of a series of cognitive tasks tapping memory, attention, and executive functions. Mood measured with Bond-Lader scales (1974) as well as measures of thirst, hunger, and satiety were recorded at each test session both at baseline and after the completion of each test battery. Forty adolescents (mean age = 14:2) participated in this within-subjects design study. According to treatment, all participants were tested before and after the intake of a low Glycaemic index breakfast (i.e., a 35 g portion of AllBran and 125 ml semi-skimmed milk) and before and after no breakfast consumption. Assessment time had two levels: 8.00 am (baseline) and 10.45 am. The orders of cognitive load tasks were counterbalanced. Overall it appeared that following breakfast participants felt more alert, satiated, and content. Following breakfast consumption, there was evidence for improved cognitive performance across the school morning compared to breakfast omission in some tasks (e.g., Hard Word Recall, Serial 3's and Serial 7's). However, whilst participants performance on the hard version of each cognitive task was significantly poorer compared to the corresponding easy version, there was limited evidence to support the hypothesis that the effect of breakfast was greater in the more demanding versions of the tasks. PMID:24312043

  5. Flipperons for Improved Aerodynamic Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mabe, James H.

    2008-01-01

    Lightweight, piezoelectrically actuated bending flight-control surfaces have shown promise as means of actively controlling airflows to improve the performances of transport airplanes. These bending flight-control surfaces are called flipperons because they look somewhat like small ailerons, but, unlike ailerons, are operated in an oscillatory mode reminiscent of the actions of biological flippers. The underlying concept of using flipperons and other flipperlike actuators to impart desired characteristics to flows is not new. Moreover, elements of flipperon-based active flow-control (AFC) systems for aircraft had been developed previously, but it was not until the development reported here that the elements have been integrated into a complete, controllable prototype AFC system for wind-tunnel testing to enable evaluation of the benefits of AFC for aircraft. The piezoelectric actuator materials chosen for use in the flipperons are single- crystal solid solutions of lead zinc niobate and lead titanate, denoted generically by the empirical formula (1-x)[Pb(Zn(1/3)Nb(2/3))O3]:x[PbTiO3] (where x<1) and popularly denoted by the abbreviation PZN-PT. These are relatively newly recognized piezoelectric materials that are capable of strain levels exceeding 1 percent and strain-energy densities 5 times greater than those of previously commercially available piezoelectric materials. Despite their high performance levels, (1-x)[Pb(Zn(1/3)Nb(2/3))O3]:x[PbTiO3] materials have found limited use until now because, relative to previously commercially available piezoelectric materials, they tend to be much more fragile.

  6. Hair cortisol and cognitive performance in healthy older people.

    PubMed

    Pulopulos, Matias M; Hidalgo, Vanesa; Almela, Mercedes; Puig-Perez, Sara; Villada, Carolina; Salvador, Alicia

    2014-06-01

    Worse cognitive performance in older people has been associated with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation (in particular, higher cortisol levels). Analysis of hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) is a novel method to measure long-term cortisol exposure, and its relationship with cognition in healthy older people has not yet been studied. We investigated whether HCC (measured in hair scalp) and diurnal salivary cortisol levels (awakening, 30min after awakening, and evening, across two days) were related to cognitive performance (assessed with the Trail-making Test A and B, Digit Span Forward and Backward, word list-RAVLT and Stories subtest of the Rivermead) in 57 healthy older people (mean age=64.75 years, SD=4.17). Results showed that lower HCC were consistently related to worse working memory, learning, short-term verbal memory (RAVLT first trial and immediate recall) and long-term verbal memory. In contrast, higher mean levels and higher diurnal area under the curve of diurnal salivary cortisol were related to worse attention and short-term verbal memory (immediate story recall), respectively. Interestingly, a higher ratio of mean levels of diurnal salivary cortisol over HCC were related to worse performance on working memory and short-term verbal memory, suggesting that those individuals with lower long-term cortisol exposure might be more vulnerable to the negative effect of HPA-axis dysregulation on these cognitive processes. Our findings suggest that both low long-term cortisol exposure and a possible dysregulation of the diurnal rhythm of the HPA-axis may account, at least in part, for the inter-individual variability in cognitive performance in healthy older people. PMID:24767624

  7. A Cognitive Framework for Understanding and Improving Interference Resolution in the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Jyoti; Anguera, Joaquin A.; Ziegler, David A.; Gazzaley, Adam

    2014-01-01

    All of us are familiar with the negative impact of interference on achieving our task goals. We are referring to interference by information, which either impinges on our senses from an external environmental source or is internally generated by our thoughts. Informed by more than a decade of research on the cognitive and neural processing of interference, we have developed a framework for understanding how interference impacts our neural systems and especially how it is regulated and suppressed during efficient on-task performance. Importantly, externally and internally generated interferences have distinct neural signatures, and further, distinct neural processing emerges depending on whether individuals must ignore and suppress the interference, as for distractions, or engage with them in a secondary task, as during multitasking. Here, we elaborate on this cognitive framework and how it changes throughout the human lifespan, focusing mostly on research evidence from younger adults and comparing these findings to data from older adults, children, and cognitively impaired populations. With insights gleaned from our growing understanding, we then describe three novel translational efforts in our lab directed at improving distinct aspects of interference resolution using cognitive training. Critically, these training approaches were specifically developed to target improved interference resolution based on neuroplasticity principles and have shown much success in randomized controlled first version evaluations in healthy aging. Our results show not only on-task training improvements but also robust generalization of benefit to other cognitive control abilities. This research showcases how an in-depth understanding of neural mechanisms can then inform the development of effective deficit-targeted interventions, which can in turn benefit both healthy and cognitively impaired populations. PMID:24309262

  8. Whole-body vibration improves cognitive functions of an adult with ADHD.

    PubMed

    Fuermaier, Anselm B M; Tucha, Lara; Koerts, Janneke; van den Bos, Meinris; Regterschot, G Ruben H; Zeinstra, Edzard B; van Heuvelen, Marieke J G; van der Zee, Eddy A; Lange, Klaus W; Tucha, Oliver

    2014-09-01

    Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with a variety of cognitive impairments, which were shown to affect academic achievement and quality of life. Current treatment strategies, such as stimulant drug treatment, were demonstrated to effectively improve cognitive functions of patients with ADHD. However, most treatment strategies are associated with a number of disadvantages in a considerable proportion of patients, such as unsatisfactory effects, adverse clinical side effects or high financial costs. In order to address limitations of current treatment strategies, whole-body vibration (WBV) might represent a novel approach to treat cognitive dysfunctions of patients with ADHD. WBV refers to the exposure of the whole body of an individual to vibration and was found to affect physiology and cognition. In the present study, WBV was applied on 10 consecutive days to an adult diagnosed with ADHD. Neuropsychological assessments were performed repeatedly at three different times, i.e., the day before the start of the treatment, on the day following completion of treatment and 14 days after the treatment have been completed (follow-up). An improved neuropsychological test performance following WBV treatment points to the high clinical value of WBV in treating patients with neuropsychological impairments such as ADHD. PMID:25031090

  9. Social Cognition in Williams Syndrome: Relations between Performance on the Social Attribution Task and Cognitive and Behavioral Characteristics.

    PubMed

    van der Fluit, Faye; Gaffrey, Michael S; Klein-Tasman, Bonita P

    2012-01-01

    Williams syndrome (WS) is a developmental disorder of genetic origin, with characteristic cognitive and personality profiles. Studies of WS point to an outgoing and gregarious personality style, often contrasted with autism spectrum disorders; however, recent research has uncovered underlying social reciprocity difficulties in people with WS. Social information processing difficulties that underlie these social reciprocity difficulties have been sparsely examined. Participants in the current study included 24 children with WS ages 8 through 15. A lab-based measure of social perception and social cognition was administered (Social Attribution Test), as well as an intellectual functioning measure (KBIT-II) and parent reports of communication and reciprocal social skills (Social Communication Questionnaire, Social Responsiveness Scale). Relations between social cognition, cognitive abilities, and social-communication were examined. Results demonstrated relations between parent-reported social reciprocity and the typicality of the responses provided in the lab-based measure, even once variability in intellectual functioning was taken into account. Specifically, those individuals who produced narratives in response to the social attribution task (SAT) that were more similar to those described in previous studies of typically developing individuals were also reported to have fewer social reciprocity difficulties in the real world setting as reported by parents. In addition, a significant improvement in performance on the SAT was seen with added scaffolding, particularly for participants with stronger intellectual functioning. These findings indicate that difficulties interpreting the social dynamics between others in ambiguous situations may contribute to the social relationship difficulties observed in people with WS, above and beyond the role of intellectual functioning. Exploratory analyses indicated that performance by individuals with stronger intellectual

  10. Social Cognition in Williams Syndrome: Relations between Performance on the Social Attribution Task and Cognitive and Behavioral Characteristics

    PubMed Central

    van der Fluit, Faye; Gaffrey, Michael S.; Klein-Tasman, Bonita P.

    2012-01-01

    Williams syndrome (WS) is a developmental disorder of genetic origin, with characteristic cognitive and personality profiles. Studies of WS point to an outgoing and gregarious personality style, often contrasted with autism spectrum disorders; however, recent research has uncovered underlying social reciprocity difficulties in people with WS. Social information processing difficulties that underlie these social reciprocity difficulties have been sparsely examined. Participants in the current study included 24 children with WS ages 8 through 15. A lab-based measure of social perception and social cognition was administered (Social Attribution Test), as well as an intellectual functioning measure (KBIT-II) and parent reports of communication and reciprocal social skills (Social Communication Questionnaire, Social Responsiveness Scale). Relations between social cognition, cognitive abilities, and social-communication were examined. Results demonstrated relations between parent-reported social reciprocity and the typicality of the responses provided in the lab-based measure, even once variability in intellectual functioning was taken into account. Specifically, those individuals who produced narratives in response to the social attribution task (SAT) that were more similar to those described in previous studies of typically developing individuals were also reported to have fewer social reciprocity difficulties in the real world setting as reported by parents. In addition, a significant improvement in performance on the SAT was seen with added scaffolding, particularly for participants with stronger intellectual functioning. These findings indicate that difficulties interpreting the social dynamics between others in ambiguous situations may contribute to the social relationship difficulties observed in people with WS, above and beyond the role of intellectual functioning. Exploratory analyses indicated that performance by individuals with stronger intellectual

  11. Daily iron supplementation on cognitive performance in primary-school-aged children with and without anemia: a meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Xiu-min; Liu, Hui; Qian, Jing

    2015-01-01

    Anemia is an important public health and clinical problem. Observational studies have linked iron deficiency and anemia in children with many poor outcomes, including impaired cognitive development. In this study, we summarize the evidence for the effect of daily iron supplementation on cognitive performance in primary-school-aged children. We searched electronic databases (including MEDLINE and Wangfang database) and other sources (August 2015) for randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials involving daily iron supplementation on cognitive performance in children aged 5-12 years. We combined the data using random effects meta-analysis. We identified 3219 studies; of these, we evaluated 5 full-text papers including 1825 children. Iron supplementation cannot improve global cognitive scores (Mean difference 1.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] -2.69 to 4.79, P<0.01). Our analysis suggests that iron supplementation improves global cognitive c outcomes among primary-school-aged children is still unclear. PMID:26629120

  12. The effect of age on cognitive performance of frontal patients

    PubMed Central

    Cipolotti, Lisa; Healy, Colm; Chan, Edgar; MacPherson, Sarah E.; White, Mark; Woollett, Katherine; Turner, Martha; Robinson, Gail; Spanò, Barbara; Bozzali, Marco; Shallice, Tim

    2015-01-01

    Age is known to affect prefrontal brain structure and executive functioning in healthy older adults, patients with neurodegenerative conditions and TBI. Yet, no studies appear to have systematically investigated the effect of age on cognitive performance in patients with focal lesions. We investigated the effect of age on the cognitive performance of a large sample of tumour and stroke patients with focal unilateral, frontal (n=68), or non-frontal lesions (n=45) and healthy controls (n=52). We retrospectively reviewed their cross sectional cognitive and imaging data. In our frontal patients, age significantly predicted the magnitude of their impairment on two executive tests (Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices, RAPM and the Stroop test) but not on nominal (Graded Naming Test, GNT) or perceptual (Incomplete Letters) task. In our non-frontal patients, age did not predict the magnitude of their impairment on the RAPM and GNT. Furthermore, the exacerbated executive impairment observed in our frontal patients manifested itself from middle age. We found that only age consistently predicted the exacerbated executive impairment. Lesions to specific frontal areas, or an increase in global brain atrophy or white matter abnormalities were not associated with this impairment. Our results are in line with the notion that the frontal cortex plays a critical role in aging to counteract cognitive and neuronal decline. We suggest that the combined effect of aging and frontal lesions impairs the frontal cortical systems by causing its computational power to fall below the threshold needed to complete executive tasks successfully. PMID:26102190

  13. The effect of age on cognitive performance of frontal patients.

    PubMed

    Cipolotti, Lisa; Healy, Colm; Chan, Edgar; MacPherson, Sarah E; White, Mark; Woollett, Katherine; Turner, Martha; Robinson, Gail; Spanò, Barbara; Bozzali, Marco; Shallice, Tim

    2015-08-01

    Age is known to affect prefrontal brain structure and executive functioning in healthy older adults, patients with neurodegenerative conditions and TBI. Yet, no studies appear to have systematically investigated the effect of age on cognitive performance in patients with focal lesions. We investigated the effect of age on the cognitive performance of a large sample of tumour and stroke patients with focal unilateral, frontal (n=68), or non-frontal lesions (n=45) and healthy controls (n=52). We retrospectively reviewed their cross sectional cognitive and imaging data. In our frontal patients, age significantly predicted the magnitude of their impairment on two executive tests (Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices, RAPM and the Stroop test) but not on nominal (Graded Naming Test, GNT) or perceptual (Incomplete Letters) task. In our non-frontal patients, age did not predict the magnitude of their impairment on the RAPM and GNT. Furthermore, the exacerbated executive impairment observed in our frontal patients manifested itself from middle age. We found that only age consistently predicted the exacerbated executive impairment. Lesions to specific frontal areas, or an increase in global brain atrophy or white matter abnormalities were not associated with this impairment. Our results are in line with the notion that the frontal cortex plays a critical role in aging to counteract cognitive and neuronal decline. We suggest that the combined effect of aging and frontal lesions impairs the frontal cortical systems by causing its computational power to fall below the threshold needed to complete executive tasks successfully. PMID:26102190

  14. Exploring the Effect of Red and Blue on Cognitive Task Performances

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Tiansheng; Song, Lu; Wang, Ting T.; Tan, Ling; Mo, Lei

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies on the effect of color on cognitive task performances and have led to two different views. Some researchers think that the influence of red and blue on cognitive tasks is modulated by the difficulty of the task, and other researchers suggest that the influence mainly depends on the type of task. The current study combined these factors to investigate the effect of color on cognitive task performance. In Experiment 1, we manipulated the difficulty of the task to investigate the effect of red and blue on detail-oriented task performance (the proofreading task), whereas in Experiment 2 we manipulated task difficulty to explore the effect of red and blue on creative task performance (the Remote Associates Test). The results showed that red enhanced the performance on a simple detail-oriented task. However, blue improved the performance on a difficult detail-oriented task as well as on both simple and difficult creative tasks. The results of the current study indicate that the type and difficulty of the task together modulate the effect of color on cognitive performances. PMID:27303343

  15. Working memory training shows immediate and long-term effects on cognitive performance in children

    PubMed Central

    Pugin, Fiona; Metz, Andreas J.; Stauffer, Madlaina; Wolf, Martin; Jenni, Oskar G.; Huber, Reto

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is important for mental reasoning and learning processes. Several studies in adults and school-age children have shown performance improvement in cognitive tests after working memory training. Our aim was to examine not only immediate but also long-term effects of intensive working memory training on cognitive performance tests in children. Fourteen healthy male subjects between 10 and 16 years trained a visuospatial n-back task over 3 weeks (30 min daily), while 15 individuals of the same age range served as a passive control group. Significant differences in immediate (after 3 weeks of training) and long-term effects (after 2-6 months) in an auditory n-back task were observed compared to controls (2.5 fold immediate and 4.7 fold long-term increase in the training group compared to the controls). The improvement was more pronounced in subjects who improved their performance during the training. Other cognitive functions (matrices test and Stroop task) did not change when comparing the training group to the control group. We conclude that visuospatial working memory training in children boosts performance in similar memory tasks such as the auditory n-back task. The sustained performance improvement several months after the training supports the effectiveness of the training. PMID:25671082

  16. Neuroplasticity-Based Auditory Training Via Laptop Computer Improves Cognition in Young Individuals With Recent Onset Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Melissa; Loewy, Rachel; Carter, Cameron; Lee, Ashley; Ragland, J. Daniel; Niendam, Tara; Schlosser, Danielle; Pham, Lien; Miskovich, Tara; Vinogradov, Sophia

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Cognitive deficits that characterize schizophrenia are present in the prodrome, worsen with illness onset, and predict functional outcome. Cognitive dysfunction is thus a critical target for early intervention in young individuals with recent onset schizophrenia. Method: This 2-site double-blind randomized controlled trial investigated cognitive training of auditory processing/verbal learning in 86 subjects with recent onset schizophrenia (mean age of 21 years). Subjects were given laptop computers to take home and were asked to perform 40 hours of training or 40 hours of commercial computer games over 8 weeks. We examined cognitive measures recommended by the Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia initiative (MATRICS), symptoms, and functioning. We also assessed baseline reward anticipation to index motivational system functioning and measured changes in auditory processing speed after 20 hours of training to assess target engagement. Results: Auditory training subjects demonstrated significant improvements in global cognition, verbal memory, and problem solving compared with those of computer games control subjects. Both groups showed a slight but significant decrease in symptoms and no change in functional outcome measures. Training-induced cognitive gains at posttraining showed significant associations with reward anticipation at baseline and with improvement in auditory processing speed at 20 hours. Conclusion: Neuroscience-informed cognitive training via laptop computer represents a promising treatment approach for cognitive dysfunction in early schizophrenia. An individual’s baseline motivational system functioning (reward anticipation), and ability to engage in auditory processing speed improvement, may represent important predictors of treatment outcome. Future studies must investigate whether cognitive training improves functioning and how best to integrate it into critical psychosocial interventions. PMID

  17. Chicken Essence for Cognitive Function Improvement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Teoh, Siew Li; Sudfangsai, Suthinee; Lumbiganon, Pisake; Laopaiboon, Malinee; Lai, Nai Ming; Chaiyakunapruk, Nathorn

    2016-01-01

    Chicken essence (CE) is a popular traditional remedy in Asia, which is believed to improve cognitive functions. CE company claimed that the health benefits were proven with research studies. A systematic review was conducted to determine the cognitive-enhancing effects of CE. We systematically searched a number of databases for randomized controlled trials with human subjects consuming CE and cognitive tests involved. Cochrane’s Risk of Bias (ROB) tool was used to assess the quality of trials and meta-analysis was performed. Seven trials were included, where six healthy subjects and one subject with poorer cognitive functions were recruited. One trial had unclear ROB while the rest had high ROB. For executive function tests, there was a significant difference favoring CE (pooled standardized mean difference (SMD) of −0.55 (−1.04, −0.06)) and another with no significant difference (pooled SMD of 0.70 (−0.001, 1.40)). For short-term memory tests, no significant difference was found (pooled SMD of 0.63 (−0.16, 1.42)). Currently, there is a lack of convincing evidence to show a cognitive enhancing effect of CE. PMID:26805876

  18. Chicken Essence for Cognitive Function Improvement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

    PubMed

    Teoh, Siew Li; Sudfangsai, Suthinee; Lumbiganon, Pisake; Laopaiboon, Malinee; Lai, Nai Ming; Chaiyakunapruk, Nathorn

    2016-01-01

    Chicken essence (CE) is a popular traditional remedy in Asia, which is believed to improve cognitive functions. CE company claimed that the health benefits were proven with research studies. A systematic review was conducted to determine the cognitive-enhancing effects of CE. We systematically searched a number of databases for randomized controlled trials with human subjects consuming CE and cognitive tests involved. Cochrane's Risk of Bias (ROB) tool was used to assess the quality of trials and meta-analysis was performed. Seven trials were included, where six healthy subjects and one subject with poorer cognitive functions were recruited. One trial had unclear ROB while the rest had high ROB. For executive function tests, there was a significant difference favoring CE (pooled standardized mean difference (SMD) of -0.55 (-1.04, -0.06)) and another with no significant difference (pooled SMD of 0.70 (-0.001, 1.40)). For short-term memory tests, no significant difference was found (pooled SMD of 0.63 (-0.16, 1.42)). Currently, there is a lack of convincing evidence to show a cognitive enhancing effect of CE. PMID:26805876

  19. EEG Analysis of the Effects of Therapeutic Cooling on the Cognitive Performance of Multiple Sclerosis Patients

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Montgomery, Leslie D.; Montgomery, Richard W.; Ku, Yu-Tsuan E.; Luna, Bernadette; Lee, Hank C.; Kliss, Mark; Webbon, Bruce; Mead, Susan C. (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    The objective of this project was to determine whether a controlled period of head and torso cooling would enhance the cognitive performance of multiple sclerosis patients. Nineteen MS patients (11 men and 8 women) participated in the study. Control data were taken from nineteen healthy volunteers (12 men and 7 women). All but six of nineteen MS patients tested improved their cognitive performance, as measured by their scores on the Rao test battery. A second objective was to gain insight into the neurological effects of cooling. Visual evoked potentials (VEPs) stimulated by a reversing checkerboard pattern were recorded before and after cooling. We found that cooling selectively benefited the cognitive performance of those MS patients whose pre-cooling VEPs were abnormally shaped (which is an indication of visual pathway impairment due to demyelinization). Moreover, for female MS patients, the degree of cognitive performance improvement following cooling was correlated with a change in the shape of their VEPs toward a more normal shape following cooling.

  20. Nutritional habits and cognitive performance of older adults.

    PubMed

    Mallidou, Anastasia; Cartie, Mario

    2015-06-01

    Healthy nutritional habits, including drinking plenty of water and maintaining hydration, are fundamental components for sustaining life, health and wellbeing. Evidence has suggested that certain dietary patterns and lifestyles could help delay the ageing process and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. This article explores the potential association between nutritional habits and the cognitive performance of older adults and identifies research gaps that could be filled by future studies on healthy ageing. PMID:26014793

  1. Effects of aerobic exercise on cognitive performance and individual psychopathology in depressive and schizophrenia patients.

    PubMed

    Oertel-Knöchel, Viola; Mehler, Pia; Thiel, Christian; Steinbrecher, Kristina; Malchow, Berend; Tesky, Valentina; Ademmer, Karin; Prvulovic, David; Banzer, Winfried; Zopf, Yurdagül; Schmitt, Andrea; Hänsel, Frank

    2014-10-01

    Cognitive deficits are core symptoms in patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and major depressive disorder (MDD), but specific and approved treatments for cognitive deterioration are scarce. Experimental and clinical evidence suggests that aerobic exercise may help to reduce psychopathological symptoms and support cognitive performance, but this has not yet been systematically investigated. In the current study, we examined the effects of aerobic training on cognitive performance and symptom severity in psychiatric inpatients. To our knowledge, to date, no studies have been published that directly compare the effects of exercise across disease groups in order to acquire a better understanding of disease-specific versus general or overlapping effects of physical training intervention. Two disease groups (n=22 MDD patients, n=29 SZ patients) that were matched for age, gender, duration of disease and years of education received cognitive training combined either with aerobic physical exercise or with mental relaxation training. The interventions included 12 sessions (3 times a week) over a time period of 4 weeks, lasting each for 75 min (30 min of cognitive training+45 min of cardio training/mental relaxation training). Cognitive parameters and psychopathology scores of all participants were tested in pre- and post-testing sessions and were then compared with a waiting control group. In the total group of patients, the results indicate an increase in cognitive performance in the domains visual learning, working memory and speed of processing, a decrease in state anxiety and an increase in subjective quality of life between pre- and post-testing. The effects in SZ patients compared with MDD patients were stronger for cognitive performance, whereas there were stronger effects in MDD patients compared with SZ patients in individual psychopathology values. MDD patients showed a significant reduction in depressive symptoms and state anxiety values after the intervention period

  2. Improving Performance in a Nuclear Cardiology Department

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LaFleur, Doug; Smalley, Karolyn; Austin, John

    2005-01-01

    Improving performance in the medical industry is an area that is ideally suited for the tools advocated by the International Society of Performance Improvement (ISPI). This paper describes an application of the tools that have been developed by Dale Brethower and Geary Rummler, two pillars of the performance improvement industry. It allows the…

  3. Intranasal Insulin Improves Age-Related Cognitive Deficits and Reverses Electrophysiological Correlates of Brain Aging.

    PubMed

    Maimaiti, Shaniya; Anderson, Katie L; DeMoll, Chris; Brewer, Lawrence D; Rauh, Benjamin A; Gant, John C; Blalock, Eric M; Porter, Nada M; Thibault, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Peripheral insulin resistance is a key component of metabolic syndrome associated with obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. While the impact of insulin resistance is well recognized in the periphery, it is also becoming apparent in the brain. Recent studies suggest that insulin resistance may be a factor in brain aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) whereby intranasal insulin therapy, which delivers insulin to the brain, improves cognition and memory in AD patients. Here, we tested a clinically relevant delivery method to determine the impact of two forms of insulin, short-acting insulin lispro (Humalog) or long-acting insulin detemir (Levemir), on cognitive functions in aged F344 rats. We also explored insulin effects on the Ca(2+)-dependent hippocampal afterhyperpolarization (AHP), a well-characterized neurophysiological marker of aging which is increased in the aged, memory impaired animal. Low-dose intranasal insulin improved memory recall in aged animals such that their performance was similar to that seen in younger animals. Further, because ex vivo insulin also reduced the AHP, our results suggest that the AHP may be a novel cellular target of insulin in the brain, and improved cognitive performance following intranasal insulin therapy may be the result of insulin actions on the AHP. PMID:25659889

  4. How performance (non-)contingent reward modulates cognitive control.

    PubMed

    Fröber, Kerstin; Dreisbach, Gesine

    2016-07-01

    Reward has repeatedly been shown to influence cognitive control. More precisely, performance contingent reward is known to increase preparatory, proactive control. In comparison, performance non-contingent reward, that is, reward that is not dependent on a pre-specified performance criterion but is given unconditional for any response, even errors, is a rather understudied topic. Recently, Fröber and Dreisbach (2014) compared performance contingent and non-contingent reward in a single experiment. They found that non-contingent reward seems to modulate cognitive control in an oppositional way than contingent reward, namely by reducing proactive control. In the present paper, the authors further investigate this dissociation in two experiments with a reward manipulation that facilitated adaptations to changes in reward availability: reward - with performance contingency varying between subjects - was manipulated not trial-by-trial but in mini-blocks of 20 consecutive trials in an AX-Continuous Performance Task. Performance contingent reward significantly increased proactive control. The repeated experience of non-contingent reward even for errors did not result in increased error rates, but instead was indicative of stable compliance with task rules over time and with less reliance on proactive control. PMID:27160060

  5. Plasma 1,8-cineole correlates with cognitive performance following exposure to rosemary essential oil aroma

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Lorraine

    2012-01-01

    Objective The mode of influence of the aromas of plant essential oils on human behaviour is largely unclear. This study was designed to assess the potential pharmacological relationships between absorbed 1,8-cineole following exposure to rosemary aroma, cognitive performance and mood. Methods Twenty healthy volunteers performed serial subtraction and visual information processing tasks in a cubicle diffused with the aroma of rosemary. Mood assessments were made pre and post testing, and venous blood was sampled at the end of the session. Pearson correlations were carried out between serum levels of 1,8-cineole, cognitive performance measures and change in mood scores. Results Here we show for the first time that performance on cognitive tasks is significantly related to concentration of absorbed 1,8-cineole following exposure to rosemary aroma, with improved performance at higher concentrations. Furthermore, these effects were found for speed and accuracy outcomes, indicating that the relationship is not describing a speed–accuracy trade off. The relationships between 1,8-cineole levels and mood were less pronounced, but did reveal a significant negative correlation between change in contentment and plasma 1,8-cineole levels. Conclusion These findings suggest that compounds absorbed from rosemary aroma affect cognition and subjective state independently through different neurochemical pathways. PMID:23983963

  6. Better Adherence to Treatment Recommendations in Heart Failure Predicts Improved Cognitive Function at a One Year Follow Up

    PubMed Central

    Alosco, Michael L.; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Cohen, Ronald; Sweet, Lawrence H.; Josephson, Richard; Hughes, Joel; Rosneck, Jim; Gunstad, John

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Treatment non-adherence is common in heart failure and associated with poor health outcomes in this population. Recent cross-sectional work in heart failure and past work in other medical populations suggests cognitive function is a key determinant of patient’s ability to adhere to treatment recommendations. However, it is also possible that treatment adherence is an important modifier and predictor of cognitive function, though no study has examined this possibility and we sought to do so in a sample of heart failure patients. Methods 115 patients with heart failure self-reported adherence to treatment recommendations. The Modified Mini Mental State Examination (3MS), Trail Making Test parts A and B, and the California Verbal Learning Test-II (CVLT-II) assessed cognitive function. These procedures were performed at baseline and a 12-month follow-up. Results Global cognition and memory abilities improved over the 12-month period. Regression analyses controlling for baseline and medical and demographic factors showed better baseline treatment adherence predicted improved 12-month performances on the 3MS and CVLT-II. Adherence to medication and diet regimens and smoking abstinence emerged as the most important contributors. Conclusions Better treatment adherence predicted improved cognition one-year later in HF. Prospective studies that utilize objective assessments of treatment adherence are needed to confirm our findings and examine whether improved treatment adherence preserves cognitive function in heart failure. PMID:25352233

  7. Performance Pay Path to Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gratz, Donald B.

    2011-01-01

    The primary goal of performance pay for the past decade has been higher test scores, and the most prominent strategy has been to increase teacher performance through financial incentives. If teachers are rewarded for success, according to this logic, they will try harder. If they try harder, more children will achieve higher test scores. The…

  8. Improving Cognitive Processes in Preschool Children: The COGEST Programme

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayoral-Rodríguez, Silvia; Timoneda-Gallart, Carme; Pérez-Álvarez, Federico; Das, J. P.

    2015-01-01

    The present study provides empirical evidence to support the hypothesis that pre-school children's cognitive functions can be developed by virtue of a training tool named COGENT (Cognitive Enhancement Training). We assumed that COGENT (COGEST in Spain) which is embedded in speech and language, will enhance the core cognitive processes that are…

  9. Improved Processing Speed: Online Computer-Based Cognitive Training in Older Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simpson, Tamara; Camfield, David; Pipingas, Andrew; Macpherson, Helen; Stough, Con

    2012-01-01

    In an increasingly aging population, a number of adults are concerned about declines in their cognitive abilities. Online computer-based cognitive training programs have been proposed as an accessible means by which the elderly may improve their cognitive abilities; yet, more research is needed in order to assess the efficacy of these programs. In…

  10. Imaging of neuro-cognitive performance in extreme Environments—A (p)review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Stefan; Bubeev, Juri A.; Choukèr, Alexander; Morukov, Boris; Johannes, Bernd; Strüder, Heiko K.

    2012-12-01

    Living in extreme environments is accompanied by a number of stressors, which can be classified either as physiological stressors (e.g. microgravity, missing sunlight) or psychological stressors (e.g. confinement). From earth bound studies a negative impact of stress on mental health and cognitive performance is well known and both factors might impair mission success and mission safety during longer inhabitation of space. Accordingly there is the need to identify adequate countermeasures. Nevertheless causal research of neuro-cognitive impairments in space remains speculative due to missing possibilities of brain imaging. Furthermore the reliability of current psychological tests used to assess and monitor cognitive performance in extreme environments seems to be vulnerable due to a lack of compliance. With on-going plans of international space agencies to send people to moon and/or mars, this manuscript aims to summarize and review research attempts of the past two decades and to identify methodological shortcomings. Finally, following the guideline that research has no legacy for its own but must serve the self-concept and well-being of man, this manuscript presents a number of recommendations to enhance future neuro-cognitive research in extreme environments. A deeper insight into neuro-cognitive coherence is not only desirable to understand the effects of stress on mental health, which seems to be a major issue for our current society, and to develop adequate countermeasures but will also help to maintain and improve mission success and mission safety in manned space flight.

  11. Improved cooperative spectrum sensing based on the reputation in cognitive radio networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Jianqi; Wei, Ping

    2015-05-01

    Cognitive radio (CR) is a promising technology to improve the utilisation of wireless spectrum resources. Spectrum sensing is the core functionality in CR networks (CRN). When there exist malicious users (MUs) in CRN and MUs start to attack the network after accumulating reputation to some extent, the performance is deteriorated. In this paper, a scheme is proposed by employing Orthogonalized Gnanadesikan-Kettenring (OGK) to mitigate the effect of MUs without the assistance of trusted nodes, and it can improve the robustness of CRN. Simulations verify the effectiveness of the proposed scheme.

  12. Interrater Reliability of the Revised Cognitive Performance Test (CPT): Assessing Cognition in People With Neurocognitive Disorders.

    PubMed

    Schaber, Patricia; Stallings, Emily; Brogan, Collette; Ali, Fouzia

    2016-01-01

    The rigor of occupation-based standardized assessments that rely on observational scoring procedures depends on proven reliability among test administrators. This study measured interrater reliability of the Cognitive Performance Test (CPT), a standardized, occupation-based assessment that measures cognitive-functional capacity in older adults with neurocognitive disorders. To capture a range of experience among test administrators, two sets of raters-four expert and three novice-scored video recordings of 10 patients administered the CPT. Interrater reliability results were strong among all raters (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] = .93), with expert raters (ICC = .97) yielding higher coefficients than novice raters (ICC = .93). Spearman's ρ correlation coefficients were high among all raters (rs = .92-1.00). Practitioners can be confident that results of the CPT give accurate and consistent information to the health care team, family members, and patients when administered with fidelity using standardized protocols. PMID:27548871

  13. Cue Utilization and Cognitive Load in Novel Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Brouwers, Sue; Wiggins, Mark W.; Helton, William; O’Hare, David; Griffin, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    This study was designed to examine whether differences in cue utilization were associated with differences in performance during a novel, simulated rail control task, and whether these differences reflected a reduction in cognitive load. Two experiments were conducted, the first of which involved the completion of a 20-min rail control simulation that required participants to re-route trains that periodically required a diversion. Participants with a greater level of cue utilization recorded a consistently greater response latency, consistent with a strategy that maintained accuracy, but reduced the demands on cognitive resources. In the second experiment, participants completed the rail task, during which a concurrent, secondary task was introduced. The results revealed an interaction, whereby participants with lesser levels of cue utilization recorded an increase in response latency that exceeded the response latency recorded for participants with greater levels of cue utilization. The relative consistency of response latencies for participants with greater levels of cue utilization, across all blocks, despite the imposition of a secondary task, suggested that those participants with greater levels of cue utilization had adopted a strategy that was effectively minimizing the impact of additional sources of cognitive load on their performance. PMID:27064669

  14. Performance improvement. The American way.

    PubMed

    Walker, Karen

    2007-02-15

    The role of a US-style 'improvement adviser' is to ensure chages are successfully implemented. They use coaching and facilitation to support project teams and are trained to overcome common obstacles. The advisers have advantages over traditional consultants, as they work with full inside knowledge of the organization and are there for the long-term. PMID:17380971

  15. Effects of breakfast and caffeine on cognitive performance, mood and cardiovascular functioning.

    PubMed

    Smith, A; Kendrick, A; Maben, A; Salmon, J

    1994-02-01

    Two experiments examined the effect of breakfast (1.89 MJ) and caffeine (4 mg/kg) on cognitive performance, mood and cardiovascular functioning. In the first experiment, breakfast had no effect on performance of sustained attention tasks, but it increased pulse rate and influenced mood. The mood effects after breakfast differed between a cooked breakfast and a cereal/toast breakfast. In contrast to the effects of breakfast, this relatively high dose of caffeine improved performance of the sustained attention tasks, increased blood pressure and increased mental alertness. In the second experiment, effects of a breakfast and caffeine on mood and cardiovascular functions confirmed the results of the first study. The breakfast improved performance on free recall and recognition memory tasks, had no effect on a semantic memory task and impaired the accuracy of performing a logical reasoning task. In contrast to this, caffeine improved performance on the semantic memory, logical reasoning, free recall and recognition memory tasks. Overall, these results show that breakfast can improve performance in some but not all cognitive tasks and that these changes are very different from those observed after lunch, and those produced by caffeine. PMID:8172489

  16. Comparing cognitive performance in illiterate and literate children

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matute, Esmeralda; Montiel, Teresita; Pinto, Noemí; Rosselli, Monica; Ardila, Alfredo; Zarabozo, Daniel

    2012-02-01

    While it is known that the process of becoming literate begins in early childhood and usually involves several years of schooling, research related to cognitive characteristics has been done mostly on illiterate adults, and information concerning illiterate children is therefore limited. The aim of the present study, involving 21 illiterate and 22 literate Mexican children aged 6 to 13, was to investigate the effects of literacy on neuropsychological characteristics during childhood. The children's performance on 16 cognitive domains of the Evaluación Neuropsicológica Infantil (ENI, Child Neuropsychological Assessment) was examined in three mixed within- and between-groups profile analyses. The results suggest that the effect of literacy observed in adults is already evident in children in almost every task analysed. Moreover, the fact that an age effect was detected for the calculation abilities suggests that maths learning is school- and environment-dependent.

