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Sample records for hashi syedain explains

  1. The Mayer Hashi Large-Scale Program to Increase Use of Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives and Permanent Methods in Bangladesh: Explaining the Disappointing Results. An Outcome and Process Evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Mizanur; Haider, M Moinuddin; Curtis, Sian L; Lance, Peter M

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Background: Bangladesh has achieved a low total fertility rate of 2.3. Two-thirds of currently married women of reproductive age (CMWRA) want to limit fertility, and many women achieve their desired fertility before age 30. The incidence of unintended pregnancy and pregnancy termination is high, however. Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), consisting of the intrauterine device and implant, and permanent methods (PM), including female sterilization and vasectomy, offer several advantages in this situation, but only 8% of CMWRA or 13% of method users use these methods. Program: The Mayer Hashi (MH) program (2009–2013) aimed to improve access to and the quality of LARC/PM services in 21 of the 64 districts in Bangladesh. It was grounded in the SEED (supply–enabling environment–demand) Programming Model. Supply improvements addressed provider knowledge and skills, system strengthening, and logistics. Creating an enabling environment involved holding workshops with local and community leaders, including religious leaders, to encourage them to help promote demand for LARCs and PMs and overcome cultural barriers. Demand promotion encompassed training of providers in counseling, distribution of behavior change communication materials in the community and in facilities, and community mobilization. Methods: We selected 6 MH program districts and 3 nonprogram districts to evaluate the program. We used a before–after and intervention–comparison design to measure the changes in key contraceptive behavior outcomes, and we used a difference-in-differences (DID) specification with comparison to the nonprogram districts to capture the impact of the program. In addition to the outcome evaluation, we considered intermediate indicators that measured the processes through which the interventions were expected to affect the use of LARCs and PMs. Results: The use of LARCs/PMs among CMWRA increased between 2010 and 2013 in both program (from 5.3% to 7.5%) and

  2. Reporting explained variance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Good, Ron; Fletcher, Harold J.

    The importance of reporting explained variance (sometimes referred to as magnitude of effects) in ANOVA designs is discussed in this paper. Explained variance is an estimate of the strength of the relationship between treatment (or other factors such as sex, grade level, etc.) and dependent variables of interest to the researcher(s). Three methods that can be used to obtain estimates of explained variance in ANOVA designs are described and applied to 16 studies that were reported in recent volumes of this journal. The results show that, while in most studies the treatment accounts for a relatively small proportion of the variance in dependent variable scores., in., some studies the magnitude of the treatment effect is respectable. The authors recommend that researchers in science education report explained variance in addition to the commonly reported tests of significance, since the latter are inadequate as the sole basis for making decisions about the practical importance of factors of interest to science education researchers.

  3. Explaining cloud chamber tracks

    SciTech Connect

    Broyles, A.A.

    1992-06-16

    The operation of many detection devices is usually explained in terms of the ionization tracks produced by particles despite the fact that the corresponding incident wave functions extended over the entire sensitive regions of the detectors. The mechanisms by which the wave function appears to collapse to a track is analyzed here.

  4. Explaining the Interpretive Mind.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brockmeier, Jens

    1996-01-01

    Examines two prominent positions in the epistemological foundations of psychology--Piaget's causal explanatory claims and Vygotsky's interpretive understanding; contends that they need to be placed in their wider philosophical contexts. Argues that the danger of causally explaining cultural practices through which human beings construct and…

  5. Explaining Immigrant Naturalization.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Philip Q.

    1994-01-01

    Proposes a broad analytical framework in the study of immigrant naturalization that incorporates an immigrant's individual characteristics with the larger social contexts in the country of origin and the country of destination to explain the likelihood of citizenship acquisition. Results testing of this framework show that such considerations are…

  6. Explaining embodied cognition results.

    PubMed

    Lakoff, George

    2012-10-01

    From the late 1950s until 1975, cognition was understood mainly as disembodied symbol manipulation in cognitive psychology, linguistics, artificial intelligence, and the nascent field of Cognitive Science. The idea of embodied cognition entered the field of Cognitive Linguistics at its beginning in 1975. Since then, cognitive linguists, working with neuroscientists, computer scientists, and experimental psychologists, have been developing a neural theory of thought and language (NTTL). Central to NTTL are the following ideas: (a) we think with our brains, that is, thought is physical and is carried out by functional neural circuitry; (b) what makes thought meaningful are the ways those neural circuits are connected to the body and characterize embodied experience; (c) so-called abstract ideas are embodied in this way as well, as is language. Experimental results in embodied cognition are seen not only as confirming NTTL but also explained via NTTL, mostly via the neural theory of conceptual metaphor. Left behind more than three decades ago is the old idea that cognition uses the abstract manipulation of disembodied symbols that are meaningless in themselves but that somehow constitute internal "representations of external reality" without serious mediation by the body and brain. This article uniquely explains the connections between embodied cognition results since that time and results from cognitive linguistics, experimental psychology, computational modeling, and neuroscience.

  7. Explaining wartime rape.

    PubMed

    Gottschall, Jonathan

    2004-05-01

    In the years since the first reports of mass rapes in the Yugoslavian wars of secession and the genocidal massacres in Rwanda, feminist activists and scholars, human rights organizations, journalists, and social scientists have dedicated unprecedented efforts to document, explain, and seek solutions for the phenomenon of wartime rape. While contributors to this literature agree on much, there is no consensus on causal factors. This paper provides a brief overview of the literature on wartime rape in historical and ethnographical societies and a critical analysis of the four leading explanations for its root causes: the feminist theory, the cultural pathology theory, the strategic rape theory, and the biosocial theory. The paper concludes that the biosocial theory is the only one capable of bringing all the phenomena associated with wartime rape into a single explanatory context.

  8. Explaining immigrant naturalization.

    PubMed

    Yang, P Q

    1994-01-01

    "Prior research on immigrant naturalization has focused mainly on the effects of immigrants' adaptation experiences and demographic characteristics on their propensity to naturalize. This article proposes a broader analytical framework which incorporates immigrants' individual characteristics and larger social contexts in the country of origin and the country of destination to explain the likelihood of citizenship acquisition. The framework is tested for a cohort of recent immigrants, using the PUMS data from the 1980 U.S. census. The results show that economic, political, social, cultural and geographical conditions in the country of origin, and immigrants ethnic communities and urban concentration in the country of destination, to a large extent influence immigrants' propensity for naturalization and that, net of the contextual factors, many of the immigrants' adaptation and demographic characteristics are also significant predictors of citizenship acquisition."

  9. Explaining moral religions.

    PubMed

    Baumard, Nicolas; Boyer, Pascal

    2013-06-01

    Moralizing religions, unlike religions with morally indifferent gods or spirits, appeared only recently in some (but not all) large-scale human societies. A crucial feature of these new religions is their emphasis on proportionality (between deeds and supernatural rewards, between sins and penance, and in the formulation of the Golden Rule, according to which one should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself). Cognitive science models that account for many properties of religion can be extended to these religions. Recent models of evolved dispositions for fairness in cooperation suggest that proportionality-based morality is highly intuitive to human beings. The cultural success of moralizing movements, secular or religious, could be explained based on proportionality.

  10. Explaining moral religions.

    PubMed

    Baumard, Nicolas; Boyer, Pascal

    2013-06-01

    Moralizing religions, unlike religions with morally indifferent gods or spirits, appeared only recently in some (but not all) large-scale human societies. A crucial feature of these new religions is their emphasis on proportionality (between deeds and supernatural rewards, between sins and penance, and in the formulation of the Golden Rule, according to which one should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself). Cognitive science models that account for many properties of religion can be extended to these religions. Recent models of evolved dispositions for fairness in cooperation suggest that proportionality-based morality is highly intuitive to human beings. The cultural success of moralizing movements, secular or religious, could be explained based on proportionality. PMID:23664451

  11. Jupiter's Gossamer Rings Explained.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, D. P.

    2003-05-01

    Over the past several years, Galileo measurements and groundbased imaging have drastically improved our knowledge of Jupiter's faint ring system. We now recognize that the ring consists of four components: a main ring 7000km wide, whose inner edge blossoms into a vertically-extended halo, and a pair of more tenuous Gossamer rings, one associated with each of the small moons Thebe and Amalthea. When viewed edge on, the Gossamer rings appear as diaphanous disks whose thicknesses agree with the vertical excursions of the inclined satellites from the equatorial plane. In addition, the brightness of each Gossamer ring drops off sharply outside the satellite orbits. These correlations allowed Burns etal (1999, Science, 284, 1146) to argue convincingly that the satellites act as sources of the dusty ring material. In addition, since most material is seen inside the orbits of the source satellites, an inwardly-acting dissipative force such as Poynting-Robertson drag is implicated. The most serious problem with this simple and elegant picture is that it is unable to explain the existence of a faint swath of material that extends half a jovian radius outward from Thebe. A key constraint is that this material has the same thickness as the rest of the Thebe ring. In this work, we identify the mechanism responsible for the outward extension: it is a shadow resonance, first investigated by Horanyi and Burns (1991, JGR, 96, 19283). When a dust grain enters Jupiter's shadow, photoelectric processes shut down and the grain's electric charge becomes more negative. The electromagnetic forces associated with the varying charge cause periodic oscillations in the orbital eccentricity and semimajor axis as the orbital pericenter precesses. This results in a ring which spreads both inward and outward of its source satellite while preserving its vertical thickness - just as is observed for the Thebe ring. Predictions of the model are: i) gaps of micron-sized material interior to Thebe and

  12. Your Radiologist Explains CT Colonography

    MedlinePlus

    ... this Site RadiologyInfo.org is produced by: Image/Video Gallery Your Radiologist Explains CT Colonography (Virtual colonoscopy) ... time and for your attention! Spotlight Recently posted: Video: Ultrasound-guided Breast Biopsy Video: Breast MRI Video: ...

  13. Your Radiologist Explains Nuclear Medicine

    MedlinePlus

    ... produced by: Image/Video Gallery Your Radiologist Explains Nuclear Medicine Transcript Welcome to Radiology Info dot org ... I’d like to talk to you about nuclear medicine. Nuclear medicine offers the potential to identify ...

  14. Does market competition explain fairness?

    PubMed

    Descioli, Peter

    2013-02-01

    The target article by Baumard et al. uses their previous model of bargaining with outside options to explain fairness and other features of human sociality. This theory implies that fairness judgments are determined by supply and demand but humans often perceive prices (divisions of surplus) in competitive markets to be unfair.

  15. Explaining Errors in Children's Questions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowland, Caroline F.

    2007-01-01

    The ability to explain the occurrence of errors in children's speech is an essential component of successful theories of language acquisition. The present study tested some generativist and constructivist predictions about error on the questions produced by ten English-learning children between 2 and 5 years of age. The analyses demonstrated that,…

  16. Explaining the gender wealth gap.

    PubMed

    Ruel, Erin; Hauser, Robert M

    2013-08-01

    To assess and explain the United States' gender wealth gap, we use the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study to examine wealth accumulated by a single cohort over 50 years by gender, by marital status, and limited to the respondents who are their family's best financial reporters. We find large gender wealth gaps between currently married men and women, and between never-married men and women. The never-married accumulate less wealth than the currently married, and there is a marital disruption cost to wealth accumulation. The status-attainment model shows the most power in explaining gender wealth gaps between these groups explaining about one-third to one-half of the gap, followed by the human-capital explanation. In other words, a lifetime of lower earnings for women translates into greatly reduced wealth accumulation. After controlling for the full model, we find that a gender wealth gap remains between married men and women that we speculate may be related to gender differences in investment strategies and selection effects.

  17. Explaining mirror-touch synesthesia.

    PubMed

    Ward, Jamie; Banissy, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Mirror-touch synesthesia (MTS) is the conscious experience of tactile sensations induced by seeing someone else touched. This paper considers two different, although not mutually exclusive, theoretical explanations and, in the final section, considers the relation between MTS and other forms of synesthesia and also other kinds of vicarious perception (e.g., contagious yawning). The Threshold Theory explains MTS in terms of hyper-activity within a mirror system for touch and/or pain. This offers a good account for some of the evidence (e.g., from fMRI) but fails to explain the whole pattern (e.g., structural brain differences outside of this system; performance on some tests of social cognition). The Self-Other Theory explains MTS in terms of disturbances in the ability to distinguish the self from others. This can be construed in terms of over-extension of the bodily self in to others, or as difficulties in the control of body-based self-other representations. In this account, MTS is a symptom of a broader cognitive profile. We suggest this meets the criteria for synesthesia, despite the proximal causal mechanisms remaining largely unknown, and that the tendency to localize vicarious sensory experiences distinguishes it from other kinds of seemingly related phenomena (e.g., non-localized affective responses to observing pain).

  18. Explaining mirror-touch synesthesia.

    PubMed

    Ward, Jamie; Banissy, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Mirror-touch synesthesia (MTS) is the conscious experience of tactile sensations induced by seeing someone else touched. This paper considers two different, although not mutually exclusive, theoretical explanations and, in the final section, considers the relation between MTS and other forms of synesthesia and also other kinds of vicarious perception (e.g., contagious yawning). The Threshold Theory explains MTS in terms of hyper-activity within a mirror system for touch and/or pain. This offers a good account for some of the evidence (e.g., from fMRI) but fails to explain the whole pattern (e.g., structural brain differences outside of this system; performance on some tests of social cognition). The Self-Other Theory explains MTS in terms of disturbances in the ability to distinguish the self from others. This can be construed in terms of over-extension of the bodily self in to others, or as difficulties in the control of body-based self-other representations. In this account, MTS is a symptom of a broader cognitive profile. We suggest this meets the criteria for synesthesia, despite the proximal causal mechanisms remaining largely unknown, and that the tendency to localize vicarious sensory experiences distinguishes it from other kinds of seemingly related phenomena (e.g., non-localized affective responses to observing pain). PMID:25893437

  19. Explaining errors in children's questions.

    PubMed

    Rowland, Caroline F

    2007-07-01

    The ability to explain the occurrence of errors in children's speech is an essential component of successful theories of language acquisition. The present study tested some generativist and constructivist predictions about error on the questions produced by ten English-learning children between 2 and 5 years of age. The analyses demonstrated that, as predicted by some generativist theories [e.g. Santelmann, L., Berk, S., Austin, J., Somashekar, S. & Lust. B. (2002). Continuity and development in the acquisition of inversion in yes/no questions: dissociating movement and inflection, Journal of Child Language, 29, 813-842], questions with auxiliary DO attracted higher error rates than those with modal auxiliaries. However, in wh-questions, questions with modals and DO attracted equally high error rates, and these findings could not be explained in terms of problems forming questions with why or negated auxiliaries. It was concluded that the data might be better explained in terms of a constructivist account that suggests that entrenched item-based constructions may be protected from error in children's speech, and that errors occur when children resort to other operations to produce questions [e.g. Dabrowska, E. (2000). From formula to schema: the acquisition of English questions. Cognitive Liguistics, 11, 83-102; Rowland, C. F. & Pine, J. M. (2000). Subject-auxiliary inversion errors and wh-question acquisition: What children do know? Journal of Child Language, 27, 157-181; Tomasello, M. (2003). Constructing a language: A usage-based theory of language acquisition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press]. However, further work on constructivist theory development is required to allow researchers to make predictions about the nature of these operations.

  20. Towards Explaining the Water Siphon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jumper, William D.; Stanchev, Boris

    2014-11-01

    Many high school and introductory college physics courses cover topics in fluidics through the Bernoulli and Poiseuille equations, and consequently one might think that siphons should present an excellent opportunity to engage students in various laboratory measurement exercises incorporating these fascinating devices. However, the flow rates (or average exit velocities) of simple water siphons have not been sufficiently explained,1 nor has an associated analytical model been developed demonstrating sufficient experimental correspondence to allow physics instructors to bring closure between theoretical concepts and laboratory experiences. We present such an explanation and analytical model for the flow rates of simple water tube siphons. Further, we report measurements that show the model gives good correspondence to flow rates of siphons over a wide range of tube lengths, inner diameters, and water heights (hydrostatic head), and for which the Reynolds numbers range from 102 to 105.

  1. Dark antiatoms can explain DAMA

    SciTech Connect

    Wallemacq, Quentin; Cudell, Jean-René E-mail: jr.cudell@ulg.ac.be

    2015-02-01

    We show that the existence of a sub-dominant form of dark matter, made of dark ''antiatoms'' of mass m∼ 1 TeV and size a-dot {sub 0}∼ 3 fm, can explain the results of direct detection experiments, with a positive signal in DAMA/NaI and DAMA/LIBRA and no signal in other experiments. The signal comes from the binding of the dark antiatoms to thallium, a dopant in DAMA, and is not present for the constituent atoms of other experiments. The dark antiatoms are made of two particles oppositely charged under a dark U(1) symmetry and can bind to terrestrial atoms because of a kinetic mixing between the photon and the massless dark photon, such that the dark particles acquire an electric millicharge ∼ ± 5.10{sup −4}e. This millicharge enables them to bind to high-Z atoms via radiative capture, after they thermalize in terrestrial matter through elastic collisions.

  2. Explain bioinformatics to your grandmother!

    PubMed

    Bernard, Virginie; Michaut, Magali

    2013-10-01

    What are you working on? You have certainly been asked that question many times, whether it be at a Saturday night party, during a discussion with your neighbors, or at a family gathering. Communicating with a lay audience about scientific subjects and making them attractive is a difficult task. But difficult or not, you will have to do it for many years, not only with your family and friends, but also with your colleagues and collaborators. So, better learn now! Although not usually taught, the ability to explain your work to others is an essential skill in science, where communication plays a key role. Using some examples of the French Regional Student Group activities, we discuss here (i) why it is important to have such communication skills, (ii) how you can get involved in these activities by using existing resources or working with people who have previous experience, and (iii) what you get out of this amazing experience. We aim to motivate you and provide you with tips and ideas to get involved in promoting scientific activities while getting all the benefits. PMID:24204239

  3. Explain bioinformatics to your grandmother!

    PubMed

    Bernard, Virginie; Michaut, Magali

    2013-10-01

    What are you working on? You have certainly been asked that question many times, whether it be at a Saturday night party, during a discussion with your neighbors, or at a family gathering. Communicating with a lay audience about scientific subjects and making them attractive is a difficult task. But difficult or not, you will have to do it for many years, not only with your family and friends, but also with your colleagues and collaborators. So, better learn now! Although not usually taught, the ability to explain your work to others is an essential skill in science, where communication plays a key role. Using some examples of the French Regional Student Group activities, we discuss here (i) why it is important to have such communication skills, (ii) how you can get involved in these activities by using existing resources or working with people who have previous experience, and (iii) what you get out of this amazing experience. We aim to motivate you and provide you with tips and ideas to get involved in promoting scientific activities while getting all the benefits.

  4. Your Radiologist Explains Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)

    MedlinePlus

    ... this Site RadiologyInfo.org is produced by: Image/Video Gallery Your Radiologist Explains Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) ... time and for your attention! Spotlight Recently posted: Video: Ultrasound-guided Breast Biopsy Video: Breast MRI Video: ...

  5. Topology Explains Why Automobile Sunshades Fold Oddly

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feist, Curtis; Naimi, Ramin

    2009-01-01

    Automobile sunshades always fold into an "odd" number of loops. The explanation why involves elementary topology (braid theory and linking number, both explained in detail here with definitions and examples), and an elementary fact from algebra about symmetric group.

  6. Designing Agents to Support Learning by Explaining

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holmes, Jeffrey

    2007-01-01

    Although prior research has shown that generating explanations encourages students to learn new content with deeper understanding and to monitor their own comprehension more effectively, helping students learn how to explain properly remains a significant challenge. This study investigated the use of software agents as learning partners in an…

  7. Explaining High Abilities of Nobel Laureates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shavinina, Larisa

    2004-01-01

    Although the Nobel Prize is associated with a rare, superior degree of intellectually creative achievement, high abilities of Nobel laureates are far from well explained. This paper argues that Nobel laureates' high abilities are determined in part by their extracognitive abilities, that is, specific feelings, preferences, beliefs and intuitive…

  8. Explaining Pregnancy Loss: Parents' and Physicians' Attributions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunn, Dana S.; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Asked 138 females and 56 of their male partners to explain why they believed their spontaneous abortion, fetal or neonatal death, or ectopic pregnancy occurred. Explanations for loss included blaming mother, physical problems with mother or fetus, fate, or no explanation. Physicians' explanations related to gestational age of fetus, although…

  9. How Employees Remain Happy: Explaining a Paradox

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hutton, Dorothy M.; Atkinson, Barbara; Judd, Priya; Darling, Julie; Tran, Linh; Cummins, Robert A.

    2004-01-01

    This paper draws on subjective quality of life theory to explain findings from three studies of quality of work life. The studies were conducted with 346 regional process workers, metropolitan employment officers and nurses. The results support the adoption of the theory of homeostasis as an explanation for findings on subjective wellbeing at work…

  10. Explaining Autism: Its Discursive and Neuroanatomical Characteristics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oller, John W., Jr.; Rascon, Dana

    This paper reviews the existing empirical research on autism in the context of the semiotic theories of Charles S. Peirce. His ideas of the generalized logic of relations are seen as explaining the unusual associations (or lack thereof) in autism. Concepts of "indices" or signs singling out distinct objects, and "adinity" or the number of distinct…

  11. Evidence and Proof: Explaining Vector Relationships.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doerr, Helen M.

    This paper addresses a central issue in secondary school geometry, namely the role of proof. In an integrated mathematics and science curriculum, the role of proof as a process of conjecturing, explaining, and justifying within a small-group setting is analyzed. Particular attention is given to the students' use of empirical evidence and algebraic…

  12. Heavy fermion behavior explained by bosons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kallio, A.; Poykko, S.; Apaja, V.

    1995-01-01

    Conventional heavy fermion (HF) theories require existence of massive fermions. We show that heavy fermion phenomena can also be simply explained by existence of bosons with moderate mass but temperature dependent concentration below the formation temperature T(sub B), which in turn is close to room temperature. The bosons B(++) are proposed to be in chemical equilibrium with a system of holes h(+): B(++) = h(+) + h(+). This equilibrium is governed by a boson breaking function f(T), which determines the decreasing boson density and the increasing fermion density with increasing temperature. Since HF-compounds are hybridized from minimum two elements, we assume in addition existence of another fermion component h(sub s)(+) with temperature independent density. This spectator component is thought to be the main agent in binding the bosons in analogy with electronic or muonic molecules. Using a linear boson breaking function we can explain temperature dependence of the giant linear specific heat coefficient gamma(T) coming essentially from bosons. The maxima in resistivity, Hall coefficient, and susceptibility are explained by boson localization effects due to the Wigner crystallization. The antiferromagnetic transitions in turn are explained by similar localization of the pairing fermion system when their density n(sub h)(T(sub FL)) becomes lower than n(sub WC), the critical density of Wigner crystallization. The model applies irrespective whether a compound is superconducting or not. The same model explains the occurrence of low temperature antiferromagnetism also in high-T(sub c) superconductors. The double transition in UPt3 is proposed to be due to the transition of the pairing fermion liquid from spin polarized to unpolarized state.

  13. Children's Theories and the Drive to Explain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwitzgebel, Eric

    Debate has been growing in developmental psychology over how much the cognitive development of children is like theory change in science. Useful debate on this topic requires a clear understanding of what it would be for a child to have a theory. I argue that existing accounts of theories within philosophy of science and developmental psychology either are less precise than is ideal for the task or cannot capture everyday theorizing of the sort that children, if they theorize, must do. I then propose an account of theories that ties theories and explanation very closely together, treating theories primarily as products of a drive to explain. I clarify some of the positions people have taken regarding the theory theory of development, and I conclude by proposing that psychologists interested in the ''theory theory'' look for patterns of affect and arousal in development that would accompany the existence of a drive to explain.

  14. Explaining Underrepresentation: A Theory of Precluded Interest.

    PubMed

    Cheryan, Sapna; Plaut, Victoria C

    2010-10-01

    What processes best explain women's underrepresentation in science, math, and engineering fields in the U.S.? Do they also explain men's underrepresentation in the humanities? Two survey studies across two U.S. West Coast universities (N = 62; N = 614) addressed these questions in the context of two fields: one male-dominated (computer science) and the other female-dominated (English). Among a set of social predictors-including perceived similarity to the people in the field, social identity threats, and expectations of success-the best mediator of women's lower interest in computer science and men's lower interest in English was perceived similarity. Thus, changing students' social perceptions of how they relate to those in the field may help to diversify academic fields.

  15. Explaining Underrepresentation: A Theory of Precluded Interest

    PubMed Central

    Plaut, Victoria C.

    2010-01-01

    What processes best explain women’s underrepresentation in science, math, and engineering fields in the U.S.? Do they also explain men’s underrepresentation in the humanities? Two survey studies across two U.S. West Coast universities (N = 62; N = 614) addressed these questions in the context of two fields: one male-dominated (computer science) and the other female-dominated (English). Among a set of social predictors—including perceived similarity to the people in the field, social identity threats, and expectations of success—the best mediator of women’s lower interest in computer science and men’s lower interest in English was perceived similarity. Thus, changing students’ social perceptions of how they relate to those in the field may help to diversify academic fields. PMID:20930923

  16. Explaining seeing? Disentangling qualia from perceptual organization.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez, Agustin; Bekinschtein, Tristan

    2010-09-01

    Abstract Visual perception and integration seem to play an essential role in our conscious phenomenology. Relatively local neural processing of reentrant nature may explain several visual integration processes (feature binding or figure-ground segregation, object recognition, inference, competition), even without attention or cognitive control. Based on the above statements, should the neural signatures of visual integration (via reentrant process) be non-reportable phenomenological qualia? We argue that qualia are not required to understand this perceptual organization.

  17. Dissipative dark matter explains rotation curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foot, R.

    2015-06-01

    Dissipative dark matter, where dark matter particles interact with a massless (or very light) boson, is studied. Such dark matter can arise in simple hidden sector gauge models, including those featuring an unbroken U (1 )' gauge symmetry, leading to a dark photon. Previous work has shown that such models can not only explain the large scale structure and cosmic microwave background, but potentially also dark matter phenomena on small scales, such as the inferred cored structure of dark matter halos. In this picture, dark matter halos of disk galaxies not only cool via dissipative interactions but are also heated via ordinary supernovae (facilitated by an assumed photon-dark photon kinetic mixing interaction). This interaction between the dark matter halo and ordinary baryons, a very special feature of these types of models, plays a critical role in governing the physical properties of the dark matter halo. Here, we further study the implications of this type of dissipative dark matter for disk galaxies. Building on earlier work, we develop a simple formalism which aims to describe the effects of dissipative dark matter in a fairly model independent way. This formalism is then applied to generic disk galaxies. We also consider specific examples, including NGC 1560 and a sample of dwarf galaxies from the LITTLE THINGS survey. We find that dissipative dark matter, as developed here, does a fairly good job accounting for the rotation curves of the galaxies considered. Not only does dissipative dark matter explain the linear rise of the rotational velocity of dwarf galaxies at small radii, but it can also explain the observed wiggles in rotation curves which are known to be correlated with corresponding features in the disk gas distribution.

  18. Deglaciation explains bat extinction in the Caribbean

    PubMed Central

    Dávalos, Liliana M; Russell, Amy L

    2012-01-01

    Ecological factors such as changing climate on land and interspecific competition have been debated as possible causes of postglacial Caribbean extinction. These hypotheses, however, have not been tested against a null model of climate-driven postglacial area loss. Here, we use a new Quaternary mammal database and deep-sea bathymetry to estimate species–area relationships (SARs) at present and during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) for bats of the Caribbean, and to model species loss as a function of area loss from rising sea level. Island area was a significant predictor of species richness in the Bahamas, Greater Antilles, and Lesser Antilles at all time periods, except for the Lesser Antilles during the LGM. Parameters of LGM and current SARs were similar in the Bahamas and Greater Antilles, but not the Lesser Antilles, which had fewer estimated species during the LGM than expected given their size. Estimated postglacial species losses in the Bahamas and Greater Antilles were largely explained by inferred area loss from rising sea level in the Holocene. However, there were more species in the Bahamas at present, and fewer species in the smaller Greater Antilles, than expected given island size and the end-Pleistocene/early Holocene SARs. Poor fossil sampling and ecological factors may explain these departures from the null. Our analyses illustrate the importance of changes in area in explaining patterns of species richness through time and emphasize the role of the SAR as a null hypothesis in explorations of the impact of novel ecological interactions on extinction. PMID:23301171

  19. Weaker dental enamel explains dental decay.

    PubMed

    Vieira, Alexandre R; Gibson, Carolyn W; Deeley, Kathleen; Xue, Hui; Li, Yong

    2015-01-01

    Dental caries continues to be the most prevalent bacteria-mediated non-contagious disease of humankind. Dental professionals assert the disease can be explained by poor oral hygiene and a diet rich in sugars but this does not account for caries free individuals exposed to the same risk factors. In order to test the hypothesis that amount of amelogenin during enamel development can influence caries susceptibility, we generated multiple strains of mice with varying levels of available amelogenin during dental development. Mechanical tests showed that dental enamel developed with less amelogenin is "weaker" while the dental enamel of animals over-expressing amelogenin appears to be more resistant to acid dissolution.

  20. Life-Saving Space Technology Explained

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Dr. Harry Whelan, a pediatric Neurologist at the Medical Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and professor of Neurology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, explains the operation of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) developed for use in space plant growth experiments and now adapted for use in photodynamic therapy, a technique in which light from the LEDs activates light-sensitive, tumor-treating drugs. The technique has been used in at least two surgeries on brain tumors. The LED project was one of several NASA exhibits at AirVenture 2000 sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, WI.

  1. Colour-coded waste disposal explained.

    PubMed

    Turner, Nigel

    2007-08-01

    The long-awaited guidance document from the Department of Health is colourful in more ways then one. Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 07-01: Safe Management of Healthcare Waste was published in December 2006 and replaced the old "purple book" (The Safe Management of Clinical Waste). Was it a sign of things to come that the old guidance had a purple cover, a colour which is now used to indicate cytotoxic and cytostatic wastes? Catalyst Waste Solutions' managing director Nigel Turner explains the new legislation. PMID:17847877

  2. Does the dopamine hypothesis explain schizophrenia?

    PubMed

    Lau, Chi-Ieong; Wang, Han-Cheng; Hsu, Jung-Lung; Liu, Mu-En

    2013-01-01

    The dopamine hypothesis has been the cornerstone in the research and clinical practice of schizophrenia. With the initial emphasis on the role of excessive dopamine, the hypothesis has evolved to a concept of combining prefrontal hypodopaminergia and striatal hyperdopaminergia, and subsequently to the present aberrant salience hypothesis. This article provides a brief overview of the development and evidence of the dopamine hypothesis. It will argue that the current model of aberrant salience explains psychosis in schizophrenia and provides a plausible linkage between the pharmacological and cognitive aspects of the disease. Despite the privileged role of dopamine hypothesis in psychosis, its pathophysiological rather than etiological basis, its limitations in defining symptoms other than psychosis, as well as the evidence of other neurotransmitters such as glutamate and adenosine, prompt us to a wider perspective of the disease. Finally, dopamine does explain the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, but not necessarily the cause per se. Rather, dopamine acts as the common final pathway of a wide variety of predisposing factors, either environmental, genetic, or both, that lead to the disease. Other neurotransmitters, such as glutamate and adenosine, may also collaborate with dopamine to give rise to the entire picture of schizophrenia. PMID:23843581

  3. Mach bands explained by response normalization

    PubMed Central

    Kingdom, Frederick A. A.

    2014-01-01

    Mach bands are the illusory dark and bright bars seen at the foot and knee of a luminance trapezoid. First demonstrated by Ernst Mach in the latter part of the 19th century, Mach bands are a test bed not only for models of brightness illusions but of spatial vision in general. Up until 50 years ago the dominant explanation of Mach Bands was that they were caused by lateral inhibition among retinal neurons. More recently, the dominant idea has been that Mach bands are a consequence of a visual process that generates a sparse, binary description of the image in terms of “edges” and “bars”. Another recent explanation is that Mach bands result from learned expectations about the pattern of light typically found on sharply curved surfaces. In keeping with recent multi-scale filtering accounts of brightness illusions as well as current physiology, I show however that Mach bands are most simply explained by response normalization, whereby the gains of early visual channels are adjusted on a local basis to make their responses more equal. I show that a simple one-dimensional model of response normalization explains the range of conditions under which Mach bands occur, and as importantly, the conditions under which they do not occur. PMID:25408643

  4. EXPLAINING THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN INCARCERATION AND DIVORCE*

    PubMed Central

    Siennick, Sonja E.; Stewart, Eric A.; Staff, Jeremy

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have suggested that incarceration dramatically increases the odds of divorce, but we know little about the mechanisms that explain the association. This study uses prospective longitudinal data from a subset of married young adults in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 1,919) to examine whether incarceration is associated with divorce indirectly via low marital love, economic strain, relationship violence, and extramarital sex. The findings confirmed that incarcerations occurring during, but not before, a marriage were associated with an increased hazard of divorce. Incarcerations occurring during marriage also were associated with less marital love, more relationship violence, more economic strain, and greater odds of extramarital sex. Above-average levels of economic strain were visible among respondents observed preincarceration, but only respondents observed postincarceration showed less marital love, more relationship violence, and higher odds of extramarital sex than did respondents who were not incarcerated during marriage. These relationship problems explained approximately 40 percent of the association between incarceration and marital dissolution. These findings are consistent with theoretical predictions that a spouse’s incarceration alters the rewards and costs of the marriage and the relative attractiveness of alternative partners. PMID:25598544

  5. Weaker dental enamel explains dental decay.

    PubMed

    Vieira, Alexandre R; Gibson, Carolyn W; Deeley, Kathleen; Xue, Hui; Li, Yong

    2015-01-01

    Dental caries continues to be the most prevalent bacteria-mediated non-contagious disease of humankind. Dental professionals assert the disease can be explained by poor oral hygiene and a diet rich in sugars but this does not account for caries free individuals exposed to the same risk factors. In order to test the hypothesis that amount of amelogenin during enamel development can influence caries susceptibility, we generated multiple strains of mice with varying levels of available amelogenin during dental development. Mechanical tests showed that dental enamel developed with less amelogenin is "weaker" while the dental enamel of animals over-expressing amelogenin appears to be more resistant to acid dissolution. PMID:25885796

  6. Bell Test experiments explained without entanglement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyd, Jeffrey

    2011-04-01

    by Jeffrey H. Boyd. Jeffreyhboyd@gmail.com. John Bell proposed a test of what was called "local realism." However that is a different view of reality than we hold. Bell incorrectly assumed the validity of wave particle dualism. According to our model waves are independent of particles; wave interference precedes the emission of a particle. This results in two conclusions. First the proposed inequalities that apply to "local realism" in Bell's theorem do not apply to this model. The alleged mathematics of "local realism" is therefore wrong. Second, we can explain the Bell Test experimental results (such as the experiments done at Innsbruck) without any need for entanglement, non-locality, or particle superposition.

  7. Mating ecology explains patterns of genome elimination

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, Andy; Ross, Laura

    2014-01-01

    Genome elimination – whereby an individual discards chromosomes inherited from one parent, and transmits only those inherited from the other parent – is found across thousands of animal species. It is more common in association with inbreeding, under male heterogamety, in males, and in the form of paternal genome elimination. However, the reasons for this broad pattern remain unclear. We develop a mathematical model to determine how degree of inbreeding, sex determination, genomic location, pattern of gene expression and parental origin of the eliminated genome interact to determine the fate of genome-elimination alleles. We find that: inbreeding promotes paternal genome elimination in the heterogametic sex; this may incur population extinction under female heterogamety, owing to eradication of males; and extinction is averted under male heterogamety, owing to countervailing sex-ratio selection. Thus, we explain the observed pattern of genome elimination. Our results highlight the interaction between mating system, sex-ratio selection and intragenomic conflict. PMID:25328085

  8. Can molecular cell biology explain chromosome motions?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Mitotic chromosome motions have recently been correlated with electrostatic forces, but a lingering "molecular cell biology" paradigm persists, proposing binding and release proteins or molecular geometries for force generation. Results Pole-facing kinetochore plates manifest positive charges and interact with negatively charged microtubule ends providing the motive force for poleward chromosome motions by classical electrostatics. This conceptual scheme explains dynamic tracking/coupling of kinetochores to microtubules and the simultaneous depolymerization of kinetochore microtubules as poleward force is generated. Conclusion We question here why cells would prefer complex molecular mechanisms to move chromosomes when direct electrostatic interactions between known bound charge distributions can accomplish the same task much more simply. PMID:21619650

  9. Age and disability: explaining the wage differential.

    PubMed

    Gannon, Brenda; Munley, Margaret

    2009-07-01

    This paper estimates the level of explained and unexplained factors that contribute to the wage gap between workers with and without disabilities, providing benchmark estimates for Ireland. It separates out the confounding impact of productivity differences between disabled and non-disabled, by comparing wage differentials across three groups, disabled with limitations, disabled without limitations and non-disabled. Furthermore, data are analysed for the years 1995-2001 and two sub-samples pre and post 1998 allow us to decompose wage differentials before and after the Employment Equality Act 1998. Results are comparable to those of the UK and the unexplained component (upper bound of discrimination) is lower once we control for productivity differences. The lower bound level depends on the contribution of unobserved effects and the validity of the selection component in the decomposition model.

  10. Macromolecular crowding explains overflow metabolism in cells

    PubMed Central

    Vazquez, Alexei; Oltvai, Zoltán N.

    2016-01-01

    Overflow metabolism is a metabolic phenotype of cells characterized by mixed oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) and fermentative glycolysis in the presence of oxygen. Recently, it was proposed that a combination of a protein allocation constraint and a higher proteome fraction cost of energy generation by OxPhos relative to fermentation form the basis of overflow metabolism in the bacterium, Escherichia coli. However, we argue that the existence of a maximum or optimal macromolecular density is another essential requirement. Here we re-evaluate our previous theory of overflow metabolism based on molecular crowding following the proteomic fractions formulation. We show that molecular crowding is a key factor in explaining the switch from OxPhos to overflow metabolism. PMID:27484619

  11. Mating ecology explains patterns of genome elimination.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Andy; Ross, Laura

    2014-12-01

    Genome elimination - whereby an individual discards chromosomes inherited from one parent, and transmits only those inherited from the other parent - is found across thousands of animal species. It is more common in association with inbreeding, under male heterogamety, in males, and in the form of paternal genome elimination. However, the reasons for this broad pattern remain unclear. We develop a mathematical model to determine how degree of inbreeding, sex determination, genomic location, pattern of gene expression and parental origin of the eliminated genome interact to determine the fate of genome-elimination alleles. We find that: inbreeding promotes paternal genome elimination in the heterogametic sex; this may incur population extinction under female heterogamety, owing to eradication of males; and extinction is averted under male heterogamety, owing to countervailing sex-ratio selection. Thus, we explain the observed pattern of genome elimination. Our results highlight the interaction between mating system, sex-ratio selection and intragenomic conflict.

  12. Explaining the gender difference in nightmare frequency.

    PubMed

    Schredl, Michael

    2014-01-01

    A recent meta-analysis showed a robust gender difference in nightmare frequency of medium effect size in adolescents and young adults: Women tend to report nightmares more frequently than men. The present study, carried out in an unselected student sample, indicates that 2 factors mediate the gender difference in nightmare frequency: neuroticism and overall dream recall frequency. The effect of neuroticism on the gender difference and the finding that the gender difference in nightmare frequency emerges at an age of about 10 years suggest that gender-specific socialization processes may play an important role in explaining the gender differences in nightmare frequency in adolescents and young to middle-aged adults. This idea is supported by the previous finding that nightmare frequency is related to sex role orientation. However, longitudinal studies are necessary to validate these hypotheses. PMID:24934011

  13. Weaker Dental Enamel Explains Dental Decay

    PubMed Central

    Vieira, Alexandre R.; Gibson, Carolyn W.; Deeley, Kathleen; Xue, Hui; Li, Yong

    2015-01-01

    Dental caries continues to be the most prevalent bacteria-mediated non-contagious disease of humankind. Dental professionals assert the disease can be explained by poor oral hygiene and a diet rich in sugars but this does not account for caries free individuals exposed to the same risk factors. In order to test the hypothesis that amount of amelogenin during enamel development can influence caries susceptibility, we generated multiple strains of mice with varying levels of available amelogenin during dental development. Mechanical tests showed that dental enamel developed with less amelogenin is “weaker” while the dental enamel of animals over-expressing amelogenin appears to be more resistant to acid dissolution. PMID:25885796

  14. Explaining Today's Physics Through History and Biography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindley, David

    2014-03-01

    Quantum computers, string theory, holographic universes - to the general audience, today's physics can be as mystifying as it is fascinating. But modern ideas evolved from an earlier phase of physics - Newtonian mechanics, simple cause and effect - that is in principle easier for the non-expert to grasp. I have found that writing about physics from a historical and biographical perspective is an effective way to convey modern thinking by explaining where it comes from - it is a way of carrying the reader from concepts that make intuitive sense to ideas that seem, on first encounter, utterly bizarre. Smuggling explanations into stories satisfies the reader's desire for narrative - bearing in mind that narrative can include the evolution of ideas as well as tales about intriguing and original people.

  15. Explaining Polarization Reversals in STEREO Wave Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Breneman, A.; Cattell, C.; Wygant, J.; Kersten, K.; Wilson, L, B., III; Dai, L.; Colpitts, C.; Kellogg, P. J.; Goetz, K.; Paradise, A.

    2012-01-01

    Recently Breneman et al. reported observations of large amplitude lightning and transmitter whistler mode waves from two STEREO passes through the inner radiation belt (L<2). Hodograms of the electric field in the plane transverse to the magnetic field showed that the transmitter waves underwent periodic polarization reversals. Specifically, their polarization would cycle through a pattern of right-hand to linear to left-hand polarization at a rate of roughly 200 Hz. The lightning whistlers were observed to be left-hand polarized at frequencies greater than the lower hybrid frequency and less than the transmitter frequency (21.4 kHz) and right-hand polarized otherwise. Only righthand polarized waves in the inner radiation belt should exist in the frequency range of the whistler mode and these reversals were not explained in the previous paper. We show, with a combination of observations and simulated wave superposition, that these polarization reversals are due to the beating of an incident electromagnetic whistler mode wave at 21.4 kHz and linearly polarized, symmetric lower hybrid sidebands Doppler-shifted from the incident wave by +/-200 Hz. The existence of the lower hybrid waves is consistent with the parametric decay mechanism of Lee and Kuo whereby an incident whistler mode wave decays into symmetric, short wavelength lower hybrid waves and a purely growing (zero-frequency) mode. Like the lower hybrid waves, the purely growing mode is Doppler-shifted by 200 Hz as observed on STEREO. This decay mechanism in the upper ionosphere has been previously reported at equatorial latitudes and is thought to have a direct connection with explosive spread F enhancements. As such it may represent another dissipation mechanism of VLF wave energy in the ionosphere and may help to explain a deficit of observed lightning and transmitter energy in the inner radiation belts as reported by Starks et al.

  16. Aftershock Statistics explained from Geometric Reductionism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mignan, Arnaud

    2016-04-01

    The decay of aftershocks has recently been shown to follow a stretched exponential function instead of the Omori law (Mignan, Geophys. Res. Lett., 2015). This triggers a complete re-investigation of aftershock statistics in Southern California and a new physical interpretation of these results: (1) After verifying the stretched exponential behavior of aftershocks in time, I show that aftershocks follow a pure exponential in space. I then (re)demonstrate that K(M) = exp(α(M-mmin-ΔmB)) with K the aftershock production by mainshock magnitude M, α the Gutenberg-Richter distribution slope and ΔmB Båth's parameter. Based on these observations, I propose the Recursive Aftershock Stretched Exponential (RASE) model. (2) I investigate the origin of aftershocks using geometric reductionism made possible by the Non-Critical Precursory Accelerating Seismicity Theory postulate, which states that spatial density switches from δb0 for background seismicity to δbp for activated events (such as foreshocks, induced seismicity and here aftershocks) when the static stress field σ(r) exceeds the threshold σ(rA*) ∝ Δσ* with r the distance to source. The postulate explains the exponential spatial distribution (assuming that aftershocks fill a noisy fractal network within rA*) and aftershock production (assuming a constant stress drop) with K(M) = δbp.V(M), V being the volume of a rounded cuboid centred on the fault of length l ∝ exp(αM), and with radius rA*. Finally the observed stretching factor β ≈ 0.4 is explained topologically from the fractal dimension D ≈ 1.5.

  17. Explaining quality of life with crisis theory.

    PubMed

    Sprangers, Mirjam A G; Tempelaar, Reike; van den Heuvel, Wim J A; de Haes, Hanneke C J M

    2002-01-01

    Based on the premises of crisis theory, we expected cancer patients in-crisis to report a poorer quality of life (QL) and cancer patients post-crisis to report a similar level of overall QL in comparison to healthy individuals. To explain these hypothesized findings, we expected the coping resources and strategies of patients in-crisis to be equally effective and those of patients post-crisis to be more effective as compared to those of healthy individuals. The sample consisted of: (a) 217 consecutive cancer patients in the acute phases of their illness (patients in-crisis); (b) 192 disease-free cancer patients (patients post-crisis); and (c) 201 randomly selected healthy individuals. Established measures of QL, self-esteem and neuroticism (coping resources) and coping behavior (coping strategies) were mailed. As expected, patients in-crisis reported a poorer QL (p < 0.001) and patients post-crisis a similar overall QL as compared to healthy individuals. There were no significant or systematic differences between the mean levels of coping resources and strategies between the respective groups. Two-way analysis of variance indicated a group X coping resource interaction effect on overall QL for self-esteem (p < 0.01). As expected, the amount of variance of overall QL explained by self-esteem was largest for patients post-crisis (27%) and comparable for patients in-crisis and healthy individuals (10 and 11%). Patients in-crisis were not able to make their coping resources and strategies more effective, whereas patients post-crisis seemed to have enhanced the effectiveness of self-esteem in restoring their QL as compared to healthy persons.

  18. HF-Explain: a natural language generation system for explaining a medical expert system.

    PubMed Central

    Lewin, H. C.

    1991-01-01

    Causal models have been used, with considerable success, to reason in the medical domain. While these systems typically have a robust reasoning mechanism and knowledge base about their specific area of expertise, their ability to satisfactorily explain their results in a meaningful, coherent and concise manner has been less impressive then their diagnostic capabilities. This paper describes a program, HF-Explain, that generates natural language explanations of one such system--the Heart Failure Program. HF-Explain, is loosely based on work done by McKeown in the Text system, using augmented transition networks (ATN) as a formalism to guide the explanation process. The result is a coherent, concise, accurate and rich explanation of Heart Failure Programs' diagnostic hypotheses. PMID:1807682

  19. Explaining numeracy development in weak performing kindergartners.

    PubMed

    Toll, Sylke W M; Van Luit, Johannes E H

    2014-08-01

    Gaining better insight into precursors of early numeracy in young children is important, especially in those with inadequate numeracy skills. Therefore, in the current study, visual and verbal working memory, non-symbolic and symbolic comparison skills, and specific math-related language were used to explain early numeracy performance and development of weak performing children throughout kindergarten. The early numeracy ability of both weak performers and typical performers was measured at four time points during 2 years of kindergarten to compare growth rates. Results show a significant faster development of early numeracy in the weak performers. The development of weak performers' numeracy was influenced by verbal working memory, symbolic comparison skills, and math language, whereas only math language was positively related to the slope of typical performers' numeracy. In the weak performers, visual working memory, non-symbolic comparison skills, and math language showed an effect on the initial early numeracy level of these children. The intercept of the typical performers was predicted by five covariates, all except non-symbolic comparison. PMID:24786672

  20. Can Thermal Nonequilibrium Explain Coronal Loops?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klimchuk, James A.; Karpen, Judy T.; Antiochos, Spiro K.

    2010-01-01

    Any successful model of coronal loops must explain a number of observed properties. For warm (approx. 1 MK) loops, these include: 1. excess density, 2. flat temperature profile, 3. super-hydrostatic scale height, 4. unstructured intensity profile, and 5. 1000-5000 s lifetime. We examine whether thermal nonequilibrium can reproduce the observations by performing hydrodynamic simulations based on steady coronal heating that decreases exponentially with height. We consider both monolithic and multi-stranded loops. The simulations successfully reproduce certain aspects of the observations, including the excess density, but each of them fails in at least one critical way. -Xonolithic models have far too much intensity structure, while multi-strand models are either too structured or too long-lived. Storms of nanoflares remain the only viable explanation for warm loops that has been proposed so far. Our results appear to rule out the widespread existence of heating that is both highly concentrated low in the corona and steady or quasi-steady (slowly varying or impulsive with a rapid cadence). Active regions would have a very different appearance if the dominant heating mechanism had these properties. Thermal nonequilibrium may nonetheless play an important role in prominences and catastrophic cooling e(veen.gts..,coronal rain) that occupy a small fraction of the coronal volume. However, apparent inconsistencies between the models and observations of cooling events have yet to be understood.

  1. Explaining the Cambrian "Explosion" of Animals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, Charles R.

    2006-05-01

    The Cambrian "explosion" is a unique episode in Earth history, when essentially all the animal phyla first appear in the fossil record. A variety of environmental, developmental (genetic), and ecological explanations for this complex and somewhat protracted event are reviewed, with a focus on how well each explains the observed increases in disparity and diversity, the time of onset of the radiation, its duration, and its uniqueness. The increase in disparity (the origin of the phyla) and diversity are best understood as being the result of the interplay of the combinatorial bilaterian developmental system and the increase in the number of needs the first bilaterians had to meet as complex ecological interactions developed. The time of onset is constrained by the evolution of the environment, whereas its duration appears to be controlled primarily by rates of developmental innovation. The uniqueness of the event is either due to ensuing developmental limitation, to ecological saturation, or simply to the exhaustion of ecologically viable morphologies that could be produced by the nascent bilaterian developmental system.

  2. Birdsong dialect patterns explained using magnetic domains.

    PubMed

    Burridge, James; Kenney, Steven

    2016-06-01

    The songs and calls of many bird species, like human speech, form distinct regional dialects. We suggest that the process of dialect formation is analogous to the physical process of magnetic domain formation. We take the coastal breeding grounds of the Puget Sound white crowned sparrow as an example. Previous field studies suggest that birds of this species learn multiple songs early in life, and when establishing a territory for the first time, retain one of these dialects in order to match the majority of their neighbors. We introduce a simple lattice model of the process, showing that this matching behavior can produce single dialect domains provided the death rate of adult birds is sufficiently low. We relate death rate to thermodynamic temperature in magnetic materials, and calculate the critical death rate by analogy with the Ising model. Using parameters consistent with the known behavior of these birds we show that coastal dialect domain shapes may be explained by viewing them as low-temperature "stripe states."

  3. Birdsong dialect patterns explained using magnetic domains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burridge, James; Kenney, Steven

    2016-06-01

    The songs and calls of many bird species, like human speech, form distinct regional dialects. We suggest that the process of dialect formation is analogous to the physical process of magnetic domain formation. We take the coastal breeding grounds of the Puget Sound white crowned sparrow as an example. Previous field studies suggest that birds of this species learn multiple songs early in life, and when establishing a territory for the first time, retain one of these dialects in order to match the majority of their neighbors. We introduce a simple lattice model of the process, showing that this matching behavior can produce single dialect domains provided the death rate of adult birds is sufficiently low. We relate death rate to thermodynamic temperature in magnetic materials, and calculate the critical death rate by analogy with the Ising model. Using parameters consistent with the known behavior of these birds we show that coastal dialect domain shapes may be explained by viewing them as low-temperature "stripe states."

  4. Birdsong dialect patterns explained using magnetic domains.

    PubMed

    Burridge, James; Kenney, Steven

    2016-06-01

    The songs and calls of many bird species, like human speech, form distinct regional dialects. We suggest that the process of dialect formation is analogous to the physical process of magnetic domain formation. We take the coastal breeding grounds of the Puget Sound white crowned sparrow as an example. Previous field studies suggest that birds of this species learn multiple songs early in life, and when establishing a territory for the first time, retain one of these dialects in order to match the majority of their neighbors. We introduce a simple lattice model of the process, showing that this matching behavior can produce single dialect domains provided the death rate of adult birds is sufficiently low. We relate death rate to thermodynamic temperature in magnetic materials, and calculate the critical death rate by analogy with the Ising model. Using parameters consistent with the known behavior of these birds we show that coastal dialect domain shapes may be explained by viewing them as low-temperature "stripe states." PMID:27415293

  5. Punishments and Prizes for Explaining Global Warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somerville, R. C.

    2006-12-01

    Some few gifted scientists, the late Carl Sagan being an iconic example, are superbly skilled at communicating science clearly and compellingly to non-scientists. Most scientists, however, have serious shortcomings as communicators. The common failings include being verbose, addicted to jargon, caveat- obsessed and focused on details. In addition, it is far easier for a scientist to scoff at the scientific illiteracy of modern society than to work at understanding the viewpoints and concerns of journalists, policymakers and the public. Obstacles await even those scientists with the desire and the talent to communicate science well. Peer pressure and career disincentives can act as powerful deterrents, discouraging especially younger scientists from spending time on non-traditional activities. Scientists often lack mentors and role models to help them develop skills in science communication. Journalists also face real difficulties in getting science stories approved by editors and other gatekeepers. Climate change science brings its own problems in communication. The science itself is unusually wide- ranging and complex. The contentious policies and politics of dealing with global warming are difficult to disentangle from the science. Misinformation and disinformation about climate change are widespread. Intimidation and censorship of scientists by some employers is a serious problem. Polls show that global warming ranks low on the public's list of important issues. Despite all the obstacles, communicating climate change science well is critically important today. It is an art that can be learned and that brings its own rewards and satisfactions. Academic institutions and research funding agencies increasingly value outreach by scientists, and they provide resources to facilitate it. Society needs scientists who can clearly and authoritatively explain the science of global warming and its implications, while remaining objective and policy-neutral. This need will

  6. Could dynamic attractors explain associative prosopagnosia?

    PubMed

    Zifan, Ali; Gharibzadeh, Shahriar; Moradi, Mohammad Hassan

    2007-01-01

    Prosopagnosia is one of the many forms of visual associative agnosia, in which familiar faces lose their distinctive association. In the case of prosopagnosia, the ability to recognize familiar faces is lost, due to lesions in the medial occipitotemporal region. In "associative" prosopagnosia, the perceptual system seems adequate to allow for recognition, yet recognition cannot take place. Our hypothesis is that a possible cause of associative prosopagnosia might be the occurrence of Dynamic attractors in the brain's auto-associative circuits. We present a biologically plausible model composed of two stages: Pre-processing and face recognition. In the first stage, the face image is passed through Gabor filters which model the kind of visual processing carried out by the simple and complex cells of the primary visual cortex of higher mammals and the resulting features are fed into a Pseudo-inverse associative neural network for the recognition task. Next, we damage the network by reducing self-connections below a certain threshold in order to create dynamic attractors and hence hinder the networks ability to recognize familiar faces (faces already learned). Results obtained from simulations show that the resulting network responses are very similar to those of associative prosopagnosic patients. We conclude that the problems concerning associative prosopagnosia may partly be explained through the concepts of dynamic attractors. Although there is no known cure for prosopagnosia, we believe that the focus of any treatment should be to help the individual with prosopagnosia develop compensatory strategies for remembering faces. Adults with prosopagnosia as a result of stroke or brain trauma can be retrained to use other clues to identify faces. And a cure for children born with prosopagnosia might eventually rely on reinforcement techniques that reward them for paying attention to faces during early childhood. Reinforcement learning from examples of patterns to be

  7. Modeling factors explaining physicians’ satisfaction with competence

    PubMed Central

    Lepnurm, Rein; Dobson, Roy Thomas; Peña-Sánchez, Juan-Nicolás; Nesdole, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Recognition explained 60.2% of the variation in Satisfaction with Competence, controlling for years in practice, self-reported health and duties of physicians. Conclusion: Satisfaction with Competence could be affected by excessive accumulation of duties, concerns about quality, efficiency, access, excessive distress, inadequate coping abilities, personal satisfaction with life as a physician, challenges in managing practices and persistent inequities among physicians. PMID:27092256

  8. CAN PLANETARY INSTABILITY EXPLAIN THE KEPLER DICHOTOMY?

    SciTech Connect

    Johansen, Anders; Davies, Melvyn B.; Church, Ross P.; Holmelin, Viktor

    2012-10-10

    The planet candidates discovered by the Kepler mission provide a rich sample to constrain the architectures and relative inclinations of planetary systems within approximately 0.5 AU of their host stars. We use the triple-transit systems from the Kepler 16 months data as templates for physical triple-planet systems and perform synthetic transit observations, varying the internal inclination variation of the orbits. We find that all the Kepler triple-transit and double-transit systems can be produced from the triple-planet templates, given a low mutual inclination of around 5 Degree-Sign . Our analysis shows that the Kepler data contain a population of planets larger than four Earth radii in single-transit systems that cannot arise from the triple-planet templates. We explore the hypothesis that high-mass counterparts of the triple-transit systems underwent dynamical instability to produce a population of massive double-planet systems of moderately high mutual inclination. We perform N-body simulations of mass-boosted triple-planet systems and observe how the systems heat up and lose planets by planet-planet collisions, and less frequently by ejections or collisions with the star, yielding transits in agreement with the large planets in the Kepler single-transit systems. The resulting population of massive double-planet systems nevertheless cannot explain the additional excess of low-mass planets among the observed single-transit systems and the lack of gas-giant planets in double-transit and triple-transit systems. Planetary instability of systems of triple gas-giant planets can be behind part of the dichotomy between systems hosting one or more small planets and those hosting a single giant planet. The main part of the dichotomy, however, is more likely to have arisen already during planet formation when the formation, migration, or scattering of a massive planet, triggered above a threshold metallicity, suppressed the formation of other planets in sub-AU orbits.

  9. Explaining the Birth of the Martian Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-09-01

    led to the formation of large clumps, which eventually agglomerated to form Phobos and Deimos.The authors find that Phobos and Deimos most likely formed in the outer regions of the accretion disk that was created by a large impact with Mars. [Adapted from Ronnet et al. 2016]In the study conducted by Ronnet, Vernazza, and collaborators, the authors investigated the composition and texture of the dust that would have crystallized in an impact-generated accretion disk making up Marss moons. They find that Phobos and Deimos could not have formed out of the extremely hot, magma-filled inner regions of such a disk, because this would have resulted in different compositions than we observe.Phobos and Deimos could have formed, however, in the very outer part of an impact-generated accretion disk, where the hot gas condensed directly into small solid grains instead of passing through the magma phase. Accretion of such tiny grains would naturally explain the similarity in physical properties we observe between Marss moons and some main-belt asteroids and yet this picture is also consistent with the moons current orbital parameters.The authors argue that the formation of the Martian moons from the outer regions of an impact-generated accretion disk is therefore a plausible scenario, neatly reconciling the observed physical properties of Phobos and Diemos with their orbital properties.CitationT. Ronnet et al 2016 ApJ 828 109. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/828/2/109

  10. Learning from Explaining: Does It Matter if Mom Is Listening?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rittle-Johnson, B.; Saylor, M.; Swygert, K.E.

    2008-01-01

    The goal of the current study was to examine whether explaining to another person improves learning and transfer. In the study, 4- and 5-year-olds (N=54) solved multiple classification problems, received accuracy feedback, and were prompted to explain the correct solutions to their moms, to explain the correct solutions to themselves, or to repeat…

  11. Designing and Explaining Programs with a Literate Pseudocode

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roy, Geoffrey G.

    2006-01-01

    Designing and explaining programs are often difficult tasks, especially when novices are involved. It also concerns more experienced programmers when complex algorithms need to be carefully explained and documented as part of software development.Good practice suggests that code and documentation be tightly coupled; but there are only a few…

  12. Gendered Accounts: Undergraduates Explain Why They Seek Their Bachelor's Degree.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bank, Barbara J.

