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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. 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…

  3. Diet-induced ketosis improves cognitive performance in aged rats.

    PubMed

    Xu, Kui; Sun, Xiaoyan; Eroku, Bernadette O; Tsipis, Constantinos P; Puchowicz, Michelle A; LaManna, Joseph C

    2010-01-01

    Aging is associated with increased susceptibility to hypoxic/ischemic insult and declines in behavioral function which may be due to attenuated adaptive/defense responses. We investigated if diet-induced ketosis would improve behavioral performance in the aged rats. Fischer 344 rats (3- and 22-month-old) were fed standard (STD) or ketogenic (KG) diet for 3 weeks and then exposed to hypobaric hypoxia. Cognitive function was measured using the T-maze and object recognition tests. Motor function was measured using the inclined-screen test. Results showed that KG diet significantly increased blood ketone levels in both young and old rats. In the aged rats, the KG diet improved cognitive performance under normoxic and hypoxic conditions; while motor performance remained unchanged. Capillary density and HIF-1alpha levels were elevated in the aged ketotic group independent of hypoxic challenge. These data suggest that diet-induced ketosis may be beneficial in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions. PMID:20204773

  4. Diet-Induced Ketosis Improves Cognitive Performance in Aged Rats

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Kui; Sun, Xiaoyan; Eroku, Bernadette O.; Tsipis, Constantinos P.; Puchowicz, Michelle A.; LaManna, Joseph C.

    2010-01-01

    Aging is associated with increased susceptibility to hypoxic/ischemic insult and declines in behavioral function which may be due to attenuated adaptive/defense responses. We investigated if diet-induced ketosis would improve behavioral performance in the aged rats. Fischer 344 rats (3- and 22-month-old) were fed standard (STD) or ketogenic (KG) diet for 3 weeks and then exposed to hypobaric hypoxia. Cognitive function was measured using the T-maze and object recognition tests. Motor function was measured using the inclined-screen test. Results showed that KG diet significantly increased blood ketone levels in both young and old rats. In the aged rats, the KG diet improved cognitive performance under normoxic and hypoxic conditions; while motor performance remained unchanged. Capillary density and HIF-1? levels were elevated in the aged ketotic group independent of hypoxic challenge. These data suggest that diet-induced ketosis may be beneficial in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions. PMID:20204773

  5. 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 4654 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

  6. Tamoxifen Improves Cholinergically Modulated Cognitive Performance in Postmenopausal Women

    PubMed Central

    Newhouse, Paul; Albert, Kimberly; Astur, Robert; Johnson, Julia; Naylor, Magdalena; Dumas, Julie

    2013-01-01

    Tamoxifen (TMX) is a selective estrogen receptor modulator that is used as an estrogen receptor antagonist for the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. Whether TMX has antagonist activities in the human brain is less clear and its effects on cognitive function have not been experimentally explored. This study examined how TMX affected cognitive performance in older women using a model of anticholinergic drug-induced cognitive dysfunction. Twenty-one postmenopausal women were administered 20?mg of oral TMX or placebo for 3 months. Participants then took part in five drug challenges using the anticholinergic antinicotinic agent mecamylamine (MECA) and antimuscarinic agent scopolamine (SCOP) and were tested on a comprehensive battery including tasks of attention and psychomotor function, verbal episodic memory, and spatial navigation. After a 3-month placebo washout, participants were then crossed over to the alternate treatment and repeated the drug challenges after 3 months. Compared with placebo treatment, TMX significantly attenuated the impairment from cholinergic blockade on tasks of verbal episodic memory and spatial navigation, but effects on attentional/psychomotor tasks were more variable. Analysis by APOE genotype showed that APO ?4+ women showed a greater beneficial effect of TMX on reversing the cholinergic impairment than APO ?4? women on most tasks. This study provides evidence that TMX may act as an estrogen-like agonist to enhance cholinergic system activity and hippocampally mediated learning. PMID:23867982

  7. Cognitive remediation improves cognition and good cognitive performance increases time to relapse results of a 5 year catamnestic study in schizophrenia patients

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Cognitive deficits are stable features of schizophrenia that are linked to functional outcome. Cognitive remediation approaches have been proven successful in ameliorating these deficits, although effect sizes vary considerably. Whether cognitive deficits are serious predictors of clinical outcome is less clear. Methods Sixty patients suffering from schizophrenia were included in our sample, thirty of them received computer-assisted cognitive training, and thirty received occupational therapy. For a subsample of 55 patients, who could be traced over a period of five years after the end of the cognitive remediation intervention, time until first relapse and time in psychosis were determined retrospectively from their medical records. Results Cognitive remediation significantly improved problem solving, memory and attention with high effect sizes. Employment status, a post test verbal memory performance measure and a measure of executive functioning outperformed all other measures in the prediction of time to relapse, while allocation to treatment group outperformed all other variables in the prediction of both cognitive measures. Conclusions Cognitive remediation of neurocognitive deficits thus makes sense in a twofold fashion: It enhances cognition directly and positively acts on clinical course indirectly via improved neurocognition. Trial registration German Clinical Trials Register: DRKS00004880 PMID:23837673

  8. Cognitive performance in older adults with stable heart failure: longitudinal evidence for stability and improvement.

    PubMed

    Alosco, Michael L; Garcia, Sarah; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; van Dulmen, Manfred; Cohen, Ronald; Sweet, Lawrence H; Josephson, Richard; Hughes, Joel; Rosneck, Jim; Gunstad, John

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive impairment is prevalent in heart failure (HF), though substantial variability in the pattern of cognitive impairment is found across studies. To clarify the nature of cognitive impairment in HF, we examined longitudinal trajectories across multiple domains of cognition in HF patients using latent growth class modeling. 115 HF patients completed a neuropsychological battery at baseline, 3-months and 12-months. Participants also completed the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). Latent class growth analyses revealed a three-class model for attention/executive function, four-class model for memory, and a three-class model for language. The slope for attention/executive function and language remained stable, while improvements were noted in memory performance. Education and BDI-II significantly predicted the intercept for attention/executive function and language abilities. The BDI-II also predicted baseline memory. The current findings suggest that multiple performance-based classes of neuropsychological test performance exist within cognitive domains, though case-controlled prospective studies with extended follow-ups are needed to fully elucidate changes and predictors of cognitive function in HF. PMID:23906182

  9. 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 plasma concentrations of cardiometabolic risk markers (fasting cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure) and cardiovascular risk scores (Framingham and Reynols), and positivly associated with apolipoprotein A1 (p < 0.05). Conclusions The results indicate that diet characteristics may modulate cognitive performance. A relationship seems to exist between cardiometabolic risk markers and cognitive performance in apparently healthy subjects. The results provide additional motives for diet based prevention of metabolic disturbances related to the MetS. PMID:23855966

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Delayed, post-injury treatment with aniracetam improves cognitive performance after traumatic brain injury in rats.

    PubMed

    Baranova, Anna I; Whiting, Mark D; Hamm, Robert J

    2006-08-01

    Chronic cognitive impairment is an enduring aspect of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in both humans and animals. Treating cognitive impairment in the post-traumatic stages of injury often involves the delivery of pharmacologic agents aimed at specific neurotransmitter systems. The current investigation examined the effects of the nootropoic drug aniracetam on cognitive recovery following TBI in rats. Three experiments were performed to determine (1) the optimal dose of aniracetam for treating cognitive impairment, (2) the effect of delaying drug treatment for a period of days following TBI, and (3) the effect of terminating drug treatment before cognitive assessment. In experiment 1, rats were administered moderate fluid percussion injury and treated with vehicle, 25, or 50 mg/kg aniracetam for 15 days. Both doses of aniracetam effectively reduced injury-induced deficits in the Morris water maze (MWM) as measured on postinjury days 11-15. In experiment 2, injured rats were treated with 50 mg/kg aniracetam or vehicle beginning on day 11 postinjury and continuing for 15 days. MWM performance, assessed on days 26-30, indicates that aniracetam-treated animals performed as well as sham-injured controls. In experiment 3, animals were injured and treated with aniracetam for 15 days. Drug treatment was terminated during MWM testing on postinjury days 16-20. In this experiment, aniracetam-treated rats did not perform better than vehicle-treated rats. The results of these experiments indicate that aniracetam is an effective treatment for cognitive impairment induced by TBI, even when treatment is delayed for a period of days following injury. PMID:16928181

  16. 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 performance, marksmanship and target engagement speed from pre-ingestion levels. PMID:24716994

  17. 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

  18. Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance during sustained mental effort.

    PubMed

    Scholey, Andrew B; French, Stephen J; Morris, Penelope J; Kennedy, David O; Milne, Anthea L; Haskell, Crystal F

    2010-10-01

    Cocoa flavanols (CF) positively influence physiological processes in ways that suggest their consumption may improve aspects of cognitive function. This study investigated the acute cognitive and subjective effects of CF consumption during sustained mental demand. In this randomized, controlled, double-blinded, balanced, three period crossover trial 30 healthy adults consumed drinks containing 520 mg, 994 mg CF and a matched control, with a three-day washout between drinks. Assessments included the state anxiety inventory and repeated 10-min cycles of a Cognitive Demand Battery comprising of two serial subtraction tasks (Serial Threes and Serial Sevens), a Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVIP) task and a 'mental fatigue' scale, over the course of 1 h. Consumption of both 520 mg and 994 mg CF significantly improved Serial Threes performance. The 994 mg CF beverage significantly speeded RVIP responses but also resulted in more errors during Serial Sevens. Increases in self-reported 'mental fatigue' were significantly attenuated by the consumption of the 520 mg CF beverage only. This is the first report of acute cognitive improvements following CF consumption in healthy adults. While the mechanisms underlying the effects are unknown they may be related to known effects of CF on endothelial function and blood flow. PMID:19942640

  19. Memory Decline in Peri- and Post-menopausal Women: The Potential of MindBody 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. Mindbody medicine has been shown to have beneficial effects on sleep, mood, and hot flashes, among post-menopausal women. Further, mindbody medicine holds potential in addressing symptoms of cognitive decline post-menopause. This study proposes an initial framework for how mindbody interventions may improve cognitive performance and inform future research seeking to identify the common and specific factors associated with mindbody 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

  20. 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

  1. Improving cognitive function.

    PubMed

    2015-12-16

    Essential facts Age-related decline in mental ability varies from person to person. Individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have subtle but detectable problems with memory, but are able to function normally in everyday life. MCI affects between 5% and 20% of the UK population aged over 65 - or between half a million and two million people - according to research commissioned by Age UK. Although MCI increases the risk of dementia, with one in six people going on to develop it, many people remain stable and others improve, especially if it is caused by a treatable condition. PMID:26669382

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. CGP 36742: the first orally active GABAB blocker improves the cognitive performance of mice, rats, and rhesus monkeys.

    PubMed

    Mondadori, C; Jaekel, J; Preiswerk, G

    1993-07-01

    The learning capacity of experimental animals in cognitive tests can be improved by blockade of the GABAB receptors. After treatment with the GABAB antagonist CGP 36742, mice performed better in a passive-avoidance test; rats did likewise in a partner-recognition test, and rhesus monkeys also in a "conditional spatial color" task. The effects demonstrated in these three different species and covering diverse manifestations of learning and memory give reason to hope that this new active principle may prove therapeutically useful. PMID:8216160

  6. Auditory-Cognitive Training Improves Language Performance in Prelingually Deafened Cochlear Implant Recipients

    PubMed Central

    Ingvalson, Erin M.; Young, Nancy M.; Wong, Patrick C. M.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Phonological and working memory skills have been shown to be important for the development of spoken language. Children who use a cochlear implant (CI) show performance deficits relative to normal hearing (NH) children on all constructs: phonological skills, working memory, and spoken language. Given that phonological skills and working memory have been shown to be important for spoken language development in NH children, we hypothesized that training these foundational skills would result in improved spoken language performance in CI-using children. Design Nineteen prelingually deafened CI-using children aged 4- to 7-years-old participated. All children had been using their implants for at least one year and were matched on pre-implant hearing thresholds, hearing thresholds at study enrollment, and non-verbal IQ. Children were assessed on expressive vocabulary, listening language, spoken language, and composite language. Ten children received four weeks of training on phonological skills including rhyme, sound blending, and sound discrimination and auditory working memory. The remaining nine children continued with their normal classroom activities for four weeks. Language assessments were repeated following the training/control period. Results Children who received combined phonological-working memory training showed significant gains on expressive and composite language scores. Children who did not receive training showed no significant improvements at post-test. On average, trained children had gain scores of 6.35 points on expressive language and gain scores of 6.15 points whereas the untrained children had test-retest gain scores of 2.89 points for expressive language and 2.56 for composite language. Conclusion Our results suggest that training to improve the phonological and working memory skills in CI-using children may lead to improved language performance. PMID:25109453

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  11. 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

  12. Chronic Nicotine Improves Cognitive Performance in a Test of Attention but Does Not Attenuate Cognitive Disruption Induced by Repeated Phencyclidine Administration

    PubMed Central

    Amitai, Nurith; Markou, Athina

    2008-01-01

    Rationale Nicotine-induced cognitive enhancement may be a factor maintaining tobacco smoking, particularly in psychiatric populations suffering from cognitive deficits. Schizophrenia patients exhibit higher smoking rates compared with the general population, suggesting that attempts to self-medicate cognitive schizophrenia deficits may underlie these high smoking levels. Objectives The present study explored pro-cognitive effects of nicotine in a model of schizophrenia-like cognitive dysfunction to test this self-medication hypothesis. Methods We investigated whether chronic nicotine (3.16 mg/kg/day, base) would attenuate the performance disruption in the five-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT, a task assessing various cognitive modalities, including attention) induced by repeated administration of phencyclidine (PCP), an N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist that induces cognitive deficits relevant to schizophrenia. Results Chronic nicotine administration shortened 5-CSRTT response latencies under baseline conditions. Nicotine-treated rats also made more correct responses and fewer omissions than vehicle-treated rats. Replicating previous studies, repeated PCP administration (2 mg/kg, 30 min before behavioral testing for 2 consecutive days followed 2 weeks later by 5 consecutive days of PCP administration) decreased accuracy and increased response latencies, premature responding, and timeout responding. Chronic nicotine did not attenuate these PCP-induced disruptions. Conclusions Chronic nicotine had pro-cognitive effects by itself, supporting the hypothesis that cognitive enhancement may contribute to tobacco smoking. At the doses of nicotine and PCP used, however, no support was found for the hypothesis that the beneficial effects of nicotine on cognitive deficits induced by repeated PCP administration, assessed in the 5-CSRTT, are larger than nicotine effects in the absence of PCP. PMID:18618099

  13. Sevoflurane Anesthesia Improves Cognitive Performance in Mice, but Does Not Influence In Vitro Long-Term Potentation in Hippocampus CA1 Stratum Radiatum

    PubMed Central

    Haseneder, Rainer; Starker, Laura; Berkmann, Jasmin; Kellermann, Kristine; Jungwirth, Bettina; Blobner, Manfred; Eder, Matthias; Kochs, Eberhard; Rammes, Gerhard

    2013-01-01

    Background Whether the occurrence of postoperative cognitive dysfunction is a result of the effects of surgery or anesthesia is under debate. In this study, we investigated the impact of sevoflurane anesthesia on cognitive performance and cellular mechanisms involved in learning and memory. Methods Male C57Bl6/J mice (45 months) were exposed to one minimum alveolar concentration sevoflurane for two hours. After 24 h, cognitive performance of mice was assessed using the modified hole board test. Additionally, we evaluated hippocampal long-term potentiation and expression levels of different receptor subunits by recording excitatory postsynaptic field potentials and using the western blot technique, respectively. Non-anesthetized mice served as controls. Results In anesthetized mice, neither cognitive performance nor long-term potentiation was impaired 24 h after anesthesia. Interestingly, sevoflurane anesthesia induced even an improvement of cognitive performance and an elevation of the expression levels of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor type 1 and 2B subunits in the hippocampus. Conclusions Since NMDA receptor type 1 and 2B subunits play a crucial role in processes related to learning and memory, we hypothesize that sevoflurane-induced changes in NMDA receptor subunit composition might cause hippocampus-dependent cognitive improvement. The data of the present study are in favor of a minor role of anesthesia in mediating postoperative cognitive dysfunction. PMID:23724087

  14. 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

  15. Nutraceutical intervention improves older adults' cognitive functioning.

    PubMed

    Small, Brent J; Rawson, Kerri S; Martin, Christina; Eisel, Sarah L; Sanberg, Cyndy D; McEvoy, Cathy L; Sanberg, Paul R; Shytle, R Douglas; Tan, Jun; Bickford, Paula C

    2014-02-01

    Interventions to improve the cognitive health of older adults are of critical importance. In the current study, we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using a pill-based nutraceutical (NT-020) that contained a proprietary formulation of blueberry, carnosine, green tea, vitamin D3, and Biovin to evaluate the impact on changes in multiple domains of cognitive functioning. One hundred and five cognitively intact adults aged 65-85 years of age (M=73.6 years) were randomized to receive NT-020 (n=52) or a placebo (n=53). Participants were tested with a battery of cognitive performance tests that were classified into six broad domains--episodic memory, processing speed, verbal ability, working memory, executive functioning, and complex speed at baseline and 2 months later. The results indicated that persons taking NT-020 improved significantly on two measures of processing speed across the 2-month test period in contrast to persons on the placebo whose performance did not change. None of the other cognitive ability measures were related to intervention group. The results also indicated that the NT-020 was well tolerated by older adults, and the presence of adverse events or symptoms did not differ between the NT-020 and placebo groups. Overall, the results of the current study were promising and suggest the potential for interventions like these to improve the cognitive health of older adults. PMID:24134194

  16. Nutraceutical intervention improves older adults' cognitive functioning.

    TOXLINE Toxicology Bibliographic Information

    Small BJ; Rawson KS; Martin C; Eisel SL; Sanberg CD; McEvoy CL; Sanberg PR; Shytle RD; Tan J; Bickford PC

    2014-02-01

    Interventions to improve the cognitive health of older adults are of critical importance. In the current study, we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using a pill-based nutraceutical (NT-020) that contained a proprietary formulation of blueberry, carnosine, green tea, vitamin D3, and Biovin to evaluate the impact on changes in multiple domains of cognitive functioning. One hundred and five cognitively intact adults aged 65-85 years of age (M=73.6 years) were randomized to receive NT-020 (n=52) or a placebo (n=53). Participants were tested with a battery of cognitive performance tests that were classified into six broad domains--episodic memory, processing speed, verbal ability, working memory, executive functioning, and complex speed at baseline and 2 months later. The results indicated that persons taking NT-020 improved significantly on two measures of processing speed across the 2-month test period in contrast to persons on the placebo whose performance did not change. None of the other cognitive ability measures were related to intervention group. The results also indicated that the NT-020 was well tolerated by older adults, and the presence of adverse events or symptoms did not differ between the NT-020 and placebo groups. Overall, the results of the current study were promising and suggest the potential for interventions like these to improve the cognitive health of older adults.

  17. Nutraceutical Intervention Improves Older Adults' Cognitive Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Rawson, Kerri S.; Martin, Christina; Eisel, Sarah L.; Sanberg, Cyndy D.; McEvoy, Cathy L.; Sanberg, Paul R.; Shytle, R. Douglas; Tan, Jun; Bickford, Paula C.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Interventions to improve the cognitive health of older adults are of critical importance. In the current study, we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using a pill-based nutraceutical (NT-020) that contained a proprietary formulation of blueberry, carnosine, green tea, vitamin D3, and Biovin to evaluate the impact on changes in multiple domains of cognitive functioning. One hundred and five cognitively intact adults aged 65–85 years of age (M=73.6 years) were randomized to receive NT-020 (n=52) or a placebo (n=53). Participants were tested with a battery of cognitive performance tests that were classified into six broad domains—episodic memory, processing speed, verbal ability, working memory, executive functioning, and complex speed at baseline and 2 months later. The results indicated that persons taking NT-020 improved significantly on two measures of processing speed across the 2-month test period in contrast to persons on the placebo whose performance did not change. None of the other cognitive ability measures were related to intervention group. The results also indicated that the NT-020 was well tolerated by older adults, and the presence of adverse events or symptoms did not differ between the NT-020 and placebo groups. Overall, the results of the current study were promising and suggest the potential for interventions like these to improve the cognitive health of older adults. PMID:24134194

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Effect of a Kinect-Based Exercise Game on Improving Executive Cognitive Performance in Community-Dwelling Elderly: Case Control Study

    PubMed Central

    Okamoto, Kazuya; Nishiguchi, Shu; Yamada, Minoru; Kuroda, Tomohiro; Aoyama, Tomoki

    2014-01-01

    Background Decrease of dual-task (DT) ability is known to be one of the risk factors for falls. We developed a new game concept, Dual-Task Tai Chi (DTTC), using Microsofts motion-capture device Kinect, and demonstrated that the DTTC test can quantitatively evaluate various functions that are known risk factors for falling in elderly adults. Moreover, DT training has been attracting attention as a way to improve balance and DT ability. However, only a few studies have reported that it improves cognitive performance. Objective The purpose of this study was to demonstrate whether or not a 12-week program of DTTC training would effectively improve cognitive functions. Methods This study examined cognitive functions in community-dwelling older adults before and after 12 weeks of DTTC training (training group [TG]) or standardized training (control group [CG]). Primary end points were based on the difference in cognitive functions between the TG and the CG. Cognitive functions were evaluated using the trail-making test (part A and part B) and verbal fluency test. Results A total of 41 elderly individuals (TG: n=26, CG: n=15) participated in this study and their cognitive functions were assessed before and after DTTC training. Significant differences were observed between the two groups with significant group time interactions for the executive cognitive function measure, the delta-trail-making test (part B?part A; F 1,36=4.94, P=.03; TG: pre mean 48.8 [SD 43.9], post mean 42.2 [SD 29.0]; CG: pre mean 49.5 [SD 51.8], post mean 64.9 [SD 54.7]). Conclusions The results suggest that DTTC training is effective for improving executive cognitive functions. Trial Registration Japan Medical Association Clinical Trial Registration Number: JMA-IIA00092; https://dbcentre3.jmacct.med.or.jp/jmactr/App/JMACTRS06/JMACTRS06.aspx?seqno=2682 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6NRtOkZFh). PMID:24565806

  1. Prolonged oral cannabinoid administration prevents neuroinflammation, lowers ?-amyloid levels and improves cognitive performance in Tg APP 2576 mice

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain shows an ongoing inflammatory condition and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories diminish the risk of suffering the neurologic disease. Cannabinoids are neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory agents with therapeutic potential. Methods We have studied the effects of prolonged oral administration of transgenic amyloid precursor protein (APP) mice with two pharmacologically different cannabinoids (WIN 55,212-2 and JWH-133, 0.2 mg/kg/day in the drinking water during 4 months) on inflammatory and cognitive parameters, and on 18F-fluoro-deoxyglucose (18FDG) uptake by positron emission tomography (PET). Results Novel object recognition was significantly reduced in 11 month old Tg APP mice and 4 month administration of JWH was able to normalize this cognitive deficit, although WIN was ineffective. Wild type mice cognitive performance was unaltered by cannabinoid administration. Tg APP mice showed decreased 18FDG uptake in hippocampus and cortical regions, which was counteracted by oral JWH treatment. Hippocampal GFAP immunoreactivity and cortical protein expression was unaffected by genotype or treatment. In contrast, the density of Iba1 positive microglia was increased in Tg APP mice, and normalized following JWH chronic treatment. Both cannabinoids were effective at reducing the enhancement of COX-2 protein levels and TNF-? mRNA expression found in the AD model. Increased cortical ?-amyloid (A?) levels were significantly reduced in the mouse model by both cannabinoids. Noteworthy both cannabinoids enhanced A? transport across choroid plexus cells in vitro. Conclusions In summary we have shown that chronically administered cannabinoid showed marked beneficial effects concomitant with inflammation reduction and increased A? clearance. PMID:22248049

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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 behavioral interventions appear to be reliably effective at posttreatment, we must have meaningful evaluation of maintenance of psychological skill and performance changes. Six-month, 12-month, and longer follow-up evaluations are necessary. We must also begin more detailed evaluations of these effective interventions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS) PMID:7567674

  6. Connectivity in MEG resting-state networks increases after resective surgery for low-grade glioma and correlates with improved cognitive performance?

    PubMed Central

    van Dellen, E.; de Witt Hamer, P.C.; Douw, L.; Klein, M.; Heimans, J.J.; Stam, C.J.; Reijneveld, J.C.; Hillebrand, A.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose Low-grade glioma (LGG) patients often have cognitive deficits. Several disease- and treatment related factors affect cognitive processing. Cognitive outcome of resective surgery is unpredictable, both for improvement and deterioration, especially for complex domains such as attention and executive functioning. MEG analysis of resting-state networks (RSNs) is a good candidate for presurgical prediction of cognitive outcome. In this study, we explore the relation between alterations in connectivity of RSNs and changes in cognitive processing after resective surgery, as a stepping stone to ultimately predict postsurgical cognitive outcome. Methods Ten patients with LGG were included, who had no adjuvant therapy. MEG recording and neuropsychological assessment were obtained before and after resective surgery. MEG data were recorded during a no-task eyes-closed condition, and projected to the anatomical space of the AAL atlas. Alterations in functional connectivity, as characterized by the phase lag index (PLI), within the default mode network (DMN), executive control network (ECN), and left- and right-sided frontoparietal networks (FPN) were compared to cognitive changes. Results Lower alpha band DMN connectivity was increased after surgery, and this increase was related to improved verbal memory functioning. Similarly, right FPN connectivity was increased after resection in the upper alpha band, which correlated with improved attention, working memory and executive functioning. Discussion Increased alpha band RSN functional connectivity in MEG recordings correlates with improved cognitive outcome after resective surgery. The mechanisms resulting in functional connectivity alterations after resection remain to be elucidated. Importantly, our findings indicate that connectivity of MEG RSNs may be used for presurgical prediction of cognitive outcome in future studies. PMID:24179752

  7. 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

  8. 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-controlled studies are warranted. PMID:24568233

  9. 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 (2662 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 15 (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-controlled studies are warranted. PMID:24568233

  10. Physical exercise and cognitive performance in the elderly: current perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Kirk-Sanchez, Neva J; McGough, Ellen L

    2014-01-01

    In an aging population with increasing incidence of dementia and cognitive impairment, strategies are needed to slow age-related decline and reduce disease-related cognitive impairment in older adults. Physical exercise that targets modifiable risk factors and neuroprotective mechanisms may reduce declines in cognitive performance attributed to the normal aging process and protect against changes related to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers disease and other types of dementia. In this review we summarize the role of exercise in neuroprotection and cognitive performance, and provide information related to implementation of physical exercise programs for older adults. Evidence from both animal and human studies supports the role of physical exercise in modifying metabolic, structural, and functional dimensions of the brain and preserving cognitive performance in older adults. The results of observational studies support a dose-dependent neuroprotective relationship between physical exercise and cognitive performance in older adults. Although some clinical trials of exercise interventions demonstrate positive effects of exercise on cognitive performance, other trials show minimal to no effect. Although further research is needed, physical exercise interventions aimed at improving brain health through neuroprotective mechanisms show promise for preserving cognitive performance. Exercise programs that are structured, individualized, higher intensity, longer duration, and multicomponent show promise for preserving cognitive performance in older adults. PMID:24379659

  11. Cognitive Training Improves Sleep Quality and Cognitive Function among Older Adults with Insomnia

    PubMed Central

    Haimov, Iris; Shatil, Evelyn

    2013-01-01

    Study Objectives To investigate the effect of an eight-week, home-based, personalized, computerized cognitive training program on sleep quality and cognitive performance among older adults with insomnia. Design Participants (n = 51) were randomly allocated to a cognitive training group (n = 34) or to an active control group (n = 17). The participants in the cognitive training group completed an eight-week, home-based, personalized, computerized cognitive training program, while the participants in the active control group completed an eight-week, home-based program involving computerized tasks that do not engage high-level cognitive functioning. Before and after training, all participants' sleep was monitored for one week by an actigraph and their cognitive performance was evaluated. Setting Community setting: residential sleep/performance testing facility. Participants Fifty-one older adults with insomnia (aged 65–85). Interventions Eight weeks of computerized cognitive training for older adults with insomnia. Results Mixed models for repeated measures analysis showed between-group improvements for the cognitive training group on both sleep quality (sleep onset latency and sleep efficiency) and cognitive performance (avoiding distractions, working memory, visual memory, general memory and naming). Hierarchical linear regressions analysis in the cognitive training group indicated that improved visual scanning is associated with earlier advent of sleep, while improved naming is associated with the reduction in wake after sleep onset and with the reduction in number of awakenings. Likewise the results indicate that improved “avoiding distractions” is associated with an increase in the duration of sleep. Moreover, the results indicate that in the active control group cognitive decline observed in working memory is associated with an increase in the time required to fall asleep. Conclusions New learning is instrumental in promoting initiation and maintenance of sleep in older adults with insomnia. Lasting and personalized cognitive training is particularly indicated to generate the type of learning necessary for combined cognitive and sleep enhancements in this population. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00901641 PMID:23577218

  12. Ginsenoside Rg1 attenuates amyloid-beta content, regulates PKA/CREB activity, and improves cognitive performance in SAMP8 mice.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yan-Qing; Huang, Tian-Wen; Chen, Li-Min; Pan, Xiao-Dong; Zhang, Jing; Zhu, Yuan-Gui; Chen, Xiao-Chun

    2010-01-01

    It is well established that the presence of soluble amyloid-beta protein (Abeta) correlates with the severity of dementia in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Several lines of evidence indicate that cyclic AMP responsive element binding protein (CREB) and protein kinase A (PKA) are involved in soluble Abeta-trigged disruption of synaptic plasticity in early AD. Previously we demonstrated the beneficial effects of ginsenoside Rg1 on Abeta-induced neuronal insult. Therefore, in the present study, we examined the effects of long-term consumption of Rg1 on the cerebral Abeta content and PKA/CREB signaling molecules, as well as cognitive performance in senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8). Notably, a significant dose-dependent reduction of soluble Abeta(1-40) was shown in the hippocampus of SAMP8 mice after administration with ginsenoside Rg1 for 3 months. Furthermore, Rg1 treatment resulted in a significant decrease of hippocampal PKA RIIalpha level (isoform IIalpha of the regulatory subunit of PKA). In contrast, phospho-CREB and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels were dramatically increased in the hippocampus of SAMP8 treated with Rg1. Additionally, administration of ginsenoside Rg1 consequently improved learning and memory outcomes in SAMP8 mice. These data suggest that long-term consumption of ginsenoside Rg1 may delay cognitive decline, associated with significant effects on Abeta generation, PKA/CREB activity, as well as BDNF content in the brain. These data provide further support for the therapeutic or intervention potency of ginsenoside Rg1 in the early stage of AD. PMID:20157253

  13. Ketogenic Diet Improves Motor Performance but Not Cognition in Two Mouse Models of Alzheimer’s Pathology

    PubMed Central

    Brownlow, Milene L.; Benner, Leif; D’Agostino, Dominic; Gordon, Marcia N.; Morgan, Dave

    2013-01-01

    Dietary manipulations are increasingly viewed as possible approaches to treating neurodegenerative diseases. Previous studies suggest that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients present an energy imbalance with brain hypometabolism and mitochondrial deficits. Ketogenic diets (KDs), widely investigated in the treatment and prevention of seizures, have been suggested to bypass metabolic deficits present in AD brain by providing ketone bodies as an alternative fuel to neurons. We investigated the effects of a ketogenic diet in two transgenic mouse lines. Five months old APP/PS1 (a model of amyloid deposition) and Tg4510 (a model of tau deposition) mice were offered either a ketogenic or a control (NIH-31) diet for 3 months. Body weight and food intake were monitored throughout the experiment, and blood was collected at 4 weeks and 4 months for ketone and glucose assessments. Both lines of transgenic mice weighed less than nontransgenic mice, yet, surprisingly, had elevated food intake. The ketogenic diet did not affect these differences in body weight or food consumption. Behavioral testing during the last two weeks of treatment found that mice offered KD performed significantly better on the rotarod compared to mice on the control diet independent of genotype. In the open field test, both transgenic mouse lines presented increased locomotor activity compared to nontransgenic, age-matched controls, and this effect was not influenced by KD. The radial arm water maze identified learning deficits in both transgenic lines with no significant differences between diets. Tissue measures of amyloid, tau, astroglial and microglial markers in transgenic lines showed no differences between animals fed the control or the ketogenic diet. These data suggest that ketogenic diets may play an important role in enhancing motor performance in mice, but have minimal impact on the phenotype of murine models of amyloid or tau deposition. PMID:24069439

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Acupuncture improves cognitive function: A systematic review?

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Mason Chin Pang; Yip, Ka Keung; Lam, Chung Tsung; Lam, Ka Shun; Lau, Wai; Yu, Wing Lam; Leung, Amethyst King Man; So, Kwok-fai

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Acupuncture has been used as a treatment for cognitive impairment. OBJECTIVE: This review assesses clinical evidence for or against acupuncture as a treatment for cognitive impairment. This review also discusses the proposed mechanism(s) that could link acupuncture to improved cognitive function. METHODS: We searched the literature using PolyUone search from its inception to January 2013, with full text available and language limited to English. Levels of evidence were examined using Oxford Centre for Evidence-based MedicineLevels of Evidence (March, 2009). RESULTS: Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria: 3 human studies and 9 animal studies. Levels of evidence ranged from level 1b to level 5. CONCLUSION: Most animal studies demonstrated a positive effect of acupuncture on cognitive impairment. However, the results of human studies were inconsistent. Further high-quality human studies with greater statistical power are needed to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture and an optimal protocol. PMID:25206464

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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 visualmotor 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

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. Wilson's disease with cognitive impairment and without extrapyramidal signs: improvement of neuropsychological performance and reduction of MRI abnormalities with trientine treatment.

    PubMed

    Chung, Eun Joo; Kim, Eung Gyu; Kim, Sang Jin; Ji, Ki-Hwan; Seo, Jung Hwa

    2016-02-01

    Extrapyramidal signs are neurological dysfunction commonly associated with Wilson's disease (WD). In addition, cognitive dysfunction has been reported in the early stages of WD. In this report, we describe a 49-year-old woman presenting with memory impairments and without Parkinsonian or extrapyramidal signs. She was diagnosed with WD based on the presence of Kayser-Fleischer rings around the irises of her eyes and two ATP7B gene mutations, R778L at exon 8 and A874V at exdyon 11. Serial magnetic resonance imaging analysis and neuropsychological tests showed improvements following treatment with trientine. PMID:25988284

  3. Improving Performance Appraisal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Mark Graham

    1989-01-01

    Describes strategies for improving performance appraisal systems and examines common features of appraisal systems in large companies. Highlights include rating scales; ranking; forced distributions; tying performance appraisal to strategic business goals; frequency of reviews; development plans versus evaluation only; and group review meetings.