  17. The effect of age on postural and cognitive task performance while using vibrotactile feedback.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chia-Cheng; Whitney, Susan L; Loughlin, Patrick J; Furman, Joseph M; Redfern, Mark S; Sienko, Kathleen H; Sparto, Patrick J

    2015-04-01

    Vibrotactile feedback (VTF) has been shown to improve balance performance in healthy people and people with vestibular disorders in a single-task experimental condition. It is unclear how age-related changes in balance affect the ability to use VTF and if there are different attentional requirements for old and young adults when using VTF. Twenty younger and 20 older subjects participated in this two-visit study to examine the effect of age, VTF, sensory condition, cognitive task, duration of time, and visit on postural and cognitive performance. Postural performance outcome measures included root mean square of center of pressure (COP) and trunk tilt, and cognitive performance was assessed using the reaction time (RT) from an auditory choice RT task. The results showed that compared with younger adults, older adults had an increase in COP in fixed platform conditions when using VTF, although they were able to reduce COP during sway-referenced platform conditions. Older adults also did not benefit fully from using VTF in their first session. The RTs for the secondary cognitive tasks increased significantly while using the VTF in both younger and older adults. Older adults had a larger increase compared with younger adults, suggesting that greater attentional demands were required in older adults when using VTF information. Future training protocols for VTF should take into consideration the effect of aging. PMID:25589585

  18. The effect of age on postural and cognitive task performance while using vibrotactile feedback

    PubMed Central

    Whitney, Susan L.; Loughlin, Patrick J.; Furman, Joseph M.; Redfern, Mark S.; Sienko, Kathleen H.; Sparto, Patrick J.

    2015-01-01

    Vibrotactile feedback (VTF) has been shown to improve balance performance in healthy people and people with vestibular disorders in a single-task experimental condition. It is unclear how age-related changes in balance affect the ability to use VTF and if there are different attentional requirements for old and young adults when using VTF. Twenty younger and 20 older subjects participated in this two-visit study to examine the effect of age, VTF, sensory condition, cognitive task, duration of time, and visit on postural and cognitive performance. Postural performance outcome measures included root mean square of center of pressure (COP) and trunk tilt, and cognitive performance was assessed using the reaction time (RT) from an auditory choice RT task. The results showed that compared with younger adults, older adults had an increase in COP in fixed platform conditions when using VTF, although they were able to reduce COP during sway-referenced platform conditions. Older adults also did not benefit fully from using VTF in their first session. The RTs for the secondary cognitive tasks increased significantly while using the VTF in both younger and older adults. Older adults had a larger increase compared with younger adults, suggesting that greater attentional demands were required in older adults when using VTF information. Future training protocols for VTF should take into consideration the effect of aging. PMID:25589585

  19. The effects of chewing versus caffeine on alertness, cognitive performance and cardiac autonomic activity during sleep deprivation.

    PubMed

    Kohler, Mark; Pavy, Alan; van den Heuvel, Cameron

    2006-12-01

    Chewing has been shown to alleviate feelings of sleepiness and improve cognitive performance during the day. This study investigated the effect of chewing on alertness and cognitive performance across one night without sleep as well as the possible mediating role of cardiac autonomic activity. Fourteen adults participated in a randomized, counterbalanced protocol employing a chewing, placebo and caffeine condition. Participants completed tasks assessing psychomotor vigilance, tracking, grammatical reasoning, alertness and sleepiness each hour across the night. All participants received either placebo or caffeine (200 mg), while the chewing condition also chewed on a tasteless and odorless substance for 15 min each hour. Heart rate (HR), root mean square of the successive differences in R-R intervals on the ECG (RMSSD), and preejection period (PEP) were simultaneously recorded. Alertness and cognitive performance amongst the chewing condition did not differ or were in fact worse when compared with placebo. Similarly, measures of HR and RMSSD remained the same between these two conditions; however, PEP was reduced in the later part of the night in the chewing condition compared with a relative increase for placebo. Caffeine led to improved speed and accuracy on cognitive tasks and increased alertness when compared with chewing. Relative increases in RMSSD and reductions in HR were demonstrated following caffeine; however, no change in PEP was seen. Strong associations between cardiac parasympathetic activity and complex cognitive tasks, as well as between subjective alertness and simpler cognitive tasks, suggest a differential process mediating complex versus simple cognitive performance during sleep deprivation. PMID:17118092

  20. Cognitive behavioral therapy for suicidal behaviors: improving patient outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Mewton, Louise; Andrews, Gavin

    2016-01-01

    This systematic review provides an overview of the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in reducing suicidal cognitions and behavior in the adult population. We identified 15 randomized controlled trials of CBT for adults (aged 18 years and older) that included suicide-related cognitions or behaviors as an outcome measure. The studies were identified from PsycINFO searches, reference lists, and a publicly available database of psychosocial interventions for suicidal behaviors. This review identified some evidence of the use of CBT in the reduction of both suicidal cognitions and behaviors. There was not enough evidence from clinical trials to suggest that CBT focusing on mental illness reduces suicidal cognitions and behaviors. On the other hand, CBT focusing on suicidal cognitions and behaviors was found to be effective. Given the current evidence, clinicians should be trained in CBT techniques focusing on suicidal cognitions and behaviors that are independent of the treatment of mental illness. PMID:27042148

  1. [A cognitive behavioural group therapy program for the improvement of the cognitive and social abilities of patients with schizophrenia].

    PubMed

    Efthimiou, K; Rakitzi, S; Roder, V

    2009-07-01

    Pharmacotherapy is the main therapy for the positive and negative symptoms and for the relapse prevention for patients with schizophrenia. The cognitive and behavioural therapy can be combined with other therapies for schizophrenia. Within this frame of reference the cognitive behavioural therapy for schizophrenia and other psychotic syndromes is the first choice for psychiatrists and psychologists in European countries. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has included the cognitive behavioural therapy as a recommended therapy for schizophrenia. The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy includes interventions for the acute phase in an episode (relapse) as well as for the rehabilitation of patients with schizophrenia. The Integrated Psychological Therapy, which is an effective group therapy for the improvement of cognitive and social abilities of patients with schizophrenia, will be represented in the following article. PMID:22218214

  2. Improved performance in NASTRAN (R)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chan, Gordon C.

    1989-01-01

    Three areas of improvement in COSMIC/NASTRAN, 1989 release, were incorporated recently that make the analysis program run faster on large problems. Actual log files and actual timings on a few test samples that were run on IBM, CDC, VAX, and CRAY computers were compiled. The speed improvement is proportional to the problem size and number of continuation cards. Vectorizing certain operations in BANDIT, makes BANDIT run twice as fast in some large problems using structural elements with many node points. BANDIT is a built-in NASTRAN processor that optimizes the structural matrix bandwidth. The VAX matrix packing routine BLDPK was modified so that it is now packing a column of a matrix 3 to 9 times faster. The denser and bigger the matrix, the greater is the speed improvement. This improvement makes a host of routines and modules that involve matrix operation run significantly faster, and saves disc space for dense matrices. A UNIX version, converted from 1988 COSMIC/NASTRAN, was tested successfully on a Silicon Graphics computer using the UNIX V Operating System, with Berkeley 4.3 Extensions. The Utility Modules INPUTT5 and OUTPUT5 were expanded to handle table data, as well as matrices. Both INPUTT5 and OUTPUT5 are general input/output modules that read and write FORTRAN files with or without format. More user informative messages are echoed from PARAMR, PARAMD, and SCALAR modules to ensure proper data values and data types being handled. Two new Utility Modules, GINOFILE and DATABASE, were written for the 1989 release. Seven rigid elements are added to COSMIC/NASTRAN. They are: CRROD, CRBAR, CRTRPLT, CRBE1, CRBE2, CRBE3, and CRSPLINE.

  3. Object-Oriented Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Douglas, Ian; Schaffer, Scott P.

    2002-01-01

    Describes a framework to support an object-oriented approach to performance analysis and instructional design that includes collaboration, automation, visual modeling, and reusable Web-based repositories of analysis knowledge. Relates the need for a new framework to the increasing concern with the cost effectiveness of student and employee…

  4. Impact of a poka-yoke device on job performance of individuals with cognitive impairments.

    PubMed

    Erlandson, R F; Noblett, M J; Phelps, J A

    1998-09-01

    Job performance and production related issues are important not only to successful vocational training and ultimate job placement for individuals with cognitive disabilities, but also for their ability to have expanded vocational options. This study hypothesized that the application of Kaizen philosophy, and poka-yoke techniques in particular, could create job opportunities and improve productivity of individuals with cognitive disabilities. Poka-yoke or error-proofing techniques are part of the collection of Kaizen techniques. Kaizen refers to continuous improvement in performance, cost/effectiveness, and quality. Kaizen strives to empower the worker, increase worker satisfaction, facilitate a sense of accomplishment, and thereby create pride-of-work. These techniques typically reduce the physical and cognitive demands of a task and thereby render the task more accessible. The job was a fuel clamp assembly. A redesigned assembly fixture was the poka-yoke intervention. Consistent with poka-yoke principles, the intervention improved the productivity of everyone attempting the assembly. In particular, the workers in this study showed an 80% increase in productivity and an average percent error drop from 52% to about 1% after the process redesign. Furthermore, the workers showed improved morale, self-esteem, and pride-of-work. Prior to the process redesign, only the higher functioning workers could successfully perform the assembly. After the redesign a greater number of workers could successfully perform the assembly. These results not only validated the study hypothesis, but demonstrated that the success facilitated by applying Kaizen techniques had similar results with individuals with cognitive disabilities as with nondisabled workers. PMID:9749904

  5. The impact of cognitive load on operatic singers' timing performance

    PubMed Central

    Çorlu, Muzaffer; Maes, Pieter-Jan; Muller, Chris; Kochman, Katty; Leman, Marc

    2015-01-01

    In the present paper, we report the results of an empirical study on the effects of cognitive load on operatic singing. The main aim of the study was to investigate to what extent a working memory task affected the timing of operatic singers' performance. Thereby, we focused on singers' tendency to speed up, or slow down their performance of musical phrases and pauses. Twelve professional operatic singers were asked to perform an operatic aria three times; once without an additional working memory task, once with a concurrent working memory task (counting shapes on a computer screen), and once with a relatively more difficult working memory task (more shapes to be counted appearing one after another). The results show that, in general, singers speeded up their performance under heightened cognitive load. Interestingly, this effect was more pronounced in pauses—more in particular longer pauses—compared to musical phrases. We discuss the role of sensorimotor control and feedback processes in musical timing to explain these findings. PMID:25954218

  6. The impact of cognitive load on operatic singers' timing performance.

    PubMed

    Çorlu, Muzaffer; Maes, Pieter-Jan; Muller, Chris; Kochman, Katty; Leman, Marc

    2015-01-01

    In the present paper, we report the results of an empirical study on the effects of cognitive load on operatic singing. The main aim of the study was to investigate to what extent a working memory task affected the timing of operatic singers' performance. Thereby, we focused on singers' tendency to speed up, or slow down their performance of musical phrases and pauses. Twelve professional operatic singers were asked to perform an operatic aria three times; once without an additional working memory task, once with a concurrent working memory task (counting shapes on a computer screen), and once with a relatively more difficult working memory task (more shapes to be counted appearing one after another). The results show that, in general, singers speeded up their performance under heightened cognitive load. Interestingly, this effect was more pronounced in pauses-more in particular longer pauses-compared to musical phrases. We discuss the role of sensorimotor control and feedback processes in musical timing to explain these findings. PMID:25954218

  7. The Effect of S-Adenosylmethionine on Cognitive Performance in Mice: An Animal Model Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Montgomery, Sarah E.; Sepehry, Amir A.; Wangsgaard, John D.; Koenig, Jeremy E.

    2014-01-01

    Background Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most frequently diagnosed form of dementia resulting in cognitive impairment. Many AD mouse studies, using the methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), report improved cognitive ability, but conflicting results between and within studies currently exist. To address this, we conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the effect of SAM on cognitive ability as measured by Y maze performance. As supporting evidence, we include further discussion of improvements in cognitive ability, by SAM, as measured by the Morris water maze (MWM). Methods We conducted a comprehensive literature review up to April 2014 based on searches querying MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library and Proquest Theses and Dissertation databases. We identified three studies containing a total of 12 experiments that met our inclusion criteria and one study for qualitative review. The data from these studies were used to evaluate the effect of SAM on cognitive performance according to two scenarios: 1. SAM supplemented folate deficient (SFD) diet compared to a folate deficient (FD) diet and 2. SFD diet compared to a nutrient complete (NC) diet. Hedge's g was used to calculate effect sizes and mixed effects model meta-regression was used to evaluate moderating factors. Results Our findings showed that the SFD diet was associated with improvements in cognitive performance. SFD diet mice also had superior cognitive performance compared to mice on an NC diet. Further to this, meta-regression analyses indicated a significant positive effect of study quality score and treatment duration on the effect size estimate for both the FD vs SFD analysis and the SFD vs NC analysis. Conclusion The findings of this meta-analysis demonstrate efficacy of SAM in acting as a cognitive performance-enhancing agent. As a corollary, SAM may be useful in improving spatial memory in patients suffering from many dementia forms including AD. PMID:25347725

  8. Performance comparison of modulation techniques for underlay cognitive radio transceivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, Imtiyaz; Singh, Poonam

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we present a quantitative comparison of two agile modulation techniques employed by cognitive radio transceivers operating in a dynamic spectrum access (DSA) network. One of the modulation techniques is single carrier frequency division multiple access (SC-FDMA). The other modulation technique under study is a variant of multicarrier code division multiple access (MCCDMA). Although several studies comparing conventional OFDM and MC-CDMA has been conducted in literature to justify robust error performance of MC-CDMA, a quantitative performance evaluation of these schemes has not been performed when employed in a DSA network. In this paper we show that their performances can be significantly different from the conventional setup. Analytical expressions for the error probability of an SC-FDMA transceiver have been derived and compared with computer simulation results. The results show that the error robustness of SC-FDMA is relatively better then MC-CDMA in underlay communication.

  9. Brief bursts of infrasound may improve cognitive function--an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Weichenberger, Markus; Kühler, Robert; Bauer, Martin; Hensel, Johannes; Brühl, Rüdiger; Ihlenfeld, Albrecht; Ittermann, Bernd; Gallinat, Jürgen; Koch, Christian; Sander, Tilmann; Kühn, Simone

    2015-10-01

    At present, infrasound (sound frequency < 20 Hz; IS) is being controversially discussed as a potential mediator of several adverse bodily as well as psychological effects. However, it remains unclear, if and in what way IS influences cognition. Here, we conducted an fMRI experiment, in which 13 healthy participants were exposed to IS, while cognitive performance was assessed in an n-back working memory paradigm. During the task, short sinusoidal tone bursts of 12 Hz were administered monaurally with sound pressure levels that had been determined individually in a categorical loudness scaling session prior to the fMRI experiment. We found that task execution was associated with a significant activation of the prefrontal and the parietal cortex, as well as the striatum and the cerebellum, indicating the recruitment of a cognitive control network. Reverse contrast analysis (n-back with tone vs. n-back without tone) revealed a significant activation of the bilateral primary auditory cortex (Brodmann areas 41, 42). Surprisingly, we also found a strong, yet non-significant trend for an improvement of task performance during IS exposure. There was no correlation between performance and brain activity measures in tone and no-tone condition with sum scores of depression-, anxiety-, and personality factor assessment scales (BDI, STAIX1/X2, BFI-S). Although exerting a pronounced effect on cortical brain activity, we obtained no evidence for an impairment of cognition due to brief bursts of IS. On the contrary, potential improvement of working memory function introduces an entirely new aspect to the debate on IS-related effects. PMID:26260309

  10. Differential effect of motivational features on training improvements in school-based cognitive training.

    PubMed

    Katz, Benjamin; Jaeggi, Susanne; Buschkuehl, Martin; Stegman, Alyse; Shah, Priti

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive training often utilizes game-like motivational features to keep participants engaged. It is unclear how these elements, such as feedback, reward, and theming impact player performance during training. Recent research suggests that motivation and engagement are closely related to improvements following cognitive training. We hypothesized that training paradigms featuring game-like motivational elements would be more effective than a version with no motivational elements. Five distinct motivational features were chosen for examination: a real-time scoring system, theme changes, prizes, end-of-session certificates, and scaffolding to explain the lives and leveling system included in the game. One version of the game was created with all these motivational elements included, and one was created with all of them removed. Other versions removed a single element at a time. Seven versions of a game-like n-back working memory task were then created and administered to 128 students in second through eight grade at school-based summer camps in southeastern Michigan. The inclusion of real-time scoring during play, a popular motivational component in both entertainment games and cognitive training, was found to negatively impact training improvements over the three day period. Surprisingly, scaffolding to explain lives and levels also negatively impacted training gains. The other game adjustments did not significantly impact training improvement compared to the original version of the game with all features included. These findings are preliminary and are limited by both the small sample size and the brevity of the intervention. Nonetheless, these findings suggest that certain motivational elements may distract from the core cognitive training task, reducing task improvement, especially at the initial stage of learning. PMID:24795603

  11. Improved Correlation of Strain Indices with Cognitive Dysfunction with Inclusion of Adventitial Layer with Carotid Plaque.

    PubMed

    Wang, X; Mitchell, C C; Varghese, T; Jackson, D C; Rocque, B G; Hermann, B P; Dempsey, R J

    2016-05-01

    Plaque instability may lead to chronic embolization, which in turn may contribute to progressive cognitive decline. Accumulated strain tensor indices over a cardiac cycle within a pulsating carotid plaque may be viable biomarkers for the diagnosis of plaque instability. Using plaque-only carotid artery segmentations, we recently demonstrated that impaired cognitive function correlated significantly with maximum axial and lateral strain indices within a localized region of interest in plaque. Inclusion of the adventitial layer focuses our strain or instability measures on the vessel wall-plaque interface hypothesized to be a region with increased shearing forces and measureable instability. A hierarchical block-matching motion tracking algorithm developed in our laboratory was used to estimate accumulated axial, lateral, and shear strain distribution in plaques identified with the plaque-with-adventitia segmentation. Correlations of strain indices to the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status Total score were performed and compared with previous results. Overall, correlation coefficients (r) and significance (p) values improved for axial, lateral, and shear strain indices. Shear strain indices, however, demonstrated the largest improvement. The Pearson correlation coefficients for maximum shear strain and cognition improved from the previous plaque-only analyses of -0.432 and -0.345 to -0.795 and -0.717 with the plaque-with-adventitia segmentation for the symptomatic group and for all patients combined, respectively. Our results demonstrate the advantage of including adventitia for ultrasound carotid strain imaging providing improved association to parameters assessing cognitive impairment in patients. This supports theories of the importance of the vessel wall plaque interface in the pathophysiology of embolic disease. PMID:26025578

  12. Differential effect of motivational features on training improvements in school-based cognitive training

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Benjamin; Jaeggi, Susanne; Buschkuehl, Martin; Stegman, Alyse; Shah, Priti

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive training often utilizes game-like motivational features to keep participants engaged. It is unclear how these elements, such as feedback, reward, and theming impact player performance during training. Recent research suggests that motivation and engagement are closely related to improvements following cognitive training. We hypothesized that training paradigms featuring game-like motivational elements would be more effective than a version with no motivational elements. Five distinct motivational features were chosen for examination: a real-time scoring system, theme changes, prizes, end-of-session certificates, and scaffolding to explain the lives and leveling system included in the game. One version of the game was created with all these motivational elements included, and one was created with all of them removed. Other versions removed a single element at a time. Seven versions of a game-like n-back working memory task were then created and administered to 128 students in second through eight grade at school-based summer camps in southeastern Michigan. The inclusion of real-time scoring during play, a popular motivational component in both entertainment games and cognitive training, was found to negatively impact training improvements over the three day period. Surprisingly, scaffolding to explain lives and levels also negatively impacted training gains. The other game adjustments did not significantly impact training improvement compared to the original version of the game with all features included. These findings are preliminary and are limited by both the small sample size and the brevity of the intervention. Nonetheless, these findings suggest that certain motivational elements may distract from the core cognitive training task, reducing task improvement, especially at the initial stage of learning. PMID:24795603

  13. Large-Scale Organizational Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pilotto, Rudy; Young, Jonathan O'Donnell

    1999-01-01

    Describes the steps involved in a performance improvement program in the context of a large multinational corporation. Highlights include a training program for managers that explained performance improvement; performance matrices; divisionwide implementation, including strategic planning; organizationwide training of all personnel; and the…

  14. Does multicomponent physical exercise with simultaneous cognitive training boost cognitive performance in older adults? A 6-month randomized controlled trial with a 1-year follow-up

    PubMed Central

    Eggenberger, Patrick; Schumacher, Vera; Angst, Marius; Theill, Nathan; de Bruin, Eling D

    2015-01-01

    Background Cognitive impairment is a health problem that concerns almost every second elderly person. Physical and cognitive training have differential positive effects on cognition, but have been rarely applied in combination. This study evaluates synergistic effects of multicomponent physical exercise complemented with novel simultaneous cognitive training on cognition in older adults. We hypothesized that simultaneous cognitive–physical components would add training specific cognitive benefits compared to exclusively physical training. Methods Seniors, older than 70 years, without cognitive impairment, were randomly assigned to either: 1) virtual reality video game dancing (DANCE), 2) treadmill walking with simultaneous verbal memory training (MEMORY), or 3) treadmill walking (PHYS). Each program was complemented with strength and balance exercises. Two 1-hour training sessions per week over 6 months were applied. Cognitive performance was assessed at baseline, after 3 and 6 months, and at 1-year follow-up. Multiple regression analyses with planned comparisons were calculated. Results Eighty-nine participants were randomized to the three groups initially, 71 completed the training, while 47 were available at 1-year follow-up. Advantages of the simultaneous cognitive–physical programs were found in two dimensions of executive function. “Shifting attention” showed a time×intervention interaction in favor of DANCE/MEMORY versus PHYS (F[2, 68] =1.95, trend P=0.075, r=0.17); and “working memory” showed a time×intervention interaction in favor of DANCE versus MEMORY (F[1, 136] =2.71, trend P=0.051, R2=0.006). Performance improvements in executive functions, long-term visual memory (episodic memory), and processing speed were maintained at follow-up in all groups. Conclusion Particular executive functions benefit from simultaneous cognitive–physical training compared to exclusively physical multicomponent training. Cognitive–physical training programs

  15. Task Performance and Meta-Cognitive Outcomes When Using Activity Workstations and Traditional Desks

    PubMed Central

    Pilcher, June J.; Baker, Victoria C.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the current study is to compare the effects of light physical activity to sedentary behavior on cognitive task performance and meta-cognitive responses. Thirty-eight undergraduate students participated in the study. The participants used a stationary bicycle with a desk top and a traditional desk while completing two complex cognitive tasks and measures of affect, motivation, morale, and engagement. The participants pedaled the stationary bicycle at a slow pace (similar in exertion to a normal walking pace) while working. The results indicated that cognitive task performance did not change between the two workstations. However, positive affect, motivation, and morale improved when using the stationary bicycle. These results suggest that activity workstations could be implemented in the work place and in educational settings to help decrease sedentary behavior without negatively affecting performance. Furthermore, individuals could experience a positive emotional response when working on activity workstations which in turn could help encourage individuals to choose to be more physical active during daily activities. PMID:27445921

  16. Harmonizing Measures of Cognitive Performance Across International Surveys of Aging Using Item Response Theory

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Kitty S.; Gross, Alden L.; Pezzin, Liliana E.; Brandt, Jason; Kasper, Judith D.

    2016-01-01

    Objective To harmonize measures of cognitive performance using item response theory (IRT) across two international aging studies. Methods Data for persons ≥65 from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS, N=9,471) and the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA, N=5,444). Cognitive performance measures varied (HRS fielded 25, ELSA 13); 9 were in common. Measurement precision was examined for IRT scores based on: 1) common items; 2) common items adjusted for differential item functioning (DIF); 3) DIF-adjusted all items. Results Three common items (day of date, immediate word recall, and delayed word recall) demonstrated DIF by survey. Adding survey-specific items improved precision, but mainly for HRS respondents at lower cognitive levels. Discussion IRT offers a feasible strategy for harmonizing cognitive performance measures across other surveys and for other multi-item constructs of interest in studies of aging. Practical implications depend on sample distribution and the difficulty mix of in-common and survey-specific items. PMID:26526748

  17. A systematic review of the effect of breakfast on the cognitive performance of children and adolescents.

    PubMed

    Hoyland, Alexa; Dye, Louise; Lawton, Clare L

    2009-12-01

    Breakfast is recommended as part of a healthy diet because it is associated with healthier macro- and micronutrient intakes, BMI and lifestyle. Breakfast is also widely promoted to improve cognitive function and academic performance, leading to the provision of breakfast initiatives by public health bodies. Despite this positive and intuitive perception of cognitive benefits, there has been no systematic review of the evidence. Systematic review methodology was employed to evaluate the effects of breakfast on cognitive performance in well-nourished children and nutritionally at-risk or stunted children. Acute experimental studies, school feeding programmes and studies of habitual breakfast intake are reviewed. Comparisons of breakfast v. no breakfast and breakfasts differing in energy and macronutrient composition are discussed. Included are forty-five studies described in forty-one papers published between 1950 and 2008. The evidence indicates that breakfast consumption is more beneficial than skipping breakfast, but this effect is more apparent in children whose nutritional status is compromised. There is a lack of research comparing breakfast type, precluding recommendations for the size and composition of an optimal breakfast for children's cognitive function. Few studies examined adolescents. Studies of school breakfast programmes suggest that such interventions can have positive effects on academic performance, but this may be in part explained by the increased school attendance that programmes encourage. The present systematic review considers methodological issues in this field and makes recommendations for future research design and policy priorities. PMID:19930787

  18. Task Performance and Meta-Cognitive Outcomes When Using Activity Workstations and Traditional Desks.

    PubMed

    Pilcher, June J; Baker, Victoria C

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the current study is to compare the effects of light physical activity to sedentary behavior on cognitive task performance and meta-cognitive responses. Thirty-eight undergraduate students participated in the study. The participants used a stationary bicycle with a desk top and a traditional desk while completing two complex cognitive tasks and measures of affect, motivation, morale, and engagement. The participants pedaled the stationary bicycle at a slow pace (similar in exertion to a normal walking pace) while working. The results indicated that cognitive task performance did not change between the two workstations. However, positive affect, motivation, and morale improved when using the stationary bicycle. These results suggest that activity workstations could be implemented in the work place and in educational settings to help decrease sedentary behavior without negatively affecting performance. Furthermore, individuals could experience a positive emotional response when working on activity workstations which in turn could help encourage individuals to choose to be more physical active during daily activities. PMID:27445921

  19. Long-chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Optimization of Cognitive Performance

    PubMed Central

    Muldoon, Matthew F.; Ryan, Christopher M.; Yao, Jeffrey K.; Conklin, Sarah M.; Manuck, Stephen B.

    2016-01-01

    Low consumption of the omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenonic acids (DHA), is linked to delayed brain development and, in late life, increased risk for Alzheimers Disease. The current review focuses on cognitive functioning during mid-life and summarizes available scientific evidence relevant to the hypothesis that adequate dietary consumption of the long-chain, omega-3 fatty acids is necessary for optimal cognitive performance. Taken together, the findings suggest that raising the currently low consumption among healthy adults may improve some aspects of cognitive performance. Nonetheless, evidence from randomized clinical trials is comparatively sparse and leaves unclear: a) whether such effects are clinically significant, b) whether effects of EPA and DHA differ, c) which dimensions of cognitive function are affected, d) the dose-response relationships, or e) the time course of the response. Clarification of these issues through both laboratory and clinical investigations is a priority given the broad implications for public health, as well as for military personnel and other positions of high performance demand and responsibility. PMID:25373092

  20. Cognition and procedure representational requirements for predictive human performance models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Corker, K.

    1992-01-01

    Models and modeling environments for human performance are becoming significant contributors to early system design and analysis procedures. Issues of levels of automation, physical environment, informational environment, and manning requirements are being addressed by such man/machine analysis systems. The research reported here investigates the close interaction between models of human cognition and models that described procedural performance. We describe a methodology for the decomposition of aircrew procedures that supports interaction with models of cognition on the basis of procedures observed; that serves to identify cockpit/avionics information sources and crew information requirements; and that provides the structure to support methods for function allocation among crew and aiding systems. Our approach is to develop an object-oriented, modular, executable software representation of the aircrew, the aircraft, and the procedures necessary to satisfy flight-phase goals. We then encode in a time-based language, taxonomies of the conceptual, relational, and procedural constraints among the cockpit avionics and control system and the aircrew. We have designed and implemented a goals/procedures hierarchic representation sufficient to describe procedural flow in the cockpit. We then execute the procedural representation in simulation software and calculate the values of the flight instruments, aircraft state variables and crew resources using the constraints available from the relationship taxonomies. The system provides a flexible, extensible, manipulative and executable representation of aircrew and procedures that is generally applicable to crew/procedure task-analysis. The representation supports developed methods of intent inference, and is extensible to include issues of information requirements and functional allocation. We are attempting to link the procedural representation to models of cognitive functions to establish several intent inference methods

  1. The effects of strength training on cognitive performance in elderly women.

    PubMed

    Smolarek, André de Camargo; Ferreira, Luis Henrique Boiko; Mascarenhas, Luis Paulo Gomes; McAnulty, Steven R; Varela, Karla Daniele; Dangui, Mônica C; de Barros, Marcelo Paes; Utter, Alan C; Souza-Junior, Tácito P

    2016-01-01

    Aging is a degenerative process marked by recognized functional, physiological, and metabolic impairments, such as dynapenia and diminished cognitive capacity. Therefore, the search for innovative strategies to prevent/delay these physiological and cognitive disorders is essential to guarantee the independence and life quality of an elderly population. The aim of this work is to verify the effect of a 12-week resistance exercise program on the general physical aptitude and cognitive capacities of elderly and sedentary women. Twenty-nine women (65.87±5.69 years) were divided into two groups. The control group was composed of eight elderly women who met the same inclusion criteria of the study and the strength training group was composed of 29 elderly women who were subjected to a resistance exercise program defined by 12 upper and lower limb exercises combined in 3×10 repetitions with 1-minute interval between repetitions and two resting minutes between exercises (three times/week). Weight loads were fixed between 60% and 75% of the apparent 1 repetition maximum, which was estimated by the test of 10 maximum repetitions. The direct curl was performed for upper body strength evaluation with 2.3 kg dumbbells for 30 seconds, whereas the chair test was used for lower body evaluation (total sit-stand movements in 30 seconds). The cognitive capacities of subjects were evaluated by "The Montreal Cognitive Assessment" questionnaire. After 12 weeks, the elderly group showed significant increases in the average upper body strength (58%), lower body strength (68%), and cognitive capacity (19%). The present study demonstrated that regular resistance exercises could provide significant gains on the upper and lower body strength concomitant to positive improvements on cognitive capacities of elderly women, bringing enhanced life quality. PMID:27330282

  2. The effects of strength training on cognitive performance in elderly women

    PubMed Central

    Smolarek, André de Camargo; Ferreira, Luis Henrique Boiko; Mascarenhas, Luis Paulo Gomes; McAnulty, Steven R; Varela, Karla Daniele; Dangui, Mônica C; de Barros, Marcelo Paes; Utter, Alan C; Souza-Junior, Tácito P

    2016-01-01

    Aging is a degenerative process marked by recognized functional, physiological, and metabolic impairments, such as dynapenia and diminished cognitive capacity. Therefore, the search for innovative strategies to prevent/delay these physiological and cognitive disorders is essential to guarantee the independence and life quality of an elderly population. The aim of this work is to verify the effect of a 12-week resistance exercise program on the general physical aptitude and cognitive capacities of elderly and sedentary women. Twenty-nine women (65.87±5.69 years) were divided into two groups. The control group was composed of eight elderly women who met the same inclusion criteria of the study and the strength training group was composed of 29 elderly women who were subjected to a resistance exercise program defined by 12 upper and lower limb exercises combined in 3×10 repetitions with 1-minute interval between repetitions and two resting minutes between exercises (three times/week). Weight loads were fixed between 60% and 75% of the apparent 1 repetition maximum, which was estimated by the test of 10 maximum repetitions. The direct curl was performed for upper body strength evaluation with 2.3 kg dumbbells for 30 seconds, whereas the chair test was used for lower body evaluation (total sit–stand movements in 30 seconds). The cognitive capacities of subjects were evaluated by “The Montreal Cognitive Assessment” questionnaire. After 12 weeks, the elderly group showed significant increases in the average upper body strength (58%), lower body strength (68%), and cognitive capacity (19%). The present study demonstrated that regular resistance exercises could provide significant gains on the upper and lower body strength concomitant to positive improvements on cognitive capacities of elderly women, bringing enhanced life quality. PMID:27330282

  3. Cognitive Performance, Sleepiness, and Mood in Partially Sleep Deprived Adolescents: The Need for Sleep Study

    PubMed Central

    Lo, June C.; Ong, Ju Lynn; Leong, Ruth L.F.; Gooley, Joshua J.; Chee, Michael W.L.

    2016-01-01

    Study Objectives: To investigate the effects of sleep restriction (7 nights of 5 h time in bed [TIB]) on cognitive performance, subjective sleepiness, and mood in adolescents. Methods: A parallel-group design was adopted in the Need for Sleep Study. Fifty-six healthy adolescents (25 males, age = 15–19 y) who studied in top high schools and were not habitual short sleepers were randomly assigned to Sleep Restriction (SR) or Control groups. Participants underwent a 2-w protocol consisting of 3 baseline nights (TIB = 9 h), 7 nights of sleep opportunity manipulation (TIB = 5 h for the SR and 9 h for the control groups), and 3 nights of recovery sleep (TIB = 9 h) at a boarding school. A cognitive test battery was administered three times each day. Results: During the manipulation period, the SR group demonstrated incremental deterioration in sustained attention, working memory and executive function, increase in subjective sleepiness, and decrease in positive mood. Subjective sleepiness and sustained attention did not return to baseline levels even after 2 recovery nights. In contrast, the control group maintained baseline levels of cognitive performance, subjective sleepiness, and mood throughout the study. Incremental improvement in speed of processing, as a result of repeated testing and learning, was observed in the control group but was attenuated in the sleep-restricted participants, who, despite two recovery sleep episodes, continued to perform worse than the control participants. Conclusions: A week of partial sleep deprivation impairs a wide range of cognitive functions, subjective alertness, and mood even in high-performing high school adolescents. Some measures do not recover fully even after 2 nights of recovery sleep. Commentary: A commentary on this article appears in this issue on page 497. Citation: Lo JC, Ong JL, Leong RL, Gooley JJ, Chee MW. Cognitive performance, sleepiness, and mood in partially sleep deprived adolescents: the need for sleep study

  4. Identifying Cognitive Mechanisms Targeted for Treatment Development in Schizophrenia: An Overview of the First Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (CNTRICS) Initiative

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Cameron S.; Barch, Deanna M.; Buchanan, Robert W.; Bullmore, Ed; Krystal, John H.; Cohen, Jonathan; Geyer, Mark; Green, Michael; Nuechterlein, Keith H.; Robbins, Trevor; Silverstein, Steven; Smith, Edward E.; Strauss, Milton; Wykes, Til; Heinssen, Robert

    2008-01-01

    This overview describes the generation and development of the ideas that led to the Cognitive Neuroscience Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (CNTRICS) initiative. It also describes the organization, process and products of the first meeting. The CNTRICS initiative involves a series of three conferences that will systematically address barriers to translating paradigms developed in the basic animal and human cognitive neuroscience fields for use in translational research aimed at developing novel treatments for cognitive impairments in schizophrenia. The articles in this special section report on the results of the first conference, which used a criterion based consensus-building process to develop a set of cognitive constructs to be targeted for translation efforts. PMID:18466880

  5. Social hierarchies and emotions: cortical prefrontal activity, facial feedback (EMG), and cognitive performance in a dynamic interaction.