    1995-01-01

    Determined gender differences in undergraduates decisions to seek a bachelor's degree and whether these differences could be explained by performance levels, expectations, and attainment values. No gender differences were found for expectations and attainment values, and performance levels did not explain gender differences in reasons for seeking…

  13. Explaining and Communicating Science Using Student-Created Blended Media

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoban, Garry; Nielsen, Wendy; Shepherd, Alyce

    2013-01-01

    Students engage with science content when they are asked to explain and communicate their knowledge to others. In particular, encouraging students to create various digital media forms such as videos, podcasts, vodcasts, screencasts, digital stories and animations to explain science is usually engaging, especially if they have ownership of the…

  14. Exploring the explaining quality of physics online explanatory videos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulgemeyer, Christoph; Peters, Cord H.

    2016-11-01

    Explaining skills are among the most important skills educators possess. Those skills have also been researched in recent years. During the same period, another medium has additionally emerged and become a popular source of information for learners: online explanatory videos, chiefly from the online video sharing website YouTube. Their content and explaining quality remain to this day mostly unmonitored, as well is their educational impact in formal contexts such as schools or universities. In this study, a framework for explaining quality, which has emerged from surveying explaining skills in expert-novice face-to-face dialogues, was used to explore the explaining quality of such videos (36 YouTube explanatory videos on Kepler’s laws and 15 videos on Newton’s third law). The framework consists of 45 categories derived from physics education research that deal with explanation techniques. YouTube provides its own ‘quality measures’ based on surface features including ‘likes’, views, and comments for each video. The question is whether or not these measures provide valid information for educators and students if they have to decide which video to use. We compared the explaining quality with those measures. Our results suggest that there is a correlation between explaining quality and only one of these measures: the number of content-related comments.

  15. Explainable expert systems: A research program in information processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paris, Cecile L.

    1993-01-01

    Our work in Explainable Expert Systems (EES) had two goals: to extend and enhance the range of explanations that expert systems can offer, and to ease their maintenance and evolution. As suggested in our proposal, these goals are complementary because they place similar demands on the underlying architecture of the expert system: they both require the knowledge contained in a system to be explicitly represented, in a high-level declarative language and in a modular fashion. With these two goals in mind, the Explainable Expert Systems (EES) framework was designed to remedy limitations to explainability and evolvability that stem from related fundamental flaws in the underlying architecture of current expert systems.

  16. Using Plant Functional Traits to Explain Diversity–Productivity Relationships

    PubMed Central

    Roscher, Christiane; Schumacher, Jens; Gubsch, Marlén; Lipowsky, Annett; Weigelt, Alexandra; Buchmann, Nina; Schmid, Bernhard; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef

    2012-01-01

    Background The different hypotheses proposed to explain positive species richness–productivity relationships, i.e. selection effect and complementarity effect, imply that plant functional characteristics are at the core of a mechanistic understanding of biodiversity effects. Methodology/Principal Findings We used two community-wide measures of plant functional composition, (1) community-weighted means of trait values (CWM) and (2) functional trait diversity based on Rao’s quadratic diversity (FDQ) to predict biomass production and measures of biodiversity effects in experimental grasslands (Jena Experiment) with different species richness (2, 4, 8, 16 and 60) and different functional group number and composition (1 to 4; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs) four years after establishment. Functional trait composition had a larger predictive power for community biomass and measures of biodiversitity effects (40–82% of explained variation) than species richness per se (<1–13% of explained variation). CWM explained a larger amount of variation in community biomass (80%) and net biodiversity effects (70%) than FDQ (36 and 38% of explained variation respectively). FDQ explained similar proportions of variation in complementarity effects (24%, positive relationship) and selection effects (28%, negative relationship) as CWM (27% of explained variation for both complementarity and selection effects), but for all response variables the combination of CWM and FDQ led to significant model improvement compared to a separate consideration of different components of functional trait composition. Effects of FDQ were mainly attributable to diversity in nutrient acquisition and life-history strategies. The large spectrum of traits contributing to positive effects of CWM on biomass production and net biodiversity effects indicated that effects of dominant species were associated with different trait combinations. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that the

  17. Explaining the motherhood wage penalty during the early occupational career.

    PubMed

    Staff, Jeremy; Mortimer, Jeylan T

    2012-02-01

    Prior research shows that mothers earn lower hourly wages than women without children, and that this maternal wage penalty cannot be fully explained by differences between mothers and other women in work experience and job characteristics. This research examines whether the residual motherhood wage penalty results from differences between mothers and other women in the accumulation of work interruptions and breaks in schooling. Using longitudinal data for 486 women followed from ages 19 to 31 in the Minnesota Youth Development Study, we find that accumulated months not in the labor force and not enrolled in school explain the residual pay gap between mothers and other women. PMID:22037996

  18. Explaining patterns in the ratification of global environmental treaties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cook, David W.

    1991-01-01

    A study was made of the ratification behavior of 160 countries with respect to 38 global environmental treaties. The study identifies and explains patterns in the ratification of treaties, providing two means of assessing the likelihood that any given country will support global environmental treaties. National ratification totals reveal a pattern of high ratification by countries in Western Europe, North America, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. A country's standing within the range of high to low ratification rates can be explained by the statistical model developed in the study. This research allows one to identify countries likely to support global environmental treaties.

  19. Students Explaining Science—Assessment of Science Communication Competence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulgemeyer, Christoph; Schecker, Horst

    2013-12-01

    Science communication competence (SCC) is an important educational goal in the school science curricula of several countries. However, there is a lack of research about the structure and the assessment of SCC. This paper specifies the theoretical framework of SCC by a competence model. We developed a qualitative assessment method for SCC that is based on an expert-novice dialog: an older student (explainer, expert) explains a physics phenomenon to a younger peer (addressee, novice) in a controlled test setting. The explanations are video-recorded and analysed by qualitative content analysis. The method was applied in a study with 46 secondary school students as explainers. Our aims were (a) to evaluate whether our model covers the relevant features of SCC, (b) to validate the assessment method and (c) to find characteristics of addressee-adequate explanations. A performance index was calculated to quantify the explainers' levels of competence on an ordinal scale. We present qualitative and quantitative evidence that the index is adequate for assessment purposes. It correlates with results from a written SCC test and a perspective taking test (convergent validity). Addressee-adequate explanations can be characterized by use of graphical representations and deliberate switches between scientific and everyday language.

  20. Visualisation and Reasoning in Explaining the Phases of the Moon

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Subramaniam, K.; Padalkar, Shamin

    2009-01-01

    In this study, we examine how subjects set up, transform, and reason with models that they establish on the basis of known facts as they seek to explain a familiar everyday phenomenon--the phases of the moon. An interview schedule was designed to elicit subjects' reasoning, and in the case where explanations were mistaken, to induce a change in…

  1. Explaining ESL Essay Holistic Scores: A Multilevel Modeling Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barkaoui, Khaled

    2010-01-01

    This study adopted a multilevel modeling (MLM) approach to examine the contribution of rater and essay factors to variability in ESL essay holistic scores. Previous research aiming to explain variability in essay holistic scores has focused on either rater or essay factors. The few studies that have examined the contribution of more than one…

  2. Explaining Common Variance Shared by Early Numeracy and Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davidse, N. J.; De Jong, M. T.; Bus, A. G.

    2014-01-01

    How can it be explained that early literacy and numeracy share variance? We specifically tested whether the correlation between four early literacy skills (rhyming, letter knowledge, emergent writing, and orthographic knowledge) and simple sums (non-symbolic and story condition) reduced after taking into account preschool attention control,…

  3. Using Culture to Explain Behavior: An Integrative Cultural Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shepherd, Hana R.; Stephens, Nicole M.

    2010-01-01

    While savings rates among low-income families vary greatly, a 2008 National Poverty Center report finds that over 40 percent of low-income families fail to save any money. For decades policy makers and social scientists have sought to explain this phenomenon. Even after accounting for the fact that low-income families have less money to save, why…

  4. Children's Understanding of Substances, Part 2: Explaining Chemical Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Philip

    2002-01-01

    Focuses on the idea of chemical change and reports data from a study exploring the development of the concept of substance in children aged 11-14. Examines the use of the idea of elements, compounds, and bonding between atoms to explain chemical change and the intersection of these ideas with "basic" particle ideas. (Contains 21 references.)…

  5. Analysis and Assessment of Students' Competency to Explain Geographical Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dulama, Maria-Eliza; Alexandru, Diana-Elena

    2010-01-01

    In this study we seek to analyse the ability of students to explain, exemplify and outline geographical processes, as well as to assess their competencies by using an evaluation grid. Therefore, we tested two types of hypotheses. The first one regards the fact that it becomes more difficult for students to represent a previously learned…

  6. Explaining Learning: From Analysis to Paralysis to Hippocampus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, John

    2005-01-01

    This paper seeks to explain learning by examining five theories of learning--conceptual analysis, behavioural, constructivist, computational and connectionist. The first two are found wanting and rejected. Piaget's constructivist theory offers a general explanatory framework (assimilation and accommodation) but fails to provide an adequate account…

  7. The Role of Secondary Education in Explaining Competitiveness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baumann, Chris; Winzar, Hume

    2016-01-01

    The literature establishes that education drives economic performance, but the extent that education is associated with a country's competitiveness is empirically untested. Our study analyses Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) data from 63 countries to ascertain education's role in explaining the competitiveness of a country.…

  8. Learning to Apply Models of Materials While Explaining Their Properties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karpin, Tiia; Juuti, Kalle; Lavonen, Jari

    2014-01-01

    Background: Applying structural models is important to chemistry education at the upper secondary level, but it is considered one of the most difficult topics to learn. Purpose: This study analyses to what extent in designed lessons students learned to apply structural models in explaining the properties and behaviours of various materials.…

  9. Explaining Recent Army and Navy Minority Recruiting Trends. Research Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steinberg, Paul

    2009-01-01

    Between 2000 and 2007, the representation of blacks among high-quality Army recruits declined, while in the Navy, black representation remained stable; the representation of Hispanics among high-quality recruits in both the Army and Navy grew during this period. RAND researchers identified factors that explain these recruiting trends and found…

  10. The Effect of Self-Explaining on Robust Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hausmann, Robert G. M.; VanLehn, Kurt

    2010-01-01

    Self-explaining is a domain-independent learning strategy that generally leads to a robust understanding of the domain material. However, there are two potential explanations for its effectiveness. First, self-explanation generates additional "content" that does not exist in the instructional materials. Second, when compared to comprehension,…

  11. Explaining the Effects of Communities of Pastoral Care for Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Joseph; Holste, Linda

    2016-01-01

    This article explains how communities of pastoral care work. It presents an empirically forged theory in action. We examined theoretical and empirical work across the targeted area of personalization for students. We also completed what Hallinger (2012) refers to as "exhaustive review" of the field of school improvement writ large. We…

  12. k-essence explains a Lorentz violation experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Li Miao; Pang Yi; Wang Yi

    2009-06-15

    Recently, a state of the art experiment shows evidence for Lorentz violation in the gravitational sector. To explain this experiment, we investigate a spontaneous Lorentz violation scenario with a generalized scalar field. We find that when the scalar field is nonminimally coupled to gravity, the Lorentz violation induces a deformation in the Newtonian potential along the direction of Lorentz violation.

  13. Understanding Electrochemistry Concepts Using the Predict-Observe-Explain Strategy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karamustafaoglu, Sevilay; Mamlok-Naaman, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    The current study deals with freshman students who study at the Department of Science at the Faculty of Education. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of teaching electrochemistry concepts using Predict-Observe-Explain (POE) strategy. The study was quasi-experimental design using 20 students each in the experimental group (EG) and…

  14. Learning to apply models of materials while explaining their properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karpin, Tiia; Juuti, Kalle; Lavonen, Jari

    2014-09-01

    Background:Applying structural models is important to chemistry education at the upper secondary level, but it is considered one of the most difficult topics to learn. Purpose:This study analyses to what extent in designed lessons students learned to apply structural models in explaining the properties and behaviours of various materials. Sample:An experimental group is 27 Finnish upper secondary school students and control group included 18 students from the same school. Design and methods:In quasi-experimental setting, students were guided through predict, observe, explain activities in four practical work situations. It was intended that the structural models would encourage students to learn how to identify and apply appropriate models when predicting and explaining situations. The lessons, organised over a one-week period, began with a teacher's demonstration and continued with student experiments in which they described the properties and behaviours of six household products representing three different materials. Results:Most students in the experimental group learned to apply the models correctly, as demonstrated by post-test scores that were significantly higher than pre-test scores. The control group showed no significant difference between pre- and post-test scores. Conclusions:The findings indicate that the intervention where students engage in predict, observe, explain activities while several materials and models are confronted at the same time, had a positive effect on learning outcomes.

  15. Explaining the Socio-Economic Status School Completion Gap

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Polidano, Cain; Hanel, Barbara; Buddelmeyer, Hielke

    2013-01-01

    Relatively low rates of school completion among students from low socio-economic backgrounds is a key driver of intergenerational inequality. Linking data from the Programme for International Student Assessment with data from the Longitudinal Survey of Australian Youth, we use a decomposition framework to explain the gap in school completion rates…

  16. [Seed, aggregation and propagation of abnormal proteins could explain neurodegeneration?].

    PubMed

    Murayama, Shigeo

    2011-11-01

    Braak proposed propagation staging paradigm of Lewy- related alpha-synucleinopathy, which starts from medulla oblongata and extends rostrally to neocortex. Since this propagation shares that of bovine spongiformic encephalopathy, alpha- synuclein- prionopathy hypothesis was presented and augumented by pathological reports of Lewy body pathology in fetal tansplants of midbrain to patients with Parkinson disease (PD). The prionopathy hypothesis expanded to include tau and TDP- 43, is now receiving considerable attention world wide. Laterality of clinical symptoms can be explained with this hypothesis in PD, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis- TDP43, frontotemoral lobar degeneration- semantic dementia- TDP43 and tauopathy including corticobasal degeneration and argyrophilic grain dementia. Major cons of prionopathy hypothesis is how to explain cell to cell transmission of intracellular amyloid- like proteins. Several clinical and experimental data are now accumulated to answer this question. The difference in speed of spread between prion disease and neurodegenerative disease could be explained by aggregation size of abnormal proteins. The hypothesis could also explain glinoneuronal interaction, which is receiving another hot topic of neurodeneration. We propose that seed, aggregation propagation of abnormal protein should form one factor of clinical progression of neurodegenerative diseases and can be a therapeutic targets in future research.

  17. Explaining Support Vector Machines: A Color Based Nomogram

    PubMed Central

    Van Belle, Vanya; Van Calster, Ben; Van Huffel, Sabine; Suykens, Johan A. K.; Lisboa, Paulo

    2016-01-01

    Problem setting Support vector machines (SVMs) are very popular tools for classification, regression and other problems. Due to the large choice of kernels they can be applied with, a large variety of data can be analysed using these tools. Machine learning thanks its popularity to the good performance of the resulting models. However, interpreting the models is far from obvious, especially when non-linear kernels are used. Hence, the methods are used as black boxes. As a consequence, the use of SVMs is less supported in areas where interpretability is important and where people are held responsible for the decisions made by models. Objective In this work, we investigate whether SVMs using linear, polynomial and RBF kernels can be explained such that interpretations for model-based decisions can be provided. We further indicate when SVMs can be explained and in which situations interpretation of SVMs is (hitherto) not possible. Here, explainability is defined as the ability to produce the final decision based on a sum of contributions which depend on one single or at most two input variables. Results Our experiments on simulated and real-life data show that explainability of an SVM depends on the chosen parameter values (degree of polynomial kernel, width of RBF kernel and regularization constant). When several combinations of parameter values yield the same cross-validation performance, combinations with a lower polynomial degree or a larger kernel width have a higher chance of being explainable. Conclusions This work summarizes SVM classifiers obtained with linear, polynomial and RBF kernels in a single plot. Linear and polynomial kernels up to the second degree are represented exactly. For other kernels an indication of the reliability of the approximation is presented. The complete methodology is available as an R package and two apps and a movie are provided to illustrate the possibilities offered by the method. PMID:27723811

  18. Does a Corresponding Set of Variables for Explaining Voluntary Organizational Turnover Transfer to Explaining Voluntary Occupational Turnover?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blau, Gary

    2007-01-01

    This study proposed and tested corresponding sets of variables for explaining voluntary organizational versus occupational turnover for a sample of medical technologists. This study is believed to be the first test of the Rhodes and Doering (1983) occupational change model using occupational turnover data. Results showed that corresponding job…

  19. Explaining large-scale patterns of vertebrate diversity.

    PubMed

    Wiens, John J

    2015-07-01

    The major clades of vertebrates differ dramatically in their current species richness, from 2 to more than 32,000 species each, but the causes of this variation remain poorly understood. For example, a previous study noted that vertebrate clades differ in their diversification rates, but did not explain why they differ. Using a time-calibrated phylogeny and phylogenetic comparative methods, I show that most variation in diversification rates among 12 major vertebrate clades has a simple ecological explanation: predominantly terrestrial clades (i.e. birds, mammals, and lizards and snakes) have higher net diversification rates than predominantly aquatic clades (i.e. amphibians, crocodilians, turtles and all fish clades). These differences in diversification rates are then strongly related to patterns of species richness. Habitat may be more important than other potential explanations for richness patterns in vertebrates (such as climate and metabolic rates) and may also help explain patterns of species richness in many other groups of organisms. PMID:26202428

  20. Explaining large-scale patterns of vertebrate diversity

    PubMed Central

    Wiens, John J.

    2015-01-01

    The major clades of vertebrates differ dramatically in their current species richness, from 2 to more than 32 000 species each, but the causes of this variation remain poorly understood. For example, a previous study noted that vertebrate clades differ in their diversification rates, but did not explain why they differ. Using a time-calibrated phylogeny and phylogenetic comparative methods, I show that most variation in diversification rates among 12 major vertebrate clades has a simple ecological explanation: predominantly terrestrial clades (i.e. birds, mammals, and lizards and snakes) have higher net diversification rates than predominantly aquatic clades (i.e. amphibians, crocodilians, turtles and all fish clades). These differences in diversification rates are then strongly related to patterns of species richness. Habitat may be more important than other potential explanations for richness patterns in vertebrates (such as climate and metabolic rates) and may also help explain patterns of species richness in many other groups of organisms. PMID:26202428

  1. Explaining dehumanization among children: the interspecies model of prejudice.

    PubMed

    Costello, Kimberly; Hodson, Gordon

    2014-03-01

    Although many theoretical approaches have emerged to explain prejudices expressed by children, none incorporate outgroup dehumanization, a key predictor of prejudice among adults. According to the Interspecies Model of Prejudice, beliefs in the human-animal divide facilitate outgroup prejudice through fostering animalistic dehumanization (Costello & Hodson, 2010). In the present investigation, White children attributed Black children fewer 'uniquely human' characteristics, representing the first systematic evidence of racial dehumanization among children (Studies 1 and 2). In Study 2, path analyses supported the Interspecies Model of Prejudice: children's human-animal divide beliefs predicted greater racial prejudice, an effect explained by heightened racial dehumanization. Similar patterns emerged among parents. Furthermore, parent Social Dominance Orientation predicted child prejudice indirectly through children's endorsement of a hierarchical human-animal divide and subsequent dehumanizing tendencies. Encouragingly, children's human-animal divide perceptions were malleable to an experimental prime highlighting animal-human similarity. Implications for prejudice interventions are considered.

  2. Climate variation explains a third of global crop yield variability

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Deepak K.; Gerber, James S.; MacDonald, Graham K.; West, Paul C.

    2015-01-01

    Many studies have examined the role of mean climate change in agriculture, but an understanding of the influence of inter-annual climate variations on crop yields in different regions remains elusive. We use detailed crop statistics time series for ~13,500 political units to examine how recent climate variability led to variations in maize, rice, wheat and soybean crop yields worldwide. While some areas show no significant influence of climate variability, in substantial areas of the global breadbaskets, >60% of the yield variability can be explained by climate variability. Globally, climate variability accounts for roughly a third (~32–39%) of the observed yield variability. Our study uniquely illustrates spatial patterns in the relationship between climate variability and crop yield variability, highlighting where variations in temperature, precipitation or their interaction explain yield variability. We discuss key drivers for the observed variations to target further research and policy interventions geared towards buffering future crop production from climate variability. PMID:25609225

  3. Imitation explains the propagation, not the stability of animal culture

    PubMed Central

    Claidière, Nicolas; Sperber, Dan

    2010-01-01

    For acquired behaviour to count as cultural, two conditions must be met: it must propagate in a social group, and it must remain stable across generations in the process of propagation. It is commonly assumed that imitation is the mechanism that explains both the spread of animal culture and its stability. We review the literature on transmission chain studies in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and other animals, and we use a formal model to argue that imitation, which may well play a major role in the propagation of animal culture, cannot be considered faithful enough to explain its stability. We consider the contribution that other psychological and ecological factors might make to the stability of animal culture observed in the wild. PMID:19889707

  4. Climate variation explains a third of global crop yield variability.

    PubMed

    Ray, Deepak K; Gerber, James S; MacDonald, Graham K; West, Paul C

    2015-01-22

    Many studies have examined the role of mean climate change in agriculture, but an understanding of the influence of inter-annual climate variations on crop yields in different regions remains elusive. We use detailed crop statistics time series for ~13,500 political units to examine how recent climate variability led to variations in maize, rice, wheat and soybean crop yields worldwide. While some areas show no significant influence of climate variability, in substantial areas of the global breadbaskets, >60% of the yield variability can be explained by climate variability. Globally, climate variability accounts for roughly a third (~32-39%) of the observed yield variability. Our study uniquely illustrates spatial patterns in the relationship between climate variability and crop yield variability, highlighting where variations in temperature, precipitation or their interaction explain yield variability. We discuss key drivers for the observed variations to target further research and policy interventions geared towards buffering future crop production from climate variability.

  5. Computing measures of explained variation for logistic regression models.

    PubMed

    Mittlböck, M; Schemper, M

    1999-01-01

    The proportion of explained variation (R2) is frequently used in the general linear model but in logistic regression no standard definition of R2 exists. We present a SAS macro which calculates two R2-measures based on Pearson and on deviance residuals for logistic regression. Also, adjusted versions for both measures are given, which should prevent the inflation of R2 in small samples. PMID:10195643

  6. Life-history theory explains childhood moral development.

    PubMed

    Sheskin, Mark; Chevallier, Coralie; Lambert, Stéphane; Baumard, Nicolas

    2014-12-01

    Infants understand harm and fairness in third-party situations and yet children require years of development before they apply this understanding to their own interactions with others. We suggest that the delay is explained by a life-history analysis of when behaving morally becomes beneficial. The human species is characterized by an extended period of juvenile dependence during which cooperation with non-kin is mostly superfluous. Later, as children age, moral behaviors supporting cooperation become increasingly beneficial.

  7. Explaining Racial Disparities in Infant Health in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Nyarko, Kwame A.; Lopez-Camelo, Jorge; Castilla, Eduardo E.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives. We sought to quantify how socioeconomic, health care, demographic, and geographic effects explain racial disparities in low birth weight (LBW) and preterm birth (PTB) rates in Brazil. Methods. We employed a sample of 8949 infants born between 1995 and 2009 in 15 cities and 7 provinces in Brazil. We focused on disparities in LBW (< 2500 g) and PTB (< 37 gestational weeks) prevalence between infants of African ancestry alone or African mixed with other ancestries, and European ancestry alone. We used a decomposition model to quantify the contributions of conceptually relevant factors to these disparities. Results. The model explained 45% to 94% of LBW and 64% to 94% of PTB disparities between the African ancestry groups and European ancestry. Differences in prenatal care use and geographic location were the most important contributors, followed by socioeconomic differences. The model explained the majority of the disparities for mixed African ancestry and part of the disparity for African ancestry alone. Conclusions. Public policies to improve children’s health should target prenatal care and geographic location differences to reduce health disparities between infants of African and European ancestries in Brazil. PMID:23409894

  8. Genetic pleiotropy explains associations between musical auditory discrimination and intelligence.

    PubMed

    Mosing, Miriam A; Pedersen, Nancy L; Madison, Guy; Ullén, Fredrik

    2014-01-01

    Musical aptitude is commonly measured using tasks that involve discrimination of different types of musical auditory stimuli. Performance on such different discrimination tasks correlates positively with each other and with intelligence. However, no study to date has explored these associations using a genetically informative sample to estimate underlying genetic and environmental influences. In the present study, a large sample of Swedish twins (N = 10,500) was used to investigate the genetic architecture of the associations between intelligence and performance on three musical auditory discrimination tasks (rhythm, melody and pitch). Phenotypic correlations between the tasks ranged between 0.23 and 0.42 (Pearson r values). Genetic modelling showed that the covariation between the variables could be explained by shared genetic influences. Neither shared, nor non-shared environment had a significant effect on the associations. Good fit was obtained with a two-factor model where one underlying shared genetic factor explained all the covariation between the musical discrimination tasks and IQ, and a second genetic factor explained variance exclusively shared among the discrimination tasks. The results suggest that positive correlations among musical aptitudes result from both genes with broad effects on cognition, and genes with potentially more specific influences on auditory functions.

  9. Psychological flexibility and mindfulness explain intuitive eating in overweight adults.

    PubMed

    Sairanen, Essi; Tolvanen, Asko; Karhunen, Leila; Kolehmainen, Marjukka; Järvelä, Elina; Rantala, Sanni; Peuhkuri, Katri; Korpela, Riitta; Lappalainen, Raimo

    2015-07-01

    The current study investigated whether mindfulness and psychological flexibility, independently and together, explain intuitive eating. The participants were overweight or obese persons (N = 306) reporting symptoms of perceived stress and enrolled in a psychological lifestyle intervention study. Participants completed self-report measures of psychological flexibility; mindfulness including the subscales observe, describe, act with awareness, non-react, and non-judgment; and intuitive eating including the subscales unconditional permission to eat, eating for physical reasons, and reliance on hunger/satiety cues. Psychological flexibility and mindfulness were positively associated with intuitive eating factors. The results suggest that mindfulness and psychological flexibility are related constructs that not only account for some of the same variance in intuitive eating, but they also account for significant unique variances in intuitive eating. The present results indicate that non-judgment can explain the relationship between general psychological flexibility and unconditional permission to eat as well as eating for physical reasons. However, mindfulness skills-acting with awareness, observing, and non-reacting-explained reliance on hunger/satiety cues independently from general psychological flexibility. These findings suggest that mindfulness and psychological flexibility are interrelated but not redundant constructs and that both may be important for understanding regulation processes underlying eating behavior.

  10. Explaining Racial Disparities in Infant Health in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Nyarko, Kwame A.; Lopez-Camelo, Jorge; Castilla, Eduardo E.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives. We sought to quantify how socioeconomic, health care, demographic, and geographic effects explain racial disparities in low birth weight (LBW) and preterm birth (PTB) rates in Brazil. Methods. We employed a sample of 8949 infants born between 1995 and 2009 in 15 cities and 7 provinces in Brazil. We focused on disparities in LBW (< 2500 g) and PTB (< 37 gestational weeks) prevalence between infants of African ancestry alone or African mixed with other ancestries, and European ancestry alone. We used a decomposition model to quantify the contributions of conceptually relevant factors to these disparities. Results. The model explained 45% to 94% of LBW and 64% to 94% of PTB disparities between the African ancestry groups and European ancestry. Differences in prenatal care use and geographic location were the most important contributors, followed by socioeconomic differences. The model explained the majority of the disparities for mixed African ancestry and part of the disparity for African ancestry alone. Conclusions. Public policies to improve children’s health should target prenatal care and geographic location differences to reduce health disparities between infants of African and European ancestries in Brazil. PMID:26313046

  11. Explaining formation of Astronomical Jets using Dynamic Universe Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naga Parameswara Gupta, Satyavarapu

    2016-07-01

    Astronomical jets are observed from the centres of many Galaxies including our own Milkyway. The formation of such jet is explained using SITA simulations of Dynamic Universe Model. For this purpose the path traced by a test neutron is calculated and depicted using a set up of one densemass of the mass equivalent to mass of Galaxy center, 90 stars with similar masses of stars near Galaxy center, mass equivalents of 23 Globular Cluster groups, 16 Milkyway parts, Andromeda and Triangulum Galaxies at appropriate distances. Five different kinds of theoretical simulations gave positive results The path travelled by this test neutron was found to be an astronomical jet emerging from Galaxy center. This is another result from Dynamic Universe Model. It solves new problems like a. Variable Mass Rocket Trajectory Problem b. Explaining Very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) observations c. Astronomical jets observed from Milkyway Center d. Prediction of Blue shifted Galaxies e. Explaining Pioneer Anomaly f. Prediction of New Horizons satellite trajectory etc. Dynamic Universe Model never reduces to General relativity on any condition. It uses a different type of mathematics based on Newtonian physics. This mathematics used here is simple and straightforward. As there are no differential equations present in Dynamic Universe Model, the set of equations give single solution in x y z Cartesian coordinates for every point mass for every time step

  12. Weather explains high annual variation in butterfly dispersal.

    PubMed

    Kuussaari, Mikko; Rytteri, Susu; Heikkinen, Risto K; Heliölä, Janne; von Bagh, Peter

    2016-07-27

    Weather conditions fundamentally affect the activity of short-lived insects. Annual variation in weather is therefore likely to be an important determinant of their between-year variation in dispersal, but conclusive empirical studies are lacking. We studied whether the annual variation of dispersal can be explained by the flight season's weather conditions in a Clouded Apollo (Parnassius mnemosyne) metapopulation. This metapopulation was monitored using the mark-release-recapture method for 12 years. Dispersal was quantified for each monitoring year using three complementary measures: emigration rate (fraction of individuals moving between habitat patches), average residence time in the natal patch, and average distance moved. There was much variation both in dispersal and average weather conditions among the years. Weather variables significantly affected the three measures of dispersal and together with adjusting variables explained 79-91% of the variation observed in dispersal. Different weather variables became selected in the models explaining variation in three dispersal measures apparently because of the notable intercorrelations. In general, dispersal rate increased with increasing temperature, solar radiation, proportion of especially warm days, and butterfly density, and decreased with increasing cloudiness, rainfall, and wind speed. These results help to understand and model annually varying dispersal dynamics of species affected by global warming.

  13. Weather explains high annual variation in butterfly dispersal.

    PubMed

    Kuussaari, Mikko; Rytteri, Susu; Heikkinen, Risto K; Heliölä, Janne; von Bagh, Peter

    2016-07-27

    Weather conditions fundamentally affect the activity of short-lived insects. Annual variation in weather is therefore likely to be an important determinant of their between-year variation in dispersal, but conclusive empirical studies are lacking. We studied whether the annual variation of dispersal can be explained by the flight season's weather conditions in a Clouded Apollo (Parnassius mnemosyne) metapopulation. This metapopulation was monitored using the mark-release-recapture method for 12 years. Dispersal was quantified for each monitoring year using three complementary measures: emigration rate (fraction of individuals moving between habitat patches), average residence time in the natal patch, and average distance moved. There was much variation both in dispersal and average weather conditions among the years. Weather variables significantly affected the three measures of dispersal and together with adjusting variables explained 79-91% of the variation observed in dispersal. Different weather variables became selected in the models explaining variation in three dispersal measures apparently because of the notable intercorrelations. In general, dispersal rate increased with increasing temperature, solar radiation, proportion of especially warm days, and butterfly density, and decreased with increasing cloudiness, rainfall, and wind speed. These results help to understand and model annually varying dispersal dynamics of species affected by global warming. PMID:27440662

  14. Explaining the Early Development and Health of Teen Mothers’ Children*

    PubMed Central

    Mollborn, Stefanie; Dennis, Jeff A.

    2013-01-01

    The transmission of social disadvantage from teenage mothers to their children is well established, but when and why do these disparities emerge in the early life course? Using nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort, this study investigated the relationship between teen childbearing and children’s cognition, behavior, and health from infancy through preschool. Developmental disparities between teenage mothers’ children and others were largely nonexistent at 9 months but accumulated with age. Having a teenage mother predicted compromised development across several domains by age 4½. Our conceptual model expected preexisting disadvantage, ongoing resource disadvantage, and compromised parenting quality to explain the association between teen childbearing and child outcomes. Preexisting social disadvantage accounted for much of this relationship. Financial, social, and material resources in the child’s household partially or fully explained each of the remaining significant relationships between teenage childbearing and child outcomes. Parenting quality explained a smaller proportion of these relationships than did resources, and these factors’ influences were largely independent. Because children of teenage mothers with a modest set of resources were not predicted to have compromised development, resources provided in early childhood may have the potential to reduce developmental disparities for teenage mothers’ children. PMID:23630407

  15. Predator mimicry, not conspicuousness, explains the efficacy of butterfly eyespots.

    PubMed

    De Bona, Sebastiano; Valkonen, Janne K; López-Sepulcre, Andrés; Mappes, Johanna

    2015-05-01

    Large conspicuous eyespots on butterfly wings have been shown to deter predators. This has been traditionally explained by mimicry of vertebrate eyes, but recently the classic eye-mimicry hypothesis has been challenged. It is proposed that the conspicuousness of the eyespot, not mimicry, is what causes aversion due to sensory biases, neophobia or sensory overloads. We conducted an experiment to directly test whether the eye-mimicry or the conspicuousness hypothesis better explain eyespot efficacy. We used great tits (Parus major) as model predator, and tested their reaction towards animated images on a computer display. Birds were tested against images of butterflies without eyespots, with natural-looking eyespots, and manipulated spots with the same contrast but reduced resemblance to an eye, as well as images of predators (owls) with and without eyes. We found that mimetic eyespots were as effective as true eyes of owls and more efficient in eliciting an aversive response than modified, less mimetic but equally contrasting eyespots. We conclude that the eye-mimicry hypothesis explains our results better than the conspicuousness hypothesis and is thus likely to be an important mechanism behind the evolution of butterfly eyespots. PMID:25854889

  16. Explaining differences in remuneration rates of nursing homes in Germany.

    PubMed

    Mennicken, Roman; Augurzky, Boris; Rothgang, Heinz; Wasem, Jürgen

    2014-05-01

    Remuneration rates of German nursing homes are prospectively negotiated between long-term care insurance (LTCI) and social assistance on the one side and nursing homes on the other. They differ considerably across regions while there is no evidence for substantial differences in care provision. This article explains the differences in the remuneration rates by observable characteristics of the nursing home, its residents and its region with a special focus on the largest federal state of North Rhine Westphalia, in which the most expensive nursing homes are located. We use data from the German Federal Statistical Office for 2005 on all nursing homes that offer full-time residential care for the elderly. We find that differences in remuneration rates can partly be explained by exogenous factors. Controls for residents, nursing homes and district characteristics explain roughly 30 % of the price difference; 40 % can be ascribed to a regionally different kind of negotiation between nursing homes and LTCI. Thirty percent of the raw price difference remains unexplained by observable characteristics.

  17. Strong resonance explains cycles in sockeye salmon populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guill, Christian; Drossel, Barbara

    2010-03-01

    The number of spawning sockeye salmon that return to their native streams in the Fraser river basin exhibit striking four-year oscillations, the dimension of which being no less notable than the widely known cycles of lynx and snowshoe hare in Canada. The period of the oscillation corresponds to the dominant generation time of these fish, and the phase differs between different stocks. Various not fully convincing explanations have been attempted, ascribing this phenomenon to transient effects, to stochastic influences, to depensatory predation, or to genetic effects. We show that these oscillations can be explained as a stable dynamical attractor of the population dynamics, resulting from a strong resonance near a Neimark Sacker bifurcation. This explains not only the long-term persistence of these oscillations, but also reproduces correctly the sequence of two strong years followed by two weak years. Furthermore, it explains the observations that the oscillations occur only in oligotrophic lakes, and that they do not occur in salmon species that have a longer generation time.

  18. Predator mimicry, not conspicuousness, explains the efficacy of butterfly eyespots

    PubMed Central

    De Bona, Sebastiano; Valkonen, Janne K.; López-Sepulcre, Andrés; Mappes, Johanna

    2015-01-01

    Large conspicuous eyespots on butterfly wings have been shown to deter predators. This has been traditionally explained by mimicry of vertebrate eyes, but recently the classic eye-mimicry hypothesis has been challenged. It is proposed that the conspicuousness of the eyespot, not mimicry, is what causes aversion due to sensory biases, neophobia or sensory overloads. We conducted an experiment to directly test whether the eye-mimicry or the conspicuousness hypothesis better explain eyespot efficacy. We used great tits (Parus major) as model predator, and tested their reaction towards animated images on a computer display. Birds were tested against images of butterflies without eyespots, with natural-looking eyespots, and manipulated spots with the same contrast but reduced resemblance to an eye, as well as images of predators (owls) with and without eyes. We found that mimetic eyespots were as effective as true eyes of owls and more efficient in eliciting an aversive response than modified, less mimetic but equally contrasting eyespots. We conclude that the eye-mimicry hypothesis explains our results better than the conspicuousness hypothesis and is thus likely to be an important mechanism behind the evolution of butterfly eyespots. PMID:25854889

  19. Earthquake lubrication and healing explained by amorphous nanosilica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowe, C. D.; Lamothe, K. G.; Rempe, M.; Andrews, M.; Mitchell, T. M.; Di Toro, G.; White, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    Earthquake slip and rupture propagation require fault strength to decrease during slip. Extreme shear weakening observed in laboratory friction experiments on silica-rich rocks has been explained by the formation of a hydrated amorphous 'silica gel' on the slip surface, but the mode of formation and deformation behavior of this material are not known. In addition, the wear material displays time-dependent strengthening on timescales of hours to days. We performed shearing experiments on chert rocks and analyzed the wear material formed at a range of slip rates from 10-4 - 10-1 m/s. We show by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction that silica lubrication is the result of the formation of amorphous nanopowder rather than a gel. The nanopowder has distinct structure and properties when compared to commercially available amorphous silica nanoparticles, which result from the degree and distribution of hydration and the style of bond strain within particles (observed by Raman spectroscopy and FTIR). The lubrication effect is due to intra-particle plasticity, even at low temperature and interparticle lubrication caused by trapping of water layers between hydrated surfaces. The hours to days timescale of healing may be explained by the natural time-dependent sintering between the hydrated surfaces of the nanopowder. Formation of amorphous silica nanopowders during slip can explain the general characteristics of earthquake ruptures, including the timescales of coseismic weakening and post-seismic healing.

  20. Explaining ecological clusters of maternal depression in South Western Sydney

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The aim of the qualitative study reported here was to: 1) explain the observed clustering of postnatal depressive symptoms in South Western Sydney; and 2) identify group-level mechanisms that would add to our understanding of the social determinants of maternal depression. Methods Critical realism provided the methodological underpinning for the study. The setting was four local government areas in South Western Sydney, Australia. Child and Family practitioners and mothers in naturally occurring mothers groups were interviewed. Results Using an open coding approach to maximise emergence of patterns and relationships we have identified seven theoretical concepts that might explain the observed spatial clustering of maternal depression. The theoretical concepts identified were: Community-level social networks; Social Capital and Social Cohesion; "Depressed community"; Access to services at the group level; Ethnic segregation and diversity; Supportive social policy; and Big business. Conclusions We postulate that these regional structural, economic, social and cultural mechanisms partially explain the pattern of maternal depression observed in families and communities within South Western Sydney. We further observe that powerful global economic and political forces are having an impact on the local situation. The challenge for policy and practice is to support mothers and their families within this adverse regional and global-economic context. PMID:24460690

  1. Predator mimicry, not conspicuousness, explains the efficacy of butterfly eyespots.

    PubMed

    De Bona, Sebastiano; Valkonen, Janne K; López-Sepulcre, Andrés; Mappes, Johanna

    2015-05-01

    Large conspicuous eyespots on butterfly wings have been shown to deter predators. This has been traditionally explained by mimicry of vertebrate eyes, but recently the classic eye-mimicry hypothesis has been challenged. It is proposed that the conspicuousness of the eyespot, not mimicry, is what causes aversion due to sensory biases, neophobia or sensory overloads. We conducted an experiment to directly test whether the eye-mimicry or the conspicuousness hypothesis better explain eyespot efficacy. We used great tits (Parus major) as model predator, and tested their reaction towards animated images on a computer display. Birds were tested against images of butterflies without eyespots, with natural-looking eyespots, and manipulated spots with the same contrast but reduced resemblance to an eye, as well as images of predators (owls) with and without eyes. We found that mimetic eyespots were as effective as true eyes of owls and more efficient in eliciting an aversive response than modified, less mimetic but equally contrasting eyespots. We conclude that the eye-mimicry hypothesis explains our results better than the conspicuousness hypothesis and is thus likely to be an important mechanism behind the evolution of butterfly eyespots.

  2. Traits underpinning desiccation resistance explain distribution patterns of terrestrial isopods.

    PubMed

    Dias, André T C; Krab, Eveline J; Mariën, Janine; Zimmer, Martin; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Ellers, Jacintha; Wardle, David A; Berg, Matty P

    2013-07-01

    Predicted changes in soil water availability regimes with climate and land-use change will impact the community of functionally important soil organisms, such as macro-detritivores. Identifying and quantifying the functional traits that underlie interspecific differences in desiccation resistance will enhance our ability to predict both macro-detritivore community responses to changing water regimes and the consequences of the associated species shifts for organic matter turnover. Using path analysis, we tested (1) how interspecific differences in desiccation resistance among 22 northwestern European terrestrial isopod species could be explained by three underlying traits measured under standard laboratory conditions, namely, body ventral surface area, water loss rate and fatal water loss; (2) whether these relationships were robust to contrasting experimental conditions and to the phylogenetic relatedness effects being excluded; (3) whether desiccation resistance and hypothesized underlying traits could explain species distribution patterns in relation to site water availability. Water loss rate and (secondarily) fatal water loss together explained 90% of the interspecific variation in desiccation resistance. Our path model indicated that body surface area affects desiccation resistance only indirectly via changes in water loss rate. Our results also show that soil moisture determines isopod species distributions by filtering them according to traits underpinning desiccation resistance. These findings reveal that it is possible to use functional traits measured under standard conditions to predict soil biota responses to water availability in the field over broad spatial scales. Taken together, our results demonstrate an increasing need to generate mechanistic models to predict the effect of global changes on functionally important organisms.

  3. Crystal structures explain functional properties of two E. coli porins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowan, S. W.; Schirmer, T.; Rummel, G.; Steiert, M.; Ghosh, R.; Pauptit, R. A.; Jansonius, J. N.; Rosenbusch, J. P.

    1992-08-01

    Porins form aqueous channels that aid the diffusion of small hydrophilic molecules across the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. The crystal structures of matrix porin and phosphoporin both reveal trimers of identical subunits, each subunit consisting of a 16-stranded anti-parallel β-barrel containing a pore. A long loop inside the barrel contributes to a constriction of the channel where the charge distribution affects ion selectivity. The structures explain at the molecular level functional characteristics and their alterations by known mutations.

  4. Explaining human uniqueness: genome interactions with environment, behaviour and culture

    PubMed Central

    Varki, Ajit; Geschwind, Daniel H.; Eichler, Evan E.

    2009-01-01

    What makes us human? Specialists in each discipline respond through the lens of their own expertise. In fact, ‘anthropogeny’ (explaining the origin of humans) requires a transdisciplinary approach that eschews such barriers. Here we take a genomic and genetic perspective towards molecular variation, explore systems analysis of gene expression and discuss an organ-systems approach. Rejecting any ‘genes versus environment’ dichotomy, we then consider genome interactions with environment, behaviour and culture, finally speculating that aspects of human uniqueness arose because of a primate evolutionary trend towards increasing and irreversible dependence on learned behaviours and culture — perhaps relaxing allowable thresholds for large-scale genomic diversity. PMID:18802414

  5. Crystal Structure Anisotropy Explains Anomalous Elastic Properties of Metal Nanorods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goupalov, Serguei

    2014-03-01

    It is demonstrated that the frequency of the extensional vibrational mode of a nanorod made of an elastically anisotropic crystalline material deviates widely from the predictions of the theories based on the analysis of the long-wavelength limit. The dispersion relation for the fundamental extensional mode of a gold rod grown in the [ 100 ] direction is calculated and found to be in an excellent agreement with experimental data obtained from the transient optical absorption measurements on gold nanorods.[1] This explains an anomaly in the elastic properties of nanorods which was previously attributed to a 26% decrease in Young's modulus for nanorods compared to its bulk value.

  6. Explaining and overcoming barriers to climate change adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisenack, Klaus; Moser, Susanne C.; Hoffmann, Esther; Klein, Richard J. T.; Oberlack, Christoph; Pechan, Anna; Rotter, Maja; Termeer, Catrien J. A. M.

    2014-10-01

    The concept of barriers is increasingly used to describe the obstacles that hinder the planning and implementation of climate change adaptation. The growing literature on barriers to adaptation reveals not only commonly reported barriers, but also conflicting evidence, and few explanations of why barriers exist and change. There is thus a need for research that focuses on the interdependencies between barriers and considers the dynamic ways in which barriers develop and persist. Such research, which would be actor-centred and comparative, would help to explain barriers to adaptation and provide insights into how to overcome them.

  7. Dynamical models explaining social balance and evolution of cooperation.

    PubMed

    Traag, Vincent Antonio; Van Dooren, Paul; De Leenheer, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    Social networks with positive and negative links often split into two antagonistic factions. Examples of such a split abound: revolutionaries versus an old regime, Republicans versus Democrats, Axis versus Allies during the second world war, or the Western versus the Eastern bloc during the Cold War. Although this structure, known as social balance, is well understood, it is not clear how such factions emerge. An earlier model could explain the formation of such factions if reputations were assumed to be symmetric. We show this is not the case for non-symmetric reputations, and propose an alternative model which (almost) always leads to social balance, thereby explaining the tendency of social networks to split into two factions. In addition, the alternative model may lead to cooperation when faced with defectors, contrary to the earlier model. The difference between the two models may be understood in terms of the underlying gossiping mechanism: whereas the earlier model assumed that an individual adjusts his opinion about somebody by gossiping about that person with everybody in the network, we assume instead that the individual gossips with that person about everybody. It turns out that the alternative model is able to lead to cooperative behaviour, unlike the previous model.

  8. Can evolutionary principles explain patterns of family violence?

    PubMed

    Archer, John

    2013-03-01

    The article's aim is to evaluate the application of the evolutionary principles of kin selection, reproductive value, and resource holding power to the understanding of family violence. The principles are described in relation to specific predictions and the mechanisms underlying these. Predictions are evaluated for physical violence perpetrated by (a) parents to unrelated children, (b) parents to genetic offspring, and (c) offspring to parents and between (d) siblings and (e) sexual partners. Precise figures for risks have been calculated where possible. The major conclusions are that most of the evidence is consistent with evolutionary predictions derived from kin selection and reproductive value: There were (a) higher rates of violence to stepchildren, (b) a decline in violence with the age of offspring, and (c) an increase in violence with parental age, while (d) violence between siblings was generally at a low level and concerned resource disputes. The issue of distinguishing evolutionary from alternative explanations is addressed throughout and is problematic for predictions derived from reproductive value. The main evolutionary explanation for male partner violence, mate guarding as a result of paternity uncertainty, cannot explain Western studies where sex differences in control and violence between partners were absent, although other aspects of male partner violence are consistent with it, and it may explain sex differences in traditional cultures. Recurrent problems in evaluating the evidence were to control for possible confounds and thus to distinguish evolutionary from alternative explanations. Suggestions are outlined to address this and other issues arising from the review.

  9. Can Chunk Size Differences Explain Developmental Changes in Lexical Learning?

    PubMed Central

    Smalle, Eleonore H. M.; Bogaerts, Louisa; Simonis, Morgane; Duyck, Wouter; Page, Michael P. A.; Edwards, Martin G.; Szmalec, Arnaud

    2016-01-01

    In three experiments, we investigated Hebb repetition learning (HRL) differences between children and adults, as a function of the type of item (lexical vs. sub-lexical) and the level of item-overlap between sequences. In a first experiment, it was shown that when non-repeating and repeating (Hebb) sequences of words were all permutations of the same words, HRL was slower than when the sequences shared no words. This item-overlap effect was observed in both children and adults. In a second experiment, we used syllable sequences and we observed reduced HRL due to item-overlap only in children. The findings are explained within a chunking account of the HRL effect on the basis of which we hypothesize that children, compared with adults, chunk syllable sequences in smaller units. By hypothesis, small chunks are more prone to interference from anagram representations included in the filler sequences, potentially explaining the item-overlap effect in children. This hypothesis was tested in a third experiment with adults where we experimentally manipulated the chunk size by embedding pauses in the syllable sequences. Interestingly, we showed that imposing a small chunk size caused adults to show the same behavioral effects as those observed in children. Departing from the analogy between verbal HRL and lexical development, the results are discussed in light of the less-is-more hypothesis of age-related differences in language acquisition. PMID:26779065

  10. Reinforcement Learning Explains Conditional Cooperation and Its Moody Cousin.

    PubMed

    Ezaki, Takahiro; Horita, Yutaka; Takezawa, Masanori; Masuda, Naoki

    2016-07-01

    Direct reciprocity, or repeated interaction, is a main mechanism to sustain cooperation under social dilemmas involving two individuals. For larger groups and networks, which are probably more relevant to understanding and engineering our society, experiments employing repeated multiplayer social dilemma games have suggested that humans often show conditional cooperation behavior and its moody variant. Mechanisms underlying these behaviors largely remain unclear. Here we provide a proximate account for this behavior by showing that individuals adopting a type of reinforcement learning, called aspiration learning, phenomenologically behave as conditional cooperator. By definition, individuals are satisfied if and only if the obtained payoff is larger than a fixed aspiration level. They reinforce actions that have resulted in satisfactory outcomes and anti-reinforce those yielding unsatisfactory outcomes. The results obtained in the present study are general in that they explain extant experimental results obtained for both so-called moody and non-moody conditional cooperation, prisoner's dilemma and public goods games, and well-mixed groups and networks. Different from the previous theory, individuals are assumed to have no access to information about what other individuals are doing such that they cannot explicitly use conditional cooperation rules. In this sense, myopic aspiration learning in which the unconditional propensity of cooperation is modulated in every discrete time step explains conditional behavior of humans. Aspiration learners showing (moody) conditional cooperation obeyed a noisy GRIM-like strategy. This is different from the Pavlov, a reinforcement learning strategy promoting mutual cooperation in two-player situations.

  11. Reinforcement Learning Explains Conditional Cooperation and Its Moody Cousin

    PubMed Central

    Ezaki, Takahiro; Horita, Yutaka; Masuda, Naoki

    2016-01-01

    Direct reciprocity, or repeated interaction, is a main mechanism to sustain cooperation under social dilemmas involving two individuals. For larger groups and networks, which are probably more relevant to understanding and engineering our society, experiments employing repeated multiplayer social dilemma games have suggested that humans often show conditional cooperation behavior and its moody variant. Mechanisms underlying these behaviors largely remain unclear. Here we provide a proximate account for this behavior by showing that individuals adopting a type of reinforcement learning, called aspiration learning, phenomenologically behave as conditional cooperator. By definition, individuals are satisfied if and only if the obtained payoff is larger than a fixed aspiration level. They reinforce actions that have resulted in satisfactory outcomes and anti-reinforce those yielding unsatisfactory outcomes. The results obtained in the present study are general in that they explain extant experimental results obtained for both so-called moody and non-moody conditional cooperation, prisoner’s dilemma and public goods games, and well-mixed groups and networks. Different from the previous theory, individuals are assumed to have no access to information about what other individuals are doing such that they cannot explicitly use conditional cooperation rules. In this sense, myopic aspiration learning in which the unconditional propensity of cooperation is modulated in every discrete time step explains conditional behavior of humans. Aspiration learners showing (moody) conditional cooperation obeyed a noisy GRIM-like strategy. This is different from the Pavlov, a reinforcement learning strategy promoting mutual cooperation in two-player situations. PMID:27438888

  12. Leveraging population admixture to explain missing heritability of complex traits

    PubMed Central

    Zaitlen, Noah; Pasaniuc, Bogdan; Sankararaman, Sriram; Bhatia, Gaurav; Zhang, Jianqi; Gusev, Alexander; Young, Taylor; Tandon, Arti; Pollack, Samuela; Vilhjálmsson, Bjarni J.; Assimes, Themistocles L.; Berndt, Sonja I.; Blot, William J.; Chanock, Stephen; Franceschini, Nora; Goodman, Phyllis G.; He, Jing; Hennis, Anselm JM; Hsing, Ann; Ingles, Sue A.; Isaacs, William; Kittles, Rick A.; Klein, Eric A.; Lange, Leslie A.; Nemesure, Barbara; Patterson, Nick; Reich, David; Rybicki, Benjamin A.; Stanford, Janet L.; Stevens, Victoria L; Strom, Sara S.; Whitsel, Eric A; Witte, John S.; Xu, Jianfeng; Haiman, Christopher; Wilson, James G.; Kooperberg, Charles; Stram, Daniel; Reiner, Alex P.; Tang, Hua; Price, Alkes L.

    2014-01-01

    Despite recent progress on estimating the heritability explained by genotyped SNPs (hg2), a large gap between hg2 and estimates of total narrow-sense heritability (h2) remains. Explanations for this gap include rare variants, or upward bias in family-based estimates of h2 due to shared environment or epistasis. We estimate h2 from unrelated individuals in admixed populations by first estimating the heritability explained by local ancestry (hγ2). We show that hγ2 = 2FSTCθ(1−θ)h2, where FSTC measures frequency differences between populations at causal loci and θ is the genome-wide ancestry proportion. Our approach is not susceptible to biases caused by epistasis or shared environment. We examined 21,497 African Americans from three cohorts, analyzing 13 phenotypes. For height and BMI, we obtained h2 estimates of 0.55 ± 0.09 and 0.23 ± 0.06, respectively, which are larger than estimates of hg2 in these and other data, but smaller than family-based estimates of h2. PMID:25383972

  13. Can receiver psychology explain the evolution of aposematism?

    PubMed

    Speed, Michael P.

    2001-01-01

    The evolution of aposematism is difficult to explain because: (1) new aposematic morphs will be relatively rare and thus risk extinction during predator education; and (2) aposematic morphs lack the protection of crypsis, and thus appear to invite attacks. I describe a simple method for evaluating whether rare aposematic morphs may be selectively advantaged by their effects on predator psychologies. Using a simulated virtual predator, I consider the advantages that might accrue to dispersed and aggregated morphs if aposematic prey can cause neophobic avoidance, accelerate avoidance learning and decelerate predator forgetting. Simulations show that aposematism is very hard to explain unless there are particular combinations of ecological and psychological factors. If prey are dispersed throughout a locality then aposematism will be favoured only if (1) there is neophobia, learning effects and forgetting or if (2) there are learning effects and warning signals reduce forgetting rates. However, the best scenario for aposematic advantage involves learning rates, forgetting and neophobia when prey are aggregated. Prey aggregation has two important effects. First, it is a highly effective way to maximize the per capita benefits of the neophobia. Second, after an attack on a single prey the benefits of learnt aversions will be immediately conferred on the surviving members of an aggregation without the diluting effects of forgetting. Aggregation therefore provides good protection against forgetting. The simulations thus provide new insights into the complexities of aposematic protection and suggest some important directions for empirical work. Copyright 2001 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  14. Can model-free reinforcement learning explain deontological moral judgments?

    PubMed

    Ayars, Alisabeth

    2016-05-01

    Dual-systems frameworks propose that moral judgments are derived from both an immediate emotional response, and controlled/rational cognition. Recently Cushman (2013) proposed a new dual-system theory based on model-free and model-based reinforcement learning. Model-free learning attaches values to actions based on their history of reward and punishment, and explains some deontological, non-utilitarian judgments. Model-based learning involves the construction of a causal model of the world and allows for far-sighted planning; this form of learning fits well with utilitarian considerations that seek to maximize certain kinds of outcomes. I present three concerns regarding the use of model-free reinforcement learning to explain deontological moral judgment. First, many actions that humans find aversive from model-free learning are not judged to be morally wrong. Moral judgment must require something in addition to model-free learning. Second, there is a dearth of evidence for central predictions of the reinforcement account-e.g., that people with different reinforcement histories will, all else equal, make different moral judgments. Finally, to account for the effect of intention within the framework requires certain assumptions which lack support. These challenges are reasonable foci for future empirical/theoretical work on the model-free/model-based framework. PMID:26918742

  15. Reinforcement Learning Explains Conditional Cooperation and Its Moody Cousin.

    PubMed

    Ezaki, Takahiro; Horita, Yutaka; Takezawa, Masanori; Masuda, Naoki

    2016-07-01

    Direct reciprocity, or repeated interaction, is a main mechanism to sustain cooperation under social dilemmas involving two individuals. For larger groups and networks, which are probably more relevant to understanding and engineering our society, experiments employing repeated multiplayer social dilemma games have suggested that humans often show conditional cooperation behavior and its moody variant. Mechanisms underlying these behaviors largely remain unclear. Here we provide a proximate account for this behavior by showing that individuals adopting a type of reinforcement learning, called aspiration learning, phenomenologically behave as conditional cooperator. By definition, individuals are satisfied if and only if the obtained payoff is larger than a fixed aspiration level. They reinforce actions that have resulted in satisfactory outcomes and anti-reinforce those yielding unsatisfactory outcomes. The results obtained in the present study are general in that they explain extant experimental results obtained for both so-called moody and non-moody conditional cooperation, prisoner's dilemma and public goods games, and well-mixed groups and networks. Different from the previous theory, individuals are assumed to have no access to information about what other individuals are doing such that they cannot explicitly use conditional cooperation rules. In this sense, myopic aspiration learning in which the unconditional propensity of cooperation is modulated in every discrete time step explains conditional behavior of humans. Aspiration learners showing (moody) conditional cooperation obeyed a noisy GRIM-like strategy. This is different from the Pavlov, a reinforcement learning strategy promoting mutual cooperation in two-player situations. PMID:27438888

  16. Explaining fruit and vegetable intake using a consumer marketing tool.

    PubMed

    Della, Lindsay J; Dejoy, David M; Lance, Charles E

    2009-10-01

    In response to calls to reinvent the 5 A Day fruit and vegetable campaign, this study assesses the utility of VALS, a consumer-based audience segmentation tool that divides the U.S. population into groups leading similar lifestyles. The study examines whether the impact of theory of planned behavior (TPB) constructs varies across VALS groups in a cross-sectional sample of 1,588 U.S. adults. In a multigroup structural equation model, the VALS audience group variable moderated latent TPB relationships. Attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control explained 57% to 70% of the variation in intention to eat fruit and vegetables across 5 different VALS groups. Perceived behavioral control and intention also predicted self-reported consumption behavior (R2 = 20% to 71% across VALS groups). Bivariate z tests were calculated to determine statistical differences in parameter estimates across groups. Nine of the bivariate z tests were statistically significant (p < or = .04), with standardized coefficients ranging from .05 to .70. These findings confirm the efficacy of using the TPB to explain variation in fruit and vegetable consumption as well as the validity of using a consumer-based algorithm to segment audiences for fruit and vegetable consumption messaging.

  17. Localized bedrock aquifer distribution explains discharge from a headwater catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kosugi, Ken'ichirou; Fujimoto, Masamitsu; Katsura, Shin'ya; Kato, Hiroyuki; Sando, Yoshiki; Mizuyama, Takahisa

    2011-07-01

    Understanding a discharge hydrograph is one of the leading interests in catchment hydrology. Recent research has provided credible information on the importance of bedrock groundwater on discharge hydrographs from headwater catchments. However, intensive monitoring of bedrock groundwater is rare in mountains with steep topography. Hence, how bedrock groundwater controls discharge from a steep headwater catchment is in dispute. In this study, we conducted long-term hydrological observations using densely located bedrock wells in a headwater catchment underlain by granitic bedrock. The catchment has steep topography affected by diastrophic activities. Results showed a fairly regionalized distribution of bedrock aquifers within a scale of tens of meters, consisting of upper, middle, and lower aquifers, instead of a gradual and continuous decline in water level from ridge to valley bottom. This was presumably attributable to the unique bedrock structure; fault lines developed in the watershed worked to form divides between the bedrock aquifers. Spatial expanse of each aquifer and the interaction among aquifers were key factors to explain gentle and considerable variations in the base flow discharge and triple-peak discharge responses of the observed hydrograph. A simple model was developed to simulate the discharge hydrograph, which computed each of the contributions from the soil mantle groundwater, from the lower aquifer, and from the middle aquifer to the discharge. The modeling results generally succeeded in reproducing the observed hydrograph. Thus, this study demonstrated that understanding regionalized bedrock aquifer distribution is pivotal for explaining discharge hydrograph from headwater catchments that have been affected by diastrophic activities.

