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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 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lavner, Yizhar; Rabinowitz, Israel

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-30

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Improved cognitive performance in human volunteers following administration of guarana (Paullinia cupana) extract: comparison and interaction with Panax ginseng.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, D O; Haskell, C F; Wesnes, K A; Scholey, A B

    2004-11-01

    Extracts from the plant guarana (Paullinia cupana) feature as putatively stimulating ingredients in a number of foods, drinks and dietary/herbal supplements. To date, little research in humans has examined the potential psychoactive effects of these extracts. Extracts of Panax ginseng, which are often sold in combination with guarana, contain similar potentially active components, and have been shown to modulate cognitive performance. In this double-blind, counterbalanced, placebo-controlled study, the cognitive and mood effects of separate single doses of: 75 mg of a dried ethanolic extract of guarana (approx 12% caffeine), 200 mg of Panax ginseng (G115), and their combination (75 mg/200 mg), were assessed in 28 healthy young (18-24) participants. On each day of the study (separated by a 7-day washout), cognitive performance and subjective mood were assessed pre-dose and at 1, 2.5, 4 and 6 h post-dose using the Cognitive Drug Research computerised assessment battery, Serial subtraction tasks and Bond-Lader mood scales. In comparison to placebo, all three treatments resulted in improved task performance throughout the day. In the case of guarana, improvements were seen across 'attention' tasks (but with some evidence of reduced accuracy), and on a sentence verification task. While also increasing the speed of attention task performance, both ginseng and the ginseng/guarana combination also enhanced the speed of memory task performance, with little evidence of modulated accuracy. Guarana and the combination, and to a lesser extent ginseng, also led to significant improvements in serial subtraction task performance. These results provide the first demonstration in humans of the psychoactive effects of guarana, and confirmation of the psychoactive properties of ginseng. Given the low caffeine content (9 mg) of this dose of guarana extract, the effects are unlikely to be attributable to its caffeine content. PMID:15582012

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Reorganization of functional brain networks mediates the improvement of cognitive performance following real-time neurofeedback training of working memory.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Gaoyan; Yao, Li; Shen, Jiahui; Yang, Yihong; Zhao, Xiaojie

    2015-05-01

    Working memory (WM) is essential for individuals' cognitive functions. Neuroimaging studies indicated that WM fundamentally relied on a frontoparietal working memory network (WMN) and a cinguloparietal default mode network (DMN). Behavioral training studies demonstrated that the two networks can be modulated by WM training. Different from the behavioral training, our recent study used a real-time functional MRI (rtfMRI)-based neurofeedback method to conduct WM training, demonstrating that WM performance can be significantly improved after successfully upregulating the activity of the target region of interest (ROI) in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Zhang et al., [2013]: PloS One 8:e73735); however, the neural substrate of rtfMRI-based WM training remains unclear. In this work, we assessed the intranetwork and internetwork connectivity changes of WMN and DMN during the training, and their correlations with the change of brain activity in the target ROI as well as with the improvement of post-training behavior. Our analysis revealed an "ROI-network-behavior" correlation relationship underlying the rtfMRI training. Further mediation analysis indicated that the reorganization of functional brain networks mediated the effect of self-regulation of the target brain activity on the improvement of cognitive performance following the neurofeedback training. The results of this study enhance our understanding of the neural basis of real-time neurofeedback and suggest a new direction to improve WM performance by regulating the functional connectivity in the WM related networks. PMID:25545862

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. COG1410 Improves Cognitive Performance and Reduces Cortical Neuronal Loss in the Traumatically Injured Brain

    PubMed Central

    Kaufman, Nicholas; Vitek, Michael P.; McKenna, Suzanne E.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract We have previously shown that a single dose of COG1410, a small molecule ApoE-mimetic peptide derived from the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) receptor binding region, improves sensorimotor and motor outcome following cortical contusion injury (CCI). The present study evaluated a regimen of COG1410 following frontal CCI in order to examine its preclinical efficacy on cognitive recovery. Animals were prepared with a bilateral CCI of the frontal cortex. A regimen of COG1410 (0.8 mg/kg intravenously [IV]) was administered twice, at 30 min and again at 24 h post-CCI. Starting on day 11, the animals were tested for their acquisition of a reference memory task in the Morris water maze (MWM), followed by a working memory task in the MWM on day 15. Following CCI, the animals were also tested on the bilateral tactile adhesive removal test to measure sensorimotor dysfunction. On all of the behavioral tests the COG1410 group was no different from the uninjured sham group. Administration of the regimen of COG1410 significantly improved recovery on the reference and working memory tests, as well as on the sensorimotor test. Lesion analysis revealed that COG1410 significantly reduced the size of the injury cavity. Administration of COG1410 also reduced the number of degenerating neurons, as measured by Fluoro-Jade C staining, in the frontal cortex at 48 h post-CCI. These results suggest that a regimen of COG1410 appeared to block the development of significant behavioral deficits and reduced tissue loss. These combined findings suggest that COG1410 appears to have strong preclinical efficacy when administered following traumatic brain injury (TBI). PMID:19119914

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Lampit, Amit; Ebster, Claus; Valenzuela, Michael

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

  8. GPR40 receptor activation leads to CREB phosphorylation and improves cognitive performance in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model.

    PubMed

    Khan, Muhammad Zahid; Zhuang, Xuxu; He, Ling

    2016-05-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a very complex neurodegenerative disorder as neuronal loss is a prominent and initial feature of AD. This loss correlates with cognitive deficits more closely than amyloid load. GPR40 receptor belongs to the class of G-protein coupled receptors, is expressed in wide parts of the brain including the hippocampus which is involved in spatial learning and memory. Till now, there are few studies investigating the functional role of GPR40 in brain. In this study, we evaluated the functional role of GPR40 receptor in the A-beta AD mice model. Administration of Aβ1-42 (410pmol) intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) once at the beginning of experiment significantly impaired cognitive performance (in step-through passive test), the ability of spatial learning and memory in (Morris water maze test), working memory, attention, anxiety in (Novel object recognition test), and spatial working and reference-memory in (Hole board discrimination test) compared with the control group. The results revealed that GPR40 receptor treatment groups significantly ameliorated model mice cognitive performance. All GPR40 receptor agonist GW9508, treatment groups enhanced the learning and memory ability in Step-through passive test, Morris water maze test, Hole board discrimination test, Novel object recognition test. Furthermore, we have observed that activation of GPR40 receptor provoked the phosphorylation of the cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) and significant increase in neurotropic factors including brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), neurotrohin-4 (NT-4) in mouse hippocampal neurons and contribute to neurogenesis. These results suggest that GPR40 is a suitable therapeutic candidate for neurogenesis and neuroprotection in the treatment and prevention of AD. PMID:26976092

  9. 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

  10. Improved cognitive performance and mental fatigue following a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement with added guaraná (Paullinia cupana).

    PubMed

    Kennedy, D O; Haskell, C F; Robertson, B; Reay, J; Brewster-Maund, C; Luedemann, J; Maggini, S; Ruf, M; Zangara, A; Scholey, A B

    2008-01-01

    Guaraná (Paullinia cupana) extracts are most commonly used in Western markets as putatively psychoactive food and drink additives. This double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel groups study assessed the acute effects of either a vitamin/mineral/guaraná supplement or placebo drink in 129 healthy young adults (18-24 years). Participants completed a 10min version of the Cognitive Demand Battery (comprising: Serial 3s and Serial 7s subtraction tasks, a Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVIP) task, 'mental fatigue' scale). Thirty minutes following their drink participants made six consecutive completions of the battery (i.e. 60 min). The vitamin/mineral/guaraná combination resulted in improved task performance, in comparison to placebo, in terms of both increased speed and accuracy of performing the RVIP task throughout the post-dose assessment. The increase in mental fatigue associated with extended task performance was also attenuated by the supplement. This research supports previous findings demonstrating guaraná's cognition enhancing properties and provides evidence that its addition to a multi-vitamin-mineral supplement can improve cognitive performance and reduce the mental fatigue associated with sustained mental effort. PMID:18077056

  11. Cognitive Performance in Operational Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Cognitive Strategies in Spatial Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cochran, Kathryn F.; Wheatley, Grayson H.

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Abstract This pilot, open-protocol study examined whether scalp application of red and near-infrared (NIR) light-emitting diodes (LED) could improve cognition in patients with chronic, mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Application of red/NIR light improves mitochondrial function (especially in hypoxic/compromised cells) promoting increased adenosine triphosphate (ATP) important for cellular metabolism. Nitric oxide is released locally, increasing regional cerebral blood flow. LED therapy is noninvasive, painless, and non-thermal (cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration [FDA], an insignificant risk device). Eleven chronic, mTBI participants (26–62 years of age, 6 males) with nonpenetrating brain injury and persistent cognitive dysfunction were treated for 18 outpatient sessions (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, for 6 weeks), starting at 10 months to 8 years post- mTBI (motor vehicle accident [MVA] or sports-related; and one participant, improvised explosive device [IED] blast injury). Four had a history of multiple concussions. Each LED cluster head (5.35 cm diameter, 500 mW, 22.2 mW/cm2) was applied for 10 min to each of 11 scalp placements (13 J/cm2). LEDs were placed on the midline from front-to-back hairline; and bilaterally on frontal, parietal, and temporal areas. Neuropsychological testing was performed pre-LED, and at 1 week, and 1 and 2 months after the 18th treatment. A significant linear trend was observed for the effect of LED treatment over time for the Stroop test for Executive Function, Trial 3 inhibition (p=0.004); Stroop, Trial 4 inhibition switching (p=0.003); California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT)-II, Total Trials 1–5 (p=0.003); and CVLT-II, Long Delay Free Recall (p=0.006). Participants reported improved sleep, and fewer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, if present. Participants and family reported better ability to perform social, interpersonal, and occupational functions. These open-protocol data suggest that placebo-controlled studies are warranted. PMID:24568233

  19. 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

  20. Do atypical antipsychotics improve cognition?

    PubMed

    Walters, Yasmin; Agius, Mark

    2014-11-01

    One of the major symptoms of schizophrenia is cognitive deficits. Despite this, these impairments still lack an effective treatment. It was hoped that atypical antipsychotics would treat these symptoms better than their first generation counterparts, but unfortunately the likes of quetiapine and clozapine did not do so. Asenapine and lurasidone, two newer atypicals, have shown promise, as have agents that interact with the glutamate system. Another approach has been to add agents such as modafinil. More research is needed to consolidate the findings of these studies. PMID:25413554

  1. Regional neurovascular coupling and cognitive performance in those with low blood pressure secondary to high-level spinal cord injury: improved by alpha-1 agonist midodrine hydrochloride

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Aaron A; Warburton, Darren ER; Ainslie, Philip N; Krassioukov, Andrei V

    2014-01-01

    Individuals with high-level spinal cord injury (SCI) experience low blood pressure (BP) and cognitive impairments. Such dysfunction may be mediated in part by impaired neurovascular coupling (NVC) (i.e., cerebral blood flow responses to neurologic demand). Ten individuals with SCI >T6 spinal segment, and 10 age- and sex-matched controls were assessed for beat-by-beat BP, as well as middle and posterior cerebral artery blood flow velocity (MCAv, PCAv) in response to a NVC test. Tests were repeated in SCI after 10 mg midodrine (alpha1-agonist). Verbal fluency was measured before and after midodrine in SCI, and in the control group as an index of cognitive function. At rest, mean BP was lower in SCI (70±10 versus 92±14 mm Hg; P<0.05); however, PCAv conductance was higher (0.56±0.13 versus 0.39±0.15 cm/second/mm Hg; P<0.05). Controls exhibited a 20% increase in PCAv during cognition; however, the response in SCI was completely absent (P<0.01). When BP was increased with midodrine, NVC was improved 70% in SCI, which was reflected by a 13% improved cognitive function (P<0.05). Improvements in BP were related to improved cognitive function in those with SCI (r2=0.52; P<0.05). Impaired NVC, secondary to low BP, may partially mediate reduced cognitive function in individuals with high-level SCI. PMID:24473484

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. How Performance Improves

    SciTech Connect

    Jerry L. Harbour; Julie L. Marble

    2005-09-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  11. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Yanagizawa, Saori

    2008-12-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Evaluating Performance Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ford, Donald J.

    2004-01-01

    Drawn by a vision of solving performance problems in a systematic, systemic and results-based approach, training professionals are turning to human performance technology (HPT). However, many who try to implement HPT find themselves struggling to measure the improvements their interventions are designed to achieve. Ford notes that these…

  15. COG1410, an apolipoprotein E-based peptide, improves cognitive performance and reduces cortical loss following moderate fluid percussion injury in the rat.

    PubMed

    Kaufman, Nicholas A; Beare, Jason E; Tan, Arlene A; Vitek, Michael P; McKenna, Suzanne E; Hoane, Michael R

    2010-12-25

    COG1410, a small, novel ApoE-mimetic peptide derived from the receptor binding region of apolipoprotein E (ApoE), has been classified as anti-inflammatory in nature and improves motor, sensorimotor, and cognitive dysfunction following cortical contusion injury (CCI). In order to further examine COG1410's preclinical efficacy on cognitive recovery, the present study evaluated COG1410 following moderate fluid percussion injury (FPI). Animals were prepared with a moderate, unilateral FPI over the hippocampus. Following FPI, animals received a regimen of five doses of COG1410 or vehicle at 2 and 4h (1.0mg/kg, i.v.) followed by additional doses administered 24, 48, and 72 h (1.0mg/kg, i.p.). Prior to injury, animals were trained for 4 days (4 trials/day) in the Morris water maze (MWM) and then tested for retrograde amnesia on post-FPI day 11 and then on a working memory task on day 18. Testing for motor dysfunction on the tapered balanced beam began on day 2 post-FPI. Administration of this regimen of COG1410 significantly improved retention of memory in the retrograde amnesia test compared to vehicle post-FPI. However, COG1410 did not significantly improve acquisition of working memory in the MWM. Motor dysfunction on the tapered beam post-FPI was improved in the COG1410-treated group compared to vehicle treatment. Cortical lesion analysis revealed that the COG1410-treated animals demonstrated significantly less tissue loss compared to vehicle-treated animals. The results of this study suggest that COG1410 significantly limited the behavioral dysfunction and tissue loss associated with FPI and demonstrated continued preclinical efficacy for TBI. PMID:20600347

  16. 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

  17. Distributed Cognition: A Foundation for Performance Support.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenberg, Jan D.; Dickelman, Gary J.

    2000-01-01

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

  18. Review of Human Cognitive Performance in Spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strangman, Gary; Bevan, Gary

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Improving Surface Irrigation Performance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Continuous Cognitive Tasks Improve Postural Control Compared to Discrete Cognitive Tasks.