    PubMed

    Balconi, Michela; Pagani, Silvia

    2015-04-01

    In the present research, we manipulated the perceived superior/inferior status during a competitive cognitive task. In two experiments, we created an explicit and strongly reinforced social hierarchy based on incidental rating on an attentional task. Based on our hypotheses, social rank may influence nonverbal cues (such as facial mimic related to emotional response), cortical lateralized activity in frontal areas (brain oscillations), and cognitive outcomes in response to rank modulation. Thus, the facial mimic (corrugators vs. zygomatic muscle activity), frequency bands (delta, theta, alpha, beta), and real cognitive performance [(error rate (ER); response times (RTs)] were considered. Specifically, a peer-group comparison was enrolled and an improved (experiment 1, N = 29) or decreased (experiment 2, N = 31) performance was artificially manipulated by the experimenter. Results showed a significant improved cognitive performance (decreased ER and RTs), an increased zygomatic activity (positive emotions), and a more prefrontal left-lateralized cortical response in the case of a perceived increased social ranking. On the contrary, a significant decreased cognitive performance (increased ER and RTs), an increased corrugators activity (negative emotions), and a less left-lateralized cortical response were observed as a consequence of a perceived decreased social ranking. Moreover, the correlational values revealed a consistent trend between behavioral (RTs) and EMG and EEG measures for both experiments. The present results suggest that social status not only guides social behavior, but it also influences cognitive processes and subjects' performance. PMID:25372808

  6. The Effect of a Six-Month Dancing Program on Motor-Cognitive Dual-Task Performance in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Hamacher, Dennis; Hamacher, Daniel; Rehfeld, Kathrin; Hökelmann, Anita; Schega, Lutz

    2015-10-01

    Dancing is a complex sensorimotor activity involving physical and mental elements which have positive effects on cognitive functions and motor control. The present randomized controlled trial aims to analyze the effects of a dancing program on the performance on a motor-cognitive dual task. Data of 35 older adults, who were assigned to a dancing group or a health-related exercise group, are presented in the study. In pretest and posttest, we assessed cognitive performance and variability of minimum foot clearance, stride time, and stride length while walking. Regarding the cognitive performance and the stride-to-stride variability of minimum foot clearance, interaction effects have been found, indicating that dancing lowers gait variability to a higher extent than conventional health-related exercise. The data show that dancing improves minimum foot clearance variability and cognitive performance in a dual-task situation. Multi-task exercises (like dancing) might be a powerful tool to improve motor-cognitive dual-task performance. PMID:25642826

  7. Socially triggered negative affect impairs performance in simple cognitive tasks.

    PubMed

    Böttcher, Svenja; Dreisbach, Gesine

    2014-03-01

    The aim of this research was to investigate the influence of a social-evaluative context on simple cognitive tasks. While another person present in the room evaluated photographs of beautiful women or landscapes by beauty/attractiveness, female participants had to perform a combination of digit-categorization and spatial-compatibility task. There, before every trial, one of the women or landscape pictures was presented. Results showed selective performance impairments: the numerical distance effects increased on trials that followed women pictures but only, if another person concurrently evaluated these women pictures. In a second experiment, using the affective priming paradigm, the authors show that female pictures have a more negative connotation when they are concurrently evaluated by another person (social-evaluative context) than when they are not evaluated (neutral context). Together, these results suggest that the social-evaluative context triggers mild negative affective reactions to women pictures which then impair performance in an unrelated task. PMID:23423348

  8. Improving older adults’ memory performance using prior task success

    PubMed Central

    Geraci, Lisa; Miller, Tyler M.

    2012-01-01

    Holding negative aging stereotypes can lead older adults to perform poorly on memory tests. We attempted to improve older adults’ memory performance by giving them task experience that would counter their negative performance expectations. Before participating in a memory experiment, younger and older adults were given a cognitive task that they could either successfully complete, not successfully complete, or they were given no prior task. For older adults, recall was significantly higher and self-reported anxiety was significantly lower for the prior task success group relative to the other groups. There was no effect of prior task experience on younger adults’ memory performance. Results suggest that older adults’ memory can be improved with a single successful prior task experience. PMID:23066803

  9. Age-Specific Associations between Emotional Responses to Separation and Cognitive Performance in Infancy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Marc D.; And Others

    1997-01-01

    Examined claim that associations between emotional responses to maternal separation and cognitive performance would change with cognitive development over the first year. Emphasized the measurement of separation and reunion distress. Found that emotional responses and cognitive performance may be linked by individual differences in self-regulation…

  10. Gear Performance Improved by Coating

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krantz, Timothy L.

    2004-01-01

    run until either surface fatigue occurred or 300 million stress cycles were completed. Tests were run using either a pair of uncoated gears or a pair of coated gears (coated gears mated with uncoated gears were not evaluated). The fatigue test results, shown on Weibull coordinates in the graph, demonstrate that the coating provided substantially longer fatigue lives even though some of the coated gears endured larger stresses. The increase in fatigue life was a factor of about 5 and the statistical confidence for the improvement is high (greater than 99 percent). Examination of the tested gears revealed substantial reductions of total wear for coated gears in comparison to uncoated gears. The coated gear surface topography changed with running, with localized areas of the tooth surface becoming smoother with running. Theories explaining how coatings can extend gear fatigue lives are research topics for coating, tribology, and fatigue specialists. This work was done as a partnership between NASA, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, United Technologies Research Corporation, and Sikorsky Aircraft.

  11. A Narrative Review of Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity to Cognition and Scholastic Performance across the Human Lifespan123

    PubMed Central

    Burkhalter, Toni M.; Hillman, Charles H.

    2011-01-01

    We reviewed studies that examine the relationship of energy consumption, storage, and expenditure to cognition and scholastic performance. Specifically, the literature base on nutrient intake, body mass, and physical activity is described relative to cognitive development and academic achievement. The review of literature regarding the overconsumption of energy and excess body mass suggests poorer academic achievement during development and greater decay of brain structure and function accompanied by increased cognitive aging during older adulthood. The review of literature regarding energy expenditure through the adoption of increased physical activity participation suggests increased cognitive health and function. Although this area of study is in its infancy, the preliminary data are promising and matched with the declining physical health of industrialized nations; this area of science could provide insight aimed at improving brain health and cognitive function across the human lifespan. PMID:22332052

  12. Generalized and Specific Cognitive Performance in Clinical High-Risk Cohorts: A Review Highlighting Potential Vulnerability Markers for Psychosis

    PubMed Central

    Brewer, Warrick J.; Wood, Stephen J.; Phillips, Lisa J.; Francey, Shona M.; Pantelis, Christos; Yung, Alison R.; Cornblatt, Barbara; McGorry, Patrick D.

    2006-01-01

    Cognitive deficits are a core feature of established psychotic illnesses. However, the association between cognition and emerging psychosis is less understood. While there is some evidence that cognitive deficits are present prior to the onset of psychosis, findings are not consistent. In this article we provide an overview of the more general cognitive findings available from genetic high-risk studies, retrospective studies, and birth cohort studies. We then focus the review on neuropsychological performance in clinically “at-risk” groups. Overall, general cognitive ability as assessed by established batteries appears to remain relatively intact in these ultra-high risk cohorts and is a poor predictor close to illness onset relative to other vulnerability factors. Further decline may occur with illness progression, more consistent with state relative to trait factors. In addition, most established cognitive tasks involve several relatively discrete cognitive subprocesses, where findings from general batteries of subtests may mask specific deficits. In this context, our review suggests that relatively specific olfactory identification and spatial working memory deficits exist prior to illness onset and may be more potent trait markers for psychosis than cognitively dense tasks such as verbal memory. Suggestions for further research address the importance of standardization of inclusion criteria and the maintenance of basic neuropsychological assessment to allow better comparison of findings across centers. Further, in order to better understand the aetiopathology of cognitive dysfunction in psychosis, more experimental, hypothesis-driven measures of discrete cognitive processes are required. Delineation of the relationship between specific cognitive ability and symptoms from data-driven approaches may improve our understanding of the role of cognition during psychosis onset. PMID:16782759

  13. Key Competencies Required of Performance Improvement Professionals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guerra, Ingrid J.

    2003-01-01

    Describes a study that identified competencies required of competent performance improvement professionals and determined how often performance improvement practitioners believed they should be, and are, currently applying each of the identified competencies. Reports on correlations between what they believe they should apply and what they are…

  14. Restoring Executive Confidence in Performance Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seidman, William; McCauley, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Many organizations have significantly decreased their investment in performance improvement initiatives because they believe they are too risky. In fact, organizations should invest in performance improvements to build cash reserves and gain market share. Recent scientific breakthroughs have led to the development of methodologies and technologies…

  15. Aerobic exercise improves cognition for older adults with glucose intolerance, a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Baker, Laura D; Frank, Laura L; Foster-Schubert, Karen; Green, Pattie S; Wilkinson, Charles W; McTiernan, Anne; Cholerton, Brenna A; Plymate, Stephen R; Fishel, Mark A; Watson, G Stennis; Duncan, Glen E; Mehta, Pankaj D; Craft, Suzanne

    2010-01-01

    Impaired glucose regulation is a defining characteristic of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) pathology and has been linked to increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. Although the benefits of aerobic exercise for physical health are well-documented, exercise effects on cognition have not been examined for older adults with poor glucose regulation associated with prediabetes and early T2DM. Using a randomized controlled design, twenty-eight adults (57-83 y old) meeting 2-h tolerance test criteria for glucose intolerance completed 6 months of aerobic exercise or stretching, which served as the control. The primary cognitive outcomes included measures of executive function (Trails B, Task Switching, Stroop, Self-ordered Pointing Test, and Verbal Fluency). Other outcomes included memory performance (Story Recall, List Learning), measures of cardiorespiratory fitness obtained via maximal-graded exercise treadmill test, glucose disposal during hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, body fat, and fasting plasma levels of insulin, cortisol, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, insulin-like growth factor-1, amyloid-β (Aβ40 and Aβ42). Six months of aerobic exercise improved executive function (MANCOVA, p=0.04), cardiorespiratory fitness (MANOVA, p=0.03), and insulin sensitivity (p=0.05). Across all subjects, 6-month changes in cardiorespiratory fitness and insulin sensitivity were positively correlated (p=0.01). For Aβ42, plasma levels tended to decrease for the aerobic group relative to controls (p=0.07). The results of our study using rigorous controlled methodology suggest a cognition-enhancing effect of aerobic exercise for older glucose intolerant adults. Although replication in a larger sample is needed, our findings potentially have important therapeutic implications for a growing number of adults at increased risk of cognitive decline. PMID:20847403

  16. Cognition, study habits, test anxiety, and academic performance.

    PubMed

    Kleijn, W C; van der Ploeg, H M; Topman, R M

    1994-12-01

    The Study Management and Academic Results Test (SMART) was developed to measure study- and examination-related cognitions, time management, and study strategies. This questionnaire was used in three prospective studies, together with measures for optimism and test anxiety. In the first two studies, done among 253 first-year students enrolled in four different faculties, the highest significant correlations with academic performance were found for the SMART scales. In a replication study among first-year medical students (n = 156) at a different university, the same pattern of results was observed. A stepwise multiple regression analysis, with academic performance as a dependent variable, showed significant correlations only for the SMART Test Competence and Time Management (Multiple R = .61). Results give specific indications about the profile of successful students. PMID:7892384

  17. Prospective memory performance of patients with Parkinson's disease depends on shifting aptitude: evidence from cognitive rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Costa, Alberto; Peppe, Antonella; Serafini, Francesca; Zabberoni, Silvia; Barban, Francesco; Caltagirone, Carlo; Carlesimo, Giovanni Augusto

    2014-08-01

    This study investigated the effect of cognitive training aimed at improving shifting ability on Parkinson's disease (PD) patients' performance of prospective memory (PM) tasks. Using a double-blind protocol, 17 PD patients were randomly assigned to two experimental arms. In the first arm (n=9) shifting training was administered, and in the second (placebo) arm (n=8), language and respiratory exercises. Both treatments consisted of 12 sessions executed over 4 weeks. PM and shifting measures (i.e., Trail Making Test and Alternate Fluency Test) were administered at T0 (before treatment) and T1 (immediately after treatment). A mixed analysis of variance was applied to the data. To evaluate the effects of treatment, the key effect was the interaction between Group (experimental vs. placebo) and Time of Assessment (T0 vs. T1). This interaction was significant for the accuracy indices of the PM procedure (p<.05) and for the performance parameters of the shifting tasks (p ≤.05). Tukey's HSD tests showed that in all cases passing from T0 to T1 performance significantly improved in the experimental group (in all cases p ≤.02) but remained unchanged in the placebo group (all p consistently>.10). The performance change passing from T0 to T1 on the Alternate Fluency test and the PM procedure was significantly correlated (p<.05). Results show that the cognitive training significantly improved PD patients' event-based PM performance and suggest that their poor PM functioning might be related to reduced shifting abilities. PMID:24967725

  18. Improvements in manual dexterity relate to improvements in cognitive planning after assisted cycling therapy (ACT) in adolescents with down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Holzapfel, Simon D; Ringenbach, Shannon D R; Mulvey, Genna M; Sandoval-Menendez, Amber M; Cook, Megan R; Ganger, Rachel O; Bennett, Kristen

    2015-01-01

    We have previously reported beneficial effects of acute (i.e., single session) Assisted Cycling Therapy (ACT) on manual dexterity and cognitive planning ability in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS). In the present study, we report the chronic effects of eight weeks of ACT, voluntary cycling (VC), and no cycling (NC), on the same measures in adolescents with DS. Participants completed 8 weeks of ACT, VC, or NC. Those in the ACT and VC groups completed 30min sessions three times per week on a stationary bicycle. During ACT, the mechanical motor of the bicycle augmented the cadence to a rate which was on average 79% faster than the voluntary cadence. During VC, the participants pedaled at a self-selected rate. Unimanual dexterity scores as measured with the Purdue Pegboard test (PPT) improved significantly more for the ACT and VC groups compared to the NC group. ACT lead to greater improvements than VC and NC in the assembly sub-test, which is a task that requires more advanced temporal and spatial processing. The ACT group improved significantly more than the VC group and non-significantly more than the NC group in cognitive planning ability as measured by the Tower of London test (ToL). There were also significant correlations between the assembly subtest of the PPT and all measures of the ToL. These correlations were stronger during post-testing than pre-testing. Pre-post changes in the combined PPT score and ToL number of correct moves correlated positively in the ACT group. These results support the efficacy of the salutary effects of ACT on global fine motor function and executive function in DS. Additionally, the performance on complex bimanual dexterity tasks appears to be related to the capacity of cognitive planning ability. This research has important implications for persons with movement deficits that affect activities of daily living. PMID:26280691

  19. Improving performance in a contracted physician network.

    PubMed

    Smith, A L; Epstein, A L

    1999-01-01

    Health care organizations face significant performance challenges. Achieving desired results requires the highest level of partnership with independent physicians. Tufts Health Plan invited medical directors of its affiliated groups to participate in a leadership development process to improve clinical, service, and business performance. The design included performance review, gap analysis, priority setting, improvement work plans, and defining the optimum practice culture. Medical directors practiced core leadership capabilities, including building a shared context, getting physician buy-in, and managing outliers. The peer learning environment has been sustained in redesigned medical directors' meetings. There has been significant performance improvement in several practices and enhanced relations between the health plan and medical directors. PMID:10788102

  20. Subjective Perception of Cognition is Related to Mood and Not Performance

    PubMed Central

    Marino, SE; Meador, KJ; Loring, DW; Okun, MS; Fernandez, HH; Fessler, AJ; Kustra, RP; Miller, JM; Ray, PG; Roy, A; Schoenberg, MR; Vahle, VJ; Werz, MA

    2009-01-01

    Background Clinicians monitor cognitive effects of drugs primarily by asking patients to describe their side effects. We examined the relationship of subjective perception of cognition to mood and objective cognitive performance in healthy volunteers and neurological patients. Methods Three separate experiments using healthy adults treated with lamotrigine (LTG) and topiramate (TPM), adults with epilepsy on LTG or TPM, and patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. Correlations were calculated for change scores on and off drugs in the first two experiments and for the single assessment in experiment three. Results Across all three experiments, significant correlations were more frequent (Chi square = 259; p≤.000) for mood vs. subjective cognitive perception (59%) compared to subjective vs. objective cognition (2%) and mood vs. objective cognitive performance (2%). Conclusions Subjective perception of cognitive effects is related more to mood than objective performance. Clinicians should be aware of this relation when assessing patients’ cognitive complaints. PMID:19130899

  1. Functional relationship between cognitive representations of movement directions and visuomotor adaptation performance.

    PubMed

    Lex, Heiko; Weigelt, Matthias; Knoblauch, Andreas; Schack, Thomas

    2012-12-01

    The aim of our study was to explore whether or not different types of learners in a sensorimotor task possess characteristically different cognitive representations. Participants' sensorimotor adaptation performance was measured with a pointing paradigm which used a distortion of the visual feedback in terms of a left-right reversal. The structure of cognitive representations was assessed using a newly established experimental method, the Cognitive Measurement of Represented Directions. A post hoc analysis revealed inter-individual differences in participants' adaptation performance, and three different skill levels (skilled, average, and poor adapters) have been defined. These differences in performance were correlated with the structure of participants' cognitive representations of movement directions. Analysis of these cognitive representations revealed performance advantages for participants possessing a global cognitive representation of movement directions (aligned to cardinal movement axes), rather than a local representation (aligned to each neighboring direction). Our findings are evidence that cognitive representation structures play a functional role in adaptation performance. PMID:23007723

  2. Human performance cognitive-behavioral modeling: a benefit for occupational safety

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gore, Brian F.

    2002-01-01

    Human Performance Modeling (HPM) is a computer-aided job analysis software methodology used to generate predictions of complex human-automation integration and system flow patterns with the goal of improving operator and system safety. The use of HPM tools has recently been increasing due to reductions in computational cost, augmentations in the tools' fidelity, and usefulness in the generated output. An examination of an Air Man-machine Integration Design and Analysis System (Air MIDAS) model evaluating complex human-automation integration currently underway at NASA Ames Research Center will highlight the importance to occupational safety of considering both cognitive and physical aspects of performance when researching human error.

  3. Human performance cognitive-behavioral modeling: a benefit for occupational safety.

    PubMed

    Gore, Brian F

    2002-01-01

    Human Performance Modeling (HPM) is a computer-aided job analysis software methodology used to generate predictions of complex human-automation integration and system flow patterns with the goal of improving operator and system safety. The use of HPM tools has recently been increasing due to reductions in computational cost, augmentations in the tools' fidelity, and usefulness in the generated output. An examination of an Air Man-machine Integration Design and Analysis System (Air MIDAS) model evaluating complex human-automation integration currently underway at NASA Ames Research Center will highlight the importance to occupational safety of considering both cognitive and physical aspects of performance when researching human error. PMID:12189105

  4. The influence of exercise on prefrontal cortex activity and cognitive performance during a simulated space flight to Mars (MARS500).

    PubMed

    Schneider, Stefan; Abeln, Vera; Popova, Julia; Fomina, Elena; Jacubowski, Amrei; Meeusen, Romain; Strüder, Heiko K

    2013-01-01

    With respect to the plans of national and internationals space agencies to send people to Mars or Moon, long-term isolation studies are performed to learn about the psycho-physiological and psycho-social limitations of such missions. From June 3rd 2010 to November 4th 2011 six participants lived under totally isolated and confined conditions in the MARS500 habitat located in Moscow. Despite the possibility to mimic the condition of space travel, this study allowed for experimental conditions under very reliable and traceable conditions. As exercise is widely discussed to have a positive impact on neuro-cognitive performance, this study aimed to test the effect of different exercise protocol (endurance/strength orientated) on brain cortical activity and cognitive performance. Brain cortical activity was recorded using a 16 channel EEG before and after exercise across the 520 days of confinement. Cognitive performance was assessed using three commercially available brain games. Following the theory of transient hypofrontality, results show a significant decrease of frontal brain cortical activity after exercise (p<.05) which was most expressed after endurance orientated protocols. Cognitive performance was improved following running sessions on an active treadmill (p<.05). Results let us assume that not exercise per se acts as a neuro-enhancer. It is more likely that a general defocusing caused by an immersion into exercise is necessary to improve cognitive performance. PMID:22944515

  5. How does emotion influence different creative performances? The mediating role of cognitive flexibility.

    PubMed

    Lin, Wei-Lun; Tsai, Ping-Hsun; Lin, Hung-Yu; Chen, Hsueh-Chih

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive flexibility is proposed to be one of the factors underlying how positive emotions can improve creativity. However, previous works have seldom set up or empirically measured an independent index to demonstrate its mediating effect, nor have they investigated its mediating role on different types of creative performances, which involve distinct processes. In this study, 120 participants were randomly assigned to positive, neutral or negative affect conditions. Their levels of cognitive flexibility were then measured by a switch task. Finally, their creative performances were calibrated by either an open-ended divergent thinking test or a closed-ended insight problem-solving task. The results showed that positive emotional states could reduce switch costs and enhance both types of creative performances. However, cognitive flexibility exhibited a full mediating effect only on the relationship between positive emotion and insight problem solving, but not between positive emotion and divergent thinking. Divergent thinking was instead more associated with arousal level. These results suggest that emotions might influence different creative performances through distinct mechanisms. PMID:24237485

  6. Noise Affects Performance on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.

    PubMed

    Dupuis, Kate; Marchuk, Veronica; Pichora-Fuller, M Kathleen

    2016-09-01

    We investigated the effect of background noise on performance on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Two groups of older adults (one with clinically normal hearing, one with hearing loss) and a younger adult group with clinically normal hearing were administered two versions of the MoCA under headphones in low and high levels of background noise. Intensity levels used to present the test were customized based on the hearing abilities of participants with hearing loss to yield a uniform level of difficulty across listeners in the high-level noise condition. Both older groups had poorer MoCA scores in noise than the younger group. Importantly, all participants had poorer MoCA scores in the high-noise (M = 22.7/30) compared to the low-noise condition (M = 25.7/30, p < .001). Results suggest that background noise in the test environment should be considered when cognitive tests are conducted and results interpreted, especially when testing older adults. PMID:27345572

  7. Heritability in Cognitive Performance: Evidence Using Computer-Based Testing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hervey, Aaron S.; Greenfield, Kathryn; Gualtieri, C. Thomas

    2012-01-01

    There is overwhelming evidence of genetic influence on cognition. The effect is seen in general cognitive ability, as well as in specific cognitive domains. A conventional assessment approach using face-to-face paper and pencil testing is difficult for large-scale studies. Computerized neurocognitive testing is a suitable alternative. A total of…

  8. The aging memory: Modulating epigenetic modifications to improve cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, Rosalina

    2016-09-01

    Age-related cognitive decline is a major concern in society. Here, I discuss recent evidence that shows an age-related modulation of gene transcription by epigenetic modifications. Epigenetic modifications, such as histone acetylation, is unbalanced in aging, with an increase in histone deacetylation, that limits the expression of plasticity-related genes. By modifying the balance towards histone acetylation, histone deacetylase inhibitors present a new pharmacological approach to ameliorate age-related cognitive deficits. PMID:27390098

  9. Cognitively impaired elderly exhibit insulin resistance and no memory improvement with infused insulin.

    PubMed

    Morris, Jill K; Vidoni, Eric D; Mahnken, Jonathan D; Montgomery, Robert N; Johnson, David K; Thyfault, John P; Burns, Jeffrey M

    2016-03-01

    Insulin resistance is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), although its role in AD etiology is unclear. We assessed insulin resistance using fasting and insulin-stimulated measures in 51 elderly subjects with no dementia (ND; n = 37) and with cognitive impairment (CI; n = 14). CI subjects exhibited either mild CI or AD. Fasting insulin resistance was measured using the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Insulin-stimulated glucose disposal was assessed using the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp to calculate glucose disposal rate into lean mass, the primary site of insulin-stimulated glucose disposal. Because insulin crosses the blood-brain barrier, we also assessed whether insulin infusion would improve verbal episodic memory compared to baseline. Different but equivalent versions of cognitive tests were administered in counterbalanced order in the basal and insulin-stimulated state. Groups did not differ in age or body mass index. Cognitively impaired subjects exhibited greater insulin resistance as measured at fasting (HOMA-IR; ND: 1.09 [1.1] vs. CI: 2.01 [2.3], p = 0.028) and during the hyperinsulinemic clamp (glucose disposal rate into lean mass; ND: 9.9 (4.5) vs. AD 7.2 (3.2), p = 0.040). Cognitively impaired subjects also exhibited higher fasting insulin compared to ND subjects, (CI: 8.7 [7.8] vs. ND: 4.2 [3.8] μU/mL; p = 0.023) and higher fasting amylin (CI: 24.1 [39.1] vs. 8.37 [14.2]; p = 0.050) with no difference in fasting glucose. Insulin infusion elicited a detrimental effect on one test of verbal episodic memory (Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test) in both groups (p < 0.0001) and no change in performance on an additional task (delayed logical memory). In this study, although insulin resistance was observed in cognitively impaired subjects compared to ND controls, insulin infusion did not improve memory. Furthermore, a significant correlation between HOMA-IR and glucose disposal rate was present only in ND

  10. Social Cognitive Career Theory, Conscientiousness, and Work Performance: A Meta-Analytic Path Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Steven D.; Lent, Robert W.; Telander, Kyle; Tramayne, Selena

    2011-01-01

    We performed a meta-analytic path analysis of an abbreviated version of social cognitive career theory's (SCCT) model of work performance (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994). The model we tested included the central cognitive predictors of performance (ability, self-efficacy, performance goals), with the exception of outcome expectations. Results…

  11. [Cognitive impairments in alcohol dependence: From screening to treatment improvements].

    PubMed

    Cabé, N; Laniepce, A; Ritz, L; Lannuzel, C; Boudehent, C; Vabret, F; Eustache, F; Beaunieux, H; Pitel, A-L

    2016-02-01

    Alcohol-related cognitive impairments are largely underestimated in clinical practice, even though they could limit the benefit of alcohol treatment and hamper the patient's ability to remain abstinent or to respect his/her therapeutic contract. These neuropsychological deficits can impact the management of patients well before the development of the well-known Korsakoff's syndrome. Indeed, even in the absence of ostensible neurological complications, excessive and chronic alcohol consumption results in damage of brain structure and function. The frontocerebellar circuit and the circuit of Papez, respectively involved in motor and executive abilities and episodic memory, are mainly affected. Those brain dysfunctions are associated with neuropsychological deficits, including deficits of executive functions, episodic memory, social cognition, as well as visuospatial and motor abilities. Such cognitive disorders can interfere with the motivation process to abandon maladjusted drinking behavior in favor of a healthier lifestyle (such as abstinence or controlled alcohol consumption). They can also limit the patient's capacity to fully benefit from treatment (notably psychoeducation and cognitive-behavioural treatments) currently widely proposed in French Addiction departments. In addition, they may contribute to relapse which is multi-determinated. A neuropsychological assessment appears therefore crucial to take relevant clinical decisions. However, very few addiction departments have the human and financial resources to conduct an extensive neuropsychological examination of all patients with alcohol dependence. Some brief screening tools can be used, notably the MOntreal Cognitive Assessment and the Brief Evaluation of Alcohol-Related Neuropsychological Impairments, which has been especially designed to assess cognitive and motor deficits in alcoholism. These tools can be used by non-psychologist clinicians to detect alcohol-related cognitive deficits, which require

  12. The Relationship between the Need for Cognition, Metacognition, and Intellectual Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coutinho, Savia A.

    2006-01-01

    This study examined the relationship between the need for cognition, defined as the tendency to engage in effortful cognitive activity, and metacognition which is one's thinking about thinking and how these variables relate to intellectual task performance. Participants completed measures of need for cognition, metacognition, and problem-solved…

  13. Rest improves performance, nature improves happiness: Assessment of break periods on the abbreviated vigilance task.

    PubMed

    Finkbeiner, Kristin M; Russell, Paul N; Helton, William S

    2016-05-01

    The abbreviated vigilance task can quickly generate vigilance decrements, which has been argued is due to depletion of cognitive resources needed to sustain performance. Researchers suggest inclusion of rest breaks within vigilance tasks improve overall performance (Helton & Russell, 2015; Ross, Russell, & Helton, 2014), while different types of breaks demonstrate different effects. Some literature suggests exposure to natural movements/stimuli helps restore attention (Herzog, Black, Fountaine, & Knotts, 1997; Kaplan, 1995). Participants were randomly assigned to one experimental condition: dog video breaks, robot video breaks, countdown breaks or continuous vigilance. We assessed task performance and subjective reports of stress/workload. The continuous group displayed worst performance, suggesting breaks help restore attention. The dog videos did not affect performance, however, decreased reports of distress. These results support the importance of rest breaks and acknowledge the benefit of natural stimuli for promoting wellbeing/stress relief, overall suggesting performance and wellbeing may be independent, which warrants future studies. PMID:27089530

  14. Alterations in cognitive performance during passive hyperthermia are task dependent

    PubMed Central

    Gaoua, Nadia; Racinais, Sebastien; Grantham, Justin; Massioui, Farid El

    2011-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to (1) assess the effect of passive heating upon attention and memory task performance, and (2) evaluate the effectiveness of the application of cold packs to the head on preserving these functions. Using a counterbalance design 16 subjects underwent three trials: a control (CON, 20°C, 40% rH), hot (HOT, 50°C, 50% rH) and hot with the head kept cool (HHC). In each condition, three attention tests and two memory tests were performed. Mean core, forehead and tympanic temperatures were all significantly higher (p< 0.05) during HOT (38.6° ±0.1°, 39.6° ±0.2° and 38.8°±0.1°C, respectively) and HHC (38°±0.2, 37.7°±0.3° and 37.7°C, respectively) than in CON (37.1°±0.6°, 33.3° ±0.2° and 35.9°±0.3°C, respectively). Results indicate that there was impairment in working memory with heat exposure (p < 0.05) without alteration in attentional processes. The regular application of cold packs only prevented the detrimental effect of hyperthermia on short-term memory. Our results show that impairments in cognitive function with passive hyperthermia and the beneficial effect of head cooling are task dependent and suggests that exposure to a hot environment is a competing variable to the cognitive processes. PMID:21070137

  15. Embodied Action Improves Cognition in Children: Evidence from a Study Based on Piagetian Conservation Tasks.

    PubMed

    Lozada, Mariana; Carro, Natalia

    2016-01-01

    Converging evidence highlights the relevance of embodied cognition in learning processes. In this study we evaluate whether embodied action (enaction) improves cognitive understanding in children. Using the Piagetian conservation tasks in 6-7 year olds, we analyzed quantity conservation conceptualization in children who were active participants in the transformation process and compared these results to those of children who were mere observers of an adult's demonstration (as traditionally conducted). The investigation was performed with 105 first-graders. Conservation tasks were demonstrated to half the children, while the other half actively carried out the transformation of matter. Our findings showed that active manipulation of the material helped children recognize quantity invariance in a higher proportion than when the demonstration was only observed. That is, their enactive experience enabled them to comprehend conservation phenomena more easily than if they were merely passive observers. The outcome of this research thus emphasizes how active participation benefits cognitive processes in learning contexts, promoting autonomy, and agency during childhood. PMID:27047420

  16. Embodied Action Improves Cognition in Children: Evidence from a Study Based on Piagetian Conservation Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Lozada, Mariana; Carro, Natalia

    2016-01-01

    Converging evidence highlights the relevance of embodied cognition in learning processes. In this study we evaluate whether embodied action (enaction) improves cognitive understanding in children. Using the Piagetian conservation tasks in 6–7 year olds, we analyzed quantity conservation conceptualization in children who were active participants in the transformation process and compared these results to those of children who were mere observers of an adult's demonstration (as traditionally conducted). The investigation was performed with 105 first-graders. Conservation tasks were demonstrated to half the children, while the other half actively carried out the transformation of matter. Our findings showed that active manipulation of the material helped children recognize quantity invariance in a higher proportion than when the demonstration was only observed. That is, their enactive experience enabled them to comprehend conservation phenomena more easily than if they were merely passive observers. The outcome of this research thus emphasizes how active participation benefits cognitive processes in learning contexts, promoting autonomy, and agency during childhood. PMID:27047420

  17. An innovative intervention for the treatment of cognitive impairment–Emisymmetric bilateral stimulation improves cognitive functions in Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment: an open-label study

    PubMed Central

    Guerriero, Fabio; Botarelli, Emanuele; Mele, Gianni; Polo, Lorenzo; Zoncu, Daniele; Renati, Paolo; Sgarlata, Carmelo; Rollone, Marco; Ricevuti, Giovanni; Maurizi, Niccolo; Francis, Matthew; Rondanelli, Mariangela; Perna, Simone; Guido, Davide; Mannu, Piero

    2015-01-01

    Background and aims In the last decade, the development of different methods of brain stimulation by electromagnetic fields (EMF) provides a promising therapeutic tool for subjects with impaired cognitive functions. Emisymmetric bilateral stimulation (EBS) is a novel and innovative EMF brain stimulation, whose working principle is to introduce very weak noise-like stimuli through EMF to trigger self-arrangements in the cortex of treated subjects, thereby improving cognitive faculties. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate in patients with cognitive impairment the effectiveness of EBS treatment with respect to global cognitive function, episodic memory, and executive functions. Methods Fourteen patients with cognitive decline (six with mild cognitive impairment and eight with Alzheimer’s disease) underwent three EBS applications per week to both the cerebral cortex and auricular-specific sites for a total of 5 weeks. At baseline, after 2 weeks and 5 weeks, a neuropsychological assessment was performed through mini–mental state examination, free and cued selective reminding tests, and trail making test. As secondary outcomes, changes in behavior, functionality, and quality of life were also evaluated. Results After 5 weeks of standardized EBS therapy, significant improvements were observed in all neurocognitive assessments. Mini–mental state examination score significantly increased from baseline to end treatment (+3.19, P=0.002). Assessment of episodic memory showed an improvement both in immediate and delayed recalls (immediate recall =+7.57, P=0.003; delayed recall =+4.78, P<0.001). Executive functions significantly improved from baseline to end stimulation (trail making test A −53.35 seconds; P=0.001). Of note, behavioral disorders assessed through neuropsychiatric inventory significantly decreased (−28.78, P<0.001). The analysis concerning the Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment group confirmed a significant improvement of

  18. Multifocal Clinical Performance Improvement Across 21 Hospitals

    PubMed Central

    Skeath, Melinda; Whippy, Alan

    2015-01-01

    Abstract: Improving quality and safety across an entire healthcare system in multiple clinical areas within a short time frame is challenging. We describe our experience with improving inpatient quality and safety at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. The foundations of performance improvement are a “four-wheel drive” approach and a comprehensive driver diagram linking improvement goals to focal areas. By the end of 2011, substantial improvements occurred in hospital-acquired infections (central-line–associated bloodstream infections and Clostridium difficile infections); falls; hospital-acquired pressure ulcers; high-alert medication and surgical safety; sepsis care; critical care; and The Joint Commission core measures. PMID:26247072

  19. Dried bonito broth improves cognitive function via the histaminergic system in mice.

    PubMed

    Nozawa, Yoshizu; Mimura, Masako; Yamada, Keiko; Sugita, Mayu; Shibakusa, Tetsuro; Koyama, Naoto

    2014-01-01

    Bonito extract, i.e., dried bonito broth (DBB), has been reported to counteract mental fatigue and to increase performance in a simple calculation task, but the mechanism by which DBB increases task performance is not known. The brain neurotransmitter histamine is biosynthesized only from histidine in the tuberomammillary nucleus. Histamine neurons are projected to almost all areas of the cerebral cortex, and histamine has various behavioral and neurobiological functions, particularly in recognition memory. Here we used a mouse model to investigate the effects of the oral ingestion of DBB, which contains abundant histidine, as well as the ingestion of histidine on cognitive function. In a retention trial of novel object recognition test, the administration of 1.6 g/kg of DBB and 500 mg/kg of histidine significantly increased the animals' exploratory behavior toward a novel object, and that these agents significantly increased the spontaneous alternation behavior ratio in a Y-maze under conditions of scopolamine-induced amnesia, which induced learning and memory impairment. These results suggested the improvement of spatial short-term working memory in a scopolamine amnesia model, as well as the strengthening of visual cognitive function by a single ingestion of DBB and histidine. Interestingly, the administration of αFMH, which is an inhibitor of histamine biosynthesis, eliminated the increase in the spontaneous alternation behavior ratio by DBB ingestion in the scopolamine-induced amnesia model, suggesting that DBB may improve working memory impairment via activation of the histaminergic neuron system. PMID:25355438

  20. Balance, sensorimotor, and cognitive performance in long-year expert senior ballroom dancers.

    PubMed

    Kattenstroth, Jan-Christoph; Kalisch, Tobias; Kolankowska, Izabela; Dinse, Hubert R

    2011-01-01

    Physical fitness is considered a major factor contributing to the maintenance of independent living and everyday competence. In line with this notion, it has been shown that several years of amateur dancing experience can exert beneficial effects not only on balance and posture but also on tactile, motor, and cognitive functions in older people. This raises the question of whether an even more extensive schedule of dancing, including competitive tournaments, would further enhance these positive effects. We therefore assessed posture, balance, and reaction times, as well as motor, tactile, and cognitive performance in older expert ballroom dancers with several years of competitive experience. We found substantially better performance in the expert group than in the controls in terms of expertise-related domains like posture, balance, and reaction times. However, there was no generalization of positive effects to those domains that were found to be improved in amateur dancers, such as tactile and cognitive performance, suggesting that there might be an optimal range of intervention intensity to maintain health and independence throughout the human lifespan. PMID:21961064

  1. Longitudinal Associations between Physical and Cognitive Performance among Community-Dwelling Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Tolea, Magdalena I.; Morris, John C.; Galvin, James E.