  18. Dark Matter Explained: Exploring shadows on the cave wall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beichler, James

    2007-04-01

    Science has been faced with an unknown in its theories of the universe for more than two decades. The observed reality of CDM in the galactic halos presents a crisis for science because the present paradigms of physics cannot explain its existence. The quantum solution is to assume that some form of esoteric heavy particles, such as WIMPs, MACHOs or supersymmetry particles, will eventually account for Dark Matter. However, their existence has never been verified. Or a modification of Newton's basic laws of motion called MOND has also been proposed. Yet adding a specialized `fudge-factor' to Newton's fundamental laws of motion merely to save appearances seems questionable. The CDM problem affects gravity theory, not the laws of motion. The problem is relativistic in nature and a relativistic solution is easily found with only a slight change of approach, but that change is radical and not without consequences. The addition of a macroscopically extended fourth spatial dimension to our present four-dimensional space-time world structure explains CDM, but this would amount to the acceptance of the reality of a five-dimensional space-time continuum.

  19. Dynamical Models Explaining Social Balance and Evolution of Cooperation

    PubMed Central

    Traag, Vincent Antonio; Van Dooren, Paul; De Leenheer, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    Social networks with positive and negative links often split into two antagonistic factions. Examples of such a split abound: revolutionaries versus an old regime, Republicans versus Democrats, Axis versus Allies during the second world war, or the Western versus the Eastern bloc during the Cold War. Although this structure, known as social balance, is well understood, it is not clear how such factions emerge. An earlier model could explain the formation of such factions if reputations were assumed to be symmetric. We show this is not the case for non-symmetric reputations, and propose an alternative model which (almost) always leads to social balance, thereby explaining the tendency of social networks to split into two factions. In addition, the alternative model may lead to cooperation when faced with defectors, contrary to the earlier model. The difference between the two models may be understood in terms of the underlying gossiping mechanism: whereas the earlier model assumed that an individual adjusts his opinion about somebody by gossiping about that person with everybody in the network, we assume instead that the individual gossips with that person about everybody. It turns out that the alternative model is able to lead to cooperative behaviour, unlike the previous model. PMID:23634204

  20. Explaining socio-economic inequalities in immunization coverage in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Ataguba, John E; Ojo, Kenneth O; Ichoku, Hyacinth E

    2016-11-01

    Globally, in 2013 over 6 million children younger than 5 years died from either an infectious cause or during the neonatal period. A large proportion of these deaths occurred in developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Immunization is one way to reduce childhood morbidity and deaths. In Nigeria, however, although immunization is provided without a charge at public facilities, coverage remains low and deaths from vaccine preventable diseases are high. This article seeks to assess inequalities in full and partial immunization coverage in Nigeria. It also assesses inequality in the 'intensity' of immunization coverage and it explains the factors that account for disparities in child immunization coverage in the country. Using nationally representative data, this article shows that disparities exist in the coverage of immunization to the advantage of the rich. Also, factors such as mother's literacy, region and location of the child, and socio-economic status explain the disparities in immunization coverage in Nigeria. Apart from addressing these issues, the article notes the importance of addressing other social determinants of health to reduce the disparities in immunization coverage in the country. These should be in line with the social values of communities so as to ensure acceptability and compliance. We argue that any policy that addresses these issues will likely reduce disparities in immunization coverage and put Nigeria on the road to sustainable development.

  1. Can model-free reinforcement learning explain deontological moral judgments?

    PubMed

    Ayars, Alisabeth

    2016-05-01

    Dual-systems frameworks propose that moral judgments are derived from both an immediate emotional response, and controlled/rational cognition. Recently Cushman (2013) proposed a new dual-system theory based on model-free and model-based reinforcement learning. Model-free learning attaches values to actions based on their history of reward and punishment, and explains some deontological, non-utilitarian judgments. Model-based learning involves the construction of a causal model of the world and allows for far-sighted planning; this form of learning fits well with utilitarian considerations that seek to maximize certain kinds of outcomes. I present three concerns regarding the use of model-free reinforcement learning to explain deontological moral judgment. First, many actions that humans find aversive from model-free learning are not judged to be morally wrong. Moral judgment must require something in addition to model-free learning. Second, there is a dearth of evidence for central predictions of the reinforcement account-e.g., that people with different reinforcement histories will, all else equal, make different moral judgments. Finally, to account for the effect of intention within the framework requires certain assumptions which lack support. These challenges are reasonable foci for future empirical/theoretical work on the model-free/model-based framework.

  2. Can Chunk Size Differences Explain Developmental Changes in Lexical Learning?

    PubMed

    Smalle, Eleonore H M; Bogaerts, Louisa; Simonis, Morgane; Duyck, Wouter; Page, Michael P A; Edwards, Martin G; Szmalec, Arnaud

    2015-01-01

    In three experiments, we investigated Hebb repetition learning (HRL) differences between children and adults, as a function of the type of item (lexical vs. sub-lexical) and the level of item-overlap between sequences. In a first experiment, it was shown that when non-repeating and repeating (Hebb) sequences of words were all permutations of the same words, HRL was slower than when the sequences shared no words. This item-overlap effect was observed in both children and adults. In a second experiment, we used syllable sequences and we observed reduced HRL due to item-overlap only in children. The findings are explained within a chunking account of the HRL effect on the basis of which we hypothesize that children, compared with adults, chunk syllable sequences in smaller units. By hypothesis, small chunks are more prone to interference from anagram representations included in the filler sequences, potentially explaining the item-overlap effect in children. This hypothesis was tested in a third experiment with adults where we experimentally manipulated the chunk size by embedding pauses in the syllable sequences. Interestingly, we showed that imposing a small chunk size caused adults to show the same behavioral effects as those observed in children. Departing from the analogy between verbal HRL and lexical development, the results are discussed in light of the less-is-more hypothesis of age-related differences in language acquisition. PMID:26779065

  3. Dynamical models explaining social balance and evolution of cooperation.

    PubMed

    Traag, Vincent Antonio; Van Dooren, Paul; De Leenheer, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    Social networks with positive and negative links often split into two antagonistic factions. Examples of such a split abound: revolutionaries versus an old regime, Republicans versus Democrats, Axis versus Allies during the second world war, or the Western versus the Eastern bloc during the Cold War. Although this structure, known as social balance, is well understood, it is not clear how such factions emerge. An earlier model could explain the formation of such factions if reputations were assumed to be symmetric. We show this is not the case for non-symmetric reputations, and propose an alternative model which (almost) always leads to social balance, thereby explaining the tendency of social networks to split into two factions. In addition, the alternative model may lead to cooperation when faced with defectors, contrary to the earlier model. The difference between the two models may be understood in terms of the underlying gossiping mechanism: whereas the earlier model assumed that an individual adjusts his opinion about somebody by gossiping about that person with everybody in the network, we assume instead that the individual gossips with that person about everybody. It turns out that the alternative model is able to lead to cooperative behaviour, unlike the previous model. PMID:23634204

  4. Male reproductive strategy explains spatiotemporal segregation in brown bears.

    PubMed

    Steyaert, Sam M J G; Kindberg, Jonas; Swenson, Jon E; Zedrosser, Andreas

    2013-07-01

    Spatiotemporal segregation is often explained by the risk for offspring predation or by differences in physiology, predation risk vulnerability or competitive abilities related to size dimorphism. Most large carnivores are size dimorphic and offspring predation is often intraspecific and related to nonparental infanticide (NPI). NPI can be a foraging strategy, a strategy to reduce competition, or a male reproductive strategy. Spatiotemporal segregation is widespread among large carnivores, but its nature remains poorly understood. We evaluated three hypotheses to explain spatiotemporal segregation in the brown bear, a size-dimorphic large carnivore in which NPI is common; the 'NPI - foraging/competition hypothesis', i.e. NPI as a foraging strategy or a strategy to reduce competition, the 'NPI - sexual selection hypothesis', i.e. infanticide as a male reproductive strategy and the 'body size hypothesis', i.e. body-size-related differences in physiology, predation risk vulnerability or competitive ability causes spatiotemporal segregation. To test these hypotheses, we quantified spatiotemporal segregation among adult males, lone adult females and females with cubs-of-the-year, based on GPS-relocation data (2006-2010) and resource selection functions in a Scandinavian population. We found that spatiotemporal segregation was strongest between females with cubs-of-the-year and adult males during the mating season. During the mating season, females with cubs-of-the-year selected their resources, in contrast to adult males, in less rugged landscapes in relative close proximity to certain human-related variables, and in more open habitat types. After the mating season, females with cubs-of-the-year markedly shifted their resource selection towards a pattern more similar to that of their conspecifics. No strong spatiotemporal segregation was apparent between females with cubs-of-the-year and conspecifics during the mating and the postmating season. The 'NPI - sexual

  5. Male reproductive strategy explains spatiotemporal segregation in brown bears

    PubMed Central

    Steyaert, Sam MJG; Kindberg, Jonas; Swenson, Jon E; Zedrosser, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    1. Spatiotemporal segregation is often explained by the risk for offspring predation or by differences in physiology, predation risk vulnerability or competitive abilities related to size dimorphism. 2. Most large carnivores are size dimorphic and offspring predation is often intraspecific and related to nonparental infanticide (NPI). NPI can be a foraging strategy, a strategy to reduce competition, or a male reproductive strategy. Spatiotemporal segregation is widespread among large carnivores, but its nature remains poorly understood. 3. We evaluated three hypotheses to explain spatiotemporal segregation in the brown bear, a size-dimorphic large carnivore in which NPI is common; the ‘NPI – foraging/competition hypothesis', i.e. NPI as a foraging strategy or a strategy to reduce competition, the ‘NPI – sexual selection hypothesis’, i.e. infanticide as a male reproductive strategy and the ‘body size hypothesis’, i.e. body-size-related differences in physiology, predation risk vulnerability or competitive ability causes spatiotemporal segregation. To test these hypotheses, we quantified spatiotemporal segregation among adult males, lone adult females and females with cubs-of-the-year, based on GPS-relocation data (2006–2010) and resource selection functions in a Scandinavian population. 4. We found that spatiotemporal segregation was strongest between females with cubs-of-the-year and adult males during the mating season. During the mating season, females with cubs-of-the-year selected their resources, in contrast to adult males, in less rugged landscapes in relative close proximity to certain human-related variables, and in more open habitat types. After the mating season, females with cubs-of-the-year markedly shifted their resource selection towards a pattern more similar to that of their conspecifics. No strong spatiotemporal segregation was apparent between females with cubs-of-the-year and conspecifics during the mating and the postmating

  6. Children's understanding of substances, Part 2: explaining chemical change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Philip

    2002-10-01

    This is the second part of a paper which focuses on the idea of chemical change (see Johnson 2000). The reported data comes from a study which explored the development of children's concept of a substance (ages 11-14). It examines the use of the ideas of elements, compounds and the bonding between atoms to explain chemical change and the intersection of these ideas with 'basic' particle ideas. Evidence is presented which suggests that the particle ideas were the means by which the pupils came to acknowledge the phenomenon of chemical change, having been unmoved by a macroscopic approach which identified substances by melting and boiling point. Furthermore, a basic particle model in which individual particles still retained the macroscopic properties of the substance was found to inhibit an understanding of chemical change. Findings with respect to a burning candle are reported in a separate section. Important implications for teaching are discussed.

  7. Carbonatite ring-complexes explained by caldera-style volcanism.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Magnus; Malehmir, Alireza; Troll, Valentin R; Dehghannejad, Mahdieh; Juhlin, Christopher; Ask, Maria

    2013-01-01

    Carbonatites are rare, carbonate-rich magmatic rocks that make up a minute portion of the crust only, yet they are of great relevance for our understanding of crustal and mantle processes. Although they occur in all continents and from Archaean to present, the deeper plumbing system of carbonatite ring-complexes is usually poorly constrained. Here, we show that carbonatite ring-complexes can be explained by caldera-style volcanism. Our geophysical investigation of the Alnö carbonatite ring-complex in central Sweden identifies a solidified saucer-shaped magma chamber at ~3 km depth that links to surface exposures through a ring fault system. Caldera subsidence during final stages of activity caused carbonatite eruptions north of the main complex, providing the crucial element to connect plutonic and eruptive features of carbonatite magmatism. The way carbonatite magmas are stored, transported and erupt at the surface is thus comparable to known emplacement styles from silicic calderas. PMID:23591904

  8. Heterogeneity explains features of “anomalous” thermodynamics and statistics

    PubMed Central

    Gheorghiu, Stefan; Coppens, Marc-Olivier

    2004-01-01

    Phenomena characterized by power-law probability distributions abound in nature and the applied sciences. We show that many of these power laws are well described by the Student, or t, distribution, and we discuss the origin of this universality based on three examples (Brownian motion, Knudsen diffusion in rough pores, and bubbly multiphase flow). These case studies are representative for a large class of systems with heterogeneous features, examples of which can be found from Earth sciences to astrophysics, and even in the social sciences. We show that common forms of polydispersity, such as polydispersity arising naturally as a result of aggregation–fragmentation phenomena, typically lie at the basis of the observed scaling. We conclude that complicated arguments based on long-range correlations or nonergodicity are often incorrect or misleading in explaining many naturally observed power laws and, in particular, those described by the Student distribution. PMID:15514018

  9. Explaining drug policy: Towards an historical sociology of policy change.

    PubMed

    Seddon, Toby

    2011-11-01

    The goal of seeking to understand the development over time of drug policies is a specific version of the more general intellectual project of finding ways of explaining social change. The latter has been a preoccupation of some of the greatest thinkers within the social sciences of the last 200 years, from Foucault all the way back to the three nineteenth-century pioneers, Marx, Durkheim and Weber. I describe this body of work as 'historical sociology'. In this paper, I outline how a particular approach to historical sociology can be fruitfully drawn upon to understand the development of drug policy, using by way of illustration the example of the analysis of a recent transformation in British drug policy: the rise of the criminal justice agenda. I conclude by arguing that by looking at developments in drug policy in this way, some new insights are opened up. PMID:21733667

  10. Social inheritance can explain the structure of animal social networks

    PubMed Central

    Ilany, Amiyaal; Akçay, Erol

    2016-01-01

    The social network structure of animal populations has major implications for survival, reproductive success, sexual selection and pathogen transmission of individuals. But as of yet, no general theory of social network structure exists that can explain the diversity of social networks observed in nature, and serve as a null model for detecting species and population-specific factors. Here we propose a simple and generally applicable model of social network structure. We consider the emergence of network structure as a result of social inheritance, in which newborns are likely to bond with maternal contacts, and via forming bonds randomly. We compare model output with data from several species, showing that it can generate networks with properties such as those observed in real social systems. Our model demonstrates that important observed properties of social networks, including heritability of network position or assortative associations, can be understood as consequences of social inheritance. PMID:27352101

  11. EARTHSHINE ON A YOUNG MOON: EXPLAINING THE LUNAR FARSIDE HIGHLANDS

    SciTech Connect

    Roy, Arpita; Wright, Jason T.; Sigurðsson, Steinn

    2014-06-20

    The lunar farside highlands problem refers to the curious and unexplained fact that the farside lunar crust is thicker, on average, than the nearside crust. Here we recognize the crucial influence of Earthshine, and propose that it naturally explains this hemispheric dichotomy. Since the accreting Moon rapidly achieved synchronous rotation, a surface and atmospheric thermal gradient was imposed by the proximity of the hot, post-giant impact Earth. This gradient guided condensation of atmospheric and accreting material, preferentially depositing crust-forming refractories on the cooler farside, resulting in a primordial bulk chemical inhomogeneity that seeded the crustal asymmetry. Our model provides a causal solution to the lunar highlands problem: the thermal gradient created by Earthshine produced the chemical gradient responsible for the crust thickness dichotomy that defines the lunar highlands.

  12. Real world ocean rogue waves explained without the modulational instability.

    PubMed

    Fedele, Francesco; Brennan, Joseph; Ponce de León, Sonia; Dudley, John; Dias, Frédéric

    2016-06-21

    Since the 1990s, the modulational instability has commonly been used to explain the occurrence of rogue waves that appear from nowhere in the open ocean. However, the importance of this instability in the context of ocean waves is not well established. This mechanism has been successfully studied in laboratory experiments and in mathematical studies, but there is no consensus on what actually takes place in the ocean. In this work, we question the oceanic relevance of this paradigm. In particular, we analyze several sets of field data in various European locations with various tools, and find that the main generation mechanism for rogue waves is the constructive interference of elementary waves enhanced by second-order bound nonlinearities and not the modulational instability. This implies that rogue waves are likely to be rare occurrences of weakly nonlinear random seas.

  13. Real world ocean rogue waves explained without the modulational instability.

    PubMed

    Fedele, Francesco; Brennan, Joseph; Ponce de León, Sonia; Dudley, John; Dias, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Since the 1990s, the modulational instability has commonly been used to explain the occurrence of rogue waves that appear from nowhere in the open ocean. However, the importance of this instability in the context of ocean waves is not well established. This mechanism has been successfully studied in laboratory experiments and in mathematical studies, but there is no consensus on what actually takes place in the ocean. In this work, we question the oceanic relevance of this paradigm. In particular, we analyze several sets of field data in various European locations with various tools, and find that the main generation mechanism for rogue waves is the constructive interference of elementary waves enhanced by second-order bound nonlinearities and not the modulational instability. This implies that rogue waves are likely to be rare occurrences of weakly nonlinear random seas. PMID:27323897

  14. Real world ocean rogue waves explained without the modulational instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fedele, Francesco; Brennan, Joseph; Ponce de León, Sonia; Dudley, John; Dias, Frédéric

    2016-06-01

    Since the 1990s, the modulational instability has commonly been used to explain the occurrence of rogue waves that appear from nowhere in the open ocean. However, the importance of this instability in the context of ocean waves is not well established. This mechanism has been successfully studied in laboratory experiments and in mathematical studies, but there is no consensus on what actually takes place in the ocean. In this work, we question the oceanic relevance of this paradigm. In particular, we analyze several sets of field data in various European locations with various tools, and find that the main generation mechanism for rogue waves is the constructive interference of elementary waves enhanced by second-order bound nonlinearities and not the modulational instability. This implies that rogue waves are likely to be rare occurrences of weakly nonlinear random seas.

  15. Orientation-sensitivity to facial features explains the Thatcher illusion

    PubMed Central

    Psalta, Lilia; Young, Andrew W.; Thompson, Peter; Andrews, Timothy J.

    2014-01-01

    The Thatcher illusion provides a compelling example of the perceptual cost of face inversion. The Thatcher illusion is often thought to result from a disruption to the processing of spatial relations between face features. Here, we show the limitations of this account and instead demonstrate that the effect of inversion in the Thatcher illusion is better explained by a disruption to the processing of purely local facial features. Using a matching task, we found that participants were able to discriminate normal and Thatcherized versions of the same face when they were presented in an upright orientation, but not when the images were inverted. Next, we showed that the effect of inversion was also apparent when only the eye region or only the mouth region was visible. These results demonstrate that a key component of the Thatcher illusion is to be found in orientation-specific encoding of the expressive features (eyes and mouth) of the face. PMID:25301017

  16. Ecology and multilevel selection explain aggression in spider colonies.

    PubMed

    Biernaskie, Jay M; Foster, Kevin R

    2016-08-01

    Progress in sociobiology continues to be hindered by abstract debates over methodology and the relative importance of within-group vs. between-group selection. We need concrete biological examples to ground discussions in empirical data. Recent work argued that the levels of aggression in social spider colonies are explained by group-level adaptation. Here, we examine this conclusion using models that incorporate ecological detail while remaining consistent with kin- and multilevel selection frameworks. We show that although levels of aggression are driven, in part, by between-group selection, incorporating universal within-group competition provides a striking fit to the data that is inconsistent with pure group-level adaptation. Instead, our analyses suggest that aggression is favoured primarily as a selfish strategy to compete for resources, despite causing lower group foraging efficiency or higher risk of group extinction. We argue that sociobiology will benefit from a pluralistic approach and stronger links between ecologically informed models and data.

  17. [Francisco Varela's neurophenomenology of time: temporality of consciousness explained?].

    PubMed

    Vargas, Esteban; Canales-Johnson, Andrés; Claudio Fuentes, B

    2013-01-01

    This article attempts to clarify Francisco Varela's proposal of a neurophenomenology of time consciousness in the light of distinctions based on the philosophical literature of phenomenology and recent advances of neurobiology. The analysis is carried out considering three aspects. In the first of them, we discuss the phenomenological aspect of consciousness, accessible in first-person, which describes time as a structure with three inseparable moments (past-present-future) and three levels of temporality, and not merely as the chronometric time or clock time. In the second one, we analyze the neurobiological aspect of consciousness that tends to "explain" the phenomenological time in terms of three possible levels of neuronal integration. Thus, we propose a correspondence between the levels of phenomenological time and neural integration processes. Finally, we try to analyze this "correspondence" and the issues that follow from this by considering that the notion of time in this correspondence is, in essence, the clock time and not the phenomenological time consciousness.

  18. [To explain is to narrate. How to visualize scientific data].

    PubMed

    Hawtin, Nigel

    2014-01-01

    When you try to appeal a vast ranging audience, as it occurs at the New Scientist that addresses scientists as well as the general public, your scientific visual explainer must be succinct, clear, accurate and easily understandable. In order to reach this goal, your message should provide only the main data, the ones that allow you to balance information and clarity: information should be put into context and all the extra details should be cut down. It is very important, then, to know well both your audience and the subject you are going to describe, as graphic masters of the past, like William Playfair and Charles Minard, have taught us. Moreover, you should try to engage your reader connecting the storytelling power of words and the driving force of the graphics: colours, visual elements, typography. To be effective, in fact, an infographic should not only be truthful and functional, but also elegant, having style and legibility.

  19. Can Laser Physics Notions Explain High Temperature Superconductivity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, John C.

    2003-03-01

    Thinking of large excitations in superconductivity (SC) in terms of population inversions would seem to allow for phonon laser amplification while simultaneously refrigerating the environment (an obvious impossibility). Fortunately, fluctuation of the SC ground state, when the population is inverted (ns < n_e), prevents second law violation by disallowing directional control of the spontaneous coherent phonon bursts. The bursts are therefore allowed to prevent the complete collapse of the SC state by driving the excited electrons back down into the SC state. Stabilization of the SC state by spontaneous, real coherent phonon deexcitation of the population inversion circumvents the instability problems in strong coupling theories bound together through virtual exchange of phonons. EXTERNAL (REAL PHONON) STABILIZATION OF STRONG COUPLED SC EXPLAINS HIGH TEMPERATURE SC ITSELF. Allowing the use of laser physics notions in high temperature SC theory dramatically simplifies understanding of an enormous number of experiments.

  20. Explaining social discrimination: racism in Brazil and xenophobia in Spain.

    PubMed

    Camino, Leoncio; Álvaro, José Luis; Torres, Ana Raquel R; Garrido, Alicia; Morais, Thiago; Barbosa, Juliana

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigates the arguments used by university students in order to explain social differences between social minorities and majorities. In Brazil, the issues investigated refer to White and Black people. In Spain, the reference is to native Spaniards and Moroccan immigrants. The participants were 144 Brazilians and 93 Spaniards, who answered a questionnaire composed of socio-demographic variables and one open question about the causes of social inequalities between Black and White people in Brazil and between autochthonous Spaniards and Moroccan Immigrants. A model is proposed to integrate the four discursive classes found using ALCESTE software. In Brazil, the strongest argument is based on the historical roots of the exploitation of Black people. In Spain, cultural differences are the main explanation for social inequalities.

  1. Social inheritance can explain the structure of animal social networks.

    PubMed

    Ilany, Amiyaal; Akçay, Erol

    2016-01-01

    The social network structure of animal populations has major implications for survival, reproductive success, sexual selection and pathogen transmission of individuals. But as of yet, no general theory of social network structure exists that can explain the diversity of social networks observed in nature, and serve as a null model for detecting species and population-specific factors. Here we propose a simple and generally applicable model of social network structure. We consider the emergence of network structure as a result of social inheritance, in which newborns are likely to bond with maternal contacts, and via forming bonds randomly. We compare model output with data from several species, showing that it can generate networks with properties such as those observed in real social systems. Our model demonstrates that important observed properties of social networks, including heritability of network position or assortative associations, can be understood as consequences of social inheritance. PMID:27352101

  2. Evolutionary theories of aging can explain why we age.

    PubMed

    Le Bourg, Eric

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary theories of aging explain why we age. These theories take into account the fact that, in the wild, mean lifespan of many species is usually shorter than it could be in protected environments. In such conditions, because most of animals die before reaching old age, there is no selection in favor or against alleles with effects at old age. Alleles with negative effects at this age can thus accumulate in successive generations, particularly if they also have positive effects at young age and are thus retained by selection. This chapter describes the evolutionary theories of aging and their consequences for the understanding of the biology of aging as well as the challenges to these theories. It is argued that these theories offer a reasonable explanation to the existence of the aging process even if they can surely be refined.

  3. Carbonatite ring-complexes explained by caldera-style volcanism.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Magnus; Malehmir, Alireza; Troll, Valentin R; Dehghannejad, Mahdieh; Juhlin, Christopher; Ask, Maria

    2013-01-01

    Carbonatites are rare, carbonate-rich magmatic rocks that make up a minute portion of the crust only, yet they are of great relevance for our understanding of crustal and mantle processes. Although they occur in all continents and from Archaean to present, the deeper plumbing system of carbonatite ring-complexes is usually poorly constrained. Here, we show that carbonatite ring-complexes can be explained by caldera-style volcanism. Our geophysical investigation of the Alnö carbonatite ring-complex in central Sweden identifies a solidified saucer-shaped magma chamber at ~3 km depth that links to surface exposures through a ring fault system. Caldera subsidence during final stages of activity caused carbonatite eruptions north of the main complex, providing the crucial element to connect plutonic and eruptive features of carbonatite magmatism. The way carbonatite magmas are stored, transported and erupt at the surface is thus comparable to known emplacement styles from silicic calderas.

  4. Laurasian migration explains Gondwanan disjunctions: evidence from Malpighiaceae.

    PubMed

    Davis, Charles C; Bell, Charles D; Mathews, Sarah; Donoghue, Michael J

    2002-05-14

    Explanations for biogeographic disjunctions involving South America and Africa typically invoke vicariance of western Gondwanan biotas or long distance dispersal. These hypotheses are problematical because many groups originated and diversified well after the last known connection between Africa and South America (approximately 105 million years ago), and it is unlikely that "sweepstakes" dispersal accounts for many of these disjunctions. Phylogenetic analyses of the angiosperm clade Malpighiaceae, combined with fossil evidence and molecular divergence-time estimates, suggest an alternative hypothesis to account for such distributions. We propose that Malpighiaceae originated in northern South America, and that members of several clades repeatedly migrated into North America and subsequently moved via North Atlantic land connections into the Old World during episodes starting in the Eocene, when climates supported tropical forests. This Laurasian migration route may explain many other extant lineages that exhibit western Gondwanan distributions.

  5. "Developmental capture" of the state: explaining Thailand's universal coverage policy.

    PubMed

    Harris, Joseph

    2015-02-01

    The notion of "regulatory capture" is typically used to describe the takeover of state agencies by outside interest groups that seek to weaken regulation and advance the agendas of interest groups through control over state policy levers. This concept can be contrasted with that of "developmental capture" of state agencies by networks of reformist bureaucrats within the state who seek to promote inclusive state social and developmental policies of benefit to the broader populace. Building on work that has pointed to instances in which state bureaucrats act autonomously from societal and political pressures, this article argues that existing explanations are insufficient for explaining Thailand's universal health care policy. It points to the critical role played by a network of bureaucrats within the state who strategically mobilized resources in the bureaucracy, political parties, civil society, and international organizations to institutionalize universal health care in the face of broader professional dissent, political uncertainty, and international pressure.

  6. Explaining exercise behavior and satisfaction with social exchange theory.

    PubMed

    Unger, J; Johnson, C A

    1995-10-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that the variables specified by social exchange theory (perceived rewards of exercising, perceived costs of exercising, social and tangible investments, and available alternative activities) are associated with exercise behavior and satisfaction. 190 health club members completed a questionnaire assessing attitudes toward exercise, exercise behavior, and demographic information. Exercise frequency and satisfaction were regressed on the social exchange theory variables and demographic covariates. Exercise satisfaction, the number of investments in exercise, and the number of available alternative activities were significantly related to exercise frequency, and the number of perceived rewards of exercise and the number of investments were significantly related to exercise satisfaction. These results suggest that social exchange theory is useful for explaining exercise behavior. PMID:8570365

  7. Explaining How to Play Real-Time Strategy Games

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metoyer, Ronald; Stumpf, Simone; Neumann, Christoph; Dodge, Jonathan; Cao, Jill; Schnabel, Aaron

    Real-time strategy games share many aspects with real situations in domains such as battle planning, air traffic control, and emergency response team management which makes them appealing test-beds for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. End user annotations could help to provide supplemental information for learning algorithms, especially when training data is sparse. This paper presents a formative study to uncover how experienced users explain game play in real-time strategy games. We report the results of our analysis of explanations and discuss their characteristics that could support the design of systems for use by experienced real-time strategy game users in specifying or annotating strategy-oriented behavior.

  8. Microeconomic principles explain an optimal genome size in bacteria.

    PubMed

    Ranea, Juan A G; Grant, Alastair; Thornton, Janet M; Orengo, Christine A

    2005-01-01

    Bacteria can clearly enhance their survival by expanding their genetic repertoire. However, the tight packing of the bacterial genome and the fact that the most evolved species do not necessarily have the biggest genomes suggest there are other evolutionary factors limiting their genome expansion. To clarify these restrictions on size, we studied those protein families contributing most significantly to bacterial-genome complexity. We found that all bacteria apply the same basic and ancestral 'molecular technology' to optimize their reproductive efficiency. The same microeconomics principles that define the optimum size in a factory can also explain the existence of a statistical optimum in bacterial genome size. This optimum is reached when the bacterial genome obtains the maximum metabolic complexity (revenue) for minimal regulatory genes (logistic cost). PMID:15680509

  9. Orientation-sensitivity to facial features explains the Thatcher illusion.

    PubMed

    Psalta, Lilia; Young, Andrew W; Thompson, Peter; Andrews, Timothy J

    2014-10-09

    The Thatcher illusion provides a compelling example of the perceptual cost of face inversion. The Thatcher illusion is often thought to result from a disruption to the processing of spatial relations between face features. Here, we show the limitations of this account and instead demonstrate that the effect of inversion in the Thatcher illusion is better explained by a disruption to the processing of purely local facial features. Using a matching task, we found that participants were able to discriminate normal and Thatcherized versions of the same face when they were presented in an upright orientation, but not when the images were inverted. Next, we showed that the effect of inversion was also apparent when only the eye region or only the mouth region was visible. These results demonstrate that a key component of the Thatcher illusion is to be found in orientation-specific encoding of the expressive features (eyes and mouth) of the face.

  10. Carbonatite ring-complexes explained by caldera-style volcanism

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, Magnus; Malehmir, Alireza; Troll, Valentin R.; Dehghannejad, Mahdieh; Juhlin, Christopher; Ask, Maria

    2013-01-01

    Carbonatites are rare, carbonate-rich magmatic rocks that make up a minute portion of the crust only, yet they are of great relevance for our understanding of crustal and mantle processes. Although they occur in all continents and from Archaean to present, the deeper plumbing system of carbonatite ring-complexes is usually poorly constrained. Here, we show that carbonatite ring-complexes can be explained by caldera-style volcanism. Our geophysical investigation of the Alnö carbonatite ring-complex in central Sweden identifies a solidified saucer-shaped magma chamber at ~3 km depth that links to surface exposures through a ring fault system. Caldera subsidence during final stages of activity caused carbonatite eruptions north of the main complex, providing the crucial element to connect plutonic and eruptive features of carbonatite magmatism. The way carbonatite magmas are stored, transported and erupt at the surface is thus comparable to known emplacement styles from silicic calderas. PMID:23591904

  11. Can Nomenclature for the Body be Explained by Embodiment Theories?

    PubMed

    Majid, Asifa; van Staden, Miriam

    2015-10-01

    According to widespread opinion, the meaning of body part terms is determined by salient discontinuities in the visual image; such that hands, feet, arms, and legs, are natural parts. If so, one would expect these parts to have distinct names which correspond in meaning across languages. To test this proposal, we compared three unrelated languages-Dutch, Japanese, and Indonesian-and found both naming systems and boundaries of even basic body part terms display variation across languages. Bottom-up cues alone cannot explain natural language semantic systems; there simply is not a one-to-one mapping of the body semantic system to the body structural description. Although body parts are flexibly construed across languages, body parts semantics are, nevertheless, constrained by non-linguistic representations in the body structural description, suggesting these are necessary, although not sufficient, in accounting for aspects of the body lexicon.

  12. Muon-Induced Neutrons Do Not Explain the DAMA Data.

    PubMed

    Klinger, J; Kudryavtsev, V A

    2015-04-17

    We present an accurate model of the muon-induced background in the DAMA/LIBRA experiment. Our work challenges proposed mechanisms which seek to explain the observed DAMA signal modulation with muon-induced backgrounds. Muon generation and transport are performed using the MUSIC/MUSUN code, and subsequent interactions in the vicinity of the DAMA detector cavern are simulated with Geant4. We estimate the total muon-induced neutron flux in the detector cavern to be Φ(n)(ν)=1.0 × 10(-9)  cm(-2) s(-1). We predict 3.49 × 10(-5)  counts/day/kg/keV, which accounts for less than 0.3% of the DAMA signal modulation amplitude.

  13. Using Literature-Based Discovery to Explain Adverse Drug Effects.

    PubMed

    Hristovski, Dimitar; Kastrin, Andrej; Dinevski, Dejan; Burgun, Anita; Žiberna, Lovro; Rindflesch, Thomas C

    2016-08-01

    We report on our research in using literature-based discovery (LBD) to provide pharmacological and/or pharmacogenomic explanations for reported adverse drug effects. The goal of LBD is to generate novel and potentially useful hypotheses by analyzing the scientific literature and optionally some additional resources. Our assumption is that drugs have effects on some genes or proteins and that these genes or proteins are associated with the observed adverse effects. Therefore, by using LBD we try to find genes or proteins that link the drugs with the reported adverse effects. These genes or proteins can be used to provide insight into the processes causing the adverse effects. Initial results show that our method has the potential to assist in explaining reported adverse drug effects. PMID:27318993

  14. Explaining B→Kπ anomaly with nonuniversal Z' boson

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohanta, R.; Giri, A. K.

    2009-03-01

    We study the effect of a nonuniversal Z' boson in the decay modes B→Kπ. In the standard model these modes receive dominant contributions from b→s QCD penguins. Therefore, in this limit one expects Sπ0K0≈sin⁡2β, Aπ0K0≈0, and Aπ0K-≈Aπ+K-. The corrections due to the presence of small nonpenguin contributions is found to yield Sπ0K0>sin⁡2β and ΔACP(Kπ)≃2.5%. However, the measured value of Sπ0K0 is less than sin⁡2β and ΔACP(Kπ)≃15%. We show the model with a nonuniversal Z' boson can successfully explain these anomalies.

  15. Explaining Society: An Expanded Toolbox for Social Scientists

    PubMed Central

    Bell, David C.; Atkinson-Schnell, Jodie L.; DiBacco, Aron E.

    2012-01-01

    We propose for social scientists a theoretical toolbox containing a set of motivations that neurobiologists have recently validated. We show how these motivations can be used to create a theory of society recognizably similar to existing stable societies (sustainable, self-reproducing, and largely peaceful). Using this toolbox, we describe society in terms of three institutions: economy (a source of sustainability), government (peace), and the family (reproducibility). Conducting a thought experiment in three parts, we begin with a simple theory with only two motivations. We then create successive theories that systematically add motivations, showing that each element in the toolbox makes its own contribution to explain the workings of a stable society and that the family has a critical role in this process. PMID:23082093

  16. Can Nomenclature for the Body be Explained by Embodiment Theories?

    PubMed

    Majid, Asifa; van Staden, Miriam

    2015-10-01

    According to widespread opinion, the meaning of body part terms is determined by salient discontinuities in the visual image; such that hands, feet, arms, and legs, are natural parts. If so, one would expect these parts to have distinct names which correspond in meaning across languages. To test this proposal, we compared three unrelated languages-Dutch, Japanese, and Indonesian-and found both naming systems and boundaries of even basic body part terms display variation across languages. Bottom-up cues alone cannot explain natural language semantic systems; there simply is not a one-to-one mapping of the body semantic system to the body structural description. Although body parts are flexibly construed across languages, body parts semantics are, nevertheless, constrained by non-linguistic representations in the body structural description, suggesting these are necessary, although not sufficient, in accounting for aspects of the body lexicon. PMID:26466949

  17. Jumping Jupiter Can Explain Mercury’s Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roig, Fernando; Nesvorný, David; DeSouza, Sandro Ricardo

    2016-04-01

    The orbit of Mercury has large values of eccentricity and inclination that cannot be easily explained if this planet formed on a circular and coplanar orbit. Here, we study the evolution of Mercury’s orbit during the instability related to the migration of the giant planets in the framework of the jumping-Jupiter model. We found that some instability models are able to produce the correct values of Mercury’s eccentricity and inclination, provided that relativistic effects are included in the precession of Mercury’s perihelion. The orbital excitation is driven by the fast change of the normal oscillation modes of the system corresponding to the perihelion precession of Jupiter (for the eccentricity) and the nodal regression of Uranus (for the inclination).

  18. Real world ocean rogue waves explained without the modulational instability

    PubMed Central

    Fedele, Francesco; Brennan, Joseph; Ponce de León, Sonia; Dudley, John; Dias, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Since the 1990s, the modulational instability has commonly been used to explain the occurrence of rogue waves that appear from nowhere in the open ocean. However, the importance of this instability in the context of ocean waves is not well established. This mechanism has been successfully studied in laboratory experiments and in mathematical studies, but there is no consensus on what actually takes place in the ocean. In this work, we question the oceanic relevance of this paradigm. In particular, we analyze several sets of field data in various European locations with various tools, and find that the main generation mechanism for rogue waves is the constructive interference of elementary waves enhanced by second-order bound nonlinearities and not the modulational instability. This implies that rogue waves are likely to be rare occurrences of weakly nonlinear random seas. PMID:27323897

  19. [To explain is to narrate. How to visualize scientific data].

    PubMed

    Hawtin, Nigel

    2014-01-01

    When you try to appeal a vast ranging audience, as it occurs at the New Scientist that addresses scientists as well as the general public, your scientific visual explainer must be succinct, clear, accurate and easily understandable. In order to reach this goal, your message should provide only the main data, the ones that allow you to balance information and clarity: information should be put into context and all the extra details should be cut down. It is very important, then, to know well both your audience and the subject you are going to describe, as graphic masters of the past, like William Playfair and Charles Minard, have taught us. Moreover, you should try to engage your reader connecting the storytelling power of words and the driving force of the graphics: colours, visual elements, typography. To be effective, in fact, an infographic should not only be truthful and functional, but also elegant, having style and legibility. PMID:25072540

  20. Muon-Induced Neutrons Do Not Explain the DAMA Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klinger, J.; Kudryavtsev, V. A.

    2015-04-01

    We present an accurate model of the muon-induced background in the DAMA/LIBRA experiment. Our work challenges proposed mechanisms which seek to explain the observed DAMA signal modulation with muon-induced backgrounds. Muon generation and transport are performed using the MUSIC /MUSUN code, and subsequent interactions in the vicinity of the DAMA detector cavern are simulated with Geant4. We estimate the total muon-induced neutron flux in the detector cavern to be Φnν=1.0 ×10-9 cm-2 s-1 . We predict 3.49 ×10-5 counts /day /kg /keV , which accounts for less than 0.3% of the DAMA signal modulation amplitude.

  1. Trophic network models explain instability of Early Triassic terrestrial communities.

    PubMed

    Roopnarine, Peter D; Angielczyk, Kenneth D; Wang, Steve C; Hertog, Rachel

    2007-09-01

    Studies of the end-Permian mass extinction have emphasized potential abiotic causes and their direct biotic effects. Less attention has been devoted to secondary extinctions resulting from ecological crises and the effect of community structure on such extinctions. Here we use a trophic network model that combines topological and dynamic approaches to simulate disruptions of primary productivity in palaeocommunities. We apply the model to Permian and Triassic communities of the Karoo Basin, South Africa, and show that while Permian communities bear no evidence of being especially susceptible to extinction, Early Triassic communities appear to have been inherently less stable. Much of the instability results from the faster post-extinction diversification of amphibian guilds relative to amniotes. The resulting communities differed fundamentally in structure from their Permian predecessors. Additionally, our results imply that changing community structures over time may explain long-term trends like declining rates of Phanerozoic background extinction. PMID:17609191

  2. Explaining drug policy: Towards an historical sociology of policy change.

    PubMed

    Seddon, Toby

    2011-11-01

    The goal of seeking to understand the development over time of drug policies is a specific version of the more general intellectual project of finding ways of explaining social change. The latter has been a preoccupation of some of the greatest thinkers within the social sciences of the last 200 years, from Foucault all the way back to the three nineteenth-century pioneers, Marx, Durkheim and Weber. I describe this body of work as 'historical sociology'. In this paper, I outline how a particular approach to historical sociology can be fruitfully drawn upon to understand the development of drug policy, using by way of illustration the example of the analysis of a recent transformation in British drug policy: the rise of the criminal justice agenda. I conclude by arguing that by looking at developments in drug policy in this way, some new insights are opened up.

  3. Explanations in knowledge systems - Design for Explainable Expert Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swartout, William; Paris, Cecile; Moore, Johanna

    1991-01-01

    The Explainable Expert Systems framework (EES), in which the focus is on capturing those design aspects that are important for producing good explanations, including justifications of the system's actions, explications of general problem-solving strategies, and descriptions of the system's terminology, is discussed. EES was developed as part of the Strategic Computing Initiative of DARPA. Both the general principles from which the system was derived and how the system was derived from those principles can be represented in EES. The Program Enhancement Advisor, which is the main prototype on which the explanation work has been developed and tested, is presented. PEA is an advice system that helps users improve their Common Lisp programs by recommending transformations that enhance the user's code. How EES produces better explanations is shown.

  4. Ecology and multilevel selection explain aggression in spider colonies.

    PubMed

    Biernaskie, Jay M; Foster, Kevin R

    2016-08-01

    Progress in sociobiology continues to be hindered by abstract debates over methodology and the relative importance of within-group vs. between-group selection. We need concrete biological examples to ground discussions in empirical data. Recent work argued that the levels of aggression in social spider colonies are explained by group-level adaptation. Here, we examine this conclusion using models that incorporate ecological detail while remaining consistent with kin- and multilevel selection frameworks. We show that although levels of aggression are driven, in part, by between-group selection, incorporating universal within-group competition provides a striking fit to the data that is inconsistent with pure group-level adaptation. Instead, our analyses suggest that aggression is favoured primarily as a selfish strategy to compete for resources, despite causing lower group foraging efficiency or higher risk of group extinction. We argue that sociobiology will benefit from a pluralistic approach and stronger links between ecologically informed models and data. PMID:27264438

  5. The role of authority power in explaining procedural fairness effects.

    PubMed

    van Dijke, Marius; De Cremer, David; Mayer, David M

    2010-05-01

    Building on fairness heuristic theory, fairness theory, and trust development models, we argue that unfairly enacted procedures decrease followers' trust in the authority particularly when authorities have high power over their followers. Moreover, we expected trust to mediate procedural fairness effects on followers' attitudes (authorities' legitimacy and charisma attributed to authorities) and organizational citizenship behavior. Procedural fairness effects on these variables, as mediated by trust, should therefore also be stronger when authority power is high. The results of a single- and multisource field study and a laboratory experiment supported these predictions. These studies support the role of authority power as a theoretically and practically relevant moderator of procedural fairness effects and show that its effectiveness is explained through trust in authorities.

  6. Social processes explaining the benefits of Al-Anon participation.

    PubMed

    Timko, Christine; Halvorson, Max; Kong, Calvin; Moos, Rudolf H

    2015-12-01

    This study examined social processes of support, goal direction, provision of role models, and involvement in rewarding activities to explain benefits of participating in Al-Anon, a 12-step mutual-help program for people concerned about another person's substance use. Newcomers to Al-Anon were studied at baseline and 6 months later, at which time they were identified as having either sustained attendance or dropped out. Among both newcomers and established Al-Anon members ("old-timers"), we also used number of Al-Anon meetings attended during follow-up to indicate extent of participation. Social processes significantly mediated newcomers' sustained attendance status versus dropped out and outcomes of Al-Anon in the areas of life context (e.g., better quality of life, better able to handle problems due to the drinker), improved positive symptoms (e.g., higher self-esteem, more hopeful), and decreased negative symptoms (e.g., less abuse, less depressed). Social processes also significantly mediated newcomers' number of meetings attended and outcomes. However, among old-timers, Al-Anon attendance was not associated with outcomes, so the potential mediating role of social processes could not be examined, but social processes were associated with outcomes. Findings add to the growing body of work identifying mechanisms by which 12-step groups are effective, by showing that bonding, goal direction, and access to peers in recovery and rewarding pursuits help to explain associations between sustained Al-Anon participation among newcomers and improvements on key concerns of Al-Anon attendees. Al-Anon is free of charge and widely available, making it a potentially cost-effective public health resource for help alleviating negative consequences of concern about another's addiction. PMID:26727006

  7. Strange history: the fall of Rome explained in Hereditas.

    PubMed

    Bengtsson, Bengt O

    2014-12-01

    In 1921 Hereditas published an article on the fall of Rome written by the famous classical scholar Martin P:son Nilsson. Why was a paper on this unexpected topic printed in the newly founded journal? To Nilsson, the demise of the Roman Empire was explained by the "bastardization" occurring between "races" from different parts of the realm. Offspring from mixed couples were of a less stable "type" than their parents, due to the breaking up by recombination of the original hereditary dispositions, which led to a general loss of competence to rule and govern. Thus, the "hardness" of human genes, together with their recombination, was - according to Nilsson - the main cause of the fall of Rome. Nilsson's argument is not particularly convincingly presented. Human "races" are taken to have the same genetic structure as inbred crop strains, and Nilsson believes in a metaphysical unity between the individual and the race to which it belongs. However, in my view, Martin P:son Nilsson and his friend Herman Nilsson-Ehle had wider aims with the article than to explain a historical event. The article can be read as indicating strong support from the classical human sciences to the ambitious new science of genetics. Support is also transferred from genetics to the conservative worldview, where the immutability and inflexibility of the Mendelian genes are used to strengthen the wish for greater stability in politics and life. The strange article in Hereditas can, thus, be read as an early instance in the - still ongoing - tug-of-war between the conservative and the liberal ideological poles over how genetic results best are socially interpreted.

  8. How to mechanistically explain the CONDOR study data.

    PubMed

    Spies, C M; Stemmler, E; Buttgereit, F

    2015-01-01

    Results of the CONDOR study suggest that in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients at elevated risk of gastrointestinal (GI) events, treatment with celecoxib, a cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), demonstrated significantly lower toxicity in the upper and lower (GI) tract when compared to the non-selective NSAID diclofenac plus a proton-pump-inhibitor (PPI), omeprazole. According to current knowledge, traditional NSAIDs (tNSAIDs) as non-selective COX-inhibitors exert their damaging effects on the upper GI tract, largely by reduction of the COX-1 related synthesis of gastro-protective prostaglandins. Thus, the question arises, how NSAIDs do exert their damaging effects especially in the lower GI tract and how to explain the reduced risk of a COX-2 selective inhibitor, celecoxib. Here we hypothesize, that the toxicity of celecoxib on enteral mucosa cells is lower than observed with other NSAIDs, and can be explained COX-independently by typical physicochemical properties of the NSAID substances (e.g., acidic, lipophilic, amphiphilic, surfactant properties). As a consequence these features account for differences in (1) uncoupling effects on mitochondria, (2) effects on cell membrane integrity, and/or (3) formation of "toxic micelles" with bile salts. The evidence for these differences is mainly based on experimental findings. However, several phenomena show differences in extent (e.g., uncoupling effects). The reduced toxicity appears to be rather a substance-specific characteristic. This is an unconditional reason to carry on investigating these phenomena in experimental and large-scale clinical trials.

  9. Explaining millimeter-sized particles in brown dwarf disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinilla, P.; Birnstiel, T.; Benisty, M.; Ricci, L.; Natta, A.; Dullemond, C. P.; Dominik, C.; Testi, L.

    2013-06-01

    Context. Planets have been detected around a variety of stars, including low-mass objects, such as brown dwarfs. However, such extreme cases are challenging for planet formation models. Recent sub-millimeter observations of disks around brown dwarf measured low spectral indices of the continuum emission that suggest that dust grains grow to mm-sizes even in these very low mass environments. Aims: To understand the first steps of planet formation in scaled-down versions of T-Tauri disks, we investigate the physical conditions that can theoretically explain the growth from interstellar dust to millimeter-sized grains in disks around brown dwarf. Methods: We modeled the evolution of dust particles under conditions of low-mass disks around brown dwarfs. We used coagulation, fragmentation, and disk-structure models to simulate the evolution of dust, with zero and non-zero radial drift. For the non-zero radial drift, we considered strong inhomogeneities in the gas surface density profile that mimic long-lived pressure bumps in the disk. We studied different scenarios that could lead to an agreement between theoretical models and the spectral slope found by millimeter observations. Results: We find that fragmentation is less likely and rapid inward drift is more significant for particles in brown dwarf disks than in T-Tauri disks. We present different scenarios that can nevertheless explain millimeter-sized grains. As an example, a model that combines the following parameters can fit the millimeter fluxes measured for brown dwarf disks: strong pressure inhomogeneities of ~40% of amplitude, a small radial extent ~15 AU, a moderate turbulence strength αturb = 10-3, and average fragmentation velocities for ices vf = 10 m s-1.

  10. Why Cosmic Fine-Tuning Needs to BE Explained

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manson, Neil Alan

    Discoveries in modern physics and Big Bang cosmology indicate that if either the initial conditions of the universe or the physical laws governing its development had differed even slightly, life could never have developed. It is for this reason that the universe is said to be ``fine-tuned'' for life. I argue that cosmic fine-tuning, which some want to dismiss as the way things just happen to be, in fact needs to be explained. In Chapter One I provide an overview of the evidence that the universe is fine-tuned for life. In Chapter Two I present a set of sufficient conditions for a fact's needing to be explained. The conditions are that the fact is improbable and that a ``tidy'' explanation of it is available. A tidy explanation of a fact is considerably less improbable than that fact and makes the obtaining of that fact considerably less improbable. Chapters Three, Four, and Five are devoted to showing that cosmic Chapter Three I argue that the universe's being finely tuned for life can meaningfully be considered improbable. In Chapter Four I claim that there is at least one tidy explanation of cosmic fine-tuning: that the universe was created by some sort of extramundane designer. In Chapters Four and Five I respond to three objections. The first is that the design hypothesis is ad hoc. The second is that we have no reason to believe a supernatural designer would prefer life-permitting cosmoi to other possible cosmoi and that our tendency to believe otherwise is the result of anthropocentrism. The third is that the design hypothesis never buys us an explanatory advantage.

  11. Is a Dynamo Process Essential for Explaining the Solar Cycle?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturrock, P. A.

    1996-05-01

    The magnetic field at the solar photosphere is highly structured and time-variable, suggesting that it is generated and regenerated by a dynamo process that occurs within or at the base of the convection zone. However, it is proving difficult to explain all the properties of the solar cycle, and to match the rotational velocity profiles obtained by means of helioseismological observations, within the context of a dynamo model. Furthermore, there is some evidence that the neutrino flux is time varying, and that the variation is correlated with the solar cycle. This fact, if it proves to be correct, would be difficult to understand on the basis of a dynamo model, unless the neutrino has a magnetic moment, which would require that the neutrino has a non-zero mass. For these and other reasons, it is perhaps prudent to question the assumption that dynamo action is essential for explaining the solar cycle. One way to seek to determine whether dynamo action is essential is to look for an alternative. If the neutrino flux is time variable, this may indicate that nuclear burning is not steady, in which case it is likely that it is not spherically symmetric either. Nuclear burning that is neither steady nor spherically symmetric must be expected to lead to hydrodynamic flows within the Sun. It will be argued that a certain flow pattern, and a certain associated magnetic field pattern, can readily reproduce some of the salient properties of the solar cycle. This work was supported in part by Air Force grant F49620-95-1-008 and NASA grant NAGW-2265.

  12. Social processes explaining the benefits of Al-Anon participation.

    PubMed

    Timko, Christine; Halvorson, Max; Kong, Calvin; Moos, Rudolf H

    2015-12-01

    This study examined social processes of support, goal direction, provision of role models, and involvement in rewarding activities to explain benefits of participating in Al-Anon, a 12-step mutual-help program for people concerned about another person's substance use. Newcomers to Al-Anon were studied at baseline and 6 months later, at which time they were identified as having either sustained attendance or dropped out. Among both newcomers and established Al-Anon members ("old-timers"), we also used number of Al-Anon meetings attended during follow-up to indicate extent of participation. Social processes significantly mediated newcomers' sustained attendance status versus dropped out and outcomes of Al-Anon in the areas of life context (e.g., better quality of life, better able to handle problems due to the drinker), improved positive symptoms (e.g., higher self-esteem, more hopeful), and decreased negative symptoms (e.g., less abuse, less depressed). Social processes also significantly mediated newcomers' number of meetings attended and outcomes. However, among old-timers, Al-Anon attendance was not associated with outcomes, so the potential mediating role of social processes could not be examined, but social processes were associated with outcomes. Findings add to the growing body of work identifying mechanisms by which 12-step groups are effective, by showing that bonding, goal direction, and access to peers in recovery and rewarding pursuits help to explain associations between sustained Al-Anon participation among newcomers and improvements on key concerns of Al-Anon attendees. Al-Anon is free of charge and widely available, making it a potentially cost-effective public health resource for help alleviating negative consequences of concern about another's addiction.

  13. How to mechanistically explain the CONDOR study data.

    PubMed

    Spies, C M; Stemmler, E; Buttgereit, F

    2015-01-01

    Results of the CONDOR study suggest that in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients at elevated risk of gastrointestinal (GI) events, treatment with celecoxib, a cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), demonstrated significantly lower toxicity in the upper and lower (GI) tract when compared to the non-selective NSAID diclofenac plus a proton-pump-inhibitor (PPI), omeprazole. According to current knowledge, traditional NSAIDs (tNSAIDs) as non-selective COX-inhibitors exert their damaging effects on the upper GI tract, largely by reduction of the COX-1 related synthesis of gastro-protective prostaglandins. Thus, the question arises, how NSAIDs do exert their damaging effects especially in the lower GI tract and how to explain the reduced risk of a COX-2 selective inhibitor, celecoxib. Here we hypothesize, that the toxicity of celecoxib on enteral mucosa cells is lower than observed with other NSAIDs, and can be explained COX-independently by typical physicochemical properties of the NSAID substances (e.g., acidic, lipophilic, amphiphilic, surfactant properties). As a consequence these features account for differences in (1) uncoupling effects on mitochondria, (2) effects on cell membrane integrity, and/or (3) formation of "toxic micelles" with bile salts. The evidence for these differences is mainly based on experimental findings. However, several phenomena show differences in extent (e.g., uncoupling effects). The reduced toxicity appears to be rather a substance-specific characteristic. This is an unconditional reason to carry on investigating these phenomena in experimental and large-scale clinical trials. PMID:25433956

  14. Explaining the Kuiper Belt with a Jumping Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-09-01

    A feature of the Kuiper Belt known as the kernel has yet to be adequately explained by solar system formation models. In a recent study, a theorist at the Southwest Research Institute proposes a new explanation for how Neptune arrived at its current orbit and how this planets migration in the early years of the solar system might have created the kernel.Orbital JumpThe kernel is a concentration of orbits within the Kuiper Belt that all have semimajor axes of roughly a 44 AU, low eccentricities, and low inclinations. How this collection of objects formed and why they exist where they do is difficult to explain with current models, however. Kernel objects arent in resonance with any of the larger bodies, so why are they concentrated at that specific distance? In this study, David Nesvorn proposes that the kernel resulted from Neptunes outward migration through the solar system.In the currently favored model of our solar systems formation, the outermost gas giant planets formed closer to the Sun and then migrated out to their current locations. Nesvorn ran a series of simulations of this migration to test the theory that a discontinuity in Neptunes movement outward i.e., a sudden jump in the planets orbital distance could explain the presence of the Kuiper Belts kernel.Results from a previous study, in which the authors evolved the four gas giant planets plus a fifth giant planet (blue) initially on an orbit between Saturn and Uranus. At 18.3 Myr, a close encounter with the fifth planet causes Neptunes orbit (pink) to jump outwards by ~0.4 AU, and the fifth planet is then ejected from the solar system by Jupiter. [Nesvorn 2015]Resonant PopulationNesvorn was successful in finding a model that reproduced the kernel, as well as other observed features of the solar system today. In his model, Neptune began its journey closer to the Sun, at a distance of roughly 24 AU, and it migrated fairly rapidly outward to about 28 AU. As it traveled, it swept up bodies in the outer

  15. Simple settlement decisions explain common dispersal patterns in territorial species.

    PubMed

    Gilroy, James J; Lockwood, Julie L

    2016-09-01

    Dispersal is one of the least-understood aspects of animal behaviour. For example, little is known of the mechanisms that determine how individuals express different dispersal behaviours in response to different circumstances. Uncovering these mechanisms is important for our understanding of spatial population dynamics. Using agent-based simulations, we examine how simple decision rules generate individual-level dispersal plasticity, and how this can influence population-scale dispersal dynamics. We model a territorial, monogamous population inhabiting a completely homogeneous environment. Dispersal variability therefore emerges solely as a result of between-individual interactions (competition, settlement, reproduction), which are governed by simple decision-making algorithms. We show that complex dispersal dynamics, including sex biases and strong density dependence, emerge naturally from simple rule-based behaviours. Dispersal is particularly sensitive to the inclusion of mate availability as a criterion for settlement: if neither sex evaluates mate availability, dispersal distances tend to decline at low densities, leading to a strong Allee effect from reduced pairing success. If one sex evaluates mate availability (females), Allee effects are largely avoided, but female-biased dispersal generates increasingly male-biased adult sex ratios at low densities. Sex biases are eliminated if both sexes evaluate mate availability, but population growth rates tend to be reduced due to survival costs and reduced pairing success. Our models suggest that simple decision mechanisms can explain several dynamic patterns that are commonly observed among territorial species. Importantly, these patterns emerge in the absence of environmental heterogeneity or between-individual variation in dispersal phenotypes, two conditions that are often invoked to explain dispersal heterogeneity in nature. This has implications for studies seeking to examine the causes of dispersal

  16. What is believed is what is explained (sometimes)

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Renwei; Pereira, L.M.

    1996-12-31

    This paper presents a formal and computational methodology for incorporation of new knowledge into knowledge bases about actions and changes. We employ Gelfond and Lifschitz action description language A to describe domains of actions. The knowledge bases on domains of actions are defined and obtained by a new translation from domain descriptions in A into abductive normal logic programs, where a time dimension is incorporated. The knowledge bases are shown to be both sound and complete with respect to their domain descriptions. In particular, we propose a possible causes approach (PCA) to belief update based on the slogan: What is believed is what is explained. A possible cause of new knowledge consists of abduced occurrences of actions and value propositions about the initial state of the domain of actions, that would allow to derive the new knowledge. We show how to compute possible causes with abductive logic programming, and present some techniques to improve search efficiency. We use examples to compare our possible causes approach with Ginsberg`s possible worlds approach (PWA) and Winslett`s possible models approach (PMA).

  17. Explaining History. Hippolyte Taine's Philosophy of Historical Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Philipp

    Historians of European historiography have often characterized Hippolyte Taine (1828-1893) as an adherent of the positivist school of thought, typical for the development of a scientific culture in Western Europe that differed from its German counterpart.1 In accordance with that view, Wilhelm Dilthey grouped him together with other scholars like John Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer against who Dilthey tried to develop his conception of the human sciences based on the notion of "verstehen" (see Dilthey [1924] 1957, 139ff.). Dilthey understood Taine as proposing to analyze the human mind by identifying its individual components and then explaining their meaning by laws of their relation. He argued that such an approach might be adequate for the natural sciences, but neglected the fact that an analysis of the mind had to start from a given psychological connection that was prior to any definition of particular phenomena. From Dilthey's point of view, applying Taine's theory to historical studies only made them look more objective while actually Taine was unaware of just following the prevailing convictions of his time (idem, 191f.).