    PubMed

    Lajoie, Yves; Richer, Natalie; Jehu, Deborah A; Tran, Ylan

    2016-01-01

    Research suggests that postural control synergies are sensitive to cognitive manipulations; however, the impact of different types of cognitive tasks on postural control remains inconclusive. The authors examined the effect of discrete and continuous tasks on postural control. Sixteen healthy young adults (M age = 22.7 ± 2.2 years) stood with feet together on a force platform while performing randomly assigned discrete and continuous cognitive tasks. Results demonstrated marked improvements in the area of 95% confidence ellipse and the standard deviation of the center of pressure in the anterior-posterior and medial-lateral directions for continuous compared to discrete tasks. This reinforces the notion that continuous tasks are sufficient in providing less opportunity to consciously attend to postural control, thereby facilitating automatic postural control. PMID:26503343

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.…

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Metformin may produce antidepressant effects through improvement of cognitive function among depressed patients with diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Guo, Min; Mi, Jia; Jiang, Qiu-Ming; Xu, Jin-Mei; Tang, Ying-Ying; Tian, Geng; Wang, Bin

    2014-09-01

    Diabetes mellitus and depressive disorders are both common chronic diseases that increase functional disability and social burden. Cognitive impairment is a potentially debilitating feature of depression. Previous evidence indicates that the antidiabetic drug metformin could be suitable for diabetic patients with cognitive impairment. However, there is no direct evidence from clinical studies that metformin treatment improves cognitive function in diabetic patients suffering from depression. In the present study, 58 participants diagnosed with depression and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) were recruited and divided into two groups, one treated with metformin and the other treated with placebo for 24 weeks. Cognitive function, depressive behaviour and diabetes improvement were evaluated. Chronic treatment with metformin for 24 weeks improved cognitive performance, as assessed by the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised, in depressed patients with T2DM. In addition, metformin significantly improved depressive performance and changed the glucose metabolism in depressed patients with diabetes. Depressive symptoms were negatively correlated with cognitive performance in metformin-treated participants. Furthermore, associations were observed between the parameters of blood glucose metabolism and the depression phenotype. These findings suggest that chronic treatment with metformin has antidepressant behavioural effects and that improved cognitive function is involved in the therapeutic outcome of metformin. The results of the present study also raise the possibility that supplementary administration of antidiabetic medications may enhance the recovery of depression, comorbid with T2DM, through improvements in cognitive performance. PMID:24862430

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Isaac, Clémence; Januel, Dominique

    2016-01-01

    Background Cognitive impairments are a core feature in schizophrenia and are linked to poor social functioning. Numerous studies have shown that cognitive remediation can enhance cognitive and functional abilities in patients with this pathology. The underlying mechanism of these behavioral improvements seems to be related to structural and functional changes in the brain. However, studies on neural correlates of such enhancement remain scarce. Objectives We explored the neural correlates of cognitive enhancement following cognitive remediation interventions in schizophrenia and the differential effect between cognitive training and other therapeutic interventions or patients’ usual care. Method We searched MEDLINE, PsycInfo, and ScienceDirect databases for studies on cognitive remediation therapy in schizophrenia that used neuroimaging techniques and a randomized design. Search terms included randomized controlled trial, cognitive remediation, cognitive training, rehabilitation, magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography, near infrared spectroscopy, and diffusion tensor imaging. We selected randomized controlled trials that proposed multiple sessions of cognitive training to adult patients with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder and assessed its efficacy with imaging techniques. Results In total, 15 reports involving 19 studies were included in the systematic review. They involved a total of 455 adult patients, 271 of whom received cognitive remediation. Cognitive remediation therapy seems to provide a neurobiological enhancing effect in schizophrenia. After therapy, increased activations are observed in various brain regions mainly in frontal – especially prefrontal – and also in occipital and anterior cingulate regions during working memory and executive tasks. Several studies provide evidence of an improved functional connectivity after cognitive training, suggesting a neuroplastic effect of therapy through mechanisms of functional reorganization. Neurocognitive and social-cognitive training may have a cumulative effect on neural networks involved in social cognition. The variety of proposed programs, imaging tasks, and techniques may explain the heterogeneity of observed neural improvements. Future studies would need to specify the effect of cognitive training depending on those variables. PMID:26993787

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Absence of IFNγ promotes hippocampal plasticity and enhances cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, S; Ferreira, F M; Pinto, V; Roque, S; Morais, M; de Sá-Calçada, 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-γ (IFNγ) 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 IFNγ selectively enhances cognitive behaviours in tasks in which the hippocampus is implicated. Moreover, the absence of IFNγ 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 IFNγ 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 IFNγ signalling may present as promising therapeutic targets for the treatment of inflammation-associated cognitive dysfunction. PMID:26731444

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

    PubMed

    Luber, Bruce; Lisanby, Sarah H

    2014-01-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Luber, Bruce; Lisanby, and Sarah H.

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Disentangling the Relationship between Hemispheric Asymmetry and Cognitive Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Higuchi, Marcia K. Kodama; Fornari, José; Del Ben, Cristina M.; Graeff, Frederico G.; Leite, João 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

  8. Performance Improvement Assuming Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowland, Gordon

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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,…

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

    PubMed Central

    Ogunrin, AO

    2014-01-01

    Background: Chronic medical disorders are often complicated by cognitive impairments, making medical intervention that can alleviate cognitive disturbances desirable. Vinpocetine enhances cerebral utilization of oxygen and glucose and consequently improves cerebral functions including memory. Aim: This study assessed the efficacy of vinpocetine (Cognitol™) in improving memory and concentration in cognitively impaired patients. Subjects and Methods: A prospective analytical study of 56 cognitively impaired patients compared with age, sex and level of education matched 56 controls. Cognitive performance was assessed with the Short Blessed Test, which was pilot-tested. Baseline cognitive performances of the patients and controls were obtained and thereafter cognitive performances of the patients were assessed at 6 and 12 weeks after administration of vinpocetine at a dose of 5 mg twice-a-day. Comparative analysis of their performances at baseline was done using the Student t-test, while the improvement in patients’ performances and effect of disease variables on cognitive performances were analyzed with one-way analysis of variance and likelihood ratio analysis respectively. Results: The mean (standard deviation) [SD] ages of the cognitively impaired patients (56/112) and controls (56/112) were 49.5 (18.9) and 53.8 (15.8) years respectively (P = 0.19; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.2-10.8). The pilot study yielded an optimal cut-off error score of 6 with a sensitivity of 71.4%, specificity of 96.4% and accuracy of 83.9%. Patients performed significantly worse than the controls (P < 0.001; 95% CI 6.7-11.4). There were significant improvements in memory and concentration with vinpocetine therapy (P < 0.05). The clinical variables of the patients had no effect on the trend of cognitive performances. Conclusions: Vinpocetine was effective in improving memory and concentration of patients with epilepsy and dementia although the efficacy was minimal in demented patients. PMID:25221724

  15. 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)

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Peyroux, Elodie; Franck, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    In people with psychiatric disorders, particularly those suffering from schizophrenia and related illnesses, pronounced difficulties in social interactions are a key manifestation. These difficulties can be partly explained by impairments in social cognition, defined as the ability to understand oneself and others in the social world, which includes abilities such as emotion recognition, theory of mind (ToM), attributional style, and social perception and knowledge. The impact of several kinds of interventions on social cognition has been studied recently. The best outcomes in the area of social cognition in schizophrenia are those obtained by way of cognitive remediation programs. New strategies and programs in this line are currently being developed, such as RC2S (cognitive remediation of social cognition) in Lyon, France. Considering that the social cognitive deficits experienced by patients with schizophrenia are very diverse, and that the main objective of social cognitive remediation programs is to improve patients’ functioning in their daily social life, RC2S was developed as an individualized and flexible program that allows patients to practice social interaction in a realistic environment through the use of virtual reality techniques. In the RC2S program, the patient’s goal is to assist a character named Tom in various social situations. The underlying idea for the patient is to acquire cognitive strategies for analyzing social context and emotional information in order to understand other characters’ mental states and to help Tom manage his social interactions. In this paper, we begin by presenting some data regarding the social cognitive impairments found in schizophrenia and related disorders, and we describe how these deficits are targeted by social cognitive remediation. Then we present the RC2S program and discuss the advantages of computer-based simulation to improve social cognition and social functioning in people with psychiatric disorders. PMID:24982627

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Deliberation's blindsight: how cognitive load can improve judgments.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Janina A; von Helversen, Bettina; Rieskamp, Jörg

    2013-06-01

    Multitasking poses a major challenge in modern work environments by putting the worker under cognitive load. Performance decrements often occur when people are under high cognitive load because they switch to less demanding--and often less accurate--cognitive strategies. Although cognitive load disturbs performance over a wide range of tasks, it may also carry benefits. In the experiments reported here, we showed that judgment performance can increase under cognitive load. Participants solved a multiple-cue judgment task in which high performance could be achieved by using a similarity-based judgment strategy but not by using a more demanding rule-based judgment strategy. Accordingly, cognitive load induced a shift to a similarity-based judgment strategy, which consequently led to more accurate judgments. By contrast, shifting to a similarity-based strategy harmed judgments in a task best solved by using a rule-based strategy. These results show how important it is to consider the cognitive strategies people rely on to understand how people perform in demanding work environments. PMID:23575598

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Lobeline Effects on Cognitive Performance in Adult ADHD.

    PubMed

    Martin, Catherine A; Nuzzo, Paul A; Ranseen, John D; Kleven, Mark S; Guenthner, Greg; Williams, Yolanda; Walsh, Sharon L; Dwoskin, Linda P

    2013-08-21

    Objective: In preclinical studies, lobeline inhibited hyperactivity induced by nicotine and amphetamine, and improved performance and learning in studies utilizing radial-arm maze and spatial-discrimination water maze. This laboratory proof-of-concept study investigated lobeline as a treatment for ADHD symptoms in adults (31.11 ± 7.08 years). Method: Using cognitive tasks and self-report measures, the effects of lobeline (0, 7.5, 15, or 30 mg, s.l.) and methylphenidate (0, 15, or 30 mg, p.o.) were assessed in nine volunteers with ADHD. Results: Evidence suggested that lobeline could modestly improve working memory in adults with ADHD, but no significant improvement in attention was observed. Lobeline administration was associated with mild adverse side effects (nausea). Conclusion: Further investigation of lobeline on working memory may be warranted. PMID:23966351

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  15. 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

  16. Cognitive performance of individuals with schizophrenia across seven decades: A study using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery

    PubMed Central

    Rajji, Tarek K.; Voineskos, Aristotle N.; Butters, Meryl A.; Miranda, Dielle; Arenovich, Tamara; Menon, Mahesh; Ismail, Zahinoor; Kern, Robert S.; Mulsant, Benoit H.

    2012-01-01

    Objectives The objectives of this study are to determine the effect of aging, schizophrenia, and their interaction on cognitive function. Design Cross-sectional controlled study. Setting Community-living. Participants 235 subjects with schizophrenia aged 19-79 and 333 comparison subjects aged 20-81. Measurements The Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Results Older age was associated with poorer performance on 9 of 10 MCCB tests in both subjects with schizophrenia and comparison subjects. Subjects with schizophrenia were impaired relative to comparison subjects on each of the 10 tests. However, there was no interaction between aging and schizophrenia on any test. Essentially the same results were observed when analyzing performance on the seven MCCB cognitive domains and MCCB global composite score. Conclusions Consistent with other reports, schizophrenia appears to be a disorder marked by generalized cognitive dysfunction. However, the rate of cognitive decline appears to be similar to that observed in healthy comparison subjects. They do not experience acceleration in cognitive aging which supports the hypothesis that schizophrenia is a syndrome of premature aging. Longitudinal studies including very old patients are needed to confirm and extend these findings. PMID:23343484

  17. Can antipsychotics improve social cognition in patients with schizophrenia?

    PubMed

    Kucharska-Pietura, Katarzyna; Mortimer, Ann

    2013-05-01

    Social cognition is described as the higher mental processes that are engaged while people store, process, and use social information to make sense of themselves and others. Aspects of social cognition include emotion perception, social cue interpretation, attribution style, and theory of mind, all of which appear disordered in schizophrenia. Such social cognitive deficits are believed to be important predictors of functional outcome in schizophrenia, therefore they may represent a crucial treatment target. Few studies have evaluated the influence of antipsychotic treatment on these deficits. The purpose of this review is to examine the relationship between antipsychotic treatment and social cognition, whether antipsychotics improve social cognitive function, and if so to explore differential medication effects. Comprehensive searches of PsycINFO and MEDLINE/PUBMED were conducted to identify relevant published manuscripts. Fifteen relevant papers published in English were found, describing original studies. On the basis of this review, we have drawn the following conclusions: first, the results do not engender optimism for the possibility that antipsychotic drugs can specifically facilitate social recovery. Second, the actions of antipsychotics on social cognition are inconclusive, due to lack of standardization across research groups, leading to inconsistencies between study designs, methods used, and medication dosages. Third, large-scale longitudinal investigations are needed to explore the unclear relationships between social cognition, symptoms, and functional outcome. Other non-pharmacological treatments focusing on training patients in the social cognitive areas may hold more promise. PMID:23533009

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furnham, Adrian; Stephenson, Rebecca

    2007-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooker, Alice; Franklin, Anna

    2016-01-01

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

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

    TOXLINE Toxicology Bibliographic Information

    Lesiuk T

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Parental cigarette smoking and cognitive performance of children.

    PubMed

    Bauman, K E; Flewelling, R L; LaPrelle, J

    1991-01-01

    A prior study identified a relationship between parental cigarette smoking and cognitive performance by adolescent children who did not smoke. That study was stimulated by the reasoning that environmental smoke might influence performance through oxygen deprivation. The present study, using longitudinal data from the Child Health and Development Studies (1987), extended the earlier research by controlling for mother's prenatal smoking and other potentially confounding variables and by examining four different measures of cognitive performance. The findings indicate that the relationship between parental smoking and at least one of the cognitive measures persists with controls and that there is a dose-response relationship between parental smoking and cognitive performance. Findings are discussed in the context of mechanisms that might explain the association between parental smoking and child cognition. PMID:1915215

  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. Using Human Dynamics to Improve Operator Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  15. Evaluating and Improving Teacher Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manatt, Richard P.

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

  16. 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)

  17. Relationship between balance and cognitive performance in older people.

    PubMed

    Leandri, Massimo; Campbell, Jackie; Molfetta, Luigi; Barbera, Cristina; Tabaton, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the relationship between balance and cognitive level in a group of 70 women with no definite Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment diagnosis and no impairment of daily activity. Static stabilometry and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test were performed. The antero-posterior sway component was demonstrated to be the best predictor of the MoCA overall score. As visual and proprioceptive components of balance could safely be excluded in our assessments, the vestibular system is to be considered as a putative link between balance and cognitive impairment. PMID:25624415

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

    PubMed

    Cordi, Maren Jasmin; Hirsiger, Sarah; Mérillat, Susan; Rasch, Björn

    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

  19. 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

  20. Practice of Contemporary Dance Improves Cognitive Flexibility in Aging

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Bevilacqua, Andy; Paas, Fred; Krigbaum, Genomary

    2016-04-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Delayed glucose treatment improves cognitive function following fluid-percussion injury.

    PubMed

    Kokiko-Cochran, Olga N; Michaels, Maria P; Hamm, Robert J

    2008-05-01

    Experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in marked neurochemical and metabolic changes. Research has demonstrated that after the initial insult the brain undergoes an immediate state of hypermetabolism followed by a sustained period of hypometabolism. The altered extra- and intracellular environment can compromise neuronal performance and limit functional recovery. If brain metabolism is depressed chronically after TBI, then interventions that are designed to increase metabolism may be beneficial to outcome. Glucose treatment has been shown to improve cognition in many populations, particularly those with cognitive deficits. The following experiments examined the effects of delayed postinjury glucose supplementation on cognitive function following TBI. Male Sprague-Dawley rats received either sham or lateral fluid-percussion (LFP) injury. Cognitive functioning was assessed with the Morris water maze (MWM) on postinjury days 11-15. In the first experiment, saline or 100mg/kg glucose was administered 10 min before cognition assessment. Injured animals treated with glucose displayed significantly shorter latencies to reach the goal platform compared to injured saline-treated animals. Glucose had no effect on sham-injured rats. In the second experiment, injured rats were given daily injections of saline or 100mg/kg glucose for 10 days beginning 24h after injury. Rats were then tested in the MWM on days 11-15 without glucose or saline treatment. In this experiment, glucose treatment did not affect MWM performance. These data provide evidence that the chronic energy supplementation after TBI improves outcome when administered shortly before cognitive assessment. PMID:18355962

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Improving functional disability and cognition in Parkinson disease

    PubMed Central

    Peña, Javier; García-Gorostiaga, Inés; Gomez-Beldarrain, Maria Angeles; Díez-Cirarda, María; 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. Patients Undergoing Subacute Physical Rehabilitation following an Acute Hospital Admission Demonstrated Improvement in Cognitive Functional Task Independence

    PubMed Central

    McPhail, Steven M.; Varghese, Paul N.; Kuys, Suzanne S.

