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Sample records for improve cognitive performance

  1. Social housing improves dairy calves' performance in two cognitive tests.

    PubMed

    Gaillard, Charlotte; Meagher, Rebecca K; von Keyserlingk, Marina A G; Weary, Daniel M

    2014-01-01

    Early social housing is known to benefit cognitive development in laboratory animals. Pre-weaned dairy calves are typically separated from their dam immediately after birth and housed alone, but no work to date has addressed the effect of individual housing on cognitive performance of these animals. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of individual versus social housing on two measures of cognitive performance: reversal learning and novel object recognition. Holstein calves were either housed individually in a standard calf pen (n = 8) or kept in pairs using a double pen (n = 10). Calves were tested twice daily in a Y-maze starting at 3 weeks of age. Calves were initially trained to discriminate two colours (black and white) until they reached a learning criterion of 80% correct over three consecutive sessions. Training stimuli were then reversed (i.e. the previously rewarded colour was now unrewarded, and vice-versa). Calves from the two treatments showed similar rates of learning in the initial discrimination task, but the individually housed calves showed poorer performance in the reversal task. At 7 weeks of age, calves were tested for their response to a novel object in eight tests over a two-day period. Pair-housed calves showed declining exploration with repeated testing but individually reared calves did not. The results of these experiments provide the first direct evidence that individual housing impairs cognitive performance in dairy calves.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

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

  5. Selective phosphodiesterase inhibitors improve performance on the ED/ID cognitive task in rats.

    PubMed

    Rodefer, Joshua S; Saland, Samantha K; Eckrich, Samuel J

    2012-03-01

    A number of selective phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors have been demonstrated to improve learning in several rodent models of cognition. Given that schizophrenia is associated with impairments in frontal lobe-dependent cognitive functions (e.g., working memory and cognitive flexibility), we examined whether PDE inhibitors would attenuate cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. Persistent suppression of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor function produces enduring structural changes in neocortical and limbic regions in a pattern similar to changes reported in schizophrenia. This similarity suggests that subchronic treatment with NMDA receptor antagonists (e.g., phencyclidine, PCP) may represent a useful preclinical model of neurobiological and related cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. We treated male Long-Evans rats with subchronic PCP (5 mg/kg, ip, BID, 7 d) or saline and then examined the effects of acute treatment with selected doses of PDE inhibitors that have been demonstrated to regulate both intracellular levels of cAMP and/or cGMP, and to improve cognitive function. We used an extradimensional-intradimensional (ED/ID) test of cognitive flexibility similar to those used in humans and non-human primates for assessing executive function. Subchronic treatment with PCP produced a selective impairment on ED shift (EDS) performance without significant impairment on any other discrimination problem when compared to saline-treated control animals. Selected doses of the four PDEIs evaluated (PDE2: BAY 60-7550; PDE4: rolipram; PDE5: sildenafil; PDE10A: papaverine) were able to significantly attenuate this cognitive deficit in EDS performance. This suggests that this rodent model of executive function was sensitive to pro-cognitive effects of intracellular effects resulting from PDE inhibition. Together, these data suggest that inhibition of PDE activity may represent valuable therapeutic targets to improve cognition associated with

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-15

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

  9. Increasing individual upper alpha power by neurofeedback improves cognitive performance in human subjects.

    PubMed

    Hanslmayr, Simon; Sauseng, Paul; Doppelmayr, Michael; Schabus, Manuel; Klimesch, Wolfgang

    2005-03-01

    The hypothesis was tested of whether neurofeedback training (NFT)--applied in order to increase upper alpha but decrease theta power--is capable of increasing cognitive performance. A mental rotation task was performed before and after upper alpha and theta NFT. Only those subjects who were able to increase their upper alpha power (responders) performed better on mental rotations after NFT. Training success (extent of NFT-induced increase in upper alpha power) was positively correlated with the improvement in cognitive performance. Furthermore, the EEG of NFT responders showed a significant increase in reference upper alpha power (i.e. in a time interval preceding mental rotation). This is in line with studies showing that increased upper alpha power in a prestimulus (reference) interval is related to good cognitive performance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lavner, Yizhar; Rabinowitz, Israel

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Rochette, Françoise; Moussard, Aline; Bigand, Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rochette, Françoise; Moussard, Aline; Bigand, Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Cognitive Performance and Cognitive Style.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    International Journal of Behavioral Development, 1985

    1985-01-01

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

  17. Progesterone improves cognitive performance and attenuates smoking urges in abstinent smokers

    PubMed Central

    Sofuoglu, Mehmet; Mouratidis, Maria; Mooney, Marc

    2010-01-01

    Summary Background Progesterone, a steroid hormone, has been implicated in many CNS functions including reward, cognition, and neuroprotection. The goal of this study was to examine the dose-dependent effects of progesterone on cognitive performance, smoking urges, and smoking behavior in smokers. Methods Thirty female and thirty-four male smokers participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Female smokers were in the early follicular phase of their menstrual cycle during study participation. Smokers were randomly assigned to either 200 or 400 mg/day of progesterone or placebo, given in two separate doses, during clinic visit. The first 3 days of the treatment period, smokers abstained from smoking, which was verified with breath CO levels. Smokers attended an experimental session on day 4 where the number of cigarettes smoked were recorded starting two hours after the medication treatment. Results Progesterone treatment, 200 mg/day, significantly improved cognitive performance in the Stroop and the Digit Symbol Substitution Test. Progesterone at 400 mg/day was associated with reduced urges for smoking but did not change ad lib smoking behavior. Conclusions These findings suggest a potential therapeutic value of progesterone for smoking cessation. PMID:20675057

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danili, Eleni; Reid, Norman

    2004-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-30

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Hydration and cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Sécher, M; Ritz, P

    2012-04-01

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

  7. Cognitive aspects of performance.

    PubMed Central

    Kane, J. E.

    1978-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Effectiveness of interventions to improve occupational performance of people with cognitive impairments after stroke: an evidence-based review.

    PubMed

    Gillen, Glen; Nilsen, Dawn M; Attridge, Jessica; Banakos, Erasmia; Morgan, Marie; Winterbottom, Lauren; York, Wesley

    2015-01-01

    This evidence-based review was conducted to determine which interventions are effective in improving occupational performance after stroke. Forty-six articles met the inclusion criteria and were examined. Interventions for the following impairments were reviewed: general cognitive deficits, executive dysfunction, apraxia, memory loss, attention deficits, visual field deficits (included because of their close relationship with neglect), and unilateral neglect. Evidence is available from a variety of clinical trials to guide interventions regarding general cognition, apraxia, and neglect. The evidence regarding interventions for executive dysfunction and memory loss is limited. There is insufficient evidence regarding impairments of attention and mixed evidence regarding interventions for visual field deficits. The effective interventions have some commonalities, including being performance focused, involving strategy training, and using a compensatory as opposed to a remediation approach. The implications of the findings for practice, research, and education are discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Dehydration and cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Grandjean, Ann C; Grandjean, Nicole R

    2007-10-01

    Human neuropsychology investigates brain-behavior relationships, using objective tools (neurological tests) to tie the biological and behavior aspects together. The use of neuropsychological assessment tools in assessing potential effects of dehydration is a natural progression of the scientific pursuit to understand the physical and mental ramifications of dehydration. It has long been known that dehydration negatively affects physical performance. Examining the effects of hydration status on cognitive function is a relatively new area of research, resulting in part from our increased understanding of hydration's impact on physical performance and advances in the discipline of cognitive neuropsychology. The available research in this area, albeit sparse, indicates that decrements in physical, visuomotor, psychomotor, and cognitive performance can occur when 2% or more of body weight is lost due to water restriction, heat, and/or physical exertion. Additional research is needed, especially studies designed to reduce, if not remove, the limitations of studies conducted to date.

  16. Cognitive performance and dehydration.

    PubMed

    Adan, Ana

    2012-04-01

    No matter how mild, dehydration is not a desirable condition because there is an imbalance in the homeostatic function of the internal environment. This can adversely affect cognitive performance, not only in groups more vulnerable to dehydration, such as children and the elderly, but also in young adults. However, few studies have examined the impact of mild or moderate dehydration on cognitive performance. This paper reviews the principal findings from studies published to date examining cognitive skills. Being dehydrated by just 2% impairs performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor, and immediate memory skills, as well as assessment of the subjective state. In contrast, the performance of long-term and working memory tasks and executive functions is more preserved, especially if the cause of dehydration is moderate physical exercise. The lack of consistency in the evidence published to date is largely due to the different methodology applied, and an attempt should be made to standardize methods for future studies. These differences relate to the assessment of cognitive performance, the method used to cause dehydration, and the characteristics of the participants.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  20. Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1996

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lampit, Amit; Ebster, Claus; Valenzuela, Michael

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-19

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Background Whether the occurrence of postoperative cognitive dysfunction is a result of the effects of surgery or anesthesia is under debate. In this study, we investigated the impact of sevoflurane anesthesia on cognitive performance and cellular mechanisms involved in learning and memory. Methods Male C57Bl6/J mice (4–5 months) were exposed to one minimum alveolar concentration sevoflurane for two hours. After 24 h, cognitive performance of mice was assessed using the modified hole board test. Additionally, we evaluated hippocampal long-term potentiation and expression levels of different receptor subunits by recording excitatory postsynaptic field potentials and using the western blot technique, respectively. Non-anesthetized mice served as controls. Results In anesthetized mice, neither cognitive performance nor long-term potentiation was impaired 24 h after anesthesia. Interestingly, sevoflurane anesthesia induced even an improvement of cognitive performance and an elevation of the expression levels of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor type 1 and 2B subunits in the hippocampus. Conclusions Since NMDA receptor type 1 and 2B subunits play a crucial role in processes related to learning and memory, we hypothesize that sevoflurane-induced changes in NMDA receptor subunit composition might cause hippocampus-dependent cognitive improvement. The data of the present study are in favor of a minor role of anesthesia in mediating postoperative cognitive dysfunction. PMID:23724087

  5. Cognitive Preference and Student Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDaniel, Ernest D.; Barnes, Shelba

    As early as 1964, cognitive preference was introduced as a way of describing an individual's preference for applying, relating or questioning information. To determine the role of cognitive preference in the pattern of variables predicting teachers' ratings of students' performance, 44 high school students completed a 61-item cognitive preference…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heric, Matthew; Carter, Jenn

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Improving temporal cognition by enhancing motivation.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  8. Improving temporal cognition by enhancing motivation.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Exercise improves cognitive function in aging patients

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Jian-Ping; Guo, Yan-Hua; Wang, Feng; Zhao, Xin-Ping; Zhang, Quan-Hai; Song, Qing-Hua

    2014-01-01

    A decline in cognitive ability commonly occurs among older individuals. This study sought to explore the restorative effects of exercise in older patients with existing cognitive disabilities. Ninety-six patients with mild cognitive impairment were placed in an exercise program for six months. Following completion of the program, participants were assessed via the Chinese Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE), Activity of Daily Living (ADL) assessment, and body movement testing and compared to a control group of patients with mild cognitive impairment who did not participate in the exercise program (N = 102). Statistical analyses were performed using the Student’s t-test and chi-square test to compare results between groups. Compared with control group, patients who exercised showed improved cognitive function in immediate memory (p < 0.001) and delayed recall (p = 0.004) function. In addition, activities associated with daily living showed improvement (p < 0.001), as did body movement (p < 0.05), arm stability (p < 0.001), and the appearance of rotation (p < 0.05). Based on these results, we conclude that participation in an exercise program can improve patients’ cognitive function, physical abilities, and body movement capacity. PMID:25419345

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. Cognitive Performance in Operational Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-11-01

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

  15. Acute, low-dose methamphetamine administration improves attention/information processing speed and working memory in methamphetamine-dependent individuals displaying poorer cognitive performance at baseline.

    PubMed

    Mahoney, James J; Jackson, Brian J; Kalechstein, Ari D; De La Garza, Richard; Newton, Thomas F

    2011-03-30

    Abstinent methamphetamine (Meth) dependent individuals demonstrate poorer performance on tests sensitive to attention/information processing speed, learning and memory, and working memory when compared to non-Meth dependent individuals. The poorer performance on these tests may contribute to the morbidity associated with Meth-dependence. In light of this, we sought to determine the effects of acute, low-dose Meth administration on attention, working memory, and verbal learning and memory in 19 non-treatment seeking, Meth-dependent individuals. Participants were predominantly male (89%), Caucasian (63%), and cigarette smokers (63%). Following a four day, drug-free washout period, participants were given a single-blind intravenous infusion of saline, followed the next day by 30 mg of Meth. A battery of neurocognitive tasks was administered before and after each infusion, and performance on measures of accuracy and reaction time were compared between conditions. While acute Meth exposure did not affect test performance for the entire sample, participants who demonstrated relatively poor performance on these tests at baseline, identified using a median split on each test, showed significant improvement on measures of attention/information processing speed and working memory when administered Meth. Improved performance was seen on the following measures of working memory: choice reaction time task (p≤0.04), a 1-back task (p≤0.01), and a 2-back task (p≤0.04). In addition, those participants demonstrating high neurocognitive performance at baseline experienced similar or decreased performance following Meth exposure. These findings suggest that acute administration of Meth may temporarily improve Meth-associated neurocognitive performance in those individuals experiencing lower cognitive performance at baseline. As a result, stimulants may serve as a successful treatment for improving cognitive functioning in those Meth-dependent individuals experiencing

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Does having a drink help you think? 6-7-Year-old children show improvements in cognitive performance from baseline to test after having a drink of water.

    PubMed

    Edmonds, Caroline J; Jeffes, Ben

    2009-12-01

    Little research has examined the effect of water consumption on cognition in children. We examined whether drinking water improves performance from baseline to test in twenty-three 6-7-year-old children. There were significant interactions between time of test and water group (water/no water), with improvements in the water group on thirst and happiness ratings, visual attention and visual search, but not visual memory or visuomotor performance. These results indicate that even under conditions of mild dehydration, not as a result of exercise, intentional water deprivation or heat exposure, children's cognitive performance can be improved by having a drink of water.

  18. A novel melatonin agonist Neu-P11 facilitates memory performance and improves cognitive impairment in a rat model of Alzheimer' disease.