  18. Oriented attachment explains cobalt ferrite nanoparticle growth in bioinspired syntheses.

    PubMed

    Wolff, Annalena; Hetaba, Walid; Wißbrock, Marco; Löffler, Stefan; Mill, Nadine; Eckstädt, Katrin; Dreyer, Axel; Ennen, Inga; Sewald, Norbert; Schattschneider, Peter; Hütten, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Oriented attachment has created a great debate about the description of crystal growth throughout the last decade. This aggregation-based model has successfully described biomineralization processes as well as forms of inorganic crystal growth, which could not be explained by classical crystal growth theory. Understanding the nanoparticle growth is essential since physical properties, such as the magnetic behavior, are highly dependent on the microstructure, morphology and composition of the inorganic crystals. In this work, the underlying nanoparticle growth of cobalt ferrite nanoparticles in a bioinspired synthesis was studied. Bioinspired syntheses have sparked great interest in recent years due to their ability to influence and alter inorganic crystal growth and therefore tailor properties of nanoparticles. In this synthesis, a short synthetic version of the protein MMS6, involved in nanoparticle formation within magnetotactic bacteria, was used to alter the growth of cobalt ferrite. We demonstrate that the bioinspired nanoparticle growth can be described by the oriented attachment model. The intermediate stages proposed in the theoretical model, including primary-building-block-like substructures as well as mesocrystal-like structures, were observed in HRTEM measurements. These structures display regions of substantial orientation and possess the same shape and size as the resulting discs. An increase in orientation with time was observed in electron diffraction measurements. The change of particle diameter with time agrees with the recently proposed kinetic model for oriented attachment. PMID:24605288

  19. Critical closing pressure explains cerebral hemodynamics during the Valsalva maneuver.

    PubMed

    Dawson, S L; Panerai, R B; Potter, J F

    1999-02-01

    The Valsalva maneuver (VM), a voluntary increase in intrathoracic pressure of approximately 40 mmHg, has been used to examine cerebral autoregulation (CA). During phase IV of the VM there are pronounced changes in mean arterial blood pressure (MABP), pulse interval, and cerebral blood flow (CBF), but the changes in CBF are of a much greater magnitude than those seen in MABP, a finding to date attributed to either a delay in activation of the CA mechanism or the inability of this mechanism to cope with the size and speed of the blood pressure changes involved. These changes in CBF also precede those in MABP, a pattern of events not explained by the physiological process of CA. Measurements of CBF velocity (transcranial Doppler) and MABP (Finapres) were performed in 53 healthy volunteers (aged 31-80 yr). By calculating beat-to-beat values of critical closing pressure (CCP) during the VM, we have found that this parameter suddenly drops at the start of phase IV, providing a coherent explanation for the large increase in CBF. If CCP is included in the estimation of cerebrovascular resistance, a temporal pattern more consistent with an autoregulatory response to the MABP overshoot is also found. CCP is intricately involved in the control of CBF during the VM and should be considered in the assessment of CA. PMID:9931207

  20. Mesoscale symmetries explain dynamical equivalence of food webs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aufderheide, Helge; Rudolf, Lars; Gross, Thilo

    2012-10-01

    A goal of complex system research is to identify the dynamical implications of network structure. While early results focused mainly on local or global structural properties, there is now growing interest in mesoscale structures that comprise more than one node but not the whole network. A central challenge is to discover under what conditions the occurrence of a specific mesoscale motif already allows conclusions on the dynamics of a network as a whole. In this paper, we investigate the dynamics of ecological food webs, complex heterogeneous networks of interacting populations. Generalizing the results of MacArthur and Sánchez-García (2009 Phys. Rev. E 80 26117), we show that certain mesoscale symmetries imply the existence of localized dynamical modes. If these modes are unstable the occurrence of the corresponding mesoscale motif implies dynamical instability regardless of the structure of the embedding network. In contrast, if the mode is stable it means that the symmetry can be exploited to reduce the number of nodes in the model, without changing the dynamics of the system. This result explains a previously observed dynamical equivalence between food webs containing a different number of species.

  1. Explaining the proton radius puzzle with disformal scalars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brax, Philippe; Burrage, Clare

    2015-02-01

    We analyze the consequences of a disformal interaction between a massless scalar and matter particles in the context of atomic physics. We focus on the displacement of the atomic energy levels that it induces, and in particular the change in the Lamb shift between the 2s and 2p states. We find that the correction to the Lamb shift depends on the mass of the fermion orbiting around the nucleus, implying a larger effect for muonic atoms. Taking the cutoff scale describing the effective scalar field theory close to the QCD scale, we find that the disformal interaction can account for the observed difference in the proton radius of muonic versus electronic hydrogen. Explaining the proton radius puzzle is only possible when the scalar field is embedded in nonlinear theories which alleviate constraints from collider and stellar physics. Short distance properties of the Galileon where nonperturbative effects in vacuum are present ensure that unitarity is preserved in high-energy particle collisions. In matter, the chameleon mechanism alleviates the constraints on disformal interactions coming from the burning rates for stellar objects. We show how to combine these two properties in a single model which renders the proposed explanation of the proton radius puzzle viable.

  2. Failed supernovae explain the compact remnant mass function

    SciTech Connect

    Kochanek, C. S.

    2014-04-10

    One explanation for the absence of higher mass red supergiants (16.5 M {sub ☉} ≲ M ≲ 25 M {sub ☉}) as the progenitors of Type IIP supernovae (SNe) is that they die in failed SNe creating black holes. Simulations show that such failed SNe still eject their hydrogen envelopes in a weak transient, leaving a black hole with the mass of the star's helium core (5-8 M {sub ☉}). Here we show that this naturally explains the typical masses of observed black holes and the gap between neutron star and black hole masses without any fine-tuning of stellar mass loss, binary mass transfer, or the SN mechanism, beyond having it fail in a mass range where many progenitor models have density structures that make the explosions more likely to fail. There is no difficulty including this ∼20% population of failed SNe in any accounting of SN types over the progenitor mass function. And, other than patience, there is no observational barrier to either detecting these black hole formation events or limiting their rates to be well below this prediction.

  3. Fatal attraction: Explaining Russia's sensitive nuclear transfers to Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuchinsky, Leah R.

    This paper explores Russia's sensitive nuclear assistance to Iran in an effort to determine why a supplier state might proliferate against its own apparent security interests. The goal is to help readers understand the supply-side dynamics of nuclear proliferation. Through careful reconstruction of the historical narrative, using open source data, this study tests the plausibility of a "fatalistic calculus" explanation, identified by Stephen Sestanovich as a possible driver for Russia's behavior. According to the hypothesis, Russia has cooperated with Iran as a way both to stay in the good graces of a neighbor that is suspected of developing nuclear weapons and to win short-term influence and profits. The paper also examines the role of other factors advanced in the existing supply-side literature, such as economic motives identified by physicist and nonproliferation scholar David Albright. The findings show that bureaucratic, economic and fatalistic factors have each played a role in motivating Russia's cooperation with Iran, with their relative importance shifting over time. Fatalism begets a strategy of Russian "minimaxing," in the lexicon of Russia scholar Robert Freedman, wherein Russia attempts to minimize damage to its relationship with the U.S. while maximizing influence in Iran via nuclear cooperation. Fatalism, as actualized by minimaxing, best explains Russia's behavior after former Russian president Vladmir Putin came to power, when the bureaucratic and economic arguments become less cogent.

  4. Nonlinear Bayesian cue integration explains the dynamics of vocal learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Baohua; Sober, Samuel; Nemenman, Ilya

    The acoustics of vocal production in songbirds is tightly regulated during both development and adulthood as birds progressively refine their song using sensory feedback to match an acoustic target. Here, we perturb this sensory feedback using headphones to shift the pitch (fundamental frequency) of song. When the pitch is shifted upwards (downwards), birds eventually learn to compensate and sing lower (higher), bringing the experienced pitch closer to the target. Paradoxically, the speed and amplitude of this motor learning decrease with increases in the introduced error size, so that birds respond rapidly to a small sensory perturbation, while seemingly never correcting a much bigger one. Similar results are observed broadly across the animal kingdom, and they do not derive from a limited plasticity of the adult brain since birds can compensate for a large error as long as the error is imposed gradually. We develop a mathematical model based on nonlinear Bayesian integration of two sensory modalities (one perturbed and the other not) that quantitatively explains all of these observations. The model makes predictions about the structure of the probability distribution of the pitches sung by birds during the pitch shift experiments, which we confirm using experimental data. This work was supported in part by James S. McDonnell Foundation Grant # 220020321, NSF Grant # IOS/1208126, NSF Grant # IOS/1456912 and NIH Grants # R01NS084844.

  5. Visual crowding cannot be wholly explained by feature pooling.

    PubMed

    Ester, Edward F; Klee, Daniel; Awh, Edward

    2014-06-01

    Visual perception is dramatically impaired when a peripheral target is embedded within clutter, a phenomenon known as visual crowding. Despite decades of study, the mechanisms underlying crowding remain a matter of debate. Feature pooling models assert that crowding results from a compulsory pooling (e.g., averaging) of target and distractor features. This view has been extraordinarily influential in recent years, so much so that crowding is typically regarded as synonymous with pooling. However, many demonstrations of feature pooling can also be accommodated by a probabilistic substitution model where observers occasionally report a distractor as the target. Here, we directly compared pooling and substitution using an analytical approach sensitive to both alternatives. In four experiments, we asked observers to report the precise orientation of a target stimulus flanked by two irrelevant distractors. In all cases, the observed data were well described by a quantitative model that assumes probabilistic substitution, and poorly described by a quantitative model that assumes that targets and distractors are averaged. These results challenge the widely held assumption that crowding can be wholly explained by compulsory pooling.

  6. Galaxies on FIRE: Stellar Feedback Explains Inefficient Star Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hopkins, Philip F.

    2014-06-01

    Many of the most fundamental unsolved questions in star and galaxy formation revolve around star formation and "feedback" from both massive stars and accretion onto super-massive black holes. I'll present new simulations which attempt to realistically model the diverse physics of the interstellar medium, star formation, and feedback from stellar radiation pressure, supernovae, stellar winds, and photo-ionization. These mechanisms lead to 'self-regulated' galaxy and star formation, in which global correlations such as the Schmidt-Kennicutt law and the global inefficiency of star formation -- the stellar mass function -- emerge naturally. Within galaxies, feedback regulates the structure of the interstellar medium, and many observed properties of the ISM, star formation, and galaxies can be understood as a fundamental consequence of super-sonic turbulence in a rapidly cooling, self-gravitating medium. But feedback also produces galactic super-winds that can dramatically alter the cosmological evolution of galaxies, their behavior in galaxy mergers, and structure of the inter-galactic medium: these winds depend non-linearly on multiple feedback mechanisms in a way that explains why they have been so difficult to model in previous "sub-grid" approaches.

  7. Explaining the distribution of breeding and dispersal syndromes in conifers.

    PubMed

    Leslie, Andrew B; Beaulieu, Jeremy M; Crane, Peter R; Donoghue, Michael J

    2013-11-01

    The evolution of plants exhibiting different sexes, or dioecy, is correlated with a number of ecological and life-history traits such as woody growth form and animal-dispersed seeds, but the underlying causes of these associations are unclear. Previous work in seed plants has suggested that the evolution of fleshy cones or seeds may favour dioecy. In this study, we use a well-sampled molecular phylogeny of conifers to show that although dioecy and fleshiness strongly co-occur at the species level, this relationship has not resulted from numerous separate origins of this trait combination or from differential rates of diversification. Instead, we suggest that two character combinations-the ancestral dry-monoecious condition and the derived fleshy-dioecious condition-have persisted in conifers longer than other combinations over evolutionary time. The persistence of these trait combinations appears to reflect differences in the rate of successful transition into and out of these character states over time, as well as the geographical restriction of species with rare combinations and their consequent vulnerability to extinction. In general, we argue that such persistence explanations should be considered alongside 'key innovation' hypotheses in explaining the phylogenetic distribution of traits.

  8. Social sampling explains apparent biases in judgments of social environments.

    PubMed

    Galesic, Mirta; Olsson, Henrik; Rieskamp, Jörg

    2012-12-01

    How people assess their social environments plays a central role in how they evaluate their life circumstances. Using a large probabilistic national sample, we investigated how accurately people estimate characteristics of the general population. For most characteristics, people seemed to underestimate the quality of others' lives and showed apparent self-enhancement, but for some characteristics, they seemed to overestimate the quality of others' lives and showed apparent self-depreciation. In addition, people who were worse off appeared to enhance their social position more than those who were better off. We demonstrated that these effects can be explained by a simple social-sampling model. According to the model, people infer how others are doing by sampling from their own immediate social environments. Interplay of these sampling processes and the specific structure of social environments leads to the apparent biases. The model predicts the empirical results better than alternative accounts and highlights the importance of considering environmental structure when studying human cognition. PMID:23104680

  9. Learning dynamics explains human behaviour in prisoner's dilemma on networks.

    PubMed

    Cimini, Giulio; Sánchez, Angel

    2014-05-01

    Cooperative behaviour lies at the very basis of human societies, yet its evolutionary origin remains a key unsolved puzzle. Whereas reciprocity or conditional cooperation is one of the most prominent mechanisms proposed to explain the emergence of cooperation in social dilemmas, recent experimental findings on networked Prisoner's Dilemma games suggest that conditional cooperation also depends on the previous action of the player-namely on the 'mood' in which the player is currently in. Roughly, a majority of people behave as conditional cooperators if they cooperated in the past, whereas they ignore the context and free ride with high probability if they did not. However, the ultimate origin of this behaviour represents a conundrum itself. Here, we aim specifically to provide an evolutionary explanation of moody conditional cooperation (MCC). To this end, we perform an extensive analysis of different evolutionary dynamics for players' behavioural traits-ranging from standard processes used in game theory based on pay-off comparison to others that include non-economic or social factors. Our results show that only a dynamic built upon reinforcement learning is able to give rise to evolutionarily stable MCC, and at the end to reproduce the human behaviours observed in the experiments.

  10. Static stress triggering explains the empirical aftershock distance decay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hainzl, Sebastian; Moradpour, Javad; Davidsen, Jörn

    2014-12-01

    The shape of the spatial aftershock decay is sensitive to the triggering mechanism and thus particularly useful for discriminating between static and dynamic stress triggering. For California seismicity, it has been recently recognized that its form is more complicated than typically assumed consisting of three different regimes with transitions at the scale of the rupture length and the thickness of the crust. The intermediate distance range is characterized by a relative small decay exponent of 1.35 previously declared to relate to dynamic stress triggering. We perform comprehensive simulations of a simple clock-advance model, in which the number of aftershocks is just proportional to the Coulomb-stress change, to test whether the empirical result can be explained by static stress triggering. Similarly to the observations, the results show three scaling regimes. For simulations adapted to the depths and focal mechanisms observed in California, we find a remarkable agreement with the observation over the whole distance range for a fault distribution with fractal dimension of 1.8, which is shown to be in good agreement with an independent analysis of California seismicity.

  11. Can mathematics explain the evolution of human language?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Investigation into the sequence structure of the genetic code by means of an informatic approach is a real success story. The features of human language are also the object of investigation within the realm of formal language theories. They focus on the common rules of a universal grammar that lies behind all languages and determine generation of syntactic structures. This universal grammar is a depiction of material reality, i.e., the hidden logical order of things and its relations determined by natural laws. Therefore mathematics is viewed not only as an appropriate tool to investigate human language and genetic code structures through computer science-based formal language theory but is itself a depiction of material reality. This confusion between language as a scientific tool to describe observations/experiences within cognitive constructed models and formal language as a direct depiction of material reality occurs not only in current approaches but was the central focus of the philosophy of science debate in the twentieth century, with rather unexpected results. This article recalls these results and their implications for more recent mathematical approaches that also attempt to explain the evolution of human language. PMID:22046452

  12. Causal Inference and Explaining Away in a Spiking Network

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-Bote, Rubén; Drugowitsch, Jan

    2015-01-01

    While the brain uses spiking neurons for communication, theoretical research on brain computations has mostly focused on non-spiking networks. The nature of spike-based algorithms that achieve complex computations, such as object probabilistic inference, is largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that a family of high-dimensional quadratic optimization problems with non-negativity constraints can be solved exactly and efficiently by a network of spiking neurons. The network naturally imposes the non-negativity of causal contributions that is fundamental to causal inference, and uses simple operations, such as linear synapses with realistic time constants, and neural spike generation and reset non-linearities. The network infers the set of most likely causes from an observation using explaining away, which is dynamically implemented by spike-based, tuned inhibition. The algorithm performs remarkably well even when the network intrinsically generates variable spike trains, the timing of spikes is scrambled by external sources of noise, or the network is mistuned. This type of network might underlie tasks such as odor identification and classification. PMID:26621426

  13. Can unified theories of biodiversity explain mammalian macroecological patterns?

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Kate E.; Blackburn, Tim M.; Isaac, Nick J. B.

    2011-01-01

    The idea of a unifying theory of biodiversity linking the diverse array of macroecological patterns into a common theoretical framework is very appealing. We explore this idea to examine currently proposed unified theories of biodiversity (UTBs) and their predictions. Synthesizing the literature on the macroecological patterns of mammals, we critically evaluate the evidence to support these theories. We find general qualitative support for the UTBs' predictions within mammals, but rigorous testing is hampered by the types of data typically collected in studies of mammals. In particular, abundance is rarely estimated for entire mammalian communities or of individual species in multiple locations, reflecting the logistical challenges of studying wild mammal populations. By contrast, there are numerous macroecological patterns (especially allometric scaling relationships) that are extremely well characterized for mammals, but which fall outside the scope of current UTBs. We consider how these theories might be extended to explain mammalian biodiversity patterns more generally. Specifically, we suggest that UTBs need to incorporate the dimensions of geographical space, species' traits and time to reconcile theory with pattern. PMID:21807736

  14. Type-IV Pilus Deformation Can Explain Retraction Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Ranajay; Kumar, Aloke; Vaziri, Ashkan

    2014-01-01

    Polymeric filament like type IV Pilus (TFP) can transfer forces in excess of 100 pN during their retraction before stalling, powering surface translocation(twitching). Single TFP level experiments have shown remarkable nonlinearity in the retraction behavior influenced by the external load as well as levels of PilT molecular motor protein. This includes reversal of motion near stall forces when the concentration of the PilT protein is loweblack significantly. In order to explain this behavior, we analyze the coupling of TFP elasticity and interfacial behavior with PilT kinetics. We model retraction as reaction controlled and elongation as transport controlled process. The reaction rates vary with TFP deformation which is modeled as a compound elastic body consisting of multiple helical strands under axial load. Elongation is controlled by monomer transport which suffer entrapment due to excess PilT in the cell periplasm. Our analysis shows excellent agreement with a host of experimental observations and we present a possible biophysical relevance of model parameters through a mechano-chemical stall force map. PMID:25502696

  15. Heterogeneity of cells may explain allometric scaling of metabolic rate.

    PubMed

    Takemoto, Kazuhiro

    2015-04-01

    The origin of allometric scaling of metabolic rate is a long-standing question in biology. Several models have been proposed for explaining the origin; however, they have advantages and disadvantages. In particular, previous models only demonstrate either two important observations for the allometric scaling: the variability of scaling exponents and predominance of 3/4-power law. Thus, these models have a dispute over their validity. In this study, we propose a simple geometry model, and show that a hypothesis that total surface area of cells determines metabolic rate can reproduce these two observations by combining two concepts: the impact of cell sizes on metabolic rate and fractal-like (hierarchical) organization. The proposed model both theoretically and numerically demonstrates the approximately 3/4-power law although several different biological strategies are considered. The model validity is confirmed using empirical data. Furthermore, the model suggests the importance of heterogeneity of cell size for the emergence of the allometric scaling. The proposed model provides intuitive and unique insights into the origin of allometric scaling laws in biology, despite several limitations of the model.

  16. Explaining employment relationships with social exchange and job embeddedness.

    PubMed

    Hom, Peter W; Tsui, Anne S; Wu, Joshua B; Lee, Thomas W; Zhang, Ann Yan; Fu, Ping Ping; Li, Lan

    2009-03-01

    The research reported in this article clarifies how employee-organization relationships (EORs) work. Specifically, the authors tested whether social exchange and job embeddedness mediate how mutual-investment (whereby employers offer high inducements to employees for their high contributions) and over-investment (high inducements without corresponding high expected contributions) EOR approaches, which are based on Tsui, Pearce, Porter, and Tripoli's (1997) framework, affect quit propensity and organizational commitment. Two studies evaluated these intervening mechanisms. Study 1 surveyed 953 Chinese managers attending part-time master of business administration (MBA) programs in China, whereas Study 2 collected cross-sectional and longitudinal data from 526 Chinese middle managers in 41 firms. Standard and multilevel causal modeling techniques affirmed that social exchange and job embeddedness translate EOR influence. A second multilevel test using lagged outcome measures further established that job embeddedness mediates long-term EOR effects over 18 months. These findings corroborate prevailing views that social exchange explains how mutual- and over-investment EORs motivate greater workforce commitment and loyalty. This study enriches EOR perspectives by identifying job embeddedness as another mediator that is more enduring than social exchange. PMID:19271791

  17. Incorporating coping into an expectancy framework for explaining drinking behaviour.

    PubMed

    Hasking, Penelope A; Oei, Tian P S

    2008-01-01

    Expectancy Theory has offered much in the way of understanding alcohol use and abuse, and has contributed greatly to prevention and treatment initiatives. However although many cognitive-behavioural treatment approaches are based on expectancy constructs, such as outcome expectancies and self-efficacy, high relapse rates imply that expectancy theory may be too narrow in scope, and that additional variables need to be examined if a comprehensive understanding of drinking behaviour, and better treatment outcomes, are to be achieved. We suggest that the coping strategies an individual employs present one such set of variables that have largely been neglected from an expectancy framework. Although coping skills training is routinely used in prevention and treatment of alcohol problems, coping research has suffered from a poor theoretical framework. In this paper we review the existing research relating expectancies, self-efficacy and coping to drinking behaviour and propose a model which explains both social and dependent drinking, by incorporating coping into an expectancy theory framework. We also outline research and clinical implications of the proposed model. PMID:19630702

  18. A modeling approach to explain pulse design in bats.

    PubMed

    Boonman, Arjan; Ostwald, Joachim

    2007-08-01

    In this modeling study we wanted to find out why bats of the family Vespertilionidae (and probably also members of other families of bats) use pulses with a certain bandwidth and duration. Previous studies have only speculated on the function of bandwidth and pulse duration in bat echolocation or addressed this problem by assuming that bats optimize echolocation parameters to achieve very fine acuities in receiving single echoes. Here, we take a different approach by assuming that bats in nature rarely receive single echoes from each pulse emission, but rather many highly overlapping echoes. Some echolocation tasks require individual echoes to be separated to reconstruct reflection points in space. We used an established hearing model to investigate how the parameters bandwidth and pulse duration influence the separation of overlapping echoes. Our findings corroborate the following previously unknown or unsubstantiated facts: 1. Broadening the bandwidth improves the bat's lower resolution limit. 2. Increasing the sweep rate (defined by bandwidth and pulse duration) improves acuity of each extracted echo. 3. Decreasing the sweep rate improves the probability of frequency channels being activated. Since facts 2 and 3 affect sweep rate in an opposing fashion, an optimum sweep rate will exist, depending on the quality of the returning echoes and the requirements of the bat to improve acuity. The existence of an optimal sweep rate explains why bats are likely to use certain combinations of bandwidth and pulse duration to obtain such sweep rates.

  19. Explaining the distribution of breeding and dispersal syndromes in conifers

    PubMed Central

    Leslie, Andrew B.; Beaulieu, Jeremy M.; Crane, Peter R.; Donoghue, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of plants exhibiting different sexes, or dioecy, is correlated with a number of ecological and life-history traits such as woody growth form and animal-dispersed seeds, but the underlying causes of these associations are unclear. Previous work in seed plants has suggested that the evolution of fleshy cones or seeds may favour dioecy. In this study, we use a well-sampled molecular phylogeny of conifers to show that although dioecy and fleshiness strongly co-occur at the species level, this relationship has not resulted from numerous separate origins of this trait combination or from differential rates of diversification. Instead, we suggest that two character combinations—the ancestral dry-monoecious condition and the derived fleshy-dioecious condition—have persisted in conifers longer than other combinations over evolutionary time. The persistence of these trait combinations appears to reflect differences in the rate of successful transition into and out of these character states over time, as well as the geographical restriction of species with rare combinations and their consequent vulnerability to extinction. In general, we argue that such persistence explanations should be considered alongside ‘key innovation’ hypotheses in explaining the phylogenetic distribution of traits. PMID:24026822

  20. Optimization of biomass composition explains microbial growth-stoichiometry relationships

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Franklin, O.; Hall, E.K.; Kaiser, C.; Battin, T.J.; Richter, A.

    2011-01-01

    Integrating microbial physiology and biomass stoichiometry opens far-reaching possibilities for linking microbial dynamics to ecosystem processes. For example, the growth-rate hypothesis (GRH) predicts positive correlations among growth rate, RNA content, and biomass phosphorus (P) content. Such relationships have been used to infer patterns of microbial activity, resource availability, and nutrient recycling in ecosystems. However, for microorganisms it is unclear under which resource conditions the GRH applies. We developed a model to test whether the response of microbial biomass stoichiometry to variable resource stoichiometry can be explained by a trade-off among cellular components that maximizes growth. The results show mechanistically why the GRH is valid under P limitation but not under N limitation. We also show why variability of growth rate-biomass stoichiometry relationships is lower under P limitation than under N or C limitation. These theoretical results are supported by experimental data on macromolecular composition (RNA, DNA, and protein) and biomass stoichiometry from two different bacteria. In addition, compared to a model with strictly homeostatic biomass, the optimization mechanism we suggest results in increased microbial N and P mineralization during organic-matter decomposition. Therefore, this mechanism may also have important implications for our understanding of nutrient cycling in ecosystems.

  1. Relative resource abundance explains butterfly biodiversity in island communities

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto, Naoaki; Yokoyama, Jun; Kawata, Masakado

    2007-01-01

    Ecologists have long been intrigued by the factors that control the pattern of biodiversity, i.e., the distribution and abundance of species. Previous studies have demonstrated that coexisting species partition their resources and/or that the compositional similarity between communities is determined by environmental factors, lending support to the niche-assembly model. However, no attempt has been made to test whether the relative amount of resources that reflects relative niche space controls relative species abundance in communities. Here, we demonstrate that the relative abundance of butterfly species in island communities is significantly related to the relative biomasses of their host plants but not to the geographic distance between communities. In the studied communities, the biomass of particular host plant species positively affected the abundance of the butterfly species that used them, and consequently, influenced the relative abundance of the butterfly communities. This indicated that the niche space of butterflies (i.e., the amount of resources) strongly influences butterfly biodiversity patterns. We present this field evidence of the niche-apportionment model that propose that the relative amount of niche space explains the pattern of the relative abundance of the species in communities. PMID:17553963

  2. [Ticagrelor in acute coronary syndrome. Explaining the inexplicable].

    PubMed

    Criniti, Juan Martín; Izcovich, Ariel; Popoff, Federico; Ruiz, Juan Ignacio; Catalano, Hugo N

    2014-01-01

    The PLATO study evaluated the efficacy of adding ticagrelor, instead of clopidogrel, to aspirin in patients with acute coronary syndrome, which showed surprisingly positive results making the drug acceptable to regulatory agencies and specialty societies worldwide. Notwithstanding the aforementioned success, contradictory information supplied by critical analysis was submitted by the sponsor. The controversial findings revealed several aspects that are difficult to explain, threatening the veracity of the study's conclusions. Mortality rate pattern, excessive benefit not comparable to prior studies, unexplained loss of follow-up development and inconsistency in findings in accordance with the country, the type of events arbitrator and monitoring committee are some of the most questionable issues. Dubious reaction to this trial is based on the fact that the information could not be found in published articles. This complex situation poses a challenge to the critical analysis of the text and raises questions as to how far the conflicts of financial interest influenced the development of the study, the communication of its results and probably, acceptance of the drug for commercial use.

  3. [Ticagrelor in acute coronary syndrome. Explaining the inexplicable].

    PubMed

    Criniti, Juan Martín; Izcovich, Ariel; Popoff, Federico; Ruiz, Juan Ignacio; Catalano, Hugo N

    2014-01-01

    The PLATO study evaluated the efficacy of adding ticagrelor, instead of clopidogrel, to aspirin in patients with acute coronary syndrome, which showed surprisingly positive results making the drug acceptable to regulatory agencies and specialty societies worldwide. Notwithstanding the aforementioned success, contradictory information supplied by critical analysis was submitted by the sponsor. The controversial findings revealed several aspects that are difficult to explain, threatening the veracity of the study's conclusions. Mortality rate pattern, excessive benefit not comparable to prior studies, unexplained loss of follow-up development and inconsistency in findings in accordance with the country, the type of events arbitrator and monitoring committee are some of the most questionable issues. Dubious reaction to this trial is based on the fact that the information could not be found in published articles. This complex situation poses a challenge to the critical analysis of the text and raises questions as to how far the conflicts of financial interest influenced the development of the study, the communication of its results and probably, acceptance of the drug for commercial use. PMID:24918677

  4. Contrast polarity preservation's role in perception: explained and unexplained stimuli.

    PubMed

    McCormick, Meghan C; Hon, Alice J; Huang, Abigail E; Altschuler, Eric L

    2012-01-01

    Roncato and Casco (2003, Perception & psychophysics 65 1252-1272) had shown that in situations where the Gestalt principle of good continuity is put into conflict with preservation of contrast polarity (CP) the perception that preserves CP prevails. Parlangeli and Roncato (2010, Perception 39 255-259) have studied this question of preservation of CP more closely and have added an addendum to the rule. They have used stimuli consisting of a checkerboard of perpendicularly arranged rectangular bricks (white, gray, or black) and draughtsmen white, gray, or black disks placed at the corners of the bricks. This study has caused them to add an addendum to the rule of CP-preserved path-conjunction binding: if there are two contour completions that preserve the CP, the one with the higher contrast will prevail. Parlangeli and Roncato find that, for certain shades of the disks and bricks, the perpendicular lines of the checkerboard appear strikingly to be slanted or undulating. Here we consider all possible arrangements of relative magnitudes of checkerboards consisting of bricks of two different shades and disks of two shades as well, as such arrangements with widely varying differences in the magnitude of brightness. We have found a number of cases where the perception is not explained by the rule and addendum of Roncato and Casco, and Parlangeli and Roncato, and a case where preservation of "distant" as well as local CP plays a role in perception. The previously known cases, and the new exceptional unexplained stimuli we have found, warrant further study.

  5. Global patterns in endemism explained by past climatic change.

    PubMed Central

    Jansson, Roland

    2003-01-01

    I propose that global patterns in numbers of range-restricted endemic species are caused by variation in the amplitude of climatic change occurring on time-scales of 10-100 thousand years (Milankovitch oscillations). The smaller the climatic shifts, the more probable it is that palaeoendemics survive and that diverging gene pools persist without going extinct or merging, favouring the evolution of neoendemics. Using the change in mean annual temperature since the last glacial maximum, estimated from global circulation models, I show that the higher the temperature change in an area, the fewer endemic species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and vascular plants it harbours. This relationship was robust to variation in area (for areas greater than 10(4) km2), latitudinal position, extent of former glaciation and whether or not areas are oceanic islands. Past climatic change was a better predictor of endemism than annual temperature range in all phylads except amphibians, suggesting that Rapoport's rule (i.e. species range sizes increase with latitude) is best explained by the increase in the amplitude of climatic oscillations towards the poles. Globally, endemic-rich areas are predicted to warm less in response to greenhouse-gas emissions, but the predicted warming would cause many habitats to disappear regionally, leading to species extinctions. PMID:12769457

  6. Explaining weapons proliferation: Going beyond the security dilemma

    SciTech Connect

    Rattray, G.J.

    1994-07-01

    Most analyses addressing the subject of why states choose to proliferate focus on external motivations, particularly the security dilemma, facing a country`s leaders. This paper concludes that, other factors, such as prestige, regime type and stability, and economic status, can have impact in determining proliferation outcomes. In the case of Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union (NIS), the domestic problems generated by internal conflicts, arms remaining from the Cold War, excess defense industrial capacity, economic difficulties and the breakdown of central authority resulting in a loss of border control and corruption have all made the NIS an extremely fertile ground for weapons proliferation. A more positive `rollback` situation has emerged in Latin America where both Argentina and Brazil have seemingly decided to forgo the acquisition of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. The US must understand the `strategic personality` of each potential proliferation. Not all state behavior can be explained in terms of the security dilemma. One must also keep in mind the complexity of possible motivations. Economic and technological assistance and cooperative efforts at institution-building hold great potential to combating proliferation.

  7. Four loci explain 83% of size variation in the horse.

    PubMed

    Makvandi-Nejad, Shokouh; Hoffman, Gabriel E; Allen, Jeremy J; Chu, Erin; Gu, Esther; Chandler, Alyssa M; Loredo, Ariel I; Bellone, Rebecca R; Mezey, Jason G; Brooks, Samantha A; Sutter, Nathan B

    2012-01-01

    Horse body size varies greatly due to intense selection within each breed. American Miniatures are less than one meter tall at the withers while Shires and Percherons can exceed two meters. The genetic basis for this variation is not known. We hypothesize that the breed population structure of the horse should simplify efforts to identify genes controlling size. In support of this, here we show with genome-wide association scans (GWAS) that genetic variation at just four loci can explain the great majority of horse size variation. Unlike humans, which are naturally reproducing and possess many genetic variants with weak effects on size, we show that horses, like other domestic mammals, carry just a small number of size loci with alleles of large effect. Furthermore, three of our horse size loci contain the LCORL, HMGA2 and ZFAT genes that have previously been found to control human height. The LCORL/NCAPG locus is also implicated in cattle growth and HMGA2 is associated with dog size. Extreme size diversification is a hallmark of domestication. Our results in the horse, complemented by the prior work in cattle and dog, serve to pinpoint those very few genes that have played major roles in the rapid evolution of size during domestication.

  8. Explaining the electroweak scale and stabilizing moduli in M theory

    SciTech Connect

    Acharya, Bobby S.; Bobkov, Konstantin; Kane, Gordon L.; Kumar, Piyush; Shao Jing

    2007-12-15

    In a recent paper [B. Acharya, K. Bobkov, G. Kane, P. Kumar, and D. Vaman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 191601 (2006).] it was shown that in fluxless M theory vacua with at least two hidden sectors undergoing strong gauge dynamics and a particular form of the Kaehler potential, all moduli are stabilized by the effective potential and a stable hierarchy is generated, consistent with standard gauge unification. This paper explains the results of [B. Acharya, K. Bobkov, G. Kane, P. Kumar, and D. Vaman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 191601 (2006).] in more detail and generalizes them, finding an essentially unique de Sitter vacuum under reasonable conditions. One of the main phenomenological consequences is a prediction which emerges from this entire class of vacua: namely, gaugino masses are significantly suppressed relative to the gravitino mass. We also present evidence that, for those vacua in which the vacuum energy is small, the gravitino mass, which sets all the superpartner masses, is automatically in the TeV-100 TeV range.

  9. Surprisingly rational: probability theory plus noise explains biases in judgment.

    PubMed

    Costello, Fintan; Watts, Paul

    2014-07-01

    The systematic biases seen in people's probability judgments are typically taken as evidence that people do not use the rules of probability theory when reasoning about probability but instead use heuristics, which sometimes yield reasonable judgments and sometimes yield systematic biases. This view has had a major impact in economics, law, medicine, and other fields; indeed, the idea that people cannot reason with probabilities has become a truism. We present a simple alternative to this view, where people reason about probability according to probability theory but are subject to random variation or noise in the reasoning process. In this account the effect of noise is canceled for some probabilistic expressions. Analyzing data from 2 experiments, we find that, for these expressions, people's probability judgments are strikingly close to those required by probability theory. For other expressions, this account produces systematic deviations in probability estimates. These deviations explain 4 reliable biases in human probabilistic reasoning (conservatism, subadditivity, conjunction, and disjunction fallacies). These results suggest that people's probability judgments embody the rules of probability theory and that biases in those judgments are due to the effects of random noise. PMID:25090427

  10. Can mathematics explain the evolution of human language?

    PubMed

    Witzany, Guenther

    2011-09-01

    Investigation into the sequence structure of the genetic code by means of an informatic approach is a real success story. The features of human language are also the object of investigation within the realm of formal language theories. They focus on the common rules of a universal grammar that lies behind all languages and determine generation of syntactic structures. This universal grammar is a depiction of material reality, i.e., the hidden logical order of things and its relations determined by natural laws. Therefore mathematics is viewed not only as an appropriate tool to investigate human language and genetic code structures through computer science-based formal language theory but is itself a depiction of material reality. This confusion between language as a scientific tool to describe observations/experiences within cognitive constructed models and formal language as a direct depiction of material reality occurs not only in current approaches but was the central focus of the philosophy of science debate in the twentieth century, with rather unexpected results. This article recalls these results and their implications for more recent mathematical approaches that also attempt to explain the evolution of human language.

  11. Probability distributions for explaining hydrological losses in South Australian catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gamage, S. H. P. W.; Hewa, G. A.; Beecham, S.

    2013-11-01

    Accurate estimation of hydrological losses is required for making vital decisions in design applications that are based on design rainfall models and rainfall-runoff models. The use of representative single values of hydrological losses, despite their wide variability, is common practice, especially in Australian studies. This practice leads to issues such as over or under estimation of design floods. The probability distribution method is potentially a better technique to describe losses. However, a lack of understanding of how losses are distributed can limit the use of this technique. This paper aims to identify a probability distribution function that can successfully describe hydrological losses of a catchment of interest. The paper explains the systematic process of identifying probability distribution functions, the problems faced during the distribution fitting process and a new generalised method to test the adequacy of fitted distributions. The goodness-of-fit of the fitted distributions are examined using the Anderson-Darling test and the Q-Q plot method and the errors associated with quantile estimation are quantified by estimating the bias and mean square error (MSE). A two-parameter gamma distribution was identified as one that successfully describes initial loss (IL) data for the selected catchments. Further, non-parametric standardised distributions that describe both IL and continuing loss data are also identified. This paper will provide a significant contribution to the Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR) guidelines that are currently being updated, by improving understanding of hydrological losses in South Australian catchments. More importantly, this study provides new knowledge on how IL in a catchment is characterised.

  12. Can physics help to explain embryonic development? An overview.

    PubMed

    Fleury, V

    2013-10-01

    Recent technical advances including digital imaging and particle image velocimetry can be used to extract the full range of embryonic movements that constitute the instantaneous 'morphogenetic fields' of a developing animal. The final shape of the animal results from the sum over time (integral) of the movements that make up the velocity fields of all the tissue constituents. In vivo microscopy can be used to capture the details of vertebrate development at the earliest embryonic stages. The movements thus observed can be quantitatively compared to physical models that provide velocity fields based on simple hypotheses about the nature of living matter (a visco-elastic gel). This approach has cast new light on the interpretation of embryonic movement, folding, and organisation. It has established that several major discontinuities in development are simple physical changes in boundary conditions. In other words, with no change in biology, the physical consequences of collisions between folds largely explain the morphogenesis of the major structures (such as the head). Other discontinuities result from changes in physical conditions, such as bifurcations (changes in physical behaviour beyond specific yield points). For instance, beyond a certain level of stress, a tissue folds, without any new gene being involved. An understanding of the physical features of movement provides insights into the levers that drive evolution; the origin of animals is seen more clearly when viewed under the light of the fundamental physical laws (Newton's principle, action-reaction law, changes in symmetry breaking scale). This article describes the genesis of a vertebrate embryo from the shapeless stage (round mass of tissue) to the development of a small, elongated, bilaterally symmetric structure containing vertebral precursors, hip and shoulder enlarges, and a head.

  13. Mechanisms to explain purse seine bycatch mortality of coho salmon.

    PubMed

    Raby, Graham D; Hinch, Scott G; Patterson, David A; Hills, Jayme A; Thompson, Lisa A; Cooke, Steven J

    2015-10-01

    Research on fisheries bycatch and discards frequently involves the assessment of reflex impairment, injury, or blood physiology as means of quantifying vitality and predicting post-release mortality, but exceptionally few studies have used all three metrics concurrently. We conducted an experimental purse seine fishery for Pacific salmon in the Juan de Fuca Strait, with a focus on understanding the relationships between different sublethal indicators and whether mortality could be predicted in coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) bycatch. We monitored mortality using a ~24-h net pen experiment (N = 118) and acoustic telemetry (N = 50), two approaches commonly used to assess bycatch mortality that have rarely been directly compared. Short-term mortality was 21% in the net pen experiment (~24 h) and estimated at 20% for telemetry-tagged fish (~48-96 h). Mortality was predicted by injury and reflex impairment, but only in the net pen experiment. Higher reflex impairment was mirrored by perturbations to plasma ions and lactate, supporting the notion that reflex impairment can be used as a proxy for departure from physiological homeostasis. Reflex impairment also significantly correlated with injury scores, while injury scores were significantly correlated with plasma ion concentrations. The higher time-specific mortality rate in the net pen and the fact that reflexes and injury corresponded with mortality in that experiment, but not in the telemetry-tagged fish released into the wild could be explained partly by confinement stress. While holding experiments offer the potential to provide insights into the underlying causes of mortality, chronic confinement stress can complicate the interpretation of patterns and ultimately affect mortality rates. Collectively, these results help refine our understanding of the different sublethal metrics used to assess bycatch and the mechanisms that can lead to mortality. PMID:26591444

  14. Fifteen Years of Explaining Pain: The Past, Present, and Future.

    PubMed

    Moseley, G Lorimer; Butler, David S

    2015-09-01

    The pain field has been advocating for some time for the importance of teaching people how to live well with pain. Perhaps some, and maybe even for many, we might again consider the possibility that we can help people live well without pain. Explaining Pain (EP) refers to a range of educational interventions that aim to change one's understanding of the biological processes that are thought to underpin pain as a mechanism to reduce pain itself. It draws on educational psychology, in particular conceptual change strategies, to help patients understand current thought in pain biology. The core objective of the EP approach to treatment is to shift one's conceptualization of pain from that of a marker of tissue damage or disease to that of a marker of the perceived need to protect body tissue. Here, we describe the historical context and beginnings of EP, suggesting that it is a pragmatic application of the biopsychosocial model of pain, but differentiating it from cognitive behavioral therapy and educational components of early multidisciplinary pain management programs. We attempt to address common misconceptions of EP that have emerged over the last 15 years, highlighting that EP is not behavioral or cognitive advice, nor does it deny the potential contribution of peripheral nociceptive signals to pain. We contend that EP is grounded in strong theoretical frameworks, that its targeted effects are biologically plausible, and that available behavioral evidence is supportive. We update available meta-analyses with results of a systematic review of recent contributions to the field and propose future directions by which we might enhance the effects of EP as part of multimodal pain rehabilitation. Perspective: EP is a range of educational interventions. EP is grounded in conceptual change and instructional design theory. It increases knowledge of pain-related biology, decreases catastrophizing, and imparts short-term reductions in pain and disability. It presents the

  15. Dissecting risk: what explains patterns in global flood losses?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jongman, Brenden; Winsemius, Hessel; Aerts, Jeroen; Kron, Wolfgang; Ward, Philip

    2013-04-01

    Reported economic losses from river flooding have been shown to increase globally as a result of changes in hazard (i.e. the chance and characteristics of the flood event), exposure (i.e. the population and assets subject to flooding) and vulnerability (i.e. the capacity of the society to deal with the event). However, the contribution of the individual parts of the risk chain to trends in global losses is still largely unknown due to the traditionally limited data availability on a global scale. Recent work on the spatial modelling of global flood hazard and exposure offers new opportunities for the understanding of global risk. In this paper we present an analysis of reported flood losses in 15 world regions from Munich Re's NatCatSERVICE database for the period 1980 - 2010. We combine the loss statistics with spatial 1km2 resolution flood hazard data from the GLOFRIS global inundation model and data on global population exposure, to identify trends and drivers of risk. Our results show that long term trends in risk are mainly explained by an increase in exposed population and assets, while inter-annual variations are driven by variability in hazard intensity. The analysis indicates that regional differences in vulnerability can be identified as the degree to which trends in flood losses respond to increases in hazard and exposure. These results can be valuable in the understanding of past trends in flood risk and the development of future projections for different regions. The findings are important for scholars, policy makers, re-insurance agencies and international development organisations working on issues related to risk, natural hazards and climate change.

  16. Explaining the Imperfection of the Molecular Clock of Hominid Mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Loogväli, Eva-Liis; Kivisild, Toomas; Margus, Tõnu; Villems, Richard

    2009-01-01

    The molecular clock of mitochondrial DNA has been extensively used to date various genetic events. However, its substitution rate among humans appears to be higher than rates inferred from human-chimpanzee comparisons, limiting the potential of interspecies clock calibrations for intraspecific dating. It is not well understood how and why the substitution rate accelerates. We have analyzed a phylogenetic tree of 3057 publicly available human mitochondrial DNA coding region sequences for changes in the ratios of mutations belonging to different functional classes. The proportion of non-synonymous and RNA genes substitutions has reduced over hundreds of thousands of years. The highest mutation ratios corresponding to fast acceleration in the apparent substitution rate of the coding sequence have occurred after the end of the Last Ice Age. We recalibrate the molecular clock of human mtDNA as 7990 years per synonymous mutation over the mitochondrial genome. However, the distribution of substitutions at synonymous sites in human data significantly departs from a model assuming a single rate parameter and implies at least 3 different subclasses of sites. Neutral model with 3 synonymous substitution rates can explain most, if not all, of the apparent molecular clock difference between the intra- and interspecies levels. Our findings imply the sluggishness of purifying selection in removing the slightly deleterious mutations from the human as well as the Neandertal and chimpanzee populations. However, for humans, the weakness of purifying selection has been further exacerbated by the population expansions associated with the out-of Africa migration and the end of the Last Ice Age. PMID:20041137

  17. Second-Chance Signal Transduction Explains Cooperative Flagellar Switching

    PubMed Central

    Zot, Henry G.; Hasbun, Javier E.; Van Minh, Nguyen

    2012-01-01

    The reversal of flagellar motion (switching) results from the interaction between a switch complex of the flagellar rotor and a torque-generating stationary unit, or stator (motor unit). To explain the steeply cooperative ligand-induced switching, present models propose allosteric interactions between subunits of the rotor, but do not address the possibility of a reaction that stimulates a bidirectional motor unit to reverse direction of torque. During flagellar motion, the binding of a ligand-bound switch complex at the dwell site could excite a motor unit. The probability that another switch complex of the rotor, moving according to steady-state rotation, will reach the same dwell site before that motor unit returns to ground state will be determined by the independent decay rate of the excited-state motor unit. Here, we derive an analytical expression for the energy coupling between a switch complex and a motor unit of the stator complex of a flagellum, and demonstrate that this model accounts for the cooperative switching response without the need for allosteric interactions. The analytical result can be reproduced by simulation when (1) the motion of the rotor delivers a subsequent ligand-bound switch to the excited motor unit, thereby providing the excited motor unit with a second chance to remain excited, and (2) the outputs from multiple independent motor units are constrained to a single all-or-none event. In this proposed model, a motor unit and switch complex represent the components of a mathematically defined signal transduction mechanism in which energy coupling is driven by steady-state and is regulated by stochastic ligand binding. Mathematical derivation of the model shows the analytical function to be a general form of the Hill equation (Hill AV (1910) The possible effects of the aggregation of the molecules of haemoglobin on its dissociation curves. J Physiol 40: iv–vii). PMID:22844429

  18. To Explain Copernicus: The Islamic Scientific and Religious Contexts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ragep, F. Jamil

    No one seriously disputes the novelty of Copernicus's monumental decision to put the Earth in motion or its importance for the development of modern science. But that decision can appear quite different when viewed from the perspective of a modern scientist versus that of a contextualist historian. In his recent book To Explain the World, Prof. Weinberg places great store on what he calls aesthetic criteria for understanding Copernicus's choice. The historical record, however, is rather ambiguous on the matter, and if anything supports the view that Copernicus came to his aesthetic justifications (such as the beautiful ordering of the planets) after first reaching his heliocentric theory. So if not aesthetics, what did lead him to go against a two-millenium tradition that placed the Earth firmly in the center of the Cosmos? There are no doubt many factors; one of the most intriguing suggestions, well-argued by Noel Swerdlow, is that Copernicus was led to heliocentrism by his rather conservative desire to restore uniform, circular motion to the heavens and remove the irregularities of Ptolemaic astronomy. Swerdlow has also asserted that this has much to do with Islamic predecessors who were attempting to do the same thing, only within a geocentric framework. In this presentation, I will briefly summarize this Islamic scientific context and then explore the religious beliefs that led not only to the questioning of Ptolemaic scientific authority, including his alleged lack of observational diligence, but also ancient philosophical authority, the latter opening up possibilities for alternative cosmologies, at least one of which included the Earth's motion. Finally, evidence will be presented that connects these Islamic contexts with Copernicus's theories and justifications.

  19. Negative plant soil feedback explaining ring formation in clonal plants.

    PubMed

    Cartenì, Fabrizio; Marasco, Addolorata; Bonanomi, Giuliano; Mazzoleni, Stefano; Rietkerk, Max; Giannino, Francesco

    2012-11-21

    Ring shaped patches of clonal plants have been reported in different environments, but the mechanisms underlying such pattern formation are still poorly explained. Water depletion in the inner tussocks zone has been proposed as a possible cause, although ring patterns have been also observed in ecosystems without limiting water conditions. In this work, a spatially explicit model is presented in order to investigate the role of negative plant-soil feedback as an additional explanation for ring formation. The model describes the dynamics of the plant biomass in the presence of toxicity produced by the decomposition of accumulated litter in the soil. Our model qualitatively reproduces the emergence of ring patterns of a single clonal plant species during colonisation of a bare substrate. The model admits two homogeneous stationary solutions representing bare soil and uniform vegetation cover which depend only on the ratio between the biomass death and growth rates. Moreover, differently from other plant spatial patterns models, but in agreement with real field observations of vegetation dynamics, we demonstrated that the pattern dynamics always lead to spatially homogeneous vegetation covers without creation of stable Turing patterns. Analytical results show that ring formation is a function of two main components, the plant specific susceptibility to toxic compounds released in the soil by the accumulated litter and the decay rate of these same compounds, depending on environmental conditions. These components act at the same time and their respective intensities can give rise to the different ring structures observed in nature, ranging from slight reductions of biomass in patch centres, to the appearance of marked rings with bare inner zones, as well as the occurrence of ephemeral waves of plant cover. Our results highlight the potential role of plant-soil negative feedback depending on decomposition processes for the development of transient vegetation patterns.

  20. Can vaccine legacy explain the British pertussis resurgence?

    PubMed

    Riolo, Maria A; King, Aaron A; Rohani, Pejman

    2013-12-01

    Pertussis incidence has been rising in some countries, including the UK, despite sustained high vaccine coverage. We questioned whether it is possible to explain the resurgence without recourse to complex hypotheses about pathogen evolution, subclinical infections, or trends in surveillance efficiency. In particular, we investigated the possibility that the resurgence is a consequence of the legacy of incomplete pediatric immunization, in the context of cohort structure and age-dependent transmission. We constructed a model of pertussis transmission in England and Wales based on data on age-specific contact rates and historical vaccine coverage estimates. We evaluated the agreement between model-predicted and observed patterns of age-specific pertussis incidence under a variety of assumptions regarding the duration of immunity. Under the assumption that infection-derived immunity is complete and lifelong, and regardless of the duration of vaccine-induced immunity, the model consistently predicts a resurgence of pertussis incidence comparable to that which has been observed. Interestingly, no resurgence is predicted when infection- and vaccine-derived immunities wane at the same rate. These results were qualitatively insensitive to rates of primary vaccine failure. We conclude that the alarming resurgence of pertussis among adults and adolescents in Britain and elsewhere may simply be a legacy of historically inadequate coverage employing imperfect vaccines. Indeed, we argue that the absence of resurgence at this late date would be more surprising. Our analysis shows that careful accounting for age dependence in contact rates and susceptibility is prerequisite to the identification of which features of pertussis epidemiology want additional explanation.

  1. Ocean floor faulting explains differences in Central American lavas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2011-08-01

    The steady eastward progression of the Cocos tectonic plate, which lies off the west coast of Central America, forces it under the Caribbean and North American plates, driving seismic and volcanic activity. Along the Central American coast, the chemical content of the lava produced by such volcanism varies significantly, an unusual finding given that the raw material for the magma—the Cocos plate—feeds the entire region. For instance, magma in central Nicaragua has a much higher ratio of barium to lanthanum than the magma in Costa Rica, with the concentrations of these and other trace elements serving as an indicator that distinct processes were involved in generating the different magma. To identify structural properties that vary along the Cocos plate that may explain these differences, Van Avendonk et al. conducted a 396-kilometer sweep of the plate's eastern boundary, collecting measurements of seismic velocity, i.e., how fast seismic waves are able to travel through the various rock layers. Previous research describes a complicated history of the Cocos plate. The northern half, which lies off Nicaragua, was the product of deep-ocean spreading at the East Pacific Rise (EPR). The Cocos-Nazca (CN) spreading region, along with intraplate volcanism near the Galápagos Islands, generated the southern portion of the plate. The authors found that seismic velocities within the northern portion of the plate are anomalously low. The authors suggest that as the Cocos plate is forced down, forming the Middle America Trench, the rock stretches and breaks. This high degree of faulting within the crust would allow seawater to penetrate into the mantle and form hydrated rocks called serpentinites. As the northern portion of the Cocos plate is subducted, these high serpentinite concentrations are carried deeper into the mantle, releasing their trapped water and significantly affecting the chemical composition of the magma. (Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, doi:10

  2. Explaining the imperfection of the molecular clock of hominid mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Loogväli, Eva-Liis; Kivisild, Toomas; Margus, Tõnu; Villems, Richard

    2009-12-29

    The molecular clock of mitochondrial DNA has been extensively used to date various genetic events. However, its substitution rate among humans appears to be higher than rates inferred from human-chimpanzee comparisons, limiting the potential of interspecies clock calibrations for intraspecific dating. It is not well understood how and why the substitution rate accelerates. We have analyzed a phylogenetic tree of 3057 publicly available human mitochondrial DNA coding region sequences for changes in the ratios of mutations belonging to different functional classes. The proportion of non-synonymous and RNA genes substitutions has reduced over hundreds of thousands of years. The highest mutation ratios corresponding to fast acceleration in the apparent substitution rate of the coding sequence have occurred after the end of the Last Ice Age. We recalibrate the molecular clock of human mtDNA as 7990 years per synonymous mutation over the mitochondrial genome. However, the distribution of substitutions at synonymous sites in human data significantly departs from a model assuming a single rate parameter and implies at least 3 different subclasses of sites. Neutral model with 3 synonymous substitution rates can explain most, if not all, of the apparent molecular clock difference between the intra- and interspecies levels. Our findings imply the sluggishness of purifying selection in removing the slightly deleterious mutations from the human as well as the Neandertal and chimpanzee populations. However, for humans, the weakness of purifying selection has been further exacerbated by the population expansions associated with the out-of Africa migration and the end of the Last Ice Age.

  3. The Amazon River reversal explained by tectonic and surface processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacek, V.

    2014-12-01

    The drainage pattern in Amazonia was expressively modified during the mountain building of central and northern Andes. In Early Miocene, the fluvial systems in western Amazonia flowed to the foreland basins and northward to the Caribbean. By Late Miocene the drainage reversal occurred and formed the transcontinental Amazon River, connecting the Andes and the equatorial Atlantic margin. This event is recorded in the stratigraphic evolution of the Foz do Amazonas Basin by the onset of Andean-derived sedimentation. Additionally, an abrupt increase in sedimentation rate after the reversal occurred in the Foz do Amazonas Basin. Based on three-dimensional numerical models that couple surface processes, flexural isostasy and crustal thickening due to orogeny, I concluded that the Miocene drainage reversal can be explained by the flexural and surface processes response to the Andes formation with no need to invoke dynamic topography induced by mantle convection, as previously proposed. I observed that the instant of drainage reversal is directly linked to the rate of crustal thickening in the orogeny, the rate of erosion and, mainly, the efficiency of sediment transport. Moreover, the numerical experiments were able to predict the increase in sedimentation rate in the Amazon fan after the drainage reversal of the Amazon River as observed in the Late Miocene-Pliocene sedimentary record. However, the present numerical model fails to fully reproduce the evolution of the Pebas system, a megawetland in western Amazonia that preceded the drainage reversal. Therefore, further investigation is necessary to evaluate the mechanisms that generated and sustained the Pebas system.

  4. Deuterium enrichment of interstellar methanol explained by atom tunneling.

    PubMed

    Goumans, T P M; Kästner, Johannes

    2011-10-01

    We calculate, down to low temperature and for different isotopes, the reaction rate constants for the hydrogen abstraction reaction H + H(3)COH → H(2) + CH(2)OH/CH(3)O. These explain the known abundances of deuterated forms of methanol in interstellar clouds, where CH(2)DOH can be almost as abundant as CH(3)OH. For abstraction from both the C- and the O-end of methanol, the barrier-crossing motion involves the movement of light hydrogen atoms. Consequently, tunneling plays a dominant role already at relatively high temperature. Our implementation of harmonic quantum transition state theory with on the fly calculation of forces and energies accounts for these tunneling effects. The results are in good agreement with previous semiclassical and quantum dynamics calculations (down to 200 K) and experimental studies (down to 295 K). Here we extend the rate calculations down to lower temperature: 30 K for abstraction from the C-end of methanol and 80 K for abstraction from the OH-group. At all temperatures, abstraction from the C-end is preferred over abstraction from the O-end, more strongly so at lower temperature. Furthermore, the tunneling behavior strongly affects the kinetic isotope effects (KIEs). D + H(3)COH → HD + CH(2)OH has a lower vibrationally adiabatic barrier than H + H(3)COH → H(2) + CH(2)OH, giving rise to an inverse KIE (k(H)/k(D) < 1) at high temperature, in accordance with previous experiments and calculations. However, since tunneling is more facile for the light H atom, abstraction by H is favored over abstraction by D below ~135 K, with a KIE k(H)/k(D) of 11.2 at 30 K. The H + D(3)COD → HD + CD(2)OD reaction is calculated to be much slower than the D + H(3)COH → HD + CH(2)OH, in agreement with low-temperature solid-state experiments, which suggests the preference for H (as opposed to D) abstraction from the C-end of methanol to be the mechanism by which interstellar methanol is deuterium-enriched.

  5. Parsimonious snow model explains reindeer population dynamics and ranging behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, J.; Aanes, R.; Hansen, B. B.; Loe, L.; Severinsen, T.; Stien, A.

    2008-12-01

    Winter snow is a key factor affecting polar ecosystems. One example is the strong negative correlation of winter precipitation with fluctuations in population in some high-arctic animal populations. Ice layers within and at the base of the snowpack have particularly deleterious effects on such populations. Svalbard reindeer have small home ranges and are vulnerable to local "locked pasture" events due to ground-ice formation. When pastures are locked, reindeer are faced with the decision of staying, living off a diminishing fat store, or trying to escape beyond the unknown spatial borders of the ice. Both strategies may inhibit reproduction and increase mortality, leading to population declines. Here we assess the impact of winter snow and ice on the population dynamics of an isolated herd of Svalbard reindeer near Ny-Ålesund, monitored annually since 1978, with a retrospective analysis of the winter snowpack. Because there are no long-term observational records of snow or snow properties, such as ice layers, we must recourse to snowpack modeling. A parsimonious model of snow and ground-ice thickness is driven with daily temperature and precipitation data collected at a nearby weather station. The model uses the degree-day concept and has three adjustable parameters which are tuned to correlate model snow and ground-ice thicknesses to the limited observations available: April snow accumulation measurements on two local glaciers, and a limited number of ground-ice observations made in recent years. Parameter values used are comparable to those reported elsewhere. We find that modeled mean winter ground-ice thickness explains a significant percentage of the observed variance in reindeer population growth rate. Adding other explanatory parameters, such as modeled mean winter snowpack thickness or previous years' population size does not significanly improve the relation. Furthermore, positioning data from a small subset of reindeer show that model icing events are

  6. French Polynesia Hotspot Swells Explained By Dynamic Topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adam, C.; Yoshida, M.; Isse, T.; Suetsugu, D.; Shiobara, H.; Sugioka, H.; Kanazawa, T.; Fukao, Y.; Barruol, G.