  4. Cognitively Elite, Cognitively Normal, and Cognitively Impaired Aging: Neurocognitive Status and Stability Moderate Memory Performance

    PubMed Central

    Dixon, Roger A.; de Frias, Cindy M.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Although recent theories of brain and cognitive aging distinguish among normal, exceptional, and impaired groups, further empirical evidence is required. We adapted and applied standard procedures for classifying groups of cognitively impaired (CI) and cognitively normal (CN) older adults to a third classification, cognitively healthy, exceptional, or elite (CE) aging. We then examined concurrent and two-wave longitudinal performance on composite variables of episodic, semantic, and working memory. Method We began with a two-wave source sample from the Victoria Longitudinal Study (VLS) (source n=570; baseline age=53–90 years). The goals were to: (a) apply standard and objective classification procedures to discriminate three cognitive status groups, (b) conduct baseline comparisons of memory performance, (c) develop two-wave status stability and change subgroups, and (d) compare of stability subgroup differences in memory performance and change. Results As expected, the CE group performed best on all three memory composites. Similarly, expected status stability effects were observed: (a) stable CE and CN groups performed memory tasks better than their unstable counterparts and (b) stable (and chronic) CI group performed worse than its unstable (variable) counterpart. These stability group differences were maintained over two waves. Conclusion New data validate the expectations that (a) objective clinical classification procedures for cognitive impairment can be adapted for detecting cognitively advantaged older adults and (b) performance in three memory systems is predictably related to the tripartite classification. PMID:24742143

  5. Cognitive performance in space and analogous environments.

    PubMed

    Casler, J G; Cook, J R

    1999-01-01

    Although human presence in space continues to expand, the literature contains relatively little coverage of human cognitive performance in the space operating environment. This article catalogs and compares the known investigations of human cognitive performance in space and in analogous environments. The methods, sample descriptions and treatments, and the results and limitations of the experiments or observations of 29 studies are compared with respect to 6 cognitive measures: (a) response time, (b) memory, (c) reasoning, (d) pattern recognition, (e) fine motor skills, and (f) dual-task performance. In general, the utility of the data is limited by small sample sizes, short observations periods, and homogeneity of the participant pool. Additionally, the variety of experimental methods used to date often makes generalization of results difficult. Although the combined results of these studies do not suggest a trend toward sustained cognitive performance impairment in the space operating environment, several cognitive performance measures do appear to be affected by an as yet undefined adaptation process. PMID:11543512

  6. 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 generalized cognitive slowing, attention and memory problems during missions and the experimental e vidence supporting such deficits. Since a major justification for man ned spaceflight rests with the cognitive flexibility of humans, addit ional studies and further analysis of existing operational data appea rs warranted.

  7. 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.

  8. Enrichment and Training Improve Cognition in Rats with Cortical Malformations

    PubMed Central

    Jenks, Kyle R.; Lucas, Marcella M.; Duffy, Ben A.; Robbins, Ashlee A.; Gimi, Barjor; Barry, Jeremy M.; Scott, Rod C.

    2013-01-01

    Children with malformations of cortical development (MCD) frequently have associated cognitive impairments which reduce quality of life. We hypothesized that cognitive deficits associated with MCD can be improved with environmental manipulation or additional training. The E17 methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) exposure model bears many anatomical hallmarks seen in human MCDs as well as similar behavioral and cognitive deficits. We divided control and MAM exposed Sprague-Dawley rats into enriched and non-enriched groups and tested performance in the Morris water maze. Another group similarly divided underwent sociability testing and also underwent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans pre and post enrichment. A third group of control and MAM rats without enrichment were trained until they reached criterion on the place avoidance task. MAM rats had impaired performance on spatial tasks and enrichment improved performance of both control and MAM animals. Although MAM rats did not have a deficit in sociability they showed similar improvement with enrichment as controls. MRI revealed a whole brain volume decrease with MAM exposure, and an increase in both MAM and control enriched volumes in comparison to non-enriched animals. In the place avoidance task, MAM rats required approximately 3 times as long to reach criterion as control animals, but with additional training were able to reach control performance. Environmental manipulation and additional training can improve cognition in a rodent MCD model. We therefore suggest that patients with MCD may benefit from appropriate alterations in educational strategies, social interaction and environment. These factors should be considered in therapeutic strategies. PMID:24358362

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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. Womens 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 23 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 23 years. Cognitive activity and MRI volumes are independently associated with cognitive performance, suggesting distinct cognitive and brain reserve constructs. PMID:25209372

  13. 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.

  14. Hemodynamics during Dialysis and Cognitive Performance

    PubMed Central

    Wolfgram, Dawn; Sunio, Lily; Vogt, Elisabeth; Smith, Heather M; Visotcky, Alexis; Laud, Purushottam; Whittle, Jeff

    2015-01-01

    Background/Aims Persons receiving hemodialysis (HD) are at increased risk of cognitive impairment (CI). Since blood pressure (BP) fluctuations during HD may affect cerebral perfusion and subsequently cognitive function we examined the relationship between dialytic BP fluctuation and cognitive outcomes. Methods We included HD patients without diagnosed dementia who were 50 years or older. Using established methods, we classified participants in CI categories (none to mild and moderate to severe) based on results of a neurocognitive battery. We collected demographic and laboratory data from dialysis unit records, as well as all BP measurements from 12 dialysis sessions. We tested the association between CI and BP fluctuation, adjusting for demographic and laboratory variables. Results Our study enrolled 39 patients; 25 had moderate to severe CI. The normal to mild CI group and the moderate to severe patients had similar degrees of BP fluctuation (average minimum SBP: 107.6 18.7 vs 110.2 18.6 mmHg, maximum drop in SBP: 32.6 10.2 vs 35.4 15.0 mmHg; proportion of sessions with SBP < 90 mmHg: 0.2 0.3 vs 0.2 0.3; average change in SBP, pre to post HD: 10.2 12.4 vs 11.8 16.4 mmHg, all p > 0.55). There was no association between BP variables and performance on individual cognitive tests. Multivariable analysis showed that older age and non-Caucasian race were associated with a reduction in cognitive scores. Conclusions There was no cross-sectional association between dialytic BP changes and cognitive performance. PMID:25103846

  15. 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.…

  16. Novel Television-Based Cognitive Training Improves Working Memory and Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Shatil, Evelyn; Mikuleck, Jaroslava; Bellotti, Francesco; Bure, Vladimr

    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 6087 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

  17. Exercise therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy to improve fatigue, daily activity performance and quality of life in Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome: the protocol of the FACTS-2-PPS trial

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome (PPS) is a complex of late onset neuromuscular symptoms with new or increased muscle weakness and muscle fatigability as key symptoms. Main clinical complaints are severe fatigue, deterioration in functional abilities and health related quality of life. Rehabilitation management is the mainstay of treatment. Two different therapeutic interventions may be prescribed (1) exercise therapy or (2) cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). However, the evidence on the effectiveness of both interventions is limited. The primary aim of the FACTS-2-PPS trial is to study the efficacy of exercise therapy and CBT for reducing fatigue and improving activities and quality of life in patients with PPS. Additionally, the working mechanisms, patients' and therapists' expectations of and experiences with both interventions and cost-effectiveness will be evaluated. Methods/Design A multi-centre, single-blinded, randomized controlled trial will be conducted. A sample of 81 severely fatigued patients with PPS will be recruited from 3 different university hospitals and their affiliate rehabilitation centres. Patients will be randomized to one of three groups i.e. (1) exercise therapy + usual care, (2) CBT + usual care, (3) usual care. At baseline, immediately post-intervention and at 3- and 6-months follow-up, fatigue, activities, quality of life and secondary outcomes will be assessed. Costs will be based on a cost questionnaire, and statistical analyses on GEE (generalized estimated equations). Analysis will also consider mechanisms of change during therapy. A responsive evaluation will be conducted to monitor the implementation process and to investigate the perspectives of patients and therapists on both interventions. Discussion A major strength of the FACTS-2-PPS study is the use of a mixed methods design in which a responsive and economic evaluation runs parallel to the trial. The results of this study will generate new evidence for the rehabilitation treatment of persons with PPS. Trial registration Dutch Trial Register NTR1371. PMID:20082714

  18. 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.

  19. Clock Drawing Performance in Cognitively Normal Elderly

    PubMed Central

    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

    2009-01-01

    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, Ala, and Underwood, 1992; Freund, Gravenstein, Ferris, Burke, & Shaheen, 2005; and Cahn, Salmon, Monsch, Butters, Wiederholt, & Corey-Bloom, 1996), 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. 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

  1. 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

  2. Exercise, Sedentary Pastimes, and Cognitive Performance in Healthy Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Steinberg, Susanne Inez; Sammel, Mary Dupuis; Harel, Brian Tal; Schembri, Adrian; Policastro, Christopher; Bogner, Hillary R.; Negash, Selamawit; Arnold, Steven Edward

    2015-01-01

    Background Moderately vigorous physical activity (MVPA) provides a protective affect against cognitive decline and cardiovascular risk factors. Less is known about sedentary pastimes or non exercise physical activity (NEPA) and cognitive performance. Method 125 healthy adults 65 or older with no clinical evidence of cognitive impairment were enrolled. The CogState computerized neurocognitive battery was administered. Leisure activities were measured using the Community Health Activity Program for Seniors (CHAMPS). Results Sedentary pastimes were associated with executive dysfunction (P = 0.01); MVPA with high memory scores (P = 0.05) and NEPA with improved working memory (P = 0.05). Only sedentary pastimes and executive dysfunction retained significance after correction for multiple comparisons. Smoking and alcohol confounded the association of memory with sedentary pastimes and MVPA. Conclusions Study highlights: negative impact of sedentary pastimes on executive function, need for additional investigation of sedentary behavior, NEPA, the impact of addictions upon activity in late life. PMID:25100746

  3. Confusion: delirium and dementia - a smartphone app to improve cognitive assessment.

    PubMed

    Sangha, Selina; George, J; Winthrop, Craig; Panchal, Sonia

    2015-01-01

    Older patients with dementia and delirium are more prone to adverse events in hospital, but formal cognitive assessment to identify these vulnerable patients on admission is often not carried out by junior doctors. A smartphone app was created and provided on hospital wards to facilitate the use of standard cognitive assessments for delirium and dementia. Before the introduction of the app, 36% of patients over 75 years old were assessed cognitively. After the app, the percentage of cognitive assessments improved to 63%. Improvements in cognitive assessments were most marked after individual teaching of the doctors on the wards in the use of the app and on making the app available on the ward tablets. The results of the study suggest that the introduction of a smartphone app for junior doctors can improve performance in cognitive assessment of older people. PMID:26732085

  4. Confusion: delirium and dementia - a smartphone app to improve cognitive assessment

    PubMed Central

    Sangha, Selina; George, J; Winthrop, Craig; Panchal, Sonia

    2015-01-01

    Older patients with dementia and delirium are more prone to adverse events in hospital, but formal cognitive assessment to identify these vulnerable patients on admission is often not carried out by junior doctors. A smartphone app was created and provided on hospital wards to facilitate the use of standard cognitive assessments for delirium and dementia. Before the introduction of the app, 36% of patients over 75 years old were assessed cognitively. After the app, the percentage of cognitive assessments improved to 63%. Improvements in cognitive assessments were most marked after individual teaching of the doctors on the wards in the use of the app and on making the app available on the ward tablets. The results of the study suggest that the introduction of a smartphone app for junior doctors can improve performance in cognitive assessment of older people. PMID:26732085

  5. Brain stimulation improves associative memory in an individual with amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Cotelli, Maria; Calabria, Marco; Manenti, Rosa; Rosini, Sandra; Maioli, Claudio; Zanetti, Orazio; Miniussi, Carlo

    2012-06-01

    In patients with cognitive deficits, brain stimulation has been shown to restore cognition ( Miniussi et al., 2008 , Brain Stimulation, 1, 326). The aim of this study was to assess whether repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) could improve memory performance in an individual with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI). Stimulation of the left parietal cortex increased accuracy in an association memory task, and this improvement was still significant 24 weeks after stimulation began. These findings indicate that rTMS to the left parietal cortex improved memory performance in aMCI. PMID:21879993

  6. Improving Technology Education Research on Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zuga, Karen F.

    2004-01-01

    In the United States cognitive research about technology education for the general educational purpose of technological literacy has suffered from a lack of a coherent focus. Certainly, there are studies that have addressed cognition, yet analysts of technology education research have been unable to coordinate their findings in any meaningful way

  7. Dietary boron, brain function, and cognitive performance.

    PubMed Central

    Penland, J G

    1994-01-01

    Although the trace element boron has yet to be recognized as an essential nutrient for humans, recent data from animal and human studies suggest that boron may be important for mineral metabolism and membrane function. To investigate further the functional role of boron, brain electrophysiology and cognitive performance were assessed in response to dietary manipulation of boron (approximately 0.25 versus approximately 3.25 mg boron/2000 kcal/day) in three studies with healthy older men and women. Within-subject designs were used to assess functional responses in all studies. Spectral analysis of electroencephalographic data showed effects of dietary boron in two of the three studies. When the low boron intake was compared to the high intake, there was a significant (p < 0.05) increase in the proportion of low-frequency activity, and a decrease in the proportion of higher-frequency activity, an effect often observed in response to general malnutrition and heavy metal toxicity. Performance (e.g., response time) on various cognitive and psychomotor tasks also showed an effect of dietary boron. When contrasted with the high boron intake, low dietary boron resulted in significantly poorer performance (p < 0.05) on tasks emphasizing manual dexterity (studies II and III); eye-hand coordination (study II); attention (all studies); perception (study III); encoding and short-term memory (all studies); and long-term memory (study I). Collectively, the data from these three studies indicate that boron may play a role in human brain function and cognitive performance, and provide additional evidence that boron is an essential nutrient for humans. PMID:7889884

  8. The Influence of Exercise on Cognitive Performance in Normobaric Hypoxia.

    PubMed

    Seo, Yongsuk; Burns, Keith; Fennell, Curtis; Kim, Jung-Hyun; Gunstad, John; Glickman, Ellen; McDaniel, John

    2015-12-01

    Seo, Yongsuk, Keith Burns, Curtis Fennell, Jung-Hyun Kim, John Gunstad, Ellen Glickman, and John McDaniel.(.)The influence of exercise on cognitive performance in normobaric hypoxia. High Alt Med Biol 16:298-305, 2015.-Although previous reports indicate that exercise improves cognitive function in normoxia, the influence of exercise on cognitive function in hypoxia is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine if the impaired cognitive function in hypoxia can be restored by low to moderate intensity exercise. Sixteen young healthy men completed the ANAM versions of the Go/No-Go task (GNT) and Running Memory Continuous Performance Task (RMCPT) in normoxia to serve as baseline (B-Norm) (21% O2). Following 60 minutes of exposure to normobaric hypoxia (B-Hypo) (12.5% O2), these tests were repeated at rest and during cycling exercise at 40% and 60% of adjusted Vo2max. At B-Hypo, the % correct (p?0.001) and throughput score (p?0.001) in RMCPT were significantly impaired compared to B-Norm. During exercise at 40% (p=0.023) and 60% (p=0.006) of adjusted Vo2max, the throughput score in RMCPT improved compared to B-Hypo, and there was no significant difference in throughput score between the two exercise intensities. Mean reaction time also improved at both exercise intensities compared to B-Hypo (p?0.028). Both peripheral oxygen saturation (Spo2) and regional cerebral oxygen saturation (rSo2) significantly decreased during B-Hypo (p?0.001) and further decreased at 40% (p?0.05) and 60% (p?0.039) exercise. There was no significant difference in Spo2 or rSo2 between two exercise intensities. These data indicate that low to moderate exercise (i.e., 40%-60% adjusted Vo2max) may attenuate the risk of impaired cognitive function that occurs in hypoxic conditions. PMID:26214045

  9. Septohippocampal Neuromodulation Improves Cognition after Traumatic Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Lee, Darrin J; Gurkoff, Gene G; Izadi, Ali; Seidl, Stacey E; Echeverri, Angela; Melnik, Mikhail; Berman, Robert F; Ekstrom, Arne D; Muizelaar, J Paul; Lyeth, Bruce G; Shahlaie, Kiarash

    2015-11-15

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) often results in persistent attention and memory deficits that are associated with hippocampal dysfunction. Although deep brain stimulation (DBS) is used to treat neurological disorders related to motor dysfunction, the effectiveness of stimulation to treat cognition remains largely unknown. In this study, adult male Harlan Sprague-Dawley rats underwent a lateral fluid percussion or sham injury followed by implantation of bipolar electrodes in the medial septal nucleus (MSN) and ipsilateral hippocampus. In the first week after injury, there was a significant decrease in hippocampal theta oscillations that correlated with decreased object exploration and impaired performance in the Barnes maze spatial learning task. Continuous 7.7 Hz theta stimulation of the medial septum significantly increased hippocampal theta oscillations, restored normal object exploration, and improved spatial learning in injured animals. There were no benefits with 100 Hz gamma stimulation, and stimulation of sham animals at either frequency did not enhance performance. We conclude, therefore, that there was a theta frequency-specific benefit of DBS that restored cognitive function in brain-injured rats. These data suggest that septal theta stimulation may be an effective and novel neuromodulatory therapy for treatment of persistent cognitive deficits following TBI. PMID:26096267

  10. Absence of IFN? promotes hippocampal plasticity and enhances cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, S; Ferreira, F M; Pinto, V; Roque, S; Morais, M; de S-Calada, D; Mota, C; Correia-Neves, M; Cerqueira, J J

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive functioning can be differentially modulated by components of the immune system. Interferon-? (IFN?) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine whose production is altered in many conditions displaying some degree of cognitive deficits, although its role in cognitive functioning is still unclear. Here we show that the absence of IFN? selectively enhances cognitive behaviours in tasks in which the hippocampus is implicated. Moreover, the absence of IFN? leads to volumetric and cell density changes that are restricted to the dorsal part of the hippocampus. In the dorsal hippocampus, the absence of this pro-inflammatory cytokine leads to an increase in the numbers of newly born neurons in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus (DG), an adult neurogenic niche known to support learning and memory, and to an enlargement of the dendritic arborization of DG granule and cornu ammonis (CA)1 pyramidal neurons. Moreover, it also modestly impacts synaptic plasticity, by decreasing the paired-pulse facilitation in the Schaffer collateral to CA1 pyramidal cell synapses. Taken together, our results provide evidence that IFN? is a negative regulator of hippocampal functioning, as its absence positively impacts on dorsal hippocampus structure, cell density, neuronal morphology and synaptic plasticity. Importantly, these neuroplastic changes are associated with improved performance in learning and memory tasks. Therefore, blockage of the IFN? signalling may present as promising therapeutic targets for the treatment of inflammation-associated cognitive dysfunction. PMID:26731444

  11. Reciprocal Modulation of Cognitive and Emotional Aspects in Pianistic Performances

    PubMed Central

    Higuchi, Marcia K. Kodama; Fornari, Jos; Del Ben, Cristina M.; Graeff, Frederico G.; Leite, Joo Pereira

    2011-01-01

    Background High level piano performance requires complex integration of perceptual, motor, cognitive and emotive skills. Observations in psychology and neuroscience studies have suggested reciprocal inhibitory modulation of the cognition by emotion and emotion by cognition. However, it is still unclear how cognitive states may influence the pianistic performance. The aim of the present study is to verify the influence of cognitive and affective attention in the piano performances. Methods and Findings Nine pianists were instructed to play the same piece of music, firstly focusing only on cognitive aspects of musical structure (cognitive performances), and secondly, paying attention solely on affective aspects (affective performances). Audio files from pianistic performances were examined using a computational model that retrieves nine specific musical features (descriptors) loudness, articulation, brightness, harmonic complexity, event detection, key clarity, mode detection, pulse clarity and repetition. In addition, the number of volunteers' errors in the recording sessions was counted. Comments from pianists about their thoughts during performances were also evaluated. The analyses of audio files throughout musical descriptors indicated that the affective performances have more: agogics, legatos, pianos phrasing, and less perception of event density when compared to the cognitive ones. Error analysis demonstrated that volunteers misplayed more left hand notes in the cognitive performances than in the affective ones. Volunteers also played more wrong notes in affective than in cognitive performances. These results correspond to the volunteers' comments that in the affective performances, the cognitive aspects of piano execution are inhibited, whereas in the cognitive performances, the expressiveness is inhibited. Conclusions Therefore, the present results indicate that attention to the emotional aspects of performance enhances expressiveness, but constrains cognitive and motor skills in the piano execution. In contrast, attention to the cognitive aspects may constrain the expressivity and automatism of piano performances. PMID:21931716

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. Cognitive improvement in patients with carotid stenosis is independent of treatment type.

    PubMed

    Wapp, Manuela; Everts, Regula; Burren, Yuliya; Kellner-Weldon, Frauke; El-Koussy, Marwan; Wiest, Roland; Federspiel, Andrea; Michel, Patrik; Schroth, Gerhard

    2015-01-01

    Treatment of carotid artery stenosis decreases the long-term risk of stroke and may enhance cerebral blood flow. It is therefore expected to have the potential to prevent cognitive decline or even improve cognition over the long-term. However, intervention itself can cause peri-interventional cerebral infarcts, possibly resulting in a decline of cognitive performance, at least for a short time. We investigated the long-term effects of three treatment methods on cognition and the emotional state one year after intervention. In this prospective observational cohort study, 58 patients with extracranial carotid artery stenosis (?70%) underwent magnetic resonance imaging and assessment of cognition, mood and motor speed before carotid endarterectomy (n = 20), carotid stenting (n = 10) or best medical treatment (n = 28) (i.e., time-point 1 [TP1]), and at one-year follow-up (TP2). Gain scores, reflecting cognitive change after treatment, were built according to performance as (TP2 -TP1)/TP1. Independent of the treatment type, significant improvement in frontal lobe functions, visual memory and motor speed was found. Performance level, motor speed and mood at TP1 were negatively correlated with gain scores, with greater improvement in patients with low performance before treatment. Active therapy, whether conservative or interventional, produces significant improvement of frontal lobe functions and memory in patients with carotid artery disease, independent of treatment type. This effect was particularly pronounced in patients with low cognitive performance prior to treatment. PMID:26700596

  15. 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

  16. 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 (500nmol/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

  17. 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…

  18. Physical Performance Is Associated with Working Memory in Older People with Mild to Severe Cognitive Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Volkers, K. M.; Scherder, E. J. A.

    2014-01-01

    Background. Physical performances and cognition are positively related in cognitively healthy people. The aim of this study was to examine whether physical performances are related to specific cognitive functioning in older people with mild to severe cognitive impairment. Methods. This cross-sectional study included 134 people with a mild to severe cognitive impairment (mean age 82 years). Multiple linear regression was performed, after controlling for covariates and the level of global cognition, with the performances on mobility, strength, aerobic fitness, and balance as predictors and working memory and episodic memory as dependent variables. Results. The full models explain 49–57% of the variance in working memory and 40–43% of episodic memory. Strength, aerobic fitness, and balance are significantly associated with working memory, explaining 3–7% of its variance, irrespective of the severity of the cognitive impairment. Physical performance is not related to episodic memory in older people with mild to severe cognitive impairment. Conclusions. Physical performance is associated with working memory in older people with cognitive impairment. Future studies should investigate whether physical exercise for increased physical performance can improve cognitive functioning. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov NTR1482. PMID:24757674

  19. Job Performance: Improvement Needed

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodman, Jacob

    1974-01-01

    Personnel directors of 38 business firms responded to a questionnaire rating 24 employee traits related to competencies, attitudes, skills, and personality which needed improvement. Five traits were common among the rank order one to five to both retailer and commercial and service organization respondents: oral communication, initiative,

  20. 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…

  1. Improving Performance Appraisals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lahti, Robert E.

    1975-01-01

    A positive and creative results-oriented management appraisal system is needed. This article reviews the benefits and requirements of such a system, lists the common pitfalls of shoddy evaluation attempts, describes the four basic kinds of performance appraisal systems, and offers suggestions for creating a successful system. (DC)

  2. 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

  3. Cognitive function affects trainability for physical performance in exercise intervention among older adults with mild cognitive impairment

    PubMed Central

    Uemura, Kazuki; Shimada, Hiroyuki; Makizako, Hyuma; Doi, Takehiko; Yoshida, Daisuke; Tsutsumimoto, Kota; Anan, Yuya; Suzuki, Takao

    2013-01-01

    Background Although much evidence supports the hypothesis that cognitive function and physical function are interrelated, it is unclear whether cognitive decline with mild cognitive impairment influences trainability of physical performance in exercise intervention. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between cognitive function at baseline and change in physical performance after exercise intervention in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Methods Forty-four older adults diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment based on the Peterson criteria (mean age 74.8 years) consented to and completed a 6-month twice weekly exercise intervention. The Timed Up and Go (TUG) test was used as a measure of physical performance. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Trail Making Test Part B, Geriatric Depression Scale, baseline muscle strength of knee extension, and attendance rate of intervention, were measured as factors for predicting trainability. Results In the correlation analysis, the change in TUG showed modest correlations with attendance rate in the exercise program (r = −0.354, P = 0.027) and MMSE at baseline (r = −0.321, P = 0.034). A multiple regression analysis revealed that change in TUG was independently associated with attendance rate (β = −0.322, P = 0.026) and MMSE score (β = −0.295, P = 0.041), controlling for age and gender. Conclusion General cognitive function was associated with improvements in physical performance after exercise intervention in subjects with mild cognitive impairment. Further research is needed to examine the effects of exercise programs designed to address cognitive obstacles in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. PMID:23390362

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  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 patients 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:24982627

  7. 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:24982627

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Separation of cognitive domains to improve prediction of progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Hendrix, Suzanne B; Welsh-Bohmer, Kathleen A

    2013-01-01

    Addressing causes of heterogeneity in cognitive outcomes is becoming more critical as Alzheimer's disease (AD) research focuses on earlier disease. One of the causes of this heterogeneity may be that individuals with deficiencies in different cognitive domains may perform similarly on a neuropsychological (NP) test for very different reasons. Tatsuoka and colleagues have applied a Bayesian model in order to integrate knowledge about cognitive domains relevant to each NP test with the observed outcomes from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) mild cognitive impairment data. This approach resulted in better prediction of AD diagnosis than more traditional approaches. PMID:23680123

  11. Separation of cognitive domains to improve prediction of progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Addressing causes of heterogeneity in cognitive outcomes is becoming more critical as Alzheimer's disease (AD) research focuses on earlier disease. One of the causes of this heterogeneity may be that individuals with deficiencies in different cognitive domains may perform similarly on a neuropsychological (NP) test for very different reasons. Tatsuoka and colleagues have applied a Bayesian model in order to integrate knowledge about cognitive domains relevant to each NP test with the observed outcomes from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) mild cognitive impairment data. This approach resulted in better prediction of AD diagnosis than more traditional approaches. PMID:23680123

  12. Reduction of hippocampal hyperactivity improves cognition in amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Bakker, Arnold; Krauss, Gregory L; Albert, Marilyn S; Speck, Caroline L; Jones, Lauren R; Stark, Craig E; Yassa, Michael A; Bassett, Susan S; Shelton, Amy L; Gallagher, Michela

    2012-05-10

    Elevated hippocampal activation is observed in conditions that confer risk for Alzheimer's disease, including amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). Studies in relevant animal models have indicated that overactivity in selective hippocampal circuits contributes to cognitive impairment. Here, we tested the effect of reducing hippocampal activation in aMCI. Under placebo treatment, hippocampal activation in the dentate gyrus/CA3 was elevated in aMCI patients compared to a healthy control group. By using a low dose of the antiepileptic levetiracetam hippocampal activation in aMCI was reduced to a level that did not differ from the control group. Compared to aMCI memory performance under placebo, performance in the scanning task was significantly improved under drug treatment. Contrary to the view that greater hippocampal activation might serve a beneficial function, these results support the view that increased hippocampal activation in aMCI is a dysfunctional condition and that targeting excess hippocampal activity has therapeutic potential. PMID:22578498

  13. 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

  14. Cognitive Styles, Dynamic Geometry and Measurement Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pitta-Pantazi, Demetra; Christou, Constantinos

    2009-01-01

    This paper reports the outcomes of an empirical study undertaken to investigate the effect of students' cognitive styles on achievement in measurement tasks in a dynamic geometry learning environment, and to explore the ability of dynamic geometry learning in accommodating different cognitive styles and enhancing students' learning. A total of 49

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  16. 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

  17. The effects of cognitive rehabilitation on Alzheimers 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 Alzheimers 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

  18. Elderly online: effects of a digital inclusion program in cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Ordonez, Tiago Nascimento; Yassuda, Mnica Sanches; Cachioni, Meire

    2011-01-01

    There is little empirical data about the impact of digital inclusion on cognition among older adults. This paper aimed at investigating the effects of a digital inclusion program in the cognitive performance of older individuals who participated in a computer learning workshop named "Idosos On-Line" (Elderly Online). Forty-two aged individuals participated in the research study: 22 completed the computer training workshop and 20 constituted the control group. All subjects answered a sociodemographic questionnaire and completed the Addenbrooke's cognitive examination, revised (ACE-R), which examines five cognitive domains: orientation and attention, memory, verbal fluency, language, and visuo-spatial skills. It was noted that the experimental group's cognitive performance significantly improved after the program, particularly in the language and memory domains, when compared to the control group. These findings suggest that the acquisition of new knowledge and the use of a new tool, that makes it possible to access the Internet, may bring gains to cognition. PMID:21131070

  19. The NASA Performance Assessment Workstation: cognitive performance during head-down bed rest.

    PubMed

    Shehab, R L; Schlegel, R E; Schiflett, S G; Eddy, D R

    1998-01-01

    The NASA Performance Assessment Workstation was used to assess cognitive performance changes in eight males subjected to seventeen days of 6 degrees 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. PMID:11541926

  20. Motivational Influences on Cognitive Performance in Children: Focus over Fit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Worthy, Darrell A.; Brez, Caitlin C.; Markman, Arthur B.; Maddox, W. Todd

    2011-01-01

    Cognitive psychologists have begun to address how motivational factors influence adults' performance on cognitive tasks. However, little research has examined how different motivational factors interact with one another to affect behavior across the life span. In the current study, the authors examined how children perform on a classification task

  1. The effect of preferred music on mood and performance in a high-cognitive demand occupation.

    PubMed

    Lesiuk, Teresa

    2010-01-01

    Mild positive affect has been shown in the psychological literature to improve cognitive skills of creative problem-solving and systematic thinking. Individual preferred music listening offers opportunity for improved positive affect. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of preferred music listening on state-mood and cognitive performance in a high-cognitive demand occupation. Twenty-four professional computer information systems developers (CISD) from a North American IT company participated in a 3-week study with a music/no music/music weekly design. During the music weeks, participants listened to their preferred music "when they wanted, as they wanted." Self-reports of State Positive Affect, State Negative Affect, and Cognitive Performance were measured throughout the 3 weeks. Results indicate a statistically significant improvement in both state-mood and cognitive performance scores. "High-cognitive demand" is a relative term given that challenges presented to individuals may occur on a cognitive continuum from need for focus and selective attention to systematic analysis and creative problem-solving. The findings and recommendations have important implications for music therapists in their knowledge of the effect of music on emotion and cognition, and, as well, have important implications for music therapy consultation to organizations. PMID:21141770

  2. 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.

  3. Lifetime Occupation and Late-Life Cognitive Performance Among Women.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Pricila Cristina Correa; Loureno, Roberto Alves

    2015-12-01

    We examined whether women who had regular jobs throughout life performed better cognitively than older adult housewives. Linear regression was used to compare global cognitive performance scores of housewives (G1) and women exposed to work of low (G2) and high (G3) complexity. The sample comprised 477 older adult Brazilian women, 430 (90.4%) of whom had performed lifelong jobs. In work with data, the G2 group's cognitive performance scores were 1.73 points higher (p =.03), and the G3 group scored 1.76 points (p =.02) higher, than the G1. In work with things and with people, the G3 scored, respectively, 2.04 (p <.01) and 2.21 (p <.01) cognitive test points higher than the G1. Based on our findings we suggest occupation of greater complexity is associated with better cognitive performance in women later in life. PMID:26291386

  4. 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

  5. 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 colorword test. Performance on the Stroop colorword test was assessed in 30 healthy male volunteers with ages ranging from 18 years to 31 years old (22.573.65 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 colorword 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 colorword 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Improved local spectrum sensing for cognitive radio networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ejaz, Waleed; ul Hasan, Najam; Azam, Muhammad Awais; Kim, Hyung Seok

    2012-12-01

    The successful deployment of dynamic spectrum access requires cognitive radio (CR) to more accurately find the unoccupied portion of the spectrum. An accurate spectrum sensing technique can reduce the probability of false alarms and misdetection. Cooperative spectrum sensing is usually employed to achieve accuracy and improve reliability, but at the cost of cooperation overhead among CR users. This overhead can be reduced by improving local spectrum sensing accuracy. Several signal processing techniques for transmitter detection have been proposed in the literature but more sophisticated approaches are needed to enhance sensing efficiency. This article proposes a two-stage local spectrum sensing approach. In the first stage, each CR performs existing spectrum sensing techniques, i.e., energy detection, matched filter detection, and cyclostationary detection. In the second stage, the output from each technique is combined using fuzzy logic in order to deduce the presence or absence of a primary transmitter. Simulation results verify that our proposed technique outperforms existing local spectrum sensing techniques. The proposed approach shows significant improvement in sensing accuracy by exhibiting a higher probability of detection and low false alarms. The mean detection time of the proposed scheme is equivalent to that of cyclostationary detection.

  10. 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

  11. Using Human Dynamics to Improve Operator Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antunes, Rui; Coito, Fernando V.; Duarte-Ramos, Hermnio

    Traditionally Man-Machine Interfaces (MMI) are concerned with the ergonomic aspects of the operation, often disregarding other aspects on how humans learn and use machines. The explicit use of the operator dynamics characterization for the definition of the Human-in-the-Loop control system may allow an improved performance for manual control systems. The proposed human model depends on the activity to be performed and the mechanical Man-Machine Interface. As a first approach for model development, a number of 1-D manual tracking experiments were evaluated, using an analog Joystick. A simple linear human model was obtained and used to design an improved closed-loop control structure. This paper describes practical aspects of an ongoing PhD work on cognitive control in Human-Machine systems.