    PubMed

    He, Pingping; Ouyang, Xinping; Zhou, Shouhong; Yin, Weidong; Tang, Chaoke; Laudon, Moshe; Tian, Shaowen

    2013-06-01

    Previous studies have shown that melatonin is implicated in modulating learning and memory processing. Melatonin also exerts neuroprotective activities against Aβ-induced injury in vitro and in vivo. Neu-P11 (piromelatine, N-(2-(5-methoxy-1H-indol-3-yl)ethyl)-4-oxo-4H-pyran-2-carboxamide) is a novel melatonin (MT1/MT2) receptor agonist and a serotonin 5-HT1A/1D receptor agonist recently developed for the treatment of insomnia. In the present study we firstly investigated whether Neu-P11 and melatonin enhance memory performance in the novel object recognition (NOR) task in rats, and then assessed whether Neu-P11 and melatonin improve neuronal and cognitive impairment in a rat model of Alzheimer' disease (AD) induced by intrahippocampal Aβ(1-42) injection. The results showed that a single morning or afternoon administration of Neu-P11 enhanced object recognition memory measured at 4 or 24h after training. Melatonin was effective in the memory facilitating effects only when administered in the afternoon. Further results showed that intrahippocampal Aβ(1-42) injection resulted in hippocampal cellular loss, as well as decreased learning ability and memory in the Y maze and NOR tasks in rats. Neu-P11 but not melatonin attenuated cellular loss and cognitive impairment in the rat AD model. The current data suggest that Neu-P11 may serve as a novel agent for the treatment of AD.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  1. Improving Social Cognition in Schizophrenia: A Pilot Intervention Combining Computerized Social Cognition Training With Cognitive Remediation

    PubMed Central

    Lindenmayer, Jean-Pierre

    2013-01-01

    Background: Social cognition is significantly impaired in schizophrenia and contributes to poor community functioning. This study examined whether cognitive remediation (CR; COGPACK), shown to improve neurocognition, improves an integral component of social cognition, emotion perception, compared with CR combined with a computerized Emotion Perception intervention (Mind Reading: Interactive Guide to Emotions [MRIGE]). Methods: 59 stable schizophrenia or schizoaffective predominantly inpatients were randomized to either CR (N = 27) alone or CR + MRIGE (N = 32) for 12 weeks. Assessments included the Facial Emotion Identification Task (FEIT), Facial Emotion Discrimination Task (FEDT), MCCB-MATRICS, Personal and Social Performance Scale, and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Results: There was a significant group-by-time effect on FEIT (F = 11.509, P = .004); CR + MRIGE demonstrated significantly greater improvement than CR alone (CR + MRIGE, Z = 1.89, P = .05; CR alone Z = 0.57, P = .13). There was significant group-by-time effect on FEDT (F = 5.663, P = .022); CR + MRIGE demonstrated significantly greater improvement than CR alone (CR + MRIGE, Z = 1.90, P = .05; CR alone Z = 0.67, P = .21). There was also a significant group by time effect for social cognition, measured by the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (F = 5.473, P = .050): CR + MRIGE demonstrated significantly greater improvement than CR alone (CR + MRIGE, Z = 1.98, P = .02; CR alone, Z = 1.00, P = .05). Conclusions: Combined CR with emotion perception remediation produced greater improvements in emotion recognition, emotion discrimination, social functioning, and neurocognition compared with CR alone in chronic schizophrenia. PMID:23125396

  2. Do Action Video Games Improve Perception and Cognition?

    PubMed Central

    Boot, Walter R.; Blakely, Daniel P.; Simons, Daniel J.

    2011-01-01

    Frequent action video game players often outperform non-gamers on measures of perception and cognition, and some studies find that video game practice enhances those abilities. The possibility that video game training transfers broadly to other aspects of cognition is exciting because training on one task rarely improves performance on others. At first glance, the cumulative evidence suggests a strong relationship between gaming experience and other cognitive abilities, but methodological shortcomings call that conclusion into question. We discuss these pitfalls, identify how existing studies succeed or fail in overcoming them, and provide guidelines for more definitive tests of the effects of gaming on cognition. PMID:21949513

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-15

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

  4. How Performance Improves

    SciTech Connect

    Jerry L. Harbour; Julie L. Marble

    2005-09-01

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

  5. Grazing, cognitive performance and mood.

    PubMed

    Hewlett, Paul; Smith, Andrew; Lucas, Eva

    2009-02-01

    Two experiments were carried out to examine how spreading food intake between either two or four occasions would affect mood and cognition. The first experiment used 96 participants in a between subject design where participants received either two milkshakes at 09:00 and 13:00 or four (half nutrient content but same volume) milkshakes at 09:00, 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00. The results showed that verbal reasoning accuracy improved in the four-milkshake condition. The second experiment used 24 participants in a cross-over design. The breakfast and lunch were halved in one condition and not in the other so participants either ate breakfast and lunch, or four meals at the same times as experiment 1. Verbal reasoning accuracy was improved by spreading the intake over four meals such that errors were reduced by between 30 and 40%. Speed was also increased in a five-item (but not one-item) search task. Further research is now necessary to uncover the mechanisms that underlie these effects. PMID:18838090

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kirk-Sanchez, Neva J; McGough, Ellen L

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Improving slipring performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matteo, D. N.

    1984-05-01

    The original slipring design for communications spacecraft, the handling and testing of the slipring assembly before launch, the on orbit performance indicating the need for improvement in dynamic noise, the subsequently incorporated design improvements, and the results of testing to verify noise performance improvement are described.

  11. Improving slipring performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matteo, D. N.

    1984-01-01

    The original slipring design for communications spacecraft, the handling and testing of the slipring assembly before launch, the on orbit performance indicating the need for improvement in dynamic noise, the subsequently incorporated design improvements, and the results of testing to verify noise performance improvement are described.

  12. Embarking on performance improvement.

    PubMed

    Brown, Bobbi; Falk, Leslie Hough

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Haimov, Iris; Shatil, Evelyn

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Xanthohumol improved cognitive flexibility in young mice.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Thornton, Alex; Lukas, Dieter

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Infection, nutrition and cognitive performance in children.

    PubMed

    Connolly, K J; Kvalsvig, J D

    1993-01-01

    The paper considers briefly the nature of cognition and its relationship to intelligence. The information processing model of human cognition is outlined and IQ and DQ are explained. The literature dealing with the effects of malnutrition and parasitic infection on cognitive performance and development in children is selectively reviewed. A speculative hypothesis concerning the psychological effects of parasitic infection is sketched and brief consideration is given to models and measures in research on development.

  17. Acupuncture improves cognitive function: A systematic review☆

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Enrichment and training improve cognition in rats with cortical malformations.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. MCNP Progress & Performance Improvements

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-04-14

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

  2. Sarcopenia and impairment in cognitive and physical performance

    PubMed Central

    Tolea, Magdalena I; Galvin, James E

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Review of Human Cognitive Performance in Spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strangman, Gary; Bevan, Gary

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Choline pivaloyl esters improve in rats cognitive and memory performances impaired by scopolamine treatment or lesions of the nucleus basalis of Meynert.

    PubMed

    Rispoli, Vincenzo; Rotiroti, Domenicantonio; Carelli, Vincenzo; Liberatore, Felice; Scipione, Luigi; Marra, Rosario; Giorgioni, Gianfabio; Di Stefano, Antonio

    2004-02-19

    The effects of two choline pivaloyl esters, [2-(2,2-dimethylpropionyloxy)ethyl]trimethylammonium iodide (1) and [2-(2,2-dimethylpropionyloxy)ethyl]trimethylammonium 2,2-dimethylpropionate (2), on learning and memory impairments induced in rats by scopolamine or lesions of nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM) have been evaluated by object recognition and Morris water maze tests in comparison with Tacrine (THA). Both 1 and 2 restored discrimination in object recognition test for assessing working-episodic memory and improved spatial memory in scopolamine or NBM-lesioned rats as well. The positive effects produced by 1 and 2 on cognitive and memory deficits were well comparable with those evoked by THA, used as reference compound.

  5. Reduction of brain kynurenic acid improves cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Kozak, Rouba; Campbell, Brian M; Strick, Christine A; Horner, Weldon; Hoffmann, William E; Kiss, Tamas; Chapin, Douglas S; McGinnis, Dina; Abbott, Amanda L; Roberts, Brooke M; Fonseca, Kari; Guanowsky, Victor; Young, Damon A; Seymour, Patricia A; Dounay, Amy; Hajos, Mihaly; Williams, Graham V; Castner, Stacy A

    2014-08-01

    The elevation of kynurenic acid (KYNA) observed in schizophrenic patients may contribute to core symptoms arising from glutamate hypofunction, including cognitive impairments. Although increased KYNA levels reduce excitatory neurotransmission, KYNA has been proposed to act as an endogenous antagonist at the glycine site of the glutamate NMDA receptor (NMDAR) and as a negative allosteric modulator at the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Levels of KYNA are elevated in CSF and the postmortem brain of schizophrenia patients, and these elevated levels of KYNA could contribute to NMDAR hypofunction and the cognitive deficits and negative symptoms associated with this disease. However, the impact of endogenously produced KYNA on brain function and behavior is less well understood due to a paucity of pharmacological tools. To address this issue, we identified PF-04859989, a brain-penetrable inhibitor of kynurenine aminotransferase II (KAT II), the enzyme responsible for most brain KYNA synthesis. In rats, systemic administration of PF-04859989 dose-dependently reduced brain KYNA to as little as 28% of basal levels, and prevented amphetamine- and ketamine-induced disruption of auditory gating and improved performance in a sustained attention task. It also prevented ketamine-induced disruption of performance in a working memory task and a spatial memory task in rodents and nonhuman primates, respectively. Together, these findings support the hypotheses that endogenous KYNA impacts cognitive function and that inhibition of KAT II, and consequent lowering of endogenous brain KYNA levels, improves cognitive performance under conditions considered relevant for schizophrenia.

  6. Cognitive Correlates of Performance in Advanced Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Word Recall: Cognitive Performance Within Internet Surveys

    PubMed Central

    Craig, Benjamin M; Jim, Heather S

    2015-01-01

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

  8. How Exercise Influences Cognitive Performance When Mild Cognitive Impairment Exists: A Literature Review.

    PubMed

    Cai, Yun; Abrahamson, Kathleen

    2016-01-01

    Older adults who present with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have an increased risk of developing more advanced dementia. However, no pharmacological treatment currently exists to slow the progression of or reverse MCI. The purpose of the current systematic review is to summarize evidence surrounding the impact of exercise interventions on the cognitive performance levels of community-dwelling older adults with MCI. Computerized database and ancestry search strategies located distinct intervention trials between 1990 and 2015. Results indicated that physical exercise may benefit cognitive function among older adults who have MCI, including improvements in global cognition, executive function, memory, attention, and processing speed. Physical exercise may also positively impact the physiology of the aging brain. However, evidence surrounding the characteristics of effective physical exercise interventions in terms of exercise type, intensity, duration, and frequency remains limited. PMID:26565414

  9. Microgravity effects on standardized cognitive performance measures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schiflett, Samuel G.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Fluid consumption, exercise, and cognitive performance

    PubMed Central

    Fitzgerald, K

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Fluid consumption, exercise, and cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Backes, T P; Fitzgerald, K

    2016-09-01

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

  13. Fluid consumption, exercise, and cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Backes, T P; Fitzgerald, K

    2016-09-01

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

  14. Fluid consumption, exercise, and cognitive performance

    PubMed Central

    Fitzgerald, K

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Cognitive performance baseline measurement and eye movement performance measures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-05-01

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

  16. Clock Drawing Performance in Cognitively Normal Elderly

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    The Clock Drawing Test (CDT) is a common neuropsychological measure sensitive to cognitive changes and functional skills (e.g., driving test performance) among older adults. However, normative data have not been adequately developed. We report the distribution of CDT scores using three common scoring systems (Mendez, Ala, and Underwood, 1992; Freund, Gravenstein, Ferris, Burke, & Shaheen, 2005; and Cahn, Salmon, Monsch, Butters, Wiederholt, & Corey-Bloom, 1996), among 207 cognitively normal elderly. The systems were well correlated, took little time to use, and had high inter-rater reliability. We found statistically significant differences in CDT scores based on age and WRAT-3 Reading score, a marker of education quality. We present means, standard deviations, and t- and z-scores based on these subgroups. We found that “normal” CDT performance includes a wider distribution of scores than previously reported. Our results may serve as useful comparisons for clinicians wishing to know whether their patients perform in the general range of cognitively normal elderly. PMID:18243644

  17. Improving Construct Validity with Cognitive Psychology Principles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Embretson, Susan; Gorin, Joanna

    2001-01-01

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

  18. Impaired cognitive function and mental performance in mild dehydration.

    PubMed

    Wilson, M-M G; Morley, J E

    2003-12-01

    Dehydration is a reliable predictor of impaired cognitive status. Objective data, using tests of cortical function, support the deterioration of mental performance in mildly dehydrated younger adults. Dehydration frequently results in delirium as a manifestation of cognitive dysfunction. Although, the occurrence of delirium suggests transient acute global cerebral dysfunction, cognitive impairment may not be completely reversible. Animal studies have identified neuronal mitochondrial damage and glutamate hypertransmission in dehydrated rats. Additional studies have identified an increase in cerebral nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase activity (nitric oxide synthase, NOS) with dehydration. Available evidence also implicates NOS as a neurotransmitter in long-term potentiation, rendering this a critical enzyme in facilitating learning and memory. With ageing, a reduction of NOS activity has been identified in the cortex and striatum of rats. The reduction of NOs synthase activity that occurs with ageing may blunt the rise that occurs with dehydration, and possibly interfere with memory processing and cognitive function. Dehydration has been shown to be a reliable predictor of increasing frailty, deteriorating mental performance and poor quality of life. Intervention models directed toward improving outcomes in dehydration must incorporate strategies to enhance prompt recognition of cognitive dysfunction.