    2015-01-01

    To assess the directionality of the association between physical and cognitive decline in later life, we compared patterns of decline in performance across groups defined by baseline presence of cognitive and/or physical impairment [none (n = 217); physical only (n = 169); cognitive only (n = 158), or both (n = 220)] in a large sample of participants in a cognitive aging study at the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis who were followed for up to 8 years (3,079 observations). Rates of decline reached 20% for physical performance and varied across cognitive tests (global, memory, speed, executive function, and visuospatial skills). We found that physical decline was better predicted by baseline cognitive impairment (slope = -1.22, p<0.001), with baseline physical impairment not contributing to further decline in physical performance (slope = -0.25, p = 0.294). In turn, baseline physical impairment was only marginally associated with rate of cognitive decline across various cognitive domains. The cognitive-functional association is likely to operate in the direction of cognitive impairment to physical decline although physical impairment may also play a role in cognitive decline/dementia. Interventions to prevent further functional decline and development of disability and complete dependence may benefit if targeted to individuals with cognitive impairment who are at increased risk. PMID:25875165

  2. Perceptual Learning Improves Adult Amblyopic Vision Through Rule-Based Cognitive Compensation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jun-Yun; Cong, Lin-Juan; Klein, Stanley A.; Levi, Dennis M.; Yu, Cong

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. We investigated whether perceptual learning in adults with amblyopia could be enabled to transfer completely to an orthogonal orientation, which would suggest that amblyopic perceptual learning results mainly from high-level cognitive compensation, rather than plasticity in the amblyopic early visual brain. Methods. Nineteen adults (mean age = 22.5 years) with anisometropic and/or strabismic amblyopia were trained following a training-plus-exposure (TPE) protocol. The amblyopic eyes practiced contrast, orientation, or Vernier discrimination at one orientation for six to eight sessions. Then the amblyopic or nonamblyopic eyes were exposed to an orthogonal orientation via practicing an irrelevant task. Training was first performed at a lower spatial frequency (SF), then at a higher SF near the cutoff frequency of the amblyopic eye. Results. Perceptual learning was initially orientation specific. However, after exposure to the orthogonal orientation, learning transferred to an orthogonal orientation completely. Reversing the exposure and training order failed to produce transfer. Initial lower SF training led to broad improvement of contrast sensitivity, and later higher SF training led to more specific improvement at high SFs. Training improved visual acuity by 1.5 to 1.6 lines (P < 0.001) in the amblyopic eyes with computerized tests and a clinical E acuity chart. It also improved stereoacuity by 53% (P < 0.001). Conclusions. The complete transfer of learning suggests that perceptual learning in amblyopia may reflect high-level learning of rules for performing a visual discrimination task. These rules are applicable to new orientations to enable learning transfer. Therefore, perceptual learning may improve amblyopic vision mainly through rule-based cognitive compensation. PMID:24550359

  3. Targeting alertness to improve cognition in older adults: A preliminary report of benefits in executive function and skill acquisition.

    PubMed

    Van Vleet, Thomas M; DeGutis, Joseph M; Merzenich, Michael M; Simpson, Gregory V; Zomet, Ativ; Dabit, Sawsan

    2016-09-01

    Efficient self-regulation of alertness declines with age exacerbating normal declines in performance across multiple cognitive domains, including learning and skill acquisition. Previous cognitive intervention studies have shown that it is possible to enhance alertness in patients with acquired brain injury and marked attention impairments, and that this benefit generalizes to improvements in more global cognitive functions. In the current preliminary studies, we sought to test whether this approach, that targets both tonic (over a period of minutes) and phasic (moment-to-moment) alertness, can improve key executive functioning declines in older adults, and enhance the rate of skill acquisition. The results of both Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrate that, compared to active control (AC) training, alertness training significantly enhanced performance in several validated executive function measures. In Experiment 2, alertness training significantly improved skill acquisition compared to AC training in a well-characterized speed of processing (SOP) task, with the largest benefits shown in the most challenging SOP blocks. The results of the current study suggest that targeting intrinsic alertness through cognitive training provides a novel approach to improve executive functions in older adults and may be a useful adjunct treatment to enhance benefits gained in other clinically validated treatments. PMID:27372902

  4. Improvements in Iron Status and Cognitive Function in Young Women Consuming Beef or Non-Beef Lunches

    PubMed Central

    Blanton, Cynthia

    2013-01-01

    Iron status is associated with cognitive performance and intervention trials show that iron supplementation improves mental function in iron-deficient adults. However, no studies have tested the efficacy of naturally iron-rich food in this context. This investigation measured the hematologic and cognitive responses to moderate beef consumption in young women. Participants (n = 43; age 21.1 ± 0.4 years) were randomly assigned to a beef or non-beef protein lunch group [3-oz (85 g), 3 times weekly] for 16 weeks. Blood was sampled at baseline, and weeks 8 and 16, and cognitive performance was measured at baseline and week 16. Body iron increased in both lunch groups (p < 0.0001), with greater improvement demonstrated in women with lower baseline body iron (p < 0.0001). Body iron had significant beneficial effects on spatial working memory and planning speed (p < 0.05), and ferritin responders (n = 17) vs. non-responders (n = 26) showed significantly greater improvements in planning speed, spatial working memory strategy, and attention (p < 0.05). Lunch group had neither significant interactions with iron status nor consistent main effects on test performance. These findings support a relationship between iron status and cognition, but do not show a particular benefit of beef over non-beef protein consumption on either measure in young women. PMID:24379009

  5. Are Improvements in Cognitive Content and Depressive Symptoms Correlates or Mediators during Acute-Phase Cognitive Therapy for Recurrent Major Depressive Disorder?

    PubMed Central

    Vittengl, Jeffrey R.; Clark, Lee Anna; Thase, Michael E.; Jarrett, Robin B.

    2015-01-01

    The cognitive model of depression posits that cognitive therapy’s (CT) effect on depressive symptoms is mediated by changes in cognitive content (e.g., automatic negative thoughts dysfunctional attitudes, failure attributions). We tested improvement and normalization of cognitive content among outpatients (N = 523) with recurrent major depressive disorder treated with acute-phase CT (Jarrett & Thase, 2010; Jarrett et al., 2013). We also tested whether improvement in cognitive content accounted for subsequent changes in depressive symptoms and vice versa. Five measures of content improved substantively from pre- to post-CT (median d = 0.96), and the proportions of patients scoring in “healthy” ranges increased (median 45% to 82%). Evidence for cognitive mediation of symptom reduction was limited (median r = .06), as was evidence for symptom mediation of cognitive content improvement (median r = .07). We discuss measurement and design issues relevant to detection of mediators and consider alternative theories of change. PMID:26401194

  6. Towards improved measurement of cognitive and behavioural work demands.

    PubMed

    Lysaght, Rosemary; Shaw, Lynn; Almas, Andrea; Jogia, Anita; Larmour-Trode, Sherrey

    2008-01-01

    Determination of the cognitive and behavioural demands of work is an important part of holistic workplace intervention. Attention to these factors is especially important when developing return-to-work programs for persons with reduced cognitive, behavioural or psycho-emotional capacity, and when designing risk management programs in organizations. Occupational therapists have the background knowledge and skills to assess these components of work, but often lack valid and reliable measurement tools. This paper reports on three field studies that assessed the reliability and validity of ratings made by novice users of the City of Toronto Job Demands Analysis, which includes a measure of cognitive and behavioural work demands. Numerous challenges to accuracy and reliability that are common to empirical measurement were disclosed, including the necessity for clear and strong definitions, and the importance of thorough rater training. Implications for therapist training and mentorship are discussed. PMID:18820416

  7. Relationship between cognitive domains, physical performance, and gait in elderly and demented subjects.

    PubMed

    Bruce-Keller, Annadora J; Brouillette, Robert M; Tudor-Locke, Catrine; Foil, Heather C; Gahan, William P; Nye, Danielle M; Guillory, Leslie; Keller, Jeffrey N

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive function declines with age, with studies linking decreases in cognitive function to increased fall risk. The association between declines in specific cognitive domains and the development of gait and physical performance deficits has not been established. The current cross-sectional study was designed to address these issues using well characterized control subjects (n = 50), and individuals with early stage dementia (n = 50) tightly matched for age, gender, and education. All participants received detailed cognitive assessments for global cognitive function, as well as for processing speed, verbal fluency, and executive function. Additionally, participants were administered single- and dual-task gait assessments (GAITRite) and Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) measures of physical performance (gait, balance, chair stands). Data show that all measures of cognitive function correlated significantly with measures of gait and physical performance when analyzed in all subjects or just subjects with dementia. However, data also reveal that measures of processing speed and verbal fluency correlated significantly with multiple aspects of motor performance in non-demented, control subjects, even when corrected for age. There was no correlation between global cognitive function and motor performance, and only limited relationship between executive function and motor performance in non-demented, control subjects. These studies reveal the complex interactions between cognitive function and gait/physical performance in the context of aging and dementia, and suggest that impairments in specific cognitive domains might undermine gait and physical performance and thus exacerbate fall risk in the elderly. PMID:22466001

  8. How sleep deprivation affects psychological variables related to college students' cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Pilcher, J J; Walters, A S

    1997-11-01

    The effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance psychological variables related to cognitive performance were studied in 44 college students. Participants completed the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal after either 24 hours of sleep deprivation or approximately 8 hours of sleep. After completing the cognitive task, the participants completed 2 questionnaires, one assessing self-reported effort, concentration, and estimated performance, the other assessing off-task cognitions. As expected, sleep-deprived participants performed significantly worse than the nondeprived participants on the cognitive task. However, the sleep-deprived participants rated their concentration and effort higher than the nondeprived participants did. In addition, the sleep-deprived participants rated their estimated performance significantly higher than the nondeprived participants did. The findings indicate that college students are not aware of the extent to which sleep deprivation negatively affects their ability to complete cognitive tasks. PMID:9394089

  9. Striatal Volume Increases in Active Methamphetamine-Dependent Individuals and Correlation with Cognitive Performance

    PubMed Central

    Jan, Reem K.; Lin, Joanne C.; Miles, Sylvester W.; Kydd, Rob R.; Russell, Bruce R.

    2012-01-01

    The effect of methamphetamine (MA) dependence on the structure of the human brain has not been extensively studied, especially in active users. Previous studies reported cortical deficits and striatal gains in grey matter (GM) volume of abstinent MA abusers compared with control participants. This study aimed to investigate structural GM changes in the brains of 17 active MA-dependent participants compared with 20 control participants aged 18–46 years using voxel-based morphometry and region of interest volumetric analysis of structural magnetic resonance imaging data, and whether these changes might be associated with cognitive performance. Significant volume increases were observed in the right and left putamen and left nucleus accumbens of MA-dependent compared to control participants. The volumetric gain in the right putamen remained significant after Bonferroni correction, and was inversely correlated with the number of errors (standardised z-scores) on the Go/No-go task. MA-dependent participants exhibited cortical GM deficits in the left superior frontal and precentral gyri in comparison to control participants, although these findings did not survive correction for multiple comparisons. In conclusion, consistent with findings from previous studies of abstinent users, active chronic MA-dependent participants showed significant striatal enlargement which was associated with improved performance on the Go/No-go, a cognitive task of response inhibition and impulsivity. Striatal enlargement may reflect the involvement of neurotrophic effects, inflammation or microgliosis. However, since it was associated with improved cognitive function, it is likely to reflect a compensatory response to MA-induced neurotoxicity in the striatum, in order to maintain cognitive function. Follow-up studies are recommended to ascertain whether this effect continues to be present following abstinence. Several factors may have contributed to the lack of more substantial cortical and

  10. Cognitive Improvement after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Measured with Functional Neuroimaging during the Acute Period

    PubMed Central

    Wylie, Glenn R.; Freeman, Kalev; Thomas, Alex; Shpaner, Marina; OKeefe, Michael; Watts, Richard; Naylor, Magdalena R.

    2015-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging studies in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) have been largely limited to patients with persistent post-concussive symptoms, utilizing images obtained months to years after the actual head trauma. We sought to distinguish acute and delayed effects of mild traumatic brain injury on working memory functional brain activation patterns < 72 hours after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and again one-week later. We hypothesized that clinical and fMRI measures of working memory would be abnormal in symptomatic mTBI patients assessed < 72 hours after injury, with most patients showing clinical recovery (i.e., improvement in these measures) within 1 week after the initial assessment. We also hypothesized that increased memory workload at 1 week following injury would expose different cortical activation patterns in mTBI patients with persistent post-concussive symptoms, compared to those with full clinical recovery. We performed a prospective, cohort study of working memory in emergency department patients with isolated head injury and clinical diagnosis of concussion, compared to control subjects (both uninjured volunteers and emergency department patients with extremity injuries and no head trauma). The primary outcome of cognitive recovery was defined as resolution of reported cognitive impairment and quantified by scoring the subject’s reported cognitive post-concussive symptoms at 1 week. Secondary outcomes included additional post-concussive symptoms and neurocognitive testing results. We enrolled 46 subjects: 27 with mild TBI and 19 controls. The time of initial neuroimaging was 48 (+22 S.D.) hours after injury (time 1). At follow up (8.7, + 1.2 S.D., days after injury, time 2), 18 of mTBI subjects (64%) reported moderate to complete cognitive recovery, 8 of whom fully recovered between initial and follow-up imaging. fMRI changes from time 1 to time 2 showed an increase in posterior cingulate activation in the mTBI subjects compared to

  11. Cognitive Improvement after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Measured with Functional Neuroimaging during the Acute Period.

    PubMed

    Wylie, Glenn R; Freeman, Kalev; Thomas, Alex; Shpaner, Marina; OKeefe, Michael; Watts, Richard; Naylor, Magdalena R

    2015-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging studies in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) have been largely limited to patients with persistent post-concussive symptoms, utilizing images obtained months to years after the actual head trauma. We sought to distinguish acute and delayed effects of mild traumatic brain injury on working memory functional brain activation patterns < 72 hours after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and again one-week later. We hypothesized that clinical and fMRI measures of working memory would be abnormal in symptomatic mTBI patients assessed < 72 hours after injury, with most patients showing clinical recovery (i.e., improvement in these measures) within 1 week after the initial assessment. We also hypothesized that increased memory workload at 1 week following injury would expose different cortical activation patterns in mTBI patients with persistent post-concussive symptoms, compared to those with full clinical recovery. We performed a prospective, cohort study of working memory in emergency department patients with isolated head injury and clinical diagnosis of concussion, compared to control subjects (both uninjured volunteers and emergency department patients with extremity injuries and no head trauma). The primary outcome of cognitive recovery was defined as resolution of reported cognitive impairment and quantified by scoring the subject's reported cognitive post-concussive symptoms at 1 week. Secondary outcomes included additional post-concussive symptoms and neurocognitive testing results. We enrolled 46 subjects: 27 with mild TBI and 19 controls. The time of initial neuroimaging was 48 (+22 S.D.) hours after injury (time 1). At follow up (8.7, + 1.2 S.D., days after injury, time 2), 18 of mTBI subjects (64%) reported moderate to complete cognitive recovery, 8 of whom fully recovered between initial and follow-up imaging. fMRI changes from time 1 to time 2 showed an increase in posterior cingulate activation in the mTBI subjects compared to

  12. Evaluation of Title I ESEA Projects, 1971-1972. Volume III, Instructional Practices and Student Cognitive Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prusso, Kenneth W.; And Others

    In this volume, ESEA Title I projects related to instructional practices and student cognitive performance, carried out in Philadelphia during 1971-1972, are evaluated. The six projects in this cluster are: Class for Mentally Retarded/Emotionally Distrubed Children; English as a Second Language; Improvement of Reading Skills (Reading Skills…

  13. Listen to the Noise: Noise Is Beneficial for Cognitive Performance in ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soderlund, Goran; Sikstrom, Sverker; Smart, Andrew

    2007-01-01

    Background: Noise is typically conceived of as being detrimental to cognitive performance. However, given the mechanism of stochastic resonance, a certain amount of noise can benefit performance. We investigate cognitive performance in noisy environments in relation to a neurocomputational model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)…

  14. The CF6 engine performance improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fasching, W. A.

    1982-01-01

    As part of the NASA-sponsored Engine Component Improvement (ECI) Program, a feasibility analysis of performance improvement and retention concepts for the CF6-6 and CF6-50 engines was conducted and seven concepts were identified for development and ground testing: new fan, new front mount, high pressure turbine aerodynamic performance improvement, high pressure turbine roundness, high pressure turbine active clearance control, low pressure turbine active clearance control, and short core exhaust nozzle. The development work and ground testing are summarized, and the major test results and an enomic analysis for each concept are presented.

  15. Performance, Productivity and Continuous Improvement. Symposium.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2002

    This document contains four papers from a symposium on performance, productivity, and continuous improvement. "Investigating the Association between Productivity and Quality Performance in Two Manufacturing Settings" (Constantine Kontoghiorghes, Robert Gudgel) summarizes a study that identified the following quality management variables as the…

  16. Improved Performance via the Inverted Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weinstein, Randy D.

    2015-01-01

    This study examined student performance in an inverted thermodynamics course (lectures provided by video outside of class) compared to a traditional lecture class. Students in the inverted class performed better on their exams. Students in the bottom third of the inverted course showed the greatest improvement. These bottom third students had a C…

  17. Peer Mentors Can Improve Academic Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asgari, Shaki; Carter, Frederick, Jr.

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between peer mentoring and academic performance. Students from two introductory psychology classes either received (n = 37) or did not receive (n = 36) peer mentoring. The data indicated a consistent improvement in the performance (i.e., grades on scheduled exams) of the mentored group. A similar pattern…

  18. Performance improvement integration: a whole systems approach.

    PubMed

    Page, C K

    1999-02-01

    Performance improvement integration in health care organizations is a challenge for health care leaders. Required for accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (Joint Commission), performance improvement (PI) can be designed as a sustainable model for performance to survive in a turbulent period. Central Baptist Hospital developed a model for PI that focused on strategy established by the leadership team, delineated responsibility through the organizational structure of shared governance, and accountability for outcomes evidenced through the organization's profitability. Such an approach integrated into the culture of the organization can produce positive financial margins, positive customer satisfaction, and commendations from the Joint Commission. PMID:9926679

  19. Does Duloxetine Improve Cognitive Function Independently of Its Antidepressant Effect in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder and Subjective Reports of Cognitive Dysfunction?

    PubMed Central

    Greer, Tracy L.; Sunderajan, Prabha; Grannemann, Bruce D.; Kurian, Benji T.; Trivedi, Madhukar H.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction. Cognitive deficits are commonly reported by patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Duloxetine, a dual serotonin/noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, may improve cognitive deficits in MDD. It is unclear if cognitive improvements occur independently of antidepressant effects with standard antidepressant medications. Methods. Thirty participants with MDD who endorsed cognitive deficits at screening received 12-week duloxetine treatment. Twenty-one participants completed treatment and baseline and posttreatment cognitive testing. The Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery was used to assess the following cognitive domains: attention, visual memory, executive function/set shifting and working memory, executive function/spatial planning, decision making and response control, and verbal learning and memory. Results. Completers showed significant cognitive improvements across several domains on tasks assessing psychomotor function and mental processing speed, with additional improvements in visual and verbal learning and memory, and affective decision making and response control. Overall significance tests for executive function tasks were also significant, although individual tasks were not, perhaps due to the small sample size. Most notably, cognitive improvements were observed independently of symptom reduction on all domains except verbal learning and memory. Conclusions. Patients reporting baseline cognitive deficits achieved cognitive improvements with duloxetine treatment, most of which were independent of symptomatic improvement. This trial is registered with NCT00933439. PMID:24563781

  20. Elimination of microglia improves cognitive function following cranial irradiation

    PubMed Central

    Acharya, Munjal M.; Green, Kim N.; Allen, Barrett D.; Najafi, Allison R.; Syage, Amber; Minasyan, Harutyun; Le, Mi T.; Kawashita, Takumi; Giedzinski, Erich; Parihar, Vipan K.; West, Brian L.; Baulch, Janet E.; Limoli, Charles L.

    2016-01-01

    Cranial irradiation for the treatment of brain cancer elicits progressive and severe cognitive dysfunction that is associated with significant neuropathology. Radiation injury in the CNS has been linked to persistent microglial activation, and we find upregulation of pro-inflammatory genes even 6 weeks after irradiation. We hypothesize that depletion of microglia in the irradiated brain would have a neuroprotective effect. Adult mice received acute head only irradiation (9 Gy) and were administered a dietary inhibitor (PLX5622) of colony stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF1R) to deplete microglia post-irradiation. Cohorts of mice maintained on a normal and PLX5662 diet were analyzed for cognitive changes using a battery of behavioral tasks 4–6 weeks later. PLX5622 treatment caused a rapid and near complete elimination of microglia in the brain within 3 days of treatment. Irradiation of animals given a normal diet caused characteristic behavioral deficits designed to test medial pre-frontal cortex (mPFC) and hippocampal learning and memory and caused increased microglial activation. Animals receiving the PLX5622 diet exhibited no radiation-induced cognitive deficits, and exhibited near complete loss of IBA-1 and CD68 positive microglia in the mPFC and hippocampus. Our data demonstrate that elimination of microglia through CSF1R inhibition can ameliorate radiation-induced cognitive deficits in mice. PMID:27516055

  1. Elimination of microglia improves cognitive function following cranial irradiation.

    PubMed

    Acharya, Munjal M; Green, Kim N; Allen, Barrett D; Najafi, Allison R; Syage, Amber; Minasyan, Harutyun; Le, Mi T; Kawashita, Takumi; Giedzinski, Erich; Parihar, Vipan K; West, Brian L; Baulch, Janet E; Limoli, Charles L

    2016-01-01

    Cranial irradiation for the treatment of brain cancer elicits progressive and severe cognitive dysfunction that is associated with significant neuropathology. Radiation injury in the CNS has been linked to persistent microglial activation, and we find upregulation of pro-inflammatory genes even 6 weeks after irradiation. We hypothesize that depletion of microglia in the irradiated brain would have a neuroprotective effect. Adult mice received acute head only irradiation (9 Gy) and were administered a dietary inhibitor (PLX5622) of colony stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF1R) to deplete microglia post-irradiation. Cohorts of mice maintained on a normal and PLX5662 diet were analyzed for cognitive changes using a battery of behavioral tasks 4-6 weeks later. PLX5622 treatment caused a rapid and near complete elimination of microglia in the brain within 3 days of treatment. Irradiation of animals given a normal diet caused characteristic behavioral deficits designed to test medial pre-frontal cortex (mPFC) and hippocampal learning and memory and caused increased microglial activation. Animals receiving the PLX5622 diet exhibited no radiation-induced cognitive deficits, and exhibited near complete loss of IBA-1 and CD68 positive microglia in the mPFC and hippocampus. Our data demonstrate that elimination of microglia through CSF1R inhibition can ameliorate radiation-induced cognitive deficits in mice. PMID:27516055

  2. Interdisciplinary Project-Based Learning: Technology for Improving Student Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stozhko, Natalia; Bortnik, Boris; Mironova, Ludmila; Tchernysheva, Albina; Podshivalova, Ekaterina

    2015-01-01

    The article studies a way of enhancing student cognition by using interdisciplinary project-based learning (IPBL) in a higher education institution. IPBL is a creative pedagogic approach allowing students of one area of specialisation to develop projects for students with different academic profiles. The application of this approach in the Ural…

  3. Performances on a cognitive theory of mind task: specific decline or general cognitive deficits? Evidence from normal aging.

    PubMed

    Fliss, Rafika; Lemerre, Marion; Mollard, Audrey

    2016-06-01

    Compromised theory of mind (ToM) can be explained either by a failure to implement specific representational capacities (mental state representations) or by more general executive selection demands. In older adult populations, evidence supporting affected executive functioning and cognitive ToM in normal aging are reported. However, links between these two functions remain unclear. In the present paper, we address these shortcomings by using a specific task of ToM and classical executive tasks. We studied, using an original cognitive ToM task, the effect of age on ToM performances, in link with the progressive executive decline. 96 elderly participants were recruited. They were asked to perform a cognitive ToM task, and 5 executive tests (Stroop test and Hayling Sentence Completion Test to appreciate inhibitory process, Trail Making Test and Verbal Fluency for shifting assessment and backward span dedicated to estimate working memory capacity). The results show changes in cognitive ToM performance according to executive demands. Correlational studies indicate a significant relationship between ToM performance and the selected executive measures. Regression analyzes demonstrates that level of vocabulary and age as the best predictors of ToM performance. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that ToM deficits are related to age-related domain-general decline rather than as to a breakdown in specialized representational system. The implications of these findings for the nature of social cognition tests in normal aging are also discussed. PMID:27277154

  4. Relationship between anthropometric indicators and cognitive performance in Southeast Asian school-aged children.

    PubMed

    Sandjaja; Poh, Bee Koon; Rojroonwasinkul, Nipa; Le Nyugen, Bao Khanh; Budiman, Basuki; Ng, Lai Oon; Soonthorndhada, Kusol; Xuyen, Hoang Thi; Deurenberg, Paul; Parikh, Panam

    2013-09-01

    Nutrition is an important factor in mental development and, as a consequence, in cognitive performance. Malnutrition is reflected in children's weight, height and BMI curves. The present cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate the association between anthropometric indices and cognitive performance in 6746 school-aged children (aged 6-12 years) of four Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia; Malaysia; Thailand; Vietnam. Cognitive performance (non-verbal intelligence quotient (IQ)) was measured using Raven's Progressive Matrices test or Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence, third edition (TONI-3). Height-for-age z-scores (HAZ), weight-for-age z-scores (WAZ) and BMI-for-age z-scores (BAZ) were used as anthropometric nutritional status indices. Data were weighted using age, sex and urban/rural weight factors to resemble the total primary school-aged population per country. Overall, 21% of the children in the four countries were underweight and 19% were stunted. Children with low WAZ were 3·5 times more likely to have a non-verbal IQ < 89 (OR 3·53 and 95% CI 3·52, 3·54). The chance of having a non-verbal IQ < 89 was also doubled with low BAZ and HAZ. In contrast, except for severe obesity, the relationship between high BAZ and IQ was less clear and differed per country. The odds of having non-verbal IQ levels < 89 also increased with severe obesity. In conclusion, undernourishment and non-verbal IQ are significantly associated in 6-12-year-old children. Effective strategies to improve nutrition in preschoolers and school-aged children can have a pronounced effect on cognition and, in the longer term, help in positively contributing to individual and national development. PMID:24016767

  5. Cognitive flexibility and performance in children and adolescents with threshold and sub-threshold bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Dickstein, Daniel P; Axelson, David; Weissman, Alexandra B; Yen, Shirley; Hunt, Jeffrey I; Goldstein, Benjamin I; Goldstein, Tina R; Liao, Fangzi; Gill, Mary Kay; Hower, Heather; Frazier, Thomas W; Diler, Rasim S; Youngstrom, Eric A; Fristad, Mary A; Arnold, L Eugene; Findling, Robert L; Horwitz, Sarah M; Kowatch, Robert A; Ryan, Neal D; Strober, Michael; Birmaher, Boris; Keller, Martin B

    2016-06-01

    Greater understanding of cognitive function in children and adolescents with bipolar disorder (BD) is of critical importance to improve our ability to design targeted treatments to help with real-world impairment, including academic performance. We sought to evaluate cognitive performance among children with either BD type I, II, or "not otherwise specified" (NOS) participating in multi-site Course and Outcome of Bipolar Youth study compared to typically developing controls (TDC) without psychopathology. In particular, we sought to test the hypothesis that BD-I and BD-II youths with full threshold episodes of mania or hypomania would have cognitive deficits, including in reversal learning, vs. those BD-NOS participants with sub-threshold episodes and TDCs. N = 175 participants (BD-I = 81, BD-II = 11, BD-NOS = 28, TDC = 55) completed Cambridge Neuropsychological Automated Testing Battery (CANTAB) tasks. A priori analyses of the simple reversal stage of the CANTAB intra-/extra-dimensional shift task showed that aggregated BD-I/II participants required significantly more trials to complete the task than either BD-NOS participants with sub-syndromal manic/hypomanic symptoms or than TDCs. BD participants across sub-types had impairments in sustained attention and information processing for emotionally valenced words. Our results align with prior findings showing that BD-I/II youths with distinct episodes have specific alterations in reversal learning. More broadly, our study suggests that further work is necessary to see the interaction between neurocognitive performance and longitudinal illness course. Additional work is required to identify the neural underpinnings of these differences as targets for potential novel treatments, such as cognitive remediation. PMID:26438382

  6. Slow release caffeine and prolonged (64-h) continuous wakefulness: effects on vigilance and cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Beaumont, M; Batejat, D; Pierard, C; Coste, O; Doireau, P; Van Beers, P; Chauffard, F; Chassard, D; Enslen, M; Denis, J B; Lagarde, D

    2001-12-01

    Some long work or shift work schedules necessitate an elevated and prolonged level of vigilance and performance but often result in sleep deprivation (SD), fatigue and sleepiness, which may impair efficiency. This study investigated the effects of a slow-release caffeine [(SRC) at the daily dose of 600 mg] on vigilance and cognitive performance during a 64 h continuous wakefulness period. Sixteen healthy males volunteered for this double-blind, randomised, placebo controlled, two-way crossover study. A total of 300-mg SRC or placebo (PBO) was given twice a day at 21:00 and 9:00 h during the SD period. Vigilance was objectively assessed with continuous electroencephalogram (EEG), the multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT) and wrist actigraphy. Cognitive functions (information processing and working memory), selective and divided attention were determined with computerised tests from the AGARD-NATO STRES Battery (Standardised Tests for Research with Environmental Stressors). Attention was also assessed with a symbol cancellation task and a Stroop's test; alertness was appreciated from visual analogue scales (VAS). Tests were performed at the hypo (02:00-04:00 h, 14:00-16:00 h) and hypervigilance (10:00-12:00 h, 22:00-00:00 h) periods during SD. Central temperature was continuously measured and safety of treatment was assessed from repeated clinical examinations. Compared with PBO, MSLT showed that SRC subjects were more vigilant from the onset (P=0.001) to the end of SD (P < 0.0001) whereas some cognitive functions were improved till the thirty third of SD but others were ameliorated through all the SD period and alertness was better from the thirteenth hour of SD, as shown by Stroop's test (P=0.048). We showed that 300-mg SRC given twice daily during a 64-h SD is able to antagonize the impairment produced on vigilance and cognitive functions. PMID:11903856

  7. Effects of a Mindfulness Meditation Course on Learning and Cognitive Performance among University Students in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Ching, Ho-Hoi; Koo, Malcolm; Tsai, Tsung-Huang; Chen, Chiu-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Mindfulness training has recently gained much research interest because of its putative benefits for both mental and physical health. However, little is available in its effects on Asian students. Therefore, a quasi-experimental pre/posttest design was used to assess the effects of a one-semester mindfulness meditation course in 152 first-year Taiwanese university students and compared with 130 controls. The Chinese version of the College Learning Effectiveness Inventory (CLEI) and a computer software program focused on specific cognitive tasks were used for the evaluation. Results from the analysis of covariance revealed that while the score of the full CLEI scale was significantly higher in the intervention group compared with the control (P = 0.022), none of the comparisons between the nine CLEI subscales were significantly different between the two groups. For the computer cognitive tasks, the intervention group exhibited significantly better performance in the accuracy of the digital vigilance task (P = 0.048), choice reaction time (P = 0.004), spatial working memory (P = 0.042), and digital vigilance task reaction time (P = 0.004). This study showed that a one-semester mindfulness meditation course was able to improve learning effectiveness and both attention and memory aspects of cognitive performance among Taiwanese university students. PMID:26640495

  8. Linkages of biomarkers of zinc with cognitive performance and taste acuity in adolescent girls.

    PubMed

    Chiplonkar, Shashi A; Kawade, Rama

    2014-06-01

    A cross-sectional study (n = 403) was conducted to examine the relationship of plasma zinc (PZ) and erythrocyte zinc (EZ) levels with cognitive performance and taste acuity for salt in Indian adolescent girls. PZ, EZ and hemoglobin were estimated in schoolgirls (10-16 years). Cognitive performance was assessed by simple-reaction-time (SRT), recognition-reaction-time (RRT), visual-memory, Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM) test. Taste acuity was determined by recognition-thresholds-for-salt (RTS) using 10 different salt concentrations. Low PZ (<0.7 mg/l) and EZ (<8 µg/g of packed cells) were observed in 72% and 23.6% of girls, respectively. PZ and EZ were negatively associated with SRT (r = -0.41, -0.34), RRT (r = -0.49, -0.4), and positively with Memory (r = 0.43, 0.34) and RPM (r = 0.39, 0.31; p < 0.05) and remained significant after adjusting for socio-demographic factors and hemoglobin. RTS was impaired in 18.3% girls and significantly correlated with EZ (r = -0.31, p < 0.05). Zinc deficiency in adolescent girls was associated with poor cognition and taste function implying need for improving their dietary zinc intakes. PMID:24490852

  9. Cognitive Strategies and Skill Acquisition in Musical Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McPherson, Gary E.

    1997-01-01

    Reports on a longitudinal study of high school instrumentalists that examined the development of four distinct types of musical performance (playing by ear, playing from memory, sight reading, and improvising) over three years. Reveals a significant improvement in these skills while also demonstrating changes in aural and creative activities. (CMK)

  10. Changes in cognitive task performance across the menstrual cycle.

    PubMed

    Broverman, D M; Vogel, W; Klaiber, E L; Majcher, D; Shea, D; Paul, V

    1981-08-01

    Menstrual-cycle-related changes in estrogen were expected to differentially affect various cognitive tests. Specifically, the estrogen peak occurring at midcycle in ovulatory women was expected to facilitate performance of highly practiced "automatized" tasks and to impair performance of "perceptual-restructuring" tasks, compared with performance of these tasks in the postovulatory phase of the cycle when progesterone is thought to counteract the action of estrogen. Perceptual-restructuring tasks are defined as tasks in which the initial percepts to obvious stimulus attributes are wrong and must be set aside in favor of percepts to less obvious stimulus attributes. Eight-seven regularly menstruating undergraduate women were studied. Odd-numbered subjects were tested first on or about Day 10 of their cycle and then again on Day 20; even-numbered subjects, in the reverse sequence. Daily basal body temperature records were obtained. These temperature records suggested that 21, or 24%, of the subjects did not ovulate in the cycle(s) studied. No main effect of Day 10 versus Day 20 occurred for any task in the 66 women who did appear to ovulate. However, the magnitude of predicted shifts in performance was significantly correlated with proximity of the "Day 10" testing day to the thermal nadir of the basal body temperature record, the presumed preovulatory estrogen peak; and to the "Day 20" proximity to the basal body temperature thermal peak, the presumed progesterone peak. Subjects tested 3 or fewer days before the thermal nadir and on or after the thermal peak had the predicted significant changes on three of the four administered tasks. No other temporally defined group produced significant changes. The results of the study support the experimental hypotheses and also indicate that precise timing is essential to demonstrate the phenomena. PMID:7276285

  11. The kidney disease quality of life cognitive function subscale and cognitive performance maintenance hemodialysis patients

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: Cognitive impairment is common but often undiagnosed in patients with end-stage renal disease, in part reflecting limited validated and easily administered tools to assess cognitive function in dialysis patients. Accordingly, we assessed the utility of the Kidney Disease Quality of Life ...

  12. The effect of exercise on cognitive performance in soccer-specific tests.

    PubMed

    McMorris, T; Graydon, J

    1997-10-01

    Two experiments were carried out to examine the effect of moderate and maximal exercise on the cognitive performance of experienced soccer players. Experiment 1 examined the speed and visual search in familiar (game) and unfamiliar (non-game) contexts. Participants had to detect, as quickly as possible, the presence or absence of a ball in tachistoscopically presented slides. Participants were tested at rest and while exercising at 70 and 100% maximum power output. A main effect of exercise intensity was demonstrated and Tukey post-hoc tests showed that performance during maximal exercise was significantly better than in the other two conditions. We concluded that exercise significantly improves speed of visual search. Experiment 2 examined the effects of exercise on speed of search, speed of decision following ball detection, overall speed of decision and accuracy of decision at rest and while exercising at 70 and 100% maximum power output. A repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance and Tukey post-hoc tests showed that performance during exercise was significantly better than at rest. Observation of the separate univariate analyses of variance demonstrated that most of the variance could be accounted for by overall speed of decision and speed of decision after ball detection. We concluded that exercise induces not only an improvement in a simple task, like speed of visual search, but also an overall increase in speed of information processing. Theories concerning the effect of emotionally induced arousal on cognitive performance do not accurately predict the effect of physically induced arousal on cognitive tasks. PMID:9386203

  13. Galanthamine Plus Estradiol Treatment Enhances Cognitive Performance in Aged Ovariectomized Rats

    PubMed Central

    Gibbs, R.B.; Chipman, A.M.; Hammond, R.; Nelson, D.