    2007-12-01

    Situated on the South Pacific Superswell, French Polynesia is a region characterized by numerous geophysical anomalies among which a high volcanism concentration. Seven hotspots are required to explain the observed chains, volcanism ages and geochemical trends. Many open questions still remain on the origin of these hotspot chains: are they created by passive uplift of magma due to discontinuities in the structure of the lithosphere or by the ascent of mantle plumes? In this case, at which depth do these plumes initiate in the mantle? Many geophysical observations (bathymetry, gravity, magnetism, volcanism ages..) are used to understand the unique phenomenon occurring on this region. The most useful information may come from tomography models since they provide a 3D view of the mantle. Until recently, the tomography models over the region were quite inaccurate because of the sparse location of the seismic stations. The deployment of two new seismic stations networks (BBOBS and temporary island stations) has lately remedied this failing. The resulting tomography model obtained through the inversion of Rayleigh waves provides the most accurate view of the shallowest part of the mantle (depths ≤ 240 km) beneath French Polynesia. Indeed, for the first time the accuracy of a tomography model is good enough to provide information about plume phenomenology in this complex region. In order to quantify the plumes effect on the seafloor, we compute the dynamic topography through an instantaneous flow model. The general trend of the observed depths anomalies (highs and lows) is well recovered. For example the amplitude, location and extension of the swells associated with the Society, Macdonald and Rarotonga are accurately described by the dynamic model. We also find that dynamic uplift is associated with the Tuamotu archipelago which means that a part of the observed swell is due to the present day action of plumes. Since no volcanism ages are available over this chain

  7. Thai visitors’ expectations and experiences of explainer interaction within a science museum context

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Ganigar; Sonchaeng, Pichai; Wilkinson, Clare; Willey, Neil; Bultitude, Karen

    2015-01-01

    In Western literature, there is evidence that museum explainers offer significant potential for enhancing visitors’ learning through influencing their knowledge, content, action, behaviour and attitudes. However, little research has focused on the role of explainers in other cultural contexts. This study explored interactions between visitors and museum explainers within the setting of Thailand. Two questionnaires were distributed to 600 visitors and 41 museum explainers. The results demonstrated both potential similarities and differences with Western contexts. Explainers appeared to prefer didactic approaches, focussing on factual knowledge rather than encouraging deep learning. Two-way communication, however, appeared to be enhanced by the use of a ‘pseudo-sibling relationship’ by explainers. Traditional Thai social reserve was reduced through such approaches, with visitors taking on active learning roles. These findings have implications for training museum explainers in non-Western cultures, as well as museum communication practice more generally. PMID:24751689

  8. Thai visitors' expectations and experiences of explainer interaction within a science museum context.

    PubMed

    Kamolpattana, Supara; Chen, Ganigar; Sonchaeng, Pichai; Wilkinson, Clare; Willey, Neil; Bultitude, Karen

    2015-01-01

    In Western literature, there is evidence that museum explainers offer significant potential for enhancing visitors' learning through influencing their knowledge, content, action, behaviour and attitudes. However, little research has focused on the role of explainers in other cultural contexts. This study explored interactions between visitors and museum explainers within the setting of Thailand. Two questionnaires were distributed to 600 visitors and 41 museum explainers. The results demonstrated both potential similarities and differences with Western contexts. Explainers appeared to prefer didactic approaches, focussing on factual knowledge rather than encouraging deep learning. Two-way communication, however, appeared to be enhanced by the use of a 'pseudo-sibling relationship' by explainers. Traditional Thai social reserve was reduced through such approaches, with visitors taking on active learning roles. These findings have implications for training museum explainers in non-Western cultures, as well as museum communication practice more generally.

  9. Explaining happiness.

    PubMed

    Easterlin, Richard A

    2003-09-16

    What do social survey data tell us about the determinants of happiness? First, that the psychologists' setpoint model is questionable. Life events in the nonpecuniary domain, such as marriage, divorce, and serious disability, have a lasting effect on happiness, and do not simply deflect the average person temporarily above or below a setpoint given by genetics and personality. Second, mainstream economists' inference that in the pecuniary domain "more is better," based on revealed preference theory, is problematic. An increase in income, and thus in the goods at one's disposal, does not bring with it a lasting increase in happiness because of the negative effect on utility of hedonic adaptation and social comparison. A better theory of happiness builds on the evidence that adaptation and social comparison affect utility less in the nonpecuniary than pecuniary domains. Because individuals fail to anticipate the extent to which adaptation and social comparison undermine expected utility in the pecuniary domain, they allocate an excessive amount of time to pecuniary goals, and shortchange nonpecuniary ends such as family life and health, reducing their happiness. There is need to devise policies that will yield better-informed individual preferences, and thereby increase individual and societal well-being.

  10. Explaining happiness.

    PubMed

    Easterlin, Richard A

    2003-09-16

    What do social survey data tell us about the determinants of happiness? First, that the psychologists' setpoint model is questionable. Life events in the nonpecuniary domain, such as marriage, divorce, and serious disability, have a lasting effect on happiness, and do not simply deflect the average person temporarily above or below a setpoint given by genetics and personality. Second, mainstream economists' inference that in the pecuniary domain "more is better," based on revealed preference theory, is problematic. An increase in income, and thus in the goods at one's disposal, does not bring with it a lasting increase in happiness because of the negative effect on utility of hedonic adaptation and social comparison. A better theory of happiness builds on the evidence that adaptation and social comparison affect utility less in the nonpecuniary than pecuniary domains. Because individuals fail to anticipate the extent to which adaptation and social comparison undermine expected utility in the pecuniary domain, they allocate an excessive amount of time to pecuniary goals, and shortchange nonpecuniary ends such as family life and health, reducing their happiness. There is need to devise policies that will yield better-informed individual preferences, and thereby increase individual and societal well-being. PMID:12958207

  11. Religion explained

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crease, Robert P.

    2009-08-01

    When Physics World carried out a readers' survey to mark its 20th anniversary in October 2008, in the main the editors took a light-hearted approach. They asked readers to answer nine multiple-choice questions on matters such as who inspired them to do physics, whether they mind being unpopular at parties, and what was the top physics discovery of the previous 20 years. A summary of the results appeared last year on the physicsworld.com blog (22 December 2008).

  12. Development and Assessment of Self-explaining Skills in College Chemistry Instruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villalta-Cerdas, Adrian

    The prevalent trend in chemistry instruction relies on what has been described as the classroom game. In this model, students take a passive role and the instructor does all the explaining (thinking), and learning is trivialized to knowing the correct answers (memorizing) and being able to produce them when prompted (regurgitating). The generation of explanations is central to scientific and technological development. In the process of figuring out explanations, the generation of inferences relies on the application of skills associated with scientific behaviors (e.g., analytical reasoning and critical thinking). The process of explanation generation causes a deeper analysis and revision of the scientific models, thus impacting the conceptual understanding of such models. Although the process of generating authentic explanations is closer to the experience of doing science, this process is seldom replicated in science instruction. Self-explaining refers to the generation of inferences about causal connections between objects and events. In science, this may be summarized as making sense of how and why actual or hypothetical phenomena take place. Research findings in educational psychology show that implementing activities that elicit self-explaining improves learning in general and specifically enhances authentic learning in the sciences. Research also suggests that self-explaining influences many aspects of cognition, including acquisition of problem-solving skills and conceptual understanding. Although the evidence that links self-explaining and learning is substantial, most of the research has been conducted in experimental settings. The purpose of this work was to advance knowledge in this area by investigating the effect of different self-explaining tasks on self-explaining behavior and the effect of engaging in different levels of self-explaining on learning chemistry concepts. Unlike most of the research in the field, this work did not focus on advancing

  13. Development and Assessment of Self-explaining Skills in College Chemistry Instruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villalta-Cerdas, Adrian

    The prevalent trend in chemistry instruction relies on what has been described as the classroom game. In this model, students take a passive role and the instructor does all the explaining (thinking), and learning is trivialized to knowing the correct answers (memorizing) and being able to produce them when prompted (regurgitating). The generation of explanations is central to scientific and technological development. In the process of figuring out explanations, the generation of inferences relies on the application of skills associated with scientific behaviors (e.g., analytical reasoning and critical thinking). The process of explanation generation causes a deeper analysis and revision of the scientific models, thus impacting the conceptual understanding of such models. Although the process of generating authentic explanations is closer to the experience of doing science, this process is seldom replicated in science instruction. Self-explaining refers to the generation of inferences about causal connections between objects and events. In science, this may be summarized as making sense of how and why actual or hypothetical phenomena take place. Research findings in educational psychology show that implementing activities that elicit self-explaining improves learning in general and specifically enhances authentic learning in the sciences. Research also suggests that self-explaining influences many aspects of cognition, including acquisition of problem-solving skills and conceptual understanding. Although the evidence that links self-explaining and learning is substantial, most of the research has been conducted in experimental settings. The purpose of this work was to advance knowledge in this area by investigating the effect of different self-explaining tasks on self-explaining behavior and the effect of engaging in different levels of self-explaining on learning chemistry concepts. Unlike most of the research in the field, this work did not focus on advancing

  14. Explaining Differences between Retrospective and Traditional Pretest Self-Assessments: Competing Theories and Empirical Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nimon, Kim

    2014-01-01

    Summarizing theory and results of empirical research, this article serves to illustrate why effects measured with retrospective pretests may be subject to bias and may not always be explained by response shift theory. It presents three contending theories to explain the difference between retrospective and traditional pretest results and considers…

  15. Preschoolers Selectively Infer History When Explaining Outcomes: Evidence from Explanations of Ownership, Liking, and Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nancekivell, Shaylene E.; Friedman, Ori

    2014-01-01

    Two experiments provide evidence that preschoolers selectively infer history when explaining outcomes and infer past events that could have plausibly happened. In Experiment 1, thirty-three 3-year-olds and thirty-six 4-year-olds explained why a character owns or likes certain objects. In Experiment 2, thirty-four 4-year-olds and thirty-six…

  16. Content-Free Computer Supports for Self-Explaining: Modifiable Typing Interface and Prompting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chou, Chih-Yueh; Liang, Hung-Ta

    2009-01-01

    Self-explaining, which asks students to generate explanations while reading a text, is a self-constructive activity and is helpful for students' learning. Studies have revealed that prompts by a human tutor promote students' self-explanations. However, most studies on self-explaining focus on spoken self-explanations. This study investigates the…

  17. When The Right Answer is a Question. Students as Explainers at the Exploratorium.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klages, Ellen; And Others

    Students who work at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California learn about science by explaining to the visitors from all over the world how the museum's exhibits work. The students are teen-agers who also come from all over the world to be "Explainers" for the Exploratorium. They go through a training period to learn the basics of how the…

  18. The Role of Perspective Taking in How Children Connect Reference Frames When Explaining Astronomical Phenomena

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plummer, Julia D.; Bower, Corinne A.; Liben, Lynn S.

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates the role of perspective-taking skills in how children explain spatially complex astronomical phenomena. Explaining many astronomical phenomena, especially those studied in elementary and middle school, requires shifting between an Earth-based description of the phenomena and a space-based reference frame. We studied 7- to…

  19. Tidal Forces Cannot Explain Planets Close to 2:1 Mean Motion Resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silburt, Ari; Rein, Hanno

    2015-12-01

    Many planet pairs lie just wide of first-order mean motion resonances (MMRs), and tidal forces have been frequently proposed to explain these pileups. We contribute to this ongoing discussion by calculating an optimistic theoretical estimate on the minimum initial eccentricity required by Kepler planets to explain the current observed spacing, and compliment these calculations with N-body simulations. In particular, 27 Kepler near-resonant systems we're investigated, and we found that the initial eccentricities required to explain the observed spacings are unreasonable from simple dynamical arguments. Furthermore, our numerical simulations revealed that only two systems (out of 27) could be successfully explained using tidal forces alone.We find the main hurdle preventing tides from effectively migrating planets away from MMR is "resonant tugging", an effect which conspires against the migration of resonant planets away from the 2:1 MMR, requiring planets to have even higher initial eccentricities in order to explain the current Kepler distribution.Overall, we find that tides alone cannot explain planets close to 2:1 MMR, and additional mechanisms are required to explain these systems.

  20. Explaining local authority choices on public hospital provision in the 1930s: a public policy hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Neville, Julia

    2012-01-01

    This article summarises the findings of recent work on local authority public hospital services in England and Wales in the inter-war years and identifies the lack of a robust hypothesis to explain the variations found, particularly one that would explain the actions of county councils as well as county boroughs. Using public policy techniques on a group of local authorities in the far South West it proposes that variations can be explained by an understanding of the deep core beliefs of councillors, their previous experience of 'commissioner' and 'provider' roles, and the availability or otherwise of a dedicated policy entrepreneur to promote change. PMID:23752983

  1. Explaining Local Authority Choices on Public Hospital Provision in the 1930s: A Public Policy Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Neville, Julia

    2012-01-01

    This article summarises the findings of recent work on local authority public hospital services in England and Wales in the inter-war years and identifies the lack of a robust hypothesis to explain the variations found, particularly one that would explain the actions of county councils as well as county boroughs. Using public policy techniques on a group of local authorities in the far South West it proposes that variations can be explained by an understanding of the deep core beliefs of councillors, their previous experience of ‘commissioner’ and ‘provider’ roles, and the availability or otherwise of a dedicated policy entrepreneur to promote change. PMID:23752983

  2. Artist: Ken Hodges Composite image explaining Objective and Motivation for Galileo Probe Heat Loads:

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Artist: Ken Hodges Composite image explaining Objective and Motivation for Galileo Probe Heat Loads: Galileo Probe descending into Jupiters Atmosphere shows heat shield separation with parachute deployed. (Ref. JPL P-19180)

  3. Tides alone cannot explain Kepler planets close to 2:1 MMR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silburt, Ari; Rein, Hanno

    2015-11-01

    A number of Kepler planet pairs lie just wide of first-order mean motion resonances (MMRs). Tides have been frequently proposed to explain these pileups, but it is still an ongoing discussion. We contribute to this discussion by calculating an optimistic theoretical estimate on the minimum initial eccentricity required by Kepler planets to explain the current observed spacing, and complement these calculations with N-body simulations. In particular, we investigate 27 Kepler systems having planets within 6 per cent of the 2:1 MMR, and find that the initial eccentricities required to explain the observed spacings are unreasonable from simple dynamical arguments. Furthermore, our numerical simulations reveal resonant tugging, an effect which conspires against the migration of resonant planets away from the 2:1 MMR, requiring even higher initial eccentricities in order to explain the current Kepler distribution. Overall, we find that tides alone cannot explain planets close to 2:1 MMR, and additional mechanisms are required to explain these systems.

  4. Explainers' development of science-learner identities through participation in a community of practice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, Anne E.

    The urgent environmental issues of today require science-literate adults to engage in business and political decisions to create solutions. Despite the need, few adults have the knowledge and skills of science literacy. This doctoral dissertation is an analytical case study examining the science-learner identity development of Exploratorium Field Trip Explainers. Located in San Francisco, CA, the Exploratorium is a museum of science, art, and human perception dedicated to nurturing curiosity and exploration. Data collected included semi-structured interviews with sixteen former Field Trip Explainers, participant observation of the current Field Trip Explainer Program, and review of relevant documentation. Data analysis employed constant comparative analysis, guided by the communities of practice theoretical framework (Wenger, 1998) and the National Research Council's (2009) Six Strands of Science Learning. Findings of this research indicate that Exploratorium Field Trip Explainers participate in a community of practice made up of a diverse group of people that values curiosity and openness to multiple ways of learning. Many participants entered the Field Trip Explainer Program with an understanding of science learning as a rigid process reserved for a select group of people; through participation in the Field Trip Explainer community of practice, participants developed an understanding of science learning as accessible and a part of everyday life. The findings of this case study have implications for research, theory, and practice in informal adult science learning, access of non-dominant groups to science learning, and adult workplace learning in communities of practice.

  5. Explaining lifetime criminal arrests among clients of a psychiatric probation and parole service.

    PubMed

    Solomon, P; Draine, J

    1999-01-01

    This study examines the extent to which sociodemographic characteristics, clinical characteristics, substance abuse problems, and the array of lifetime criminal behavior may explain lifetime arrests among offenders supervised by the psychiatric probation and parole service. Three hundred twenty-five clients with new cases at a psychiatric probation and parole service in a large urban center were screened for major psychiatric disorders. They were also interviewed for socio-demographic characteristics, mental health treatment history, criminal behavior, and arrest history. Hierarchical block multiple regression analysis tested a model explaining lifetime arrests. After controlling for age and other demographic variables, the number of lifetime psychiatric hospitalizations and lifetime occurrences of mania diagnosis significantly explained lifetime arrests. The total model explained about 10 percent of the variance in lifetime arrests after controlling for opportunity variables, which explained 45 percent. The explanatory power of lifetime hospitalizations and mania support the contention that symptoms, rather than diagnosis, may be the most important clinical factor in explaining criminal arrest among persons with mental illness. Implications for psychiatric services include the development of effective jail diversion programs.

  6. A new explained-variance based genetic risk score for predictive modeling of disease risk.

    PubMed

    Che, Ronglin; Motsinger-Reif, Alison A

    2012-09-25

    The goal of association mapping is to identify genetic variants that predict disease, and as the field of human genetics matures, the number of successful association studies is increasing. Many such studies have shown that for many diseases, risk is explained by a reasonably large number of variants that each explains a very small amount of disease risk. This is prompting the use of genetic risk scores in building predictive models, where information across several variants is combined for predictive modeling. In the current study, we compare the performance of four previously proposed genetic risk score methods and present a new method for constructing genetic risk score that incorporates explained variance information. The methods compared include: a simple count Genetic Risk Score, an odds ratio weighted Genetic Risk Score, a direct logistic regression Genetic Risk Score, a polygenic Genetic Risk Score, and the new explained variance weighted Genetic Risk Score. We compare the methods using a wide range of simulations in two steps, with a range of the number of deleterious single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) explaining disease risk, genetic modes, baseline penetrances, sample sizes, relative risks (RR) and minor allele frequencies (MAF). Several measures of model performance were compared including overall power, C-statistic and Akaike's Information Criterion. Our results show the relative performance of methods differs significantly, with the new explained variance weighted GRS (EV-GRS) generally performing favorably to the other methods.

  7. Patients' preferences explain a small but significant share of regional variation in medicare spending.

    PubMed

    Baker, Laurence C; Bundorf, M Kate; Kessler, Daniel P

    2014-06-01

    This study assessed the extent to which differences in patients' preferences across geographic areas explained differences in traditional fee-for-service Medicare spending across Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care Hospital Referral Regions (HRRs). Preference measures were based on results of a survey that asked patients questions about their physicians, their own health status, and the care they would want in their last six months of life. We found that patients' preferences explained 5 percent of the variation across HRRs in total Medicare spending. In comparison, supply factors, such as the number of physicians, specialists, and hospital beds, explained 23 percent, and patients' health and income explained 12 percent. We also explored the relative importance of preferences in determining three components of total spending: spending at the end of life, inpatient spending, and spending on physician services. Relative to supply factors, health, and income, patients' preferences explained the largest share of variation in end-of-life spending and the smallest share of variation in spending on physician services. We conclude that variation in preferences contributes to differences across areas in Medicare spending. Medicare policy must consider both supply factors and patients' preferences in deciding how much to accommodate area variation in spending and the extent to which that variation should be subsidized by taxpayers.

  8. Abiotic drivers and plant traits explain landscape-scale patterns in soil microbial communities.

    PubMed

    de Vries, Franciska T; Manning, Pete; Tallowin, Jerry R B; Mortimer, Simon R; Pilgrim, Emma S; Harrison, Kathryn A; Hobbs, Phil J; Quirk, Helen; Shipley, Bill; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Kattge, Jens; Bardgett, Richard D

    2012-11-01

    The controls on aboveground community composition and diversity have been extensively studied, but our understanding of the drivers of belowground microbial communities is relatively lacking, despite their importance for ecosystem functioning. In this study, we fitted statistical models to explain landscape-scale variation in soil microbial community composition using data from 180 sites covering a broad range of grassland types, soil and climatic conditions in England. We found that variation in soil microbial communities was explained by abiotic factors like climate, pH and soil properties. Biotic factors, namely community-weighted means (CWM) of plant functional traits, also explained variation in soil microbial communities. In particular, more bacterial-dominated microbial communities were associated with exploitative plant traits versus fungal-dominated communities with resource-conservative traits, showing that plant functional traits and soil microbial communities are closely related at the landscape scale.

  9. LIFE HISTORY. Age-related mortality explains life history strategies of tropical and temperate songbirds.

    PubMed

    Martin, Thomas E

    2015-08-28

    Life history theory attempts to explain why species differ in offspring number and quality, growth rate, and parental effort. I show that unappreciated interactions of these traits in response to age-related mortality risk challenge traditional perspectives and explain life history evolution in songbirds. Counter to a long-standing paradigm, tropical songbirds grow at similar overall rates to temperate species but grow wings relatively faster. These growth tactics are favored by predation risk, both in and after leaving the nest, and are facilitated by greater provisioning of individual offspring by parents. Increased provisioning of individual offspring depends on partitioning effort among fewer young because of constraints on effort from adult and nest mortality. These growth and provisioning responses to mortality risk finally explain the conundrum of small clutch sizes of tropical birds.

  10. A three-species model explaining cyclic dominance of Pacific salmon.

    PubMed

    Guill, Christian; Drossel, Barbara; Just, Wolfram; Carmack, Eddy

    2011-05-01

    The four-year oscillations of the number of spawning sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) that return to their native stream within the Fraser River basin in Canada are a striking example of population oscillations. The period of the oscillation corresponds to the dominant generation time of these fish. Various-not fully convincing-explanations for these oscillations have been proposed, including stochastic influences, depensatory fishing, or genetic effects. Here, we show that the oscillations can be explained as an attractor of the population dynamics, resulting from a strong resonance near a Neimark Sacker bifurcation. This explains not only the long-term persistence of these oscillations, but also reproduces correctly the empirical sequence of salmon abundance within one period of the oscillations. Furthermore, it explains the observation that these oscillations occur only in sockeye stocks originating from large oligotrophic lakes, and that they are usually not observed in salmon species that have a longer generation time.

  11. STS-45 MS and PLC Sullivan explains camera usage on OV-104's aft flight deck

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    STS-45 Mission Specialist (MS) and Payload Commander (PLC) Kathryn D. Sullivan, holding communications kit assembly unit and 70mm HASSELBLAD camera, explains camera usage and Earth observation procedures during a television downlink to the ground. Sullivan is on the aft flight deck of Atlantis, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 104. Behind Sullivan are the onorbit station control panels with the payload station control panels at her left. The STS-45 crew put together a brief video 'tour' program to explain some of their inflight operations.

  12. Time delay and noise explaining the behaviour of the cell growth in fermentation process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayuobi, Tawfiqullah; Rosli, Norhayati; Bahar, Arifah; Salleh, Madihah Md

    2015-02-01

    This paper proposes to investigate the interplay between time delay and external noise in explaining the behaviour of the microbial growth in batch fermentation process. Time delay and noise are modelled jointly via stochastic delay differential equations (SDDEs). The typical behaviour of cell concentration in batch fermentation process under this model is investigated. Milstein scheme is applied for solving this model numerically. Simulation results illustrate the effects of time delay and external noise in explaining the lag and stationary phases, respectively for the cell growth of fermentation process.

  13. Time delay and noise explaining the behaviour of the cell growth in fermentation process

    SciTech Connect

    Ayuobi, Tawfiqullah; Rosli, Norhayati; Bahar, Arifah; Salleh, Madihah Md

    2015-02-03

    This paper proposes to investigate the interplay between time delay and external noise in explaining the behaviour of the microbial growth in batch fermentation process. Time delay and noise are modelled jointly via stochastic delay differential equations (SDDEs). The typical behaviour of cell concentration in batch fermentation process under this model is investigated. Milstein scheme is applied for solving this model numerically. Simulation results illustrate the effects of time delay and external noise in explaining the lag and stationary phases, respectively for the cell growth of fermentation process.

  14. Explaining information technology use with the usefulness scale: a comparison with user age.

    PubMed Central

    Kattan, M. W.; Adams, D. A.

    1994-01-01

    Understanding and predicting the use of information technology is an important problem in healthcare management. The relationships among user characteristics and information technology have generally been weak. This paper describes a recently developed scale that measures perceived usefulness of information technology. Following this description, the scale is compared with user age in ability to explain information technology use. The results suggest perceived usefulness explains a significant proportion of the variance in use (r2 = .13, p < or = 0.0001), while age was not a significant predictor. Implications and suggestions for use of the usefulness scale are discussed. PMID:7950037

  15. The Utility of the UTAUT Model in Explaining Mobile Learning Adoption in Higher Education in Guyana

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Troy Devon; Singh, Lenandlar; Gaffar, Kemuel

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we compare the utility of modified versions of the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) model in explaining mobile learning adoption in higher education in a developing country and evaluate the size and direction of the impacts of the UTAUT factors on behavioural intention to adopt mobile learning in higher…

  16. Disentangling vegetation diversity from climate-energy and habitat heterogeneity for explaining animal geographic patterns.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Alfaro, Borja; Chytrý, Milan; Mucina, Ladislav; Grace, James B; Rejmánek, Marcel

    2016-03-01

    Broad-scale animal diversity patterns have been traditionally explained by hypotheses focused on climate-energy and habitat heterogeneity, without considering the direct influence of vegetation structure and composition. However, integrating these factors when considering plant-animal correlates still poses a major challenge because plant communities are controlled by abiotic factors that may, at the same time, influence animal distributions. By testing whether the number and variation of plant community types in Europe explain country-level diversity in six animal groups, we propose a conceptual framework in which vegetation diversity represents a bridge between abiotic factors and animal diversity. We show that vegetation diversity explains variation in animal richness not accounted for by altitudinal range or potential evapotranspiration, being the best predictor for butterflies, beetles, and amphibians. Moreover, the dissimilarity of plant community types explains the highest proportion of variation in animal assemblages across the studied regions, an effect that outperforms the effect of climate and their shared contribution with pure spatial variation. Our results at the country level suggest that vegetation diversity, as estimated from broad-scale classifications of plant communities, may contribute to our understanding of animal richness and may be disentangled, at least to a degree, from climate-energy and abiotic habitat heterogeneity. PMID:26900451

  17. Explaining pathological changes in axonal excitability through dynamical analysis of conductance-based models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coggan, Jay S.; Ocker, Gabriel K.; Sejnowski, Terrence J.; Prescott, Steven A.

    2011-10-01

    Neurons rely on action potentials, or spikes, to relay information. Pathological changes in spike generation likely contribute to certain enigmatic features of neurological disease, like paroxysmal attacks of pain and muscle spasm. Paroxysmal symptoms are characterized by abrupt onset and short duration, and are associated with abnormal spiking although the exact pathophysiology remains unclear. To help decipher the biophysical basis for 'paroxysmal' spiking, we replicated afterdischarge (i.e. continued spiking after a brief stimulus) in a minimal conductance-based axon model. We then applied nonlinear dynamical analysis to explain the dynamical basis for initiation and termination of afterdischarge. A perturbation could abruptly switch the system between two (quasi-)stable attractor states: rest and repetitive spiking. This bistability was a consequence of slow positive feedback mediated by persistent inward current. Initiation of afterdischarge was explained by activation of the persistent inward current forcing the system to cross a saddle point that separates the basins of attraction associated with each attractor. Termination of afterdischarge was explained by the attractor associated with repetitive spiking being destroyed. This occurred when ultra-slow negative feedback, such as intracellular sodium accumulation, caused the saddle point and stable limit cycle to collide; in that regard, the active attractor is not truly stable when the slowest dynamics are taken into account. The model also explains other features of paroxysmal symptoms, including temporal summation and refractoriness.

  18. Can Spectro-Temporal Complexity Explain the Autistic Pattern of Performance on Auditory Tasks?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samson, Fabienne; Mottron, Laurent; Jemel, Boutheina; Belin, Pascal; Ciocca, Valter

    2006-01-01

    To test the hypothesis that level of neural complexity explain the relative level of performance and brain activity in autistic individuals, available behavioural, ERP and imaging findings related to the perception of increasingly complex auditory material under various processing tasks in autism were reviewed. Tasks involving simple material…

  19. Explaining Parents' School Involvement: The Role of Ethnicity and Gender in the Netherlands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fleischmann, Fenella; de Haas, Annabel

    2016-01-01

    Ethnic minority parents are often less involved with their children's schooling, and this may hamper their children's academic success, thus contributing to ethnic educational inequality. The authors aim to explain differences in parental involvement, using nationally representative survey data from the Netherlands of parents of primary…

  20. Disentangling vegetation diversity from climate–energy and habitat heterogeneity for explaining animal geographic patterns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jimenez-Alfaro, Borja; Chytry, Milan; Mucina, Ladislav; Grace, James B.; Rejmanek, Marcel

    2016-01-01

    Broad-scale animal diversity patterns have been traditionally explained by hypotheses focused on climate–energy and habitat heterogeneity, without considering the direct influence of vegetation structure and composition. However, integrating these factors when considering plant–animal correlates still poses a major challenge because plant communities are controlled by abiotic factors that may, at the same time, influence animal distributions. By testing whether the number and variation of plant community types in Europe explain country-level diversity in six animal groups, we propose a conceptual framework in which vegetation diversity represents a bridge between abiotic factors and animal diversity. We show that vegetation diversity explains variation in animal richness not accounted for by altitudinal range or potential evapotranspiration, being the best predictor for butterflies, beetles, and amphibians. Moreover, the dissimilarity of plant community types explains the highest proportion of variation in animal assemblages across the studied regions, an effect that outperforms the effect of climate and their shared contribution with pure spatial variation. Our results at the country level suggest that vegetation diversity, as estimated from broad-scale classifications of plant communities, may contribute to our understanding of animal richness and may be disentangled, at least to a degree, from climate–energy and abiotic habitat heterogeneity.

  1. Bold, Reckless and Adaptable? Explaining Gender Differences in Economic Thinking and Attitudes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davies, Peter; Mangan, Jean; Telhaj, Shqiponja

    2005-01-01

    In the first half of this paper we develop a perspective on the role of "boldness" in explaining gender differences in thinking and attitudes. We apply this analysis to evidence from Australia, the USA and the UK in relation to economics at school and university levels. In the second half we present the results of a study of over 1000…

  2. Colleges Have Done a Bad Job of Explaining Affirmative Action to Students, Critics Say.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collison, Michele N-K

    1992-01-01

    Admissions offices of colleges trying to increase undergraduate student diversity are being criticized for failing to explain their affirmative action policies to prospective students and their parents, resulting in a backlash against affirmative action as white students fear reverse discrimination. (DB)

  3. Explaining and Forecasting Job Satisfaction: The Contribution of Occupational Profiling. Working Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rose, Michael

    The contribution of occupational profiling to explaining and forecasting job satisfaction were analyzed by using data on job satisfaction for 33,249 workers from waves 1-7 of the British Household Panel Survey. Overall job satisfaction gradients were defined for major and minor groups of occupations in the United Kingdom's Standard Occupational…

  4. Bullying Explains Only Part of LGBTQ-Heterosexual Risk Disparities: Implications for Policy and Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Joseph P.; Espelage, Dorothy L.

    2012-01-01

    Students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) experience higher rates of victimization by bullying than do their heterosexual-identified peers. In this article, we investigate the extent to which this difference in rates of victimization can explain LGBTQ youths' greater rates of suicidal ideation, suicide…

  5. Ethnic Affirmation versus Social Desirability: Explaining Discrepancies in Bilinguals' Responses to Questionnaire.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marin, Geraldo; And Others

    1983-01-01

    Spanish/English bilinguals were administered a written test that contained emic and etic questions in an attempt to explain why bilinguals provide different responses when answering in each of their two languages. Results show that social desirability accounts for the largest number of differences found. (AOS)

  6. A simulation study of predictive ability measures in a survival model I: explained variation measures.

    PubMed

    Choodari-Oskooei, Babak; Royston, Patrick; Parmar, Mahesh K B

    2012-10-15

    Measures of predictive ability play an important role in quantifying the clinical significance of prognostic factors. Several measures have been proposed to evaluate the predictive ability of survival models in the last two decades, but no single measure is consistently used. The proposed measures can be classified into the following categories: explained variation, explained randomness, and predictive accuracy. The three categories are conceptually different and are based on different principles. Several new measures have been proposed since Schemper and Stare's study in 1996 on some of the existing measures. This paper is the first of two papers that study the proposed measures systematically by applying a set of criteria that a measure of predictive ability should possess in the context of survival analysis. The present paper focuses on the explained variation category, and part II studies the proposed measures in the other categories. Simulation studies are used to examine the performance of five explained variation measures with respect to these criteria, discussing their strengths and shortcomings. Our simulation studies show that the measures proposed by Kent and O'Quigley, R(PM)(2), and Royston and Sauerbrei, R(D)(2), appear to be the best overall at quantifying predictive ability. However, it should be noted that neither measure is perfect; R(PM)(2) is sensitive to outliers and R(D)(2) to (marked) non-normality of the distribution of the prognostic index. The results show that the other measures perform poorly, primarily because they are adversely affected by censoring.

  7. Explaining the Gap in Charter and Traditional Public School Teacher Turnover Rates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stuit, David A.; Smith, Thomas M.

    2012-01-01

    This study uses national survey data to examine why charter school teachers are more likely to turnover than their traditional public school counterparts. We test whether the turnover gap is explained by different distributions of factors that are empirically and theoretically linked to turnover risk. We find that the turnover rate of charter…

  8. The Positive Illusory Bias: Does It Explain Self-Evaluations in College Students with ADHD?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prevatt, Frances; Proctor, Briley; Best, Lori; Baker, Leigh; Van Walker, Jerry; Taylor, Nicki Wright

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate whether the positive illusory bias explains the self-evaluations of driving and work behaviors in college students with ADHD. Method: A total of 103 students with ADHD were compared to a sample of 94 students without ADHD. Both groups completed self-reports of their specific driving and work behaviors and then rated their…

  9. Explaining Changing Suicide Rates in Norway 1948-2004: The Role of Social Integration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barstad, Anders

    2008-01-01

    Using Norway 1948-2004 as a case, I test whether changes in variables related to social integration can explain changes in suicide rates. The method is the Box-Jenkins approach to time-series analysis. Different aspects of family integration contribute significantly to the explanation of Norwegian suicide rates in this period. The estimated effect…

  10. Explaining Mathematics Achievement of Mature Internal and External Students at the University of Papua New Guinea.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaeley, Gurcham S.

    1993-01-01

    Develops a causal model that explains over 40% of the variance in matriculation mathematics achievement of mature internal and external students at the University of Papua New Guinea. Background variables seem more important in the learning of mathematics compared to mediating variables for external students than for internal students. (MDH)

  11. How Can We Explain Poverty? Case Study of Dee Reveals the Complexities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seccombe, Karen

    2011-01-01

    Many theories have been offered to explain why people are impoverished. This article by Karen Seccombe uses the case study of "Dee," a newly single mother, to explore four of the most common: individualism, social structuralism, the culture of poverty, and fatalism. She concludes that poverty is a highly complex phenomenon, and it is likely that…

  12. A Socio-Psychophysiological Model for Explaining the Causal Effects of Social Reinforcement Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Edward K.

    The expanded socio-psychophysiological model (SPPM) appears to provide a meaningful paradigm for explaining the psycho-psysiological effects of Social Reinforcement Systems (SRS). This model may be used to assist individuals, and the society, to become more aware of the effects that social practices have on the immediate and long-term actions of…

  13. What We Don't Understand, We Explain to Each Other

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pines, David

    2015-01-01

    "What we don't understand, we explain to each other" was Robert Oppenheimer's 1948 description of theoretical physics as a profession. Because the phrase connects research, teaching, and learning, it seemed the right approach for the talk I gave to the AAPT [American Association of Physics Teachers] on receiving the 2013 J.D. Jackson…

  14. Explaining the Difference between PISA 2009 Reading Scores in Finland and Estonia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mikk, Jaan

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the study was to explain the difference between the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009 reading results for Finland and Estonia using characteristics of teaching and learning, and characteristics of the overall development of these countries. PISA data were collected via a reading test and student questionnaires…

  15. The Role of Family Obligations and School Adjustment in Explaining the Immigrant Paradox

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Geel, Mitch; Vedder, Paul

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the role of family obligations and school adjustment in explaining immigrant adolescents' adaptation. Despite a relatively low socio-economic status, immigrant adolescents have been found to have a pattern of adaptation superior to that of national adolescents. Immigrant adolescents' strong sense of family obligations and…

  16. Explaining Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy: Personality, Cognitions, and Cultural Mistrust

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bullock-Yowell, Emily; Andrews, Lindsay; Buzzetta, Mary E.

    2011-01-01

    The authors explore the hypothesis that career decision-making self-efficacy could be affected by negative career thoughts, Big Five personality factors, and cultural mistrust in a sample of African American and Caucasian college students. Findings demonstrated that negative career thinking, openness, and conscientiousness explained a significant…

  17. Explaining dietary intake in adolescent girls from disadvantaged secondary schools. A test of Social Cognitive Theory.

    PubMed

    Lubans, David R; Plotnikoff, Ronald C; Morgan, Philip J; Dewar, Deborah; Costigan, Sarah; Collins, Clare E

    2012-04-01

    Much of the research on the determinants of dietary behavior has been guided by Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), yet few studies have tested the utility of its proposed structural paths. The aim of this paper was to test the capacity of SCT to explain dietary behaviors in a sample of 357 adolescent girls (13.2±0.5 years) from 12 secondary schools located in low-income communities in New South Wales, Australia. Participants completed validated SCT scales assessing nutrition-related self-efficacy, intention, behavioral strategies, family support, situation, outcome expectations, and outcome expectancies. Participants completed a validated food frequency questionnaire, from which, the percentage of total kilojoules from core-foods, non-core foods and saturated fat were calculated. The theoretical models were tested using structural equation modeling in AMOS. The models explained 48-51% and 13-19% of the variance in intention and dietary behavior, respectively. The models provided an adequate fit to the data, and self-efficacy was positively associated with healthy eating and inversely associated with unhealthy eating. However, the pathway from intention to behavior was not statistically significant in any of the models. While this study has demonstrated the utility of SCT constructs to explain behavior in adolescents girls, the proposed structural pathways were not supported. Further study of the role that implementation intentions play in explaining adolescent girls' dietary behaviors is required.

  18. A Model of How Different Biology Experts Explain Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do…

  19. Explaining Self-Harm: Youth Cybertalk and Marginalized Sexualities and Genders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDermott, Elizabeth; Roen, Katrina; Piela, Anna

    2015-01-01

    This study investigates self-harm among young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) people. Using qualitative virtual methods, we examined online forums to explore young LGBT people's cybertalk about emotional distress and self-harming. We investigated how youth explained the relationship between self-harm and sexuality and gender. We found…

  20. Explaining the Intention to Use Technology among University Students: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Teo, Timothy; Zhou, Mingming

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to examine the factors that an influence higher education students' intention to use technology. Using an extended technology acceptance model as a research framework, a sample of 314 university students were surveyed on their responses to seven constructs hypothesized to explain their intention to use technology.…

  1. A Two-Dimension Process in Explaining Learners' Collaborative Behaviors in CSCL

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hsu, Jung-Lung; Chou, Huey-Wen; Hwang, Wu-Yuin; Chou, Shyan-Bin

    2008-01-01

    Computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) has captured many educators and researchers to contribute their efforts on this domain. This study proposed a two-dimension concept to explain learners' collaboration behaviors in a CSCL laboratory setting. A two-dimension process, namely perceptual dimensions and supportive dimensions, is useful to…

  2. Hardwired for News: Using Biological and Cultural Evolution to Explain the Surveillance Function.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shoemaker, Pamela J.

    1996-01-01

    Builds a theoretical argument to explain both why human beings are interested in news and why much news content involves the identification of environmental threats and deviance. Argues that the desire to receive and transmit information is biologically and culturally derived, and that both biology and culture have a profound impact on the form…

  3. Science and Technology Pre-Service Teachers' Tendencies to Explain Vitality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozdemir, Oguz

    2012-01-01

    The present study was carried out to determine the Science and Technology pre-service teachers' tendencies to explain vitality in a university located in Southeast Anatolia of Turkey in 2010-2011 academic year. The data were collected through the administration of a questionnaire developed by the researcher to 1st and 4th year Science and…

  4. Occupational Outlook and Projections: Bureau of Labor Statistics Explains Which Jobs Show Promise for 1985

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    La Luz, 1977

    1977-01-01

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics examines job prospects in hundreds of occupations and publishes many books and pamphlets that explain which jobs will and will not be promising between now and 1985, i.e., the Occupational Outlook Handbook and the Occupational Outlook for College Graduates. (NQ)

  5. Explaining the Effectiveness of the Contrast Culture Method for Managing Interpersonal Interactions across Cultures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hiratsuka, Hiroyoshi; Suzuki, Hanako; Pusina, Alexis

    2016-01-01

    One of the current challenges in the field of intercultural education comes from the limited availability of training efficacy studies. The present study focused on explaining the effectiveness of the Contrast Culture Method (CCM) as an intercultural education method for managing interpersonal interactions across cultures between graduate…

  6. Cognitive Abilities Explaining Age-Related Changes in Time Perception of Short and Long Durations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zelanti, Pierre S.; Droit-Volet, Sylvie

    2011-01-01

    The current study investigated how the development of cognitive abilities explains the age-related changes in temporal judgment over short and long duration ranges from 0.5 to 30 s. Children (5- and 9-year-olds) as well as adults were given a temporal bisection task with four different duration ranges: a duration range shorter than 1 s, two…

  7. Run-D.M.C.: A Mnemonic Aid for Explaining Mass Transfer in Electrochemical Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miles, Deon T.

    2013-01-01

    Electrochemistry is a significant area of analytical chemistry encompassing electrical measurements of chemical systems. The applications associated with electrochemistry appear in many aspects of everyday life: explaining how batteries work, how the human nervous system functions, and how metal corrosion occurs. The most common electrochemical…

  8. Explained in 60 Seconds: A collaboration with Symmetry Magazine, a Fermilab/SLAC publication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trodden, M.

    2011-07-01

    The Big Bang refers to the start of the rapid expansion of our Universe. Edwin Hubble discovered this expansion in the 1920s through observations of faraway galaxies, showing that the distances between them are growing as time passes. This stunning discovery is beautifully explained by general relativity — Einstein's theory of gravity — augmented by two new concepts, dark matter and dark energy.

  9. The Efficacy of the Theory of Reasoned Action to Explain Gambling Behavior in College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thrasher, Robert G.; Andrew, Damon P. S.; Mahony, Daniel F.

    2007-01-01

    Shaffer and Hall (1997) have estimated college student gambling to be three times as high as their adult counterparts. Despite a considerable amount of research on gambling, researchers have struggled to develop a universal theory that explains gambling behavior. This study explored the potential of Ajzen and Fishbein's (1980) Theory of Reasoned…

  10. Changes in variance explained by top SNP windows over generations for three traits in broiler chicken.

    PubMed

    Fragomeni, Breno de Oliveira; Misztal, Ignacy; Lourenco, Daniela Lino; Aguilar, Ignacio; Okimoto, Ronald; Muir, William M

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine if the set of genomic regions inferred as accounting for the majority of genetic variation in quantitative traits remain stable over multiple generations of selection. The data set contained phenotypes for five generations of broiler chicken for body weight, breast meat, and leg score. The population consisted of 294,632 animals over five generations and also included genotypes of 41,036 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) for 4,866 animals, after quality control. The SNP effects were calculated by a GWAS type analysis using single step genomic BLUP approach for generations 1-3, 2-4, 3-5, and 1-5. Variances were calculated for windows of 20 SNP. The top ten windows for each trait that explained the largest fraction of the genetic variance across generations were examined. Across generations, the top 10 windows explained more than 0.5% but less than 1% of the total variance. Also, the pattern of the windows was not consistent across generations. The windows that explained the greatest variance changed greatly among the combinations of generations, with a few exceptions. In many cases, a window identified as top for one combination, explained less than 0.1% for the other combinations. We conclude that identification of top SNP windows for a population may have little predictive power for genetic selection in the following generations for the traits here evaluated.

  11. Changes in variance explained by top SNP windows over generations for three traits in broiler chicken

    PubMed Central

    Fragomeni, Breno de Oliveira; Misztal, Ignacy; Lourenco, Daniela Lino; Aguilar, Ignacio; Okimoto, Ronald; Muir, William M.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine if the set of genomic regions inferred as accounting for the majority of genetic variation in quantitative traits remain stable over multiple generations of selection. The data set contained phenotypes for five generations of broiler chicken for body weight, breast meat, and leg score. The population consisted of 294,632 animals over five generations and also included genotypes of 41,036 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) for 4,866 animals, after quality control. The SNP effects were calculated by a GWAS type analysis using single step genomic BLUP approach for generations 1–3, 2–4, 3–5, and 1–5. Variances were calculated for windows of 20 SNP. The top ten windows for each trait that explained the largest fraction of the genetic variance across generations were examined. Across generations, the top 10 windows explained more than 0.5% but less than 1% of the total variance. Also, the pattern of the windows was not consistent across generations. The windows that explained the greatest variance changed greatly among the combinations of generations, with a few exceptions. In many cases, a window identified as top for one combination, explained less than 0.1% for the other combinations. We conclude that identification of top SNP windows for a population may have little predictive power for genetic selection in the following generations for the traits here evaluated. PMID:25324857

  12. No Place to Escape: Explaining the Cultural Revolution to American Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jiang, Ji-li

    2012-01-01

    In this article the author reflects on her visits to American schools to talk about the experiences she describes in "Red Scarf Girl." In her book, she explains picture by picture, story after story how she and her family lived in darkness, how they were brainwashed, and about the concentration of power in China. She stresses that American kids…

  13. Does Human Capital Theory Explain the Value of Higher Education? A South African Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van der Merwe, Alex

    2010-01-01

    A perennial debate in the economics of education is whether human capital or screening/signalling theories best explain the value of schooling and hence the private demand for, in particular, higher education. Human capital theory proposes that formal training such as that offered by higher education institutions improves the productive capacity…

  14. Why Teach Abroad: Two American Teachers Explain Their Motivations and Experiences Teaching in Bulgaria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Potash, Betsy; Potash, Brett

    2011-01-01

    A Fulbright poster on the bulletin board, a Search Associates flier in the mailbox, a rumor of something different--everyone has heard about teaching abroad. But is it worth filling out all that paperwork, installing Skype on the family's computers, and learning a new language? In this article, two American teachers explain their motivations and…

  15. Why Science? Members of PSR Editorial Board Explain What Drew Them to Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Primary Science Review, 2006

    2006-01-01

    Members of "Primary Science Review" Editorial Board explain what drew them to science. Alan Peacock, "PSR" Editor, emphasises the need to preserve children's sense of wonderment about the world. Robert Collins, a science educator in the Faculty of Education, University of Strathclyde, thinks people are "secret science superstars" and reminds one…

  16. The Role of Goal Orientations and Goal Structures in Explaining Classroom Social and Affective Characteristics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Polychroni, Fotini; Hatzichristou, Chryse; Sideridis, Georgios

    2012-01-01

    Examining motivational variables may prove to be particularly fruitful towards our understanding of classroom processes, student behaviors and school outcomes. The present study examined the role of personal and contextual goals (goals and goal structures) towards explaining social relationships (peer, teacher-student and home-school). 1493 fifth…

  17. MA-9 ASTRONAUT GORDON COOPER EXPLAINS CAMERA TO BACKUP PILOT ALAN SHEPARD

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1963-01-01

    Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper explains the 16MM handheld spacecraft camera to his back-up pilot Astronaut Alan Shepard. The camera designed by J. R. Hereford, McDonnell Aircraft Corp., will be used by Cooper during the MA-9 mission.

  18. How do Turkish High School Graduates Use the Wave Theory of Light to Explain Optics Phenomena?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sengoren, S. K.

    2010-01-01

    This research was intended to investigate whether Turkish students who had graduated from high school used the wave theory of light properly in explaining optical phenomena. The survey method was used in this research. The data, which were collected from 175 first year university students in Turkey, were analysed quantitatively and qualitatively.…

  19. Facilitating High School Students' Use of Multiple Representations to Describe and Explain Simple Chemical Reactions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chandrasegaran, A. L.; Treagust, David F.; Mocerino, Mauro

    2011-01-01

    This study involved the evaluation of the efficacy of a planned instructional program to facilitate understanding of the macroscopic, submicroscopic and symbolic representational systems when describing and explaining chemical reactions by sixty-five Grade 9 students in a Singapore secondary school. A two-tier multiple-choice diagnostic instrument…

  20. Explaining Cross-Country Differences in Attitudes towards Immigration in the EU-15

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malchow-Moller, Nikolaj; Munch, Jakob Roland; Schroll, Sanne; Skaksen, Jan Rose

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we use data from the first two rounds of the European Social Survey to analyze the extent to which differences in average attitudes towards immigration across the EU-15 countries may be explained by differences in socioeconomic characteristics and individually perceived consequences of immigration, using an extension of a…

  1. 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,…

  2. Beyond Socioeconomics: Explaining Ethnic Group Differences in Parenting through Cultural and Immigration Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chao, Ruth; Kanatsu, Akira

    2008-01-01

    This study examined both socioeconomic and cultural factors in explaining ethnic differences in monitoring, behavioral control, and warmth--part of a series of coordinated studies presented in this special issue. Socioeconomic variables included mother's and father's educational levels, employment status, home ownership, number of siblings in the…

  3. Learning Behaviours, Attention and Anxiety in Caribbean Children: Beyond the 'Usual Suspects' in Explaining Academic Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durbrow, Eric H.; Schaefer, Barbara A.; Jimerson, Shane R.

    2000-01-01

    Contributions of learning behaviors; anxiety; attention problems; cognitive ability; and home background to academic performance was investigated in Caribbean village children (N=61). It was determined that anxiety, attention, and learning-related behaviors explained 32-35% of variance in academic scores. Results suggest that academic performance…

  4. Combining Self-Explaining with Computer Architecture Diagrams to Enhance the Learning of Assembly Language Programming

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Y.-C.

    2012-01-01

    This paper investigates the impact of combining self explaining (SE) with computer architecture diagrams to help novice students learn assembly language programming. Pre- and post-test scores for the experimental and control groups were compared and subjected to covariance (ANCOVA) statistical analysis. Results indicate that the SE-plus-diagram…

  5. Eight Models for Explaining States' Total Spending for People with Developmental Disabilities in the United States.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Edward M.; Fortune, Jon; Heinlein, Ken B.

    This report investigated the financial expenditures of states for services for individuals with developmental disabilities and examined the factors that influenced the level of expenditure. Eight multiple-regression models are presented which explain 70 to 88 percent of the variation in states' total expenditures. In addition to the obvious…

  6. Microwave-Mediated Synthesis of Lophine: Developing a Mechanism to Explain a Product

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crouch, R. David; Howard, Jessica L.; Zile, Jennifer L.; Barker, Kathryn H.

    2006-01-01

    The microwave-mediated preparation of lophine (2,4,5-triphenylimidazole) is described. This experiment allows for an introduction to the emerging technology of microwave-assisted organic synthesis while providing an opportunity for students to employ the principles of carbonyl chemistry in devising a mechanism to explain the formation of the…

  7. Semantic Language as a Mechanism Explaining the Association between ADHD Symptoms and Reading and Mathematics Underachievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gremillion, Monica L.; Martel, Michelle M.

    2012-01-01

    ADHD is associated with academic underachievement, but it remains unclear what mechanism accounts for this association. Semantic language is an underexplored mechanism that provides a developmental explanation for this association. The present study will examine whether semantic language deficits explain the association between ADHD and reading…

  8. Children Learning to Explain Daily Celestial Motion: Understanding Astronomy across Moving Frames of Reference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plummer, Julia D.; Wasko, Kyle D.; Slagle, Cynthia

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated elementary students' explanations for the daily patterns of apparent motion of the Sun, Moon, and stars. Third-grade students were chosen for this study because this age level is at the lower end of when many US standards documents suggest students should learn to use the Earth's rotation to explain daily celestial motion.…

  9. The boundaries of instance-based learning theory for explaining decisions from experience.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Cleotilde

    2013-01-01

    Most demonstrations of how people make decisions in risky situations rely on decisions from description, where outcomes and their probabilities are explicitly stated. But recently, more attention has been given to decisions from experience where people discover these outcomes and probabilities through exploration. More importantly, risky behavior depends on how decisions are made (from description or experience), and although prospect theory explains decisions from description, a comprehensive model of decisions from experience is yet to be found. Instance-based learning theory (IBLT) explains how decisions are made from experience through interactions with dynamic environments (Gonzalez et al., 2003). The theory has shown robust explanations of behavior across multiple tasks and contexts, but it is becoming unclear what the theory is able to explain and what it does not. The goal of this chapter is to start addressing this problem. I will introduce IBLT and a recent cognitive model based on this theory: the IBL model of repeated binary choice; then I will discuss the phenomena that the IBL model explains and those that the model does not. The argument is for the theory's robustness but also for clarity in terms of concrete effects that the theory can or cannot account for.

  10. Funeral Benefits in Public Higher Education Institutions: How Do They Explain Employees' Perception of Equity?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Komba, Aneth Anselmo

    2016-01-01

    The study examined the government and three campuses of a higher public education institution's funeral policies with a view to determining how these policies explain employees' equity perception. Three research questions guided the study: (1) what does the government's funeral policy say about the burial of government employees and their…

  11. Relevance of Student and Contextual School Variables in Explaining a Student's Severity of Violence Experienced

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mooij, Ton

    2015-01-01

    Teachers conceptualise and interpret violent behaviour of secondary students in different ways. They also differ in their estimates of the relevance of student and contextual school variables when explaining the severity of violence experienced by students. Research can assist here by explicating the role of different types of contextual school…

  12. What explains the rural-urban gap in infant mortality: household or community characteristics?

    PubMed

    Van de Poel, Ellen; O'Donnell, Owen; Van Doorslaer, Eddy

    2009-11-01

    The rural-urban gap in infant mortality rates is explained by using a new decomposition method that permits identification of the contribution of unobserved heterogeneity at the household and the community level. Using Demographic and Health Survey data for six Francophone countries in Central and West sub-Saharan Africa, we find that differences in the distributions of factors that determine mortality--not differences in their effects--explain almost the entire gap. Higher infant mortality rates in rural areas mainly derive from the rural disadvantage in household characteristics, both observed and unobserved, which explain two-thirds of the gap. Among the observed characteristics, environmental factors--a safe source of drinking water, electricity, and quality of housing materials--are the most important contributors. Community characteristics explain less than one-quarter of the gap, with about two-thirds of this coming from community unobserved heterogeneity and one-third from the existence of a health facility within the community. The effect of disadvantageous environmental conditions--such as limited electricity and water supply--derives both from a lack of community-level infrastructure and from the inability of some households to exploit it when available. Policy needs to operate at both the community and household levels to correct such deficiencies.

  13. Understanding Middle School Students' Difficulties in Explaining Density Differences from a Language Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seah, Lay Hoon; Clarke, David; Hart, Christina

    2015-01-01

    This study examines how a class of Grade 7 students employed linguistic resources to explain density differences. Drawing from the same data-set as a previous study by, we take a language perspective to investigate the challenges students face in learning the concept of density. Our study thus complements previous research on learning about…

  14. Explaining the Increase in Publication Productivity among Academic Staff: A Generational Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kyvik, Svein; Aksnes, Dag W.

    2015-01-01

    In Norwegian research universities, a large individual increase has taken place in scientific and scholarly publishing over the last 30 years. The purpose of this article is to explain the reasons for this growth in a generational perspective. We put forward six hypotheses that can be illuminated by cross-sectional data drawn from five surveys to…

  15. Explaining the Rise in Educational Gradients in Mortality. NBER Working Paper No. 15678

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cutler, David M.; Lange, Fabian; Meara, Ellen; Richards, Seth; Ruhm, Christopher J.

    2010-01-01

    The long-standing inverse relationship between education and mortality strengthened substantially later in the 20th century. This paper examines the reasons for this increase. We show that behavioral risk factors are not of primary importance. Smoking has declined more for the better educated, but not enough to explain the trend. Obesity has risen…

  16. Explaining the Ordinary Magic of Stable African Multilingualism in the Vaal Triangle Region in South Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coetzee-Van Rooy, Susan

    2014-01-01

    The academic and public debates about language maintenance and language shift in the post-1994 South Africa distract attention from the more productive and important endeavour of explaining the nature of the multilingualism observed among users of African languages in urban contexts. An explanation for this phenomenon is offered here, based on…

  17. Explaining Inference on a Population of Independent Agents Using Bayesian Networks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sutovsky, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The main goal of this research is to design, implement, and evaluate a novel explanation method, the hierarchical explanation method (HEM), for explaining Bayesian network (BN) inference when the network is modeling a population of conditionally independent agents, each of which is modeled as a subnetwork. For example, consider disease-outbreak…

  18. Applying a Predict-Observe-Explain Sequence in Teaching of Buoyant Force

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Radovanovic, Jelena; Slisko, Josip

    2013-01-01

    An active learning sequence based on the predict-observe-explain teaching strategy is applied to a lesson on buoyant force. The results obtained clearly justify the use of this teaching method and suggest devising a series of activities to enable more effective removal of students' commonly held alternative conceptions regarding floating and…

  19. Disentangling vegetation diversity from climate-energy and habitat heterogeneity for explaining animal geographic patterns.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Alfaro, Borja; Chytrý, Milan; Mucina, Ladislav; Grace, James B; Rejmánek, Marcel

    2016-03-01

    Broad-scale animal diversity patterns have been traditionally explained by hypotheses focused on climate-energy and habitat heterogeneity, without considering the direct influence of vegetation structure and composition. However, integrating these factors when considering plant-animal correlates still poses a major challenge because plant communities are controlled by abiotic factors that may, at the same time, influence animal distributions. By testing whether the number and variation of plant community types in Europe explain country-level diversity in six animal groups, we propose a conceptual framework in which vegetation diversity represents a bridge between abiotic factors and animal diversity. We show that vegetation diversity explains variation in animal richness not accounted for by altitudinal range or potential evapotranspiration, being the best predictor for butterflies, beetles, and amphibians. Moreover, the dissimilarity of plant community types explains the highest proportion of variation in animal assemblages across the studied regions, an effect that outperforms the effect of climate and their shared contribution with pure spatial variation. Our results at the country level suggest that vegetation diversity, as estimated from broad-scale classifications of plant communities, may contribute to our understanding of animal richness and may be disentangled, at least to a degree, from climate-energy and abiotic habitat heterogeneity.

  20. Factors which explain amount of participation in rural adolescent alcohol use prevention task forces.

    PubMed

    Rissel, C; Finnegan, J; Wolfson, M; Perry, C

    1995-01-01

    Project Northland task force members are typically female, have children, and belong to a number of other community or social groups. Members were likely to participate more in the task forces if they were relative newcomers to the community and if they got satisfaction from their participation. While explaining only a modest amount of the variance (15.5%), the explanatory power of the results are comparable to other studies of this nature, where 23% of explained variance predicting participation has been considered informative. Future models will need to consider other factors to increase the explained variance. Satisfaction with being a task force member was associated with the amount of control and ownership each member felt and the extent of agreement with the direction of the task force. These variables explained 26% of the variance. It may be that relative newcomers to the community, who tended to participate more, have lived elsewhere and been exposed to environments where alcohol was less frequently used, and this contrast contributed to their motivation and preparedness to work towards change. They may not be as integrated into the community as task force members who have lived in their communities for their entire lives, and may not be part of the dominant "alcohol culture" that exists in the region. If membership in community or social groups is an indicator of integration into the community, then the results suggest less integrated task force members were more active participants.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  1. The Roles of Cognitive and Motivational Predictors in Explaining School Achievement in Elementary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber, Heike S.; Lu, Liping; Shi, Jiannong; Spinath, Frank M.