  19. Performance Improvement Assuming Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowland, Gordon

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  1. Web-Based Cognitive Apprenticeship Model for Improving Pre-Service Teachers' Performances and Attitudes towards Instructional Planning: Design and Field Experiment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Tzu-Chien

    2005-01-01

    Instructional planning is an essential professional activity often used by teachers. However, some characteristics of existing university-based teacher education programs may hamper pre-service teachers' learning of instructional planning. Thus, this study adopts the cognitive apprenticeship as a theoretical foundation to construct a web-based…

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

    PubMed Central

    Penland, J G

    1994-01-01

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

  3. Performance Improvement [in HRD].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1995

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Isaac, Clémence; Januel, Dominique

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Luber, Bruce; Lisanby, Sarah H

    2014-01-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Disentangling the Relationship between Hemispheric Asymmetry and Cognitive Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Helping Others Improve Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durfee, Arthur E.

    1970-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Improved performance white LED

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narendran, Nadarajah

    2005-09-01

    This paper describes work leading to the development of a new packaging method for white LEDs, called scattered photon extraction (SPE). Previous work by our group showed that the traditional placement of the phosphor close to the die negatively affects the overall luminous efficacy and lumen maintenance of phosphor-converted white LEDs. The new SPE method enables higher luminous efficacy by placing the phosphor at a remote location from the die and by shaping the lens surrounding the die to extract a significant portion of the back-transferred light before it is absorbed by packaging components. Although the remote phosphor concept is not new, SPE is the first method to demonstrate efficient extraction of back-transferred light and show over 60 percent improvement in light output and efficacy compared to similar commercial white LEDs. At low currents, the prototype white LEDs based on the SPE technique showed over 80 lumens per watt. The SPE concept was tried on two types of commercial packages and both showed similar improvements.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  14. Which Cognitive Domains are Improved by Treatment with Vortioxetine?

    PubMed Central

    Lophaven, Søren; Olsen, Christina K

    2016-01-01

    Background: These post hoc analyses evaluated vortioxetine efficacy on cognitive dysfunction in depression. Data were from a double-blind, randomized, fixed-dose, placebo-controlled, 8-week depression study in adults aged 18–65 years (n = 602) with DSM-IV–defined major depressive disorder (MDD). Subjects were randomized (1:1:1) to vortioxetine 10mg/day or 20mg/day or placebo. Methods: Cognitive function was assessed at baseline, Week 1 (10mg/day only) and Week 8 using Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST) number of correct symbols, Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Trail Making Test, Stroop test, Simple Reaction Time, and Choice Reaction Time tests. The cognition variables were standardized and used for constructing composite Z-scores for the cognitive domains of executive function, attention/speed of processing, and memory. Results: At Week 1, vortioxetine 10mg/day separated from placebo for attention/speed of processing (standardized composite Z-score = 0.21; p = 0.0238) and DSST number of correct symbols (standardized effect size = 0.18; p = 0.0458) and for executive function (standardized composite Z-score = 0.20; p = 0.0274). At Week 8, vortioxetine 10mg/day and 20mg/day separated from placebo for executive function and attention/speed of processing, with standardized composite Z-scores ranging from 0.35 to 0.49 (all p < 0.01). Standardized composite Z-scores for memory were 0.31 (p = 0.0036, 10mg/day) and 0.22 (p = 0.0349, 20mg/day). Standardized effect sizes for DSST were 0.51 (p < 0.0001, 10mg/day) and 0.52 (p < 0.0001, 20mg/day). Results are limited by the post hoc nature of the analyses and the absence of an active reference in the original study. Conclusions: Vortioxetine (10 and 20mg/day) had a multi-domain beneficial effect on cognitive performance, as evidenced by improvements in measures of executive function, attention/speed of processing, and memory. The effect on the DSST may be due to improvements in several cognitive skills. PMID:27231256

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

    PubMed

    Lambourne, Kate; Tomporowski, Phillip

    2010-06-23

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. The effect of ondansetron on cognitive performance in the marmoset.

    PubMed

    Domeney, A M; Costall, B; Gerrard, P A; Jones, D N; Naylor, R J; Tyers, M B

    1991-01-01

    The 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, ondansetron, was administered to marmosets to determine its effect on their performance in a Wisconsin General Test Apparatus using an object discrimination reversal learning task. Briefly, this comprised a test situation in which marmosets were required to select a food rewarded object to reach criterion in performance (this was termed the initial discrimination task); the rewarded object was then changed (in the same test session) and the marmoset was required to abandon its recently learned strategy to gain reward by selection of the second object (this was termed the reversal task). At doses of 1-10 ng/kg SC b.i.d. ondansetron improved performance in both the initial discrimination and reversal tasks. This was indicated as a reduction in the number of trials required to reach criterion, a reduction in choice latency time and a reduction in the number of errors made in each test session. Higher doses of ondansetron impaired performance as measured by several criteria. The major conclusion of this study is, therefore, that ondansetron at low doses is able to improve the performance of marmosets in a cognitive task. This would support the concept that a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist can act as a cognitive enhancer.

  20. Reading Comprehension Improvement with Individualized Cognitive Profiles and Metacognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allen, Kathleen D.; Hancock, Thomas E.

    2008-01-01

    This study models improving classroom reading instruction through valid assessment and individualized metacomprehension. Individualized cognitive profiles of Woodcock-Johnson III cognitive abilities correlated with reading comprehension were used during classroom independent reading for judgments of learning, feedback, self-reflection, and…

  1. Using Simulations To Improve Cognitive Reasoning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGee, Steven; Corriss, Darlene; Shia, Regina

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

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

    PubMed

    Lees, Ty; Khushaba, Rami; Lal, Sara

    2016-07-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benice, Ted S.; Raber, Jacob

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

    Peyroux, Elodie; Franck, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Peyroux, Elodie; Franck, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Peyroux, Elodie; Franck, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  13. Deconstructing and reconstructing cognitive performance in sleep deprivation.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Melinda L; Gunzelmann, Glenn; Whitney, Paul; Hinson, John M; Belenky, Gregory; Rabat, Arnaud; Van Dongen, Hans P A

    2013-06-01

    Mitigation of cognitive impairment due to sleep deprivation in operational settings is critical for safety and productivity. Achievements in this area are hampered by limited knowledge about the effects of sleep loss on actual job tasks. Sleep deprivation has different effects on different cognitive performance tasks, but the mechanisms behind this task-specificity are poorly understood. In this context it is important to recognize that cognitive performance is not a unitary process, but involves a number of component processes. There is emerging evidence that these component processes are differentially affected by sleep loss. Experiments have been conducted to decompose sleep-deprived performance into underlying cognitive processes using cognitive-behavioral, neuroimaging and cognitive modeling techniques. Furthermore, computational modeling in cognitive architectures has been employed to simulate sleep-deprived cognitive performance on the basis of the constituent cognitive processes. These efforts are beginning to enable quantitative prediction of the effects of sleep deprivation across different task contexts. This paper reviews a rapidly evolving area of research, and outlines a theoretical framework in which the effects of sleep loss on cognition may be understood from the deficits in the underlying neurobiology to the applied consequences in real-world job tasks.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-29

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-29

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furnham, Adrian; Stephenson, Rebecca

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooker, Alice; Franklin, Anna

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Improving Reading Performance through Hypnosis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fillmer, H. Thompson; And Others

    1981-01-01

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

  20. Priming competence diminishes the link between cognitive test anxiety and test performance. Implications for the interpretation of test scores.

    PubMed

    Lang, Jonas W B; Lang, Jessica

    2010-06-01

    Researchers disagree whether the correlation between cognitive test anxiety and test performance is causal or explainable by skill deficits, which lead to both cognitive test anxiety and lower test performance. Most causal theories of test anxiety assume that individual differences in cognitive test anxiety originate from differences in self-perceived competence. Accordingly, in the present research, we sought to temporarily heighten perceptions of competence using a priming intervention. Two studies with secondary- and vocational-school students (Ns = 219 and 232, respectively) contrasted this intervention with a no-priming control condition. Priming competence diminished the association between cognitive test anxiety and test performance by heightening the performance of cognitively test-anxious students and by lowering the performance of students with low levels of cognitive test anxiety. The findings suggest that cognitively test-anxious persons have greater abilities than they commonly show. Competency priming may offer a way to improve the situation of people with cognitive test anxiety. PMID:20435953

  1. Cognitive fatigue influences students’ performance on standardized tests

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bernardez, Mariano L.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Negative symptom improvement during cognitive rehabilitation: results from a 2-year trial of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-30

    Cognitive rehabilitation has shown beneficial effects on cognition in patients with schizophrenia, which may also help to improve negative symptoms due to overlapping pathophysiology between these two domains. To better understand the possible relationship between these areas, we conducted an exploratory analysis of the effects of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET) on negative symptoms. Early course schizophrenia outpatients (n=58) were randomized to 2 years of CET or an Enriched Supportive Therapy (EST) control condition. Results revealed significant and medium-sized (d=0.61) differential improvements favoring CET in overall negative symptoms, particularly social withdrawal, affective flattening, and motor retardation. Neurocognitive improvement was associated with reduced negative symptoms in CET, but not EST patients. No relationships were observed between improvements in emotion processing aspects of social cognition, as measured by the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, and negative symptoms. CET represents an effective cognitive rehabilitation intervention for schizophrenia that may also have benefits to negative symptoms. Future studies specifically designed to examine negative symptoms during the course of cognitive rehabilitation are needed.

  6. Thalamic Shape and Cognitive Performance in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Hahn, Changtae; Lee, Chang-Uk; Won, Wang Yeon; Joo, Soo-Hyun

    2016-01-01

    Objective This study aimed to investigate thalamic shape alterations and their relationships with various episodic memory impairments in subjects with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). Methods We compared volumes and morphological alterations of the thalamus between aMCI subjects and healthy controls. In addition, we investigated the correlation between thalamic deformations and various memory impairments in aMCI subjects using a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. Results The normalized left thalamic volumes of the aMCI group were significantly smaller than those of the healthy control group (p<0.0001). aMCI subjects exhibited significant thalamic deformations in the left thalamic dorso-medial and antero-medial areas compared with healthy individuals. CERAD-K Word List Memory scores were significantly correlated with the left dorso-medial areas in aMCI subjects. There were no significant correlations between verbal fluency, Boston naming test, constructional praxis, Word List Recognition, and Visuospatial Recall scores and thalamic shape in aMCI subjects. Verbal delayed recall scores were also significantly correlated with the left dorso-medial areas in the aMCI group. Conclusion Structural alterations in the thalamic deformations in the left dorso-medial and antero-medial areas might be core underlying neurobiological mechanisms of thalamic dysfunction related to Word List Memory and delayed verbal recall in individuals with aMCI. PMID:27757128

  7. Variability in performance: Identifying early signs of future cognitive impairment

    PubMed Central

    Gamaldo, Alyssa A.; An, Yang; Allaire, Jason C.; Kitner-Triolo, Melissa H.; Zonderman, Alan B.

    2012-01-01

    Objective The current study examined whether year-to-year variability in cognitive performance differ between individuals cognitively unimpaired and individuals who subsequently develop dementia. Method Analyses included a case-control sample of Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA; M age = 69.90, SD = 8.92) participants. One hundred and thirty five clinically diagnosed demented participants were matched with 135 non-demented participants based on age at initial testing and sex. Cognitive performance was examined using measures of memory, executive function, attention, language, and global mental status performance. Cognitive performance was examined from baseline to 5 years before cognitive impairment (mean assessments = 3.03, SD = 2.80). Results Compared to unimpaired individuals, individuals diagnosed with dementia had greater variability on measures of attention, executive function, language, and semantic memory at least 5 years before the estimated onset of cognitive impairment, which may be indicative of maladaptive cognitive functioning. The dementia cases, however, had less variability on visual memory than the unimpaired group, which may suggest that these cases had more difficulty learning. Conclusions These results demonstrate that performance variability indexed over annual or biennial visits may be useful in identifying early signs of subsequent cognitive impairment. PMID:22746310

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-10-24

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Disentangling the relationship between hemispheric asymmetry and cognitive performance.

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

    It is widely believed that advantages of hemispheric asymmetries originated in better cognitive processing, hence it is often implied that the relationship between hemispheric asymmetry and cognitive performance is linearly positive: the higher the degree of lateralization in a specific cognitive domain, the better the performance in a corresponding task. Yet, the empirical evidence for this notion is mixed and the statistical methods to analyze this relationship have been criticized. The present study therefore investigated the relationship between hemispheric asymmetries and cognitive performance in two behavioral tasks (a left-lateralized word-matching task and a right-lateralized face-decision task) in 230 participants (140 women, 90 men) by using two different approaches. Both methods correspondingly revealed that a relationship between hemispheric asymmetries and cognitive performance does exist. Contrary to a positive (linear) relationship however, the data could be best described by an inverted U-shaped curve. Although the optimal degree of lateralization seemed to be task-specific, a slight or moderate degree of hemispheric asymmetry achieved best cognitive performance in all tasks. Moreover, performances deteriorated towards extreme ends of lateralization (i.e., participants with either extreme left or right hemispheric biases). Taken together, the present study provides evidence against the notion that higher lateralization is related to enhanced cognitive performance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. LEARNING AND COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE IN ADULTS. BIBLIOGRAPHY.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    KUHLEN, RAYMOND G.; AND OTHERS

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Avila, Edward; And Others

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Neighborhood Integration and Connectivity Predict Cognitive Performance and Decline

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Environmental enrichment improves cognition in aged Alzheimer's transgenic mice despite stable beta-amyloid deposition.

    PubMed

    Arendash, Gary W; Garcia, Marcos F; Costa, David A; Cracchiolo, Jennifer R; Wefes, Inge M; Potter, H

    2004-08-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) has been shown to improve cognitive performance and brain indices of cognition in normal mice and rats. Because the therapeutic potential of intensive, long-term EE to benefit patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) has yet to be explored, the present study evaluated the effect of long-term EE on cognition in an animal model of AD, the APPsw transgenic mouse. Beginning at 16 months of age, APPsw mice were put into EE or standard housing for 4 months and then tested in four cognitive-based tasks (Morris maze, circular platform, platform recognition, and radial arm water maze) between 20 and 22 months of age. Our results indicate that long-term EE of aged APPsw mice results in global, overall improvement in cognitive function across these tasks without decreasing brain beta-amyloid (A beta) deposition. The results suggest that long-term EE/cognitive stimulation could provide cognitive stabilization or improvement to AD patients through mechanisms independent of A beta deposition and clearance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  19. Sodium bicarbonate improves swimming performance.