    2011-01-01

    We hypothesize that beneficial effects of estradiol on cognitive performance diminish with age and time following menopause due to a progressive decline in basal forebrain cholinergic function. This study tested whether galanthamine, a cholinesterase inhibitor used to treat memory impairment associated with Alzheimer’s disease, could enhance or restore estradiol effects on cognitive performance in aged rats that had been ovariectomized in middle-age. Rats were ovariectomized at 16–17 months of age. At 21–22 months of age rats began receiving daily injections of galanthamine (5 mg/day) or vehicle. After one week, half of each group also received 17ß-estradiol administered subcutaneously. Rats were then trained on a delayed matching to position (DMP) T-maze task, followed by an operant stimulus discrimination/reversal learning task. Treatment with galanthamine + estradiol significantly enhanced the rate of DMP acquisition and improved short-term delay-dependent spatial memory performance. Treatment with galanthamine or estradiol alone were without significant effect. Effects were task-specific in that galanthamine + estradiol treatment did not significantly improve performance on the stimulus discrimination/reversal learning task. In fact, estradiol was associated with a significant increase in incorrect responses on this task after reversal of the stimulus contingency. In addition, treatments did not significantly affect hippocampal choline acetyltransferase activity or acetylcholine release. This may be an effect of age, or possibly is related to compensatory changes associated with long-term cholinesterase inhibitor treatment. The data suggest that treating with a cholinesterase inhibitor can enhance the effects of estradiol on acquisition of a DMP task by old rats following a long period of hormone deprivation. This could be of particular benefit to older women who have not used hormone therapy for many years and are beginning to show signs of mild

  14. Natalizumab Significantly Improves Cognitive Impairment over Three Years in MS: Pattern of Disability Progression and Preliminary MRI Findings

    PubMed Central

    Mattioli, Flavia; Stampatori, Chiara; Bellomi, Fabio; Scarpazza, Cristina; Capra, Ruggero

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies reported that Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients treated with natalizumab for one or two years exhibit a significant reduction in relapse rate and in cognitive impairment, but the long term effects on cognitive performance are unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of natalizumab on cognitive impairment in a cohort of 24 consecutive patients with relapsing remitting MS treated for 3 years. The neuropsychological tests, as well as relapse number and EDSS, were assessed at baseline and yearly for three years. The impact on cortical atrophy was also considered in a subgroup of them, and are thus to be considered as preliminary. Results showed a significant reduction in the number of impaired neuropsychological tests after three years, a significant decrease in annualized relapse rate at each time points compared to baseline and a stable EDSS. In the neuropsychological assessment, a significant improvement in memory, attention and executive function test scores was detected. Preliminary MRI data show that, while GM volume did not change at 3 years, a significantly greater parahippocampal and prefrontal gray matter density was noticed, the former correlating with neuropsychological improvement in a memory test. This study showed that therapy with Natalizumab is helpful in improving cognitive performance, and is likely to have a protective role on grey matter, over a three years follow-up. PMID:26148120

  15. Engine component improvement program: Performance improvement. [fuel consumption

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcaulay, J. E.

    1979-01-01

    Fuel consumption of commercial aircraft is considered. Fuel saving and retention components for new production and retrofit of JT9D, JT8D, and CF6 engines are reviewed. The manner in which the performance improvement concepts were selected for development and a summary of the current status of each of the 16 selected concepts are discussed.

  16. Use of an Educational Taxonomy for Evaluation of Cognitive Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buckwalter, Joseph A.; And Others

    1981-01-01

    To determine whether objective test items could measure cognitive processes more complex than recall of isolated facts, the committee of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons preparing the Orthopaedic In-Training Examination classified test items into three taxonomic levels according to the cognitive process required to answer the item.…

  17. What Cognitive Abilities Are Involved in Trail-Making Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salthouse, Timothy A.

    2011-01-01

    The cognitive abilities involved in the Connections (Salthouse, et al., 2000) version of the trail making test were investigated by administering the test, along with a battery of cognitive tests and tests of complex span and updating conceptualizations of working memory, to a sample of over 3600 adults. The results indicate that this variant of…

  18. Which psychosocial factors best predict cognitive performance in older adults?

    PubMed

    Zahodne, Laura B; Nowinski, Cindy J; Gershon, Richard C; Manly, Jennifer J

    2014-05-01

    Negative affect (e.g., depression) is associated with accelerated age-related cognitive decline and heightened dementia risk. Fewer studies examine positive psychosocial factors (e.g., emotional support, self-efficacy) in cognitive aging. Preliminary reports suggest that these variables predict slower cognitive decline independent of negative affect. No reports have examined these factors in a single model to determine which best relate to cognition. Data from 482 individuals 55 and older came from the normative sample for the NIH Toolbox for the Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function. Negative and positive psychosocial factors, executive functioning, working memory, processing speed, and episodic memory were measured with the NIH Toolbox Emotion and Cognition modules. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling characterized independent relations between psychosocial factors and cognition. Psychosocial variables loaded onto negative and positive factors. Independent of education, negative affect and health status, greater emotional support was associated with better task-switching and processing speed. Greater self-efficacy was associated with better working memory. Negative affect was not independently associated with any cognitive variables. Findings support the conceptual distinctness of negative and positive psychosocial factors in older adults. Emotional support and self-efficacy may be more closely tied to cognition than other psychosocial variables. PMID:24685143

  19. Improved cognitive, affective and anxiety measures in patients with chronic systemic disorders following structured physical activity.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Robson Bonoto; Marins, João Carlos Bouzas; de Sá Junior, Antonio Reis; de Carvalho, Cristiane Junqueira; da Silva Moura, Tiago Augusto; Lade, Carlos Gabriel; Rizvanov, Albert A; Kiyasov, Andrey P; Mukhamedyarov, Marat A; Zefirov, Andrey L; Palotás, András; Lima, Luciana Moreira

    2015-11-01

    Mental illnesses are frequent co-morbid conditions in chronic systemic diseases. High incidences of depression, anxiety and cognitive impairment complicate cardiovascular and metabolic disorders such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Lifestyle changes including regular exercise have been advocated to reduce blood pressure and improve glycaemic control. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effect of physical training on the most prevalent corollary psychiatric problems in patients with chronic organic ailments. This longitudinal study assessed the mental health of hypertensive (age: 57 ± 8 years) and/or diabetic (age: 53 ± 8 years) patients using mini-mental state examination, Beck's depression inventory, Beck's anxiety inventory and self-reporting questionnaire-20 before and after a 3-month supervised resistance and aerobic exercise programme comprising structured physical activity three times a week. Clinically relevant improvement was observed in the Beck's depression inventory and Beck's anxiety inventory scores following the 12-week training (61%, p = 0.001, and 53%, p = 0.02, respectively). Even though statistically not significant (p = 0.398), the cognitive performance of this relatively young patient population also benefited from the programme. These results demonstrate positive effects of active lifestyle on non-psychotic mental disorders in patients with chronic systemic diseases, recommending exercise as an alternative treatment option. PMID:26410835

  20. Daytime sleepiness, cognitive performance and mood after continuous positive airway pressure for the sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome.

    PubMed Central

    Engleman, H. M.; Cheshire, K. E.; Deary, I. J.; Douglas, N. J.

    1993-01-01

    BACKGROUND--Patients with the sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome often receive continuous positive airway pressure to improve their symptoms and daytime performance, yet objective evidence of the effect of this treatment on cognitive performance is lacking. METHODS--A prospective parallel group study was performed comparing the change in objective daytime sleepiness as assessed by multiple sleep latency, cognitive function, and mood in 21 patients (mean (SE) number of apnoeas and hypopnoeas/hour 57 (6)) who received continuous positive airway pressure for three months and 16 patients (49(6) apnoeas and hypopnoeas/hour) who received conservative treatment for a similar period. RESULTS--Both groups showed significant within group changes in cognitive function between baseline and three months, but when comparisons were made between groups the only significant difference was a greater improvement in multiple sleep latency with continuous positive airway pressure. However, the improvement in sleep latency with continuous positive airway pressure was relatively small (3.5 (0.5) to 5.6 (0.7) min). The group treated with continuous positive airway pressure was divided into those who complied well with treatment (> 4.5 hours/night) and those who did not. Those who complied well (n = 14) showed significant improvement in mean sleep latency and also in depression score compared with the controls but no greater improvement in cognitive function. CONCLUSION--This study confirms significant improvements in objective sleepiness and mood with continuous positive airway pressure, but shows no evidence of major improvements in cognitive function. PMID:8236074

  1. Intravenous Administration of Simvastatin Improves Cognitive Outcome following Severe Traumatic Brain Injury in Rats.

    PubMed

    Mountney, Andrea; Boutté, Angela M; Gilsdorf, Janice; Lu, Xi-Chun; Tortella, Frank C; Shear, Deborah A

    2016-08-15

    Simvastatin is a 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor commonly used to reduce serum cholesterol. The beneficial effects of oral simvastatin have been reported in pre-clinical models of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The current study was designed to evaluate the potential beneficial effects of simvastatin in a model of severe penetrating TBI using an intravenous (IV) route of administration. Rats were subjected to unilateral frontal penetrating ballistic-like brain injury (PBBI), and simvastatin was delivered intravenously at 30 min and 6 h post-injury and continued once daily for either 4 or 10 days post-PBBI. Motor function was assessed on the rotarod and cognitive performance was evaluated using the Morris water maze (MWM) task. Serum levels of inflammatory cytokines and the astrocytic biomarker, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), were quantified at 1 h, 4 h, and 24 h post-injury. Histopathological damage was assessed at the terminal end-point. Rotarod testing revealed significant motor deficits in all injury groups but no significant simvastatin-induced therapeutic benefits. All PBBI-injured animals showed cognitive impairment on the MWM test; however, 10-day simvastatin treatment mitigated these effects. Animals showed significantly improved latency to platform and retention scores, whereas the 4-day treatment regimen failed to produce any significant improvements. Biomarker and cytokine analysis showed that IV simvastatin significantly reduced GFAP, interleukin (IL)-1α, and IL-17 serum levels by 4.0-, 2.6-, and 7.0-fold, respectively, at 4 h post-injury. Collectively, our results demonstrate that IV simvastatin provides significant protection against injury-induced cognitive dysfunction and reduces TBI-specific biomarker levels. Further research is warranted to identify the optimal dose and therapeutic window for IV delivery of simvastatin in models of severe TBI. PMID:26542887

  2. The effect of passive heating and head cooling on perception, cardiovascular function and cognitive performance in the heat.

    PubMed

    Simmons, Shona E; Saxby, Brian K; McGlone, Francis P; Jones, David A

    2008-09-01

    The present study examined the effects of raising both skin temperature and core temperature, separately and in combination, on perceptions of heat-related fatigue (alertness, contentment, calmness and thermal comfort), cardiovascular function and on objective measures of cognitive performance (reaction time and accuracy). Ten (six males) subjects had cognitive performance assessed in three conditions; at low skin and low core temperature (LL), at high skin and low core temperature (HL) and at high skin and high core temperatures (HH). In one trial, subjects had their head and neck cooled (HC); the other trial was a control (CON). Raising skin temperature increased heart rate and decreased perception of thermal comfort (P < 0.05), whereas raising both skin and core temperature decreased perception of heat-related fatigue (P < 0.05) and increased cardiovascular strain (P < 0.05) resulting in decrements in cognitive performance shown by faster reaction times (P < 0.05) and a loss of accuracy (P < 0.05). At high skin and core temperatures, cooling the head and neck improved feelings of heat-related fatigue (P < 0.05) and cardiovascular strain (P < 0.05), but had no effect on cognitive performance. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that feelings of heat-related fatigue and cardiovascular strain can be attributed to a combination of elevated skin and core body temperature, whereas decrements in cognitive performance can be attributed to an elevated core temperature. PMID:18214520

  3. Afternoon Nap and Bright Light Exposure Improve Cognitive Flexibility Post Lunch

    PubMed Central

    Schmitz, Rémy; Peigneux, Philippe; Leproult, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    Beneficial effects of napping or bright light exposure on cognitive performance have been reported in participants exposed to sleep loss. Nonetheless, few studies investigated the effect of these potential countermeasures against the temporary drop in performance observed in mid-afternoon, and even less so on cognitive flexibility, a crucial component of executive functions. This study investigated the impact of either an afternoon nap or bright light exposure on post-prandial alterations in task switching performance in well-rested participants. Twenty-five healthy adults participated in two randomized experimental conditions, either wake versus nap (n=15), or bright light versus placebo (n=10). Participants were tested on a switching task three times (morning, post-lunch and late afternoon sessions). The interventions occurred prior to the post-lunch session. In the nap/wake condition, participants either stayed awake watching a 30-minute documentary or had the opportunity to take a nap for 30 minutes. In the bright light/placebo condition, participants watched a documentary under either bright blue light or dim orange light (placebo) for 30 minutes. The switch cost estimates cognitive flexibility and measures task-switching efficiency. Increased switch cost scores indicate higher difficulties to switch between tasks. In both control conditions (wake or placebo), accuracy switch-cost score increased post lunch. Both interventions (nap or bright light) elicited a decrease in accuracy switch-cost score post lunch, which was associated with diminished fatigue and decreased variability in vigilance. Additionally, there was a trend for a post-lunch benefit of bright light with a decreased latency switch-cost score. In the nap group, improvements in accuracy switch-cost score were associated with more NREM sleep stage N1. Thus, exposure to bright light during the post-lunch dip, a countermeasure easily applicable in daily life, results in similar beneficial effects as

  4. A Framework for Designing Scaffolds That Improve Motivation and Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Belland, Brian R.; Kim, ChanMin; Hannafin, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    A problematic, yet common, assumption among educational researchers is that when teachers provide authentic, problem-based experiences, students will automatically be engaged. Evidence indicates that this is often not the case. In this article, we discuss (a) problems with ignoring motivation in the design of learning environments, (b) problem-based learning and scaffolding as one way to help, (c) how scaffolding has strayed from what was originally equal parts motivational and cognitive support, and (d) a conceptual framework for the design of scaffolds that can enhance motivation as well as cognitive outcomes. We propose guidelines for the design of computer-based scaffolds to promote motivation and engagement while students are solving authentic problems. Remaining questions and suggestions for future research are then discussed. PMID:24273351

  5. Effects of psychiatric history on cognitive performance in old-age depression

    PubMed Central

    Pantzar, Alexandra; Atti, Anna Rita; Bäckman, Lars; Laukka, Erika J.

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive deficits in old-age depression vary as a function of multiple factors; one rarely examined factor is long-term psychiatric history. We investigated effects of psychiatric history on cognitive performance in old-age depression and in remitted persons. In the population-based Swedish National Study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen study, older persons (≥60 years) without dementia were tested with a cognitive battery and matched to the Swedish National Inpatient Register (starting 1969). Participants were grouped according to current depression status and psychiatric history and compared to healthy controls (n = 96). Group differences were observed for processing speed, attention, executive functions, and verbal fluency. Persons with depression and psychiatric inpatient history (n = 20) and late-onset depression (n = 49) performed at the lowest levels, whereas cognitive performance in persons with self-reported recurrent unipolar depression (n = 52) was intermediate. Remitted persons with inpatient history of unipolar depression (n = 38) exhibited no cognitive deficits. Heart disease burden, physical inactivity, and cumulative inpatient days modulated the observed group differences in cognitive performance. Among currently depressed persons, those with inpatient history, and late onset performed at the lowest levels. Importantly, remitted persons showed no cognitive deficits, possibly reflecting the extended time since the last admission (m = 15.6 years). Thus, the present data suggest that cognitive deficits in unipolar depression may be more state- than trait-related. Information on profiles of cognitive performance, psychiatric history, and health behaviors may be useful in tailoring individualized treatment. PMID:26175699

  6. Effectively Managing Nuclear Risk Through Human Performance Improvement

    SciTech Connect

    Coe, Richard; Lake, Patricia

    2003-09-01

    The U.S. commercial nuclear industry has just completed an outstanding decade of plant performance. Safety levels and electric production are at unprecedented high levels and continue to exceed even high industry goals. Nuclear energy continues to keep the highest priority on performance improvement programs and highly trained and qualified people that maintain its record setting safety and reliability of operations. While the industry has maintained a high level of performance, the advent of deregulation and the consolidation of nuclear power plant ownership, as well as the current climate for concern about both rising energy costs and the availability of power, have raised the standard for nuclear energy's level of competitiveness in today's market place. The resulting challenge is how to more effectively manage risk and to improve performance even further in a generally high-performing industry. One of the most effective ways to develop this culture is to apply the principles of Hum an Performance Technology, or HPT. HPT is a relatively new field. Its principles are derived from the research and practice of behavioral and cognitive psychologists, instructional technologists, training designers, organizational developers, and various human resource specialists. Using the principles of HPT can help the nuclear industry successfully meet ever-changing environmental and business demands.

  7. PET Evidence of the Effect of Donepezil on Cognitive Performance in an Animal Model of Chemobrain.

    PubMed

    Lim, Ilhan; Joung, Hye-Young; Yu, A Ram; Shim, Insop; Kim, Jin Su

    2016-01-01

    A considerable number of patients with breast cancer complain of cognitive impairment after chemotherapy. In this study, we showed that donepezil enhanced memory function and increased brain glucose metabolism in a rat model of cognitive impairment after chemotherapy using behavioral analysis and positron emission tomography (PET). We found that chemotherapy affected spatial learning ability, reference memory, and working memory and that donepezil improved these cognitive impairments. According to PET analysis, chemotherapy reduced glucose metabolism in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, and donepezil increased glucose metabolism in the bilateral frontal lobe, parietal lobe, and hippocampus. Reduced glucose metabolism was more prominent after treatment with doxorubicin than cyclophosphamide. Our results demonstrated the neural mechanisms for cognitive impairment after chemotherapy and show that cognition was improved after donepezil intervention using both behavioral and imaging methods. Our results suggested that donepezil can be employed clinically for the treatment of cognitive deficits after chemotherapy. PMID:27556039

  8. PET Evidence of the Effect of Donepezil on Cognitive Performance in an Animal Model of Chemobrain

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Ilhan; Yu, A Ram

    2016-01-01

    A considerable number of patients with breast cancer complain of cognitive impairment after chemotherapy. In this study, we showed that donepezil enhanced memory function and increased brain glucose metabolism in a rat model of cognitive impairment after chemotherapy using behavioral analysis and positron emission tomography (PET). We found that chemotherapy affected spatial learning ability, reference memory, and working memory and that donepezil improved these cognitive impairments. According to PET analysis, chemotherapy reduced glucose metabolism in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, and donepezil increased glucose metabolism in the bilateral frontal lobe, parietal lobe, and hippocampus. Reduced glucose metabolism was more prominent after treatment with doxorubicin than cyclophosphamide. Our results demonstrated the neural mechanisms for cognitive impairment after chemotherapy and show that cognition was improved after donepezil intervention using both behavioral and imaging methods. Our results suggested that donepezil can be employed clinically for the treatment of cognitive deficits after chemotherapy. PMID:27556039

  9. Performance evaluation of an improved street sweeper

    SciTech Connect

    Duncan, M.W.; Jain, R.C.; Yung, S.C.; Patterson, R.G.

    1985-10-01

    The paper gives results of an evaluation of the performance of an improved street sweeper (ISS) and conventional sweepers. Dust emissions from paved roads are a major source of urban airborne particles. These emissions can be controlled by street cleaning, but commonly used sweepers were not designed for fine particle collection. A sweeper was modified to improve its ability to remove fine particles from streets and to contain its dust dispersions. Performance was measured by sampling street solids with a vacuum system before and after sweeping. Sieve analyses were made on these samples. During sampling, cascade impactor subsamples were collected to measure the finer particles. Also, dust dispersions were measured.

  10. Dimensions of Manic Symptoms in Youth: Psychosocial Impairment and Cognitive Performance in the IMAGEN Sample

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stringaris, Argyris; Castellanos-Ryan, Natalie; Banaschewski, Tobias; Barker, Gareth J.; Bokde, Arun L.; Bromberg, Uli; Büchel, Christian; Fauth-Bühler, Mira; Flor, Herta; Frouin, Vincent; Gallinat, Juergen; Garavan, Hugh; Gowland, Penny; Heinz, Andreas; Itterman, Bernd; Lawrence, Claire; Nees, Frauke; Paillere-Martinot, Marie-Laure; Paus, Tomas; Pausova, Zdenka; Rietschel, Marcella; Smolka, Michael N.; Schumann, Gunter; Goodman, Robert; Conrod, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    Background: It has been reported that mania may be associated with superior cognitive performance. In this study, we test the hypothesis that manic symptoms in youth separate along two correlated dimensions and that a symptom constellation of high energy and cheerfulness is associated with superior cognitive performance. Method: We studied 1755…

  11. Is Cognitive Test-Taking Anxiety Associated With Academic Performance Among Nursing Students?

    PubMed

    Duty, Susan M; Christian, Ladonna; Loftus, Jocelyn; Zappi, Victoria

    2016-01-01

    The cognitive component of test anxiety was correlated with academic performance among nursing students. Modest but statistically significant lower examination grade T scores were observed for students with high compared with low levels of cognitive test anxiety (CTA). High levels of CTA were associated with reduced academic performance. PMID:26312822

  12. Performance across Different Areas of Mathematical Cognition in Children with Learning Difficulties.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hanich, Laurie B.; Jordan, Nancy C.; Kaplan, David; Dick, Jeanine

    2001-01-01

    Performance of 210 2nd graders in different areas of mathematical cognition was examined. Children were divided into 4 achievement groups. Although children with difficulties in mathematics performed worse than normally achieving groups in most areas of mathematical cognition, those with difficulty only in mathematics showed an advantage over the…

  13. Mother-Child Attachment and Cognitive Performance in Middle Childhood: An Examination of Mediating Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    West, Katara K.; Mathews, Brittany L.; Kerns, Kathryn A.

    2013-01-01

    Although mother-child attachment has been shown to predict cognitive performance, there has been a lack of attention to the mediating mechanisms that explain these associations. In the present study, we investigated relations of early mother-child attachment and cognitive performance in middle childhood (the latter in terms of both academic…

  14. Cognitive Load Theory: An Empirical Study of Anxiety and Task Performance in Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, I-Jung; Chang, Chi-Cheng

    2009-01-01

    Introduction: This study explores the relationship among three variables--cognitive load, foreign language anxiety, and task performance. Cognitive load refers to the load imposed on working memory while performing a particular task. The authors hypothesized that anxiety consumes the resources of working memory, leaving less capacity for cognitive…

  15. Performance of Children with Autism on Selected Measures of Reading Achievement and Cognitive-Linguistic Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turner, Vicky

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the performance of children with autism on selected measures of reading achievement and cognitive-linguistic ability. How children with autism performed on three reading achievement measures, Letter-Word Identification, Passage Comprehension, and Oral Reading Fluency, and two cognitive-linguistic measures, Rapid Letter Naming…

  16. Redesigning physician compensation and improving ED performance.

    PubMed

    Finkelstein, Jeff; Lifton, James; Capone, Claudio

    2011-06-01

    Redesigning a physician compensation system in the emergency department (ED) should include goals of improving quality, productivity, and patient satisfaction. Tips for hospital administrators: A contemporary ED information system is needed to ensure that the ED is essentially a paperless operation. Transparency, internally and externally, is essential. ED physicians should perform as individuals, yet as members of a team. Incentives, especially incentive compensation, should strike a balance between individual and team performance. PMID:21692383

  17. Method for improving fuel cell performance

    DOEpatents

    Uribe, Francisco A.; Zawodzinski, Thomas

    2003-10-21

    A method is provided for operating a fuel cell at high voltage for sustained periods of time. The cathode is switched to an output load effective to reduce the cell voltage at a pulse width effective to reverse performance degradation from OH adsorption onto cathode catalyst surfaces. The voltage is stepped to a value of less than about 0.6 V to obtain the improved and sustained performance.

  18. Family history of Alzheimer’s disease limits improvement in cognitive function after bariatric surgery

    PubMed Central

    Alosco, Michael L; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Strain, Gladys; Devlin, Michael; Crosby, Ross D; Mitchell, James E

    2014-01-01

    Background/Objective: Bariatric surgery can reverse cognitive impairments associated with obesity. However, such benefits may be attenuated in individuals with a predisposing risk for cognitive impairment such as family history of Alzheimer’s disease. Methods: In all, 94 bariatric surgery participants completed a computerized cognitive test battery before and 12 weeks after surgery. Family history of Alzheimer’s disease was obtained through self-report. Results: In the overall sample, cognitive function improved in memory and attention/executive function 12 weeks post-surgery. Repeated measures showed similar rates of improvements in attention/executive function between patients with and without a family history of Alzheimer’s disease. In contrast, only individuals without a family history of Alzheimer’s disease exhibited post-operative improvements in memory. A family history of Alzheimer’s disease was associated with greater post-surgery rates of cognitive impairment. Conclusions: Family history of Alzheimer’s disease may limit post-surgery cognitive benefits. Future studies should examine whether weight loss can modify the course of cognitive decline in patients at-risk for Alzheimer’s disease. PMID:26770731

  19. Cognitive Correlates of Functional Performance in Older Adults: Comparison of Self-Report, Direct Observation, and Performance-Based Measures

    PubMed Central

    Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen; Parsey, Carolyn; Cook, Diane J.

    2013-01-01

    Neuropsychologists are often asked to answer questions about the effects of cognitive deficits on everyday functioning. This study examined the relationship between and the cognitive correlates of self-report, performance-based, and direct observation measures commonly used as proxy measures for everyday functioning. Participants were 88 community-dwelling, cognitively healthy older adults (age 50–86 years). Participants completed standardized neuropsychological tests and questionnaires, and performed eight activities of daily living (e.g., water plants, fill a medication dispenser) while under direct observation in a campus apartment. All proxy measures of everyday function were sensitive to the effects of healthy cognitive aging. After controlling for age, cognitive predictors explained a unique amount of the variance for only the performance-based behavioral simulation measure (i.e., Revised Observed Tasks of Daily Living). The self-report instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and the performance-based everyday problem-solving test (i.e., EPT) did not correlate with each other; however, both were unique predictors of the direct observation measure. These findings suggest that neuropsychologists must be cautious in making predictions about the quality of everyday activity completion in cognitively healthy older adults from specific cognitive functions. The findings further suggest that a self-report of IADLs and the performance-based EPT may be useful measures for assessing everyday functional status in cognitively healthy older adults. PMID:21729400

  20. Improvement in social and cognitive functioning associated with paliperidone extended-release treatment in patients with schizophrenia: a 24-week, single arm, open-label study

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Chuan; Yao, Shu Qiao; Xu, Yi Feng; Shi, Jian Guo; Xu, Xiu Feng; Zhang, Cong Pei; Jin, Hua; Yu, Xin

    2016-01-01

    Purpose This single-arm, open-label study aimed to explore the effects of extended-release paliperidone on social and cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia. Methods Paliperidone extended-release (flexible dose ranging from 3 to 12 mg/day orally) was administered for 24 weeks in patients with schizophrenia. Patient function was assessed using the personal and social performance scale, measurement and treatment research to improve cognition in schizophrenia initiative-consensus cognitive battery, positive and negative syndrome scale, and clinical global impression-severity. Results Ninety patients were included in the full analysis set, while 72 patients were included in the per protocol set. The personal and social performance score was 54.3±14.3 at baseline, and significantly increased to 73.4±12.6 at week 24 (P<0.001). For the measurement and treatment research to improve cognition in schizophrenia initiative-consensus cognitive battery assessment, six of the nine individual subtests, six of the seven cognitive domains, and total cognitive scores improved significantly (P<0.05) between baseline and endpoint. positive and negative syndrome scale total scores and clinical global impression-severity scores decreased gradually (P<0.001) from week 4 to the conclusion of the study. Conclusion Paliperidone extended-release treatment significantly improves social and neurocognitive function as well as symptoms in Chinese patients with schizophrenia. PMID:27601904

  1. Physical Activity in the School Setting: Cognitive Performance Is Not Affected by Three Different Types of Acute Exercise.

    PubMed

    van den Berg, Vera; Saliasi, Emi; de Groot, Renate H M; Jolles, Jelle; Chinapaw, Mai J M; Singh, Amika S

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that a single bout of physical exercise can have immediate positive effects on cognitive performance of children and adolescents. However, the type of exercise that affects cognitive performance the most in young adolescents is not fully understood. Therefore, this controlled study examined the acute effects of three types of 12-min classroom-based exercise sessions on information processing speed and selective attention. The three conditions consisted of aerobic, coordination, and strength exercises, respectively. In particular, this study focused on the feasibility and efficiency of introducing short bouts of exercise in the classroom. One hundred and ninety five students (5th and 6th grade; 10-13 years old) participated in a double baseline within-subjects design, with students acting as their own control. Exercise type was randomly assigned to each class and acted as between-subject factor. Before and immediately after both the control and the exercise session, students performed two cognitive tests that measured information processing speed (Letter Digit Substitution Test) and selective attention (d2 Test of Attention). The results revealed that exercising at low to moderate intensity does not have an effect on the cognitive parameters tested in young adolescents. Furthermore, there were no differential effects of exercise type. The results of this study are discussed in terms of the caution which should be taken when conducting exercise sessions in a classroom setting aimed at improving cognitive performance. PMID:27242629

  2. Cognitive and performance-based treatments for panic attacks in people with varying degrees of agoraphobic disability.

    PubMed

    Williams, S L; Falbo, J

    1996-03-01

    Compared the effectiveness of cognitive therapy and performance-based exposure as treatments for panic attacks. Subjects were 48 panicky individuals selected without regard to agoraphobic disability, and who varied widely in that respect. Subjects were assigned randomly to either cognitive treatment, performance-based exposure treatment, a combined cognitive/performance treatment, or a no-treatment control condition. All three treatments led to marked and enduring improvements in panic, and did not differ from one another in effectiveness, whereas the control condition produced little benefit. However, on several measures of phobia and panic-related cognitions, performance exposure was significantly more effective than cognitive therapy. Degree of agoraphobic disability had a significant bearing on panic treatment effectiveness. Whereas 94% of the low agoraphobia Ss were free of panic after treatment, only 52% of the high agoraphobia Ss became panic-free. The findings suggest that when panic treatment research excludes people with serious phobias, as it has routinely done in recent years, an overly positive estimate of panic treatment effectiveness can result. PMID:8881094

  3. Physical Activity in the School Setting: Cognitive Performance Is Not Affected by Three Different Types of Acute Exercise

    PubMed Central

    van den Berg, Vera; Saliasi, Emi; de Groot, Renate H. M.; Jolles, Jelle; Chinapaw, Mai J. M.; Singh, Amika S.

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that a single bout of physical exercise can have immediate positive effects on cognitive performance of children and adolescents. However, the type of exercise that affects cognitive performance the most in young adolescents is not fully understood. Therefore, this controlled study examined the acute effects of three types of 12-min classroom-based exercise sessions on information processing speed and selective attention. The three conditions consisted of aerobic, coordination, and strength exercises, respectively. In particular, this study focused on the feasibility and efficiency of introducing short bouts of exercise in the classroom. One hundred and ninety five students (5th and 6th grade; 10–13 years old) participated in a double baseline within-subjects design, with students acting as their own control. Exercise type was randomly assigned to each class and acted as between-subject factor. Before and immediately after both the control and the exercise session, students performed two cognitive tests that measured information processing speed (Letter Digit Substitution Test) and selective attention (d2 Test of Attention). The results revealed that exercising at low to moderate intensity does not have an effect on the cognitive parameters tested in young adolescents. Furthermore, there were no differential effects of exercise type. The results of this study are discussed in terms of the caution which should be taken when conducting exercise sessions in a classroom setting aimed at improving cognitive performance. PMID:27242629

  4. Functional relations and cognitive psychology: Lessons from human performance and animal research.

    PubMed

    Proctor, Robert W; Urcuioli, Peter J

    2016-02-01

    We consider requirements for effective interdisciplinary communication and explore alternative interpretations of "building bridges between functional and cognitive psychology." If the bridges are intended to connect radical behaviourism and cognitive psychology, or functional contextualism and cognitive psychology, the efforts are unlikely to be successful. But if the bridges are intended to connect functional relationships and cognitive theory, no construction is needed because the bridges already exist within cognitive psychology. We use human performance and animal research to illustrate the latter point and to counter the claim that the functional approach is unique in offering a close relationship between science and practice. Effective communication will be enhanced and, indeed, may only occur if the goal of functional contextualism extends beyond just "the advancement of functional contextual cognitive and behavioral science and practice" to "the advancement of cognitive and behavioral science and practice" without restriction. PMID:26111342

  5. Cognitive performance and convulsion risk after experimentally-induced febrile-seizures in rat.

    PubMed

    Rajab, Ebrahim; Abdeen, Zahra; Hassan, Zuhair; Alsaffar, Yousif; Mandeel, Mohammad; Al Shawaaf, Fatima; Al-Ansari, Sali; Kamal, Amer

    2014-05-01

    Many reports indicated that small percentage of children with febrile seizures develop epilepsy and cognitive disorders later in adulthood. In addition, the neuronal network of the hippocampus was reported to be deranged in adult animals after being exposed to hyperthermia-induced seizures in their neonatal life. The aims of this study were to investigate (1) latency and probability of seizures, (2) spatial learning and memory, in adult rats after neonatal hyperthermia-induced febrile seizures (FS). Prolonged FS were elicited in 10-day old, male Sprague Dawleys (n=11/group) by exposure to heated air (48-52 °C) for 30 min; control rats were exposed to 30 °C air. After 1.5 months the animal's cognitive performance was assessed by 5 day trial in the Morris water maze. In another experiment the latency and probability of seizures were measured in response to pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) injections (increased doses ranged from 7 to 140 mg/kg; i.p.). In water maze, both groups showed improvements in escape latency and distance swam to reach the platform; effects were significantly greater in control versus hyperthermia-treated animals on days 3 and 4. Latency and probability of PTZ-induced seizures were shorter and higher respectively, in hyperthermia-treated animals compared to controls. We concluded that FS in neonatal rats leads to enhanced susceptibility for seizures, as well as cognitive deficits in adults. PMID:24433986

  6. Performance cognitive de futurs professionnels de l'intervention.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larivee, Serge; Normandeau, Sylvie

    1984-01-01

    Cognitive levels of 48 university students enrolled in humanities were assessed by Piagetian tasks. Three formal abilities were measured: combinatory, probability, control of variables. Results were analyzed according to school training effect and content of tasks. (Author/MLW)

  7. Children's Sleep, Sleepiness, and Performance on Cognitive Tasks.

    PubMed

    Buckhalt, Joseph A

    2011-01-01

    While causal connections between sleep deprivation and attention, learning, and memory have been well established in adults, much less research has been done with children. Relations between the amount and quality of sleep and daytime sleepiness have been found for a number of cognitive and academic tasks in several groups of children. These relations have been found for children who have sleep disorders, for children with disorders involving cognitive impairment, and for typically developing children with no known disorders. The research is reviewed here with a focus on the types of cognitive and academic tasks that have been related to insufficient sleep. A series of studies is described that relates sleep parameters to the Woodcock-Johnson® III Tests of Cognitive Abilities and other, similar measures. Implications for educators and psychologists who work with children are discussed. PMID:25279390

  8. Improving Reproductive Performance: Long and Short Term

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Improvements in reproductive performance for beef herds can be classified as short term (current year) or long term (lifetime production) and can be applied to and measured in individual animals or the entire herd. In other species, results show that rearing young animals under caloric restriction ...

  9. A Paradigm Shift to Improve Academic Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rulloda, Rudolfo B.

    2009-01-01

    A shift to computer skills for improving academic performances was investigated. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 increased the amount of high school dropouts after the Act was enacted. At-risk students were included in this research study. Several models described using teachers for core subjects and mentors to built citizenship skills, along…

  10. PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF AN IMPROVED STREET SWEEPER

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report gives results of an extensive evaluation of the Improved Street Sweeper (ISS) in Bellevue, WA, and in San Diego, CA. The cleaning performance of the ISS was compared with that of broom sweepers and a vacuum sweeper. The ISS cleaned streets better than the other sweeper...

  11. Electrolysis Performance Improvement and Validation Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, Franz H.

    1992-01-01

    Viewgraphs on electrolysis performance improvement and validation experiment are presented. Topics covered include: water electrolysis: an ever increasing need/role for space missions; static feed electrolysis (SFE) technology: a concept developed for space applications; experiment objectives: why test in microgravity environment; and experiment description: approach, hardware description, test sequence and schedule.

