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Sample records for actor research focusses

  1. Emerging technologies and web accessibility: research challenges and opportunities focussing on vision issues.

    PubMed

    Harper, Simon; Yesilada, Yeliz

    2012-01-01

    This is a technological review paper focussed on identifying both the research challenges and opportunities for further investigation arising from emerging technologies, and it does not aim to propose any recommendation or standard. It is focussed on blind and partially sighted World Wide Web (Web) users along with others who use assistive technologies. The Web is a fast moving interdisciplinary domain in which new technologies, techniques and research is in perpetual development. It is often difficult to maintain a holistic view of new developments within the multiple domains which together make up the Web. This suggests that knowledge of the current developments and predictions of future developments are additionally important for the accessibility community. Web accessibility has previously been characterised by the correction of our past mistakes to make the current Web fulfil the original vision of access for all. New technologies were not designed with accessibility in mind and technologies that could be useful for addressing accessibility issues were not identified or adopted by the accessibility community. We wish to enable the research community to undertake preventative measures and proactively address challenges, while recognising opportunities, before they become unpreventable or require retrospective technological enhancement. This article then reviews emerging trends within the Web and Web Accessibility domains.

  2. Exploring risk communication - results of a research project focussed on effectiveness evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charrière, Marie; Bogaard, Thom; Junier, Sandra; Mostert, Erik

    2016-04-01

    The need for effective science communication and outreach efforts is widely acknowledged in the academic community. In the field of Disaster Risk Reduction, the importance of communication is clearly stressed, e.g. in the newly adopted Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (under the 1st priority of action: understanding disaster risk). Consequently, we see increasing risk communication activities. However, the effectiveness of these activities is rarely evaluated. To address this gap, several research activities were conducted in the context of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network "Changes", the results of which we will present and discuss. First, results of a literature review show, among others, that research on effectiveness is mainly focussed on the assessment of users' needs and their ability to understand the content, rather than on the final impact of the risk communication efforts. Moreover, lab-environment research is more often undertaken than assessment of real communication efforts. Second, a comparison between perceptions of risk managers and the general public of risk communication in a French Alps Valley highlighted a gap between the two groups in terms of amount of information needed (who wants more), the important topics to address (what) and the media to use (how). Third, interviews with developers of smartphone applications for disseminating avalanche risk information showed a variety of current practices and the absence of measurements of real their effectiveness. However, our analysis allowed identifying good practices that can be an inspiration for risk communication related to other hazards. Fourth, an exhibition has been set up following a collaborative approached based on stakeholder engagement. Using a pre/post-test design, the immediate impact of the exhibition, which aimed at increasing the risk awareness of the population (Ubaye Valley, France), was measured. The data obtained suggests that visiting the exhibition

  3. VR/IS Lab Virtual Actor research overview

    SciTech Connect

    Shawver, D.M.; Stansfield, S.

    1995-06-22

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  5. Researching the Habitus of Global Policy Actors in Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lingard, Bob; Sellar, Sam; Baroutsis, Aspa

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  7. [Participation, knowledge production, and evaluative research: participation by different actors in a mental health study].

    PubMed

    Furtado, Juarez Pereira; Campos, Rosana Onocko

    2008-11-01

    This article reflects on the interrelations between participation, knowledge production, and public policy evaluation in light of issues from our own experience with evaluative research on a municipal network of Psychosocial Care Centers (CAPS) in Brazil. The article discusses the coordination of the complex process and the potentials and limits of partnerships for conducting qualitative evaluative studies in mental health with participation by different social actors. The authors conclude that qualitative evaluative research aligned with the perspective of including different points of view representing various segments is the best approach for understanding the numerous spin-offs from the implementation of services linked to the Brazilian psychiatric reform movement, given the inherent specificities of the mental health field.

  8. Research Initiation Based on Idea-Circles: From Research Object to Co-Actor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Erdtman, Emil; Tideman, Magnus; Fleetwood, Christina; Moller, Kerstin

    2012-01-01

    This article details an evaluation of a research project based on participatory research methods organized by the Swedish Disability Federation from 2008 to 2011. In Sweden there has been a lack of productive dialogue with the traditional academic world and the question was raised whether proposals for future research would be different if…

  9. The current structure of key actors involved in research on land and soil degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Escadafal, Richard; Barbero, Celia; Exbrayat, Williams; Marques, Maria Jose; Ruiz, Manuel; El Haddadi, Anass; Akhtar-Schuster, Mariam

    2013-04-01

    Land and soil conservation topics, the final mandate of the United Convention to Combat desertification in drylands, have been diagnosed as still suffering from a lack of guidance. On the contrary, climate change and biodiversity issues -the other two big subjects of the Rio Conventions- seem to progress and may benefit from the advice of international panels. Arguably the weakness of policy measures and hence the application of scientific knowledge by land users and stakeholders could be the expression of an inadequate research organization and a lack of ability to channel their findings. In order to better understand the size, breadth and depth of the scientific communities involved in providing advice to this convention and to other bodies, this study explores the corpus of international publications dealing with land and/or with soils. A database of several thousands records including a significant part of the literature published so far was performed using the Web of Science and other socio-economic databases such as FRANCIS and CAIRN. We extracted hidden information using bibliometric methods and data mining applied to these scientific publications to map the key actors (laboratories, teams, institutions) involved in research on land and on soils. Several filters were applied to the databases in combination with the word "desertification". The further use of Tetralogie software merges databases, analyses similarities and differences between keywords, disciplines, authors and regions and identifies obvious clusters. Assessing their commonalities and differences, the visualisation of links and gaps between scientists, organisations, policymakers and other stakeholders is possible. The interpretation of the 'clouds' of disciplines, keywords, and techniques will enhance the understanding of interconnections between them; ultimately this will allow diagnosing some of their strengths and weaknesses. This may help explain why land and soil degradation remains a

  10. Research Note: The consequences of different methods for handling missing network data in Stochastic Actor Based Models

    PubMed Central

    Hipp, John R.; Wang, Cheng; Butts, Carter T.; Jose, Rupa; Lakon, Cynthia M.

    2015-01-01

    Although stochastic actor based models (e.g., as implemented in the SIENA software program) are growing in popularity as a technique for estimating longitudinal network data, a relatively understudied issue is the consequence of missing network data for longitudinal analysis. We explore this issue in our research note by utilizing data from four schools in an existing dataset (the AddHealth dataset) over three time points, assessing the substantive consequences of using four different strategies for addressing missing network data. The results indicate that whereas some measures in such models are estimated relatively robustly regardless of the strategy chosen for addressing missing network data, some of the substantive conclusions will differ based on the missing data strategy chosen. These results have important implications for this burgeoning applied research area, implying that researchers should more carefully consider how they address missing data when estimating such models. PMID:25745276

  11. Actors: From Audience to Provider

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Charlier, Bernadette

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Establishing and Governing e-Mental Health Care in Australia: A Systematic Review of Challenges and A Call For Policy-Focussed Research

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Janni; Hall, Wayne; Head, Brian W; Whiteford, Harvey

    2016-01-01

    Background Growing evidence attests to the efficacy of e-mental health services. There is less evidence on how to facilitate the safe, effective, and sustainable implementation of these services. Objective We conducted a systematic review on e-mental health service use for depressive and anxiety disorders to inform policy development and identify policy-relevant gaps in the evidence base. Methods Following the PRISMA protocol, we identified research (1) conducted in Australia, (2) on e-mental health services, (3) for depressive or anxiety disorders, and (4) on e-mental health usage, such as barriers and facilitators to use. Databases searched included Cochrane, PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Embase, ProQuest Social Science, and Google Scholar. Sources were assessed according to area and level of policy relevance. Results The search yielded 1081 studies; 30 studies were included for analysis. Most reported on self-selected samples and samples of online help-seekers. Studies indicate that e-mental health services are predominantly used by females, and those who are more educated and socioeconomically advantaged. Ethnicity was infrequently reported on. Studies examining consumer preferences found a preference for face-to-face therapy over e-therapies, but not an aversion to e-therapy. Content relevant to governance was predominantly related to the organizational dimensions of e-mental health services, followed by implications for community education. Financing and payment for e-services and governance of the information communication technology were least commonly discussed. Conclusions Little research focuses explicitly on policy development and implementation planning; most research provides an e-services perspective. Research is needed to provide community and policy-maker perspectives. General population studies of prospective treatment seekers that include ethnicity and socioeconomic status and quantify relative preferences for all treatment modalities are necessary

  13. Technologies for Learning? An Actor-Network Theory Critique of "Affordances" in Research on Mobile Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Steve; Parchoma, Gale

    2011-01-01

    How is the link between learner and technology made in mobile learning? What is the value of the concept of "affordances"? And how does research articulating this concept act to position mobile devices as "technologies for learning"? This literature review used both unstructured and structured search samples of published research on mobile…

  14. Landscape of the EU-US Research Infrastructures and actors: Moving towards international interoperability of earth system data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asmi, Ari; Powers, Lindsay

    2015-04-01

    Research Infrastructures (RIs) are major long-term investments supporting innovative, bottom-up research activities. In the environmental research, they range from high atmosphere radars, to field observation networks and coordinated laboratory facilities. The Earth system is highly interactive and each part of the system interconnected across the spatial and disciplinary borders. However, due practical and historical reasons, the RIs are built from disciplinary points-of-view and separately in different parts of the world, with differing standards, policies, methods and research cultures. This heterogeneity provides necessary diversity to study the complex Earth system, but makes cross-disciplinary and/or global interoperability a challenge. Global actions towards better interoperability are surfacing, especially with EU and US. For example, recent mandates within the US government prioritize open data for federal agencies and federally funded science, and encourage collaboration among agencies to reduce duplication of efforts and increase efficient use of resources. There are several existing initiatives working toward these goals (e.g., COOPEUS, EarthCube, RDA, ICSU-WDS, DataOne, ESIP, USGEO, GEO). However, there is no cohesive framework to coordinate efforts among these, and other, entities. COOPEUS and EarthCube have now begun to map the landscape of interoperability efforts across earth science domains. The COOPEUS mapping effort describes the EU and US landscape of environmental research infrastructures to accomplish the following: identify gaps in services (data provision) necessary to address societal priorities; provide guidance for development of future research infrastructures; and identify opportunities for Research Infrastructures (RIs) to collaborate on issues of common interest. EarthCube mapping effort identifies opportunities to engage a broader community by identifying scientific domain organizations and entities. We present the current situation

  15. Patterns in biofilms: From contour undulations to fold focussing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ben Amar, Martine; Wu, Min

    2014-11-01

    Morphologies of soft materials in growth, swelling or drying have been extensively studied recently. Shape modifications occur as the size varies transforming ordinary spheres, cylinders and thin plates into more or less complex objects. Here we consider the genesis of biofilm patterns when a simple disc containing initially bacteria with moderate adhesion to a rigid substrate grows according to very simple rules. The initial circular geometry is lost during the growth expansion, contour undulations and buckling appear, ultimately a rather regular periodic focussing of folds repartition emerges. We theoretically predict these morphological instabilities as bifurcations of solutions in elasticity, characterized by typical driving parameters established here. The substrate plays a critical role limiting the geometry of the possible modes of instabilities and anisotropic growth, adhesion and toughness compete to eventually give rise to wrinkling, buckling or both. Additionally, due to the substrate, we show that the ordinary buckling modes, vertical deviation of thin films, are not observed in practice and a competitive pattern with self-focussing of folds can be found analytically. These patterns are reminiscent of the blisters of delamination in material sciences and explain recent observations of bacteria biofilms. The model presented here is purely analytical, is based on a neo-Hookean elastic energy, and can be extended without difficulties and applied to polymer materials.

  16. The Actor and His Body.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rubin, Lucille S., Ed.

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

  17. Reading: Tales for Two Actors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slattery, Judith M.

    1979-01-01

    The author explains how she changes folk tales into simple two-actor plays geared to the oral reading ability of her remedial reading students. Two of her plays are included in this article: "A Halloween Tale" and "The Three Wishes." (SJL)

  18. Actor Interdependence in Collaborative Telelearning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wasson, Barbara; Bourdeau, Jacqueline

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

  19. Compact turnkey focussing neutron guide system for inelastic scattering investigations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandl, G.; Georgii, R.; Dunsiger, S. R.; Tsurkan, V.; Loidl, A.; Adams, T.; Pfleiderer, C.; Böni, P.

    2015-12-01

    We demonstrate the performance of a compact neutron guide module which boosts the intensity in inelastic neutron scattering experiments by approximately a factor of 40. The module consists of two housings containing truly curved elliptic focussing guide elements, positioned before and after the sample. The advantage of the module lies in the ease with which it may be reproducibly mounted on a spectrometer within a few hours, on the same timescale as conventional sample environments. It is particularly well suited for samples with a volume of a few mm3, thus enabling the investigation of materials which to date would have been considered prohibitively small or samples exposed to extreme environments, where there are space constraints. We benchmark the excellent performance of the module by measurements of the structural and magnetic excitations in single crystals of model systems. In particular, we report the phonon dispersion in the simple element lead. We also determine the magnon dispersion in the spinel ZnCr2Se4 (V = 12.5 mm3), where strong magnetic diffuse scattering at low temperatures evolves into distinct helical order.

  20. Compact turnkey focussing neutron guide system for inelastic scattering investigations

    SciTech Connect

    Brandl, G.; Georgii, R.; Dunsiger, S. R.; Tsurkan, V.; Loidl, A.; Adams, T.; Pfleiderer, C.; Böni, P.

    2015-12-21

    We demonstrate the performance of a compact neutron guide module which boosts the intensity in inelastic neutron scattering experiments by approximately a factor of 40. The module consists of two housings containing truly curved elliptic focussing guide elements, positioned before and after the sample. The advantage of the module lies in the ease with which it may be reproducibly mounted on a spectrometer within a few hours, on the same timescale as conventional sample environments. It is particularly well suited for samples with a volume of a few mm{sup 3}, thus enabling the investigation of materials which to date would have been considered prohibitively small or samples exposed to extreme environments, where there are space constraints. We benchmark the excellent performance of the module by measurements of the structural and magnetic excitations in single crystals of model systems. In particular, we report the phonon dispersion in the simple element lead. We also determine the magnon dispersion in the spinel ZnCr{sub 2}Se{sub 4} (V = 12.5 mm{sup 3}), where strong magnetic diffuse scattering at low temperatures evolves into distinct helical order.

  1. Changing Power Actors in a Midwestern Community.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tait, John L.; And Others

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

  2. A new therapeutic community: development of a compassion-focussed and contextual behavioural environment.

    PubMed

    Veale, David; Gilbert, Paul; Wheatley, Jon; Naismith, Iona

    2015-01-01

    Social relationships and communities provide the context and impetus for a range of psychological developments, from genetic expression to the development of core self-identities. This suggests a need to think about the therapeutic changes and processes that occur within a community context and how communities can enable therapeutic change. However, the 'therapeutic communities' that have developed since the Second World War have been under-researched. We suggest that the concept of community, as a change process, should be revisited within mainstream scientific research. This paper briefly reviews the historical development of therapeutic communities and critically evaluates their current theory, practice and outcomes in a systematic review. Attention is drawn to recent research on the nature of evolved emotion regulation systems, the way these are entrained by social relationships, the importance of affiliative emotions in the regulation of threat and the role of fear of affiliative emotions in psychopathology. We draw on concepts from compassion-focussed therapy, social learning theory and functional analytical psychotherapy to consider how members of a therapeutic community can be aware of each other's acts of courage and respond using compassion. Living in structured and affiliative-orientated communities that are guided by scientific models of affect and self-regulation offers potential therapeutic advantages over individual outpatient therapy for certain client groups. This conclusion should be investigated further. Key Practitioner Message Current therapeutic community practice is not sufficiently evidence based and may not be maximizing the potential therapeutic value of a community. Compassion-focussed therapy and social learning theory offer new approaches for a therapeutic environment, involving an understanding of the role, nature and complexities of compassionate and affiliative relationships from staff and members, behavioural change guided by

  3. A new therapeutic community: development of a compassion-focussed and contextual behavioural environment.

    PubMed

    Veale, David; Gilbert, Paul; Wheatley, Jon; Naismith, Iona

    2015-01-01

    Social relationships and communities provide the context and impetus for a range of psychological developments, from genetic expression to the development of core self-identities. This suggests a need to think about the therapeutic changes and processes that occur within a community context and how communities can enable therapeutic change. However, the 'therapeutic communities' that have developed since the Second World War have been under-researched. We suggest that the concept of community, as a change process, should be revisited within mainstream scientific research. This paper briefly reviews the historical development of therapeutic communities and critically evaluates their current theory, practice and outcomes in a systematic review. Attention is drawn to recent research on the nature of evolved emotion regulation systems, the way these are entrained by social relationships, the importance of affiliative emotions in the regulation of threat and the role of fear of affiliative emotions in psychopathology. We draw on concepts from compassion-focussed therapy, social learning theory and functional analytical psychotherapy to consider how members of a therapeutic community can be aware of each other's acts of courage and respond using compassion. Living in structured and affiliative-orientated communities that are guided by scientific models of affect and self-regulation offers potential therapeutic advantages over individual outpatient therapy for certain client groups. This conclusion should be investigated further. Key Practitioner Message Current therapeutic community practice is not sufficiently evidence based and may not be maximizing the potential therapeutic value of a community. Compassion-focussed therapy and social learning theory offer new approaches for a therapeutic environment, involving an understanding of the role, nature and complexities of compassionate and affiliative relationships from staff and members, behavioural change guided by

  4. Girls' Access to Education in China: Actors, Cultures and the Windmill of Development Management. CREATE Pathways to Access. Research Monograph No. 39

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Xiaojun Grace

    2010-01-01

    The world has a mixed record towards achieving EFA [Education for All] and the MDGs [Millennium Development Goals] in relation to the targets on gender equity in basic education. For researchers and practitioners, this raises the question of which factors influence the processes leading to the improvement of access and quality of girls' education…

  5. Towards a Well-Being Focussed Language Pedagogy: Enabling Arts-Based, Multilingual Learning Spaces for Young People with Refugee Backgrounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frimberger, Katja

    2016-01-01

    The following article explores the conceptual background and pedagogical realities of establishing a well-being focussed language pedagogy in the context of an informal educational event called "Language Fest". The event was organised as part of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded large grant project "Researching…

  6. Challenges and opportunities for early-career Teaching-Focussed academics in the biosciences

    PubMed Central

    Hubbard, Katharine; Gretton, Sarah; Jones, Katherine; Tallents, Lucy

    2015-01-01

    Twenty-seven percent of academics in UK Higher Education (HE) are in Teaching-Focussed positions, making major contributions to undergraduate programmes in an era of high student expectations when it comes to teaching quality. However, institutional support for Teaching-Focussed academics is often limited, both in terms of peer networking and opportunities for career development. As four early-career stage Teaching-Focussed academics working in a variety of institutions, we explore what motivated our choices to make teaching our primary academic activity, and the challenges that we have faced in doing so. In addition to highlighting the need for universities to fully recognise the achievements of teaching staff, we discuss the role that the various biosciences learned societies have in supporting Teaching-Focussed academics. We identify that there is a need for the learned societies to come together and pool their expertise in this area. The fragmented nature of the Teaching-Focussed academic community means that clear sources of national support are needed in order to best enable the next generation of bioscience educators to reach their full potential. PMID:25977754

  7. Modelling of capillary optics as a focussing hard X-ray concentrator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorenstein, P.

    1992-01-01

    The development of glass microcapillary arrays by Kumakhov and co-workers in the Soviet Union suggests that it is possible to construct novel devices for concentrating and focussing X-ray beams. Hypothetical focussing concentrators made up of capillary arrays have been configured to operate over a broad range of X-ray energy and its characteristics have been studied with a Monte Carlo ray tracing code. These modeling results indicate that the concentrators would have significant effective area up to 100 keV while their dimensions are similar to conventional grazing incidence telescopes that operate in the soft X-ray band.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hubbard, Oliver F., Jr.

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

  9. Beyond the actor's traits: forming impressions of actors, targets, and relationships from social behaviors.

    PubMed

    Frey, K P; Smith, E R

    1993-09-01

    Perceivers who observe social behaviors may form impressions not only of actors' traits but also of people as targets and of interpersonal relationships. In Study 1, Ss read about 4 individuals' behaviors under instructions to form actor-, target-, and relationship-based impressions. Ss then read additional behavioral information that they later tried to recall. Ss accurately perceived actor, target, and relationship effects in the presented information, and they better recalled subsequent behaviors that were consistent with all 3 types of impressions. In Study 2, Ss thought of 4 people they knew and judged how much each liked the other 3. These ratings revealed actor, target, and relationship effects as well as individual and dyadic reciprocity. Perceivers can form relatively accurate impressions of people as actors and as targets and accurate impressions of relationships between people, and these impressions influence memory for further behaviors.

  10. Beyond the actor's traits: forming impressions of actors, targets, and relationships from social behaviors.

    PubMed

    Frey, K P; Smith, E R

    1993-09-01

    Perceivers who observe social behaviors may form impressions not only of actors' traits but also of people as targets and of interpersonal relationships. In Study 1, Ss read about 4 individuals' behaviors under instructions to form actor-, target-, and relationship-based impressions. Ss then read additional behavioral information that they later tried to recall. Ss accurately perceived actor, target, and relationship effects in the presented information, and they better recalled subsequent behaviors that were consistent with all 3 types of impressions. In Study 2, Ss thought of 4 people they knew and judged how much each liked the other 3. These ratings revealed actor, target, and relationship effects as well as individual and dyadic reciprocity. Perceivers can form relatively accurate impressions of people as actors and as targets and accurate impressions of relationships between people, and these impressions influence memory for further behaviors. PMID:8410651

  11. ACToR - Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-11-15

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

  12. Analysis of Student Focussing Behaviour Using Postquestions and Chemistry Learning Materials.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chastko, Audrey Marie

    This study investigated the extent of forward shaping due to post-questions on (1) focussing Canadian chemistry students' (N=109) attention on different and similar categories of information (for example, kinds of chemical reactions) described in a science text and (2) requiring students to process science information at high/low knowledge and…

  13. The Use of EST as Adjunctive Therapy to Family-Focussed Treatment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paul, Norman L.; Paul, Betty Byfield

    1978-01-01

    This article describes part of the process of using different experiential and therapeutic settings for patients. The authors review how they have used the Erhard Seminar Training (EST) program to compliment a family-focussed treatment program and destigmatize a patient. (Author)

  14. Searching for realism, structure and agency in Actor Network Theory.

    PubMed

    Elder-Vass, Dave

    2008-09-01

    Superficially, Actor Network Theory (ANT) and critical realism (CR) are radically opposed research traditions. Written from a realist perspective, this paper asks whether there might be a basis for finding common ground between these two traditions. It looks in turn at the questions of realism, structure, and agency, analysing the differences between the two perspectives and seeking to identify what each might learn from the other. Overall, the paper argues that there is a great deal that realists can learn from actor network theory; yet ANT remains stunted by its lack of a depth ontology. It fails to recognize the significance of mechanisms, and of their dependence on emergence, and thus lacks both dimensions of the depth that is characteristic of critical realism's ontology. This prevents ANT from recognizing the role and powers of social structure; but on the other hand, realists would do well to heed ANT's call for us to trace the connections through which structures are constantly made and remade. A lack of ontological depth also underpins ANT's practice of treating human and non-human actors symmetrically, yet this remains a valuable provocation to sociologists who neglect non-human entities entirely.

  15. Public Policies and Strategies of Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loiret, Pierre-Jean

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Empathy and attribution: turning observers into actors.

    PubMed

    Regan, D T; Totten, J

    1975-11-01

    A laboratory experiment was conducted to test Jones and Nisbett's information-processing explanation of the often-observed tendency for individuals (actors) to provide relatively more situational and less dispositional causal attributions for their behavior than those provided by observers of the same behavior. According to this explanation, aspects of the situation are phenomenologically more salient for actors, whereas characteristics of the actor and his behavior are more salient for observers. To test this explanation, the phenomenological perspective of observers are altered without making available any additional information. Subjects watched a videotape of a get-acquainted conversation after instructions either to observe a target conversant or to empathize with her. As predicted, taking the perspective of the target through empathy resulted in attributions that were relatively more situational and less dispositional than attributions provided by standard observers. The results support Jones and Nisbett's information-processing explanation of actor-observer attributional differences, and shed additional light on the process of empathy.

  17. Policy Actors: Doing Policy Work in Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Constructing Careers: Actor, Agent, and Author

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savickas, Mark L.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Natow, Rebecca S.

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Apparatus for precision focussing and positioning of a beam waist on a target

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lynch, Dana H. (Inventor); Gunter, William D. (Inventor); Mcalister, Kenneth W. (Inventor)

    1991-01-01

    The invention relates to optical focussing apparatus and, more particularly, to optical apparatus for focussing a highly collimated Gaussian beam which provides independent and fine control over the focus waist diameter, the focus position both along the beam axis and transverse to the beam, and the focus angle. A beam focussing and positioning apparatus provides focussing and positioning for the waist of a waisted beam at a desired location on a target such as an optical fiber. The apparatus includes a first lens, having a focal plane f sub 1, disposed in the path of an incoming beam and a second lens, having a focal plane f sub 2 and being spaced downstream from the first lens by a distance at least equal to f sub 1 + 10 f sub 2, which cooperates with the first lens to focus the waist of the beam on the target. A rotatable optical device, disposed upstream of the first lens, adjusts the angular orientation of the beam waist. The transverse position of the first lens relative to the axis of the beam is varied to control the transverse position of the beam waist relative to the target (a fiber optic as shown) while the relative axial positions of the lenses are varied to control the diameter of the beam waist and to control the axial position of the beam waist. Mechanical controllers C sub 1, C sub 2, C sub 3, C sub 4, and C sub 5 control the elements of the optical system. How seven adjustments can be made to correctly couple a laser beam into an optical fiber is illustrated. Prior art systems employing optical techniques to couple a laser beam into an optical fiber or other target simply do not provide the seven necessary adjustments. The closest known prior art, a Newport coupler, provides only two of the seven required adjustments.

  2. Current focussing in cochlear implants: an analysis of neural recruitment in a computational model.

    PubMed

    Kalkman, Randy K; Briaire, Jeroen J; Frijns, Johan H M

    2015-04-01

    Several multipolar current focussing strategies are examined in a computational model of the implanted human cochlea. The model includes a realistic spatial distribution of cell bodies of the auditory neurons throughout Rosenthal's canal. Simulations are performed of monopolar, (partial) tripolar and phased array stimulation. Excitation patterns, estimated thresholds, electrical dynamic range, excitation density and neural recruitment curves are determined and compared. The main findings are: (I) Current focussing requires electrical field interaction to induce spatially restricted excitation patterns. For perimodiolar electrodes the distance to the neurons is too small to have sufficient electrical field interaction, which results in neural excitation near non-centre contacts. (II) Current focussing only produces spatially restricted excitation patterns when there is little or no excitation occurring in the peripheral processes, either because of geometrical factors or due to neural degeneration. (III) The model predicts that neural recruitment with electrical stimulation is a three-dimensional process; regions of excitation not only expand in apical and basal directions, but also by penetrating deeper into the spiral ganglion. (IV) At equal loudness certain differences between the spatial excitation patterns of various multipoles cannot be simulated in a model containing linearly aligned neurons of identical morphology. Introducing a form of variability in the neurons, such as the spatial distribution of cell bodies in the spiral ganglion used in this study, is therefore essential in the modelling of spread of excitation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled .

  3. The front-end readout electronics for the bar PANDA Focussing-Lightguide Disc DIRC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, E.; Föhl, K.; Glazier, D.; Hill, G.; Hoek, M.; Kaiser, R.; Keri, T.; Murray, M.; Rosner, G.; Seitz, B.

    2009-11-01

    One of the key detectors of the upcoming bar PANDA experiment for particle identification will be the Focussing-Lightguide Disc DIRC, based on a novel detector technique. It will use a fused silica disc as a solid radiator to generate Cherenkov light by the passing of charged particles. These photons will be transported by total-internal-reflection to the rim, where LiF crystals will be used to perform dispersion corrections. Focussing lightguides will map propagation angles to spatial positions on the surface of photon detectors. Fast single photon detection devices will be used to measure azimuthal angles and spatial positions, which can be used to reconstruct kinematic properties of the passing particles. The expected average interaction rate of 20 MHz yields a photon detection rate of 1.3 MHz, as it is foreseen to use 128 MCP-PMT, each with 32 channels, for continuous readout. Moderate timing resolution of 300 ps improves signal from noise separation. The readout design requirements for the Focussing-Lightguide Disc DIRC will be introduced. The current candidate for implementation of the front-end readout electronic system will be described and several alternative readout scenarios will be discussed. Finally, a summary and an outlook for further developments and tests will be given.

  4. Ultraviolet proximity focussed converters for use in a satellite SEC-TV system.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feibelman, W. A.; Williams, J. T.

    1973-01-01

    Performance characteristics of Bendix type BX08025-4522 proximity-focussed vacuum-ultraviolet to visible-light image converters are presented. The converters are to be used with SEC vidicons as detectors for an echelle spectrograph on the International Ultraviolet Explorer astronomical satellite. Magnesium fluoride input windows with Cs-Te photocathodes are used in the converters, with P-11 phosphors on the fiber optic output windows. Quantum efficiencies, modulation transfer function, background, geometric distortion, and environmental test results are presented for the wavelength region from 1150 to 3500 A.-

  5. Actor modelling and its contribution to the development of integrative strategies for management of pharmaceuticals in drinking water.

    PubMed

    Titz, Alexandra; Döll, Petra

    2009-02-01

    Widespread presence of human pharmaceuticals in water resources across the globe is documented. While some, but certainly not enough, research on the occurrence, fate and effect of pharmaceuticals in water resources has been carried out, a holistic risk management strategy is missing. The transdisciplinary research project "start" aimed to develop an integrative strategy by the participation of experts representing key actors in the problem field "pharmaceuticals in drinking water". In this paper, we describe a novel modelling method, actor modelling with the semi-quantitative software DANA (Dynamic Actor Network Analysis), and its application in support of identifying an integrative risk management strategy. Based on the individual perceptions of different actors, the approach allows the identification of optimal strategies. Actors' perceptions were elicited by participatory model building and interviews, and were then modelled in perception graphs. Actor modelling indicated that an integrative strategy that targets environmentally-responsible prescription, therapy, and disposal of pharmaceuticals on one hand, and the development of environmentally-friendly pharmaceuticals on the other hand, will likely be most effective for reducing the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in drinking water (at least in Germany where the study was performed). However, unlike most other actors, the pharmaceutical industry itself does not perceive that the production of environmentally-friendly pharmaceuticals is an action that helps to achieve its goals, but contends that continued development of highly active pharmaceutical ingredients will help to reduce the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the water cycle. Investment in advanced waste or drinking water treatment is opposed by both the wastewater treatment company and the drinking water supplier, and is not mentioned as appropriate by the other actors. According to our experience, actor modelling is a useful method to suggest effective

  6. Monochromatizing and focussing femtosecond high-order harmonic radiation with one optical element.

    PubMed

    Ibek, Mateusz; Leitner, Torsten; Erko, Alexei; Firsov, Alexander; Wernet, Philippe

    2013-10-01

    A novel approach for monochromatizing and focussing the Vacuum-Ultraviolet and soft x-ray radiation from high-order harmonic generation of a femtosecond optical laser with only one optical element is presented. We demonstrate that off-axis reflection zone plates applied as focussing monochromators allow for efficiently optimizing the trade-off between energy resolution and temporal dispersion of the femtosecond pulses. In the current experimental realization, we show how the temporal dispersion can be varied between 2 fs and 16 fs with a correlating variation of the energy resolution E/ΔE between 20 and 90 for an off-axis reflection zone plate optimized for harmonic 13 at 20.41 eV. We also show how the focal spot size varies correspondingly between 80 × 90 μm(2) and 290 × 140 μm(2) as determined with a computational fitting approach based on a 3D Gaussian model. The diffraction efficiency for the tested zone plates amounts to up to 10%. We furthermore evaluate the influence of pointing stability on the performance of the zone plates. Based on our results we propose an optimized realization of a dedicated beam line for femtosecond pulses from high-order harmonic generation with an off-axis reflection zone plate. PMID:24182096

  7. Integrated optical waveguides and inertial focussing microfluidics in silica for microflow cytometry applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butement, Jonathan T.; Hunt, Hamish C.; Rowe, David J.; Sessions, Neil P.; Clark, Owain; Hua, Ping; Senthil Murugan, G.; Chad, John E.; Wilkinson, James S.

    2016-10-01

    A key challenge in the development of a microflow cytometry platform is the integration of the optical components with the fluidics as this requires compatible micro-optical and microfluidic technologies. In this work a microflow cytometry platform is presented comprising monolithically integrated waveguides and deep microfluidics in a rugged silica chip. Integrated waveguides are used to deliver excitation light to an etched microfluidic channel and also collect transmitted light. The fluidics are designed to employ inertial focussing, a particle positioning technique, to reduce signal variation by bringing the flowing particles onto the same plane as the excitation light beam. A fabrication process is described which exploits microelectronics mass production techniques including: sputtering, ICP etching and PECVD. Example devices were fabricated and the effectiveness of inertial focussing of 5.6 µm fluorescent beads was studied showing lateral and vertical confinement of flowing beads within the microfluidic channel. The fluorescence signals from flowing calibration beads were quantified demonstrating a CV of 26%. Finally the potential of this type of device for measuring the variation in optical transmission from input to output waveguide as beads flowed through the beam was evaluated.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  12. The need for a skills-focussed applied healthcare informatics curriculum.

    PubMed Central

    Covvey, H. D.; MacNeill, J. E.

    1999-01-01

    Experience with Information Systems (IS) staff, interactions with healthcare senior management, and discussions with faculty and students have led us to the conclusions that few healthcare organizations have conceptualized and articulated an optimal organizational role for IS (particularly for IS leadership). In this paper we will describe the multi-polar, often conflicting "expectations" faced by many of today's healthcare IS departments, and define a set of useful and sustainable institutional model roles for IS. Then, we will formulate the set of challenges which IS professionals in these roles must be prepared to address. We will use this to propose a challenge-oriented, skills-based, methodology-focussed curriculum in Applied Healthcare Informatics, and delivery mechanisms that suit potential candidates. PMID:10566410

  13. [Cardiac tamponade following sternal puncture. Usefulness of ultrasound focussed assessment with sonography for trauma].

    PubMed

    Magaldi, M; Hervías, A; Perelló, L; Fontanals, J

    2014-03-01

    One of the aims of the medical profession is to be able to detect complications in patients during diagnostic tests and treatments. The early diagnosis of these complications can prevent a fatal outcome. The diagnosis is often based on clinical symptoms and supported by complementary tests. Diagnostic tests have been developed in the last few years that are rapid and easy to use, as well as being cost effective and minimally invasive. Focussed assessment with sonography for trauma ultrasound (echo-FAST) was introduced in the 1990s in the field of resuscitation as a test for the rapid detection of intra-abdominal and pericardial fluid in multiple injury patients, but its uses in other cases not involving trauma still raise doubts and controversy. A case is presented of a patient subjected to a sternal puncture for a bone marrow aspirate, who had a complication of a secondary cardiac tamponade, which was diagnosed early using echo-FAST.

  14. Focussing Attention on Oneself Increases the Perception of Being Observed by Others

    PubMed Central

    Canvin, Lauren K.; Janecka, Magdalena; Clark, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Patients with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) often report elevated levels of self-focussed evaluative attention (SFEA), and seem excessively concerned with being observed by others. This study tested whether SFEA increases the perception of being observed by others. A sample of 52 high and 52 low socially anxious participants estimated the percentage of people ‘looking at you’ in several matrices of faces. A control task used matrices of clocks. SFEA was manipulated. As predicted, increasing SFEA led to significantly higher estimates of people ‘looking at you’ in both groups. Estimates on the control task were not affected by SFEA, thus the effects appear specific to social stimuli. These findings suggest that the increased levels of SFEA that characterise patients with SAD could contribute to their enhanced perception of being observed by others. The findings have implications for the role of attention training in the treatment of SAD. PMID:27660700

  15. [New actors in the fight against HIV/AIDS: overlapping and competition between existing structures].

    PubMed

    Tantchou Yakam, J C

    2008-06-01

    The HIV/AIDS pandemia reshaped international relations and the world research landscape. New facilities have been created and new actors have emerged. New institutions has been grafted into the existing health infrastructure resulting in overlapping and sometimes conflicting actions. In this study we analyze this co-existence using the "Centre of Prevention and Voluntary testing of HIV/AIDS" (CPDV) in Cameroon as an example. The purpose is to show that the involvment of new actors in a health systems with multiple dysfunctions creates an environment leading to "straddling". This situation also raises legitimacy issues and leads to competition for position within the existing hierarchies. PMID:18689327

  16. Optimisation of sample treatment for arsenic speciation in alga samples by focussed sonication and ultrafiltration.

    PubMed

    Salgado, S García; Quijano Nieto, M A; Bonilla Simón, M M

    2006-02-28

    A procedure for arsenic species fractionation in alga samples (Sargassum fulvellum, Chlorella vulgaris, Hizikia fusiformis and Laminaria digitata) by extraction is described. Several parameters were tested in order to evaluate the extraction efficiency of the process: extraction medium, nature and concentration (tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane, phosphoric acid, deionised water and water/methanol mixtures), extraction time and physical treatment (magnetic stirring, ultrasonic bath and ultrasonic focussed probe). The extraction yield of arsenic under the different conditions was evaluated by determining the total arsenic content in the extracts by ICP-AES. Arsenic compounds were extracted in 5mL of water by focussed sonication for 30s and subsequent centrifugation at 14,000xg for 10min. The process was repeated three times. Extraction studies show that soluble arsenic compounds account for about 65% of total arsenic. An ultrafiltration process was used as a clean-up method for chromatographic analysis, and also allowed us to determine the extracted arsenic fraction with a molecular weight lower than 10kDa, which accounts for about 100% for all samples analysed. Speciation studies were carried out by HPLC-ICP-AES. Arsenic species were separated on a Hamilton PRP-X100 column with 17mM phosphate buffer at pH 5.5 and 1.0mLmin(-1) flow rate. The chromatographic method allowed us to separate the species As(III), As(V), MMA and DMA in less than 13min, with detection limits of about 20ng of arsenic per species, for a sample injection volume of 100muL. The chromatographic analysis allowed us to identify As(V) in Hizikia (46+/-2mugg(-1)), Sargassum (38+/-2mugg(-1)) and Chlorella (9+/-1mugg(-1)) samples. The species DMA was also found in Chlorella alga (13+/-1mugg(-1)). However, in Laminaria alga only an unknown arsenic species was detected, which eluted in the dead volume.

  17. A New Kind of Symmetry: Actor-Network Theories and the New Literacy Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clarke, Julia

    2002-01-01

    Discusses concepts and assumptions underlying actor-network theories and the new literacy studies. Identifies lessons for adult education research derived from sociological approaches to scientific knowledge, which examine power circulating in networks of human and nonhuman entities. (Contains 36 references.) (SK)

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bryant, Fred B.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colston, Nicole M.; Ivey, Toni A.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veiga, Amélia; Neave, Guy

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steensland, Brian

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  5. On with the Show! A Guide for Directors and Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bestor, Sheri

    2005-01-01

    Divided into two parts, the Director's Handbook and the Actor's Handbook, On With the Show! enables directors and actors to get the most out of rehearsal time at home and on the stage. Providing essential time-saving techniques, worksheets, and samples, this guide allows performers and directors to work more effectively and efficiently toward the…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. ACToR: Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (T)

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  8. Optimisation of sample treatment for arsenic speciation in alga samples by focussed sonication and ultrafiltration.

    PubMed

    Salgado, S García; Quijano Nieto, M A; Bonilla Simón, M M

    2006-02-28

    A procedure for arsenic species fractionation in alga samples (Sargassum fulvellum, Chlorella vulgaris, Hizikia fusiformis and Laminaria digitata) by extraction is described. Several parameters were tested in order to evaluate the extraction efficiency of the process: extraction medium, nature and concentration (tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane, phosphoric acid, deionised water and water/methanol mixtures), extraction time and physical treatment (magnetic stirring, ultrasonic bath and ultrasonic focussed probe). The extraction yield of arsenic under the different conditions was evaluated by determining the total arsenic content in the extracts by ICP-AES. Arsenic compounds were extracted in 5mL of water by focussed sonication for 30s and subsequent centrifugation at 14,000xg for 10min. The process was repeated three times. Extraction studies show that soluble arsenic compounds account for about 65% of total arsenic. An ultrafiltration process was used as a clean-up method for chromatographic analysis, and also allowed us to determine the extracted arsenic fraction with a molecular weight lower than 10kDa, which accounts for about 100% for all samples analysed. Speciation studies were carried out by HPLC-ICP-AES. Arsenic species were separated on a Hamilton PRP-X100 column with 17mM phosphate buffer at pH 5.5 and 1.0mLmin(-1) flow rate. The chromatographic method allowed us to separate the species As(III), As(V), MMA and DMA in less than 13min, with detection limits of about 20ng of arsenic per species, for a sample injection volume of 100muL. The chromatographic analysis allowed us to identify As(V) in Hizikia (46+/-2mugg(-1)), Sargassum (38+/-2mugg(-1)) and Chlorella (9+/-1mugg(-1)) samples. The species DMA was also found in Chlorella alga (13+/-1mugg(-1)). However, in Laminaria alga only an unknown arsenic species was detected, which eluted in the dead volume. PMID:18970494

  9. Fuzzy Sarsa with Focussed Replacing Eligibility Traces for Robust and Accurate Control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamdem, Sylvain; Ohki, Hidehiro; Sueda, Naomichi

    Several methods of reinforcement learning in continuous state and action spaces that utilize fuzzy logic have been proposed in recent years. This paper introduces Fuzzy Sarsa(λ), an on-policy algorithm for fuzzy learning that relies on a novel way of computing replacing eligibility traces to accelerate the policy evaluation. It is tested against several temporal difference learning algorithms: Sarsa(λ), Fuzzy Q(λ), an earlier fuzzy version of Sarsa and an actor-critic algorithm. We perform detailed evaluations on two benchmark problems : a maze domain and the cart pole. Results of various tests highlight the strengths and weaknesses of these algorithms and show that Fuzzy Sarsa(λ) outperforms all other algorithms tested for a larger granularity of design and under noisy conditions. It is a highly competitive method of learning in realistic noisy domains where a denser fuzzy design over the state space is needed for a more precise control.

  10. Single-pixel phase-corrected fiber bundle endomicroscopy with lensless focussing capability

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, George S.D.; Joseph, James; Bohndiek, Sarah E.; Wilkinson, Timothy D.

    2016-01-01

    In this paper a novel single-pixel method for coherent imaging through an endoscopic fiber bundle is presented. The use of a single-pixel detector allows greater sensitivity over a wider range of wavelengths, which could have significant applications in endoscopic fluorescence microscopy. First, the principle of lensless focussing at the distal end of a coherent fiber bundle is simulated to examine the impact of pixelation at microscopic scales. Next, an experimental optical correlator system using spatial light modulators (SLMs) is presented. A simple contrast imaging method of characterizing and compensating phase aberrations introduced by fiber bundles is described. Experimental results are then presented showing that our phase compensation method enables characterization of the optical phase profile of individual fiberlets. After applying this correction, early results demonstrating the ability of the system to electronically adjust the focal plane at the distal end of the fiber bundle are presented. The structural similarity index (SSIM) between the simulated image and the experimental focus-adjusted image increases noticeably when the phase correction is applied and the retrieved image is visually recognizable. Strategies to improve image quality are discussed. PMID:27279676

  11. Vanguard--a European robotic astrobiology-focussed Mars sub-surface mission proposal.

    PubMed

    Ellery, Alex; Ball, Andrew J; Cockell, Charles; Dickensheets, David; Edwards, Howell; Kolb, Christof; Lammer, Helmut; Patel, Manish; Richter, Lutz

    2005-02-01

    We present a new European Mars mission proposal to build on the UK-led Beagle2 Mars mission and continue its astrobiology-focussed investigation of Mars. The small surface element to be delivered to the Martian surface--Vanguard--is designed to be carried by a Mars Express-type spacecraft bus to Mars and adopts a similar entry, descent and landing system as Beagle2. The surface element comprises a triad of robotic devices--a lander, a micro-rover of the Sojourner class for surface mobility, and three ground-penetrating moles mounted onto the rover for sub-surface penetration to 5 m depth. The major onboard instruments on the rover include a Raman spectrometer/imager, a laser plasma spectrometer, an infrared spectrometer--these laser instruments provide the basis for in situ "remote" sensing of the sub-surface Martian environment within a powerful scientific package. The moles carry the instruments' sensor head array to the sub-surface. The moles are thus required to undergo a one-way trip down the boreholes without the need for recovery of moles or samples, eliminating much of the robotic complexity invoked by such operations.

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

    PubMed

    Corner, Emily; Gill, Paul

    2015-02-01

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

  13. Towards a computational model of actor-based language comprehension.

    PubMed

    Alday, Phillip M; Schlesewsky, Matthias; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina

    2014-01-01

    Neurophysiological data from a range of typologically diverse languages provide evidence for a cross-linguistically valid, actor-based strategy of understanding sentence-level meaning. This strategy seeks to identify the participant primarily responsible for the state of affairs (the actor) as quickly and unambiguously as possible, thus resulting in competition for the actor role when there are multiple candidates. Due to its applicability across languages with vastly different characteristics, we have proposed that the actor strategy may derive from more basic cognitive or neurobiological organizational principles, though it is also shaped by distributional properties of the linguistic input (e.g. the morphosyntactic coding strategies for actors in a given language). Here, we describe an initial computational model of the actor strategy and how it interacts with language-specific properties. Specifically, we contrast two distance metrics derived from the output of the computational model (one weighted and one unweighted) as potential measures of the degree of competition for actorhood by testing how well they predict modulations of electrophysiological activity engendered by language processing. To this end, we present an EEG study on word order processing in German and use linear mixed-effects models to assess the effect of the various distance metrics. Our results show that a weighted metric, which takes into account the weighting of an actor-identifying feature in the language under consideration outperforms an unweighted distance measure. We conclude that actor competition effects cannot be reduced to feature overlap between multiple sentence participants and thereby to the notion of similarity-based interference, which is prominent in current memory-based models of language processing. Finally, we argue that, in addition to illuminating the underlying neurocognitive mechanisms of actor competition, the present model can form the basis for a more comprehensive

  14. Focussed ion beam machined cantilever aperture probes for near-field optical imaging.

    PubMed

    Jin, E X; Xu, X

    2008-03-01

    Near-field optical probe is the key element of a near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) system. The key innovation in the first two NSOM experiments (Pohl et al., 1984; Lewis et al., 1984) is the fabrications of a sub-wavelength optical aperture at the apex of a sharply pointed transparent probe tip with a thin metal coating. This paper discusses the routine use of focussed ion beam (FIB) to micro-machine NSOM aperture probes from the commercial silicon nitride cantilevered atomic force microscopy probes. Two FIB micro-machining approaches are used to form a nanoaperture of controllable size and shape at the apex of the tip. The FIB side slicing produces a silicon nitride aperture on the flat-end tips with controllable sizes varying from 120 nm to 30 nm. The FIB head-on drilling creates holes on the aluminium-coated tips with sizes down to 50 nm. Nanoapertures in C and bow tie shapes can also be patterned using the FIB head-on milling method to possibly enhance the optical transmission. A transmission-collection NSOM system is constructed from a commercial atomic force microscopy to characterize the optical resolution of FIB-micro-machined aperture tips. The optical resolution of 78 nm is demonstrated by an aperture probe fabricated by FIB head-on drilling. Simultaneous topography imaging can also be realized using the same probe. By mapping the optical near-field from a bow-tie aperture, optical resolution as small as 59 nm is achieved by an aperture probe fabricated by the FIB side slicing method. Overall, high resolution and reliable optical imaging of routinely FIB-micro-machined aperture probes are demonstrated.