  12. CF6 fan performance improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patt, R. F.; Reemsnyder, D. C.

    1980-01-01

    A significant portion of the NASA-sponsored Performance Improvement Program for the CF6 engine was the development of an improved fan concept. This involved aerodynamic redesign of the CF6 fan blade to increase fan efficiency while retaining the mechanical integrity, operability, and acoustic characteristics of the existing blade. A further improvement in performance was obtained by adding a fan case stiffener ring to decouple blade-case vibrational characteristics, permitting a significant reduction in running tip clearance. Engine testing was performed to establish the performance, mechanical and acoustic properties of the new design relative to the current fan, and to establish power management characteristics for the CF6-50C2/E2 engine. A significant improvement in cruise power SFC of 1.8 percent was demonstrated in Sea Level testing projected to altitude flight conditions.

  13. Prediction of Later Cognitive Behavior from Early School Perceptual-Motor, Perceptual, and Cognitive Performances.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belka, David E.; Williams, Harriet G.

    1979-01-01

    The battery of perceptual and perceptual-motor tests (including one fine and two gross perceptual-motor tasks, and one visual and two auditory perceptual tasks) were useful for prediction of cognitive performance one year later at kindergarten age. However, cognitive achievement in first grade, and even more so in second grade, was best predicted

  14. 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)

  15. Improving sleep and cognition by hypnotic suggestion in the elderly.

    PubMed

    Cordi, Maren Jasmin; Hirsiger, Sarah; Mrillat, Susan; Rasch, Bjrn

    2015-03-01

    Sleep quality markedly declines across the human lifespan. Particularly the amount of slow-wave sleep (SWS) decreases with age and this decrease is paralleled by a loss of cognitive functioning in the elderly. Here we show in healthy elderly females that the amount of SWS can be extended by a hypnotic suggestion "to sleep deeper" before sleep. In a placebo-controlled cross-over design, participants listened to hypnotic suggestions or a control tape before a midday nap while high density electroencephalography was recorded. After the hypnotic suggestion, we observed a 57% increase in SWS in females suggestible to hypnosis as compared to the control condition. Furthermore, left frontal slow-wave activity (SWA), characteristic for SWS, was significantly increased, followed by a significant improvement in prefrontal cognitive functioning after sleep. Our results suggest that hypnotic suggestions might be a successful alternative for widely-used sleep-enhancing medication to extend SWS and improve cognition in the elderly. PMID:25660206

  16. Cognitive Performance as a Zeitgeber: Cognitive Oscillators and Cholinergic Modulation of the SCN Entrain Circadian Rhythms

    PubMed Central

    Gritton, Howard J.; Stasiak, Ashley M.; Sarter, Martin; Lee, Theresa M.

    2013-01-01

    The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is the primary circadian pacemaker in mammals that can synchronize or entrain to environmental cues. Although light exerts powerful influences on SCN output, other non-photic stimuli can modulate the SCN as well. We recently demonstrated that daily performance of a cognitive task requiring sustained periods of attentional effort that relies upon basal forebrain (BF) cholinergic activity dramatically alters circadian rhythms in rats. In particular, normally nocturnal rats adopt a robust diurnal activity pattern that persists for several days in the absence of cognitive training. Although anatomical and pharmacological data from non-performing animals support a relationship between cholinergic signaling and circadian rhythms, little is known about how endogenous cholinergic signaling influences SCN function in behaving animals. Here we report that BF cholinergic projections to the SCN provide the principal signal allowing for the expression of cognitive entrainment in light-phase trained animals. We also reveal that oscillator(s) outside of the SCN drive cognitive entrainment as daily timed cognitive training robustly entrains SCN-lesioned arrhythmic animals. Ablation of the SCN, however, resulted in significant impairments in task acquisition, indicating that SCN-mediated timekeeping benefits new learning and cognitive performance. Taken together, we conclude that cognition entrains non-photic oscillators, and cholinergic signaling to the SCN serves as a temporal timestamp attenuating SCN photic-driven rhythms, thereby permitting cognitive demands to modulate behavior. PMID:23441168

  17. Practice of Contemporary Dance Improves Cognitive Flexibility in Aging

    PubMed Central

    Coubard, Olivier A.; Duretz, Stphanie; 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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

  2. Cognitive activity relates to cognitive performance but not to Alzheimer disease biomarkers

    PubMed Central

    Gidicsin, Christopher M.; Maye, Jacqueline E.; Locascio, Joseph J.; Pepin, Lesley C.; Philiossaint, Marlie; Becker, J. Alex; Younger, Alayna P.; Dekhtyar, Maria; Schultz, Aaron P.; Amariglio, Rebecca E.; Marshall, Gad A.; Rentz, Dorene M.; Hedden, Trey; Sperling, Reisa A.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: We aimed to determine whether there was a relationship between lifestyle factors and Alzheimer disease biomarkers. Methods: In a cross-sectional study, we evaluated self-reported histories of recent and past cognitive activity, self-reported history of recent physical activity, and objective recent walking activity in 186 clinically normal individuals with mean age of 74 ± 6 years. Using backward elimination general linear models, we tested the hypotheses that greater cognitive or physical activity would be associated with lower Pittsburgh compound B–PET retention, greater 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose–PET metabolism, and larger hippocampal volume, as well as better cognitive performance on neuropsychological testing. Results: Linear regression demonstrated that history of greater cognitive activity was correlated with greater estimated IQ and education, as well as better neuropsychological testing performance. Self-reported recent physical activity was related to objective exercise monitoring. However, contrary to hypotheses, we did not find evidence of an association of Pittsburgh compound B retention, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake, or hippocampal volume with past or current levels of cognitive activity, or with current physical activity. Conclusions: We conclude that a history of lifelong cognitive activity may support better cognitive performance by a mechanism that is independent of brain β-amyloid burden, brain glucose metabolism, or hippocampal volume. PMID:26062627

  3. 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.

  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. Eight Minutes to Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seidman, William; McCauley, Michael

    2003-01-01

    Discusses how to produce behavior change and related performance improvement by nonexperts in as little as eight minutes by having them become instantly engaged through instant credibility of the content and instant application to their situation. Explains digital coach technology which can create instant engagement for the nonexpert. (Author/LRW)

  6. Improving functional disability and cognition in Parkinson disease

    PubMed Central

    Pea, Javier; Garca-Gorostiaga, Ins; Gomez-Beldarrain, Maria Angeles; Dez-Cirarda, Mara; Ojeda, Natalia

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: To examine the efficacy of an integrative cognitive training program (REHACOP) to improve cognition, clinical symptoms, and functional disability of patients with Parkinson disease (PD). Methods: Forty-two patients diagnosed with PD in Hoehn & Yahr stages 1 to 3 were randomly assigned to either the cognitive training group (REHACOP) or the control group (occupational activities) for 3 months (3 sessions, 60 min/wk). Primary outcomes were change on processing speed, verbal memory, visual memory, executive functioning, and theory of mind. Secondary outcomes included changes on neuropsychiatric symptoms, depression, apathy, and functional disability. The trial was registered with clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02118480). Results: No baseline group differences were found. Bootstrapped analysis of variance results showed significant differences in the mean change scores between the REHACOP group and control group in processing speed (0.13 [SE = 0.07] vs ?0.15 [SE = 0.09], p = 0.025), visual memory (0.10 [SE = 0.10] vs ?0.24 [SE = 0.09], p = 0.011), theory of mind (1.00 [SE = 0.37] vs ?0.27 [SE = 0.29], p = 0.013), and functional disability (?5.15 [SE = 1.35] vs 0.53 [SE = 1.49], p = 0.012). Conclusions: Patients with PD receiving cognitive training with REHACOP demonstrated statistically significant and clinically meaningful changes in processing speed, visual memory, theory of mind, and functional disability. Future studies should consider the long-term effect of this type of intervention. These findings support the integration of cognitive training into the standard of care for patients with PD. Classification of evidence: This study provides Class II evidence that for patients with PD, an integrative cognitive training program improves processing speed, visual memory, theory of mind, and functional disability. PMID:25361785

  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. 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

  9. Space Shuttle SRM performance improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Speak, C. A.; Wilks, R. K.; Jones, K. W.

    1981-01-01

    A number of options for Solid Rocket Motor (SRM) performance improvement were studied and evaluated by NASA with respect to payload improvement potential, technical risk, schedule, cost, and impact on Shuttle system performance. It was found that the SRM delivered specific impulse could be improved by increasing the nozzle expansion ratio from 7.16 to 7.72. This was achieved by decreasing the throat diameter of the nozzle exit cone, while staying within tooling, facility, and ICD limitations. A simple modification of the grain inhibiting pattern was made to reshape the thrust-time history and thereby obtain more delivered impulse during the early portion of motor operation. These performance options, initiated in October 1980, provide a 3,000 lb payload increase. Longer range options are the use of a filament wound composite case, a HTPB propellant, and further increases in the nozzle expansion ratio. These improvements have a potential of 10,000 to 11,000 lb payload increase.

  10. Cognitive Style and Motor Skill and Sports Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riding, Richard J.; Al-Salih, Nizar

    2000-01-01

    Presents a study of cognitive style and motor skill performance on a battery of tasks and sports performance. Suggests four skills factors from the motor skills subsample (n=69), specifically bodily movement, interactive skills, mechanical skills, and aiming. Reveals a significant effect of style for tennis from the sports performance subsample

  11. Cognitive Performance in Treatment-Nave Active Alcoholics

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Stan; Fein, George

    2011-01-01

    Background Most studies reporting cognitive deficits in chronic alcoholics have relied on treatment samples (predominantly men) from inpatient or outpatient treatment facilities. However, the majority of chronic alcoholics have never been in treatment, and there is increasing evidence that treated and non-treatment seeking alcoholic samples come from different populations with regard to alcohol use and other factors related to the severity of disease. Accordingly, in the present study, we assessed a broad range of cognitive functions in 55 treatment-nave alcohol dependent (TNAD) individuals and 55 non-alcoholic controls (NAC) matched for age and education. In addition, a goal of the present study was to assess potential differential effects of alcohol dependence on cognitive performance in TNAD men and women. Methods Comprehensive neuropsychological assessment was conducted on TNAD and NAC. The following nine performance domains, each consisting of multiple measures, were examined: attention, auditory working memory, verbal processing, abstraction/cognitive flexibility, psychomotor function, immediate memory, delayed memory, reaction time, and spatial processing. Results Analysis revealed no cognitive deficits in TNAD, relative to NAC, in any of the nine cognitive domains. TNAD performed better than NAC in the attention domain. In addition, while men performed better than women in the spatial domain, there were no TNAD vs. NAC group by gender interactions for any domain. Conclusions Our results extend findings that TNAD show minimal behavioral effects of chronic heavy alcohol use, and are consistent with the contention that TNAD are relatively cognitively intact. Differences between our findings and those often reported for alcoholics recruited from treatment settings may be understood in terms of differences in alcohol use, along with genetic, psychiatric, and nutritional factors. In addition, the lack of differential effects of alcohol dependence on male and female cognitive performance in our study suggests that TNAD men and women do not differ in the severity of cerebral consequences of alcohol dependence. PMID:20860617

  12. Childhood aerobic fitness predicts cognitive performance one year later.

    PubMed

    Chaddock, Laura; Hillman, Charles H; Pontifex, Matthew B; Johnson, Christopher R; Raine, Lauren B; Kramer, Arthur F

    2012-01-01

    Aerobically fit children outperform less fit peers on cognitive control challenges that involve inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and working memory. The aim of this study was to determine whether, compared with less fit children, more fit 9- and 10-year-old pre-adolescents exhibit superior performance on a modified compatible and incompatible flanker task of cognitive control at the initial time of fitness testing and approximately one year later. We found that more fit children demonstrated increased flanker accuracy at both test sessions, coupled with a superior ability to flexibly allocate strategies during task conditions that required different amounts of cognitive control, relative to less fit children. More fit children also gained a speed benefit at follow-up testing. Structural MRI data were also collected to investigate the relationship between basal ganglia volume and task performance. Bilateral putamen volumes of the dorsal striatum and globus pallidus volumes predicted flanker performance at initial and follow-up testing one year later. The present findings suggest that childhood aerobic fitness and basal ganglia volumes relate to cognitive control at the time of fitness testing and may play a role in cognitive performance in the future. We hope that this research will encourage public health and educational changes that will promote a physically active lifestyle in children. PMID:22260155

  13. 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

  14. Correction of Hyponatremia Improves Cognition, Quality of Life, and Brain Edema in Cirrhosis

    PubMed Central

    Ahluwalia, Vishwadeep; Heuman, Douglas M; Feldman, George; Wade, James B; Thacker, Leroy R; Gavis, Edith; Gilles, HoChong; Unser, Ariel; White, Melanie B; Bajaj, Jasmohan S

    2014-01-01

    Background Hyponatremia in cirrhosis is associated with impaired cognition and poor health-related quality of life(HRQOL). However, the benefit of hyponatremia correction is unclear. Aim To evaluate the effect of tolvaptan on serum sodium, cognition, HRQOL, companion burden, and brain MRI (volumetrics, spectroscopy and diffusion tensor imaging) in cirrhotics with hyponatremia. Methods Cirrhotics with Na<130meq/l were included for a four-week trial. At screening, patients underwent cognitive and HRQOL testing, serum/urine chemistries and companion burden assessment. Patients then underwent fluid restriction and diuretic withdrawal for two weeks after which cognitive tests were repeated. If Na was still<130meq/L, brain MRI was performed & tolvaptan initiated for 14 days with frequent clinical/laboratory monitoring. After 14 days of tolvaptan, all tests were repeated. Comparisons were made between screen, pre and post-drug periods Na, urine/serum laboratories, cognition, HRQOL and companion burden. Results 24 cirrhotics were enrolled; seven normalized Na without tolvaptan with improvement in cognition. The remaining 17 received tolvaptan of which 14 completed the study over 13±2 days (age 58±6 yrs, MELD 17, 55%HCV, median 26mg/day of tolvaptan). Serum Na and urine free water clearance increased with tolvaptan without changes in mental status or liver function. Cognitive function, HRQOL and companion burden only improved in these 14 patients after tolvaptan, along with reduced total brain and white matter volume, increase in choline on MRS, and reduced cytotoxic edema. Conclusions Short-term tolvaptan therapy is well tolerated in cirrhosis. Hyponatremia correction is associated with cognitive, HRQOL, brain MRI and companion burden improvement. PMID:25111174

  15. 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 that unsupervised stepping ICMT led to improvements in specific cognitive functions associated with falls in older people. Low adherers improved in less complex functions while high-adherers improved in EF. Trial Registration Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12613000671763 PMID:26673919

  16. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and cognitive performance in mid-life.

    PubMed

    Maddock, Jane; Geoffroy, Marie-Claude; Power, Chris; Hyppnen, Elina

    2014-03-14

    Hypovitaminosis D has been linked with poor cognitive function, particularly in older adults, but studies lack a lifespan approach; hence, the effects of reverse causality remain unknown. In the present study, we aimed to assess the relationship between 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations and subsequent cognitive performance in mid-adulthood and the influence of earlier life factors, including childhood cognitive ability, on this association. Information for the present study was obtained from the members of the 1958 British birth cohort (n 6496). Serum 25(OH)D concentration, indicating vitamin D status, was measured at age 45 years. Verbal memory (immediate and delayed word recall), verbal fluency (animal naming) and speed of processing were tested at age 50 years. Information on childhood cognitive ability, educational attainment, vitamin D-related behaviours and other covariates was collected prospectively from participants throughout their life. Childhood cognitive ability and educational attainment by age 42 years were strongly correlated with cognitive performance at age 50 years and with several vitamin D-related behaviours in mid-adulthood, but not with 25(OH)D concentrations at age 45 years. Participants with both low (<25 nmol/l) and high (?75 nmol/l) 25(OH)D concentrations at age 45 years performed significantly worse on immediate word recall. The associations attenuated after adjustment for childhood cognitive ability, education, and socio-economic position; however, for the immediate word recall test, there was a non-linear association with 25(OH)D after further adjustment for obesity, menopausal status, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity and depressive symptoms at age 45 years (P(curvature)=001). The present study demonstrated that 25(OH)D concentrations were non-linearly associated with immediate word recall in mid-life. A clarification of the level of 25(OH)D concentrations that is most beneficial for predicting better cognitive performance in mid-life is required. PMID:24135155

  17. Modifications improve waterflood performance model

    SciTech Connect

    El-Banbi, A.H.; Abdel Wally, A.; Abd-el Fattah, K.A.; Sayyouh, M.H.

    1996-01-01

    Modifications to the Craig-Geffen-Morse (CGM) waterflooding model improve reservoir performance predictions and allow for the inclusion of pressure drop variations with time. The modified model was validated against numerical simulation results. The paper describes the CGM model, the hypothetical data set, the simulation technique, comparisons between the CGM model and the simulation, and modifications to the CGM model relating to pressure drop variation and water production.

  18. Improved refractory performance through partnership

    SciTech Connect

    Linck, F.E.; Peters, D.

    1995-12-31

    From the early designs and construction of Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) boilers, many improvements have been made based upon observations of performance. Included in these improvements have been the refractory linings. The early refractory linings were subjected to extreme fluctuations in temperatures as the units experienced up and down conditions. As the designs were improved refractory failures were mostly due to the operating conditions and other mechanical stresses rather than continual shutdowns and startups. More recent problems observed with refractory linings are localized areas of high erosion, corrosion and cracking which result in hot spots and eventual shutdowns for repair. Today the objective of refractory suppliers and installers is to strive towards planned shutdowns rather than emergency shutdowns. This can be accomplished through partnerships between operations, material suppliers and installers. In essence, the concept is a cooperative effort between these groups to solve the variety of refractory problems in order to achieve longer refractory lining performance and less chance for emergency shutdowns. The reliability of the refractory lining is dependent on the successful combination of the material selected, proper design and the installation of the refractory material. Where these three elements combine, the lining has the best chance of performing its intended purpose.

  19. The Association between Cognition and Academic Performance in Ugandan Children Surviving Malaria with Neurological Involvement

    PubMed Central

    Bangirana, Paul; Menk, Jeremiah; John, Chandy C.; Boivin, Michael J.; Hodges, James S.

    2013-01-01

    Background The contribution of different cognitive abilities to academic performance in children surviving cerebral insult can guide the choice of interventions to improve cognitive and academic outcomes. This study's objective was to identify which cognitive abilities are associated with academic performance in children after malaria with neurological involvement. Methods 62 Ugandan children with a history of malaria with neurological involvement were assessed for cognitive ability (working memory, reasoning, learning, visual spatial skills, attention) and academic performance (reading, spelling, arithmetic) three months after the illness. Linear regressions were fit for each academic score with the five cognitive outcomes entered as predictors. Adjusters in the analysis were age, sex, education, nutrition, and home environment. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and structural equation models (SEM) were used to determine the nature of the association between cognition and academic performance. Predictive residual sum of squares was used to determine which combination of cognitive scores was needed to predict academic performance. Results In regressions of a single academic score on all five cognitive outcomes and adjusters, only Working Memory was associated with Reading (coefficient estimate = 0.36, 95% confidence interval = 0.10 to 0.63, p<0.01) and Spelling (0.46, 0.13 to 0.78, p<0.01), Visual Spatial Skills was associated with Arithmetic (0.15, 0.03 to 0.26, p<0.05), and Learning was associated with Reading (0.06, 0.00 to 0.11, p<0.05). One latent cognitive factor was identified using EFA. The SEM found a strong association between this latent cognitive ability and each academic performance measure (P<0.0001). Working memory, visual spatial ability and learning were the best predictors of academic performance. Conclusion Academic performance is strongly associated with the latent variable labelled “cognitive ability” which captures most of the variation in the individual specific cognitive outcome measures. Working memory, visual spatial skills, and learning together stood out as the best combination to predict academic performance. PMID:23383342

  20. 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 ?s = .17. An overall effect of domain (four levels), ps < .001, partial ?s = .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

  1. Similar effects on cognitive performance during high- and low-carbohydrate obesity treatment

    PubMed Central

    Makris, A; Darcey, V L; Rosenbaum, D L; Komaroff, E; Vander Veur, S S; Collins, B N; Klein, S; Wyatt, H R; Foster, G D

    2013-01-01

    Objective: Low-carbohydrate (L-CHO) diets are often used for weight loss but their effects on cognitive function are not well understood. The present study compared the effects of a L-CHO and high-carbohydrate (H-CHO) weight-loss diet on cognitive function adults. Design: Participants were randomized to either a L-CHO (n=22) or H-CHO (n=25) weight-loss diet. Cognitive function was evaluated by four computerized cognitive tasks (Stroop Task, Continuous Performance Task, Word Recall and Wisconsin Card Sorting Task) presented in random order before and at 1, 4, 12 and 24 weeks after the initiation of the L-CHO or H-CHO diet. Participants: Forty-seven adults (25 males) with a means.d. age of 47.48.7 years and body mass index of 35.33.4?kg?m?2. Results: There were no significant differences in weight loss between groups at any time point. There were significant improvements on color Stroop task accuracy over time in both diet groups (P<0.05), but there were no differences in performance between groups on this or any other cognitive task at any time period. Conclusion: These findings suggest that weight loss has neither a positive nor a negative effect on cognitive function and that L-CHO and H-CHO weight-loss diets have similar effects on cognitive performance. PMID:24061557

  2. Social cognition in schizophrenia, Part 1: performance across phase of illness.

    PubMed

    Green, Michael F; Bearden, Carrie E; Cannon, Tyrone D; Fiske, Alan P; Hellemann, Gerhard S; Horan, William P; Kee, Kimmy; Kern, Robert S; Lee, Junghee; Sergi, Mark J; Subotnik, Kenneth L; Sugar, Catherine A; Ventura, Joseph; Yee, Cindy M; Nuechterlein, Keith H

    2012-06-01

    Social cognitive impairments are consistently reported in schizophrenia and are associated with functional outcome. We currently know very little about whether these impairments are stable over the course of illness. In the current study, 3 different aspects of social cognition were assessed (emotion processing, Theory of Mind [ToM], and social relationship perception) at 3 distinct developmental phases of illness: prodromal, first episode, and chronic. In this cross-sectional study, participants included 50 individuals with the prodromal risk syndrome for psychosis and 34 demographically comparable controls, 81 first-episode schizophrenia patients and 46 demographically comparable controls, and 53 chronic schizophrenia patients and 47 demographically comparable controls. Outcome measures included total and subtest scores on 3 specialized measures of social cognition: (1) emotion processing assessed with the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, (2) ToM assessed with The Awareness of Social Inference Test, and (3) social relationship perception assessed the Relationships Across Domains Test. Social cognitive performance was impaired across all domains of social cognition and in all clinical samples. Group differences in performance were comparable across phase of illness, with no evidence of progression or improvement. Age had no significant effect on performance for either the clinical or the comparison groups. The findings suggest that social cognition in these 3 domains fits a stable pattern that has outcome and treatment implications. An accompanying article prospectively examines the longitudinal stability of social cognition and prediction of functional outcome in the first-episode sample. PMID:21345917

  3. Subjective Cognitive Complaints, Memory Performance, and Depressive Affect in Old Age: A Change-Oriented Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zimprich, Daniel; Martin, Mike; Kliegel, Matthias

    2003-01-01

    The question of whether and how subjective cognitive complaints are related to actual cognitive performance represents a central issue in applied cognitive aging research. Until recently, however, many studies have failed to find a strong association between subjective cognitive complaints and actual cognitive performance. In our study, we examine

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Bioreactor control improves bioprocess performance.

    PubMed

    Simutis, Rimvydas; Lübbert, Andreas

    2015-08-01

    The performance of bioreactors is not only determined by productivity but also by process quality, which is mainly determined by variances in the process variables. As fluctuations in these quantities directly affect the variability in the product properties, combatting distortions is the main task of practical quality assurance. The straightforward way of reducing this variability is keeping the product formation process tightly under control. Purpose of this keynote is to show that there is enough evidence in literature showing that the performance of the fermentation processes can significantly be improved by feedback control. Most of the currently used open loop control procedures can be replaced by relatively simple feedback techniques. It is shown by practical examples that such a retrofitting does not require significant changes in the well-established equipment. Feedback techniques are best in assuring high reproducibility of the industrial cultivation processes and thus in assuring the quality of their products. Many developments in supervising and controlling industrial fermentations can directly be taken over in manufacturing processes. Even simple feedback controllers can efficiently improve the product quality. It's the time now that manufacturers follow the developments in most other industries and improve process quality by automatic feedback control. PMID:26228573

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Integrated treatment approach improves cognitive function in demented and clinically depressed patients.

    PubMed

    Bragin, Valentin; Chemodanova, Marina; Dzhafarova, Narmina; Bragin, Ilya; Czerniawski, Jennifer L; Aliev, Gjumrakch

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of an integrative treatment approach on cognitive performance. The study sample comprised 35 medically ill patients (20 male, 15 female) with an average age of 71.05, who were diagnosed with mild dementia and depression. These patients were evaluated at baseline and at six, 12, and 24 months of treatment, which included antidepressants (sertraline, citalopram, or venlafaxine XR, alone or in combination with bupropion XR), cholinesterase inhibitors (donepezil, rivastigmine or galantamine), as well as vitamins and supplements (multivitamins, vitamin E, alpha-lipoic acid, omega-3 and coenzyme Q-10). Patients were encouraged to modify their diet and lifestyle and perform mild physical exercises. Results show that the integrative treatment not only protracted cognitive decline for 24 months but even improved cognition, especially memory and frontal lobe functions. PMID:15751450

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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; [Formula: see text]) or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; [Formula: see text]). 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

  13. PTSD and cognitive functioning: importance of including performance validity testing.

    PubMed

    Wisdom, Nick M; Pastorek, Nicholas J; Miller, Brian I; Booth, Jane E; Romesser, Jennifer M; Linck, John F; Sim, Anita H

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have observed an association between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and cognitive deficits across several domains including memory, attention, and executive functioning. The inclusion of response bias measures in these studies, however, remains largely unaddressed. The purpose of this study was to identify possible cognitive impairments correlated with PTSD in returning OEF/OIF/OND veterans after excluding individuals failing a well-validated performance validity test. Participants included 126 men and 8 women with a history of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) referred for a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation as part of a consortium of five Veterans Affairs hospitals. The PTSD CheckList (PCL) and Word Memory Test (WMT) were used to establish symptoms of PTSD and invalid performance, respectively. Groups were categorized as follows: Control (PCL < 50, pass WMT), PTSD-pass (PCL ? 50, pass WMT), and PTSD-fail (PCL ? 50, fail WMT). As hypothesized, failure on the WMT was associated with significantly poorer performance on almost all cognitive tests administered; however, no significant differences were detected between individuals with and without PTSD symptoms after separating out veterans failing the WMT. These findings highlight the importance of assessing respondent validity in future research examining cognitive functioning in psychiatric illness and warrant further consideration of prior studies reporting PTSD-associated cognitive deficits. PMID:24354897

  14. 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 Parkinsons 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 ?2/?3/?4, 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 ?4 was associated with lower performance on HVLT-R total learning (P=6.710?6; corrected P [Pc]=6.010?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 ?4 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 associated with scores on any tests. Conclusions and Relevance Our data indicate that APOE ?4 is an important predictor of cognitive function in PD across multiple domains. Among non-demented PD patients, APOE ?4 was only associated with lower performance on word list learning and semantic verbal fluency, a pattern more typical of the cognitive deficits seen in early Alzheimers disease than PD. PMID:25178429

  15. Estrogen Treatment Impairs Cognitive Performance following Psychosocial Stress and Monoamine Depletion in Postmenopausal Women

    PubMed Central

    Newhouse, Paul A.; Dumas, Julie; Wilkins, Heather; Coderre, Emily; Sites, Cynthia K.; Naylor, Magdalena; Benkelfat, Chawki; Young, Simon N.

    2010-01-01

    Objective Recent studies have shown women experience an acceleration of cognitive problems after menopause, and that estrogen treatment can improve or at least maintain current levels of cognitive functioning in postmenopausal women. However, we have previously shown that the negative emotional effects of psychosocial stress are magnified in normal postmenopausal women after estrogen treatment. This study examined whether estradiol administration can modify cognitive performance after exposure to psychological stress and monoamine depletion. Methods Participants consisted of 22 postmenopausal women placed on either oral placebo or 17?-estradiol (E2) (1 mg/day for 1 month, then 2 mg/day for 2 months). At the end of the 3 month treatment phase, participants underwent three depletion challenges in which they ingested one of three amino acid mixtures: deficient in tryptophan, deficient in phenylalanine/tyrosine, or balanced. Five hours later, participants performed the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), followed by mood and anxiety ratings and cognitive testing. Cognitive measures included tests of attention, psychomotor function, and verbal episodic memory. Results E2-treated compared to placebo-treated participants exhibited significant worsening of cognitive performance on tasks measuring attentional performance and psychomotor speed. Similar trends for impairment were seen in measures of long-term episodic memory compared to placebo-treated postmenopausal women. E2-treated participants also showed a significant increase in negative mood and anxiety compared to placebo-treated women after but not before the TSST, though the worsening of both cognitive and behavioral functioning were not correlated. These effects were independent of tryptophan or tyrosine/phenylalanine depletion and were not manifest before the TSST or at baseline. Conclusions These data suggest that the relationship between estrogen administration and cognitive/behavioral performance in postmenopausal women may be more complex than initially appreciated and that effects of psychosocial stress may influence whether hormone effects are beneficial. PMID:20616673

  16. 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

  17. Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in an acute improvement in visual and cognitive functions.

    PubMed

    Field, David T; Williams, Claire M; Butler, Laurie T

    2011-06-01

    Cocoa flavanols (CF) influence physiological processes in ways that suggest their consumption may improve aspects of neural function, and previous studies have found positive influences of CF on cognitive performance. In this preliminary study we investigated whether visual, as well as cognitive, function is influenced by an acute dose of CF in young adults. We employed a randomized, single-blinded, order counterbalanced, crossover design in which 30 healthy adults consumed both dark chocolate containing 720mg CF and a matched quantity of white chocolate, with a one week interval between testing sessions. Visual contrast sensitivity was assessed by reading numbers that became progressively more similar in luminance to their background. Motion sensitivity was assessed firstly by measuring the threshold proportion of coherently moving signal dots that could be detected against a background of random motion, and secondly by determining the minimum time required to detect motion direction in a display containing a high proportion of coherent motion. Cognitive performance was assessed using a visual spatial working memory for location task and a choice reaction time task designed to engage processes of sustained attention and inhibition. Relative to the control condition, CF improved visual contrast sensitivity and reduced the time required to detect motion direction, but had no statistically reliable effect on the minimum proportion of coherent motion that could be detected. In terms of cognitive performance, CF improved spatial memory and performance on some aspects of the choice reaction time task. As well as extending the range of cognitive tasks that are known to be influenced by CF consumption, this is the first report of acute effects of CF on the efficiency of visual function. These acute effects can be explained by increased cerebral blood flow caused by CF, although in the case of contrast sensitivity there may be an additional contribution from CF induced retinal blood flow changes. PMID:21324330

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. [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

  4. 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.

  5. Recent performance improvements on FXR

    SciTech Connect

    Kulke, B.; Kihara, R.

    1983-08-01

    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. The authors 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. They regularly produce over 500 Roentgen at 1 m from the target (TLD measurement), with a radiographic spot size of 3-5 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.

  6. Improvement of cognition in a patient with Cotard's delusions and frontotemporal atrophy receiving electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for depression.

    PubMed

    Fzzari, Giuseppe; Benzoni, Oliviero; Sangaletti, Alessio; Bonera, Francesca; Nassini, Stefano; Mazzarini, Lorenzo; Pacchiarotti, Isabella; Sani, Gabriele; Koukopoulos, Alexia Emilia; Sanna, Livia; Gasparotti, Roberto; De Rossi, Pietro; Lazanio, Simone; Savoja, Valeria; Girardi, Paolo

    2009-06-01

    A 69-year-old man presented with Cotard's delusions, insomnia, profound depression, amnesia, difficulty concentrating, and cognitive deficit after two different surgical interventions. Brain imaging showed frontotemporal-subcortical atrophy and lateral ventricular enlargement. He responded poorly to a combination of sertraline, amisulpride and mirtazapine, with modest benefit on insomnia, and developed hypotension. After 18 days he was switched to olanzapine and venlafaxine, but his cognition worsened. He underwent bilateral electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). His mood improved, cognitive performance increased and anxiety symptoms remitted. This improvement persisted through the one-month post-discharge follow-up and depression eventually remitted. PMID:19368757

  7. Physical exercise improves peripheral BDNF levels and cognitive functions in mild cognitive impairment elderly with different bdnf Val66Met genotypes.