    PubMed

    Lindh, A M; Peyrebrune, M C; Ingham, S A; Bailey, D M; Folland, J P

    2008-06-01

    Sodium bicarbonate ingestion has been shown to improve performance in single-bout, high intensity events, probably due to an increase in buffering capacity, but its influence on single-bout swimming performance has not been investigated. The effects of sodium bicarbonate supplementation on 200 m freestyle swimming performance were investigated in elite male competitors. Following a randomised, double blind counterbalanced design, 9 swimmers completed maximal effort swims on 3 separate occasions: a control trial (C); after ingestion of sodium bicarbonate (SB: NaHCO3 300 mg . kg (-1) body mass); and after ingestion of a placebo (P: CaCO3 200 mg . kg (-1) body mass). The SB and P agents were packed in gelatine capsules and ingested 90 - 60 min prior to each 200 m swim. Mean 200 m performance times were significantly faster for SB than C or P (1 : 52.2 +/- 4.7; 1 : 53.7 +/- 3.8; 1 : 54.0 +/- 3.6 min : ss; p < 0.05). Base excess, pH and blood bicarbonate were all elevated pre-exercise in the SB compared to C and P trials (p < 0.05). Post-200 m blood lactate concentrations were significantly higher following the SB trial compared with P and C (p < 0.05). It was concluded that SB supplementation can improve 200 m freestyle performance time in elite male competitors, most likely by increasing buffering capacity.

  20. Practice of Contemporary Dance Improves Cognitive Flexibility in Aging

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Voluntary dehydration and cognitive performance in trained college athletes.

    PubMed

    D'anci, Kristen E; Vibhakar, Arjun; Kanter, Jordan H; Mahoney, Caroline R; Taylor, Holly A

    2009-08-01

    Cognitive and mood decrements resulting from mild dehydration and glucose consumption were studied. Men and women (total N = 54; M age = 19.8 yr., SD = 1.2) were recruited from college athletic teams. Euhydration or dehydration was achieved by athletes completing team practices with or without water replacement. Dehydration was associated with higher thirst and negative mood ratings as well as better Digit Span performance. Participants showed better Vigilance Attention with euhydration. Hydration status and athlete's sex interacted with performance on Choice Reaction Time and Vigilance Attention. In a second study, half of the athletes received glucose prior to cognitive testing. Results for negative mood and thirst ratings were similar, but for cognitive performance the results were mixed. Effects of glucose on cognition were independent of dehydration.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bevilacqua, Andy; Paas, Fred; Krigbaum, Genomary

    2016-04-01

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

  7. Bioreactor control improves bioprocess performance.

    PubMed

    Simutis, Rimvydas; Lübbert, Andreas

    2015-08-01

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

  8. Bioreactor control improves bioprocess performance.

    PubMed

    Simutis, Rimvydas; Lübbert, Andreas

    2015-08-01

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

  9. MWD tools improve drilling performance

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, S.D.

    1986-02-01

    Downhole measurement while drilling technology is changing the way many wells are drilled. The capability to understand what is occurring at the drill bit as it actually happens is improving drilling performance, safety, and ultimately cost effectiveness. MWD evolved because of the need to acquire real-time data at the well site. The technology was not developed by vendors as simply an ''add-on'' tool - something an operator didn't realize he needed. MWD, with state-of-the-art, rugged, electronic downhole tools, is the closest thing the petroleum industry has to aerospace engineering. The constraints placed on MWD tools are greater than any other downhole tool-including wireline electric logs - because they are in the hole for long durations, operating under severe hole conditions. MWD tools were first used to monitor directional drilling operations on a real-time basis, More recently vendors have developed formation capabilities for MWD. Tools capable of measuring other drilling parameters such as weight on bit and downhole torque and pressure are also available. MWD technology continues to advance rapidly as the second and third generation of tools and equipment are introduced. Improvements are coming in many areas, but the biggest change will be in the development of new surface equipment to analyze retrieved data. For several years, MWD has been providing a reliable and accurate stream of real-time data from downhole. New software packages for surface equipment will allow the data to be analyzed in new ways to improve drilling efficiencies.

  10. Human cognitive performance in spaceflight and analogue environments.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  12. Cognitive Performance Profiles by Latent Classes of Drug Use

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    King, Summer; Green, Heather Joy

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Improve Relationships to Improve Student Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arum, Richard

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Design of a Cognitive Tool to Enhance Problemsolving Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Youngmin; Nelson, David

    2005-01-01

    The design of a cognitive tool to support problem-solving performance for external representation of knowledge is described. The limitations of conventional knowledge maps are analyzed in proposing the tool. The design principles and specifications are described. This tool is expected to enhance learners problem-solving performance by allowing…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zimprich, Daniel; Martin, Mike; Kliegel, Matthias

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  20. Cognitive performance and peripheral endocannabinoid system receptor expression in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Ferretjans, Rodrigo; de Campos, Salvina Maria; Ribeiro-Santos, Rafael; Guimarães, Fernanda Carneiro; de Oliveira, Keliane; Cardoso, Ana Cecília Alves; Araújo, Marcio Sobreira; Teixeira-Carvalho, Andrea; Martins-Filho, Olindo Assis; Teixeira, Antonio L; Salgado, João V

    2014-07-01

    Schizophrenia is a chronic psychiatric syndrome characterized by generalized cognitive deficits that are associated with functional impairment. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) modulates neurotransmission and neuronal plasticity and is important for cognitive functioning. Evidence points to the involvement of this neuromodulatory system in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and that alteration of the ECS on peripheral lymphocytes could reflect central changes. The objective of this study was to compare levels of peripheral endocannabinoid receptor expression in patients with schizophrenia and healthy subjects and find evidence of association between peripheral expression of those receptors and cognitive performance. Patients with stabilized schizophrenia (N=53) and controls (N=22) underwent clinical and cognitive evaluation, and assessment of cannabinoid receptor expression on the surface of peripheral immune cells (lymphocytes, natural killer cells and monocytes) by flow cytometry. Patients with schizophrenia had lower levels of cannabinoid receptor expression on total T lymphocytes, but after controlling for possible confounders this difference did not remain significant. In patients, increased cannabinoid receptor expression on lymphocytes and monocytes was significantly correlated with worst cognitive performance. These data provide additional evidence of the involvement of the ECS in the pathophysiology of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Cognitive correlates of hemispheric performance on dichotic tasks.

    PubMed

    Johnson, R C; Green, P; Ahern, F M; Cole, R E

    Older (age 50+) adults were tested twice on three measures of dichotic memory and once on three measures of cognition. Internal consistencies of all three measures generally were adequate. However, test-retest reliabilities, by ear of presentation, were comparatively low for the three dichotic measures. A measure of vocabulary (a left hemisphere dominant cognitive ability) was related to performance on most dichotic tasks. Years of education (an index of left hemisphere mediated crystallized intelligence) was related to performance on left but not right hemisphere function on two of three dichotic tasks. Performance on tests of spatial ability was related to performance on left ear/right hemisphere but not right ear/left hemisphere function on two of three dichotic memory tasks. Individual differences in accuracy of recall and recognition of stimuli presented via dichotic tasks to the right ear/left hemisphere and the left ear/right hemisphere appear to have different cognitive correlates. Right hemisphere performance on dichotic tasks generally shows a significant negative association with age, as did performance on right hemisphere dominant cognitive tasks. On the other hand, most measures of left hemisphere performance showed no decline associated with age.

  4. Night time aircraft noise exposure and children's cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Stansfeld, Stephen; Hygge, Staffan; Clark, Charlotte; Alfred, Tamuno

    2010-01-01

    Chronic aircraft noise exposure in children is associated with impairment of reading and long-term memory. Most studies have not differentiated between day or nighttime noise exposure. It has been hypothesized that sleep disturbance might mediate the association of aircraft noise exposure and cognitive impairment in children. This study involves secondary analysis of data from the Munich Study and the UK Road Traffic and Aircraft Noise Exposure and Children's Cognition and Health (RANCH) Study sample to test this. In the Munich study, 330 children were assessed on cognitive measures in three measurement waves a year apart, before and after the switchover of airports. Self-reports of sleep quality were analyzed across airports, aircraft noise exposure and measurement wave to test whether changes in nighttime noise exposure had any effect on reported sleep quality, and whether this showed the same pattern as for changes in cognitive performance. For the UK sample of the RANCH study, night noise contour information was linked to the children's home and related to sleep disturbance and cognitive performance. In the Munich study, analysis of sleep quality questions showed no consistent interactions between airport, noise, and measurement wave, suggesting that poor sleep quality does not mediate the association between noise exposure and cognition. Daytime and nighttime aircraft noise exposure was highly correlated in the RANCH study. Although night noise exposure was significantly associated with impaired reading and recognition memory, once home night noise exposure was centered on daytime school noise exposure, night noise had no additional effect to daytime noise exposure. These analyses took advantage of secondary data available from two studies of aircraft noise and cognition. They were not initially designed to examine sleep disturbance and cognition, and thus, there are methodological limitations which make it less than ideal in giving definitive answers to these

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  6. Varenicline improves motor and cognitive symptoms in early Huntington’s disease

    PubMed Central

    McGregor, Ailsa L; Dysart, Jo; Tingle, Malcolm D; Russell, Bruce R; Kydd, Rob R; Finucane, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to describe the effects of varenicline, a smoking cessation aid that acts as a nicotinic agonist, on cognitive function in patients with early clinical Huntington’s disease (HD) who were current smokers. Three gene-positive patients transitioning to symptomatic HD were evaluated using the Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale part I and III (motor and behavioral subscales) at baseline and after 4 weeks of treatment. Cognitive function was assessed using a touch screen computer-based neurocognitive test battery (IntegNeuro®). Varenicline (1 mg twice daily) significantly improved performance in executive function and emotional recognition tasks. Our case reports describe no clinically significant adverse effects and suggest that varenicline improves aspects of cognitive function in patients with early HD. A randomized controlled study is now underway.

  7. Varenicline improves motor and cognitive symptoms in early Huntington’s disease

    PubMed Central

    McGregor, Ailsa L; Dysart, Jo; Tingle, Malcolm D; Russell, Bruce R; Kydd, Rob R; Finucane, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to describe the effects of varenicline, a smoking cessation aid that acts as a nicotinic agonist, on cognitive function in patients with early clinical Huntington’s disease (HD) who were current smokers. Three gene-positive patients transitioning to symptomatic HD were evaluated using the Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale part I and III (motor and behavioral subscales) at baseline and after 4 weeks of treatment. Cognitive function was assessed using a touch screen computer-based neurocognitive test battery (IntegNeuro®). Varenicline (1 mg twice daily) significantly improved performance in executive function and emotional recognition tasks. Our case reports describe no clinically significant adverse effects and suggest that varenicline improves aspects of cognitive function in patients with early HD. A randomized controlled study is now underway. PMID:27695336

  8. Effect of repeated exposures to cold on cognitive performance in humans.

    PubMed

    Mäkinen, Tiina M; Palinkas, Lawrence A; Reeves, Dennis L; Pääkkönen, Tiina; Rintamäki, Hannu; Leppäluoto, Juhani; Hassi, Juhani

    2006-01-30

    The effects of repeated exposure to cold temperature on cognitive performance were examined in 10 male subjects who were exposed to control (25 degrees C) and cold (10 degrees C) conditions on 10 successive days. A cognitive test battery (ANAM-ICE) was administered each day to assess complex and simple cognitive functioning accuracy, efficiency and response time. Rectal (T(rect)) and skin temperatures, thermal sensations, metabolic rate (M) and cardiovascular reactivity were also recorded. With the used cold exposure, inducing cold sensations and discomfort, superficial skin cooling (6-7 degrees C) and a slightly lowered T(rect) (0.4 degrees C) we observed three distinct patterns of cognitive performance: 1) negative, reflected in increased response times and decreased accuracy and efficiency; 2) positive, reflected in decreased response time and increased efficiency; and 3) mixed, reflected in a pattern of increases in both accuracy and response time and decreases in efficiency, and a pattern of decreases in both accuracy and response time. T(rect), thermal sensations, diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and heart rate (HR) were independent predictors of decreased accuracy, but also decreased response time. Cognitive performance efficiency was significantly improved and response times shorter over the 10-d period both under control and cold exposures suggesting a learning effect. However, the changes in cognitive performance over the 10-d period did not differ markedly between control and cold, indicating that the changes in the thermal responses did not improve performance. The results suggest that cold affects cognitive performance negatively through the mechanisms of distraction and both positively and negatively through the mechanism of arousal. PMID:16309719

  9. Physical Education Performance Outcomes and Cognitive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castelli, Darla M.; Hillman, Charles H.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Flipperons for Improved Aerodynamic Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mabe, James H.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Childs, Emma

    2014-10-01

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

  16. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves cognitive functioning after brain injury.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Improving pulverized coal plant performance

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-25

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-25

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williamson, Kellie; Cox, Rochelle

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Performance and Cognitive Assessment in 3-D Modeling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Midsagittal Brain Shape Correlation with Intelligence and Cognitive Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Cognitive Somatic Behavioral Interventions for Maximizing Gymnastic Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ravizza, Kenneth; Rotella, Robert

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bahar, Abdulkadir

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bugos, Jennifer; Jacobs, Edward

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Modeling Cognitive Strategies during Complex Task Performing Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mazman, Sacide Guzin; Altun, Arif

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Komarraju, Meera; Ramsey, Alex; Rinella, Virginia

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Aging and cognitive performance: challenges and implications for physicians practicing in the 21st century.

    PubMed

    Durning, Steven J; Artino, Anthony R; Holmboe, Eric; Beckman, Thomas J; van der Vleuten, Cees; Schuwirth, Lambert

    2010-01-01

    The demands of physician practice are growing. Some specialties face critical shortages and a significant percentage of physicians are aging. To improve health care it is paramount to understand and address challenges, including cognitive issues, facing aging physicians. In this article, we outline several issues related to cognitive performance and potential implications associated with aging. We discuss important findings from other fields and draw parallels to the practice of medicine. In particular, we discuss the possible effects of aging through the lens of situated cognition theory, and we outline the potential impact of aging on expertise, information processing, neurobiology, intelligence, and self-regulated learning. We believe that work done in related fields can provide a better understanding of physician aging and cognition, and thus can inform more effective approaches to continuous professional development and lifelong learning in medicine. We conclude with implications for the health care system and areas of future research.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Schwarz, Katharina A.; Büchel, Christian

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  3. Improving Performance in a Nuclear Cardiology Department

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LaFleur, Doug; Smalley, Karolyn; Austin, John

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Performance Pay Path to Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gratz, Donald B.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  16. Performance improvement. The American way.