  15. Focussing effects at the edge of the Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rost, S.; Nowacki, A.

    2015-12-01

    Tomographic images of the Earth's lowermost mantle are dominated by two equatorial and nearly antipodal regions of large-scale reductions in seismic S-wave velocities beneath the central Pacific and Africa. These Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs) are much less constrained in tomographic P-wave models. This discrepancy, together with other geophysical data, led to the interpretation of LLSVPs as thermo-chemical piles, but models of purely thermal LLSVPs might also be able to explain the geophysical data. Data from seismic arrays and high-resolution processing techniques are able to precisely determine the slowness vector of incoming seismic energy and therefore to extract velocity and directivity information from the seismic data directly. Here we use records of P and Pdiff from the medium aperture, short-period, vertical component Yellowknife array (YKA) located in northern Canada and S/Sdiff from stations of the Canadian POLARIS network. Using seismicity from the western Pacific rim allows good sampling of the lowermost mantle in the region of the Pacific LLSVP and the northern Pacific. The slowness information extracted from the array data using the high-resolution F-statistic allows detailed mapping of the LLSVP boundary and indicates a sharp boundary and velocity reductions of several percent. The data also indicate a second region of strongly reduced seismic velocities to the north of the Pacific LLSVP beneath the Sea of Okhotsk that does not seem to be connected to the main LLSVP, and which is not consistently resolved in S-wave tomography models. We observe very strong focussing and defocussing effects along the LLSVP boundary that indicate strong and small-scale heterogeneities in the vicinity of the LLSVP boundary beyond what can be explained by LLSVP material. This detection allows further insight into the structure and dynamics of the LLSVP. Using seismic wave propagation simulations we are aiming to resolve both structure and shape of these

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

    PubMed

    Kono, Tetsuya

    2014-03-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lasser, Michael

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  19. ACToR A Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (S)

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

    Ward, Julia

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Reassembling the Information Technology Innovation Process: An Actor Network Theory Method for Managing the Initiation, Production, and Diffusion of Innovations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zendejas, Gerardo; Chiasson, Mike

    This paper will propose and explore a method to enhance focal actors' abilities to enroll and control the many social and technical components interacting during the initiation, production, and diffusion of innovations. The reassembling and stabilizing of such components is the challenging goal of the focal actors involved in these processes. To address this possibility, a healthcare project involving the initiation, production, and diffusion of an IT-based innovation will be influenced by the researcher, using concepts from actor network theory (ANT), within an action research methodology (ARM). The experiences using this method, and the nature of enrolment and translation during its use, will highlight if and how ANT can provide a problem-solving method to help assemble the social and technical actants involved in the diffusion of an innovation. Finally, the paper will discuss the challenges and benefits of implementing such methods to attain widespread diffusion.

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

    PubMed

    Li, Cai; Lowe, Robert; Ziemke, Tom

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Li, Cai; Lowe, Robert; Ziemke, Tom

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Children as Public Actors: Navigating the Tensions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shier, Harry

    2010-01-01

    Drawing on comparative research with children's participation practitioners in Nicaragua and the United Kingdom, this study explores the thinking that guides their practice. Earlier models are considered inadequate to describe complex, multidimensional participation processes. Whilst several differences are observed, the key issues or tensions are…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donohue, Nathan

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Volles, Nina

    2016-01-01

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

  13. The Use and Abuse of Improvisation in Actor Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sprigg, Douglas C.

    An acting teacher can train students to bring the reality of their personal lives to the various artificial structures that give form to playscripts and that can otherwise induce rigid or mechanical performances if not balanced by the vibrancy of the actor. A series of exercises allows students to discover how they may use their own impulses,…

  14. 29 CFR 570.125 - Actors and performers.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as Amended Exemptions § 570.125 Actors and performers. Section 13(c) of the Act provides an exemption from the child labor provisions for “any child employed as... Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR......

  15. 29 CFR 570.125 - Actors and performers.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as Amended Exemptions § 570.125 Actors and performers. Section 13(c) of the Act provides an exemption from the child labor provisions for “any child employed as... Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR......

  16. 29 CFR 570.125 - Actors and performers.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as Amended Exemptions § 570.125 Actors and performers. Section 13(c) of the Act provides an exemption from the child labor provisions for “any child employed as... Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR......

  17. 29 CFR 570.125 - Actors and performers.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as Amended Exemptions § 570.125 Actors and performers. Section 13(c) of the Act provides an exemption from the child labor provisions for “any child employed as... Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR......

  18. 29 CFR 570.125 - Actors and performers.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as Amended Exemptions § 570.125 Actors and performers. Section 13(c) of the Act provides an exemption from the child labor provisions for “any child employed as... Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR......

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benoit, William L.

    1997-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Busch, Lawrence

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

  1. Replacing bad (F)actors: hemophilia.

    PubMed

    Doering, Christopher B; Spencer, H Trent

    2014-12-01

    Hemophilia A and B are bleeding disorders that result from functional deficiencies in specific circulating blood clotting factors termed factor VIII (FVIII) and factor IX (FIX), respectively, and collectively display an incidence of 1 in 4000 male births. Stem cell transplantation therapies hold the promise of providing a cure for hemophilia, but currently available transplantable stem cell products do not confer endogenous FIX or FVIII biosynthesis. For this reason, stem cell-based approaches for hemophilia have focused primarily on genetic engineering of pluripotent or multipotent stem cells. While pluripotent stem cells have been branded with high expectation and promise, they remain poorly characterized in terms of clinical utility and safety. In contrast, adult-lineage-restricted stem cells are established agents in the clinical armamentarium. Of the clinically established stem cell types, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are the most utilized and represent the standard of care for several genetic and acquired diseases. Furthermore, HSCs are ideal cellular vehicles for gene therapy applications because they self-renew, repopulate the entire blood lineage while concurrently amplifying the transgene copy number >10(6) fold, and also have direct access to the bloodstream. Current research on HSC transplantation gene therapy approaches for hemophilia A and B is focused on the following: (1) identification of safe and efficient methods of nucleic acid transfer, (2) optimization of transgene product expression, (3) minimization of conditioning-regimen-related toxicity while maintaining HSC engraftment, and (4) overcoming preexisting immunity. Based on the existing data and current rate of progress, clinical trials of HSC transplantation gene therapy for hemophilia are predicted to begin in the coming years.

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowse, Tarah

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

  4. Balancing influence between actors in healthcare decision making

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  5. [A non-classical approach to medical practices: Michel Foucault and Actor-Network Theory].

    PubMed

    Bińczyk, E

    2001-01-01

    The text presents an analysis of medical practices stemming from two sources: Michel Foucault's conception and the research of Annemarie Mol and John Law, representatives of a trend known as Actor-Network Theory. Both approaches reveal significant theoretical kinship: they can be successfully consigned to the framework of non-classical sociology of science. I initially refer to the cited conceptions as a version of non-classical sociology of medicine. The identity of non-classical sociology of medicine hinges on the fact that it undermines the possibility of objective definitions of disease, health and body. These are rather approached as variable social and historical phenomena, co-constituted by medical practices. To both Foucault and Mol the main object of interest was not medicine as such, but rather the network of medical practices. Mol and Law sketch a new theoretical perspective for the analysis of medical practices. They attempt to go beyond the dichotomous scheme of thinking about the human body as an object of medical research and the subject of private experience. Research on patients suffering blood-sugar deficiency provide the empirical background for the thesis of Actor-Network Theory representatives. Michel Foucault's conceptions are extremely critical of medical practices. The French researcher describes the processes of 'medicalising' Western society as the emergence of a new type of power. He attempts to sensitise the reader to the ethical dimension of the processes of medicalising society.

  6. Exploring lifetime occupational exposure and SLE flare: a patient-focussed pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Squance, Marline L; Guest, Maya; Reeves, Glenn; Attia, John; Bridgman, Howard

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Environmental effectors, such as ultraviolet radiation exposure, infection and stress, have been established as having a role in exacerbating lupus symptoms. However, unpredictable patterns of flare events still remain a mystery. Occupational effectors have also been suggested as having a contributing role; however, they are not widely researched. In this paper we report a pilot study designed to generate focus areas for future research regarding occupational exposures and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Methods The study explored potential links between exposures and the occurrence of patient-reported flare events in 80 Australian women with SLE (American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria classified). Specifically, the study assessed the hypothesis that occupational exposure is associated with significant changes in the likelihood of lupus flares. Lifetime employment history was analysed with the Finnish Job Exposure Matrix (FINJEM), 40 different semiquantified exposure class estimates for a wide number of occupations based on probability of exposure (p≥5%=exposed) were analysed with the construction of negative binomial regression models to test relationships between occupational agents and flare days. A backward stepwise elimination was used to generate a parsimonious model. Results Significant associations were noted for exposure classes of manual handling burden, (p=0.02, incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.01), Iron (p=0.00, IRR 1.37), wood dust (p=0.00, IRR 3.34) and asbestos (p=0.03, IRR 2.48). Conclusion Exposure assessment results indicated that occupations, such as nursing, with a high manual handling burden, posed increased risk to patients with SLE, however, the greatest risk was associated with wood dust and iron exposure with teachers and specialist labourers. PMID:25379190

  7. Liquid metal alloy ion sources—An alternative for focussed ion beam technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bischoff, Lothar; Mazarov, Paul; Bruchhaus, Lars; Gierak, Jacques

    2016-06-01

    Today, Focused Ion Beam (FIB) processing is nearly exclusively based on gallium Liquid Metal Ion Sources (LMIS). But, many applications in the μm- or nm range could benefit from ion species other than gallium: local ion implantation, ion beam mixing, ion beam synthesis, or Focused Ion Beam Lithography (IBL). Therefore, Liquid Metal Alloy Ion Sources (LMAIS) represent a promising alternative to expand the remarkable application fields for FIB. Especially, the IBL process shows potential advantages over, e.g., electron beam or other lithography techniques: direct, resistless, and three-dimensional patterning, enabling a simultaneous in-situ process control by cross-sectioning and inspection. Taking additionally into account that the used ion species influences significantly the physical and chemical nature of the resulting nanostructures—in particular, the electrical, optical, magnetic, and mechanic properties leading to a large potential application area which can be tuned by choosing a well suited LMAIS. Nearly half of the elements of the periodic table are recently available in the FIB technology as a result of continuous research in this area during the last forty years. Key features of a LMAIS are long life-time, high brightness, and stable ion current. Recent developments could make these sources feasible for nano patterning issues as an alternative technology more in research than in industry. The authors will review existing LMAIS, LMIS other than Ga, and binary and ternary alloys. These physical properties as well as the fabrication technology and prospective domains for modern FIB applications will similarly be reviewed. Other emerging ion sources will be also presented and their performances discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milner-Bolotin, Marina

    2007-10-01

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

  9. Performance Analysis of an Actor-Based Distributed Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schoeffler, James D.

    1998-01-01

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

  10. Focussing on the future: survey results on the image capture of patterned cutaneous injuries.

    PubMed

    Evans, Sam; Baylis, Sonya; Carabott, Romina; Jones, Michael; Lawson, Zoe; Marsh, Nick; Payne-James, Jason; Ramadani, Jona; Vanezis, Peter; Kemp, Alison

    2014-05-01

    An investigator who is involved in assessing the likelihood of physical abuse must make a decision as to whether the injury seen matches the explanation given. In some instances the pattern of these injuries can give the investigator a possible link to the cause of the injury. Photographic imaging is used to record the patterned cutaneous injuries (PCI) and to facilitate forensic interpretation. The current method of capturing PCI often results in some form of distortion that causes a change to the shape of the patterned injury. The Dermatological Patterned Injury Capture and Analysis (DePICA) research group was formed to assess current image capture methods and practices. An online survey was set up to assess the value of localised imaging protocols and training specific to imaging PCI and was made available to law enforcement professionals, forensic investigators and hospital staff. 80 participants responded to the survey. The majority of the survey participants have had training in medical or forensic photography, however 66 (83%) have not had specific training in how to photograph PCI. 41 (51%) of the participants responded that they always use a rigid scale and 34 (43%) position the camera so that it is perpendicular to the scale and injury. Comments made about the quality of images obtained and produced raises concerns about how much knowledge those initiating such images have about image relevance in criminal cases. It is evident that a clear and comprehensive guide to photographing PCIs is required to improve the quality of the photographic evidence that is collected.

  11. ACTORS: A model of concurrent computation in distributed systems

    SciTech Connect

    Agha, G.

    1986-01-01

    The transition from sequential to parallel computation is an area of critical concern in today's computer technology, particularly in architecture, programming languages, systems, and artificial intelligence. This book addresses issues in concurrency, and by producing both a syntactic definition and a denotational model of Hewitt's actor paradigm - a model of computation specifically aimed at constructing and analyzing distributed large-scale parallel systems - it advances the understanding of parallel computation.

  12. Focussed ion beam serial sectioning and imaging of monolithic materials for 3D reconstruction and morphological parameter evaluation.

    PubMed

    Vázquez, Mercedes; Moore, David; He, Xiaoyun; Ben Azouz, Aymen; Nesterenko, Ekaterina; Nesterenko, Pavel; Paull, Brett; Brabazon, Dermot

    2014-01-01

    A new characterisation method, based on the utilisation of focussed ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM), has been employed for the evaluation of morphological parameters in porous monolithic materials. Sample FIB serial sectioning, SEM imaging and image processing techniques were used to extract the pore boundaries and reconstruct the 3D porous structure of carbon and silica-based monoliths. Since silica is a non-conducting material, a commercial silica monolith modified with activated carbon was employed instead to minimise the charge build-up during FIB sectioning. This work therefore presents a novel methodology that can be successfully employed for 3D reconstruction of porous monolithic materials which are or can be made conductive through surface or bulk modification. Furthermore, the 3D reconstructions were used for calculation of the monolith macroporosity, which was in good agreement with the porosity values obtained by mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP).

  13. Structuring an integrated care system: interpreted through the enacted diversity of the actors involved—the case of a French healthcare network

    PubMed Central

    Grenier, Corinne

    2011-01-01

    Research question We are looking at the process of structuring an integrated care system as an innovative process that swings back and forth between the diversity of the actors involved, local aspirations and national and regional regulations. We believe that innovation is enriched by the variety of the actors involved, but may also be blocked or disrupted by that diversity. Our research aims to add to other research, which, when questioning these integrated systems, analyses how the actors involved deal with diversity without really questioning it. Case study The empirical basis of the paper is provided by case study analysis. The studied integrated care system is a French healthcare network that brings together healthcare professionals and various organisations in order to improve the way in which interventions are coordinated and formalised, in order to promote better detection and diagnosis procedures and the implementation of a care protocol. We consider this case as instrumental in developing theoretical proposals for structuring an integrated care system in light of the diversity of the actors involved. Results and discussion We are proposing a model for structuring an integrated care system in light of the enacted diversity of the actors involved. This model is based on three factors: the diversity enacted by the leaders, three stances for considering the contribution made by diversity in the structuring process and the specific leading role played by those in charge of the structuring process. Through this process, they determined how the actors involved in the project were differentiated, and on what basis those actors were involved. By mobilising enacted diversity, the leaders are seeking to channel the emergence of a network in light of their own representation of that network. This model adds to published research on the structuring of integrated care systems. PMID:21637706

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raynor, Olivia; Hayward, Katharine

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hytönen, Kaisa; Palonen, Tuire; Hakkarainen, Kai

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vulova, Marina

    2001-01-01

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

  17. Contribution of marital conflict to marital quality in short and long-term marriages: An actor-partner interdependence model

    PubMed Central

    Ahmadi, Khodabakhsh; Rezazade, Majid; Saadat, Hassan; Kimiaei, Seyed Ali; Zade, Nima Hoseyn

    2015-01-01

    Aims: In the field of family research, previous studies have made great strides toward understanding the relationship between marital conflict and quality. However, they have only studied couples in short-term marriages. Therefore, much remains to be unraveled with regard to long-term marriages. We aimed investigate the comparative contribution of aspects of marital conflict to marital quality in short-and long-term marriages in Iranian families. Materials and Methods: Using random clustered sampling, 400 dyads in intact first marriages were surveyed across eight provinces of Iran. Complete surveys for both husbands and wives were returned for 162 households (couple's response rate: 40.5%). Survey measures included demographics questionnaire, Barati and Sanai's Marital Conflict Questionnaire and Blum and Mehrabian's Comprehensive Marital Satisfaction Scale. Structural equation modeling was used to test the actor-partner interdependence model of marital conflict-marital quality. Results: Generalized additive models were incorporated to define what constitutes short-and long-term marriages. Based on the models regressed, duration ≤ 10 years was defined as short-term, whereas duration ≥ 25 years was labeled long-term. In short-term marriages (n = 44), decreased sexual relations, increased daily hassles and sidedness in relations with parents were negatively associated with marital quality in both actor and actor-to-partner paths. In long-term married couples (n = 46), only increased daily hassles (P < 0.001) and disagreement over financial affairs (P = 0.005) contributed to actor paths and only sidedness in relationships with parents showed significant negative association to marital quality in actor-to-partner paths. Conclusions: Different themes of conflict contribute to the diminished level of marital quality in early and late stages of the marriage. Conflicts over sex, relationship with extended family and daily hassles are emphasized in the early years of

  18. The story about theater organizations, the public's approval, and the actors' identity formation in Nordic disability theater.

    PubMed

    Gjærum, Rikke Gürgens; Ineland, Jens; Sauer, Lennart

    2010-01-01

    Nordic disability theater is a relatively new and interesting field of disability research. In this article, the authors provide an overview of the field of disability theater in a Nordic context. The article is based on a comparative analysis from 3 research projects conducted in Sweden and Norway. The projects used qualitative methods and were analyzed from different theoretical perspectives. Interviews were conducted at 4 different disability theaters involving actors with hearing impairments, intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and mental disabilities. The aim of this article is to illustrate how the organizational settings reflect different goals and aims at the political and artistic levels. The authors will also address the relationship between the theaters and the public opinion and media. Finally, they will illustrate in what way organization, recognition, and public approval play an important role for the actors' identity formation and sense of belonging. PMID:21104515

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

    SciTech Connect

    Gaudiot, J.L.; Najjar, W.

    1988-12-31

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schäfer, L.; Klump, J. F.

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Plaks, Jason E.; Robinson, Jeffrey S.

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Limitation in obtainable surface roughness of hardened cement paste: 'virtual' topographic experiment based on focussed ion beam nanotomography datasets.

    PubMed

    Trtik, P; Dual, J; Muench, B; Holzer, L

    2008-11-01

    Surface roughness affects the results of nanomechanical tests. The surface roughness values to be measured on a surface of a porous material are dependent on the properties of the naturally occurring pore space. In order to assess the surface roughness of hardened cement paste (HCP) without the actual influence of the usual sample preparation for nanomechanical testing (i.e. grinding and polishing), focussed ion beam nanotomography datasets were utilized for reconstruction of 3D (nanoscale resolution) surface profiles of hardened cement pastes. 'Virtual topographic experiments' were performed and root mean square surface roughness was then calculated for a large number of such 3D surface profiles. The resulting root mean square (between 115 and 494 nm) is considerably higher than some roughness values (as low as 10 nm) reported in the literature. We suggest that thus-analysed root mean square values provide an estimate of a 'hard' lower limit that can be achieved by 'artefact-free' sample preparation of realistic samples of hardened cement paste. To the best of our knowledge, this 'hard' lower limit was quantified for a porous material based on hydraulic cement for the first time. We suggest that the values of RMS below such a limit may indicate sample preparation artefacts. Consequently, for reliable nanomechanical testing of disordered porous materials, such as hardened cement paste, the preparation methods may require further improvement.

  3. Population-dynamics focussed rapid rural mapping and characterisation of the peri-urban interface of Kampala, Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Makita, K.; Fèvre, E.M.; Waiswa, C.; Bronsvoort, M.D.C.; Eisler, M.C.; Welburn, S.C.

    2010-01-01

    In developing countries, cities are rapidly expanding and urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) has an important role in feeding these growing urban populations; however such agriculture also carries public health risks such as zoonotic disease transmission. It is important to assess the role of UPA in food security and public health risks to make evidence-based decisions on policies. Describing and mapping the peri-urban interface (PUI) are the essential first steps for such an assessment. Kampala, the capital city of Uganda is a rapidly expanding city where the PUI has not previously been mapped or properly described. In this paper we provide a spatial representation of the entire PUI of Kampala economic zone and determine the socio-economic factors related with peri-urbanicity using a population-dynamics focussed rapid rural mapping. This fills a technical gap of rapid rural mapping and offers a simple and rapid methodology for describing the PUI which can be applied in any city in developing countries for wide range of studies. PMID:22210972

  4. Salvage robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy following failed primary high-intensity focussed ultrasound treatment for localised prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Declan G; Pedersen, John; Costello, Anthony J

    2008-09-01

    We report the first case of salvage robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALP) following failed primary high-intensity focussed ultrasound (HIFU) for localised carcinoma of the prostate. A 66-year-old male with a presenting prostate-specific antigen (PSA) of 5 ng/ml was diagnosed with T1c Gleason 3 + 4 prostate cancer. He underwent transurethral resection of the prostate and HIFU. His PSA dropped to 2.0 ng/ml and repeat biopsy revealed upgrading of his prostate cancer to Gleason 4 + 3. He was referred to us for a second opinion and, following discussion of his options, he underwent RALP. The total operative time was 159 min. There were no intra- or postoperative complications. He was discharged on postoperative day two and was fully continent 10 days following removal of his catheter. His PSA remained undetectable 6 months postoperatively. Salvage RALP was feasible in this case with good functional and short-term oncological outcomes for the patient. PMID:27628262

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

    PubMed

    Sakai, Yutaka; Fukai, Tomoki

    2008-01-01

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

  6. The population-development tangle. Aspects and actors.

    PubMed

    Sen, G

    1993-01-01

    Since the 1974 Population Conference, the population field has become of interest to members of the fundamentalist right wing, feminists, and environmentalists. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the areas of agreement and disagreement among each set of actors as well as how they define the issues. Currently, development discourse is characterized by considerations of: 1) economic growth, 2) the provision of livelihoods, 3) the provision of basic needs, 4) ecological sustainability and renewability, and 5) political participation. The actors who define the terms of this discourse include: 1) corporate interests, which concentrate on economic growth; 2) international and national agencies, which place primary importance on economic growth and some importance on basic needs and ecological sustainability; 3) popular organizations and social movements, which concentrate on livelihoods, basic needs, and political participation; and 4) environmentalists, who focus on ecological sustainability, economic growth, and (occasionally) political participation. The field of population, on the other hand, is dominated by traditional populationists, whose primary focus is economic growth; developmentalists; the fundamentalist right, who are most concerned with family and control over reproduction; environmentalists; and the women's movement, which is most concerned with reproductive rights and reproductive health. When the perspective of poor women is considered, it can be seen that economic growth and ecological sustainability must support the securing of livelihoods, basic needs, political participation, and reproductive rights, and that reproductive health programs must be part of an overall health agenda.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  10. iSAW: Integrating Structure, Actors, and Water to study socio-hydro-ecological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hale, Rebecca L.; Armstrong, Andrea; Baker, Michelle A.; Bedingfield, Sean; Betts, David; Buahin, Caleb; Buchert, Martin; Crowl, Todd; Dupont, R. Ryan; Ehleringer, James R.; Endter-Wada, Joanna; Flint, Courtney; Grant, Jacqualine; Hinners, Sarah; Horsburgh, Jeffery S.; Jackson-Smith, Douglas; Jones, Amber S.; Licon, Carlos; Null, Sarah E.; Odame, Augustina; Pataki, Diane E.; Rosenberg, David; Runburg, Madlyn; Stoker, Philip; Strong, Courtenay

    2015-03-01

    Urbanization, climate, and ecosystem change represent major challenges for managing water resources. Although water systems are complex, a need exists for a generalized representation of these systems to identify important components and linkages to guide scientific inquiry and aid water management. We developed an integrated Structure-Actor-Water framework (iSAW) to facilitate the understanding of and transitions to sustainable water systems. Our goal was to produce an interdisciplinary framework for water resources research that could address management challenges across scales (e.g., plot to region) and domains (e.g., water supply and quality, transitioning, and urban landscapes). The framework was designed to be generalizable across all human-environment systems, yet with sufficient detail and flexibility to be customized to specific cases. iSAW includes three major components: structure (natural, built, and social), actors (individual and organizational), and water (quality and quantity). Key linkages among these components include: (1) ecological/hydrologic processes, (2) ecosystem/geomorphic feedbacks, (3) planning, design, and policy, (4) perceptions, information, and experience, (5) resource access and risk, and (6) operational water use and management. We illustrate the flexibility and utility of the iSAW framework by applying it to two research and management problems: understanding urban water supply and demand in a changing climate and expanding use of green storm water infrastructure in a semi-arid environment. The applications demonstrate that a generalized conceptual model can identify important components and linkages in complex and diverse water systems and facilitate communication about those systems among researchers from diverse disciplines.

  11. Integrating Water, Actors, and Structure to Study Socio-Hydro-Ecological Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hale, R. L.; Armstrong, A.; Baker, M. A.; Bedingfield, S.; Betts, D.; Buahin, C. A.; Buchert, M.; Crowl, T.; Dupont, R.; Endter-Wada, J.; Flint, C.; Grant, J.; Hinners, S.; Horns, D.; Horsburgh, J. S.; Jackson-Smith, D.; Jones, A. S.; Licon, C.; Null, S. E.; Odame, A.; Pataki, D. E.; Rosenberg, D. E.; Runburg, M.; Stoker, P.; Strong, C.

    2014-12-01

    Urbanization, climate uncertainty, and ecosystem change represent major challenges for managing water resources. Water systems and the forces acting upon them are complex, and there is a need to understand and generically represent the most important system components and linkages. We developed a framework to facilitate understanding of water systems including potential vulnerabilities and opportunities for sustainability. Our goal was to produce an interdisciplinary framework for water resources research to address water issues across scales (e.g., city to region) and domains (e.g., water supply and quality, urban and transitioning landscapes). An interdisciplinary project (iUTAH - innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion Hydro-sustainability) with a large (N=~100), diverse team having expertise spanning the hydrologic, biological, ecological, engineering, social, planning, and policy sciences motivated the development of this framework. The framework was developed through review of the literature, meetings with individual researchers, and workshops with participants. The Structure-Water-Actor Framework (SWAF) includes three main components: water (quality and quantity), structure (natural, built, and social), and actors (individual and organizational). Key linkages include: 1) ecological and hydrological processes, 2) ecosystem and geomorphic change, 3) planning, design, and policy, 4) perceptions, information, and experience, 5) resource access, and 6) operational water use and management. Our expansive view of structure includes natural, built, and social components, allowing us to examine a broad set of tools and levers for water managers and decision-makers to affect system sustainability and understand system outcomes. We validate the SWAF and illustrate its flexibility to generate insights for three research and management problems: green stormwater infrastructure in an arid environment, regional water supply and demand, and urban river restoration

  12. Uniquely identifying cell orientation and sarcomere length in the intact rodent heart with oblique plane remote focussing microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbett, A. D.; Burton, R. A. B.; Bub, G.; Wilson, T.

    2015-07-01

    In cardiac imaging, the spacing between sub-cellular sarcomere structures is of great importance to physiologists in understanding muscle design and performance. Making accurate measurements of the sarcomere length (SL) presents a significant imaging challenge owing to the size of the SL (~2μm) and its naturally low variability (<6%), requiring a high level of precision to determine subtle changes between heart disease models. Moreover, measurements of SL from traditional two-photon imaging have so far been ambiguous to within a factor of cos(α), where α is the inclination of the tissue with respect to the focal plane. By remotely focussing a customised two-photon microscope, it is possible to image heart cells at two oblique angles within 200ms. The oblique images uniquely resolve the tissue inclination ambiguity and reduce the variance of SL measures by as much as 23%. This improved precision is crucial in discerning between pathological models of chronic hypertension. As well as improving measurement precision, the distribution of α across the field of view provides additional structural information which can be related to disease morphology. To validate this new imaging protocol, the value of α calculated from the oblique planes provided the input to a rigid model cell which was used to predict the appearance of the cell in the conventional focal plane. The comparison of the model to the image data provided a confidence metric for our measurements. Finally, by considering the optical transfer function, the range of cell orientations for which the method is valid could be calculated.

  13. Micro-focussed XAFS spectroscopy to study Ni-bearing precipitates in the metal of corroded Zircaloy-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuri, G.; Degueldre, C.; Bertsch, J.; Abolhassani, S.

    2010-03-01

    The present work concerns an investigation of the local atomic environment of Ni-containing secondary phase precipitates (SPP) present in the metal-part of Zircaloy-2 cladding tubes. An unirradiated Zircaloy-2 and two specimens irradiated in a commercial nuclear power plant are characterized using μ-focussed synchrotron radiation, and by x-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopy. The patterns of Ni K-edge XANES and EXAFS of SPP in unirradiated and irradiated cladding are found different. Considering the fact that Ni-bearing SPP in the unirradiated samples are mainly Zintl phase Zr2(Fe, Ni) type, a detailed EXAFS analysis of near-neighbor Ni atoms has been made. The result of a curve fit for the first two shells shows that about 2 Ni(Fe) and 8 Zr atoms are coordinated at 2.68 and 2.77 Å, respectively, around a central Ni atom in the SPP. XANES data analysis provides total electronic density of states at the Fermi level of unirradiated Zr2(Fe, Ni). At the Ni K-edge EXAFS spectra of irradiated SPP, however, only a single scattering peak is observed demonstrating the structural disorder introduced by the neutron irradiation. The coordination number of the Ni neighboring shells is reduced markedly due to the formation of point and extended defects in the damaged SPP lattice. Dissolution of Ni from the SPP is also evident from the data. The results of this study provide a further basis for the description of both crystallographic and electronic structures of intermetallic second-phase precipitates found in Zr-based alloys.

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-11-01

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

  15. Ship Finds and Their Management as Actor Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuddenham, David Berg

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Role of Actors and Gender Factor in Disaster Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  18. Testing crossover effects in an actor-partner interdependence model among Chinese dual-earner couples.

    PubMed

    Liu, Huimin; Cheung, Fanny M

    2015-03-01

    The purpose of the present study is to examine the crossover effects from one partner's work-family interface (work-family conflict [WFC] and work-family enrichment [WFE]) to the other partner's four outcomes (psychological strain, life satisfaction, marital satisfaction and job satisfaction) in a sample of Chinese dual-earner couples. Married couples (N = 361) completed a battery of questionnaires, including the work-family interface scale, the psychological strain scale, the life, marital, as well as job satisfaction scale. Results from the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) analyses showed that wives' WFE was negatively associated with husbands' psychological strain, and positively associated with husbands' life, marital and job satisfaction. Furthermore, husbands' WFC was negatively related to wives' marital satisfaction, whereas husbands' WFE was positively related to wives' marital satisfaction. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed, and future research directions were provided.

  19. Ensuring Mobility-Supporting Environments for an Aging Population: Critical Actors and Collaborations

    PubMed Central

    Kochtitzky, Chris S.; Freeland, Amy L.; Yen, Irene H.

    2011-01-01

    Successful aging takes on an array of attributes, including optimal health and community participation. Research indicates that (1) persons with disabilities, including age-related disabilities, report frequent barriers to community participation, including unsuitable building design (43%), transportation (32%), and sidewalks/curbs (31%), and (2) many seniors report an inability to cross roads safely near their homes. This paper attempts to define mobility-related elements that contribute to optimal health and quality of life, within the context of successful aging. It then examines the impacts of community design on individual mobility, delving into which traditional and nontraditional actors—including architects, urban planners, transportation engineers, occupational therapists, and housing authorities—play critical roles in ensuring that community environments serve as facilitators (rather than barriers) to mobility. As America ages, mobility challenges for seniors will only increase unless both traditional aging specialists and many nontraditional actors make a concerted effort to address the challenges. PMID:21766029

  20. Testing crossover effects in an actor-partner interdependence model among Chinese dual-earner couples.

    PubMed

    Liu, Huimin; Cheung, Fanny M

    2015-03-01

    The purpose of the present study is to examine the crossover effects from one partner's work-family interface (work-family conflict [WFC] and work-family enrichment [WFE]) to the other partner's four outcomes (psychological strain, life satisfaction, marital satisfaction and job satisfaction) in a sample of Chinese dual-earner couples. Married couples (N = 361) completed a battery of questionnaires, including the work-family interface scale, the psychological strain scale, the life, marital, as well as job satisfaction scale. Results from the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) analyses showed that wives' WFE was negatively associated with husbands' psychological strain, and positively associated with husbands' life, marital and job satisfaction. Furthermore, husbands' WFC was negatively related to wives' marital satisfaction, whereas husbands' WFE was positively related to wives' marital satisfaction. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed, and future research directions were provided. PMID:25721880

  1. Utilizing Nano-focussed Bremstrahlung Isochromat Spectroscopy (nBIS) to Determine the Unoccupied Electronic Structure of Pu

    SciTech Connect

    Butterfield, M T; Tobin, J G; Teslich, N E; Bliss, R A; Wall, M A; McMahan, A K; Chung, B W; Schwartz, A J; Kutepov, A L

    2005-11-01

    Understanding the behavior of 5f electrons remains an unrealized ambition of condensed matter physics [1,2]. Recently, there has been a large amount of interest in the actinides, particularly plutonium, driven by the complex and intriguing behavior of Pu and several of its compounds [3-5]. This has prompted both theoretical and experimental investigations of 5f metals and compounds. Of the different allotropes of Pu, the d-phase is of particular interest because of the high symmetry crystal structure and the stability of the phase to low temperatures when alloyed with small amounts of trivalent elements. Consequently much of the recent experimental and theoretical work has focused on this allotrope. From an experimental point of view, the reactivity and radioactivity of Pu, and the complexity of the phase diagram, make it exceedingly complicated to collect high-quality data. Investigations of these complex behaviors all point back to being caused by the intriguing interplay of the various electron states and in particular the behavior of the 5f states. While there are a number of ongoing experimental efforts directed at determining the occupied electronic structure of Pu, there is essentially no experimental data on the unoccupied electronic structure of Pu. We aim to determine the conduction band (unoccupied) electronic structure of Pu and other actinides in a phase specific fashion and emphasizing bulk contributions by using Nano-focussed Bremstrahlung Isochromat Spectroscopy (nBIS). Bremstrahlung Isochromat Spectroscopy (BIS) is the high-energy variant of inverse photoelectron spectroscopy (IPES: electron in, photon out), which is essentially the time reversal of photoelectron spectroscopy (photon in, electron out). IPES can be used to follow the dispersion of electronic states in ordered samples. Owing to its low energies, IPES is usually very surface sensitive. However, by working at higher energies (>200 eV), we will sample preferentially for bulk properties

  2. Non-State Actors, and the Advance of Frontier Higher Education Markets in the Global South

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Susan L.; Komljenovic, Janja

    2016-01-01

    This paper examines the growth of global non-state and multilateral actors in the "global south" and the creation of frontier markets in the higher education sector. These developments are part of market-making changes in higher education as the sector is opened to new actors, logics, and innovative services, aimed at "the global…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fenwick, Tara

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Explaining How Political Actors Gain Strategic Positions: Predictors of Centrality in State Reading Policy Issue Networks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Tamara V.; Wang, Yuling; Lewis, Wayne D.

    2016-01-01

    Using data from interviews with 111 reading policy actors from California, Connecticut, Michigan, and Utah, this study explains how individuals acquire central positions in issue networks. Regression analyses showed that the greater a policy actor's reputed influence was and the more similar their preferences were to other members in the network,…

  5. Asian American Actors in Film, Television and Theater, An Ethnographic Case Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Joann

    2001-01-01

    Examined how Asian American actors coped with the constraints of being minorities in an industry where physical appearance is crucial to success. Respondents' narratives reflected such coping strategies as not confronting issues of race, rationalizing that things are much better now for Asian American actors than in previous years, and believing…

  6. Camus' Actor as Tom Stoppard's Player; A Key to Interpreting "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zivanovic, Judith

    An examination of Albert Camus' definition of the actor in "The Myth on Sisyphus" helps to illuminate the character and role of The Player in Tom Stoppard's play and, hence, to bring light to an understanding of the philosophy of the play itself. The actor, for Camus, reveals our mortality in the face of the absurdity of our mortality, but also…

  7. A macro actor/token implementation of production systems on a data-flow multiprocessor

    SciTech Connect

    Sohn, A.; Gaudiot, J.-L.

    1991-12-31

    The importance of production systems in artificial intelligence has been repeatedly demonstrated by a number of expert systems. Much effort has therefore been expended on finding an efficient processing mechanism to process production systems. While data-flow principles of execution offer the promise of high programmability for numerical computations, the authors study here variable resolution actors, called macro actors, a processing mechanism for production systems. Characteristics of the production system paradigm are identified, based on which they introduce the concept of macro tokens as a companion to macro actors. A set of guidelines is identified in the context of production systems to derive well-formed macroactors from primitive micro actors. Parallel pattern matching is written in macro actors/tokens to be executed on the Macro Data-flow simulator. Simulation results demonstrate that the macro approach can be an efficient implementation of production systems.

  8. Researching as an Enactivist Mathematics Education Researcher

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Laurinda

    2015-01-01

    This paper focusses on how researching is done through reflections about, or at a meta-level to, the practice over time of an enactivist mathematics education researcher. How are the key concepts of enactivist theory ("ZDM Mathematics Education," doi: 10.1007/s11858-014-0634-7, 2015) applied? This paper begins by giving an…

  9. Deterring Asymmetric Threats from Sub-State Actors

    SciTech Connect

    Homsy, R V

    2002-01-31

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  12. Src: Marker or Actor in Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness

    PubMed Central

    Vlaeminck-Guillem, Virginie; Gillet, Germain; Rimokh, Ruth

    2014-01-01

    A key question for urologic practitioners is whether an apparently organ-confined prostate cancer (PCa) is actually aggressive or not. The dilemma is to specifically identify among all prostate tumors the very aggressive high-grade cancers that will become life-threatening by developing extra-prostatic invasion and metastatic potential and the indolent cancers that will never modify a patient’s life expectancy. A choice must be made between several therapeutic options to achieve the optimal personalized management of the disease that causes as little harm as possible to patients. Reliable clinical, biological, or pathological markers that would enable distinctions to be made between aggressive and indolent PCas in routine practice at the time of initial diagnosis are still lacking. The molecular mechanisms that explain why a PCa is aggressive or not are also poorly understood. Among the potential markers and/or actors in PCa aggressiveness, Src and other members of the Src kinase family, are valuable candidates. Activation of Src-dependent intracellular pathways is frequently observed in PCa. Indeed, Src is at the cross-roads of several pathways [including androgen receptor (AR), TGFbeta, Bcl-2, Akt/PTEN or MAPK, and ERK …], and is now known to influence some of the cellular and tissular events that accompany tumor progression: cell proliferation, cell motility, invasion, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, resistance to apoptosis, angiogenesis, neuroendocrine differentiation, and metastatic spread. Recent work even suggests that Src could also play a part in PCa initiation in coordination with the AR. The aim of this review is to gather data that explore the links between the Src kinase family and PCa progression and aggressiveness. PMID:25184116

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

    PubMed

    Gill, Paul; Horgan, John; Deckert, Paige

    2014-03-01

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

  14. Holding-based network of nations based on listed energy companies: An empirical study on two-mode affiliation network of two sets of actors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Huajiao; Fang, Wei; An, Haizhong; Gao, Xiangyun; Yan, Lili

    2016-05-01

    Economic networks in the real world are not homogeneous; therefore, it is important to study economic networks with heterogeneous nodes and edges to simulate a real network more precisely. In this paper, we present an empirical study of the one-mode derivative holding-based network constructed by the two-mode affiliation network of two sets of actors using the data of worldwide listed energy companies and their shareholders. First, we identify the primitive relationship in the two-mode affiliation network of the two sets of actors. Then, we present the method used to construct the derivative network based on the shareholding relationship between two sets of actors and the affiliation relationship between actors and events. After constructing the derivative network, we analyze different topological features on the node level, edge level and entire network level and explain the meanings of the different values of the topological features combining the empirical data. This study is helpful for expanding the usage of complex networks to heterogeneous economic networks. For empirical research on the worldwide listed energy stock market, this study is useful for discovering the inner relationships between the nations and regions from a new perspective.

  15. The proof is in the pudding: putting Actor-Network-Theory to work in medical education.

    PubMed

    Bleakley, Alan

    2012-01-01

    What constitutes valid evidence from medical education research is typically grounded in the scientific paradigm of proof through experiment. Here, explanation through single meaning is privileged over exploration of multiple presentations of phenomena--short, interpretation eclipses appreciation. This approach is challenged as reductive by naturalistic qualitative methods such as rich ethnographic field reports, presented as narratives. Contemporary ethnographic approaches have entered medical education by a back door--disguised as a stable of 'social learning theories'. Communities of Practice theory, Activity Theory and Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) all serve as research practices forming identifiable contemporary ethnographies. 'Evidence' is conceived as exploratory rather than explanatory, through baroque descriptions of innovations in learning organizations, including medicine. ANT is then both a theory of innovation in organizations and an ethnographic method, where practice and theory coincide. ANT is interested primarily not in epistemologies, but in how a phenomenon such as an 'illness' is conceived across differing practices as multiple ontologies (experienced meanings), each meaning generated and suspended within a particular network of effects. How such networks are initiated and developed has significance for rethinking the nature of 'evidence', restoring faith in the value of a good story. PMID:22489979

  16. The proof is in the pudding: putting Actor-Network-Theory to work in medical education.

    PubMed

    Bleakley, Alan

    2012-01-01

    What constitutes valid evidence from medical education research is typically grounded in the scientific paradigm of proof through experiment. Here, explanation through single meaning is privileged over exploration of multiple presentations of phenomena--short, interpretation eclipses appreciation. This approach is challenged as reductive by naturalistic qualitative methods such as rich ethnographic field reports, presented as narratives. Contemporary ethnographic approaches have entered medical education by a back door--disguised as a stable of 'social learning theories'. Communities of Practice theory, Activity Theory and Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) all serve as research practices forming identifiable contemporary ethnographies. 'Evidence' is conceived as exploratory rather than explanatory, through baroque descriptions of innovations in learning organizations, including medicine. ANT is then both a theory of innovation in organizations and an ethnographic method, where practice and theory coincide. ANT is interested primarily not in epistemologies, but in how a phenomenon such as an 'illness' is conceived across differing practices as multiple ontologies (experienced meanings), each meaning generated and suspended within a particular network of effects. How such networks are initiated and developed has significance for rethinking the nature of 'evidence', restoring faith in the value of a good story.