    2014-01-01

    Objective. This study investigated cognitive functioning among older adults with physical debility not attributable to an acute injury or neurological condition who were receiving subacute inpatient physical rehabilitation. Design. A cohort investigation with assessments at admission and discharge. Setting. Three geriatric rehabilitation hospital wards. Participants. Consecutive rehabilitation admissions (n = 814) following acute hospitalization (study criteria excluded orthopaedic, neurological, or amputation admissions). Intervention. Usual rehabilitation care. Measurements. The Functional Independence Measure (FIM) Cognitive and Motor items. Results. A total of 704 (86.5%) participants (mean age = 76.5 years) completed both assessments. Significant improvement in FIM Cognitive items (Z-score range 3.93–8.74, all P < 0.001) and FIM Cognitive total score (Z-score = 9.12, P < 0.001) occurred, in addition to improvement in FIM Motor performance. A moderate positive correlation existed between change in Motor and Cognitive scores (Spearman's rho = 0.41). Generalized linear modelling indicated that better cognition at admission (coefficient = 0.398, P < 0.001) and younger age (coefficient = −0.280, P < 0.001) were predictive of improvement in Motor performance. Younger age (coefficient = −0.049, P < 0.001) was predictive of improvement in FIM Cognitive score. Conclusions. Improvement in cognitive functioning was observed in addition to motor function improvement among this population. Causal links cannot be drawn without further research. PMID:25544961

  14. Improved Behavior, Motor, and Cognition Assessments in Neonatal Piglets

    PubMed Central

    Sullivan, Sarah; Friess, Stuart H.; Ralston, Jill; Smith, Colin; Propert, Kathleen J.; Rapp, Paul E.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The alterations of animal behavior after traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be subtle, and their quantitative characterization can present significant methodological challenges. Meeting these challenges is a critical need, because quantitative measures are required in studies that compare the efficacy of different clinical interventions. We developed a battery of assessments to quantify behavioral, motor, and cognitive changes in neonatal piglets with good sensitivity and specificity to the detection of persistent deficits that correlate with axonal injury severity after a rapid non-impact head rotation with a diffuse pattern of axonal injury. The battery of measures developed included open field behaviors of sniffing and moving a toy, locomotion measures of Lempel-Ziv complexity and the probability of remaining in the current location, and a novel metric for evaluating motor performance. Our composite porcine disability score was able to detect brain injury with a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 85.7% at day +4 post-injury for n=8 injured and n=7 sham piglets and significantly correlated with the percent axonal injury in these animals (day +4: ρ=0.76, p=0.0011). A significant improvement over our previous assessments, this new porcine disability score has potential use in a wide variety of porcine disease and injury models. PMID:23758416

  15. 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…

  16. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D predicts cognitive performance in adults

    PubMed Central

    Darwish, Hala; Zeinoun, Pia; Ghusn, Husam; Khoury, Brigitte; Tamim, Hani; Khoury, Samia J

    2015-01-01

    Background Vitamin D is an endogenous hormone known to regulate calcium levels in the body and plays a role in cognitive performance. Studies have shown an association between vitamin D deficiency and cognitive impairment in older adults. Lebanon has a high 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) deficiency prevalence across all age groups. Methods In this cross-sectional study, we explored the cognitive performance and serum 25(OH)D levels using an electrochemoluminescent immunoassay in 254 older (>60 years) as well as younger (30–60 years) adults. Subjects’ characteristics, including age, years of education, wearing of veil, alcohol consumption, smoking, and physical exercise, were collected. Participants were screened for depression prior to cognitive screening using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Arabic version. Visuospatial memory was tested using the Rey Complex Figure Test and Recognition Trial, and speed of processing was assessed using the Symbol Digit Modalities test. Results Pearson’s correlation and stepwise linear regression analyses showed that a low vitamin D level was associated with greater risk of cognitive impairment in older as well as younger adults. Conclusion These findings suggest that correction of vitamin D needs to be explored as an intervention to prevent cognitive impairment. Prospective longitudinal studies are needed to ascertain the effect of such interventions. PMID:26346368

  17. 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

  18. Post-injury atomoxetine treatment improves cognition following experimental traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Reid, Wendy M; Hamm, Robert J

    2008-03-01

    Catecholaminergic neurotransmission is regionally altered following injury, and drugs aimed at these systems offer promising avenues for post-traumatic brain injury (TBI) pharmacotherapies. Atomoxetine is a selective norepinephrine transporter (NET) inhibitor currently indicated for treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The current study was designed to test the efficacy of atomoxetine in treating cognitive deficits following experimental TBI in animals and to determine an optimal dose and therapeutic window for drug treatment. Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to lateral fluid-percussion injury (L-FPI) of moderate severity (2.08 atm +/- 0.05). Two experiments were performed. In the first study, atomoxetine (0.3, 1, 3, or 9 mg/kg) or vehicle was administered daily on post-injury days (PID) 1-15. Cognitive assessment was performed using the Morris water maze on PID 11-15. L-FPI resulted in significant cognitive impairment when compared to Sham-Injury. Treatment with lower doses of atomoxetine (0.3, 1, and 3 mg/kg) significantly attenuated the cognitive deficits in injured animals. Treatment with the higher dosage (9 mg/kg) of atomoxetine resulted in animals that were not significantly different than injured-vehicle treated animals. The optimal response was achieved using 1 mg/kg atomoxetine. In the second study, treatment with atomoxetine (1 mg/kg) or vehicle was delayed for 11 days post-injury. Rats were administered atomoxetine daily for 15 days, and cognitive assessment was performed on PID 25-29. In this study, treatment with atomoxetine (1 mg/kg) did not result in improved cognitive performance. In conclusion, this is the first study to show low-dose atomoxetine initiated early after experimental TBI results in improved cognition. PMID:18352838

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Cognitive Analysis of Expert and Novice Troubleshooting Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Scott D.

    1988-01-01

    Discussion of expert and novice performance and the organization of knowledge focuses on a study that investigated the influence of mental models on performance differences between expert and novice service technicians who troubleshoot faculty generator sets. Behavioral and cognitive methods of analysis are described, and implications for…

  13. 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…

  14. Common Variants of the Genes Encoding Erythropoietin and Its Receptor Modulate Cognitive Performance in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Kästner, Anne; Grube, Sabrina; El-Kordi, Ahmed; Stepniak, Beata; Friedrichs, Heidi; Sargin, Derya; Schwitulla, Judith; Begemann, Martin; Giegling, Ina; Miskowiak, Kamilla W; Sperling, Swetlana; Hannke, Kathrin; Ramin, Anna; Heinrich, Ralf; Gefeller, Olaf; Nave, Klaus-Armin; Rujescu, Dan; Ehrenreich, Hannelore

    2012-01-01

    Erythropoietin (EPO) improves cognitive performance in clinical studies and rodent experiments. We hypothesized that an intrinsic role of EPO for cognition exists, with particular relevance in situations of cognitive decline, which is reflected by associations of EPO and EPO receptor (EPOR) genotypes with cognitive functions. To prove this hypothesis, schizophrenic patients (N > 1000) were genotyped for 5′ upstream–located gene variants, EPO SNP rs1617640 (T/G) and EPORSTR(GA)n. Associations of these variants were obtained for cognitive processing speed, fine motor skills and short-term memory readouts, with one particular combination of genotypes superior to all others (p < 0.0001). In an independent healthy control sample (N > 800), these associations were confirmed. A matching preclinical study with mice demonstrated cognitive processing speed and memory enhanced upon transgenic expression of constitutively active EPOR in pyramidal neurons of cortex and hippocampus. We thus predicted that the human genotypes associated with better cognition would reflect gain-of-function effects. Indeed, reporter gene assays and quantitative transcriptional analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells showed genotype-dependent EPO/EPOR expression differences. Together, these findings reveal a role of endogenous EPO/EPOR for cognition, at least in schizophrenic patients. PMID:22669473

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Heat acclimation improves exercise performance.

    PubMed

    Lorenzo, Santiago; Halliwill, John R; Sawka, Michael N; Minson, Christopher T

    2010-10-01

    This study examined the impact of heat acclimation on improving exercise performance in cool and hot environments. Twelve trained cyclists performed tests of maximal aerobic power (VO2max), time-trial performance, and lactate threshold, in both cool [13°C, 30% relative humidity (RH)] and hot (38°C, 30% RH) environments before and after a 10-day heat acclimation (∼50% VO2max in 40°C) program. The hot and cool condition VO2max and lactate threshold tests were both preceded by either warm (41°C) water or thermoneutral (34°C) water immersion to induce hyperthermia (0.8-1.0°C) or sustain normothermia, respectively. Eight matched control subjects completed the same exercise tests in the same environments before and after 10 days of identical exercise in a cool (13°C) environment. Heat acclimation increased VO2max by 5% in cool (66.8 ± 2.1 vs. 70.2 ± 2.3 ml·kg(-1)·min(-1), P = 0.004) and by 8% in hot (55.1 ± 2.5 vs. 59.6 ± 2.0 ml·kg(-1)·min(-1), P = 0.007) conditions. Heat acclimation improved time-trial performance by 6% in cool (879.8 ± 48.5 vs. 934.7 ± 50.9 kJ, P = 0.005) and by 8% in hot (718.7 ± 42.3 vs. 776.2 ± 50.9 kJ, P = 0.014) conditions. Heat acclimation increased power output at lactate threshold by 5% in cool (3.88 ± 0.82 vs. 4.09 ± 0.76 W/kg, P = 0.002) and by 5% in hot (3.45 ± 0.80 vs. 3.60 ± 0.79 W/kg, P < 0.001) conditions. Heat acclimation increased plasma volume (6.5 ± 1.5%) and maximal cardiac output in cool and hot conditions (9.1 ± 3.4% and 4.5 ± 4.6%, respectively). The control group had no changes in VO2max, time-trial performance, lactate threshold, or any physiological parameters. These data demonstrate that heat acclimation improves aerobic exercise performance in temperate-cool conditions and provide the scientific basis for employing heat acclimation to augment physical training programs. PMID:20724560

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Cognitive ability determinants of elite pilot performance.

    PubMed

    O'Hare, D

    1997-12-01

    The role of the modern pilot requires a high degree of situational awareness. This involves the ability to search for relevant information, assess opportunities and priorities, and maintain performance under stress. The PC-based WOMBAT test has been designed to measure individual aptitude to cope with such demands. In the first experiment performance on the WOMBAT test was compared with performance on a battery of tests of specific underlying abilities. In the second experiment the performance of elite soaring pilots was compared with that of matched pilot and control groups. The results support the theory that the WOMBAT test measures individual ability to maintain situational awareness and that this ability is found in high levels in elite pilots. PMID:9473974

  1. Cognitive activities and cognitive performance in middle-aged adults at risk for Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Jonaitis, Erin; La Rue, Asenath; Mueller, Kim; Koscik, Rebecca; Hermann, Bruce; Sager, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive activity is thought to provide some protection against dementia, but the mechanism and timing of these effects are unknown. Data for this study were drawn from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP), an at-risk middle-aged sample (mean age = 54 years) enriched for parental family history of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We had two main aims: (1) to determine the relative contribution of three facets of cognitive activity -- education, occupational complexity with data, and cognitive leisure activities – to WRAP participants’ cognitive performance; and (2) to assess for interactions between genetic risk factors and cognitive activity in explaining cognitive performance. Results from mixed effects models indicate that some of the variance usually attributed to education may be more closely accounted for by cognitive activities later in life. Overall, our analyses suggest cautious optimism for cognitive activities, especially game-playing, as a strategy for preserving cognitive strengths in midlife. PMID:24364404

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. [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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Executive function needs to be targeted to improve social functioning with Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Penadés, Rafael; Catalán, Rosa; Puig, Olga; Masana, Guillem; Pujol, Núria; Navarro, Víctor; Guarch, Joana; Gastó, Cristóbal

    2010-05-15

    While the role of impaired cognition in accounting for functional outcome in schizophrenia is generally established, the relationship between cognitive and functional change in the context of treatments is far from clear. The current paper tries to identify which cognitive changes lead to improvements in daily functioning among persons with chronic schizophrenia who had current negative symptoms and evidenced neuropsychological impairments. In a previous work, Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) was compared with a control therapy, involving similar length of therapist contact but different targets. At the end of treatment, CRT conferred a benefit to people with schizophrenia in cognition and functioning [Schizophrenia Research, 87 (2006) 323-331]. Subsequently, analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) were conducted with baseline and cognitive change scores as covariates to test whether cognitive change predicted change in functioning. Additionally, statistical tests to establish the mediation path with significant variables were performed. Although verbal memory, but not executive functioning, was associated with functioning at baseline, it was the improvement in executive functioning that predicted improved daily functioning. Verbal memory played a mediator role in the change process. Consequently, in order to improve daily functioning with CRT, executive function still needs to be targeted in despite of multiple cognitive impairments being present. PMID:20381164

  15. Cognitive Determinants of Academic Performance in Nigerian Pharmacy Schools

    PubMed Central

    Sansgiry, Sujit S.; Ukwe, Chinwe V.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-25

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marjoribanks, Kevin

    1976-01-01

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

  20. 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…

  1. 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...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bahar, Abdulkadir

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Cognitive Somatic Behavioral Interventions for Maximizing Gymnastic Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ravizza, Kenneth; Rotella, Robert

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

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Children's cognitive performance and selective attention following recent community violence.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    Schwarz, Katharina A.; Büchel, Christian

    2015-01-01

    The influence of positive or negative expectations on clinical outcomes such as pain relief or motor performance in patients and healthy participants has been extensively investigated for years. Such research promises potential benefit for patient treatment by deliberately using expectations as means to stimulate endogenous regulation processes. Especially regarding recent interest and controversies revolving around cognitive enhancement, the question remains whether mere expectancies might also yield enhancing or impairing effects in the cognitive domain, i.e., can we improve or impair cognitive performance simply by creating a strong expectancy in participants about their performance? Moreover, previous literature suggests that especially subjective perception is highly susceptible to expectancy effects, whereas objective measures can be affected in certain domains, but not in others. Does such a dissociation of objective measures and subjective perception also apply to cognitive placebo and nocebo effects? In this study, we sought to investigate whether placebo and nocebo effects can be evoked in cognitive tasks, and whether these effects influence objective and subjective measures alike. To this end, we instructed participants about alleged effects of different tone frequencies (high, intermediate, low) on brain activity and cognitive functions. We paired each tone with specific success rates in a Flanker task paradigm as a preliminary conditioning procedure, adapted from research on placebo hypoalgesia. In a subsequent test phase, we measured reaction times and success rates in different expectancy conditions (placebo, nocebo, and control) and then asked participants how the different tone frequencies affected their performance. Interestingly, we found no effects of expectation on objective measures, but a strong effect on subjective perception, i.e., although actual performance was not affected by expectancy, participants strongly believed that the placebo tone frequency improved their performance. PMID:26148009

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  17. Rapid cognitive improvement in Alzheimer's disease following perispinal etanercept administration

    PubMed Central

    Tobinick, Edward L; Gross, Hyman

    2008-01-01

    Substantial basic science and clinical evidence suggests that excess tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is centrally involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. In addition to its pro-inflammatory functions, TNF-alpha has recently been recognized to be a gliotransmitter that regulates synaptic function in neural networks. TNF-alpha has also recently been shown to mediate the disruption in synaptic memory mechanisms, which is caused by beta-amyloid and beta-amyloid oligomers. The efficacy of etanercept, a biologic antagonist of TNF-alpha, delivered by perispinal administration, for treatment of Alzheimer's disease over a period of six months has been previously reported in a pilot study. This report details rapid cognitive improvement, beginning within minutes, using this same anti-TNF treatment modality, in a patient with late-onset Alzheimer's disease. Rapid cognitive improvement following perispinal etanercept may be related to amelioration of the effects of excess TNF-alpha on synaptic mechanisms in Alzheimer's disease and provides a promising area for additional investigation and therapeutic intervention. PMID:18184433

  18. Flipperons for Improved Aerodynamic Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mabe, James H.

    2008-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Fail or flourish? Cognitive appraisal moderates the effect of solo status on performance.

    PubMed

    White, Judith B

    2008-09-01

    When everyone in a group shares a common social identity except one individual, the one who is different from the majority has solo status. Solo status increases one's visibility and performance pressure, which may result in stress. Stress has divergent effects on performance, and individuals' response to stressful situations is predicted by their cognitive appraisal (challenge or threat) of the situation. Two experiments test the hypothesis that cognitive appraisal moderates the effect of solo status on performance. Experiment 1 finds that at relatively high appraisal levels (resources exceed demands), solo status improves men's and women's performance; at relatively low appraisal levels, solo status hurts performance. Experiment 2 replicates this effect for solo status based on minimal group assignment. Results suggest that for individuals who feel challenged and not threatened by their work, it may help to be a solo. PMID:18678859

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    Cognitive deficits are core symptoms in patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and major depressive disorder (MDD), but specific and approved treatments for cognitive deterioration are scarce. Experimental and clinical evidence suggests that aerobic exercise may help to reduce psychopathological symptoms and support cognitive performance, but this has not yet been systematically investigated. In the current study, we examined the effects of aerobic training on cognitive performance and symptom severity in psychiatric inpatients. To our knowledge, to date, no studies have been published that directly compare the effects of exercise across disease groups in order to acquire a better understanding of disease-specific versus general or overlapping effects of physical training intervention. Two disease groups (n=22 MDD patients, n=29 SZ patients) that were matched for age, gender, duration of disease and years of education received cognitive training combined either with aerobic physical exercise or with mental relaxation training. The interventions included 12 sessions (3 times a week) over a time period of 4 weeks, lasting each for 75 min (30 min of cognitive training+45 min of cardio training/mental relaxation training). Cognitive parameters and psychopathology scores of all participants were tested in pre- and post-testing sessions and were then compared with a waiting control group. In the total group of patients, the results indicate an increase in cognitive performance in the domains visual learning, working memory and speed of processing, a decrease in state anxiety and an increase in subjective quality of life between pre- and post-testing. The effects in SZ patients compared with MDD patients were stronger for cognitive performance, whereas there were stronger effects in MDD patients compared with SZ patients in individual psychopathology values. MDD patients showed a significant reduction in depressive symptoms and state anxiety values after the intervention period. SZ patients reduced their negative symptoms severity from pre- to post-testing. In sum, the effects for the combined training were superior to the other forms of treatment. Physical exercise may help to reduce psychopathological symptoms and improve cognitive skills. The intervention routines employed in this study promise to add the current psychopathological and medical treatment options and could aid the transition to a multidisciplinary approach. However, a limitation of the current study is the short time interval for interventions (6 weeks including pre- and post-testing). PMID:24487666

  14. 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…

  15. [A new intervention program for improvement of cognitive functions of senile dementia patients].