    PubMed

    Walker, Karen

    2007-02-15

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  18. Improved performance in NASTRAN (R)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chan, Gordon C.

    1989-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    White, Judith B

    2008-09-01

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

  2. Benchmark for Strategic Performance Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gohlke, Annette

    1997-01-01

    Explains benchmarking, a total quality management tool used to measure and compare the work processes in a library with those in other libraries to increase library performance. Topics include the main groups of upper management, clients, and staff; critical success factors for each group; and benefits of benchmarking. (Author/LRW)

  3. Room for Improvement: Performance Evaluations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Webb, Gisela

    1989-01-01

    Describes a performance management approach to library personnel management that stresses communication, clarification of goals, and reinforcement of new practices and behaviors. Each phase of the evaluation process (preparation, rating, administrative review, appraisal interview, and follow-up) and special evaluations to be used in cases of…

  4. Nutritional habits and cognitive performance of older adults.

    PubMed

    Mallidou, Anastasia; Cartie, Mario

    2015-06-01

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

  5. Morbidity in nocturnal asthma: sleep quality and daytime cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, M F; Engleman, H; Whyte, K F; Deary, I J; Shapiro, C M; Douglas, N J

    1991-08-01

    Most patients with asthma waken with nocturnal asthma from time to time. To assess morbidity in patients with nocturnal asthma nocturnal sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, and daytime cognitive performance were measured prospectively in 12 patients with nocturnal asthma (median age 43 years) and 12 age and intellect matched normal subjects. The median (range) percentage overnight fall in peak expiratory flow rate (PEF) was 22 (15 to 50) in the patients with nocturnal asthma and 4 (-4 to 7) in the normal subjects. The patients with asthma had poorer average scores for subjective sleep quality than the normal subjects (median paired difference 1.1 (95% confidence limits 0.1, 2.3)). Objective overnight sleep quality was also worse in the asthmatic patients, who spent more time awake at night (median difference 51 (95% CL 8.1, 74) minutes), had a longer sleep onset latency (12 (10, 30) minutes), and tended to have less stage 4 (deep) sleep (-33 (-58, 4) minutes). Daytime cognitive performance was worse in the patients with nocturnal asthma, who took a longer time to complete the trail making tests (median difference 62 (22, 75) seconds) and achieved a lower score on the paced serial addition tests (-10 (-24, -3)). Mean daytime sleep latency did not differ significantly between the two groups (2 (-3, 7) minutes). It is concluded that hospital outpatients with stable nocturnal asthma have impaired sleep quality and daytime cognitive performance even when having their usual maintenance asthma treatment.

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

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Lorraine

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Impact of sugar replacers on cognitive performance and function in rats.

    PubMed

    Rozan, Pascale; Deremaux, Laetitia; Wils, Daniel; Nejdi, Amine; Messaoudi, Michaël; Saniez, Marie-Hélène

    2008-11-01

    Glycaemic responses to the dextrin NUTRIOSE 6 (Dex) and the MALTISORB maltitol (Mal) have been studied previously but their effects on vigilance and cognitive performances are still not known. The present study assesses dose-related glycaemic responses following Dex administration and the hypothesis that Dex and Mal could modulate the glycaemic response, improve vigilance under stress conditions and improve cognitive performances in rats. The glycaemic responses following Dex and corn syrup GLUCIDEX IT 21 (CoS) solutions at 0.3, 0.5 and 1.0 g/kg body weight administered by oral administration (experiment 1) and glycaemic responses to three cereal bars (standard (CoS), Dex or Dex/Mal bar) (experiment 2) were evaluated. Rats having eaten cereal bars were submitted to vigilance and aversive light stimulus avoidance conditioning tests to assess their vigilance and cognitive performances. The first experiment showed that the glycaemic response to both products is dose-related and that CoS induced a glycaemic response three times higher than the Dex response. The second experiment showed the same glycaemic response for the three cereal bar-treated rats. Yet, an increase in the vigilance of Dex/Mal-treated rats as well as a better discrimination between two levers in the cognitive test for Dex- and Dex/Mal-treated rats were noticed. These results suggest that the glycaemic response is not the only factor to be considered in predicting the efficiency of a food ingredient on vigilance and cognitive performances: these behaviours are improved after Dex- and Mal-prepared cereal bar ingestion whereas the glycaemic response does not differ from the CoS-prepared bar. PMID:18377689

  9. Subjective cognitive failures in patients with hypertension are related to cognitive performance and cerebral microbleeds.

    PubMed

    Uiterwijk, Renske; Huijts, Marjolein; Staals, Julie; Duits, Annelien; Gronenschild, Ed; Kroon, Abraham A; de Leeuw, Peter W; van Oostenbrugge, Robert J

    2014-09-01

    Previous studies on the relationship between subjective cognitive failures (SCF) and objective cognitive function have shown inconsistent results. In addition, research on the association between SCF and imaging markers of cerebral small vessel disease is limited. We investigated whether SCF in patients with essential hypertension, who are at high risk of cerebral small vessel disease, are associated with objective cognitive function and magnetic resonance imaging manifestations of cerebral small vessel disease. We included 109 patients with hypertension who underwent extensive neuropsychological assessment, including questionnaires measuring SCF and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Brain magnetic resonance imaging was performed to rate the presence of lacunes, cerebral microbleeds, and perivascular spaces, as well as white matter hyperintensities volume. Results showed significant associations between SCF and objectively measured overall cognition (B=-0.02; 95% confidence interval=-0.03 to -0.005), memory (B=0.02; 95% confidence interval=-0.03 to -0.004), and information processing speed (B=-0.02; 95% confidence interval=-0.03 to -0.001) after adjustment for patient characteristics and vascular risk factors. In addition, SCF were associated with the presence of cerebral microbleeds (odds ratio=1.12; 95% confidence interval=1.02-1.23) after adjustment for patient characteristics and vascular risk factors but not with other imaging markers of cerebral small vessel disease. Our study demonstrates that attention for SCF in patients with hypertension is needed because these may point to lower objective cognitive function, which might be as a result of the presence of cerebral microbleeds. Accordingly, this study emphasizes that neuropsychological assessment and brain imaging need to be considered when patients with hypertension report SCF.

  10. Cue Utilization and Cognitive Load in Novel Task Performance

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Comparing cognitive performance in illiterate and literate children

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  14. Creatine supplementation and cognitive performance in elderly individuals.

    PubMed

    McMorris, Terry; Mielcarz, Gregorsz; Harris, Roger C; Swain, Jonathan P; Howard, Alan

    2007-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of creatine supplementation on the cognitive performance of elderly people. Participants were divided into two groups, which were tested on random number generation, forward and backward number and spatial recall, and long-term memory tasks to establish a baseline level. Group 1 (n = 15) were given 5 g four times a day of placebo for 1 week, followed by the same dosage of creatine for the second week. Group 2 (n = 17) were given placebo both weeks. Participants were retested at the end of each week. Results showed a significant effect of creatine supplementation on all tasks except backward number recall. It was concluded that creatine supplementation aids cognition in the elderly.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Jianqi; Wei, Ping

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Considering the base rates of low performance in cognitively healthy older adults improves the accuracy to identify neurocognitive impairment with the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease-Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (CERAD-NAB).

    PubMed

    Mistridis, Panagiota; Egli, Simone C; Iverson, Grant L; Berres, Manfred; Willmes, Klaus; Welsh-Bohmer, Kathleen A; Monsch, Andreas U

    2015-08-01

    It is common for some healthy older adults to obtain low test scores when a battery of neuropsychological tests is administered, which increases the risk of the clinician misdiagnosing cognitive impairment. Thus, base rates of healthy individuals' low scores are required to more accurately interpret neuropsychological results. At present, this information is not available for the German version of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease-Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (CERAD-NAB), a frequently used battery in the USA and in German-speaking Europe. This study aimed to determine the base rates of low scores for the CERAD-NAB and to tabulate a summary figure of cut-off scores and numbers of low scores to aid in clinical decision making. The base rates of low scores on the ten German CERAD-NAB subscores were calculated from the German CERAD-NAB normative sample (N = 1,081) using six different cut-off scores (i.e., 1st, 2.5th, 7th, 10th, 16th, and 25th percentile). Results indicate that high percentages of one or more "abnormal" scores were obtained, irrespective of the cut-off criterion. For example, 60.6% of the normative sample obtained one or more scores at or below the 10th percentile. These findings illustrate the importance of considering the prevalence of low scores in healthy individuals. The summary figure of CERAD-NAB base rates is an important supplement for test interpretation and can be used to improve the diagnostic accuracy of neurocognitive disorders. PMID:25555899

  20. Exogenous testosterone alone or with finasteride does not improve measurements of cognition in healthy older men with low serum testosterone.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Camille; Goldstein, Felicia C; Tenover, J Lisa

    2007-01-01

    Testosterone (T) levels decline as men age, but it is unclear whether this has an effect on cognition. Some studies indicate that lower T levels are associated with memory loss; thus, maintaining a higher T level could have positive effects on aspects of cognitive function. Concerns exist, however, about the effect of T therapy on the prostate in older men. We hypothesized that T replacement in older men with low T levels would improve aspects of cognitive function and that the addition of finasteride would not affect the T-induced cognitive improvements. Healthy men, 65 to 83 years of age, with baseline total T below 350 ng/dL and no evidence of cognitive impairment were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 regimens: 200 mg of T every 2 weeks by intramuscular injection with placebo pill daily (T-only), 200 mg of T every 2 weeks by intramuscular injection with 5 mg of finasteride daily (T+F), or placebo injections and pills (placebo). Sixty-nine men completed baseline cognitive testing; 65 completed at least 4 months, and 46 completed all 36 months of the study. Participants were given a battery of cognitive evaluations at baseline, 4 months, and 36 months, along with measurement of serum hormone levels. Serum total T, bioavailable T, and estradiol levels in the T-only and T+F groups significantly increased throughout the treatment period, whereas these hormone levels did not change in the placebo group. Only minimally significant differences were seen among the 3 groups in any evaluation of cognitive performance, either in the short-term (4 months) or the long-term (36 months) analysis. These results indicate that T replacement, whether given alone or in combination with finasteride, for 36 months in healthy older men without cognitive impairment at baseline has no clinically significant effect on tests of cognitive function. Further studies are warranted to determine whether hormone replacement in men with preexisting cognitive impairment is beneficial. PMID:17609296

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Gear Performance Improved by Coating

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krantz, Timothy L.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Mewton, Louise; Andrews, Gavin

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Shorter term aerobic exercise improves brain, cognition, and cardiovascular fitness in aging

    PubMed Central

    Chapman, Sandra B.; Aslan, Sina; Spence, Jeffrey S.; DeFina, Laura F.; Keebler, Molly W.; Didehbani, Nyaz; Lu, Hanzhang

    2013-01-01

    Physical exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, is documented as providing a low cost regimen to counter well-documented cognitive declines including memory, executive function, visuospatial skills, and processing speed in normally aging adults. Prior aging studies focused largely on the effects of medium to long term (>6 months) exercise training; however, the shorter term effects have not been studied. In the present study, we examined changes in brain blood flow, cognition, and fitness in 37 cognitively healthy sedentary adults (57–75 years of age) who were randomized into physical training or a wait-list control group. The physical training group received supervised aerobic exercise for 3 sessions per week 1 h each for 12 weeks. Participants' cognitive, cardiovascular fitness and resting cerebral blood flow (CBF) were assessed at baseline (T1), mid (T2), and post-training (T3). We found higher resting CBF in the anterior cingulate region in the physical training group as compared to the control group from T1 to T3. Cognitive gains were manifested in the exercise group's improved immediate and delayed memory performance from T1 to T3 which also showed a significant positive association with increases in both left and right hippocampal CBF identified earlier in the time course at T2. Additionally, the two cardiovascular parameters, VO2 max and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) showed gains, compared to the control group. These data suggest that even shorter term aerobic exercise can facilitate neuroplasticity to reduce both the biological and cognitive consequences of aging to benefit brain health in sedentary adults. PMID:24282403

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  9. Physician judgment in clinical settings: methodological influences and cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Dawson, N V

    1993-07-01

    Understanding the quality of physicians' intuitive judgments is essential in determining the appropriate use of their judgments in medical decision-making (vis-a-vis analytical or actuarial approaches). As part of this process, the quality of physicians' predictions must be assessed because prediction is fundamental to common clinical tasks: determining diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy; establishing monitoring intervals; performing screening and preventive maneuvers. Critical evaluation of predictive capabilities requires an assessment of the components of the prediction process: the data available for prediction, the method used for prediction, and the accuracy of prediction. Although variation in and uncertainty about the underlying data elements are often acknowledged as a source of inaccurate predictions, prediction also can be confounded by both methodological and cognitive limitations. During the past two decades, numerous factors have been recognized that may bias test characteristics (sensitivity and specificity). These same factors may also produce bias in intuitive judgments. The use of cognitive processes to simplify judgment tasks (e.g., the availability and representativeness heuristics) and the presence of certain biases in the judgment process (e.g., ego, regret) may present obstacles to accurate estimation of probabilities by physicians. Limitations on the intuitive use of information (cognitive biases) have been demonstrated in both medical and nonmedical decision-making settings. Recent studies have led to a deepening understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of intuitive and analytical approaches to decision making. Here, many aspects of the basis for this understanding are reviewed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    Previous research has indicated that education influences cognitive development, but it is unclear what, precisely, is being improved. Here, we tested whether education is associated with cognitive test score improvements via domain-general effects on general cognitive ability (g), or via domain-specific effects on particular cognitive skills. We conducted structural equation modeling on data from a large (n = 1,091), longitudinal sample, with a measure of intelligence at age 11 years and 10 tests covering a diverse range of cognitive abilities taken at age 70. Results indicated that the association of education with improved cognitive test scores is not mediated by g, but consists of direct effects on specific cognitive skills. These results suggest a decoupling of educational gains from increases in general intellectual capacity.