  12. Using Semantic Coaching to Improve Teacher Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caccia, Paul F.

    1996-01-01

    Explains that semantic coaching is a system of conversational analysis and communication design developed by Fernando Flores, and was based on the earlier research of John Austin and John Searle. Describes how to establish the coaching relationship, and how to coach for improved performance. (PA)

  13. The neurobiology of modafinil as an enhancer of cognitive performance and a potential treatment for substance use disorders

    PubMed Central

    Mereu, Maddalena; Bonci, Antonello; Newman, Amy Hauck; Tanda, Gianluigi

    2013-01-01

    Rationale and Objectives Modafinil (MOD) and its R-enantiomer (R-MOD) are approved medications for narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. They have also been used, off label, as cognitive enhancers in populations of patients with mental disorders, including substance abusers that demonstrate impaired cognitive function. A debated non-medical use of MOD in healthy individuals to improve intellectual performance is raising questions about its potential abuse liability in this population. Results and Conclusions MOD has low micromolar affinity for the dopamine transporter (DAT). Inhibition of dopamine (DA) reuptake via the DAT explains the enhancement of DA levels in several brain areas, an effect shared with psychostimulants like cocaine, methylphenidate and the amphetamines. However, its neurochemical effects and anatomical pattern of brain area activation differ from typical psychostimulants and are consistent with its beneficial effects on cognitive performance processes such as attention, learning, and memory. At variance with typical psychostimulants, MOD shows very low, if any, abuse liability, in spite of its use as a cognitive enhancer by otherwise healthy individuals. Finally, recent clinical studies have focused on the potential use of MOD as a medication for treatment of drug abuse, but have not shown consistent outcomes. However, positive trends in several result measures suggest that medications that improve cognitive function, like MOD or R-MOD, may be beneficial for treatment of substance use disorders in certain patient populations. PMID:23934211

  14. Physical Activity throughout Adolescence and Cognitive Performance at 18 Years of Age

    PubMed Central

    Esteban-Cornejo, Irene; Hallal, Pedro C; Mielke, Grégore I; Menezes, Ana M B; Gonçalves, Helen; Wehrmeister, Fernando; Ekelund, Ulf; Rombaldi, Airton J

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To examine the prospective associations of physical activity at 11, 15 and 18 years of age with cognitive performance in young adulthood in a large birth cohort study from Brazil. Methods Participants were part of a large birth cohort study in Pelotas, Brazil (n = 3235 participants). Physical activity was self-reported at 11, 15 and 18 years and also was objectively measured at 18 years. Cognitive performance was assessed using an adapted Brazilian version of the short form of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-III) at 18 years. Results At 11 years, participants in the middle tertile of self-reported physical activity presented a significantly higher cognitive performance score as compared to the lowest tertile. Physical activity at 15 years of age was unrelated to cognitive performance at 18 years. Self-reported physical activity was cross-sectionally positively associated with cognitive performance at 18 years (p<0.001). Data from objectively measured physical activity at 18 years showed that those in the highest moderate to vigorous physical activity tertile presented lower cognitive performance scores at 18 years as compared to those in the lowest tertile (−2.59; 95%CI: −3.41; −1.48). Analyses on changes in tertiles of physical activity showed that maintaining an intermediate physical activity level from 11 to 18 years and from 15 to 18 years was associated with higher cognitive performance score of 2.31 (95%CI: 0.71; 3.91) and 1.84 score (95%CI: 0.25; 3.42), respectively. Conclusion Physical activity throughout adolescence is associated with cognitive performance before adulthood. Adolescents who are active at moderate levels, specifically those who maintain these levels of physical activity, tend to show higher cognitive performance. However, high levels of physical activity might impair cognitive performance. PMID:25973558

  15. Daytime Cognitive Performance in Response to Sunlight or Fluorescent Light Controlling for Sleep Duration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramos, Jhanic; Zamos, Adela; Rao, Rohit; Flynn-Evans, Erin

    2015-01-01

    Light is the primary synchronizer of the human circadian rhythm and also has acute alerting effects. Our study involves and comparing the alertness, performance and sleep of participants in the NASA Ames Sustainability Base, which uses sunlight as its primary light source, to in a traditional office building which uses overhead florescent lighting and varying exposure to natural light. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the use of natural lighting as a primary light source improves daytime cognitive function and promotes nighttime sleep. Participants from the Sustainability Base will be matched by gender and age to individuals working in other NASA buildings. In a prior study we found no differences in performance between those working in the Sustainability Base and those working in other buildings. Unexpectedly, we found that the average sleep duration among participants in both buildings was short, which likely obscured our ability to detect a difference the effect of light exposure on alertness. Given that such sleep deprivation has negative effects on cognitive performance, in this iteration of the study we are asking the participants to maintain a regular schedule with eight hours in bed each night in order to control for the effect of self-selected sleep restriction. Over the course of one week, we will ask the participants to wear actiwatches continuously, complete a psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) and digit symbol substitution task (DSST) three times per day, and keep daily sleepwork diaries. We hope that this study will provide data to support the idea that natural lighting and green architectural design are optimal to enhance healthy nighttime sleep patterns and daytime cognitive performance.

  16. The largest human cognitive performance dataset reveals insights into the effects of lifestyle factors and aging

    PubMed Central

    Sternberg, Daniel A.; Ballard, Kacey; Hardy, Joseph L.; Katz, Benjamin; Doraiswamy, P. Murali; Scanlon, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Making new breakthroughs in understanding the processes underlying human cognition may depend on the availability of very large datasets that have not historically existed in psychology and neuroscience. Lumosity is a web-based cognitive training platform that has grown to include over 600 million cognitive training task results from over 35 million individuals, comprising the largest existing dataset of human cognitive performance. As part of the Human Cognition Project, Lumosity's collaborative research program to understand the human mind, Lumos Labs researchers and external research collaborators have begun to explore this dataset in order uncover novel insights about the correlates of cognitive performance. This paper presents two preliminary demonstrations of some of the kinds of questions that can be examined with the dataset. The first example focuses on replicating known findings relating lifestyle factors to baseline cognitive performance in a demographically diverse, healthy population at a much larger scale than has previously been available. The second example examines a question that would likely be very difficult to study in laboratory-based and existing online experimental research approaches at a large scale: specifically, how learning ability for different types of cognitive tasks changes with age. We hope that these examples will provoke the imagination of researchers who are interested in collaborating to answer fundamental questions about human cognitive performance. PMID:23801955

  17. The largest human cognitive performance dataset reveals insights into the effects of lifestyle factors and aging.

    PubMed

    Sternberg, Daniel A; Ballard, Kacey; Hardy, Joseph L; Katz, Benjamin; Doraiswamy, P Murali; Scanlon, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Making new breakthroughs in understanding the processes underlying human cognition may depend on the availability of very large datasets that have not historically existed in psychology and neuroscience. Lumosity is a web-based cognitive training platform that has grown to include over 600 million cognitive training task results from over 35 million individuals, comprising the largest existing dataset of human cognitive performance. As part of the Human Cognition Project, Lumosity's collaborative research program to understand the human mind, Lumos Labs researchers and external research collaborators have begun to explore this dataset in order uncover novel insights about the correlates of cognitive performance. This paper presents two preliminary demonstrations of some of the kinds of questions that can be examined with the dataset. The first example focuses on replicating known findings relating lifestyle factors to baseline cognitive performance in a demographically diverse, healthy population at a much larger scale than has previously been available. The second example examines a question that would likely be very difficult to study in laboratory-based and existing online experimental research approaches at a large scale: specifically, how learning ability for different types of cognitive tasks changes with age. We hope that these examples will provoke the imagination of researchers who are interested in collaborating to answer fundamental questions about human cognitive performance. PMID:23801955

  18. Engineering performance monitoring: Sustained contributions to plant performance improvement

    SciTech Connect

    Bebko, J.J. )

    1992-01-01

    With the aim of achieving excellence in an engineering department that makes both individual project-by-project contributions to plant performance improvement and sustained overall contributions to plant performance, the Niagara Mohawk Nuclear Engineering Department went back to the basics of running a business and established an Engineering Performance Monitoring System. This system focused on the unique products and services of the department and their cost, schedule, and quality parameters. The goals were to provide the best possible service to customers and the generation department and to be one of the best engineering departments in the industry.

  19. Loss-aversion or loss-attention: the impact of losses on cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Yechiam, Eldad; Hochman, Guy

    2013-03-01

    Losses were found to improve cognitive performance, and this has been commonly explained by increased weighting of losses compared to gains (i.e., loss aversion). We examine whether effects of losses on performance could be modulated by two alternative processes: an attentional effect leading to increased sensitivity to task incentives; and a contrast-related effect. Empirical data from five studies show that losses improve performance even when the enhanced performance runs counter to the predictions of loss aversion. In Study 1-3 we show that in various settings, when an advantageous option produces large gains and small losses, participants select this alternative at a higher rate than when it does not produce losses. Consistent with the joint influence of attention and contrast-related processes, this effect is smaller when a disadvantageous alternative produces the losses. In Studies 4 and 5 we find a positive effect on performance even with no contrast effects (when a similar loss is added to all alternatives). These findings indicate that both attention and contrast-based processes are implicated in the effect of losses on performance, and that a positive effect of losses on performance is not tantamount to loss aversion. PMID:23334108

  20. The Effects of MCBI Program Embedded Cognitive Strategies for Performance on Verbal and Visual Testing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, William; And Others

    While much of microcomputer-based instruction (MCBI) is oriented to provide self-paced instruction to adjust for individual differences, there is some indication from cognitive theory that self-pacing may not be the best approach to improving learning. In addition, research in the area of cognitive imagery mediation has indicated that imagery…

  1. Aging and Cognitive Performance: Challenges and Implications for Physicians Practicing in the 21st Century

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durning, Steven J.; Artino, Anthony R.; Holmboe, Eric; Beckman, Thomas J.; van der Vleuten, Cees; Schuwirth, Lambert

    2010-01-01

    The demands of physician practice are growing. Some specialties face critical shortages and a significant percentage of physicians are aging. To improve health care it is paramount to understand and address challenges, including cognitive issues, facing aging physicians. In this article, we outline several issues related to cognitive performance…

  2. Association between cognitive performance, physical fitness, and physical activity level in women with chronic fatigue syndrome.

    PubMed

    Ickmans, Kelly; Clarys, Peter; Nijs, Jo; Meeus, Mira; Aerenhouts, Dirk; Zinzen, Evert; Aelbrecht, Senne; Meersdom, Geert; Lambrecht, Luc; Pattyn, Nathalie

    2013-01-01

    Limited scientific evidence suggests that physical activity is directly related to cognitive performance in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). To date, no other study has examined the direct relationship between cognitive performance and physical fitness in these patients. This study examined whether cognitive performance and physical fitness are associated in female patients with CFS and investigated the association between cognitive performance and physical activity level (PAL) in the same study sample. We hypothesized that patients who performed better on cognitive tasks would show increased PALs and better performance on physical tests. The study included 31 women with CFS and 13 healthy inactive women. Participants first completed three cognitive tests. Afterward, they undertook a test to determine their maximal handgrip strength, performed a bicycle ergometer test, and were provided with an activity monitor. In patients with CFS, lower peak oxygen uptake and peak heart rate were associated with slower psychomotor speed (p < 0.05). Maximal handgrip strength was correlated with working memory performance (p < 0.05). Both choice and simple reaction time were lower in patients with CFS relative to healthy controls (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively). In conclusion, physical fitness, but not PAL, is associated with cognitive performance in female patients with CFS. PMID:24203542

  3. Improving cognitive therapy for depression with functional analytic psychotherapy: Theory and case study

    PubMed Central

    Kohlenberg, Robert J.; Tsai, Mavis

    1994-01-01

    A behavioral reconceptualization of cognitive therapy is presented to illustrate that clinical behavior analysis (CBA) has much to offer traditional cognitive behavior therapy. Particular attention is given to the distinction between cognitive structures and products and the theoretical dilemma facing cognitive therapists when they attempt to devise interventions aimed at changing nonbehavioral entities. The distinction between rule-governed and contingency-shaped behavior and the implications of functional analytic psychotherapy (Kohlenberg & Tsai, 1991) are used to resolve the dilemma and to suggest methods for enhancing cognitive therapy. In a case study, a CBA-enhanced version of cognitive therapy was introduced after 7 weeks of standard cognitive treatment for a 35-year-old depressed male. The client—therapist relationship provided opportunities during the therapy session for learning new behavior called for in the behaviorally reconceptualized cognitive therapy. The enhanced treatment improved clinical efficacy and increased the client's focus on his deficits in interpersonal repertoires. Because the present case study involved only one of several enhancements suggested by CBA, the possibility of increased efficacy from a more comprehensive application is discussed. PMID:22478194

  4. Poor performance on cognitive tasks in depression: Doing too much or not enough?

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Neil P.; Siegle, Greg J.; Muelly, Emilie R.; Haggerty, Agnes; Ghinassi, Frank

    2010-01-01

    Depressed people perform poorly on cognitive tasks – it is unclear whether these deficits are due to decreased devotion of task-related resources or increased attention to non-task-related information. We examined the degree to which depressed and healthy adults displayed pupillary motility which varied at the frequency of presented stimuli on a cognitive task, which we interpreted as task-related processing, and at other frequencies which we interpreted as reflecting intrinsic processing. Depressed participants made more consecutive errors compared to controls. More pupillary motility at other frequencies was associated with poorer performance whereas more pupillary motility at the frequency of presented stimuli was associated with better performance. Depressed participants had more pupillary motility at other frequencies which partially mediated observed deficits in cognitive performance. These findings support the hypothesis that allocating cognitive resources to intrinsic processing, contributes to observed cognitive deficits in depression. PMID:20233961

  5. Aerobic Exercise as an Adjunct Therapy for Improving Cognitive Function in Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    Gary, Rebecca A.; Brunn, Kathryn

    2014-01-01

    Persons with heart failure (HF) are typically older and are at a much higher risk for developing cognitive impairment (CI) than persons without HF. Increasingly, CI is recognized as a significant, independent predictor of worse clinical outcomes, more frequent hospital readmissions, and higher mortality rates in persons with HF. CI can have devastating effects on ability to carry out HF effective self-care behaviors. If CI occurs, however, there are currently no evidence based guidelines on how to manage or improve cognitive function in this population. Improvement in cognition has been reported following some therapies in HF and is thought to be the consequence of enhanced cerebral perfusion and oxygenation, suggesting that CI may be amenable to intervention. Because there is substantial neuronal loss with dementia and no effective restorative therapies, interventions that slow, reverse, or prevent cognitive decline are essential. Aerobic exercise is documented to increase cerebral perfusion and oxygenation by promoting neuroplasticity and neurogenesis and, in turn, cognitive functioning. Few studies have examined exercise as a potential adjunct therapy for attenuating or alleviating cognitive decline in HF. In this review, the potential benefit of aerobic exercise on cognitive functioning in HF is presented along with future research directions. PMID:25105053

  6. Computer-Based Cognitive Programs for Improvement of Memory, Processing Speed and Executive Function during Age-Related Cognitive Decline: A Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Yan-kun; Mang, Jing; Li, Pei-lan; Wang, Jie; Deng, Ting; Xu, Zhong-xin

    2015-01-01

    Background Several studies have assessed the effects of computer-based cognitive programs (CCP) in the management of age-related cognitive decline, but the role of CCP remains controversial. Therefore, this systematic review evaluated the evidence on the efficacy of CCP for age-related cognitive decline in healthy older adults. Methods Six electronic databases (through October 2014) were searched. The risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration tool. The standardized mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of a random-effects model were calculated. The heterogeneity was assessed using the Cochran Q statistic and quantified with the I2 index. Results Twelve studies were included in the current review and were considered as moderate to high methodological quality. The aggregated results indicate that CCP improves memory performance (SMD, 0.31; 95% CI 0.16 to 0.45; p < 0.0001) and processing speed (SMD, 0.50; 95% CI 0.14 to 0.87; p = 0.007) but not executive function (SMD, -0.12; 95% CI -0.33 to 0.09; p = 0.27). Furthermore, there were long-term gains in memory performance (SMD, 0.59; 95% CI 0.13 to 1.05; p = 0.01). Conclusion CCP may be a valid complementary and alternative therapy for age-related cognitive decline, especially for memory performance and processing speed. However, more studies with longer follow-ups are warranted to confirm the current findings. PMID:26098943

  7. The influence of cognitive load on spatial search performance.

    PubMed

    Longstaffe, Kate A; Hood, Bruce M; Gilchrist, Iain D

    2014-01-01

    During search, executive function enables individuals to direct attention to potential targets, remember locations visited, and inhibit distracting information. In the present study, we investigated these executive processes in large-scale search. In our tasks, participants searched a room containing an array of illuminated locations embedded in the floor. The participants' task was to press the switches at the illuminated locations on the floor so as to locate a target that changed color when pressed. The perceptual salience of the search locations was manipulated by having some locations flashing and some static. Participants were more likely to search at flashing locations, even when they were explicitly informed that the target was equally likely to be at any location. In large-scale search, attention was captured by the perceptual salience of the flashing lights, leading to a bias to explore these targets. Despite this failure of inhibition, participants were able to restrict returns to previously visited locations, a measure of spatial memory performance. Participants were more able to inhibit exploration to flashing locations when they were not required to remember which locations had previously been visited. A concurrent digit-span memory task further disrupted inhibition during search, as did a concurrent auditory attention task. These experiments extend a load theory of attention to large-scale search, which relies on egocentric representations of space. High cognitive load on working memory leads to increased distractor interference, providing evidence for distinct roles for the executive subprocesses of memory and inhibition during large-scale search. PMID:24170380

  8. Improved Neurobehavioral Performance during the Wake Maintenance Zone

    PubMed Central

    Shekleton, Julia A.; Rajaratnam, Shantha M. W.; Gooley, Joshua J.; Van Reen, Eliza; Czeisler, Charles A.; Lockley, Steven W.

    2013-01-01

    Study Objectives: Although impairment of daytime functioning is a symptom of many sleep disorders, there are limited data on their nature for some patient groups. The role of the circadian system on impaired functioning, specifically the wake maintenance zone (WMZ)—a ∼3-h window of reduced sleep propensity that occurs shortly before the onset of melatonin synthesis—has received little attention. The study examined the influence of the WMZ on neurobehavioral performance under normal conditions and following sleep deprivation. Methods: Thirty-one adults (8 F; 18-29 y) completed an in-patient protocol including a baseline day (8-h sleep:16-h wake) and a ∼50-h constant routine (CR), including regular assessment of plasma melatonin and neurobehavioral performance (i.e., auditory and visual psychomotor vigilance tests [aPVT, vPVT], Digit Symbol Substitution Test [DSST], and subjective sleepiness). Results: Performance in the 3 hours before the onset of melatonin secretion (i.e., the expected WMZ) was significantly improved compared to performance during a 3-hour block earlier in the biological day, despite a longer time awake. The improvement during WMZ was most prominent after extended wakefulness (i.e., day 2 of the CR). Conclusions: These results suggest that alignment of circa-dian phase with respect to sleep-wake timing may affect cognitive performance, particularly when homeostatic sleep pressure is high, and especially when performance is assessed in the evening, near the predicted WMZ. The potential contribution of the WMZ to sleep-onset insomnia complaints should be assessed further, using objective neurobehavioral testing and simultaneous circadian phase measurement. Citation: Shekleton JA; Rajaratnam SMW; Gooley JJ; Van Reen E; Czeisler CA; Lockley SW. Improved neurobehavioral performance during the wake maintenance zone. J Clin Sleep Med 2013;9(4):353-362. PMID:23585751

  9. Cognitive and oculomotor performance in subjects with low and high schizotypy: implications for translational drug development studies.

    PubMed

    Koychev, I; Joyce, D; Barkus, E; Ettinger, U; Schmechtig, A; Dourish, C T; Dawson, G R; Craig, K J; Deakin, J F W

    2016-01-01

    The development of drugs to improve cognition in patients with schizophrenia is a major unmet clinical need. A number of promising compounds failed in recent clinical trials, a pattern linked to poor translation between preclinical and clinical stages of drug development. Seeking proof of efficacy in early Phase 1 studies in surrogate patient populations (for example, high schizotypy individuals where subtle cognitive impairment is present) has been suggested as a strategy to reduce attrition in the later stages of drug development. However, there is little agreement regarding the pattern of distribution of schizotypal features in the general population, creating uncertainty regarding the optimal control group that should be included in prospective trials. We aimed to address this question by comparing the performance of groups derived from the general population with low, average and high schizotypy scores over a range of cognitive and oculomotor tasks. We found that tasks dependent on frontal inhibitory mechanisms (N-Back working memory and anti-saccade oculomotor tasks), as well as a smooth-pursuit oculomotor task were sensitive to differences in the schizotypy phenotype. In these tasks the cognitive performance of 'low schizotypes' was significantly different from 'high schizotypes' with 'average schizotypes' having an intermediate performance. These results indicate that for evaluating putative cognition enhancers for treating schizophrenia in early-drug development studies the maximum schizotypy effect would be achieved using a design that compares low and high schizotypes. PMID:27187233

  10. Motivated to do well: an examination of the relationships between motivation, effort, and cognitive performance in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Foussias, G; Siddiqui, I; Fervaha, G; Mann, S; McDonald, K; Agid, O; Zakzanis, K K; Remington, G

    2015-08-01

    The uncertain relationship between negative symptoms, and specifically motivational deficits, with cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia is in need of further elucidation as it pertains to the interpretation of cognitive test results. Findings to date have suggested a possible mediating role of motivational deficits on cognitive test measures, although findings from formal examinations of effort using performance validity measures have been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between motivation, effort exerted during cognitive testing, and cognitive performance in schizophrenia. Sixty-nine outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were evaluated for psychopathology, severity of motivational deficits, effort exerted during cognitive testing, and cognitive performance. Motivation and degree of effort exerted during cognitive testing were significantly related to cognitive performance, specifically verbal fluency, verbal and working memory, attention and processing speed, and reasoning and problem solving. Further, effort accounted for 15% of the variance in cognitive performance, and partially mediated the relationship between motivation and cognitive performance. Examining cognitive performance profiles for individuals exerting normal or reduced effort revealed significant differences in global cognition, as well as attention/processing speed and reasoning and problem solving. These findings suggest that cognitive domains may be differentially affected by impairments in motivation and effort, and highlight the importance of understanding the interplay between motivation and cognitive performance deficits, which may guide the appropriate selection of symptom targets for promoting recovery in patients. PMID:26008882

  11. Improving Wordspotting Performance with Limited Training Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Eric I.-Chao

    1995-01-01

    This thesis addresses the problem of limited training data in pattern detection problems where a small number of target classes must be detected in a varied background. There is typically limited training data and limited knowledge about class distributions in this type of spotting problem and in this case a statistical pattern classifier can not accurately model class distributions. The domain of wordspotting is used to explore new approaches that improve spotting system performance with limited training data. First, a high performance, state-of-the-art whole-word based wordspotter is developed. Two complementary approaches are then introduced to help compensate for the lack of data. Figure of Merit training, a new type of discriminative training algorithm, modifies the spotting system parameters according to the metric used to evaluate wordspotting systems. The effectiveness of discriminative training approaches may be limited due to overtraining a classifier on insufficient training data. While the classifier's performance on the training data improves, the classifier's performance on unseen test data degrades. To alleviate this problem, voice transformation techniques are used to generate more training examples that improve the robustness of the spotting system. The wordspotter is trained and tested on the Switchboard credit-card database, a database of spontaneous conversations recorded over the telephone. The baseline wordspotter achieves a Figure of Merit of 62.5% on a testing set. With Figure of Merit training, the Figure of Merit improves to 65.8%. When Figure of Merit training and voice transformations are used together, the Figure of Merit improves to 71.9%. The final wordspotter system achieves a Figure of Merit of 64.2% on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) September 1992 official benchmark, surpassing the 1992 results from other whole-word based wordspotting systems. (Copies available exclusively from MIT Libraries, Rm. 14

  12. Erythropoietin improves mood and modulates the cognitive and neural processing of emotion 3 days post administration.

    PubMed

    Miskowiak, Kamilla; Inkster, Becky; Selvaraj, Sudhakar; Wise, Richard; Goodwin, Guy M; Harmer, Catherine J

    2008-02-01

    Erythropoietin (Epo) has neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects and is a promising candidate for treatment of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorder. Recently, we demonstrated that Epo modulates memory-relevant hippocampal response and fear processing in human models of antidepressant drug action 1 week post-administration, and improves self-reported mood for 3 days immediately following administration. The present study explored the effects of Epo (40 000 IU) vs saline on self-reported mood and on neural and cognitive function in healthy volunteers 3 days post-administration to test the reliability of the rapid mood improvement and its neuropsychological basis. Neuronal responses during the processing of happy and fearful faces were investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); facial expression recognition performance was assessed after the fMRI scan. Daily ratings of mood were obtained for 3 days after Epo/saline administration. During faces processing Epo enhanced activation in the left amygdala and right precuneus to happy and fearful expressions. This was paired with improved recognition of all facial expressions, in particular of low intensity happiness and fear. This is similar to behavioral effects observed with acute administration of serotonergic antidepressants. Consistent with our previous finding, Epo improved self-reported mood for all 3 days post-administration. Together, these results suggest that characterization of the effects of Epo in a clinically depressed group is warranted. PMID:17473836

  13. Visual Scanning and Cognitive Performance in Prediagnostic and Early-Stage Huntington's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Blekher, Tanya; Weaver, Marjorie R.; Marshall, Jeanine; Hui, Siu; Jackson, Jacqueline Gray; Stout, Julie C.; Beristain, Xabier; Wojcieszek, Joanne; Yee, Robert D.; Foroud, Tatiana M.

    2010-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate visual scanning strategies in carriers of the Huntington disease (HD) gene expansion and to test whether there is an association between measures of visual scanning and cognitive performance. The study sample included control (NC, n = 23), prediagnostic (PDHD, n = 21), and subjects recently diagnosed with HD (HD, n = 19). All participants completed a uniform clinical evaluation that included examination by neurologist and molecular testing. Eye movements were recorded during completion of the Digit Symbol Subscale (DS) test. Quantitative measures of the subject's visual scanning were evaluated using joint analysis of eye movements and performance on the DS test. All participants employed a simple visual scanning strategy when completing the DS test. There was a significant group effect and a linear trend of decreasing frequency and regularity of visual scanning from NC to PDHD to HD. The performance of all groups improved slightly and in a parallel fashion across the duration of the DS test. There was a strong correlation between visual scanning measures and the DS cognitive scores. While all individuals employed a similar visual scanning strategy, the visual scanning measures grew progressively worse from NC to PDHD to HD. The deficits in visual scanning accounted, at least in part, for the decrease in the DS score. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society PMID:19053053

  14. Visual scanning and cognitive performance in prediagnostic and early-stage Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Blekher, Tanya; Weaver, Marjorie R; Marshall, Jeanine; Hui, Siu; Jackson, Jacqueline Gray; Stout, Julie C; Beristain, Xabier; Wojcieszek, Joanne; Yee, Robert D; Foroud, Tatiana M

    2009-03-15

    The objective of this study was to evaluate visual scanning strategies in carriers of the Huntington disease (HD) gene expansion and to test whether there is an association between measures of visual scanning and cognitive performance. The study sample included control (NC, n = 23), prediagnostic (PDHD, n = 21), and subjects recently diagnosed with HD (HD, n = 19). All participants completed a uniform clinical evaluation that included examination by neurologist and molecular testing. Eye movements were recorded during completion of the Digit Symbol Subscale (DS) test. Quantitative measures of the subject's visual scanning were evaluated using joint analysis of eye movements and performance on the DS test. All participants employed a simple visual scanning strategy when completing the DS test. There was a significant group effect and a linear trend of decreasing frequency and regularity of visual scanning from NC to PDHD to HD. The performance of all groups improved slightly and in a parallel fashion across the duration of the DS test. There was a strong correlation between visual scanning measures and the DS cognitive scores. While all individuals employed a similar visual scanning strategy, the visual scanning measures grew progressively worse from NC to PDHD to HD. The deficits in visual scanning accounted, at least in part, for the decrease in the DS score. PMID:19053053

  15. Improved plant performance through evaporative steam condensing

    SciTech Connect

    Hutton, D.

    1998-07-01

    Combining an open cooling tower and a steam condenser into one common unit is a proven technology with many advantages in power generation application, including reduced first cost of equipment, reduced parasitic energy consumption, simplified design, reduced maintenance, and simplified water treatment, Performance of the steam turbine benefits from the direct approach to wet bulb temperature, and operating flexibility and reliability improve compared to a system with a cooling tower and surface condenser. System comparisons and case histories will be presented to substantiate improved systems economies.

  16. Randomized Clinical Trial of Cognitive Behavioral Social Skills Training for Schizophrenia: Improvement in Functioning and Experiential Negative Symptoms

    PubMed Central

    Granholm, Eric; Holden, Jason; Link, Peter C.; McQuaid, John R.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Identifying treatments to improve functioning and reduce negative symptoms in consumers with schizophrenia is of high public health significance. Method In this randomized clinical trial, participants with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (N=149) were randomly assigned to cognitive behavioral social skills training (CBSST) or an active goal-focused supportive contact (GFSC) control condition. CBSST combined cognitive behavior therapy with social skills training and problem solving training to improve functioning and negative symptoms. GFSC was weekly supportive group therapy focused on setting and achieving functioning goals. Blind raters assessed functioning (primary outcome: Independent Living Skills Survey (ILSS)), CBSST skill knowledge, positive and negative symptoms, depression, and defeatist performance attitudes. Results In mixed-effects regression models in intent-to-treat analyses, CBSST skill knowledge, functioning, amotivation/asociality negative symptoms and defeatist performance attitudes improved significantly more in CBSST relative to GFSC. In both treatment groups, comparable improvements were also found for positive symptoms and a performance-based measure of social competence. Conclusions The results suggest CBSST is an effective treatment to improve functioning and experiential negative symptoms in consumers with schizophrenia, and both CBSST and supportive group therapy that is actively focused on setting and achieving functioning goals can improve social competence and reduce positive symptoms. PMID:24911420

  17. Cognitively automated assembly processes: a simulation based evaluation of performance.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Marcel Ph; Odenthal, Barbara; Faber, Marco; Schlick, Christopher M

    2012-01-01

    The numerical control of an experimental assembly cell with two robots--termed a cognitive control unit (CCU)--is able to simulate human information processing at a rule-based level of cognitive control. To enable the CCU to work on a large range of assembly tasks expected of a human operator, the cognitive architecture SOAR is used. The CCU can plan assembly processes autonomously and react to ad-hoc changes in assembly sequences effectively. Extensive simulation studies have shown that cognitive automation based on SOAR is especially suitable for random parts supply, which reduces planning effort in logistics. Conversely, a disproportional increase in processing time was observed for deterministic parts supply, especially for assemblies containing large numbers of identical parts. In this contribution, the effect of phase-shifts in deterministic part supply is investigated for assemblies containing maximal different parts. It can be shown that the concept of cognitive automation is as well suitable for these planning problems. PMID:22317246

  18. Improving performance via mini-applications.

    SciTech Connect

    Crozier, Paul Stewart; Thornquist, Heidi K.; Numrich, Robert W.; Williams, Alan B.; Edwards, Harold Carter; Keiter, Eric Richard; Rajan, Mahesh; Willenbring, James M.; Doerfler, Douglas W.; Heroux, Michael Allen

    2009-09-01

    Application performance is determined by a combination of many choices: hardware platform, runtime environment, languages and compilers used, algorithm choice and implementation, and more. In this complicated environment, we find that the use of mini-applications - small self-contained proxies for real applications - is an excellent approach for rapidly exploring the parameter space of all these choices. Furthermore, use of mini-applications enriches the interaction between application, library and computer system developers by providing explicit functioning software and concrete performance results that lead to detailed, focused discussions of design trade-offs, algorithm choices and runtime performance issues. In this paper we discuss a collection of mini-applications and demonstrate how we use them to analyze and improve application performance on new and future computer platforms.

  19. Improvements in plant performance [Sequoyah Nuclear Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Lorek, M.J.

    1999-11-01

    The improvements in plant reliability and performance at Sequoyah in the last two years can be directly attributed to ten key ingredients; teamwork, management stability, a management team that believes in teamwork, clear direction from the top, a strong focus on human performance, the company wide STAR 7 initiative, strong succession planning, a very seasoned and effective outage management organization, an infrastructure that ensures that the station is focused on the right hardware priorities, and a very strong line organization owned self-assessment program. Continued focus on these key ingredients and realization on a daily basis that good performance can lead to complacency will ensure that performance at Sequoyah will remain at a very high level well into the 21st century.

  20. The effects of gamelike features and test location on cognitive test performance and participant enjoyment

    PubMed Central

    Skinner, Andy; Woods, Andy T.; Lawrence, Natalia S.; Munafò, Marcus

    2016-01-01

    Computerised cognitive assessments are a vital tool in the behavioural sciences, but participants often view them as effortful and unengaging. One potential solution is to add gamelike elements to these tasks in order to make them more intrinsically enjoyable, and some researchers have posited that a more engaging task might produce higher quality data. This assumption, however, remains largely untested. We investigated the effects of gamelike features and test location on the data and enjoyment ratings from a simple cognitive task. We tested three gamified variants of the Go-No-Go task, delivered both in the laboratory and online. In the first version of the task participants were rewarded with points for performing optimally. The second version of the task was framed as a cowboy shootout. The third version was a standard Go-No-Go task, used as a control condition. We compared reaction time, accuracy and subjective measures of enjoyment and engagement between task variants and study location. We found points to be a highly suitable game mechanic for gamified cognitive testing because they did not disrupt the validity of the data collected but increased participant enjoyment. However, we found no evidence that gamelike features could increase engagement to the point where participant performance improved. We also found that while participants enjoyed the cowboy themed task, the difficulty of categorising the gamelike stimuli adversely affected participant performance, increasing No-Go error rates by 28% compared to the non-game control. Responses collected online vs. in the laboratory had slightly longer reaction times but were otherwise very similar, supporting other findings that online crowdsourcing is an acceptable method of data collection for this type of research. PMID:27441120

  1. The effects of gamelike features and test location on cognitive test performance and participant enjoyment.

    PubMed

    Lumsden, Jim; Skinner, Andy; Woods, Andy T; Lawrence, Natalia S; Munafò, Marcus

    2016-01-01

    Computerised cognitive assessments are a vital tool in the behavioural sciences, but participants often view them as effortful and unengaging. One potential solution is to add gamelike elements to these tasks in order to make them more intrinsically enjoyable, and some researchers have posited that a more engaging task might produce higher quality data. This assumption, however, remains largely untested. We investigated the effects of gamelike features and test location on the data and enjoyment ratings from a simple cognitive task. We tested three gamified variants of the Go-No-Go task, delivered both in the laboratory and online. In the first version of the task participants were rewarded with points for performing optimally. The second version of the task was framed as a cowboy shootout. The third version was a standard Go-No-Go task, used as a control condition. We compared reaction time, accuracy and subjective measures of enjoyment and engagement between task variants and study location. We found points to be a highly suitable game mechanic for gamified cognitive testing because they did not disrupt the validity of the data collected but increased participant enjoyment. However, we found no evidence that gamelike features could increase engagement to the point where participant performance improved. We also found that while participants enjoyed the cowboy themed task, the difficulty of categorising the gamelike stimuli adversely affected participant performance, increasing No-Go error rates by 28% compared to the non-game control. Responses collected online vs. in the laboratory had slightly longer reaction times but were otherwise very similar, supporting other findings that online crowdsourcing is an acceptable method of data collection for this type of research. PMID:27441120

  2. Improving the uptake and comprehensiveness of bedside cognitive testing amongst liaison psychiatrists over an eight-month period.

    PubMed

    McCormack, Ruaidhri

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this quality improvement (QI) project was to improve the uptake and comprehensiveness of bedside cognitive testing amongst liaison psychiatrists over an eight month period. The baseline measurement involved an audit of the practice of the neuropsychiatry liaison team over six months at the 840 bed St Thomas's Hospital in London, UK. Of 35 referrals, 21 patients were able, and suitable, for cognitive testing based on the referral data and clinical interview. Fourteen (66.6%) of these patients had an Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE), while 5 (23.8%) had frontal testing. The frontal tests performed were variable and inconsistent. Two Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles were then conducted. Clear guidance was issued to the team on the use of the ACE or Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in suitable patients, and how these can be supplemented by frontal testing. Given the inconsistency in the types and combination of frontal tests being conducted at baseline, a frontal lobe test sheet containing established tests was developed and implemented. In PDSA cycle 1, 100% (n=10) of able and suitable referrals had an ACE or MoCA while 100% had frontal testing (80% of these using the dedicated test sheet). In PDSA cycle 2, improvements were broadly maintained with 85.7% (n=6) of referrals having an ACE/MoCA and 85.7% having frontal testing (83.3% of these using the dedicated frontal test sheet). In conclusion, our team improved the uptake and comprehensiveness of bedside cognitive testing by changing existing practice with clear protocols regarding the use of the ACE/MoCA and the implementation of a frontal test sheet. PMID:27096088

  3. The Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities III's Cognitive Performance Model: Empirical Support for Intermediate Factors within CHC Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taub, Gordon E.; McGrew, Kevin S.