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

    PubMed

    Maia, Tiago V

    2010-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karunaratne, Savant; Yan, Hong

    2000-05-01

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

  19. Actors conform, observers react: the effects of behavioral synchrony on conformity.

    PubMed

    Dong, Ping; Dai, Xianchi; Wyer, Robert S

    2015-01-01

    Engaging in synchronous behavior can induce a more general disposition to copy others, which increases the tendency to conform to others' preferences in an unrelated choice situation. In contrast, observing others perform synchronous behavior can induce psychological reactance and decrease conformity to others' preferences. Five experiments confirmed these different effects and circumscribed the conditions in which they occurred. Actors typically focus their attention on the goal to which their synchronous behavior is directed, inducing a copying-others mindset that generalizes to later situations. In contrast, observers focus on the actors' behavior independently of the goal to which it pertains. Consequently, they become sensitive to the restrictions on freedom that synchronous behavior requires and experience reactance. However, changing the relative attention that actors and observers pay to these factors can reverse the effects of the actors' synchronous behavior on conformity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-03-01

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

  1. Linking functional diversity and social actor strategies in a framework for interdisciplinary analysis of nature's benefits to society

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, Sandra; Cáceres, Daniel M.; Trainor, Sarah F.; Pérez-Harguindeguy, Natalia; Bret-Harte, M. Syndonia; Finegan, Bryan; Peña-Claros, Marielos; Poorter, Lourens

    2011-01-01

    The crucial role of biodiversity in the links between ecosystems and societies has been repeatedly highlighted both as source of wellbeing and as a target of human actions, but not all aspects of biodiversity are equally important to different ecosystem services. Similarly, different social actors have different perceptions of and access to ecosystem services, and therefore, they have different wants and capacities to select directly or indirectly for particular biodiversity and ecosystem characteristics. Their choices feed back onto the ecosystem services provided to all parties involved and in turn, affect future decisions. Despite this recognition, the research communities addressing biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human outcomes have yet to develop frameworks that adequately treat the multiple dimensions and interactions in the relationship. Here, we present an interdisciplinary framework for the analysis of relationships between functional diversity, ecosystem services, and human actions that is applicable to specific social environmental systems at local scales. We connect the mechanistic understanding of the ecological role of diversity with its social relevance: ecosystem services. The framework permits connections between functional diversity components and priorities of social actors using land use decisions and ecosystem services as the main links between these ecological and social components. We propose a matrix-based method that provides a transparent and flexible platform for quantifying and integrating social and ecological information and negotiating potentially conflicting land uses among multiple social actors. We illustrate the applicability of our framework by way of land use examples from temperate to subtropical South America, an area of rapid social and ecological change. PMID:21220325

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

    PubMed Central

    Earles, Julie L.; Upshaw, Christin

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gill, Paul; Horgan, John; Deckert, Paige

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Tanya; Hsieh, Shulan

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Actor-recipient role affects neural responses to self in emotional situations

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoyan; Zheng, Li; Cheng, Xuemei; Li, Lin; Sun, Lining; Wang, Qianfeng; Guo, Xiuyan

    2015-01-01

    People often take either the role of an actor or that of recipient in positive and negative interpersonal events when they interact with others. The present study investigated how the actor-recipient role affected the neural responses to self in emotional situations. Twenty-five participants were scanned while they were presented with positive and negative interpersonal events and were asked to rate the degree to which the actor/the recipient was that kind of person who caused the interpersonal event. Half of the trials were self-relevant events and the other half were other-relevant events. Results showed that people were more likely to isolate self from negative events when they played the role of actor relative to recipient. Pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC) and posterior dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (pdACC) were more active for self than other only in negative events. More importantly, also in negative interpersonal events, dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) showed greater self-related activations (self-other) when participants played the role of recipient relative to actor, while activities in orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) were greater for self than other only when the evaluation target played the role of recipient. These results showed that the actor-recipient role affected neural responses to self in emotional situations, especially when a recipient role was played in negative situations. PMID:25926781

  9. Drug scheduling of cancer chemotherapy based on natural actor-critic approach.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Inkyung; Park, Jooyoung

    2011-11-01

    Recently, reinforcement learning methods have drawn significant interests in the area of artificial intelligence, and have been successfully applied to various decision-making problems. In this paper, we study the applicability of the NAC (natural actor-critic) approach, a state-of-the-art reinforcement learning method, to the drug scheduling of cancer chemotherapy for an ODE (ordinary differential equation)-based tumor growth model. ODE-based cancer dynamics modeling is an active research area, and many different mathematical models have been proposed. Among these, we use the model proposed by de Pillis and Radunskaya (2003), which considers the growth of tumor cells and their interaction with normal cells and immune cells. The NAC approach is applied to this ODE model with the goal of minimizing the tumor cell population and the drug amount while maintaining the adequate population levels of normal cells and immune cells. In the framework of the NAC approach, the drug dose is regarded as the control input, and the reward signal is defined as a function of the control input and the cell populations of tumor cells, normal cells, and immune cells. According to the control policy found by the NAC approach, effective drug scheduling in cancer chemotherapy for the considered scenarios has turned out to be close to the strategy of continuing drug injection from the beginning until an appropriate time. Also, simulation results showed that the NAC approach can yield better performance than conventional pulsed chemotherapy. PMID:21839140

  10. An actor-partner interdependence analysis of associations between affect and parenting behavior among couples.

    PubMed

    Murdock, Kyle W; Lovejoy, M Christine; Oddi, Kate B

    2014-03-01

    Prior studies evaluating associations between parental affect and parenting behavior have typically focused on either mothers or fathers despite evidence suggesting that affect and parenting behavior may be interdependent among couples. This study addressed this gap in the literature by evaluating associations between self-reported affect and parenting behavior using an actor-partner interdependence analysis among a sample of 53 mother-father dyads of 3- to 5-year-old children. Results suggested that mothers' and fathers' negative affect, as well as mothers' and fathers' positive affect, were positively associated. Both mothers' and fathers' negative affect were negatively associated with fathers' positive affect. Mothers' and fathers' harsh/negative parenting behavior, and supportive/engaged parenting behavior, were positively associated. Furthermore, mothers' negative affect was positively associated with mothers' and fathers' harsh/negative parenting behavior while mothers' positive affect was negatively associated with mothers' harsh/negative behavior and positively associated with mothers' supportive/engaged behavior. Fathers' negative affect was positively associated with fathers' supportive/engaged parenting behavior, while fathers' positive affect was positively associated with mothers' and fathers' supportive/engaged behavior. Results highlight the importance of conceptualizing and measuring characteristics of both mothers and fathers, if applicable, when researching the dynamics of interpersonal relationships within families.

  11. Assessing and accounting for time heterogeneity in stochastic actor oriented models.

    PubMed

    Lospinoso, Joshua A; Schweinberger, Michael; Snijders, Tom A B; Ripley, Ruth M

    2011-07-01

    This paper explores time heterogeneity in stochastic actor oriented models (SAOM) proposed by Snijders (Sociological Methodology. Blackwell, Boston, pp 361-395, 2001) which are meant to study the evolution of networks. SAOMs model social networks as directed graphs with nodes representing people, organizations, etc., and dichotomous relations representing underlying relationships of friendship, advice, etc. We illustrate several reasons why heterogeneity should be statistically tested and provide a fast, convenient method for assessment and model correction. SAOMs provide a flexible framework for network dynamics which allow a researcher to test selection, influence, behavioral, and structural properties in network data over time. We show how the forward-selecting, score type test proposed by Schweinberger (Chapter 4: Statistical modeling of network panel data: goodness of fit. PhD thesis, University of Groningen 2007) can be employed to quickly assess heterogeneity at almost no additional computational cost. One step estimates are used to assess the magnitude of the heterogeneity. Simulation studies are conducted to support the validity of this approach. The ASSIST dataset (Campbell et al. Lancet 371(9624):1595-1602, 2008) is reanalyzed with the score type test, one step estimators, and a full estimation for illustration. These tools are implemented in the RSiena package, and a brief walkthrough is provided. PMID:22003370

  12. Pesticide use in banana and plantain production and risk perception among local actors in Talamanca, Costa Rica

    SciTech Connect

    Barraza, Douglas; Jansen, Kees; Wendel de Joode, Berna van; Wesseling, Catharina

    2011-07-15

    economic agents such as middlemen. Risk perceptions were modulated by factors such as people's tasks and positions in the production process, gender, and people's possibilities to define their own social conditions (more fatalistic perceptions among banana workers). The challenge for the future is to combine these insights into improved health risk assessment and management that is culturally adequate for each particular community and agricultural context. - Research highlights: {yields} A first study on pesticide risk perception in Costa Rica. {yields} One of the few studies performed in the indigenous populations in Talamanca. {yields} Economic considerations prevailed above health risks in both communities. {yields} Our findings provide valuable information for multiple social actors.

  13. Climate Change and Infectious Disease Risk in Western Europe: A Survey of Dutch Expert Opinion on Adaptation Responses and Actors.

    PubMed

    Akin, Su-Mia; Martens, Pim; Huynen, Maud M T E

    2015-08-18

    There is growing evidence of climate change affecting infectious disease risk in Western Europe. The call for effective adaptation to this challenge becomes increasingly stronger. This paper presents the results of a survey exploring Dutch expert perspectives on adaptation responses to climate change impacts on infectious disease risk in Western Europe. Additionally, the survey explores the expert sample's prioritization of mitigation and adaptation, and expert views on the willingness and capacity of relevant actors to respond to climate change. An integrated view on the causation of infectious disease risk is employed, including multiple (climatic and non-climatic) factors. The results show that the experts consider some adaptation responses as relatively more cost-effective, like fostering interagency and community partnerships, or beneficial to health, such as outbreak investigation and response. Expert opinions converge and diverge for different adaptation responses. Regarding the prioritization of mitigation and adaptation responses expert perspectives converge towards a 50/50 budgetary allocation. The experts consider the national government/health authority as the most capable actor to respond to climate change-induced infectious disease risk. Divergence and consensus among expert opinions can influence adaptation policy processes. Further research is necessary to uncover prevailing expert perspectives and their roots, and compare these.

  14. Working alliance, real relationship, session quality, and client improvement in psychodynamic psychotherapy: A longitudinal actor partner interdependence model.

    PubMed

    Kivlighan, Dennis M; Hill, Clara E; Gelso, Charles J; Baumann, Ellen

    2016-03-01

    We used the Actor Partner Interdependence Model (APIM; Kashy & Kenny, 2000) to examine the dyadic associations of 74 clients and 23 therapists in their evaluations of working alliance, real relationship, session quality, and client improvement over time in ongoing psychodynamic or interpersonal psychotherapy. There were significant actor effects for both therapists and clients, with the participant's own ratings of working alliance and real relationship independently predicting their own evaluations of session quality. There were significant client partner effects, with clients' working alliance and real relationship independently predicting their therapists' evaluations of session quality. The client partner real relationship effect was stronger in later sessions than in earlier sessions. Therapists' real relationship ratings (partner effect) were a stronger predictor of clients' session quality ratings in later sessions than in earlier sessions. Therapists' working alliance ratings (partner effect) were a stronger predictor of clients' session quality ratings when clients made greater improvement than when clients made lesser improvement. For clients' session outcome ratings, there were complex three-way interactions, such that both Client real relationship and working alliance interacted with client improvement and time in treatment to predict clients' session quality. These findings strongly suggest both individual and partner effects when clients and therapists evaluate psychotherapy process and outcome. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

  15. Remarriage Beliefs as Predictors of Marital Quality and Positive Interaction in Stepcouples: An Actor-Partner Interdependence Model.

    PubMed

    Garneau, Chelsea L; Higginbotham, Brian; Adler-Baeder, Francesca

    2015-12-01

    Using an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model, we examined remarriage beliefs as predictors of marital quality and positive interaction in a sample of 179 stepcouples. Three beliefs were measured using subscales from the Remarriage Belief Inventory (RMBI) including success is slim, children are the priority, and finances should be pooled. Several significant actor and partner effects were found for both wives' and husbands' beliefs. Wives' marital quality was positively associated with their own beliefs that finances should be pooled and negatively associated with their own beliefs that success is slim. Wives' reports of their own and spouses' positive interaction were both positively associated with their beliefs that finances should be pooled. Their reports of spouses' positive interaction were also negatively associated with husbands' beliefs that success is slim. Husbands' marital quality was positively associated with wives' beliefs that children are the priority, positively associated with their own beliefs that finances should be pooled, and negatively with success is slim. Positive interaction for husbands was positively associated with wives' beliefs that finances should be pooled and negatively associated with their own beliefs that success is slim. Finally, husbands' reports of positive interaction for their spouses were positively associated with wives' beliefs that finances should be pooled. Implications for future research utilizing dyadic data analysis with stepcouples are addressed.

  16. Building Nationally-Focussed, Globally Federated, High Performance Earth Science Platforms to Solve Next Generation Social and Economic Issues.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyborn, Lesley; Evans, Ben; Foster, Clinton; Pugh, Timothy; Uhlherr, Alfred

    2015-04-01

    properly constructed, these infrastructures can also service very small-scale research projects. The National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) at the Australian National University (ANU) has built such an HP infrastructure as part of the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy. NCI operates as a formal partnership between the ANU and the three major Australian National Government Scientific Agencies: the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience Australia. The government partners agreed to explore the new opportunities offered within the partnership with NCI, rather than each running their own separate agenda independently. The data from these national agencies, as well as from collaborating overseas organisations (e.g., NASA, NOAA, USGS, CMIP, etc.) are either replicated to, or produced at, NCI. By co-locating and harmonising these vast data collections within the integrated HP computing environments at NCI, new opportunities have arisen for Data-intensive Interdisciplinary Science at scales and resolutions not hitherto possible. The new NCI infrastructure has also enabled the blending of research by the university sector with the more operational business of government science agencies, with the fundamental shift being that researchers from both sectors work and collaborate within a federated data and computational environment that contains both national and international data collections.

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

    PubMed Central

    Spapé, Michiel M.; Ravaja, Niklas

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Spapé, Michiel M; Ravaja, Niklas

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Palaeolimnology of Palaeozoic lakes, focussing on a single lake cycle in the Middle Devonian of the Orcadian Basin, Scotland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephenson, Michael H.; Leng, Melanie J.; Michie, Uisdean; Vane, Christopher H.

    2006-03-01

    There are few palaeolimnological studies of Palaeozoic lake deposits using methodologies developed for the study of Quaternary lakes. New research described here indicates the benefits of applying multidisciplinary high-resolution sampling and analysis on the Middle Devonian lake deposits of the Orcadian Basin in order to understand lake palaeoecology and response to water chemistry change and possible climate change. In a continuously sampled 4 m-thick lake cycle in two correlated boreholes in Caithness there are two distinct features. There is a broad trend in δ13C of sedimentary organic matter from high values in the shallow water deposits to lower values in the deeper water deposits, attributed to changing contributions from terrestrial plant material ( δ13C org c. - 28‰) and algal material ( δ13C org c. - 33‰). This variation is consistent with palynological data and is best explained by proximal-distal variation as the lake filled. A smaller but well-correlated up-section decreasing δ13C org trend occurs over approximately 1 m, starting at the cycle centre where the lake was at its deepest. Since the same feature is seen in two boreholes, we suggest that local effects of migrated bitumen, diagenesis or facies changes are unlikely to be the cause, and that changes in the carbon cycle of the lake are responsible. Explanations for this trend may relate to the source of carbon that algae utilised as the lake changed from a fresher to a more saline environment, and to changes in the carbon isotope composition of the lake water during periods of enhanced productivity.

  1. Distance as a Hybrid Actor in Rural Economies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Nathan

    2006-01-01

    This paper argues that the notion of distance ought to be re-conceptualized and promoted to the theoretical foreground of sociological analyses of rural economic action. Using research in rural British Columbia, Canada, I argue that current changes in rural political economy (for instance, the restructuring of industrial resource production, the…

  2. The Problem of School People as Political Actors: Some Recommendations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duane, Edward A.; Bridgeland, William M.

    The focus in this paper is on political styles, political organization, and political interaction among educational power persons and groups. Recent research studies by the authors have looked at teacher perceptions of their power over curriculum. Questionnaires and interviews were administered to a random sample of teachers in several Michigan…

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  6. Attachment anxiety and avoidance and perceptions of group climate: an actor-partner interdependence analysis.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

    There is a lack of research examining group members' attachment styles and group climate perceptions in the context of the attachment styles and group climate perceptions of the other group members. In the current study, the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) was used to examine the relationships among (a) a group member's attachment pattern, (b) the aggregated attachment patterns of the other group members, (c) a group member's perceptions of the group's climate, and (d) the aggregated group climate perceptions of the other group members. One hundred ten Italian graduate students in six 10-session interpersonal growth groups were studied. Group members filled out the Attachment Style Questionnaire prior to group participation and the Group Climate Questionnaire after the 3rd group session. Contrary to the hypotheses, a group member's attachment pattern (anxiety and avoidance) was unrelated to her or his perceptions of group climate, and only group member attachment anxiety was positively related to the other group members' perceptions of conflict in the group's climate. There was, however, strong support for the hypotheses involving the aggregate attachment of the other group members and group climate perceptions. As hypothesized, aggregated perceptions of attachment anxiety and avoidance were positively related to a member's perception of group conflict and aggregated perceptions of attachment anxiety and avoidance were negatively related to a member's perception of group engagement. Both aggregated attachment anxiety and avoidance were related in the expected directions to aggregated perception of group climate. Finally, as hypothesized, a group member's perception of group climate was positively related to the aggregated climate perceptions of the other group members. The findings suggest that the APIM is a useful approach for examining group process variables in the group counseling context. PMID:23088683

  7. Theorising big IT programmes in healthcare: strong structuration theory meets actor-network theory.

    PubMed

    Greenhalgh, Trisha; Stones, Rob

    2010-05-01

    The UK National Health Service is grappling with various large and controversial IT programmes. We sought to develop a sharper theoretical perspective on the question "What happens - at macro-, meso- and micro-level - when government tries to modernise a health service with the help of big IT?" Using examples from data fragments at the micro-level of clinical work, we considered how structuration theory and actor-network theory (ANT) might be combined to inform empirical investigation. Giddens (1984) argued that social structures and human agency are recursively linked and co-evolve. ANT studies the relationships that link people and technologies in dynamic networks. It considers how discourses become inscribed in data structures and decision models of software, making certain network relations irreversible. Stones' (2005) strong structuration theory (SST) is a refinement of Giddens' work, systematically concerned with empirical research. It views human agents as linked in dynamic networks of position-practices. A quadripartite approcach considers [a] external social structures (conditions for action); [b] internal social structures (agents' capabilities and what they 'know' about the social world); [c] active agency and actions and [d] outcomes as they feed back on the position-practice network. In contrast to early structuration theory and ANT, SST insists on disciplined conceptual methodology and linking this with empirical evidence. In this paper, we adapt SST for the study of technology programmes, integrating elements from material interactionism and ANT. We argue, for example, that the position-practice network can be a socio-technical one in which technologies in conjunction with humans can be studied as 'actants'. Human agents, with their complex socio-cultural frames, are required to instantiate technology in social practices. Structurally relevant properties inscribed and embedded in technological artefacts constrain and enable human agency. The fortunes

  8. Theorising big IT programmes in healthcare: strong structuration theory meets actor-network theory.

    PubMed

    Greenhalgh, Trisha; Stones, Rob

    2010-05-01

    The UK National Health Service is grappling with various large and controversial IT programmes. We sought to develop a sharper theoretical perspective on the question "What happens - at macro-, meso- and micro-level - when government tries to modernise a health service with the help of big IT?" Using examples from data fragments at the micro-level of clinical work, we considered how structuration theory and actor-network theory (ANT) might be combined to inform empirical investigation. Giddens (1984) argued that social structures and human agency are recursively linked and co-evolve. ANT studies the relationships that link people and technologies in dynamic networks. It considers how discourses become inscribed in data structures and decision models of software, making certain network relations irreversible. Stones' (2005) strong structuration theory (SST) is a refinement of Giddens' work, systematically concerned with empirical research. It views human agents as linked in dynamic networks of position-practices. A quadripartite approcach considers [a] external social structures (conditions for action); [b] internal social structures (agents' capabilities and what they 'know' about the social world); [c] active agency and actions and [d] outcomes as they feed back on the position-practice network. In contrast to early structuration theory and ANT, SST insists on disciplined conceptual methodology and linking this with empirical evidence. In this paper, we adapt SST for the study of technology programmes, integrating elements from material interactionism and ANT. We argue, for example, that the position-practice network can be a socio-technical one in which technologies in conjunction with humans can be studied as 'actants'. Human agents, with their complex socio-cultural frames, are required to instantiate technology in social practices. Structurally relevant properties inscribed and embedded in technological artefacts constrain and enable human agency. The fortunes

  9. Good soldiers and good actors: prosocial and impression management motives as interactive predictors of affiliative citizenship behaviors.

    PubMed

    Grant, Adam M; Mayer, David M

    2009-07-01

    Researchers have discovered inconsistent relationships between prosocial motives and citizenship behaviors. We draw on impression management theory to propose that impression management motives strengthen the association between prosocial motives and affiliative citizenship by encouraging employees to express citizenship in ways that both "do good" and "look good." We report 2 studies that examine the interactions of prosocial and impression management motives as predictors of affiliative citizenship using multisource data from 2 different field samples. Across the 2 studies, we find positive interactions between prosocial and impression management motives as predictors of affiliative citizenship behaviors directed toward other people (helping and courtesy) and the organization (initiative). Study 2 also shows that only prosocial motives predict voice-a challenging citizenship behavior. Our results suggest that employees who are both good soldiers and good actors are most likely to emerge as good citizens in promoting the status quo.

  10. Scientist-Centered Workflow Abstractions via Generic Actors, Workflow Templates, and Context-Awareness for Groundwater Modeling and Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Chin, George; Sivaramakrishnan, Chandrika; Critchlow, Terence J.; Schuchardt, Karen L.; Ngu, Anne Hee Hiong

    2011-07-04

    A drawback of existing scientific workflow systems is the lack of support to domain scientists in designing and executing their own scientific workflows. Many domain scientists avoid developing and using workflows because the basic objects of workflows are too low-level and high-level tools and mechanisms to aid in workflow construction and use are largely unavailable. In our research, we are prototyping higher-level abstractions and tools to better support scientists in their workflow activities. Specifically, we are developing generic actors that provide abstract interfaces to specific functionality, workflow templates that encapsulate workflow and data patterns that can be reused and adapted by scientists, and context-awareness mechanisms to gather contextual information from the workflow environment on behalf of the scientist. To evaluate these scientist-centered abstractions on real problems, we apply them to construct and execute scientific workflows in the specific domain area of groundwater modeling and analysis.

  11. Motor simulation beyond the dyad: Automatic imitation of multiple actors.

    PubMed

    Cracco, Emiel; De Coster, Lize; Andres, Michael; Brass, Marcel

    2015-12-01

    A large body of research has provided evidence for the idea that individuals simulate the actions of others in their motor system. However, this research has focused almost exclusively on dyadic situations, hence ignoring the fact that social situations often require that the actions of multiple persons are simulated simultaneously. In the current study, we addressed this issue by means of a widely used automatic imitation task. In Experiment 1, it is shown that individuals automatically imitate the actions of 2 agents at the same time. More specifically, the results indicate that 2 identical observed movements produce a stronger imitation effect, whereas 2 different observed movements produce 2 opposite imitation effects that cancel each other out. In Experiment 2, it is shown that the effects obtained in Experiment 1 cannot be explained in terms of attentional capture. Instead, the results point toward an explanation in terms of ideomotor theory. The finding that observers simultaneously represent the actions of multiple agents in their motor system allows for a better understanding of social interaction beyond the dyad.

  12. Formal Specification and Validation of a Hybrid Connectivity Restoration Algorithm for Wireless Sensor and Actor Networks †

    PubMed Central

    Imran, Muhammad; Zafar, Nazir Ahmad

    2012-01-01

    Maintaining inter-actor connectivity is extremely crucial in mission-critical applications of Wireless Sensor and Actor Networks (WSANs), as actors have to quickly plan optimal coordinated responses to detected events. Failure of a critical actor partitions the inter-actor network into disjoint segments besides leaving a coverage hole, and thus hinders the network operation. This paper presents a Partitioning detection and Connectivity Restoration (PCR) algorithm to tolerate critical actor failure. As part of pre-failure planning, PCR determines critical/non-critical actors based on localized information and designates each critical node with an appropriate backup (preferably non-critical). The pre-designated backup detects the failure of its primary actor and initiates a post-failure recovery process that may involve coordinated multi-actor relocation. To prove the correctness, we construct a formal specification of PCR using Z notation. We model WSAN topology as a dynamic graph and transform PCR to corresponding formal specification using Z notation. Formal specification is analyzed and validated using the Z Eves tool. Moreover, we simulate the specification to quantitatively analyze the efficiency of PCR. Simulation results confirm the effectiveness of PCR and the results shown that it outperforms contemporary schemes found in the literature.

  13. Gas Research Institute experience in solar fuel research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krist, Kevin

    Between 1981-1989, the Gas Research Institute (GRI) conducted a fundamental research program aimed at low-cost conversion of inorganic materials to gaseous fuels, using solar energy. Although the program focussed on photochemical approaches, thermochemical pathways were also evaluated. General conclusions are presented in the following areas: photochemical fuel synthesis, thermochemical fuel synthesis, photochemical processes, thermal processes, and collector systems.

  14. The role of state and non-state actors in the policy process: the contribution of policy networks to the scale-up of antiretroviral therapy in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Tantivess, Sripen; Walt, Gill

    2008-09-01

    Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is difficult in poor settings. In 2001, the Thai government adopted the policy to scale-up its treatment initiative to meet the needs of all its people. Employing qualitative approaches, including in-depth interviews, document review and direct observation, this study examines the processes by which the universal ART policy developed between 2001 and 2007, with the focus on the connections between actors who shared common interests--so-called policy networks. Research findings illustrate the crucial contributions of non-state networks in the policy process. The supportive roles of public-civic networks could be observed at every policy stage, and at different levels of the health sector. Although this particular health policy may be unique in case and setting, it does suggest clearly that while the state dominated the policy process initially, non-state actors played extremely important roles. Their contribution was not simply at agenda-setting stages--for example by lobbying government--but in the actual development and implementation of health policy. Further it illustrates that these processes were dynamic, took place over long periods and were not limited to national borders, but extended beyond, to include global actors and processes.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kartiko, Iwan; Kavakli, Manolya; Cheng, Ken

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolf, Shelby Anne

    1994-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Delgado, Jorge Enrique

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  19. An Actor-Network Critique of Community in Higher Education: Implications for Networked Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Steve

    2005-01-01

    The article provides an actor-network critique of ideas on community that are influential in higher education and draws implications for networked learning theory and practice. Networked learning is examined as an educational movement which contains alternative models of learning but which offers to create a sense of virtual community within the…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yates, Brian James

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marsh, Julie A.; Wohlstetter, Priscilla

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fenwick, Tara J.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niesz, Tricia; Krishnamurthy, Ramchandar

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Bruce

    1999-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Grace; Dolejs, Barbara

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Richard

    2003-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalliala, Marjatta

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holt, Colleen M.; Dowell, Richard C.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gieling, Maike; Thijs, Jochem; Verkuyten, Maykel

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  13. Implications for Students Role Character Development When the Teacher Becomes an Actor in the Production.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buckner, Debi

    A case study explored the implications for secondary school acting students in developing character in a role when the theater teacher assumes the role of actor in a student production. Two of Albuquerque, New Mexico's 11 public high schools co-produced "Romeo and Juliet." Pre- and posttests of student perceptions of acting and character…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slaight, Craig, Ed.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saxena, Gunjan; Ilbery, Brian

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pinto, Laura Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macheridis, Nikos

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feldshuh, David Mark

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Joel, Daphna; Niv, Yael; Ruppin, Eytan

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-28

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Godar, Javier; Gardner, Toby A.; Tizado, E. Jorge

    2014-01-01

    Annual deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon fell by 77% between 2004 and 2011, yet have stabilized since 2009 at 5,000–7,000 km2. We provide the first submunicipality assessment, to our knowledge, of actor-specific contributions to the deforestation slowdown by linking agricultural census and remote-sensing data on deforestation and forest degradation. Almost half (36,158 km2) of the deforestation between 2004 and 2011 occurred in areas dominated by larger properties (>500 ha), whereas only 12% (9,720 km2) occurred in areas dominated by smallholder properties (<100 ha). In addition, forests in areas dominated by smallholders tend to be less fragmented and less degraded. However, although annual deforestation rates fell during this period by 68–85% for all actors, the contribution of the largest landholders (>2,500 ha) to annual deforestation decreased over time (63% decrease between 2005 and 2011), whereas that of smallholders went up by a similar amount (69%) during the same period. In addition, the deforestation share attributable to remote areas increased by 88% between 2009 and 2011. These observations are consistent across the Brazilian Amazon, regardless of geographical differences in actor dominance or socioenvironmental context. Our findings suggest that deforestation policies to date, which have been particularly focused on command and control measures on larger properties in deforestation hotspots, may be increasingly limited in their effectiveness and fail to address all actors equally. Further reductions in deforestation are likely to be increasingly costly and require actor-tailored approaches, including better monitoring to detect small-scale deforestation and a shift toward more incentive-based conservation policies. PMID:25313087

  3. A confidence metric for using neurobiological feedback in actor-critic reinforcement learning based brain-machine interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Prins, Noeline W.; Sanchez, Justin C.; Prasad, Abhishek

    2014-01-01

    Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMIs) can be used to restore function in people living with paralysis. Current BMIs require extensive calibration that increase the set-up times and external inputs for decoder training that may be difficult to produce in paralyzed individuals. Both these factors have presented challenges in transitioning the technology from research environments to activities of daily living (ADL). For BMIs to be seamlessly used in ADL, these issues should be handled with minimal external input thus reducing the need for a technician/caregiver to calibrate the system. Reinforcement Learning (RL) based BMIs are a good tool to be used when there is no external training signal and can provide an adaptive modality to train BMI decoders. However, RL based BMIs are sensitive to the feedback provided to adapt the BMI. In actor-critic BMIs, this feedback is provided by the critic and the overall system performance is limited by the critic accuracy. In this work, we developed an adaptive BMI that could handle inaccuracies in the critic feedback in an effort to produce more accurate RL based BMIs. We developed a confidence measure, which indicated how appropriate the feedback is for updating the decoding parameters of the actor. The results show that with the new update formulation, the critic accuracy is no longer a limiting factor for the overall performance. We tested and validated the system onthree different data sets: synthetic data generated by an Izhikevich neural spiking model, synthetic data with a Gaussian noise distribution, and data collected from a non-human primate engaged in a reaching task. All results indicated that the system with the critic confidence built in always outperformed the system without the critic confidence. Results of this study suggest the potential application of the technique in developing an autonomous BMI that does not need an external signal for training or extensive calibration. PMID:24904257

  4. A confidence metric for using neurobiological feedback in actor-critic reinforcement learning based brain-machine interfaces.

    PubMed

    Prins, Noeline W; Sanchez, Justin C; Prasad, Abhishek

    2014-01-01

    Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMIs) can be used to restore function in people living with paralysis. Current BMIs require extensive calibration that increase the set-up times and external inputs for decoder training that may be difficult to produce in paralyzed individuals. Both these factors have presented challenges in transitioning the technology from research environments to activities of daily living (ADL). For BMIs to be seamlessly used in ADL, these issues should be handled with minimal external input thus reducing the need for a technician/caregiver to calibrate the system. Reinforcement Learning (RL) based BMIs are a good tool to be used when there is no external training signal and can provide an adaptive modality to train BMI decoders. However, RL based BMIs are sensitive to the feedback provided to adapt the BMI. In actor-critic BMIs, this feedback is provided by the critic and the overall system performance is limited by the critic accuracy. In this work, we developed an adaptive BMI that could handle inaccuracies in the critic feedback in an effort to produce more accurate RL based BMIs. We developed a confidence measure, which indicated how appropriate the feedback is for updating the decoding parameters of the actor. The results show that with the new update formulation, the critic accuracy is no longer a limiting factor for the overall performance. We tested and validated the system onthree different data sets: synthetic data generated by an Izhikevich neural spiking model, synthetic data with a Gaussian noise distribution, and data collected from a non-human primate engaged in a reaching task. All results indicated that the system with the critic confidence built in always outperformed the system without the critic confidence. Results of this study suggest the potential application of the technique in developing an autonomous BMI that does not need an external signal for training or extensive calibration. PMID:24904257

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Kara

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hargrave, Matt

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Resourcing Early Learners: New Networks, New Actors. Routledge Research in Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nichols, Sue; Rowsell, Jennifer; Nixon, Helen; Rainbird, Sophia

    2012-01-01

    The landscape of early childhood education and care is changing. Governments world-wide are assuming increasing authority in relation to child-rearing in the years before school entry, beyond the traditional role in assisting parents to do the best they can by their children. As part of a social agenda aimed at forming citizens well prepared to…

  9. Boundary-Spanning Actors in Urban 4-H: An Action Research Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    David, Victoria Dotson

    2014-01-01

    Today's Cooperative Extension organization continues to face challenges of providing relevant, quality programming in urban communities. Challenges include the ability to build capacity in Extension's urban youth educators to assess and interpret the unique, variable needs of urban clients and to communicate effectively the identified…

  10. Scholars as Policy Actors: Research, Public Discourse, and the Zone of Judicial Constraints

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Welner, Kevin G.

    2012-01-01

    Courts, students are told, will protect minorities' legal rights against popular sentiment and political pressure. But courts can be expected to protect rights only within boundaries shaped in part by popular and political opinion. This suggests that litigation outcomes regarding education rights issues will depend on shifting the policymaking…

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

    PubMed

    Pinczower, Rachel; Oates, Jennifer

    2005-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, M.; Hasselmann, K.

    2003-04-01

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

  13. Towards a well-connected, global, interdisciplinary research community for rational decision making in the Anthropocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rauser, Florian

    2016-04-01

    The Young Earth System Scientists community YESS (yess-community.org) is a global network of Earth System Science early career researchers focussing on interdisciplinarity. One of the central goals of our early career network is to communicate to the world that Earth System Science has accepted the central challenge of creating tangible products for the benefit of society. A coordinated and truly global approach to Earth System Science is our best attempt to focus our understanding of the complex interplay of Earth's processes into tools for future societies, i.e., for humanity to move away from being a sorcerer's apprentice and to become a rational actor. We believe that starting with the next generation of Earth system scientists to work on that unified approach and creating an environment that allows ambitious, forward-thinking, interdisciplinary science to blossom will be our best way forward into a mature Anthropocene. In 2015 YESS started a process to come up with a definition of the Frontiers of Earth System Science research from an early career perspective, together with the research arms of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). During this process it became apparent that there are a few major aspects that cannot be put into the forefront often enough: one, the reality of capacity building; societies can only have robust decision-making if their decision makers can be advised not only by global assessment processes like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) but also by local experts. The reality of a globalised science community is often only true for a few scientists at the very top from a selected number of countries. Two, the integration and balance of both user-driven and fundamental research is key to make science one pillar of a global, mature Anthropocene. This includes a better way to communicate science to end users and a more comprehensive homogenisation of weather and climate research agendas. Three, a complete overview of

  14. Global health actors no longer in favor of user fees: a documentary study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Since the advent of health user fees in low- and middle-income countries in the 1980s, the discourse of global health actors (GHAs) has changed to the disadvantage of this type of healthcare financing mechanism. The aim of the study was to identify and analyze the stance of GHAs in the debate on user fees. Methods We conducted documentary research using public documents published by and officially attributed to GHAs from 2005 to 2011. We categorized GHAs into four groups: intergovernmental organizations, international non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and working groups and networks. We then classified the GHAs according to their stance relative to the abolition of user fees, and conducted a thematic analysis of their discourse to understand the arguments used by each GHA to justify its stance. Results We identified 56 GHAs, for which we analyzed 140 documents. Among them, 55% were in favor of the abolition of user fees or in favor of free care at the point of delivery. None of the GHAs stated that they were in favor of user fees; however, 30% did not take a stand. Only the World Bank declares that it is both in favor of user fees and in favor of free care at point of service. GHAs generally circumscribe their stance to specific populations (pregnant women, children under 5 years, etc.) or to specific health services (primary, basic, essential). Three types of arguments are used by GHAs to justify their stance: economic, moral and ethical, and pragmatic. Conclusions The principle of “user pays” seems to have fizzled. Production and dissemination of evidence, as well as certain advocacy networks, may have contributed to this change in discourse. However, GHAs should go a step further and translate their words into action, so that free healthcare at the point of delivery becomes a reality in low- and middle-income countries. They should provide technical and financial support to those countries that have chosen to implement user fee

  15. Designing Performance Measurement For Supply Chain's Actors And Regulator Using Scale Balanced Scorecard And Data Envelopment Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusrini, Elisa; Subagyo; Aini Masruroh, Nur

    2016-01-01

    This research is a sequel of the author's earlier conducted researches in the fields of designing of integrated performance measurement between supply chain's actors and regulator. In the previous paper, the design of performance measurement is done by combining Balanced Scorecard - Supply Chain Operation Reference - Regulator Contribution model and Data Envelopment Analysis. This model referred as B-S-Rc-DEA model. The combination has the disadvantage that all the performance variables have the same weight. This paper investigates whether by giving weight to performance variables will produce more sensitive performance measurement in detecting performance improvement. Therefore, this paper discusses the development of the model B-S-Rc-DEA by giving weight to its performance'variables. This model referred as Scale B-S-Rc-DEA model. To illustrate the model of development, some samples from small medium enterprises of leather craft industry supply chain in province of Yogyakarta, Indonesia are used in this research. It is found that Scale B-S-Rc-DEA model is more sensitive to detecting performance improvement than B-S- Rc-DEA model.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Williams-Jones, Bryn; Graham, Janice E

    2003-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Paula

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-05

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

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

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Paula

    2013-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Shawver, D.M.

    1997-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. The key actor: a qualitative study of patient participation in the handover process in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Flink, Maria; Hesselink, Gijs; Pijnenborg, Loes; Wollersheim, Hub; Vernooij-Dassen, Myrra; Dudzik-Urbaniak, Ewa; Orrego, Carola; Toccafondi, Giulio; Schoonhoven, Lisette; Gademan, Petra J; Johnson, Julie K; Öhlén, Gunnar; Hansagi, Helen; Olsson, Mariann; Barach, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Background Patient safety experts have postulated that increasing patient participation in communications during patient handovers will improve the quality of patient transitions, and that this may reduce hospital readmissions. Choosing strategies that enhance patient safety through improved handovers requires better understanding of patient experiences and preferences for participation. Objective The aim of this paper is to explore the patients’ experiences and perspectives related to the handovers between their primary care providers and the inpatient hospital. Methods A qualitative secondary analysis was performed, based on individual and focus group patient interviews with 90 patients in five European countries. Results The analysis revealed three themes: patient positioning in the handover process; prerequisites for patient participation and patient preferences for the handover process. Patients’ participation ranged from being the key actor, to sharing the responsibility with healthcare professional(s), to being passive participants. For active participation patients required both personal and social resources as well as prerequisites such as information and respect. Some patients preferred to be the key actor in charge; others preferred their healthcare professionals to be the key actors in the handover. Conclusions Patients’ participation is related to the healthcare system, the activity of healthcare professionals’ and patients’ capacity for participation. Patients prefer a handover process where the responsibility is clear and unambiguous. Healthcare organisations need a clear and well-considered system of responsibility for handover processes, that takes into account the individual patient's need of clarity, and support in relation to his/hers own recourses. PMID:23112290

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

    PubMed

    Krabbenborg, Lotte

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Collins, Anne G E; Frank, Michael J

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Collins, Anne G E; Frank, Michael J

    2014-07-01

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

  8. Competency in Chaos: Lifesaving Performance of Care Providers Utilizing a Competency-Based, Multi-Actor Emergency Preparedness Training Curriculum

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Lancer A.; Swartzentruber, Derrick A.; Davis, Christopher Ashby; Maddux, P. Tim; Schnellman, Jennifer; Wahlquist, Amy E.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Providing comprehensive emergency preparedness training (EPT) to care providers is important to the future success of disaster operations in the US. Few EPT programs possess both competency-driven goals and metrics to measure performance during a multi-patient simulated disaster. Methods A 1-day (8-hour) EPT course for care providers was developed to enhance provider knowledge, skill, and comfort necessary to save lives during a simulated disaster. Nine learning objectives, 18 competencies, and 34 performance objectives were developed. During the 2-year demonstration of the curriculum, 24 fourth-year medical students and 17 Veterans Hospital Administration (VHA) providers were recruited and volunteered to take the course (two did not fully complete the research materials). An online pre-test, two post-tests, course assessment, didactic and small group content, and a 6-minute clinical casualty scenario were developed. During the scenario, trainees working in teams were confronted with three human simulators and 10 actor patients simultaneously. Unless appropriate performance objectives were met, the simulators “died” and the team was exposed to “anthrax.” After the scenario, team members participated in a facilitator-led debriefing using digital video and then repeated the scenario. Results Trainees (N = 39) included 24 (62%) medical students; seven (18%) physicians; seven (18%) nurses; and one (3%) emergency manager. Forty-seven percent of the VHA providers reported greater than 16 annual hours of disaster training, while 15 (63%) of the medical students reported no annual disaster training. The mean (SD) score for the pre-test was 12.3 (3.8), or 51% correct, and after the training, the mean (SD) score was 18.5 (2.2), or 77% (P <.01). The overall rating for the course was 96 out of 100. Trainee self-assessment of “Overall Skill” increased from 63.3 out of 100 to 83.4 out of 100 and “Overall Knowledge” increased from 49.3 out of 100 to 78

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gazzola, Valeria; Keysers, Christian

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Young carers as social actors: coping strategies of children caring for ailing or ageing guardians in Western Kenya.

    PubMed

    Skovdal, Morten; Ogutu, Vincent O; Aoro, Cellestine; Campbell, Catherine

    2009-08-01

    There is a vast body of research on the impact of HIV/AIDS on children, but little which acknowledges the role of children in providing care and support for ailing parents or ageing guardians. There has been a tendency to downplay the active role and agency of young carers, with young carers often represented as victims of damaging circumstances that compromise their psychosocial well-being. To counter-balance this tendency, and to develop the critical trend that views children as social actors, we explore how young carers cope with challenging circumstances, often with skill and ingenuity, drawing on data collected in Western Kenya in 2007. Forty-eight young carers (aged 11-17) used photography and drawing to provide accounts of their coping strategies. They described 240 of the resulting photographs and drawings in writing. In addition, 34 individual interviews and 2 group discussions were conducted with children to explore the findings further and 10 individual interviews with local adults were conducted to elucidate the dynamics between adults and children. Our data revealed that young carers cope by mobilising social support, engaging in income generating activities and constructing positive social identities around their caring roles. We conclude that children's ability to cope is determined by the extent to which they are able to participate in their community and negotiate support from it.

  14. The legal highs problem in the Polish printed media--actors, claims, and its hidden meanings.

    PubMed

    Dąbrowska, Katarzyna; Bujalski, Michał

    2013-01-01

    The authors present the results of a qualitative analysis of press articles focused on legal highs in Poland. The aim of analysis was the identification of all social actors involved in the media discourse, the arguments used, and the claims made in the frame of social, political, economical, legal, and moral issues. This analysis covered two major daily newspapers--Gazeta Wyborcza and Rzeczpospolita and two weeklies--Polityka and Newsweek. Articles were collected during a systematic analysis covering the complete number of issues starting from 2008 to 2011. As a result, a base of 386 articles was developed. The study was founded by the statutory budget. PMID:22950436

  15. Assessing the health equity impacts of regional land-use plan making: An equity focussed health impact assessment of alternative patterns of development of the Whitsunday Hinterland and Mackay Regional Plan, Australia (Short report)

    SciTech Connect

    Gunning, Colleen; Harris, Patrick; Mallett, John

    2011-07-15

    Health service and partners completed an equity focussed health impact assessment to influence the consideration of health and equity within regional land-use planning in Queensland, Australia. This project demonstrated how an equity oriented assessment matrix can assist in testing regional planning scenarios. It is hoped that this HIA will contribute to the emerging interest in ensuring that potential differential health impacts continue to be considered as part of land-use planning processes.

  16. Do great local minds think alike? Comparing perceptions of the social determinants of health between non-profit and governmental actors in two Canadian cities.

    PubMed

    Collins, Patricia A

    2012-06-01

    Cities are important sites for intervention on social determinants of health (SDOH); yet, little is known about how influential local actors, namely workers in municipal governments (GOVs) and community-based organizations (CBOs), perceive the SDOH. Capturing and comparing perceptions between these groups are important for assessing how SDOH discourse has permeated local actors' thinking--a meaningful endeavour as local-level health equity action often invokes inter-institutional partnerships. This paper compares SDOH perceptions between CBO workers in Hamilton, Ontario, with politicians and senior-level staff in GOVs in Vancouver, British Columbia, based on two studies with surveys containing identical questions on SDOH perceptions. Overall, there was high comparability between the groups in their relative ratings of the SDOH. Both groups assigned high levels of 'influence' and 'priority' to 'healthy lifestyles' and 'clean air and water' and lower levels to 'strong community' and 'income'. Given the importance of a shared vision in collaborative enterprises, the comparability of perceptions between the groups found here holds promise for the prospect of inter-institutional partnerships. However, the low rating assigned to more structural health determinants suggests that more work is needed from researchers and advocates to effectively advance a health equity agenda at the local level in Canada.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Value importance and value congruence as determinants of trust in health policy actors.

    PubMed

    Kehoe, Susan M; Ponting, J Rick

    2003-09-01

    The paper examines levels and determinants of trust in a health care system and in key actors in the health policy community. Talcott Parsons theorizes that the sharing of common values is a necessary condition for interpersonal trust to exist; this paper tests that notion at the level of systemic (institutional) trust. The paper reports findings of a 1999 survey of 493 randomly selected residents of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It uses multiple regression analysis to identify the determinants of three different types of trust-generalized systemic trust, fiduciary trust, and generalized trust in particular actors' input to health system changes. Among the numerous independent variables, special attention is devoted to the degree of congruence or incongruence between the importance which respondents attach to one of the values enunciated in the Canada Health Act-namely, 'accessibility' (equal access to quality health care)-and the importance which respondents believe is attached to that value by the Regional Health Authority and by the Premier of the province. Both value importance and value congruence on equal accessibility are found to be important factors explaining variation in all three types of trust. In explaining levels of trust in the Premier on the issue of health care system reform, congruence on equal accessibility proved to be even more important than such factors as political partisanship, political cynicism, and personal experience as a patient in the health care system. Findings also suggest that there is an emotional component to systemic trust. PMID:12878106

  19. Amnesia in an actor: Learning and re-learning of play passages despite severe autobiographical amnesia.

    PubMed

    Kopelman, Michael D; Morton, John

    2015-06-01

    We describe the case of an accomplished actor, whom we term AB, who suffered severe amnesia following a cardiac arrest and hypoxic brain damage, affecting medial temporal and thalamic structures. His performance on standard episodic memory tests, and on measures of retrograde amnesia, including autobiographical memory, was severely impaired. When presented with passages from plays he had not appeared in, AB showed a severe impairment at the first learning trial, but thereafter showed a 'normal' learning curve for this semantically and syntactically complex material. On being presented with passages from plays he had performed in the past, AB did not show any recognition of them whatsoever, as one might expect from his severe episodic memory impairment. However, AB showed a striking benefit (savings score) in relearning passages he had previously performed, compared with new passages, despite not having any autobiographical recall of having performed the relearned passages before. Moreover, although his initial recall performance in learning these passages was impaired compared with healthy control actors of similar age and experience, AB demonstrated the same incremental learning rate on subsequent learning trials of the passages as did the controls. We conclude that, although severely impaired at the first learning trial (on both 'new' and 'old' passages), AB was able to employ his long-established semantic and procedural skills to attempt the task, and that thereafter he showed a 'normal' rate of incremental learning from a lower baseline.

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

    PubMed

    Kiumarsi, Bahare; Lewis, Frank L

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Early social fear in relation to play with an unfamiliar peer: Actor and partner effects.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between maternal reports of social fear at 24 months and social behaviors with an unfamiliar peer during play at 36 months, using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM; Kashy & Kenny, 1999). The APIM model was used to not only replicate previous findings of direct effects of early social fear on children's own social behavior (i.e., actor effects), but also to extend these findings by examining whether children's early social fear relates to an unfamiliar peer's behavior at 36 months (i.e., partner effects). Results revealed that social fear was associated with lower levels of children's own social engagement as well as less social engagement and dysregulated behavior in their play partners. These findings show that toddlers' social interactive behaviors are interdependent and reflect unique contributions of both the individual and their social partner's characteristics. In contrast, social fear was associated with children's own social wariness with the unfamiliar peer, but not their play partners' wariness. We discuss findings in terms of the influence of early social fear on young children's interpersonal environments and the potential role of these altered environments in supporting continuity of social fear and wariness over time. PMID:26347988

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ngaruiya, Grace W.; Scheffran, Jürgen

    2016-05-01

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

  4. Edgar Buchanan: dentist and popular character actor in movies and television.

    PubMed

    Christen, A G; Christen, J A

    2001-07-01

    Edgar Buchanan, D.D.S., pursued a diverse mix of careers during his lifetime: as he practiced dentistry, he also worked as a popular film and television actor. Although he eventually relinquished a full-time dental practice for acting, he continued his commitment to clinical dentistry. Acting in 100 films and four television series across a 35-year span (1939-1975). He personified a scheming, yet well-meaning rustic who specialized in "cracker-barrel" philosophy. Typically, he was cast in classic western movies as a bewhiskered character actor. In several films he played a frontier dentist who was always portrayed in a sympathetic and authentic manner. His unique gravelly voice, subtle facial expressions, folksy mannerisms and portly build enabled Buchanan to step into a wide variety of character roles. His most memorable television role was in the classic situation comedy, "Petticoat Junction," (1963-1970), where he played Uncle Joe, a folksy, lovable, free-loader whose many entertaining schemes created chaos.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vermoolen, Myrthe; Hermans, Leon

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Higher Education in Facts & Figures: Research and Innovation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Universities UK, 2007

    2007-01-01

    This edition of Higher education in facts and figures focusses on Research and innovation. Research and innovation are crucial to the future of the UK's competitiveness. Universities are the prime drivers for this, both through producing, and acting as a magnet for, the best knowledge and talent. The UK's research performance is exceptionally…

  7. The establishment of marine protected areas in Senegal: untangling the interactions between international institutions and national actors.