    PubMed

    Kawashima, Ryuta

    2005-01-01

    We proposed a new intervention program, the concept of which is derived from the knowledge of both brain science and clinical studies. We set up a hypothesis that activation of the association cortices by cognitive tasks may well improve the function of these cortices. To choose effective cognitive tasks for activation of the association cortices, we reviewed previous neuroimaging studies. Then, we prepared two tasks in arithmetic and Japanese language, which were systematized basic problems in reading and arithmetic, for the training program. Sixteen experimental and 16 control subjects participated. The subjects of the experimental group were asked to perform a training program using learning tasks in reading and arithmetic. The function of the frontal cortex of the subjects was assessed by FAB (frontal assessment battery at bedside). After six months of training, the FAB score of the experimental group showed a statistically significant improvement. We also observed the restoration of communication and independence, and improvement in relationships with the clinical staff in the experimental group. Our results indicate that learning tasks of reading aloud and arithmetic calculation can be used for cognitive rehabilitation, which improves frontal functions of dementia patients. PMID:16509427

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. [Allocation of cognitive resources during the simultaneous performance of cognitive and sensorimotor tasks].

    PubMed

    Krampe, R T; Rapp, M A; Bondar, A; Baltes, P B

    2003-03-01

    We review research on the allocation of cognitive resources during the simultaneous performance of cognitive and sensorimotor tasks. From the developmental and clinical perspectives,we emphasize: (1) the distinction between the availability and the allocation of resources, (2) lifespan changes in relation to the environmental validity of sensorimotor functions, and (3) the potentials and limitations for an individuals' adaptations to multi-task constraints. These aspects can be operationalized within the framework of selection, optimization, and compensation (SOC). Related studies focus on older individuals' selective resource allocation and compensatory processes as adaptive means in the context of reduced resources and decreased sensorimotor functioning. Results show that older adults must invest increasing amounts of their cognitive resources into the coordination of bodily functions such as balance and gait. SOC research on Alzheimer's patients provides new insights into the increased risks of falling. We argue that adaptive resource allocation in everyday sensorimotor performance is an instance of intelligent behavior that is insufficiently represented in extant psychometric tests. PMID:12627235

  2. 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

  3. Metacognition and Human Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Ruth Colvin

    1988-01-01

    An understanding of the uses of metacognition provides a powerful tool toward developing quality and efficiency in task learning and performance. Specific thinking skill categories of attention, organization, and elaboration are described with examples of how specific techniques can optimize learning and job performance. (Author/JOW)

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Motivational Influences on Cognitive Performance in Children: Focus Over Fita

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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 lifespan. The current study examined how children perform on a classification task when placed in a regulatory fit or mismatch. Nine-year-old children performed a classification task in which they either gained or lost points for each response. Additionally, children were given either a global promotion focus (trying to earn a gift card) or a prevention focus (trying to avoid losing a gift card). Previous work indicates that adults in this task tend to perform better when there is a match (or fit) between the overall incentive to earn or avoid losing the incentive and the task reward structure to maximize points gained or minimize points lost. Unlike adults, nine-year-olds perform better in the promotion condition than in the prevention condition regardless of task reward structure. Possible explanations for the differences between adults’ and children’s performance are discussed as well as possible applications for academic settings. PMID:21552510

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

    PubMed

    Efthimiou, K; Rakitzi, S; Roder, V

    2009-07-01

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

  9. Cue Utilization and Cognitive Load in Novel Task Performance

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Mewton, Louise; Andrews, Gavin

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Mewton, Louise; Andrews, Gavin

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-02-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  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. 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

  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 impact of cognitive load on operatic singers' timing performance

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  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. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Cognitive Training for Improving Executive Function in Chemotherapy-Treated Breast Cancer Survivors

    PubMed Central

    Kesler, Shelli; Hosseini, S. M. Hadi; Heckler, Charles; Janelsins, Michelle; Palesh, Oxana; Mustian, Karen; Morrow, Gary

    2013-01-01

    Difficulties with thinking and problem solving are very common among breast cancer survivors. We tested a computerized cognitive training program for 41 breast cancer survivors. The training program was associated with significant improvements in thinking and problem-solving skills. Our findings demonstrate potential for our online, home-based cognitive training program to improve cognitive difficulties among breast cancer survivors. Background A majority of breast cancer (BC) survivors, particularly those treated with chemotherapy, experience long-term cognitive deficits that significantly reduce quality of life. Among the cognitive domains most commonly affected include executive functions (EF), such as working memory, cognitive flexibility, multitasking, planning, and attention. Previous studies in other populations have shown that cognitive training, a behavioral method for treating cognitive deficits, can result in significant improvements in a number of cognitive skills, including EF. Materials and Methods In this study, we conducted a randomized controlled trial to investigate the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a novel, online EF training program in long-term BC survivors. A total of 41 BC survivors (21 active, 20 wait list) completed the 48 session training program over 12 weeks. The participants were, on average, 6 years after therapy. Results Cognitive training led to significant improvements in cognitive flexibility, verbal fluency and processing speed, with marginally significant downstream improvements in verbal memory as assessed via standardized measures. Self-ratings of EF skills, including planning, organizing, and task monitoring, also were improved in the active group compared with the wait list group. Conclusions Our findings suggest that EF skills may be improved even in long-term survivors by using a computerized, home-based intervention program. These improvements may potentially include subjective EF skills, which suggest a transfer of the training program to real-world behaviors. PMID:23647804

  20. 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.

  1. Environmental enrichment attenuates hippocampal neuroinflammation and improves cognitive function during influenza infection

    PubMed Central

    Jurgens, Heidi A.; Johnson, Rodney W.

    2012-01-01

    Recent findings from our lab have shown that peripheral infection of adult mice with influenza A/PR/8/34 (H1N1) virus induces a neuroinflammatory response that is paralleled by loss of neurotrophic and glial regulatory factors in the hippocampus, and deficits in cognitive function. Environmental enrichment has been shown to exert beneficial effects on the brain and behavior in many central nervous system (CNS) disorders, but its therapeutic potential during peripheral viral infection remains unknown. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to determine if long-term continuous exposure to environmental enrichment could prevent and/or attenuate the negative effects of influenza infection on the hippocampus and spatial cognition. Mice were housed in enriched or standard conditions for 4 months, and continued to live in their respective environments throughout influenza infection. Cognitive function was assessed in a reversal learning version of the Morris water maze, and changes in hippocampal expression of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-α), neurotrophic (BDNF, NGF), and immunomodulatory (CD200, CX3CL1) factors were determined. We found that environmental enrichment reduced neuroinflammation and helped prevent the influenza-induced reduction in hippocampal CD200. These changes were paralleled by improved cognitive performance of enriched mice infected with influenza when compared to infected mice in standard housing conditions. Collectively, these data are the first to demonstrate the positive impact of environmental enrichment on the brain and cognition during peripheral viral infection, and suggest that enhanced modulation of the neuroimmune response may underlie these beneficial effects. PMID:22687335

  2. 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)

  3. 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

  4. Carbohydrate to protein ratio in food and cognitive performance in the morning.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Karina; Colombani, Paolo C; Langhans, Wolfgang; Wenk, Caspar

    2002-03-01

    The effect of different carbohydrate to protein ratios in food on cognitive functions and the relation between postprandial metabolic and cognitive changes were studied in 15 healthy male students. Subjects were tested in three sessions, separated by 1 week, for short-term changes in mood states, objective cognitive functions, blood parameters, and indirect calorimetry using a repeated-measures, counterbalanced cross-over design. Measurements were made after an overnight fast before and hourly during 3.5 h after test meal ingestion. The isoenergetic (1670 kJ) test meals consisted of three carbohydrate to protein ratios, i.e. a carbohydrate-rich (CHO[4:1]), balanced (BAL[1:1]), and protein-rich (PRO[1:4]) meal, respectively. Overall accuracy in short-term memory was best after the PRO[1:4] meal concomitant to the least variation in glucose metabolism and glucagon to insulin ratio (GIR). Related to changes in glucose metabolism and/or in the ratios of large neutral amino acids (LNAA), respectively, attention and decision times were transiently improved within the first hour after the CHO[4:1] meal, whereas after the first hour the BAL[1:1] and PRO[1:4] meal resulted in improved performance. Overall reaction times of a central task were fastest after the BAL[1:1] meal concomitant to the highest overall tyrosine (Tyr) to LNAA ratio. Our findings suggest that the carbohydrate to protein ratio in food specifically influences higher cognitive functions in the morning. Except for a transient positive effect of rising blood glucose after a carbohydrate-rich meal, a protein-rich or balanced meal seems to result in better overall cognitive performance presumably because of less variation in glucose metabolism and/or higher modulation in LNAA ratios indicated by the overall GIR. PMID:11897269

  5. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. [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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. Effect of Age of Treatment on Cognitive Performance in Patients with Cystinosis

    PubMed Central

    Viltz, Lisa; Trauner, Doris A.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives To determine whether early treatment with cysteamine affects cognitive functioning in patients with nephropathic cystinosis. Study design Individuals (n = 46, ages 3–18 years) with cystinosis underwent cognitive testing to determine intelligence, visual spatial abilities, and visual motor skills. An age-matched control group (n = 85, age range 2–22 years) received the same tests. Age at diagnosis and age at treatment onset with cysteamine were recorded at the time of testing. Results Patients with cystinosis treated at or after 2 years of age (late-treatment patients) scored significantly lower on verbal, performance, and full-scale IQ measures, as well as on a test of visual spatial skills when compared to early treatment patients (treatment onset <2years old) and to controls. Regardless of the age of treatment, both groups of subjects with cystinosis showed impairment in visual motor skills compared with controls; early-treatment patients showed no advantage in this area. Conclusion Early treatment with cysteamine appears to improve intellectual function in nephropathic cystinosis. However, the fact that visual motor function was not improved with early cysteamine treatment suggests that the mechanisms underlying visual motor performance may be different from other areas of cognition in this disorder. PMID:23462307

  15. Describing the interplay between anxiety and cognition: From impaired performance under low cognitive load to reduced anxiety under high load

    PubMed Central

    Vytal, Katherine; Cornwell, Brian; Arkin, Nicole; Grillon, Christian

    2012-01-01

    Anxiety impairs the ability to think and concentrate, suggesting that the interaction between emotion and cognition may elucidate the debilitating nature of pathological anxiety. Using a verbal n-back task that parametrically modulated cognitive load, we explored the effect of experimentally-induced anxiety on task performance and the startle reflex. Findings suggest there is a crucial inflection point between moderate and high cognitive load, where resources shift from anxious apprehension to focus on task demands. Specifically, we demonstrate that anxiety impairs performance under low-load, but is reduced when subjects engage in a difficult task that occupies executive resources. We propose a two-component model of anxiety that describes a cognitive mechanism behind performance impairment and an automatic response that supports sustained anxiety-potentiated startle. Implications for therapeutic interventions and emotional pathology are discussed. PMID:22332819

  16. Does Mandatory Attendance Improve Student Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marburger, Daniel R.

    2006-01-01

    Previous empirical literature indicates that student performance is inversely correlated with absenteeism. The author investigates the impact of enforcing an attendance policy on absenteeism and student performance. The evidence suggests that an enforced mandatory attendance policy significantly reduces absenteeism and improves exam performance.

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

    PubMed

    Lozada, Mariana; Carro, Natalia

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lozada, Mariana; Carro, Natalia

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Cognitive Science and Instructional Technology: Improvements in Higher Order Thinking Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tennyson, Robert D.

    This paper examines the cognitive processes associated with higher-order thinking strategies--i.e., cognitive processes directly associated with the employment of knowledge in the service of problem solving and creativity--in order to more clearly define a prescribed instructional method to improve problem-solving skills. The first section of the…

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Multifocal Clinical Performance Improvement Across 21 Hospitals

    PubMed Central

    Skeath, Melinda; Whippy, Alan

    2015-01-01

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

  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. 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)

  14. Performance improvements in diode laser arrays

    SciTech Connect

    Beach, R.J.; Emanuel, M.A.; Freitas, B.L.; Benett, W.J.; Skidmore, J.A.; Carlson, N.W.; Solarz, R.W.

    1994-06-01

    The average power performance capability of semiconductor laser diode arrays has improved dramatically over the past several years. Additionally, optical conditioning technologies have been developed that increase the effective radiance of stacked two-dimensional arrays by nearly two orders of magnitude. These performance improvements have been accompanied by cost reductions that now make feasible the replacement of flashlamp pump sources by laser diode arrays in a large variety of military and commercial solid state laser systems.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marklund, Kari

    1985-01-01

    Describes how microcomputers, together with an in-house developed expert system, are assisting Sweden's Linkoping University library staff, who possess beginning programing skills and computer expertise, in improving library performance. An example illustrating how the dimensional flowcharting improved the interlibrary loan operation is presented.…

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. Determinants of cognitive performance among community dwelling older adults in an impoverished sub-district of São Paulo in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Soares, Letícia Maria; Cachioni, Meire; Falcão, Deusivania Vieira da Silva; Batistoni, Samila Satler Tavares; Lopes, Andrea; Neri, Anita Liberalesso; Yassuda, Mônica Sanches

    2012-01-01

    Determinants of cognitive performance in old age have received limited attention in Latin America. We investigated the association of socio-demographic and health-related variables with cognitive performance in a sample of older adults with limited educational experience living in a poor sub-district of the city of São Paulo. This was a cross-sectional population-based study which included a sample of 384 seniors 65 years and older. Cognition was assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Brief Cognitive Screening Battery (BCSB) (episodic memory test with 10 pictures, verbal fluency (VF), Clock Drawing Test (CDT)). Results indicated that age, sex, schooling, depressive symptoms, and systolic blood pressure (SBP) level had a significant impact on the cognitive performance of the sample. Therefore, pharmacological and psychosocial interventions with a focus on improving mood and controlling hypertension may have beneficial effects on cognition among seniors with similar socio-demographic characteristics. PMID:22222381

  2. Emotional exhaustion and cognitive performance in apparently healthy teachers: a longitudinal multi-source study.

    PubMed

    Feuerhahn, Nicolas; Stamov-Roßnagel, Christian; Wolfram, Maren; Bellingrath, Silja; Kudielka, Brigitte M

    2013-10-01

    We investigate how emotional exhaustion (EE), the core component of burnout, relates to cognitive performance, job performance and health. Cognitive performance was assessed by self-rated cognitive stress symptoms, self-rated and peer-rated cognitive impairments in everyday tasks and a neuropsychological test of learning and memory (LGT-3); job performance and physical health were gauged by self-reports. Cross-sectional linear regression analyses in a sample of 100 teachers confirm that EE is negatively related to cognitive performance as assessed by self-rating and peer-rating as well as neuropsychological testing (all p < .05). Longitudinal linear regression analyses confirm similar trends (p < .10) for self-rated and peer-rated cognitive performance. Executive control deficits might explain impaired cognitive performance in EE. In longitudinal analyses, EE also significantly predicts physical health. Contrary to our expectations, EE does not affect job performance. When reversed causation is tested, none of the outcome variables at Time 1 predict EE at Time 2. This speaks against cognitive dysfunctioning serving as a vulnerability factor for exhaustion. In sum, results underpin the negative consequences of EE for cognitive performance and health, which are relevant for individuals and organizations alike. In this way, findings might contribute to the understanding of the burnout syndrome. PMID:23086898

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. Peer Mentors Can Improve Academic Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asgari, Shaki; Carter, Frederick, Jr.