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigated the roles of cognitive (working memory, intelligence) and motivational variables (self-perceived ability, intrinsic value) in explaining school achievement. The sample consisted of N = 320 German elementary school children in the fourth grade. Working memory and intelligence were assessed in the classroom.…

  2. Variation in Plant Traits Explains Global Biogeographic Variation in the Abundance of Major Forest Functional Types

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Contrasting leaf types (needle vs. broadleaf) with different lifespans (annual vs. perennial) represent different adaptive strategies of plants under different environmental conditions. Previous studies explained adaptive advantages of different strategies using empirical models but cannot adequately explain the co-dominance of multiple plant functional types (PFTs) as observed in many parts of the world. Here we used a process-based model to explore whether observed inter- and intra-PFT variation in key plant traits can explain global biogeographic variation in co-dominance of major forest functional types. Using a parameter screening method, we identified the four most important plant traits for simulating annual net primary production (NPP) using the Australian Community Atmosphere-Biosphere-Land Exchange model (CABLE). Using ensemble CABLE simulations, we estimated the fraction of global land cover attributed to each PFT by comparing the simulated NPP for all three PFTs at each land point, globally. Our results were consistent with land area cover fractions of major forest types estimated from remote sensing data products; i.e., evergreen needle-leaf forests dominate in boreal regions, evergreen broadleaf forests dominate in tropical regions, and deciduous broadleaf forests are distributed widely across a broad range of environmental conditions. More importantly our approach successfully explained a paradox that has puzzled ecologists for over a century: why evergreen leaf types dominate in both boreal and tropical regions. We conclude that variation in and co-variation between key plant traits can explain significant fractions of global biogeographic variation of three major forest types, and should be taken into account when simulating global vegetation dynamics.

  3. Brief Report: Cognitive Control Helps Explain Comorbidity Between Alcohol Use Disorder and Internalizing Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Ellingson, Jarrod M; Richmond-Rakerd, Leah S; Slutske, Wendy S

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Alcohol use and internalizing problems frequently co-occur. Cognitive control has been implicated in their etiology, but no studies have tested whether this construct helps explain the co-occurrence of these disorders. Method: A total of 1,313 undergraduate students completed assessments of cognitive control, negative emotionality, and symptoms of alcohol use disorder (AUD), depression, and generalized anxiety disorder. Structural equation models examined the extent to which overlap between AUD and internalizing problems was explained by variance specific to cognitive control and negative emotionality, as well as variance shared by both constructs. Results: Symptoms of AUD and internalizing disorders were modestly correlated (depression: r = .16; anxiety: r = .14). Variance specific to cognitive control explained a significant proportion of the correlation between AUD and both depression and generalized anxiety (depression: 19%; generalized anxiety: 18%), as did variance common to cognitive control and negative emotionality (depression: 24%; generalized anxiety: 31%). Consistent with previous work, variance specific to negative emotionality also explained a large and statistically significant proportion of the correlation between AUD and internalizing disorder symptoms. Of note, the residualized correlation for AUD symptom endorsement with both depression and generalized anxiety problems was not statistically significant after accounting for both cognitive control and negative emotionality. Conclusions: This study provides new evidence that cognitive control may help explain the overlap between AUD and internalizing disorders while further supporting the contribution of negative emotionality to this overlap. Results have implications for intervention efforts aimed at reducing comorbid alcohol use disorder and internalizing disorders, as well as general psychopathology. PMID:25486397

  4. Observations of barrier island length explained using an exploratory morphodynamic model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roos, Pieter C.; Schuttelaars, Henk M.; Brouwer, Ronald L.

    2013-08-01

    Barrier coasts display a chain of islands, separated by tidal inlets that connect a back-barrier basin to a sea or ocean. Observations show that barrier island length generally decreases for increasing tidal range and increasing basin area. However, this has neither been reproduced in model studies nor explained from the underlying physics. This is the aim of our study. Here we simulate barrier coast dynamics by combining a widely used empirical relationship for inlet dynamics with a process-based model of the tidal hydrodynamics. Our model results show stable inlet systems with more than one inlet open that support the observed qualitative relationships and fit in existing barrier coast classifications. To explain this, we identify a competition between a destabilizing mechanism (bottom friction in inlets, tending to reduce the number of open inlets) and a stabilizing one (spatially varying pressure gradients over the inlets, tending to keep the inlets open).

  5. How the challenge of explaining learning influenced the origins and development of John B. Watson's behaviorism.

    PubMed

    Rilling, M

    2000-01-01

    Before he invented behaviorism, John B. Watson considered learning one of the most important topics in psychology. Watson conducted excellent empirical research on animal learning. He developed behaviorism in part to promote research and elevate the status of learning in psychology. Watson was much less successful in the adequacy and originality of the mechanisms he proposed to explain learning. By assimilating the method of classical conditioning and adopting Pavlov's theory of stimulus substitution, Watson linked behaviorism with a new method that could compete with both Titchener's method of introspection and Freud's methods of psychoanalysis. Watson's interest in explaining psychopathology led to the discovery of conditioned emotional responses and a behavioristic explanation for the learning of phobic behavior. Watson established learning as a central topic for basic research and application in American psychology.

  6. Income Inequality Explains Why Economic Growth Does Not Always Translate to an Increase in Happiness.

    PubMed

    Oishi, Shigehiro; Kesebir, Selin

    2015-10-01

    One of the most puzzling social science findings in the past half century is the Easterlin paradox: Economic growth within a country does not always translate into an increase in happiness. We provide evidence that this paradox can be partly explained by income inequality. In two different data sets covering 34 countries, economic growth was not associated with increases in happiness when it was accompanied by growing income inequality. Earlier instances of the Easterlin paradox (i.e., economic growth not being associated with increasing happiness) can thus be explained by the frequent concurrence of economic growth and growing income inequality. These findings suggest that a more even distribution of growth in national wealth may be a precondition for raising nationwide happiness. PMID:26338882

  7. Enriched Pt-Re-Os isotope systematics in plume lavas explained by metasomatic sulfides.

    PubMed

    Luguet, Ambre; Graham Pearson, D; Nowell, Geoff M; Dreher, Scott T; Coggon, Judith A; Spetsius, Zdislav V; Parman, Stephen W

    2008-01-25

    To explain the elevated osmium isotope (186Os-187Os) signatures in oceanic basalts, the possibility of material flux from the metallic core into the crust has been invoked. This hypothesis conflicts with theoretical constraints on Earth's thermal and dynamic history. To test the veracity and uniqueness of elevated 186Os-187Os in tracing core-mantle exchange, we present highly siderophile element analyses of pyroxenites, eclogites plus their sulfides, and new 186Os/188Os measurements on pyroxenites and platinum-rich alloys. Modeling shows that involvement in the mantle source of either bulk pyroxenite or, more likely, metasomatic sulfides derived from either pyroxenite or peridotite melts can explain the 186Os-187Os signatures of oceanic basalts. This removes the requirement for core-mantle exchange and provides an effective mechanism for generating Os isotope diversity in basalt source regions. PMID:18218894

  8. Explaining variation in gun control policy advocacy tactics among local organizations.

    PubMed

    Zakocs, Ronda C; Earp, Jo Anne L

    2003-06-01

    The goal of this study was to determine how well four organizational characteristics (structure, resources, motivation, or political capacity) explained local organizations' use of a variety of advocacy tactics aimed at promoting state gun control laws. In 1998, 679 local organizations were identified as potentially active on state gun control issues; a questionnaire was mailed to each group's leader. Seventy-nine percent (n = 538) responded to the survey, with 81% (n = 207) of eligible organizations completing questionnaires. The four organizational characteristics explained approximately half the variation in local groups' use of a wide range of advocacy tactics. Organizations with stronger motivation to address the gun control issue and greater political capacity engaged in more diverse gun control advocacy tactics; the authors found organizational structure and resources unlikely to be related. Leaders of advocacy organizations should consider ways to encourage members' motivations on the issue while fostering greater capacity for political action. PMID:19731501

  9. The role of permanent and transitory shocks in explaining international health expenditures.

    PubMed

    Narayan, Paresh Kumar; Narayan, Seema

    2008-10-01

    While there is a growing literature that examines the issue of cointegration (co-movement over the long run) among health expenditures, there are no studies that examine the issue of common cycles (co-movement over the short run) among health expenditures. We undertake a multivariate variance decomposition analysis of per capita health expenditures of the USA, the UK, Japan, Canada, and Switzerland based on a common-trend-common-cycle restriction framework, to examine the relative importance of permanent and transitory innovations in explaining variations in per capita health expenditures in each of the five countries. Our main finding is that transitory shocks are more important in explaining per capita health expenditures in the UK, Japan, and Switzerland, while permanent shocks dominate variations in per capita health expenditures in the USA and Canada over short horizons.

  10. Income Inequality Explains Why Economic Growth Does Not Always Translate to an Increase in Happiness.

    PubMed

    Oishi, Shigehiro; Kesebir, Selin

    2015-10-01

    One of the most puzzling social science findings in the past half century is the Easterlin paradox: Economic growth within a country does not always translate into an increase in happiness. We provide evidence that this paradox can be partly explained by income inequality. In two different data sets covering 34 countries, economic growth was not associated with increases in happiness when it was accompanied by growing income inequality. Earlier instances of the Easterlin paradox (i.e., economic growth not being associated with increasing happiness) can thus be explained by the frequent concurrence of economic growth and growing income inequality. These findings suggest that a more even distribution of growth in national wealth may be a precondition for raising nationwide happiness.

  11. Explaining the sense of family coherence among husbands and wives: the Israeli case.

    PubMed

    Kulik, Liat

    2009-12-01

    This study examined variables belonging to the family environment that explain the sense of family coherence among husbands (n = 133) and wives (n = 133) in Israel. Specifically, the explanatory variables tested were spousal power relations (as expressed in equality in the division of household labor and decision making), and perceived family conflict. In general, the sense of family coherence among spouses was found to be high. Perceived family conflict contributed to explaining the sense of family coherence for both husbands and wives. Equality in the division of household labor and in decision making had a greater impact on husbands than wives. Family coherence correlated negatively with age for husbands and positively with income for wives. The explanatory variables had a greater impact on the sense of family coherence among husbands than among wives.

  12. Does Math-Fact Retrieval Explain Sex Differences in Mathematical Test Performance? A Commentary.

    PubMed

    Wigfield; Byrnes

    1999-07-01

    We focus on four issues in commenting on Royer et al.'s work testing their hypothesis that sex differences in test performance can be explained by differences in math-fact retrieval latency. The first issue is whether the studies conducted by Royer et al. directly test their hypothesis; we argue that they do not. The second issue involves questions about the strength of the gender differences in math-fact retrieval. The third is whether math-fact retrieval should be considered the major mechanism in explaining the differences in test performance. In considering this third issue we discuss other theories regarding the nature of math problem solving that are useful for understanding test performance differences between males and females. The fourth issue is what particular experiential differences boys and girls have in math classrooms could contribute to the sex differences in test performance. We also consider sex differences in math attitudes and motivation. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  13. Can genetically based clines in plant defence explain greater herbivory at higher latitudes?

    PubMed

    Anstett, Daniel N; Ahern, Jeffrey R; Glinos, Julia; Nawar, Nabanita; Salminen, Juha-Pekka; Johnson, Marc T J

    2015-12-01

    Greater plant defence is predicted to evolve at lower latitudes in response to increased herbivore pressure. However, recent studies question the generality of this pattern. In this study, we tested for genetically based latitudinal clines in resistance to herbivores and underlying defence traits of Oenothera biennis. We grew plants from 137 populations from across the entire native range of O. biennis. Populations from lower latitudes showed greater resistance to multiple specialist and generalist herbivores. These patterns were associated with an increase in total phenolics at lower latitudes. A significant proportion of the phenolics were driven by the concentrations of two major ellagitannins, which exhibited opposing latitudinal clines. Our analyses suggest that these findings are unlikely to be explained by local adaptation of herbivore populations or genetic variation in phenology. Rather greater herbivory at high latitudes can be explained by latitudinal clines in the evolution of plant defences.

  14. Explaining variation in gun control policy advocacy tactics among local organizations.

    PubMed

    Zakocs, Ronda C; Earp, Jo Anne L

    2003-06-01

    The goal of this study was to determine how well four organizational characteristics (structure, resources, motivation, or political capacity) explained local organizations' use of a variety of advocacy tactics aimed at promoting state gun control laws. In 1998, 679 local organizations were identified as potentially active on state gun control issues; a questionnaire was mailed to each group's leader. Seventy-nine percent (n = 538) responded to the survey, with 81% (n = 207) of eligible organizations completing questionnaires. The four organizational characteristics explained approximately half the variation in local groups' use of a wide range of advocacy tactics. Organizations with stronger motivation to address the gun control issue and greater political capacity engaged in more diverse gun control advocacy tactics; the authors found organizational structure and resources unlikely to be related. Leaders of advocacy organizations should consider ways to encourage members' motivations on the issue while fostering greater capacity for political action.

  15. Impact ionization can explain carrier multiplication in PbSe quantum dots.

    PubMed

    Franceschetti, A; An, J M; Zunger, A

    2006-10-01

    The efficiency of conventional solar cells is limited because the excess energy of absorbed photons converts to heat instead of producing electron-hole pairs. Recently, efficient carrier multiplication has been observed in semiconductor quantum dots. In this process, a single, high-energy photon generates multiple electron-hole pairs. Rather exotic mechanisms have been proposed to explain the efficiency of carrier multiplication in PbSe quantum dots. Using atomistic pseudopotential calculations, we show here that the more conventional impact ionization mechanism, whereby a photogenerated electron-hole pair decays into a biexciton in a process driven by Coulomb interactions between the carriers, can explain both the rate (<1 ps) and the energy threshold ( approximately 2.2 times the band gap) of carrier multiplication, without the need to invoke alternative mechanisms.

  16. Using theories of delusion formation to explain abnormal beliefs in Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).

    PubMed

    Rossell, Susan L; Labuschagne, Izelle; Dunai, Judy; Kyrios, Michael; Castle, David J

    2014-03-30

    Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is characterised by overvalued or delusional beliefs of 'imagined ugliness'. Delusional beliefs have been explained by a number of cognitive theories, including faulty perceptions, biases in attention, and corruption of semantic memory. Atypical aesthetics may also influence beliefs in BDD. In fourteen BDD patients, compared to controls (n=14), we examined these theories of beliefs in a cognitive test battery consisting of perceptual organisation and visual affect perception tasks, a Stroop task using body words, a sentence verification task, a fluency task, and an attractiveness task. BDD patients performed similar to controls on tasks measuring information (bias) processing and aesthetics. However, BDD showed abnormal abilities on semantic processing involving sentence verification and category fluency. There was only a trend finding of impaired performance on perceptual processing tasks in BDD. The findings suggest that the delusional beliefs in BDD may be explained by impaired semantic processing.

  17. Explaining the Higgs decays at the LHC with an extended electroweak model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alves, Alexandre; Ramirez Barreto, E.; Dias, A. G.; de S. Pires, C. A.; Queiroz, Farinaldo S.; Rodrigues da Silva, P. S.

    2013-02-01

    We show that the observed enhancement in the diphoton decays of the recently discovered new boson at the LHC, which we assume to be a Higgs boson, can be naturally explained by a new doublet of charged vector bosons from extended electroweak models with SU(3) C ⊗SU(3) L ⊗U(1) X symmetry. These models are also rather economical in explaining the measured signal strengths, within the current experimental errors, demanding fewer assumptions and less parameters tuning. Our results show a good agreement between the theoretical expected sensitivity to a 126-125 GeV Higgs boson, and the experimental significance observed in the diphoton channel at the 8 TeV LHC. Effects of an invisible decay channel for the Higgs boson are also taken into account, in order to anticipate a possible confirmation of deficits in the branching ratios into ZZ ∗, WW ∗, bottom quarks, and tau leptons.

  18. Can social factors explain sex differences in insomnia? Findings from a national survey in Taiwan

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Y.; Kawachi, I.; Subramanian, S; Acevedo-Garcia, D.; Lee, Y.

    2005-01-01

    Study objective: To examine sociological explanations for the higher level of insomnia in women, including social roles and socioeconomic status (SES). Design: Cross sectional survey research Setting: Taiwanese 2001 "social trend survey" Participants: A nationally representative sample of 39 588 citizens aged 15 years or older living in Taiwan. Main results: On average, women scored 1.25 points higher than men on the insomnia inventory (p<0.001) but after controlling for social roles, the sex discrepancy in insomnia decreased slightly. SES did not, however, explain women's higher levels of insomnia. Subscale analysis showed an association between the role of homemaker and increased night time sleep disturbance and decreased daytime sequelae of poor sleep while higher educational attainment was related only to more severe daytime sequelae. Conclusion: The sex discrepancy in insomnia narrowed slightly after taking social role factors into consideration but was not explained by SES. The persistent sex gap in insomnia warrants further investigation. PMID:15911645

  19. Metacommunity process rather than continental tectonic history better explains geographically structured phylogenies in legumes.

    PubMed Central

    Lavin, Matt; Schrire, Brian P; Lewis, Gwilym; Pennington, R Toby; Delgado-Salinas, Alfonso; Thulin, Mats; Hughes, Colin E; Matos, Angela Beyra; Wojciechowski, Martin F

    2004-01-01

    Penalized likelihood estimated ages of both densely sampled intracontinental and sparsely sampled transcontinental crown clades in the legume family show a mostly Quaternary to Neogene age distribution. The mode ages of the intracontinental crown clades range from 4-6 Myr ago, whereas those of the transcontinental crown clades range from 8-16 Myr ago. Both of these young age estimates are detected despite methodological approaches that bias results toward older ages. Hypotheses that resort to vicariance or continental history to explain continental disjunct distributions are dismissed because they require mostly Palaeogene and older tectonic events. An alternative explanation centring on dispersal that may well explain the geographical as well as the ecological phylogenetic structure of legume phylogenies is Hubbell's unified neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography. This is the only dispersalist theory that encompasses evolutionary time and makes predictions about phylogenetic structure. PMID:15519969

  20. REE chemistry of MORB and OIB explained by microchemical disequilibrium melting models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grose, C. J.; Afonso, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    We have developed a two-dimensional numerical model of multi-phase coarsening, diffusive trace element partitioning, and near-fractional melting. The model is applied to decompression melting of MORB and OIB sources and the prediction of REE (La, Sm, and Yb) in erupted lavas. We show that the major features in global OIB REE systematics are easily explained via the so-called LID effect. The properties of models which do explain the data indicate that the OIB source cannot be hot (>1400°C) and may be compositionally similar to the MORB source. Moreover, our models predict that the thermo-mechanical LAB temperature is about 1225°C, average grain radii in the OIB source is on the order of 2-5 mm, and the bulk source compositions of REE are about 2-7 times higher than previous estimates.

  1. Enriched Pt-Re-Os isotope systematics in plume lavas explained by metasomatic sulfides.

    PubMed

    Luguet, Ambre; Graham Pearson, D; Nowell, Geoff M; Dreher, Scott T; Coggon, Judith A; Spetsius, Zdislav V; Parman, Stephen W

    2008-01-25

    To explain the elevated osmium isotope (186Os-187Os) signatures in oceanic basalts, the possibility of material flux from the metallic core into the crust has been invoked. This hypothesis conflicts with theoretical constraints on Earth's thermal and dynamic history. To test the veracity and uniqueness of elevated 186Os-187Os in tracing core-mantle exchange, we present highly siderophile element analyses of pyroxenites, eclogites plus their sulfides, and new 186Os/188Os measurements on pyroxenites and platinum-rich alloys. Modeling shows that involvement in the mantle source of either bulk pyroxenite or, more likely, metasomatic sulfides derived from either pyroxenite or peridotite melts can explain the 186Os-187Os signatures of oceanic basalts. This removes the requirement for core-mantle exchange and provides an effective mechanism for generating Os isotope diversity in basalt source regions.

  2. A nematomorph parasite explains variation in terrestrial subsidies to trout streams in Japan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sato, Takuya; Watanabe, Katsutoshi; Tokuchi, Naoko; Kamauchi, Hiromitsu; Harada, Yasushi; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2011-01-01

    Nematomorph parasites alter the behavior of their orthopteran hosts, driving them to water and creating a source of food for stream salmonids. We investigated whether nematomorphs could explain variation in terrestrial subsidies across several streams. In nine study streams, orthopterans comprise much of the stomach contents of trout (46 +/- 31% on average). Total mass of ingested prey per trout biomass positively correlated with the mass of orthopterans ingested, suggesting that the orthopterans enhanced absolute mass of prey consumption by the trout population. The orthopterans ingested per trout biomass positively correlated with the abundance of nematomorphs in the stream, but not with the abundance of camel crickets (the dominant hosts) around the streams. Streams in conifer plantations had fewer nematomorphs than streams in natural deciduous forests. These results provide the first quantitative evidence that a manipulative parasite can explain variation in the allochthonous energy flow through and across ecosystems.

  3. Morphologies in Solvent-Annealed Clotrimazole Thin Films Explained by Hansen-Solubility Parameters

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The induction of different crystal morphologies is of crucial importance for many applications. In this work, the preparation of various crystal morphologies within clotrimazole films on glass substrates is demonstrated. Amorphous clotrimazole thin films were transformed via vapor annealing into crystalline structures; highly monodisperse/multidisperse crystallites, spherulite, or dendritic structures were obtained as the solvent was exchanged. X-ray diffraction experiments reveal that the same polymorph is present for all samples but with varying texture. The achieved morphologies are explained in terms of Hansen-solubility parameters and vapor pressures; thus, the different morphologies and crystal orientations can be explained by solvent—solid interaction strengths within the thin film samples. PMID:24624042

  4. Does the standard hot-big-bang model explain the primordial abundances of helium and deuterium

    SciTech Connect

    Rana, N.C.

    1982-01-18

    It is shown that according to the standard hot-big-bang nucleosynthesis calculations, no single value of the ratio eta of baryon to the photon number density can explain the right abundances of both /sup 4/He and /sup 2/D. A slight neutrino degeneracy, however, provides a testable solution for eta which is in conformity with the current estimate of the baryonic component of the density parameter (..cap omega../sub N/)/sub 0/ of the Universe.

  5. A simple model explaining super-resolution in absolute optical instruments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonhardt, Ulf; Sahebdivan, Sahar; Kogan, Alex; Tyc, Tomáš

    2015-05-01

    We develop a simple, one-dimensional model for super-resolution in absolute optical instruments that is able to describe the interplay between sources and detectors. Our model explains the subwavelength sensitivity of a point detector to a point source reported in previous computer simulations and experiments (Miñano 2011 New J. Phys.13 125009; Miñano 2014 New J. Phys.16 033015).

  6. INL Director Explains How the National Labs Are Assisting With Japan's Nuclear Crisis

    ScienceCinema

    Grossenbacher, John

    2016-07-12

    Idaho National Laboratory's Director John Grossenbacher discusses the types of nuclear expertise and capabilities that exist within the U.S. Department of Energy's national labs to assist with the Japan nuclear crisis. He also explains how the labs will provide long-term research that will uncover lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear plants. For more information about INL's nuclear energy research, visit http://www.facebook.com/idahonationallaboratory.

  7. Climate and Human Pressure Constraints Co-Explain Regional Plant Invasion at Different Spatial Scales

    PubMed Central

    García-Baquero, Gonzalo; Caño, Lidia; Biurrun, Idoia; García-Mijangos, Itziar; Loidi, Javier; Herrera, Mercedes

    2016-01-01

    Alien species invasion represents a global threat to biodiversity and ecosystems. Explaining invasion patterns in terms of environmental constraints will help us to assess invasion risks and plan control strategies. We aim to identify plant invasion patterns in the Basque Country (Spain), and to determine the effects of climate and human pressure on that pattern. We modeled the regional distribution of 89 invasive plant species using two approaches. First, distance-based Moran’s eigenvector maps were used to partition variation in the invasive species richness, S, into spatial components at broad and fine scales; redundancy analysis was then used to explain those components on the basis of climate and human pressure descriptors. Second, we used generalized additive mixed modeling to fit species-specific responses to the same descriptors. Climate and human pressure descriptors have different effects on S at different spatial scales. Broad-scale spatially structured temperature and precipitation, and fine-scale spatially structured human population density and percentage of natural and semi-natural areas, explained altogether 38.7% of the total variance. The distribution of 84% of the individually tested species was related to either temperature, precipitation or both, and 68% was related to either population density or natural and semi-natural areas, displaying similar responses. The spatial pattern of the invasive species richness is strongly environmentally forced, mainly by climate factors. Since individual species responses were proved to be both similarly constrained in shape and explained variance by the same environmental factors, we conclude that the pattern of invasive species richness results from individual species’ environmental preferences. PMID:27741276

  8. Measurement confounding affects the extent to which verbal IQ explains social gradients in mortality

    PubMed Central

    Chapman, Benjamin; Fiscella, Kevin; Duberstein, Paul; Kawachi, Ichiro; Muennig, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Background IQ is thought to explain social gradients in mortality. IQ scores are based roughly equally on Verbal IQ (VIQ) and Performance IQ tests. VIQ tests, however, are suspected to confound true verbal ability with socioeconomic status (SES), raising the possibility that associations between SES and IQ scores might be overestimated. We examined, first, whether two of the most common types of VIQ tests exhibited differential item functioning (DIF) favouring persons of higher SES and/or majority race/ethnicity. Second, we assessed what impact, if any, this had on estimates of the extent to which VIQ explains social gradients in mortality. Methods Data from the General Social Survey-National Death Index cohort, a US population representative dataset, was used. Item response theory models queried social-factor DIF on the Thorndike Verbal Intelligence Scale and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales, Revised Similarities test. Cox models examined mortality associations among SES and VIQ scores corrected and uncorrected for DIF. Results When uncorrected for DIF, VIQ was correlated with income, education, occupational prestige and race, with correlation coefficients ranging between |0.12| and |0.43|. After correcting for DIF, correlations ranged from |0.06| to |0.16|. Uncorrected VIQ scores explained 11–40% of the Relative Index of Inequalities in mortality for social factors, while DIF-corrected scores explained 2–29%. Conclusions Two of the common forms of VIQ tests appear confound verbal intelligence with SES. Since these tests appear in most IQ batteries, circumspection may be warranted in estimating the amount of social inequalities in mortality attributable to IQ. PMID:24729404

  9. Common SNPs explain some of the variation in the personality dimensions of neuroticism and extraversion

    PubMed Central

    Vinkhuyzen, A A E; Pedersen, N L; Yang, J; Lee, S H; Magnusson, P K E; Iacono, W G; McGue, M; Madden, P A F; Heath, A C; Luciano, M; Payton, A; Horan, M; Ollier, W; Pendleton, N; Deary, I J; Montgomery, G W; Martin, N G; Visscher, P M; Wray, N R

    2012-01-01

    The personality traits of neuroticism and extraversion are predictive of a number of social and behavioural outcomes and psychiatric disorders. Twin and family studies have reported moderate heritability estimates for both traits. Few associations have been reported between genetic variants and neuroticism/extraversion, but hardly any have been replicated. Moreover, the ones that have been replicated explain only a small proportion of the heritability (<∼2%). Using genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data from ∼12 000 unrelated individuals we estimated the proportion of phenotypic variance explained by variants in linkage disequilibrium with common SNPs as 0.06 (s.e.=0.03) for neuroticism and 0.12 (s.e.=0.03) for extraversion. In an additional series of analyses in a family-based sample, we show that while for both traits ∼45% of the phenotypic variance can be explained by pedigree data (that is, expected genetic similarity) one third of this can be explained by SNP data (that is, realized genetic similarity). A part of the so-called ‘missing heritability' has now been accounted for, but some of the reported heritability is still unexplained. Possible explanations for the remaining missing heritability are that: (i) rare variants that are not captured by common SNPs on current genotype platforms make a major contribution; and/ or (ii) the estimates of narrow sense heritability from twin and family studies are biased upwards, for example, by not properly accounting for nonadditive genetic factors and/or (common) environmental factors. PMID:22832902

  10. Does the Standard Hot-Big-Bang Model Explain the Primordial Abundances of Helium and Deuterium?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rana, N. C.

    1982-01-01

    It is shown that according to the standard hot-big-bang nucleosynthesis calculations, no single value of the ratio η of baryon to photon number density can explain the right abundances of both 4He and 2D. A slight neutrino degeneracy, however, provides a testable solution for η which is in conformity with the current estimate of the baryonic component of the density parameter (ΩN)0 of the Universe.

  11. How to explain why "unequal anisotropy ratios" is important using pictures but no mathematics.

    PubMed

    Roth, Bradley J

    2006-01-01

    "Unequal anisotropy ratios" is an important property of cardiac tissue. Many of the fundamental mechanisms governing how the heart responds to an electrical shock require unequal anisotropy ratios. In this paper, I explain the role of unequal anisotropy ratios using pictures rather than mathematics. My goal is to develop physical insight, so has to understand qualitatively why the condition of unequal anisotropy ratios is so important.

  12. INL Director Explains How the National Labs Are Assisting With Japan's Nuclear Crisis

    SciTech Connect

    Grossenbacher, John

    2011-01-01

    Idaho National Laboratory's Director John Grossenbacher discusses the types of nuclear expertise and capabilities that exist within the U.S. Department of Energy's national labs to assist with the Japan nuclear crisis. He also explains how the labs will provide long-term research that will uncover lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear plants. For more information about INL's nuclear energy research, visit http://www.facebook.com/idahonationallaboratory.

  13. When apperceptive agnosia is explained by a deficit of primary visual processing.

    PubMed

    Serino, Andrea; Cecere, Roberto; Dundon, Neil; Bertini, Caterina; Sanchez-Castaneda, Cristina; Làdavas, Elisabetta

    2014-03-01

    Visual agnosia is a deficit in shape perception, affecting figure, object, face and letter recognition. Agnosia is usually attributed to lesions to high-order modules of the visual system, which combine visual cues to represent the shape of objects. However, most of previously reported agnosia cases presented visual field (VF) defects and poor primary visual processing. The present case-study aims to verify whether form agnosia could be explained by a deficit in basic visual functions, rather that by a deficit in high-order shape recognition. Patient SDV suffered a bilateral lesion of the occipital cortex due to anoxia. When tested, he could navigate, interact with others, and was autonomous in daily life activities. However, he could not recognize objects from drawings and figures, read or recognize familiar faces. He was able to recognize objects by touch and people from their voice. Assessments of visual functions showed blindness at the centre of the VF, up to almost 5°, bilaterally, with better stimulus detection in the periphery. Colour and motion perception was preserved. Psychophysical experiments showed that SDV's visual recognition deficits were not explained by poor spatial acuity or by the crowding effect. Rather a severe deficit in line orientation processing might be a key mechanism explaining SDV's agnosia. Line orientation processing is a basic function of primary visual cortex neurons, necessary for detecting "edges" of visual stimuli to build up a "primal sketch" for object recognition. We propose, therefore, that some forms of visual agnosia may be explained by deficits in basic visual functions due to widespread lesions of the primary visual areas, affecting primary levels of visual processing.

  14. An evolutionary approach to explain the high frequency of the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

    PubMed

    Eggers, Sabine; Hashimoto, Dalva Megumi; Kirchengast, Sylvia

    2007-06-01

    Infertility and sterility are worldwide phenomena with a long history. At a first glance a condition causing sterility seems to be paradox in an evolutionary sense because it contradicts the biogenetical imperative. In the present paper an evolutionary explanation for the high prevalence rate of PCOS, the most common endocrine disorder causing female infertility, is presented. The symptomatology of PCOS is described and the high prevalence rates of PCOS are explained by means of Darwinian medicine, kin selection and allomothering.

  15. Neutral community model explains the bacterial community assembly in freshwater lakes.

    PubMed

    Roguet, Adélaïde; Laigle, Grégory S; Therial, Claire; Bressy, Adèle; Soulignac, Frédéric; Catherine, Arnaud; Lacroix, Gérard; Jardillier, Ludwig; Bonhomme, Céline; Lerch, Thomas Z; Lucas, Françoise S

    2015-11-01

    Over the past decade, neutral theory has gained attention and recognition for its capacity to explain bacterial community structure (BCS) in addition to deterministic processes. However, no clear consensus has been drawn so far on their relative importance. In a metacommunity analysis, we explored at the regional and local scale the effects of these processes on the bacterial community assembly within the water column of 49 freshwater lakes. The BCS was assessed using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) of the 16S rRNA genes. At the regional scales, results indicated that the neutral community model well predicted the spatial community structure (R(2) mean = 76%) compared with the deterministic factors - which explained only a small fraction of the BCS total variance (less than 14%). This suggests that the bacterial compartment was notably driven by stochastic processes, through loss and gain of taxa. At the local scale, the bacterial community appeared to be spatially structured by stochastic processes (R(2) mean = 65%) and temporally governed by the water temperature, a deterministic factor, even if some bacterial taxa were driven by neutral dynamics. Therefore, at both regional and local scales the neutral community model appeared to be relevant in explaining the bacterial assemblage structure.

  16. The challenges of choosing and explaining a phenomenon in epidemiological research on the "Hispanic Paradox".

    PubMed

    Valles, Sean A

    2016-04-01

    According to public health data, the US Hispanic population is far healthier than would be expected for a population with low socioeconomic status. Ever since Kyriakos Markides and Jeannine Coreil highlighted this in a seminal 1986 article, public health researchers have sought to explain the so-called "Hispanic paradox." Several candidate explanations have been offered over the years, but the debate goes on. This article offers a philosophical analysis that clarifies how two sets of obstacles make it particularly difficult to explain the Hispanic paradox. First, different research projects define the Hispanic paradox phenomenon in substantially different ways. Moreover, using Bas van Fraassen's pragmatic theory of explanation and Sean Valles's extension of it with the concept of "phenomenon choice," it also becomes clear that there are also multiple ways of explaining each individual definition of the phenomenon. A second set of philosophical and methodological challenges arises during any attempt to study "Hispanic" phenomena, with one key challenge being that the "Hispanic" panethnic concept was intentionally made vague as it was developed and popularized during the 1960s-1970s. After comparing this case with similar cases in the philosophical literature, the article concludes with observations on what makes this problem unique, particularly its ethical features. PMID:26754488

  17. Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) Versus Explaining for the Best Inference (EBI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilkenfeld, Daniel A.; Lombrozo, Tania

    2015-11-01

    In pedagogical contexts and in everyday life, we often come to believe something because it would best explain the data. What is it about the explanatory endeavor that makes it essential to everyday learning and to scientific progress? There are at least two plausible answers. On one view, there is something special about having true explanations. This view is highly intuitive: it's clear why true explanations might improve one's epistemic position. However, there is another possibility—it could be that the process of seeking, generating, or evaluating explanations itself puts one in a better epistemic position, even when the outcome of the process is not a true explanation. In other words, it could be that accurate explanations are beneficial, or it could be that high-quality explaining is beneficial, where there is something about the activity of looking for an explanation that improves our epistemic standing. The main goal of this paper is to tease apart these two possibilities, both theoretically and empirically, which we align with "Inference to the Best Explanation" (IBE) and "Explaining for the Best Inference" (EBI), respectively. We also provide some initial support for EBI and identify promising directions for future research.

  18. The challenges of choosing and explaining a phenomenon in epidemiological research on the "Hispanic Paradox".

    PubMed

    Valles, Sean A

    2016-04-01

    According to public health data, the US Hispanic population is far healthier than would be expected for a population with low socioeconomic status. Ever since Kyriakos Markides and Jeannine Coreil highlighted this in a seminal 1986 article, public health researchers have sought to explain the so-called "Hispanic paradox." Several candidate explanations have been offered over the years, but the debate goes on. This article offers a philosophical analysis that clarifies how two sets of obstacles make it particularly difficult to explain the Hispanic paradox. First, different research projects define the Hispanic paradox phenomenon in substantially different ways. Moreover, using Bas van Fraassen's pragmatic theory of explanation and Sean Valles's extension of it with the concept of "phenomenon choice," it also becomes clear that there are also multiple ways of explaining each individual definition of the phenomenon. A second set of philosophical and methodological challenges arises during any attempt to study "Hispanic" phenomena, with one key challenge being that the "Hispanic" panethnic concept was intentionally made vague as it was developed and popularized during the 1960s-1970s. After comparing this case with similar cases in the philosophical literature, the article concludes with observations on what makes this problem unique, particularly its ethical features.

  19. Asexuality alone does not explain the success of clonal forms in insects with geographical parthenogenesis.

    PubMed

    Lundmark, Magnus; Saura, Anssi

    2006-12-01

    Asexual forms of invertebrates are relatively common. They are often more successful than their sexual progenitors. Especially in insects, the pattern called geographical parthenogenesis shows that asexuality is important in speciation and ecological adaptation. In geographical parthenogenesis the clones have a wider distribution than the sexual forms they originate from. This indicates that they have a broader niche they may utilize successfully. The cause of this apparent success is, however, hard to come by as the term asexuality covers separate phenomena that are hard to disentangle from the mode of reproduction itself. Asexual insects are often polyploid, of hybrid origin, or both and these phenomena have been argued to explain the distribution patterns better than clonality. In this study we survey the literature on arthropods with geographical parthenogenesis in an attempt to clarify what evidence there is for the different phenomena explaining the success of the clonal forms. We focus on the few species where knowledge of distribution of different ploidy levels allows for a distinction of contributions from different phenomena to be made. Our survey support that asexuality is not the only factor underlying the success of all asexuals. Evidence about the importance of a hybrid origin of the clones is found to be meagre as the origin of clones is unknown in the majority of cases. Asexuality, hybridity and polyploidy are intertwined phenomena that each and all may contribute to the success of clonal taxa. Polyploidy, however, emerges as the most parsimonious factor explaining the success of these asexual invertebrate taxa.

  20. Explaining and Forecasting Interannual Variability in the Flow of the Nile River

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eltahir, E. A.; Siam, M.

    2013-12-01

    The natural interannual variability in the flow of Nile River had a significant impact on the ancient civilizations and cultures that flourished on the banks of the river. Here, we analyze extensive data sets collected during the 20th century and define four modes of natural variability in the flow of Nile River, identifying a new significant potential for improving predictability of floods and droughts. Previous studies have identified a significant teleconnection between the Nile flow and the Eastern Pacific Ocean. El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) explains about 25% of the interannual variability in the Nile flow. Here, we identify, for the first time, a region in the southern Indian Ocean with similarly strong teleconnection to the Nile flow. Sea Surface Temperature (SST) in the region (60oE-90oE and 25oS-35oS) explains 28% of the interannual variability in the Nile flow. During those years with anomalous SST conditions in both Oceans, we estimate that indices of the SSTs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans can collectively explain up to 84% of the interannual variability in the flow of Nile. Building on these findings, we use classical Bayesian theorem to develop a new hybrid forecasting algorithm that predicts the Nile flow based on indices of the SST in the Eastern Pacific and Southern Indian Oceans.

  1. A Model of How Different Biology Experts Explain Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do explanations made by experts from different biology subdisciplines at a university support the validity of this model? Guided by the modeling framework of R. S. Justi and J. K. Gilbert, the validity of an initial model was tested by asking seven biologists to explain a molecular mechanism of their choice. Data were collected from interviews, artifacts, and drawings, and then subjected to thematic analysis. We found that biologists explained the specific activities and organization of entities of the mechanism. In addition, they contextualized explanations according to their biological and social significance; integrated explanations with methods, instruments, and measurements; and used analogies and narrated stories. The derived methods, analogies, context, and how themes informed the development of our final MACH model of mechanistic explanations. Future research will test the potential of the MACH model as a guiding framework for instruction to enhance the quality of student explanations. PMID:25999313

  2. Explaining Compound Generalization in Associative and Causal Learning Through Rational Principles of Dimensional Generalization

    PubMed Central

    Soto, Fabian A.; Gershman, Samuel J.; Niv, Yael

    2014-01-01

    How do we apply learning from one situation to a similar, but not identical, situation? The principles governing the extent to which animals and humans generalize what they have learned about certain stimuli to novel compounds containing those stimuli vary depending on a number of factors. Perhaps the best studied among these factors is the type of stimuli used to generate compounds. One prominent hypothesis is that different generalization principles apply depending on whether the stimuli in a compound are similar or dissimilar to each other. However, the results of many experiments cannot be explained by this hypothesis. Here we propose a rational Bayesian theory of compound generalization that uses the notion of consequential regions, first developed in the context of rational theories of multidimensional generalization, to explain the effects of stimulus factors on compound generalization. The model explains a large number of results from the compound generalization literature, including the influence of stimulus modality and spatial contiguity on the summation effect, the lack of influence of stimulus factors on summation with a recovered inhibitor, the effect of spatial position of stimuli on the blocking effect, the asymmetrical generalization decrement in overshadowing and external inhibition, and the conditions leading to a reliable external inhibition effect. By integrating rational theories of compound and dimensional generalization, our model provides the first comprehensive computational account of the effects of stimulus factors on compound generalization, including spatial and temporal contiguity between components, which have posed longstanding problems for rational theories of associative and causal learning. PMID:25090430

  3. Canonical Cortical Circuit Model Explains Rivalry, Intermittent Rivalry, and Rivalry Memory

    PubMed Central

    Vattikuti, Shashaank; Xie, Hua W.; Gotts, Stephen J.; Martin, Alex; Chow, Carson C.

    2016-01-01

    It has been shown that the same canonical cortical circuit model with mutual inhibition and a fatigue process can explain perceptual rivalry and other neurophysiological responses to a range of static stimuli. However, it has been proposed that this model cannot explain responses to dynamic inputs such as found in intermittent rivalry and rivalry memory, where maintenance of a percept when the stimulus is absent is required. This challenges the universality of the basic canonical cortical circuit. Here, we show that by including an overlooked realistic small nonspecific background neural activity, the same basic model can reproduce intermittent rivalry and rivalry memory without compromising static rivalry and other cortical phenomena. The background activity induces a mutual-inhibition mechanism for short-term memory, which is robust to noise and where fine-tuning of recurrent excitation or inclusion of sub-threshold currents or synaptic facilitation is unnecessary. We prove existence conditions for the mechanism and show that it can explain experimental results from the quartet apparent motion illusion, which is a prototypical intermittent rivalry stimulus. PMID:27138214

  4. Body mass explains characteristic scales of habitat selection in terrestrial mammals

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Jason T; Anholt, Brad; Volpe, John P

    2011-01-01

    Niche theory in its various forms is based on those environmental factors that permit species persistence, but less work has focused on defining the extent, or size, of a species’ environment: the area that explains a species’ presence at a point in space. We proposed that this habitat extent is identifiable from a characteristic scale of habitat selection, the spatial scale at which habitat best explains species’ occurrence. We hypothesized that this scale is predicted by body size. We tested this hypothesis on 12 sympatric terrestrial mammal species in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. For each species, habitat models varied across the 20 spatial scales tested. For six species, we found a characteristic scale; this scale was explained by species’ body mass in a quadratic relationship. Habitat measured at large scales best-predicted habitat selection in both large and small species, and small scales predict habitat extent in medium-sized species. The relationship between body size and habitat selection scale implies evolutionary adaptation to landscape heterogeneity as the driver of scale-dependent habitat selection. PMID:22393519

  5. Evolutionary patterns and physicochemical properties explain macroinvertebrate sensitivity to heavy metals.

    PubMed

    Malaj, Egina; Guénard, Guillaume; Schäfer, Ralf B; von der Ohe, Peter C

    2016-06-01

    Ecological risk assessment depends strongly on species sensitivity data. Typically, sensitivity data are based on laboratory toxicity bioassays, which for practical constraints cannot be exhaustively performed for all species and chemicals available. Bilinear models integrating phylogenetic information of species and physicochemical properties of compounds allow to predict species sensitivity to chemicals. Combining the molecular information (DNA sequences) of 31 invertebrate species with the physicochemical properties of six bivalent metals, we built bilinear models that explained 70-80% of the variability in species sensitivity to heavy metals. Phylogeny was the most important component of the bilinear models, as it explained the major part of the explained variance (> 40%). Predicted values from bilinear modeling were in agreement with experimental values (> 50%); therefore, this approach is a good starting point to build statistical models which can potentially predict heavy metal toxicity for untested invertebrate species based on empirical values for similar species. Despite their good performance, development of the presented bilinear models would benefit from improved phylogenetic and toxicological datasets. Our analysis is an example for linking evolutionary biology with applied ecotoxicology. Its future applications may encompass other stress factors or traits influencing the survival of aquatic organisms in polluted environments.

  6. Evolutionary patterns and physicochemical properties explain macroinvertebrate sensitivity to heavy metals.

    PubMed

    Malaj, Egina; Guénard, Guillaume; Schäfer, Ralf B; von der Ohe, Peter C

    2016-06-01

    Ecological risk assessment depends strongly on species sensitivity data. Typically, sensitivity data are based on laboratory toxicity bioassays, which for practical constraints cannot be exhaustively performed for all species and chemicals available. Bilinear models integrating phylogenetic information of species and physicochemical properties of compounds allow to predict species sensitivity to chemicals. Combining the molecular information (DNA sequences) of 31 invertebrate species with the physicochemical properties of six bivalent metals, we built bilinear models that explained 70-80% of the variability in species sensitivity to heavy metals. Phylogeny was the most important component of the bilinear models, as it explained the major part of the explained variance (> 40%). Predicted values from bilinear modeling were in agreement with experimental values (> 50%); therefore, this approach is a good starting point to build statistical models which can potentially predict heavy metal toxicity for untested invertebrate species based on empirical values for similar species. Despite their good performance, development of the presented bilinear models would benefit from improved phylogenetic and toxicological datasets. Our analysis is an example for linking evolutionary biology with applied ecotoxicology. Its future applications may encompass other stress factors or traits influencing the survival of aquatic organisms in polluted environments. PMID:27509762

  7. An instructional design process based on expert knowledge for teaching students how mechanisms are explained.

    PubMed

    Trujillo, Caleb M; Anderson, Trevor R; Pelaez, Nancy J

    2016-06-01

    In biology and physiology courses, students face many difficulties when learning to explain mechanisms, a topic that is demanding due to the immense complexity and abstract nature of molecular and cellular mechanisms. To overcome these difficulties, we asked the following question: how does an instructor transform their understanding of biological mechanisms and other difficult-to-learn topics so that students can comprehend them? To address this question, we first reviewed a model of the components used by biologists to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms: the MACH model, with the components of methods (M), analogies (A), context (C), and how (H). Next, instructional materials were developed and the teaching activities were piloted with a physical MACH model. Students who used the MACH model to guide their explanations of mechanisms exhibited both improvements and some new difficulties. Third, a series of design-based research cycles was applied to bring the activities with an improved physical MACH model into biology and biochemistry courses. Finally, a useful rubric was developed to address prevalent student difficulties. Here, we present, for physiology and biology instructors, the knowledge and resources for explaining molecular and cellular mechanisms in undergraduate courses with an instructional design process aimed at realizing pedagogical content knowledge for teaching. Our four-stage process could be adapted to advance instruction with a range of models in the life sciences.

  8. Explaining match outcome in elite Australian Rules football using team performance indicators.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Sam; Back, Nicole; Bartlett, Jonathan D

    2016-01-01

    The relationships between team performance indicators and match outcome have been examined in many team sports, however are limited in Australian Rules football. Using data from the 2013 and 2014 Australian Football League (AFL) regular seasons, this study assessed the ability of commonly reported discrete team performance indicators presented in their relative form (standardised against their opposition for a given match) to explain match outcome (Win/Loss). Logistic regression and decision tree (chi-squared automatic interaction detection (CHAID)) analyses both revealed relative differences between opposing teams for "kicks" and "goal conversion" as the most influential in explaining match outcome, with two models achieving 88.3% and 89.8% classification accuracies, respectively. Models incorporating a smaller performance indicator set displayed a slightly reduced ability to explain match outcome (81.0% and 81.5% for logistic regression and CHAID, respectively). However, both were fit to 2014 data with reduced error in comparison to the full models. Despite performance similarities across the two analysis approaches, the CHAID model revealed multiple winning performance indicator profiles, thereby increasing its comparative feasibility for use in the field. Coaches and analysts may find these results useful in informing strategy and game plan development in Australian Rules football, with the development of team-specific models recommended in future.

  9. Handgrip strength deficits best explain limitations in performing bimanual activities after stroke.

    PubMed

    Basílio, Marluce Lopes; de Faria-Fortini, Iza; Polese, Janaine Cunha; Scianni, Aline A; Faria, Christina Dcm; Teixeira-Salmela, Luci Fuscaldi

    2016-04-01

    [Purpose] To evaluate the relationships between residual strength deficits (RSD) of the upper limb muscles and the performance in bimanual activities and to determine which muscular group would best explain the performance in bimanual activities of chronic stroke individuals. [Subjects and Methods] Strength measures of handgrip, wrist extensor, elbow flexor/extensor, and shoulder flexor muscles of 107 subjects were obtained and expressed as RSD. The performance in bimanual activities was assessed by the ABILHAND questionnaire. [Results] The correlations between the RSD of handgrip and wrist extensor muscles with the ABILHAND scores were negative and moderate, whereas those with the elbow flexor/extensor and shoulder flexor muscles were negative and low. Regression analysis showed that the RSD of handgrip and wrist extensor muscles explained 38% of the variance in the ABILHAND scores. Handgrip RSD alone explained 33% of the variance. [Conclusion] The RSD of the upper limb muscles were negatively associated with the performance in bimanual activities and the RSD of handgrip muscles were the most relevant variable. It is possible that stroke subjects would benefit from interventions aiming at improving handgrip strength, when the goal is to increase the performance in bimanual activities.

  10. Does local adaptation to resources explain genetic differentiation among Daphnia populations?

    PubMed

    Allen, Michael R; Thum, Ryan A; Cáceres, Carla E

    2010-08-01

    Substantial genetic differentiation is frequently observed among populations of cyclically parthenogenetic zooplankton despite their high dispersal capabilities and potential for gene flow. Local adaptation has been invoked to explain population genetic differentiation despite high dispersal, but several neutral models that account for basic life history features also predict high genetic differentiation. Here, we study genetic differentiation among four populations of Daphnia pulex in east central Illinois. As with other studies of Daphnia, we demonstrate substantial population genetic differentiation despite close geographic proximity (<50 km; mean theta = 0.22). However, we explicitly tested and failed to find evidence for, the hypothesis that local adaptation to food resources occurs in these populations. Recognizing that local adaptation can occur in traits unrelated to resources, we estimated contemporary migration rates (m) and tested for admixture to evaluate the hypothesis that observed genetic differentiation is consistent with local adaptation to other untested ecological factors. Using Bayesian assignment methods, we detected migrants in three of the four study populations including substantial evidence for successful reproduction by immigrants in one pond, allowing us to reject the hypothesis that local adaptation limits gene flow for at least this population. Thus, we suggest that local adaptation does not explain genetic differentiation among these Daphnia populations and that other factors related to extinction/colonization dynamics, a long approach to equilibrium F(ST) or substantial genetic drift due to a low number of individuals hatching from the egg bank each season may explain genetic differentiation.

  11. A model of how different biology experts explain molecular and cellular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Trujillo, Caleb M; Anderson, Trevor R; Pelaez, Nancy J

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do explanations made by experts from different biology subdisciplines at a university support the validity of this model? Guided by the modeling framework of R. S. Justi and J. K. Gilbert, the validity of an initial model was tested by asking seven biologists to explain a molecular mechanism of their choice. Data were collected from interviews, artifacts, and drawings, and then subjected to thematic analysis. We found that biologists explained the specific activities and organization of entities of the mechanism. In addition, they contextualized explanations according to their biological and social significance; integrated explanations with methods, instruments, and measurements; and used analogies and narrated stories. The derived methods, analogies, context, and how themes informed the development of our final MACH model of mechanistic explanations. Future research will test the potential of the MACH model as a guiding framework for instruction to enhance the quality of student explanations.

  12. Explaining and forecasting interannual variability in the flow of the Nile River

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siam, M. S.; Eltahir, E. A. B.

    2014-05-01

    The natural interannual variability in the flow of Nile River had a significant impact on the ancient civilizations and cultures that flourished on the banks of the river. This is evident from stories in the Bible and Koran, and from the numerous Nilometers discovered near ancient temples. Here, we analyze extensive data sets collected during the 20th century and define four modes of natural variability in the flow of Nile River, identifying a new significant potential for improving predictability of floods and droughts. Previous studies have identified a significant teleconnection between the Nile flow and the Eastern Pacific Ocean. El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) explains about 25% of the interannual variability in the Nile flow. Here, we identify, for the first time, a region in the southern Indian Ocean with similarly strong teleconnection to the Nile flow. Sea Surface Temperature (SST) in the region (50-80° E and 25-35° S) explains 28% of the interannual variability in the Nile flow. During those years with anomalous SST conditions in both Oceans, we estimate that indices of the SSTs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans can collectively explain up to 84% of the interannual variability in the flow of Nile. Building on these findings, we use classical Bayesian theorem to develop a new hybrid forecasting algorithm that predicts the Nile flow based on global models predictions of indices of the SST in the Eastern Pacific and Southern Indian Oceans.

  13. Microbial Diversity Indexes Can Explain Soil Carbon Dynamics as a Function of Carbon Source

    PubMed Central

    Maron, Pierre-Alain; Menasseri-Aubry, Safya; Sarr, Amadou; Lévêque, Jean; Mathieu, Olivier; Jolivet, Claudy; Leterme, Philippe; Viaud, Valérie

    2016-01-01

    Mathematical models do not explicitly represent the influence of soil microbial diversity on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics despite recent evidence of relationships between them. The objective of the present study was to statistically investigate relationships between bacterial and fungal diversity indexes (richness, evenness, Shannon index, inverse Simpson index) and decomposition of different pools of soil organic carbon by measuring dynamics of CO2 emissions under controlled conditions. To this end, 20 soils from two different land uses (cropland and grassland) were incubated with or without incorporation of 13C-labelled wheat-straw residue. 13C-labelling allowed us to study residue mineralisation, basal respiration and the priming effect independently. An innovative data-mining approach was applied, based on generalized additive models and a predictive criterion. Results showed that microbial diversity indexes can be good covariates to integrate in SOC dynamics models, depending on the C source and the processes considered (native soil organic carbon vs. fresh wheat residue). Specifically, microbial diversity indexes were good candidates to help explain mineralisation of native soil organic carbon, while priming effect processes seemed to be explained much more by microbial composition, and no microbial diversity indexes were found associated with residue mineralisation. Investigation of relationships between diversity and mineralisation showed that higher diversity, as measured by the microbial diversity indexes, seemed to be related to decreased CO2 emissions in the control soil. We suggest that this relationship can be explained by an increase in carbon yield assimilation as microbial diversity increases. Thus, the parameter for carbon yield assimilation in mathematical models could be calculated as a function of microbial diversity indexes. Nonetheless, given limitations of the methods used, these observations should be considered with caution and

  14. Microbial Diversity Indexes Can Explain Soil Carbon Dynamics as a Function of Carbon Source.

    PubMed

    Louis, Benjamin P; Maron, Pierre-Alain; Menasseri-Aubry, Safya; Sarr, Amadou; Lévêque, Jean; Mathieu, Olivier; Jolivet, Claudy; Leterme, Philippe; Viaud, Valérie

    2016-01-01

    Mathematical models do not explicitly represent the influence of soil microbial diversity on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics despite recent evidence of relationships between them. The objective of the present study was to statistically investigate relationships between bacterial and fungal diversity indexes (richness, evenness, Shannon index, inverse Simpson index) and decomposition of different pools of soil organic carbon by measuring dynamics of CO2 emissions under controlled conditions. To this end, 20 soils from two different land uses (cropland and grassland) were incubated with or without incorporation of 13C-labelled wheat-straw residue. 13C-labelling allowed us to study residue mineralisation, basal respiration and the priming effect independently. An innovative data-mining approach was applied, based on generalized additive models and a predictive criterion. Results showed that microbial diversity indexes can be good covariates to integrate in SOC dynamics models, depending on the C source and the processes considered (native soil organic carbon vs. fresh wheat residue). Specifically, microbial diversity indexes were good candidates to help explain mineralisation of native soil organic carbon, while priming effect processes seemed to be explained much more by microbial composition, and no microbial diversity indexes were found associated with residue mineralisation. Investigation of relationships between diversity and mineralisation showed that higher diversity, as measured by the microbial diversity indexes, seemed to be related to decreased CO2 emissions in the control soil. We suggest that this relationship can be explained by an increase in carbon yield assimilation as microbial diversity increases. Thus, the parameter for carbon yield assimilation in mathematical models could be calculated as a function of microbial diversity indexes. Nonetheless, given limitations of the methods used, these observations should be considered with caution and

  15. Explaining Spatial Variation in the Recording Effort of Citizen Science Data across Multiple Taxa

    PubMed Central

    Mair, Louise; Ruete, Alejandro

    2016-01-01

    The collation of citizen science data in open-access biodiversity databases makes temporally and spatially extensive species’ observation data available to a wide range of users. Such data are an invaluable resource but contain inherent limitations, such as sampling bias in favour of recorder distribution, lack of survey effort assessment, and lack of coverage of the distribution of all organisms. Any technical assessment, monitoring program or scientific research applying citizen science data should therefore include an evaluation of the uncertainty of its results. We use ‘ignorance’ scores, i.e. spatially explicit indices of sampling bias across a study region, to further understand spatial patterns of observation behaviour for 13 reference taxonomic groups. The data is based on voluntary observations made in Sweden between 2000 and 2014. We compared the effect of six geographical variables (elevation, steepness, population density, log population density, road density and footpath density) on the ignorance scores of each group. We found substantial variation among taxonomic groups in the relative importance of different geographic variables for explaining ignorance scores. In general, road access and logged population density were consistently important variables explaining bias in sampling effort, indicating that access at a landscape-scale facilitates voluntary reporting by citizen scientists. Also, small increases in population density can produce a substantial reduction in ignorance score. However the between-taxa variation in the importance of geographic variables for explaining ignorance scores demonstrated that different taxa suffer from different spatial biases. We suggest that conservationists and researchers should use ignorance scores to acknowledge uncertainty in their analyses and conclusions, because they may simultaneously include many correlated variables that are difficult to disentangle. PMID:26820846

  16. Factors explaining the geographical differences in Disability Free Life Expectancy in Spain

    PubMed Central

    Gutierrez-Fisac, J. L.; Gispert, R.; Sola, J.

    2000-01-01

    OBJECTIVE—To study the geographical variations in Disability Free Life Expectancy (DFLE) at birth (DFLEb) and at 65 years (DFLE65) in Spain and to identify the main factors that explain these variations.
DESIGN—Ecological study with the 50 provinces of Spain as the units of analysis. Sullivan's method is used to calculate DFLE for each province based on information from the death registry and the survey on disabilities, impairments and handicaps. Information on the independent variables—socioeconomic level, factors related with the health system and risk factors—was taken from various sources.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE—Simple correlation coefficients were obtained between each dependent variable (DFLEb and DLFE65) and the independent variables. Two multiple linear regression models were fit to obtain the best set of factors that explain the geographical distribution of DFLEb and DLFE65.
RESULTS—Both DFLEb and DLFE65 vary widely among provinces. The multiple linear regression analysis shows that the illiteracy rate, the percentage of the unemployed and the percentage of smokers in the population were the main factors associated with the geographical variation of DFLE. The models explained approximately 40% of the variance for DFLEb and 30% for DLFE65.
CONCLUSIONS—The results obtained show the influence of education, the unemployment rate and smoking on the geographical differences of DFLE. The DFLE indicators are shown to be valid for use in health policy.


Keywords: Disability Free Life Expectancy; geographical differences PMID:10818121

  17. Testing the Effectiveness of Environmental Variables to Explain European Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Richness across Biogeographical Scales

    PubMed Central

    Mouchet, Maud; Levers, Christian; Zupan, Laure; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plutzar, Christoph; Erb, Karlheinz; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Haberl, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe). Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness) of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity), land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals) at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i) seasonality of temperature, (ii) actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii) seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover) and (iv) and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use–land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa. PMID:26161981

  18. Testing the Effectiveness of Environmental Variables to Explain European Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Richness across Biogeographical Scales.