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

    International institutions, understood as sets of rules contained in international agreements, are aimed at orienting national governments towards specific policy options. Nevertheless, they can determine a change in national policies and practices only if states are willing and capable of incorporating international obligations into their national legislations and ensuring their application and enforcement in areas that follow completely under national jurisdiction. The establishment of marine protected areas promoted by international agreements as a tool for the protection of marine resources represents an interesting case for revealing the complex interactions between international institutions and national actors. Particularly, the establishment of these areas in Senegal shows the salience of domestic constellations of actors who may support or undercut national commitments to international regimes: political elites, bureaucracies, the general public and target groups. By anchoring the empirical analysis to an actor-centred institutionalist perspective, the article explains how dynamic constellations of actors can distort the penetration of international objectives in the national policy framework. Different constellations of national actors can indeed bend international institutions at different moments: during the formulation of a new law in line with international obligations; in the definition of its implementation framework; and in the enforcement of national policies. PMID:21264467

  8. Free-viewpoint video of human actors using multiple handheld Kinects.

    PubMed

    Ye, Genzhi; Liu, Yebin; Deng, Yue; Hasler, Nils; Ji, Xiangyang; Dai, Qionghai; Theobalt, Christian

    2013-10-01

    We present an algorithm for creating free-viewpoint video of interacting humans using three handheld Kinect cameras. Our method reconstructs deforming surface geometry and temporal varying texture of humans through estimation of human poses and camera poses for every time step of the RGBZ video. Skeletal configurations and camera poses are found by solving a joint energy minimization problem, which optimizes the alignment of RGBZ data from all cameras, as well as the alignment of human shape templates to the Kinect data. The energy function is based on a combination of geometric correspondence finding, implicit scene segmentation, and correspondence finding using image features. Finally, texture recovery is achieved through jointly optimization on spatio-temporal RGB data using matrix completion. As opposed to previous methods, our algorithm succeeds on free-viewpoint video of human actors under general uncontrolled indoor scenes with potentially dynamic background, and it succeeds even if the cameras are moving. PMID:23893757

  9. Ethics in actor networks, or: what Latour could learn from Darwin and Dewey.

    PubMed

    Waelbers, Katinka; Dorstewitz, Philipp

    2014-03-01

    In contemporary Science, Technology and Society (STS) studies, Bruno Latour's Actor Network Theory (ANT) is often used to study how social change arises from interaction between people and technologies. Though Latour's approach is rich in the sense of enabling scholars to appreciate the complexity of many relevant technological, environmental, and social factors in their studies, the approach is poor from an ethical point of view: the doings of things and people are couched in one and the same behaviorist (third person) vocabulary without giving due recognition to the ethical relevance of human intelligence, sympathy and reflection in making responsible choices. This article argues that two other naturalist projects, the non-teleological virtue ethics of Charles Darwin and the pragmatist instrumentalism of John Dewey can enrich ANT-based STS studies, both, in a descriptive and in a normative sense.

  10. Online human training of a myoelectric prosthesis controller via actor-critic reinforcement learning.

    PubMed

    Pilarski, Patrick M; Dawson, Michael R; Degris, Thomas; Fahimi, Farbod; Carey, Jason P; Sutton, Richard S

    2011-01-01

    As a contribution toward the goal of adaptable, intelligent artificial limbs, this work introduces a continuous actor-critic reinforcement learning method for optimizing the control of multi-function myoelectric devices. Using a simulated upper-arm robotic prosthesis, we demonstrate how it is possible to derive successful limb controllers from myoelectric data using only a sparse human-delivered training signal, without requiring detailed knowledge about the task domain. This reinforcement-based machine learning framework is well suited for use by both patients and clinical staff, and may be easily adapted to different application domains and the needs of individual amputees. To our knowledge, this is the first my-oelectric control approach that facilitates the online learning of new amputee-specific motions based only on a one-dimensional (scalar) feedback signal provided by the user of the prosthesis. PMID:22275543

  11. Impedance learning for robotic contact tasks using natural actor-critic algorithm.

    PubMed

    Kim, Byungchan; Park, Jooyoung; Park, Shinsuk; Kang, Sungchul

    2010-04-01

    Compared with their robotic counterparts, humans excel at various tasks by using their ability to adaptively modulate arm impedance parameters. This ability allows us to successfully perform contact tasks even in uncertain environments. This paper considers a learning strategy of motor skill for robotic contact tasks based on a human motor control theory and machine learning schemes. Our robot learning method employs impedance control based on the equilibrium point control theory and reinforcement learning to determine the impedance parameters for contact tasks. A recursive least-square filter-based episodic natural actor-critic algorithm is used to find the optimal impedance parameters. The effectiveness of the proposed method was tested through dynamic simulations of various contact tasks. The simulation results demonstrated that the proposed method optimizes the performance of the contact tasks in uncertain conditions of the environment. PMID:19696001

  12. Free-viewpoint video of human actors using multiple handheld Kinects.

    PubMed

    Ye, Genzhi; Liu, Yebin; Deng, Yue; Hasler, Nils; Ji, Xiangyang; Dai, Qionghai; Theobalt, Christian

    2013-10-01

    We present an algorithm for creating free-viewpoint video of interacting humans using three handheld Kinect cameras. Our method reconstructs deforming surface geometry and temporal varying texture of humans through estimation of human poses and camera poses for every time step of the RGBZ video. Skeletal configurations and camera poses are found by solving a joint energy minimization problem, which optimizes the alignment of RGBZ data from all cameras, as well as the alignment of human shape templates to the Kinect data. The energy function is based on a combination of geometric correspondence finding, implicit scene segmentation, and correspondence finding using image features. Finally, texture recovery is achieved through jointly optimization on spatio-temporal RGB data using matrix completion. As opposed to previous methods, our algorithm succeeds on free-viewpoint video of human actors under general uncontrolled indoor scenes with potentially dynamic background, and it succeeds even if the cameras are moving.

  13. Impedance learning for robotic contact tasks using natural actor-critic algorithm.

    PubMed

    Kim, Byungchan; Park, Jooyoung; Park, Shinsuk; Kang, Sungchul

    2010-04-01

    Compared with their robotic counterparts, humans excel at various tasks by using their ability to adaptively modulate arm impedance parameters. This ability allows us to successfully perform contact tasks even in uncertain environments. This paper considers a learning strategy of motor skill for robotic contact tasks based on a human motor control theory and machine learning schemes. Our robot learning method employs impedance control based on the equilibrium point control theory and reinforcement learning to determine the impedance parameters for contact tasks. A recursive least-square filter-based episodic natural actor-critic algorithm is used to find the optimal impedance parameters. The effectiveness of the proposed method was tested through dynamic simulations of various contact tasks. The simulation results demonstrated that the proposed method optimizes the performance of the contact tasks in uncertain conditions of the environment.

  14. Industry Actors, Think Tanks, and Alcohol Policy in the United Kingdom

    PubMed Central

    McCambridge, Jim

    2014-01-01

    Corporate actors seek to influence alcohol policies through various means, including attempts to shape the evidential content of policy debates. In this case study, we examined how SABMiller engaged the think tank Demos to produce reports on binge drinking, which were heavily promoted among policymakers at crucial stages in the development of the UK government’s 2012 alcohol strategy. One key report coincided with other SABMiller-funded publications, advocating measures to enhance parenting as an alternative to minimum unit pricing. In this instance, the perceived independence of an influential think tank was used to promote industry interests in tactics similar to those of transnational tobacco corporations. This approach is in keeping with other alcohol industry efforts to marginalize the peer-reviewed literature. PMID:24922137

  15. THEORIZING HYBRIDITY: INSTITUTIONAL LOGICS, COMPLEX ORGANIZATIONS, AND ACTOR IDENTITIES: THE CASE OF NONPROFITS

    PubMed Central

    SKELCHER, CHRIS; SMITH, STEVEN RATHGEB

    2015-01-01

    We propose a novel approach to theorizing hybridity in public and nonprofit organizations. The concept of hybridity is widely used to describe organizational responses to changes in governance, but the literature seldom explains how hybrids arise or what forms they take. Transaction cost and organizational design literatures offer some solutions, but lack a theory of agency. We use the institutional logics approach to theorize hybrids as entities that face a plurality of normative frames. Logics provide symbolic and material elements that structure organizational legitimacy and actor identities. Contradictions between institutional logics offer space for them to be elaborated and creatively reconstructed by situated agents. We propose five types of organizational hybridity – segmented, segregated, assimilated, blended, and blocked. Each type is theoretically derived from empirically observed variations in organizational responses to institutional plurality. We develop propositions to show how our approach to hybridity adds value to academic and policy-maker audiences. PMID:26640298

  16. A spiking neural network model of an actor-critic learning agent.

    PubMed

    Potjans, Wiebke; Morrison, Abigail; Diesmann, Markus

    2009-02-01

    The ability to adapt behavior to maximize reward as a result of interactions with the environment is crucial for the survival of any higher organism. In the framework of reinforcement learning, temporal-difference learning algorithms provide an effective strategy for such goal-directed adaptation, but it is unclear to what extent these algorithms are compatible with neural computation. In this article, we present a spiking neural network model that implements actor-critic temporal-difference learning by combining local plasticity rules with a global reward signal. The network is capable of solving a nontrivial gridworld task with sparse rewards. We derive a quantitative mapping of plasticity parameters and synaptic weights to the corresponding variables in the standard algorithmic formulation and demonstrate that the network learns with a similar speed to its discrete time counterpart and attains the same equilibrium performance. PMID:19196231

  17. Fish traders as key actors in fisheries: gender and adaptive management.

    PubMed

    Fröcklin, Sara; de la Torre-Castro, Maricela; Lindström, Lars; Jiddawi, Narriman S

    2013-12-01

    This paper fills an important gap towards adaptive management of small-scale fisheries by analyzing the gender dimension of fish trade in Zanzibar, Tanzania. We hypothesize that gender-based differences are present in the fish value chain and to test the hypothesis interviews were performed to analyze: (i) markets, customers, and mobility, (ii) material and economic resources, (iii) traded fish species, (iv) contacts and organizations, and (v) perceptions and experiences. Additionally, management documents were analyzed to examine the degree to which gender is considered. Results show that women traders had less access to social and economic resources, profitable markets, and high-value fish, which resulted in lower income. These gender inequalities are linked, among others, to women's reproductive roles such as childcare and household responsibilities. Formal fisheries management was found to be gender insensitive, showing how a crucial feedback element of adaptive management is missing in Zanzibar's management system, i.e., knowledge about key actors, their needs and challenges.

  18. Multiple actor-critic structures for continuous-time optimal control using input-output data.

    PubMed

    Song, Ruizhuo; Lewis, Frank; Wei, Qinglai; Zhang, Hua-Guang; Jiang, Zhong-Ping; Levine, Dan

    2015-04-01

    In industrial process control, there may be multiple performance objectives, depending on salient features of the input-output data. Aiming at this situation, this paper proposes multiple actor-critic structures to obtain the optimal control via input-output data for unknown nonlinear systems. The shunting inhibitory artificial neural network (SIANN) is used to classify the input-output data into one of several categories. Different performance measure functions may be defined for disparate categories. The approximate dynamic programming algorithm, which contains model module, critic network, and action network, is used to establish the optimal control in each category. A recurrent neural network (RNN) model is used to reconstruct the unknown system dynamics using input-output data. NNs are used to approximate the critic and action networks, respectively. It is proven that the model error and the closed unknown system are uniformly ultimately bounded. Simulation results demonstrate the performance of the proposed optimal control scheme for the unknown nonlinear system.

  19. Uncovering the most effective active ingredients of antismoking public service announcements: The role of actor and message characteristics

    PubMed Central

    Fryer, Craig S.; Tharp-Taylor, Shannah

    2009-01-01

    Introduction: This study examined whether the appeal of actors (i.e., their likeability and attractiveness) used in antismoking public service announcements (PSAs) interacts with adolescents’ risk of future smoking to predict adolescents’ smoking resistance self-efficacy and whether the antismoking messages in the PSAs further moderate this relationship. Methods: We used a 2 (future smoking risk: low, high) × 2 (actor appeal: low, high) × 3 (PSA antismoking message: tobacco industry manipulation, short-term smoking effects, long-term smoking effects) study design. A diverse sample of 110 adolescents (aged 11–17 years), with varying levels of experience with smoking, rated their smoking resistance self-efficacy after viewing each of the PSAs in each design cell. Results: Overall, PSAs that used long-term smoking effects messages were associated with the strongest smoking resistance self-efficacy, followed in turn by PSAs that used short-term smoking effects messages and by tobacco industry manipulation messages. We found a significant interaction of actor appeal and PSA antismoking message. The use of more appealing actors was associated with stronger smoking resistance self-efficacy only in long-term smoking effects PSAs. The use of less appealing actors was associated with stronger smoking resistance self-efficacy for tobacco industry manipulation PSAs and short-term smoking effects PSAs. Future smoking risk did not moderate any of these findings. Discussion: Antismoking PSAs that emphasize long-term smoking effects are most strongly associated with increased smoking resistance self-efficacy. The effect of these PSAs can be strengthened by using actors whom adolescents perceive to be appealing. PMID:19372574

  20. Reinforcement learning using a continuous time actor-critic framework with spiking neurons.

    PubMed

    Frémaux, Nicolas; Sprekeler, Henning; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2013-04-01

    Animals repeat rewarded behaviors, but the physiological basis of reward-based learning has only been partially elucidated. On one hand, experimental evidence shows that the neuromodulator dopamine carries information about rewards and affects synaptic plasticity. On the other hand, the theory of reinforcement learning provides a framework for reward-based learning. Recent models of reward-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity have made first steps towards bridging the gap between the two approaches, but faced two problems. First, reinforcement learning is typically formulated in a discrete framework, ill-adapted to the description of natural situations. Second, biologically plausible models of reward-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity require precise calculation of the reward prediction error, yet it remains to be shown how this can be computed by neurons. Here we propose a solution to these problems by extending the continuous temporal difference (TD) learning of Doya (2000) to the case of spiking neurons in an actor-critic network operating in continuous time, and with continuous state and action representations. In our model, the critic learns to predict expected future rewards in real time. Its activity, together with actual rewards, conditions the delivery of a neuromodulatory TD signal to itself and to the actor, which is responsible for action choice. In simulations, we show that such an architecture can solve a Morris water-maze-like navigation task, in a number of trials consistent with reported animal performance. We also use our model to solve the acrobot and the cartpole problems, two complex motor control tasks. Our model provides a plausible way of computing reward prediction error in the brain. Moreover, the analytically derived learning rule is consistent with experimental evidence for dopamine-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity. PMID:23592970

  1. Reinforcement learning using a continuous time actor-critic framework with spiking neurons.

    PubMed

    Frémaux, Nicolas; Sprekeler, Henning; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2013-04-01

    Animals repeat rewarded behaviors, but the physiological basis of reward-based learning has only been partially elucidated. On one hand, experimental evidence shows that the neuromodulator dopamine carries information about rewards and affects synaptic plasticity. On the other hand, the theory of reinforcement learning provides a framework for reward-based learning. Recent models of reward-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity have made first steps towards bridging the gap between the two approaches, but faced two problems. First, reinforcement learning is typically formulated in a discrete framework, ill-adapted to the description of natural situations. Second, biologically plausible models of reward-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity require precise calculation of the reward prediction error, yet it remains to be shown how this can be computed by neurons. Here we propose a solution to these problems by extending the continuous temporal difference (TD) learning of Doya (2000) to the case of spiking neurons in an actor-critic network operating in continuous time, and with continuous state and action representations. In our model, the critic learns to predict expected future rewards in real time. Its activity, together with actual rewards, conditions the delivery of a neuromodulatory TD signal to itself and to the actor, which is responsible for action choice. In simulations, we show that such an architecture can solve a Morris water-maze-like navigation task, in a number of trials consistent with reported animal performance. We also use our model to solve the acrobot and the cartpole problems, two complex motor control tasks. Our model provides a plausible way of computing reward prediction error in the brain. Moreover, the analytically derived learning rule is consistent with experimental evidence for dopamine-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity.

  2. Reinforcement Learning Using a Continuous Time Actor-Critic Framework with Spiking Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Frémaux, Nicolas; Sprekeler, Henning; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2013-01-01

    Animals repeat rewarded behaviors, but the physiological basis of reward-based learning has only been partially elucidated. On one hand, experimental evidence shows that the neuromodulator dopamine carries information about rewards and affects synaptic plasticity. On the other hand, the theory of reinforcement learning provides a framework for reward-based learning. Recent models of reward-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity have made first steps towards bridging the gap between the two approaches, but faced two problems. First, reinforcement learning is typically formulated in a discrete framework, ill-adapted to the description of natural situations. Second, biologically plausible models of reward-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity require precise calculation of the reward prediction error, yet it remains to be shown how this can be computed by neurons. Here we propose a solution to these problems by extending the continuous temporal difference (TD) learning of Doya (2000) to the case of spiking neurons in an actor-critic network operating in continuous time, and with continuous state and action representations. In our model, the critic learns to predict expected future rewards in real time. Its activity, together with actual rewards, conditions the delivery of a neuromodulatory TD signal to itself and to the actor, which is responsible for action choice. In simulations, we show that such an architecture can solve a Morris water-maze-like navigation task, in a number of trials consistent with reported animal performance. We also use our model to solve the acrobot and the cartpole problems, two complex motor control tasks. Our model provides a plausible way of computing reward prediction error in the brain. Moreover, the analytically derived learning rule is consistent with experimental evidence for dopamine-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity. PMID:23592970

  3. Actor management in the development of health financing reform: health insurance in South Africa, 1994-1999.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Stephen; Gilson, Lucy

    2004-09-01

    Health reform is inherently political. Sound technical analysis is never enough to guarantee the adoption of policy. Financing reforms aimed at promoting equity are especially likely to challenge vested interests and produce opposition. This article reviews the Health Insurance policy development in South Africa between 1994 and 1999. Despite more than 10 years of debate, analysis and design, no set of social health insurance (SHI) proposals had, by 1999, secured adequate support to become the basis for an implementation plan. In contrast, proposals to re-regulate the health insurance industry were speedily developed and implemented at the end of this period. The processes of actor engagement and management, set against policy goals and design details, were central to this experience. Adopting a grounded approach to analysis of primary interview data and a range of documentary material, this paper explores the dynamics between reform drivers engaged in directing policy change and a range of other actors. It describes the processes by which actors were drawn into health insurance policy development, the details of their engagement with each other, and it identifies where deliberate strategies of actor management were attempted and the results for the reform process. The primary drivers of this process were the Minister of Health and the unit responsible for health financing and economics in the national Department of Health Directorate of Health Financing and Economics, with support from members of the South African academic community. These actors worked within and through a series of four ad hoc policy advisory committees which were the main fora for health insurance policy development and the regulation of private health insurance. The different experiences in each committee are reviewed and contrasted through the lens of actor management. Differences between these drivers and opposition from other actors ultimately derailed efforts to establish adequate support

  4. Actor management in the development of health financing reform: health insurance in South Africa, 1994-1999.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Stephen; Gilson, Lucy

    2004-09-01

    Health reform is inherently political. Sound technical analysis is never enough to guarantee the adoption of policy. Financing reforms aimed at promoting equity are especially likely to challenge vested interests and produce opposition. This article reviews the Health Insurance policy development in South Africa between 1994 and 1999. Despite more than 10 years of debate, analysis and design, no set of social health insurance (SHI) proposals had, by 1999, secured adequate support to become the basis for an implementation plan. In contrast, proposals to re-regulate the health insurance industry were speedily developed and implemented at the end of this period. The processes of actor engagement and management, set against policy goals and design details, were central to this experience. Adopting a grounded approach to analysis of primary interview data and a range of documentary material, this paper explores the dynamics between reform drivers engaged in directing policy change and a range of other actors. It describes the processes by which actors were drawn into health insurance policy development, the details of their engagement with each other, and it identifies where deliberate strategies of actor management were attempted and the results for the reform process. The primary drivers of this process were the Minister of Health and the unit responsible for health financing and economics in the national Department of Health Directorate of Health Financing and Economics, with support from members of the South African academic community. These actors worked within and through a series of four ad hoc policy advisory committees which were the main fora for health insurance policy development and the regulation of private health insurance. The different experiences in each committee are reviewed and contrasted through the lens of actor management. Differences between these drivers and opposition from other actors ultimately derailed efforts to establish adequate support

  5. Evidence for informing health policy development in Low-income Countries (LICs): perspectives of policy actors in Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Nabyonga-Orem, Juliet; Mijumbi, Rhona

    2015-01-01

    Background: Although there is a general agreement on the benefits of evidence informed health policy development given resource constraints especially in Low-Income Countries (LICs), the definition of what evidence is, and what evidence is suitable to guide decision-making is still unclear. Our study is contributing to filling this knowledge gap. We aimed to explore health policy actors’ views regarding what evidence they deemed appropriate to guide health policy development. Methods: Using exploratory qualitative methods, we conducted interviews with 51 key informants using an in-depth interview guide. We interviewed a diverse group of stakeholders in health policy development and knowledge translation in the Uganda health sector. Data were analyzed using inductive content analysis techniques. Results: Different stakeholders lay emphasis on different kinds of evidence. While donors preferred international evidence and Ministry of Health (MoH) officials looked to local evidence, district health managers preferred local evidence, evidence from routine monitoring and evaluation, and reports from service providers. Service providers on the other hand preferred local evidence and routine monitoring and evaluation reports whilst researchers preferred systematic reviews and clinical trials. Stakeholders preferred evidence covering several aspects impacting on decision-making highlighting the fact that although policy actors look for factual information, they also require evidence on context and implementation feasibility of a policy decision. Conclusion: What LICs like Uganda categorize as evidence suitable for informing policy encompasses several types with no consensus on what is deemed as most appropriate. Evidence must be of high quality, applicable, acceptable to the users, and informing different aspects of decision-making. PMID:25905479

  6. Linking International Development Actors to Geophysical Infrastructure: Exploring an IRIS Community Role in Bridging a Communications Gap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerner-Lam, A.; Aster, R.; Beck, S.; Ekstrom, G.; Fisher, K.; Meltzer, A.; Nyblade, A.; Sandvol, E.; Willemann, R.

    2008-12-01

    Over the past quarter century, national investments in high-fidelity digital seismograph networks have resulted in a global infrastructure for real-time in situ earthquake monitoring. Many network operators adhere to community-developed standards, with the result that there are few technical impediments to data sharing and real-time information exchange. Two unanswered questions, however, are whether the existing models of international collaboration will ensure the stability and sustainability of global earthquake monitoring, and whether the participating institutions can work with international development agencies and non- governmental organizations in meeting linked development and natural hazard risk reduction goals. Since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, many of these actors are enlarging their commitments to natural hazard risk reduction and building national technical capacities, among broader programs in poverty alleviation and adaptation to environmental stress. Despite this renewed commitment, international development organizations, with notable exceptions, have been relatively passive in discussions of how the existing earthquake monitoring infrastructure could be leveraged to support risk-reduction programs and meet sustainable development goals. At the same time, the international seismological community - comprising universities and government seismological surveys - has built research and education initiatives such as EarthScope, AfricaArray, and similar programs in China, Europe and South America, that use innovative instrumentation technologies and deployment strategies to enable new science and applications, and promote education and training in critical sectors. Can these developments be combined? Recognizing this communication or knowledge gap, the IRIS International Working Group (IWG) explores the link between the activities of IRIS Members using IRIS facilities and the missions of international development agencies, such as US AID, the World

  7. A novel approach to locomotion learning: Actor-Critic architecture using central pattern generators and dynamic motor primitives.

    PubMed

    Li, Cai; Lowe, Robert; Ziemke, Tom

    2014-01-01

    In this article, we propose an architecture of a bio-inspired controller that addresses the problem of learning different locomotion gaits for different robot morphologies. The modeling objective is split into two: baseline motion modeling and dynamics adaptation. Baseline motion modeling aims to achieve fundamental functions of a certain type of locomotion and dynamics adaptation provides a "reshaping" function for adapting the baseline motion to desired motion. Based on this assumption, a three-layer architecture is developed using central pattern generators (CPGs, a bio-inspired locomotor center for the baseline motion) and dynamic motor primitives (DMPs, a model with universal "reshaping" functions). In this article, we use this architecture with the actor-critic algorithms for finding a good "reshaping" function. In order to demonstrate the learning power of the actor-critic based architecture, we tested it on two experiments: (1) learning to crawl on a humanoid and, (2) learning to gallop on a puppy robot. Two types of actor-critic algorithms (policy search and policy gradient) are compared in order to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different actor-critic based learning algorithms for different morphologies. Finally, based on the analysis of the experimental results, a generic view/architecture for locomotion learning is discussed in the conclusion. PMID:25324773

  8. The Seductive Power of an Innovation: Enrolling Non-Conventional Actors in a Drip Irrigation Community in Morocco

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benouniche, Maya; Errahj, Mostafa; Kuper, Marcel

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of this study was to analyze the motivations of non-conventional innovation actors to engage in innovation processes, how their involvement changed the technology and their own social-professional status, and to analyze their role in the diffusion of the innovation. Design/methodology/approach: We studied the innovation process of…

  9. Expectations as a key to understanding actor strategies in the field of fuel cell and hydrogen vehicles.

    PubMed

    Budde, Björn; Alkemade, Floortje; Weber, K Matthias

    2012-07-01

    Due to its environmental impact, the mobility system is increasingly under pressure. The challenges to cope with climate change, air quality, depleting fossil resources imply the need for a transition of the current mobility system towards a more sustainable one. Expectations and visions have been identified as crucial in the guidance of such transitions, and more specifically of actor strategies. Still, it remained unclear why the actors involved in transition activities appear to change their strategies frequently and suddenly. The empirical analysis of the expectations and strategies of three actors in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell technology indicates that changing actor strategies can be explained by rather volatile expectations related to different levels. Our case studies of the strategies of two large car manufacturers and the German government demonstrate that the car manufacturers refer strongly to expectations about the future regime, while expectations related to the socio-technical landscape level appear to be crucial for the strategy of the German government.

  10. If You Get Better, Will I? An Actor-Partner Analysis of the Mutual Influence of Group Therapy Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paquin, Jill D.; Kivlighan, D. Martin, III; Drogosz, Lisa M.

    2013-01-01

    The effectiveness of group psychotherapy has been empirically studied and supported over several decades; however, there remains much to understand regarding the specific factors contributing to effective group psychotherapy. The current study uses Kashy and Kenny's (2000) actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) to examine the relationship…

  11. A novel approach to locomotion learning: Actor-Critic architecture using central pattern generators and dynamic motor primitives

    PubMed Central

    Li, Cai; Lowe, Robert; Ziemke, Tom

    2014-01-01

    In this article, we propose an architecture of a bio-inspired controller that addresses the problem of learning different locomotion gaits for different robot morphologies. The modeling objective is split into two: baseline motion modeling and dynamics adaptation. Baseline motion modeling aims to achieve fundamental functions of a certain type of locomotion and dynamics adaptation provides a “reshaping” function for adapting the baseline motion to desired motion. Based on this assumption, a three-layer architecture is developed using central pattern generators (CPGs, a bio-inspired locomotor center for the baseline motion) and dynamic motor primitives (DMPs, a model with universal “reshaping” functions). In this article, we use this architecture with the actor-critic algorithms for finding a good “reshaping” function. In order to demonstrate the learning power of the actor-critic based architecture, we tested it on two experiments: (1) learning to crawl on a humanoid and, (2) learning to gallop on a puppy robot. Two types of actor-critic algorithms (policy search and policy gradient) are compared in order to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different actor-critic based learning algorithms for different morphologies. Finally, based on the analysis of the experimental results, a generic view/architecture for locomotion learning is discussed in the conclusion. PMID:25324773

  12. Parental Self-Efficacy and Positive Contributions Regarding Autism Spectrum Condition: An Actor-Partner Interdependence Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    García-López, Cristina; Sarriá, Encarnación; Pozo, Pilar

    2016-01-01

    Couples affect each other cognitively, emotionally and behaviorally. The goal of this study is to test the benefits and potential use of the actor-partner interdependence model in examining how parental self-efficacy and positive contributions of fathers and mothers of children with Autism Spectrum Condition influence each other's psychological…

  13. Neural basis of understanding communicative actions: Changes associated with knowing the actor's intention and the meanings of the actions.

    PubMed

    Möttönen, Riikka; Farmer, Harry; Watkins, Kate E

    2016-01-29

    People can communicate by using hand actions, e.g., signs. Understanding communicative actions requires that the observer knows that the actor has an intention to communicate and the meanings of the actions. Here, we investigated how this prior knowledge affects processing of observed actions. We used functional MRI to determine changes in action processing when non-signers were told that the observed actions are communicative (i.e., signs) and learned the meanings of half of the actions. Processing of hand actions activated the left and right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG, BA 44 and 45) when the communicative intention of the actor was known, even when the meanings of the actions remained unknown. These regions were not active when the observers did not know about the communicative nature of the hand actions. These findings suggest that the left and right IFG play a role in understanding the intention of the actor, but do not process visuospatial features of the communicative actions. Knowing the meanings of the hand actions further enhanced activity in the anterior part of the IFG (BA 45), the inferior parietal lobule and posterior inferior and middle temporal gyri in the left hemisphere. These left-hemisphere language regions could provide a link between meanings and observed actions. In sum, the findings provide evidence for the segregation of the networks involved in the neural processing of visuospatial features of communicative hand actions and those involved in understanding the actor's intention and the meanings of the actions. PMID:26752450

  14. Expectations as a key to understanding actor strategies in the field of fuel cell and hydrogen vehicles.

    PubMed

    Budde, Björn; Alkemade, Floortje; Weber, K Matthias

    2012-07-01

    Due to its environmental impact, the mobility system is increasingly under pressure. The challenges to cope with climate change, air quality, depleting fossil resources imply the need for a transition of the current mobility system towards a more sustainable one. Expectations and visions have been identified as crucial in the guidance of such transitions, and more specifically of actor strategies. Still, it remained unclear why the actors involved in transition activities appear to change their strategies frequently and suddenly. The empirical analysis of the expectations and strategies of three actors in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell technology indicates that changing actor strategies can be explained by rather volatile expectations related to different levels. Our case studies of the strategies of two large car manufacturers and the German government demonstrate that the car manufacturers refer strongly to expectations about the future regime, while expectations related to the socio-technical landscape level appear to be crucial for the strategy of the German government. PMID:24850974

  15. Colombian Lay People's Willingness to Forgive Different Actors of the Armed Conflict: Results from a Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lopez-Lopez, Wilson; Pineda Marin, Claudia; Murcia Leon, Maria Camila; Perilla Garzon, Diana Carolina; Mullet, Etienne

    2012-01-01

    A pilot study examined lay people's willingness to forgive acts that were committed by actors of the armed conflicts in Colombia. The participants (100 persons living in Bogota) were shown vignettes describing cases in which a member of the guerilla or a member of the former paramilitary forces asks for forgiveness to a victim's family, and were…

  16. Risk: For Whom? Representations of Mining Activity by Different Social Actors in the Molango Manganese District of Hidalgo, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Catalán-Vázquez, Minerva; Riojas-Rodríguez, Horacio; Pelcastre-Villafuerte, Blanca Estela

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown high levels of manganese exposure and neurocognitive damage in the population living in the mining zone in Molango, Mexico. One of the objectives of the Intersectoral Group on Environmental Management for the mining district has been to provide public participation in the risk management plan. To achieve this, it is important to know how the different social actors represent the mining activity. The objectives of this study were to characterize the social representations of the mining activity by different social actors. A qualitative design was used based on in-depth interviews of residents, public officials, and a mining company representative. The analysis was conducted according to themes for each group of actors. Essentially, distinct social representations of the different mining activities were identified. Residents viewed mining activities as synonymous with contamination and, therefore, as having affected all areas of their environment, health, and daily life. These activities were seen as a collective risk. The public officials and the mining company held that there was no evidence of harm and saw mining activities as a generator of regional development. Harm to health and the environment were seen as a stance taken by the communities in order to obtain economic benefits from the company. These images of the "other" are shaped by social, political, and cultural factors. They make it difficult for the actors to reach cooperative agreements and thereby affect progress on the risk management plan. Decisionmakers need to take these differences into account when promoting social participation.

  17. Understanding the Roles of Non-State Actors in Global Governance: Evidence from the Global Partnership for Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Menashy, Francine

    2016-01-01

    The study detailed in this paper examines the growing role of non-state actors in the transnational policy-making landscape through a case study of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE)--a partnership of donor and developing country governments, multilateral organizations, civil society, private companies and foundations, dedicated to…

  18. Getting Acquainted: Actor and Partner Effects of Attachment and Temperament on Young Children's Peer Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

    Guided by a dyadic view of children's peer behavior, this study assessed actor and partner effects of attachment security and temperament on young children's behavior with an unfamiliar peer. At 33 months of age, child-mother attachment security was assessed via a modified Strange Situation procedure, and parents reported on child…

  19. Neural basis of understanding communicative actions: Changes associated with knowing the actor's intention and the meanings of the actions.

    PubMed

    Möttönen, Riikka; Farmer, Harry; Watkins, Kate E

    2016-01-29

    People can communicate by using hand actions, e.g., signs. Understanding communicative actions requires that the observer knows that the actor has an intention to communicate and the meanings of the actions. Here, we investigated how this prior knowledge affects processing of observed actions. We used functional MRI to determine changes in action processing when non-signers were told that the observed actions are communicative (i.e., signs) and learned the meanings of half of the actions. Processing of hand actions activated the left and right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG, BA 44 and 45) when the communicative intention of the actor was known, even when the meanings of the actions remained unknown. These regions were not active when the observers did not know about the communicative nature of the hand actions. These findings suggest that the left and right IFG play a role in understanding the intention of the actor, but do not process visuospatial features of the communicative actions. Knowing the meanings of the hand actions further enhanced activity in the anterior part of the IFG (BA 45), the inferior parietal lobule and posterior inferior and middle temporal gyri in the left hemisphere. These left-hemisphere language regions could provide a link between meanings and observed actions. In sum, the findings provide evidence for the segregation of the networks involved in the neural processing of visuospatial features of communicative hand actions and those involved in understanding the actor's intention and the meanings of the actions.

  20. Expectations as a key to understanding actor strategies in the field of fuel cell and hydrogen vehicles

    PubMed Central

    Budde, Björn; Alkemade, Floortje; Weber, K. Matthias

    2012-01-01

    Due to its environmental impact, the mobility system is increasingly under pressure. The challenges to cope with climate change, air quality, depleting fossil resources imply the need for a transition of the current mobility system towards a more sustainable one. Expectations and visions have been identified as crucial in the guidance of such transitions, and more specifically of actor strategies. Still, it remained unclear why the actors involved in transition activities appear to change their strategies frequently and suddenly. The empirical analysis of the expectations and strategies of three actors in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell technology indicates that changing actor strategies can be explained by rather volatile expectations related to different levels. Our case studies of the strategies of two large car manufacturers and the German government demonstrate that the car manufacturers refer strongly to expectations about the future regime, while expectations related to the socio-technical landscape level appear to be crucial for the strategy of the German government. PMID:24850974

  1. Learning about a Fish from an ANT: Actor Network Theory and Science Education in the Postgenomic Era

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pierce, Clayton

    2015-01-01

    This article uses actor network theory (ANT) to develop a more appropriate model of scientific literacy for students, teachers, and citizens in a society increasingly populated with biotechnological and bioscientific nonhumans. In so doing, I take the recent debate surrounding the first genetically engineered animal food product under review by…

  2. Thinking Management and Leadership within Colleges and Schools Somewhat Differently: A Practice-Based, Actor-Network Theory Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mulcahy, Dianne; Perillo, Suzanne

    2011-01-01

    This article examines the significance of materiality for management and leadership in education using resources provided by actor-network theory (ANT). Espousing the idea that human interactions are mediated by material objects and that these objects participate in the production of practices, ANT affords thinking management and leadership in a…

  3. ACToR Chemical Structure processing using Open Source ChemInformatics Libraries (FutureToxII)

    EPA Science Inventory

    ACToR (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) is a centralized database repository developed by the National Center for Computational Toxicology (NCCT) at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Free and open source tools were used to compile toxicity data from ove...

  4. Researches on Learning Disabilities--Where Are We?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raja, B. William Dharma; Kumar, S. Praveen

    2011-01-01

    This article focusses on the review of research studies done on the area of learning disabilities and the need to conduct more research studies in this area. School children are seen to have different types of learning difficulties with regard to academics. Children with learning disability, who occupy the largest number receiving special…

  5. Macrophages and Dendritic Cells as Actors in the Immune Reaction of Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Tudor, Christiane Silke; Bruns, Heiko; Daniel, Christoph; Distel, Luitpold Valentin; Hartmann, Arndt; Gerbitz, Armin; Buettner, Maike Julia

    2014-01-01

    Background The inflammatory infiltrate plays a pivotal role in classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). Here, we focussed on the role of macrophages (MΦ) and dendritic cells (DC). Methods MΦ and DC infiltration was investigated in 106 cHL specimens using immunohistochemistry and cytokine expression was analyzed in a subset by real-time PCR. Human peripheral blood-derived monocytes, DC, MΦ stimulated with GM-CSF (MΦGM-CSF, pro-inflammatory MΦ-1-model) or M-CSF (MΦM-CSF, immunomodulatory MΦ-2-model) were incubated with cHL cell line (L1236, HDLM2) supernatants (SN). DC maturation or MΦ polarization were investigated by flow cytometry. Furthermore, the impact of DC or MΦ on cHL cell proliferation was analyzed by BrdU/CFSE assay. Results In cHL tissues mature myeloid (m)DC and MΦ predominated. High numbers of CD83+ mDC and low numbers of CD163+ MΦ were associated with improved disease specific survival. In numerous cHL specimens increased levels of both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and of IL13 and GM-CSF were observed compared to reactive lymphadenopathies. Maturation of DC and induction and maintenance of an immunomodulatory MΦ phenotype were promoted by SN derived from cHL cell lines. TNFα neutralization in SN resulted in a significant inhibition of mDC maturation. DC and pro-inflammatory MΦ inhibited the proliferation of cHL cells. Conclusion Adopting an immunomodulatory phenotype is a potential mechanism for how MΦ promote immune evasion in cHL. Mature DC, in contrast, might participate in antitumoral immunity. PMID:25470820

  6. Straight Talk about Music and Brain Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilcox, Ella

    1999-01-01

    Reviews research that supports the value of music education, focusing on topics such as young children listening to music, the child as actor in relation to music, brain research, and being exposed to music education. Addresses how the research affects educational decision-making and provides some facts and statistics. (CMK)

  7. Efficient Actor-Critic Algorithm with Hierarchical Model Learning and Planning

    PubMed Central

    Fu, QiMing

    2016-01-01

    To improve the convergence rate and the sample efficiency, two efficient learning methods AC-HMLP and RAC-HMLP (AC-HMLP with ℓ2-regularization) are proposed by combining actor-critic algorithm with hierarchical model learning and planning. The hierarchical models consisting of the local and the global models, which are learned at the same time during learning of the value function and the policy, are approximated by local linear regression (LLR) and linear function approximation (LFA), respectively. Both the local model and the global model are applied to generate samples for planning; the former is used only if the state-prediction error does not surpass the threshold at each time step, while the latter is utilized at the end of each episode. The purpose of taking both models is to improve the sample efficiency and accelerate the convergence rate of the whole algorithm through fully utilizing the local and global information. Experimentally, AC-HMLP and RAC-HMLP are compared with three representative algorithms on two Reinforcement Learning (RL) benchmark problems. The results demonstrate that they perform best in terms of convergence rate and sample efficiency. PMID:27795704

  8. T Lymphocyte Migration: An Action Movie Starring the Actin and Associated Actors

    PubMed Central

    Dupré, Loïc; Houmadi, Raïssa; Tang, Catherine; Rey-Barroso, Javier

    2015-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is composed of a dynamic filament meshwork that builds the architecture of the cell to sustain its fundamental properties. This physical structure is characterized by a continuous remodeling, which allows cells to accomplish complex motility steps such as directed migration, crossing of biological barriers, and interaction with other cells. T lymphocytes excel in these motility steps to ensure their immune surveillance duties. In particular, actin cytoskeleton remodeling is a key to facilitate the journey of T lymphocytes through distinct tissue environments and to tune their stop and go behavior during the scanning of antigen-presenting cells. The molecular mechanisms controlling actin cytoskeleton remodeling during T lymphocyte motility have been only partially unraveled, since the function of many actin regulators has not yet been assessed in these cells. Our review aims to integrate the current knowledge into a comprehensive picture of how the actin cytoskeleton drives T lymphocyte migration. We will present the molecular actors that control actin cytoskeleton remodeling, as well as their role in the different T lymphocyte motile steps. We will also highlight which challenges remain to be addressed experimentally and which approaches appear promising to tackle them. PMID:26635800

  9. Protein actors sustaining arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis: underground artists break the silence.

    PubMed

    Recorbet, Ghislaine; Abdallah, Cosette; Renaut, Jenny; Wipf, Daniel; Dumas-Gaudot, Eliane

    2013-07-01

    The roots of most land plants can enter a relationship with soil-borne fungi belonging to the phylum Glomeromycota. This symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi belongs to the so-called biotrophic interactions, involving the intracellular accommodation of a microorganism by a living plant cell without causing the death of the host. Although profiling technologies have generated an increasing depository of plant and fungal proteins eligible for sustaining AM accommodation and functioning, a bottleneck exists for their functional analysis as these experiments are difficult to carry out with mycorrhiza. Nonetheless, the expansion of gene-to-phenotype reverse genetic tools, including RNA interference and transposon silencing, have recently succeeded in elucidating some of the plant-related protein candidates. Likewise, despite the ongoing absence of transformation tools for AM fungi, host-induced gene silencing has allowed knockdown of fungal gene expression in planta for the first time, thus unlocking a technological limitation in deciphering the functional pertinence of glomeromycotan proteins during mycorrhizal establishment. This review is thus intended to draw a picture of our current knowledge about the plant and fungal protein actors that have been demonstrated to be functionally implicated in sustaining AM symbiosis mostly on the basis of silencing approaches.

  10. An Actor-Critic based controller for glucose regulation in type 1 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Daskalaki, Elena; Diem, Peter; Mougiakakou, Stavroula G

    2013-02-01

    A novel adaptive approach for glucose control in individuals with type 1 diabetes under sensor-augmented pump therapy is proposed. The controller, is based on Actor-Critic (AC) learning and is inspired by the principles of reinforcement learning and optimal control theory. The main characteristics of the proposed controller are (i) simultaneous adjustment of both the insulin basal rate and the bolus dose, (ii) initialization based on clinical procedures, and (iii) real-time personalization. The effectiveness of the proposed algorithm in terms of glycemic control has been investigated in silico in adults, adolescents and children under open-loop and closed-loop approaches, using announced meals with uncertainties in the order of ±25% in the estimation of carbohydrates. The results show that glucose regulation is efficient in all three groups of patients, even with uncertainties in the level of carbohydrates in the meal. The percentages in the A+B zones of the Control Variability Grid Analysis (CVGA) were 100% for adults, and 93% for both adolescents and children. The AC based controller seems to be a promising approach for the automatic adjustment of insulin infusion in order to improve glycemic control. After optimization of the algorithm, the controller will be tested in a clinical trial. PMID:22502983

  11. An Actor-Critic based controller for glucose regulation in type 1 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Daskalaki, Elena; Diem, Peter; Mougiakakou, Stavroula G

    2013-02-01

    A novel adaptive approach for glucose control in individuals with type 1 diabetes under sensor-augmented pump therapy is proposed. The controller, is based on Actor-Critic (AC) learning and is inspired by the principles of reinforcement learning and optimal control theory. The main characteristics of the proposed controller are (i) simultaneous adjustment of both the insulin basal rate and the bolus dose, (ii) initialization based on clinical procedures, and (iii) real-time personalization. The effectiveness of the proposed algorithm in terms of glycemic control has been investigated in silico in adults, adolescents and children under open-loop and closed-loop approaches, using announced meals with uncertainties in the order of ±25% in the estimation of carbohydrates. The results show that glucose regulation is efficient in all three groups of patients, even with uncertainties in the level of carbohydrates in the meal. The percentages in the A+B zones of the Control Variability Grid Analysis (CVGA) were 100% for adults, and 93% for both adolescents and children. The AC based controller seems to be a promising approach for the automatic adjustment of insulin infusion in order to improve glycemic control. After optimization of the algorithm, the controller will be tested in a clinical trial.

  12. Fish traders as key actors in fisheries: gender and adaptive management.

    PubMed

    Fröcklin, Sara; de la Torre-Castro, Maricela; Lindström, Lars; Jiddawi, Narriman S

    2013-12-01

    This paper fills an important gap towards adaptive management of small-scale fisheries by analyzing the gender dimension of fish trade in Zanzibar, Tanzania. We hypothesize that gender-based differences are present in the fish value chain and to test the hypothesis interviews were performed to analyze: (i) markets, customers, and mobility, (ii) material and economic resources, (iii) traded fish species, (iv) contacts and organizations, and (v) perceptions and experiences. Additionally, management documents were analyzed to examine the degree to which gender is considered. Results show that women traders had less access to social and economic resources, profitable markets, and high-value fish, which resulted in lower income. These gender inequalities are linked, among others, to women's reproductive roles such as childcare and household responsibilities. Formal fisheries management was found to be gender insensitive, showing how a crucial feedback element of adaptive management is missing in Zanzibar's management system, i.e., knowledge about key actors, their needs and challenges. PMID:24213994

  13. [Government health planning in the state of Bahia, Brazil: political actors, social interaction and institutional learning].