  11. Restoring Executive Confidence in Performance Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seidman, William; McCauley, Michael

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Corker, K.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Caffeine and alcohol intakes and overall nutrient adequacy are associated with longitudinal cognitive performance among U.S. adults.

    PubMed

    Beydoun, May A; Gamaldo, Alyssa A; Beydoun, Hind A; Tanaka, Toshiko; Tucker, Katherine L; Talegawkar, Sameera A; Ferrucci, Luigi; Zonderman, Alan B

    2014-06-01

    Among modifiable lifestyle factors, diet may affect cognitive health. Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations may exist between dietary exposures [e.g., caffeine (mg/d), alcohol (g/d), and nutrient adequacy] and cognitive performance and change over time. This was a prospective cohort study, the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (n = 628-1305 persons depending on the cognitive outcome; ∼2 visits/person). Outcomes included 10 cognitive scores, spanning various domains of cognition. Caffeine and alcohol intakes and a nutrient adequacy score (NAS) were estimated from 7-d food diaries. Among key findings, caffeine intake was associated with better baseline global cognition among participants with a baseline age (Agebase) of ≥70 y. A higher NAS was associated with better baseline global cognition performance (overall, women, Agebase <70 y), better baseline verbal memory (immediate and delayed recall, Agebase ≥70 y), and slower rate of decline or faster improvement in the attention domain (women). For an Agebase of <70 y, alcohol consumption was associated with slower improvement on letter fluency and global cognition over time. Conversely, for an Agebase of ≥70 y and among women, alcohol intake was related to better baseline attention and working memory. In sum, patterns of diet and cognition associations indicate stratum-specific associations by sex and baseline age. The general observed trend was that of putative beneficial effects of caffeine intake and nutrient adequacy on domains of global cognition, verbal memory, and attention, and mixed effects of alcohol on domains of letter fluency, attention, and working memory. Further longitudinal studies conducted on larger samples of adults are needed to determine whether dietary factors individually or in combination are modifiers of cognitive trajectories among adults. PMID:24744319

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Pilcher, June J.; Baker, Victoria C.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pilcher, June J; Baker, Victoria C

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Motor and cognitive performance of overweight preschool children.

    PubMed

    Krombholz, Heinz

    2013-02-01

    Gross and fine motor skills and cognitive performance in obese and overweight children were compared to healthy weight children. Participants were 1,543 children (797 boys and 746 girls) ages 43 to 84 months, attending childcare centers in Munich, Germany. According to German Body Mass Index (BMI) standards for age and sex, 4.6% of the children were classified as obese (percentile greater or equal 97), 6.8% as overweight (percentile greater or equal 90 and less than 97), 5.9% as underweight (percentile less than 10), and 83.1% as being of healthy weight. Dependent variables were physical characteristics (height, weight, skinfold thickness), physical fitness (standing broad jump, shuttle run, hanging), body coordination (balancing forward, balancing backward, lateral jump, hopping), manual dexterity (right and left hand), and cognitive performance (intelligence, verbal ability, concentration). Higher proportions of children from lower socioeconomic and immigrant backgrounds were overweight. There was no association between weight and sex. Overweight children showed lower performance on gross motor skills (coordination and fitness), manual dexterity, and intelligence compared to healthy weight children, even after controlling for the effects of social class and immigration status.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Cognitive Performance following Carotid Endarterectomy or Stenting in Asymptomatic Patients with Severe ICA Stenosis.

    PubMed

    Picchetto, Livio; Spalletta, Gianfranco; Casolla, Barbara; Cacciari, Claudia; Cavallari, Michele; Fantozzi, Cristiano; Ciuffoli, Alessandro; Rasura, Maurizia; Imperiale, Francesca; Sette, Giuliano; Caltagirone, Carlo; Taurino, Maurizio; Orzi, Francesco

    2013-01-01

    Background. Endarterectomy (CEA) or stenting (CAS) of a stenotic carotid artery is currently undertaken to reduce stroke risk. In addition removal of the arterial narrowing has been hypothesized to improve cerebral hemodynamics and provide benefits in cognitive functions, by supposedly resolving a "hypoperfusion" condition. Methods. In this study we sought to test whether resolution of a carotid stenosis is followed by measurable changes in cognitive functions in 22 subjects with "asymptomatic" stenosis. Results. A main finding of the study was the statistically significant pre-post difference observed in the performance of phonological verbal fluency and Rey's 15-word immediate recall. Remarkably, there was a significant interaction between phonological verbal fluency performance and side of the carotid intervention, as the improvement in the verbal performance, a typical "lateralized" skill, was associated with resolution of the left carotid stenosis. Conclusion. The results reflect a substantial equivalence of the overall performance at the before- and after- CEA or CAS tests. In two domains, however, the postintervention performance resulted improved. The findings support the hypothesis that recanalization of a stenotic carotid could improve brain functions by resolving hypothetical "hypoperfusion" states, associated with the narrowing of the vessels.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  10. Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Depressive Symptoms, and Cognitive Performance in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease

    PubMed Central

    Mazereeuw, Graham; Herrmann, Nathan; Oh, Paul I.; Ma, David W.L.; Wang, Cheng Tao; Kiss, Alexander; Lanctôt, Krista L.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract This trial investigated the efficacy of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) treatment for improving depressive symptoms and cognitive performance in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) participating in cardiac rehabilitation. Patients with CAD aged 45 to 80 years were randomized to receive either 1.9-g/d n-3 PUFA treatment or placebo for 12 weeks. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D, primary outcome) and the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, criteria were used to identify a depressive episode at baseline. Cognitive performance was measured using a standardized battery for vascular cognitive impairment. In 92 patients (age, 61.7 ± 8.7 y; 76% male, 40% depressed; HAM-D, 6.9 ± 5.9; BDI-II, 12.3 ± 10.9; n = 45 n-3 PUFA, n = 47 placebo), depression decreased (HAM-D, F3,91 = 2.71 and P = 0.049; BDI-II, F3,91 = 6.24 and P < 0.01), and cognitive performance improved (attention/processing speed, F1,91 = 5.57, P = 0.02; executive function, F1,91 = 14.64, P < 0.01; visuospatial memory, F1,91 = 4.01, P = 0.04) over cardiac rehabilitation. Omega-3 PUFA treatment increased plasma eicosapentaenoic acid (F1,29 = 33.29, P < 0.01) and docosahexaenoic acid (F1,29 = 15.29, P < 0.01) concentrations but did not reduce HAM-D (F3,91 = 1.59, P = 0.20) or BDI-II (F3,91 = 0.46, P = 0.50) scores compared with placebo. Treatment did not improve cognitive performance; however, n-3 PUFAs significantly increased verbal memory compared with placebo in a subgroup of nondepressed patients (F1,54 = 4.16, P = 0.04). This trial suggests that n-3 PUFAs do not improve depressive and associated cognitive symptoms in those with CAD. The possible benefits of n-3 PUFAs for verbal memory may warrant investigation in well-powered studies. PMID:27529771

  11. Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men.

    PubMed

    Ganio, Matthew S; Armstrong, Lawrence E; Casa, Douglas J; McDermott, Brendon P; Lee, Elaine C; Yamamoto, Linda M; Marzano, Stefania; Lopez, Rebecca M; Jimenez, Liliana; Le Bellego, Laurent; Chevillotte, Emmanuel; Lieberman, Harris R

    2011-11-01

    The present study assessed the effects of mild dehydration on cognitive performance and mood of young males. A total of twenty-six men (age 20·0 (sd 0·3) years) participated in three randomised, single-blind, repeated-measures trials: exercise-induced dehydration plus a diuretic (DD; 40 mg furosemide); exercise-induced dehydration plus placebo containing no diuretic (DN); exercise while maintaining euhydration plus placebo (EU; control condition). Each trial included three 40 min treadmill walks at 5·6 km/h, 5 % grade in a 27·7°C environment. A comprehensive computerised six-task cognitive test battery, the profile of mood states questionnaire and the symptom questionnaire (headache, concentration and task difficulty) were administered during each trial. Paired t tests compared the DD and DN trials resulting in >1 % body mass loss (mean 1·59 (sd 0·42) %) with the volunteer's EU trial (0·01 (sd 0·03) %). Dehydration degraded specific aspects of cognitive performance: errors increased on visual vigilance (P = 0·048) and visual working memory response latency slowed (P = 0·021). Fatigue and tension/anxiety increased due to dehydration at rest (P = 0·040 and 0·029) and fatigue during exercise (P = 0·026). Plasma osmolality increased due to dehydration (P < 0·001) but resting gastrointestinal temperature was not altered (P = 0·238). In conclusion, mild dehydration without hyperthermia in men induced adverse changes in vigilance and working memory, and increased tension/anxiety and fatigue.

  12. Computerized cognitive remediation improves verbal learning and processing speed in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Sartory, Gudrun; Zorn, Cornelia; Groetzinger, Gerd; Windgassen, Klaus

    2005-06-15

    Computerized cognitive remediation has resulted in improved executive function in schizophrenia, whereas results with regard to verbal memory were inconsistent. In the present study, 42 inpatients with schizophrenia were randomly assigned to a computerized cognitive remediation group or to a treatment-as-usual (TAU) control group. The remediation group received 15 sessions of computerized cognitive training (Cogpack) over a 3-week period. Neurocognitive functions were assessed at the beginning and end of this period. Compared to the control condition, remediation training resulted in improvements in verbal learning, processing speed and executive function (verbal fluency). The results indicate that cognitive remediation may lead to improvements beyond those of executive function.

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

    PubMed Central

    Burkhalter, Toni M.; Hillman, Charles H.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abadzi, Helen

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

  15. Environmental enrichment and social interaction improve cognitive function and decrease reactive oxidative species in normal adult mice.

    PubMed

    Doulames, Vanessa; Lee, Sangmook; Shea, Thomas B

    2014-05-01

    Environmental stimulation and increased social interactions stimulate cognitive performance, while decrease in these parameters can exacerbate cognitive decline as a function of illness, injury, or age. We examined the impact of environmental stimulation and social interactions on cognitive performance in healthy adult C57B1/6J mice. Mice were housed for 1 month individually or in groups of three (to prevent or allow social interaction) in either a standard environment (SE) or an enlarged cage containing nesting material and items classically utilized to stimulate exploration and activity ("enriched environment"; EE). Cognitive performance was tested by Y maze navigation and Novel Object Recognition (NOR; which compares the relative amount of time mice spent investigating a novel vs. a familiar object). Mice maintained for 1 month under isolated conditions in the SE statistically declined in performance versus baseline in the Y maze (p < 0.02; ANOVA). Performance under all other conditions did not change from baseline. Maintenance in groups in the SE statistically improved NOR (p < 0.01), whereas maintenance in isolation in the SE did not alter performance from baseline. Maintenance in the EE statistically improved performance in NOR for mice housed in groups and individually (p < 0.01). Maintenance under isolated conditions slightly increased reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) in brain. Environmental enrichment did not influence ROS/RNS. These findings indicate that environmental and social enrichment can positively influence cognitive performance in healthy adult mice, and support the notion that proactive approaches may delay age-related cognitive decline.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Carbohydrates, Muscle Glycogen, and Improved Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherman, W. Mike

    1987-01-01

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

  19. Navigating through virtual environments: visual realism improves spatial cognition.

    PubMed

    Meijer, Frank; Geudeke, Branko L; van den Broek, Egon L

    2009-10-01

    Recent advances in computer technology have significantly facilitated the use of virtual environments (VE) for small and medium enterprises (SME). However, achieving visual realism in such VE requires high investments in terms of time and effort, while its usefulness has not yet become apparent from research. Other qualities of VE, such as the use of large displays, proved its effectiveness in enhancing the individual user's spatial cognition. The current study assessed whether the same benefits apply for visual realism in VE. Thirty-two participants were divided into two groups, who explored either a photorealistic or a nonrealistic supermarket presented on a large screen. The participants were asked to navigate through the supermarket on a predetermined route. Subsequently, spatial learning was tested in four pen-and-paper tests that assessed how accurately they had memorized the route and the environment's spatial layout. The study revealed increased spatial learning from the photorealistic compared to the nonrealistic supermarket. Specifically, participants performed better on tests that involved egocentric spatial knowledge. The results suggest visual realism is useful because it increases the user's spatial knowledge in the VE. Therefore, the current study provides clear evidence that it is worthwhile for SME to invest in achieving visual realism in VE.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Improvement of cognitive impairment in female type 2 diabetes mellitus mice by spironolactone.

    PubMed

    Sakata, Akiko; Mogi, Masaki; Iwanami, Jun; Tsukuda, Kana; Min, Li-Juan; Jing, Fei; Ohshima, Kousei; Ito, Masaharu; Horiuchi, Masatsugu

    2012-03-01

    Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) exhibit more severe cognitive decline in females compared with males; however, the preventive approach to this gender-specific cognitive decline is still an enigma. Spironolactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic that also acts as an androgen receptor antagonist. Here, we investigated whether spironolactone attenuates cognitive impairment observed in female T2DM mice. Adult wild-type (WT) mice and an obese T2DM model, KKAy mice, were employed in this study. Cognitive function was evaluated by the shuttle avoidance test and Morris water maze test. Administration of spironolactone (50 mg/kg per day in chow) had no significant effect on blood pressure, glucose tolerance or insulin resistance. In WT mice, no significant sex difference in cognitive function was observed; however, treatment with spironolactone improved spatial memory in the water maze, especially in female WT mice. Administration of spironolactone markedly improved the cognitive decline in female KKAy mice up to the level in male KKAy mice. Spironolactone treatment also improved cognitive function in ovariectomized-KKAy mice, but failed to improve it in those with administration of estradiol (200 µg/kg per day). In diabetic mice, spironolactone improved impaired cognitive function observed in female mice, suggesting that spironolactone may prevent cognitive impairment associated with diabetes in females clinically.