    PubMed

    Nascimento, Carla Manuela Crispim; Pereira, Jessica Rodrigues; Pires de Andrade, Larissa; Garuffi, Marcelo; Ayan, Carlos; Kerr, Daniel Shikanai; Talib, Leda Leme; Cominetti, Mrcia Regina; Stella, Florindo

    2015-01-01

    The benefits of physical exercise on improvements in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels and cognitive functioning have been reported in the literature. However, the variability of individual responses may be linked to genetic differences. BDNF is considered one of the most plausible factors involved in the cognitive benefits associated with physical activity practice. A single nucleotide polymorphism localized in the gene that codes BDNF results in a missense mutation that promotes an amino acid substitution (Val66Met) in the protein. This process has been associated with decreased levels of BDNF secretion, with corresponding impairments in specific cognitive functions. Therefore, the objective of this study was to analyze the effects of a multimodal physical exercise program on peripheral BDNF levels and cognitive functions in elderly individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The participants were genotyped for the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism. Cognitive functions were assessed by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) prior to and after the intervention. Forty-five participants were assigned to the control and trained groups. The trained group participated in a multimodal physical training for a 16-week period. The results showed a significant between-subjects interaction (p < 0.05), which indicates the beneficial contribution of training on cognitive functions independent of the BDNF genotype. However, only participants with BDNF-Met genotypes exhibited significant improvements in peripheral BDNF levels. The BDNF genotype appears to modulate the effects of physical exercise on BDNF secretion, but it does not influence cognition. This is the first study that evaluated the influence of a BDNF polymorphism on physical activity and cognition performance in elderly MCI individuals. PMID:25062900

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Cognitive Structure and Process in Highly Competent Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rabinowitz, Mitchell; Glaser, Robert

    The pamphlet reviews cognitive and developmental psychology research in which skilled and less skilled performance patterns and mechanisms have been compared. Knowledge has been described, in theory, in terms of an associative network in which concepts are represented as the nodes of the net, and relations between concepts serve as associative

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Performance pressure and caffeine both affect cognitive performance, but likely through independent mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Boere, Julia J; Fellinger, Lizz; Huizinga, Duncan J H; Wong, Sebastiaan F; Bijleveld, Erik

    2016-02-01

    A prevalent combination in daily life, performance pressure and caffeine intake have both been shown to impact people's cognitive performance. Here, we examined the possibility that pressure and caffeine affect cognitive performance via a shared pathway. In an experiment, participants performed a modular arithmetic task. Performance pressure and caffeine intake were orthogonally manipulated. Findings indicated that pressure and caffeine both negatively impacted performance. However, (a) pressure vs. caffeine affected performance on different trial types, and (b) there was no hint of an interactive effect. So, though the evidence is indirect, findings suggest that pressure and caffeine shape performance via distinct mechanisms, rather than a shared one. PMID:26686275

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Katharina A; Bchel, 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 tone frequency improved their performance. PMID:26148009

  2. Cognition and the Placebo Effect Dissociating Subjective Perception and Actual Performance

    PubMed Central

    Schwarz, Katharina A.; Bchel, 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 tone frequency improved their performance. PMID:26148009

  3. 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

  4. Training with cognitive sequences improves syntactic comprehension in agrammatic aphasics.

    PubMed

    Hoen, Michel; Golembiowski, Myriam; Guyot, Emmanuelle; Deprez, Viviane; Caplan, David; Dominey, Peter F

    2003-03-01

    A major open question in cognitive neuroscience concerns the modularity of language: does human language rely, in part, on neural processes that are not language specific? Such reliance would predict that learning should transfer between non-linguistic and linguistic domains via this common neural basis. To test this prediction, we studied effects of non-linguistic cognitive sequence training on syntactic comprehension of six left-hemisphere damaged aphasic patients. Syntactic comprehension impairment was quantified before and after 10 weeks of training on a non-linguistic sequence processing task. This task used a transformational rule specifically corresponding to the transformation required for understanding a particular type of sentence referred to as relativised. Non-linguistic sequencing improved significantly with training (day effect: F(9,45)=3.7, <0.005). Moreover, a significant transfer of this improvement was observed for relativised, but not active nor passive sentences (pre-post x type interaction: F(2,10)=4.72, <0.05). The specificity of this transfer indicates that language relies partially on functional and neural processes that are not language specific. PMID:12634511

  5. 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

  6. Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: evidence of brief mental training.

    PubMed

    Zeidan, Fadel; Johnson, Susan K; Diamond, Bruce J; David, Zhanna; Goolkasian, Paula

    2010-06-01

    Although research has found that long-term mindfulness meditation practice promotes executive functioning and the ability to sustain attention, the effects of brief mindfulness meditation training have not been fully explored. We examined whether brief meditation training affects cognition and mood when compared to an active control group. After four sessions of either meditation training or listening to a recorded book, participants with no prior meditation experience were assessed with measures of mood, verbal fluency, visual coding, and working memory. Both interventions were effective at improving mood but only brief meditation training reduced fatigue, anxiety, and increased mindfulness. Moreover, brief mindfulness training significantly improved visuo-spatial processing, working memory, and executive functioning. Our findings suggest that 4days of meditation training can enhance the ability to sustain attention; benefits that have previously been reported with long-term meditators. PMID:20363650

  7. Walking and talking therapy: improving cognitive-motor dual-tasking in neurological illness.

    PubMed

    Evans, Jonathan J; Greenfield, Eve; Wilson, Barbara A; Bateman, Andrew

    2009-01-01

    Using randomized control trial methodology, we evaluated the effectiveness of a 5-week cognitive-motor dual-tasking training program developed to improve performance of a group of people with dual-tasking difficulties arising from acquired brain injury. Training involved twice-daily practice on exercises involving walking being combined with tasks which increased in cognitive demand over the course of the intervention. A treatment group (n = 10) was compared with a control group (n = 9). The primary outcome measure was a task requiring participants to walk and carry out a spoken sentence verification task simultaneously. Secondary outcome measures were measures of dual-tasking involving either two motor tasks or two cognitive tasks. A questionnaire measure relating to activities of daily living requiring dual-tasking was also completed. Compliance with the training program was good. We found evidence of improvement in performance on the primary outcome measure, but little evidence of generalization to other measures. There was some evidence that participants believed that their dual-tasking performance in everyday life was improved after the intervention. The study was limited in terms of sample size, was not blinded and did not control fully for therapist contact time, but has produced valuable data relating to effect sizes associated with this form of intervention. (JINS, 2009, 15, 112-120.). PMID:19128534

  8. 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 functioning is improved with additional structure to a greater degree than for those with weaker intellectual functioning. Interventions that specifically target these social information processing of individuals with WS would likely be beneficial. PMID:22737137

  9. Improving pulverized coal plant performance

    SciTech Connect

    Regan, J.W.; Borio, R.W.; Palkes, M.; Mirolli, M.; Wesnor, J.D.; Bender, D.J.

    1995-12-31

    A major deliverable of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) project ``Engineering Development of Advanced Coal-Fired Low-Emissions Boiler Systems`` (LEBS) is the design of a large, in this case 400 MWe, commercial generating unit (CGU) which will meet the Project objectives. The overall objective of the LEBS Project is to dramatically improve environmental performance of future pulverized coal fired power plants without adversely impacting efficiency or the cost of electricity. The DOE specified the use of near-term technologies, i.e., advanced technologies that partially developed, to reduce NO{sub x}, SO{sub 2} and particulate emissions to be substantially less than current NSPS limits. In addition, air toxics must be in compliance and waste must be reduced and made more disposable. The design being developed by the ABB Team is projected to meet all the contract objectives and to reduce emission of NO{sub x}, SO{sub 2} and particulates to one-fifth to one-tenth NSPS limits while increasing net station efficiency significantly and reducing the cost of electricity. This design and future work are described in the paper.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. The Effects of Instructions on Dual-Task Walking and Cognitive Task Performance in People with Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Valerie E.; Eusterbrock, Alexis J.; Shumway-Cook, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Gait impairments are prevalent among people with Parkinson's disease (PD). Instructions to focus on walking can improve walking in PD, but the use of such a cognitive strategy may be limited under dual-task walking conditions, when walking is performed simultaneously with concurrent cognitive or motor tasks. This study examined how dual-task performance of walking and a concurrent cognitive task was affected by instructions in people with PD compared to healthy young and older individuals. Dual-task walking and cognitive task performance was characterized under two sets of instructions as follows: (1) focus on walking and (2) focus on the cognitive task. People with PD and healthy adults walked faster when instructed to focus on walking. However, when focused on walking, people with PD and young adults demonstrated declines in the cognitive task. This suggests that dual-task performance is flexible and can be modified by instructions in people with PD, but walking improvements may come at a cost to cognitive task performance. The ability to modify dual-task performance in response to instructions or other task and environmental factors is critical to mobility in daily life. Future research should continue to examine factors that influence dual-task performance among people with PD. PMID:23326758

  14. 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; Span, 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

  15. 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

  16. Perceived cognitive difficulties and cognitive test performance as predictors of employment outcomes in people with multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Honan, Cynthia A; Brown, Rhonda F; Batchelor, Jennifer

    2015-02-01

    Perceived cognitive difficulties and cognitive impairment are important determinants of employment in people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS). However, it is not clear how they are related to adverse work outcomes and whether the relationship is influenced by depressive symptoms. Thus, this study examined perceived and actual general cognitive and prospective memory function, and cognitive appraisal accuracy, in relation to adverse work outcomes. The possible mediating and/or moderating role of depression was also examined. A cross-sectional community-based sample of 111 participants (33 males, 78 females) completed the Multiple Sclerosis Work Difficulties Questionnaire (MSWDQ), Beck Depression Inventory - Fast Screen (BDI-FS), and questions related to their current or past employment. They then underwent cognitive testing using the Screening Examination for Cognitive Impairment, Auditory Consonant Trigrams test, Zoo Map Test, and Cambridge Prospective Memory Test. Perceived general cognitive and prospective memory difficulties in the workplace and performance on the respective cognitive tests were found to predict unemployment and reduced work hours since MS diagnosis due to MS. Depression was also related to reduced work hours, but it did not explain the relationship between perceived cognitive difficulties and the work outcomes. Nor was it related to cognitive test performance. The results highlight a need to address the perceptions of cognitive difficulties together with cognitive impairment and levels of depression in vocational rehabilitation programs in pwMS. PMID:25727930

  17. Alcohol consumption and cognitive performance: a Mendelian randomization study

    PubMed Central

    Kumari, Meena; Holmes, Michael V; Dale, Caroline E; Hubacek, Jaroslav A; Palmer, Tom M; Pikhart, Hynek; Peasey, Anne; Britton, Annie; Horvat, Pia; Kubinova, Ruzena; Malyutina, Sofia; Pajak, Andrzej; Tamosiunas, Abdonas; Shankar, Aparna; Singh-Manoux, Archana; Voevoda, Mikhail; Kivimaki, Mika; Hingorani, Aroon D; Marmot, Michael G; Casas, Juan P; Bobak, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Aims To use Mendelian randomization to assess whether alcohol intake was causally associated with cognitive function. Design Mendelian randomization using a genetic variant related to alcohol intake (ADH1B rs1229984) was used to obtain unbiased estimates of the association between alcohol intake and cognitive performance. Setting Europe. Participants More than 34?000 adults. Measurements Any versus no alcohol intake and units of intake in the previous week was measured by questionnaire. Cognitive function was assessed in terms of immediate and delayed word recall, verbal fluency and processing speed. Findings Having consumed any versus no alcohol was associated with higher scores by 0.17 standard deviations (SD) [95% confidence interval (CI)?=?0.15, 0.20] for immediate recall, 0.17 SD (95% CI?=?0.14, 0.19) for delayed recall, 0.17 SD (95% CI?=?0.14, 0.19) for verbal fluency and 0.12 SD (95% CI?=?0.09, 0.15) for processing speed. The minor allele of rs1229984 was associated with reduced odds of consuming any alcohol (odds ratio?=?0.87; 95% CI?=?0.80, 0.95; P?=?0.001; R2?=?0.1%; F-statistic?=?47). In Mendelian randomization analysis, the minor allele was not associated with any cognitive test score, and instrumental variable analysis suggested no causal association between alcohol consumption and cognition: ?0.74 SD (95% CI?=??1.88, 0.41) for immediate recall, ?1.09 SD (95% CI?=??2.38, 0.21) for delayed recall, ?0.63 SD (95% CI?=??1.78, 0.53) for verbal fluency and ?0.16 SD (95% CI?=??1.29, 0.97) for processing speed. Conclusions The Mendelian randomization analysis did not provide strong evidence of a causal association between alcohol consumption and cognitive ability. PMID:24716453

  18. Transplantation of human fetal-derived neural stem cells improves cognitive function following cranial irradiation

    PubMed Central

    Acharya, Munjal M.; Christie, Lori-Ann; Hazel, Thomas G.; Johe, Karl K.; Limoli, Charles L.

    2013-01-01

    Treatment of CNS malignancies typically involves radiotherapy to forestall tumor growth and recurrence following surgical resection. Despite the many benefits of cranial radiotherapy, survivors often suffer from a wide range of debilitating and progressive cognitive deficits. Thus, while patients afflicted with primary and secondary malignancies of the CNS now experience longer local regional control and progression free survival, there remains no clinical recourse for the unintended neurocognitive sequelae associated with their cancer treatments. Multiple mechanisms contribute to disrupted cognition following irradiation, including the depletion of radiosensitive populations of stem and progenitor cells in the hippocampus. We have explored the potential of using intrahippocampal transplantation of human stem cells to ameliorate radiation-induced cognitive dysfunction. Past studies demonstrated the capability of cranially transplanted human embryonic (hESCs) and neural (hNSCs) stem cells to functionally restore cognition in rats 1 and 4-months post-head-only irradiation. The present study employed an FDA-approved fetal-derived human neural stem cell line capable of large scale-up under good manufacturing practice (GMP). Animals receiving cranial transplantation of these cells 1-month following irradiation showed improved hippocampal spatial memory and contextual fear conditioning performance compared to irradiated, sham surgery controls. Significant newly born (doublecortin positive) neurons and a smaller fraction of glial subtypes were observed within and nearby the transplantation core. Engrafted cells migrated and differentiated into neuronal and glial subtypes throughout the CA1 and CA3 subfields of the host hippocampus. These studies expand our prior findings to demonstrate that transplantation of fetal-derived human neural stem cells improves cognitive deficits in irradiated animals, as assessed by two separate cognitive tasks. PMID:23866792

  19. Transplantation of human fetal-derived neural stem cells improves cognitive function following cranial irradiation.

    PubMed

    Acharya, Munjal M; Christie, Lori-Ann; Hazel, Thomas G; Johe, Karl K; Limoli, Charles L

    2014-01-01

    Treatment of central nervous system (CNS) malignancies typically involves radiotherapy to forestall tumor growth and recurrence following surgical resection. Despite the many benefits of cranial radiotherapy, survivors often suffer from a wide range of debilitating and progressive cognitive deficits. Thus, while patients afflicted with primary and secondary malignancies of the CNS now experience longer local regional control and progression-free survival, there remains no clinical recourse for the unintended neurocognitive sequelae associated with their cancer treatments. Multiple mechanisms contribute to disrupted cognition following irradiation, including the depletion of radiosensitive populations of stem and progenitor cells in the hippocampus. We have explored the potential of using intrahippocampal transplantation of human stem cells to ameliorate radiation-induced cognitive dysfunction. Past studies demonstrated the capability of cranially transplanted human embryonic (hESCs) and neural (hNSCs) stem cells to functionally restore cognition in rats 1 and 4 months after cranial irradiation. The present study employed an FDA-approved fetal-derived hNSC line capable of large scale-up under good manufacturing practice (GMP). Animals receiving cranial transplantation of these cells 1 month following irradiation showed improved hippocampal spatial memory and contextual fear conditioning performance compared to irradiated, sham surgery controls. Significant newly born (doublecortin positive) neurons and a smaller fraction of glial subtypes were observed within and nearby the transplantation core. Engrafted cells migrated and differentiated into neuronal and glial subtypes throughout the CA1 and CA3 subfields of the host hippocampus. These studies expand our prior findings to demonstrate that transplantation of fetal-derived hNSCs improves cognitive deficits in irradiated animals, as assessed by two separate cognitive tasks. PMID:23866792

  20. 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.

  1. Structural model for estimating the influence of cognitive reserve on cognitive performance in adults with subjective memory complaints.

    PubMed

    Lojo-Seoane, Cristina; Facal, David; Gurdia-Olmos, Joan; Juncos-Rabadn, Onsimo

    2014-05-01

    Cognitive reserve (CR) is often operationally defined as a complex structure of latent variables. Here, we present a structural model that analyzes the effect of CR on three cognitive domains: episodic memory, working memory, and general cognitive performance. We developed and analyzed a structural equation model (SEM) to study CR and cognitive performance in 326 participants over 50 years old with subjective memory complaints. The CR construct was found to consist of two factors: (a) educational level and (b) lifestyle. The model revealed that CR had significant direct effects on episodic memory, working memory, and general cognitive performance, and indirect effects on episodic memory via working memory. As a latent construct, CR is related to cognitive performance in participants over 50 years with subjective memory complaints, and it should therefore be considered in the evaluation and diagnosis of such people. PMID:24663239

  2. 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

  3. Albumin, hemoglobin, body mass index, cognitive and functional performance in elderly persons living in nursing homes.

    PubMed

    Onem, Yalcin; Terekeci, Hakan; Kucukardali, Yasar; Sahan, Burak; Solmazgl, Emrullah; Senol, Mehmet Gney; Nalbant, Selim; Sayan, Ozkan; Top, Cihan; Oktenli, Cagatay

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study is to produce the relation between cognitive and functional performance and some biochemical parameters in elderly population. So, we searched for the correlation between the activities of daily living (ADL), mini-mental state examination (MMSE) and body weight, age, hemoglobin, albumin, serum sodium level of 180 elderly people in five nursing homes. Face-to-face interviews and questionnaires were applied to evaluate ADL. To evaluate the cognitive function we used the MMSE. The average age of 180 people contacted was 71.5+/-5.1 (+/-S.D.), ranging 65-91 years; 112 of them were women (62.2%), 68 were men (37.8%). Of these elderly people, 25% had no medically diagnosed illnesses, whereas 17 of them (9.4%) were bedridden. There was a positive correlation between ADL and hemoglobin, albumin, body weight, cognitive function parameters and a negative one with age and serum sodium. There was a positive correlation between cognitive functions and hemoglobin, body weight, ADL and a negative one with serum sodium. Hemoglobin concentrations indicating anemia were observed in 30% of subjects, 3.9% of them had hyponatremia and 26.7% displayed a hypernatremia. There was a positive correlation between cognitive and physical function scores and hemoglobin, albumin levels in elderly patients. These results suggest that restoration of hemoglobin and albumin levels could improve cognitive and physical functional status in the elderly population. PMID:19233487

  4. Real-time expert systems interfaces, cognitive processes, and task performance: an empirical assessment.

    PubMed

    Adelman, L; Cohen, M S; Bresnick, T A; Chinnis, J O; Laskey, K B

    1993-06-01

    In this experiment we investigated the effect of different real-time expert system interfaces on operators' cognitive processes and performance. The results supported the principle that a real-time expert system's interface should focus operators' attention on where it is required most. However following this principle resulted in unanticipated consequences. In particular, it led to inferior performance for less critical, yet important cases requiring operators' attention. For such cases operators performed better with an interface that let them select where they wanted to focus their attention. Having a rule generation capability improved performance with all interfaces but did so less than hypothesized. In all cases performance with different interfaces and a rule generation capability was explained by the effect of the interfaces on cognitive process measures. PMID:8349288

  5. Physical exercise in MCI elderly promotes reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and improvements on cognition and BDNF peripheral levels.

    PubMed

    Nascimento, Carla Manuela Crispim; Pereira, Jessica Rodrigues; de Andrade, Larissa Pires; Garuffi, Marcelo; Talib, Leda Leme; Forlenza, Orestes Vicente; Cancela, Jose Maria; Cominetti, Marcia Regina; Stella, Florindo

    2014-01-01

    The benefits of physical exercise to reduce low-grade inflammation and improve Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) levels and cognitive function became a growing field of interest. Low-grade inflammation is common during aging and seems to be linked to neurodegenerative process. Regular physical exercises can help to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines levels and to improve BDNF peripheral concentrations. The main goal of this research was to analyze the effects of a 16-week multimodal physical exercise program on peripheral BDNF levels and on Tumor Necrosis-α (TNF-α) and Interleukin- 6 (IL-6) as pro-inflammatory markers in cognitive healthy elderly individuals and in elderly with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Cognitive functions were assessed by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) prior to and after the intervention. Thirty cognitively healthy participants and thirty-seven MCI participants were assigned to the control (CG) and trained (TG) groups. The TG participated in a multimodal physical training program for a 16-week period. The results showed a significant between-subjects interaction, which indicates the beneficial contribution of training on the reduction of TNF-α (p=0.001) and IL-6 (p<0.001) and on the improvement of BDNF (p<0.001) peripheral concentrations. Cognitive functions also presented significant improvements for MCI trained group (p=0.03). In conclusion, physical exercise was effective to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines and to improve BDNF peripheral levels, with positive reflexes on cognition. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that evaluated longitudinally the effects of a multimodal physical exercises protocol on peripheral concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines and cognition performance in elderly MCI individuals. PMID:25212919

  6. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayoral-Rodrguez, Silvia; Timoneda-Gallart, Carme; Prez-lvarez, 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

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. Meta-Analysis of the Relationship between Communication Apprehension and Cognitive Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bourhis, John; Allen, Mike

    1992-01-01

    Conducts a meta-analysis of 23 manuscripts containing information on 30 experiments that examined communication apprehension and cognitive performance. Finds a statistically significant negative correlation between communication apprehension and cognitive performance. (MG)

  12. Cognitive Performance Measures in Bioelectromagnetic Research - Critical Evaluation and Recommendations

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The steady increase of mobile phone usage has led to a rising concern about possible adverse health effects of radio frequency electromagnetic field (RF EMF) exposure at intensities even below the existing safety limits. Accumulating evidence suggests that pulse-modulated RF EMF may alter brain physiology. Yet, whereas effects on the human electroencephalogram in waking and sleep have repeatedly been shown in recent years, results on cognitive performance are inconsistent. Methods This review compares 41 provocation studies regarding the effects of RF EMF exposure similar to mobile telephones on cognitive performance measures in humans. The studies were identified via systematic searches of the databases Pub Med and ISI Web of Science and were published in peer-reviewed journals between 1998 and the end of 2009. Results Based on a critical discussion within the scope of methodological standards it is concluded that state-of-the-art-methods in bio-electromagnetic research on RF EMF effects and cognition have neither been specified nor fully implemented over the last 10-11 years. The lack of a validated tool, which reliably assesses changes in cognitive performance caused by RF EMF exposure, may contribute to the current inconsistencies in outcomes. The high variety of findings may also be due to methodological issues such as differences in sample size and the composition of study groups, experimental design, exposure setup as well as the exposure conditions, and emphasizes the need for a standardized protocol in bioelectromagnetic research. Conclusions At present, no underlying biological mechanism has been identified which mediates the effects on brain functioning as observed in electroencephalographic (EEG) studies. A future aim must be to identify this mechanism as well as a reliable exposure protocol in order to gain more insights into possible behavioral and related health consequences of high-frequency EMF exposure. PMID:21266038

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Relationship between physical performance and cognitive performance measures among community-dwelling older adults

    PubMed Central

    Won, Huiloo; Singh, Devinder Kaur Ajit; Din, Normah Che; Badrasawi, Manal; Manaf, Zahara Abdul; Tan, Sin Thien; Tai, Chu Chiau; Shahar, Suzana

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Cognitive impairment is correlated with physical function. However, the results in the literature are inconsistent with cognitive and physical performance measures. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the association between cognitive performance and physical function among older adults. Methods A total of 164 older adults aged ≥60 years and residing in low-cost housing areas in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia participated in this study. Cognitive performance was measured using the Mini Mental State Examination, clock drawing test, Rey auditory verbal learning test, digit symbol test, digit span test, matrix reasoning test, and block design test. Physical performance measures were assessed using the ten step test for agility, short physical performance battery test for an overall physical function, static balance test using a Pro.Balance board, and dynamic balance using the functional reach test. Results There was a negative and significant correlation between agility and the digit symbol test (r=−0.355), clock drawing test (r=−0.441), matrix reasoning test (r=−0.315), and block design test (r=−0.045). A significant positive correlation was found between dynamic balance, digit symbol test (r=0.301), and matrix reasoning test (r=0.251). The agility test appeared as a significant (R2=0.183, R2=0.407, R2=0.299, P<0.05) predictor of some cognitive performance measures, including the digit span test, clock drawing test, and Mini Mental State Examination. Conclusion These results suggest that a decline in most cognitive performance measures can be predicted by poor execution of a more demanding physical performance measure such as the ten step test for agility. It is imperative to use a more complex and cognitively demanding physical performance measure to identify the presence of an overall cognitive impairment among community-dwelling older adults. It may also be beneficial to promote more complex and cognitively challenging exercises and activities among older adults for optimal physical and cognitive function. PMID:25328418

  16. Is education associated with improvements in general cognitive ability, or in specific skills?

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    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 skills. We conducted structural equation modeling on data from a large (n = 1,091), longitudinal sample, with a measure of intelligence at age 11 years and 10 tests covering a diverse range of cognitive abilities taken at age 70. Results indicated that the association of education with improved cognitive test scores is not mediated by g, but consists of direct effects on specific cognitive skills. These results suggest a decoupling of educational gains from increases in general intellectual capacity. PMID:25775112

  17. Verbal Prompting To Improve Everyday Cognition in MCI and Unimpaired Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Kelsey R.; Marsiske, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Objective This study investigated the effect of verbal prompting on elders’ 10-year longitudinal change in everyday cognition. Differential effects of prompting associated with impaired cognitive status were also examined. Method At baseline, 2,802 participants (mean age=73.6 years, mean education=13.5 years) from the ACTIVE clinical trial were classified as unimpaired, having amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or non-amnestic MCI based on psychometric algorithm. Participants were given the Observed Tasks of Daily Living (OTDL; a behavioral measure with tasks involving medication management/finances/telephone use) at baseline and at 1-, 2-, 3-, 5-, and 10-year follow-ups. When participants said “I don’t know” or did not respond to an item, they received a standardized verbal prompt. At each occasion, Unprompted (sum of items correct without prompting) and Prompted (sum of items correct including both prompted and unprompted) scores were derived for each participant. Multi-level modeling, adjusting for demographics/health/training group, was used to determine the trajectories of OTDL performance. Results In general, persons with MCI performed at lower levels than those who were unimpaired (amnesticperformance exceeded unprompted in all years. There was differential performance of the prompting conditions over time; prompted performance, unlike unprompted, was relatively protected from age-related decline, and persons with MCI experienced greater improvement due to prompting. Conclusion Very simple prompting appears to enhance and maintain performance on a task of everyday cognition over 10 years for both unimpaired and mildly-impaired older adults. PMID:24219613

  18. Negative Symptom Improvement During Cognitive Rehabilitation: Results from a Two-Year Trial of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Eack, Shaun M.; Mesholam-Gately, Raquelle I.; Greenwald, Deborah P.; Hogarty, Susan S.; Keshavan, Matcheri S.

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive rehabilitation has shown beneficial effects on cognition in patients with schizophrenia, which may also help to improve negative symptoms due to overlapping pathophysiology between these two domains. To better understand the possible relationship between these areas, we conducted an exploratory analysis of the effects of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET) on negative symptoms. Early course schizophrenia outpatients (n = 58) were randomized to two years of CET or an Enriched Supportive Therapy (EST) control condition. Results revealed significant and medium-sized (d = .61) differential improvements favoring CET in overall negative symptoms, particularly social withdrawal, affective flattening, and motor retardation. Neurocognitive improvement was associated with reduced negative symptoms in CET, but not EST patients. No relationships were observed between improvements in emotion processing aspects of social cognition, as measured by the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, and negative symptoms. CET represents an effective cognitive rehabilitation intervention for schizophrenia that may also have benefits to negative symptoms. Future studies specifically designed to examine negative symptoms during the course of cognitive rehabilitation are needed. PMID:23623449

  19. 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.

  20. Mindfulness based cognitive therapy improves frontal control in bipolar disorder: a pilot EEG study

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Cognitive processing in Bipolar Disorder is characterized by a number of attentional abnormalities. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy combines mindfulness meditation, a form of attentional training, along with aspects of cognitive therapy, and may improve attentional dysfunction in bipolar disorder patients. Methods 12 euthymic BD patients and 9 control participants underwent record of electroencephalography (EEG, band frequency analysis) during resting states (eyes open, eyes closed) and during the completion of a continuous performance task (A-X version, EEG event-related potential (ERP) wave component analysis). The individuals with BD completed an 8-week MBCT intervention and record of EEG was repeated. Results (1) Brain activity, individuals with BD showed significantly decreased theta band power, increased beta band power, and decreased theta/beta ratios during the resting state, eyes closed, for frontal and cingulate cortices. Post MBCT intervention improvement over the right frontal cortex was seen in the individuals with BD, as beta band power decreased. (2) Brain activation, individuals with BD showed a significant P300-like wave form over the frontal cortex during the cue. Post MBCT intervention the P300-like waveform was significantly attenuated over the frontal cortex. Conclusions Individuals with BD show decreased attentional readiness and activation of non-relevant information processing during attentional processes. These data are the first that show, MBCT in BD improved attentional readiness, and attenuated activation of non-relevant information processing during attentional processes. PMID:22375965

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. The relationship between cognitive performance and electrophysiological indices of performance monitoring.

    PubMed

    Larson, Michael J; Clayson, Peter E

    2011-06-01

    Studies of electrophysiological indices of performance monitoring, such as the error-related negativity (ERN), posterror positivity (Pe), and N2 components of the event-related potential (ERP), suggest that increased ERN and Pe amplitudes and decreased N2 amplitudes are associated with better cognitive flexibility and cognitive control abilities; however, few studies have directly examined the relationship between cognitive performance and ERP indices of performance monitoring. We examined the neuropsychological profile of 89 healthy individuals who performed a modified flanker task. The neuropsychological domains tested included memory, verbal fluency, and attention/executive functioning. Pearson's correlations and multiple regression analyses showed a significant relationship between measures of attention/executive functioning and ERN amplitude, even when negative affect, reaction time interference, and posterror slowing were controlled. N2 amplitude related only to posterror slowing. The amplitude of the Pe was not significantly related to any cognitive domains. These findings are consistent with recent work indicating that performance monitoring requires attention skills and cognitive flexibility. Implications for the conflict-monitoring and reinforcement-learning theories are discussed. PMID:21264645

  6. 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 may counteract widespread cognitive impairments in the elderly. PMID:26316729

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    orlu, 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 pausesmore in particular longer pausescompared to musical phrases. We discuss the role of sensorimotor control and feedback processes in musical timing to explain these findings. PMID:25954218

  9. Cognitive Performance in Men and Women Infected with HIV-1

    PubMed Central

    Falde Garrido, Jos Mara; Lameiras Fernndez, Mara; Foltz, Marika; Rodrguez Castro, Yolanda; Carrera Fernndez, Mara Victoria

    2013-01-01

    Introduction. Very few studies have examined the neuropsychological performance of HIV-positive women, and even fewer have attempted a comparison of cognitive functioning by gender. The aim of this study was to describe the nature of the neuropsychological performance of HIV seropositive patients by gender. Methods. A clinical sample made up of 151 subjects was recruited to participate in this study. All of the subjects underwent the same assessment process, consisting of a neuropsychological evaluation and an interview to gather sociodemographic, toxicological, and clinical data. Results and Discussion. Despite the fact that men obtained higher scores in visual memory, attention/psychomotor speed, and abstract reasoning/verbal intelligence, these differences were not statistically significant. In contrast, significant differences were found depending on subjects' serological status. Seropositive participants' neuropsychological performance was significantly lower than that of the seronegative participants in all of the areas assessed as follows: (1) visual memory; (2) attention/psychomotor speed; (3) abstract reasoning/verbal intelligence; (4) verbal memory for texts; (5) verbal memory for digits and words. Conclusions. The results from this study reveal no significant gender differences in the cognitive performance of patients infected with HIV-1. PMID:24286066

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

    PubMed

    orlu, 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

  11. Performance monitoring following conflict: internal adjustments in cognitive control?

    PubMed

    Larson, Michael J; Clayson, Peter E; Baldwin, Scott A

    2012-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of strategic conflict-related adjustments in cognitive control processes on indices of performance monitoring. Previous research has examined the ability of parametric task-related manipulations to bias attention to errors; however, the present study sought to elucidate the effects of internal adjustments in control mediated by the anterior cingulate cortex on error-related conflict processing. High-density event-related potentials (ERPs) were obtained from 124 healthy individuals (68 female, 66 male) during a modified Eriksen flanker task. Behavioral measures (i.e., error rates, response times [RTs]) and N2 amplitudes showed significant conflict adaptation (i.e., previous-trial congruencies influenced current-trial measures). For error trials, the error-related negativity (ERN) was more negative for errors on high-conflict (i.e., incongruent) trials following high-conflict trials relative to errors on high-conflict trials following low-conflict (i.e., congruent) trials. These findings indicate that error-related conflict-monitoring processes adjust according to the post-conflict recruitment of strategic cognitive control and suggest an ongoing interplay between conflict and internal adjustments in control resources. Interpretations from the perspective of the conflict monitoring theory of cognitive control, the reinforcement learning theory, and the response-outcome theory of the ERN are discussed. PMID:22234168

  12. 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.

  13. Using the Cognitive Apprenticeship Web-based Argumentation System to Improve Argumentation Instruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, Chun-Yen; Jack, Brady Michael; Huang, Tai-Chu; Yang, Jin-Tan

    2012-08-01

    This study investigated how the instruction of argumentation skills could be promoted by using an online argumentation system. This system entitled `Cognitive Apprenticeship Web-based Argumentation' (CAWA) system was based on cognitive apprenticeship model. One hundred eighty-nine fifth grade students took part in this study. A quasi-experimental design was adopted and qualitative and quantitative analyses were used to evaluate the effectiveness of this online system in measuring students' progress in learning argumentation. The results of this study showed that different teaching strategies had effects on students' use of argumentation in the topics of daily life and the concept of `vision.' When the CAWA system was employed during the instruction and practice of argumentation on these two topics, the students' argumentation performance improved. Suggestions on how the CAWA system could be used to enhance the instruction of argumentation skills in science education were also discussed.

  14. Key Performance Indicators for Primary School Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strand, Steve

    1997-01-01

    Describes the system of primary-school performance indicators employed within one (British) local educational authority (LEA), focusing on the link between performance indicators and the LEA's concurrent efforts to support school improvement. Describes a research program to translate the performance indicators into specific targets for improvement

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Human Performance Improvement: Lessons To Be Learned from Quality Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hummel, Paul A.

    2003-01-01

    Discusses quality improvement (QI) and how it can help human performance improvement (HPI). Compares QI and HPI and discusses focusing on products and services; focusing on the customer; using data more effectively; continuous improvement; benchmarking; establishing standards; specialization; and involving the clients. (LRW)

  18. Improving Adult Literacy Outcomes: Lessons from Cognitive Research for Developing Countries. Directions in Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abadzi, Helen

    Adult literacy program outcomes have been disappointing. A number of principals and methods from cognitive and neuropsychological research can be used to make literacy instruction more effective, including the following: improving cognitive function; fast reading; reading practice; literacy as a motivator; and improving use of class time.

  19. 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 including procedural backtracking with concurrent search, temporal reasoning, and constraint checking for partial ordering of procedures. Finally, the representation is being linked to models of human decision making processes that include heuristic, propositional and prescriptive judgement models that are sensitive to the procedural content in which the valuative functions are being performed.