    PubMed

    Jesus, Washington Luiz Abreu de; Teixeira, Carmen Fontes

    2014-09-01

    This article analyzes the process of government planning in health in the state of Bahia in the 2007-2010 period based on the formulation of the State Health Plan. The benchmark adopted involved adaptation of the theoretical model of the cycle of public policy, including analysis of context, characterization of the actors involved, operations conducted in decision making and the strategic means used. The production of information was through the analysis of documents organized in institutional portfolios and records of the planning process in the organization studied. The analysis of results reveals that the political game included "concessions" and "negotiations" regarding changes in the management and organization of the health system, highlighting the discussion on the problems facing the state management of the Unified Health System (SUS) during the period, and the search for alternatives and solutions to these problems. It also reveals the institutional learning acquired, involving managers and technicians who broadened and reinforced their capacity to analyze and formulate proposals around the government agenda.

  14. Comprehending body language and mimics: an ERP and neuroimaging study on Italian actors and viewers.

    PubMed

    Proverbio, Alice Mado; Calbi, Marta; Manfredi, Mirella; Zani, Alberto

    2014-01-01

    In this study, the neural mechanism subserving the ability to understand people's emotional and mental states by observing their body language (facial expression, body posture and mimics) was investigated in healthy volunteers. ERPs were recorded in 30 Italian University students while they evaluated 280 pictures of highly ecological displays of emotional body language that were acted out by 8 male and female Italian actors. Pictures were briefly flashed and preceded by short verbal descriptions (e.g., "What a bore!") that were incongruent half of the time (e.g., a picture of a very attentive and concentrated person shown after the previous example verbal description). ERP data and source reconstruction indicated that the first recognition of incongruent body language occurred 300 ms post-stimulus. swLORETA performed on the N400 identified the strongest generators of this effect in the right rectal gyrus (BA11) of the ventromedial orbitofrontal cortex, the bilateral uncus (limbic system) and the cingulate cortex, the cortical areas devoted to face and body processing (STS, FFA EBA) and the premotor cortex (BA6), which is involved in action understanding. These results indicate that face and body mimics undergo a prioritized processing that is mostly represented in the affective brain and is rapidly compared with verbal information. This process is likely able to regulate social interactions by providing on-line information about the sincerity and trustfulness of others.

  15. Multiple actor-critic structures for continuous-time optimal control using input-output data.

    PubMed

    Song, Ruizhuo; Lewis, Frank; Wei, Qinglai; Zhang, Hua-Guang; Jiang, Zhong-Ping; Levine, Dan

    2015-04-01

    In industrial process control, there may be multiple performance objectives, depending on salient features of the input-output data. Aiming at this situation, this paper proposes multiple actor-critic structures to obtain the optimal control via input-output data for unknown nonlinear systems. The shunting inhibitory artificial neural network (SIANN) is used to classify the input-output data into one of several categories. Different performance measure functions may be defined for disparate categories. The approximate dynamic programming algorithm, which contains model module, critic network, and action network, is used to establish the optimal control in each category. A recurrent neural network (RNN) model is used to reconstruct the unknown system dynamics using input-output data. NNs are used to approximate the critic and action networks, respectively. It is proven that the model error and the closed unknown system are uniformly ultimately bounded. Simulation results demonstrate the performance of the proposed optimal control scheme for the unknown nonlinear system. PMID:25730830

  16. Puppets, robots, critics, and actors within a taxonomy of attention for developmental disorders.

    PubMed

    Dennis, Maureen; Sinopoli, Katia J; Fletcher, Jack M; Schachar, Russell

    2008-09-01

    This review proposes a new taxonomy of automatic and controlled attention. The taxonomy distinguishes among the role of the attendee (puppet and robot, critic and actor), the attention process (stimulus orienting vs. response control), and the attention operation (activation vs. inhibition vs. adjustment), and identifies cognitive phenotypes by which attention is overtly expressed. We apply the taxonomy to four childhood attention disorders: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, spina bifida meningomyelocele, traumatic brain injury, and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Variations in attention are related to specific brain regions that support normal attention processes when intact, and produce disordered attention when impaired. The taxonomy explains group differences in behavioral inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness, as well as medication response. We also discuss issues relevant to theories of the cognitive and neural architecture of attention: functional dissociations within and between automatic and controlled attention; the relative importance of type of brain damage and developmental timing to attention profile; cognitive-energetic models of attention and white matter damage; temporal processing deficits, attention deficits and cerebellar damage; and the issue of cognitive phenotypes as candidate endophenotypes. PMID:18764966

  17. Health workforce governance: Processes, tools and actors towards a competent workforce for integrated health services delivery.

    PubMed

    Barbazza, Erica; Langins, Margrieta; Kluge, Hans; Tello, Juan

    2015-12-01

    A competent health workforce is a vital resource for health services delivery, dictating the extent to which services are capable of responding to health needs. In the context of the changing health landscape, an integrated approach to service provision has taken precedence. For this, strengthening health workforce competencies is an imperative, and doing so in practice hinges on the oversight and steering function of governance. To aid health system stewards in their governing role, this review seeks to provide an overview of processes, tools and actors for strengthening health workforce competencies. It draws from a purposive and multidisciplinary review of literature, expert opinion and country initiatives across the WHO European Region's 53 Member States. Through our analysis, we observe distinct yet complementary roles can be differentiated between health services delivery and the health system. This understanding is a necessary prerequisite to gain deeper insight into the specificities for strengthening health workforce competencies in order for governance to rightly create the institutional environment called for to foster alignment. Differentiating between the contribution of health services and the health system in the strengthening of health workforce competencies is an important distinction for achieving and sustaining health improvement goals.

  18. Social actors and discourse on abortion in the Mexican press: the Paulina case.

    PubMed

    Taracena, Rosario

    2002-05-01

    The "Paulina case" is the story of a 13-year-old girl in Mexico who became pregnant in 1999 after being raped. Although she received permission to obtain a legal abortion, the hospital convinced her mother through misleading information to decline the abortion. This case has become an almost obligatory point of reference when abortion is discussed in Mexico. This paper analyses how the Mexican press portrayed the Paulina case and the social actors who participated in it--Paulina herself, Paulina's allies, the state government, the Catholic Church, members of the political party PAN and the National Human Rights Commission. One of the great breakthroughs of this case was that the denial of an abortion was judged to be a form of negligence. In demanding justice for Paulina, Paulina's allies were given moral authority in the press to denounce those who denied her an abortion. While the government of Baja California state and members of the PAN were held responsible for their role in the case, the Catholic Church, who was also responsible, seemed to escape criticism. It is probable that the large emotional weight of the Paulina case accomplished more in terms of changing public opinion in support of women's right to decide on abortion than any other single event to date. PMID:12369312

  19. Puppets, robots, critics, and actors within a taxonomy of attention for developmental disorders.

    PubMed

    Dennis, Maureen; Sinopoli, Katia J; Fletcher, Jack M; Schachar, Russell

    2008-09-01

    This review proposes a new taxonomy of automatic and controlled attention. The taxonomy distinguishes among the role of the attendee (puppet and robot, critic and actor), the attention process (stimulus orienting vs. response control), and the attention operation (activation vs. inhibition vs. adjustment), and identifies cognitive phenotypes by which attention is overtly expressed. We apply the taxonomy to four childhood attention disorders: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, spina bifida meningomyelocele, traumatic brain injury, and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Variations in attention are related to specific brain regions that support normal attention processes when intact, and produce disordered attention when impaired. The taxonomy explains group differences in behavioral inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness, as well as medication response. We also discuss issues relevant to theories of the cognitive and neural architecture of attention: functional dissociations within and between automatic and controlled attention; the relative importance of type of brain damage and developmental timing to attention profile; cognitive-energetic models of attention and white matter damage; temporal processing deficits, attention deficits and cerebellar damage; and the issue of cognitive phenotypes as candidate endophenotypes.

  20. Auditory-Motor Expertise Alters “Speech Selectivity” in Professional Musicians and Actors

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hwee Ling; Nusbaum, Howard; Price, Cathy J.

    2011-01-01

    Several perisylvian brain regions show preferential activation for spoken language above and beyond other complex sounds. These “speech-selective” effects might be driven by regions’ intrinsic biases for processing the acoustical or informational properties of speech. Alternatively, such speech selectivity might emerge through extensive experience in perceiving and producing speech sounds. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study disambiguated such audiomotor expertise from speech selectivity by comparing activation for listening to speech and music in female professional violinists and actors. Audiomotor expertise effects were identified in several right and left superior temporal regions that responded to speech in all participants and music in violinists more than actresses. Regions associated with the acoustic/information content of speech were identified along the entire length of the superior temporal sulci bilaterally where activation was greater for speech than music in all participants. Finally, an effect of performing arts training was identified in bilateral premotor regions commonly activated by finger and mouth movements as well as in right hemisphere “language regions.” These results distinguish the seemingly speech-specific neural responses that can be abolished and even reversed by long-term audiomotor experience. PMID:20829245

  1. Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raudenbush, Stephen

    In May of 1999, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences hosted a conference on ways to improve the scientific quality of educational research. In medicine, thanks to work 40 years ago by 2 researchers, Howard Hyatt and Frederick Mosteller, the commitment of medical professionals to base their diagnoses and prescriptions on clinical trials in…

  2. Doing Adulthood in Childhood Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johansson, Barbro

    2012-01-01

    Since age and generation first started to be problematized, the focus has been on childhood, while adulthood has attracted less attention. In this article four examples are presented of how adulthood is constructed within the specific context of childhood research. Taking the departure in Deleuzian and actor network theories, four examples are…

  3. Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathematics Teaching, 1973

    1973-01-01

    Implications for teachers from Piagetian-oriented piagetian-oriented research on problem solving reported in an article by Eleanor Duckworth are presented. Edward de Bono's Children Solve Problems,'' a collection of examples, is also discussed. (MS)

  4. Intersectionality and gender mainstreaming in international health: using a feminist participatory action research process to analyse voices and debates from the global south and north.

    PubMed

    Tolhurst, Rachel; Leach, Beryl; Price, Janet; Robinson, Jude; Ettore, Elizabeth; Scott-Samuel, Alex; Kilonzo, Nduku; Sabuni, Louis P; Robertson, Steve; Kapilashrami, Anuj; Bristow, Katie; Lang, Raymond; Romao, Francelina; Theobald, Sally

    2012-06-01

    Critiques of gender mainstreaming (GM) as the officially agreed strategy to promote gender equity in health internationally have reached a critical mass. There has been a notable lack of dialogue between gender advocates in the global north and south, from policy and practice, governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This paper contributes to the debate on the shape of future action for gender equity in health, by uniquely bringing together the voices of disparate actors, first heard in a series of four seminars held during 2008 and 2009, involving almost 200 participants from 15 different country contexts. The series used (Feminist) Participatory Action Research (FPAR) methodology to create a productive dialogue on the developing theory around GM and the at times disconnected empirical experience of policy and practice. We analyse the debates and experiences shared at the seminar series using concrete, context specific examples from research, advocacy, policy and programme development perspectives, as presented by participants from southern and northern settings, including Kenya, Mozambique, India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Canada and Australia. Focussing on key discussions around sexualities and (dis)ability and their interactions with gender, we explore issues around intersectionality across the five key themes for research and action identified by participants: (1) Addressing the disconnect between gender mainstreaming praxis and contemporary feminist theory; (2) Developing appropriate analysis methodologies; (3) Developing a coherent theory of change; (4) Seeking resolution to the dilemmas and uncertainties around the 'place' of men and boys in GM as a feminist project; and (5) Developing a politics of intersectionality. We conclude that there needs to be a coherent and inclusive strategic direction to improve policy and practice for promoting gender equity in health which requires the full and equal participation of practitioners and

  5. Intersectionality and gender mainstreaming in international health: using a feminist participatory action research process to analyse voices and debates from the global south and north.

    PubMed

    Tolhurst, Rachel; Leach, Beryl; Price, Janet; Robinson, Jude; Ettore, Elizabeth; Scott-Samuel, Alex; Kilonzo, Nduku; Sabuni, Louis P; Robertson, Steve; Kapilashrami, Anuj; Bristow, Katie; Lang, Raymond; Romao, Francelina; Theobald, Sally

    2012-06-01

    Critiques of gender mainstreaming (GM) as the officially agreed strategy to promote gender equity in health internationally have reached a critical mass. There has been a notable lack of dialogue between gender advocates in the global north and south, from policy and practice, governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This paper contributes to the debate on the shape of future action for gender equity in health, by uniquely bringing together the voices of disparate actors, first heard in a series of four seminars held during 2008 and 2009, involving almost 200 participants from 15 different country contexts. The series used (Feminist) Participatory Action Research (FPAR) methodology to create a productive dialogue on the developing theory around GM and the at times disconnected empirical experience of policy and practice. We analyse the debates and experiences shared at the seminar series using concrete, context specific examples from research, advocacy, policy and programme development perspectives, as presented by participants from southern and northern settings, including Kenya, Mozambique, India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Canada and Australia. Focussing on key discussions around sexualities and (dis)ability and their interactions with gender, we explore issues around intersectionality across the five key themes for research and action identified by participants: (1) Addressing the disconnect between gender mainstreaming praxis and contemporary feminist theory; (2) Developing appropriate analysis methodologies; (3) Developing a coherent theory of change; (4) Seeking resolution to the dilemmas and uncertainties around the 'place' of men and boys in GM as a feminist project; and (5) Developing a politics of intersectionality. We conclude that there needs to be a coherent and inclusive strategic direction to improve policy and practice for promoting gender equity in health which requires the full and equal participation of practitioners and

  6. Sulfate-Reducing Microorganisms in Wetlands – Fameless Actors in Carbon Cycling and Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Pester, Michael; Knorr, Klaus-Holger; Friedrich, Michael W.; Wagner, Michael; Loy, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Freshwater wetlands are a major source of the greenhouse gas methane but at the same time can function as carbon sink. Their response to global warming and environmental pollution is one of the largest unknowns in the upcoming decades to centuries. In this review, we highlight the role of sulfate-reducing microorganisms (SRM) in the intertwined element cycles of wetlands. Although regarded primarily as methanogenic environments, biogeochemical studies have revealed a previously hidden sulfur cycle in wetlands that can sustain rapid renewal of the small standing pools of sulfate. Thus, dissimilatory sulfate reduction, which frequently occurs at rates comparable to marine surface sediments, can contribute up to 36–50% to anaerobic carbon mineralization in these ecosystems. Since sulfate reduction is thermodynamically favored relative to fermentative processes and methanogenesis, it effectively decreases gross methane production thereby mitigating the flux of methane to the atmosphere. However, very little is known about wetland SRM. Molecular analyses using dsrAB [encoding subunit A and B of the dissimilatory (bi)sulfite reductase] as marker genes demonstrated that members of novel phylogenetic lineages, which are unrelated to recognized SRM, dominate dsrAB richness and, if tested, are also abundant among the dsrAB-containing wetland microbiota. These discoveries point toward the existence of so far unknown SRM that are an important part of the autochthonous wetland microbiota. In addition to these numerically dominant microorganisms, a recent stable isotope probing study of SRM in a German peatland indicated that rare biosphere members might be highly active in situ and have a considerable stake in wetland sulfate reduction. The hidden sulfur cycle in wetlands and the fact that wetland SRM are not well represented by described SRM species explains their so far neglected role as important actors in carbon cycling and climate change. PMID:22403575

  7. Sulfate-reducing microorganisms in wetlands - fameless actors in carbon cycling and climate change.

    PubMed

    Pester, Michael; Knorr, Klaus-Holger; Friedrich, Michael W; Wagner, Michael; Loy, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Freshwater wetlands are a major source of the greenhouse gas methane but at the same time can function as carbon sink. Their response to global warming and environmental pollution is one of the largest unknowns in the upcoming decades to centuries. In this review, we highlight the role of sulfate-reducing microorganisms (SRM) in the intertwined element cycles of wetlands. Although regarded primarily as methanogenic environments, biogeochemical studies have revealed a previously hidden sulfur cycle in wetlands that can sustain rapid renewal of the small standing pools of sulfate. Thus, dissimilatory sulfate reduction, which frequently occurs at rates comparable to marine surface sediments, can contribute up to 36-50% to anaerobic carbon mineralization in these ecosystems. Since sulfate reduction is thermodynamically favored relative to fermentative processes and methanogenesis, it effectively decreases gross methane production thereby mitigating the flux of methane to the atmosphere. However, very little is known about wetland SRM. Molecular analyses using dsrAB [encoding subunit A and B of the dissimilatory (bi)sulfite reductase] as marker genes demonstrated that members of novel phylogenetic lineages, which are unrelated to recognized SRM, dominate dsrAB richness and, if tested, are also abundant among the dsrAB-containing wetland microbiota. These discoveries point toward the existence of so far unknown SRM that are an important part of the autochthonous wetland microbiota. In addition to these numerically dominant microorganisms, a recent stable isotope probing study of SRM in a German peatland indicated that rare biosphere members might be highly active in situ and have a considerable stake in wetland sulfate reduction. The hidden sulfur cycle in wetlands and the fact that wetland SRM are not well represented by described SRM species explains their so far neglected role as important actors in carbon cycling and climate change.

  8. "mysterium Cosmographicum", for Orchestra, Narrator/actor, and Computer Music on Tape. (with Original Composition)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keefe, Robert Michael

    Mysterium Cosmographicum is a musical chronicle of an astronomy treatise by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630). Kepler's Mysterium Cosmographicum (Tubingen, 1596), or "Secret of the Universe," was a means by which he justified the existence of the six planets discovered during his lifetime. Kepler, through flawless a priori reasoning, goes to great lengths to explain that the reason there are six and only six planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) is because God had placed one of the five regular solids (tetrahedron, cube, octa-, dodeca-, and icosahedron) around each orbiting body. Needless to say, the publication was not very successful, nor did it gain much comment from Kepler's peers, Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) and Tycho Brahe (1546-1601). But hidden within the Mysterium Cosmographicum, almost like a new planet waiting to be discovered, is one of Kepler's three laws of planetary motion, a law that held true for planets discovered long after Kepler's lifetime. Mysterium Cosmographicum is a monologue with music in three parts for orchestra, narrator/actor, and computer music on tape. All musical data structures are generated via an interactive Pascal computer program that computes latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates for each of the nine planets as seen from a fixed point on Earth for any given time frame. These coordinates are then mapped onto selected musical parameters as determined by the composer. Whenever Kepler reads from his treatise or from a lecture or correspondence, the monologue is supported by orchestral planetary data generated from the exact place, date, and time of the treatise, lecture, or correspondence. To the best of my knowledge, Mysterium Cosmographicum is the first composition ever written that employs planetary data as a supporting chronology to action and monologue.

  9. Politics, class actors, and health sector reform in Brazil and Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Mahmood, Qamar; Muntaner, Carles

    2013-03-01

    involves various actors within the state, the political society and civil society. PMID:23563780

  10. Politics, class actors, and health sector reform in Brazil and Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Mahmood, Qamar; Muntaner, Carles

    2013-03-01

    involves various actors within the state, the political society and civil society.

  11. Contracting private sector providers for public sector health services in Jalisco, Mexico: perspectives of system actors

    PubMed Central

    Nigenda, Gustavo H; González, Luz María

    2009-01-01

    Introduction Contracting out health services is a strategy that many health systems in the developing world are following, despite the lack of decisive evidence that this is the best way to improve quality, increase efficiency and expand coverage. A large body of literature has appeared in recent years focusing on the results of several contracting strategies, but very few papers have addressed aspects of the managerial process and how this can affect results. Case description This paper describes and analyses the perceptions and opinions of managers and workers about the benefits and challenges of the contracting model that has been in place for almost 10 years in the State of Jalisco, Mexico. Both qualitative and quantitative information was collected. An open-ended questionnaire was used to obtain information from a group of managers, while information provided by a self-selected group of workers was collected via a closed-ended questionnaire. The analysis contrasted the information obtained from each source. Discussion and Evaluation Findings show that perceptions of managers and workers vary for most of the items studied. For managers the model has been a success, as it has allowed for expansion of coverage based on a cost-effective strategy, while for workers the model also possesses positive elements but fails to provide fair labour relationships, which negatively affects their performance. Conclusion Perspectives of the two main groups of actors in Jalisco's contracting model are important in the design and adjustment of an adequate contracting model that includes managerial elements to give incentives to worker performance, a key element necessary to achieve the model's ultimate objectives. Lessons learnt from this study could be relevant for the experience of contracting models in other developing countries. PMID:19849831

  12. Pharmaceutical digital marketing and governance: illicit actors and challenges to global patient safety and public health

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Digital forms of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing (eDTCA) have globalized in an era of free and open information exchange. Yet, the unregulated expansion of eDTCA has resulted in unaddressed global public health threats. Specifically, illicit online pharmacies are engaged in the sale of purportedly safe, legitimate product that may in fact be counterfeit or substandard. These cybercriminal actors exploit available eDTCA mediums over the Internet to market their suspect products globally. Despite these risks, a detailed assessment of the public health, patient safety, and cybersecurity threats and governance mechanisms to address them has not been conducted. Discussion Illicit online pharmacies represent a significant global public health and patient safety risk. Existing governance mechanisms are insufficient and include lack of adequate adoption in national regulation, ineffective voluntary governance mechanisms, and uneven global law enforcement efforts that have allowed proliferation of these cybercriminals on the web. In order to effectively address this multistakeholder threat, inclusive global governance strategies that engage the information technology, law enforcement and public health sectors should be established. Summary Effective global “eHealth Governance” focused on cybercrime is needed in order to effectively combat illicit online pharmacies. This includes building upon existing Internet governance structures and coordinating partnership between the UN Office of Drugs and Crime that leads the global fight against transnational organized crime and the Internet Governance Forum that is shaping the future of Internet governance. Through a UNODC-IGF governance mechanism, investigation, detection and coordination of activities against illicit online pharmacies and their misuse of eDTCA can commence. PMID:24131576

  13. A Modified Actor-Power-Accountability Framework (MAPAF) for analyzing decentralized forest governance: case study from Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Mohammed, Abrar Juhar; Inoue, Makoto

    2014-06-15

    This paper posits a Modified Actor-Power-Accountability Framework (MAPAF) that makes three major improvements on the Actor-Power-Accountability Framework (APAF) developed by Agrawal and Ribot (1999). These improvements emphasize the nature of decentralized property rights, linking the outputs of decentralization with its outcomes and the inclusion of contextual factors. Applying MAPAF to analyze outputs and outcomes from two major decentralized forest policies in Ethiopia, i.e., delegation and devolution, has demonstrated the following strengths of the framework. First, by incorporating vital bundles of property rights into APAF, MAPAF creates a common ground for exploring and comparing the extent of democratization achieved by different decentralizing reforms. Second, the inclusion of social and environmental outcomes in MAPAF makes it possible to link the output of decentralization with local level outcomes. Finally, the addition of contextual factors enhances MAPAF's explanatory power by providing room for investigating exogenous factors other than democratization that contribute to the outcomes of decentralization reforms.

  14. Actor interfaces and practices of power in a community health worker programme: a South African study of unintended policy outcomes.

    PubMed

    Lehmann, Uta; Gilson, Lucy

    2013-07-01

    This paper makes a contribution to a much-neglected aspect of policy analysis: the practice of power in implementation. Practices of power are at the heart of every policy process, yet are rarely explicitly explored in the health policy literature. This paper provides a detailed study of micro-practices of power by those at the frontline of service delivery in the implementation of a national community health worker policy in one rural South African sub-district. The paper is based on a small-scale qualitative study which collected data through observations, interviews and focus group discussions with health services and facility managers, community health workers and community members. Practices of power were analysed using VeneKlasen and Miller's categorization of multiple dimensions of power, as power over, power with, power to and power within. Furthermore, the concept of 'actor interface analysis' allowed exploration of different actors' experience, interests and their specific location in the landscape of local health system governance. The study revealed that almost all policy actors exercised some form of power, from authoritative power, derived from hierarchy and budget control, to the discretionary power of those working at lower levels to withhold labour or organize in-service training. Each of these practices of power had their rationale in different actors' efforts to make the intervention 'fit' their understandings of local reality. While each had a limited impact on policy outcomes, their cumulative effect produced a significant thinning down of the policy's intent. However, discretionary power was not always used to undermine policy. One manager's use of discretionary power in fact led to a partial reconstruction of the original policy intent. The paper concludes that understanding and being responsive to the complexity of local realities, interests and contexts and the multi-layered practices of power may allow managers to adopt more appropriate

  15. Gender and sexual orientation differences in sexual response to sexual activities versus gender of actors in sexual films.

    PubMed

    Chivers, Meredith L; Seto, Michael C; Blanchard, Ray

    2007-12-01

    In this study, the authors investigated the hypothesis that women's sexual orientation and sexual responses in the laboratory correlate less highly than do men's because women respond primarily to the sexual activities performed by actors, whereas men respond primarily to the gender of the actors. The participants were 20 homosexual women, 27 heterosexual women, 17 homosexual men, and 27 heterosexual men. The videotaped stimuli included men and women engaging in same-sex intercourse, solitary masturbation, or nude exercise (no sexual activity); human male-female copulation; and animal (bonobo chimpanzee or Pan paniscus) copulation. Genital and subjective sexual arousal were continuously recorded. The genital responses of both sexes were weakest to nude exercise and strongest to intercourse. As predicted, however, actor gender was more important for men than for women, and the level of sexual activity was more important for women than for men. Consistent with this result, women responded genitally to bonobo copulation, whereas men did not. An unexpected result was that homosexual women responded more to nude female targets exercising and masturbating than to nude male targets, whereas heterosexual women responded about the same to both sexes at each activity level.

  16. The Contrivance of Mobile Learning: An Actor-Network Perspective on the Emergence of a Research Field

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Decuypere, Mathias; Simons, Maarten; Masschelein, Jan

    2011-01-01

    The ongoing development of mobile devices like cell phones, iPods, PDAs, and so on is seen by an increasing number of educationalists as a chance to focus on a new kind of learning. This mobile learning, as it is called, should enable students to learn while on the move. Rather than giving a genealogy of the use of mobile equipment in education,…

  17. UCLA accelerator research and development

    SciTech Connect

    Cline, D.B.

    1992-01-01

    This progress report covers work supported by the above DOE grant over the period November 1, 1991 to July 31, 1992. The work is a program of experimental and theoretical studies in advanced particle accelerator research and development for high energy physics applications. The program features research at particle beam facilities in the United States and includes research on novel high power sources, novel focussing systems (e.g. plasma lens), beam monitors, novel high brightness, high current gun systems, and novel flavor factories in particular the {phi} Factory.

  18. Strategies and tensions in communicating research on sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS: a qualitative study of the experiences of researchers and communications staff

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and HIV issues are often controversial and neglected, leading to challenges with engaging policy actors. Research evidence is complex, posing further challenges for ensuring that policy and practice are evidence-based. Many health researchers are adopting innovative approaches to engaging stakeholders in their research, yet these experiences are not often shared. This qualitative study focuses on the research communication and policy influencing objectives, strategies and experiences of four research consortia working on SRH, HIV and AIDS. Methods We carried out 22 in-depth interviews with researchers and communications specialists (research actors) from the four consortia and their partners, working in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Using the ‘framework’ approach to qualitative data analysis, we identified factors that affect the interaction of research evidence with policy and practice. We used the ODI RAPID analytical framework to present these results, adapting this tool by incorporating the actions, strategies and positionality of research actors. Results The characteristics of researchers and their institutions, policy context, the multiplicity of actors, and the nature of the research evidence all play a role in policy influencing processes. Research actors perceived a trend towards increasingly intensive and varied communication approaches. Effective influencing strategies include making strategic alliances and coalitions and framing research evidence in ways that are most attractive to particular policy audiences. Tensions include the need to identify and avoid unnecessary communication or unintended impacts, challenges in assessing and attributing impact and the need for adequate resources and skills for communications work. Conclusions We contend that the adapted RAPID framework can serve as a tool for research actors to use in resolving these tensions, through facilitating a reflexive

  19. Focussing on Generic Skills in Training Packages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dawe, Susan

    A study assessed whether training packages gave sufficient focus to attainment of generic skills and examined approaches that can be used to enhance the delivery of these skills so students are better prepared for the new demands of the workplace. A literature review and consultations with stakeholders provided information on development of the…

  20. Contemporary electronics: A focussed concept laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panitz, J. A.

    2002-03-01

    Contemporary Electronics is an advanced undergraduate lecture and laboratory introduction to analog and digital electronics. Fundamentals of analog measurements, analog data collection, and digital data collection are included in this one-semester course. Laboratory exercises introduce diodes, transistors, operational amplifiers, and their use in simple circuits. Focus and continuity are provided by the construction of a printed circuit board nanoammeter. The nanoammeter is used to measure the tunneling current generated by a commercial field emission electron microscope. An introduction to LABVIEW programming allows each student to create a "virtual instrument" for data collection and analysis. An analysis of the tunneling data using Fowler-Nordheim theory is the focus of a midterm and a final exam.

  1. Dynamical encoding of looming, receding, and focussing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longtin, Andre; Clarke, Stephen Elisha; Maler, Leonard; CenterNeural Dynamics Collaboration

    This talk will discuss a non-conventional neural coding task that may apply more broadly to many senses in higher vertebrates. We ask whether and how a non-visual sensory system can focus on an object. We present recent experimental and modeling work that shows how the early sensory circuitry of electric sense can perform such neuronal focusing that is manifested behaviorally. This sense is the main one used by weakly electric fish to navigate, locate prey and communicate in the murky waters of their natural habitat. We show that there is a distance at which the Fisher information of a neuron's response to a looming and receding object is maximized, and that this distance corresponds to a behaviorally relevant one chosen by these animals. Strikingly, this maximum occurs at a bifurcation between tonic firing and bursting. We further discuss how the invariance of this distance to signal attributes can arise, a process that first involves power-law spike frequency adaptation. The talk will also highlight the importance of expanding the classic dual neural encoding of contrast using ON and OFF cells in the context of looming and receding stimuli. The authors acknowledge support from CIHR and NSERC.

  2. Michael J. Fox: Spurring Research on Parkinson's | NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine

    MedlinePlus

    ... Foundation for Parkinson's Research in the year 2000. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock "What I had in mind ... disease Bob Hoskins — Retired, award-winning English actor Photo courtesy of Shutterstock Muhammad Ali — One of the ...

  3. Place-Based Initiatives to Improve Health in Disadvantaged Communities: Cross-Sector Characteristics and Networks of Local Actors in North Carolina

    PubMed Central

    Moody, James; Nelson, Alicia; Willis, Janese M.; Fuller, Lori; Smart, Allen J.; Easterling, Doug; Silberberg, Mina

    2016-01-01

    Objectives. To examine the leadership attributes and collaborative connections of local actors from the health sector and those outside the health sector in a major place-based health initiative. Methods. We used survey data from 340 individuals in 4 Healthy Places North Carolina counties from 2014 to assess the leadership attributes (awareness, attitudes, and capacity) and network connections of local actors by their organizational sector. Results. Respondents’ leadership attributes—scored on 5-point Likert scales—were similar across Healthy Places North Carolina counties. Although local actors reported high levels of awareness and collaboration around community health improvement, we found lower levels of capacity for connecting diversity, identifying barriers, and using resources in new ways to improve community health. Actors outside the health sector had generally lower levels of capacity than actors in the health sector. Those in the health sector exhibited the majority of network ties in their community; however, they were also the most segregated from actors in other sectors. Conclusions. More capacity building around strategic action—particularly in nonhealth sectors—is needed to support efforts in making widespread changes to community health. PMID:27459443

  4. Cybersecurity threats to satellite communications: Towards a typology of state actor responses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Housen-Couriel, Deborah

    2016-11-01

    Cybersecurity threats to satellite communications are a relatively new phenomenon, yet have quickly come to the forefront of concern for the sustainability of satellite systems due to the vulnerabilities that such threats may exploit and negatively impact. These vulnerabilities are mission-critical: they include launch systems, communications, telemetry, tracking and command, and mission completion. They and other aspects of satellite communications depend heavily on secure and resilient cyber capabilities for all stages of the satellite's lifespan. Because of the inherently global nature of both satellite and cyberspace activities, these capabilities rely significantly on international cooperation for setting a baseline of agreed legal norms that protect satellites and satellite communications. This critical cooperation is relevant during all mission phases, from planning to final wrap-up. Under optimal circumstances, the norms and standards protecting satellites and satellite transmissions are developed and enforced by those nation-state actors that are committed to system operability and overall mission sustainability for those satellites launched under their aegis and responsibility. However, when breaches of international law do occur in the form of hostile cyber events that cause damage to satellite communications, a range of measures should be available to the victim state, provided by the appropriate legal regime or regimes. This article proposes that a comprehensive and integrative multi-stakeholder review be undertaken in the near future of the measures available under international law for responding to hostile acts directed at satellite systems and communications, in a manner that takes into account both existing regimes of international law reviewed herein, as well as considerations of cybersecurity. These measures will depend upon the characterization of hostile interference with satellite transmissions in accordance with a proposed typology of

  5. Breaking the Culture of Silence in Checkmating HIV/AIDS as a Teacher-Researcher

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Esau, O.

    2010-01-01

    In my investigation I set out to break the HIV/AIDS culture of silence and emphasize the role of the teacher as a researcher and critical change agent in an HIV/AIDS challenged society. My work demonstrates how teachers could play such a role by encouraging learners' participation in sport. The sport, I focussed on in my action research project…

  6. Leading Schools to Promote Social Inclusion: Developing a Conceptual Framework for Analysing Research, Policy and Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raffo, Carlo; Gunter, Helen

    2008-01-01

    Although much research has focussed on how various educational policy initiatives have attempted to improve problems of social exclusion, little research has systematically examined, categorised and synthesised the types of leadership in schools that might assist improving social inclusion. Given the importance of school leadership in New Labour…

  7. What Can We Learn About the Processes of Regulation of Tuberculosis Medicines From the Experiences of Health Policy and System Actors in India, Tanzania, and Zambia?

    PubMed Central

    Sheikh, Kabir; Uplekar, Mukund

    2016-01-01

    Background: The unregulated availability and irrational use of tuberculosis (TB) medicines is a major issue of public health concern globally. Governments of many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have committed to regulating the quality and availability of TB medicines, but with variable success. Regulation of TB medicines remains an intractable challenge in many settings, but the reasons for this are poorly understood. The objective of this paper is to elaborate processes of regulation of quality and availability of TB medicines in three LMICs – India, Tanzania, and Zambia – and to understand the factors that constrain and enable these processes. Methods: We adopted the action-centred approach of policy implementation analysis that draws on the experiences of relevant policy and health system actors in order to understand regulatory processes. We drew on data from three case studies commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO), on the regulation of TB medicines in India, Tanzania, and Zambia. Qualitative research methods were used, including in-depth interviews with 89 policy and health system actors and document review. Data were organized thematically into accounts of regulators’ authority and capacity; extent of policy implementation; and efficiency, transparency, and accountability. Results: In India, findings included the absence of a comprehensive policy framework for regulation of TB medicines, constraints of authority and capacity of regulators, and poor implementation of prescribing and dispensing norms in the majority private sector. Tanzania had a policy that restricted import, prescribing and dispensing of TB medicines to government operators. Zambia procured and dispensed TB medicines mainly through government services, albeit in the absence of a single policy for restriction of medicines. Three cross-cutting factors emerged as crucially influencing regulatory processes - political and stakeholder support for regulation, technical

  8. What Can We Learn About the Processes of Regulation of Tuberculosis Medicines From the Experiences of Health Policy and System Actors in India, Tanzania, and Zambia?

    PubMed Central

    Sheikh, Kabir; Uplekar, Mukund

    2016-01-01

    Background: The unregulated availability and irrational use of tuberculosis (TB) medicines is a major issue of public health concern globally. Governments of many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have committed to regulating the quality and availability of TB medicines, but with variable success. Regulation of TB medicines remains an intractable challenge in many settings, but the reasons for this are poorly understood. The objective of this paper is to elaborate processes of regulation of quality and availability of TB medicines in three LMICs – India, Tanzania, and Zambia – and to understand the factors that constrain and enable these processes. Methods: We adopted the action-centred approach of policy implementation analysis that draws on the experiences of relevant policy and health system actors in order to understand regulatory processes. We drew on data from three case studies commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO), on the regulation of TB medicines in India, Tanzania, and Zambia. Qualitative research methods were used, including in-depth interviews with 89 policy and health system actors and document review. Data were organized thematically into accounts of regulators’ authority and capacity; extent of policy implementation; and efficiency, transparency, and accountability. Results: In India, findings included the absence of a comprehensive policy framework for regulation of TB medicines, constraints of authority and capacity of regulators, and poor implementation of prescribing and dispensing norms in the majority private sector. Tanzania had a policy that restricted import, prescribing and dispensing of TB medicines to government operators. Zambia procured and dispensed TB medicines mainly through government services, albeit in the absence of a single policy for restriction of medicines. Three cross-cutting factors emerged as crucially influencing regulatory processes - political and stakeholder support for regulation, technical

  9. Learning about a fish from an ANT: actor network theory and science education in the postgenomic era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, Clayton

    2015-03-01

    This article uses actor network theory (ANT) to develop a more appropriate model of scientific literacy for students, teachers, and citizens in a society increasingly populated with biotechnological and bioscientific nonhumans. In so doing, I take the recent debate surrounding the first genetically engineered animal food product under review by the FDA, AquaBounty Technologies' AquAdvantage® salmon, as a vehicle for exploring the ways in which the biosciences have fundamentally altered the boundary between nature and culture and thus the way the public understands both. In response to the new challenges of a postgenomic society, I outline three frameworks for using ANT literacies in classroom settings. Each frame, I argue, is foundational to the development of a scientific literacy that can trace and map actors involved in controversies such as the AquAdvantage® salmon. In examining these frames I follow the actor of a salmon through an environmental history lens, the technoscientific literacy operating in AquaBounty's FDA application and the National Academies new science education framework, and finally to a model of democracy rooted in an ethic of the common. The ultimate claim of this article is that until science education (and education in general) can begin to include nonhumans such as the AquAdvantage® salmon as part of a common political framework, students, educators, and community members will continue to be at the mercy of experts and corporate stakeholders for defining the terms in which people heal, feed, and educate themselves now and in the future.

  10. High-fidelity human patient simulators compared with human actors in an unannounced mass-casualty exercise.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Christian M; Skrzypczak, Matthias; Raith, Stefan; Hinzmann, Dominik; Krautheim, Veronika; Heuser, Fabian; Mayer, Valentin; Kreuzer, Christoph; Himsl, Meike; Holl, Michael; Lipp, Christina; Kochs, Eberhard F; Wagner, Klaus J

    2014-04-01

    High-fidelity simulators (HFSs) have been shown to prompt critical actions at a level equal to that of trained human actors (HAs) and increase perceived realism in intrahospital mass-casualty incident (MCI) exercises. For unannounced prehospital MCI exercises, however, no data are available about the feasibility of incorporating HFSs. This case report describes the integration of HFSs in such an unannounced prehospital MCI drill with HAs and provides data about the differences concerning triage, treatment, and transport of HFSs and HAs with identical injury patterns. For this purpose, 75 actors and four high-fidelity simulators were subdivided into nine groups defined by a specific injury pattern. Four HFSs and six HAs comprised a group suffering from traumatic brain injury and blunt abdominal trauma. Triage results, times for transport, and number of diagnostic and therapeutic tasks were recorded. Means were compared by t test or one-way ANOVA. Triage times and results did not differ between actors and simulators. The number of diagnostic (1.25, SD = 0.5 in simulators vs 3.5, SD = 1.05 in HAs; P = .010) and therapeutic tasks (2.0, SD = 1.6 in simulators vs 4.8, SD = 0.4 in HAs; P = .019) were significantly lower in simulators. Due to difficulties in treating and evacuating the casualties from the site of the accident in a timely manner, all simulators died. Possible causal factors and strategies are discussed, with the aim of increasing the utility of simulators in emergency medicine training. PMID:24650543

  11. Opening up the solar box: Cultural resource management and actor network theory in solar energy projects in the Mojave Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorrie, Bryan F.

    This project considers the ways that Actor-Network Theory (ANT) can be brought to bear upon Cultural Resource Management (CRM) practices on renewable energy projects. ANT is a way of making inquiry into scientific knowledge practices and as CRM is intended to preserve environmental, historic, and prehistoric resources, it necessarily involves certain kinds of knowledge generation about regions in which projects are being developed. Because the practice of CRM is complex, involving a range of actors from developers to biologists, native peoples to academics, private landholders to environmental and cultural activists, it is imperative to account for the interests of all stakeholders and to resist devolving into the polemical relations of winners and losers, good and bad participants, or simple situations of right and wrong. This project intends to account for the "matters of concern" of various actors, both primary and secondary, by examining the case study of a single solar installation project in the Mojave Desert. A theoretical description of ANT is provided at the beginning and the concerns of this theory are brought to bear upon the case study project through describing the project, discussing the laws governing CRM on federal lands and in the state of California, and providing the points of view of various interviewees who worked directly or indirectly on various aspects of CRM for the solar project. The creators of ANT claim that it is not a methodology but it does speak to ethnomethodologies in that it insists that there is always something more to learn from inquiring into and describing any given situation. These descriptions avoid generalizations, providing instead various points of entry, from diverse perspectives to the project. There is an invitation to avoid assuming that one knows all there is to know about a given situation and to choose instead to continue investigating and thus give voice to the more obscure, often marginalized, voices in the

  12. Rethinking agency and medical adherence technology: applying Actor Network Theory to the case study of Digital Pills.

    PubMed

    Hurtado-de-Mendoza, Alejandra; Cabling, Mark L; Sheppard, Vanessa B

    2015-12-01

    Much literature surrounding medical technology and adherence posits that technology is a mechanism for social control. This assumes that the medical establishment can take away patients' agency. Although power relationships and social control can play a key role, medical technology can also serve as an agentive tool to be utilized. We (1) offer the alternative framework of Actor Network Theory to view medical technology, (2) discuss the literature on medication adherence and technology, (3) delve into the ramifications of looking at adherence as a network and (4) use Digital Pills as a case study of dispersed agency.

  13. Networks in Action: New Actors and Practices in Education Policy in Brazil

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shiroma, Eneida Oto

    2014-01-01

    This paper focuses on the role of networks in the policy-making process in education and discusses the potential of network analysis as an analytical tool for education policy research. Drawing on publically available data from personal or institutional websites, this paper reports the findings from research carried out between 2005 and 2011.…

  14. Rationale, design and methods for a staggered-entry, waitlist controlled clinical trial of the impact of a community-based, family-centred, multidisciplinary program focussed on activity, food and attitude habits (Curtin University’s Activity, Food and Attitudes Program—CAFAP) among overweight adolescents

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Current estimates place just under one quarter of adolescents in Australia as overweight or obese. Adolescence has been identified as a critical period for the development of obesity, yet despite this recognition, there is limited systematic research into or evaluation of interventions for overweight adolescents. Reviews have concluded that there is a substantive evidence gap for effective intervention, but physical activity, lifestyle change and family involvement have been identified as promising foci for treatment. Methods This paper reports on the development of a staggered-entry, waitlist controlled clinical trial to assess the impact of a multidisciplinary intervention aiming to change the poor health trajectory of overweight adolescents and help them avoid morbid obesity in adulthood—Curtin University’s Activity, Food and Attitudes Program (CAFAP). 96 adolescents, aged 11–16 years, and parents, will attend twice weekly during an 8 week intensive multidisciplinary program with maintenance follow-up focussed on improving activity, food and attitude habits. Follow-up assessments will be conducted immediately after completing the intensive program, and at 3, 6 and 12 months post intensive program. Main outcomes will be objectively-measured physical activity, sedentary behaviour and activity behaviours; food intake (measured by 3 day diary) and food behaviours; body composition, fitness and physical function; mental and social well-being (quality of life, mood and attitudes), and family functioning. Discussion This trial will provide important information to understand whether a community based multidisciplinary intervention can have short and medium term effects on activity and food habits, attitudes, and physical and mental health status of overweight adolescents. Trial registration Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12611001187932. PMID:22721261

  15. Adaptive Actor-Critic Design-Based Integral Sliding-Mode Control for Partially Unknown Nonlinear Systems With Input Disturbances.

    PubMed

    Fan, Quan-Yong; Yang, Guang-Hong

    2016-01-01

    This paper is concerned with the problem of integral sliding-mode control for a class of nonlinear systems with input disturbances and unknown nonlinear terms through the adaptive actor-critic (AC) control method. The main objective is to design a sliding-mode control methodology based on the adaptive dynamic programming (ADP) method, so that the closed-loop system with time-varying disturbances is stable and the nearly optimal performance of the sliding-mode dynamics can be guaranteed. In the first step, a neural network (NN)-based observer and a disturbance observer are designed to approximate the unknown nonlinear terms and estimate the input disturbances, respectively. Based on the NN approximations and disturbance estimations, the discontinuous part of the sliding-mode control is constructed to eliminate the effect of the disturbances and attain the expected equivalent sliding-mode dynamics. Then, the ADP method with AC structure is presented to learn the optimal control for the sliding-mode dynamics online. Reconstructed tuning laws are developed to guarantee the stability of the sliding-mode dynamics and the convergence of the weights of critic and actor NNs. Finally, the simulation results are presented to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

  16. Explaining Large-Scale Policy Change in the Turkish Health Care System: Ideas, Institutions, and Political Actors.

    PubMed

    Agartan, Tuba I

    2015-10-01

    Explaining policy change has been one of the major concerns of the health care politics and policy development literature. This article aims to explain the specific dynamics of large-scale reforms introduced within the framework of the Health Transformation Program in Turkey. It argues that confluence of the three streams - problem, policy, and politics - with the exceptional political will of the Justice and Development Party's (JDP) leaders opened up a window of opportunity for a large-scale policy change. The article also underscores the contribution of recent ideational perspectives that help explain "why" political actors in Turkey would focus on health care reform, given that there are a number of issues waiting to be addressed in the policy agenda. Examining how political actors framed problems and policies deepens our understanding of the content of the reform initiatives as well as the construction of the need to reform. The article builds on the insights of both the ideational and institutionalist perspectives when it argues that the interests, aspirations, and fears of the JDP, alongside the peculiar characteristics of the institutional context, have shaped its priorities and determination to carry out this reform initiative. PMID:26195607

  17. Adaptive Actor-Critic Design-Based Integral Sliding-Mode Control for Partially Unknown Nonlinear Systems With Input Disturbances.