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Linkages of biomarkers of zinc with cognitive performance and taste acuity in adolescent girls.

    PubMed

    Chiplonkar, Shashi A; Kawade, Rama

    2014-06-01

    A cross-sectional study (n = 403) was conducted to examine the relationship of plasma zinc (PZ) and erythrocyte zinc (EZ) levels with cognitive performance and taste acuity for salt in Indian adolescent girls. PZ, EZ and hemoglobin were estimated in schoolgirls (10-16 years). Cognitive performance was assessed by simple-reaction-time (SRT), recognition-reaction-time (RRT), visual-memory, Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM) test. Taste acuity was determined by recognition-thresholds-for-salt (RTS) using 10 different salt concentrations. Low PZ (<0.7 mg/l) and EZ (<8 µg/g of packed cells) were observed in 72% and 23.6% of girls, respectively. PZ and EZ were negatively associated with SRT (r = -0.41, -0.34), RRT (r = -0.49, -0.4), and positively with Memory (r = 0.43, 0.34) and RPM (r = 0.39, 0.31; p < 0.05) and remained significant after adjusting for socio-demographic factors and hemoglobin. RTS was impaired in 18.3% girls and significantly correlated with EZ (r = -0.31, p < 0.05). Zinc deficiency in adolescent girls was associated with poor cognition and taste function implying need for improving their dietary zinc intakes. PMID:24490852

  19. 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

  20. Smoking history and nicotine effects on cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Ernst, M; Heishman, S J; Spurgeon, L; London, E D

    2001-09-01

    This study examined the effects of abstinence from smoking, of smoking history, and of nicotine administration on visual attention (2-Letter Search Task), verbal information processing (Logical Reasoning Task), and working memory (N-Back Tasks). Fourteen smokers, 15 ex-smokers, and 9 never-smokers took part. All subjects participated in a training session (when smokers had been smoking ad libitum) and in two subsequent test sessions after administration of 4 mg nicotine gum or placebo, respectively. Smokers were 12-h abstinent when they received gum. An effect of acute nicotine administration (independent of smoking history) was seen only with respect to reaction time on the 2-Letter Search Task. Working memory performance was related to smoking history (smokers performed most poorly and never-smokers best). The Logical Reasoning Task showed no effects of either acute or chronic nicotine exposure. The findings indicate that nicotine may influence focusing of attention in smokers as well as nonsmokers, and that trait-like differences in some cognitive domains, such as working memory, may be either long-term effects or etiological factors related to smoking. PMID:11522460

  1. 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 ...

  2. Improving cognition in schizophrenia with antipsychotics that elicit neurogenesis through 5-HT(1A) receptor activation.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Rudy; Newman-Tancredi, Adrian

    2014-04-01

    Atypical antipsychotics fail to substantially improve cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS) and one strategy to improve it is to stimulate adult neurogenesis in hippocampus, because this structure is part of an altered circuitry that underlies aspects of CIAS. Deficits in hippocampal adult neurogenesis may disrupt cognitive processes that are dependent on newborn neurons, such as pattern separation (the formation of distinct representations of similar inputs). Mechanisms by which hippocampal adult neurogenesis can be increased are therefore of therapeutic interest and a promising molecular target is the activation of serotonin 5-HT(1A) receptors because agonists at this site increase adult neuronal proliferation in the dentate gyrus. We hypothesize that use of antipsychotics possessing 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist properties may protect against or attenuate CIAS by a dual mechanism: a favorable influence on adult neurogenesis that develops upon sustained drug treatment, and an increase in dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex that starts upon acute treatment. This hypothesis is consistent with the beneficial properties of 5-HT(1A) activation reported from pilot clinical studies using 5-HT(1A) agonists as adjunct to antipsychotic treatments. Recent antipsychotics, including clozapine and aripiprazole, exhibit different levels of 5-HT(1A) receptor partial agonism and may, therefore, differentially elicit hippocampal adult neurogenesis and increases in prefrontal cortex dopamine. We suggest that comparative studies should elucidate correlations between effects of antipsychotics on adult neurogenesis and prefrontal cortex dopamine with effects on performance in translational cognitive tasks known to involve new born neurons, such as tasks involving pattern separation, and working memory tasks sensitive to prefrontal cortex dopamine levels. PMID:24423786

  3. 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

  4. Novel piperazine derivative PMS1339 exhibits tri-functional properties and cognitive improvement in mice.

    PubMed

    Miezan Ezoulin, Jean Marc; Shao, Bi-Yun; Xia, Zheng; Xie, Qiong; Li, Juan; Cui, Yong-Yao; Wang, Hao; Dong, Chang-Zhi; Zhao, Yan-Xing; Massicot, France; Qiu, Zhui-Bai; Heymans, Françoise; Chen, Hong-Zhuan

    2009-11-01

    Amyloid-beta-induced neuroinflammation plays a central role in the extensive loss of cholinergic neurons and cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. The acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors are the first class of drugs used to enhance surviving cholinergic activities. However, their limited effectiveness following long-term treatment raises a need for new multi-target therapies. We report herein a novel piperazine derivative compound PMS1339 possesses multifunctional properties including anti-platelet-activating factor, AChE inhibition, Abeta aggregation inhibition and cognitive improvement. PMS1339 could significantly inhibit both mice brain AChE (IC50=4.41+/-0.63 microM) and sera butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE, IC50=1.09+/-0.20 microM). PMS1339 was also found to inhibit neuronal AChE secreted by SH-SY5Y cell line (IC50=17.95+/-2.31 microM). Enzyme kinetics experiments performed on electric eel AChE indicated that PMS1339 acts as a mixed type competitive AChE inhibitor. Molecular docking studies using the X-ray crystal structure of AChE from Torpedo californica elucidated the interactions between PMS1339 and AChE: PMS1339 is well buried inside the active-site gorge of AChE interacting with Trp84 at the bottom, Tyr121 halfway down and Trp279 at the peripheral anionic site (PAS). Thioflavin T-based fluorimetric assay revealed the ability of PMS1339 to inhibit AChE-induced Abeta aggregation. In-vivo study indicated PMS1339 (1 mg/kg i.p.) reversed scopolamine-induced memory impairment in mice. Overall, these findings indicated that PMS1339 exhibits tri-functional properties in vitro and cognitive improvement in vivo, and revealed the emergence of a multi-target-directed ligand to tackle the determinants of Alzheimer's disease. PMID:19460190

  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. Cognitive performance and electrophysiological indices of cognitive control: a validation study of conflict adaptation.

    PubMed

    Clayson, Peter E; Larson, Michael J

    2012-05-01

    Psychiatric and neurologic disorders are associated with deficits in the postconflict recruitment of cognitive control. The primary aim of this study was to validate the relationship between cognitive functioning and indices of conflict adaptation. Event-related potentials were obtained from 89 healthy individuals who completed an Eriksen flanker task. Neuropsychological domains tested included memory, verbal fluency, and attention/executive functioning. Behavioral measures and N2 amplitudes showed significant conflict adaptation (i.e., previous-trial congruencies influenced current-trial measures). Higher scores on the attention/executive functioning and verbal fluency domains were associated with larger incongruent-trial N2 conflict adaptation; measures of cognitive functioning were not related to behavioral indices. This study provides initial validation of N2 conflict adaptation effects as cognitive function-related aspects of cognitive control. PMID:22292850

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

    PubMed Central

    Schmitz, Rémy; Peigneux, Philippe; Leproult, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    Beneficial effects of napping or bright light exposure on cognitive performance have been reported in participants exposed to sleep loss. Nonetheless, few studies investigated the effect of these potential countermeasures against the temporary drop in performance observed in mid-afternoon, and even less so on cognitive flexibility, a crucial component of executive functions. This study investigated the impact of either an afternoon nap or bright light exposure on post-prandial alterations in task switching performance in well-rested participants. Twenty-five healthy adults participated in two randomized experimental conditions, either wake versus nap (n=15), or bright light versus placebo (n=10). Participants were tested on a switching task three times (morning, post-lunch and late afternoon sessions). The interventions occurred prior to the post-lunch session. In the nap/wake condition, participants either stayed awake watching a 30-minute documentary or had the opportunity to take a nap for 30 minutes. In the bright light/placebo condition, participants watched a documentary under either bright blue light or dim orange light (placebo) for 30 minutes. The switch cost estimates cognitive flexibility and measures task-switching efficiency. Increased switch cost scores indicate higher difficulties to switch between tasks. In both control conditions (wake or placebo), accuracy switch-cost score increased post lunch. Both interventions (nap or bright light) elicited a decrease in accuracy switch-cost score post lunch, which was associated with diminished fatigue and decreased variability in vigilance. Additionally, there was a trend for a post-lunch benefit of bright light with a decreased latency switch-cost score. In the nap group, improvements in accuracy switch-cost score were associated with more NREM sleep stage N1. Thus, exposure to bright light during the post-lunch dip, a countermeasure easily applicable in daily life, results in similar beneficial effects as a short nap on performance in the cognitive flexibility domain with possible additional benefits on latency switch-cost scores. PMID:26016658

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Which psychosocial factors best predict cognitive performance in older adults?

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    Negative affect (e.g., depression) is associated with accelerated age-related cognitive decline and heightened dementia risk. Fewer studies examine positive psychosocial factors (e.g., emotional support, self-efficacy) in cognitive aging. Preliminary reports suggest that these variables predict slower cognitive decline independent of negative affect. No reports have examined these factors in a single model to determine which best relate to cognition. Data from 482 individuals 55 and older came from the normative sample for the NIH Toolbox for the Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function. Negative and positive psychosocial factors, executive functioning, working memory, processing speed, and episodic memory were measured with the NIH Toolbox Emotion and Cognition modules. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling characterized independent relations between psychosocial factors and cognition. Psychosocial variables loaded onto negative and positive factors. Independent of education, negative affect and health status, greater emotional support was associated with better task-switching and processing speed. Greater self-efficacy was associated with better working memory. Negative affect was not independently associated with any cognitive variables. Findings support the conceptual distinctness of negative and positive psychosocial factors in older adults. Emotional support and self-efficacy may be more closely tied to cognition than other psychosocial variables. PMID:24685143

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. Astrocytic plasticity as a possible mediator of the cognitive improvements after environmental enrichment in aged rats.

    PubMed

    Sampedro-Piquero, P; De Bartolo, Paola; Petrosini, Laura; Zancada-Menendez, C; Arias, J L; Begega, A

    2014-10-01

    Currently, little is known about the effect of environmental enrichment (EE) on astrocytic plasticity, especially during aging. Given the newly discovered role of the astrocytes in regulating the synaptic transmission and thereby, the cognitive functions, we aimed to study the impact of EE on the performance in a spatial memory task and on the number and morphology of GFAP immunopositive cells in the dorsal hippocampus. After two months of EE (3 h/per day), the animals were tested in the Radial-Arm Water Maze (RAWM) for four days, with six daily trials. Next, we analyzed the changes in the GFAP immunopositive cells in CA1, CA3 and Dentate Gyrus (DG). Behavioral results showed that, even in advanced ages, EE improved the performance in a spatial memory task. Also, we found that aged rats submitted to EE had more GFAP immunopositive cells in the DG and more complex astrocytes, revealed by Sholl analysis, in all hippocampal subfields with respect to the other experimental conditions. Interestingly, the learning of a spatial memory task produced more morphological complexity and higher levels of GFAP immunopositive cells with regard to a standard control group, but not at the same level of the enriched groups. Thus, it is possible that the plastic changes found in the hippocampal astrocytes after EE are involved in a brain reserve to cope with age-related cognitive impairments. PMID:24727294

  15. The effect of passive heating and head cooling on perception, cardiovascular function and cognitive performance in the heat.

    PubMed

    Simmons, Shona E; Saxby, Brian K; McGlone, Francis P; Jones, David A

    2008-09-01

    The present study examined the effects of raising both skin temperature and core temperature, separately and in combination, on perceptions of heat-related fatigue (alertness, contentment, calmness and thermal comfort), cardiovascular function and on objective measures of cognitive performance (reaction time and accuracy). Ten (six males) subjects had cognitive performance assessed in three conditions; at low skin and low core temperature (LL), at high skin and low core temperature (HL) and at high skin and high core temperatures (HH). In one trial, subjects had their head and neck cooled (HC); the other trial was a control (CON). Raising skin temperature increased heart rate and decreased perception of thermal comfort (P < 0.05), whereas raising both skin and core temperature decreased perception of heat-related fatigue (P < 0.05) and increased cardiovascular strain (P < 0.05) resulting in decrements in cognitive performance shown by faster reaction times (P < 0.05) and a loss of accuracy (P < 0.05). At high skin and core temperatures, cooling the head and neck improved feelings of heat-related fatigue (P < 0.05) and cardiovascular strain (P < 0.05), but had no effect on cognitive performance. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that feelings of heat-related fatigue and cardiovascular strain can be attributed to a combination of elevated skin and core body temperature, whereas decrements in cognitive performance can be attributed to an elevated core temperature. PMID:18214520

  16. Markers for enhancing team cognition in complex environments: the power of team performance diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Salas, Eduardo; Rosen, Michael A; Burke, C Shawn; Nicholson, Denise; Howse, William R

    2007-05-01

    Team cognition has been identified as a key component to achieve mission goals in dynamic, team-based, stressful, distributed and multicultural operations. Effective team performance in complex environments requires that team members hold a shared understanding of the task, their equipment, and their teammates. So, many of the simulation-based training (SBT) systems and programs have been designed (partly) to enhance shared/team cognition. However, these simulation systems lack the sufficient robustness in their performance assessment tools or capabilities (if they have any) to allow for a rich and deep understanding of team cognition. Therefore, the purpose of this article is fourfold: I) to present a brief account of team cognition; 2) to develop the concept of performance diagnosis and present SBT as an approach to the performance diagnosis of team cognition; 3) to present a set of illustrative behavioral markers of team cognition; and 4) to explicate how these elements (performance diagnosis, team cognition, and SBT) can be leveraged to increase training effectiveness through the development of performance profiles--a rich, detailed, and informative set of metrics--and cognitive and behavioral indicators or illustrative markers of team cognition. Research needs are discussed in terms of realizing the potential of this approach in operational and embedded training contexts. PMID:17547308

  17. Family history of Alzheimer’s disease limits improvement in cognitive function after bariatric surgery

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Background/Objective: Bariatric surgery can reverse cognitive impairments associated with obesity. However, such benefits may be attenuated in individuals with a predisposing risk for cognitive impairment such as family history of Alzheimer’s disease. Methods: In all, 94 bariatric surgery participants completed a computerized cognitive test battery before and 12 weeks after surgery. Family history of Alzheimer’s disease was obtained through self-report. Results: In the overall sample, cognitive function improved in memory and attention/executive function 12 weeks post-surgery. Repeated measures showed similar rates of improvements in attention/executive function between patients with and without a family history of Alzheimer’s disease. In contrast, only individuals without a family history of Alzheimer’s disease exhibited post-operative improvements in memory. A family history of Alzheimer’s disease was associated with greater post-surgery rates of cognitive impairment. Conclusions: Family history of Alzheimer’s disease may limit post-surgery cognitive benefits. Future studies should examine whether weight loss can modify the course of cognitive decline in patients at-risk for Alzheimer’s disease. PMID:26770731

  18. Major Depressive Disorder, Cognitive Symptoms, and Neuropsychological Performance among Ethnically Diverse HIV+ Men and Women

    PubMed Central

    Fellows, Robert P.; Byrd, Desiree A.; Morgello, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD), cognitive symptoms, and mild cognitive deficits commonly occur in HIV-infected individuals, despite highly active antiretroviral therapies. In this study, we compared neuropsychological performance and cognitive symptoms of 191 HIV-infected participants. Results indicated that participants with a formal diagnosis of current MDD performed significantly worse than participants without MDD in all seven neuropsychological domains evaluated, with the largest effect sizes in information processing speed, learning, and memory. In addition, a brief assessment of cognitive symptoms, derived from a comprehensive neuromedical interview, correlated significantly with neurocognitive functioning. Participants with MDD reported more cognitive symptoms and showed greater neurocognitive deficits than participants without MDD. These findings indicate that HIV-infected adults with MDD have more cognitive symptoms and worse neuropsychological performance than HIV-infected individuals without MDD. The results of this study have important implications for the diagnosis of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). PMID:23290446

  19. Performance evaluation of an improved street sweeper

    SciTech Connect

    Duncan, M.W.; Jain, R.C.; Yung, S.C.; Patterson, R.G.