  4. Cognitive performance and smoking in first-episode psychosis: the self-medication hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Segarra, Rafael; Zabala, Arantzazu; Eguíluz, Jose Ignacio; Ojeda, Natalia; Elizagarate, Edorta; Sánchez, Pedro; Ballesteros, Javier; Gutiérrez, Miguel

    2011-06-01

    The self-medication hypothesis attempts to explain the extraordinary high levels of cigarette smoking in schizophrenia; patients may smoke in an attempt to reduce their cognitive deficits, symptoms, or the side effects of antipsychotics. In a previous report, we detected beneficial performance in attention and working memory in patients with first-episode psychosis who smoked compared to non-smoking patients soon after stabilization. In the present study, we examine differences in the course of those deficits 12 months after the initiation of antipsychotic treatment. We also explore the association between smoking and symptoms and side effects of medication. Neuropsychological assessments were performed at baseline, month 6 and month 12 using a computerized battery that included measures of sustained attention (Continuous Performance Test CPT-O), selective attention (Stroop interference task) and working memory (CPT-XO). Patients met the criterion of fitting in the same smoking category throughout the study: non-smoker (n = 15; 0 cigarettes/day) and smoker (n = 26; >15 cigarettes/day). The non-smoking patients showed significant cognitive improvements, whereas smoking patients lost their superior baseline performance, which was probably obtained through nicotinic stimulation, at the 6- and 12-month assessments due to a static course of deficits. Smokers did not obtain any cognitive benefit after instauration of treatment and worsen their symptoms over the first year. These results suggest that smoking may constitute a marker of a more severe illness. Smoking was not associated with fewer extrapyramidal side effects. Smoking might improve attention and working memory to a similarly modest extent as atypical antipsychotics and could reflect an effort to ameliorate these cognitive dysfunctions previous to treatment instauration.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gore, Brian F.

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gore, Brian F

    2002-01-01

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

  7. Cognitive, perceptual, and motor abilities in skilled basketball performance.

    PubMed

    Kioumourtzoglou, E; Derri, V; Tzetzis, G; Theodorakis, Y

    1998-06-01

    The differences among athletes of differing skill should assist successful identification and selection of the best athletes in a specific sport. For the purpose of this study, a laboratory study was conducted with a group of 13 men on the elite male national team of basketball players, 22 to 23 years of age, and a control group of 15 men of equal age (physical education class) to assess differences in their scores on cognitive skills (memory-retention, memory-grouping analytic ability), perceptual skills (speed of perception, prediction, selective attention, response selection), and motor skills (dynamic balance, whole body coordination, wrist-finger dexterity, rhythmic ability). Analysis showed that elite male basketball players scored higher on hand coordination and lower on dynamic balance given their anthropometric measurements. Elite players were better on memory-retention, selective attention, and on prediction measures than the control group. The above skills are important in basketball performance. Researchers may examine whether other factors contribute more in the development of perceptual and cognitive skills.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Correlates of Canadian Native Children's Reading Performance: From Cognitive Styles to Cognitive Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Das, J. P.; Janzen, Troy; Georgiou, George K.

    2007-01-01

    Individual differences in reading and cognitive processing among a sample of generally poor readers were studied in order to answer two major questions: Do they have a specific cognitive style that favors global-simultaneous strategies and a weak sequential strategy? If they do not have a distinct cognitive style or strategy, but are merely poor…

  10. Peer Mentors Can Improve Academic Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asgari, Shaki; Carter, Frederick, Jr.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Langdon, Danny

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

  12. Improved Performance via the Inverted Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weinstein, Randy D.

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Performance, Productivity and Continuous Improvement. Symposium.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2002

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

  14. The CF6 engine performance improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fasching, W. A.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Modulation of mood and cognitive performance following acute administration of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm).

    PubMed

    Kennedy, D O; Scholey, Andrew B; Tildesley, N T J; Perry, E K; Wesnes, K A

    2002-07-01

    Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) is a traditional herbal medicine, which enjoys contemporary usage as a mild sedative, spasmolytic and antibacterial agent. It has been suggested, in light of in vitro cholinergic binding properties, that Melissa extracts may effectively ameliorate the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease. To date, no study has investigated the effects on cognition and mood of administration of Melissa to healthy humans. The present randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, balanced-crossover study investigated the acute effects on cognition and mood of a standardised extract of M. officinalis. Twenty healthy, young participants received single doses of 300, 600 and 900 mg of M. officinalis (Pharmaton) or a matching placebo at 7-day intervals. Cognitive performance was assessed using the Cognitive Drug Research (CDR) computerised test battery and two serial subtraction tasks immediately prior to dosing and at 1, 2.5, 4 and 6 h thereafter. In vitro IC(50) concentrations for the displacement of [3H]-(N)-nicotine and [3H]-(N)-scopolamine from nicotinic and muscarinic receptors in human occipital cortex tissue were also calculated. Results, utilising the cognitive factors previously derived from the CDR battery, included a sustained improvement in Accuracy of Attention following 600 mg of Melissa and time- and dose-specific reductions in both Secondary Memory and Working Memory factors. Self-rated "calmness," as assessed by Bond-Lader mood scales, was elevated at the earliest time points by the lowest dose, whilst "alertness" was significantly reduced at all time points following the highest dose. Both nicotinic and muscarinic binding were found to be low in comparison to the levels found in previous studies.

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

    PubMed

    Fonseca, Rosalina

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Balance, Sensorimotor, and Cognitive Performance in Long-Year Expert Senior Ballroom Dancers

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Engine component improvement program: Performance improvement. [fuel consumption

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcaulay, J. E.

    1979-01-01

    Fuel consumption of commercial aircraft is considered. Fuel saving and retention components for new production and retrofit of JT9D, JT8D, and CF6 engines are reviewed. The manner in which the performance improvement concepts were selected for development and a summary of the current status of each of the 16 selected concepts are discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

    Lozada, Mariana; Carro, Natalia

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Steele-Johnson, Debra; Kalinoski, Zachary T

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  11. Performance improvement with patient service partners.

    PubMed

    Burns, J P

    1998-01-01

    Once the decision is made to use a patient-focused care delivery system, a variety of methods can be used to successfully design the model. The author describes the process used by a multilevel, multidisciplinary team at a community hospital to design and implement a Service Partner role that would meet and exceed customer expectations. Demonstrated performance improvements included increased patient satisfaction, productive labor dollar savings, and improvements in the work environment for staff members. PMID:9451381

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Blanton, Cynthia

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Improvements in iron status and cognitive function in young women consuming beef or non-beef lunches.

    PubMed

    Blanton, Cynthia

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pilcher, J J; Walters, A S

    1997-11-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soderlund, Goran; Sikstrom, Sverker; Smart, Andrew

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prusso, Kenneth W.; And Others

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

  18. Improving rehabilitation exercise performance through visual guidance.

    PubMed

    Lam, Agnes W K; HajYasien, Ahmed; Kulic, Dana

    2014-01-01

    In current physical rehabilitation protocols, patients typically perform exercises without feedback or guidance following the initial demonstrations from the physiotherapist. This paper proposes a system providing continuous visual feedback and guidance to patients to improve quality of motion performance and adherence to instructions. The system consists of body-worn inertial measurement units which continuously measure the patient's pose. The measured pose is overlaid with the instructed motion on a visual display shown to the user during exercise performance. Two user studies were conducted with healthy participants to evaluate the usability of the visual guidance tool. Motion data was collected by the inertial measurement sensors and used to evaluate quality of motion, comparing user performance with and without visual feedback and with or without exercise guidance. The quantitative and qualitative results of the studies confirm that performing the exercises with the visual guidance tool promotes more consistent exercise performance and proper technique. PMID:25570311

  19. Interactive effects of physical work and carbon monoxide on cognitive task performance.

    PubMed

    Bunnell, D E; Horvath, S M

    1988-12-01

    The simple and interactive effects of carbon monoxide (CO) exposure and prior physical work on cognitive performance were evaluated in 11 men and 7 women. Three levels of carboxyhemoglobin (HbCO) (0, 7, 10%) and three workloads (rest, 35%, 60% Vo2max) were crossed resulting in nine repeated measures conditions for each subject. Following bolus administration of CO, subjects exercised or rested for 50 min, then performed five cognitive tasks: Manikin spatial processing, Sternberg memory, Stroop word-color interference, visual search, and dual-axis tracking, with and without a secondary mathematics task. Carboxyhemoglobin levels were assessed after bolus administration and again following completion of the last task. Ambient CO levels were set to maintain the required HbCO levels in each condition. Performance on the second of two sequentially presented Stroop interference tasks (using identical stimuli but with instructions reversed) was impaired with increasing HbCO level, suggesting a reduced ability to adapt to a new response set. An interaction between HbCO level and exercise level was seen for visual search performance: in rest conditions, performance was improved with increasing HbCO level; by contrast, performance was impaired with increasing HbCO levels following 60% work. Elevated HbCO had no effect on spatial processing, short-term memory, simple reaction time, or psychomotor tracking.

  20. A Nutritional Formulation for Cognitive Performance in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Placebo-Controlled Trial with an Open-Label Extension.

    PubMed

    Remington, Ruth; Lortie, Jevin J; Hoffmann, Heather; Page, Robert; Morrell, Christopher; Shea, Thomas B

    2015-01-01

    Thirty-four individuals with mild cognitive impairment were randomized for 6 months to a nutraceutical formulation (NF: folate, alpha-tocopherol, B12, S-adenosyl methioinine, N-acetyl cysteine, acetyl-L-carnitine) or indistinguishable placebo, followed by a 6-month open-label extension in which all individuals received NF. The NF cohort improved in the Dementia Rating Scale (DRS; effect size >0.7) and maintained baseline performance in CLOX-1. The placebo cohort did not improve in DRS and declined in CLOX-1, but during the open-label extension improved in DRS and ceased declining in CLOX-1. These findings extend prior studies of NF efficacy for individuals without cognitive impairment and with Alzheimer's disease.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. An Instructional Strategy Planning Model to Improve Learning and Cognition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tennyson, Robert D.

    1988-01-01

    Presents model of instructional strategy planning that links specific cognitive learning and thinking processes with specific computer-based instructional strategies. Topics discussed include memory systems; types of knowledge; drill and practice; tutorials; task-oriented simulations; problem-oriented simulations; and self directed experiences.…

  4. Astrocytes as new targets to improve cognitive functions.

    PubMed

    Dallérac, Glenn; Rouach, Nathalie

    2016-09-01

    Astrocytes are now viewed as key elements of brain wiring as well as neuronal communication. Indeed, they not only bridge the gap between metabolic supplies by blood vessels and neurons, but also allow fine control of neurotransmission by providing appropriate signaling molecules and insulation through a tight enwrapping of synapses. Recognition that astroglia is essential to neuronal communication is nevertheless fairly recent and the large body of evidence dissecting such role has focused on the synaptic level by identifying neuro- and gliotransmitters uptaken and released at synaptic or extrasynaptic sites. Yet, more integrated research deciphering the impact of astroglial functions on neuronal network activity have led to the reasonable assumption that the role of astrocytes in supervising synaptic activity translates in influencing neuronal processing and cognitive functions. Several investigations using recent genetic tools now support this notion by showing that inactivating or boosting astroglial function directly affects cognitive abilities. Accordingly, brain diseases resulting in impaired cognitive functions have seen their physiopathological mechanisms revisited in light of this primary protagonist of brain processing. We here provide a review of the current knowledge on the role of astrocytes in cognition and in several brain diseases including neurodegenerative disorders, psychiatric illnesses, as well as other conditions such as epilepsy. Potential astroglial therapeutic targets are also discussed. PMID:26969413

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Elimination of microglia improves cognitive function following cranial irradiation

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Relationship between anthropometric indicators and cognitive performance in Southeast Asian school-aged children.

    PubMed

    Sandjaja; Poh, Bee Koon; Rojroonwasinkul, Nipa; Le Nyugen, Bao Khanh; Budiman, Basuki; Ng, Lai Oon; Soonthorndhada, Kusol; Xuyen, Hoang Thi; Deurenberg, Paul; Parikh, Panam

    2013-09-01

    Nutrition is an important factor in mental development and, as a consequence, in cognitive performance. Malnutrition is reflected in children's weight, height and BMI curves. The present cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate the association between anthropometric indices and cognitive performance in 6746 school-aged children (aged 6-12 years) of four Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia; Malaysia; Thailand; Vietnam. Cognitive performance (non-verbal intelligence quotient (IQ)) was measured using Raven's Progressive Matrices test or Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence, third edition (TONI-3). Height-for-age z-scores (HAZ), weight-for-age z-scores (WAZ) and BMI-for-age z-scores (BAZ) were used as anthropometric nutritional status indices. Data were weighted using age, sex and urban/rural weight factors to resemble the total primary school-aged population per country. Overall, 21% of the children in the four countries were underweight and 19% were stunted. Children with low WAZ were 3·5 times more likely to have a non-verbal IQ < 89 (OR 3·53 and 95% CI 3·52, 3·54). The chance of having a non-verbal IQ < 89 was also doubled with low BAZ and HAZ. In contrast, except for severe obesity, the relationship between high BAZ and IQ was less clear and differed per country. The odds of having non-verbal IQ levels < 89 also increased with severe obesity. In conclusion, undernourishment and non-verbal IQ are significantly associated in 6-12-year-old children. Effective strategies to improve nutrition in preschoolers and school-aged children can have a pronounced effect on cognition and, in the longer term, help in positively contributing to individual and national development.

  9. Relationship between anthropometric indicators and cognitive performance in Southeast Asian school-aged children.

    PubMed

    Sandjaja; Poh, Bee Koon; Rojroonwasinkul, Nipa; Le Nyugen, Bao Khanh; Budiman, Basuki; Ng, Lai Oon; Soonthorndhada, Kusol; Xuyen, Hoang Thi; Deurenberg, Paul; Parikh, Panam

    2013-09-01

    Nutrition is an important factor in mental development and, as a consequence, in cognitive performance. Malnutrition is reflected in children's weight, height and BMI curves. The present cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate the association between anthropometric indices and cognitive performance in 6746 school-aged children (aged 6-12 years) of four Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia; Malaysia; Thailand; Vietnam. Cognitive performance (non-verbal intelligence quotient (IQ)) was measured using Raven's Progressive Matrices test or Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence, third edition (TONI-3). Height-for-age z-scores (HAZ), weight-for-age z-scores (WAZ) and BMI-for-age z-scores (BAZ) were used as anthropometric nutritional status indices. Data were weighted using age, sex and urban/rural weight factors to resemble the total primary school-aged population per country. Overall, 21% of the children in the four countries were underweight and 19% were stunted. Children with low WAZ were 3·5 times more likely to have a non-verbal IQ < 89 (OR 3·53 and 95% CI 3·52, 3·54). The chance of having a non-verbal IQ < 89 was also doubled with low BAZ and HAZ. In contrast, except for severe obesity, the relationship between high BAZ and IQ was less clear and differed per country. The odds of having non-verbal IQ levels < 89 also increased with severe obesity. In conclusion, undernourishment and non-verbal IQ are significantly associated in 6-12-year-old children. Effective strategies to improve nutrition in preschoolers and school-aged children can have a pronounced effect on cognition and, in the longer term, help in positively contributing to individual and national development. PMID:24016767

  10. Performances on a cognitive theory of mind task: specific decline or general cognitive deficits? Evidence from normal aging.