    PubMed

    Fan, Quan-Yong; Yang, Guang-Hong

    2016-01-01

    This paper is concerned with the problem of integral sliding-mode control for a class of nonlinear systems with input disturbances and unknown nonlinear terms through the adaptive actor-critic (AC) control method. The main objective is to design a sliding-mode control methodology based on the adaptive dynamic programming (ADP) method, so that the closed-loop system with time-varying disturbances is stable and the nearly optimal performance of the sliding-mode dynamics can be guaranteed. In the first step, a neural network (NN)-based observer and a disturbance observer are designed to approximate the unknown nonlinear terms and estimate the input disturbances, respectively. Based on the NN approximations and disturbance estimations, the discontinuous part of the sliding-mode control is constructed to eliminate the effect of the disturbances and attain the expected equivalent sliding-mode dynamics. Then, the ADP method with AC structure is presented to learn the optimal control for the sliding-mode dynamics online. Reconstructed tuning laws are developed to guarantee the stability of the sliding-mode dynamics and the convergence of the weights of critic and actor NNs. Finally, the simulation results are presented to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. PMID:26357411

  18. [Social actors in HIV/AIDS prevention: opposition and interests in educational policy in Mexico, 1994-2000].

    PubMed

    Granados-Cosme, José Arturo; Nasaiya, Kittipong; Brambila, Alberto Torres

    2007-03-01

    Studies and recommendations by health agencies have emphasized the importance of education in HIV-AIDS prevention. Mexico has included topics on sexuality and HIV-AIDS in school programs, triggering resistance by some social actors. The current study seeks to clarify the various positions and interests and their influence on the textbook content. A literature search was conducted on the period during which the last educational reform was implemented in Mexico. The discourse analysis focused on the ethnography of communication, which identified: the various actors' positions, arguments, actions, economic and political power, and relations to others. The results show that those who oppose the inclusion of these themes in the school curriculum base their position on tradition, contrary to modernization and secularization of social life, and that their positions range from refusal to raising conditions. Networks have been formed that provide such groups with significant economic and political power. Government has given in to some demands by partially modifying the textbook contents. The current analysis proposes to reflect on the potential repercussions of such actions on the control of the epidemic.

  19. Explaining Large-Scale Policy Change in the Turkish Health Care System: Ideas, Institutions, and Political Actors.

    PubMed

    Agartan, Tuba I

    2015-10-01

    Explaining policy change has been one of the major concerns of the health care politics and policy development literature. This article aims to explain the specific dynamics of large-scale reforms introduced within the framework of the Health Transformation Program in Turkey. It argues that confluence of the three streams - problem, policy, and politics - with the exceptional political will of the Justice and Development Party's (JDP) leaders opened up a window of opportunity for a large-scale policy change. The article also underscores the contribution of recent ideational perspectives that help explain "why" political actors in Turkey would focus on health care reform, given that there are a number of issues waiting to be addressed in the policy agenda. Examining how political actors framed problems and policies deepens our understanding of the content of the reform initiatives as well as the construction of the need to reform. The article builds on the insights of both the ideational and institutionalist perspectives when it argues that the interests, aspirations, and fears of the JDP, alongside the peculiar characteristics of the institutional context, have shaped its priorities and determination to carry out this reform initiative.

  20. Intelligent policy making? Key actors' perspectives on the development and implementation of an early years' initiative in Scotland's public health arena.

    PubMed

    Deas, L; Mattu, L; Gnich, W

    2013-11-01

    Increased political enthusiasm for evidence-based policy and action has re-ignited interest in the use of evidence within political and practitioner networks. Theories of evidence-based policy making and practice are being re-considered in an attempt to better understand the processes through which knowledge translation occurs. Understanding how policy develops, and practice results, has the potential to facilitate effective evidence use. Further knowledge of the factors which shape healthcare delivery and their influence in different contexts is needed. This paper explores the processes involved in the development of a complex intervention in Scotland's National Health Service (NHS). It uses a national oral health programme for children (Childsmile) as a case study, drawing upon key actors' perceptions of the influence of different drivers (research evidence, practitioner knowledge and values, policy, and political and local context) to programme development. Framework analysis is used to analyse stakeholder accounts from in-depth interviews. Documentary review is also undertaken. Findings suggest that Childsmile can be described as an 'evidence-informed' intervention, blending available research evidence with knowledge from practitioner experience and continual learning through evaluation, to plan delivery. The importance of context was underscored, in terms of the need to align with prevailing political ideology and in the facilitative strength of networks within the relatively small public health community in Scotland. Respondents' perceptions support several existing theoretical models of translation, however no single theory offered a comprehensive framework covering all aspects of the complex processes reported. Childsmile's use of best available evidence and on-going contribution to knowledge suggest that the programme is an example of intelligent policy making with international relevance. PMID:24034945

  1. Intelligent policy making? Key actors' perspectives on the development and implementation of an early years' initiative in Scotland's public health arena.

    PubMed

    Deas, L; Mattu, L; Gnich, W

    2013-11-01

    Increased political enthusiasm for evidence-based policy and action has re-ignited interest in the use of evidence within political and practitioner networks. Theories of evidence-based policy making and practice are being re-considered in an attempt to better understand the processes through which knowledge translation occurs. Understanding how policy develops, and practice results, has the potential to facilitate effective evidence use. Further knowledge of the factors which shape healthcare delivery and their influence in different contexts is needed. This paper explores the processes involved in the development of a complex intervention in Scotland's National Health Service (NHS). It uses a national oral health programme for children (Childsmile) as a case study, drawing upon key actors' perceptions of the influence of different drivers (research evidence, practitioner knowledge and values, policy, and political and local context) to programme development. Framework analysis is used to analyse stakeholder accounts from in-depth interviews. Documentary review is also undertaken. Findings suggest that Childsmile can be described as an 'evidence-informed' intervention, blending available research evidence with knowledge from practitioner experience and continual learning through evaluation, to plan delivery. The importance of context was underscored, in terms of the need to align with prevailing political ideology and in the facilitative strength of networks within the relatively small public health community in Scotland. Respondents' perceptions support several existing theoretical models of translation, however no single theory offered a comprehensive framework covering all aspects of the complex processes reported. Childsmile's use of best available evidence and on-going contribution to knowledge suggest that the programme is an example of intelligent policy making with international relevance.

  2. VET Research for Industry. Conference Paper

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karmel, Tom

    2012-01-01

    This paper was a keynote address at the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA) conference held in Canberra in April 2012. The author notes that industry is arguably the key stakeholder in the Australian vocational education and training (VET) sector, but is not a single actor nor a disinterested consumer of…

  3. Social Cognitive Approaches to Media Effects Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slater, Michael D.

    Communication researchers should ask more explicit questions concerning the processes by which mediated messages can create, modify, or reinforce beliefs about social actors and social environments. There are four general categories into which to divide variables concerning processing strategies for mediated social information: source…

  4. Role Balance and Marital Satisfaction in Taiwanese Couples: An Actor-Partner Interdependence Model Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Lung Hung; Li, Tsui-Shan

    2012-01-01

    Role balance theory proposed that a well-organized self-system, rather than a salient hierarchy role, contributes to individual psychological well-being. However, research on role balance focuses only on the intrapersonal process without regard for the interpersonal process on the spouse's well-being. Furthermore, previous studies were all…

  5. E-Drama: Facilitating Online Role-Play Using an AI Actor and Emotionally Expressive Characters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Li; Gillies, Marco; Dhaliwal, Kulwant; Gower, Amanda; Robertson, Dale; Crabtree, Barry

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes a multi-user role-playing environment, referred to as "e-drama", which enables groups of people to converse online, in scenario driven virtual environments. The starting point of this research, is an existing application known as "edrama", a 2D graphical environment in which users are represented by static cartoon figures.…

  6. Revisiting the psychology of intelligence analysis: from rational actors to adaptive thinkers.

    PubMed

    Puvathingal, Bess J; Hantula, Donald A

    2012-04-01

    Intelligence analysis is a decision-making process rife with ambiguous, conflicting, irrelevant, important, and excessive information. The U.S. Intelligence Community is primed for psychology to lend its voice to the "analytic transformation" movement aimed at improving the quality of intelligence analysis. Traditional judgment and decision making research serves as a starting point, though recent developments in decision science advance additional relevant perspectives that are critical to improving intelligence analysis. Naturalistic decision making offers insights into the challenging information world of intelligence analysis and expert judgment. Research on group decision making shows that group processes are often dependent on the distribution of information within the group, while information foraging theory suggests that intelligence analysts may be viewed as "informavores" who use adaptive strategies to form key judgments efficiently. Psychologists should capitalize on these advances in research and theory to engage the intelligence community on its own grounds and take the lead on intelligence analytic reform. A potential research agenda and recommendations to optimize intelligence community effectiveness are offered.

  7. Making a Difference in Poor Communities: Relations among Actors in Mexican Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silas-Casillas, Juan Carlos; Perales-Franco, Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Even in marginalized towns it is possible to find school communities that have developed relationships that encourage the construction of institutional cultures and management structures prone to superior academic performance compared to others within the same context. This paper presents the findings of a qualitative research project conducted in…

  8. Dutch Adolescents' Tolerance of Practices by Muslim Actors: The Effect of Issue Framing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gieling, Maike; Thijs, Jochem; Verkuyten, Maykel

    2012-01-01

    This research, conducted in the Netherlands, examines whether native adolescents' tolerance of practices by Muslim immigrants (e.g., the founding of Islamic schools) is affected by the type of considerations (e.g., educational freedom vs. integration of Muslims in Dutch society). Using an experimental questionnaire design (N = 970), the findings…

  9. Pesticide use in banana and plantain production and risk perception among local actors in Talamanca, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Barraza, Douglas; Jansen, Kees; van Wendel de Joode, Berna; Wesseling, Catharina

    2011-07-01

    The Talamanca County in Costa Rica has large-scale banana and small-scale plantain production, probably causing pesticide exposure in indigenous children. We explored to what extent different community actors are aware of children's pesticide hazards and how their awareness related to socio-economical and cultural conditions. Methods comprised eight focus groups with fathers and mothers separately, 27 semi-structured interviews to key actors, and field observations. As a whole, the indigenous plantain farmers and banana plantation workers had some general knowledge of pesticides concerning crop protection, but little on acute health effects, and hardly any on exposure routes and pathways, and chronic effects. People expressed vague ideas about pesticide risks. Inter-community differences were related to pesticide technologies used in banana and plantain production, employment status on a multinational plantation versus smallholder status, and gender. Compared to formalized practices on transnational company plantations, where workers reported to feel protected, pesticide handling by plantain smallholders was not perceived as hazardous and therefore no safety precautions were applied. Large-scale monoculture was perceived as one of the most important problems leading to pesticide risks in Talamanca on banana plantations, and also on neighboring small plantain farms extending into large areas. Plantain farmers have adopted use of highly toxic pesticides following banana production, but in conditions of extreme poverty. Aerial spraying in banana plantations was considered by most social actors a major determinant of exposure for the population living nearby these plantations, including vulnerable children. We observed violations of legally established aerial spraying distances. Economic considerations were most mentioned as the underlying reason for the pesticide use: economic needs to obtain the production quantity and quality, and pressure to use pesticides by other

  10. Pesticide use in banana and plantain production and risk perception among local actors in Talamanca, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Barraza, Douglas; Jansen, Kees; van Wendel de Joode, Berna; Wesseling, Catharina

    2011-07-01

    The Talamanca County in Costa Rica has large-scale banana and small-scale plantain production, probably causing pesticide exposure in indigenous children. We explored to what extent different community actors are aware of children's pesticide hazards and how their awareness related to socio-economical and cultural conditions. Methods comprised eight focus groups with fathers and mothers separately, 27 semi-structured interviews to key actors, and field observations. As a whole, the indigenous plantain farmers and banana plantation workers had some general knowledge of pesticides concerning crop protection, but little on acute health effects, and hardly any on exposure routes and pathways, and chronic effects. People expressed vague ideas about pesticide risks. Inter-community differences were related to pesticide technologies used in banana and plantain production, employment status on a multinational plantation versus smallholder status, and gender. Compared to formalized practices on transnational company plantations, where workers reported to feel protected, pesticide handling by plantain smallholders was not perceived as hazardous and therefore no safety precautions were applied. Large-scale monoculture was perceived as one of the most important problems leading to pesticide risks in Talamanca on banana plantations, and also on neighboring small plantain farms extending into large areas. Plantain farmers have adopted use of highly toxic pesticides following banana production, but in conditions of extreme poverty. Aerial spraying in banana plantations was considered by most social actors a major determinant of exposure for the population living nearby these plantations, including vulnerable children. We observed violations of legally established aerial spraying distances. Economic considerations were most mentioned as the underlying reason for the pesticide use: economic needs to obtain the production quantity and quality, and pressure to use pesticides by other

  11. Review of physical sciences research, 1979 - 1990 (Gas Research Institute)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1991-07-01

    To meet the expectations and needs of the gas industry and its customers, basic research management techniques were developed that are appropriate for GRI's unique mission oriented research program. These techniques differ from those used in private industry and government. These techniques are described focussing on how GRI selects appropriate research topics, builds consensus for the Physical Sciences research program, and maintains an emphasis on providing useful results. Each of GRI's 37 active research topics are reviewed, describing their goals, results, and future plans. The reviews are presented in three groups: Physics, Chemistry, and Combustion, and each group begins with a summary of recent important results. Useful results of Physical Sciences Research are described throughout, but a comprehensive record of results is not presented.

  12. Predicting relationship and life satisfaction from personality in nationally representative samples from three countries: the relative importance of actor, partner, and similarity effects.

    PubMed

    Dyrenforth, Portia S; Kashy, Deborah A; Donnellan, M Brent; Lucas, Richard E

    2010-10-01

    Three very large, nationally representative samples of married couples were used to examine the relative importance of 3 types of personality effects on relationship and life satisfaction: actor effects, partner effects, and similarity effects. Using data sets from Australia (N = 5,278), the United Kingdom (N = 6,554), and Germany (N = 11,418) provided an opportunity to test whether effects replicated across samples. Actor effects accounted for approximately 6% of the variance in relationship satisfaction and between 10% and 15% of the variance in life satisfaction. Partner effects (which were largest for Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Emotional Stability) accounted for between 1% and 3% of the variance in relationship satisfaction and between 1% and 2% of the variance in life satisfaction. Couple similarity consistently explained less than .5% of the variance in life and relationship satisfaction after controlling for actor and partner effects.

  13. Reforming the health sector in Thailand: the role of policy actors on the policy stage.

    PubMed

    Green, A

    2000-01-01

    This paper reports on exploratory research carried out into the processes of policy-making, and in particular health sector reform, in the health sector of Thailand. It is one of a set of studies examining health sector reform processes in a number of countries. Though in the period under study (1970-1996) there had been no single health sector reform package in Thailand, there was interest in a number of quarters in the development of such an initiative. It is clear, however, that despite recognition of the need for reform such a policy was far from being formulated, let alone implemented. The research, based on both documentary analysis and interviews, explores the reasons underpinning the failure of the policy process to respond to such a perceived need. The research findings suggest that the policy formation process in Thailand successfully occurs when there is a critical mass of support from strategic interest groups. The relative power of these interest groups is constantly changing. In particular the last two decades has seen a decline in the power of the bureaucratic élites (military and civilian) and a related rise in the power of the economic élites either directly or through their influence on political parties and government. Other critical groups include the media, NGOs and the professions. Informal policy groups are also significant. A number of implications for policy makers operating under such circumstances are drawn.

  14. An actor-network theory analysis of policy innovation for smoke-free places: understanding change in complex systems.

    PubMed

    Young, David; Borland, Ron; Coghill, Ken

    2010-07-01

    Complex, transnational issues like the tobacco epidemic are major challenges that defy analysis and management by conventional methods, as are other public health issues, such as those associated with global food distribution and climate change. We examined the evolution of indoor smoke-free regulations, a tobacco control policy innovation, and identified the key attributes of those jurisdictions that successfully pursued this innovation and those that to date have not. In doing so, we employed the actor-network theory, a comprehensive framework for the analysis of fundamental system change. Through our analysis, we identified approaches to help overcome some systemic barriers to the solution of the tobacco problem and comment on other complex transnational problems.

  15. Changing the malaria treatment protocol policy in Timor-Leste: an examination of context, process, and actors' involvement.

    PubMed

    Martins, João S; Zwi, Anthony B; Hobday, Karen; Bonaparte, Fernando; Kelly, Paul M

    2013-01-01

    In 2007 Timor-Leste, a malaria endemic country, changed its Malaria Treatment Protocol for uncomplicated falciparum malaria from sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine to artemether-lumefantrine. The change in treatment policy was based on the rise in morbidity due to malaria and perception of increasing drug resistance. Despite a lack of nationally available evidence on drug resistance, the Ministry of Health decided to change the protocol. The policy process leading to this change was examined through a qualitative study on how the country developed its revised treatment protocol for malaria. This process involved many actors and was led by the Timor-Leste Ministry of Health and the WHO country office. This paper examines the challenges and opportunities identified during this period of treatment protocol change. PMID:23672371

  16. An Actor-Network Theory Analysis of Policy Innovation for Smoke-Free Places: Understanding Change in Complex Systems

    PubMed Central

    Borland, Ron; Coghill, Ken

    2010-01-01

    Complex, transnational issues like the tobacco epidemic are major challenges that defy analysis and management by conventional methods, as are other public health issues, such as those associated with global food distribution and climate change. We examined the evolution of indoor smoke-free regulations, a tobacco control policy innovation, and identified the key attributes of those jurisdictions that successfully pursued this innovation and those that to date have not. In doing so, we employed the actor-network theory, a comprehensive framework for the analysis of fundamental system change. Through our analysis, we identified approaches to help overcome some systemic barriers to the solution of the tobacco problem and comment on other complex transnational problems. PMID:20466949

  17. Dyadic conflict, drinking to cope, and alcohol-related problems: A psychometric study and longitudinal actor-partner interdependence model.

    PubMed

    Lambe, Laura; Mackinnon, Sean P; Stewart, Sherry H

    2015-10-01

    The motivational model of alcohol use posits that individuals may consume alcohol to cope with negative affect. Conflict with others is a strong predictor of coping motives, which in turn predict alcohol-related problems. Two studies examined links between conflict, coping motives, and alcohol-related problems in emerging adult romantic dyads. It was hypothesized that the association between conflict and alcohol-related problems would be mediated by coping-depression and coping-anxiety motives. It was also hypothesized that this would be true for actor (i.e., how individual factors influence individual behaviors) and partner effects (i.e., how partner factors influence individual behaviors) and at the between- (i.e., does not vary over the study period) and within-subjects (i.e., varies over the study period) levels. Both studies examined participants currently in a romantic relationship who consumed ≥12 alcoholic drinks in the past year. Study 1 was cross-sectional using university students (N = 130 students; 86.9% female; M = 21.02 years old, SD = 3.43). Study 2 used a 4-wave, 4-week longitudinal design with romantic dyads (N = 100 dyads; 89% heterosexual; M = 22.13 years old, SD = 5.67). In Study 2, coping-depression motives emerged as the strongest mediator of the conflict-alcohol-related problems association, and findings held for actor effects but not partner effects. Supplemental analyses revealed that this mediational pathway only held among women. Within any given week, alcohol-related problems changed systematically in the same direction between romantic partners. Interventions may wish to target coping-depression drinking motives within couples in response to conflict to reduce alcohol-related problems. PMID:26075735

  18. Dyadic conflict, drinking to cope, and alcohol-related problems: A psychometric study and longitudinal actor-partner interdependence model.

    PubMed

    Lambe, Laura; Mackinnon, Sean P; Stewart, Sherry H

    2015-10-01

    The motivational model of alcohol use posits that individuals may consume alcohol to cope with negative affect. Conflict with others is a strong predictor of coping motives, which in turn predict alcohol-related problems. Two studies examined links between conflict, coping motives, and alcohol-related problems in emerging adult romantic dyads. It was hypothesized that the association between conflict and alcohol-related problems would be mediated by coping-depression and coping-anxiety motives. It was also hypothesized that this would be true for actor (i.e., how individual factors influence individual behaviors) and partner effects (i.e., how partner factors influence individual behaviors) and at the between- (i.e., does not vary over the study period) and within-subjects (i.e., varies over the study period) levels. Both studies examined participants currently in a romantic relationship who consumed ≥12 alcoholic drinks in the past year. Study 1 was cross-sectional using university students (N = 130 students; 86.9% female; M = 21.02 years old, SD = 3.43). Study 2 used a 4-wave, 4-week longitudinal design with romantic dyads (N = 100 dyads; 89% heterosexual; M = 22.13 years old, SD = 5.67). In Study 2, coping-depression motives emerged as the strongest mediator of the conflict-alcohol-related problems association, and findings held for actor effects but not partner effects. Supplemental analyses revealed that this mediational pathway only held among women. Within any given week, alcohol-related problems changed systematically in the same direction between romantic partners. Interventions may wish to target coping-depression drinking motives within couples in response to conflict to reduce alcohol-related problems.

  19. An Organizational Perspective to the Creation of the Research Field.

    PubMed

    Talamo, Alessandra; Mellini, Barbara; Camilli, Marco; Ventura, Stefano; Di Lucchio, Loredana

    2016-09-01

    The aim of the paper is to contribute to the definition and analysis of the "access to the field" (Feldman et al. 2003) through an inter-organizational perspective. The paper discusses a case study on the access of a researcher to a hospital department where both organizations and actors are shown as actively constructing the research site. Both researcher and participants are described in terms of work organizations originally engaged in parallel systems of activity. Dynamics of negotiation "tied" the different actors' activities in a new activity system where researcher and participants concur to the effectiveness of both organizations (i.e., the research and the hospital ward). An Activity Theory perspective (Leont'ev 1978) is used with the aim of focusing the analysis on the activities in charge to the different actors. The approach adopted introduces the idea that, from the outset, research is made possible by a process of co-construction that works through the development of a completely new and shared work space arising around the encounter between researchers and participants. It is the balance between improvised actions and the co-creation of "boundary objects" (Star and Griesemer 1989), which makes interlacement possible between the two activity systems. The concept of "knotworking" (Engeström 2007a) is adopted to interpret specific actions by both organizations and actors intended to build a knot of activities whereby the new research system takes place. PMID:26563158

  20. An Organizational Perspective to the Creation of the Research Field.

    PubMed

    Talamo, Alessandra; Mellini, Barbara; Camilli, Marco; Ventura, Stefano; Di Lucchio, Loredana

    2016-09-01

    The aim of the paper is to contribute to the definition and analysis of the "access to the field" (Feldman et al. 2003) through an inter-organizational perspective. The paper discusses a case study on the access of a researcher to a hospital department where both organizations and actors are shown as actively constructing the research site. Both researcher and participants are described in terms of work organizations originally engaged in parallel systems of activity. Dynamics of negotiation "tied" the different actors' activities in a new activity system where researcher and participants concur to the effectiveness of both organizations (i.e., the research and the hospital ward). An Activity Theory perspective (Leont'ev 1978) is used with the aim of focusing the analysis on the activities in charge to the different actors. The approach adopted introduces the idea that, from the outset, research is made possible by a process of co-construction that works through the development of a completely new and shared work space arising around the encounter between researchers and participants. It is the balance between improvised actions and the co-creation of "boundary objects" (Star and Griesemer 1989), which makes interlacement possible between the two activity systems. The concept of "knotworking" (Engeström 2007a) is adopted to interpret specific actions by both organizations and actors intended to build a knot of activities whereby the new research system takes place.

  1. Children's Concerns about Their Parents' Health and Well-Being: Researching with ChildLine Scotland

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Backett-Milburn, Kathryn; Jackson, Sharon

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports on collaborative research conducted with ChildLine Scotland, a free, confidential, telephone counselling service, using their database. We focussed on children's calls about parental health and well-being and how this affected their own lives. Children's concerns emerged within multi-layered calls in which they discussed…

  2. Sociopolitical determinants of an AIDS prevention program: multiple actors and vertical relationships of control and influence.

    PubMed

    Laperrière, Hélène; Zúñiga, Ricardo

    2006-05-01

    In every country, health and prevention "come down" from the authorities responsible for this mission by way of planners, local authorities, and peer educators until it reaches the target population. International and national systems function on the premise of a top-down transmission, with little room for integrating local information that might provide a better understanding of the implementation process. This analysis is based on an empirical evaluative research of HIV/AIDS prevention projects with sex workers in a remote area of northern Brazil. It illustrates how nursing sociopolitical analysis can reveal how political interests can have perverse effects by contaminating the group's internal relations and with established partnerships, thereby weakening the impact of prevention programs. These effects can seriously affect community relations and social practices, far beyond the technical division of work and political hierarchies in the sociosanitary network. PMID:16864636

  3. Acylcarnitines--old actors auditioning for new roles in metabolic physiology.

    PubMed

    McCoin, Colin S; Knotts, Trina A; Adams, Sean H

    2015-10-01

    Perturbations in metabolic pathways can cause substantial increases in plasma and tissue concentrations of long-chain acylcarnitines (LCACs). For example, the levels of LCACs and other acylcarnitines rise in the blood and muscle during exercise, as changes in tissue pools of acyl-coenzyme A reflect accelerated fuel flux that is incompletely coupled to mitochondrial energy demand and capacity of the tricarboxylic acid cycle. This natural ebb and flow of acylcarnitine generation and accumulation contrasts with that of inherited fatty acid oxidation disorders (FAODs), cardiac ischaemia or type 2 diabetes mellitus. These conditions are characterized by very high (FAODs, ischaemia) or modestly increased (type 2 diabetes mellitus) tissue and blood levels of LCACs. Although specific plasma concentrations of LCACs and chain-lengths are widely used as diagnostic markers of FAODs, research into the potential effects of excessive LCAC accumulation or the roles of acylcarnitines as physiological modulators of cell metabolism is lacking. Nevertheless, a growing body of evidence has highlighted possible effects of LCACs on disparate aspects of pathophysiology, such as cardiac ischaemia outcomes, insulin sensitivity and inflammation. This Review, therefore, aims to provide a theoretical framework for the potential consequences of tissue build-up of LCACs among individuals with metabolic disorders. PMID:26303601

  4. Acylcarnitines--old actors auditioning for new roles in metabolic physiology.

    PubMed

    McCoin, Colin S; Knotts, Trina A; Adams, Sean H

    2015-10-01

    Perturbations in metabolic pathways can cause substantial increases in plasma and tissue concentrations of long-chain acylcarnitines (LCACs). For example, the levels of LCACs and other acylcarnitines rise in the blood and muscle during exercise, as changes in tissue pools of acyl-coenzyme A reflect accelerated fuel flux that is incompletely coupled to mitochondrial energy demand and capacity of the tricarboxylic acid cycle. This natural ebb and flow of acylcarnitine generation and accumulation contrasts with that of inherited fatty acid oxidation disorders (FAODs), cardiac ischaemia or type 2 diabetes mellitus. These conditions are characterized by very high (FAODs, ischaemia) or modestly increased (type 2 diabetes mellitus) tissue and blood levels of LCACs. Although specific plasma concentrations of LCACs and chain-lengths are widely used as diagnostic markers of FAODs, research into the potential effects of excessive LCAC accumulation or the roles of acylcarnitines as physiological modulators of cell metabolism is lacking. Nevertheless, a growing body of evidence has highlighted possible effects of LCACs on disparate aspects of pathophysiology, such as cardiac ischaemia outcomes, insulin sensitivity and inflammation. This Review, therefore, aims to provide a theoretical framework for the potential consequences of tissue build-up of LCACs among individuals with metabolic disorders.

  5. [Actors and tools of predictive genetics: ethics at the heart of governance].

    PubMed

    Cambon-Thomsen, Anne

    2014-06-01

    Genetic prediction is at the cross road of the various meanings of the concept of personalized medicine or medicine 4P: Personalized, Preventive, predictive and participative, also called precision medicine or prevision medicine. This entire frame questions i) the place of data in medicine and its consequences on the relation between patients and doctors; ii) the empowerment of people in the management of their own health; iii) the access to health related data outside the health system (tests directly provided to the consumer over the counter). These various dimensions are analyzed through the phenomenon of massive data and large-scale genetic tests, in particular DNA sequencing in the clinical frame, the blurred limits between categories previously clearly distinct (e.g. research versus clinical care), the recommendations of professional societies of human genetics. The analysis conducted shows that the technological development and the tools of personalized medicine cannot occur in a responsible way without a concomitant analysis of the underlying values at stake.

  6. An Actor-Oriented Transfer Perspective on High School Students' Development of the Use of Procedures to Solve Problems on Rate of Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roorda, Gerrit; Vos, Pauline; Goedhart, Martin J.

    2015-01-01

    This article reports on a longitudinal observation study about students' development in their use of procedures to calculate instantaneous rate of change. Different procedures for solving tasks on rate of change are taught in mathematics and physics classes, and together they form a repertoire. Our study took an actor-oriented perspective, which…

  7. The Discourse of Interculturality and Its Transnational Migration: Towards a Comparative Analysis of Its Appropriation by Academic and Political Actors in the State of Veracruz

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cortes, Laura Selene Mateos

    2009-01-01

    This paper analyses the ways in which social and educational networks are being configured around the actors participating in the increasingly transnational field of intercultural education both at the Universidad Veracruzana Intercultural and the Veracruz State Ministry of Education. It starts by defining the notion of discursive migration as…

  8. Affective Feedback from Computers and its Effect on Perceived Ability and Affect: A Test of the Computers as Social Actor Hypothesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mishra, Punya

    2006-01-01

    We report an experimental study that examined two questions: (a) The effect of affective feedback from computers on participants' motivation and self-perception of ability; and (b) whether people respond similarly to computer feedback as they do to human feedback. This study, framed within the Computers As Social Actors (CASA) framework,…

  9. The role of multisensor data fusion in neuromuscular control of a sagittal arm with a pair of muscles using actor-critic reinforcement learning method.

    PubMed

    Golkhou, V; Parnianpour, M; Lucas, C

    2004-01-01

    In this study, we consider the role of multisensor data fusion in neuromuscular control using an actor-critic reinforcement learning method. The model we use is a single link system actuated by a pair of muscles that are excited with alpha and gamma signals. Various physiological sensor information such as proprioception, spindle sensors, and Golgi tendon organs have been integrated to achieve an oscillatory movement with variable amplitude and frequency, while achieving a stable movement with minimum metabolic cost and coactivation. The system is highly nonlinear in all its physical and physiological attributes. Transmission delays are included in the afferent and efferent neural paths to account for a more accurate representation of the reflex loops. This paper proposes a reinforcement learning method with an Actor-Critic architecture instead of middle and low level of central nervous system (CNS). The Actor in this structure is a two layer feedforward neural network and the Critic is a model of the cerebellum. The Critic is trained by the State-Action-Reward-State-Action (SARSA) method. The Critic will train the Actor by supervisory learning based on previous experiences. The reinforcement signal in SARSA is evaluated based on available alternatives concerning the concept of multisensor data fusion. The effectiveness and the biological plausibility of the present model are demonstrated by several simulations. The system showed excellent tracking capability when we integrated the available sensor information. Addition of a penalty for activation of muscles resulted in much lower muscle coactivation while keeping the movement stable. PMID:15671597

  10. Aggregating data for computational toxicology applications: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (ACToR) System.

    PubMed

    Judson, Richard S; Martin, Matthew T; Egeghy, Peter; Gangwal, Sumit; Reif, David M; Kothiya, Parth; Wolf, Maritja; Cathey, Tommy; Transue, Thomas; Smith, Doris; Vail, James; Frame, Alicia; Mosher, Shad; Cohen Hubal, Elaine A; Richard, Ann M

    2012-01-01

    Computational toxicology combines data from high-throughput test methods, chemical structure analyses and other biological domains (e.g., genes, proteins, cells, tissues) with the goals of predicting and understanding the underlying mechanistic causes of chemical toxicity and for predicting toxicity of new chemicals and products. A key feature of such approaches is their reliance on knowledge extracted from large collections of data and data sets in computable formats. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a large data resource called ACToR (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) to support these data-intensive efforts. ACToR comprises four main repositories: core ACToR (chemical identifiers and structures, and summary data on hazard, exposure, use, and other domains), ToxRefDB (Toxicity Reference Database, a compilation of detailed in vivo toxicity data from guideline studies), ExpoCastDB (detailed human exposure data from observational studies of selected chemicals), and ToxCastDB (data from high-throughput screening programs, including links to underlying biological information related to genes and pathways). The EPA DSSTox (Distributed Structure-Searchable Toxicity) program provides expert-reviewed chemical structures and associated information for these and other high-interest public inventories. Overall, the ACToR system contains information on about 400,000 chemicals from 1100 different sources. The entire system is built using open source tools and is freely available to download. This review describes the organization of the data repository and provides selected examples of use cases.

  11. How did policy actors use mass media to influence the Scottish alcohol minimum unit pricing debate? Comparative analysis of newspapers, evidence submissions and interviews

    PubMed Central

    Hilton, Shona

    2015-01-01

    Aims: To explore how policy actors attempted to deliberately frame public debate around alcohol minimum unit pricing (MUP) in the UK by comparing and contrasting their constructions of the policy in public (newspapers), semi-public (evidence submissions) and private (interviews). Methods: Content analysis was conducted on articles published in ten national newspapers between 1 January 2005 and 30 June 2012. Newsprint data were contrasted with alcohol policy documents, evidence submissions to the Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee and 36 confidential interviews with policy stakeholders (academics, advocates, industry representatives, politicians and civil servants). Findings: A range of policy actors exerted influence both directly (through Parliamentary institutions and political representatives) and indirectly through the mass media. Policy actors were acutely aware of mass media's importance in shaping public opinion and used it tactically to influence policy. They often framed messages in subtly different ways, depending on target audiences. In general, newspapers presented the policy debate in a “balanced” way, but this arguably over-represented hostile perspective and suggested greater disagreement around the evidence base than is the case. Conclusions: The roles of policy actors vary between public and policy spheres, and how messages are communicated in policy debates depends on perceived strategic advantage. PMID:26045639

  12. Associative Learning Beyond the Medial Temporal Lobe: Many Actors on the Memory Stage

    PubMed Central

    Pergola, Giulio; Suchan, Boris

    2013-01-01

    Decades of research have established a model that includes the medial temporal lobe, and particularly the hippocampus, as a critical node for episodic memory. Neuroimaging and clinical studies have shown the involvement of additional cortical and subcortical regions. Among these areas, the thalamus, the retrosplenial cortex, and the prefrontal cortices have been consistently related to episodic memory performance. This article provides evidences that these areas are in different forms and degrees critical for human memory function rather than playing only an ancillary role. First we briefly summarize the functional architecture of the medial temporal lobe with respect to recognition memory and recall. We then focus on the clinical and neuroimaging evidence available on thalamo-prefrontal and thalamo-retrosplenial networks. The role of these networks in episodic memory has been considered secondary, partly because disruption of these areas does not always lead to severe impairments; to account for this evidence, we discuss methodological issues related to the investigation of these regions. We propose that these networks contribute differently to recognition memory and recall, and also that the memory stage of their contribution shows specificity to encoding or retrieval in recall tasks. We note that the same mechanisms may be in force when humans perform non-episodic tasks, e.g., semantic retrieval and mental time travel. Functional disturbance of these networks is related to cognitive impairments not only in neurological disorders, but also in psychiatric medical conditions, such as schizophrenia. Finally we discuss possible mechanisms for the contribution of these areas to memory, including regulation of oscillatory rhythms and long-term potentiation. We conclude that integrity of the thalamo-frontal and the thalamo-retrosplenial networks is necessary for the manifold features of episodic memory. PMID:24312029

  13. Reflexive Research Ethics in Fetal Tissue Xenotransplantation Research

    PubMed Central

    Panikkar, Bindu; Smith, Natasha; Brown, Phil

    2013-01-01

    For biomedical research in which the only involvement of the human subject is the provision of tissue or organ samples, a blanket consent, i.e. consent to use the tissue for anything researchers wish to do, is considered by many to be adequate for legal and IRB requirements. Alternatively, a detailed informed consent provides patients or study participants with more thorough information about the research topic. We document here the beliefs and opinions of the research staff on informed consent and the discussion-based reflexive research ethics process that we employed in our fetal tissue xenotransplantion research on the impact of environmental exposures on fetal development. Reflexive research ethics entails the continued adjustment of research practice according to relational and reflexive understandings of what might be beneficent or harmful. Such reflexivity is not solely an individual endeavor, but rather a collective relationship between all actors in the research process. PMID:23074992

  14. Effective access to justice against state and non-state actors in the Framework Convention on Global Health: A proposal.

    PubMed

    Hevia, Martin; Vacaflor, Carlos Herrera

    2013-06-14

    A Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH) seeks to have a profound, effective, and broad impact: bringing access to health rights to the largest global community possible. One of the main issues the FCGH will address is how to make the right to health justiciable. An FCGH must articulate functional remedies for violations of the right to health by state or non-state actors. This paper analyzes one approach to ensuring the recognition of the rights defended in a future FCGH. Following the incremental development approach inspired by the architecture of other successful framework convention protocols, we propose the inclusion of access to health justice guidelines in an FCGH. This proposal is based on the amparo remedy, a figure already extant in the legislation of several Latin American countries; since its incorporation, these countries have witnessed a significant increase in litigation defending health rights. This is only one of many important advantages to broadly adopting guidelines based on the amparo remedy. The proposed guidelines would serve as a basic agreement on broad principles on access to health justice.

  15. From conflict management to reward-based decision making: actors and critics in primate medial frontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Silvetti, Massimo; Alexander, William; Verguts, Tom; Brown, Joshua W

    2014-10-01

    The role of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and especially the anterior cingulate cortex has been the subject of intense debate for the last decade. A number of theories have been proposed to account for its function. Broadly speaking, some emphasize cognitive control, whereas others emphasize value processing; specific theories concern reward processing, conflict detection, error monitoring, and volatility detection, among others. Here we survey and evaluate them relative to experimental results from neurophysiological, anatomical, and cognitive studies. We argue for a new conceptualization of mPFC, arising from recent computational modeling work. Based on reinforcement learning theory, these new models propose that mPFC is an Actor-Critic system. This system is aimed to predict future events including rewards, to evaluate errors in those predictions, and finally, to implement optimal skeletal-motor and visceromotor commands to obtain reward. This framework provides a comprehensive account of mPFC function, accounting for and predicting empirical results across different levels of analysis, including monkey neurophysiology, human ERP, human neuroimaging, and human behavior. PMID:24239852

  16. From conflict management to reward-based decision making: actors and critics in primate medial frontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Silvetti, Massimo; Alexander, William; Verguts, Tom; Brown, Joshua W

    2014-10-01

    The role of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and especially the anterior cingulate cortex has been the subject of intense debate for the last decade. A number of theories have been proposed to account for its function. Broadly speaking, some emphasize cognitive control, whereas others emphasize value processing; specific theories concern reward processing, conflict detection, error monitoring, and volatility detection, among others. Here we survey and evaluate them relative to experimental results from neurophysiological, anatomical, and cognitive studies. We argue for a new conceptualization of mPFC, arising from recent computational modeling work. Based on reinforcement learning theory, these new models propose that mPFC is an Actor-Critic system. This system is aimed to predict future events including rewards, to evaluate errors in those predictions, and finally, to implement optimal skeletal-motor and visceromotor commands to obtain reward. This framework provides a comprehensive account of mPFC function, accounting for and predicting empirical results across different levels of analysis, including monkey neurophysiology, human ERP, human neuroimaging, and human behavior.

  17. The "trust gap" hypothesis: predicting support for biotechnology across national cultures as a function of trust in actors.

    PubMed

    Priest, Susanna Hornig; Bonfadelli, Heinz; Rusanen, Maria

    2003-08-01

    Using results from the 1999 Eurobarometer survey and a parallel telephone survey done in the United States in 2000, this study explored the relationship between levels of knowledge, educational levels, and degrees of encouragement for biotechnology development across a number of medical and agricultural applications. This cross-cultural exploration found only weak relationships among these variables, calling into question the common assumption that higher science literacy produces greater acceptance (whether or not mediated by lower perceived risk). The relationship between encouragement and trust in specific social institutions was also weak. However, regression analysis based on "trust gap" variables (defined as numerical differences between trust in specific pairs of actors) did predict national levels of encouragement for several applications, suggesting an opinion formation climate in which audiences are actively choosing among competing claims. Differences between European and U.S. reactions to biotechnology appear to be a result of different trust and especially "trust gap" patterns, rather than differences in knowledge or education. PMID:12926568

  18. Memoir and performance: social change and self life-writing among men who are gay pornography producers and actors.

    PubMed

    Cohler, Bertram J

    2004-01-01

    Identity may be understood both as a life-story, either told or written as memoir or autobiography, and also as a practice such as producing or acting in gay pornographic film, but always within the context of social and historical change. Study of the memoirs of gay men who have been actors and/or producers of gay pornographic films across three generation cohorts provides an opportunity for understanding the interplay of social change and life circumstances in making gay identity. This perspective on identity is illustrated through the study of the memoirs of three men from different cohorts who have produced and acted in gay pornographic films: Wakefield Poole, born in 1936; Scott O'Hara, born in 1961; and Aaron Lawrence, born in 1971. Differences in style and content of both memoir and practice in gay pornographic films reflect changing social expectations regarding men who have sex with men following the emergence of the gay rights movement and the AIDS epidemic. PMID:15451702

  19. [Health inequalities and cost-effectiveness: what do important health policy actors say about this potential conflict situation?].

    PubMed

    Hofmann, M; Mielck, A

    2015-02-01

    The German statutory health-care system is based on the principle of solidarity and thus it is committed to the objective of 'equal chances'. From an economic perspective it is also important to emphasise that scarcity of resources continuously pushes the services towards cost control and towards increasing cost-effect-iveness. There could be conflicts between the 2 objectives 'equal chances' and 'cost-effectiveness', of course, for example if measures for increasing cost-effectiveness lead to increased financial burdens of the insured. To date it has not been studied if and how this potential conflict is discussed in Germany.In a first step we searched for German publications discussing this potential conflict focusing on 3 major public health journals (Das Gesundheitswesen, Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Ethik in der Medizin) and on the internet portal "gerechte-gesundheit.de". For the main part of the paper, we looked for publications from 4 major health policy actors (Bundesärztekammer, Zentrale Ethikkommission bei der Bundesärztekammer, Deutscher Ethikrat, Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der Entwicklung im Gesundheitswesen). All papers published since the year 2000 were included in the system-atic qualitative analysis.The analyses show that the potential conflict between 'equal chances' and 'cost-effectiveness' is rarely discussed in any detail, at most in an implicit way. It would be important, though, to have an explicit discussion, supported by scientifically based analyses and recommendations. One step towards this objective could be, for example, a closer cooperation between social-epidemiologists and health--economists.

  20. An actor-based model of social network influence on adolescent body size, screen time, and playing sports.

    PubMed

    Shoham, David A; Tong, Liping; Lamberson, Peter J; Auchincloss, Amy H; Zhang, Jun; Dugas, Lara; Kaufman, Jay S; Cooper, Richard S; Luke, Amy

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that obesity may be "contagious" between individuals in social networks. Social contagion (influence), however, may not be identifiable using traditional statistical approaches because they cannot distinguish contagion from homophily (the propensity for individuals to select friends who are similar to themselves) or from shared environmental influences. In this paper, we apply the stochastic actor-based model (SABM) framework developed by Snijders and colleagues to data on adolescent body mass index (BMI), screen time, and playing active sports. Our primary hypothesis was that social influences on adolescent body size and related behaviors are independent of friend selection. Employing the SABM, we simultaneously modeled network dynamics (friendship selection based on homophily and structural characteristics of the network) and social influence. We focused on the 2 largest schools in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) and held the school environment constant by examining the 2 school networks separately (N = 624 and 1151). Results show support in both schools for homophily on BMI, but also for social influence on BMI. There was no evidence of homophily on screen time in either school, while only one of the schools showed homophily on playing active sports. There was, however, evidence of social influence on screen time in one of the schools, and playing active sports in both schools. These results suggest that both homophily and social influence are important in understanding patterns of adolescent obesity. Intervention efforts should take into consideration peers' influence on one another, rather than treating "high risk" adolescents in isolation.

  1. An Actor-Based Model of Social Network Influence on Adolescent Body Size, Screen Time, and Playing Sports

    PubMed Central

    Shoham, David A.; Tong, Liping; Lamberson, Peter J.; Auchincloss, Amy H.; Zhang, Jun; Dugas, Lara; Kaufman, Jay S.; Cooper, Richard S.; Luke, Amy

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that obesity may be “contagious” between individuals in social networks. Social contagion (influence), however, may not be identifiable using traditional statistical approaches because they cannot distinguish contagion from homophily (the propensity for individuals to select friends who are similar to themselves) or from shared environmental influences. In this paper, we apply the stochastic actor-based model (SABM) framework developed by Snijders and colleagues to data on adolescent body mass index (BMI), screen time, and playing active sports. Our primary hypothesis was that social influences on adolescent body size and related behaviors are independent of friend selection. Employing the SABM, we simultaneously modeled network dynamics (friendship selection based on homophily and structural characteristics of the network) and social influence. We focused on the 2 largest schools in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) and held the school environment constant by examining the 2 school networks separately (N = 624 and 1151). Results show support in both schools for homophily on BMI, but also for social influence on BMI. There was no evidence of homophily on screen time in either school, while only one of the schools showed homophily on playing active sports. There was, however, evidence of social influence on screen time in one of the schools, and playing active sports in both schools. These results suggest that both homophily and social influence are important in understanding patterns of adolescent obesity. Intervention efforts should take into consideration peers’ influence on one another, rather than treating “high risk” adolescents in isolation. PMID:22768124

  2. Efficacy and Limitations of Research Steering in Different Disciplines

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seeber, Marco

    2013-01-01

    Higher education reforms informed by the managerial paradigm aim at increasing the capability of the university leadership to steer research activity, with no substantial variation across the disciplines. However, literature points out the limitations of universities to act as strategic actors, as well as the differences between the disciplines…

  3. Tuning the reactivity of an actor ligand for tandem CO2 and C-H activations: from spectator metals to metal-free.

    PubMed

    Annibale, Vincent T; Dalessandro, Daniel A; Song, Datong

    2013-10-30

    The 4,5-diazafluorenide ligand (L(-)) serves as an actor ligand in the formal insertion of CO2 into a C-H bond remote from the metal center. With the Ru(II) complex of L(-) as the starting point, Rh(III), Rh(I), and Cu(I) were used as spectator metal centers to tune the reactivity of the actor ligand toward CO2. In the case of Rh(III)-diazafluorenide a room temperature reversible activation of CO2 was observed, similar to the isoelectronic Ru(II) analogue. In the case of Rh(I)- and Cu(I)-diazafluorenide CO2 is trapped by the formation of dinuclear carboxylate complexes and diazafluorene (LH). The spectator metal center could even be replaced entirely with an organic group allowing for the first metal-free reversible tandem CO2 and C-H activation.