    PubMed

    Mouchet, Maud; Levers, Christian; Zupan, Laure; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plutzar, Christoph; Erb, Karlheinz; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Haberl, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe). Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness) of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity), land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals) at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i) seasonality of temperature, (ii) actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii) seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover) and (iv) and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use-land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa.

  19. Multifaceted graphics for learning: A case study on explaining projectile motion in a university physics course

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Tingyi S.

    Multifaceted graphics is defined as a visual representation that explains subjects, procedures, and events through multi-sided or compound layers and that explains concepts, the relationships among them, and their function as a unified whole. I generated the data of this study from my examination of users' responses to (1) material from a currently used physics textbook, (2) my revision of the currently used material, and (3) my revision of the revision. The topic of each of the three materials was projectile motion, and I approached the redesigned materials from an information-design perspective. In this study, I employed participatory research and user-experience research to analyze the data collected from college students, professionals in physics, and practice designers, and to determine how traditional design and contemporary multifaceted graphics affected users' perspectives, reading patterns, and perceived understanding. This study shows that multifaceted graphics affect how users interact with visual materials, thereby shaping human cognition. Three user groups shares similar response patterns and there are differences among the groups. Users believe that the fusion of graphics elements and textual elements-multifaceted graphics-resulted in material that (1) was interesting to read; (2) explained complex concepts; (3) was different from that in a standard textbook format; (4) reinforced real-life connections; and (5) was sufficiently flexible to allow for various reading patterns. The application of multifaceted graphics to instructional material focuses on human-centered information design that enables both users to understand complex concepts and anyone who is interested in designing instructional materials to do so with rigor. The application is a significant move toward the interweaving of technology, science, aesthetics, and the humanities in the design and the production of learning materials.

  20. The coexistence of acorns with different maturation patterns explains acorn production variability in cork oak.

    PubMed

    Pons, Josep; Pausas, Juli G

    2012-07-01

    In dry areas such as Mediterranean ecosystems, fluctuations in seed production are typically explained by resource (water) availability. However, acorn production in cork oak (Quercus suber) populations shows a very low relationship to weather. Because cork oak trees produce acorns with different maturation patterns (annual and biennial), we hypothesized that acorn production in coexisting individuals with a different dominant acorn maturation type should respond differently to climatic factors and that disaggregating the trees according to their acorn-maturation pattern should provide a more proximal relation to weather factors. We assessed acorn production variability in fragmented cork oak populations of the eastern Iberian Peninsula by counting the total number of acorns in 155 trees during an 8-year period. An initial assessment of acorn production variability in relation to weather parameters yielded very low explained variance (7%). However, after the trees were grouped according to their dominant acorn maturation pattern, weather parameters were found to account for 44% of the variability in acorn crops, with trees with annual acorns exhibiting mast fruiting in years with reduced spring frost and shorter summer droughts and trees with biennial acorns showing the opposite pattern. Thus, conditions that negatively affect annual production could be beneficial for biennial production (and vice versa). The results highlight the importance of the resource-matching hypothesis for explaining acorn production in Quercus suber and suggest that different seed maturation types within a population may allow the species to deal with highly variable weather conditions. They also emphasize the importance of understanding acorn maturation patterns for interpreting masting cycles.

  1. Microbial Diversity Indexes Can Explain Soil Carbon Dynamics as a Function of Carbon Source.

    PubMed

    Louis, Benjamin P; Maron, Pierre-Alain; Menasseri-Aubry, Safya; Sarr, Amadou; Lévêque, Jean; Mathieu, Olivier; Jolivet, Claudy; Leterme, Philippe; Viaud, Valérie

    2016-01-01

    Mathematical models do not explicitly represent the influence of soil microbial diversity on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics despite recent evidence of relationships between them. The objective of the present study was to statistically investigate relationships between bacterial and fungal diversity indexes (richness, evenness, Shannon index, inverse Simpson index) and decomposition of different pools of soil organic carbon by measuring dynamics of CO2 emissions under controlled conditions. To this end, 20 soils from two different land uses (cropland and grassland) were incubated with or without incorporation of 13C-labelled wheat-straw residue. 13C-labelling allowed us to study residue mineralisation, basal respiration and the priming effect independently. An innovative data-mining approach was applied, based on generalized additive models and a predictive criterion. Results showed that microbial diversity indexes can be good covariates to integrate in SOC dynamics models, depending on the C source and the processes considered (native soil organic carbon vs. fresh wheat residue). Specifically, microbial diversity indexes were good candidates to help explain mineralisation of native soil organic carbon, while priming effect processes seemed to be explained much more by microbial composition, and no microbial diversity indexes were found associated with residue mineralisation. Investigation of relationships between diversity and mineralisation showed that higher diversity, as measured by the microbial diversity indexes, seemed to be related to decreased CO2 emissions in the control soil. We suggest that this relationship can be explained by an increase in carbon yield assimilation as microbial diversity increases. Thus, the parameter for carbon yield assimilation in mathematical models could be calculated as a function of microbial diversity indexes. Nonetheless, given limitations of the methods used, these observations should be considered with caution and

  2. Does walking explain associations between access to greenspace and lower mortality?

    PubMed Central

    Lachowycz, Kate; Jones, Andy P.

    2014-01-01

    Despite emerging evidence that access to greenspace is associated with longer life expectancy, little is understood about what causal mechanisms may explain this relationship. Based on social-ecological theories of health, greenspace has multifaceted potential to influence mortality but the potential alternative mediating pathways have not been empirically tested. This study evaluates relationships between access to greenspace, walking and mortality. Firstly, we test for an association between access to greenspace and self-reported levels of walking using a survey of 165,424 adults across England collected during 2007 and 2008. Negative binomial regression multilevel models were used to examine associations between greenspace access and self reported number of days walked in the last month, in total and for recreational and health purposes, after controlling for relevant confounders. Secondly we use an area level analysis of 6781 middle super output areas across England to examine if recreational walking mediates relationships between greenspace access and reduced premature mortality from circulatory disease. Results show clear evidence of better greenspace access being associated with higher reported recreational walking. There were between 13% and 18% more days of recreational walking in the greenest quintile compared with the least green after adjustment for confounders. Tests for mediation found no evidence that recreational walking explain the associations between greenspace and mortality. Futhermore, whilst the relationship between greenspace access and walking was observed for all areas, the relationship between greenspace access and reduced mortality was only apparent in the most deprived areas. These findings indicate that the association between greenspace and mortality, if causal, may be explained by mediators other than walking, such as psychosocial factors. Future research should concentrate on understanding the causal mechanisms underlying observed

  3. Bitter taste markers explain variability in vegetable sweetness, bitterness, and intake.

    PubMed

    Dinehart, M E; Hayes, J E; Bartoshuk, L M; Lanier, S L; Duffy, V B

    2006-02-28

    Intake of vegetables falls short of recommendations to lower risk of chronic diseases. Most research addresses bitterness as a sensory deterrent to consuming vegetables. We examined bitter and sweet sensations from vegetables as mediators of vegetable preference and intake as well as how these tastes vary with markers of genetic variation in taste (3.2 mM 6-n-propylthiouracil bitterness) and taste pathology (1.0 mM quinine bitterness, chorda tympani nerve relative to whole mouth). Seventy-one females and 39 males (18-60 years) reported prototypical tastes from and preference for Brussels sprouts, kale and asparagus as well as servings of vegetables consumed, excluding salad and potatoes. Intensity and hedonic ratings were made with the general Labeled Magnitude Scale. Data were analyzed with multiple linear regression and structural equation modeling. Vegetable sweetness and bitterness were independent predictors of more or less preference for sampled vegetables and vegetable intake, respectively. Those who taste PROP as most bitter also tasted the vegetables as most bitter and least sweet. The spatial pattern of quinine bitterness, suggestive of insult to chorda tympani taste fibers, was associated with less bitterness and sweetness from vegetables. Via structural equation modeling, PROP best explained variability in vegetable preference and intake via vegetable bitterness whereas the quinine marker explained variability in vegetable preference and intake via vegetable bitterness and sweetness. In summary, bitterness and sweetness of sampled vegetables varied by taste genetic and taste function markers, which explained differences in preference for vegetables tasted in the laboratory as well as overall vegetable intake outside the laboratory.

  4. Interface failure modes explain non-monotonic size-dependent mechanical properties in bioinspired nanolaminates

    PubMed Central

    Song, Z. Q.; Ni, Y.; Peng, L. M.; Liang, H. Y.; He, L. H.

    2016-01-01

    Bioinspired discontinuous nanolaminate design becomes an efficient way to mitigate the strength-ductility tradeoff in brittle materials via arresting the crack at the interface followed by controllable interface failure. The analytical solution and numerical simulation based on the nonlinear shear-lag model indicates that propagation of the interface failure can be unstable or stable when the interfacial shear stress between laminae is uniform or highly localized, respectively. A dimensionless key parameter defined by the ratio of two characteristic lengths governs the transition between the two interface-failure modes, which can explain the non-monotonic size-dependent mechanical properties observed in various laminate composites. PMID:27029955

  5. Do psychological characteristics explain socioeconomic stratification of self-rated health?

    PubMed

    Barger, Steven D

    2006-01-01

    This study evaluated whether negative emotions explain socioeconomic status (SES) stratification of self-rated health (SRH) and whether this putative relation is independent of established SRH determinants. Mood disorders, trait negative affect and health status indices were assessed in a representative cross-sectional survey of 3032 adults in the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS). Adjustment for health behaviors and health status appreciably reduced SES influence on SRH, but adjustment for negative emotions did not. However, both psychological resources (e.g. social support, extraversion) and negative emotions independently predicted SRH. Detection of SRH determinants was sensitive to binary versus ordinal SRH definitions.

  6. Using patient and general practice characteristics to explain variations in cervical smear uptake rates.

    PubMed Central

    Majeed, F. A.; Cook, D. G.; Anderson, H. R.; Hilton, S.; Bunn, S.; Stones, C.

    1994-01-01

    OBJECTIVES--To produce practice and patient variables for general practices from census and family health services authority data, and to determine the importance of these variables in explaining variation in cervical smear uptake rates between practices. DESIGN--Population based study examining variations in cervical smear uptake rates among 126 general practices using routine data. SETTING--Merton, Sutton, and Wandsworth Family Health Services Authority, which covers parts of inner and outer London. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE--Percentage of women aged 25-64 years registered with a general practitioner who had undergone a cervical smear test during the five and a half years preceding 31 March 1992. RESULTS--Cervical smear uptake rates varied from 16.5% to 94.1%. The estimated percentage of practice population from ethnic minority groups correlated negatively with uptake rates (r = -0.42), as did variables associated with social deprivation such as overcrowding (r = -0.42), not owning a car (r = -0.41), and unemployment (r = -0.40). Percentage of practice population under 5 years of age correlated positively with uptake rate (r = 0.42). Rates were higher in practices with a female partner than in those without (66.6% v 49.1%; difference 17.5% (95% confidence interval 10.5% to 24.5%)), and in computerised than in non-computerised practices (64.5% v 50.5%; 14.0% (6.4% to 21.6%)). Rates were higher in larger practices. In a stepwise multiple regression model that explained 52% of variation, five factors were significant predictors of uptake rates: presence of a female partner; children under 5; overcrowding; number of women aged 35-44 as percentage of all women aged 25-64; change of address in past year. CONCLUSIONS--Over half of variation in cervical smear uptake rates can be explained by patient and practice variables derived from census and family health services authority data; these variables may have a role in explaining variations in performance of general practices

  7. Can Self-Control Explain Avoiding Free Money? Evidence from Interest-Free Student Loans.

    PubMed

    Cadena, Brian C; Keys, Benjamin J

    2013-10-01

    This paper uses insights from behavioral economics to explain a particularly surprising borrowing phenomenon: One in six undergraduate students offered interest-free loans turn them down. Models of impulse control predict that students may optimally reject subsidized loans to avoid excessive consumption during school. Using the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), we investigate students' take-up decisions and identify a group of students for whom the loans create an especially tempting liquidity increase. Students who would receive the loan in cash are significantly more likely to turn it down, suggesting that consumers choose to limit their liquidity in economically meaningful situations. PMID:24839312

  8. Interface failure modes explain non-monotonic size-dependent mechanical properties in bioinspired nanolaminates.

    PubMed

    Song, Z Q; Ni, Y; Peng, L M; Liang, H Y; He, L H

    2016-01-01

    Bioinspired discontinuous nanolaminate design becomes an efficient way to mitigate the strength-ductility tradeoff in brittle materials via arresting the crack at the interface followed by controllable interface failure. The analytical solution and numerical simulation based on the nonlinear shear-lag model indicates that propagation of the interface failure can be unstable or stable when the interfacial shear stress between laminae is uniform or highly localized, respectively. A dimensionless key parameter defined by the ratio of two characteristic lengths governs the transition between the two interface-failure modes, which can explain the non-monotonic size-dependent mechanical properties observed in various laminate composites. PMID:27029955

  9. Can a microscopic stochastic model explain the emergence of pain cycles in patients?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Patti, Francesca; Fanelli, Duccio

    2009-01-01

    A stochastic model is introduced here to investigate the molecular mechanisms which trigger the perception of pain. The action of analgesic drug compounds is discussed in a dynamical context, where the competition with inactive species is explicitly accounted for. Finite size effects inevitably perturb the mean-field dynamics: oscillations in the amount of bound receptors are spontaneously manifested, driven by the noise which is intrinsic to the system under scrutiny. These effects are investigated both numerically, via stochastic simulations, and analytically, through a large size expansion. The claim that our findings could provide a consistent interpretative framework for explaining the emergence of cyclic behaviors in response to analgesic treatments is substantiated.

  10. Can Self-Control Explain Avoiding Free Money? Evidence from Interest-Free Student Loans*

    PubMed Central

    Cadena, Brian C.; Keys, Benjamin J.

    2014-01-01

    This paper uses insights from behavioral economics to explain a particularly surprising borrowing phenomenon: One in six undergraduate students offered interest-free loans turn them down. Models of impulse control predict that students may optimally reject subsidized loans to avoid excessive consumption during school. Using the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), we investigate students’ take-up decisions and identify a group of students for whom the loans create an especially tempting liquidity increase. Students who would receive the loan in cash are significantly more likely to turn it down, suggesting that consumers choose to limit their liquidity in economically meaningful situations. PMID:24839312

  11. Governance and performance: the performance of Dutch hospitals explained by governance characteristics.

    PubMed

    Blank, Jos L T; van Hulst, Bart Laurents

    2011-10-01

    This paper describes the efficiency of Dutch hospitals using the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) method with bootstrapping. In particular, the analysis focuses on accounting for cost inefficiency measures on the part of hospital corporate governance. We use bootstrap techniques, as introduced by Simar and Wilson (J. Econom. 136(1):31-64, 2007), in order to obtain more efficient estimates of the effects of governance on the efficiency. The results show that part of the cost efficiency can be explained with governance. In particular we find that a higher remuneration of the board as well as a higher remuneration of the supervisory board does not implicate better performance. PMID:20703757

  12. A Little Knowledge of Ground Motion: Explaining 3-D Physics-Based Modeling to Engineers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, K.

    2014-12-01

    Users of earthquake planning scenarios require the ground-motion map to be credible enough to justify costly planning efforts, but not all ground-motion maps are right for all uses. There are two common ways to create a map of ground motion for a hypothetical earthquake. One approach is to map the median shaking estimated by empirical attenuation relationships. The other uses 3-D physics-based modeling, in which one analyzes a mathematical model of the earth's crust near the fault rupture and calculates the generation and propagation of seismic waves from source to ground surface by first principles. The two approaches produce different-looking maps. The more-familiar median maps smooth out variability and correlation. Using them in a planning scenario can lead to a systematic underestimation of damage and loss, and could leave a community underprepared for realistic shaking. The 3-D maps show variability, including some very high values that can disconcert non-scientists. So when the USGS Science Application for Risk Reduction's (SAFRR) Haywired scenario project selected 3-D maps, it was necessary to explain to scenario users—especially engineers who often use median maps—the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of the two approaches. We used authority, empirical evidence, and theory to support our choice. We prefaced our explanation with SAFRR's policy of using the best available earth science, and cited the credentials of the maps' developers and the reputation of the journal in which they published the maps. We cited recorded examples from past earthquakes of extreme ground motions that are like those in the scenario map. We explained the maps on theoretical grounds as well, explaining well established causes of variability: directivity, basin effects, and source parameters. The largest mapped motions relate to potentially unfamiliar extreme-value theory, so we used analogies to human longevity and the average age of the oldest person in samples of

  13. Can Self-Control Explain Avoiding Free Money? Evidence from Interest-Free Student Loans.

    PubMed

    Cadena, Brian C; Keys, Benjamin J

    2013-10-01

    This paper uses insights from behavioral economics to explain a particularly surprising borrowing phenomenon: One in six undergraduate students offered interest-free loans turn them down. Models of impulse control predict that students may optimally reject subsidized loans to avoid excessive consumption during school. Using the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), we investigate students' take-up decisions and identify a group of students for whom the loans create an especially tempting liquidity increase. Students who would receive the loan in cash are significantly more likely to turn it down, suggesting that consumers choose to limit their liquidity in economically meaningful situations.

  14. Can gravitational compaction explain the spin-diameter relation for the asteroids?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halling, R.

    1984-08-01

    Dermott and Murray (1982) have found certain relations between mean spin frequency and mean diameter for asteroids. By assuming that matter gets compacted during the evolution of an asteroid, these relations may be explained by means of a spin formula for accreted bodies given by Alfvén and Arrhenius. The author presents a rough model for gravitational compaction of porous matter in asteroids, combines it with the spin formula, and fits the result to Dermott's and Murray's spin-diameter curves. The values obtained for the parameters (mass densities and material strengths) appear to be of a quite realistic order of magnitude.

  15. Do certain signal transduction mechanisms explain the comorbidity of epilepsy and mood disorders?

    PubMed

    Rocha, Luisa; Alonso-Vanegas, Mario; Orozco-Suárez, Sandra; Alcántara-González, David; Cruzblanca, Humberto; Castro, Elena

    2014-09-01

    It is well known that mood disorders are highly prevalent in patients with epilepsy. Although several studies have aimed to characterize alterations in different types of receptors associated with both disturbances, there is a lack of studies focused on identifying the causes of this comorbidity. Here, we described some changes at the biochemical level involving serotonin, dopamine, and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors as well as signal transduction mechanisms that may explain the coexistence of both epilepsy and mood disorders. Finally, the identification of common pathophysiological mechanisms associated with receptor-receptor interaction (heterodimers) could allow designing new strategies for treatment of patients with epilepsy and comorbid mood disorders.

  16. Testing the theory of reasoned action in explaining sexual behavior among African American young teen girls.

    PubMed

    Doswell, Willa M; Braxter, Betty J; Cha, Eunseok; Kim, Kevin H

    2011-12-01

    This study tested the Theory of Reasoned Action to examine the prediction of early sexual behavior among African American young teen girls. Baseline data from a longitudinal randomized clinical trial were used. Between 2001 and 2005, 198 middle-school girls aged 11 to 14 years were recruited. As girls aged, they held more permissive attitudes toward engaging in early sexual behavior and had a higher intention to engage in early sexual behavior. Intention was a significant predictor to explain sexual behavior among the girls. There is a need to develop strategies that promote intention related to delay and prevention of early sexual behavior.

  17. Poster 10: Explaining the high electron density observed during T57

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snowden, Darci; Smith, Mike; Jimson, Theo

    2016-06-01

    RPWS observed abnormally high electron densities on the solar limb of Titan's atmosphere during T57 and several other flybys. We show that ion precipitation likely provided the additional ionization needed to explain the T57 data. To show this we use a 3D model of Titan's interaction with Saturn's magnetosphere to simulate the magnetic and electric fields near Titan. Then we use a particle tracing code to calculate the global energy flux of ions onto Titan's exobase. Finally, we calculate the energy deposition rates and ionization rates of the ions as they penetrate Titan's atmosphere.

  18. Fine-mapping at three loci known to affect fetal hemoglobin levels explains additional genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Galarneau, Geneviève; Palmer, Cameron D; Sankaran, Vijay G; Orkin, Stuart H; Hirschhorn, Joel N; Lettre, Guillaume

    2010-12-01

    We used resequencing and genotyping in African Americans with sickle cell anemia (SCA) to characterize associations with fetal hemoglobin (HbF) levels at the BCL11A, HBS1L-MYB and β-globin loci. Fine-mapping of HbF association signals at these loci confirmed seven SNPs with independent effects and increased the explained heritable variation in HbF levels from 38.6% to 49.5%. We also identified rare missense variants that causally implicate MYB in HbF production.

  19. Governance and performance: the performance of Dutch hospitals explained by governance characteristics.

    PubMed

    Blank, Jos L T; van Hulst, Bart Laurents

    2011-10-01

    This paper describes the efficiency of Dutch hospitals using the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) method with bootstrapping. In particular, the analysis focuses on accounting for cost inefficiency measures on the part of hospital corporate governance. We use bootstrap techniques, as introduced by Simar and Wilson (J. Econom. 136(1):31-64, 2007), in order to obtain more efficient estimates of the effects of governance on the efficiency. The results show that part of the cost efficiency can be explained with governance. In particular we find that a higher remuneration of the board as well as a higher remuneration of the supervisory board does not implicate better performance.

  20. A double-integration hypothesis to explain ocean ecosystem response to climate forcing.

    PubMed

    Di Lorenzo, Emanuele; Ohman, Mark D

    2013-02-12

    Long-term time series of marine ecological indicators often are characterized by large-amplitude state transitions that can persist for decades. Understanding the significance of these variations depends critically on the underlying hypotheses characterizing expected natural variability. Using a linear autoregressive model in combination with long-term zooplankton observations off the California coast, we show that cumulative integrations of white-noise atmospheric forcing can generate marine population responses that are characterized by strong transitions and prolonged apparent state changes. This model provides a baseline hypothesis for explaining ecosystem variability and for interpreting the significance of abrupt responses and climate change signatures in marine ecosystems.

  1. Into the looking glass: Broadening models to explain the spectrum of sensory and affective vicarious experiences.

    PubMed

    Giummarra, Melita J; Fitzgibbon, Bernadette M

    2015-01-01

    Ward and Bannisy's proposed conceptual framework-Threshold Theory and Self-Other Theory-for mirror touch synesthesia are welcomed as an explanation of mechanisms giving rise to innocuous vicarious phenomena. Herein we propose that these vicarious, or synesthetic, experiences should be considered along a spectrum of experiences, from innocuous through to noxious or threatening sensations. In particular, we would like to see these theories considered within a broader framework to explain the multitude of vicarious experiences that seem to share fundamental neurophysiological and trait characteristics. PMID:25998034

  2. What Explains the Gender Gap in Financial Literacy? The Role of Household Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    FONSECA, RAQUEL; MULLEN, KATHLEEN J.; ZAMARRO, GEMA; ZISSIMOPOULOS, JULIE

    2012-01-01

    Using newly collected data from the RAND American Life Panel, we examine potential explanations for the gender gap in financial literacy, including the role of marriage and who within a couple makes the financial decisions. Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition reveals the majority of the gender gap in financial literacy is not explained by differences in the characteristics of men and women—but rather differences in coefficients, or how literacy is produced. We find that financial decision making of couples is not centralized in one spouse although it is sensitive to the relative education level of spouses. PMID:23049140

  3. Characterizing and explaining differences in cognitive test performance between African American and European American older adults

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Adrienne T. Aiken; Marsiske, Michael; Whitfield, Keith E.

    2007-01-01

    The present study examined differences in cognitive performance of African American and European American older adults on cognitive and intellectual measures, and the extent to which literacy status or reading level was useful in explaining these group differences. African American elders performed more poorly than European American elders on twelve of thirteen cognitive tests administered, p < .05. After controlling for reading level achievement, differences in performance became non-significant for five of these twelve tests. Nonetheless, some differences persisted, suggesting that other potential mediators of race differences remain to be explored in future research. PMID:18189169

  4. Pure and syndromic optic atrophy explained by deep intronic OPA1 mutations and an intralocus modifier

    PubMed Central

    Bonifert, Tobias; Karle, Kathrin N.; Tonagel, Felix; Batra, Marion; Wilhelm, Christian; Theurer, Yvonne; Schoenfeld, Caroline; Kluba, Torsten; Kamenisch, York; Carelli, Valerio; Wolf, Julia; Gonzalez, Michael A.; Speziani, Fiorella; Schüle, Rebecca; Züchner, Stephan; Schöls, Ludger; Synofzik, Matthis

    2014-01-01

    The genetic diagnosis in inherited optic neuropathies often remains challenging, and the emergence of complex neurological phenotypes that involve optic neuropathy is puzzling. Here we unravel two novel principles of genetic mechanisms in optic neuropathies: deep intronic OPA1 mutations, which explain the disease in several so far unsolved cases; and an intralocus OPA1 modifier, which explains the emergence of syndromic ‘optic atrophy plus’ phenotypes in several families. First, we unravelled a deep intronic mutation 364 base pairs 3’ of exon 4b in OPA1 by in-depth investigation of a family with severe optic atrophy plus syndrome in which conventional OPA1 diagnostics including gene dosage analyses were normal. The mutation creates a new splice acceptor site resulting in aberrant OPA1 transcripts with retained intronic sequence and subsequent translational frameshift as shown by complementary DNA analysis. In patient fibroblasts we demonstrate nonsense mediated messenger RNA decay, reduced levels of OPA1 protein, and impairment of mitochondrial dynamics. Subsequent site-specific screening of >360 subjects with unexplained inherited optic neuropathy revealed three additional families carrying this deep intronic mutation and a base exchange four nucleotides upstream, respectively, thus confirming the clinical significance of this mutational mechanism. Second, in all severely affected patients of the index family, the deep intronic mutation occurred in compound heterozygous state with an exonic OPA1 missense variant (p.I382M; NM_015560.2). The variant alone did not cause a phenotype, even in homozygous state indicating that this long debated OPA1 variant is not pathogenic per se, but acts as a phenotypic modifier if it encounters in trans with an OPA1 mutation. Subsequent screening of whole exomes from >600 index patients identified a second family with severe optic atrophy plus syndrome due to compound heterozygous p.I382M, thus confirming this mechanism. In

  5. Interface failure modes explain non-monotonic size-dependent mechanical properties in bioinspired nanolaminates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Z. Q.; Ni, Y.; Peng, L. M.; Liang, H. Y.; He, L. H.

    2016-03-01

    Bioinspired discontinuous nanolaminate design becomes an efficient way to mitigate the strength-ductility tradeoff in brittle materials via arresting the crack at the interface followed by controllable interface failure. The analytical solution and numerical simulation based on the nonlinear shear-lag model indicates that propagation of the interface failure can be unstable or stable when the interfacial shear stress between laminae is uniform or highly localized, respectively. A dimensionless key parameter defined by the ratio of two characteristic lengths governs the transition between the two interface-failure modes, which can explain the non-monotonic size-dependent mechanical properties observed in various laminate composites.

  6. Money earlier or later? Simple heuristics explain intertemporal choices better than delay discounting does.

    PubMed

    Ericson, Keith M Marzilli; White, John Myles; Laibson, David; Cohen, Jonathan D

    2015-06-01

    Heuristic models have been proposed for many domains involving choice. We conducted an out-of-sample, cross-validated comparison of heuristic models of intertemporal choice (which can account for many of the known intertemporal choice anomalies) and discounting models. Heuristic models outperformed traditional utility-discounting models, including models of exponential and hyperbolic discounting. The best-performing models predicted choices by using a weighted average of absolute differences and relative percentage differences of the attributes of the goods in a choice set. We concluded that heuristic models explain time-money trade-off choices in experiments better than do utility-discounting models. PMID:25911124

  7. Temperature limitation may explain the containment of the trophozoites in the cornea during Acanthamoeba castellanii keratitis.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Mattias Kiel; Nielsen, Kim; Hjortdal, Jesper; Sørensen, Uffe B Skov

    2014-12-01

    Acanthamoeba keratitis is a serious sight-threatening disease. The relatively low temperature of the cornea may explain why amoebic infections usually are localized in this tissue and rarely spread to other parts of the eye. In this study, the growth rate of the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii was examined at different temperatures. The aim was to establish the optimal growth temperature for A. castellanii and to examine the growth within the vicinity of the core body temperature. The growth rates of four clinical and two environmental strains of A. castellanii were estimated at different temperatures, and temperature limitations for the trophozoite stage was established. Movements influenced by temperature gradients were monitored for two clinical strains of A. castellanii. The highest growth rate for each of the six amoebic strains tested was found to be close to 32 °C. The growth of the trophozoites of all examined strains was greatly reduced or completely halted at temperatures above 36 °C and encysted at the elevated temperature. Thus, the optimal growth temperature for the four strains of A. castellanii is close to the surface temperature of the human cornea, while the higher body core-temperature induced encysting of the amoebae. This may explain why most amoebic eye infections are confined to the cornea. PMID:25204727

  8. Explaining Vegetable Consumption among Young Adults: An Application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour.

    PubMed

    Menozzi, Davide; Sogari, Giovanni; Mora, Cristina

    2015-09-10

    Although fruit and vegetable consumption is highly recommended for a healthy and balanced daily diet, several European countries do not meet these recommendations. In Italy, only 45% of young people are consuming at least one portion of vegetables per day. Therefore, this paper aims to understand the main determinants of vegetables consumption among young adults to suggest possible intervention strategies. A cross-sectional study was conducted on a samples of Italian students (n = 751), using the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) as a conceptual framework. A structural equation model (SEM) was developed to test the TPB predictors for vegetable consumption, and the role of background factors (socio-demographic and personal characteristics) in improving the TPB model's explaining power. Overall, 81% and 68%, respectively, of intentions and behaviour variance is explained by the TPB model. Socio-demographic and personal characteristics were found to influence intentions and behaviour indirectly by their effects on the theory's more proximal determinants. Interventions should be targeted to improve perceived behavioural control (PBC), attitudes and subjective norms that significantly affect intentions. Tailored interventions for male students, enrolled in courses other than food science, and doing less physical activity may have a larger effect on behavioural change.

  9. The efficacy of a modified Theory of Reasoned Action to explain gambling behavior in college students.

    PubMed

    Thrasher, Robert G; Andrew, Damon P S; Mahony, Daniel F

    2011-09-01

    Recently, Thrasher et al. (College Student Affairs Journal 27(1): 57-75, 2007) explored the efficacy of the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA; Ajzen and Fishbein, Attitudes, personality, and behavior, 1980) in explaining gambling behavior of college students. However, their study found the TRA only predicted small amounts of variance in gambling intentions. Heeding their call to enhance the efficacy of the TRA through the addition of explanatory variables to the model, the present study incorporated gambling motivations and locus of control as moderating variables within the TRA to test the potential of a modified TRA in explaining gambling behavior of college students. A total of 345 students at a major metropolitan research university in the Midwest volunteered to participate in the study. A series of hierarchical linear regressions indicated intrinsic motivation to accomplish (p = .002) significantly moderated the relationship between gambling attitudes and gambling intentions. Further, internal locus of control (p < .001), chance locus of control (p < .001), and powerful others locus of control (p < .001) also significantly moderated the relationship between gambling attitudes and gambling intentions. The significant impact of the moderating variables on the relationship between gambling attitudes and intentions suggests intrinsic motivation and locus of control can alter the impact of the relationship between gambling attitudes and gambling intentions.

  10. Neglected role of fungal community composition in explaining variation in wood decay rates.

    PubMed

    Van der Wal, A; Ottosson, E; De Boer, W

    2015-01-01

    Decomposition of wood is an important component of global carbon cycling. Most wood decomposition models are based on tree characteristics and environmental conditions; however, they do not include community dynamics of fungi that are the major wood decomposers. We examined the factors explaining variation in sapwood decay in oak tree stumps two and five years after cutting. Wood moisture content was significantly correlated with sapwood decay in younger stumps, whereas ITS-based composition and species richness of the fungal community were the best predictors for mass loss in the older stumps. Co-occurrence analysis showed that, in freshly cut trees and in younger stumps, fungal communities were nonrandomly structured, whereas fungal communities in old stumps could not be separated from a randomly assembled community. These results indicate that the most important factors explaining variation in wood decay rates can change over time and that the strength of competitive interactions between fungi in decaying tree stumps may level off with increased wood decay. Our field analysis further suggests that ascomycetes may have a prominent role in wood decay, but their wood-degrading abilities need to be further tested under controlled conditions. The next challenging step will be to integrate fungal community assembly processes in wood decay models to improve carbon sequestration estimates of forests.

  11. Changes in materials properties explain the effects of humidity on gecko adhesion.

    PubMed

    Puthoff, Jonathan B; Prowse, Michael S; Wilkinson, Matt; Autumn, Kellar

    2010-11-01

    Geckos owe their remarkable stickiness to millions of dry setae on their toes, and the mechanism of adhesion in gecko setae has been the topic of scientific scrutiny for over two centuries. Previously, we demonstrated that van der Waals forces are sufficient for strong adhesion and friction in gecko setae, and that water-based capillary adhesion is not required. However, recent studies demonstrated that adhesion increases with relative humidity (RH) and proposed that surface hydration and capillary water bridge formation is important or even necessary. In this study, we confirmed a significant effect of RH on gecko adhesion, but rejected the capillary adhesion hypothesis. While contact forces of isolated tokay gecko setal arrays increased with humidity, the increase was similar on hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces, inconsistent with a capillary mechanism. Contact forces increased with RH even at high shear rates, where capillary bridge formation is too slow to affect adhesion. How then can a humidity-related increase in adhesion and friction be explained? The effect of RH on the mechanical properties of setal β-keratin has escaped consideration until now. We discovered that an increase in RH softens setae and increases viscoelastic damping, which increases adhesion. Changes in setal materials properties, not capillary forces, fully explain humidity-enhanced adhesion, and van der Waals forces remain the only empirically supported mechanism of adhesion in geckos. PMID:20952618

  12. Explaining the gender difference in self-rated health among university students in Egypt.

    PubMed

    El Ansari, Walid; Stock, Christiane

    2016-10-01

    In this study the authors assessed gender differences in the relationships between self-rated health (SRH) and demographic factors, physical health, health service use, infections, a variety of symptoms and health conditions, and wider well-being features. A self-administered questionnaire was administered to 3,271 students at Assiut University, Egypt during 2009-2010. Multiple logistic regression was used (with excellent/very good SRH as dependent variable) to assess the variables that might explain the gender difference in SRH. Females had more symptoms, infectious diseases/illness periods, substantially lower quality of life, and more burdens, although their health awareness and satisfaction with social support were higher than males. The unadjusted odds ratio (OR) suggested that females were less likely than males to rate their SRH as excellent/very good [OR 0.56, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.47-0.68]. Adjusting only for relevant physical health and health service use variables, the OR for excellent/very good SRH for females increased, but nevertheless still remained significantly lower than that of males. With further adjustment for physical health, health service use, and also for wider well-being variables, the gender difference in SRH became no longer statistically significant. Poorer physical health indicators and a lower level of wider well-being features explained the lower SRH among female Egyptian university students. Health promotion and prevention programs should consider these factors in attempting to address gender health disparities.

  13. Robust efficiency and actuator saturation explain healthy heart rate control and variability

    PubMed Central

    Li, Na; Cruz, Jerry; Chien, Chenghao Simon; Sojoudi, Somayeh; Recht, Benjamin; Stone, David; Csete, Marie; Bahmiller, Daniel; Doyle, John C.

    2014-01-01

    The correlation of healthy states with heart rate variability (HRV) using time series analyses is well documented. Whereas these studies note the accepted proximal role of autonomic nervous system balance in HRV patterns, the responsible deeper physiological, clinically relevant mechanisms have not been fully explained. Using mathematical tools from control theory, we combine mechanistic models of basic physiology with experimental exercise data from healthy human subjects to explain causal relationships among states of stress vs. health, HR control, and HRV, and more importantly, the physiologic requirements and constraints underlying these relationships. Nonlinear dynamics play an important explanatory role––most fundamentally in the actuator saturations arising from unavoidable tradeoffs in robust homeostasis and metabolic efficiency. These results are grounded in domain-specific mechanisms, tradeoffs, and constraints, but they also illustrate important, universal properties of complex systems. We show that the study of complex biological phenomena like HRV requires a framework which facilitates inclusion of diverse domain specifics (e.g., due to physiology, evolution, and measurement technology) in addition to general theories of efficiency, robustness, feedback, dynamics, and supporting mathematical tools. PMID:25092335

  14. Use of Geostatistics and Plant Hydraulics to Explain Spatial Patterns of Transpiration Across Environmental Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewers, B. E.; Adelman, J. D.; Mackay, D. S.; Loranty, M.; Traver, E.; Kruger, E. L.

    2005-12-01

    As direct measurements of tree transpiration via sap flux have become routine, the sample size of sap flux studies has dramatically increased. These large sample sizes now provide sufficient data for geostatistical analyses when measurement points are spatially explicit. In this study we tested whether 1) center-of-stand approaches to sap flux measurements and scaling are sufficient for characterizing stand level transpiration and 2) geostatistical techniques provide the information necessary for quantifying important stand and landscape level gradients. To maximize the inferences from our tests, we compared two contrasting forests: one dominated by lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) in Wyoming and another dominated by trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) in Wisconsin. The forest in Wyoming is characterized by low precipitation regimes dominated by snowfall while the forest in Wisconsin is characterized by moderate precipitation throughout the growing season. Analyses of the relationship between sample size and variance indicated an inflection point of 30 point pairs but the variance continued a shallow decline even at 100 point pairs. There was also evidence of species impacts on variance of transpiration that changed with environmental conditions. We used variogram analyses to quantify the spatial range of transpiration and found a variable spatial range across days with mean of approximately 30 m. The variability in spatial range could be partially explained by tree species' responses to soil moisture, vapor pressure deficit, and light based on current plant hydraulic knowledge. Our results confirm the utility of geostatistical techniques for quantifying and explaining transpiration in time and space.

  15. An expanded sequence context model broadly explains variability in polymorphism levels across the human genome.

    PubMed

    Aggarwala, Varun; Voight, Benjamin F

    2016-04-01

    The rate of single-nucleotide polymorphism varies substantially across the human genome and fundamentally influences evolution and incidence of genetic disease. Previous studies have only considered the immediately flanking nucleotides around a polymorphic site--the site's trinucleotide sequence context--to study polymorphism levels across the genome. Moreover, the impact of larger sequence contexts has not been fully clarified, even though context substantially influences rates of polymorphism. Using a new statistical framework and data from the 1000 Genomes Project, we demonstrate that a heptanucleotide context explains >81% of variability in substitution probabilities, highlighting new mutation-promoting motifs at ApT dinucleotide, CAAT and TACG sequences. Our approach also identifies previously undocumented variability in C-to-T substitutions at CpG sites, which is not immediately explained by differential methylation intensity. Using our model, we present informative substitution intolerance scores for genes and a new intolerance score for amino acids, and we demonstrate clinical use of the model in neuropsychiatric diseases. PMID:26878723

  16. Maternal distress explains the relationship of young African American mothers' violence exposure with their preschoolers' behavior.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Stephanie J; Lewin, Amy; Rasmussen, Andrew; Horn, Ivor B; Joseph, Jill G

    2011-02-01

    Adolescent mothers and their children are particularly susceptible to witnessing or directly experiencing violence. Such violence exposure predicts maternal distress, parenting, and child behavior problems. The current study examined how mothers' depressive symptoms, aggression, harsh disciplinary practices, and home environment independently explain the association between mothers' violence exposure and children's externalizing and internalizing behavior, controlling for their children's violence exposure. Data were collected from 230 African American mothers living in Washington, DC who gave birth as adolescents and whose children were 3 to 5 years old. Path analysis revealed that the effect of mothers' experienced violence on children's externalizing and internalizing behavior was mediated by mothers' depressive symptoms and aggression. However, neither harsh discipline nor stimulation in the home environment acted as significant mediators, and there were no direct or indirect effects of mothers' witnessed violence on child behavior. This study builds on previous work by identifying an association between maternal violence exposure and children's behavior, independent of children's own violence exposure that is explained by mothers' increased distress but not their parenting. These findings suggest that a potential means of preventing behavior problems in minority children born to adolescent mothers is to identify mothers who have been directly exposed to violence and treat their depressive symptoms and aggressive behaviors.

  17. Analysis of trans-Neptunian objects and a proposed theory to explain their origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Robert B.; Firth, Jordan A.

    2016-02-01

    Current theories cannot explain how trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) either formed in situ or how ultrawide trans-Neptunian binaries (TNBs) exist if they were formed closer to the Sun and were later dispersed during Neptune's migration. Furthermore, no theory can adequately explain the documented clustering of ω near 0° for TNOs with a > 150 au. Here, we show that not only is ω clustered for the nine long-period TNOs (LPTNOs) with a > 200 au, but Ω is also grouped almost as closely. Neither of these orbital elements is randomly distributed for any collection of TNOs investigated, including those that are not in resonance with Neptune, those with q > 30 au, q > 44 au, and LPTNOs. Every frequency distribution of ω and Ω indicates that many TNOs were recently affected by Neptune. Based on this study, we propose that TNOs were inside Neptune's orbit in the last few Myr. The TNOs then migrated outwards in a relatively short time period. Ultrawide TNBs never came close to Neptune during this migration, allowing these fragile pairs to remain intact. However, many other TNOs were perturbed as they passed Neptune, resulting in the distribution of orbital elements we see today for all TNOs, including those in the Kuiper belt and the LPTNOs.

  18. Individual-area relationship best explains goose species density in wetlands.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong; Jia, Qiang; Prins, Herbert H T; Cao, Lei; de Boer, Willem Fred

    2015-01-01

    Explaining and predicting animal distributions is one of the fundamental objectives in ecology and conservation biology. Animal habitat selection can be regulated by top-down and bottom-up processes, and is mediated by species interactions. Species varying in body size respond differently to top-down and bottom-up determinants, and hence understanding these allometric responses to those determinants is important for conservation. In this study, using two differently sized goose species wintering in the Yangtze floodplain, we tested the predictions derived from three different hypotheses (individual-area relationship, food resource and disturbance hypothesis) to explain the spatial and temporal variation in densities of two goose species. Using Generalized Linear Mixed Models with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique, we demonstrated that goose density was positive correlated with patch area size, suggesting that the individual area-relationship best predicts differences in goose densities. Moreover, the other predictions, related to food availability and disturbance, were not significant. Buffalo grazing probably facilitated greater white-fronted geese, as the number of buffalos was positively correlated to the density of this species. We concluded that patch area size is the most important factor determining the density of goose species in our study area. Patch area size is directly determined by water levels in the Yangtze floodplain, and hence modifying the hydrological regimes can enlarge the capacity of these wetlands for migratory birds. PMID:25996502

  19. Personality and problem-solving performance explain competitive ability in the wild

    PubMed Central

    Cole, Ella F.; Quinn, John L.

    2012-01-01

    Competitive ability is a major determinant of fitness, but why individuals vary so much in their competitiveness remains only partially understood. One increasingly prevalent view is that realized competitive ability varies because it represents alternative strategies that arise because of the costs associated with competitiveness. Here we use a population of great tits (Parus major) to explore whether individual differences in competitive ability when foraging can be explained by two traits that have previously been linked to alternative behavioural strategies: the personality trait ‘exploration behaviour’ and a simple cognitive trait, ‘innovative problem-solving performance’. We assayed these traits under standardized conditions in captivity and then measured competitive ability at feeders with restricted access in the wild. Competitive ability was repeatable within individual males across days and correlated positively with exploration behaviour, representing the first such demonstration of a link between a personality trait and both competitive ability and food intake in the wild. Competitive ability was also simultaneously negatively correlated with problem-solving performance; individuals who were poor competitors were good at problem-solving. Rather than being the result of variation in ‘individual quality’, our results support the hypothesis that individual variation in competitive ability can be explained by alternative behavioural strategies. PMID:21937498

  20. High Poisson's ratio of Earth's inner core explained by carbon alloying

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prescher, C.; Dubrovinsky, L.; Bykova, E.; Kupenko, I.; Glazyrin, K.; Kantor, A.; McCammon, C.; Mookherjee, M.; Nakajima, Y.; Miyajima, N.; Sinmyo, R.; Cerantola, V.; Dubrovinskaia, N.; Prakapenka, V.; Rüffer, R.; Chumakov, A.; Hanfland, M.

    2015-03-01

    Geochemical, cosmochemical, geophysical, and mineral physics data suggest that iron (or iron-nickel alloy) is the main component of the Earth’s core. The inconsistency between the density of pure iron at pressure and temperature conditions of the Earth’s core and seismological observations can be explained by the presence of light elements. However, the low shear wave velocity and high Poisson’s ratio of the Earth’s core remain enigmatic. Here we experimentally investigate the effect of carbon on the elastic properties of iron at high pressures and temperatures and report a high-pressure orthorhombic phase of iron carbide, Fe7C3. We determined the crystal structure of the material at ambient conditions and investigated its stability and behaviour at pressures up to 205 GPa and temperatures above 3,700 K using single-crystal and powder X-ray diffraction, Mössbauer spectroscopy, and nuclear inelastic scattering. Estimated shear wave and compressional wave velocities show that Fe7C3 exhibits a lower shear wave velocity than pure iron and a Poisson’s ratio similar to that of the Earth’s inner core. We suggest that carbon alloying significantly modifies the properties of iron at extreme conditions to approach the elastic behaviour of rubber. Thus, the presence of carbon may explain the anomalous elastic properties of the Earth’s core.

  1. Explaining two recent intermediate-luminosity optical transients (ILOTs) by a binary interaction and jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soker, Noam; Kashi, Amit

    2016-10-01

    We propose that two recent intermediate-luminosity optical transients (ILOTs), M31LRN 2015 and SN 2015bh (SNHunt 275; PTF 13efv) can be accounted for with a stellar binary model involving mass transfer that leads to the launching of jets. We inspect observations of the ILOT M31LRN 2015 and conclude that it cannot be explained by the onset of a common envelope evolution (CEE). Instead, we conjecture that an M ˜eq 1 - 3 {M_{⊙}} main-sequence star accreted ≃ 0.04 M⊙ from the giant star, possibly during a periastron passage. The main-sequence star-accreted mass through an accretion disc, that launches jets. The radiation from the disc and the collision of the jets with the ambient gas can account for the luminosity of the event. Along similar lines, we suggest that the 2013 eruption of SN 2015bh (SNHunt 275) can also be explained by the high-accretion-powered ILOT (HAPI) model. In this case, a massive secondary star M2 ≳ 10 M⊙ accreted ≈ 0.05 M⊙ from a much more massive and more evolved star during a periastron passage. If the much more energetic 2015 outburst of SN 2015bh (SNHunt 275) was not a supernova explosion, it might have been a full almost head-on merger event, or else can be accounted for by the HAPI-jets model in a very highly eccentric orbit.

  2. Brain hemodynamic activity during viewing and re-viewing of comedy movies explained by experienced humor.

    PubMed

    Jääskeläinen, Iiro P; Pajula, Juha; Tohka, Jussi; Lee, Hsin-Ju; Kuo, Wen-Jui; Lin, Fa-Hsuan

    2016-01-01

    Humor is crucial in human social interactions. To study the underlying neural processes, three comedy clips were shown twice to 20 volunteers during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Inter-subject similarities in humor ratings, obtained immediately after fMRI, explained inter-subject correlation of hemodynamic activity in right frontal pole and in a number of other brain regions. General linear model analysis also indicated activity in right frontal pole, as well as in additional cortical areas and subcortically in striatum, explained by humorousness. The association of the right frontal pole with experienced humorousness is a novel finding, which might be related to humor unfolding over longer time scales in the movie clips. Specifically, frontal pole has been shown to exhibit longer temporal receptive windows than, e.g., sensory areas, which might have enabled processing of humor in the clips based on holding information and reinterpreting that in light of new information several (even tens of) seconds later. As another novel finding, medial and lateral prefrontal areas, frontal pole, posterior-inferior temporal areas, posterior parietal areas, posterior cingulate, striatal structures and amygdala showed reduced activity upon re-viewing of the clips, suggesting involvement in processing of humor related to novelty of the comedic events.

  3. Sexual dimorphism in venom chemistry in Tetragnatha spiders is not easily explained by adult niche differences.

    PubMed

    Binford, Greta J; Gillespie, Rosemary G; Maddison, Wayne P

    2016-05-01

    Spider venom composition typically differs between sexes. This pattern is anecdotally thought to reflect differences in adult feeding biology. We used a phylogenetic approach to compare intersexual venom dimorphism between species that differ in adult niche dimorphism. Male and female venoms were compared within and between related species of Hawaiian Tetragnatha, a mainland congener, and outgroups. In some species of Hawaiian Tetragnatha adult females spin orb-webs and adult males capture prey while wandering, while in other species both males and females capture prey by wandering. We predicted that, if venom sexual dimorphism is primarily explained by differences in adult feeding biology, species in which both sexes forage by wandering would have monomorphic venoms or venoms with reduced dimorphism relative to species with different adult feeding biology. However, we found striking sexual dimorphism in venoms of both wandering and orb-weaving Tetragnatha species with males having high molecular weight components in their venoms that were absent in females, and a reduced concentration of low molecular weight components relative to females. Intersexual differences in venom composition within Tetragnatha were significantly larger than in non-Tetragnatha species. Diet composition was not different between sexes. This striking venom dimorphism is not easily explained by differences in feeding ecology or behavior. Rather, we hypothesize that the dimorphism reflects male-specific components that play a role in mating biology possibly in sexual stimulation, nuptial gifts and/or mate recognition.

  4. Explained and unexplained tissue loss in corals from the Tropical Eastern Pacific.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Villalobos, Jenny Carolina; Work, Thierry Martin; Calderon-Aguilera, Luis Eduardo; Reyes-Bonilla, Héctor; Hernández, Luis

    2015-10-16

    Coral reefs rival rainforest in biodiversity, but are declining in part because of disease. Tissue loss lesions, a manifestation of disease, are present in dominant Pocillopora along the Pacific coast of Mexico. We characterized tissue loss in 7 species of Pocillopora from 9 locations (44 sites) spanning southern to northern Mexico. Corals were identified to species, and tissue loss lesions were photographed and classified as those explainable by predation and those that were unexplained. A focal predation study was done concurrently at 3 locations to confirm origin of explained lesions. Of 1054 cases of tissue loss in 7 species of corals, 84% were associated with predation (fish, snails, or seastar) and the remainder were unexplained. Types of tissue loss were not related to coral density; however there was significant geographic heterogeneity in type of lesion; one site in particular (Cabo Pulmo) had the highest prevalence of predator-induced tissue loss (mainly pufferfish predation). Crown-of-thorns starfish, pufferfish, and snails were the most common predators and preferred P. verrucosa, P. meandrina, and P. capitata, respectively. Of the 9 locations, 4 had unexplained tissue loss with prevalence ranging from 1 to 3% with no species predilection. Unexplained tissue loss was similar to white syndrome (WS) in morphology, indicating additional study is necessary to clarify the cause(s) of the lesions and the potential impacts to dominant corals along the Pacific coast of Mexico.

  5. Ability of matrix models to explain the past and predict the future of plant populations.

    PubMed

    Crone, Elizabeth E; Ellis, Martha M; Morris, William F; Stanley, Amanda; Bell, Timothy; Bierzychudek, Paulette; Ehrlén, Johan; Kaye, Thomas N; Knight, Tiffany M; Lesica, Peter; Oostermeijer, Gerard; Quintana-Ascencio, Pedro F; Ticktin, Tamara; Valverde, Teresa; Williams, Jennifer L; Doak, Daniel F; Ganesan, Rengaian; McEachern, Kathyrn; Thorpe, Andrea S; Menges, Eric S

    2013-10-01

    Uncertainty associated with ecological forecasts has long been recognized, but forecast accuracy is rarely quantified. We evaluated how well data on 82 populations of 20 species of plants spanning 3 continents explained and predicted plant population dynamics. We parameterized stage-based matrix models with demographic data from individually marked plants and determined how well these models forecast population sizes observed at least 5 years into the future. Simple demographic models forecasted population dynamics poorly; only 40% of observed population sizes fell within our forecasts' 95% confidence limits. However, these models explained population dynamics during the years in which data were collected; observed changes in population size during the data-collection period were strongly positively correlated with population growth rate. Thus, these models are at least a sound way to quantify population status. Poor forecasts were not associated with the number of individual plants or years of data. We tested whether vital rates were density dependent and found both positive and negative density dependence. However, density dependence was not associated with forecast error. Forecast error was significantly associated with environmental differences between the data collection and forecast periods. To forecast population fates, more detailed models, such as those that project how environments are likely to change and how these changes will affect population dynamics, may be needed. Such detailed models are not always feasible. Thus, it may be wiser to make risk-averse decisions than to expect precise forecasts from models. PMID:23565966

  6. Explained and unexplained tissue loss in corals from the Tropical Eastern Pacific.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Villalobos, Jenny Carolina; Work, Thierry Martin; Calderon-Aguilera, Luis Eduardo; Reyes-Bonilla, Héctor; Hernández, Luis

    2015-10-16

    Coral reefs rival rainforest in biodiversity, but are declining in part because of disease. Tissue loss lesions, a manifestation of disease, are present in dominant Pocillopora along the Pacific coast of Mexico. We characterized tissue loss in 7 species of Pocillopora from 9 locations (44 sites) spanning southern to northern Mexico. Corals were identified to species, and tissue loss lesions were photographed and classified as those explainable by predation and those that were unexplained. A focal predation study was done concurrently at 3 locations to confirm origin of explained lesions. Of 1054 cases of tissue loss in 7 species of corals, 84% were associated with predation (fish, snails, or seastar) and the remainder were unexplained. Types of tissue loss were not related to coral density; however there was significant geographic heterogeneity in type of lesion; one site in particular (Cabo Pulmo) had the highest prevalence of predator-induced tissue loss (mainly pufferfish predation). Crown-of-thorns starfish, pufferfish, and snails were the most common predators and preferred P. verrucosa, P. meandrina, and P. capitata, respectively. Of the 9 locations, 4 had unexplained tissue loss with prevalence ranging from 1 to 3% with no species predilection. Unexplained tissue loss was similar to white syndrome (WS) in morphology, indicating additional study is necessary to clarify the cause(s) of the lesions and the potential impacts to dominant corals along the Pacific coast of Mexico. PMID:26480915

  7. Contamination cannot explain the lack of large-scale power in the cosmic microwave background radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Bunn, Emory F.; Bourdon, Austin

    2008-12-15

    Several anomalies appear to be present in the large-angle cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy maps of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe. One of these is a lack of large-scale power. Because the data otherwise match standard models extremely well, it is natural to consider perturbations of the standard model as possible explanations. We show that, as long as the source of the perturbation is statistically independent of the source of the primary CMB anisotropy, no such model can explain this large-scale power deficit. On the contrary, any such perturbation always reduces the probability of obtaining any given low value of large-scale power. We rigorously prove this result when the lack of large-scale power is quantified with a quadratic statistic, such as the quadrupole moment. When a statistic based on the integrated square of the correlation function is used instead, we present strong numerical evidence in support of the result. The result applies to models in which the geometry of spacetime is perturbed (e.g., an ellipsoidal universe) as well as explanations involving local contaminants, undiagnosed foregrounds, or systematic errors. Because the large-scale power deficit is arguably the most significant of the observed anomalies, explanations that worsen this discrepancy should be regarded with great skepticism, even if they help in explaining other anomalies such as multipole alignments.

  8. The role of perspective taking in how children connect reference frames when explaining astronomical phenomena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plummer, Julia D.; Bower, Corinne A.; Liben, Lynn S.

    2016-02-01

    This study investigates the role of perspective-taking skills in how children explain spatially complex astronomical phenomena. Explaining many astronomical phenomena, especially those studied in elementary and middle school, requires shifting between an Earth-based description of the phenomena and a space-based reference frame. We studied 7- to 9-year-old children (N = 15) to (a) develop a method for capturing how children make connections between reference frames and to (b) explore connections between perspective-taking skill and the nature of children's explanations. Children's explanations for the apparent motion of the Sun and stars and for seasonal changes in constellations were coded for accuracy of explanation, connection between frames of reference, and use of gesture. Children with higher spatial perspective-taking skills made more explicit connections between reference frames and used certain gesture-types more frequently, although this pattern was evident for only some phenomena. Findings suggest that children - particularly those with lower perspective-taking skills - may need additional support in learning to explicitly connect reference frames in astronomy. Understanding spatial thinking among children who successfully made explicit connections between reference frames in their explanations could be a starting point for future instruction in this domain.

  9. A General Model of Negative Frequency Dependent Selection Explains Global Patterns of Human ABO Polymorphism.

    PubMed

    Villanea, Fernando A; Safi, Kristin N; Busch, Jeremiah W

    2015-01-01

    The ABO locus in humans is characterized by elevated heterozygosity and very similar allele frequencies among populations scattered across the globe. Using knowledge of ABO protein function, we generated a simple model of asymmetric negative frequency dependent selection and genetic drift to explain the maintenance of ABO polymorphism and its loss in human populations. In our models, regardless of the strength of selection, models with large effective population sizes result in ABO allele frequencies that closely match those observed in most continental populations. Populations must be moderately small to fall out of equilibrium and lose either the A or B allele (N(e) ≤ 50) and much smaller (N(e) ≤ 25) for the complete loss of diversity, which nearly always involved the fixation of the O allele. A pattern of low heterozygosity at the ABO locus where loss of polymorphism occurs in our model is consistent with small populations, such as Native American populations. This study provides a general evolutionary model to explain the observed global patterns of polymorphism at the ABO locus and the pattern of allele loss in small populations. Moreover, these results inform the range of population sizes associated with the recent human colonization of the Americas. PMID:25946124

  10. Mineral disequilibrium in lavas explained by convective self-mixing in open magma chambers.

    PubMed

    Couch, S; Sparks, R S; Carroll, M R

    2001-06-28

    Characteristic features of many porphyritic andesite and dacite lavas are that they are rich in crystals and display a range of disequilibrium features, including reversely zoned crystals, resorption surfaces, wide ranges of mineral compositions and minerals which are not in equilibrium with the surrounding rock matrix. These features are often interpreted as evidence of the mixing of magmas of contrasting composition, temperature and origin. Here, however, we propose that such features can also be caused by convection within a magma body with a single composition, that is heated from below and cooled from above. We describe petrological observations of andesite lava erupted at the Soufrière Hills volcano, Montserrat, which indicate a heating event and the intermingling of crystals that have very different thermal histories. We present experimental data on a representative groundmass composition of this lava, which indicate that it is difficult to explain the calcic compositions of plagioclase overgrowth rims and microphenocrysts unless parts of the magma were at temperatures much higher than the inferred average temperature. The concept of convective self-mixing allows us to explain the occurrence of compositions of minerals that apparently cannot coexist under equilibrium conditions.