  20. 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

  1. Performance of older Japanese American adults on selected cognitive instruments.

    PubMed

    Kemmotsu, Nobuko; Enobi, Yurika; Murphy, Claire

    2013-08-01

    This study examined cognitive test performance of second- and third-generation Japanese American (JA) adults, a relatively homogeneous Asian American subgroup. Sixty-five JA and 65 non-Hispanic White (NHW) adults, ages between 45 and 91, were administered the Boston Naming Test-2 (BNT), Letter Fluency Test, Semantic Fluency Test, California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT), Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised (BVMT-R), and Trail Making Test. Levels of acculturation, quality of educational attainment, and generation status in the United States, were also collected. There were no significant differences in the scores between the two groups on the tests administered. JA and NHW groups, however, differed in the patterns of the associations between some of the test performance and demographic variables. JA adults showed a stronger age-score relationship on BNT, CVLT, and the BVMT-R. Furthermore, second-generation JA adults performed lower than the third-generation adults even after controlling for basic demographic variables on CVLT and Trail Making Test. Acculturation on the other hand did not explain score differences once demographic variables were considered. Our results suggest the importance of considering unique history and characteristics of ethnic groups, and interactions of the aging process and culture on tasks with different cognitive demands. PMID:23702381

  2. Cognitive and visual predictors of UFOV performance in older adults.

    PubMed

    Matas, Nicole A; Nettelbeck, Ted; Burns, Nicholas R

    2014-09-01

    Eighty two community dwelling older adults (52 females) aged 62-92 years (mean=75) completed a battery of cognitive and visual tests selected to assess functions relevant to driving performance. These were visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, general mental competence (Mini Mental State Examination, MMSE), processing speed (Inspection Time, IT), crowding across the visual field (Proficiency of Peripheral Vision Processing, ProPerVis) and change detection (DriverScan). These six tasks provided predictor variables for performance on the Useful Field of View test (UFOV), a well validated test of fitness to drive that includes subtests for (i) processing speed; (ii) divided attention; and (iii) selective attention. Relative importance regression analyses confirmed that UFOV is sensitive to attentional and speed processes but suggested that subtest (i) primarily reflects visual acuity and contrast sensitivity; subtest (ii) is better explained by change detection and processing speed; and subtest (iii) predominantly reflects crowding and contrast sensitivity. Unexpectedly, given no evidence of substantial cognitive decline, MMSE contributed significantly to performance on the more complex subtests (ii) and (iii). PMID:24705277

  3. Human adult mesenchymal stem cells improve rat spatial cognitive function after systemic hemorrhagic shock.

    PubMed

    Plaschke, Konstanze

    2009-08-12

    The aim of the present study was to examine whether a single infusion of human adult mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) has protective effects on rat cognitive functions after systemic hemorrhagic shock. Systemic hemorrhagic rat shock model of pronounced (30 min) systemic hypotension [30-40 mmHg mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) reduction] was used to induce cerebral oligemia. Immediately after the experimental transient hypotension period ended, human processed lipoaspirate-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC, 1 x 10(6)) were administered via the femoral vein. Rats were tested in relation to their cognitive spatial abilities using the Morris water maze before and 3 days after transient oligemia and with/without hMSC transplantation. Immunohistological investigations were performed with respect to apoptosis and BrdU staining. A clear functional improvement was observed in the rats' spatial cognitive abilities after hypotension and subsequent hMSC transplantation. In the hypotension group, hMSC infusion reduced the mortality from 50% to 25%. Six days after hMSC administration and hypotension, we did not detect any BrdU-labeled cells in rat brain, lung, and liver; however, BrdU-positive cells were found in spleen. No signs of cerebral apoptosis were observed. We conclude from this study that hMSCs derived from peripheral blood could be an important cell source to improve functional outcome after transient cerebral oligemia. Identifying the underlying mechanism for this, however, should be the subject of further investigations. PMID:19428653

  4. Mildronate improves cognition and reduces amyloid-? pathology in transgenic Alzheimer's disease mice.

    PubMed

    Beitnere, Ulrika; van Groen, Thomas; Kumar, Ashish; Jansone, Baiba; Klusa, Vija; Kadish, Inga

    2014-03-01

    Mildronate, a carnitine congener drug, previously has been shown to provide neuroprotection in an azidothymidine-induced mouse model of neurotoxicity and in a Parkinson's disease rat model. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of mildronate treatment on cognition and pathology in Alzheimer's disease (AD) model mice (APP(SweDI)). Mildronate was administered i.p. daily at 50 or 100 mg/kg for 28 days. At the end of treatment, the animals were behaviorally and cognitively tested, and brains were assessed for AD-related pathology, inflammation, synaptic markers, and acetylcholinesterase (AChE). The data show that mildronate treatment significantly improved animal performance in water maze and social recognition tests, lowered amyloid-? deposition in the hippocampus, increased expression of the microglia marker Iba-1, and decreased AChE staining, although it did not alter expression of proteins involved in synaptic plasticity (GAP-43, synaptophysin, and GAD67). Taken together, these findings indicate mildronate's ability to improve cognition and reduce amyloid-? pathology in a mouse model of AD and its possible therapeutic utility as a disease-modifying drug in AD patients. PMID:24273007

  5. FITNESS AND ACTION MONITORING: EVIDENCE FOR IMPROVED COGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY IN YOUNG ADULTS

    PubMed Central

    Themanson, Jason R.; Pontifex, Matthew B.; Hillman, Charles H.

    2008-01-01

    To improve behavior, one must detect errors and initiate subsequent corrective adaptations. This action monitoring process has been widely studied, but little is known about how one may improve this aspect of cognition. To examine the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and action monitoring, we recorded the error-related negativity (ERN), an event-related brain potential believed to index action monitoring, as well as post-error behavioral indices of action monitoring from healthy young adults (1825 years) who varied in cardiorespiratory fitness. These measures were collected during the execution of flanker tasks emphasizing response accuracy or speed to better assess the specificity of any potential relationships between fitness and action monitoring. Higher fitness was associated with greater post-error accuracy and ERN amplitude during task conditions emphasizing accuracy, as well as greater modulation of these indices across task instruction conditions. These findings suggest that higher fitness is associated with increased cognitive flexibility, evidenced through greater change in action monitoring indices as a function of task parameters. Thus, fitness may benefit action monitoring by selectively increasing cognitive control under conditions where error detection and performance adjustments are more salient. PMID:18845227

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. n-3 LCPUFA improves cognition: the young, the old and the sick.

    PubMed

    Joffre, C; Nadjar, A; Lebbadi, M; Calon, F; Laye, S

    2014-01-01

    Due to the implication of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, neurite outgrowth and to its high incorporation into the brain, this n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) is considered as crucial in the development and maintenance of the learning memory performance throughout life. In the present chapter we aimed at reviewing data investigating the relation between DHA and cognition during the perinatal period, young adult- and adulthood and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease (AD). In Humans, dietary DHA supplementation from the perinatal period to adulthood does not reveal a clear and consistent memory improvement whereas it is the case in animal studies. The positive effects observed in animal models may have been enhanced by using n-3 PUFA deficient animal models as controls. In animal models of AD, a general consensus on the beneficial effects of n-3 LCPUFA in attenuating cognitive impairment was established. These studies make DHA a potential suitable micronutrient for the maintenance of cognitive performance at all periods of life. PMID:24908517

  9. Gear Performance Improved by Coating

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krantz, Timothy L.

    2004-01-01

    Gears, bearings, and other mechanical elements transmit loads through contacting surfaces. Even if properly designed, manufactured, installed, and maintained, gears and bearings will eventually fail because of the fatigue of the working surfaces. Economical means for extending the fatigue lives of gears and bearings are highly desired, and coatings offer the opportunity to engineer surfaces to extend the fatigue lives of mechanical components. A tungsten-containing diamondlike-carbon coating exhibiting high hardness, low friction, and good toughness was evaluated for application to spur gears. Fatigue testing was done at the NASA Glenn Research Center on both uncoated and coated spur gears. The results showed that the coating extended the surface fatigue lives of the gears by a factor of about 5 relative to the uncoated gears. For the experiments, a lot of spur test gears made from AISI 9310 gear steel were case-carburized and ground to aerospace specifications. The geometries of the 28-tooth, 8-pitch gears were verified as meeting American Gear Manufacturing Association (AGMA) quality class 12. One-half of the gears were randomly selected for coating. The method of coating was selected to achieve desired adherence, toughness, hardness, and low-friction characteristics. First the gears to be coated were prepared by blasting (vapor honing) with Al2O3 particles and cleaning. Then, the gears were provided with a thin adhesion layer of elemental chromium followed by magnetron sputtering of the outer coating consisting of carbon (70 at.%), hydrogen (15 at.%), tungsten (12 at.%), and nickel (3 at.%) (atomic percent at the surface). In total, the coating thickness was about 2.5 to 3 microns. As compared with the steel substrate, the coated surface was harder by a factor of about 2 and had a smaller elastic modulus. All gears were tested using a 5-centistoke synthetic oil, a 10,000-rpm rotation speed, and a hertzian contact stress of at least 1.7 GPa (250 ksi). Tests were 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.

  10. 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

  11. The Emotional Side of Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gerson, Richard F.

    2000-01-01

    Discussion of performance improvement focuses on the effect of emotions on performance. Topics include the emotional intelligence of the performers; how people deal with emotional demands and the stress of their performance; and emotional states that affect attention, focus, perception, and time on task. (LRW)

  12. The neuropsychological assessment of cognitive deficits considering measures of performance variability.

    PubMed

    Tanner-Eggen, Cline; Balzer, Christian; Perrig, Walter J; Gutbrod, Klemens

    2015-05-01

    Neuropsychologists often face interpretational difficulties when assessing cognitive deficits, particularly in cases of unclear cerebral etiology. How can we be sure whether a single test score below the population average is indicative of a pathological brain condition or normal? In the past few years, the topic of intra-individual performance variability has gained great interest. On the basis of a large normative sample, two measures of performance variability and their importance for neuropsychological interpretation will be presented in this paper: the number of low scores and the level of dispersion. We conclude that low scores are common in healthy individuals. On the other hand, the level of dispersion is relatively small. Here, base rate information about abnormally low scores and abnormally high dispersion across cognitive abilities are provided to improve the awareness of normal variability and to serve clinicians as additional interpretive measures in the diagnostic process. PMID:25779599

  13. 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

  14. Mental Training for Cognitive Improvement in Elderly People: What have We Learned from Clinical and Neurophysiologic Studies?

    PubMed

    Li, Bin-Yin; Tang, Hui-Dong; Qiao, Yuan; Chen, Sheng-Di

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive impairment is a major concern in elderly people, and a variety of nonpharmacological therapies (NPTs) have been developed to help with cognitive decline. One of the most popular therapies is cognitive training, which includes pencil-and-paper puzzles, computerized games, or the combination of the two. Training is designed to have participants perform diverse exercises in one or more cognitive domains. Most clinical training trials indicate that well-organized tasks are clinically effective for cognitive improvement. Neural plasticity is a probable explanation for positive training effects. EEG and fMRI research show that the electrical activity and metabolism of specific brain areas are changed, and these changes are retained for a long period after training. Studies on mice to uncover the cellular and molecular changes underlying neural connectivity have found effective changes in brain networks after learning or training. Rac1 and NMDA receptors are thought to be involved in hippocampal neurogenesis, which is induced by learning. Here we review clinical trials of cognitive training, published during the last five years, and summarized some important characteristics of training tasks design. The probable role of neuronal plasticity and molecular mechanisms in training effects also are discussed. Most importantly, we discuss key ways to modifying the design of tasks based on studies we review. This review mainly identifies and discusses the reasons for positive training effects on cognition from clinical and neurophysiological perspectives. Based on the findings and their related mechanisms, further studies should design more effective and specific training tasks. PMID:26238812

  15. 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 (p = 0.0002) but not in cognitively impaired (p = 0.884) subjects, indicating potentially important physiological differences between these cohorts. PMID:26923398

  16. [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 an extensive cognitive examination conducted by a neuropsychologist. The presence of cognitive dysfunctions in patients early in abstinence should encourage clinicians to adjust the modalities of the treatment. The fact to favor recovery of cognitive functions and brain volumes with abstinence or drastic reduction of alcohol consumption could be a first way to make it possible for patients to be cognitively able to benefit from treatment. Further studies are required to determine whether specifically designed cognitive remediation could boost (accelerate or increase) the recovery of brain functioning. Additionally, a potential effect of thiamine to limit alcohol-related cognitive deficits before the development of neurological complications remains to be determined. In this review, we presented the pattern of structural brain damage and the associated cognitive and motor impairments in alcohol-dependent patients. We then emphasized the harmful effects of neuropsychological deficits in the management of these patients. We also pointed how relevant it is to screen patients with neuropsychological impairments and we focused on the presentation of two brief screening tools for cognitive impairments, especially designed for alcohol-related deficits or not. Finally, we reported how these neuropsychological impairments could be taken into consideration the treatment of alcohol addiction by adjusting its timing and modalities. PMID:26774623

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Improving memory in Parkinson's disease: a healthy brain ageing cognitive training program.

    PubMed

    Naismith, Sharon L; Mowszowski, Loren; Diamond, Keri; Lewis, Simon J G

    2013-07-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a multifactorial 'healthy brain ageing cognitive training program' for Parkinson's disease. Using a single-blinded waitlist control design, 50 participants with Parkinson's disease were recruited from the Brain & Mind Research Institute, Sydney, Australia. The intervention encompassed both psychoeducation and cognitive training; each component lasted 1-hour. The 2-hour sessions were delivered in a group format, twice-weekly over a 7-week period. Multifactorial psychoeducation was delivered by a range of health professionals. In addition to delivering cognitive strategies, it targeted depression, anxiety, sleep, vascular risk factors, diet, and exercise. Cognitive training was computer-based and was conducted by clinical neuropsychologists. The primary outcome was memory. Secondary outcomes included other aspects of cognition and knowledge pertaining to the psychoeducation material. Results demonstrated that cognitive training was associated with significant improvements in learning and memory corresponding to medium to large effect sizes. Treatment was also associated with medium effect size improvements in knowledge. Although the study was limited by the lack of randomized allocation to treatment and control groups, these findings suggest that a healthy brain ageing cognitive training program may be a viable tool to improve memory and/or slow cognitive decline in people with Parkinson's disease. It also appeared successful for increasing awareness of adaptive and/or compensatory cognitive strategies, as well as modifiable risk factors to optimize brain functioning. PMID:23630134

  1. An innovative intervention for the treatment of cognitive impairmentEmisymmetric bilateral stimulation improves cognitive functions in Alzheimers 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 Alzheimers 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 minimental 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. Minimental 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 Alzheimers disease and mild cognitive impairment group confirmed a significant improvement of cognitive functions and behavior after EBS treatment. Conclusion This pilot study has shown EBS to be a promising, effective, and safe tool to treat cognitive impairment, in addition to the drugs presently available. Further investigations and controlled clinical trials are warranted. PMID:26425094

  2. Balance Performance With a Cognitive Task: A Continuation of the Dual-Task Testing Paradigm

    PubMed Central

    Resch, Jacob E.; May, Bryson; Tomporowski, Phillip D.; Ferrara, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Context: To ensure that concussed athletes return to play safely, we need better methods of measuring concussion severity and monitoring concussion resolution. Objective: To develop a dual-task model that assesses postural stability and cognitive processing in concussed athletes. Design: Repeated measures study. Setting: University laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty healthy, college-aged students (10 men, 10 women; age ?=? 20 1.86years, height ?=? 173 4.10cm, mass ?=? 71.83 + 35.77kg). Intervention(s): Participants were tested individually in 2 sessions separated by 2days. In one session, a balance task and a cognitive task were performed separately. In the other session, the balance and cognitive tasks were performed concurrently. The balance task consisted of 6 conditions of the Sensory Organization Test performed on the NeuroCom Smart Balance Master. The cognitive task consisted of an auditory switch task (3 trials per condition, 60seconds per trial). Main Outcome Measure(s): For the balance test, scores for each Sensory Organization Test condition; the visual, vestibular, somatosensory, and visual-conflict subscores; and the composite balance score were calculated. For the cognitive task, response time and accuracy were measured. Results: Balance improved during 2 dual-task conditions: fixed support and fixed visual reference (t18 ?=? ?2.34, P < .05) and fixed support and sway visual reference (t18 ?=? ?2.72, P ?=? .014). Participants' response times were longer (F1,18 ?=? 67.77, P < .001, ?2 ?=? 0.79) and choice errors were more numerous under dual-task conditions than under single-task conditions (F1,18 ?=? 5.58, P ?=? .03, ?2 ?=? 0.24). However, differences were observed only during category-switch trials. Conclusions: Balance was either maintained or improved under dual-task conditions. Thus, postural control took priority over cognitive processing when the tasks were performed concurrently. Furthermore, dual-task conditions can isolate specific mental processes that may be useful for evaluating concussed individuals. PMID:21391802

  3. Subjective cognitive complaints versus objective neuropsychological performance in older adults with epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Galioto, Rachel; Blum, Andrew S; Tremont, Geoffrey

    2015-10-01

    Memory complaints are common among older adults with epilepsy (OAE), though discrepancy between subjective complaints and objective performance often exists. This study examined how accurately OAE and their informants reported on the participant's cognitive difficulties by comparing ratings of everyday cognition to objective performance. Thirty-seven OAE and 27 older adult controls completed a brief battery of neuropsychological tests, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Cognitive Difficulties Scale (CDS). Each participant had an informant who completed the CDS. Older adults with epilepsy performed worse than controls on cognitive testing and reported more subjective cognitive complaints. Neither participant- nor informant-reported cognitive complaints were related to performance on any of the neuropsychological tests for either the group with epilepsy or control group, but both were related to greater depressive symptoms. Results suggest that subjective report of cognitive problems by both OAE and their informants may not reliably reflect the extent to which these problems exist. PMID:26255885

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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 therapys (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

  11. Nicotinamide Forestalls Pathology and Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer Mice: Evidence for Improved Neuronal Bioenergetics and Autophagy Procession

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Dong; Pitta, Michael; Jiang, Haiyang; Lee, Jong-Hwan; Zhang, Guofeng; Chen, Xinzhi; Kawamoto, Elisa M.; Mattson, Mark P.

    2012-01-01

    Impaired brain energy metabolism and oxidative stress are implicated in cognitive decline and the pathological accumulations of amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated Tau (p-Tau) in Alzheimer's disease (AD). To determine whether improving brain energy metabolism will forestall disease progress in AD, the impact of the NAD+ 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. NAD+ biosynthesis, autophagy and PI3K 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 p-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 (Akt and ERKs) and the transcription factor cyclic 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Multifocal Clinical Performance Improvement Across 21 Hospitals.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Barbara; Skeath, Melinda; Whippy, Alan

    2015-01-01

    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-lineassociated 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

  15. Multifocal Clinical Performance Improvement across 21 Hospitals.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Barbara; Skeath, Melinda; Whippy, Alan

    2013-08-27

    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:24001267

  16. 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 controls. Increases in activation were greater in those mTBI subjects without cognitive recovery. As workload increased in mTBI subjects, activation increased in cortical regions in the right hemisphere. In summary, we found neuroimaging evidence for working memory deficits during the first week following mild traumatic brain injury. Subjects with persistent cognitive symptoms after mTBI had increased requirement for posterior cingulate activation to complete memory tasks at 1 week following a brain injury. These results provide insight into functional activation patterns during initial recovery from mTBI and expose the regional activation networks that may be involved in working memory deficits. PMID:25962067

  17. 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 Alzheimers 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

  18. Carbohydrates, Muscle Glycogen, and Improved Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherman, W. Mike

    1987-01-01

    One way to improve athletic performance without harming the athlete's health is diet manipulation. This article explores the relationship between muscular endurance and muscle glycogen and discusses a diet and training approach to competition. (Author/MT)

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. Testing for improvement in prediction model performance

    PubMed Central

    Pepe, Margaret Sullivan; Kerr, Kathleen F.; Longton, Gary; Wang, Zheyu

    2013-01-01

    New methodology has been proposed in recent years for evaluating the improvement in prediction performance gained by adding a new predictor, Y, to a risk model containing a set of baseline predictors, X, for a binary outcome D. We prove theoretically that null hypotheses concerning no improvement in performance are equivalent to the simple null hypothesis that Y is not a risk factor when controlling for X, H0: P (D = 1|X, Y) = P (D = 1|X). Therefore, testing for improvement in prediction performance is redundant if Y has already been shown to be a risk factor. We also investigate properties of tests through simulation studies, focusing on the change in the area under the ROC curve (AUC). An unexpected finding is that standard testing procedures that do not adjust for variability in estimated regression coefficients are extremely conservative. This may explain why the AUC is widely considered insensitive to improvements in prediction performance and suggests that the problem of insensitivity has to do with use of invalid procedures for inference rather than with the measure itself. To avoid redundant testing and use of potentially problematic methods for inference, we recommend that hypothesis testing for no improvement be limited to evaluation of Y as a risk factor, for which methods are well developed and widely available. Analyses of measures of prediction performance should focus on estimation rather than on testing for no improvement in performance. PMID:23296397

  2. Error framing effects on performance: cognitive, motivational, and affective pathways.

    PubMed

    Steele-Johnson, Debra; Kalinoski, Zachary T

    2014-01-01

    Our purpose was to examine whether positive error framing, that is, making errors salient and cuing individuals to see errors as useful, can benefit learning when task exploration is constrained. Recent research has demonstrated the benefits of a newer approach to training, that is, error management training, that includes the opportunity to actively explore the task and framing errors as beneficial to learning complex tasks (Keith & Frese, 2008). Other research has highlighted the important role of errors in on-the-job learning in complex domains (Hutchins, 1995). Participants (N = 168) from a large undergraduate university performed a class scheduling task. Results provided support for a hypothesized path model in which error framing influenced cognitive, motivational, and affective factors which in turn differentially affected performance quantity and quality. Within this model, error framing had significant direct effects on metacognition and self-efficacy. Our results suggest that positive error framing can have beneficial effects even when tasks cannot be structured to support extensive exploration. Whereas future research can expand our understanding of error framing effects on outcomes, results from the current study suggest that positive error framing can facilitate learning from errors in real-time performance of tasks. PMID:24617273

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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)…

  6. 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)

  7. Phenomenological and biological correlates of improved cognitive function in hospitalized elderly medical inpatients.

    PubMed

    Adamis, Dimitrios; Meagher, David; Treloar, Adrian; Dunne, Colum; Larvin, Michael; Martin, Finbarr C; Macdonald, Alastair J D

    2014-01-01

    Deterioration of cognitive ability is a recognized outcome following acute illness in older patients. Levels of circulating cytokines and APOE genotype have both been linked with acute illness-related cognitive decline. In this observational longitudinal study, consecutive admissions to an elderly medical unit of patients aged ?70 years were assessed within 3 days and re-assessed twice weekly with a range of scales assessing cognitive function, functional status and illness severity. Cytokines and APOE genotype were measured in a subsample. Improvement was defined as either a 20% or three points increase in mini mental state examination (MMSE). From the 142 participants 55 (39%) experienced cognitive improvement, of which 30 (54.5%) had delirium while 25 had non-delirious acute cognitive disorder. Using bivariate statistics, subjects with more severe acute illness, lower insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) levels and more severe delirium were more likely to experience a ?20% improvement in MMSE scores. When the criterion of cognitive improvement was a 3 point improvement in MMSE, those with more severe delirium, females and older were more likely to be improved. Longitudinal analysis using any criterion of improvement indicated that improvement was significantly (p<.05) predicted by higher levels of IGF-I, lower levels of IL-1 (alpha and beta), lack of APOE epsilon 4 allele, and female gender. In conclusion, cognitive recovery during admission is not exclusively linked to delirium status, but reflects a range of factors. The character and relevance of non-delirious acute cognitive disorder warrants further study. PMID:25189345

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. Aligning Performance: Improving People, Systems, and Organizations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Langdon, Danny

    Performance is the actual work that is done to assure that an organization achieves its mission, and aligning that performance assures that the path to the mission is harmonious. Alignment exists when all people involved understand the dimensions of the work and want to achieve and improve alignment. This book presents the "Language of Work" model

  12. 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

  13. Improved cognitive, affective and anxiety measures in patients with chronic systemic disorders following structured physical activity.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Robson Bonoto; Marins, Joo Carlos Bouzas; de S 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; Palots, Andrs; 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

  14. Amantadine improves cognitive outcome and increases neuronal survival after fluid percussion traumatic brain injury in rats.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tao; Huang, Xian-Jian; Van, Ken C; Went, Gregory T; Nguyen, Jack T; Lyeth, Bruce G

    2014-02-15

    This study evaluated the effects of clinically relevant concentrations of amantadine (AMT) on cognitive outcome and hippocampal cell survival in adult rats after lateral fluid percussion traumatic brain injury (TBI). AMT is an antagonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate-type glutamate receptor, increases dopamine release, blocks dopamine reuptake, and has an inhibitory effect on microglial activation and neuroinflammation. Currently, AMT is clinically used as an antiparkinsonian drug. Amantadine or saline control was administered intraperitoneally, starting at 1?h after TBI followed by dosing three times daily for 16 consecutive days at 15, 45, and 135?mg/kg/day. Terminal blood draws were obtained from TBI rats at the time of euthanasia at varying time points after the last amantadine dose. Pharmacokinetics analysis confirmed that the doses of AMT achieved serum concentrations similar to those observed in humans receiving therapeutic doses (100-400?mg/day). Acquisition of spatial learning and memory retention was assessed using the Morris water maze (MWM) on days 12-16 after TBI. Brain tissues were collected and stained with Cresyl-violet for long-term cell survival analysis. Treatment with 135mg/kg/day of AMT improved acquisition of learning and terminal cognitive performance on MWM. The 135-mg/kg/day dosing of AMT increased the numbers of surviving CA2-CA3 pyramidal neurons at day 16 post-TBI. Overall, the data showed that clinically relevant dosing schedules of AMT affords neuroprotection and significantly improves cognitive outcome after experimental TBI, suggesting that it has the potential to be developed as a novel treatment of human TBI. PMID:23574258

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Effects of a Mindfulness Meditation Course on Learning and Cognitive Performance among University Students in Taiwan

    PubMed Central

    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

  18. 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

  19. Strategy Changes After Errors Improve Performance

    PubMed Central

    Van der Borght, Liesbet; Desmet, Charlotte; Notebaert, Wim

    2016-01-01

    The observation that performance does not improve following errors contradicts the traditional view on error monitoring (Fiehler et al., 2005; Núñez Castellar et al., 2010; Notebaert and Verguts, 2011). However, recent findings suggest that typical laboratory tasks provided us with a narrow window on error monitoring (Jentzsch and Dudschig, 2009; Desmet et al., 2012). In this study we investigated strategy-use after errors in a mental arithmetic task. In line with our hypothesis, this more complex task did show increased performance after errors. More specifically, switching to a different strategy after an error resulted in improved performance, while repeating the same strategy resulted in worse performance. These results show that in more ecological valid tasks, post-error behavioral improvement can be observed. PMID:26793159

  20. 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 ...

  1. The acute effect of local homicides on children's cognitive performance

    PubMed Central

    Sharkey, Patrick

    2010-01-01

    This study estimates the acute effect of exposure to a local homicide on the cognitive performance of children across a community. Data are from a sample of children age 5–17 y in the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods. The effect of local homicides on vocabulary and reading assessments is identified by exploiting exogenous variation in the relative timing of homicides and interview assessments among children in the same neighborhood but assessed at different times. Among African-Americans, the strongest results show that exposure to a homicide in the block group that occurs less than a week before the assessment reduces performance on vocabulary and reading assessments by between ∼0.5 and ∼0.66 SD, respectively. Main results are replicated using a second independent dataset from Chicago. Findings suggest the need for broader recognition of the impact that extreme acts of violence have on children across a neighborhood, regardless of whether the violence is witnessed directly. PMID:20547862

  2. Afternoon Nap and Bright Light Exposure Improve Cognitive Flexibility Post Lunch

    PubMed Central

    Schmitz, Rmy; 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 a short nap on performance in the cognitive flexibility domain with possible additional benefits on latency switch-cost scores. PMID:26016658

  3. Afternoon nap and bright light exposure improve cognitive flexibility post lunch.

    PubMed

    Slama, Hichem; Deliens, Gatane; Schmitz, Rmy; 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 a short nap on performance in the cognitive flexibility domain with possible additional benefits on latency switch-cost scores. PMID:26016658

  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. 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 cognitive impairment. Potential mechanisms for these effects are discussed. PMID:21889940

  6. 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.

  7. Which Psychosocial Factors Best Predict Cognitive Performance in Older Adults?

    PubMed Central

    Zahodne, Laura B.; Nowinski, Cindy J.; Gershon, Richard C.; Manly, Jennifer J.

    2015-01-01

    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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Group Comparisons of Mathematics Performance from a Cognitive Diagnostic Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Yi-Hsin; Ferron, John M.; Thompson, Marilyn S.; Gorin, Joanna S.; Tatsuoka, Kikumi K.

    2010-01-01

    Traditional comparisons of test score means identify group differences in broad academic areas, but fail to provide substantive description of how the groups differ on the specific cognitive attributes required for success in the academic area. The rule space method (RSM) allows for group comparisons at the cognitive attribute level, which

  11. Recombinant human growth hormone improves cognitive capacity in a pain patient exposed to chronic opioids

    PubMed Central

    Rhodin, A; von Ehren, M; Skottheim, B; Grnbladh, A; Ortiz-Nieto, F; Raininko, R; Gordh, T; Nyberg, F

    2014-01-01

    During recent decades, the increasing use of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain has raised concerns regarding tolerance, addiction, and importantly cognitive dysfunction. Current research suggests that the somatotrophic axis could play an important role in cognitive function. Administration of growth hormone (GH) to GH-deficient humans and experimental animals has been shown to result in significant improvements in cognitive capacity. In this report, a patient with cognitive disabilities resulting from chronic treatment with opioids for neuropathic pain received recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) replacement therapy. A 61-year-old man presented with severe cognitive dysfunction after long-term methadone treatment for intercostal neuralgia and was diagnosed with GH insufficiency by GH releasing hormone-arginine testing. The effect of rhGH replacement therapy on his cognitive capacity and quality of life was investigated. The hippocampal volume was measured using magnetic resonance imaging, and the ratios of the major metabolites were calculated using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Cognitive testing revealed significant improvements in visuospatial cognitive function after rhGH. The hippocampal volume remained unchanged. In the right hippocampus, the N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratio (reflecting nerve cell function) was initially low but increased significantly during rhGH treatment, as did subjective cognitive, physical and emotional functioning. This case report indicates that rhGH replacement therapy could improve cognitive behaviour and well-being, as well as hippocampal metabolism and functioning in opioid-treated patients with chronic pain. The idea that GH could affect brain function and repair disabilities induced by long-term exposure to opioid analgesia is supported. PMID:24712862

  12. Seven practical principles for improving patient education: Evidence-based ideas from cognition science.

    PubMed

    Pusic, Martin V; Ching, Kevin; Yin, Hsiang Shonna; Kessler, David

    2014-03-01

    An important role of the paediatrician is that of a teacher - every clinician is an educator to patients and their families. This education, however, often occurs under difficult or time-pressured learning conditions. The authors present principles derived from three basic theories of human cognition that may help to guide clinicians' instruction of parents and patients. Cognitive load theory holds that an individual's capacity to process information is finite. By controlling information flow rate, decreasing reliance on working memory and removing extraneous cognitive load, learning is improved. Dual code theory suggests that humans have separate cognitive 'channels' for text/audio information versus visual information. By constructing educational messages that take advantage of both channels simultaneously, information uptake may be improved. Multimedia theory is based on the notion that there is an optimal blend of media to accomplish a given learning objective. The authors suggest seven practical strategies that clinicians may use to improve patient education. PMID:24665218

  13. Family history of Alzheimers 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 Alzheimers disease. Methods: In all, 94 bariatric surgery participants completed a computerized cognitive test battery before and 12 weeks after surgery. Family history of Alzheimers 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 Alzheimers disease. In contrast, only individuals without a family history of Alzheimers disease exhibited post-operative improvements in memory. A family history of Alzheimers disease was associated with greater post-surgery rates of cognitive impairment. Conclusions: Family history of Alzheimers 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 Alzheimers disease.

  14. Effects of psychiatric history on cognitive performance in old-age depression

    PubMed Central

    Pantzar, Alexandra; Atti, Anna Rita; Bckman, 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

  15. A Comparative Study of Autistic Subjects' Performance at Two Levels of Visual and Cognitive Perspective Taking.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Taffy; Peterson, Candida

    1990-01-01

    This study found that 13 autistic subjects performed less well on cognitive than on visual perspective-taking tasks at two levels of difficulty. Autistic subjects performed as well as 13 intellectually handicapped controls and 13 normal controls on visual perspective-taking tasks but more poorly than controls on cognitive perspective-taking tasks.…

  16. 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…

  17. 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; Bchel, Christian; Fauth-Bhler, 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

  18. 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

  19. A Comparative Study of Autistic Subjects' Performance at Two Levels of Visual and Cognitive Perspective Taking.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Taffy; Peterson, Candida

    1990-01-01

    This study found that 13 autistic subjects performed less well on cognitive than on visual perspective-taking tasks at two levels of difficulty. Autistic subjects performed as well as 13 intellectually handicapped controls and 13 normal controls on visual perspective-taking tasks but more poorly than controls on cognitive perspective-taking tasks.

  20. 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

  1. 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 3years 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  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. 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

  7. How assessing relationships between emotions and cognition can improve farm animal welfare.

    PubMed

    Boissy, A; Lee, C

    2014-04-01

    The assessment of farm animal welfare requires a good understanding of the animals' affective experiences, including their emotions. Emotions are transient reactions to short-term triggering events and can accumulate to cause longer-lasting affective states, which represent good or bad welfare. Cognition refers to the mechanisms by which animals acquire, process, store and act on information from the environment. The objective of this paper is to highlight the two-way relationships between emotions and cognition that were originally identified in human psychology, and to describe in what ways these can be used to better access affective experiences in farm animals. The first section describes a recent experimental approach based on the cognitive processes that the animal uses to evaluate its environment. This approach offers an integrative and functional framework to assess the animal's emotions more effectively. The second section focuses on the influence of emotions on cognitive processes and describes recently developed methodologies based on that relationship, which may enable an assessment of long-term affective states in animals. The last section discusses the relevance of behavioural strategies to improve welfare in animals by taking their cognitive skills into account. Specific cognitive processes eliciting positive emotions will be emphasised. Research into affective states of animals is progressing rapidly and the ability to scientifically access animal feelings should contribute to the development of innovative farming practices based on the animals' sentience and their cognitive skills in order to truly improve their welfare. PMID:25000782

  8. Improved perceptual-motor performance measurement system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parker, J. F., Jr.; Reilly, R. E.

    1969-01-01

    Battery of tests determines the primary dimensions of perceptual-motor performance. Eighteen basic measures range from simple tests to sophisticated electronic devices. Improved system has one unit for the subject containing test display and response elements, and one for the experimenter where test setups, programming, and scoring are accomplished.