    1985-10-01

    The paper gives results of an evaluation of the performance of an improved street sweeper (ISS) and conventional sweepers. Dust emissions from paved roads are a major source of urban airborne particles. These emissions can be controlled by street cleaning, but commonly used sweepers were not designed for fine particle collection. A sweeper was modified to improve its ability to remove fine particles from streets and to contain its dust dispersions. Performance was measured by sampling street solids with a vacuum system before and after sweeping. Sieve analyses were made on these samples. During sampling, cascade impactor subsamples were collected to measure the finer particles. Also, dust dispersions were measured.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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.…

  5. Using Representations in Geometry: A Model of Students' Cognitive and Affective Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Panaoura, Areti

    2014-01-01

    Self-efficacy beliefs in mathematics, as a dimension of the affective domain, are related with students' performance on solving tasks and mainly on overcoming cognitive obstacles. The present study investigated the interrelations of cognitive performance on geometry and young students' self-efficacy beliefs about using representations…

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Drill bit benchmarking improves drilling performance

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, L.A. Jr.; Stoltz, D.S.; Nims, D.G.

    1997-06-02

    A practical method for standardizing drill bit selection reduced drilling costs by $5.5 million on the North Slope of Alaska. Shared Services Drilling (SSD), a consortium of BP Exploration Alaska and ARCO Alaska Inc., developed a benchmarking system that improved drilling performance across the Prudhoe Bay Unit (PBU). The process involved input from drill bit manufacturers, rig crews, and the operator. The paper discusses well configurations, bit standardization, benchmarking strategy, bit performance, PDC bits, and results.

  10. Physical Activity in the School Setting: Cognitive Performance Is Not Affected by Three Different Types of Acute Exercise

    PubMed Central

    van den Berg, Vera; Saliasi, Emi; de Groot, Renate H. M.; Jolles, Jelle; Chinapaw, Mai J. M.; Singh, Amika S.

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that a single bout of physical exercise can have immediate positive effects on cognitive performance of children and adolescents. However, the type of exercise that affects cognitive performance the most in young adolescents is not fully understood. Therefore, this controlled study examined the acute effects of three types of 12-min classroom-based exercise sessions on information processing speed and selective attention. The three conditions consisted of aerobic, coordination, and strength exercises, respectively. In particular, this study focused on the feasibility and efficiency of introducing short bouts of exercise in the classroom. One hundred and ninety five students (5th and 6th grade; 10–13 years old) participated in a double baseline within-subjects design, with students acting as their own control. Exercise type was randomly assigned to each class and acted as between-subject factor. Before and immediately after both the control and the exercise session, students performed two cognitive tests that measured information processing speed (Letter Digit Substitution Test) and selective attention (d2 Test of Attention). The results revealed that exercising at low to moderate intensity does not have an effect on the cognitive parameters tested in young adolescents. Furthermore, there were no differential effects of exercise type. The results of this study are discussed in terms of the caution which should be taken when conducting exercise sessions in a classroom setting aimed at improving cognitive performance.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. The impact of secondary task cognitive processing demand on driving performance.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Myra; Biever, Wayne J; Gallagher, John P; Dingus, Thomas A

    2006-09-01

    Crash causation research has identified inattention as a major source of driver error leading to crashes. The series of experiments presented herein investigate the characteristics of an in-vehicle information system (IVIS) task that could hinder driving performance due to uncertainty buildup and cognitive capture. Three on-road studies were performed that used instrumented passenger and tractor-trailer vehicles to obtain real-world driving performance data. Participants included young, middle-aged, and older passenger vehicle drivers and middle-aged and older commercial vehicle operators. While driving, they were presented with IVIS tasks with various information densities, decision-making elements, presentation formats, and presentation modalities (visual or auditory). The experiments showed that, for both presentation modalities, the presence of multiple decision-making elements in a task had a substantial negative impact on driving performance of both automobile drivers and truck drivers when compared to conventional tasks or tasks with only one decision-making element. The results from these experiments can be used to improve IVIS designs, allowing for potential IVIS task phenomena such as uncertainty buildup and cognitive capture to be avoided. PMID:16584702

  14. 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

  15. Children's Sleep, Sleepiness, and Performance on Cognitive Tasks.

    PubMed

    Buckhalt, Joseph A

    2011-01-01

    While causal connections between sleep deprivation and attention, learning, and memory have been well established in adults, much less research has been done with children. Relations between the amount and quality of sleep and daytime sleepiness have been found for a number of cognitive and academic tasks in several groups of children. These relations have been found for children who have sleep disorders, for children with disorders involving cognitive impairment, and for typically developing children with no known disorders. The research is reviewed here with a focus on the types of cognitive and academic tasks that have been related to insufficient sleep. A series of studies is described that relates sleep parameters to the Woodcock-Johnson® III Tests of Cognitive Abilities and other, similar measures. Implications for educators and psychologists who work with children are discussed. PMID:25279390

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. Electrolysis Performance Improvement and Validation Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, Franz H.

    1992-01-01

    Viewgraphs on electrolysis performance improvement and validation experiment are presented. Topics covered include: water electrolysis: an ever increasing need/role for space missions; static feed electrolysis (SFE) technology: a concept developed for space applications; experiment objectives: why test in microgravity environment; and experiment description: approach, hardware description, test sequence and schedule.

  20. Using Semantic Coaching to Improve Teacher Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caccia, Paul F.

    1996-01-01

    Explains that semantic coaching is a system of conversational analysis and communication design developed by Fernando Flores, and was based on the earlier research of John Austin and John Searle. Describes how to establish the coaching relationship, and how to coach for improved performance. (PA)

  1. 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)

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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...

  4. Virulent bacterial infection improves aversive learning performance in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Babin, Aurélie; Kolly, Sylvain; Kawecki, Tadeusz J

    2014-10-01

    Virulent infections are expected to impair learning ability, either as a direct consequence of stressed physiological state or as an adaptive response that minimizes diversion of energy from immune defense. This prediction has been well supported for mammals and bees. Here, we report an opposite result in Drosophila melanogaster. Using an odor-mechanical shock conditioning paradigm, we found that intestinal infection with bacterial pathogens Pseudomonas entomophila or Erwinia c. carotovora improved flies' learning performance after a 1h retention interval. Infection with P. entomophila (but not E. c. carotovora) also improved learning performance after 5 min retention. No effect on learning performance was detected for intestinal infections with an avirulent GacA mutant of P. entomophila or for virulent systemic (hemocoel) infection with E. c. carotovora. Assays of unconditioned responses to odorants and shock do not support a major role for changes in general responsiveness to stimuli in explaining the changes in learning performance, although differences in their specific salience for learning cannot be excluded. Our results demonstrate that the effects of pathogens on learning performance in insects are less predictable than suggested by previous studies, and support the notion that immune stress can sometimes boost cognitive abilities. PMID:24863366

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. The largest human cognitive performance dataset reveals insights into the effects of lifestyle factors and aging

    PubMed Central

    Sternberg, Daniel A.; Ballard, Kacey; Hardy, Joseph L.; Katz, Benjamin; Doraiswamy, P. Murali; Scanlon, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Making new breakthroughs in understanding the processes underlying human cognition may depend on the availability of very large datasets that have not historically existed in psychology and neuroscience. Lumosity is a web-based cognitive training platform that has grown to include over 600 million cognitive training task results from over 35 million individuals, comprising the largest existing dataset of human cognitive performance. As part of the Human Cognition Project, Lumosity's collaborative research program to understand the human mind, Lumos Labs researchers and external research collaborators have begun to explore this dataset in order uncover novel insights about the correlates of cognitive performance. This paper presents two preliminary demonstrations of some of the kinds of questions that can be examined with the dataset. The first example focuses on replicating known findings relating lifestyle factors to baseline cognitive performance in a demographically diverse, healthy population at a much larger scale than has previously been available. The second example examines a question that would likely be very difficult to study in laboratory-based and existing online experimental research approaches at a large scale: specifically, how learning ability for different types of cognitive tasks changes with age. We hope that these examples will provoke the imagination of researchers who are interested in collaborating to answer fundamental questions about human cognitive performance. PMID:23801955

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. Erythropoietin improves mood and modulates the cognitive and neural processing of emotion 3 days post administration.

    PubMed

    Miskowiak, Kamilla; Inkster, Becky; Selvaraj, Sudhakar; Wise, Richard; Goodwin, Guy M; Harmer, Catherine J

    2008-02-01

    Erythropoietin (Epo) has neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects and is a promising candidate for treatment of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorder. Recently, we demonstrated that Epo modulates memory-relevant hippocampal response and fear processing in human models of antidepressant drug action 1 week post-administration, and improves self-reported mood for 3 days immediately following administration. The present study explored the effects of Epo (40 000 IU) vs saline on self-reported mood and on neural and cognitive function in healthy volunteers 3 days post-administration to test the reliability of the rapid mood improvement and its neuropsychological basis. Neuronal responses during the processing of happy and fearful faces were investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); facial expression recognition performance was assessed after the fMRI scan. Daily ratings of mood were obtained for 3 days after Epo/saline administration. During faces processing Epo enhanced activation in the left amygdala and right precuneus to happy and fearful expressions. This was paired with improved recognition of all facial expressions, in particular of low intensity happiness and fear. This is similar to behavioral effects observed with acute administration of serotonergic antidepressants. Consistent with our previous finding, Epo improved self-reported mood for all 3 days post-administration. Together, these results suggest that characterization of the effects of Epo in a clinically depressed group is warranted. PMID:17473836

  11. Characteristics of extracurricular physical activity and cognitive performance in adolescents. The AVENA study.

    PubMed

    Esteban-Cornejo, Irene; Gómez-Martínez, Sonia; Tejero-González, Carlos M; Castillo, Ruth; Lanza-Saiz, Ricardo; Vicente-Rodríguez, German; Marcos, Ascensión; Martinez-Gomez, David

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this report was to examine the associations between some characteristics (i.e., structure and number) of extracurricular physical activity (EPA) and cognitive performance in adolescents. A total of 1662 adolescents (880 girls; 13.0-18.5 years) from 5 Spanish cities (Granada, Madrid, Murcia, Santander and Zaragoza) were included in this study. Structure (organised and non-organised) and number of EPAs, and participation at vigorous intensity during EPA were self-reported. Cognitive performance (verbal, numeric and reasoning abilities, and an overall score) was measured with the "SRA-Test of Educational Ability". Results showed that vigorous EPA was positively associated with all cognitive variables. Adolescents who practiced an organised EPA had higher scores in 3 of the 4 cognitive variables than those who practiced a non-organised EPA (all P < 0.05). Likewise, the group who participated in more than one EPA had higher cognitive performance in all variables than the group who participated in only one EPA (all P < 0.05). Regardless of potential confounder variables, including vigorous EPA, both structure and number of EPAs were each other independently associated with cognitive performance. Therefore, structure and number of EPAs may positively influence cognitive performance in adolescents. Participating in multiple, organised EPA may have benefits for cognitive performance. PMID:24779379

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. The influence of cognitive load on spatial search performance.

    PubMed

    Longstaffe, Kate A; Hood, Bruce M; Gilchrist, Iain D

    2014-01-01

    During search, executive function enables individuals to direct attention to potential targets, remember locations visited, and inhibit distracting information. In the present study, we investigated these executive processes in large-scale search. In our tasks, participants searched a room containing an array of illuminated locations embedded in the floor. The participants' task was to press the switches at the illuminated locations on the floor so as to locate a target that changed color when pressed. The perceptual salience of the search locations was manipulated by having some locations flashing and some static. Participants were more likely to search at flashing locations, even when they were explicitly informed that the target was equally likely to be at any location. In large-scale search, attention was captured by the perceptual salience of the flashing lights, leading to a bias to explore these targets. Despite this failure of inhibition, participants were able to restrict returns to previously visited locations, a measure of spatial memory performance. Participants were more able to inhibit exploration to flashing locations when they were not required to remember which locations had previously been visited. A concurrent digit-span memory task further disrupted inhibition during search, as did a concurrent auditory attention task. These experiments extend a load theory of attention to large-scale search, which relies on egocentric representations of space. High cognitive load on working memory leads to increased distractor interference, providing evidence for distinct roles for the executive subprocesses of memory and inhibition during large-scale search. PMID:24170380

  15. 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

  16. Cognitive and oculomotor performance in subjects with low and high schizotypy: implications for translational drug development studies.

    PubMed

    Koychev, I; Joyce, D; Barkus, E; Ettinger, U; Schmechtig, A; Dourish, C T; Dawson, G R; Craig, K J; Deakin, J F W

    2016-01-01

    The development of drugs to improve cognition in patients with schizophrenia is a major unmet clinical need. A number of promising compounds failed in recent clinical trials, a pattern linked to poor translation between preclinical and clinical stages of drug development. Seeking proof of efficacy in early Phase 1 studies in surrogate patient populations (for example, high schizotypy individuals where subtle cognitive impairment is present) has been suggested as a strategy to reduce attrition in the later stages of drug development. However, there is little agreement regarding the pattern of distribution of schizotypal features in the general population, creating uncertainty regarding the optimal control group that should be included in prospective trials. We aimed to address this question by comparing the performance of groups derived from the general population with low, average and high schizotypy scores over a range of cognitive and oculomotor tasks. We found that tasks dependent on frontal inhibitory mechanisms (N-Back working memory and anti-saccade oculomotor tasks), as well as a smooth-pursuit oculomotor task were sensitive to differences in the schizotypy phenotype. In these tasks the cognitive performance of 'low schizotypes' was significantly different from 'high schizotypes' with 'average schizotypes' having an intermediate performance. These results indicate that for evaluating putative cognition enhancers for treating schizophrenia in early-drug development studies the maximum schizotypy effect would be achieved using a design that compares low and high schizotypes. PMID:27187233

  17. Improving the uptake and comprehensiveness of bedside cognitive testing amongst liaison psychiatrists over an eight-month period.

    PubMed Central

    McCormack, Ruaidhri

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this quality improvement (QI) project was to improve the uptake and comprehensiveness of bedside cognitive testing amongst liaison psychiatrists over an eight month period. The baseline measurement involved an audit of the practice of the neuropsychiatry liaison team over six months at the 840 bed St Thomas's Hospital in London, UK. Of 35 referrals, 21 patients were able, and suitable, for cognitive testing based on the referral data and clinical interview. Fourteen (66.6%) of these patients had an Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE), while 5 (23.8%) had frontal testing. The frontal tests performed were variable and inconsistent. Two Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles were then conducted. Clear guidance was issued to the team on the use of the ACE or Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in suitable patients, and how these can be supplemented by frontal testing. Given the inconsistency in the types and combination of frontal tests being conducted at baseline, a frontal lobe test sheet containing established tests was developed and implemented. In PDSA cycle 1, 100% (n=10) of able and suitable referrals had an ACE or MoCA while 100% had frontal testing (80% of these using the dedicated test sheet). In PDSA cycle 2, improvements were broadly maintained with 85.7% (n=6) of referrals having an ACE/MoCA and 85.7% having frontal testing (83.3% of these using the dedicated frontal test sheet). In conclusion, our team improved the uptake and comprehensiveness of bedside cognitive testing by changing existing practice with clear protocols regarding the use of the ACE/MoCA and the implementation of a frontal test sheet. PMID:27096088

  18. 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…

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Pons van Dijk, Gaby; Huijts, Marjolein; Lodder, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Age-related cognitive decline is associated with increased risk of disability, dementia, and death. Recent studies suggest improvement in cognitive speed, attention, and executive functioning with physical activity. However, whether such improvements are activity specific is unclear. Therefore, we aimed to study the effect of 1 year age-adapted Taekwondo training on several cognitive functions, including reaction/motor time, information processing speed, and working and executive memory, in 24 healthy volunteers over 40. Reaction and motor time decreased with 41.2 and 18.4 s (p = 0.004, p = 0.015), respectively. Digit symbol coding task improved with a mean of 3.7 digits (p = 0.017). Digit span, letter fluency, and trail making test task-completion-time all improved, but not statistically significant. The questionnaire reported “better” reaction time in 10 and “unchanged” in 9 of the 19 study compliers. In conclusion, our data suggest that age-adapted Taekwondo training improves various aspects of cognitive function in people over 40, which may, therefore, offer a cheap, safe, and enjoyable way to mitigate age-related cognitive decline. PMID:24273512

  1. Visual Scanning and Cognitive Performance in Prediagnostic and Early-Stage Huntington's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Blekher, Tanya; Weaver, Marjorie R.; Marshall, Jeanine; Hui, Siu; Jackson, Jacqueline Gray; Stout, Julie C.; Beristain, Xabier; Wojcieszek, Joanne; Yee, Robert D.; Foroud, Tatiana M.