  11. Explaining Vegetable Consumption among Young Adults: An Application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Menozzi, Davide; Sogari, Giovanni; Mora, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    Although fruit and vegetable consumption is highly recommended for a healthy and balanced daily diet, several European countries do not meet these recommendations. In Italy, only 45% of young people are consuming at least one portion of vegetables per day. Therefore, this paper aims to understand the main determinants of vegetables consumption among young adults to suggest possible intervention strategies. A cross-sectional study was conducted on a samples of Italian students (n = 751), using the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) as a conceptual framework. A structural equation model (SEM) was developed to test the TPB predictors for vegetable consumption, and the role of background factors (socio-demographic and personal characteristics) in improving the TPB model’s explaining power. Overall, 81% and 68%, respectively, of intentions and behaviour variance is explained by the TPB model. Socio-demographic and personal characteristics were found to influence intentions and behaviour indirectly by their effects on the theory’s more proximal determinants. Interventions should be targeted to improve perceived behavioural control (PBC), attitudes and subjective norms that significantly affect intentions. Tailored interventions for male students, enrolled in courses other than food science, and doing less physical activity may have a larger effect on behavioural change. PMID:26378570

  12. Functional traits help to explain half-century long shifts in pollinator distributions.

    PubMed

    Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Jesús; Kissling, W Daniel; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; WallisDeVries, Michiel F; Franzén, Markus; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C

    2016-01-01

    Changes in climate and land use can have important impacts on biodiversity. Species respond to such environmental modifications by adapting to new conditions or by shifting their geographic distributions towards more suitable areas. The latter might be constrained by species' functional traits that influence their ability to move, reproduce or establish. Here, we show that functional traits related to dispersal, reproduction, habitat use and diet have influenced how three pollinator groups (bees, butterflies and hoverflies) responded to changes in climate and land-use in the Netherlands since 1950. Across the three pollinator groups, we found pronounced areal range expansions (>53%) and modelled range shifts towards the north (all taxa: 17-22 km), west (bees: 14 km) and east (butterflies: 11 km). The importance of specific functional traits for explaining distributional changes varied among pollinator groups. Larval diet preferences (i.e. carnivorous vs. herbivorous/detritivorous and nitrogen values of host plants, respectively) were important for hoverflies and butterflies, adult body size for hoverflies, and flight period length for all groups. Moreover, interactions among multiple traits were important to explain species' geographic range shifts, suggesting that taxon-specific multi-trait analyses are needed to predict how global change will affect biodiversity and ecosystem services. PMID:27079784

  13. Divergent Biochemical Fractionation, Not Convergent Temperature, Explains Cellulose Oxygen Isotope Enrichment across Latitudes

    PubMed Central

    Sternberg, Leonel; Ellsworth, Patricia Fernandes Vendramini

    2011-01-01

    Recent findings based on the oxygen isotope ratios of tree trunk cellulose indicate that the temperature of biomass production in biomes ranging from boreal to subtropical forests converge to an average leaf temperature of 21.4°C. The above conclusion has been drawn under the assumption that biochemically related isotopic fractionations during cellulose synthesis are not affected by temperature. Here we test the above assumption by heterotrophically generating cellulose at different temperatures and measuring the proportion of carbohydrate oxygen that exchange with water during cellulose synthesis and the average biochemical fractionation associated with this exchange. We observed no variation in the proportion of oxygen that exchange with different temperatures, which averaged 0.42 as it has been observed in other studies. On the other hand, the biochemical oxygen isotope fractionation during cellulose synthesis is affected by temperature and can be described by a 2nd order polynomial equation. The biochemical fractionation changes little between temperatures of 20 and 30°C averaging 26‰ but increases at lower temperatures to values of 31‰. This temperature sensitive biochemical fractionation explains the pattern of cellulose oxygen isotope ratios of aquatic plants encompassing several latitudes. The observed temperature sensitive biochemical fractionation also indicates that divergent biochemical fractionation and not convergent leaf temperature explains the increase in oxygen isotope enrichment of cellulose across several biomes. PMID:22132203

  14. Explaining the absence of high-frequency relaxation modes of polymers in dilute solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saha Dalal, Indranil; Larson, Ronald

    2013-03-01

    Using multi-scale modeling, including Molecular Dynamics and Brownian dynamics (BD) simulations, we explain the long-mysterious absence of high frequency modes in the dynamics of isolated polymer chains in good solvents, reported years ago by Schrag and coworkers. The relaxation spectrum we obtain for a chain of 30 monomers at atomistic resolution is, remarkably, a single exponential while that of a chain of 100 monomers is fit by only two modes. This result is surprising in view of the many relaxation modes present in melts of such chains, but agrees perfectly with experimental observations (Peterson et al. J. Polym. Sci.: Part B 2001). We also performed BD simulations in which the explicit solvent molecules are replaced by a viscous continuum. Although the local dynamics is suppressed with the addition of bending, torsion, side groups and excluded volume interactions (as suggested in Jain and Larson, Macromolecules 2008), none of the BD simulations predict a single exponential relaxation for a short chain. Our results indicate that the chain dynamics at small length scales (down to a few Kuhn steps) is significantly different from the predictions of models based on a continuum solvent, and finally help explain the experimental results of Schrag and coworkers.

  15. Causal trait theories: a new form of person knowledge that explains egocentric pattern projection.

    PubMed

    Critcher, Clayton R; Dunning, David; Rom, Sarah C

    2015-03-01

    Representations of the self and others include not only piecemeal traits but also causal trait theories-explanations for why a person's standing on 1 trait causes or is caused by standings on other traits (Studies 1a-1c). These causal theories help resolve the puzzle of egocentric pattern projection-the tendency for people to assume that traits correlate in the population in the same way they align in the self. Causal trait theories-created to explain trait co-occurrence in a single person-are exported to guide one's implicit personality theories about people in general (Study 2). Pattern projection was found to be largely egocentric (i.e., more strong guided by self- than by social perceptions) for 2 reasons. First, causal trait theories are more numerous for the self. When participants were prompted to generate causal trait theories about someone else, they pattern projected more from that person (Study 3). Second, causal trait theories about the self are more likely to draw on behavioral information from multiple contexts instead of merely seeking to explain why 2 traits co-occur in a single context. Causal trait theories based on trait-relevant behaviors from different contexts, instead of trait co-occurrence within a single context, produce more pattern projection (Study 4). Implications for self and social cognition are discussed. PMID:25643223

  16. Territoriality and Conflict Avoidance Explain Asociality (Solitariness) of the Endosymbiotic Pea Crab Tunicotheres moseri.

    PubMed

    Ambrosio, Louis J; Baeza, J Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Host monopolization theory predicts symbiotic organisms inhabiting morphologically simple, relatively small and scarce hosts to live solitarily as a result of territorial behaviors. We tested this prediction with Tunicotheres moseri, an endosymbiotic crab dwelling in the atrial chamber of the morphologically simple, small, and relatively scarce ascidian Styela plicata. As predicted, natural populations of T. moseri inhabit ascidian hosts solitarily with greater frequency than expected by chance alone. Furthermore, laboratory experiments demonstrated that intruder crabs take significantly longer to colonize previously infected compared to uninfected hosts, indicating as expected, that resident crabs exhibit monopolization behaviors. While territoriality does occur, agonistic behaviors employed by T. moseri do not mirror the overt behaviors commonly reported for other territorial crustaceans. Documented double and triple cohabitations in the field coupled with laboratory observations demonstrating the almost invariable success of intruder crabs colonizing occupied hosts, suggest that territoriality is ineffective in completely explaining the solitary social habit of this species. Additional experiments showed that T. moseri juveniles and adults, when searching for ascidians use chemical cues to avoid hosts occupied by conspecifics. This conspecific avoidance behavior reported herein is a novel strategy most likely employed to preemptively resolve costly territorial conflicts. In general, this study supports predictions central to host monopolization theory, but also implies that alternative behavioral strategies (i.e., conflict avoidance) may be more important than originally thought in explaining the host use pattern of symbiotic organisms.

  17. Selective Pressures Explain Differences in Flower Color among Gentiana lutea Populations.

    PubMed

    Sobral, Mar; Veiga, Tania; Domínguez, Paula; Guitián, Javier A; Guitián, Pablo; Guitián, José M

    2015-01-01

    Flower color variation among plant populations might reflect adaptation to local conditions such as the interacting animal community. In the northwest Iberian Peninsula, flower color of Gentiana lutea varies longitudinally among populations, ranging from orange to yellow. We explored whether flower color is locally adapted and the role of pollinators and seed predators as agents of selection by analyzing the influence of flower color on (i) pollinator visitation rate and (ii) escape from seed predation and (iii) by testing whether differences in pollinator communities correlate with flower color variation across populations. Finally, (iv) we investigated whether variation in selective pressures explains flower color variation among 12 G. lutea populations. Flower color influenced pollinator visits and differences in flower color among populations were related to variation in pollinator communities. Selective pressures on flower color vary among populations and explain part of flower color differences among populations of G. lutea. We conclude that flower color in G. lutea is locally adapted and that pollinators play a role in this adaptation.

  18. Selective Pressures Explain Differences in Flower Color among Gentiana lutea Populations

    PubMed Central

    Domínguez, Paula; Guitián, Javier A.; Guitián, Pablo; Guitián, José M.

    2015-01-01

    Flower color variation among plant populations might reflect adaptation to local conditions such as the interacting animal community. In the northwest Iberian Peninsula, flower color of Gentiana lutea varies longitudinally among populations, ranging from orange to yellow. We explored whether flower color is locally adapted and the role of pollinators and seed predators as agents of selection by analyzing the influence of flower color on (i) pollinator visitation rate and (ii) escape from seed predation and (iii) by testing whether differences in pollinator communities correlate with flower color variation across populations. Finally, (iv) we investigated whether variation in selective pressures explains flower color variation among 12 G. lutea populations. Flower color influenced pollinator visits and differences in flower color among populations were related to variation in pollinator communities. Selective pressures on flower color vary among populations and explain part of flower color differences among populations of G. lutea. We conclude that flower color in G. lutea is locally adapted and that pollinators play a role in this adaptation. PMID:26172378

  19. Explaining topic prevalence in answers to open-ended survey questions about climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tvinnereim, Endre; Fløttum, Kjersti

    2015-08-01

    Citizens’ opinions are crucial for action on climate change, but are, owing to the complexity of the issue, diverse and potentially unformed. We contribute to the understanding of public views on climate change and to knowledge needed by decision-makers by using a new approach to analyse answers to the open survey question `what comes to mind when you hear the words `climate change’?’. We apply automated text analysis, specifically structural topic modelling, which induces distinct topics based on the relative frequencies of the words used in 2,115 responses. From these data, originating from the new, nationally representative Norwegian Citizen Panel, four distinct topics emerge: Weather/Ice, Future/Impact, Money/Consumption and Attribution. We find that Norwegians emphasize societal aspects of climate change more than do respondents in previous US and UK studies. Furthermore, variables that explain variation in closed questions, such as gender and education, yield different and surprising results when employed to explain variation in what respondents emphasize. Finally, the sharp distinction between scepticism and acceptance of conventional climate science, often seen in previous studies, blurs in many textual responses as scepticism frequently turns into ambivalence.

  20. Can motor imagery and hypnotic susceptibility explain Conversion Disorder with motor symptoms?

    PubMed

    Srzich, Alexander J; Byblow, Winston D; Stinear, James W; Cirillo, John; Anson, J Greg

    2016-08-01

    Marked distortions in sense of agency can be induced by hypnosis in susceptible individuals, including alterations in subjective awareness of movement initiation and control. These distortions, with associated disability, are similar to those experienced with Conversion Disorder (CD), an observation that has led to the hypothesis that hypnosis and CD share causal mechanisms. The purpose of this review is to explore the relationships among motor imagery (MI), hypnotic susceptibility, and CD, then to propose how MI ability may contribute to hypnotic responding and CD. Studies employing subjective assessments of mental imagery have found little association between imagery abilities and hypnotic susceptibility. A positive association between imagery abilities and hypnotic susceptibility becomes apparent when objective measures of imagery ability are employed. A candidate mechanism to explain motor responses during hypnosis is kinaesthetic MI, which engages a strategy that involves proprioception or the "feel" of movement when no movement occurs. Motor suppression imagery (MSI), a strategy involving inhibition of movement, may provide an alternate objective measurable phenomenon that underlies both hypnotic susceptibility and CD. Evidence to date supports the idea that there may be a positive association between kinaesthetic MI ability and hypnotic susceptibility. Additional evidence supports a positive association between hypnotic susceptibility and CD. Disturbances in kinaesthetic MI performance in CD patients indicate that MI mechanisms may also underlie CD symptoms. Further investigation of the above relationships is warranted to explain these phenomena, and establish theoretical explanations underlying sense of agency.

  1. Understanding Middle School Students' Difficulties in Explaining Density Differences from a Language Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seah, Lay Hoon; Clarke, David; Hart, Christina

    2015-09-01

    This study examines how a class of Grade 7 students employed linguistic resources to explain density differences. Drawing from the same data-set as a previous study by, we take a language perspective to investigate the challenges students face in learning the concept of density. Our study thus complements previous research on learning about density which has mostly focussed on the conceptual challenges. The data consist of transcripts of lessons on density and students' written assignments. Using selected analytical categories from the Systemic Functional Linguistics framework, we first examined students' use of linguistic resources in their written reports of a practical activity. We then compared the language employed by the students with the instructional language, identifying possible links. Our analysis identified specific aspects of language that the students need to appropriate in order to express an understanding of density that aligns with a scientific perspective. The findings from this study illuminate ways by which teachers could assist students in overcoming the linguistic challenges in explaining density differences, which complement those made by existing studies that focus on conceptual challenges.

  2. Rectilinear Edge Selectivity Is Insufficient to Explain the Category Selectivity of the Parahippocampal Place Area

    PubMed Central

    Bryan, Peter B.; Julian, Joshua B.; Epstein, Russell A.

    2016-01-01

    The parahippocampal place area (PPA) is one of several brain regions that respond more strongly to scenes than to non-scene items such as objects and faces. The mechanism underlying this scene-preferential response remains unclear. One possibility is that the PPA is tuned to low-level stimulus features that are found more often in scenes than in less-preferred stimuli. Supporting this view, Nasr et al. (2014) recently observed that some of the stimuli that are known to strongly activate the PPA contain a large number of rectilinear edges. They further demonstrated that PPA response is modulated by rectilinearity for a range of non-scene images. Motivated by these results, we tested whether rectilinearity suffices to explain PPA selectivity for scenes. In the first experiment, we replicated the previous finding of modulation by rectilinearity in the PPA for arrays of 2-d shapes. However, two further experiments failed to find a rectilinearity effect for faces or scenes: high-rectilinearity faces and scenes did not activate the PPA any more strongly than low-rectilinearity faces and scenes. Moreover, the categorical advantage for scenes vs. faces was maintained in the PPA and two other scene-selective regions—the retrosplenial complex (RSC) and occipital place area (OPA)—when rectilinearity was matched between stimulus sets. We conclude that selectivity for scenes in the PPA cannot be explained by a preference for low-level rectilinear edges. PMID:27064591

  3. Genetic surfing, not allopatric divergence, explains spatial sorting of mitochondrial haplotypes in venomous coralsnakes.

    PubMed

    Streicher, Jeffrey W; McEntee, Jay P; Drzich, Laura C; Card, Daren C; Schield, Drew R; Smart, Utpal; Parkinson, Christopher L; Jezkova, Tereza; Smith, Eric N; Castoe, Todd A

    2016-07-01

    Strong spatial sorting of genetic variation in contiguous populations is often explained by local adaptation or secondary contact following allopatric divergence. A third explanation, spatial sorting by stochastic effects of range expansion, has been considered less often though theoretical models suggest it should be widespread, if ephemeral. In a study designed to delimit species within a clade of venomous coralsnakes, we identified an unusual pattern within the Texas coral snake (Micrurus tener): strong spatial sorting of divergent mitochondrial (mtDNA) lineages over a portion of its range, but weak sorting of these lineages elsewhere. We tested three alternative hypotheses to explain this pattern-local adaptation, secondary contact following allopatric divergence, and range expansion. Collectively, near panmixia of nuclear DNA, the signal of range expansion associated sampling drift, expansion origins in the Gulf Coast of Mexico, and species distribution modeling suggest that the spatial sorting of divergent mtDNA lineages within M. tener has resulted from genetic surfing of standing mtDNA variation-not local adaptation or allopatric divergence. Our findings highlight the potential for the stochastic effects of recent range expansion to mislead estimations of population divergence made from mtDNA, which may be exacerbated in systems with low vagility, ancestral mtDNA polymorphism, and male-biased dispersal.

  4. A Particle Model Explaining Mass and Relativity in a Physical Way

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giese, Albrecht

    Physicists' understanding of relativity and the way it is handled is up to present days dominated by the interpretation of Albert Einstein, who related relativity to specific properties of space and time. The principal alternative to Einstein's interpretation is based on a concept proposed by Hendrik A. Lorentz, which uses knowledge of classical physics alone to explain relativistic phenomena. In this paper, we will show that on the one hand the Lorentz-based interpretation provides a simpler mathematical way of arriving at the known results for both Special and General Relativity. On the other hand, it is able to solve problems which have remained open to this day. Furthermore, a particle model will be presented, based on Lorentzian relativity and the quantum mechanical concept of Louis de Broglie, which explains the origin of mass without the use of the Higgs mechanism. It is based on the finiteness of the speed of light and provides classical results for particle properties which are currently only accessible through quantum mechanics.

  5. Functional traits help to explain half-century long shifts in pollinator distributions

    PubMed Central

    Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Jesús; Kissling, W. Daniel; Carvalheiro, Luísa G.; WallisDeVries, Michiel F.; Franzén, Markus; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C.

    2016-01-01

    Changes in climate and land use can have important impacts on biodiversity. Species respond to such environmental modifications by adapting to new conditions or by shifting their geographic distributions towards more suitable areas. The latter might be constrained by species’ functional traits that influence their ability to move, reproduce or establish. Here, we show that functional traits related to dispersal, reproduction, habitat use and diet have influenced how three pollinator groups (bees, butterflies and hoverflies) responded to changes in climate and land-use in the Netherlands since 1950. Across the three pollinator groups, we found pronounced areal range expansions (>53%) and modelled range shifts towards the north (all taxa: 17–22 km), west (bees: 14 km) and east (butterflies: 11 km). The importance of specific functional traits for explaining distributional changes varied among pollinator groups. Larval diet preferences (i.e. carnivorous vs. herbivorous/detritivorous and nitrogen values of host plants, respectively) were important for hoverflies and butterflies, adult body size for hoverflies, and flight period length for all groups. Moreover, interactions among multiple traits were important to explain species’ geographic range shifts, suggesting that taxon-specific multi-trait analyses are needed to predict how global change will affect biodiversity and ecosystem services. PMID:27079784

  6. Predator-prey dynamics stabilised by nonlinearity explain oscillations in dust-forming plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, A. E.; McKenzie, D. R.

    2016-04-01

    Dust-forming plasmas are ionised gases that generate particles from a precursor. In nature, dust-forming plasmas are found in flames, the interstellar medium and comet tails. In the laboratory, they are valuable in generating nanoparticles for medicine and electronics. Dust-forming plasmas exhibit a bizarre, even puzzling behaviour in which they oscillate with timescales of seconds to minutes. Here we show how the problem of understanding these oscillations may be cast as a predator-prey problem, with electrons as prey and particles as predators. The addition of a nonlinear loss term to the classic Lotka-Volterra equations used for describing the predator-prey problem in ecology not only stabilises the oscillations in the solutions for the populations of electrons and particles in the plasma but also explains the behaviour in more detail. The model explains the relative phase difference of the two populations, the way in which the frequency of the oscillations varies with the concentration of the precursor gas, and the oscillations of the light emission, determined by the populations of both species. Our results demonstrate the value of adopting an approach to a complex physical science problem that has been found successful in ecology, where complexity is always present.

  7. Causal trait theories: a new form of person knowledge that explains egocentric pattern projection.

    PubMed

    Critcher, Clayton R; Dunning, David; Rom, Sarah C

    2015-03-01

    Representations of the self and others include not only piecemeal traits but also causal trait theories-explanations for why a person's standing on 1 trait causes or is caused by standings on other traits (Studies 1a-1c). These causal theories help resolve the puzzle of egocentric pattern projection-the tendency for people to assume that traits correlate in the population in the same way they align in the self. Causal trait theories-created to explain trait co-occurrence in a single person-are exported to guide one's implicit personality theories about people in general (Study 2). Pattern projection was found to be largely egocentric (i.e., more strong guided by self- than by social perceptions) for 2 reasons. First, causal trait theories are more numerous for the self. When participants were prompted to generate causal trait theories about someone else, they pattern projected more from that person (Study 3). Second, causal trait theories about the self are more likely to draw on behavioral information from multiple contexts instead of merely seeking to explain why 2 traits co-occur in a single context. Causal trait theories based on trait-relevant behaviors from different contexts, instead of trait co-occurrence within a single context, produce more pattern projection (Study 4). Implications for self and social cognition are discussed.

  8. Transcriptional regulation is insufficient to explain substrate-induced flux changes in Bacillus subtilis

    PubMed Central

    Chubukov, Victor; Uhr, Markus; Le Chat, Ludovic; Kleijn, Roelco J; Jules, Matthieu; Link, Hannes; Aymerich, Stephane; Stelling, Jörg; Sauer, Uwe

    2013-01-01

    One of the key ways in which microbes are thought to regulate their metabolism is by modulating the availability of enzymes through transcriptional regulation. However, the limited success of efforts to manipulate metabolic fluxes by rewiring the transcriptional network has cast doubt on the idea that transcript abundance controls metabolic fluxes. In this study, we investigate control of metabolic flux in the model bacterium Bacillus subtilis by quantifying fluxes, transcripts, and metabolites in eight metabolic states enforced by different environmental conditions. We find that most enzymes whose flux switches between on and off states, such as those involved in substrate uptake, exhibit large corresponding transcriptional changes. However, for the majority of enzymes in central metabolism, enzyme concentrations were insufficient to explain the observed fluxes—only for a number of reactions in the tricarboxylic acid cycle were enzyme changes approximately proportional to flux changes. Surprisingly, substrate changes revealed by metabolomics were also insufficient to explain observed fluxes, leaving a large role for allosteric regulation and enzyme modification in the control of metabolic fluxes. PMID:24281055

  9. Ability of matrix models to explain the past and predict the future of plant populations.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McEachern, Kathryn; Crone, Elizabeth E.; Ellis, Martha M.; Morris, William F.; Stanley, Amanda; Bell, Timothy; Bierzychudek, Paulette; Ehrlen, Johan; Kaye, Thomas N.; Knight, Tiffany M.; Lesica, Peter; Oostermeijer, Gerard; Quintana-Ascencio, Pedro F.; Ticktin, Tamara; Valverde, Teresa; Williams, Jennifer I.; Doak, Daniel F.; Ganesan, Rengaian; Thorpe, Andrea S.; Menges, Eric S.

    2013-01-01

    Uncertainty associated with ecological forecasts has long been recognized, but forecast accuracy is rarely quantified. We evaluated how well data on 82 populations of 20 species of plants spanning 3 continents explained and predicted plant population dynamics. We parameterized stage-based matrix models with demographic data from individually marked plants and determined how well these models forecast population sizes observed at least 5 years into the future. Simple demographic models forecasted population dynamics poorly; only 40% of observed population sizes fell within our forecasts' 95% confidence limits. However, these models explained population dynamics during the years in which data were collected; observed changes in population size during the data-collection period were strongly positively correlated with population growth rate. Thus, these models are at least a sound way to quantify population status. Poor forecasts were not associated with the number of individual plants or years of data. We tested whether vital rates were density dependent and found both positive and negative density dependence. However, density dependence was not associated with forecast error. Forecast error was significantly associated with environmental differences between the data collection and forecast periods. To forecast population fates, more detailed models, such as those that project how environments are likely to change and how these changes will affect population dynamics, may be needed. Such detailed models are not always feasible. Thus, it may be wiser to make risk-averse decisions than to expect precise forecasts from models.

  10. Can motor imagery and hypnotic susceptibility explain Conversion Disorder with motor symptoms?

    PubMed

    Srzich, Alexander J; Byblow, Winston D; Stinear, James W; Cirillo, John; Anson, J Greg

    2016-08-01

    Marked distortions in sense of agency can be induced by hypnosis in susceptible individuals, including alterations in subjective awareness of movement initiation and control. These distortions, with associated disability, are similar to those experienced with Conversion Disorder (CD), an observation that has led to the hypothesis that hypnosis and CD share causal mechanisms. The purpose of this review is to explore the relationships among motor imagery (MI), hypnotic susceptibility, and CD, then to propose how MI ability may contribute to hypnotic responding and CD. Studies employing subjective assessments of mental imagery have found little association between imagery abilities and hypnotic susceptibility. A positive association between imagery abilities and hypnotic susceptibility becomes apparent when objective measures of imagery ability are employed. A candidate mechanism to explain motor responses during hypnosis is kinaesthetic MI, which engages a strategy that involves proprioception or the "feel" of movement when no movement occurs. Motor suppression imagery (MSI), a strategy involving inhibition of movement, may provide an alternate objective measurable phenomenon that underlies both hypnotic susceptibility and CD. Evidence to date supports the idea that there may be a positive association between kinaesthetic MI ability and hypnotic susceptibility. Additional evidence supports a positive association between hypnotic susceptibility and CD. Disturbances in kinaesthetic MI performance in CD patients indicate that MI mechanisms may also underlie CD symptoms. Further investigation of the above relationships is warranted to explain these phenomena, and establish theoretical explanations underlying sense of agency. PMID:27346334

  11. A tethered delivery mechanism explains the catalytic action of a microtubule polymerase

    PubMed Central

    Ayaz, Pelin; Munyoki, Sarah; Geyer, Elisabeth A; Piedra, Felipe-Andrés; Vu, Emily S; Bromberg, Raquel; Otwinowski, Zbyszek; Grishin, Nick V; Brautigam, Chad A; Rice, Luke M

    2014-01-01

    Stu2p/XMAP215 proteins are essential microtubule polymerases that use multiple αβ-tubulin-interacting TOG domains to bind microtubule plus ends and catalyze fast microtubule growth. We report here the structure of the TOG2 domain from Stu2p bound to yeast αβ-tubulin. Like TOG1, TOG2 binds selectively to a fully ‘curved’ conformation of αβ-tubulin, incompatible with a microtubule lattice. We also show that TOG1-TOG2 binds non-cooperatively to two αβ-tubulins. Preferential interactions between TOGs and fully curved αβ-tubulin that cannot exist elsewhere in the microtubule explain how these polymerases localize to the extreme microtubule end. We propose that these polymerases promote elongation because their linked TOG domains concentrate unpolymerized αβ-tubulin near curved subunits already bound at the microtubule end. This tethering model can explain catalyst-like behavior and also predicts that the polymerase action changes the configuration of the microtubule end. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03069.001 PMID:25097237

  12. The psychosocial difficulties in brain disorders that explain short term changes in health outcomes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background This study identifies a set of psychosocial difficulties that are associated with short term changes in health outcomes across a heterogeneous set of brain disorders, neurological and psychiatric. Methods Longitudinal observational study over approximately 12 weeks with three time points of assessment and 741 patients with bipolar disorders, depression, migraine, multiple sclerosis, parkinson’s disease, stroke and traumatic brain injury. The data on disability was collected with the checklist of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. The selected health outcomes were the Short Form 36 and the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule. Multilevel models for change were applied controlling for age, gender and disease severity. Results The psychosocial difficulties that explain the variability and change over time of the selected health outcomes were energy and drive, sleep, and emotional functions, and a broad range of activities and participation domains, such as solving problems, conversation, areas of mobility and self-care, relationships, community life and recreation and leisure. Conclusions Our findings are of interest to researchers and clinicians for interventions and health systems planning as they show that in addition to difficulties that are diagnostic criteria of these disorders, there are other difficulties that explain small changes in health outcomes over short periods of time. PMID:23497332

  13. Explaining the geographical origins of seasonal influenza A (H3N2)

    PubMed Central

    Bedford, Trevor; Cobey, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    Most antigenically novel and evolutionarily successful strains of seasonal influenza A (H3N2) originate in East, South and Southeast Asia. To understand this pattern, we simulated the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of influenza in a host metapopulation representing the temperate north, tropics and temperate south. Although seasonality and air traffic are frequently used to explain global migratory patterns of influenza, we find that other factors may have a comparable or greater impact. Notably, a region's basic reproductive number (R0) strongly affects the antigenic evolution of its viral population and the probability that its strains will spread and fix globally: a 17–28% higher R0 in one region can explain the observed patterns. Seasonality, in contrast, increases the probability that a tropical (less seasonal) population will export evolutionarily successful strains but alone does not predict that these strains will be antigenically advanced. The relative sizes of different host populations, their birth and death rates, and the region in which H3N2 first appears affect influenza's phylogeography in different but relatively minor ways. These results suggest general principles that dictate the spatial dynamics of antigenically evolving pathogens and offer predictions for how changes in human ecology might affect influenza evolution. PMID:27629034

  14. A General Model of Negative Frequency Dependent Selection Explains Global Patterns of Human ABO Polymorphism.

    PubMed

    Villanea, Fernando A; Safi, Kristin N; Busch, Jeremiah W

    2015-01-01

    The ABO locus in humans is characterized by elevated heterozygosity and very similar allele frequencies among populations scattered across the globe. Using knowledge of ABO protein function, we generated a simple model of asymmetric negative frequency dependent selection and genetic drift to explain the maintenance of ABO polymorphism and its loss in human populations. In our models, regardless of the strength of selection, models with large effective population sizes result in ABO allele frequencies that closely match those observed in most continental populations. Populations must be moderately small to fall out of equilibrium and lose either the A or B allele (N(e) ≤ 50) and much smaller (N(e) ≤ 25) for the complete loss of diversity, which nearly always involved the fixation of the O allele. A pattern of low heterozygosity at the ABO locus where loss of polymorphism occurs in our model is consistent with small populations, such as Native American populations. This study provides a general evolutionary model to explain the observed global patterns of polymorphism at the ABO locus and the pattern of allele loss in small populations. Moreover, these results inform the range of population sizes associated with the recent human colonization of the Americas.

  15. Brain hemodynamic activity during viewing and re-viewing of comedy movies explained by experienced humor.

    PubMed

    Jääskeläinen, Iiro P; Pajula, Juha; Tohka, Jussi; Lee, Hsin-Ju; Kuo, Wen-Jui; Lin, Fa-Hsuan

    2016-01-01

    Humor is crucial in human social interactions. To study the underlying neural processes, three comedy clips were shown twice to 20 volunteers during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Inter-subject similarities in humor ratings, obtained immediately after fMRI, explained inter-subject correlation of hemodynamic activity in right frontal pole and in a number of other brain regions. General linear model analysis also indicated activity in right frontal pole, as well as in additional cortical areas and subcortically in striatum, explained by humorousness. The association of the right frontal pole with experienced humorousness is a novel finding, which might be related to humor unfolding over longer time scales in the movie clips. Specifically, frontal pole has been shown to exhibit longer temporal receptive windows than, e.g., sensory areas, which might have enabled processing of humor in the clips based on holding information and reinterpreting that in light of new information several (even tens of) seconds later. As another novel finding, medial and lateral prefrontal areas, frontal pole, posterior-inferior temporal areas, posterior parietal areas, posterior cingulate, striatal structures and amygdala showed reduced activity upon re-viewing of the clips, suggesting involvement in processing of humor related to novelty of the comedic events. PMID:27323928

  16. Mineral disequilibrium in lavas explained by convective self-mixing in open magma chambers.

    PubMed

    Couch, S; Sparks, R S; Carroll, M R

    2001-06-28

    Characteristic features of many porphyritic andesite and dacite lavas are that they are rich in crystals and display a range of disequilibrium features, including reversely zoned crystals, resorption surfaces, wide ranges of mineral compositions and minerals which are not in equilibrium with the surrounding rock matrix. These features are often interpreted as evidence of the mixing of magmas of contrasting composition, temperature and origin. Here, however, we propose that such features can also be caused by convection within a magma body with a single composition, that is heated from below and cooled from above. We describe petrological observations of andesite lava erupted at the Soufrière Hills volcano, Montserrat, which indicate a heating event and the intermingling of crystals that have very different thermal histories. We present experimental data on a representative groundmass composition of this lava, which indicate that it is difficult to explain the calcic compositions of plagioclase overgrowth rims and microphenocrysts unless parts of the magma were at temperatures much higher than the inferred average temperature. The concept of convective self-mixing allows us to explain the occurrence of compositions of minerals that apparently cannot coexist under equilibrium conditions. PMID:11429601

  17. Phytoplankton succession explains size-partitioning of new production following upwelling-induced blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Oostende, N.; Dunne, J. P.; Fawcett, S. E.; Ward, B. B.

    2015-08-01

    Large and chain-forming diatoms typically dominate the phytoplankton biomass after initiation of coastal upwelling. The ability of these diatoms to accelerate and maintain elevated nitrate uptake rates has been proposed to explain the dominance of diatoms over all other phytoplankton groups. Moreover, the observed delay in biomass accumulation following nitrate supply after initiation of upwelling events has been hypothesised to result from changes in the diatom community structure or from physiological acclimation. To investigate these mechanisms, we used both numerical modelling and experimental incubations that reproduced the characteristic succession from small to large species in phytoplankton community composition and size structure. Using the Tracers Of Phytoplankton with Allometric Zooplankton (TOPAZ) ecosystem model as a framework, we find that variations in functional group-specific traits must be taken into account, through adjustments of group-dependent maximum production rates (PCmax, s- 1), in order to accurately reproduce the observed patterns and timescales of size-partitioned new production in a non-steady state environment. Representation of neither nutrient acclimation, nor diatom diversity in the model was necessary as long as lower than theoretical maximum production rates were implemented. We conclude that this physiological feature, PCmax, is critical in representing the early, relatively higher specific nitrate uptake rate of large diatoms, and explains the differential success of small and large phytoplankton communities in response to nitrate supply during upwelling.

  18. Circuitry to explain how the relative number of L and M cones shapes color experience.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Brian P; Touch, Phanith; Neitz, Maureen; Neitz, Jay

    2016-06-01

    The wavelength of light that appears unique yellow is surprisingly consistent across people even though the ratio of middle (M) to long (L) wavelength sensitive cones is strikingly variable. This observation has been explained by normalization to the mean spectral distribution of our shared environment. Our purpose was to reconcile the nearly perfect alignment of everyone's unique yellow through a normalization process with the striking variability in unique green, which varies by as much as 60 nm between individuals. The spectral location of unique green was measured in a group of volunteers whose cone ratios were estimated with a technique that combined genetics and flicker photometric electroretinograms. In contrast to unique yellow, unique green was highly dependent upon relative cone numerosity. We hypothesized that the difference in neural architecture of the blue-yellow and red-green opponent systems in the presence of a normalization process creates the surprising dependence of unique green on cone ratio. We then compared the predictions of different theories of color vision processing that incorporate L and M cone ratio and a normalization process. The results of this analysis reveal that-contrary to prevailing notions--postretinal contributions may not be required to explain the phenomena of unique hues. PMID:27366885

  19. Explaining physicians' use of EMR systems and performance in the shakedown phase

    PubMed Central

    Venkatesh, Viswanath; Rai, Arun

    2011-01-01

    Objective This work seeks to complement and extend prior work by using a multidisciplinary approach to explain electronic medical records (EMR) system use and consequent performance (here, patient satisfaction) among physicians during early stages of the implementation of an EMR. Design This was a quantitative study, with data obtained from three distinct sources: individual-level and social-network data from employees; use data from EMR system logs; and patient satisfaction data from patients and/or authorized decision-makers. Responses were obtained from 151 physicians and 8440 patient satisfaction surveys over the course of a 1-year period at the shakedown phase of an EMR system implementation. Results Physicians who were better connected, both directly and indirectly, to their peers—that is, other physicians—for advice on their work, used the system less than those who were less connected. In addition to such social network ties, demographic characteristics (gender and age), three personality characteristics (openness to experience, agreeableness and extroversion) and a key technology perception (perceived usefulness) predicted EMR system use. Conclusions For hospital administrators and other stakeholders, understanding the contributors to, and the relative importance of, various factors in explaining EMR system use, and its impact on patient satisfaction is of great importance. The factors identified in this work that influence a physician's use of EMR systems can be used to develop interventions and applications that can increase physician buy-in and use of EMR systems. PMID:21292704

  20. Explaining the t - t¯ asymmetry with a light axigluon

    DOE PAGES

    Marques Tavares, Gustavo; Schmaltz, Martin

    2011-09-12

    We propose an axigluon with mass between 400 and 450 GeV and flavor-universal couplings to quarks to explain the Tevatron t -t¯ forward-backward asymmetry. The model predicts a small negative asymmetry for t - t¯ pairs with invariant mass below 450 GeV and a large positive asymmetry above 450 GeV. The asymmetry arises from interference between s-channel gluon and axigluon diagrams and requires a relatively weakly coupled axigluon (ga=gqcd/3). Axigluon-gluon interference does not contribute to the t - t¯ cross section. New contributions to the cross section arise only at fourth order in the axigluon coupling and are very smallmore » for a sufficiently broad axigluon. Dijet measurements do not significantly constrain the axigluon couplings. We propose several possible UV completions of the phenomenological axigluon which explain the required small couplings and large width. Such UV completions necessarily contain new colored fermions or scalars below the axigluon mass and predict multijet events with large cross sections at the Tevatron and LHC.« less

  1. Territoriality and Conflict Avoidance Explain Asociality (Solitariness) of the Endosymbiotic Pea Crab Tunicotheres moseri.

    PubMed

    Ambrosio, Louis J; Baeza, J Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Host monopolization theory predicts symbiotic organisms inhabiting morphologically simple, relatively small and scarce hosts to live solitarily as a result of territorial behaviors. We tested this prediction with Tunicotheres moseri, an endosymbiotic crab dwelling in the atrial chamber of the morphologically simple, small, and relatively scarce ascidian Styela plicata. As predicted, natural populations of T. moseri inhabit ascidian hosts solitarily with greater frequency than expected by chance alone. Furthermore, laboratory experiments demonstrated that intruder crabs take significantly longer to colonize previously infected compared to uninfected hosts, indicating as expected, that resident crabs exhibit monopolization behaviors. While territoriality does occur, agonistic behaviors employed by T. moseri do not mirror the overt behaviors commonly reported for other territorial crustaceans. Documented double and triple cohabitations in the field coupled with laboratory observations demonstrating the almost invariable success of intruder crabs colonizing occupied hosts, suggest that territoriality is ineffective in completely explaining the solitary social habit of this species. Additional experiments showed that T. moseri juveniles and adults, when searching for ascidians use chemical cues to avoid hosts occupied by conspecifics. This conspecific avoidance behavior reported herein is a novel strategy most likely employed to preemptively resolve costly territorial conflicts. In general, this study supports predictions central to host monopolization theory, but also implies that alternative behavioral strategies (i.e., conflict avoidance) may be more important than originally thought in explaining the host use pattern of symbiotic organisms. PMID:26910474

  2. Explained variation in a fully specified model for data-grouped survival data.

    PubMed

    Pipper, C B; Ritz, C; Scheike, T H

    2011-12-01

    An additive hazards model may be used to quantify the effect of genetic and environmental predictors on flowering of sugar beet plants recorded as data-grouped time-to-event data. Estimated predictor effects have an intuitive interpretation rooted in the underlying time dynamics of the flowering process. However, agricultural experiments are often designed using several plots containing a large number of plants that are subsequently being monitored. In this article, we consider an additive hazards model with an additional plot structure induced by latent shared frailty variables. This approach enables us to derive a method to assess the quality of predictors in terms of how much plot variation they explain. We apply the method to a large data set exploring flowering of sugar beet and conclude that the genetic predictor biotype, which has a strong effect, also explains a substantial amount of the plot variation. The method is also applied to a data set from medical research concerning days to virus positivity of serum samples in AIDS patients. PMID:21517793

  3. Does Individualism Help Explain Differences in Employers' Stigmatizing Attitudes Toward Disability Across Chinese and American Cities?

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Deepa; Horton, Randall A.; Tsang, Hector W.H.; Shi, Kan; Corrigan, Patrick W.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose Stigmatizing attitudes toward people with disabilities can jeopardize such individuals' well-being and recovery through denial of employment and community isolation. By shaping social norms that define group membership, the construct of individualism may partially explain differences in stigmatizing attitudes across cultures. Further, widespread globalization has brought intensely individualistic social practices to certain segments of non-Western cultures. This paper examines whether the construct of individualism can help to explain cross-cultural differences in stigmatizing attitudes observed between American and Chinese employers. Design Employers (N = 879) from Beijing, Hong Kong, and Chicago provided information on their attitudes toward hiring people with disabilities, and Path Analyses were conducted to examine potential mediating relationships. Results Path analyses indicated that vertical individualism, along with perceived responsibility for acquiring a condition, partially mediated the relationship between culture and employers' negative attitudes about job candidates with disabilities. Conclusion These results suggested that greater espousal of competitive and individualist values may drive stigmatizing attitudes across cultures. PMID:21171794

  4. The lost Gemeinschaft: how people working with the elderly explain loneliness.

    PubMed

    Schirmer, Werner; Michailakis, Dimitris

    2015-04-01

    We conducted a qualitative interview study with people of different professions working with lonely elderly people. The rationale of the study was to examine how these respondents explain loneliness among the elderly. The present article focuses on the social explanations, i.e. explanations that identify causes of loneliness in the structure of modern society. We found that many of the social explanations given are aspects of a more encompassing and general pattern underlying all the reasoning about loneliness among the elderly. This pattern is the expression of two contrasting images of society which the classical sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies termed Gemeinschaft (community) and Gesellschaft (society). The former refers to traditional or small-size rural communities characterized by high degrees of social cohesion, integration, solidarity, proximity and familiarity, whereas the latter refers to functional differentiation, distance, individualization, exchanged-based social relations and anonymity. Loneliness among the elderly is explained by the lack of Gemeinschaft and its characteristics in contemporary society. This explanatory pattern goes hand in hand with a critical view of contemporary society and a nostalgic yearning for the lost communities of past societies, where inhabitants find their staked-out place and sense of belonging, and thus loneliness hardly seems to occur. We summarized this view under the label the "lost Gemeinschaft".

  5. Brain hemodynamic activity during viewing and re-viewing of comedy movies explained by experienced humor

    PubMed Central

    Jääskeläinen, Iiro P.; Pajula, Juha; Tohka, Jussi; Lee, Hsin-Ju; Kuo, Wen-Jui; Lin, Fa-Hsuan

    2016-01-01

    Humor is crucial in human social interactions. To study the underlying neural processes, three comedy clips were shown twice to 20 volunteers during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Inter-subject similarities in humor ratings, obtained immediately after fMRI, explained inter-subject correlation of hemodynamic activity in right frontal pole and in a number of other brain regions. General linear model analysis also indicated activity in right frontal pole, as well as in additional cortical areas and subcortically in striatum, explained by humorousness. The association of the right frontal pole with experienced humorousness is a novel finding, which might be related to humor unfolding over longer time scales in the movie clips. Specifically, frontal pole has been shown to exhibit longer temporal receptive windows than, e.g., sensory areas, which might have enabled processing of humor in the clips based on holding information and reinterpreting that in light of new information several (even tens of) seconds later. As another novel finding, medial and lateral prefrontal areas, frontal pole, posterior-inferior temporal areas, posterior parietal areas, posterior cingulate, striatal structures and amygdala showed reduced activity upon re-viewing of the clips, suggesting involvement in processing of humor related to novelty of the comedic events. PMID:27323928

  6. Predator-prey dynamics stabilised by nonlinearity explain oscillations in dust-forming plasmas.

    PubMed

    Ross, A E; McKenzie, D R

    2016-01-01

    Dust-forming plasmas are ionised gases that generate particles from a precursor. In nature, dust-forming plasmas are found in flames, the interstellar medium and comet tails. In the laboratory, they are valuable in generating nanoparticles for medicine and electronics. Dust-forming plasmas exhibit a bizarre, even puzzling behaviour in which they oscillate with timescales of seconds to minutes. Here we show how the problem of understanding these oscillations may be cast as a predator-prey problem, with electrons as prey and particles as predators. The addition of a nonlinear loss term to the classic Lotka-Volterra equations used for describing the predator-prey problem in ecology not only stabilises the oscillations in the solutions for the populations of electrons and particles in the plasma but also explains the behaviour in more detail. The model explains the relative phase difference of the two populations, the way in which the frequency of the oscillations varies with the concentration of the precursor gas, and the oscillations of the light emission, determined by the populations of both species. Our results demonstrate the value of adopting an approach to a complex physical science problem that has been found successful in ecology, where complexity is always present.

  7. Polarization in Raman spectroscopy helps explain bone brittleness in genetic mouse models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makowski, Alexander J.; Pence, Isaac J.; Uppuganti, Sasidhar; Zein-Sabatto, Ahbid; Huszagh, Meredith C.; Mahadevan-Jansen, Anita; Nyman, Jeffry S.

    2014-11-01

    Raman spectroscopy (RS) has been extensively used to characterize bone composition. However, the link between bone biomechanics and RS measures is not well established. Here, we leveraged the sensitivity of RS polarization to organization, thereby assessing whether RS can explain differences in bone toughness in genetic mouse models for which traditional RS peak ratios are not informative. In the selected mutant mice-activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) or matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) knock-outs-toughness is reduced but differences in bone strength do not exist between knock-out and corresponding wild-type controls. To incorporate differences in the RS of bone occurring at peak shoulders, a multivariate approach was used. Full spectrum principal components analysis of two paired, orthogonal bone orientations (relative to laser polarization) improved genotype classification and correlation to bone toughness when compared to traditional peak ratios. When applied to femurs from wild-type mice at 8 and 20 weeks of age, the principal components of orthogonal bone orientations improved age classification but not the explanation of the maturation-related increase in strength. Overall, increasing polarization information by collecting spectra from two bone orientations improves the ability of multivariate RS to explain variance in bone toughness, likely due to polarization sensitivity to organizational changes in both mineral and collagen.

  8. General Relativity Explains the Shnoll Effect and Makes Possible Forecasting Earthquakes and Weather Cataclysms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabounski, Dmitri; Borissova, Larissa

    2014-03-01

    The Shnoll effect is manifested in the fine structure of the noise registered in stable processes, wherein as the magnitude of signal and the average noise remain unchanged. It is periodic fluctuation of the fine structure of the noise according to the cosmic cycles connected with stars, the Sun, and the Moon. The Shnoll effect is explained herein according to General Relativity, as the twin/entangled synchronization states of the observer's reference frame. The states are repeated while the observer travels, in common with the Earth, through the cosmic grid of the geodesic synchronization paths that connect his local reference frame with the reference frames of the other cosmic bodies. These synchronization periods are expected to be existing in the noise of natural processes of any type (physics, biology, social, etc.) and such artificial processes as the random number generation by a computer software. These periods match with the periods of the Shnoll effect. The theory gives not only to explain the Shnoll effect, but also allows forecasting the fluctuations in the stock exchange market, the fluctuations of weather, earthquakes, and other cataclysms.

  9. Examining Pre-Service Teachers' Use of Atomic Models in Explaining Subsequent Ionisation Energy Values

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeldon, Ruth

    2012-06-01

    Chemistry students' explanations of ionisation energy phenomena often involve a number of non-scientific or inappropriate ideas being used to form causality arguments. Research has attributed this to many science teachers using these ideas themselves (Tan and Taber, in J Chem Educ 86(5):623-629, 2009). This research extends this work by considering which atomic models are used in pre-service teachers' explanations and how that relates to the causality ideas expressed. Thirty-one pre-service teachers were interviewed. Each was asked to describe and explain four different atomic representations (Rutherford, Electron cloud micrograph, Bohr and Schrödinger types) in as much detail as they could. They also provided an explanation for the subsequent ionisation energy values for an oxygen atom and identified which representations were helpful in explaining the values. Significantly, when pre-service teachers only used Bohr type representations, they did not use repelling electron ideas in their explanations. However, arguments that were based on electron-electron repulsion used features from Schrödinger type atoms. These findings suggest that many pre-service teachers need to develop their atomic modelling skills so that they select and use models more expertly and that subsequent ionisation explanations offer a context in which to explore different atomic models' limitations and their deployment as explanatory resources.

  10. Functional traits help to explain half-century long shifts in pollinator distributions.

    PubMed

    Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Jesús; Kissling, W Daniel; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; WallisDeVries, Michiel F; Franzén, Markus; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C

    2016-04-15

    Changes in climate and land use can have important impacts on biodiversity. Species respond to such environmental modifications by adapting to new conditions or by shifting their geographic distributions towards more suitable areas. The latter might be constrained by species' functional traits that influence their ability to move, reproduce or establish. Here, we show that functional traits related to dispersal, reproduction, habitat use and diet have influenced how three pollinator groups (bees, butterflies and hoverflies) responded to changes in climate and land-use in the Netherlands since 1950. Across the three pollinator groups, we found pronounced areal range expansions (>53%) and modelled range shifts towards the north (all taxa: 17-22 km), west (bees: 14 km) and east (butterflies: 11 km). The importance of specific functional traits for explaining distributional changes varied among pollinator groups. Larval diet preferences (i.e. carnivorous vs. herbivorous/detritivorous and nitrogen values of host plants, respectively) were important for hoverflies and butterflies, adult body size for hoverflies, and flight period length for all groups. Moreover, interactions among multiple traits were important to explain species' geographic range shifts, suggesting that taxon-specific multi-trait analyses are needed to predict how global change will affect biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  11. Explaining feast or famine in randomized field trials. Medical science and criminology compared.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, Jonathan P

    2003-06-01

    A feast of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in medical science and comparative famine in criminology can be explained in terms of cultural and structural factors. Of central importance is the context in which the evaluation of interventions is done and the difference in status of situational research in the two disciplines. Evaluation of medical interventions has traditionally been led by practitioner (clinical) academics. This is not the case in criminal justice, where theory has had higher status than intervention research. Medical science has advanced in, or closely associated with, university teaching hospitals, but links between criminology and criminal justice services are far more tenuous. The late development of situational crime prevention seems extraordinary from a medical perspective, as does the absence of university police schools in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. These structural and cultural factors explain concentration of expectation, resource, and RCT productivity in medical science. The Campbell Collaboration and the Academy of Experimental Criminology are forces which are reducing this polarization of feast and famine in RCTs. But unless scientific criminology is embedded in university schools which are responsible for the education and training of law, probation, and police practitioners, convergence in terms of RCTs and implementation of findings in practice seems unlikely.

  12. Territoriality and Conflict Avoidance Explain Asociality (Solitariness) of the Endosymbiotic Pea Crab Tunicotheres moseri

    PubMed Central

    Ambrosio, Louis J.; Baeza, J. Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Host monopolization theory predicts symbiotic organisms inhabiting morphologically simple, relatively small and scarce hosts to live solitarily as a result of territorial behaviors. We tested this prediction with Tunicotheres moseri, an endosymbiotic crab dwelling in the atrial chamber of the morphologically simple, small, and relatively scarce ascidian Styela plicata. As predicted, natural populations of T. moseri inhabit ascidian hosts solitarily with greater frequency than expected by chance alone. Furthermore, laboratory experiments demonstrated that intruder crabs take significantly longer to colonize previously infected compared to uninfected hosts, indicating as expected, that resident crabs exhibit monopolization behaviors. While territoriality does occur, agonistic behaviors employed by T. moseri do not mirror the overt behaviors commonly reported for other territorial crustaceans. Documented double and triple cohabitations in the field coupled with laboratory observations demonstrating the almost invariable success of intruder crabs colonizing occupied hosts, suggest that territoriality is ineffective in completely explaining the solitary social habit of this species. Additional experiments showed that T. moseri juveniles and adults, when searching for ascidians use chemical cues to avoid hosts occupied by conspecifics. This conspecific avoidance behavior reported herein is a novel strategy most likely employed to preemptively resolve costly territorial conflicts. In general, this study supports predictions central to host monopolization theory, but also implies that alternative behavioral strategies (i.e., conflict avoidance) may be more important than originally thought in explaining the host use pattern of symbiotic organisms. PMID:26910474

  13. A model explaining synchronization of neuron bioelectric frequency under weak alternating low frequency magnetic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    del Moral, A.; Azanza, María J.

    2015-03-01

    A biomagnetic-electrical model is presented that explains rather well the experimentally observed synchronization of the bioelectric potential firing rate ("frequency"), f, of single unit neurons of Helix aspersa mollusc under the application of extremely low frequency (ELF) weak alternating (AC) magnetic fields (MF). The proposed model incorporates to our widely experimentally tested model of superdiamagnetism (SD) and Ca2+ Coulomb explosion (CE) from lipid (LP) bilayer membrane (SD-CE model), the electrical quadrupolar long range interaction between the bilayer LP membranes of synchronized neuron pairs, not considered before. The quadrupolar interaction is capable of explaining well the observed synchronization. Actual extension of our SD-CE-model shows that the neuron firing frequency field, B, dependence becomes not modified, but the bioelectric frequency is decreased and its spontaneous temperature, T, dependence is modified. A comparison of the model with synchronization experimental results of pair of neurons under weak (B0 ≅0.2-15 mT) AC-MF of frequency fM=50 Hz is reported. From the deduced size of synchronized LP clusters under B, is suggested the formation of small neuron networks via the membrane lipid correlation.

  14. An expanded sequence context model broadly explains variability in polymorphism levels across the human genome

    PubMed Central

    Aggarwala, Varun; Voight, Benjamin F.

    2016-01-01

    The rate of single nucleotide polymorphism varies substantially across the human genome and fundamentally influences evolution and incidence of genetic disease. Previous studies have only considered the immediate flanking nucleotides around a polymorphic site –the site’s trinucleotide sequence context– to study polymorph levels across the genome. Moreover, the impact of larger sequence contexts has not been fully clarified, even though context substantially influences rates of polymorphism. Using a new statistical framework and data from the 1000 Genomes Project, we demonstrate that a heptanucleotide context explains >81% of variability in substitution probabilities, revealing new mutation-promoting motifs at ApT dinucleotide, CAAT, and TACG sequences. Our approach also identifies previously undocumented variability in C-to-T substitutions at CpG sites, which is not immediately explained by differential methylation intensity. Using our model, we present informative substitution intolerance scores for genes and a new intolerance score for amino acids, and we demonstrate clinical use of the model in neuropsychiatric diseases. PMID:26878723

  15. Individual-Area Relationship Best Explains Goose Species Density in Wetlands

    PubMed Central

    Prins, Herbert H. T.; Cao, Lei; de Boer, Willem Fred

    2015-01-01

    Explaining and predicting animal distributions is one of the fundamental objectives in ecology and conservation biology. Animal habitat selection can be regulated by top-down and bottom-up processes, and is mediated by species interactions. Species varying in body size respond differently to top-down and bottom-up determinants, and hence understanding these allometric responses to those determinants is important for conservation. In this study, using two differently sized goose species wintering in the Yangtze floodplain, we tested the predictions derived from three different hypotheses (individual-area relationship, food resource and disturbance hypothesis) to explain the spatial and temporal variation in densities of two goose species. Using Generalized Linear Mixed Models with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique, we demonstrated that goose density was positive correlated with patch area size, suggesting that the individual area-relationship best predicts differences in goose densities. Moreover, the other predictions, related to food availability and disturbance, were not significant. Buffalo grazing probably facilitated greater white-fronted geese, as the number of buffalos was positively correlated to the density of this species. We concluded that patch area size is the most important factor determining the density of goose species in our study area. Patch area size is directly determined by water levels in the Yangtze floodplain, and hence modifying the hydrological regimes can enlarge the capacity of these wetlands for migratory birds. PMID:25996502

  16. Explaining the power-law distribution of human mobility through transportation modality decomposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Kai; Musolesi, Mirco; Hui, Pan; Rao, Weixiong; Tarkoma, Sasu

    2015-03-01

    Human mobility has been empirically observed to exhibit Lévy flight characteristics and behaviour with power-law distributed jump size. The fundamental mechanisms behind this behaviour has not yet been fully explained. In this paper, we propose to explain the Lévy walk behaviour observed in human mobility patterns by decomposing them into different classes according to the different transportation modes, such as Walk/Run, Bike, Train/Subway or Car/Taxi/Bus. Our analysis is based on two real-life GPS datasets containing approximately 10 and 20 million GPS samples with transportation mode information. We show that human mobility can be modelled as a mixture of different transportation modes, and that these single movement patterns can be approximated by a lognormal distribution rather than a power-law distribution. Then, we demonstrate that the mixture of the decomposed lognormal flight distributions associated with each modality is a power-law distribution, providing an explanation to the emergence of Lévy Walk patterns that characterize human mobility patterns.

  17. Individualistic sensitivities and exposure to climate change explain variation in species' distribution and abundance changes.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Georgina; Hill, Jane K; Brereton, Tom M; Brooks, David R; Chapman, Jason W; Fox, Richard; Oliver, Tom H; Thomas, Chris D

    2015-10-01

    The responses of animals and plants to recent climate change vary greatly from species to species, but attempts to understand this variation have met with limited success. This has led to concerns that predictions of responses are inherently uncertain because of the complexity of interacting drivers and biotic interactions. However, we show for an exemplar group of 155 Lepidoptera species that about 60% of the variation among species in their abundance trends over the past four decades can be explained by species-specific exposure and sensitivity to climate change. Distribution changes were less well predicted, but nonetheless, up to 53% of the variation was explained. We found that species vary in their overall sensitivity to climate and respond to different components of the climate despite ostensibly experiencing the same climate changes. Hence, species have undergone different levels of population "forcing" (exposure), driving variation among species in their national-scale abundance and distribution trends. We conclude that variation in species' responses to recent climate change may be more predictable than previously recognized. PMID:26601276

  18. Individualistic sensitivities and exposure to climate change explain variation in species' distribution and abundance changes.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Georgina; Hill, Jane K; Brereton, Tom M; Brooks, David R; Chapman, Jason W; Fox, Richard; Oliver, Tom H; Thomas, Chris D

    2015-10-01

    The responses of animals and plants to recent climate change vary greatly from species to species, but attempts to understand this variation have met with limited success. This has led to concerns that predictions of responses are inherently uncertain because of the complexity of interacting drivers and biotic interactions. However, we show for an exemplar group of 155 Lepidoptera species that about 60% of the variation among species in their abundance trends over the past four decades can be explained by species-specific exposure and sensitivity to climate change. Distribution changes were less well predicted, but nonetheless, up to 53% of the variation was explained. We found that species vary in their overall sensitivity to climate and respond to different components of the climate despite ostensibly experiencing the same climate changes. Hence, species have undergone different levels of population "forcing" (exposure), driving variation among species in their national-scale abundance and distribution trends. We conclude that variation in species' responses to recent climate change may be more predictable than previously recognized.

  19. Micro-Halocline Enabled Nutrient Recycling May Explain Extreme Azolla Event in the Eocene Arctic Ocean

    PubMed Central

    van Kempen, Monique M. L.; Smolders, Alfons J. P.; Lamers, Leon P. M.; Roelofs, Jan G. M.

    2012-01-01

    In order to understand the physicochemical mechanisms that could explain the massive growth of Azolla arctica in the Eocene Arctic Ocean, we carried out a laboratory experiment in which we studied the interacting effects of rain and wind on the development of salinity stratification, both in the presence and in the absence of a dense Azolla cover. Additionally, we carried out a mesocosm experiment to get a better understanding of the nutrient cycling within and beneath a dense Azolla cover in both freshwater and brackish water environments. Here we show that Azolla is able to create a windproof, small-scale salinity gradient in brackish waters, which allows for efficient recycling of nutrients. We suggest that this mechanism ensures the maintenance of a large standing biomass in which additional input of nutrients ultimately result in a further expansion of an Azolla cover. As such, it may not only explain the extent of the Azolla event during the Eocene, but also the absence of intact vegetative Azolla remains and the relatively low burial efficiency of organic carbon during this interval. PMID:23166833

  20. Ability of matrix models to explain the past and predict the future of plant populations.

    PubMed

    Crone, Elizabeth E; Ellis, Martha M; Morris, William F; Stanley, Amanda; Bell, Timothy; Bierzychudek, Paulette; Ehrlén, Johan; Kaye, Thomas N; Knight, Tiffany M; Lesica, Peter; Oostermeijer, Gerard; Quintana-Ascencio, Pedro F; Ticktin, Tamara; Valverde, Teresa; Williams, Jennifer L; Doak, Daniel F; Ganesan, Rengaian; McEachern, Kathyrn; Thorpe, Andrea S; Menges, Eric S

    2013-10-01

    Uncertainty associated with ecological forecasts has long been recognized, but forecast accuracy is rarely quantified. We evaluated how well data on 82 populations of 20 species of plants spanning 3 continents explained and predicted plant population dynamics. We parameterized stage-based matrix models with demographic data from individually marked plants and determined how well these models forecast population sizes observed at least 5 years into the future. Simple demographic models forecasted population dynamics poorly; only 40% of observed population sizes fell within our forecasts' 95% confidence limits. However, these models explained population dynamics during the years in which data were collected; observed changes in population size during the data-collection period were strongly positively correlated with population growth rate. Thus, these models are at least a sound way to quantify population status. Poor forecasts were not associated with the number of individual plants or years of data. We tested whether vital rates were density dependent and found both positive and negative density dependence. However, density dependence was not associated with forecast error. Forecast error was significantly associated with environmental differences between the data collection and forecast periods. To forecast population fates, more detailed models, such as those that project how environments are likely to change and how these changes will affect population dynamics, may be needed. Such detailed models are not always feasible. Thus, it may be wiser to make risk-averse decisions than to expect precise forecasts from models.