  9. The People Side of Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gerson, Richard F.

    1999-01-01

    Discusses 11 keys to the personal side of performance improvement, including positive attitude, high self esteem and positive self-image, communication skills, lifelong learning, caring about other people, health and well-being, motivation, goal setting, relaxation, visualization, and personal value system. (LRW)

  10. 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…

  11. 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 ...

  12. A Performance Technology Approach to Improving Evaluation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rohrer-Murphy, Lucia; Moller, Leslie; Benscoter, Bud

    1997-01-01

    Discusses the evaluation component of instructional design, suggests a performance technology approach to improve evaluation, and describes the Rummler-Brache Organizational Alignment Model that provides guidelines for systematically identifying the key variables when reorganizing training toward more appropriate evaluation. (LRW)

  13. Instructional Materials for Improved Job Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foley, John P., Jr.

    1978-01-01

    Instructional materials developed in military research to improve performance of electromechanical maintenance tasks are described, with implications for teacher education. The materials require task analysis, job task relevance, and task-oriented training. Although many industries have implemented these techniques, teacher training institutions

  14. 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...

  15. Mechanisms of Functional Improvement in a Two-Year Trial of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy for Early Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Eack, Shaun M.; Pogue-Geile, Michael F.; Greenwald, Deborah P.; Hogarty, Susan S.; Keshavan, Matcheri S.

    2013-01-01

    Background Cognitive rehabilitation has emerged as an effective treatment for addressing cognitive impairments and functional disability in schizophrenia; however, the degree to which changes in various social and non-social cognitive processes translate into improved functioning during treatment remains unclear. This research sought to identify the neurocognitive and social-cognitive mechanisms of functional improvement during a two-year trial of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET) for early course schizophrenia. Method Patients in the early course of schizophrenia were randomly assigned to CET (n = 31) or an Enriched Supportive Therapy control (n = 27) and treated for up to two years. A comprehensive neurocognitive assessment battery and the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) were completed annually, along with measures of functioning. Mediator analyses using mixed-effects growth models were conducted to examine the effects of neurocognitive and social-cognitive improvement on functional change. Results Two-year improvement in neurocognition and the emotion management branch of the MSCEIT were found to be significantly related to improved functional outcome in early course schizophrenia patients. Neurocognitive improvement, primarily in executive functioning, and social-cognitive change in emotion management also mediated the robust effects of CET on functioning. Conclusions Improvements in neurocognition and social cognition that result from cognitive rehabilitation are both significant mediators of functional improvement in early course schizophrenia. Cognitive rehabilitation programs for schizophrenia may need to target deficits in both social and non-social cognition to achieve an optimal functional response. PMID:20860867

  16. The effects of piracetam on cognitive performance in a mouse model of Down's syndrome.

    PubMed

    Moran, Timothy H; Capone, George T; Knipp, Susan; Davisson, Muriel T; Reeves, Roger H; Gearhart, John D

    2002-11-01

    Piracetam is a nootropic agent that has been shown to improve cognitive performance in a number of animal model systems. Piracetam is reported to be used widely as a means of improving cognitive function in children with Down's syndrome (DS). In order to provide a preclinical assessment of the potential efficacy of piracetam, we examined the effects of a dose range of piracetam in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS. Ts65Dn mice are trisomic for a region of mouse chromosome 16 with homology to human chromosome 21. Daily piracetam treatment at doses of 0, 75, 150, and 300 mg/kg ip was initiated in 6-week-old male Ts65Dn and euploid control mice. Following 4 weeks of treatment, mice were tested in the visible and hidden-platform components of the Morris water maze and were placed overnight in computerized activity chambers to assess effects on overall activity. Piracetam treatment was continued through the 4 weeks of testing. In control mice, 75 and 150 mg/kg/day piracetam improved performance in both the visible- and hidden-platform tasks. Although low doses of piracetam reduced search time in the visible-platform component in Ts65Dn mice, all piracetam doses prevented trial-related improvements in performance in Ts65Dn mice. The 300-mg/kg/day-piracetam dose was associated with a reversal of the nocturnal spontaneous hyperactivity in Ts65Dn. These data do not provide support for piracetam treatment for individuals with DS. PMID:12419416

  17. 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

  18. Cognitive Performances Are Selectively Enhanced during Chronic Caloric Restriction or Resveratrol Supplementation in a Primate

    PubMed Central

    Marchal, Julia; Picq, Jean-Luc; Aujard, Fabienne

    2011-01-01

    Effects of an 18-month treatment with a moderate, chronic caloric restriction (CR) or an oral supplementation with resveratrol (RSV), a potential CR mimetic, on cognitive and motor performances were studied in non-human primates, grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Thirty-three adult male mouse lemurs were assigned to three different groups: a control (CTL) group fed ad libitum, a CR group fed 70% of the CTL caloric intake, and an RSV group (RSV supplementation of 200 mg.kg?1.day?1) fed ad libitum. Three different cognitive tests, two motor tests, one emotional test and an analysis of cortisol level were performed in each group. Compared to CTL animals, CR or RSV animals did not show any change in motor performances evaluated by rotarod and jump tests, but an increase in spontaneous locomotor activity was observed in both groups. Working memory was improved by both treatments in the spontaneous alternation task. Despite a trend for CR group, only RSV supplementation increased spatial memory performances in the circular platform task. Finally, none of these treatments induced additional stress to the animals as reflected by similar results in the open field test and cortisol analyses compared to CTL animals. The present data provided the earliest evidence for a beneficial effect of CR or RSV supplementation on specific cognitive functions in a primate. Taken together, these results suggest that RSV could be a good candidate to mimic long-term CR effects and support the growing evidences that nutritional interventions can have beneficial effects on brain functions even in adults. PMID:21304942

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. Potential Role of the Combination of Galantamine and Memantine to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Koola, Maju Mathew; Buchanan, Robert W.; Pillai, Anilkumar; Aitchison, Katherine J.; Weinberger, Daniel R.; Aaronson, Scott T.; Dickerson, Faith B.

    2014-01-01

    The Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) and Treatment Units for Research on Neurocognition and Schizophrenia projects were designed to facilitate the development of new drugs for the treatment of cognitive impairments in people with schizophrenia. The MATRICS project identified three drug mechanisms of particular interest: dopaminergic, cholinergic, and glutamatergic. As a group, while people with schizophrenia have moderate cognitive impairment, it is the best predictor of long-term outcome. Unfortunately, there are no approved medications for cognitive impairment in this population. Hence, the development of new pharmacological approaches is critical for reducing illness-related disability. The combination of an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI) and memantine is more effective than either medication alone to improve cognition in Alzheimers dementia. Galantamine is not only an AChEI, but also a positive allosteric modulator of the ?4?2 and ?7 nicotinic receptors. Hypofunction of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors has been implicated in the pathophysiology of cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia and hence memantine may positively impact cognition. Memantine decreases the tonic NMDA current and galantamine enhances the action potential mediated by a postsynaptic NMDA current. This results in an increased signal transmission; therefore, a greater signal-to-noise ratio occurs with the combination than memantine alone. Galantamine improves the ?-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazol-propionate (AMPA)-mediated signaling which could be neuroprotective and may improve memory coding. The combination of galantamine and memantine may be particularly effective in schizophrenia in order to increase the selective cognition enhancement produced by either medication alone. In the future, multitarget-directed ligands may play a role in the treatment of complex diseases like schizophrenia. PMID:24878431

  3. Improved Serum Leptin and Ghrelin Following Bariatric Surgery Predict Better Postoperative Cognitive Function

    PubMed Central

    Alosco, Michael L.; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Strain, Gladys; Devlin, Michael; Cohen, Ronald; Crosby, Ross D.; Mitchell, James E.

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose Bariatric surgery is associated with improved cognitive function, but the mechanisms underlying these gains remain poorly understood. Disturbed leptin and ghrelin systems are common in obese individuals and are associated with impaired cognitive function in other samples. Bariatric surgery has been shown to improve serum leptin and ghrelin levels, and these changes may underlie postoperative cognitive improvements. Methods Eighty-four patients completed a computerized cognitive test battery prior to bariatric surgery and at 12 months postoperatively. Participants also submitted to an 8-hour fasting blood draw to quantify serum leptin and ghrelin concentrations at these same time points. Results Baseline cognitive impairments and disturbed leptin and ghrelin levels improved at the 12-month follow-up compared to presurgery. Higher leptin levels were associated with worse attention/executive function at baseline; no such findings emerged for ghrelin. Regression analyses controlling for baseline factors and demographic characteristics showed that both decreased leptin and increased ghrelin following surgery was associated with better attention/executive function at the 12-month follow-up. These effects diminished after controlling for the postoperative change in body mass index (BMI); however, BMI change did not predict 12-month cognitive function. Conclusions Improvements in leptin and ghrelin levels following bariatric surgery appear to contribute to postoperative cognitive benefits. These gains may involve multiple mechanisms, such as reduced inflammation and improved glycemic control. Future studies that employ neuroimaging are needed to clarify the underlying mechanisms and determine whether the effects of bariatric surgery on leptin and ghrelin levels can attenuate adverse brain changes and/or risk of dementia in severely obese individuals. PMID:25628737

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Chronic Treatment with Anesthetic Propofol Improves Cognitive Function and Attenuates Caspase Activation in Both Aged and Alzheimer's Disease Transgenic Mice

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Yuanlin; Yu, Buwei; Xia, Weiming; Xie, Zhongcong

    2014-01-01

    There is a need to seek new treatment(s) for Alzheimer's disease (AD). A recent study showed that AD patients may have decreased levels of functional GABA receptors. Propofol, a commonly used anesthetic, is a GABA receptor agonist. We therefore set out to perform a proof of concept study to determine whether chronic treatment with propofol (50 mg/kg/week) can improve cognitive function in both aged wild-type (WT) and AD transgenic (Tg) mice. Propofol was administrated to the WT and AD Tg mice once a week for 8 or 12 weeks, respectively. Morris water maze was used to assess the cognitive function of the mice following the propofol treatment. Activation of caspase-3, caspase-9, and caspase-8 was investigated using western blot analysis at the end of the propofol treatment. In the mechanistic studies, effects of propofol, amyloid-? protein (A?), and GABA receptor antagonist flumazenil on caspase-3 activation and opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore were assessed in H4 human neuroglioma and mouse neuroblastoma cells by western blot analysis and flow cytometry. Here we showed that the propofol treatment improved cognitive function and attenuated brain caspase-3 and caspase-9 activation in both aged WT and AD Tg mice. Propofol attenuated A?-induced caspase-3 activation and opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore in the cells, and flumazenil inhibited the propofol's effects. These results suggested that propofol might improve cognitive function via attenuating the A?-induced mitochondria dysfunction and caspase activation, which explored the potential that anesthetic propofol could improve cognitive function in elderly and AD patients. PMID:24643139

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Cognition Improvement in Taekwondo Novices Over 40. Results from the SEKWONDO Study.

    PubMed

    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

  11. An empirically derived composite cognitive test score with improved power to track and evaluate treatments for preclinical Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Langbaum, Jessica B.S.; Hendrix, Suzanne B.; Ayutyanont, Napatkamon; Chen, Kewei; Fleisher, Adam S.; Shah, Raj C.; Barnes, Lisa L.; Bennett, David A.; Tariot, Pierre N.; Reiman, Eric M.

    2014-01-01

    Background There is growing interest in the evaluation of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD) treatments. As a result, there is a need to identify a cognitive composite that is sensitive to tracking preclinical AD decline to be used as a primary endpoint in treatment trials. Methods Longitudinal data from initially cognitively normal, 70–85 year old participants in three cohort studies of aging and dementia from the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center were examined to empirically define a composite cognitive endpoint that is sensitive to detecting and tracking cognitive decline prior to the onset of cognitive impairment. The mean to standard deviation ratios (MSDR) of change over time were calculated in a search for the optimal combination of cognitive tests/sub-tests drawn from the neuropsychological battery in cognitively normal participants who subsequently progressed to clinical stages of AD during a two and five year period, using data from those who remained unimpaired during the same time period to correct for aging and practice effects. Combinations that performed well were then evaluated for representation of relevant cognitive domains, robustness across individual years prior to diagnosis, and occurrence of selected items within top performing combinations. Results The optimal composite cognitive test score is comprised of 7 cognitive tests/sub-tests with an MSDR=0.964. By comparison, the most sensitive individual test score, Logical Memory – Delayed Recall, MSDR= 0.64. Conclusions We have identified a composite cognitive test score representing multiple cognitive domains that has improved power compared to the most sensitive single test item to track preclinical AD decline and evaluate preclinical AD treatments. We are confirming the power of the composite in independent cohorts, and with other analytical approaches, which may result in refinements, and have designated it as the primary endpoint in the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative’s preclinical treatment trials for individuals at high imminent risk for developing symptoms due to late-onset AD. PMID:24751827

  12. Non-Visual Effects of Light on Melatonin, Alertness and Cognitive Performance: Can Blue-Enriched Light Keep Us Alert?

    PubMed Central

    Chellappa, Sarah Laxhmi; Steiner, Roland; Blattner, Peter; Oelhafen, Peter; Gtz, Thomas; Cajochen, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Background Light exposure can cascade numerous effects on the human circadian process via the non-imaging forming system, whose spectral relevance is highest in the short-wavelength range. Here we investigated if commercially available compact fluorescent lamps with different colour temperatures can impact on alertness and cognitive performance. Methods Sixteen healthy young men were studied in a balanced cross-over design with light exposure of 3 different light settings (compact fluorescent lamps with light of 40 lux at 6500K and at 2500K and incandescent lamps of 40 lux at 3000K) during 2 h in the evening. Results Exposure to light at 6500K induced greater melatonin suppression, together with enhanced subjective alertness, well-being and visual comfort. With respect to cognitive performance, light at 6500K led to significantly faster reaction times in tasks associated with sustained attention (Psychomotor Vigilance and GO/NOGO Task), but not in tasks associated with executive function (Paced Visual Serial Addition Task). This cognitive improvement was strongly related with attenuated salivary melatonin levels, particularly for the light condition at 6500K. Conclusions Our findings suggest that the sensitivity of the human alerting and cognitive response to polychromatic light at levels as low as 40 lux, is blue-shifted relative to the three-cone visual photopic system. Thus, the selection of commercially available compact fluorescent lights with different colour temperatures significantly impacts on circadian physiology and cognitive performance at home and in the workplace. PMID:21298068

  13. 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. 14-0551, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307. Ph. 617-253-5668; Fax 617-253 -1690.).

  14. Consistency of cognitive and motor performance measures over two years in reading retarded children.

    PubMed

    Aman, M G; Mayhew, J M

    1980-06-01

    Children identified for specific reading retardation were tested at initial contact and after 2 yr. on a variety of measures including seat activity, and congnitive and motor steadiness tasks. Developmentally there were few improvements on the accuracy and response time measures, whereas response speed and motor steadiness improved substantially with maturation. Consistency of performance over the 2 yr. showed the following pattern. Correlations for accuracy and response time were generally around chance levels, whereas the predictive validity for seat movement was in the low to moderate range. Speed of response and motor steadiness showed moderate to very high consistency over the 2 yr. Reliability estimates at each test interval were generally high for all variables except accuracy. These results suggest that there may be an advantage in adopting speed measures in preference to response time, and they also highlight the importance of the temporal dimension in cognitive testing. PMID:7413379

  15. Performance improvement using methodology: case study.

    PubMed

    Harmelink, Stacy

    2008-01-01

    The department of radiology at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center in Sioux City, IA implemented meaningful workflow changes for reducing patient wait times and, at the same time, improved customer and employee satisfaction scores. Lean methodology and the 7 Deadly Wastes, along with small group interaction, was used to evaluate and change the process of a patient waiting for an exam in the radiology department. The most important key to the success of a performance improvement project is the involvement of staff. PMID:18953987

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Lactulose enhances neuroplasticity to improve cognitive function in early hepatic encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Yang, Nan; Liu, He; Jiang, Yao; Zheng, Ji; Li, Dong-Mei; Ji, Chao; Liu, Yan-Yong; Zuo, Ping-Ping

    2015-09-01

    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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Compression Techniques for Improved Algorithm Computational Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zalameda, Joseph N.; Howell, Patricia A.; Winfree, William P.

    2005-01-01

    Analysis of thermal data requires the processing of large amounts of temporal image data. The processing of the data for quantitative information can be time intensive especially out in the field where large areas are inspected resulting in numerous data sets. By applying a temporal compression technique, improved algorithm performance can be obtained. In this study, analysis techniques are applied to compressed and non-compressed thermal data. A comparison is made based on computational speed and defect signal to noise.

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Cognitive Performance of Egyptian Adults as a Function of Nutritional Intake and Sociodemographic Factors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wachs, Theodore D.; And Others

    1996-01-01

    Whether variability in adult cognitive performance was associated with variability in dietary energy intake quality was studied with 54 male and 101 female Egyptians. Results emphasize the importance of nutritional intake for adult cognition even in populations that are not clinically malnourished. (SLD)

  12. 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

  13. Cognitive Style and GCSE Performance in Mathematics, English Language, and French.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riding, Richard; Caine, Tracey

    1993-01-01

    Reports on a preliminary study of cognitive style and performance of 182 secondary students on the British General Certificate of Secondary Education. Finds that students who tested at an intermediate position on both dimensions of the Wholist-Analytic cognitive style measure did best on the test. (CFR)

  14. 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 (89 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. The Development and Implementation of an Instrument to Assess Cognitive Performance in High School Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benson, Bernard W.

    An instrument, "The Assessment of Cognitive Transfer in Science Inventory," was designed to evaluate cognitive performance in biology. The instrument is based on students' verbal responses to a structured sequence of situations and questions. Items were classified in terms of a modification of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. The

  18. 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

  19. Clock Drawing Performance and Brain Morphology in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's Disease

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomann, Philipp A.; Toro, Pablo; Santos, Vasco Dos; Essig, Marco; Schroder, Johannes

    2008-01-01

    The Clock Drawing Test (CDT) is a widely used instrument in the neuropsychological assessment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). As CDT performance necessitates several cognitive functions (e.g., visuospatial and constructional abilities, executive functioning), an interaction of multiple brain regions is likely. Fifty-one subjects with mild cognitive

  20. 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…

  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. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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:24709049

  7. Effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on clinical, social, and cognitive performance in postpartum depression

    PubMed Central

    Myczkowski, Martin Luiz; Dias, lvaro Machado; Luvisotto, Tatiana; Arnaut, Debora; Bellini, Bianca Boura; Mansur, Carlos Gustavo; Renn, Joel; Tortella, Gabriel; Ribeiro, Philip Leite; Marcolin, Marco Antnio

    2012-01-01

    Background: This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind pilot study evaluated the impact of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on clinical, cognitive, and social performance in women suffering with postpartum depression. Methods: Fourteen patients were randomized to receive 20 sessions of sham rTMS or active 5 Hz rTMS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Psychiatric clinical scales and a neuropsychological battery were applied at baseline (pretreatment), week 4 (end of treatment), and week 6 (follow-up, posttreatment week 2). Results: The active rTMS group showed significant improvement 2 weeks after the end of rTMS treatment (week 6) in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (P = 0.020), Global Assessment Scale (P = 0.037), Clinical Global Impression (P = 0.047), and Social Adjustment Scale-Self Report-Work at Home (P = 0.020). Conclusion: This study suggests that rTMS has the potential to improve the clinical condition in postpartum depression, while producing marginal gains in social and cognitive function. PMID:23118543

  8. Intensive group cognitive therapy and individual cognitive therapy for social phobia: sustained improvement at 5-year follow-up.

    PubMed

    Mrtberg, Ewa; Clark, David M; Bejerot, Susanne

    2011-12-01

    Little is known about the long-term outcome of treatments for social phobia. At 5 years post-treatment we contacted the 67 patients who had been treated with intensive group cognitive therapy (IGCT) or individual cognitive therapy (ICT) in a randomized controlled trial (Mrtberg, Clark, Sundin, & berg Wistedt, 2007) that originally compared IGCT, ICT, and treatment as usual (n=100 for the full trial). Seventy-two percent (48 patients) who received IGCT or ICT agreed to participate in the follow-up assessment. All re-completed the original self-report measures of symptoms and disability and a quality of life measure. A subset was also interviewed. Seventy-five percent (36 patients) had sought no further treatment for social phobia. Comparisons between post-treatment and 5-year follow-up indicated that patients who had received either treatment showed further improvement in social phobia symptoms and disability during the follow-up period. These improvements were present in patients who had no additional treatment, as well as in the total sample. In conclusion, it appears that the effects of IGCT and ICT are maintained and improved upon at 5 years post-treatment. PMID:21763101

  9. New approaches to measurement and treatment research to improve cognition in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Geyer, Mark A; Heinssen, Robert

    2005-10-01

    An overview is provided of the set of articles included in this special issue of Schizophrenia Bulletin that were derived from the final meeting of the Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) program. These essays summarize the presentations and discussions of the MATRICS New Approaches Conference that examined the future needs of the field for a coordinated research effort to improve the preclinical and clinical science required to optimize new cotreatments for the cognitive deficits in patients with schizophrenia. Specific priorities for a research agenda involving collaborations among academic, industrial, and governmental participants are addressed. PMID:16166608

  10. Cognitive performance of morbidly obese patients seeking bariatric surgery.

    PubMed

    Lokken, Kristine L; Boeka, Abbe G; Yellumahanthi, Kishore; Wesley, Mary; Clements, Ronald H

    2010-01-01

    Bariatric surgery is efficacious for the treatment of severe obesity; however, little empirical research exists describing the demographic, psychosocial, and cognitive characteristics of patients presenting for the surgery. One hundred and sixty-nine morbidly obese patients seeking bariatric surgery underwent a presurgical psychological assessment, including cognitive testing. Morbidly obese individuals seeking bariatric surgery were similar in education, income status, and IQ compared with normative data. IQ was average, did not correlate with body mass index, and reflected a normal distribution. As a group, bariatric surgery patients endorsed minimal levels of depression and low levels of psychopathology. Obese individuals did demonstrate specific cognitive deficits on tests of executive function (e.g., problem solving and planning) when compared with normative data. This data suggests that bariatric surgery patients differ very little from other surgical populations on most demographic and psychosocial variables. The data does provide evidence for specific cognitive deficits in the area of executive functions at baseline in morbidly obese adults seeking bariatric surgery. PMID:20135940

  11. Effects of Continuity of Learning Experience on Children's Cognitive Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Irvine, David J.; And Others

    This evaluation of the New York State Experimental Prekindergarten (PreK) Program was designed to investigate the extent to which efforts to enhance program continuity through staff development activities produced lasting effects on children's cognitive and noncognitive development. Three children in each of seven of the 48 PreK school districts…

  12. Male cognitive performance declines in the absence of sexual selection

    PubMed Central

    Hollis, Brian; Kawecki, Tadeusz J.

    2014-01-01

    Sexual selection is responsible for the evolution of male ornaments and armaments, but its role in the evolution of cognitionthe ability to process, retain and use informationis largely unexplored. Because successful courtship is likely to involve processing information in complex, competitive sexual environments, we hypothesized that sexual selection contributes to the evolution and maintenance of cognitive abilities in males. To test this, we removed mate choice and mate competition from experimental populations of Drosophila melanogaster by enforcing monogamy for over 100 generations. Males evolved under monogamy became less proficient than polygamous control males at relatively complex cognitive tasks. When faced with one receptive and several unreceptive females, polygamous males quickly focused on receptive females, whereas monogamous males continued to direct substantial courtship effort towards unreceptive females. As a result, monogamous males were less successful in this complex setting, despite being as quick to mate as their polygamous counterparts with only one receptive female. This diminished ability to use past information was not limited to the courtship context: monogamous males (but not females) also showed reduced aversive olfactory learning ability. Our results provide direct experimental evidence that the intensity of sexual selection is an important factor in the evolution of male cognitive ability. PMID:24573848

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. Cognitive Functioning and Performance on Addition and Subtraction Algorithms.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Romberg, Thomas A.; Collis, Kevin F.

    The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether children in grade 3 who differ in cognitive processing capacity add and subtract differently. The researchers drew upon information from three sources: individual results from a battery of 14 tests, an objective-referenced achievement test measuring a variety of arithmetic skills related to

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Improving Contract Performance by Corrective Actions Plans

    SciTech Connect

    Dowd, A.S., jr.

    2002-06-23

    Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) are required to be developed, submitted, and reported upon by the prime contractors for the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) Management and Operations (M and O) contracts. The best known CAP ''type,'' and there are many, is for Price-Anderson Amendments Act (PAAA) ''potential noncompliances.'' The M and O contractor fines for PAAA problems have increased from approximately $100,000 in 1996 to almost $2,000,000 in 2000. In order to improve CAP performance at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) site at Y-12 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the contractor chose to centralize the company-wide processes of problem identification and reporting with the PAAA (and other) CAP processes. This directly integrates these functional reports to the contractor General Manager. The functions contained in the M and O contractor central organization, called ''Performance Assurance,'' are: PAAA; Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) Liaison; Contract Requirements Management; Issues Management (including the CAP processes); Lessons Learned; Independent and Management Assessments; Internal Audits; and Ethics. By centrally locating and managing these problem identification and problem correction functions, the contractor, BWXT Y-12, L.L.C., has improved PAAA (and other) CAP performance more than 200 percent in the first year of the contract. Much of this improvement (see Table 1 for examples) has been achieved by increasing the knowledge and experience of management and workers in the specific contract and company requirements for CAPs. The remainder of this paper will describe some of the many CAP processes at Y-12 to show the reader the non-trivial scope of the CAP process. Improvements in CAP management will be discussed. In addition, a specific recommendation for CAP management, in a major capital construction project, will be presented.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Cognitive Expertise, Emotional Development and Reflective Capacity: Clinical Skills for Improved Pain Care

    PubMed Central

    Murinson, Beth B.; Agarwal, Aakash K.; Haythornthwaite, Jennifer A.

    2008-01-01

    The overarching goal of medical training is to nurture the growth of knowledgeable, caring and insightful clinicians guided by the ideals of medical professionalism. Recent definitions of professional competence identify essential clinical skills, including cognitive expertise, emotional competence, and reflective capacity. This modern framework reflects the increasingly complex nature of the patient-clinician interaction, in which the clinician must exchange diagnostic information while supportively engaging the patient on a deeper, affective level. The affective dimension can be particularly potent when pain is the primary symptom, as it is for the majority of medical visits. Unfortunately, however, current models of professionalism, used as an early guide for medical trainees to develop an understanding of the clinical exchange, largely focus on interactions in the cognitive domain. To emphasize the importance of emotions in professional development, we propose the Cognitive and Emotional Preparedness Model (CEPM), which describes the clinical encounter occurring on two channels, one cognitive and the other emotional, and stresses the importance of multidimensional development in preparing the clinician to 1) communicate clinical information, 2) provide emotional support, and 3) actively reflect on experiences for continued improvement. Together, acquisition of knowledge, emotional development, and reflective skill will improve the clinical interaction. Perspective The proficiency of medical trainees in developing clinical skills profoundly shapes patient satisfaction and treatment outcomes. This article reviews the cognitive, emotional and reflective development of medical trainees and presents a model illustrating how clinical development impacts pain care. For improved efficacy, pain education should be calibrated to students' developmental needs. PMID:18984501

  2. 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. 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. PMID:26715466

  3. 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 performance, as compared with DL and BL, with minimal impact on circadian phase. Thus, DsL may provide an effective strategy for enhancing cognitive performance, well-being, and mood under mild sleep restriction. PMID:23841684

  4. Associations Between Oxytocin Receptor Genotypes and Social Cognitive Performance in Individuals With Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Michael C.; Horan, William P.; Nurmi, Erika L.; Rizzo, Shemra; Li, Wendy; Sugar, Catherine A.; Green, Michael F.

    2014-01-01

    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

  5. Cultural Factors Affecting the Differential Performance of Israeli and Palestinian Children on the Loewenstein Occupational Therapy Cognitive Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Josman, Naomi; Abdallah, Taisir M.; Engel-Yeger, Batya

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive performance is essential for children's functioning and may also predict school readiness. The suitability of Western standardized assessments for cognitive performance among children from different cultures needs to be elaborated. This study referred to the existence of differences in cognitive performance between and within children

  6. 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

  7. RG3487, a novel nicotinic ?7 receptor partial agonist, improves cognition and sensorimotor gating in rodents.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Tanya L; Callahan, Patrick M; Tehim, Ashok; Bertrand, Daniel; Tombaugh, Geoffrey; Wang, Shaojie; Xie, Walter; Rowe, Wayne B; Ong, Voon; Graham, Elizabeth; Terry, Alvin V; Rodefer, Joshua S; Herbert, Brian; Murray, Michael; Porter, Richard; Santarelli, Luca; Lowe, David A

    2011-01-01

    Neuronal nicotinic ?7 acetylcholine receptors (?7nAChRs) are expressed primarily in the brain and are implicated in modulating many cognitive functions (e.g., attention, working and episodic memory). Not surprisingly, much effort has been committed to the development of molecules acting at ?7nAChRs as potential therapies for a variety of central nervous system diseases (e.g., Alzheimer's). N-[(3S)-1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-3-yl]-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide hydrochloride (RG3487) binds potently to the human ?7nAChR (K(i) = 6 nM), in which it acts as a partial agonist (63-69% of acetylcholine) as assessed by whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in both oocytes and QM7 cell lines. RG3487 activates human ?7nAChRs with an EC(50) of 0.8 ?M (oocytes) and 7.7 ?M (QM7 cells). RG3487 also exhibits antagonist properties at the serotonin 3 receptor [IC(50) = 2.8 nM (oocytes), 32.7 nM (N1E-115 cells)]. In vivo, RG3487 improved object recognition memory in rats after acute [minimally effective dose (MED) 1.0 mg/kg p.o.] or repeated (10 day) administration at brain and plasma concentrations in the low-nanomolar range. Spatial learning deficits in age-impaired rats were reversed after RG3487 administration (MED: 0.03 mg/kg i.p.) as evaluated in the Morris water maze task. In the prepulse inhibition (PPI) of startle model of sensorimotor gating, RG3487 improved apomorphine-induced deficits in PPI performance (MED: 0.03 mg/kg i.p.) and reversed phencyclidine-induced impairments in an attentional set-shifting model of executive function (MED: ?0.03 mg/kg i.p.). Cumulative evidence from these studies indicates RG3487 is a novel and potent ?7nAChR partial agonist that improves cognitive performance and sensorimotor gating. PMID:20959364

  8. 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

  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; Bdard Lacroix, Jacinthe; Achim, Amlie 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 Intgre 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. Training-Induced Improvement of Response Selection and Error Detection in Aging Assessed by Task Switching: Effects of Cognitive, Physical, and Relaxation Training

    PubMed Central

    Gajewski, Patrick D.; Falkenstein, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive control functions decline with increasing age. The present study examines if different types of group-based and trainer-guided training effectively enhance performance of older adults in a task switching task, and how this expected enhancement is reflected in changes of cognitive functions, as measured in electrophysiological brain activity (event-related potentials). One hundred forty-one healthy participants aged 65?years and older were randomly assigned to one of four groups: physical training (combined aerobic and strength training), cognitive training (paperpencil and computer-aided), relaxation and wellness (social control group), and a control group that did not receive any intervention. Training sessions took place twice a week for 90?min for a period of 4?months. The results showed a greater improvement of performance for attendants of the cognitive training group compared to the other groups. This improvement was evident in a reduction of mixing costs in accuracy and intraindividual variability of speed, indexing improved maintenance of multiple task sets in working memory, and an enhanced coherence of neuronal processing. These findings were supported by event-related brain potentials which showed higher amplitudes in a number of potentials associated with response selection (N2), allocation of cognitive resources (P3b), and error detection (Ne). Taken together, our findings suggest neurocognitive plasticity of aging brains which can be stimulated by broad and multilayered cognitive training and assessed in detail by electrophysiological methods. PMID:22593740

  12. Chronic fluoxetine treatment improves ischemia-induced spatial cognitive deficits through increasing hippocampal neurogenesis after stroke.