    2010-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate visual scanning strategies in carriers of the Huntington disease (HD) gene expansion and to test whether there is an association between measures of visual scanning and cognitive performance. The study sample included control (NC, n = 23), prediagnostic (PDHD, n = 21), and subjects recently diagnosed with HD (HD, n = 19). All participants completed a uniform clinical evaluation that included examination by neurologist and molecular testing. Eye movements were recorded during completion of the Digit Symbol Subscale (DS) test. Quantitative measures of the subject's visual scanning were evaluated using joint analysis of eye movements and performance on the DS test. All participants employed a simple visual scanning strategy when completing the DS test. There was a significant group effect and a linear trend of decreasing frequency and regularity of visual scanning from NC to PDHD to HD. The performance of all groups improved slightly and in a parallel fashion across the duration of the DS test. There was a strong correlation between visual scanning measures and the DS cognitive scores. While all individuals employed a similar visual scanning strategy, the visual scanning measures grew progressively worse from NC to PDHD to HD. The deficits in visual scanning accounted, at least in part, for the decrease in the DS score. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society PMID:19053053

  2. Visual scanning and cognitive performance in prediagnostic and early-stage Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Blekher, Tanya; Weaver, Marjorie R; Marshall, Jeanine; Hui, Siu; Jackson, Jacqueline Gray; Stout, Julie C; Beristain, Xabier; Wojcieszek, Joanne; Yee, Robert D; Foroud, Tatiana M

    2009-03-15

    The objective of this study was to evaluate visual scanning strategies in carriers of the Huntington disease (HD) gene expansion and to test whether there is an association between measures of visual scanning and cognitive performance. The study sample included control (NC, n = 23), prediagnostic (PDHD, n = 21), and subjects recently diagnosed with HD (HD, n = 19). All participants completed a uniform clinical evaluation that included examination by neurologist and molecular testing. Eye movements were recorded during completion of the Digit Symbol Subscale (DS) test. Quantitative measures of the subject's visual scanning were evaluated using joint analysis of eye movements and performance on the DS test. All participants employed a simple visual scanning strategy when completing the DS test. There was a significant group effect and a linear trend of decreasing frequency and regularity of visual scanning from NC to PDHD to HD. The performance of all groups improved slightly and in a parallel fashion across the duration of the DS test. There was a strong correlation between visual scanning measures and the DS cognitive scores. While all individuals employed a similar visual scanning strategy, the visual scanning measures grew progressively worse from NC to PDHD to HD. The deficits in visual scanning accounted, at least in part, for the decrease in the DS score. PMID:19053053

  3. 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.).

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Cognitive performance in patients with burnout, in relation to diurnal salivary cortisol.

    PubMed

    Osterberg, K; Karlson, B; Hansen, A M

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated cognitive performance in patients with burnout, in relation to the flexibility of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Clinical cases with work stress-induced burnout (n = 65), and demographically matched, healthy reference subjects (n = 65), were given six neuropsychological tests and a self-rating scale for cognitive problems. Diurnal salivary cortisol was measured among burnout cases and an external reference group (n = 174), including a dexamethasone suppression test (DST) among burnout cases. Compared with referents, the burnout group under-performed in a cognitive speed test (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) Digit Symbol), but not in any other test of sustained attention, episodic memory, or vocabulary. Burnout cases had considerably more subjective cognitive problems, but ratings were unrelated to test performance. Compared with referents, burnout cases had similar morning salivary cortisol levels and similar awakening response, but lower evening cortisol. Among burnout cases, lower diurnal cortisol variability was related to slower performance in several tests. The DST response showed no consistent relationship with any cognitive parameter. Hence, despite considerable subjective cognitive problems, the burnout group showed only a partial, mild deviation in cognitive performance. A flatter diurnal cortisol profile was related to lower cognitive processing speed, but diurnal cortisol pattern and DST response were normal, suggesting a maintained HPA axis flexibility. PMID:18951245

  7. Correlation Between Brain Activation Changes and Cognitive Improvement Following Cognitive Remediation Therapy in Schizophrenia: An Activation Likelihood Estimation Meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Yan-Yan; Wang, Ji-Jun; Yan, Chao; Li, Zi-Qiang; Pan, Xiao; Cui, Yi; Su, Tong; Liu, Tao-Sheng; Tang, Yun-Xiang

    2016-01-01

    Background: Several studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) have indicated that cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) might improve cognitive function by changing brain activations in patients with schizophrenia. However, the results were not consistent in these changed brain areas in different studies. The present activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis was conducted to investigate whether cognitive function change was accompanied by the brain activation changes, and where the main areas most related to these changes were in schizophrenia patients after CRT. Analyses of whole-brain studies and whole-brain + region of interest (ROI) studies were compared to explore the effect of the different methodologies on the results. Methods: A computerized systematic search was conducted to collect fMRI and PET studies on brain activation changes in schizophrenia patients from pre- to post-CRT. Nine studies using fMRI techniques were included in the meta-analysis. Ginger ALE 2.3.1 was used to perform meta-analysis across these imaging studies. Results: The main areas with increased brain activation were in frontal and parietal lobe, including left medial frontal gyrus, left inferior frontal gyrus, right middle frontal gyrus, right postcentral gyrus, and inferior parietal lobule in patients after CRT, yet no decreased brain activation was found. Although similar increased activation brain areas were identified in ALE with or without ROI studies, analysis including ROI studies had a higher ALE value. Conclusions: The current findings suggest that CRT might improve the cognition of schizophrenia patients by increasing activations of the frontal and parietal lobe. In addition, it might provide more evidence to confirm results by including ROI studies in ALE meta-analysis. PMID:26904993

  8. Does stimulation of 5-HT(1A) receptors improve cognition in schizophrenia?

    PubMed

    Meltzer, Herbert Y; Sumiyoshi, Tomiki

    2008-12-16

    Cognitive impairment is a key feature of schizophrenia and may be the most important determinant of outcome in schizophrenia. This impairment is diffuse and may reflect abnormalities in frontal cortex, hippocampus and other brain regions. While deficits in glutamatergic, GABAergic, dopaminergic and cholinergic impairment have received the most attention as the basis of this impairment, there are many reasons for considering the role of serotonin (5-HT) in contributing to these deficits. This may be via its influence on dopaminergic, cholinergic, glutamatergic and GABAergic function, as well as various growth factors that have been implicated in schizophrenia. Of the 14 known serotonin receptors, the 5-HT(1A) receptor is a key candidate for mediating at least some of the influence 5-HT has on cognition. 5-HT(1A) receptors are upregulated in postmortem specimens from patients with schizophrenia, suggesting a deficit in 5-HT(1A) function in this disorder. Atypical but not typical antipsychotic drugs stimulate the efflux of dopamine from cortex by a 5-HT(1A)-dependent mechanism. A series of studies from this laboratory involving the 5-HT(1A) partial agonists tandospirone and buspirone have reported a modest ability of these agents to improve some domains of cognition in patients receiving typical or atypical antipsychotic drugs. Preclinical studies have been mixed in regard to the ability of 5-HT(1A) partial agonists to improve cognition in various paradigms; some studies report that 5-HT(1A) antagonists are effective to improve cognition. Aripiprazole, clozapine, olanzapine, perospirone, quetiapine risperidone, and ziprasidone are examples of atypical antipsychotic drugs which are either direct or indirect 5-HT(1A) agonists which have been shown to improve cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia. Further study is needed to determine the role of the 5-HT(1A) receptor to improve cognitive function in schizophrenia. PMID:18707769

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Improving Social Cognition in People with Schizophrenia with RC2S: Two Single-Case Studies

    PubMed Central

    Peyroux, Elodie; Franck, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Difficulties in social interactions are a central characteristic of people with schizophrenia, and can be partly explained by impairments of social cognitive processes. New strategies of cognitive remediation have been recently developed to target these deficits. The RC2S therapy is an individualized and partly computerized program through which patients practice social interactions and develop social cognitive abilities with simulation techniques in a realistic environment. Here, we present the results of two case-studies involving two patients with schizophrenia presenting with specific profiles of impaired social cognition. Each patient completed three baseline sessions, 14 treatment sessions, and 3 follow-up sessions at the end of the therapy – and for 1 patient, another 3 sessions 9 months later. We used a multiple baseline design to assess specific components of social cognition according to the patients’ profiles. Functioning and symptomatology were also assessed at the end of the treatment and 6 months later. Results highlight significant improvements in the targeted social cognitive processes and positive changes in functioning in the long term. The RC2S program seems, thus, to be a new useful program for social cognitive remediation in schizophrenia. PMID:27199776

  15. 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

  16. Children's Sleep and Cognitive Performance: A Cross-Domain Analysis of Change Over Time

    PubMed Central

    Bub, Kristen L.; Buckhalt, Joseph A.; El-Sheikh, Mona

    2012-01-01

    Relations between changes in children's cognitive performance and changes in sleep problems were examined over a 3-year period, and family socioeconomic status, child race/ethnicity, and gender were assessed as moderators of these associations. Participants were 250 second- and third-grade (8–9 years old at Time 1) boys and girls. At each assessment, children's cognitive performance (Verbal Comprehension, Decision Speed) was measured using the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities, and sleep problems (Sleepiness, Sleep/Wake Problems) were collected via self-report. Individual growth models revealed that children who reported increases in Sleepiness exhibited little growth in Verbal Comprehension over time compared with their peers who reported decreases in Sleepiness, resulting in a nearly 11-point cognitive deficit by the end of the study. These associations were not found for Sleep/Wake Problems or Decision Speed. Child race/ethnicity and gender moderated these associations, with Sleepiness serving as a vulnerability factor for poor cognitive outcomes, especially among African American children and girls. Differences in cognitive performance for children with high and low Sleepiness trajectories ranged from 16 to 19 points for African American children and from 11 to 19 points for girls. Results build substantially on existing literature examining associations between sleep and cognitive functioning in children and are the first to demonstrate that children's sleep trajectories over 3 waves were associated with changes in their cognitive performance over time. PMID:21942668

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. Marital Conflict, Allostatic Load, and the Development of Children's Fluid Cognitive Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hinnant, J. Benjamin; El-Sheikh, Mona; Keiley, Margaret; Buckhalt, Joseph A.

    2013-01-01

    Relations between marital conflict, children's respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and fluid cognitive performance were examined over 3 years to assess allostatic processes. Participants were 251 children reporting on marital conflict, baseline RSA, and RSA reactivity (RSA-R) to a lab challenge were recorded, and fluid cognitive performance…

  20. 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…

  1. 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...

  2. Epilepsy in the School Aged Child: Cognitive-Behavioral Characteristics and Effects on Academic Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Black, Kathryn C.; Hynd, George W.

    1995-01-01

    Children with epilepsy frequently display cognitive sequelae that are overlooked or misunderstood by educational personnel, yet may adversely impact academic performance. Reviews common cognitive-behavioral characteristics of children with epilepsy, typical effects of anticonvulsant medications, and various periictal phenomena and their relative…

  3. 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…

  4. The Role of Training, Individual Differences and Knowledge Representation in Cognitive-Oriented Task Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koubek, Richard J.

    The roles of training, problem representation, and individual differences on performance of both automated (simple) and controlled (complex) process tasks were studied. The following hypotheses were tested: (1) training and cognitive style affect the representation developed; (2) training and cognitive style affect the development and performance…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Erectile Dysfunction, Vascular Risk, and Cognitive Performance in Late Middle Age

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Caitlin S.; Grant, Michael D.; Zink, Tyler A.; Panizzon, Matthew S.; Franz, Carol E.; Logue, Mark W.; Hauger, Richard L.; Kremen, William S.; Lyons, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Vascular disease is the most common etiology of erectile dysfunction (ED). Men with ED are at a 65% increased relative risk of developing coronary heart disease and a 43% increased risk of stroke within 10 years. Vascular disease is associated with cognitive impairment; ED—an overt manifestation of vascular dysfunction—could also signal early compromised cognition. We sought to determine whether cognitive differences existed between men with ED and healthy peers. Our sample consisted of 651 men (ages 51–60 years) from the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging. ED was associated with poorer cognitive performance, particularly on attention–executive–psychomotor speed tasks. ED remained significantly associated with cognition after inclusion of other cardiovascular risk factors (including hypertension, high cholesterol, body mass index, and smoking). These findings underscore the importance of further study of ED as a predictor of cognitive and cardiovascular health. PMID:24660805

  13. A Serious Game to Improve Cognitive Functions in Schizophrenia: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Amado, Isabelle; Brénugat-Herné, Lindsay; Orriols, Eric; Desombre, Colombe; Dos Santos, Maxine; Prost, Zelda; Krebs, Marie-Odile; Piolino, Pascale

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia impair everyday functioning and instrumental daily living activities. These disabilities can be partly responsible for chronicity and institutionalization. We present here a virtual reality (VR) tool in which patients with schizophrenia performed a virtual game in an imaginary town during a 3-month program. In a pilot study, seven patients with schizophrenia (DSM-5), institutionalized for many years, attended weekly 1-h-and-a-half sessions organized by two clinicians. During the first sessions, they listed together the difficulties they experienced in everyday organization and planning. After being familiarized with the joystick and the VR environment, they navigated in the town, and planned actions that were difficult for them to carry out in their usual life (e.g., shopping, memorizing the way to the supermarket or being on time at a meeting point). They had to look for alternative routes and practice a switch from a 2D Map to the 3D Map. They also gathered their efforts to share strategies for each action, or discussed the action plan they could generate to solve concrete problems. The pre/post-neuropsychological evaluations showed attention, working memory, prospective, and retrospective memory benefits, but no improvement in planning as assessed by the Zoo map test and the action program subtest of Behavioral Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome. Patients also clinically and functionally improved, gaining autonomy. Pragmatically, they reported a strong energy to elaborate concrete plans to search for jobs, or return to activities in the community. Qualitative assessments showed a benefit in sparing time, planning better, enriched relatedness, and better management of their housework. This VR game opens avenue to rehabilitation for patients with schizophrenia experiencing chronicity in their life, less attendance in daycare units, and a better community living. This program might reduce neurocognitive difficulties and might evolve into a true method for cognitive remediation (trial n° 2011-A00988-33). PMID:27148093

  14. A Serious Game to Improve Cognitive Functions in Schizophrenia: A Pilot Study.

    PubMed

    Amado, Isabelle; Brénugat-Herné, Lindsay; Orriols, Eric; Desombre, Colombe; Dos Santos, Maxine; Prost, Zelda; Krebs, Marie-Odile; Piolino, Pascale

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia impair everyday functioning and instrumental daily living activities. These disabilities can be partly responsible for chronicity and institutionalization. We present here a virtual reality (VR) tool in which patients with schizophrenia performed a virtual game in an imaginary town during a 3-month program. In a pilot study, seven patients with schizophrenia (DSM-5), institutionalized for many years, attended weekly 1-h-and-a-half sessions organized by two clinicians. During the first sessions, they listed together the difficulties they experienced in everyday organization and planning. After being familiarized with the joystick and the VR environment, they navigated in the town, and planned actions that were difficult for them to carry out in their usual life (e.g., shopping, memorizing the way to the supermarket or being on time at a meeting point). They had to look for alternative routes and practice a switch from a 2D Map to the 3D Map. They also gathered their efforts to share strategies for each action, or discussed the action plan they could generate to solve concrete problems. The pre/post-neuropsychological evaluations showed attention, working memory, prospective, and retrospective memory benefits, but no improvement in planning as assessed by the Zoo map test and the action program subtest of Behavioral Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome. Patients also clinically and functionally improved, gaining autonomy. Pragmatically, they reported a strong energy to elaborate concrete plans to search for jobs, or return to activities in the community. Qualitative assessments showed a benefit in sparing time, planning better, enriched relatedness, and better management of their housework. This VR game opens avenue to rehabilitation for patients with schizophrenia experiencing chronicity in their life, less attendance in daycare units, and a better community living. This program might reduce neurocognitive difficulties and might evolve into a true method for cognitive remediation (trial n° 2011-A00988-33). PMID:27148093

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Chronic oleoylethanolamide treatment improves spatial cognitive deficits through enhancing hippocampal neurogenesis after transient focal cerebral ischemia.