    2014-01-01

    The Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability Third Edition is developed using the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) measurement-theory test design as the instrument's theoretical blueprint. The instrument provides users with cognitive scores based on the Cognitive Performance Model (CPM); however, the CPM is not a part of CHC theory. Within the…

  4. Case report: Is verbal cognitive performance in bilingual neuropsychiatric patients test-language dependent?

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Mabel; Kratochvilova, Zuzana; Kuniss, Renata; Vorackova, Veronika; Dorazilova, Aneta; Fajnerova, Iveta

    2015-12-01

    Bilingualism (BL) is increasing around the world. Although BL has been shown to have a broad impact-both positive and negative-on language and cognitive functioning, cognitive models and standards are mainly based on monolinguals. If we take cognitive performance of monolinguals as a standard, then the performance of bilinguals might not be accurately estimated. The assessment of cognitive functions is an important part of both the diagnostic process and further treatment in neurological and neuropsychiatric patients. In order to identify the presence or absence of cognitive deficit in bilingual patients, it will be important to determine the positive and/or negative impact of BL properties on measured cognitive performance. However, research of the impact of BL on cognitive performance in neuropsychiatric patients is limited. This article aims to compare the influence of the language (dominant-L1, second-L2) used for assessment of verbal cognitive performance in two cases of bilingual neuropsychiatric patients (English/Czech). Despite the fact that the two cases have different diagnoses, similarities in working memory and verbal learning profiles for L1 and L2 were present in both patients. We expected L1 to have higher performance in all measures when compared with L2. This assumption was partially confirmed. As expected, verbal working memory performance was better when assessed in L1. In contrast, verbal learning showed the same or better performance in L2 when compared with L1. Verbal fluency and immediate recall results were comparable in both languages. In conclusion, the language of administration partially influenced verbal performance of bilingual patients. Whether the language itself influenced low performance in a given language or it was a result of a deficit requires further research. According to our results, we suggest that an assessment in both languages needs to be a component of reasonable cognitive assessment of bilingual patients. PMID:26663627

  5. Improved Low Temperature Performance of Supercapacitors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandon, Erik J.; West, William C.; Smart, Marshall C.; Gnanaraj, Joe

    2013-01-01

    Low temperature double-layer capacitor operation enabled by: - Base acetonitrile / TEATFB salt formulation - Addition of low melting point formates, esters and cyclic ethers center dot Key electrolyte design factors: - Volume of co-solvent - Concentration of salt center dot Capacity increased through higher capacity electrodes: - Zeolite templated carbons - Asymmetric cell designs center dot Continuing efforts - Improve asymmetric cell performance at low temperature - Cycle life testing Motivation center dot Benchmark performance of commercial cells center dot Approaches for designing low temperature systems - Symmetric cells (activated carbon electrodes) - Symmetric cells (zeolite templated carbon electrodes) - Asymmetric cells (lithium titanate/activated carbon electrodes) center dot Experimental results center dot Summary

  6. Mind over Matter: Reappraising Arousal Improves Cardiovascular and Cognitive Responses to Stress

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jamieson, Jeremy P.; Nock, Matthew K.; Mendes, Wendy Berry

    2012-01-01

    Researchers have theorized that changing the way we think about our bodily responses can improve our physiological and cognitive reactions to stressful events. However, the underlying processes through which mental states improve downstream outcomes are not well understood. To this end, we examined whether reappraising stress-induced arousal could…

  7. Cognition Improvement in Taekwondo Novices Over 40. Results from the SEKWONDO Study

    PubMed Central

    Pons van Dijk, Gaby; Huijts, Marjolein; Lodder, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Age-related cognitive decline is associated with increased risk of disability, dementia, and death. Recent studies suggest improvement in cognitive speed, attention, and executive functioning with physical activity. However, whether such improvements are activity specific is unclear. Therefore, we aimed to study the effect of 1 year age-adapted Taekwondo training on several cognitive functions, including reaction/motor time, information processing speed, and working and executive memory, in 24 healthy volunteers over 40. Reaction and motor time decreased with 41.2 and 18.4 s (p = 0.004, p = 0.015), respectively. Digit symbol coding task improved with a mean of 3.7 digits (p = 0.017). Digit span, letter fluency, and trail making test task-completion-time all improved, but not statistically significant. The questionnaire reported “better” reaction time in 10 and “unchanged” in 9 of the 19 study compliers. In conclusion, our data suggest that age-adapted Taekwondo training improves various aspects of cognitive function in people over 40, which may, therefore, offer a cheap, safe, and enjoyable way to mitigate age-related cognitive decline. PMID:24273512

  8. Improving performance through self-assessment.

    PubMed

    Pitt, D J

    1999-01-01

    Wakefield and Pontefract Community Health NHS Trust uses the European Business Excellence Model self-assessment for continuous improvement. An outline of the key aspects of the model, an approach to TQM, is presented. This article sets out the context that led to the adoption of the model in the Trust and describes the approach that has been taken to completing self-assessments. Use of the model to secure continuous improvement is reviewed against Bhopal and Thomson's Audit Cycle and consideration is given to lessons learned. The article concludes with a discussion on applicability of the model to health care organisations. It is concluded that, after an initial learning curve, the model has facilitated integration of a range of quality initiatives, and progress with continuous improvement. Critical to this was the linking of self-assessment to business planning and performance management systems. PMID:10537856

  9. Correlation Between Brain Activation Changes and Cognitive Improvement Following Cognitive Remediation Therapy in Schizophrenia: An Activation Likelihood Estimation Meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Yan-Yan; Wang, Ji-Jun; Yan, Chao; Li, Zi-Qiang; Pan, Xiao; Cui, Yi; Su, Tong; Liu, Tao-Sheng; Tang, Yun-Xiang

    2016-01-01

    Background: Several studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) have indicated that cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) might improve cognitive function by changing brain activations in patients with schizophrenia. However, the results were not consistent in these changed brain areas in different studies. The present activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis was conducted to investigate whether cognitive function change was accompanied by the brain activation changes, and where the main areas most related to these changes were in schizophrenia patients after CRT. Analyses of whole-brain studies and whole-brain + region of interest (ROI) studies were compared to explore the effect of the different methodologies on the results. Methods: A computerized systematic search was conducted to collect fMRI and PET studies on brain activation changes in schizophrenia patients from pre- to post-CRT. Nine studies using fMRI techniques were included in the meta-analysis. Ginger ALE 2.3.1 was used to perform meta-analysis across these imaging studies. Results: The main areas with increased brain activation were in frontal and parietal lobe, including left medial frontal gyrus, left inferior frontal gyrus, right middle frontal gyrus, right postcentral gyrus, and inferior parietal lobule in patients after CRT, yet no decreased brain activation was found. Although similar increased activation brain areas were identified in ALE with or without ROI studies, analysis including ROI studies had a higher ALE value. Conclusions: The current findings suggest that CRT might improve the cognition of schizophrenia patients by increasing activations of the frontal and parietal lobe. In addition, it might provide more evidence to confirm results by including ROI studies in ALE meta-analysis. PMID:26904993

  10. Making the case for mobile cognition: EEG and sports performance.

    PubMed

    Park, Joanne L; Fairweather, Malcolm M; Donaldson, David I

    2015-05-01

    In the high stakes world of International sport even the smallest change in performance can make the difference between success and failure, leading sports professionals to become increasingly interested in the potential benefits of neuroimaging. Here we describe evidence from EEG studies that either identify neural signals associated with expertise in sport, or employ neurofeedback to improve performance. Evidence for the validity of neurofeedback as a technique for enhancing sports performance remains limited. By contrast, progress in characterizing the neural correlates of sporting behavior is clear: frequency domain studies link expert performance to changes in alpha rhythms, whilst time-domain studies link expertise in response evaluation and motor output with modulations of P300 effects and readiness potentials. Despite early promise, however, findings have had relatively little impact for sports professionals, at least in part because there has been a mismatch between lab tasks and real sporting activity. After selectively reviewing existing findings and outlining limitations, we highlight developments in mobile EEG technology that offer new opportunities for sports neuroscience. PMID:25735956

  11. Physical Fitness Performance of Young Adults with and without Cognitive Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Jiabei; Piwowar, Nathan; Reilly, Coleen Jennifer

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to analyze the physical fitness performance of young adults with and without cognitive impairments. Participants were 75 young adults, including 41 without disabilities (23 females, 18 males; M of age = 21.88) and 34 with mild cognitive impairments (14 females, 20 males; M of age = 21.79). They received…

  12. Performance on Middle School Geometry Problems with Geometry Clues Matched to Three Different Cognitive Styles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Karen L.; Casey, M. Beth; Thompson, William L.; Burrage, Marie S.; Pezaris, Elizabeth; Kosslyn, Stephen M.

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated the relationship between 3 ability-based cognitive styles (verbal deductive, spatial imagery, and object imagery) and performance on geometry problems that provided different types of clues. The purpose was to determine whether students with a specific cognitive style outperformed other students, when the geometry problems…

  13. Effects of Cognitive Styles on 2D Drafting and Design Performance in Digital Media

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pektas, Sule Tasli

    2010-01-01

    This paper investigates the interactions between design students' cognitive styles, as measured by Riding's Cognitive Styles Analysis, and performance in 2D drafting and design tasks in digital media. An empirical research revealed that Imager students outperformed Verbalisers in both drafting and creativity scores. Wholist-Analytic cognitive…

  14. Digital Game-Based Learning Supports Student Motivation, Cognitive Success, and Performance Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woo, Jeng-Chung

    2014-01-01

    Traditional multimedia learning is primarily based on the cognitive load concept of information processing theory. Recent digital game-based learning (DGBL) studies have focused on exploring content support for learning motivation and related game characteristics. Motivation, volition, and performance (MVP) theory indicates that cognitive load and…

  15. Do Cognitive Distortions Mediate the Test Anxiety-Examination Performance Relationship?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Putwain, David William; Connors, Liz; Symes, Wendy

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study was to follow up exploratory research suggesting that the inverse relationship between test anxiety and examination performance was mediated by cognitive distortions such as catastrophising. Self-report data for measures of test anxiety and cognitive distortions were collected from students in their final year of compulsory…

  16. Children's Sleep and Cognitive Performance: A Cross-Domain Analysis of Change Over Time

    PubMed Central

    Bub, Kristen L.; Buckhalt, Joseph A.; El-Sheikh, Mona

    2012-01-01

    Relations between changes in children's cognitive performance and changes in sleep problems were examined over a 3-year period, and family socioeconomic status, child race/ethnicity, and gender were assessed as moderators of these associations. Participants were 250 second- and third-grade (8–9 years old at Time 1) boys and girls. At each assessment, children's cognitive performance (Verbal Comprehension, Decision Speed) was measured using the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities, and sleep problems (Sleepiness, Sleep/Wake Problems) were collected via self-report. Individual growth models revealed that children who reported increases in Sleepiness exhibited little growth in Verbal Comprehension over time compared with their peers who reported decreases in Sleepiness, resulting in a nearly 11-point cognitive deficit by the end of the study. These associations were not found for Sleep/Wake Problems or Decision Speed. Child race/ethnicity and gender moderated these associations, with Sleepiness serving as a vulnerability factor for poor cognitive outcomes, especially among African American children and girls. Differences in cognitive performance for children with high and low Sleepiness trajectories ranged from 16 to 19 points for African American children and from 11 to 19 points for girls. Results build substantially on existing literature examining associations between sleep and cognitive functioning in children and are the first to demonstrate that children's sleep trajectories over 3 waves were associated with changes in their cognitive performance over time. PMID:21942668

  17. Relationship between Poor Sleep and Daytime Cognitive Performance in Young Adults with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Limoges, Elyse; Bolduc, Christianne; Berthiaume, Claude; Mottron, Laurent; Godbout, Roger

    2013-01-01

    Poor sleep is a common feature in autism even though patients themselves do not necessarily complain. The impact of poor sleep on daytime cognitive functioning in autism is not well-known and we therefore investigated whether sleep in autism correlates with daytime cognitive performance. A battery of non-verbal tasks was administered, in the…

  18. The Effects of Cognitive Style and Knowledge Structure on Performance Using a Hypermedia Learning System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paolucci, Rocco

    1998-01-01

    Describes a study of fifth graders that was conducted to determine the relationship among cognitive style, the structuring of the knowledge domain as controlled by the hypermedia software, and the test performance of the learner in terms of cognitive skill levels. Hypothesis testing and results of analysis of covariance are discussed. (Author/LRW)

  19. Marital Conflict, Allostatic Load, and the Development of Children's Fluid Cognitive Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hinnant, J. Benjamin; El-Sheikh, Mona; Keiley, Margaret; Buckhalt, Joseph A.

    2013-01-01

    Relations between marital conflict, children's respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and fluid cognitive performance were examined over 3 years to assess allostatic processes. Participants were 251 children reporting on marital conflict, baseline RSA, and RSA reactivity (RSA-R) to a lab challenge were recorded, and fluid cognitive performance…

  20. Frequency of and risk factors for poor cognitive performance in hemodialysis patients

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There are few detailed data on cognition in patients undergoing dialysis. We evaluated the frequency of and risk factors for poor cognitive performance using detailed neurocognitive testing. In this cross-sectional cohort study, 314 hemodialysis patients from 6 Boston-area hemodialysis units underwe...

  1. Cognitive Performance in Rett Syndrome Girls: A Pilot Study Using Eyetracking Technology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baptista, P. M.; Mercadante, M. T.; Macedo, E. C.; Schwartzman, J. S.

    2006-01-01

    Background: Rett syndrome (RS) is a pervasive developmental disorder with cognitive and neuromotor impairments (including loss of handiness and loss of communicative skills). Objective: To verify whether girls with RS use their gaze intentionally, by observing their performance in three cognitive tasks: (1) verbal instruction condition (look at…

  2. Acute sleep deprivation: the effects of the AMPAKINE compound CX717 on human cognitive performance, alertness and recovery sleep.

    PubMed

    Boyle, Julia; Stanley, Neil; James, Lynette M; Wright, Nicola; Johnsen, Sigurd; Arbon, Emma L; Dijk, Derk-Jan

    2012-08-01

    AMPA receptor modulation is a potential novel approach to enhance cognitive performance. CX717 is a positive allosteric modulator of the AMPA receptor that has shown efficacy in rodent and primate cognition models. CX717 (100 mg, 300 mg and 1000 mg) and placebo were studied in 16 healthy male volunteers (18-45 years) in a randomized, crossover study. Cognitive function, arousal and recovery sleep (by polysomnography) were assessed during the extended wakefulness protocol. Placebo condition was associated with significant decrements in cognition, particularly at the circadian nadir (between 03:00 and 05:00). Pre-specified primary and secondary analyses (general linear mixed modelling, GLMM) at each separate time point did not reveal consistent improvements in performance or objective alertness with any dose of CX717. Exploratory repeated measures analysis, a method used to take into account the influence of individual differences, demonstrated an improvement in attention-based task performance following the 1000 mg dose. Analysis of the recovery sleep showed that CX717 1000 mg significantly reduced stage 4 and slow-wave sleep (p ≤ 0.05) with evidence of reduced electroencephalogram (EEG) slow-wave and spindle activity. The study suggests that CX717 only at the 1000 mg dose may counteract effects of sleep deprivation on attention-based tasks and that it may interfere with subsequent recovery sleep. PMID:21940760

  3. Cognitive performance-altering effects of electronic medical records: An application of the human factors paradigm for patient safety

    PubMed Central

    Holden, Richard J.

    2010-01-01

    According to the human factors paradigm for patient safety, health care work systems and innovations such as electronic medical records do not have direct effects on patient safety. Instead, their effects are contingent on how the clinical work system, whether computerized or not, shapes health care providers' performance of cognitive work processes. An application of the human factors paradigm to interview data from two hospitals in the Midwest United States yielded numerous examples of the performance-altering effects of electronic medical records, electronic clinical documentation, and computerized provider order entry. Findings describe both improvements and decrements in the ease and quality of cognitive performance, both for interviewed clinicians and for their colleagues and patients. Changes in cognitive performance appear to have desirable and undesirable implications for patient safety as well as for quality of care and other important outcomes. Cognitive performance can also be traced to interactions between work system elements, including new technology, allowing for the discovery of problems with “fit” to be addressed through design interventions. PMID:21479125

  4. Retrospective lifetime dietary patterns predict cognitive performance in community-dwelling older Australians.

    PubMed

    Hosking, Diane E; Nettelbeck, Ted; Wilson, Carlene; Danthiir, Vanessa

    2014-07-28

    Dietary intake is a modifiable exposure that may have an impact on cognitive outcomes in older age. The long-term aetiology of cognitive decline and dementia, however, suggests that the relevance of dietary intake extends across the lifetime. In the present study, we tested whether retrospective dietary patterns from the life periods of childhood, early adulthood, adulthood and middle age predicted cognitive performance in a cognitively healthy sample of 352 older Australian adults >65 years. Participants completed the Lifetime Diet Questionnaire and a battery of cognitive tests designed to comprehensively assess multiple cognitive domains. In separate regression models, lifetime dietary patterns were the predictors of cognitive factor scores representing ten constructs derived by confirmatory factor analysis of the cognitive test battery. All regression models were progressively adjusted for the potential confounders of current diet, age, sex, years of education, English as native language, smoking history, income level, apoE ɛ4 status, physical activity, other past dietary patterns and health-related variables. In the adjusted models, lifetime dietary patterns predicted cognitive performance in this sample of older adults. In models additionally adjusted for intake from the other life periods and mechanistic health-related variables, dietary patterns from the childhood period alone reached significance. Higher consumption of the 'coffee and high-sugar, high-fat extras' pattern predicted poorer performance on simple/choice reaction time, working memory, retrieval fluency, short-term memory and reasoning. The 'vegetable and non-processed' pattern negatively predicted simple/choice reaction time, and the 'traditional Australian' pattern positively predicted perceptual speed and retrieval fluency. Identifying early-life dietary antecedents of older-age cognitive performance contributes to formulating strategies for delaying or preventing cognitive decline. PMID

  5. Homocysteine and cognitive performance: modification by the ApoE genotype.

    PubMed

    Elias, Merrill F; Robbins, Michael A; Budge, Marc M; Elias, Penelope K; Dore, Gregory A; Brennan, Suzanne L; Johnston, Carole; Nagy, Zsuzsanna

    2008-01-01

    We hypothesized that the magnitude of the association between plasma homocysteine concentration and cognitive performance is larger for ApoE-epsilon4 carriers than for non-carriers. Nine hundred eleven dementia-free and stroke-free subjects (59% women) from the Maine-Syracuse study (26-98 years old) were stratified into no-ApoE-epsilon4 (n=667) and ApoE-epsilon4 carrier (n=244) cohorts. Employing a cross-sectional design and multiple regression analyses, plasma homocysteine was related to multiple domains of cognitive performance within these cohorts. When unadjusted, and with adjustment for age, education, gender, ethnicity, and previous cognitive examinations, homocysteine concentrations were inversely related to cognitive performance within both ApoE cohorts, with higher magnitude of associations within the ApoE-epsilon4 cohort. With adjustment for cardiovascular disease risk factors, cardiovascular disease, and B-vitamin concentrations, the higher magnitude of associations between plasma homocysteine and cognitive performance within the ApoE-epsilon4 cohort relative to the no-ApoE-epsilon4 cohort persisted; but associations of plasma homocysteine and cognitive performance were attenuated and no longer significant within the no-ApoE-epsilon4 cohort. Presence of the ApoE-epsilon4 allele modifies the relation between plasma homocysteine and cognitive performance. PMID:18023533

  6. Improving Fatigue Performance of AHSS Welds

    SciTech Connect

    Feng, Zhili; Yu, Xinghua; Erdman, III, Donald L.; Wang, Yanli; Kelly, Steve; Hou, Wenkao; Yan, Benda; Wang, Zhifeng; Yu, Zhenzhen; Liu, Stephen

    2015-03-01

    Reported herein is technical progress on a U.S. Department of Energy CRADA project with industry cost-share aimed at developing the technical basis and demonstrate the viability of innovative in-situ weld residual stresses mitigation technology that can substantially improve the weld fatigue performance and durability of auto-body structures. The developed technology would be costeffective and practical in high-volume vehicle production environment. Enhancing weld fatigue performance would address a critical technology gap that impedes the widespread use of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) and other lightweight materials for auto body structure light-weighting. This means that the automotive industry can take full advantage of the AHSS in strength, durability and crashworthiness without the concern of the relatively weak weld fatigue performance. The project comprises both technological innovations in weld residual stress mitigation and due-diligence residual stress measurement and fatigue performance evaluation. Two approaches were investigated. The first one was the use of low temperature phase transformation (LTPT) weld filler wire, and the second focused on novel thermo-mechanical stress management technique. Both technical approaches have resulted in considerable improvement in fatigue lives of welded joints made of high-strength steels. Synchrotron diffraction measurement confirmed the reduction of high tensile weld residual stresses by the two weld residual stress mitigation techniques.

  7. Six months of dance intervention enhances postural, sensorimotor, and cognitive performance in elderly without affecting cardio-respiratory functions

    PubMed Central

    Kattenstroth, Jan-Christoph; Kalisch, Tobias; Holt, Stephan; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert R.

    2013-01-01

    During aging, sensorimotor, cognitive and physical performance decline, but can improve by training and exercise indicating that age-related changes are treatable. Dancing is increasingly used as an intervention because it combines many diverse features making it a promising neuroplasticity-inducing tool. We here investigated the effects of a 6-month dance class (1 h/week) on a group of healthy elderly individuals compared to a matched control group (CG). We performed a broad assessment covering cognition, intelligence, attention, reaction time, motor, tactile, and postural performance, as well as subjective well-being and cardio-respiratory performance. After 6 months, in the CG no changes, or further degradation of performance was found. In the dance group, beneficial effects were found for dance-related parameters such as posture and reaction times, but also for cognitive, tactile, motor performance, and subjective well-being. These effects developed without alterations in the cardio-respiratory performance. Correlation of baseline performance with the improvement following intervention revealed that those individuals, who benefitted most from the intervention, were those who showed the lowest performance prior to the intervention. Our findings corroborate previous observations that dancing evokes widespread positive effects. The pre-post design used in the present study implies that the efficacy of dance is most likely not based on a selection bias of particularly gifted individuals. The lack of changes of cardio-respiratory fitness indicates that even moderate levels of physical activity can in combination with rich sensorimotor, cognitive, social, and emotional challenges act to ameliorate a wide spectrum of age-related decline. PMID:23447455

  8. Comparing Cognitive Performance in Illiterate and Literate Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matute, Esmeralda; Montiel, Teresita; Pinto, Noemi; Rosselli, Monica; Ardila, Alfredo; Zarabozo, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    While it is known that the process of becoming literate begins in early childhood and usually involves several years of schooling, research related to cognitive characteristics has been done mostly on illiterate adults, and information concerning illiterate children is therefore limited. The aim of the present study, involving 21 illiterate and 22…

  9. Improving Social Cognition in People with Schizophrenia with RC2S: Two Single-Case Studies

    PubMed Central

    Peyroux, Elodie; Franck, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Difficulties in social interactions are a central characteristic of people with schizophrenia, and can be partly explained by impairments of social cognitive processes. New strategies of cognitive remediation have been recently developed to target these deficits. The RC2S therapy is an individualized and partly computerized program through which patients practice social interactions and develop social cognitive abilities with simulation techniques in a realistic environment. Here, we present the results of two case-studies involving two patients with schizophrenia presenting with specific profiles of impaired social cognition. Each patient completed three baseline sessions, 14 treatment sessions, and 3 follow-up sessions at the end of the therapy – and for 1 patient, another 3 sessions 9 months later. We used a multiple baseline design to assess specific components of social cognition according to the patients’ profiles. Functioning and symptomatology were also assessed at the end of the treatment and 6 months later. Results highlight significant improvements in the targeted social cognitive processes and positive changes in functioning in the long term. The RC2S program seems, thus, to be a new useful program for social cognitive remediation in schizophrenia. PMID:27199776

  10. Improving Access to Foundational Energy Performance Data

    SciTech Connect

    Studer, D.; Livingood, W.; Torcellini, P.

    2014-08-01

    Access to foundational energy performance data is key to improving the efficiency of the built environment. However, stakeholders often lack access to what they perceive as credible energy performance data. Therefore, even if a stakeholder determines that a product would increase efficiency, they often have difficulty convincing their management to move forward. Even when credible data do exist, such data are not always sufficient to support detailed energy performance analyses, or the development of robust business cases. One reason for this is that the data parameters that are provided are generally based on the respective industry norms. Thus, for mature industries with extensive testing standards, the data made available are often quite detailed. But for emerging technologies, or for industries with less well-developed testing standards, available data are generally insufficient to support robust analysis. However, even for mature technologies, there is no guarantee that the data being supplied are the same data needed to accurately evaluate a product?s energy performance. To address these challenges, the U.S. Department of Energy funded development of a free, publically accessible Web-based portal, the Technology Performance Exchange(TM), to facilitate the transparent identification, storage, and sharing of foundational energy performance data. The Technology Performance Exchange identifies the intrinsic, technology-specific parameters necessary for a user to perform a credible energy analysis and includes a robust database to store these data. End users can leverage stored data to evaluate the site-specific performance of various technologies, support financial analyses with greater confidence, and make better informed procurement decisions.

  11. Improving Memory and Cognition in Individuals with Down Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Rafii, Michael S

    2016-07-01

    Down syndrome (DS), often due to trisomy 21, is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability (ID). In addition, virtually all individuals with DS develop the neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by the age of 40 years and almost 60 % will manifest symptoms of AD dementia by the age of 65 years. Currently, there are no pharmacological treatments available for ID in individuals with DS and only limited symptomatic treatments for AD dementia. Advances in our understanding in both the molecular basis of ID and the pathogenesis of AD have created opportunities to study potential therapeutic targets. Recent studies in animal models of DS continue to provide a rational basis for translating specific compounds into human clinical trials. However, target and compound selection are only initial steps in the drug development pathway. Other necessary considerations include appropriate study designs to assess efficacy in the DS population, as well as operational aspects specifically tailored to assess cognition in this population. We discuss recent progress in the development of compounds for both ID and AD in individuals with DS, as well as concepts for the design and conduct of clinical trials with such compounds. PMID:27272473

  12. Lactulose enhances neuroplasticity to improve cognitive function in early hepatic encephalopathy

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Nan; Liu, He; Jiang, Yao; Zheng, Ji; Li, Dong-mei; Ji, Chao; Liu, Yan-yong; Zuo, Ping-ping

    2015-01-01

    Lactulose is known to improve cognitive function in patients with early hepatic encephalopathy; however, the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the behavioral and neurochemical effects of lactulose in a rat model of early hepatic encephalopathy induced by carbon tetrachloride. Immunohistochemistry showed that lactulose treatment promoted neurogenesis and increased the number of neurons and astrocytes in the hippocampus. Moreover, lactulose-treated rats showed shorter escape latencies than model rats in the Morris water maze, indicating that lactulose improved the cognitive impairments caused by hepatic encephalopathy. The present findings suggest that lactulose effectively improves cognitive function by enhancing neuroplasticity in a rat model of early hepatic encephalopathy. PMID:26604907

  13. The combination of memantine and galantamine improves cognition in rats: The synergistic role of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine and NMDA receptors.

    PubMed

    Nikiforuk, Agnieszka; Potasiewicz, Agnieszka; Kos, Tomasz; Popik, Piotr

    2016-10-15

    The combination of memantine and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) is used as a therapeutic strategy to improve cognition in Alzheimer's disease. Among AChEIs, galantamine, which is also a positive allosteric modulator (PAM) of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), including α7-nAChRs, may be particularly beneficial. The α7-nAChR is involved in interactions between the cholinergic and glutamatergic systems. In the present study, we investigated the potential role of α7-nAChRs in the pro-cognitive effects of this drug combination. To this aim, cognitive performance in rats was assessed using the attentional set shifting task (ASST) and novel object recognition task (NORT). Co-administration of inactive doses of memantine with galantamine facilitated the rats' set-shifting performance and reversed delay-induced deficits in object recognition. These effects were blocked by the α7-nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine, suggesting that the observed cognitive enhancement is α7-nAChR dependent. Moreover, combined administration of memantine with inactive doses of selective α7-nAChRs PAMs, CCMI and PNU-120596, also improved ASST and NORT performance in a methyllycaconitine-dependent manner. Stimulation of α7-nAChRs may underlie the pro-cognitive effects of combining memantine and galantamine. Our results suggest that memantine, when given with enhancers of α7-nAChRs, may represent an effective strategy for cognitive improvement. PMID:27435422

  14. A Serious Game to Improve Cognitive Functions in Schizophrenia: A Pilot Study.

    PubMed

    Amado, Isabelle; Brénugat-Herné, Lindsay; Orriols, Eric; Desombre, Colombe; Dos Santos, Maxine; Prost, Zelda; Krebs, Marie-Odile; Piolino, Pascale

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia impair everyday functioning and instrumental daily living activities. These disabilities can be partly responsible for chronicity and institutionalization. We present here a virtual reality (VR) tool in which patients with schizophrenia performed a virtual game in an imaginary town during a 3-month program. In a pilot study, seven patients with schizophrenia (DSM-5), institutionalized for many years, attended weekly 1-h-and-a-half sessions organized by two clinicians. During the first sessions, they listed together the difficulties they experienced in everyday organization and planning. After being familiarized with the joystick and the VR environment, they navigated in the town, and planned actions that were difficult for them to carry out in their usual life (e.g., shopping, memorizing the way to the supermarket or being on time at a meeting point). They had to look for alternative routes and practice a switch from a 2D Map to the 3D Map. They also gathered their efforts to share strategies for each action, or discussed the action plan they could generate to solve concrete problems. The pre/post-neuropsychological evaluations showed attention, working memory, prospective, and retrospective memory benefits, but no improvement in planning as assessed by the Zoo map test and the action program subtest of Behavioral Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome. Patients also clinically and functionally improved, gaining autonomy. Pragmatically, they reported a strong energy to elaborate concrete plans to search for jobs, or return to activities in the community. Qualitative assessments showed a benefit in sparing time, planning better, enriched relatedness, and better management of their housework. This VR game opens avenue to rehabilitation for patients with schizophrenia experiencing chronicity in their life, less attendance in daycare units, and a better community living. This program might reduce neurocognitive difficulties and

  15. A Serious Game to Improve Cognitive Functions in Schizophrenia: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Amado, Isabelle; Brénugat-Herné, Lindsay; Orriols, Eric; Desombre, Colombe; Dos Santos, Maxine; Prost, Zelda; Krebs, Marie-Odile; Piolino, Pascale

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia impair everyday functioning and instrumental daily living activities. These disabilities can be partly responsible for chronicity and institutionalization. We present here a virtual reality (VR) tool in which patients with schizophrenia performed a virtual game in an imaginary town during a 3-month program. In a pilot study, seven patients with schizophrenia (DSM-5), institutionalized for many years, attended weekly 1-h-and-a-half sessions organized by two clinicians. During the first sessions, they listed together the difficulties they experienced in everyday organization and planning. After being familiarized with the joystick and the VR environment, they navigated in the town, and planned actions that were difficult for them to carry out in their usual life (e.g., shopping, memorizing the way to the supermarket or being on time at a meeting point). They had to look for alternative routes and practice a switch from a 2D Map to the 3D Map. They also gathered their efforts to share strategies for each action, or discussed the action plan they could generate to solve concrete problems. The pre/post-neuropsychological evaluations showed attention, working memory, prospective, and retrospective memory benefits, but no improvement in planning as assessed by the Zoo map test and the action program subtest of Behavioral Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome. Patients also clinically and functionally improved, gaining autonomy. Pragmatically, they reported a strong energy to elaborate concrete plans to search for jobs, or return to activities in the community. Qualitative assessments showed a benefit in sparing time, planning better, enriched relatedness, and better management of their housework. This VR game opens avenue to rehabilitation for patients with schizophrenia experiencing chronicity in their life, less attendance in daycare units, and a better community living. This program might reduce neurocognitive difficulties and

  16. Action Video Gaming and Cognitive Control: Playing First Person Shooter Games Is Associated with Improved Action Cascading but Not Inhibition.

    PubMed

    Steenbergen, Laura; Sellaro, Roberta; Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Beste, Christian; Colzato, Lorenza S

    2015-01-01

    There is a constantly growing interest in developing efficient methods to enhance cognitive functioning and/or to ameliorate cognitive deficits. One particular line of research focuses on the possibly cognitive enhancing effects that action video game (AVG) playing may have on game players. Interestingly, AVGs, especially first person shooter games, require gamers to develop different action control strategies to rapidly react to fast moving visual and auditory stimuli, and to flexibly adapt their behaviour to the ever-changing context. This study investigated whether and to what extent experience with such videogames is associated with enhanced performance on cognitive control tasks that require similar abilities. Experienced action videogame-players (AVGPs) and individuals with little to no videogame experience (NVGPs) performed a stop-change paradigm that provides a relatively well-established diagnostic measure of action cascading and response inhibition. Replicating previous findings, AVGPs showed higher efficiency in response execution, but not improved response inhibition (i.e. inhibitory control), as compared to NVGPs. More importantly, compared to NVGPs, AVGPs showed enhanced action cascading processes when an interruption (stop) and a change towards an alternative response were required simultaneously, as well as when such a change had to occur after the completion of the stop process. Our findings suggest that playing AVGs is associated with enhanced action cascading and multi-component behaviour without affecting inhibitory control. PMID:26655929

  17. Action Video Gaming and Cognitive Control: Playing First Person Shooter Games Is Associated with Improved Action Cascading but Not Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Steenbergen, Laura; Sellaro, Roberta; Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Beste, Christian; Colzato, Lorenza S.

    2015-01-01

    There is a constantly growing interest in developing efficient methods to enhance cognitive functioning and/or to ameliorate cognitive deficits. One particular line of research focuses on the possibly cognitive enhancing effects that action video game (AVG) playing may have on game players. Interestingly, AVGs, especially first person shooter games, require gamers to develop different action control strategies to rapidly react to fast moving visual and auditory stimuli, and to flexibly adapt their behaviour to the ever-changing context. This study investigated whether and to what extent experience with such videogames is associated with enhanced performance on cognitive control tasks that require similar abilities. Experienced action videogame-players (AVGPs) and individuals with little to no videogame experience (NVGPs) performed a stop-change paradigm that provides a relatively well-established diagnostic measure of action cascading and response inhibition. Replicating previous findings, AVGPs showed higher efficiency in response execution, but not improved response inhibition (i.e. inhibitory control), as compared to NVGPs. More importantly, compared to NVGPs, AVGPs showed enhanced action cascading processes when an interruption (stop) and a change towards an alternative response were required simultaneously, as well as when such a change had to occur after the completion of the stop process. Our findings suggest that playing AVGs is associated with enhanced action cascading and multi-component behaviour without affecting inhibitory control. PMID:26655929

  18. Nicotinamide forestalls pathology and cognitive decline in Alzheimer mice: evidence for improved neuronal bioenergetics and autophagy procession.

    PubMed

    Liu, Dong; Pitta, Michael; Jiang, Haiyang; Lee, Jong-Hwan; Zhang, Guofeng; Chen, Xinzhi; Kawamoto, Elisa M; Mattson, Mark P

    2013-06-01

    Impaired brain energy metabolism and oxidative stress are implicated in cognitive decline and the pathologic accumulations of amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau in Alzheimer's disease (AD). To determine whether improving brain energy metabolism will forestall disease progress in AD, the impact of the β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide precursor nicotinamide on brain cell mitochondrial function and macroautophagy, bioenergetics-related signaling, and cognitive performance were studied in cultured neurons and in a mouse model of AD. Oxidative stress resulted in decreased mitochondrial mass, mitochondrial degeneration, and autophagosome accumulation in neurons. Nicotinamide preserved mitochondrial integrity and autophagy function, and reduced neuronal vulnerability to oxidative/metabolic insults and Aβ toxicity. β-Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide biosynthesis, autophagy, and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase signaling were required for the neuroprotective action of nicotinamide. Treatment of 3xTgAD mice with nicotinamide for 8 months resulted in improved cognitive performance, and reduced Aβ and hyperphosphorylated tau pathologies in hippocampus and cerebral cortex. Nicotinamide treatment preserved mitochondrial integrity, and improved autophagy-lysosome procession by enhancing lysosome/autolysosome acidification to reduce autophagosome accumulation. Treatment of 3xTgAD mice with nicotinamide resulted in elevated levels of activated neuroplasticity-related kinases (protein kinase B [Akt] and extracellular signal-regulated kinases) and the transcription factor cyclic adenosine monophosphate (AMP) response element-binding protein in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. Thus, nicotinamide suppresses AD pathology and cognitive decline in a mouse model of AD by a mechanism involving improved brain bioenergetics with preserved functionality of mitochondria and the autophagy system. PMID:23273573

  19. Sensitivity to change in cognitive performance and mood measures of energy and fatigue in response to differing doses of caffeine or breakfast.

    PubMed

    Maridakis, Victor; Herring, Matthew P; O'Connor, Patrick J

    2009-01-01

    This double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subjects (N = 18) experiment compared the sensitivity to change of cognitive performance and mood measures of mental energy following consumption of either 100 or 200-mg caffeine or a 440-calorie breakfast. Breakfast and 200-mg caffeine improved mood and cognitive performance. The sensitivity to change of the measures did not differ in response to any treatment (all p values > .05). The mood and cognitive measures of mental energy used here have similar sensitivity to detecting change in response to a moderate dose of caffeine and breakfast consumption. PMID:19466633

  20. Cognitive Performance on the Mini-Mental State Examination and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Across the Healthy Adult Lifespan

    PubMed Central

    Gluhm, Shea; Goldstein, Jody; Loc, Kiet; Colt, Alexandra; Van Liew, Charles; Corey-Bloom, Jody

    2013-01-01

    Objective We sought to compare age-related performance on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) across the adult lifespan in an asymptomatic, presumably normal, sample. Background The MMSE is the most commonly used brief cognitive screening test; however, the MoCA may be better at detecting early cognitive dysfunction. Methods We gave the MMSE and MoCA to 254 community-dwelling participants ranging in age from 20 to 89, stratified by decade and we compared their scores using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. Results For the total sample, the MMSE and MoCA differed significantly in total scores as well as in visuospatial, language, and memory domains (for all of these scores, P <0.001). Mean MMSE scores declined only modestly across the decades; mean MoCA scores declined more dramatically. There were no consistent domain differences between the MMSE and MoCA during the 3rd and 4th decades; however, significant differences in memory (P <0.05) and language (P <0.001) emerged in the 5th through 9th decades. Conclusions We conclude that the MoCA may be a better detector of age-related decrements in cognitive performance than the MMSE, as shown in this community-dwelling adult population. PMID:23538566

  1. Chronic oleoylethanolamide treatment improves spatial cognitive deficits through enhancing hippocampal neurogenesis after transient focal cerebral ischemia.