  4. Neuromuscular control of the point to point and oscillatory movements of a sagittal arm with the actor-critic reinforcement learning method.

    PubMed

    Golkhou, Vahid; Parnianpour, Mohamad; Lucas, Caro

    2005-04-01

    In this study, we have used a single link system with a pair of muscles that are excited with alpha and gamma signals to achieve both point to point and oscillatory movements with variable amplitude and frequency.The system is highly nonlinear in all its physical and physiological attributes. The major physiological characteristics of this system are simultaneous activation of a pair of nonlinear muscle-like-actuators for control purposes, existence of nonlinear spindle-like sensors and Golgi tendon organ-like sensor, actions of gravity and external loading. Transmission delays are included in the afferent and efferent neural paths to account for a more accurate representation of the reflex loops.A reinforcement learning method with an actor-critic (AC) architecture instead of middle and low level of central nervous system (CNS), is used to track a desired trajectory. The actor in this structure is a two layer feedforward neural network and the critic is a model of the cerebellum. The critic is trained by state-action-reward-state-action (SARSA) method. The critic will train the actor by supervisory learning based on the prior experiences. Simulation studies of oscillatory movements based on the proposed algorithm demonstrate excellent tracking capability and after 280 epochs the RMS error for position and velocity profiles were 0.02, 0.04 rad and rad/s, respectively. PMID:16154874

  5. The hazard of Sea Level Rise (SLR) in Greece: from scientific knowledge towards risk awareness of main actors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dandoulaki, Miranda; Karymbalis, Efthimios; Yorgos, Melissourgos; Skordili, Sophia; Valkanou, Kanella

    2014-05-01

    A natural hazard that is expected to affect coastal areas in the near future is Sea-Level Rise (SLR) due to climate change. According to recent reports the eustatic sea-level rise caused by global warming will reach approximately 18-59 cm by the year 2100. Potential impacts of future sea-level rise include coastal erosion, frequent and intensified cyclonic activity and associated storm surge flooding that may affect the coastal zones, saltwater intrusion into groundwater aquifers, the inundation of ecologically significant wetlands, and threats to cultural and historical resources, as well as to infrastructure. The identification of sensitive sections of coasts and the assessment of potential impacts of SLR on these is therefore a fundamental, yet initial, step towards their protection. Greece has the most extensive coastline among all Mediterranean countries with most of the socio-economic activities concentrated along the coastal zone. Almost all big urban centres are coastal ones and the same stands for a great part of infrastructure (ports, airports, roads, electricity and telecommunications network etc). As a result, the impacts of a potential rise of the sea level are expected to seriously affect the entire country. The paper examines the vulnerability to SLR of coastal zones in Greece; however its main focus is how knowledge can lead to policy making and the protection of coastal areas. The main actors in respect to protection from SLR in Greece are identified and there is an attempt to pin point how the knowledge is communicated and shared between them. Barriers, bridges and gaps are detected as regards how information and knowledge lead to risk awareness and finally to the implementation of protection policies. A main finding of the paper is that SLR risk is far from becoming a policy priority in Greece, although steps are taken for addressing impacts attributed to SLR such as coastal erosion. In order to address this risk, there are many potential

  6. Explaining Strengthening Mechanisms, Institutional Orientations and Problematic Challenges of University Agricultural Research in Iran

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sharifzadeh, Aboulghasem; Abdollahzadeh, Gholamhossein

    2009-01-01

    According to empirical evidence and noted implications of sustainable agricultural development as a systemic and multi-actor process, integration of the research function of higher agricultural education in Iranian agricultural research systems seems to be an ongoing and considerable necessity. With the aim of identification and analysis of…

  7. "My Brother Likes Meeting New People, but Don't Ask Him Any Direct Questions": Involving Adults with Autism plus Learning Disability in a Qualitative Research Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tozer, Rosemary; Atkin, Karl; Wenham, Aniela

    2014-01-01

    Adult siblings of people with autism and a learning disability have hitherto been largely overlooked by research, policy and practice in the UK. As part of a qualitative study focussing on adult siblings, we met twelve people with autism plus severe learning disability with their brother or sister. Individually tailored resources were used to make…

  8. Using geoinformatics and cultural anthropology to identify links between land change, driving forces and actors in the Okavango catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Röder, Achim; Stellmes, Marion; Pröpper, Michael; Schneibel, Anne

    2015-04-01

    central institutions and are implemented in different ways at subordinate levels. Commonly, communities make their own decisions regarding the use of natural resources within the framework of statutory and traditional governance and national legislation. The Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM) has been created between Angola, Namibia and Botswana to deal with transboundary subjects and facilitate informed policies. Developing such informed policies is even more urgent given demographic and climatological predictions. The African population is expected to almost double by the end of this century (Haub 2012), while climate predictions indicate an overall increase in average temperatures, added to by an increase in dry spells during the wet season and overall decreases in precipitation (IPCC 2013). This will result in increasing demands for food, paralleled by less favorable production conditions. The appropriation of resources in the wider region is therefore characterized by various, potentially conflicting demands that are likely to accumulate in space and time (Röder, Stellmes et al. 2013). A particular constraint draws from upstream-downstream issues, with a predicted increase in upstream water utilization for drinking and irrigation, while the Delta region relies on regular flood pulses of clean water to sustain its biodiversity, to which the tourist sector as a major source of national income is linked. This is threatened by the increasing concentrations of pesticides and herbicides used in the frame of irrigation schemes lowering water quality, and the change of flood pulse cycles through damming projects (Lindemann 2009). Besides national policies and regional planning programs, an equally important element in understanding the utilization of natural resources is the individual perspective of actors that may range from the conservation of traditions and cultures to stronger market integration and consumerism (Pröpper, Falk et al. 2013) that

  9. Using geoinformatics and cultural anthropology to identify links between land change, driving forces and actors in the Okavango catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Röder, Achim; Stellmes, Marion; Pröpper, Michael; Schneibel, Anne

    2015-04-01

    central institutions and are implemented in different ways at subordinate levels. Commonly, communities make their own decisions regarding the use of natural resources within the framework of statutory and traditional governance and national legislation. The Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM) has been created between Angola, Namibia and Botswana to deal with transboundary subjects and facilitate informed policies. Developing such informed policies is even more urgent given demographic and climatological predictions. The African population is expected to almost double by the end of this century (Haub 2012), while climate predictions indicate an overall increase in average temperatures, added to by an increase in dry spells during the wet season and overall decreases in precipitation (IPCC 2013). This will result in increasing demands for food, paralleled by less favorable production conditions. The appropriation of resources in the wider region is therefore characterized by various, potentially conflicting demands that are likely to accumulate in space and time (Röder, Stellmes et al. 2013). A particular constraint draws from upstream-downstream issues, with a predicted increase in upstream water utilization for drinking and irrigation, while the Delta region relies on regular flood pulses of clean water to sustain its biodiversity, to which the tourist sector as a major source of national income is linked. This is threatened by the increasing concentrations of pesticides and herbicides used in the frame of irrigation schemes lowering water quality, and the change of flood pulse cycles through damming projects (Lindemann 2009). Besides national policies and regional planning programs, an equally important element in understanding the utilization of natural resources is the individual perspective of actors that may range from the conservation of traditions and cultures to stronger market integration and consumerism (Pröpper, Falk et al. 2013) that

  10. Perceptions of Coach-Athlete Relationship Are More Important to Coaches than Athletes in Predicting Dyadic Coping and Stress Appraisals: An Actor-Partner Independence Mediation Model.

    PubMed

    Nicholls, Adam R; Perry, John L

    2016-01-01

    Most attempts to manage stress involve at least one other person, yet coping studies in sport tend to report an athlete's individual coping strategies. There is a limited understanding of coping involving other people, particularly within sport, despite athletes potentially spending a lot of time with other people, such as their coach. Guided by the systemic-transactional model of stress and coping among couples (Bodenmann, 1995), from relationship psychology, we assessed dyadic coping, perceptions of relationship quality, and primary stress appraisals of challenge and threat among 158 coach-athlete dyads (n = 277 participants). The athletes competed at amateur (n = 123), semi-professional (n = 31), or professional levels (n = 4). Coaches and athletes from the same dyad completed a measure of dyadic coping, coach-athlete relationship, and stress appraisals. We tested an Actor-Partner Interdependence Mediation Model to account for the non-independence of dyadic data. These actor-partner analyses revealed differences between athletes and coaches. Although the actor effects were relatively large compared to partner effects, perceptions of relationship quality demonstrated little impact on athletes. The mediating role of relationship quality was broadly as important as dyadic coping for coaches. These findings provide an insight in to how coach-athlete dyads interact to manage stress and indicate that relationship quality is of particular importance for coaches, but less important for athletes. In order to improve perceptions of relationship quality among coaches and athletes, interventions could be developed to foster positive dyadic coping among both coaches and athletes, which may also impact upon stress appraisals of challenge and threat.

  11. Perceptions of Coach-Athlete Relationship Are More Important to Coaches than Athletes in Predicting Dyadic Coping and Stress Appraisals: An Actor-Partner Independence Mediation Model.

    PubMed

    Nicholls, Adam R; Perry, John L

    2016-01-01

    Most attempts to manage stress involve at least one other person, yet coping studies in sport tend to report an athlete's individual coping strategies. There is a limited understanding of coping involving other people, particularly within sport, despite athletes potentially spending a lot of time with other people, such as their coach. Guided by the systemic-transactional model of stress and coping among couples (Bodenmann, 1995), from relationship psychology, we assessed dyadic coping, perceptions of relationship quality, and primary stress appraisals of challenge and threat among 158 coach-athlete dyads (n = 277 participants). The athletes competed at amateur (n = 123), semi-professional (n = 31), or professional levels (n = 4). Coaches and athletes from the same dyad completed a measure of dyadic coping, coach-athlete relationship, and stress appraisals. We tested an Actor-Partner Interdependence Mediation Model to account for the non-independence of dyadic data. These actor-partner analyses revealed differences between athletes and coaches. Although the actor effects were relatively large compared to partner effects, perceptions of relationship quality demonstrated little impact on athletes. The mediating role of relationship quality was broadly as important as dyadic coping for coaches. These findings provide an insight in to how coach-athlete dyads interact to manage stress and indicate that relationship quality is of particular importance for coaches, but less important for athletes. In order to improve perceptions of relationship quality among coaches and athletes, interventions could be developed to foster positive dyadic coping among both coaches and athletes, which may also impact upon stress appraisals of challenge and threat. PMID:27065917

  12. The use of a low-cost visible light 3D scanner to create virtual reality environment models of actors and objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straub, Jeremy

    2015-05-01

    A low-cost 3D scanner has been developed with a parts cost of approximately USD $5,000. This scanner uses visible light sensing to capture both structural as well as texture and color data of a subject. This paper discusses the use of this type of scanner to create 3D models for incorporation into a virtual reality environment. It describes the basic scanning process (which takes under a minute for a single scan), which can be repeated to collect multiple positions, if needed for actor model creation. The efficacy of visible light versus other scanner types is also discussed.

  13. Fiocruz as an actor in Brazilian foreign relations in the context of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries: an untold story.

    PubMed

    Roa, Alejandra Carrillo; Baptista e Silva, Felipe Ricardo

    2015-01-01

    Brazilian foreign policy paradigms and changes in the global scenario since the Cold War created conditions for stronger ties between Brazil and Portuguese-speaking African countries. Recently, Brazil took the lead in regional integration processes and in South-South cooperation initiatives. These strategies and Fiocruz's acknowledged technical expertise resulted in its direct involvement in Brazilian foreign public health policy in the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries. Fiocruz developed cooperation projects in various areas, sharing its know-how and best practices in the most critical fields in partner countries, consolidating "public health framework cooperation" and contributing to diversifying Brazil's partners and promoting Brazil as a global actor. PMID:25742104

  14. Fiocruz as an actor in Brazilian foreign relations in the context of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries: an untold story.

    PubMed

    Roa, Alejandra Carrillo; Baptista e Silva, Felipe Ricardo

    2015-01-01

    Brazilian foreign policy paradigms and changes in the global scenario since the Cold War created conditions for stronger ties between Brazil and Portuguese-speaking African countries. Recently, Brazil took the lead in regional integration processes and in South-South cooperation initiatives. These strategies and Fiocruz's acknowledged technical expertise resulted in its direct involvement in Brazilian foreign public health policy in the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries. Fiocruz developed cooperation projects in various areas, sharing its know-how and best practices in the most critical fields in partner countries, consolidating "public health framework cooperation" and contributing to diversifying Brazil's partners and promoting Brazil as a global actor.

  15. Research in the real world: Social context and its effects.

    PubMed

    Levine, Adeline G; Levine, Murray

    2014-03-01

    Although scientists are supposedly concerned only with the pursuit of scientific truth, it was recognized early on that they have personal and professional agendas and are subject to human fallibilities. Openness allowing the scientific community to oversee each member's work depends a great deal upon publication of scientific work. Research reports are cultural artifacts shaped by social forces. In most instances of theoretically oriented work, the roles making up the social context, the researchers, funding agencies, journal editors, publishers, critics, and consumers of research all tend to be scientists sharing common interests and assumptions. There are many actors in addition to scientists in the social context of evaluative research. The actors-sometimes called stakeholders-include people whose lives may change, politicians, government agencies, private foundations, businesspersons, taxpayers, the mass media, and advocates. These actors have varied interests in the research enterprise, are embedded in varied reference groups, and bring different assumptions and values to the task. Their interactions shape the research product at every step. In this genre of research, the contexts are diverse. To illustrate the generality of the influence of social context, the authors draw on three diverse examples spanning a century: the Love Canal industrial disaster of the late 1970s, the ultimately failed attempt in the early 1900s to transplant the Gary, Indiana, progressive school system to New York City (NYC); and some recent studies of charter school students' academic performance. PMID:24826932

  16. Evaluating the capacity of theories of justice to serve as a justice framework for international clinical research.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Bridget; Zion, Deborah; Loff, Bebe

    2012-01-01

    This article investigates whether or not theories of justice from political philosophy, first, support the position that health research should contribute to justice in global health, and second, provide guidance about what is owed by international clinical research (ICR) actors to parties in low- and middle-income countries. Four theories-John Rawls's theory of justice, the rights-based cosmopolitan theories of Thomas Pogge and Henry Shue, and Jennifer Ruger's health capability paradigm-are evaluated. The article shows that three of the four theories require the conduct of health research for justice in global health. The theories help identify the ends of justice to which ICR is to contribute, but they cannot tell us how to organize ICR to promote these ends. Aside from Ruger's health capability paradigm, the theories also lack an allocative principle for assigning specific duties to specific actors. This creates difficulties for establishing obligations for certain types of ICR actors.

  17. Good and Bad Research Collaborations: Researchers’ Views on Science and Ethics in Global Health Research

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Michael; Kingori, Patricia

    2016-01-01

    There has been a dramatic rise in the scale and scope of collaborative global health research. A number of structural and scientific factors explain this growth and there has been much discussion of these in the literature. Little, if any, attention has been paid, however, to the factors identified by scientists and other research actors as important to successful research collaboration. This is surprising given that their decisions are likely to play a key role in the sustainability and effectiveness of global health research initiatives. In this paper, we report on qualitative research with leading scientists involved in major international research collaborations about their views on good and bad collaborations and the factors that inform their decision-making about joining and participating actively in research networks. We identify and discuss eight factors that researchers see as essential in judging the merits of active participation in global health research collaborations: opportunities for active involvement in cutting-edge, interesting science; effective leadership; competence of potential partners in and commitment to good scientific practice; capacity building; respect for the needs, interests and agendas of partners; opportunities for discussion and disagreement; trust and confidence; and, justice and fairness in collaboration. Our findings suggest that the sustainability and effectiveness of global health research collaborations has an important ethical or moral dimension for the research actors involved. PMID:27737006

  18. 25 years of African trypanosome research: From description to molecular dissection and new drug discovery☆☆☆

    PubMed Central

    Matthews, Keith R.

    2015-01-01

    The Molecular Parasitology conference was first held at the Marine Biological laboratory, Woods Hole, USA 25 years ago. Since that first meeting, the conference has evolved and expanded but has remained the showcase for the latest research developments in molecular parasitology. In this perspective, I reflect on the scientific discoveries focussed on African trypanosomes (Trypanosoma brucei spp.) that have occurred since the inaugural MPM meeting and discuss the current and future status of research on these parasites. PMID:25736427

  19. Space technology research plans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hook, W. Ray

    1992-01-01

    Development of new technologies is the primary purpose of the Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (OAST). OAST's mission includes the following two goals: (1) to conduct research to provide fundamental understanding, develop advanced technology and promote technology transfer to assure U.S. preeminence in aeronautics and to enhance and/or enable future civil space missions: and (2) to provide unique facilities and technical expertise to support national aerospace needs. OAST includes both NASA Headquarters operations as well as programmatic and institutional management of the Ames Research Center, the Langley Research Center and the Lewis Research Center. In addition. a considerable portion of OAST's Space R&T Program is conducted through the flight and science program field centers of NASA. Within OAST, the Space Technology Directorate is responsible for the planning and implementation of the NASA Space Research and Technology Program. The Space Technology Directorate's mission is 'to assure that OAST shall provide technology for future civil space missions and provide a base of research and technology capabilities to serve all national space goals.' Accomplishing this mission entails the following objectives: y Identify, develop, validate and transfer technology to: (1) increase mission safety and reliability; (2) reduce flight program development and operations costs; (3) enhance mission performance; and (4) enable new missions. Provide the capability to: (1) advance technology in critical disciplines; and (2) respond to unanticipated mission needs. In-space experiments are an integral part of OAST's program and provides for experimental studies, development and support for in-space flight research and validation of advanced space technologies. Conducting technology experiments in space is a valuable and cost effective way to introduce advanced technologies into flight programs. These flight experiments support both the R&T base and the focussed programs

  20. Status of GEA review of DOE geothermal research program

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, P.M.

    1996-12-31

    The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will be conducting a series of workshops related to the DOE Research and Development (R&D) program, the first of which will take place tomorrow and the next day. This workshop will be focussing on drilling research and development. The objective of these workshops is to provide information and recommendations to DOE on the R&D needs and priorities of the geothermal industry. As a GEA officer, I will be conducting these workshops and it is something you might guess I am interested in. I have been interested in geothermal R&D for 20 years now.

  1. Revealing the neural networks associated with processing of natural social interaction and the related effects of actor-orientation and face-visibility.

    PubMed

    Saggar, Manish; Shelly, Elizabeth Walter; Lepage, Jean-Francois; Hoeft, Fumiko; Reiss, Allan L

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the intentions and desires of those around us is vital for adapting to a dynamic social environment. In this paper, a novel event-related functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) paradigm with dynamic and natural stimuli (2s video clips) was developed to directly examine the neural networks associated with processing of gestures with social intent as compared to nonsocial intent. When comparing social to nonsocial gestures, increased activation in both the mentalizing (or theory of mind) and amygdala networks was found. As a secondary aim, a factor of actor-orientation was included in the paradigm to examine how the neural mechanisms differ with respect to personal engagement during a social interaction versus passively observing an interaction. Activity in the lateral occipital cortex and precentral gyrus was found sensitive to actor-orientation during social interactions. Lastly, by manipulating face-visibility we tested whether facial information alone is the primary driver of neural activation differences observed between social and nonsocial gestures. We discovered that activity in the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) and fusiform gyrus (FFG) was partially driven by observing facial expressions during social gestures. Altogether, using multiple factors associated with processing of natural social interaction, we conceptually advance our understanding of how social stimuli is processed in the brain and discuss the application of this paradigm to clinical populations where atypical social cognition is manifested as a key symptom.

  2. Revealing the neural networks associated with processing of natural social interaction and the related effects of actor-orientation and face-visibility

    PubMed Central

    Saggar, Manish; Shelly, Elizabeth Walter; Lepage, Jean-Francois; Hoeft, Fumiko; Reiss, Allan L.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the intentions and desires of those around us is vital for adapting to a dynamic social environment. In this paper, a novel event-related functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) paradigm with dynamic and natural stimuli (2s video clips) was developed to directly examine the neural networks associated with processing of gestures with social intent as compared to nonsocial intent. When comparing social to nonsocial gestures, increased activation in both the mentalizing (or theory of mind) and amygdala networks were found. As a secondary aim, a factor of actor-orientation was included in the paradigm to examine how the neural mechanisms differ with respect to personal engagement during a social interaction versus passively observing an interaction. Activity in the lateral occipital cortex and precentral gyrus were found sensitive to actor-orientation during social interactions. Lastly, by manipulating face-visibility we tested whether facial information alone is the primary driver of neural activation differences observed between social and nonsocial gestures. We discovered that activity in the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) and fusiform gyrus (FFG) were partially driven by observing facial expressions during social gestures. Altogether, using multiple factors associated with processing of natural social interaction, we conceptually advance our understanding of how social stimuli is processed in the brain and discuss the application of this paradigm to clinical populations where atypical social cognition is manifested as a key symptom. PMID:24084068

  3. Identification of Difficulties in the Consolidation of Research Processes at a Higher Education Institution: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arias, Alejandro Valencia

    2015-01-01

    Research is one of the three institutional basic functions of the University, and as such, universities that do not consolidate their research processes do not present a good projection in the future. As a multilevel organization, the University must create and strengthen guidelines that transform it into a strategic actor in competitive markets,…

  4. Federal research and development for satellite communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    A Committee on Satellite Communication (COSC) was formed under the auspices of the Space Applications Board (SAB) in order to study Federal research and development on satellite communications (SC). Discussion on whether to continue the research and development and the proper role of the Federal Government are addressed. Discussion focussed on six possible options for a Federal role in SC research and development: (1) the current NASA SC program; (2) an expanded NASA SC technology program; (3) a SC technology flight test support program; (4) an experimental SC technology flight program; (5) an experimental public service SC system program; and (6) an operational public service SC system program. Decision criteria and recommendations are presented.

  5. Curricular Change in Turkey: Time, Sequentiality, and Differential Power of Actors in Establishing a New Knowledge Path

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nohl, Arnd-Michael; Somel, R. Nazli

    2016-01-01

    This paper introduces the knowledge path concept to research on curriculum change. Vis-à-vis existing inquiries into curriculum making, the paper explores the usefulness of the knowledge path concept in an empirical analysis of curriculum change that primary education in Turkey underwent at the turn of the century. Based on the documentary…

  6. Teacher as Actor--Henry David Thoreau--From Room One-Eleven to Walden Pond and Beyond.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barto, David

    To help maintain class interest in the important themes addressed in "Walden" and "The Duties of Civil Disobedience," a high school English teacher has presented a dramatic monologue as Henry David Thoreau to his students. After much library research, the teacher used some of the props characteristic of the author, such as a walking stick and a…

  7. What PISA Knows and Can Do: Studying the Role of National Actors in the Making of PISA

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grek, Sotiria

    2012-01-01

    This article builds on previous research which has emphasised the role of comparisons of educational performance in creating visibility and borderlessness, and moves the argument a point further. The article claims that apart from increased visibility, what the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has brought to education systems…

  8. Ecologies of Learning: Culture, Context and Outcomes of Workplace LES. Research Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merrifield, Juliet

    2013-01-01

    There is a need to connect workplace learning and essential skills to a larger domain of workplace learning in general. To do this, the contexts in which learning takes place, and the cultures of the actors and environments involved, should be taken into consideration. Although research on the direct effects of contexts and cultures on workplace…

  9. Research Universities, Technology Transfer, and Job Creation: What Infrastructure, For What Training?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brodhag, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Technology transfer and innovation are considered major drivers of sustainable development; they place knowledge and its dissemination in society at the heart of the development process. This article considers the role of research universities, and how they can interact with key actors and institutions involved in "innovation…

  10. Researcher / Researched: Repositioning Research Paradigms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meerwald, Agnes May Lin

    2013-01-01

    "Researcher / Researched" calls for a complementary research methodology by proposing autoethnography as both a method and text that crosses the boundaries of conventional and alternative methodologies in higher education. Autoethnography rearticulates the researcher / researched positions by blurring the boundary between them. This…

  11. An actor-focused model of justice rule adherence and violation: the role of managerial motives and discretion.

    PubMed

    Scott, Brent A; Colquitt, Jason A; Paddock, E Layne

    2009-05-01

    Research on organizational justice has focused primarily on the receivers of just and unjust treatment. Little is known about why managers adhere to or violate rules of justice in the first place. The authors introduce a model for understanding justice rule adherence and violation. They identify both cognitive motives and affective motives that explain why managers adhere to and violate justice rules. They also draw distinctions among the justice rules by specifying which rules offer managers more or less discretion in their execution. They then describe how motives and discretion interact to influence justice-relevant actions. Finally, the authors incorporate managers' emotional reactions to consider how their actions may change over time. Implications of the model for theory, research, and practice are discussed.

  12. What are the links between research and policy?

    PubMed

    2000-06-01

    A descriptive study was conducted by Ana Langer, Population Council's Regional Director in Latin America and Caribbean, and her colleagues on the influence of research on health policy decision making in Mexico. Four programs within the Mexican Ministry of Health were examined: those concerned with AIDS, cholera, family planning, and immunization. Data were obtained through in-depth interviews with 67 researchers and Ministry of Health officials, extensive documentary research, and case studies. Overall, it was noted that four elements figure in any interaction between research and policy: the content of the research and policy, the actors involved, the communication process, and the context of research and policy. Both the researchers and decision-makers mentioned the quality of research as influential in promoting its use in policy. The investigators noted a ¿mutual intellectual disdain¿ between researchers and decision makers, with members of both groups wanting to be recognized as the greatest contributor to the control or solution of the problem. Local and international groups were identified as actors that promote the use of research in decision making, and many informants mentioned the importance of informal contacts between researchers and decision-makers. In addition, the relative stability of Mexico's government has facilitated the incorporation of research and policy, although the centralized government structure has sometimes hindered it. Strikingly, only few participants mentioned the role of the public in influencing connections between research and policy.

  13. When co-action eliminates the Simon effect: disentangling the impact of co-actor's presence and task sharing on joint-task performance.

    PubMed

    Sellaro, Roberta; Treccani, Barbara; Rubichi, Sandro; Cubelli, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed at assessing whether the mere belief of performing a task with another person, who is in charge of the complementary part of the task, is sufficient for the so-called joint Simon effect to occur. In all three experiments of the study, participants sat alone in a room and underwent two consecutive Go/NoGo tasks that were identical except for the instructions. In Experiment 1, participants performed the task first individually (baseline task), and then either co-acting with another person who responded from an unknown location to the NoGo stimuli (joint task) or imaging themselves responding to the NoGo stimuli (imaginative task). Relative to the baseline, the instructions of the imaginative task made the Simon effect occur, while those of the joint task were ineffective in eliciting the effect. This result suggests that sharing a task with a person who is known to be in charge of the complementary task, but is not physically present, is not sufficient to induce the representation of an alternative response able to produce interference, which happens instead when the instructions explicitly require to imagine such a response. Interestingly, we observed that when the Simon effect was already present in the baseline task (i.e., when the response alternative to the Go response was represented in the individual task due to non-social factors), it disappeared in the joint task. We propose that, when no information about the co-actor's position is available, the division of labor between the participant and co-actor allows participants to filter out the possible (incidental) representation of the alternative response from their task representation, thus eliminating potential sources of interference. This account is supported by the results of Experiments 2 and 3 and suggests that under certain circumstances task-sharing may reduce the interference produced by the irrelevant information, rather than increase it.

  14. When co-action eliminates the Simon effect: disentangling the impact of co-actor's presence and task sharing on joint-task performance

    PubMed Central

    Sellaro, Roberta; Treccani, Barbara; Rubichi, Sandro; Cubelli, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed at assessing whether the mere belief of performing a task with another person, who is in charge of the complementary part of the task, is sufficient for the so-called joint Simon effect to occur. In all three experiments of the study, participants sat alone in a room and underwent two consecutive Go/NoGo tasks that were identical except for the instructions. In Experiment 1, participants performed the task first individually (baseline task), and then either co-acting with another person who responded from an unknown location to the NoGo stimuli (joint task) or imaging themselves responding to the NoGo stimuli (imaginative task). Relative to the baseline, the instructions of the imaginative task made the Simon effect occur, while those of the joint task were ineffective in eliciting the effect. This result suggests that sharing a task with a person who is known to be in charge of the complementary task, but is not physically present, is not sufficient to induce the representation of an alternative response able to produce interference, which happens instead when the instructions explicitly require to imagine such a response. Interestingly, we observed that when the Simon effect was already present in the baseline task (i.e., when the response alternative to the Go response was represented in the individual task due to non-social factors), it disappeared in the joint task. We propose that, when no information about the co-actor's position is available, the division of labor between the participant and co-actor allows participants to filter out the possible (incidental) representation of the alternative response from their task representation, thus eliminating potential sources of interference. This account is supported by the results of Experiments 2 and 3 and suggests that under certain circumstances task-sharing may reduce the interference produced by the irrelevant information, rather than increase it. PMID:24312066

  15. Silencing the critics: understanding the effects of cocaine sensitization on dorsolateral and ventral striatum in the context of an actor/critic model.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Yuji; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey; Niv, Yael

    2008-07-01

    A critical problem in daily decision making is how to choose actions now in order to bring about rewards later. Indeed, many of our actions have long-term consequences, and it is important to not be myopic in balancing the pros and cons of different options, but rather to take into account both immediate and delayed consequences of actions. Failures to do so may be manifest as persistent, maladaptive decision-making, one example of which is addiction where behavior seems to be driven by the immediate positive experiences with drugs, despite the delayed adverse consequences. A recent study by Takahashi et al. (2007) investigated the effects of cocaine sensitization on decision making in rats and showed that drug use resulted in altered representations in the ventral striatum and the dorsolateral striatum, areas that have been implicated in the neural instantiation of a computational solution to optimal long-term actions selection called the Actor/Critic framework. In this Focus article we discuss their results and offer a computational interpretation in terms of drug-induced impairments in the Critic. We first survey the different lines of evidence linking the subparts of the striatum to the Actor/Critic framework, and then suggest two possible scenarios of breakdown that are suggested by Takahashi et al.'s (2007) data. As both are compatible with the current data, we discuss their different predictions and how these could be empirically tested in order to further elucidate (and hopefully inch towards curing) the neural basis of drug addiction. PMID:18982111

  16. Adult osteochondritis dissecans and focussed ESWT: A successful treatment option.

    PubMed

    Thiele, S; Thiele, R; Gerdesmeyer, L

    2015-12-01

    Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) has gained acceptance in the medical field and in the treatment of non-unions and delayed bone healing. ESWT has been used effectively for many years as a noninvasive surgical procedure. The idea of treating Osteochondritis dissecans of knee and talus arose in the middle of the 1990's. OCD is known as a pre-arthritic factor in the long-term and still there is no consistent treatment. In the literature there is still only a small number of publications but international societies for shockwave treatment are convinced that ESWT on OCD shows to be an effective and safe method in the treatment of OCD in the early stages. We want to summarize the actual data on the treatment of OCD by ESWT.

  17. X-ray microscopy using collimated and focussed synchrotron radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, K.W.; Kwiatek, W.M.; Gordon, B.M.; Hanson, A.L.; Pounds, J.G.; Rivers, M.L.; Sutton, S.R.; Thompson, A.C.; Underwood, J.H.; Giauque, R.D.

    1987-01-01

    X-ray microscopy is a field that has developed rapidly in recent years. Two different approaches have been used. Zone plates have been employed to produce focused beams with sizes as low as 0.07 ..mu..m for x-ray energies below 1 keV. Images of biological materials and elemental maps for major and minor low Z have been produced using above and below absorption edge differences. At higher energies collimators and focusing mirrors have been used to make small diameter beams for excitation of characteristic K- or L-x rays of all elements in the periodic table. The practicality of a single instrument combining all the features of these two approaches is unclear. The use of high-energy x rays for x-ray microscopy has intrinsic value for characterization of thick samples and determination of trace amounts of most elements. A summary of work done on the X-26 beam line at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) with collimated and focused x rays with energies above 4 keV is given here. 6 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  18. Cryogenic focussing, ohmically heated on-column trap

    SciTech Connect

    Springston, S.R.

    1991-12-01

    A procedure is described for depositing a conductive layer of gold on the exterior of a fused-silica capillary used in gas chromatography. By subjecting a section of the column near the inlet to a thermal cycle of cryogenic cooling and ohmic heating, volatile samples are concentrated and subsequently injected. The performance of this trap as a chromatographic injector is demonstrated. Several additional applications are suggested and the unique properties of this device are discussed. 11 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  19. Focussing the view on Nature's water-splitting catalyst

    SciTech Connect

    Messinger, Johannes; Yano, Junko

    2008-01-01

    About 3 billion years ago Nature invented a catalyst that splits water with highefficiency into molecular oxygen and hydrogen equivalents (protons and electrons). This reaction is energetically driven by sun light and the active centre contains relatively cheap and abundant metals: manganese and calcium. This biological system therefore forms the paradigm for all man made attempts for direct solar fuel production and several studies are underway to determine the electronic and geometric structures of this catalyst. In this report we briefly summarize the problems and the current status of these efforts, and propose a DFT-based strategy for obtaining a reliable high resolution structure of this unique catalyst that includes both the inorganic core and the first ligand sphere.

  20. An Objective Focussing Measure for Acoustically Obtained Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czarnecki, Krzysztof; Moszyński, Marek; Rojewski, Mirosław

    In scientific literature many parameters of an image sharpness can be defined, that can be used for the evaluation of display energy concentration (EC). This paper proposes a new, simple approach to EC quantitative evaluation in spectrograms, which are used for the analysis and visualization of sonar signals. The presented approach of the global-image EC measure was developed to the evaluation of EC in arbitrary direction (or at an arbitrary angle) and along an arbitrary path that is contained within the displayed area. The proposed measures were used to establish optimum spectrograph parameters, subject to high EC in images, in particular the type and width of the window. Moreover, the paper defines the marginal EC distributions that can be used in sonar signal detection as a support to the main detector.

  1. Challenges to participation in action research.

    PubMed

    de Toledo, Renata Ferraz; Giatti, Leandro Luiz

    2015-03-01

    In order to understand and take action in complex health and environmental issues, we intend to analyse the conditions that are needed for those at risk to participate in research and intervention projects. In this study, we describe and discuss an action research experience carried out with an indigenous community in the Brazilian Amazon that suffers from serious sanitary problems, where cultural aspects in the relationship with the environment and health are particularly relevant. Different types of tools were deployed and combined and were subsequently classified according to their dialectic efficacy and ability to both conduct and steer the research and encourage the participation of social actors within a process of feedback. Even tools that were considered to be non-dialectic proved to be important sources of feedback. We present a research flow as a model of analysis and a framework for implementing action research, in which challenges to the participation of social actors are classified according to their priority through a critical review of the methodology developed. These challenges are social mobilization, co-operation, appropriation and a proactive stance. We conclude that a cyclic combination of dialectic and non-dialectic tools can increase participation, which though difficult to achieve is nevertheless necessary. During the development of this process, social mobilization is a prerequisite, whereas a proactive stance, the highest level of participation, requires continuous effort and the successive deployment of a variety of tools.

  2. UCLA accelerator research and development. Progress report, [November 1, 1991--July 31, 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Cline, D.B.

    1992-09-01

    This progress report covers work supported by the above DOE grant over the period November 1, 1991 to July 31, 1992. The work is a program of experimental and theoretical studies in advanced particle accelerator research and development for high energy physics applications. The program features research at particle beam facilities in the United States and includes research on novel high power sources, novel focussing systems (e.g. plasma lens), beam monitors, novel high brightness, high current gun systems, and novel flavor factories in particular the {phi} Factory.

  3. Integrating research into policy and programmes. Examples from the Jamaican experience.

    PubMed

    Ashley, D E; McCaw-Binns, A

    2008-12-01

    Research into selected health problems across the life cycle are discussed with respect to the application and impact of the findings on policy, programme development and health outcomes. Special emphasis is placed on health research that focussed on the perinatal period, the young child and adolescent, the epidemics of chronic diseases and violence and the linkage between health and tourism. The lessons learnt over more than two decades of practice in the field of public health from conducting research aimed at developing an indigenous evidence base for policies and programmes in Jamaica are summarized.

  4. MicroRNAs in Valvular Heart Diseases: Potential Role as Markers and Actors of Valvular and Cardiac Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Oury, Cécile; Servais, Laurence; Bouznad, Nassim; Hego, Alexandre; Nchimi, Alain; Lancellotti, Patrizio

    2016-01-01

    miRNAs are a class of over 5000 noncoding RNAs that regulate more than half of the protein-encoding genes by provoking their degradation or preventing their translation. miRNAs are key regulators of complex biological processes underlying several cardiovascular disorders, including left ventricular hypertrophy, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, hypertension and arrhythmias. Moreover, circulating miRNAs herald promise as biomarkers in acute myocardial infarction and heart failure. In this context, this review gives an overview of studies that suggest that miRNAs could also play a role in valvular heart diseases. This area of research is still at its infancy, and further investigations in large patient cohorts and cellular or animal models are needed to provide strong data. Most studies focused on aortic stenosis, one of the most common valvular diseases in developed countries. Profiling and functional analyses indicate that miRNAs could contribute to activation of aortic valve interstitial cells to a myofibroblast phenotype, leading to valvular fibrosis and calcification, and to pressure overload-induced myocardial remodeling and hypertrophy. Data also indicate that specific miRNA signatures, in combination with clinical and functional imaging parameters, could represent useful biomarkers of disease progression or recovery after aortic valve replacement. PMID:27420053

  5. MicroRNAs in Valvular Heart Diseases: Potential Role as Markers and Actors of Valvular and Cardiac Remodeling.

    PubMed

    Oury, Cécile; Servais, Laurence; Bouznad, Nassim; Hego, Alexandre; Nchimi, Alain; Lancellotti, Patrizio

    2016-07-13

    miRNAs are a class of over 5000 noncoding RNAs that regulate more than half of the protein-encoding genes by provoking their degradation or preventing their translation. miRNAs are key regulators of complex biological processes underlying several cardiovascular disorders, including left ventricular hypertrophy, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, hypertension and arrhythmias. Moreover, circulating miRNAs herald promise as biomarkers in acute myocardial infarction and heart failure. In this context, this review gives an overview of studies that suggest that miRNAs could also play a role in valvular heart diseases. This area of research is still at its infancy, and further investigations in large patient cohorts and cellular or animal models are needed to provide strong data. Most studies focused on aortic stenosis, one of the most common valvular diseases in developed countries. Profiling and functional analyses indicate that miRNAs could contribute to activation of aortic valve interstitial cells to a myofibroblast phenotype, leading to valvular fibrosis and calcification, and to pressure overload-induced myocardial remodeling and hypertrophy. Data also indicate that specific miRNA signatures, in combination with clinical and functional imaging parameters, could represent useful biomarkers of disease progression or recovery after aortic valve replacement.

  6. Gravitational Physics Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, S. T.

    2000-01-01

    Gravitational physics research at ISPAE is connected with NASA's Relativity Mission (Gravity Probe B (GP-B)) which will perform a test of Einstein's General Relativity Theory. GP-B will measure the geodetic and motional effect predicted by General Relativity Theory with extremely stable and sensitive gyroscopes in an earth orbiting satellite. Both effects cause a very small precession of the gyroscope spin axis. The goal of the GP-B experiment is the measurement of the gyroscope precession with very high precision. GP-B is being developed by a team at Stanford University and is scheduled for launch in the year 2001. The related UAH research is a collaboration with Stanford University and MSFC. This research is focussed primarily on the error analysis and data reduction methods of the experiment but includes other topics concerned with experiment systems and their performance affecting the science measurements. The hydrogen maser is the most accurate and stable clock available. It will be used in future gravitational physics missions to measure relativistic effects such as the second order Doppler effect. The HMC experiment, currently under development at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), will test the performance and capability of the hydrogen maser clock for gravitational physics measurements. UAH in collaboration with the SAO science team will study methods to evaluate the behavior and performance of the HMC. The GP-B data analysis developed by the Stanford group involves complicated mathematical operations. This situation led to the idea to investigate alternate and possibly simpler mathematical procedures to extract the GP-B measurements form the data stream. Comparison of different methods would increase the confidence in the selected scheme.

  7. Research strategy for the electro-optics sensors domain of the Materials and Components for Missiles Innovative Technology Partnership

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bray, Mark; Panella, Isabella

    2010-04-01

    We describe the Materials and Components for Missile (MCM) Innovation and Technology Partnership (ITP) programme. The MCM - ITP is an Anglo-French research programme started in 2007 to encourage early stage research in future weapons technology. SELEX Galileo leads the domain related to the Electro-Optic Sensor within future guided weapons. Our objective is to capture cutting edge ideas in the research community and develop them for exploitation in future missile generations. We provide a view of two areas where we believe development of enhanced seeker capability should be focussed. Examples of current research within and outside the ITP that may be harnessed to deliver these capabilities are provided.

  8. Using Evaluation Research as a Means for Policy Analysis in a "New" Mission-Oriented Policy Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Amanatidou, Effie; Cunningham, Paul; Gök, Abdullah; Garefi, Ioanna

    2014-01-01

    Grand challenges stress the importance of multi-disciplinary research, a multi-actor approach in examining the current state of affairs and exploring possible solutions, multi-level governance and policy coordination across geographical boundaries and policy areas, and a policy environment for enabling change both in science and technology and in…

  9. Approaches of Integrated Watershed Management Project: Experiences of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mula, Rosana P.; Wani, Suhas P.; Dar, William D.

    2008-01-01

    The process of innovation-development to scaling is varied and complex. Various actors are involved in every stage of the process. In scaling the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)-led integrated watershed management projects in India and South Asia, three drivers were identified--islanding approach,…

  10. The Dynamics of Decision-Making in the Sphere of Skills' Formation. Skills Task Force Research Paper 2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Penn, Roger

    A study assessed how to improve individual informed decision making by various actors in the arena of skills formation in Great Britain on the basis of existing research knowledge. Since individual decisions are situated in a complex institutional arena, two of the most important contextual relationships--schools and employers--were analyzed prior…

  11. DIRECTIONS IN INDIGENOUS RESILIENCE RESEARCH.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Neil

    2008-01-01

    The last decade or so of research in Canada, reflected in this special issue, has increased our understanding of the distinction between Indigenous resilience and the research into Indigenous resilience.Measurement offers glimpses of resilience, mostly from the potentially distorted view of how resilient youth face specific adversity - adversity that is set by the funding opportunity: tobacco, substance abuse, suicide, or HIV infection. The driving role of funding has obvious problems; the priorities of funders may not be the priorities of communities and results can tell more about the funding opportunity than about resilience itself. Even so, this problem-focussed research has the very practical advantage of producing results geared to solutions.A major lesson of this body of work is that we should allow ourselves the space (and the modesty) to recognize that Aboriginal resilience is greater than we have been able to measure under specific funding opportunities. Even with this limitation, our results shows a large degree of specificity - what strengthens youth resilience to one type of adversity in one setting might well not work in another. Five proposals emerge from the findings. PMID:20835299

  12. Collaboration and entanglement: An actor-network theory analysis of team-based intraprofessional care for patients with advanced heart failure.

    PubMed

    McDougall, A; Goldszmidt, M; Kinsella, E A; Smith, S; Lingard, L

    2016-09-01

    Despite calls for more interprofessional and intraprofessional team-based approaches in healthcare, we lack sufficient understanding of how this happens in the context of patient care teams. This multi-perspective, team-based interview study examined how medical teams negotiated collaborative tensions. From 2011 to 2013, 50 patients across five sites in three Canadian provinces were interviewed about their care experiences and were asked to identify members of their health care teams. Patient-identified team members were subsequently interviewed to form 50 "Team Sampling Units" (TSUs), consisting of 209 interviews with patients, caregivers and healthcare providers. Results are gathered from a focused analysis of 13 TSUs where intraprofessional collaborative tensions involved treating fluid overload, or edema, a common HF symptom. Drawing on actor-network theory (ANT), the analysis focused on intraprofessional collaboration between specialty care teams in cardiology and nephrology. The study found that despite a shared narrative of common purpose between cardiology teams and nephrology teams, fluid management tools and techniques formed sites of collaborative tension. In particular, care activities involved asynchronous clinical interpretations, geographically distributed specialist care, fragmented forms of communication, and uncertainty due to clinical complexity. Teams 'disentangled' fluid in order to focus on its physiological function and mobilisation. Teams also used distinct 'framings' of fluid management that created perceived collaborative tensions. This study advances collaborative entanglement as a conceptual framework for understanding, teaching, and potentially ameliorating some of the tensions that manifest during intraprofessional care for patients with complex, chronic disease. PMID:27490299

  13. A comparative proteomic study identified LRPPRC and MCM7 as putative actors in imatinib mesylate cross-resistance in Lucena cell line

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Although chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) treatment has improved since the introduction of imatinib mesylate (IM), cases of resistance have been reported. This resistance has been associated with the emergence of multidrug resistance (MDR) phenotype, as a BCR-ABL independent mechanism. The classic pathway studied in MDR promotion is ATP-binding cassette (ABC) family transporters expression, but other mechanisms that drive drug resistance are largely unknown. To better understand IM therapy relapse due to the rise of MDR, we compared the proteomic profiles of K562 and Lucena (K562/VCR) cells. Results The use of 2-DE coupled with a MS approach resulted in the identification of 36 differentially expressed proteins. Differential mRNA levels of leucine-rich PPR motif-containing (LRPPRC) protein, minichromosome maintenance complex component 7 (MCM7) and ATP-binding cassette sub-family B (MDR/TAP) member 1 (ABCB1) were capable of defining samples from CML patients as responsive or resistant to therapy. Conclusions Through the data presented in this work, we show the relevance of MDR to IM therapy. In addition, our proteomic approach identified candidate actors involved in resistance, which could lead to additional information on BCR-ABL-independent molecular mechanisms. PMID:22458888

  14. [Access to high-risk families through selected actors of the health care system. Results of an explorative questioning of early childhood intervention pilot projects].