    PubMed

    Yang, Li-Chao; Guo, Han; Zhou, Hao; Suo, Da-Qin; Li, Wen-Jun; Zhou, Yu; Zhao, Yun; Yang, Wu-Shuang; Jin, Xin

    2015-04-15

    Oleoylethanolamide (OEA) has been shown to have neuroprotective effects after acute cerebral ischemic injury. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chronic OEA treatment on ischemia-induced spatial cognitive impairments, electrophysiology behavior and hippocampal neurogenesis. Daily treatments of 30 mg/kg OEA significantly ameliorated spatial cognitive deficits and attenuated the inhibition of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) rat model. Moreover, OEA administration improved cognitive function in a manner associated with enhanced neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Further study demonstrated that treatment with OEA markedly increased the expressions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors α (PPARα). Our data suggest that chronic OEA treatment can exert functional recovery of cognitive impairments and neuroprotective effects against cerebral ischemic insult in rats via triggering of neurogenesis in the hippocampus, which supports the therapeutic use of OEA for cerebral ischemia. PMID:25748831

  18. Interrelationships between pain processing, cortisol and cognitive performance in chronic whiplash-associated disorders.

    PubMed

    Meeus, Mira; Van Oosterwijck, Jessica; Ickmans, Kelly; Baert, Isabel; Coppieters, Iris; Roussel, Nathalie; Struyf, Filip; Pattyn, Nathalie; Nijs, Jo

    2015-03-01

    The present study aims at studying interactions between cognitive performance and conditioned pain modulation in patients with chronic whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) and healthy controls. In addition, the relation between cortisol concentrations and cognitive performance will be studied in patients with chronic WAD. Thirty-one subjects, 16 healthy subjects and 15 patients with chronic WAD, were enrolled and subjected to several self-report and physiological measures. Self-report measures encompassed pain rating during a procedure evaluating conditioned pain modulation. Afterward, they were subjected to physiological measures, which are cognitive tests (Stroop task, psychomotor vigilance task, and operation span task) preceded and followed by salivary cortisol concentration measurements. Chronic WAD patients performed worse in recall at the operation span task and presented longer reaction times at the psychomotor vigilance task and at the Stroop task when sleep-related words were shown (p < .05). Conditioned pain modulation and cortisol concentrations were not significantly different between patients and controls (p > .05). Only in the healthy subjects, conditioned pain modulation and baseline cortisol concentrations were correlated to cognitive performance (p < .05). This is the first study addressing the relation between pain inhibition and cognitive performance in chronic WAD. We did not reveal impaired pain inhibition but did reveal cognitive dysfunctions in patients with chronic WAD. In healthy subjects, pain inhibition was related to cognitive performance but not in the patient group. PMID:24337691

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Cognitive correlates of cross-sectional differences and longitudinal changes in trail making performance

    PubMed Central

    Salthouse, Timothy A.

    2010-01-01

    A total of 1,576 adults between 18 and 95 years of age performed a battery of cognitive tests and the Connections version of the trail making test twice, with an average interval between assessments of 2.5 years. Consistent with previous results, speed ability and fluid cognitive ability were strongly correlated with trail making performance. Neither speed nor fluid cognitive ability at the first occasion predicted longitudinal changes in trail making performance, but there were significant correlations between the changes in these abilities and the changes in trail making performance. These results indicate that individual differences in speed and fluid cognitive abilities are associated with individual differences in trail making performance both at a single point in time (cross-sectional differences), and in the changes over time (longitudinal changes). PMID:20865618

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Associations between oxytocin receptor genotypes and social cognitive performance in individuals with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    Individuals with schizophrenia often show substantial deficits in social cognitive abilities, which are strongly associated with social functioning. To advance our understanding of the genetic variation that is associated with social cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, we genotyped 74 schizophrenia outpatients who completed social cognitive performance measures assessing mentalizing, social perception, and emotional intelligence, as well as clinical symptoms. We assessed seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) previously found to show replicable associations with socio-emotional processes. For one of the seven SNPs, rs2268493, the 'T' allele was significantly associated with poorer performance on a composite social cognition index, as well as specific tests of mentalizing and social perception. None of the SNPs were associated with clinical symptoms. Though the sample size is small, these findings provide initial support for the involvement of genetic variants of the OXTR in social cognitive impairments in schizophrenia. PMID:25244972

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Technetium Getters to Improve Cast Stone Performance

    SciTech Connect

    Neeway, James J.; Lawter, Amanda R.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Asmussen, Robert M.; Qafoku, Nikolla

    2015-10-15

    The cementitious material known as Cast Stone has been selected as the preferred waste form for solidification of aqueous secondary liquid effluents from the Hanford Tank Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) process condensates and low-activity waste (LAW) melter off-gas caustic scrubber effluents. Cast Stone is also being evaluated as a supplemental immobilization technology to provide the necessary LAW treatment capacity to complete the Hanford tank waste cleanup mission in a timely and cost effective manner. Two radionuclides of particular concern in these waste streams are technetium-99 (99Tc) and iodine-129 (129I). These radioactive tank waste components contribute the most to the environmental impacts associated with the cleanup of the Hanford site. A recent environmental assessment of Cast Stone performance, which assumes a diffusion controlled release of contaminants from the waste form, calculates groundwater in excess of the allowable maximum permissible concentrations for both contaminants. There is, therefore, a need and an opportunity to improve the retention of both 99Tc and 129I in Cast Stone. One method to improve the performance of Cast Stone is through the addition of “getters” that selectively sequester Tc and I, therefore reducing their diffusion out of Cast Stone. In this paper, we present results of Tc and I removal from solution with various getters with batch sorption experiments conducted in deionized water (DIW) and a highly caustic 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant. In general, the data show that the selected getters are effective in DIW but their performance is comprised when experiments are performed with the 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant. Reasons for the mitigated performance in the LAW simulant may be due to competition with Cr present in the 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant and to a pH effect.

  16. Dynamic classifiers improve pulverizer performance and more

    SciTech Connect

    Sommerlad, R.E.; Dugdale, K.L.

    2007-07-15

    Keeping coal-fired steam plants running efficiently and cleanly is a daily struggle. An article in the February 2007 issue of Power explained that one way to improve the combustion and emissions performance of a plant is to optimize the performance of its coal pulverizers. By adding a dynamic classifier to the pulverizers, you can better control coal particle sizing and fineness, and increase pulverizer capacity to boot. A dynamic classifier has an inner rotating cage and outer stationary vanes which, acting in concert, provide centrifugal or impinging classification. Replacing or upgrading a pulverizer's classifier from static to dynamic improves grinding performance reducing the level of unburned carbon in the coal in the process. The article describes the project at E.ON's Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power station in the UK to retrofit Loesche LSKS dynamic classifiers. It also mentions other successful projects at Scholven Power Station in Germany, Tilbury Power Station in the UK and J.B. Sims Power Plant in Michigan, USA. 8 figs.

  17. Improving E85-Engine Performance and Efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, K.; Tao, R.

    2010-03-01

    E85 is an important alternative fuel with 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. However, it is widely reported that E85 vehicles have difficulties to start in winter. There are also complains about the E85 engine performance. Here we report that with proper application of electrorheology, we can solve these issues and improve the engine performance. E85 vehicles all have port injected engines. The fuel is injected into cylinders as droplets. Before the ignition, the fuel evaporates. Because E85 is more viscous than gasoline, the injected E85 droplet size is not small. Especially, in the winter the cold weather makes the viscosity even higher, leading the E85 droplets even bigger. Since evaporation starts from the droplet surfaces, large droplets are difficult to be evaporated before the ignition comes. When there is no enough fuel vapor, the engine cannot start. To solve this problem, we introduce a small device just before the fuel injection, which produces a strong electric field to reduce the fuel viscosity, leading to much smaller fuel droplets in atomization. The evaporation is much faster and the engine is easier to start. After the engine is started, the warm metal surfaces help evaporate the fuel and the engine operates fairly well. As the small fuel droplets produced by our device make the combustion fast and timely, engine efficiency and performance are also improved.

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. Performance in multiple domains of social cognition in parents of patients with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Lavoie, Marie-Audrey; Plana, India; Jackson, Philip L; Godmaire-Duhaime, Florence; Bédard Lacroix, Jacinthe; Achim, Amélie M

    2014-12-15

    Social cognition refers to a set of cognitive abilities that allow us to perceive and interpret social stimuli. Social cognition is affected in schizophrenia and impairments have also been documented in unaffected relatives, suggesting that social cognition may be related to a genetic vulnerability to the disease. This study aims to investigate potential impairments in four domains of social cognition (mentalizing, emotion recognition, social knowledge and empathy) in the same group of relatives in order to gather a more complete picture of social cognition difficulties in this population. The Batterie Intégrée de Cognition Sociale (BICS) (mentalizing, emotion recognition, and social knowledge) and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) (empathy) were administered to 31 parents of patients with a psychotic disorder and 38 healthy controls. Parents of patients performed significantly worse than controls on the mentalizing test but significantly better on the social knowledge test. No significant between-group differences were observed for emotion recognition and empathy. This study is the first to evaluate four social cognition domains in this population. The results precise which social cognition processes may be impaired or preserved in unaffected relatives of patients and lead us to propose an hypothesis about a mechanism that could underlie the mentalizing difficulties observed in this population. PMID:25216560

  1. Using the Virtual Reality-Cognitive Rehabilitation Approach to Improve Contextual Processing in Children with Autism

    PubMed Central

    Reid, Denise

    2013-01-01

    Background. This pilot study investigated the efficacy of a novel virtual reality-cognitive rehabilitation (VR-CR) intervention to improve contextual processing of objects in children with autism. Previous research supports that children with autism show deficits in contextual processing, as well as deficits in its elementary components: abstraction and cognitive flexibility. Methods. Four children with autism participated in a multiple-baseline, single-subject study. The children were taught how to see objects in context by reinforcing attention to pivotal contextual information. Results. All children demonstrated statistically significant improvements in contextual processing and cognitive flexibility. Mixed results were found on the control test and changes in context-related behaviours. Conclusions. Larger-scale studies are warranted to determine the effectiveness and usability in comprehensive educational programs. PMID:24324379

  2. Testing the self-efficacy-performance linkage of social-cognitive theory.

    PubMed

    Harrison, A W; Rainer, R K; Hochwarter, W A; Thompson, K R

    1997-02-01

    Past empirical research examining the relationship of self-efficacy perceptions and performance has had several limitations. Most studies were performed in the laboratory with tasks not directly related to individual work performance. As a consequence, many findings are not generalizable to individual work performance. This study tested the self-efficacy-performance model found in Bandura's social-cognitive theory in a work setting, with a sample of 776 American university employees, and with discriminant function analyses. Respondents indicated that performance with computers significantly predicted perceptions of high and low self-efficacy. Results provide additional support for social-cognitive theory as outlined by Bandura. PMID:9121144

  3. 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 (paper–pencil 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

  4. Improving Learning Performance Through Rational Resource Allocation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gratch, J.; Chien, S.; DeJong, G.

    1994-01-01

    This article shows how rational analysis can be used to minimize learning cost for a general class of statistical learning problems. We discuss the factors that influence learning cost and show that the problem of efficient learning can be cast as a resource optimization problem. Solutions found in this way can be significantly more efficient than the best solutions that do not account for these factors. We introduce a heuristic learning algorithm that approximately solves this optimization problem and document its performance improvements on synthetic and real-world problems.

  5. Disease management as a performance improvement strategy.

    PubMed

    McClatchey, S

    2001-11-01

    Disease management is a strategy of organizing care and services for a patient population across the continuum. It is characterized by a population database, interdisciplinary and interagency collaboration, and evidence-based clinical information. The effectiveness of a disease management program has been measured by a combination of clinical, financial, and quality of life outcomes. In early 1997, driven by a strategic planning process that established three Centers of Excellence (COE), we implemented disease management as the foundation for a new approach to performance improvement utilizing five key strategies. The five implementation strategies are outlined, in addition to a review of the key elements in outcome achievement. PMID:11761788

  6. 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

  7. Maintenance of Cognitive Performance and Mood for Individuals with Alzheimer's Disease Following Consumption of a Nutraceutical Formulation: A One-Year, Open-Label Study.

    PubMed

    Remington, Ruth; Bechtel, Cynthia; Larsen, David; Samar, Annemarie; Page, Robert; Morrell, Christopher; Shea, Thomas B

    2016-02-29

    Nutritional interventions have shown varied efficacy on cognitive performance during Alzheimer's disease (AD). Twenty-four individuals diagnosed with AD received a nutraceutical formulation (NF: folate, alpha-tocopherol, B12, S-adenosyl methioinine, N-acetyl cysteine, acetyl-L-carnitine) under open-label conditions (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01320527). Primary outcome was cognitive performance. Secondary outcomes were behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and activities of daily living. Participants maintained their baseline cognitive performance and BPSD over 12 months. These findings are consistent with improvement in cognitive performance and BPSD in prior placebo-controlled studies with NF, and contrast with the routine decline for participants receiving placebo. PMID:26967219

  8. 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

  9. TeLPI performance in subjects with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease: a validation study.

    PubMed

    Alves, Lara; Simões, Mário R; Martins, Cristina; Freitas, Sandra; Santana, Isabel

    2013-01-01

    APA guidelines for the evaluation of age-related cognitive decline and dementia emphasize the need for baseline (premorbid) data against which current performance can be compared. As this information rarely exists, clinicians must rely on instruments especially designed for estimation of premorbid abilities. No such instrument was available in Portugal until the development of the TeLPI, an irregular words oral reading test. This study aims to examine TeLPI's validity as a measure of premorbid ability in the spectrum of aging cognitive decline, from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to moderate Alzheimer disease (AD), by the analysis of its stability in normal versus impaired samples. A total of 104 patients, classified into 2 clinical groups, MCI (n=53) and probable mild to moderate AD (n=51), were compared with a group of cognitively healthy controls (C_MCI: n=53; C_AD: n=51) and matched for sex, age, education, and residence. As expected, the Mini-Mental State Examination and Montreal Cognitive Assessment results were significantly different between the groups (ADcognitive impairment. TeLPI median scores of controls, MCI, and probable AD patients were comparable after correcting for years of education, revealing no significant effect of cognitive impairment on TeLPI performance, and suggesting its validity for estimating premorbid intelligence in subjects with cognitive decline and dementia. PMID:23314065

  10. Neural basis for the ability of atypical antipsychotic drugs to improve cognition in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Sumiyoshi, Tomiki; Higuchi, Yuko; Uehara, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive impairments are considered to largely affect functional outcome in patients with schizophrenia, other psychotic illnesses, or mood disorders. Specifically, there is much attention to the role of psychotropic compounds acting on serotonin (5-HT) receptors in ameliorating cognitive deficits of schizophrenia. It is noteworthy that atypical antipsychotic drugs (AAPDs), e.g., clozapine, melperone, risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, aripiprazole, perospirone, blonanserin, and lurasidone, have variable affinities for these receptors. Among the 5-HT receptor subtypes, the 5-HT1A receptor is attracting particular interests as a potential target for enhancing cognition, based on preclinical and clinical evidence. The neural network underlying the ability of 5-HT1A agonists to treat cognitive impairments of schizophrenia likely includes dopamine, glutamate, and gamma-aminobutyric acid neurons. A novel strategy for cognitive enhancement in psychosis may be benefited by focusing on energy metabolism in the brain. In this context, lactate plays a major role, and has been shown to protect neurons against oxidative and other stressors. In particular, our data indicate chronic treatment with tandospirone, a partial 5-HT1A agonist, recover stress-induced lactate production in the prefrontal cortex of a rat model of schizophrenia. Recent advances of electrophysiological measures, e.g., event-related potentials, and their imaging have provided insights into facilitative effects on cognition of some AAPDs acting directly or indirectly on 5-HT1A receptors. These findings are expected to promote the development of novel therapeutics for the improvement of functional outcome in people with schizophrenia. PMID:24137114

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Training creative cognition: adolescence as a flexible period for improving creativity.

    PubMed

    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

  17. 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

  18. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    PubMed

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-01-01

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function. PMID:21526157

  19. 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

  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 avoidanc