    PubMed

    Li, Wen-Lei; Cai, Hui-Hui; Wang, Bin; Chen, Ling; Zhou, Qi-Gang; Luo, Chun-Xia; Liu, Na; Ding, Xin-Sheng; Zhu, Dong-Ya

    2009-01-01

    Cognitive deficits, including spatial memory impairment, are very common after ischemic stroke. Neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) contributes to forming spatial memory in the ischemic brain. Fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, can enhance neurogenesis in the hippocampus in physiological situations and some neurological diseases. However, whether it has effects on ischemia-induced spatial cognitive impairment and hippocampal neurogenesis has not been determined. Here we report that fluoxetine treatment (10 mg kg(-1), i.p.) for 4 weeks promoted the survival of newborn cells in the ischemic hippocampus and, consequently, attenuated spatial memory impairment of mice after focal cerebral ischemia. Disrupting hippocampal neurogenesis blocked the beneficial effect of fluoxetine on ischemia-induced spatial cognitive impairment. These results suggest that chronic fluoxetine treatment benefits spatial cognitive function recovery following ischemic insult, and the improved cognitive function is associated with enhanced newborn cell survival in the hippocampus. Our results raise the possibility that fluoxetine can be used as a drug to treat poststroke spatial cognitive deficits. PMID:18711744

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Subjective cognitive complaints and neuropsychological test performance following military-related traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    French, Louis M; Lange, Rael T; Brickell, Tracey

    2014-01-01

    This study examined the relation between neuropsychological test performance and self-reported cognitive complaints following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Participants were 109 servicemembers from the U.S. military who completed a neuropsychological evaluation within the first 2 yr following mild-severe TBI. Measures included the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL-C), Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory (NSI), and 17 select measures from a larger neurocognitive test battery that corresponded to three self-reported cognitive complaints from the NSI (i.e., memory, attention/concentration, and processing speed/organization). Self-reported cognitive complaints were significantly correlated with psychological distress (PCL-C total: r = 0.50-0.58; half the PAI clinical scales: r = 0.40-0.58). In contrast, self-reported cognitive complaints were not significantly correlated with overall neurocognitive functioning (with the exception of five measures). There was a low rate of agreement between neurocognitive test scores and self-reported cognitive complaints. For the large minority of the sample (38.5%-45.9%), self-reported cognitive complaints were reported in the presence of neurocognitive test scores that fell within normal limits. In sum, self-reported cognitive complaints were not associated with neurocognitive test performance, but rather were associated with psychological distress. These results provide information to contextualize cognitive complaints following TBI. PMID:25479042

  16. People with Parkinson Disease and Normal MMSE Score Have a Broad Range of Cognitive Performance

    PubMed Central

    Burdick, DJ; Cholerton, B; Watson, GS; Siderowf, A; Trojanowski, JQ; Weintraub, D; Ritz, B; Rhodes, SL; Rausch, R; Factor, SA; Wood-Siverio, C; Quinn, JF; Chung, KA; Srivatsal, S; Edwards, KL; Montine, TJ; Zabetian, CP; Leverenz, JB

    2014-01-01

    Background Cognitive impairment, including dementia, is common in Parkinson disease (PD). The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) has been recommended as a screening tool for PDD, with values below 26 indicative of possible dementia. Using a detailed neuropsychological battery, we examined the range of cognitive impairment in PD patients with a MMSE score ? 26. Methods In this multi-center, cross-sectional, observational study, we performed neuropsychological testing in a sample of 788 PD patients with MMSE ? 26. Evaluation included tests of global cognition, executive function, language, memory, and visuospatial skills. A consensus panel reviewed results for 342 subjects and assigned a diagnosis of no cognitive impairment, mild cognitive impairment, or dementia. Results 67% of the 788 subjects performed 1.5 standard deviations below the normative mean on at least one test. On eight of the 15 tests, more than 20% of subjects scored 1.5 standard deviations or more below the normative mean. Greatest impairments were found on Hopkins Verbal Learning and Digit Symbol Coding tests. The sensitivity of the MMSE to detect dementia was 45% in a subset of participants who underwent clinical diagnostic procedures. Conclusions A remarkably wide range of cognitive impairment can be found in PD patients with a relatively high score on the MMSE, including a level of cognitive impairment consistent with dementia. Given these findings, clinicians must be aware of the limitations of the MMSE in detecting cognitive impairment, including dementia, in PD. PMID:25073717

  17. Cognitive Performance in Rhesus Monkeys Varies by Sex and Prenatal Androgen Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Herman, Rebecca A.; Wallen, Kim

    2007-01-01

    Men and women differ on performance and strategy on several spatial tasks. Rodents display similar sex differences, and manipulations of early hormone exposure alter the direction of these differences. However, most cognitive testing of nonhuman primates has utilized sample sizes too small to investigate sexually-differentiated behaviors. This study presents an investigation of sex differences and the effects of prenatal androgen on spatial memory and strategy use in rhesus monkeys. Monkeys prenatally exposed to vehicle, testosterone, or the androgen receptor blocker flutamide performed a search task in which 5 of 12 goal boxes contained food rewards. Spatial consistency and the presence of local landmarks were varied. Performance when both spatial and marker cues were available did not differ by sex or prenatal treatment. Contrary to predictions, females easily solved the task when local markers were removed, and their performance outscored males. Although eliminating spatial consistency and requiring subjects to use local markers impaired performance by all monkeys, females continued to locate correct goal boxes at higher than chance levels and scored better than males. Blocking prenatal androgen exposure in males improved use of local markers. These findings suggest that the tendency to attend to landmarks and to use them in solving spatial problems is typical of females across many species, including rodents, humans, and rhesus monkeys. In rhesus monkeys and rodents, developmental androgen eliminates this specialization. However, these results are the only known example of better performance of females than males when salient markers are removed. PMID:17335823

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Histone deacetylase inhibitor, trichostatin A, improves learning and memory in high-fat diet-induced cognitive deficits in mice.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Sorabh; Taliyan, Rajeev; Ramagiri, Shruti

    2015-05-01

    Metabolic syndrome is increasingly recognized for its effects on cognitive health. Recent studies have highlighted the role of histone deacetylases (HDACs) in metabolic syndrome and cognitive functions. The present study was designed to investigate the possible therapeutic role of a HDAC inhibitor, trichostatin A (TSA), in cognitive impairment associated with metabolic syndrome. To ascertain the mechanisms involved, we fed mice with high-fat diet (HFD) for 4 weeks and examined changes in behavioral and biochemical/oxidative stress markers. Mice subjected to HFD exhibited characteristic features of metabolic disorder, viz., hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hypercholesterolemia, and lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. Moreover, these mice showed severe deficits in learning and memory as assessed by the Morris water maze and passive avoidance tasks along with elevated oxidative stress and inflammatory markers in brain homogenates. The observed changes occurred concurrently with reduced brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). In contrast, the mice treated with the HDAC inhibitor, TSA (0.5 and 1 mg/kg, i.p.), showed a significant and dose-dependent reduction in serum glucose, triglycerides, and total cholesterol along with improvement in HDL-cholesterol levels and learning and memory performance. TSA treatment also results in alleviation of oxidative stress and neuroinflammatory markers. Moreover, TSA significantly augmented the BDNF levels in HFD-fed mice. Thus, based upon these observations, it may be suggested that HDAC inhibition could be a novel therapeutic strategy to combat cognitive impairment associated with metabolic syndrome. PMID:25391764

  1. Carbohydrate supplementation improves stroke performance in tennis.

    PubMed

    Vergauwen, L; Brouns, F; Hespel, P

    1998-08-01

    The effect of carbohydrate supplementation on stroke quality during prolonged simulated tennis match-play was investigated. Well-trained tennis palyers reported to the test center three times. At each occasion they performed a pretest, consisting of the leuven Tennis Performance Test (LTPT) and a shuttle run (SHR), which they repeated (posttest) after a 2-h strenuous training session. Throughout the test session, they received in a double blind random order either a placebo drink (P), a carbohydrate solution (0.7 gxkg(-1) BWxh(-1); CHO), or CHO plus a dose of caffeine (5 mg per kg BW). Stroke quality was evaluated during the LTPT by means of measurements of error rate, ball velocity, precision of ball placement, and a velocity-precision (VP) and a velocity-precision-error (VPE) index. Pretest scores were similar during P and CHO. During P, compared with the pretest, stroke quality during the posttest deteriorated (P < 0.05) both for the first service and strokes during defensive rallies and for SHR performance. However, compared with P, the increase in error rate and number of nonreached balls indefensive rallies was smaller (P < 0.05) during CHO. Similarily, CHO attenuated (P < 0.05) the increase in error rate and the decrease in both the VP (P < 0.1) and VPE (P < 0.05) indices for the first service upon fatigue. Furthermore, CHO improved posttest SHR performance. Stroke quality and SHR time were similar during CHO alone and during combined CHO plus caffeine administration, both for the pretest and for the pretest and for the posttest. It is concluded that CHO supplementation improves stroke quality during the final stages of prolonged tennis play. The data prove that CHO intake may facilitate the maintenance of physical quality during long-lasting intermittent exercise to fatigue. PMID:9710871

  2. 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

  3. The Associations between Regional Gray Matter Structural Changes and Changes of Cognitive Performance in Control Groups of Intervention Studies.

    PubMed

    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

  4. Combined Fluency and Cognitive Strategies Instruction Improves Mathematics Achievement in Early Elementary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr, Martha; Taasoobshirazi, Gita; Stroud, Rena; Royer, James M.

    2011-01-01

    One hundred and seventy-eight second grade students from two states (Georgia and Massachusetts) participated in an experiment in which they were randomly assigned to either (1) a computer program designed to increase fluency in addition and subtraction, (2) a program designed to improve cognitive strategy use for addition and subtraction, (3) a

  5. Assessing Cognitive Load Theory to Improve Student Learning for Mechanical Engineers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Impelluso, Thomas J.

    2009-01-01

    A computer programming class for students of mechanical engineering was redesigned and assessed: Cognitive Load Theory was used to redesign the content; online technologies were used to redesign the delivery. Student learning improved and the dropout rate was reduced. This article reports on both attitudinal and objective assessment: comparing…

  6. Assessing Cognitive Load Theory to Improve Student Learning for Mechanical Engineers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Impelluso, Thomas J.

    2009-01-01

    A computer programming class for students of mechanical engineering was redesigned and assessed: Cognitive Load Theory was used to redesign the content; online technologies were used to redesign the delivery. Student learning improved and the dropout rate was reduced. This article reports on both attitudinal and objective assessment: comparing

  7. Integrating Cognitive Science and Technology Improves Learning in a STEM Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Andrew C.; Marsh, Elizabeth J.; Slavinsky, J. P.; Baraniuk, Richard G.

    2014-01-01

    The most effective educational interventions often face significant barriers to widespread implementation because they are highly specific, resource intense, and/or comprehensive. We argue for an alternative approach to improving education: leveraging technology and cognitive science to develop interventions that generalize, scale, and can be

  8. Semantic fluency: cognitive basis and diagnostic performance in focal dementias and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Reverberi, Carlo; Cherubini, Paolo; Baldinelli, Sara; Luzzi, Simona

    2014-05-01

    Semantic fluency is widely used both as a clinical test and as a basic tool for understanding how humans extract information from the semantic store. Recently, major efforts have been made to devise fine-grained scoring procedures to measure the multiple cognitive processes underlying fluency performance. Nevertheless, it is still unclear how many and which independent components are necessary to thoroughly describe performance on the fluency task. Furthermore, whether a combination of multiple indices can improve the diagnostic performance of the test should be assessed. In this study, we extracted multiple indices of performance on the semantic fluency test from a large sample of healthy controls (n = 307) and patients (n = 145) suffering from three types of focal dementia or Alzheimer's Disease (AD). We found that five independent components underlie semantic fluency performance. We argue that these components functionally map onto the generation and application of a search strategy (component 2), to the monitoring of the overall sequence to avoid repetitions (component 3) and out-of-category items (component 4), and to the full integrity of the semantic store (component 5). The integrated and effective work of all these components would relate to a "general effectiveness" component (component 1). Importantly, while all the focal dementia groups were equally impaired on general effectiveness measures, they showed differential patterns of failure in the other components. This finding suggests that the cognitive deficit that impairs fluency differs among the three focal dementia groups: a semantic store deficit in the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia (sv-PPA), a strategy deficit in the non-fluent variant of primary progressive aphasia (nfv-PPA), and an initiation deficit in the behavioural variant of fronto-temporal dementia (bv-FTD). Finally, we showed that the concurrent use of multiple fluency indices improves the diagnostic accuracy of semantic fluency both for focal dementias and for AD. More generally, our study suggests that a formal evaluation of fine-grained patterns of performance would improve the diagnostic accuracy of neuropsychological tests. PMID:24681692

  9. Declining Cognition and Falls: Role of Risky Performance of Everyday Mobility Activities

    PubMed Central

    Gleason, Carey E.; Gangnon, Ronald E.; Janczewski, Jodi; Shea, Terry; Mahoney, Jane E.

    2014-01-01

    Background Declining cognition is a risk factor for falls among older adults. The extent to which impaired judgment in performance of daily activities increases fall risk is unclear. Objective The aim of this study was to determine whether engagement in mobility activities in a risky manner explains the association between declining cognition and rate of falls. Design This study was a secondary analysis of baseline and prospective data from older adults enrolled in the intervention arm of a randomized clinical trial. Methods Two hundred forty-five community-dwelling older adults (79% female; mean age=79 years, SD=8.0) who were at risk for falls received physical, cognitive, and functional evaluations. Cognition was assessed with the Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire (SPMSQ). Using interview and in-home assessment data, physical therapists determined whether participants were at risk for falls when performing mobility-related activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental ADL (IADL). Falls were measured prospectively for 1 year using monthly falls diaries. Results Declining cognition was associated with increased number of mobility activities designated as risky (1.5% of mobility activities performed in a risky manner per SPMSQ point) and with increased rate of falls (rate ratio=1.16 for each unit change in SPMSQ score). Risky performance of mobility activities mediated the relationship between cognition and rate of falls. Limitations Risk assessment was based on the clinical judgment of experienced physical therapists. Cognition was measured with a relatively insensitive instrument, and only selected mobility activities were evaluated. Conclusions Engagement in mobility ADL and IADL tasks in a risky manner emerged as a link between declining cognition and increased number of falls, suggesting a mechanism through which the rate of falls may increase. Specifically, declining cognition is associated with performance of mobility activities in an unsafe manner, thereby increasing the risk for falls. PMID:24231226

  10. 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

  11. Metabolic Agents that Enhance ATP can Improve Cognitive Functioning: A Review of the Evidence for Glucose, Oxygen, Pyruvate, Creatine, and L-Carnitine

    PubMed Central

    Owen, Lauren; Sunram-Lea, Sandra I.

    2011-01-01

    Over the past four or five decades, there has been increasing interest in the neurochemical regulation of cognition. This field received considerable attention in the 1980s, with the identification of possible cognition enhancing agents or smart drugs. Even though many of the optimistic claims for some agents have proven premature, evidence suggests that several metabolic agents may prove to be effective in improving and preserving cognitive performance and may lead to better cognitive aging through the lifespan. Aging is characterized by a progressive deterioration in physiological functions and metabolic processes. There are a number of agents with the potential to improve metabolic activity. Research is now beginning to identify these various agents and delineate their potential usefulness for improving cognition in health and disease. This review provides a brief overview of the metabolic agents glucose, oxygen, pyruvate, creatine, and L-carnitine and their beneficial effects on cognitive function. These agents are directly responsible for generating ATP (adenosine triphosphate) the main cellular currency of energy. The brain is the most metabolically active organ in the body and as such is particularly vulnerable to disruption of energy resources. Therefore interventions that sustain adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels may have importance for improving neuronal dysfunction and loss. Moreover, recently, it has been observed that environmental conditions and diet can affect transgenerational gene expression via epigenetic mechanisms. Metabolic agents might play a role in regulation of nutritional epigenetic effects. In summary, the reviewed metabolic agents represent a promising strategy for improving cognitive function and possibly slowing or preventing cognitive decline. PMID:22254121

  12. Effects of labeling on preschoolers' explicit false belief performance: outcomes of cognitive flexibility or inhibitory control?

    PubMed

    Low, Jason; Simpson, Samantha

    2012-01-01

    Executive function mechanisms underpinning language-related effects on theory of mind understanding were examined in a sample of 165 preschoolers. Verbal labels were manipulated to identify relevant perspectives on an explicit false belief task. In Experiment 1 with 4-year-olds (N = 74), false belief reasoning was superior in the fully and protagonist-perspective labeled conditions compared to the child-perspective and nondescript labeling conditions. In Experiment 2 with 3-year-olds (N = 53), labeling the nondominant belief only biased attentional inertia. In Experiment 3 testing generalization in 4-year-olds (N = 38), labeling manipulations translated to improved performance on a second label-free explicit false belief task. These outcomes fit a cognitive flexibility account whereby age changes in the effects of labeling turn on formulating sophisticated conceptual representations. PMID:22364371

  13. 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 (? = -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, ? = -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

  14. 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

  15. Effects of environmental enrichment on cognitive performance of pigs in a spatial holeboard discrimination task.

    PubMed

    Grimberg-Henrici, Charlotte G E; Vermaak, Paul; Elizabeth Bolhuis, J; 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

  16. The effects of ginseng, ephedrine, and caffeine on cognitive performance, mood and energy.

    PubMed

    Lieberman, H R

    2001-04-01

    A variety of claims regarding the purported energy-enhancing properties of nutritional supplements and food constituents have recently been made. It appears that the supplements most frequently associated with such assertions are ginseng, ephedrine, and caffeine. Claims of increased energy are difficult to evaluate objectively because their meaning is not usually defined or specified. Often it is not clear whether the claims refer to physical or mental energy or both. Furthermore, an agreed upon scientific definition of either physical or mental energy enhancement does not exist. In spite of obvious differences in what the term physical energy, as opposed to mental energy implies, there is no clear scientific consensus on whether there is a difference between the two types of energy. Because the substances in question have been anecdotally associated with improvements in both physical and mental performance, their effects on both functions will be discussed, but with an emphasis placed on cognitive function and mood. Of the three substances discussed, caffeine's effects on cognitive and physical function, mood, and energy are best understood. It is clear that this food/drug enhances these functions when administered in moderate doses. Ephedrine may also enhance certain physical and mental functions related to "energy," but the evidence that ginseng has such properties is exceedingly weak. PMID:11368507

  17. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions to improve cognitive dysfunction and functional ability in clinical depression--a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Baune, Bernhard T; Renger, Lisa

    2014-09-30

    Cognitive dysfunction is of clinical significance and exerts longstanding implication on patients? function. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments of cognitive dysfunction are emerging. This review evaluates pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments of cognitive impairment primarily in the domains of memory, attention, processing speed and executive function in clinical depression. A total of 35 studies were retrieved from Pubmed, PsycInfo and Scopus after applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results show that various classes of antidepressants exert improving effects on cognitive function across several cognitive domains. Specifically, studies suggest that SSRIs, the SSRE tianeptine, the SNRI duloxetine, vortioxetine and other antidepressants such as bupropion and moclobemide may exert certain improving effects on cognitive function in depression, such as in learning and memory and executive function. Class-specific cognitive domains or specific dose-response relationships were not identified yet. The few non-pharmacological studies conducted employing cognitive orientated treatments and cognitive remediation therapy show promising results for the improvement of cognitive impairment in depression. However, several methodological constraints of studies limit generalizability of the results and caution the interpretation. Future direction should consider the development of a neuropsychological consensus cognitive battery to support the discovery, clinical assessment, comparison of studies and registration of new agents in clinical depression. PMID:24863864

  18. Reliability and validity of the NeuroCognitive Performance Test, a web-based neuropsychological assessment

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Glenn E.; Simone, Christa M.; Ng, Nicole F.; Hardy, Joseph L.

    2015-01-01

    The NeuroCognitive Performance Test (NCPT) is a brief, repeatable, web-based cognitive assessment platform that measures performance across several cognitive domains. The NCPT platform is modular and includes 18 subtests that can be arranged into customized batteries. Here we present normative data from a sample of 130,140 healthy volunteers for an NCPT battery consisting of 8 subtests. Participants took the NCPT remotely and without supervision. Factor structure and effects of age, education, and gender were evaluated with this normative dataset. Test-retest reliability was evaluated in a subset of participants who took the battery again an average of 78.8 days later. The eight NCPT subtests group into 4 putative cognitive domains, have adequate to good test-retest reliability, and are sensitive to expected age- and education-related cognitive effects. Concurrent validity to standard neuropsychological tests was demonstrated in 73 healthy volunteers. In an exploratory analysis the NCPT battery could differentiate those who self-reported Mild Cognitive Impairment or Alzheimer's disease from matched healthy controls. Overall these results demonstrate the reliability and validity of the NCPT battery as a measure of cognitive performance and support the feasibility of web-based, unsupervised testing, with potential utility in clinical and research settings. PMID:26579035

  19. Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Motor Skills in Relation to Cognition and Academic Performance in Children A Review

    PubMed Central

    Haapala, Eero A.

    2013-01-01

    Different elements of physical fitness in children have shown a declining trend during the past few decades. Cardiorespiratory fitness and motor skills have been associated with cognition, but the magnitude of this association remains unknown. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the relationship of cardiorespiratory fitness and motor skills with cognitive functions and academic performance in children up to 13 years of age. Cross-sectional studies suggest that children with higher cardiorespiratory fitness have more efficient cognitive processing at the neuroelectric level, as well as larger hippocampal and basal ganglia volumes, compared to children with lower cardiorespiratory fitness. Higher cardiorespiratory fitness has been associated with better inhibitory control in tasks requiring rigorous attention allocation. Better motor skills have been related to more efficient cognitive functions including inhibitory control and working memory. Higher cardiorespiratory fitness and better motor skills have also been associated with better academic performance. Furthermore, none of the studies on cardiorespiratory fitness have revealed independent associations with cognitive functions by controlling for motor skills. Studies concerning the relationship between motor skills and cognitive functions also did not consider cardiorespiratory fitness in the analyses. The results of this review suggest that high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness and motor skills may be beneficial for cognitive development and academic performance but the evidence relies mainly on cross-sectional studies. PMID:23717355

  20. Gait Velocity Is an Indicator of Cognitive Performance in Healthy Middle-Aged Adults

    PubMed Central

    Jabourian, Artin; Lancrenon, Sylvie; Delva, Catherine; Perreve-Genet, Alain; Lablanchy, Jean-Pierre; Jabourian, Maritza

    2014-01-01

    Psychomotor retardation, especially motor and cognitive slowing down, has been described many times in the elderly but to our knowledge, has never been examined in healthy middle-aged adults. The present study explores whether walking time may provide an early signal of cognitive performance, using 266 healthy adults ([18–65] years old, mean age: 45.7±12.9 years) who were also subdivided in 2 groups: under or over 50. Walking time (50 meters) and cognitive performances (mini-mental state examination, Benton Visual Retention Test and Rey Complex Figure) were assessed; total psychometric score was the sum of individual test scores. Analyses were controlled for age, gender, education level, height and weight. The mean psychometric scores were within the normal range. A substantial proportion of subjects exhibited low performance in some aspects of visuospatial memory, particularly in the older subset. In the total population, walking time was negatively correlated with all cognitive tests, particularly to total psychometric score (R = −0.817, p<0.0001); the unique contribution of walking time on all cognitive scores was very high (delta R-squared = 0.496). In the older subset, performances on walk and cognition were lower than in the younger subset. Total psychometric score showed the strongest correlation with walking time in the older subset (R = −0.867; p<0.001). In all subsets, walking time was the main explanatory variable of the total psychometric score (delta R-squared: ≤ 49 = 0.361; ≥50 = 0.613). These findings indicate that i) a significant proportion of adults without cognitive complaints exhibit low cognitive performance including visuospatial memory and longer walking time, ii) cognitive functioning is strongly correlated to walking time in healthy middle-aged adults, iii) gait velocity (GV) could be an indicator of cognitive performance in some important cognitive domains. These results warrant further investigation because such data may represent a marker for the detection of middle-aged adults who are at risk for further cognitive decline. PMID:25089518

  1. 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 risks to acceptable levels. The PIMM provides a profile to track risk reduction as RD&D proceeds. Cost performance evaluations provide a measurement of the expected costs of outcomes relative to their actual costs.

  2. Acute effects of dietary constituents on motor skill and cognitive performance in athletes.

    PubMed

    Baker, Lindsay B; Nuccio, Ryan P; Jeukendrup, Asker E

    2014-12-01

    Performance in many sports is at least partially dependent on motor control, coordination, decision-making, and other cognitive tasks. This review summarizes available evidence about the ingestion of selected nutrients or isolated compounds (dietary constituents) and potential acute effects on motor skill and/or cognitive performance in athletes. Dietary constituents discussed include branched-chain amino acids, caffeine, carbohydrate, cocoa flavanols, Gingko biloba, ginseng, guarana, Rhodiola rosea, sage, L-theanine, theobromine, and tyrosine. Although this is not an exhaustive list, these are perhaps the most researched dietary constituents. Caffeine and carbohydrate have the greatest number of published reports supporting their ability to enhance acute motor skill and cognitive performance in athletes. At this time, there is insufficient published evidence to substantiate the use of any other dietary constituents to benefit sports-related motor skill or cognitive performance. The optimal dose and timing of caffeine and carbohydrate intake promoting enhanced motor skill and cognitive performance remain to be identified. Valid, reliable, and sensitive batteries of motor skills and cognitive tests should be developed for use in future efficacy studies. PMID:25400063

  3. Sleep and athletic performance: the effects of sleep loss on exercise performance, and physiological and cognitive responses to exercise.

    PubMed

    Fullagar, Hugh H K; Skorski, Sabrina; Duffield, Rob; Hammes, Daniel; Coutts, Aaron J; Meyer, Tim

    2015-02-01

    Although its true function remains unclear, sleep is considered critical to human physiological and cognitive function. Equally, since sleep loss is a common occurrence prior to competition in athletes, this could significantly impact upon their athletic performance. Much of the previous research has reported that exercise performance is negatively affected following sleep loss; however, conflicting findings mean that the extent, influence, and mechanisms of sleep loss affecting exercise performance remain uncertain. For instance, research indicates some maximal physical efforts and gross motor performances can be maintained. In comparison, the few published studies investigating the effect of sleep loss on performance in athletes report a reduction in sport-specific performance. The effects of sleep loss on physiological responses to exercise also remain equivocal; however, it appears a reduction in sleep quality and quantity could result in an autonomic nervous system imbalance, simulating symptoms of the overtraining syndrome. Additionally, increases in pro-inflammatory cytokines following sleep loss could promote immune system dysfunction. Of further concern, numerous studies investigating the effects of sleep loss on cognitive function report slower and less accurate cognitive performance. Based on this context, this review aims to evaluate the importance and prevalence of sleep in athletes and summarises the effects of sleep loss (restriction and deprivation) on exercise performance, and physiological and cognitive responses to exercise. Given the equivocal understanding of sleep and athletic performance outcomes, further research and consideration is required to obtain a greater knowledge of the interaction between sleep and performance. PMID:25315456

  4. Seven practical principles for improving patient education: Evidence-based ideas from cognition science

    PubMed Central

    Pusic, Martin V; Ching, Kevin; Yin, Hsiang Shonna; Kessler, David

    2014-01-01

    An important role of the paediatrician is that of a teacher – every clinician is an educator to patients and their families. This education, however, often occurs under difficult or time-pressured learning conditions. The authors present principles derived from three basic theories of human cognition that may help to guide clinicians’ instruction of parents and patients. Cognitive load theory holds that an individual’s capacity to process information is finite. By controlling information flow rate, decreasing reliance on working memory and removing extraneous cognitive load, learning is improved. Dual code theory suggests that humans have separate cognitive ‘channels’ for text/audio information versus visual information. By constructing educational messages that take advantage of both channels simultaneously, information uptake may be improved. Multimedia theory is based on the notion that there is an optimal blend of media to accomplish a given learning objective. The authors suggest seven practical strategies that clinicians may use to improve patient education. PMID:24665218

  5. Physical and Cognitive Performance of Patients with Acute Lung Injury 1 Year after Initial Trophic versus Full Enteral Feeding. EDEN Trial Follow-up

    PubMed Central

    Dinglas, Victor D.; Morris, Peter E.; Jackson, James C.; Hough, Catherine L.; Mendez-Tellez, Pedro A.; Wozniak, Amy W.; Colantuoni, Elizabeth; Ely, E. Wesley; Rice, Todd W.; Hopkins, Ramona O.

    2013-01-01

    Rationale: We hypothesized that providing patients with acute lung injury two different protein/calorie nutritional strategies in the intensive care unit may affect longer-term physical and cognitive performance. Objectives: To assess physical and cognitive performance 6 and 12 months after acute lung injury, and to evaluate the effect of trophic versus full enteral feeding, provided for the first 6 days of mechanical ventilation, on 6-minute-walk distance, cognitive impairment, and secondary outcomes. Methods: A prospective, longitudinal ancillary study of the ARDS Network EDEN trial evaluating 174 consecutive survivors from 5 of 12 centers. Blinded assessments of patients arm anthropometrics, strength, pulmonary function, 6-minute-walk distance, and cognitive status (executive function, language, memory, verbal reasoning/concept formation, and attention) were performed. Measurements and Main Results: At 6 and 12 months, respectively, the mean (SD) percent predicted for 6-minute-walk distance was 64% (22%) and 66% (25%) (P = 0.011 for difference between assessments), and 36 and 25% of survivors had cognitive impairment (P = 0.001). Patients performed below predicted values for secondary physical tests with small improvement from 6 to 12 months. There was no significant effect of initial trophic versus full feeding for the first 6 days after randomization on survivors percent predicted for 6-minute-walk distance, cognitive impairment status, and all secondary outcomes. Conclusions: EDEN trial survivors performed below predicted values for physical and cognitive performance at 6 and 12 months, with some improvement over time. Initial trophic versus full enteral feeding for the first 6 days after randomization did not affect physical and cognitive performance. PMID:23805899

  6. Caffeine: Cognitive and Physical Performance Enhancer or Psychoactive Drug?

    PubMed Central

    Cappelletti, Simone; Daria, Piacentino; Sani, Gabriele; Aromatario, Mariarosaria

    2015-01-01

    Caffeine use is increasing worldwide. The underlying motivations are mainly concentration and memory enhancement and physical performance improvement. Coffee and caffeine-containing products affect the cardiovascular system, with their positive inotropic and chronotropic effects, and the central nervous system, with their locomotor activity stimulation and anxiogenic-like effects. Thus, it is of interest to examine whether these effects could be detrimental for health. Furthermore, caffeine abuse and dependence are becoming more and more common and can lead to caffeine intoxication, which puts individuals at risk for premature and unnatural death. The present review summarizes the main findings concerning caffeine’s mechanisms of action (focusing on adenosine antagonism, intracellular calcium mobilization, and phosphodiesterases inhibition), use, abuse, dependence, intoxication, and lethal effects. It also suggests that the concepts of toxic and lethal doses are relative, since doses below the toxic and/or lethal range may play a causal role in intoxication or death. This could be due to caffeine’s interaction with other substances or to the individuals' preexisting metabolism alterations or diseases. PMID:26074744

  7. Caffeine: cognitive and physical performance enhancer or psychoactive drug?

    PubMed

    Cappelletti, Simone; Piacentino, Daria; Daria, Piacentino; Sani, Gabriele; Aromatario, Mariarosaria

    2015-01-01

    Caffeine use is increasing worldwide. The underlying motivations are mainly concentration and memory enhancement and physical performance improvement. Coffee and caffeine-containing products affect the cardiovascular system, with their positive inotropic and chronotropic effects, and the central nervous system, with their locomotor activity stimulation and anxiogenic-like effects. Thus, it is of interest to examine whether these effects could be detrimental for health. Furthermore, caffeine abuse and dependence are becoming more and more common and can lead to caffeine intoxication, which puts individuals at risk for premature and unnatural death. The present review summarizes the main findings concerning caffeine's mechanisms of action (focusing on adenosine antagonism, intracellular calcium mobilization, and phosphodiesterases inhibition), use, abuse, dependence, intoxication, and lethal effects. It also suggests that the concepts of toxic and lethal doses are relative, since doses below the toxic and/or lethal range may play a causal role in intoxication or death. This could be due to caffeine's interaction with other substances or to the individuals' preexisting metabolism alterations or diseases. PMID:26074744

  8. NMDA Receptor Function During Senescence: Implication on Cognitive Performance

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Ashok

    2015-01-01

    N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, a family of L-glutamate receptors, play an important role in learning and memory, and are critical for spatial memory. These receptors are tetrameric ion channels composed of a family of related subunits. One of the hallmarks of the aging human population is a decline in cognitive function; studies in the past couple of years have demonstrated deterioration in NMDA receptor subunit expression and function with advancing age. However, a direct relationship between impaired memory function and a decline in NMDA receptors is still ambiguous. Recent studies indicate a link between an age-associated NMDA receptor hypofunction and memory impairment and provide evidence that age-associated enhanced oxidative stress might be contributing to the alterations associated with senescence. However, clear evidence is still deficient in demonstrating the underlying mechanisms and a relationship between age-associated impaired cognitive faculties and NMDA receptor hypofunction. The current review intends to present an overview of the research findings regarding changes in expression of various NMDA receptor subunits and deficits in NMDA receptor function during senescence and its implication in age-associated impaired hippocampal-dependent memory function. PMID:26732087

  9. B vitamins and cognitive performance in older adults: review.

    PubMed

    Reay, J L; Smith, M A; Riby, L M

    2013-01-01

    A copious amount of scientific scrutiny has been dedicated to documenting typical and atypical human ageing, with a substantial body of work focusing upon the impact of lifestyle choices. One such lifestyle choice is that of diet and, in particular, micronutrient ingestion. Epidemiological studies have reported positive associations between B vitamin status and cognitive function, including negative associations between biological markers (i.e., homocysteine) of dysregulated one-carbon metabolism and cognitive function. This has led to a surge of randomised control trials (RCTs) investigations into B vitamin therapy. However, results have continuingly failed to show beneficial behavioural effects. Despite this, results reliably show treatment-related increases in B vitamin level and decreases in homocysteine level-both of which have been identified as risk factors for atypical ageing. In this paper we argue that it would be premature to conclude that B vitamin therapy has no potential and that more research is needed to systematically investigate the optimal dose, the therapeutic "window," and individual differences in therapy responders and nonresponders. We start with a brief look at one-carbon metabolism and then consider the evidence from epidemiological studies and RCTs in relation to three specific B vitamins: folic acid (B9), pyridoxine (B6), and cobamides (B12). PMID:24959550

  10. Computerized cognitive training interventions to improve neuropsychological outcomes: evidence and future directions.

    PubMed

    Howren, M Bryant; Vander Weg, Mark W; Wolinsky, Fredric D

    2014-03-01

    Age-related cognitive decline is common and may affect memory, orientation, attention, abstract thinking and perception, which may lead to substantial difficulties and disabilities in everyday life. Much evidence suggests that computerized cognitive training interventions may mitigate decline by improving neuropsychological outcomes in older adults, but there is clearly a need for large-scale, methodologically rigorous comparative effectiveness trials in the area. This article underscores that need and reviews eight trials that met a set of predetermined criteria before highlighting two novel and complementary analytic methods - big data analytics and network meta-analysis - that may be used to facilitate decisions regarding which cognitive training programs should serve as candidate interventions for large comparative effectiveness trials. PMID:24645688

  11. The Use of Bayesian Latent Class Cluster Models to Classify Patterns of Cognitive Performance in Healthy Ageing

    PubMed Central

    Cunha, Pedro; Palha, Joana Almeida; Sousa, Nuno

    2013-01-01

    The main focus of this study is to illustrate the applicability of latent class analysis in the assessment of cognitive performance profiles during ageing. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to detect main cognitive dimensions (based on the neurocognitive test variables) and Bayesian latent class analysis (LCA) models (without constraints) were used to explore patterns of cognitive performance among community-dwelling older individuals. Gender, age and number of school years were explored as variables. Three cognitive dimensions were identified: general cognition (MMSE), memory (MEM) and executive (EXEC) function. Based on these, three latent classes of cognitive performance profiles (LC1 to LC3) were identified among the older adults. These classes corresponded to stronger to weaker performance patterns (LC1>LC2>LC3) across all dimensions; each latent class denoted the same hierarchy in the proportion of males, age and number of school years. Bayesian LCA provided a powerful tool to explore cognitive typologies among healthy cognitive agers. PMID:23977183

  12. MEMS Actuators for Improved Performance and Durability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yearsley, James M.