    PubMed

    Renner, I

    2010-10-01

    A requirement for preventive child protection is an early and systematic access to high-risk families. Actors of the health care system, in particular doctors in private practice and midwives, are highly accepted within the population and therefore offer perfect requirements to provide this access. For this reason the aim in the context of early childhood intervention is a close cooperation of the Child and Youth Services with doctors and midwives. To what extent can these service providers of the health care system fulfill these expectations? The National Centre on Early Prevention tried to find an answer to this question with the support of 10 pilot projects which were set up within the framework of the action program "Early Prevention and Intervention for Parents and Children and Social Warning Systems". The comprehensive project presentation of selected results, insights and experiences concerning cooperation between agents of the Child and Youth Services and doctors in private practice and midwives is based on explorative written questioning of the 10 projects. The study shows from the point of view of the pilot projects that the cooperation with freelance midwives is promising. In contrast, the cooperation with doctors in private practice does not yet meet the hopes and expectations. To achieve an improvement of this situation, conditions have to be supported which promote a stronger commitment of the medical profession to early childhood intervention.

  15. [New Paradigms? Current Trends within National and International Psychotherapy Research].

    PubMed

    Strauß, Bernhard

    2015-09-01

    This article is devoted to the question which paradigms currently determine psychotherapy and psychotherapy research, and if there are indicators of paradigm changes in this field. The question of the efficacy and effectiveness (including the effectiveness of a transfer of psychotherapeutic knowledge to service) is specifically focussed as well as the question of the central therapeutic factors and the significance of the person of the therapist. It is argued that there are really some signals of a paradigm switch, with a turn away from controlled outcome research, representing only a minor part of patients in need of psychotherapy, towards a more specific process oriented research, also considering differential effects of the therapist. The most prominent indicator of a paradigm change is reflected by an increasing influence of patient oriented psychotherapy research which - consequently - should also be supported by the insurances as well as the funding organisations.

  16. Health impact of research in emergency medicine--moving forward in the field.

    PubMed

    Williams-Johnson, J; Williams, E W; Dasgupta, S; French, S; Hutson, R; Hart, N; Sammy, I; McDonald, A H

    2012-07-01

    This article provides a brief description of the conceptual framework of some specific areas of research carried out either collaboratively or independently in the Emergency Department in an effort to positively impact on health issues in an era of evidence-based medicine. The paper focusses on epidemiological studies of infectious diseases, chronic non-communicable diseases, and a recent update on trauma patterns. Conduction of clinical trials is also highlighted. The role of collaboration in Emergency medicine is also discussed. Research must be developed deliberately to facilitate the primary goal of improved patient care and outcomes. Further recommendations are suggested. PMID:23240484

  17. Paramutation in Drosophila Requires Both Nuclear and Cytoplasmic Actors of the piRNA Pathway and Induces Cis-spreading of piRNA Production.

    PubMed

    Hermant, Catherine; Boivin, Antoine; Teysset, Laure; Delmarre, Valérie; Asif-Laidin, Amna; van den Beek, Marius; Antoniewski, Christophe; Ronsseray, Stéphane

    2015-12-01

    Transposable element activity is repressed in the germline in animals by PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), a class of small RNAs produced by genomic loci mostly composed of TE sequences. The mechanism of induction of piRNA production by these loci is still enigmatic. We have shown that, in Drosophila melanogaster, a cluster of tandemly repeated P-lacZ-white transgenes can be activated for piRNA production by maternal inheritance of a cytoplasm containing homologous piRNAs. This activated state is stably transmitted over generations and allows trans-silencing of a homologous transgenic target in the female germline. Such an epigenetic conversion displays the functional characteristics of a paramutation, i.e., a heritable epigenetic modification of one allele by the other. We report here that piRNA production and trans-silencing capacities of the paramutated cluster depend on the function of the rhino, cutoff, and zucchini genes involved in primary piRNA biogenesis in the germline, as well as on that of the aubergine gene implicated in the ping-pong piRNA amplification step. The 21-nt RNAs, which are produced by the paramutated cluster, in addition to 23- to 28-nt piRNAs are not necessary for paramutation to occur. Production of these 21-nt RNAs requires Dicer-2 but also all the piRNA genes tested. Moreover, cytoplasmic transmission of piRNAs homologous to only a subregion of the transgenic locus can generate a strong paramutated locus that produces piRNAs along the whole length of the transgenes. Finally, we observed that maternally inherited transgenic small RNAs can also impact transgene expression in the soma. In conclusion, paramutation involves both nuclear (Rhino, Cutoff) and cytoplasmic (Aubergine, Zucchini) actors of the piRNA pathway. In addition, since it is observed between nonfully homologous loci located on different chromosomes, paramutation may play a crucial role in epigenome shaping in Drosophila natural populations.

  18. [Shaping the future of vocational rehabilitation of adults: eight fields of action as starting points for a cross-actor innovation process].

    PubMed

    Riedel, H-P; Ellger-Rüttgardt, S; Karbe, H; Niehaus, M; Rauch, A; Schian, H-M; Schmidt, C; Schott, T; Schröder, H; Spijkers, W; Wittwer, U

    2009-12-01

    Established by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) in October 2007, the Scientific Expert Group RehaFutur had been commissioned to elaborate cornerstones for the medium- and long-term development of vocational rehabilitation of adults with disabilities (re-integration). Initial questions inter alia were as follows: Which function should vocational rehabilitation have in a service- and knowledge-oriented working world that will increasingly be affected by demographic change? How can disabled persons' right to occupational participation by way of vocational rehabilitation, a right stipulated both under the German constitution and in German law, be realized as needed also in the future? Various fields of action have been derived on the basis, for one, of an investigation of the factors, social law, social and education policy as well as European, influencing vocational rehabilitation and, for the other, of an evaluation of current labour market and demographic developments. Dealt with in the fields of action outlined are the aspects: equitable opportunities of access, developmental and needs orientation, closeness to the real occupational and working world, as well as the role of self-determination and self-responsibility. The fields of action are to be understood as framework concept for shaping a cross-actor innovation process. Sustainable vocational rehabilitation is characterized in particular by the fact that it is specifically targeted at promoting disabled persons' self-determination and self-responsibility actively using these in the process and that it strengthens an independent lifestyle, ensures social participation by inclusive structures; also, it facilitates continued participation in working life by ongoing education involving holistic development of professional and personal competencies oriented towards the individual's resources and potentials, safeguarding it by systematic networking with companies. The concept presented for

  19. Paramutation in Drosophila Requires Both Nuclear and Cytoplasmic Actors of the piRNA Pathway and Induces Cis-spreading of piRNA Production.

    PubMed

    Hermant, Catherine; Boivin, Antoine; Teysset, Laure; Delmarre, Valérie; Asif-Laidin, Amna; van den Beek, Marius; Antoniewski, Christophe; Ronsseray, Stéphane

    2015-12-01

    Transposable element activity is repressed in the germline in animals by PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), a class of small RNAs produced by genomic loci mostly composed of TE sequences. The mechanism of induction of piRNA production by these loci is still enigmatic. We have shown that, in Drosophila melanogaster, a cluster of tandemly repeated P-lacZ-white transgenes can be activated for piRNA production by maternal inheritance of a cytoplasm containing homologous piRNAs. This activated state is stably transmitted over generations and allows trans-silencing of a homologous transgenic target in the female germline. Such an epigenetic conversion displays the functional characteristics of a paramutation, i.e., a heritable epigenetic modification of one allele by the other. We report here that piRNA production and trans-silencing capacities of the paramutated cluster depend on the function of the rhino, cutoff, and zucchini genes involved in primary piRNA biogenesis in the germline, as well as on that of the aubergine gene implicated in the ping-pong piRNA amplification step. The 21-nt RNAs, which are produced by the paramutated cluster, in addition to 23- to 28-nt piRNAs are not necessary for paramutation to occur. Production of these 21-nt RNAs requires Dicer-2 but also all the piRNA genes tested. Moreover, cytoplasmic transmission of piRNAs homologous to only a subregion of the transgenic locus can generate a strong paramutated locus that produces piRNAs along the whole length of the transgenes. Finally, we observed that maternally inherited transgenic small RNAs can also impact transgene expression in the soma. In conclusion, paramutation involves both nuclear (Rhino, Cutoff) and cytoplasmic (Aubergine, Zucchini) actors of the piRNA pathway. In addition, since it is observed between nonfully homologous loci located on different chromosomes, paramutation may play a crucial role in epigenome shaping in Drosophila natural populations. PMID:26482790

  20. [Shaping the future of vocational rehabilitation of adults: eight fields of action as starting points for a cross-actor innovation process].

    PubMed

    Riedel, H-P; Ellger-Rüttgardt, S; Karbe, H; Niehaus, M; Rauch, A; Schian, H-M; Schmidt, C; Schott, T; Schröder, H; Spijkers, W; Wittwer, U

    2009-12-01

    Established by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) in October 2007, the Scientific Expert Group RehaFutur had been commissioned to elaborate cornerstones for the medium- and long-term development of vocational rehabilitation of adults with disabilities (re-integration). Initial questions inter alia were as follows: Which function should vocational rehabilitation have in a service- and knowledge-oriented working world that will increasingly be affected by demographic change? How can disabled persons' right to occupational participation by way of vocational rehabilitation, a right stipulated both under the German constitution and in German law, be realized as needed also in the future? Various fields of action have been derived on the basis, for one, of an investigation of the factors, social law, social and education policy as well as European, influencing vocational rehabilitation and, for the other, of an evaluation of current labour market and demographic developments. Dealt with in the fields of action outlined are the aspects: equitable opportunities of access, developmental and needs orientation, closeness to the real occupational and working world, as well as the role of self-determination and self-responsibility. The fields of action are to be understood as framework concept for shaping a cross-actor innovation process. Sustainable vocational rehabilitation is characterized in particular by the fact that it is specifically targeted at promoting disabled persons' self-determination and self-responsibility actively using these in the process and that it strengthens an independent lifestyle, ensures social participation by inclusive structures; also, it facilitates continued participation in working life by ongoing education involving holistic development of professional and personal competencies oriented towards the individual's resources and potentials, safeguarding it by systematic networking with companies. The concept presented for

  1. Biosafety: future priorities for research in health care.

    PubMed

    Doblhoff-Dier, O; Collins, C H

    2001-02-13

    Currently the public interest in biosafety issues has focussed on the discussions surrounding the use of genetically modified organisms, very specifically on the use of transgenic plants in agriculture. Although many of the questions raised in connection with genetically modified organisms are of legitimate scientific interest, attention should be drawn back to a number of other more classical biosafety research areas, namely the problem of control of new and reemerging infectious diseases, the need for new vaccines, control of transport and routes of dissemination, biosafety information exchange and networking, where research results are dearly needed. In the area of modern biotechnology new applications such as gene therapy and transgenic animals will be on the list of future priorities for biosafety related activities and research.

  2. Review of Physical Sciences Research, 1979-1990 (Gas Research Institute)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-07-01

    To meet the expectations and needs of the gas industry and its customers, the Gas Research Institute (GRI) has developed basic research management techniques that are appropriate for GRI's unique mission-oriented research program. These techniques differ from those used in private industry and government. The Introduction to the report describes these techniques, focussing on how GRI selects appropriate research topics, builds consensus for the Physical Sciences research program, and maintains an emphasis on providing useful results. The body of the report consists of two-page reviews of each of GRI's 37 active research topics. These reviews describe their goals, results, and future plans for these topics. The reviews are presented in three groups: Physics, Chemistry, and Combustion, and each group begins with a summary of recent important results. Useful results of Physical Sciences Research are described throughout the report, but the report is not a comprehensive record of results. A yearly record of results is provided by another report: Physical Sciences Research Results.

  3. Nuclear Physics Research at the University of Richmond progress report, November 1, 1992--October 31, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Vineyard, M.F.; Gilfoyle, G.P.; Major, R.W.

    1993-12-31

    Summarized in this report is the progress achieved during the period from November 1, 1992 to October 31, 1993 under Contract Number DE-FG05-88ER40459. The experimental work described in this report is in electromagnetic and heavy-ion nuclear physics. The effort in electromagnetic nuclear physics is in preparation for the research program at the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) and is focussed on the construction and use of the CEBAF Large Acceptance Spectrometer (CLAS). The heavy-ion experiments were performed at the Argonne National Laboratory ATLAS facility and the University of Pennsylvania.

  4. Research activities at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology for the regional ionospheric specification and forecasting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouya, Zahra; Terkildsen, Michael

    2016-07-01

    The Australian Space Forecast Centre (ASFC) provides space weather forecasts to a diverse group of customers. Space Weather Services (SWS) within the Australian Bureau of Meteorology is focussed both on developing tailored products and services for the key customer groups, and supporting ASFC operations. Research in SWS is largely centred on the development of data-driven models using a range of solar-terrestrial data. This paper will cover some data requirements , approaches and recent SWS activities for data driven modelling with a focus on the regional Ionospheric specification and forecasting.

  5. Research Visibility: Manpower Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brandon, George L., Ed.

    1969-01-01

    Thirteen research reviews in this issue pertain to manpower research organized under these topics: (1) Manpower and Youth, treating youth unemployment and the youth labor market, (2) Manpower Needs, including an analysis of manpower research since World War II, health manpower planning, the shortage of skilled and technical workers, a projection…

  6. Instructional Simulation Integrates Research, Education, and Practice.

    PubMed

    Teasdale, Thomas A; Mapes, Sheryl A; Henley, Omolara; Lindsey, Jeanene; Dillard, Della

    2016-01-01

    Instructional simulation is widely used in clinical education. Examples include the use of inanimate models meant to imitate humans, standardized patients who are actors portraying patients with certain conditions, and role-play where learners experience the disease through props and circumstances. These modalities are briefly described, and then case examples are provided of simulation curricula in use that integrate research findings and clinical practice expertise to guide development and implementation steps. The cases illustrate how formative and summative feedback from two legs of the "three-legged stool" can be potent integrating forces in development of simulation curricula. In these examples, the educational outputs benefit from purposeful inclusion of research and practice inputs. Costs are outlined for instructor and learner time commitments, space considerations, and expendables. The authors' data and experience suggest that instructional simulation that is supported by a solid scientific base and clinical expertise is appreciated by teachers and learners.

  7. Instructional Simulation Integrates Research, Education, and Practice.

    PubMed

    Teasdale, Thomas A; Mapes, Sheryl A; Henley, Omolara; Lindsey, Jeanene; Dillard, Della

    2016-01-01

    Instructional simulation is widely used in clinical education. Examples include the use of inanimate models meant to imitate humans, standardized patients who are actors portraying patients with certain conditions, and role-play where learners experience the disease through props and circumstances. These modalities are briefly described, and then case examples are provided of simulation curricula in use that integrate research findings and clinical practice expertise to guide development and implementation steps. The cases illustrate how formative and summative feedback from two legs of the "three-legged stool" can be potent integrating forces in development of simulation curricula. In these examples, the educational outputs benefit from purposeful inclusion of research and practice inputs. Costs are outlined for instructor and learner time commitments, space considerations, and expendables. The authors' data and experience suggest that instructional simulation that is supported by a solid scientific base and clinical expertise is appreciated by teachers and learners. PMID:26106812

  8. When Do We Confuse Self and Other in Action Memory? Reduced False Memories of Self-Performance after Observing Actions by an Out-Group vs. In-Group Actor

    PubMed Central

    Lindner, Isabel; Schain, Cécile; Kopietz, René; Echterhoff, Gerald

    2012-01-01

    Observing another person performing an action can lead to a false memory of having performed the action oneself – the observation-inflation effect. In the experimental paradigm, participants first perform or do not perform simple actions, and then observe another person perform some of these actions. The observation-inflation effect is found when participants later remember performing actions that they have merely observed. In this case, self and other are confused in action memory. We examined social conditions of this self-other confusion when remembering actions, specifically whether the effect depends on the observed actor’s group membership. In our experiment, we manipulated group membership based on physical appearance, specifically complexion of the hands. Fair-skinned participants observed either an in-group (i.e., fair-skinned) or an out-group (i.e., dark-skinned) actor. Our results revealed that the observed actor’s group membership moderated the observation-inflation effect: False memories were significantly reduced when the actor was from the out-group (vs. in-group). We found no difference to a control condition in which the actor wore black gloves, suggesting that distinctiveness of perceptual or sensory features alone (due to the out-group member’s dark skin) is not critical. We discuss these findings in light of social-neuroscience studies demonstrating the impact of an observed person’s group membership on motor simulation. Overall, our findings suggest that action memory can be affected by a ubiquitous feature of people’s social perception, that is, group-based social categorization of others. PMID:23130007

  9. The Just War Theory and the ethical governance of research.

    PubMed

    Malsch, Ineke

    2013-06-01

    This article analyses current trends in and future expectations of nanotechnology and other key enabling technologies for security as well as dual use nanotechnology from the perspective of the ethical Just War Theory (JWT), interpreted as an instrument to increase the threshold for using armed force for solving conflicts. The aim is to investigate the relevance of the JWT to the ethical governance of research. The analysis gives rise to the following results. From the perspective of the JWT, military research should be evaluated with different criteria than research for civil or civil security applications. From a technological perspective, the boundaries between technologies for civil and military applications are fuzzy. Therefore the JWT offers theoretical grounds for making clear distinctions between research for military, civil security and other applications that are not obvious from a purely technological perspective. Different actors bear responsibility for development of the technology than for resorting to armed force for solving conflicts or for use of weapons and military technologies in combat. Different criteria should be used for moral judgment of decisions made by each type of actor in each context. In addition to evaluation of potential consequences of future use of the weapons or military technologies under development, the JWT also prescribes ethical evaluation of the inherent intent and other foreseeable consequences of the development itself of new military technologies.

  10. Novel two-step laser ablation and ionization mass spectrometry (2S-LAIMS) of actor-spectator ice layers: probing chemical composition of D2O ice beneath a H2O ice layer.

    PubMed

    Yang, Rui; Gudipati, Murthy S

    2014-03-14

    In this work, we report for the first time successful analysis of organic aromatic analytes imbedded in D2O ices by novel infrared (IR) laser ablation of a layered non-absorbing D2O ice (spectator) containing the analytes and an ablation-active IR-absorbing H2O ice layer (actor) without the analyte. With these studies we have opened up a new method for the in situ analysis of solids containing analytes when covered with an IR laser-absorbing layer that can be resonantly ablated. This soft ejection method takes advantage of the tenability of two-step infrared laser ablation and ultraviolet laser ionization mass spectrometry, previously demonstrated in this lab to study chemical reactions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in cryogenic ices. The IR laser pulse tuned to resonantly excite only the upper H2O ice layer (actor) generates a shockwave upon impact. This shockwave penetrates the lower analyte-containing D2O ice layer (spectator, a non-absorbing ice that cannot be ablated directly with the wavelength of the IR laser employed) and is reflected back, ejecting the contents of the D2O layer into the vacuum where they are intersected by a UV laser for ionization and detection by a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Thus, energy is transmitted from the laser-absorbing actor layer into the non-absorbing spectator layer resulting its ablation. We found that isotope cross-contamination between layers was negligible. We also did not see any evidence for thermal or collisional chemistry of PAH molecules with H2O molecules in the shockwave. We call this "shockwave mediated surface resonance enhanced subsurface ablation" technique as "two-step laser ablation and ionization mass spectrometry of actor-spectator ice layers." This method has its roots in the well-established MALDI (matrix assisted laser desorption and ionization) method. Our method offers more flexibility to optimize both the processes--ablation and ionization. This new technique can thus be potentially

  11. Novel two-step laser ablation and ionization mass spectrometry (2S-LAIMS) of actor-spectator ice layers: Probing chemical composition of D{sub 2}O ice beneath a H{sub 2}O ice layer

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Rui Gudipati, Murthy S.

    2014-03-14

    In this work, we report for the first time successful analysis of organic aromatic analytes imbedded in D{sub 2}O ices by novel infrared (IR) laser ablation of a layered non-absorbing D{sub 2}O ice (spectator) containing the analytes and an ablation-active IR-absorbing H{sub 2}O ice layer (actor) without the analyte. With these studies we have opened up a new method for the in situ analysis of solids containing analytes when covered with an IR laser-absorbing layer that can be resonantly ablated. This soft ejection method takes advantage of the tenability of two-step infrared laser ablation and ultraviolet laser ionization mass spectrometry, previously demonstrated in this lab to study chemical reactions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in cryogenic ices. The IR laser pulse tuned to resonantly excite only the upper H{sub 2}O ice layer (actor) generates a shockwave upon impact. This shockwave penetrates the lower analyte-containing D{sub 2}O ice layer (spectator, a non-absorbing ice that cannot be ablated directly with the wavelength of the IR laser employed) and is reflected back, ejecting the contents of the D{sub 2}O layer into the vacuum where they are intersected by a UV laser for ionization and detection by a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Thus, energy is transmitted from the laser-absorbing actor layer into the non-absorbing spectator layer resulting its ablation. We found that isotope cross-contamination between layers was negligible. We also did not see any evidence for thermal or collisional chemistry of PAH molecules with H{sub 2}O molecules in the shockwave. We call this “shockwave mediated surface resonance enhanced subsurface ablation” technique as “two-step laser ablation and ionization mass spectrometry of actor-spectator ice layers.” This method has its roots in the well-established MALDI (matrix assisted laser desorption and ionization) method. Our method offers more flexibility to optimize both the processes—ablation and

  12. Novel two-step laser ablation and ionization mass spectrometry (2S-LAIMS) of actor-spectator ice layers: probing chemical composition of D2O ice beneath a H2O ice layer.

    PubMed

    Yang, Rui; Gudipati, Murthy S

    2014-03-14

    In this work, we report for the first time successful analysis of organic aromatic analytes imbedded in D2O ices by novel infrared (IR) laser ablation of a layered non-absorbing D2O ice (spectator) containing the analytes and an ablation-active IR-absorbing H2O ice layer (actor) without the analyte. With these studies we have opened up a new method for the in situ analysis of solids containing analytes when covered with an IR laser-absorbing layer that can be resonantly ablated. This soft ejection method takes advantage of the tenability of two-step infrared laser ablation and ultraviolet laser ionization mass spectrometry, previously demonstrated in this lab to study chemical reactions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in cryogenic ices. The IR laser pulse tuned to resonantly excite only the upper H2O ice layer (actor) generates a shockwave upon impact. This shockwave penetrates the lower analyte-containing D2O ice layer (spectator, a non-absorbing ice that cannot be ablated directly with the wavelength of the IR laser employed) and is reflected back, ejecting the contents of the D2O layer into the vacuum where they are intersected by a UV laser for ionization and detection by a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Thus, energy is transmitted from the laser-absorbing actor layer into the non-absorbing spectator layer resulting its ablation. We found that isotope cross-contamination between layers was negligible. We also did not see any evidence for thermal or collisional chemistry of PAH molecules with H2O molecules in the shockwave. We call this "shockwave mediated surface resonance enhanced subsurface ablation" technique as "two-step laser ablation and ionization mass spectrometry of actor-spectator ice layers." This method has its roots in the well-established MALDI (matrix assisted laser desorption and ionization) method. Our method offers more flexibility to optimize both the processes--ablation and ionization. This new technique can thus be potentially

  13. Commercialization of genetic research and its impact on the communication of results.

    PubMed

    Cardinal, G

    1999-01-01

    Canada has recently seen significant commercial growth in biotechnology; at the same time we have witnessed a considerable reduction in public funding for research. One result is the development of partnerships between academic institutions and industry, which has had important effects on the relationships between researchers, companies, research subjects and society, particularly in the field of genetics. Commercialization of research creates obstacles to the diffusion of research results which is fundamental to the advancement of science. Several recent studies and cases, which are briefly reviewed here, have highlighted these problems. In this paper, the author examines clauses in research contracts in order to analyze and categorize the types of provisions these contracts may contain regarding publication and disclosure of research results. She then discusses the relationships between various actors in genetic research and the issues and conflicts that may arise. Finally, an examination of some recently developed policies in this area reveals the complex network of norms to which a researcher must adhere. The normative framework must take into account the interests of all the various actors, should apply to the broadest possible population, and its various parts must be consistent. Researchers must then be vigilant that they do not enter into contracts which conflict with their rights and obligations regarding publication and dissemination of results.

  14. [Scientific information systems: tools for measures of biomedical research impact].

    PubMed

    Navarrete Cortés, José; Banqueri Ozáez, Jesús

    2008-12-01

    The present article provides an analysis and description of the use of scientific information systems as instruments to measure and monitor results and investigative activity in biomedicine. Based on the current situation concerning the use and implementation of these systems, we offer a detailed description of the actors of these systems and propose a functional architecture for this class of software. In addition, the instruments that these types of systems offer for the measurement of the impact of the results of research are described in depth, as these instruments can help in decision making. Finally, a selection of national and international scientific information systems are listed and reviewed. PMID:19631827

  15. How institutional change and individual researchers helped advance clinical guidelines in American health care.

    PubMed

    Nigam, Amit

    2013-06-01

    Clinical guidelines are important tools for managing health care quality. Research on the origins of guidelines primarily focuses on the institutional causes of their emergence and growth. Individual medical researchers, however, have played important roles. This paper develops knowledge of the role of individual medical researchers in advancing guidelines, and of how researchers' efforts were enabled or constrained by broader institutional changes. Drawing on an analytical case study focused on the role of Kerr White, John Wennberg, and Robert Brook, it shows that guidelines were a product of the interplay between institutional change in the medical field and actions by individual researchers, acting as institutional entrepreneurs. Increased government involvement in the health care field triggered the involvement of a range of new actors in health care. These new organizations created a context that allowed individual researchers to advance guidelines by creating job opportunities, providing research funding, and creating opportunities for researchers to engage with the policy process. Individual researchers availed of this context to both advance their ideas, and to draw new actors into the field. PMID:23631774

  16. Research on ethics in nursing care for older people: a literature review.

    PubMed

    Suhonen, Riitta; Stolt, Minna; Launis, Veikko; Leino-Kilpi, Helena

    2010-05-01

    The aim of this review was to analyse the empirical studies that focus on ethics in nursing care for older people, scoping the need and areas for further study. A search of the MEDLINE and CINAHL databases (earliest to August 2009) was conducted using the the keywords: ethic* and nursing or care or caring and elderly or aged or older. After a four-stage process, 71 empirical articles were included in the review, with informants ranging from elderly people to relatives, caregivers, managers and students in care settings. The review focuses on the concepts, contexts, methods and validity of these studies. Based on the analysis, the reviewed research seems to be fragmented and multifaceted, focussing on selected issues such as autonomy, self-determination and informed consent. No large research programs or research traditions were found so it was not possible to draw any conclusions about suitable methods, study designs or instruments of measurement for use in this research area.

  17. Incorporating BDI Agents into Human-Agent Decision Making Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamphorst, Bart; van Wissen, Arlette; Dignum, Virginia

    Artificial agents, people, institutes and societies all have the ability to make decisions. Decision making as a research area therefore involves a broad spectrum of sciences, ranging from Artificial Intelligence to economics to psychology. The Colored Trails (CT) framework is designed to aid researchers in all fields in examining decision making processes. It is developed both to study interaction between multiple actors (humans or software agents) in a dynamic environment, and to study and model the decision making of these actors. However, agents in the current implementation of CT lack the explanatory power to help understand the reasoning processes involved in decision making. The BDI paradigm that has been proposed in the agent research area to describe rational agents, enables the specification of agents that reason in abstract concepts such as beliefs, goals, plans and events. In this paper, we present CTAPL: an extension to CT that allows BDI software agents that are written in the practical agent programming language 2APL to reason about and interact with a CT environment.

  18. Consultancy research as a barrier to strengthening social science research capacity in Uganda.

    PubMed

    Wight, Daniel; Ahikire, Josephine; Kwesiga, Joy C

    2014-09-01

    There is a shortage of senior African social scientists available to lead or manage research in Africa, undermining the continent's ability to interpret and solve its socio-economic and public health problems. This is despite decades of investment to strengthen research capacity. This study investigated the role of individually commissioned consultancy research in this lack of capacity. In 2006 structured interviews (N = 95) and two group discussions (N = 16 total) were conducted with a fairly representative sample of Ugandan academic social scientists from four universities. Twenty-four senior members of 22 Ugandan and international commissioning organizations were interviewed. Eight key actors were interviewed in greater depth. Much of Ugandan social science research appears to take the form of small, individually contracted consultancy projects. Researchers perceived this to constrain their professional development and, more broadly, social science research capacity across Uganda. Conversely, most research commissioners seemed broadly satisfied with the research expertise available and felt no responsibility to contribute to strengthening research capacity. Most consultancy research does not involve institutional overheads and there seems little awareness of, or interest in, such overheads. Although inequalities in the global knowledge economy are probably perpetuated primarily by macro-level factors, in line with Dependency Theory, meso-level factors are also important. The current research market and institutional structures in Uganda appear to create career paths that seriously impede the development of high quality social science research capacity, undermining donor investments and professional effort to strengthen this capacity. These problems are probably generic to much of sub-Saharan Africa. However, both commissioning and research organizations seem ready, in principle, to establish national guidelines for institutional research consultancies. These

  19. Consultancy research as a barrier to strengthening social science research capacity in Uganda.

    PubMed

    Wight, Daniel; Ahikire, Josephine; Kwesiga, Joy C

    2014-09-01

    There is a shortage of senior African social scientists available to lead or manage research in Africa, undermining the continent's ability to interpret and solve its socio-economic and public health problems. This is despite decades of investment to strengthen research capacity. This study investigated the role of individually commissioned consultancy research in this lack of capacity. In 2006 structured interviews (N = 95) and two group discussions (N = 16 total) were conducted with a fairly representative sample of Ugandan academic social scientists from four universities. Twenty-four senior members of 22 Ugandan and international commissioning organizations were interviewed. Eight key actors were interviewed in greater depth. Much of Ugandan social science research appears to take the form of small, individually contracted consultancy projects. Researchers perceived this to constrain their professional development and, more broadly, social science research capacity across Uganda. Conversely, most research commissioners seemed broadly satisfied with the research expertise available and felt no responsibility to contribute to strengthening research capacity. Most consultancy research does not involve institutional overheads and there seems little awareness of, or interest in, such overheads. Although inequalities in the global knowledge economy are probably perpetuated primarily by macro-level factors, in line with Dependency Theory, meso-level factors are also important. The current research market and institutional structures in Uganda appear to create career paths that seriously impede the development of high quality social science research capacity, undermining donor investments and professional effort to strengthen this capacity. These problems are probably generic to much of sub-Saharan Africa. However, both commissioning and research organizations seem ready, in principle, to establish national guidelines for institutional research consultancies. These

  20. Research News

    MedlinePlus

    Research News - National Multiple Sclerosis Society Skip to navigation Skip to content Menu Navigation National Multiple Sclerosis ... Email Home Research Research News & Progress Research News Research News Share Smaller Text Larger Text Print Read ...

  1. An overview of NASA intermittent combustion engine research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Willis, E. A.; Wintucky, W. T.

    1984-01-01

    This paper overviews the current program, whose objective is to establish the generic technology base for advanced aircraft I.C. engines of the early 1990's and beyond. The major emphasis of this paper is on development of the past two years. Past studies and ongoing confirmatory experimental efforts are reviewed, which show unexpectly high potential when modern aerospace technologies are applied to inherently compact and balanced I.C. engine configurations. Currently, the program is focussed on two engine concepts the stratified-charge, multi-fuel rotary, and the lightweight two-stroke diesel. A review is given of contracted and planned high performance one-rotor and one-cylinder test engine work addressing several levels of technology. Also reviewed are basic supporting efforts, e.g., the development and experimental validation of computerized airflow and combustion process models, being performed in-house at Lewis Research Center and by university grants.

  2. Translating research findings into community based theatre: More than a dead man's wife.

    PubMed

    Feldman, Susan; Hopgood, Alan; Dickins, Marissa

    2013-12-01

    Increasingly, qualitative scholars in health and social sciences are turning to innovative strategies as a way of translating research findings into informative, accessible and enjoyable forms for the community. The aim of this article is to describe how the research findings of a doctoral thesis - a narrative study about 58 older women's experiences of widowhood - were translated into a unique and professionally developed script to form the basis for a successful theatrical production that has travelled extensively within Australia. This article reports on the process of collaboration between a researcher, a highly regarded Australian actor/script writer and an ensemble of well-known and experienced professional actors. Together the collaborating partners translated the research data and findings about growing older and 'widowhood' into a high quality theatre production. In particular, we argue in this paper that research-based theatre is an appropriate medium for communicating research findings about important life issues of concern to older people in a safe, affirming and entertaining manner. By outlining the process of translating research findings into theatre we hope to show that there is a real value in this translation approach for both researcher and audience alike.

  3. Translating research findings into community based theatre: More than a dead man's wife.

    PubMed

    Feldman, Susan; Hopgood, Alan; Dickins, Marissa

    2013-12-01

    Increasingly, qualitative scholars in health and social sciences are turning to innovative strategies as a way of translating research findings into informative, accessible and enjoyable forms for the community. The aim of this article is to describe how the research findings of a doctoral thesis - a narrative study about 58 older women's experiences of widowhood - were translated into a unique and professionally developed script to form the basis for a successful theatrical production that has travelled extensively within Australia. This article reports on the process of collaboration between a researcher, a highly regarded Australian actor/script writer and an ensemble of well-known and experienced professional actors. Together the collaborating partners translated the research data and findings about growing older and 'widowhood' into a high quality theatre production. In particular, we argue in this paper that research-based theatre is an appropriate medium for communicating research findings about important life issues of concern to older people in a safe, affirming and entertaining manner. By outlining the process of translating research findings into theatre we hope to show that there is a real value in this translation approach for both researcher and audience alike. PMID:24300067

  4. The use of chemical dispersants to combat oil spills at sea: A review of practice and research needs in Europe.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Helen; Purnell, Karen; Law, Robin J; Kirby, Mark F

    2007-07-01

    In order to better understand the practice of dispersant use, a review has been undertaken of marine oil spills over a 10 year period (1995-2005), looking in particular at variations between different regions and oil-types. This viewpoint presents and analyses the review data and examines a range of dispersant use policies. The paper also discusses the need for a reasoned approach to dispersant use and introduces past cases and studies to highlight lessons learned over the past ten years, focussing on dispersant effectiveness and monitoring; toxicity and environmental effects; the use of dispersants in low salinity waters; response planning and future research needs. PMID:17499814

  5. Research on cognitive, social and cultural processes of written communication.

    PubMed

    Arroyo González, Rosario; Salvador Mata, Francisco

    2009-08-01

    This article compiles the investigations carried out by a Research Group of the University of Granada, Spain. Its different projects on writing's cognitive social and cultural processes have been supported by the Spanish Government. This line of research joined together linguistic, psychological, social and cultural contributions to the development of writing from the 1970s. Currently, this line of research develops in collaboration with other European Universities: (a) Interuniversity Centre for Research On Cognitive Processing in Natural and Artificial Systems (ECONA), "La Sapienza" University of Rome (Italy); (b) Anadolu University, (Eskisehir, Turkey); (c) Coimbra University (Portugal); (d) University of Zaragoza (Spain); (e) the Institute of Education of the University of London (United Kingdom). The aforementioned collaboration is materializing into projects like the International Master on Multilingual Writing: Cognitive, Intercultural and Technological Processes of Written Communication ( http://www.multilingualwriting.com ) and the International Congress: Writing in the twenty-first Century: Cognition, Multilinguisim and Technologies, held in Granada ( http://www.asprogrades.org ). This research line is focussed on the development of strategies in writing development, basic to train twenty-first century societies' citizens. In these societies, participation in production media, social exchange and the development of multilingual written communication skills through new computer technologies spread multicultural values. In order to fulfil the social exigencies, it is needed to have the collaboration of research groups for designing and applying international research projects. PMID:19234731

  6. Research on cognitive, social and cultural processes of written communication.

    PubMed

    Arroyo González, Rosario; Salvador Mata, Francisco

    2009-08-01

    This article compiles the investigations carried out by a Research Group of the University of Granada, Spain. Its different projects on writing's cognitive social and cultural processes have been supported by the Spanish Government. This line of research joined together linguistic, psychological, social and cultural contributions to the development of writing from the 1970s. Currently, this line of research develops in collaboration with other European Universities: (a) Interuniversity Centre for Research On Cognitive Processing in Natural and Artificial Systems (ECONA), "La Sapienza" University of Rome (Italy); (b) Anadolu University, (Eskisehir, Turkey); (c) Coimbra University (Portugal); (d) University of Zaragoza (Spain); (e) the Institute of Education of the University of London (United Kingdom). The aforementioned collaboration is materializing into projects like the International Master on Multilingual Writing: Cognitive, Intercultural and Technological Processes of Written Communication ( http://www.multilingualwriting.com ) and the International Congress: Writing in the twenty-first Century: Cognition, Multilinguisim and Technologies, held in Granada ( http://www.asprogrades.org ). This research line is focussed on the development of strategies in writing development, basic to train twenty-first century societies' citizens. In these societies, participation in production media, social exchange and the development of multilingual written communication skills through new computer technologies spread multicultural values. In order to fulfil the social exigencies, it is needed to have the collaboration of research groups for designing and applying international research projects.

  7. Closing the translation gap for justice requirements in international research.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Bridget; Zion, Deborah; Lwin, Khin Maung; Cheah, Phaik Yeong; Nosten, Francois; Loff, Bebe

    2012-09-01

    Bioethicists have long debated the content of sponsors and researchers' obligations of justice in international clinical research. However, there has been little empirical investigation as to whether and how obligations of responsiveness, ancillary care, post-trial benefits and research capacity strengthening are upheld in low- and middle-income country settings. In this paper, the authors argue that research ethics guidelines need to be more informed by international research practice. Practical guidance on how to fulfil these obligations is needed if research groups and other actors are to successfully translate them into practice because doing so is often a complicated, context-specific process. Case study research methods offer one avenue for collecting data to develop this guidance. The authors describe how such methods have been used in relation to the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit's vivax malaria treatment (VHX) trial (NCT01074905). Relying on the VHX trial example, the paper shows how information can be gathered from not only international clinical researchers but also trial participants, community advisory board members and research funder representatives in order to: (1) measure evidence of responsiveness, provision of ancillary care, access to post-trial benefits and research capacity strengthening in international clinical research; and (2) identify the contextual factors and roles and responsibilities that were instrumental in the fulfilment of these ethical obligations. Such empirical work is necessary to inform the articulation of obligations of justice in international research and to develop guidance on how to fulfil them in order to facilitate better adherence to guidelines' requirements.

  8. Protecting vulnerable research participants: a Foucault-inspired analysis of ethics committees.

    PubMed

    Juritzen, Truls I; Grimen, Harald; Heggen, Kristin

    2011-09-01

    History has demonstrated the necessity of protecting research participants. Research ethics are based on a concept of asymmetry of power, viewing the researcher as powerful and potentially dangerous and establishing ethics committees as external agencies in the field of research. We argue in favour of expanding this perspective on relationships of power to encompass the ethics committees as one among several actors that exert power and that act in a relational interplay with researchers and participants. We employ Michel Foucault's ideas of power as an omnipresent force which is dynamic and unstable, as well as the notion that knowledge and power are inextricably intertwined. The article discusses how research ethics committees may affect academic freedom. In addition it is pointed out that research participants could be harmed - not only by unfortunate research practices, but also by being subjected to the protective efforts of ethics monitoring bodies.

  9. Fuel gas combustion research at METC

    SciTech Connect

    Norton, T.S.

    1995-06-01

    The in-house combustion research program at METC is an integral part of many METC activities, providing support to METC product teams, project managers, and external industrial and university partners. While the majority of in-house combustion research in recent years has been focussed on the lean premixed combustion of natural gas fuel for Advanced Turbine Systems (ATS) applications, increasing emphasis is being placed on issues of syngas combustion, as the time approaches when the ATS and coal-fired power systems programs will reach convergence. When the METC syngas generator is built in 1996, METC will have the unique combination of mid-scale pressurized experimental facilities, a continuous syngas supply with variable ammonia loading, and a team of people with expertise in low-emissions combustion, chemical kinetics, combustion modeling, combustion diagnostics, and the control of combustion instabilities. These will enable us to investigate such issues as the effects of pressure, temperature, and fuel gas composition on the rate of conversion of fuel nitrogen to NOx, and on combustion instabilities in a variety of combustor designs.

  10. Ocean energy conversion systems annual research report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-03-01

    Alternative power cycle concepts to the closed-cycle Rankine are evaluated and those that show potential for delivering power in a cost-effective and environmentally acceptable fashion are explored. Concepts are classified according to the ocean energy resource: thermal, waves, currents, and salinity gradient. Research projects have been funded and reported in each of these areas. The lift of seawater entrained in a vertical steam flow can provide potential energy for a conventional hydraulic turbine conversion system. Quantification of the process and assessment of potential costs must be completed to support concept evaluation. Exploratory development is being completed in thermoelectricity and 2-phase nozzles for other thermal concepts. Wave energy concepts are being evaluated by analysis and model testing with present emphasis on pneumatic turbines and wave focussing. Likewise, several conversion approaches to ocean current energy are being evaluated. The use of salinity resources requires further research in membranes or the development of membraneless processes. Using the thermal resource in a Claude cycle process as a power converter is promising, and a program of R and D and subsystem development has been initiated to provide confirmation of the preliminary conclusion.

  11. Research on Utilization of Geo-Energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bock, Michaela; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; GeoEn Working Group

    2013-04-01

    The world's energy demand will increase year by year and we have to search for alternative energy resources. New concepts concerning the energy production from geo-resources have to be provided and developed. The joint project GeoEn combines research on the four core themes geothermal energy, shale gas, CO2 capture and CO2 storage. Sustainable energy production from deep geothermal energy resources is addressed including all processes related to geothermal technologies, from reservoir exploitation to energy conversion in the power plant. The research on the unconventional natural gas resource, shale gas, is focussed on the sedimentological, diagenetic and compositional characteristics of gas shales. Technologies and solutions for the prevention of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide are developed in the research fields CO2 capture technologies, utilization, transport, and CO2 storage. Those four core themes are studied with an integrated approach using the synergy of cross-cutting methodologies. New exploration and reservoir technologies and innovative monitoring methods, e.g. CSMT (controlled-source magnetotellurics) are examined and developed. All disciplines are complemented by numerical simulations of the relevant processes. A particular strength of the project is the availability of large experimental infrastructures where the respective technologies are tested and monitored. These include the power plant Schwarze Pumpe, where the Oxyfuel process is improved, the pilot storage site for CO2 in Ketzin and the geothermal research platform Groß Schönebeck, with two deep wells and an experimental plant overground for research on corrosion. In addition to fundamental research, the acceptance of new technologies, especially in the field of CCS is examined. Another focus addressed is the impact of shale gas production on the environment. A further important goal is the education of young scientists in the new field "geo-energy" to fight skills shortage in this field

  12. Attributes and National Behavior, Part 2: Modern International Relations Monograph Series. Patterns of Conflict: Relative Status-Field Theory, UU Actors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vincent, Jack E.

    This monograph presents the computer printout of an analysis of data on international conflict over a three-year period. Part of a large scale research project to test various theories with regard to their power in analyzing international relations, this monograph presents data on the application of discriminant function analysis of 'underdog'…

  13. Attributes and National Behavior, Part 2: Modern International Relations Monograph Series. Patterns of Cooperation: Relative Status-Field Theory, UU Actors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vincent, Jack E.

    This monograph presents an analysis of data on international cooperation over a three-year period. Part of a large scale research project to test various theories with regard to their power in analyzing international relations, this monograph presents the computer printout of data on the application of second stage factor analysis of 'underdog'…

  14. Attributes and National Behavior, Part 2: Modern International Relations Monograph Series. Relative Status-Field Theory, Results for Cooperation, UU Actors, 1966-1969, An Inventory of Findings.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vincent, Jack E.

    This monograph presents findings from an analysis of data on international cooperation over a three-year period. Part of a large scale research project to test various theories with regard to their power in analyzing international relations, this monograph presents the computer printout of data on the application of discriminant function analysis…

  15. Attributes and National Behavior, Part 2: Modern International Relations Monograph Series. Relative Status-Field Theory, Results for Conflict, UU Actors, 1966-1969, An Inventory of Findings.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vincent, Jack E.

    This monograph is a computer printout which presents findings from an analysis of data on international conflict over a three-year period. Part of a large scale research project to test various theories with regard to their ability to analyze international relations, this monograph presents the computer printout of data on the application of…

  16. Attributes and National Behavior, Part 2: Modern International Relations Monograph Series. Patterns of Cooperation: Relative Status-Field Theory, TT Actors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vincent, Jack E.

    This monograph presents findings from an analysis of data on international cooperation over a three-year period. Part of a large scale research project to test various theories with regard to their power in analyzing international relations, this monograph reports on the testing of relative status field theory on WEIS conflict data for 1966-1969…

  17. Attributes and National Behavior, Part 2: Modern International Relations Monograph Series. Relative Status-Field Theory, Results for Conflict, TT Actors, 1966-69, An Inventory of Findings.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vincent, Jack E.

    This monograph presents findings on international conflict over a three-year period. Part of a large scale research project to test various theories with regard to their power in analyzing international relations, this monograph presents a computer printout of data regarding 'topdog' behavior among nations with regard to economic development and…

  18. Malaria Research

    MedlinePlus

    ... Malaria > Research Malaria Understanding Research NIAID Role Basic Biology Prevention and Control Strategies Strategic Partnerships and Research ... the malaria parasite. Related Links Global Research​ Vector Biology International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMR) ...

  19. How can qualitative research be utilised in the NHS when re-designing and commissioning services?

    PubMed

    Barker, Karen L

    2015-02-01

    Patient experience is acknowledged as a key quality metric of healthcare quality and can be used to identify problems with healthcare delivery, to drive quality improvements and to inform commissioning of services that promote patient choice. In this article, the contribution of qualitative research studies to inform the redesign and patient-focussed commissioning of services is considered, illustrated with particular reference to elective orthopaedic surgical services. To fully embrace the concept of patient and public involvement (PPI) and to embed it in service delivery, health service design and informing commissioners to purchase healthcare that truly meets patient need and expectations, qualitative research has an increasingly important role to play. Through well-conducted qualitative research exploring patients' experiences, their knowledge and experiences of conditions can be utilised for the benefit of others and the impact of the patient voice truly heard when designing and commissioning healthcare services.

  20. Geothermal Program Review XV: proceedings. Role of Research in the Changing World of Energy Supply

    SciTech Connect

    1997-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy`s Office of Geothermal Technologies conducted its annual Program Review XV in Berkeley, March 24-26, 1997. The geothermal community came together for an in-depth review of the federally-sponsored geothermal research and development program. This year`s theme focussed on {open_quotes}The Role of Research in the Changing World of Energy Supply.{close_quotes} This annual conference is designed to promote technology transfer by bringing together DOE-sponsored researchers; utility representatives; geothermal developers; equipment and service suppliers; representatives from local, state, and federal agencies; and others with an interest in geothermal energy. Separate abstracts have been indexed to the database for contributions to this conference.