    PubMed

    Yang, Li-Chao; Guo, Han; Zhou, Hao; Suo, Da-Qin; Li, Wen-Jun; Zhou, Yu; Zhao, Yun; Yang, Wu-Shuang; Jin, Xin

    2015-04-15

    Oleoylethanolamide (OEA) has been shown to have neuroprotective effects after acute cerebral ischemic injury. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chronic OEA treatment on ischemia-induced spatial cognitive impairments, electrophysiology behavior and hippocampal neurogenesis. Daily treatments of 30 mg/kg OEA significantly ameliorated spatial cognitive deficits and attenuated the inhibition of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) rat model. Moreover, OEA administration improved cognitive function in a manner associated with enhanced neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Further study demonstrated that treatment with OEA markedly increased the expressions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors α (PPARα). Our data suggest that chronic OEA treatment can exert functional recovery of cognitive impairments and neuroprotective effects against cerebral ischemic insult in rats via triggering of neurogenesis in the hippocampus, which supports the therapeutic use of OEA for cerebral ischemia. PMID:25748831

  2. Macro- and micro-structural white matter differences correlate with cognitive performance in healthy aging.

    PubMed

    Marques, Paulo César Gonçalves; Soares, José Miguel Montenegro; Magalhães, Ricardo José da Silva; Santos, Nadine Correia; Sousa, Nuno Jorge Carvalho

    2016-03-01

    Studies have shown that white matter (WM) volumetric reductions and overall degradation occur with aging. Nonetheless little is known about the WM alterations that may underlie different cognitive status in older individuals. The main goal of the present work was to identify and characterize possible macro and microstructural WM alterations that could distinguish between older healthy individuals with contrasting cognitive profiles (i.e., "poor" vs "good" cognitive performers). Structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging was performed in order to quantify local WM volumes, white matter signal abnormalities (WMSA) volume (a measure of lesion burden) and diffusion tensor imaging scalar maps known to probe WM microstructure. A battery of neurocognitive/psychological tests was administered to assess the cognitive performance. Poor performers showed a higher slope for the positive association between WMSA volume and age compared to good performers. Even when controlling for WMSA volume, poor performers also evidenced lower fractional anisotropy, as well as positive associations with age with higher slopes of regression parameters in radial and axial diffusivity. Altogether results suggest that cognitive performance is related to differences in WM, with poor cognitive performers displaying signs of faster aging in WM. PMID:25824621

  3. Associations between oxytocin receptor genotypes and social cognitive performance in individuals with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Davis, Michael C; Horan, William P; Nurmi, Erika L; Rizzo, Shemra; Li, Wendy; Sugar, Catherine A; Green, Michael F

    2014-11-01

    Individuals with schizophrenia often show substantial deficits in social cognitive abilities, which are strongly associated with social functioning. To advance our understanding of the genetic variation that is associated with social cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, we genotyped 74 schizophrenia outpatients who completed social cognitive performance measures assessing mentalizing, social perception, and emotional intelligence, as well as clinical symptoms. We assessed seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) previously found to show replicable associations with socio-emotional processes. For one of the seven SNPs, rs2268493, the 'T' allele was significantly associated with poorer performance on a composite social cognition index, as well as specific tests of mentalizing and social perception. None of the SNPs were associated with clinical symptoms. Though the sample size is small, these findings provide initial support for the involvement of genetic variants of the OXTR in social cognitive impairments in schizophrenia. PMID:25244972

  4. Effects of artificial dawn and morning blue light on daytime cognitive performance, well-being, cortisol and melatonin levels.

    PubMed

    Gabel, Virginie; Maire, Micheline; Reichert, Carolin F; Chellappa, Sarah L; Schmidt, Christina; Hommes, Vanja; Viola, Antoine U; Cajochen, Christian

    2013-10-01

    Light exposure elicits numerous effects on human physiology and behavior, such as better cognitive performance and mood. Here we investigated the role of morning light exposure as a countermeasure for impaired cognitive performance and mood under sleep restriction (SR). Seventeen participants took part of a 48h laboratory protocol, during which three different light settings (separated by 2 wks) were administered each morning after two 6-h sleep restriction nights: a blue monochromatic LED (light-emitting diode) light condition (BL; 100 lux at 470 nm for 20 min) starting 2 h after scheduled wake-up time, a dawn-simulating light (DsL) starting 30 min before and ending 20 min after scheduled wake-up time (polychromatic light gradually increasing from 0 to 250 lux), and a dim light (DL) condition for 2 h beginning upon scheduled wake time (<8 lux). Cognitive tasks were performed every 2 h during scheduled wakefulness, and questionnaires were administered hourly to assess subjective sleepiness, mood, and well-being. Salivary melatonin and cortisol were collected throughout scheduled wakefulness in regular intervals, and the effects on melatonin were measured after only one light pulse. Following the first SR, analysis of the time course of cognitive performance during scheduled wakefulness indicated a decrease following DL, whereas it remained stable following BL and significantly improved after DsL. Cognitive performance levels during the second day after SR were not significantly affected by the different light conditions. However, after both SR nights, mood and well-being were significantly enhanced after exposure to morning DsL compared with DL and BL. Melatonin onset occurred earlier after morning BL exposure, than after morning DsL and DL, whereas salivary cortisol levels were higher at wake-up time after DsL compared with BL and DL. Our data indicate that exposure to an artificial morning dawn simulation light improves subjective well-being, mood, and cognitive

  5. Technetium Getters to Improve Cast Stone Performance

    SciTech Connect

    Neeway, James J.; Lawter, Amanda R.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Asmussen, Robert M.; Qafoku, Nikolla

    2015-10-15

    The cementitious material known as Cast Stone has been selected as the preferred waste form for solidification of aqueous secondary liquid effluents from the Hanford Tank Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) process condensates and low-activity waste (LAW) melter off-gas caustic scrubber effluents. Cast Stone is also being evaluated as a supplemental immobilization technology to provide the necessary LAW treatment capacity to complete the Hanford tank waste cleanup mission in a timely and cost effective manner. Two radionuclides of particular concern in these waste streams are technetium-99 (99Tc) and iodine-129 (129I). These radioactive tank waste components contribute the most to the environmental impacts associated with the cleanup of the Hanford site. A recent environmental assessment of Cast Stone performance, which assumes a diffusion controlled release of contaminants from the waste form, calculates groundwater in excess of the allowable maximum permissible concentrations for both contaminants. There is, therefore, a need and an opportunity to improve the retention of both 99Tc and 129I in Cast Stone. One method to improve the performance of Cast Stone is through the addition of “getters” that selectively sequester Tc and I, therefore reducing their diffusion out of Cast Stone. In this paper, we present results of Tc and I removal from solution with various getters with batch sorption experiments conducted in deionized water (DIW) and a highly caustic 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant. In general, the data show that the selected getters are effective in DIW but their performance is comprised when experiments are performed with the 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant. Reasons for the mitigated performance in the LAW simulant may be due to competition with Cr present in the 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant and to a pH effect.

  6. Dynamic classifiers improve pulverizer performance and more

    SciTech Connect

    Sommerlad, R.E.; Dugdale, K.L.

    2007-07-15

    Keeping coal-fired steam plants running efficiently and cleanly is a daily struggle. An article in the February 2007 issue of Power explained that one way to improve the combustion and emissions performance of a plant is to optimize the performance of its coal pulverizers. By adding a dynamic classifier to the pulverizers, you can better control coal particle sizing and fineness, and increase pulverizer capacity to boot. A dynamic classifier has an inner rotating cage and outer stationary vanes which, acting in concert, provide centrifugal or impinging classification. Replacing or upgrading a pulverizer's classifier from static to dynamic improves grinding performance reducing the level of unburned carbon in the coal in the process. The article describes the project at E.ON's Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power station in the UK to retrofit Loesche LSKS dynamic classifiers. It also mentions other successful projects at Scholven Power Station in Germany, Tilbury Power Station in the UK and J.B. Sims Power Plant in Michigan, USA. 8 figs.

  7. [Cognitive Function and Calcium. Cognitive improvement through T type calcium channel stimulation].

    PubMed

    Fukunaga, Kohji

    2015-02-01

    Low-threshold Ca2+ spikes are mediated by T-type Ca2+ channels, which have fast inactivation and slow deactivation kinetics (transient) , and single channel conductance. The activation are triggered by -60 to -65 mV. T-type Ca2+ channels are predominantly expressed in the brain and heart pacemaker cells. Three subtypes of T-type Ca2+ channels Cav3.1 (α1G), Cav3.2 (α1H), Cav3.3 (α1I) encoding by CACNA1G, CACNA1H, CACNA1I genes have been cloned. Although high-threshold voltage-gated Ca2+ channels have auxiliary α2δ, β, γ subunits, T-type Ca2+ channels are composed only by α1 subunit. Although T-type Ca2+ channels are involved in the pace making in heart and a robust low-threshold Ca2+ spike in neurons, the physiological functions in the memory and synaptic plasticity remain unclear. In this paper, I would like to focus on the pathophysiological relevance of T-type Ca2+ channels in the brain functions including cognition. PMID:25634050

  8. Cognitive Aids for Role Definition (CARD) to improve interprofessional team crisis resource management: An exploratory study.

    PubMed

    Renna, Tania Di; Crooks, Simone; Pigford, Ashlee-Ann; Clarkin, Chantalle; Fraser, Amy B; Bunting, Alexandra C; Bould, M Dylan; Boet, Sylvain

    2016-09-01

    This study aimed to assess the perceived value of the Cognitive Aids for Role Definition (CARD) protocol for simulated intraoperative cardiac arrests. Sixteen interprofessional operating room teams completed three consecutive simulated intraoperative cardiac arrest scenarios: current standard, no CARD; CARD, no CARD teaching; and CARD, didactic teaching. Each team participated in a focus group interview immediately following the third scenario; data were transcribed verbatim and qualitatively analysed. After 6 months, participants formed eight new teams randomised to two groups (CARD or no CARD) and completed a retention intraoperative cardiac arrest simulation scenario. All simulation sessions were video recorded and expert raters assessed team performance. Qualitative analysis of the 16 focus group interviews revealed 3 thematic dimensions: role definition in crisis management; logistical issues; and the "real life" applicability of CARD. Members of the interprofessional team perceived CARD very positively. Exploratory quantitative analysis found no significant differences in team performance with or without CARD (p > 0.05). In conclusion, qualitative data suggest that the CARD protocol clarifies roles and team coordination during interprofessional crisis management and has the potential to improve the team performance. The concept of a self-organising team with defined roles is promising for patient safety. PMID:27294389

  9. Performance in multiple domains of social cognition in parents of patients with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Lavoie, Marie-Audrey; Plana, India; Jackson, Philip L; Godmaire-Duhaime, Florence; Bédard Lacroix, Jacinthe; Achim, Amélie M

    2014-12-15

    Social cognition refers to a set of cognitive abilities that allow us to perceive and interpret social stimuli. Social cognition is affected in schizophrenia and impairments have also been documented in unaffected relatives, suggesting that social cognition may be related to a genetic vulnerability to the disease. This study aims to investigate potential impairments in four domains of social cognition (mentalizing, emotion recognition, social knowledge and empathy) in the same group of relatives in order to gather a more complete picture of social cognition difficulties in this population. The Batterie Intégrée de Cognition Sociale (BICS) (mentalizing, emotion recognition, and social knowledge) and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) (empathy) were administered to 31 parents of patients with a psychotic disorder and 38 healthy controls. Parents of patients performed significantly worse than controls on the mentalizing test but significantly better on the social knowledge test. No significant between-group differences were observed for emotion recognition and empathy. This study is the first to evaluate four social cognition domains in this population. The results precise which social cognition processes may be impaired or preserved in unaffected relatives of patients and lead us to propose an hypothesis about a mechanism that could underlie the mentalizing difficulties observed in this population. PMID:25216560

  10. Altered tract-specific white matter microstructure is related to poorer cognitive performance: The Rotterdam Study.

    PubMed

    Cremers, Lotte G M; de Groot, Marius; Hofman, Albert; Krestin, Gabriel P; van der Lugt, Aad; Niessen, Wiro J; Vernooij, Meike W; Ikram, M Arfan

    2016-03-01

    White matter microstructural integrity has been related to cognition. Yet, the potential role of specific white matter tracts on top of a global white matter effect remains unclear, especially when considering specific cognitive domains. Therefore, we determined the tract-specific effect of white matter microstructure on global cognition and specific cognitive domains. In 4400 nondemented and stroke-free participants (mean age 63.7 years, 55.5% women), we obtained diffusion magnetic resonance imaging parameters (fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity) in 14 white matter tracts using probabilistic tractography and assessed cognitive performance with a cognitive test battery. Tract-specific white matter microstructure in all supratentorial tracts was associated with poorer global cognition. Lower fractional anisotropy in association tracts, primarily the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, and higher mean diffusivity in projection tracts, in particular the posterior thalamic radiation, most strongly related to poorer cognition. Altered white matter microstructure related to poorer information processing speed, executive functioning, and motor speed, but not to memory. Tract-specific microstructural changes may aid in better understanding the mechanism of cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26923407

  11. Quality Rating and Improvement Systems and Children's Cognitive Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jeon, Lieny; Buettner, Cynthia K.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Providing enriched learning environments is important to stimulating children's development in early childhood. Early child-care policymakers in many states in the US have adopted Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) as a way to verify quality of child care and to support children's school readiness. Objective: The purpose of…

  12. The Therapeutic Potential of Exercise to Improve Mood, Cognition, and Sleep in Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Gretchen O; Otto, Michael W; Ellis, Terry D; Cronin-Golomb, Alice

    2016-01-01

    In addition to the classic motor symptoms, Parkinson's disease (PD) is associated with a variety of nonmotor symptoms that significantly reduce quality of life, even in the early stages of the disease. There is an urgent need to develop evidence-based treatments for these symptoms, which include mood disturbances, cognitive dysfunction, and sleep disruption. We focus here on exercise interventions, which have been used to improve mood, cognition, and sleep in healthy older adults and clinical populations, but to date have primarily targeted motor symptoms in PD. We synthesize the existing literature on the benefits of aerobic exercise and strength training on mood, sleep, and cognition as demonstrated in healthy older adults and adults with PD, and suggest that these types of exercise offer a feasible and promising adjunct treatment for mood, cognition, and sleep difficulties in PD. Across stages of the disease, exercise interventions represent a treatment strategy with the unique ability to improve a range of nonmotor symptoms while also alleviating the classic motor symptoms of the disease. Future research in PD should include nonmotor outcomes in exercise trials with the goal of developing evidence-based exercise interventions as a safe, broad-spectrum treatment approach to improve mood, cognition, and sleep for individuals with PD. PMID:26715466

  13. Disease management as a performance improvement strategy.

    PubMed

    McClatchey, S

    2001-11-01

    Disease management is a strategy of organizing care and services for a patient population across the continuum. It is characterized by a population database, interdisciplinary and interagency collaboration, and evidence-based clinical information. The effectiveness of a disease management program has been measured by a combination of clinical, financial, and quality of life outcomes. In early 1997, driven by a strategic planning process that established three Centers of Excellence (COE), we implemented disease management as the foundation for a new approach to performance improvement utilizing five key strategies. The five implementation strategies are outlined, in addition to a review of the key elements in outcome achievement. PMID:11761788

  14. Methods and apparatus for improving sensor performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaiser, William J. (Inventor); Kenny, Thomas W. (Inventor); Reynolds, Joseph K. (Inventor); Van Zandt, Thomas R. (Inventor); Waltman, Steven B. (Inventor)

    1993-01-01

    Methods and apparatus for improving performance of a sensor having a sensor proof mass elastically suspended at an initial equilibrium position by a suspension force, provide a tunable force opposing that suspension force and preset the proof mass with that tunable force to a second equilibrium position less stable than the initial equilibrium position. The sensor is then operated from that preset second equilibrium position of the proof mass short of instability. The spring constant of the elastic suspension may be continually monitored, and such continually monitored spring constant may be continually adjusted to maintain the sensor at a substantially constant sensitivity during its operation.

  15. Improving Learning Performance Through Rational Resource Allocation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gratch, J.; Chien, S.; DeJong, G.

    1994-01-01

    This article shows how rational analysis can be used to minimize learning cost for a general class of statistical learning problems. We discuss the factors that influence learning cost and show that the problem of efficient learning can be cast as a resource optimization problem. Solutions found in this way can be significantly more efficient than the best solutions that do not account for these factors. We introduce a heuristic learning algorithm that approximately solves this optimization problem and document its performance improvements on synthetic and real-world problems.

  16. Supported Employment Improves Cognitive Performance in Adults with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garca-Villamisar, D.; Hughes, C.

    2007-01-01

    Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a supported employment programme on measures of executive functions for 44 adults with autism, assessed at the beginning and the end of the programme period. The average length of time of the community employment was 30 months. Methods: Based on their predominant work activity…

  17. Improvement of Automotive Part Supplier Performance Evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kongmunee, Chalermkwan; Chutima, Parames

    2016-05-01

    This research investigates the problem of the part supplier performance evaluation in a major Japanese automotive plant in Thailand. Its current evaluation scheme is based on experiences and self-opinion of the evaluators. As a result, many poor performance suppliers are still considered as good suppliers and allow to supply parts to the plant without further improvement obligation. To alleviate this problem, the brainstorming session among stakeholders and evaluators are formally conducted. The result of which is the appropriate evaluation criteria and sub-criteria. The analytical hierarchy process is also used to find suitable weights for each criteria and sub-criteria. The results show that a newly developed evaluation method is significantly better than the previous one in segregating between good and poor suppliers.

  18. Sleep Duration and Age-Related Changes in Brain Structure and Cognitive Performance

    PubMed Central

    Lo, June C.; Loh, Kep Kee; Zheng, Hui; Sim, Sam K.Y.; Chee, Michael W.L.

    2014-01-01

    Study Objectives: To investigate the contribution of sleep duration and quality to age-related changes in brain structure and cognitive performance in relatively healthy older adults. Design: Community-based longitudinal brain and cognitive aging study using a convenience sample. Setting: Participants were studied in a research laboratory. Participants: Relatively healthy adults aged 55 y and older at study commencement. Interventions: N/A. Measurements and Results: Participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging and neuropsychological assessment every 2 y. Subjective assessments of sleep duration and quality and blood samples were obtained. Each hour of reduced sleep duration at baseline augmented the annual expansion rate of the ventricles by 0.59% (P = 0.007) and the annual decline rate in global cognitive performance by 0.67% (P = 0.050) in the subsequent 2 y after controlling for the effects of age, sex, education, and body mass index. In contrast, global sleep quality at baseline did not modulate either brain or cognitive aging. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein, a marker of systemic inflammation, showed no correlation with baseline sleep duration, brain structure, or cognitive performance. Conclusions: In healthy older adults, short sleep duration is associated with greater age-related brain atrophy and cognitive decline. These associations are not associated with elevated inflammatory responses among short sleepers. Citation: Lo JC, Loh KK, Zheng H, Sim SK, Chee MW. Sleep duration and age-related changes in brain structure and cognitive performance. SLEEP 2014;37(7):1171-1178. PMID:25061245

  19. Children's mathematical performance: five cognitive tasks across five grades.

    PubMed

    Moore, Alex M; Ashcraft, Mark H

    2015-07-01

    Children in elementary school, along with college adults, were tested on a battery of basic mathematical tasks, including digit naming, number comparison, dot enumeration, and simple addition or subtraction. Beyond cataloguing performance to these standard tasks in Grades 1 to 5, we also examined relationships among the tasks, including previously reported results on a number line estimation task. Accuracy and latency improved across grades for all tasks, and classic interaction patterns were found, for example, a speed-up of subitizing and counting, increasingly shallow slopes in number comparison, and progressive speeding of responses especially to larger addition and subtraction problems. Surprisingly, digit naming was faster than subitizing at all ages, arguing against a pre-attentive processing explanation for subitizing. Estimation accuracy and speed were strong predictors of children's addition and subtraction performance. Children who gave exponential responses on the number line estimation task were slower at counting in the dot enumeration task and had longer latencies on addition and subtraction problems. The results provided further support for the importance of estimation as an indicator of children's current and future mathematical expertise. PMID:25814266

  20. Depressive Symptomatology, Exercise Adherence and Fitness are Associated with Reduced Cognitive Performance in Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    Alosco, Michael L.; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; van Dulmen, Manfred; Raz, Naftali; Cohen, Ronald; Sweet, Lawrence H.; Colbert, Lisa H.; Josephson, Richard; Hughes, Joel; Rosneck, Jim; Gunstad, John

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Depression is common in heart failure (HF) and associated with reduced cognitive function. The current study used Structrual Equation Modeling to examine whether depression adversely impacts cognitive function in HF through its adverse affects on exercise adherence and cardiovascular fitness. Methods 158 HF patients completed neuropsychological testing, physical fitness test, Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and measures assessing exercise adherence, and physical exertion. Results The model demonstrated excellent model fit and increased scores on the BDI-II negatively affected exercise adherence and cardiovascular fitness. There was a strong inverse association between cardiovascular fitness and cognitive function. Sobel test showed a significant indirect pathway between the BDI-II and cognitive function through cardiovascular fitness. Discussion This study suggests depression in HF may adversely impact cognitive function through reduced cardiovascular fitness. Prospective studies are needed to determine whether treatment of depression can lead to better lifestyle behaviors and ultimately improve neurocognitive outcomes in HF. PMID:23378527

  1. Micronutrient interventions on cognitive performance of children aged 5-15 years in developing countries.

    PubMed

    Khor, Geok Lin; Misra, Snigdha

    2012-01-01

    It is estimated that more than 200 million young children worldwide fail to reach their potential in cognitive development owing to undernutrition. Numerous studies have assessed the effects of micronutrient supplementation on growth and cognitive development in infants, toddlers and preschoolers. However, micronutrient interventions on the cognitive performance of older children are limited. This article seeks to provide an update on micronutrient interventions and cognitive outcomes among children aged 5-15 years in developing countries. A total of 13 randomized controlled trials published since 2000 were identified. Majority of these studies assessed the effects of micronutrient-fortified foods on various domains of cognitive function. Among key micronutrients assessed were iron, zinc, iodine and vitamin A. This review found a lack of consistency in the impact of micronutrient supplementation on intelligence, long term mental functions and school examination grades of the children. A beneficial effect of micronutrient supplementation on short term memory was more consistently reported. Overall, the evidence from this review for the impact of micronutrients on cognitive performance in older children remains equivocal. In light of the growing interest on the influence of nutrition on cognition, it is important that culturally-appropriate and sufficiently sensitive assessment tools be used for measuring the desired cognitive outcomes that are most likely to be affected by the nutrients under study. PMID:23017305

  2. TeLPI performance in subjects with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease: a validation study.

    PubMed

    Alves, Lara; Simões, Mário R; Martins, Cristina; Freitas, Sandra; Santana, Isabel

    2013-01-01

    APA guidelines for the evaluation of age-related cognitive decline and dementia emphasize the need for baseline (premorbid) data against which current performance can be compared. As this information rarely exists, clinicians must rely on instruments especially designed for estimation of premorbid abilities. No such instrument was available in Portugal until the development of the TeLPI, an irregular words oral reading test. This study aims to examine TeLPI's validity as a measure of premorbid ability in the spectrum of aging cognitive decline, from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to moderate Alzheimer disease (AD), by the analysis of its stability in normal versus impaired samples. A total of 104 patients, classified into 2 clinical groups, MCI (n=53) and probable mild to moderate AD (n=51), were compared with a group of cognitively healthy controls (C_MCI: n=53; C_AD: n=51) and matched for sex, age, education, and residence. As expected, the Mini-Mental State Examination and Montreal Cognitive Assessment results were significantly different between the groups (ADcognitive impairment. TeLPI median scores of controls, MCI, and probable AD patients were comparable after correcting for years of education, revealing no significant effect of cognitive impairment on TeLPI performance, and suggesting its validity for estimating premorbid intelligence in subjects with cognitive decline and dementia. PMID:23314065

  3. Maintenance of Cognitive Performance and Mood for Individuals with Alzheimer's Disease Following Consumption of a Nutraceutical Formulation: A One-Year, Open-Label Study.

    PubMed

    Remington, Ruth; Bechtel, Cynthia; Larsen, David; Samar, Annemarie; Page, Robert; Morrell, Christopher; Shea, Thomas B

    2016-02-29

    Nutritional interventions have shown varied efficacy on cognitive performance during Alzheimer's disease (AD). Twenty-four individuals diagnosed with AD received a nutraceutical formulation (NF: folate, alpha-tocopherol, B12, S-adenosyl methioinine, N-acetyl cysteine, acetyl-L-carnitine) under open-label conditions (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01320527). Primary outcome was cognitive performance. Secondary outcomes were behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and activities of daily living. Participants maintained their baseline cognitive performance and BPSD over 12 months. These findings are consistent with improvement in cognitive performance and BPSD in prior placebo-controlled studies with NF, and contrast with the routine decline for participants receiving placebo. PMID:26967219

  4. Artificial Astrocytes Improve Neural Network Performance

    PubMed Central

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B.; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-01-01

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function. PMID:21526157

  5. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    PubMed

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-01-01

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function. PMID:21526157

  6. The Associations between Regional Gray Matter Structural Changes and Changes of Cognitive Performance in Control Groups of Intervention Studies

    PubMed Central

    Takeuchi, Hikaru; Taki, Yasuyuki; Sassa, Yuko; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Nagase, Tomomi; Nouchi, Rui; Fukushima, Ai; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2015-01-01

    In intervention studies of cognitive training, the challenging cognitive tests, which were used as outcome measures, are generally completed in more than a few hours. Here, utilizing the control groups' data from three 1-week intervention studies in which young healthy adult subjects underwent a wide range of cognitive tests and T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before and after the intervention period, we investigated how regional gray matter (GM) density (rGMD) of the subjects changed through voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Statistically significant increases in rGMD were observed in the anatomical cluster that mainly spread around the bilateral dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and the right superior frontal gyrus (rSFG). Moreover, mean rGMD within this cluster changes were significantly and positively correlated with performance changes in the Stroop task, and tended to positively correlate with performance changes in a divergent thinking task. Affected regions are considered to be associated with performance monitoring (dACC) and manipulation of the maintained information including generating associations (rSFG), and both are relevant to the cognitive functions measured in the cognitive tests. Thus, the results suggest that even in the groups of the typical “control group” in intervention studies including those of the passive one, experimental or non-experimental factors can result in an increase in the regional GM structure and form the association between such neural changes and improvements related to these cognitive tests. These results suggest caution toward the experimental study designs without control groups. PMID:26733852

  7. Using the Virtual Reality-Cognitive Rehabilitation Approach to Improve Contextual Processing in Children with Autism

    PubMed Central

    Reid, Denise

    2013-01-01

    Background. This pilot study investigated the efficacy of a novel virtual reality-cognitive rehabilitation (VR-CR) intervention to improve contextual processing of objects in children with autism. Previous research supports that children with autism show deficits in contextual processing, as well as deficits in its elementary components: abstraction and cognitive flexibility. Methods. Four children with autism participated in a multiple-baseline, single-subject study. The children were taught how to see objects in context by reinforcing attention to pivotal contextual information. Results. All children demonstrated statistically significant improvements in contextual processing and cognitive flexibility. Mixed results were found on the control test and changes in context-related behaviours. Conclusions. Larger-scale studies are warranted to determine the effectiveness and usability in comprehensive educational programs. PMID:24324379

  8. Cost and performance: complements for improvement.

    PubMed

    Rouse, Paul; Harrison, Julie; Turner, Nikki

    2011-10-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) share similar views of resource consumption in the production of outputs. While DEA has a high level focus typically using aggregated data in the form of inputs and outputs, ABC is more detailed and oriented around very disaggregated data. We use a case study of immunisation activities in 24 New Zealand primary care practices to illustrate how DEA and ABC can be used in conjunction to improve performance analysis and benchmarking. Results show that practice size, socio-economic environment, parts of the service delivery process as well as regular administrative tasks are major cost and performance drivers for general practices in immunisation activities. It is worth noting that initial analyses of the ABC results, using contextual information and conventional methods of analysis such as regression and correlations, did not result in any patterns of significance. Reorganising this information using the DEA efficiency scores has revealed trends that make sense to practitioners and provide insights into where to place efforts for improvement. PMID:20703677

  9. Effects of environmental enrichment on cognitive performance of pigs in a spatial holeboard discrimination task.

    PubMed

    Grimberg-Henrici, Charlotte G E; Vermaak, Paul; Bolhuis, J Elizabeth; Nordquist, Rebecca E; van der Staay, F Josef

    2016-03-01

    This study investigated the effects of environmental enrichment on the cognitive performance of female conventional farm (growing) pigs in a spatial holeboard task. Ten pairs of littermates matched for weight were used. From each litter, one piglet was randomly assigned to a barren environment; the other was assigned to an enriched environment from 4 weeks of age. The enriched environment was double the size of the barren environment, had a floor covered with straw, a rooting area filled with peat, and one of the four different enrichment toys which were exchanged daily. Starting at 11 weeks of age, all pigs were tested in a spatial holeboard discrimination task in which 4 out of 16 holes were baited. Furthermore, basal salivary cortisol levels of all pigs were determined after the end of all testing. All pigs were able to acquire the pattern of baited holes (acquisition phase, 40 trials) and the diagonally mirrored pattern (reversal phase, 20 trials). During the acquisition phase, the reference memory performance of the enriched-housed pigs was better than that of their barren-housed littermates, i.e. they reduced visits to the unbaited set of holes. During the reversal phase, enriched-housed pigs had a better general working memory performance than the barren-housed pigs as indicated by reduced revisits to holes already visited during a trial, irrespective of whether they were of the baited or the unbaited set. The enriched-housed pigs also searched for the hidden bait faster during both phases. The environments did not affect basal salivary cortisol levels. In conclusion, environmental enrichment slightly improved the cognitive performance of pigs in a spatial learning task. We hypothesise that the long period of habituation to and testing in the holeboard acted as enrichment that partially reduced the effects of barren housing. PMID:26520648

  10. Teaching cognitive skills improves learning in surgical skills courses: a blinded, prospective, randomized study

    PubMed Central

    Kohls-Gatzoulis, Julie A.; Regehr, Glenn; Hutchison, Carol

    2004-01-01

    Objective To investigate the teaching of cognitive skills within a technical skills course, we carried out a blinded, randomized prospective study. Methods Twenty-one junior residents (postgraduate years 1– 3) from a single program at a surgical-skills training centre were randomized to 2 surgical skills courses teaching total knee arthroplasty. One course taught only technical skill and had more repetitions of the task (5 or 6). The other focused more on developing cognitive skills and had fewer task repetitions (3 or 4). All were tested with the Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skill (OSATS) both before and after the course, as well as a pre- and postcourse error-detection exam and a postcourse exam with multiple-choice questions (MCQs) to test their cognitive skills. Results Both groups' technical skills as assessed by OSATS were equivalent, both pre- and postcourse. Taking their courses improved the technical skills of both groups (OSATS, p < 0.01) over their pre-course scores. Both groups demonstrated equivalent levels of knowledge on the MCQ exam, but the cognitive group scored better on the error-detection test (p = 0.02). Conclusions Cognitive skills training enhances the ability to correctly execute a surgical skill. Furthermore, specific training and practice are required to develop procedural knowledge into appropriate cognitive skills. Surgeons need to be trained to judge the correctness of their actions. PMID:15362330

  11. Comment: Performance improvement with computer training in Parkinson disease.

    PubMed

    Hershey, Linda A

    2014-04-01

    Computer-based memory and attention training methods improve episodic recall in older adults who have amnestic mild cognitive impairment.(1,2) Memory and attention are highly interactive and interdependent processes due to their shared circuitry. The cognitive benefits of computer-based memory training appear to persist for at least 6 months.(1) Traditional cognitive training programs are administered by professionals and may cost as much as $15 to $100 an hour, depending on the educational level of the staff member who delivers the training.(2) More cost-effective methods of computer-based memory training are needed. In the study by Zimmermann et al.(3) on patients with Parkinson disease (PD), 2 types of computer training were compared: a specific cognitive training method (CogniPlus) and a nonspecific method, Nintendo Wii, a game console. PMID:24623844

  12. Edentulism associates with worse cognitive performance in community-dwelling elders in rural Ecuador: results of the Atahualpa project.

    PubMed

    Del Brutto, Oscar H; Gardener, Hannah; Del Brutto, Victor J; Maestre, Gladys E; Zambrano, Mauricio; Montenegro, Jipson E; Wright, Clinton B

    2014-12-01

    Studies in industrialized nations suggest that severe edentulism correlates with cognitive impairment, but there is little information on this association in underserved populations. We conducted a community-based study to assess whether edentulism associates with cognitive impairment in elders living in rural Ecuador. Atahualpa residents aged ≥60 years were identified during a door-to-door census and evaluated using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Persons were classified into two groups according to whether they have severe edentulism (<10 remaining teeth) or not. In addition, a questionnaire allowed self-rating of oral health. A total of 274 persons (mean age 69.6 ± 7.7 years; 59% women) were included. Persons with <10 remaining teeth (n = 116) have significantly lower MoCA scores than those with ≥10 teeth (n =158), after adjusting for demographics, cardiovascular risk factors, depression and dementia (β = -1.06, p = 0.03). Self-rated poor oral health was more prevalent among persons with <10 teeth (p < 0.0001), but did not correlate with MoCA scores (good vs. poor, β = -0.89, p = 0.89). Severe edentulism is associated with poor cognitive performance in elders living in rural Ecuador. Public health campaigns directed to improve oral health may facilitate early recognition of persons with cognitive impairment in underserved populations. PMID:24627152

  13. Training creative cognition: adolescence as a flexible period for improving creativity

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Claire E.; Kleibeuker, Sietske W.; de Dreu, Carsten K. W.; Crone, Eveline A.

    2014-01-01

    Creativity commonly refers to the ability to generate ideas, solutions, or insights that are novel yet feasible. The ability to generate creative ideas appears to develop and change from childhood to adulthood. Prior research, although inconsistent, generally indicates that adults perform better than adolescents on the alternative uses task (AUT), a commonly used index of creative ideation. The focus of this study was whether performance could be improved by practicing alternative uses generation. We examined the effectiveness of creative ideation training in adolescents (13–16 years, N = 71) and adults (23–30 years, N = 61). Participants followed one of three types of training, each comprising eight 20-min practice sessions within 2 week time: (1) alternative uses generation (experimental condition: creative ideation); (2) object characteristic generation (control condition: general ideation); (3) rule-switching (control condition: rule-switching). Progression in fluency, flexibility, originality of creative ideation was compared between age-groups and training conditions. Participants improved in creative ideation and cognitive flexibility, but not in general ideation. Participants in all three training conditions became better in fluency and originality on the AUT. With regard to originality, adolescents benefitted more from training than adults, although this was not specific for the creative ideation training condition. These results are interpreted in relation to (a) the different underlying processes targeted in the three conditions and (b) developmental differences in brain plasticity with increased sensitivity to training in adolescents. In sum, the results show that improvement can be made in creative ideation and supports the hypothesis that adolescence is a developmental stage of increased flexibility optimized for learning and explorative behavior. PMID:25400565

  14. PIMM: A Performance Improvement Measurement Methodology

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-05-15

    This report presents a Performance Improvement Measurement Methodology (PIMM) for measuring and reporting the mission performance for organizational elements of the U.S. Department of Energy to comply with the Chief Financial Officer`s Act (CFOA) of 1990 and the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993. The PIMM is illustrated by application to the Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC), a Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) field center of the Office of Fossil Energy, along with limited applications to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Office and the Office of Fossil Energy. METC is now implementing the first year of a pilot project under GPRA using the PIMM. The PIMM process is applicable to all elements of the Department; organizations may customize measurements to their specific missions. The PIMM has four aspects: (1) an achievement measurement that applies to any organizational element, (2) key indicators that apply to institutional elements, (3) a risk reduction measurement that applies to all RD&D elements and to elements with long-term activities leading to risk-associated outcomes, and (4) a cost performance evaluation. Key Indicators show how close the institution is to attaining long range goals. Risk reduction analysis is especially relevant to RD&D. Product risk is defined as the chance that the product of new technology will not meet the requirements of the customer. RD&D is conducted to reduce technology