    Micro-ElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) devices take advantage of force-scaling at length scales smaller than a millimeter to sense and interact with directly with phenomena and targets at the microscale. MEMS sensors found in everyday devices like cell-phones and cars include accelerometers, gyros, pressure sensors, and magnetic sensors. MEMS actuators generally serve more application specific roles including micro- and nano-tweezers used for single cell manipulation, optical switching and alignment components, and micro combustion engines for high energy density power generation. MEMS rotary motors are actuators that translate an electric drive signal into rotational motion and can serve as rate calibration inputs for gyros, stages for optical components, mixing devices for micro-fluidics, etc. Existing rotary micromotors suffer from friction and wear issues that affect lifetime and performance. Attempts to alleviate friction effects include surface treatment, magnetic and electrostatic levitation, pressurized gas bearings, and micro-ball bearings. The present work demonstrates a droplet based liquid bearing supporting a rotary micromotor that improves the operating characteristics of MEMS rotary motors. The liquid bearing provides wear-free, low-friction, passive alignment between the rotor and stator. Droplets are positioned relative to the rotor and stator through patterned superhydrophobic and hydrophilic surface coatings. The liquid bearing consists of a central droplet that acts as the motor shaft, providing axial alignment between rotor and stator, and satellite droplets, analogous to ball-bearings, that provide tip and tilt stable operation. The liquid bearing friction performance is characterized through measurement of the rotational drag coefficient and minimum starting torque due to stiction and geometric effects. Bearing operational performance is further characterized by modeling and measuring stiffness, environmental survivability, and high-speed alignment capability. The superhydrophobic coatings developed for droplet containment are also discussed and measurements of contact angle are shown to affect device performance through correlation to models of bearing friction and stiffness.

  13. Relationship of cognitive strategy use to prospective memory performance in a diverse sample of nondemented older adults with varying degrees of cognitive complaints and impairment.

    PubMed

    Aronov, Avner; Rabin, Laura A; Fogel, Joshua; Chi, Susan Y; Kann, Sarah J; Abdelhak, Nachama; Zimmerman, Molly E

    2015-01-01

    Although older adults typically have better performance on prospective memory (PM) tasks carried out in naturalistic settings, a paucity of research directly assesses older adults' use of compensatory strategies on such tasks. The current study investigates external memory strategy use during performance of a clinical PM test that features both short-term (in laboratory) and long-term (out of laboratory) subtasks (i.e., the Royal Prince Alfred Prospective Memory Test - RPA-ProMem. Nondemented, community-dwelling older adults (n = 214; mean age = 80.5; 68.2% female; 39.7% non-white) with mild cognitive impairment, subjective cognitive decline, and healthy controls completed the RPA-ProMem while external strategy use was permitted and recorded. Overall, participants utilized external strategies 41% of the time on the RPA-ProMem. Increased utilization of external memory strategies was significantly associated with better PM performance. Additionally, better performance on executive functioning tasks was associated with increased use of external memory strategies. Results are discussed in relation to how memory strategy use can be enhanced to improve everyday memory ability in older adults at risk for dementia. PMID:25471537

  14. Reduced maintenance costs via improved intake performance

    SciTech Connect

    Netzel, C.E.; Carr, R.G.

    1995-10-01

    Power Plants across the country have experienced Operation and Maintenance (O and M) costs due to sediment accumulation at intake structures and in plant equipment. This paper will outline solution steps which can reduce such O and M costs, and describe two case studies where O and M costs have been significantly reduced by installing a Sedimentation Management System. These case studies demonstrate that total solution implementation cost is recovered within 2--3 years, and subsequent annual O and M cost savings range from $160,000 to $260,000. The solution approach is passive and uses the energy from the river as the driving force. This methodology is cost-effective, is considered environmentally superior by groups such as the Army Corps of Engineers, and improves the performance of plant systems which use intake water.

  15. PERFORMANCE OF A COMPUTER-BASED ASSESSMENT OF COGNITIVE FUNCTION MEASURES IN TWO COHORTS OF SENIORS

    PubMed Central

    Espeland, Mark A.; Katula, Jeffrey A.; Rushing, Julia; Kramer, Arthur F.; Jennings, Janine M.; Sink, Kaycee M.; Nadkarni, Neelesh K.; Reid, Kieran F.; Castro, Cynthia M.; Church, Timothy; Kerwin, Diana R.; Williamson, Jeff D.; Marottoli, Richard A.; Rushing, Scott; Marsiske, Michael; Rapp, Stephen R.

    2013-01-01

    Background Computer-administered assessment of cognitive function is being increasingly incorporated in clinical trials, however its performance in these settings has not been systematically evaluated. Design The Seniors Health and Activity Research Program (SHARP) pilot trial (N=73) developed a computer-based tool for assessing memory performance and executive functioning. The Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Seniors (LIFE) investigators incorporated this battery in a full scale multicenter clinical trial (N=1635). We describe relationships that test scores have with those from interviewer-administered cognitive function tests and risk factors for cognitive deficits and describe performance measures (completeness, intra-class correlations). Results Computer-based assessments of cognitive function had consistent relationships across the pilot and full scale trial cohorts with interviewer-administered assessments of cognitive function, age, and a measure of physical function. In the LIFE cohort, their external validity was further demonstrated by associations with other risk factors for cognitive dysfunction: education, hypertension, diabetes, and physical function. Acceptable levels of data completeness (>83%) were achieved on all computer-based measures, however rates of missing data were higher among older participants (odds ratio=1.06 for each additional year; p<0.001) and those who reported no current computer use (odds ratio=2.71; p<0.001). Intra-class correlations among clinics were at least as low (ICC≤0.013) as for interviewer measures (ICC≤0.023), reflecting good standardization. All cognitive measures loaded onto the first principal component (global cognitive function), which accounted for 40% of the overall variance. Conclusion Our results support the use of computer-based tools for assessing cognitive function in multicenter clinical trials of older individuals. PMID:23589390

  16. Effect of acute nitrate supplementation on neurovascular coupling and cognitive performance in hypoxia.

    PubMed

    Lefferts, Wesley K; Hughes, William E; White, Corey N; Brutsaert, Tom D; Heffernan, Kevin S

    2016-02-01

    The matching of oxygen supply to neural demand (i.e., neurovascular coupling (NVC)) is an important determinant of cognitive performance. The impact of hypoxia on NVC remains poorly characterized. NVC is partially modulated by nitric oxide (NO), which may initially decrease in hypoxia. This study investigated the effect of acute NO-donor (nitrate) supplementation on NVC and cognitive function in hypoxia. Twenty healthy men participated in this randomized, double-blind, crossover design study. Following normoxic cognitive/NVC testing, participants consumed either nitrate (NIT) or a NIT-depleted placebo (PLA). Participants then underwent 120 min of hypoxia (11.6% 0.1% O2) and all cognitive/NVC testing was repeated. NVC was assessed as change in middle cerebral artery (MCA) blood flow during a cognitive task (incongruent Stroop) using transcranial Doppler. Additional computerized cognitive testing was conducted separately to assess memory, executive function, attention, sensorimotor, and social cognition domains. Salivary nitrite significantly increased following supplementation in hypoxia for NIT (+2.6 1.0 arbitrary units (AU)) compared with PLA (+0.2 0.3 AU; p < 0.05). Memory performance (-6 13 correct) significantly decreased (p < 0.05) in hypoxia while all other cognitive domains were unchanged in hypoxia for both PLA and NIT conditions (p > 0.05). MCA flow increased during Stroop similarly in normoxia (PLA +5 6 cms(-1), NIT +7 7 cms(-1)) and hypoxia (PLA +5 9 cms(-1), NIT +6 7 cms(-1)) (p < 0.05) and this increase was not altered by PLA or NIT (p > 0.05). In conclusion, acute hypoxia resulted in significant reductions in memory concomitant with preservation of executive function, attention, and sensorimotor function. Hypoxia had no effect on NVC. Acute NIT supplementation had no effect on NVC or cognitive performance in hypoxia. PMID:26751937

  17. Neurocognitive monitors: toward the prevention of cognitive performance decrements and catastrophic failures in the operational environment.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Maria L; Russo, Michael B

    2007-05-01

    Network-centric doctrine and the proposed C41SR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) distributions to the individual warfighter require that the cognitive performance, judgment, and decision making of warfighters must be sustained and effectively managed in the forward operating environment, where various physiological and psychological stressors abound, in order to reduce human errors and catastrophic failures. The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) established the Cognitive Performance, Judgment, and Decision-Making Research Program (CPJDRP) in 2004 to direct research to this issue. A Neurophysiological Measures and Cognition Focus Team (NMFCT) was formed to work with augmented cognition investigators and to specifically address the development of neurophysiological measures as potential monitors of alertness-cognitive state in warfighters. The USAM-RMC approach complemented the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Augmented Cognition approach, which focused on the detection of workload-related impaired cognitive state, and subsequent modification of information flow through automation. In this preface, the premise for neurophysiological measures as neurocognitive monitors is explained using an example of a neurophysiological index: the oculomotor measure, saccadic velocity. The progress of the NMFCT on the development of a neurocognitive monitor is described, as well as the recommendations of a 2005 USAMRMC/Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC)-sponsored workshop. Awareness of neurocognitive monitoring is discussed, as are future endeavors related to operational testing and fieldability. Four papers are summarized in this Neurophysiological Monitoring and Augmented Cognition section involving technologies to enhance cognitive performance in the operational environment: one on dynamic cortical electroencephalography, two on oculometrics, and one on a spatial orientation enhancement system. PMID:17547315

  18. Soft Magnetic Materials for Improved Energy Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willard, Matthew

    2012-02-01

    A main focus of sustainable energy research has been development of renewable energy technologies (e.g. from wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, etc.) to decrease our dependence on non-renewable energy resources (e.g. fossil fuels). By focusing on renewable energy sources now, we hope to provide enough energy resources for future generations. In parallel with this focus, it is essential to develop technologies that improve the efficiency of energy production, distribution, and consumption, to get the most from these renewable resources. Soft magnetic materials play a central role in power generation, conditioning, and conversion technologies and therefore promoting improvements in the efficiency of these materials is essential for our future energy needs. The losses generated by the magnetic core materials by hysteretic, acoustic, and/or eddy currents have a great impact on efficiency. A survey of soft magnetic materials for energy applications will be discussed with a focus on improvement in performance using novel soft magnetic materials designed for these power applications. A group of premiere soft magnetic materials -- nanocrystalline soft magnetic alloys -- will be highlighted for their potential in addressing energy efficiency. These materials are made up of nanocrystalline magnetic transition metal-rich grains embedded within an intergranular amorphous matrix, obtained by partial devitrification of melt-spun amorphous ribbons. The nanoscale grain size results in a desirable combination of large saturation induction, low coercivity, and moderate resistivity unobtainable in conventional soft magnetic alloys. The random distribution of these fine grains causes a reduction in the net magnetocrystalline anisotropy, contributing to the excellent magnetic properties. Recently developed (Fe,Co,Ni)88Zr7B4Cu1 alloys will be discussed with a focus on the microstructure/magnetic property relationship and their effects on the energy efficiency of these materials for AC applications.

  19. Inhibition of Src Family Kinases Protects Hippocampal Neurons and Improves Cognitive Function after Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Sharp, Frank R.; Van, Ken C.; Ander, Bradley P.; Ghiasvand, Rahil; Zhan, Xinhua; Stamova, Boryana; Jickling, Glen C.; Lyeth, Bruce G.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often associated with intracerebral and intraventricular hemorrhage. Thrombin is a neurotoxin generated at bleeding sites fater TBI and can lead to cell death and subsequent cognitive dysfunction via activation of Src family kinases (SFKs). We hypothesize that inhibiting SFKs can protect hippocampal neurons and improve cognitive memory function after TBI. To test these hypotheses, we show that moderate lateral fluid percussion (LFP) TBI in adult rats produces bleeding into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in both lateral ventricles, which elevates oxyhemoglobin and thrombin levels in the CSF, activates the SFK family member Fyn, and increases Rho-kinase 1(ROCK1) expression. Systemic administration of the SFK inhibitor, PP2, immediately after moderate TBI blocks ROCK1 expression, protects hippocampal CA2/3 neurons, and improves spatial memory function. These data suggest the possibility that inhibiting SFKs after TBI might improve clinical outcomes. PMID:24428562

  20. Effect of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation on dual-task cognitive and motor performance in isolated dystonia

    PubMed Central

    Mills, Kelly A; Markun, Leslie C; Luciano, Marta San; Rizk, Rami; Allen, I Elaine; Racine, Caroline A; Starr, Philip A; Alberts, Jay L; Ostrem, Jill L

    2015-01-01

    Objective Subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS) can improve motor complications of Parkinson's disease (PD) but may worsen specific cognitive functions. The effect of STN DBS on cognitive function in dystonia patients is less clear. Previous reports indicate that bilateral STN stimulation in patients with PD amplifies the decrement in cognitive-motor dual-task performance seen when moving from a single-task to dual-task paradigm. We aimed to determine if the effect of bilateral STN DBS on dual-task performance in isolated patients with dystonia, who have less cognitive impairment and no dementia, is similar to that seen in PD. Methods Eight isolated predominantly cervical patients with dystonia treated with bilateral STN DBS, with average dystonia duration of 10.5 years and Montreal Cognitive Assessment score of 26.5, completed working memory (n-back) and motor (forced-maintenance) tests under single-task and dual-task conditions while on and off DBS. Results A multivariate, repeated-measures analysis of variance showed no effect of stimulation status (On vs Off) on working memory (F=0.75, p=0.39) or motor function (F=0.22, p=0.69) when performed under single-task conditions, though as working memory task difficulty increased, stimulation disrupted the accuracy of force-tracking. There was a very small worsening in working memory performance (F=9.14, p=0.019) when moving from single-task to dual-tasks when using the ‘dual-task loss’ analysis. Conclusions This study suggests the effect of STN DBS on working memory and attention may be much less consequential in patients with dystonia than has been reported in PD. PMID:25012202

  1. Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain reduces anxiety and improves cognitive function in the hyperammonemia rat.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jia; Wang, Tao; Liang, Shan; Hu, Xu; Li, Wei; Jin, Feng

    2014-03-01

    Evidence suggests that the hyperammonemia (HA)-induced neuroinflammation and alterations in the serotonin (5-HT) system may contribute to cognitive decline and anxiety disorder during hepatic encephalopathy (HE). Probiotics that maintain immune system homeostasis and regulate the 5-HT system may be potential treatment for HA-mediated neurological disorders in HE. In this study, we tested the efficacy of probiotic Lactobacillus helveticus strain NS8 in preventing cognitive decline and anxiety-like behavior in HA rats. Chronic HA was induced by intraperitoneal injection of ammonium acetate for four weeks in male Sprague-Dawley rats. HA rats were then given Lactobacillus helveticus strain NS8 (10(9) CFU mL(-1)) in drinking water as a daily supplementation. The Morris water maze task assessed cognitive function, and the elevated plus maze test evaluated anxiety-like behavior. Neuroinflammation was assessed by measuring the inflammatory markers: inducible nitric oxide synthase, prostaglandin E2, and interleukin-1 ? in the brain. 5-HT system activity was evaluated by measuring 5-HT and its metabolite, 5-HIAA, and the 5-HT precursor, tryptophan. Probiotic treatment of HA rats significantly reduced the level of inflammatory markers, decreased 5-HT metabolism, restored cognitive function and improved anxiety-like behavior. These results indicate that probiotic L. helveticus strain NS8 is beneficial for the treatment of cognitive decline and anxiety-like behavior in HA rats. PMID:24554471

  2. Randomized controlled trial of cognitive behavioral social skills training for older consumers with schizophrenia: Defeatist performance attitudes and functional outcome

    PubMed Central

    Granholm, Eric; Holden, Jason; Link, Peter C.; McQuaid, John R.; Jeste, Dilip V.

    2012-01-01

    Objectives To determine whether cognitive behavioral social skills training (CBSST) is an effective psychosocial intervention to improve functioning in older consumers with schizophrenia, and whether defeatist performance attitudes are associated with change in functioning in CBSST. Design An 18-month, single-blind, randomized controlled trial. Setting Outpatient clinic at a university-affiliated Veterans Affairs hospital. Participants Veteran and non-veteran consumers with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (N=79) age 4578. Interventions CBSST was a 36-session, weekly group therapy that combined cognitive behavior therapy with social skills training and problem solving training to improve functioning. The comparison intervention, goal-focused supportive contact (GFSC), was supportive group therapy focused on achieving functioning goals. Measurements Blind raters assessed functioning (primary outcome: Independent Living Skills Survey) CBSST skill mastery, positive and negative symptoms, depression, anxiety, defeatist attitudes, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. Results Functioning trajectories over time were significantly more positive in CBSST than in GFSC, especially for participants with more severe defeatist performance attitudes. Greater improvement in defeatist attitudes was also associated with better functioning in CBSST, but not GFSC. Both treatments showed comparable significant improvements in amotivation, depression, anxiety, positive self-esteem and life satisfaction. Conclusions CBSST is an effective treatment to improve functioning in older consumers with schizophrenia, and both CBSST and other supportive goal-focused interventions can reduce symptom distress, increase motivation and self esteem, and improve life satisfaction. Participants with more severe defeatist performance attitudes may benefit most from cognitive behavioral interventions that target functioning. PMID:23395192

  3. It's a Matter of Mind! Cognitive Functioning Predicts the Athletic Performance in Ultra-Marathon Runners.

    PubMed

    Cona, Giorgia; Cavazzana, Annachiara; Paoli, Antonio; Marcolin, Giuseppe; Grainer, Alessandro; Bisiacchi, Patrizia Silvia

    2015-01-01

    The present study was aimed at exploring the influence of cognitive processes on performance in ultra-marathon runners, providing an overview of the cognitive aspects that characterize outstanding runners. Thirty runners were administered a battery of computerized tests right before their participation in an ultra-marathon. Then, they were split according to the race rank into two groups (i.e., faster runners and slower runners) and their cognitive performance was compared. Faster runners outperformed slower runners in trials requiring motor inhibition and were more effective at performing two tasks together, successfully suppressing the activation of the information for one of the tasks when was not relevant. Furthermore, slower runners took longer to remember to execute pre-defined actions associated with emotional stimuli when such stimuli were presented. These findings suggest that cognitive factors play a key role in running an ultra-marathon. Indeed, if compared with slower runners, faster runners seem to have a better inhibitory control, showing superior ability not only to inhibit motor response but also to suppress processing of irrelevant information. Their cognitive performance also appears to be less influenced by emotional stimuli. This research opens new directions towards understanding which kinds of cognitive and emotional factors can discriminate talented runners from less outstanding runners. PMID:26172546

  4. Hypnotherapy and Test Anxiety: Two Cognitive-Behavioral Constructs. The Effects of Hypnosis in Reducing Test Anxiety and Improving Academic Achievement in College Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sapp, Marty

    A two-group randomized multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was used to investigate the effects of cognitive-behavioral hypnosis in reducing test anxiety and improving academic performance in comparison to a Hawthorne control group. Subjects were enrolled in a rigorous introductory psychology course which covered an entire text in one

  5. Does Consumption of LC Omega-3 PUFA Enhance Cognitive Performance in Healthy School-Aged Children and throughout Adulthood? Evidence from Clinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Stonehouse, Welma

    2014-01-01

    Long-chain (LC) omega-3 PUFA derived from marine sources may play an important role in cognitive performance throughout all life stages. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the dominant omega-3 in the brain, is a major component of neuronal cell membranes and affects various neurological pathways and processess. Despite its critical role in brain function, human’s capacity to synthesize DHA de novo is limited and its consumption through the diet is important. However, many individuals do not or rarely consume seafood. The aim of this review is to critically evaluate the current evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCT) in healthy school-aged children, younger and older adults to determine whether consumption of LC omega-3 PUFA improves cognitive performance and to make recommendations for future research. Current evidence suggests that consumption of LC omega-3 PUFA, particularly DHA, may enhance cognitive performance relating to learning, cognitive development, memory and speed of performing cognitive tasks. Those who habitually consume diets low in DHA, children with low literacy ability and malnourished and older adults with age-related cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment seem to benefit most. However, study design limitations in many RCTs hamper firm conclusions. The measurement of a uniform biomarker, e.g., % DHA in red blood cells, is essential to establish baseline DHA-status, to determine targets for cognitive performance and to facilitate dosage recommendations. It is recommended that future studies be at least 16 weeks in duration, account for potential interaction effects of gender, age and apolipoprotein E genotype, include vegan/vegetarian populations, include measures of speed of cognitive performance and include brain imaging technologies as supportive information on working mechanisms of LC omega-3 PUFA. PMID:25054550

  6. Does consumption of LC omega-3 PUFA enhance cognitive performance in healthy school-aged children and throughout adulthood? Evidence from clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Stonehouse, Welma

    2014-07-01

    Long-chain (LC) omega-3 PUFA derived from marine sources may play an important role in cognitive performance throughout all life stages. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the dominant omega-3 in the brain, is a major component of neuronal cell membranes and affects various neurological pathways and processess. Despite its critical role in brain function, human's capacity to synthesize DHA de novo is limited and its consumption through the diet is important. However, many individuals do not or rarely consume seafood. The aim of this review is to critically evaluate the current evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCT) in healthy school-aged children, younger and older adults to determine whether consumption of LC omega-3 PUFA improves cognitive performance and to make recommendations for future research. Current evidence suggests that consumption of LC omega-3 PUFA, particularly DHA, may enhance cognitive performance relating to learning, cognitive development, memory and speed of performing cognitive tasks. Those who habitually consume diets low in DHA, children with low literacy ability and malnourished and older adults with age-related cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment seem to benefit most. However, study design limitations in many RCTs hamper firm conclusions. The measurement of a uniform biomarker, e.g., % DHA in red blood cells, is essential to establish baseline DHA-status, to determine targets for cognitive performance and to facilitate dosage recommendations. It is recommended that future studies be at least 16 weeks in duration, account for potential interaction effects of gender, age and apolipoprotein E genotype, include vegan/vegetarian populations, include measures of speed of cognitive performance and include brain imaging technologies as supportive information on working mechanisms of LC omega-3 PUFA. PMID:25054550

  7. Humans Integrate Monetary and Liquid Incentives to Motivate Cognitive Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Yee, Debbie M.; Krug, Marie K.; Allen, Ariel Z.; Braver, Todd S.

    2016-01-01

    It is unequivocal that a wide variety of incentives can motivate behavior. However, few studies have explicitly examined whether and how different incentives are integrated in terms of their motivational influence. The current study examines the combined effects of monetary and liquid incentives on cognitive processing, and whether appetitive and aversive incentives have distinct influences. We introduce a novel task paradigm, in which participants perform cued task-switching for monetary rewards that vary parametrically across trials, with liquid incentives serving as post-trial performance feedback. Critically, the symbolic meaning of the liquid was held constant (indicating successful reward attainment), while liquid valence was blocked. In the first experiment, monetary rewards combined additively with appetitive liquid feedback to improve subject task performance. Aversive liquid feedback counteracted monetary reward effects in low monetary reward trials, particularly in a subset of participants who tended to avoid responding under these conditions. Self-report motivation ratings predicted behavioral performance above and beyond experimental effects. A follow-up experiment replicated the predictive power of motivation ratings even when only appetitive liquids were used, suggesting that ratings reflect idiosyncratic subjective values of, rather than categorical differences between, the liquid incentives. Together, the findings indicate an integrative relationship between primary and secondary incentives and potentially dissociable influences in modulating motivational value, while informing hypotheses regarding candidate neural mechanisms. PMID:26834668

  8. The "Rod and Fran Test": relationship priming influences cognitive-perceptual performance.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, Mark W; Bagust, Jeff; Docherty, Sharon; Browman, Alexander S; Jackson, Joshua C

    2014-01-01

    We theorized that interpersonal relationships can provide structures for experience. In particular, we tested whether primes of same-sex versus mixed-sex relationships could foster cognitive-perceptual processing styles known to be associated with independence versus interdependence respectively. Seventy-two participants visualized either a same-sex or other-sex relationship partner and then performed two measures of cognitive-perceptual style. On a computerized Rod and Frame Test, individuals were more field-dependent after visualizing a mixed-sex versus same-sex relationship partner. On a measure involving perceptions of group behavior, participants demonstrated more holistic/contextually based perception after being primed with a female versus male relationship partner. These findings support the hypothesis that activated cognitive structures representing interpersonal relationships can shape individuals' cognitive-perceptual performance. PMID:25175992

  9. CF6 Jet Engine Performance Improvement Program: High Pressure Turbine Aerodynamic Performance Improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fasching, W. A.

    1980-01-01

    The improved single shank high pressure turbine design was evaluated in component tests consisting of performance, heat transfer and mechanical tests, and in core engine tests. The instrumented core engine test verified the thermal, mechanical, and aeromechanical characteristics of the improved turbine design. An endurance test subjected the improved single shank turbine to 1000 simulated flight cycles, the equivalent of approximately 3000 hours of typical airline service. Initial back-to-back engine tests demonstrated an improvement in cruise sfc of 1.3% and a reduction in exhaust gas temperature of 10 C. An additional improvement of 0.3% in cruise sfc and 6 C in EGT is projected for long service engines.

  10. Scaling in cognitive performance reflects multiplicative multifractal cascade dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Stephen, Damian G.; Anastas, Jason R.; Dixon, James A.

    2012-01-01

    Self-organized criticality purports to build multi-scaled structures out of local interactions. Evidence of scaling in various domains of biology may be more generally understood to reflect multiplicative interactions weaving together many disparate scales. The self-similarity of power-law scaling entails homogeneity: fluctuations distribute themselves similarly across many spatial and temporal scales. However, this apparent homogeneity can be misleading, especially as it spans more scales. Reducing biological processes to one power-law relationship neglects rich cascade dynamics. We review recent research into multifractality in executive-function cognitive tasks and propose that scaling reflects not criticality but instead interactions across multiple scales and among fluctuations of multiple sizes. PMID:22529819

  11. Investigation of microwave antennas with improved performances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Rongguo

    This dissertation presents the investigation of antennas with improved performances at microwave frequencies. It covers the following three topics: the study of the metamaterial with near-zero index of refraction and its application in directive antenna design, the design technique of a wideband circularly polarized patch antenna for 60GHz wireless application and the investigation of a novel direction of arrival (DOA) estimation technique inspired by human auditory system. First, the metamaterial composed of two-dimensional (2-D) metallic wire arrays is investigated as an effective medium with an effective index of refraction less than unity (neff < 1). The effective medium parameters (permittivity epsilon eff, permeability mueff and neff ) of a wire array are extracted from the finite-element simulated scattering parameters and verified through a 2-D electromagnetic band gap (EBG) structure case study. A simple design methodology for directive monopole antennas is introduced by embedding a monopole within a metallic wire array with neff < 1 at the antenna operating frequencies. The narrow beam effect of the monopole antenna is demonstrated in both simulation and experiment at X-band (8 -- 12 GHz). The measured antenna properties including return loss and radiation patterns are in good agreement with simulation results. Parametric studies of the antenna system are performed. The physical principles and interpretations of the directive monopole antenna embedded in the wire array medium are also discussed. Second, a fully packaged wideband circularly polarized patch antenna is designed for 60GHz wireless communication. The patch antenna incorporates a diagonal slot at the center and features a superstrate and an air cavity backing to achieve desired performances including wide bandwidth, high efficiency and low axial ratio. The detailed design procedure of the circularly polarized antenna, including the design of the microstrip-fed patch antenna and the comparison of the performances of the antenna with different feeding interfaces, is described. The experimental results of the final packaged antenna agree reasonably with the simulation results. Third, an improved two-antenna direction of arrival (DOA) estimation technique is explored, which is inspired by the human auditory system. The idea of this work is to utilize a lossy scatter, which emulates the low-pass filtering function of the human head at high frequency, to achieve more accurate DOA estimation. A simple 2-monopole example is studied and the multiple signal classification (MUSIC) algorithm is applied to calculate the DOA. The improved estimation accuracy is demonstrated in both simulation and experiment. Furthermore, inspired by the sound localization capability of human using just a single ear, a novel direction of arrival estimation technique using a single UWB antenna is proposed and studied. The DOA estimation accuracies of the single UWB antenna are studied in the x-y, x-z and y-z planes with different Signal to Noise Ratios (SNR). The proposed single antenna DOA technique is demonstrated in both simulation and experiment, although with reduced accuracy comparing with the case of two antennas with a scatter in between. At the end, the conclusions of this dissertation are drawn and possible future works are discussed.

  12. Improved multimodal biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment diagnosis: data from ADNI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez-Torteya, Antonio; Trevio-Alvarado, Vctor; Tamez-Pea, Jos

    2013-02-01

    The accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) confers many clinical research and patient care benefits. Studies have shown that multimodal biomarkers provide better diagnosis accuracy of AD and MCI than unimodal biomarkers, but their construction has been based on traditional statistical approaches. The objective of this work was the creation of accurate AD and MCI diagnostic multimodal biomarkers using advanced bioinformatics tools. The biomarkers were created by exploring multimodal combinations of features using machine learning techniques. Data was obtained from the ADNI database. The baseline information (e.g. MRI analyses, PET analyses and laboratory essays) from AD, MCI and healthy control (HC) subjects with available diagnosis up to June 2012 was mined for case/controls candidates. The data mining yielded 47 HC, 83 MCI and 43 AD subjects for biomarker creation. Each subject was characterized by at least 980 ADNI features. A genetic algorithm feature selection strategy was used to obtain compact and accurate cross-validated nearest centroid biomarkers. The biomarkers achieved training classification accuracies of 0.983, 0.871 and 0.917 for HC vs. AD, HC vs. MCI and MCI vs. AD respectively. The constructed biomarkers were relatively compact: from 5 to 11 features. Those multimodal biomarkers included several widely accepted univariate biomarkers and novel image and biochemical features. Multimodal biomarkers constructed from previously and non-previously AD associated features showed improved diagnostic performance when compared to those based solely on previously AD associated features.

  13. Subjective memory complaint only relates to verbal episodic memory performance in mild cognitive impairment

    PubMed Central

    Gifford, Katherine A.; Liu, Dandan; Damon, Stephen M.; Chapman, William G.; Romano, Raymond R.; Samuels, Lauren R.; Lu, Zengqi; Jefferson, Angela L.

    2015-01-01

    Background A cognitive concern from the patient, informant, or clinician is required for the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI); however, the cognitive and neuroanatomical correlates of complaint are poorly understood. Objective We assessed how self-complaint relates to cognitive and neuroimaging measures in older adults with MCI. Method MCI participants were drawn from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative and dichotomized into two groups based on the presence of self-reported memory complaint (no complaint n=191, 77±7 years; complaint n=206, 73±8 years). Cognitive outcomes included episodic memory, executive functioning, information processing speed, and language. Imaging outcomes included regional lobar volumes (frontal, parietal, temporal, cingulate) and specific medial temporal lobe structures (hippocampal volume, entorhinal cortex thickness, parahippocampal gyrus thickness). Results Linear regressions, adjusting for age, gender, race, education, Mini-Mental State Examination score, mood, and apolipoprotein E-4 status, found that cognitive complaint related to immediate (β=−1.07, p<0.001) and delayed episodic memory performances assessed on a serial list learning task (β=−1.06, p=0.001) but no other cognitive measures or neuroimaging markers. Conclusions Self-reported memory concern was unrelated to structural neuroimaging markers of atrophy and measures of information processing speed, executive functioning, or language. In contrast, subjective memory complaint related to objective verbal episodic learning performance. Future research is warranted to better understand the relation between cognitive complaint and surrogate markers of abnormal brain aging, including Alzheimer’s disease, across the cognitive aging spectrum. PMID:25281602

  14. The acute impact of ethanol on cognitive performance in rhesus macaques.

    PubMed

    Jedema, Hank P; Carter, Michelle D; Dugan, Brian P; Gurnsey, Kate; Olsen, Adam S; Bradberry, Charles W

    2011-08-01

    Decreased cognitive control over prepotent responses has been hypothesized to contribute to ethanol-induced behavioral disinhibition. However, the effects of ethanol on specific cognitive domains associated with decision making have not been extensively studied. We examined the impact of acute ethanol administration on cognitive performance of nonhuman primates. Studies were conducted using 0.2, 0.5, and 1 g/kg intravenous ethanol in rhesus macaques performing touch screen-based tasks examining stimulus discrimination, stimulus reversal, and stimulus response performance. The impact on attentional processing was also evaluated. Ethanol reduced the accuracy of reversal performance marginally at 0.2 g/kg and significantly at 0.5 g/kg. This effect was selective given an absence of impairment on the stimulus discrimination and stimulus response tasks at these doses. Performance on stimulus discrimination was impaired at 1.0 g/kg, which prevented determination of reversal performance. Analysis of post-error response times demonstrated that error processing was impaired at both 0.2 and 0.5 g/kg. Ethanol also increased the number of omissions and delayed responses on an attentional task, suggesting more frequent attentional lapses. These data demonstrate that cognitive function mediated by specific prefrontal cortical brain regions is particularly sensitive to ethanol and suggest specific cognitive mechanisms that may underlie harmful decisions made at low doses of ethanol. PMID:21148279

  15. Protective Effect of Long-Term CPAP Therapy on Cognitive Performance in Elderly Patients with Severe OSA: The PROOF Study

    PubMed Central

    Crawford-Achour, Emilie; Dauphinot, Virginie; Saint Martin, Magali; Tardy, Magali; Gonthier, Rgis; Barthelemy, Jean Claude; Roche, Frdric

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA) leads to a deterioration in cognitive functions, with regard to memory and executive functions. However, few studies have investigated the impact of treatment on these cognitive functions in elderly subjects. Methods: The study was conducted in a large cohort of subjects aged 65 years or older (the PROOF cohort). Subjects were not diagnosed or treated for OSA. Subjects underwent a polygraphic recording. Cognitive performance was assessed in all OSA subjects at baseline and 10 years later, whether or not they were receiving continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Results: A group of 126 patients were analyzed. Only 26% of them were treated, with therapy initiated at the discretion of the primary care physician. Among treated subjects, self-reported compliance with therapy was good (> 6 h/night on average), and 66% of them reported an improvement in their quality of life. Patients receiving CPAP treatment had a higher apneahypopnea index (p = 0.006), a higher oxygen desaturation index (p < 0.001), and experienced more pronounced daytime repercussions (p = 0.004). These patients showed a statistically significant improvement in mental agility (similarities test; p < 0.0001) and memory performance (Grober and Buschke delayed free recall; p = 0.02). Conclusion: CPAP treatment is associated with the maintenance of memory performance over time. Citation: Crawford-Achour E, Dauphinot V, Saint Martin M, Tardy M, Gonthier R, Barthelemy JC, Roche F. Protective effect of long-term CPAP therapy on cognitive performance in elderly patients with severe OSA: the PROOF study. J Clin Sleep Med 2015;11(5):519524. PMID:25700873