    PubMed

    Fliss, Rafika; Lemerre, Marion; Mollard, Audrey

    2016-06-01

    Compromised theory of mind (ToM) can be explained either by a failure to implement specific representational capacities (mental state representations) or by more general executive selection demands. In older adult populations, evidence supporting affected executive functioning and cognitive ToM in normal aging are reported. However, links between these two functions remain unclear. In the present paper, we address these shortcomings by using a specific task of ToM and classical executive tasks. We studied, using an original cognitive ToM task, the effect of age on ToM performances, in link with the progressive executive decline. 96 elderly participants were recruited. They were asked to perform a cognitive ToM task, and 5 executive tests (Stroop test and Hayling Sentence Completion Test to appreciate inhibitory process, Trail Making Test and Verbal Fluency for shifting assessment and backward span dedicated to estimate working memory capacity). The results show changes in cognitive ToM performance according to executive demands. Correlational studies indicate a significant relationship between ToM performance and the selected executive measures. Regression analyzes demonstrates that level of vocabulary and age as the best predictors of ToM performance. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that ToM deficits are related to age-related domain-general decline rather than as to a breakdown in specialized representational system. The implications of these findings for the nature of social cognition tests in normal aging are also discussed. PMID:27277154

  11. Performances on a cognitive theory of mind task: specific decline or general cognitive deficits? Evidence from normal aging.

    PubMed

    Fliss, Rafika; Lemerre, Marion; Mollard, Audrey

    2016-06-01

    Compromised theory of mind (ToM) can be explained either by a failure to implement specific representational capacities (mental state representations) or by more general executive selection demands. In older adult populations, evidence supporting affected executive functioning and cognitive ToM in normal aging are reported. However, links between these two functions remain unclear. In the present paper, we address these shortcomings by using a specific task of ToM and classical executive tasks. We studied, using an original cognitive ToM task, the effect of age on ToM performances, in link with the progressive executive decline. 96 elderly participants were recruited. They were asked to perform a cognitive ToM task, and 5 executive tests (Stroop test and Hayling Sentence Completion Test to appreciate inhibitory process, Trail Making Test and Verbal Fluency for shifting assessment and backward span dedicated to estimate working memory capacity). The results show changes in cognitive ToM performance according to executive demands. Correlational studies indicate a significant relationship between ToM performance and the selected executive measures. Regression analyzes demonstrates that level of vocabulary and age as the best predictors of ToM performance. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that ToM deficits are related to age-related domain-general decline rather than as to a breakdown in specialized representational system. The implications of these findings for the nature of social cognition tests in normal aging are also discussed.

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

    PubMed

    Ching, Ho-Hoi; Koo, Malcolm; Tsai, Tsung-Huang; Chen, Chiu-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Mindfulness training has recently gained much research interest because of its putative benefits for both mental and physical health. However, little is available in its effects on Asian students. Therefore, a quasi-experimental pre/posttest design was used to assess the effects of a one-semester mindfulness meditation course in 152 first-year Taiwanese university students and compared with 130 controls. The Chinese version of the College Learning Effectiveness Inventory (CLEI) and a computer software program focused on specific cognitive tasks were used for the evaluation. Results from the analysis of covariance revealed that while the score of the full CLEI scale was significantly higher in the intervention group compared with the control (P = 0.022), none of the comparisons between the nine CLEI subscales were significantly different between the two groups. For the computer cognitive tasks, the intervention group exhibited significantly better performance in the accuracy of the digital vigilance task (P = 0.048), choice reaction time (P = 0.004), spatial working memory (P = 0.042), and digital vigilance task reaction time (P = 0.004). This study showed that a one-semester mindfulness meditation course was able to improve learning effectiveness and both attention and memory aspects of cognitive performance among Taiwanese university students.

  13. Electrostatic precipitator performance: Improvement with frame stabilization

    SciTech Connect

    1995-12-31

    Optimum electrostatic precipitator performance depends upon maintaining proper clearances between the high voltage components. Historically, the high voltage discharge electrode systems was either unstabilized and allowed to swing between the collection plate surfaces, or was stabilized with various mechanical methods. Free swinging electric fields will normally result in higher spark rates and reduced available power for collection of dust particles. Various mechanical stabilization methods have produced unsatisfactory results. The subject of this paper discusses an innovative mechanical stabilization method which will provide proper clearance for the high voltage components which will maintain maximum precipitator performance. The end of this report includes actual case studies where stabilization resulted in improved performance and reliability.

  14. Describing a Performance Improvement Specialist: The Heurist.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Westgaard, Odin

    1997-01-01

    Describes the work of performance improvement specialists and presents a method for determining whether a particular person or position meets the job criteria. Discusses the attributes of being a heurist, or taking a holistic approach to problem solving. Lists 10 steps for a needs assessment and 30 characteristics of successful performance…

  15. Electrolysis Performance Improvement and Validation Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, Franz H.

    1992-01-01

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

  16. Improved perceptual-motor performance measurement system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1969-01-01

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

  17. Using Semantic Coaching to Improve Teacher Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caccia, Paul F.

    1996-01-01

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

  18. Physical predictors of cognitive performance in healthy older adults: a cross-sectional analysis.

    PubMed

    Blankevoort, Christiaan G; Scherder, Erik J A; Wieling, Martijn B; Hortobágyi, Tibor; Brouwer, Wiebo H; Geuze, Reint H; van Heuvelen, Marieke J G

    2013-01-01

    There is ample evidence that physical and cognitive performance are related, but the results of studies investigating this relationship show great variability. Both physical performance and cognitive performance are constructs consisting of several subdomains, but it is presently unknown if the relationship between physical and cognitive performance depends on subdomain of either construct and whether gender and age moderate this relationship. The aim of this study is to identify the strongest physical predictors of cognitive performance, to determine the specificity of these predictors for various cognitive subdomains, and to examine gender and age as potential moderators of the relationship between physical and cognitive performance in a sample of community-dwelling older adults. In total, 98 men and 122 women (average age 74.0±5.6 years) were subjected to a series of performance-based physical fitness and neuropsychological tests. Muscle strength, balance, functional reach, and walking ability (combined score of walking speed and endurance) were considered to predict cognitive performance across several domains (i.e. memory, verbal attention, visual attention, set-shifting, visuo-motor attention, inhibition and intelligence). Results showed that muscle strength was a significant predictor of cognitive performance for men and women. Walking ability and balance were significant predictors of cognitive performance for men, whereas only walking ability was significant for women. We did not find a moderating effect of age, nor did we find support for a differential effect of the physical predictors across different cognitive subdomains. In summary, our results showed a significant relationship between cognitive and physical performance, with a moderating effect of gender.

  19. Use of an Educational Taxonomy for Evaluation of Cognitive Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buckwalter, Joseph A.; And Others

    1981-01-01

    To determine whether objective test items could measure cognitive processes more complex than recall of isolated facts, the committee of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons preparing the Orthopaedic In-Training Examination classified test items into three taxonomic levels according to the cognitive process required to answer the item.…

  20. What Cognitive Abilities Are Involved in Trail-Making Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salthouse, Timothy A.

    2011-01-01

    The cognitive abilities involved in the Connections (Salthouse, et al., 2000) version of the trail making test were investigated by administering the test, along with a battery of cognitive tests and tests of complex span and updating conceptualizations of working memory, to a sample of over 3600 adults. The results indicate that this variant of…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. The kidney disease quality of life cognitive function subscale and cognitive performance maintenance hemodialysis patients

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: Cognitive impairment is common but often undiagnosed in patients with end-stage renal disease, in part reflecting limited validated and easily administered tools to assess cognitive function in dialysis patients. Accordingly, we assessed the utility of the Kidney Disease Quality of Life ...

  4. Improved sensorimotor performance via stochastic resonance.

    PubMed

    Mendez-Balbuena, Ignacio; Manjarrez, Elias; Schulte-Mönting, Jürgen; Huethe, Frank; Tapia, Jesus A; Hepp-Reymond, Marie-Claude; Kristeva, Rumyana

    2012-09-01

    Several studies about noise-enhanced balance control in humans support the hypothesis that stochastic resonance can enhance the detection and transmission in sensorimotor system during a motor task. The purpose of the present study was to extend these findings in a simpler and controlled task. We explored whether a particular level of a mechanical Gaussian noise (0-15 Hz) applied on the index finger can improve the performance during compensation for a static force generated by a manipulandum. The finger position was displayed on a monitor as a small white point in the center of a gray circle. We considered a good performance when the subjects exhibited a low deviation from the center of this circle and when the performance had less variation over time. Several levels of mechanical noise were applied on the manipulandum. We compared the performance between zero noise (ZN), optimal noise (ON), and high noise (HN). In all subjects (8 of 8) the data disclosed an inverted U-like graph between the inverse of the mean variation in position and the input noise level. In other words, the mean variation was significantly smaller during ON than during ZN or HN. The findings suggest that the application of a tactile-proprioceptive noise can improve the stability in sensorimotor performance via stochastic resonance. Possible explanations for this improvement in motor precision are an increase of the peripheral receptors sensitivity and of the internal stochastic resonance, causing a better sensorimotor integration and an increase in corticomuscular synchronization.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Cognitively automated assembly processes: a simulation based evaluation of performance.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Marcel Ph; Odenthal, Barbara; Faber, Marco; Schlick, Christopher M

    2012-01-01

    The numerical control of an experimental assembly cell with two robots--termed a cognitive control unit (CCU)--is able to simulate human information processing at a rule-based level of cognitive control. To enable the CCU to work on a large range of assembly tasks expected of a human operator, the cognitive architecture SOAR is used. The CCU can plan assembly processes autonomously and react to ad-hoc changes in assembly sequences effectively. Extensive simulation studies have shown that cognitive automation based on SOAR is especially suitable for random parts supply, which reduces planning effort in logistics. Conversely, a disproportional increase in processing time was observed for deterministic parts supply, especially for assemblies containing large numbers of identical parts. In this contribution, the effect of phase-shifts in deterministic part supply is investigated for assemblies containing maximal different parts. It can be shown that the concept of cognitive automation is as well suitable for these planning problems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

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

  8. Improving DNA vaccine performance through vector design.

    PubMed

    Williams, James A

    2014-01-01

    DNA vaccines are a rapidly deployed next generation vaccination platform for treatment of human and animal disease. DNA delivery devices, such as electroporation and needle free jet injectors, are used to increase gene transfer. This results in higher antigen expression which correlates with improved humoral and cellular immunity in humans and animals. This review highlights recent vector and transgene design innovations that improve DNA vaccine performance. These new vectors improve antigen expression, increase plasmid manufacturing yield and quality in bioreactors, and eliminate antibiotic selection and other potential safety issues. A flowchart for designing synthetic antigen transgenes, combining antigen targeting, codon-optimization and bioinformatics, is presented. Application of improved vectors, of antibiotic free plasmid production, and cost effective manufacturing technologies will be critical to ensure safety, efficacy, and economically viable manufacturing of DNA vaccines currently under development for infectious disease, cancer, autoimmunity, immunotolerance and allergy indications.

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

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Robson Bonoto; Marins, João Carlos Bouzas; de Sá Junior, Antonio Reis; de Carvalho, Cristiane Junqueira; da Silva Moura, Tiago Augusto; Lade, Carlos Gabriel; Rizvanov, Albert A; Kiyasov, Andrey P; Mukhamedyarov, Marat A; Zefirov, Andrey L; Palotás, András; Lima, Luciana Moreira

    2015-11-01

    Mental illnesses are frequent co-morbid conditions in chronic systemic diseases. High incidences of depression, anxiety and cognitive impairment complicate cardiovascular and metabolic disorders such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Lifestyle changes including regular exercise have been advocated to reduce blood pressure and improve glycaemic control. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effect of physical training on the most prevalent corollary psychiatric problems in patients with chronic organic ailments. This longitudinal study assessed the mental health of hypertensive (age: 57 ± 8 years) and/or diabetic (age: 53 ± 8 years) patients using mini-mental state examination, Beck's depression inventory, Beck's anxiety inventory and self-reporting questionnaire-20 before and after a 3-month supervised resistance and aerobic exercise programme comprising structured physical activity three times a week. Clinically relevant improvement was observed in the Beck's depression inventory and Beck's anxiety inventory scores following the 12-week training (61%, p = 0.001, and 53%, p = 0.02, respectively). Even though statistically not significant (p = 0.398), the cognitive performance of this relatively young patient population also benefited from the programme. These results demonstrate positive effects of active lifestyle on non-psychotic mental disorders in patients with chronic systemic diseases, recommending exercise as an alternative treatment option. PMID:26410835

  10. Natalizumab Significantly Improves Cognitive Impairment over Three Years in MS: Pattern of Disability Progression and Preliminary MRI Findings

    PubMed Central

    Mattioli, Flavia; Stampatori, Chiara; Bellomi, Fabio; Scarpazza, Cristina; Capra, Ruggero

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies reported that Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients treated with natalizumab for one or two years exhibit a significant reduction in relapse rate and in cognitive impairment, but the long term effects on cognitive performance are unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of natalizumab on cognitive impairment in a cohort of 24 consecutive patients with relapsing remitting MS treated for 3 years. The neuropsychological tests, as well as relapse number and EDSS, were assessed at baseline and yearly for three years. The impact on cortical atrophy was also considered in a subgroup of them, and are thus to be considered as preliminary. Results showed a significant reduction in the number of impaired neuropsychological tests after three years, a significant decrease in annualized relapse rate at each time points compared to baseline and a stable EDSS. In the neuropsychological assessment, a significant improvement in memory, attention and executive function test scores was detected. Preliminary MRI data show that, while GM volume did not change at 3 years, a significantly greater parahippocampal and prefrontal gray matter density was noticed, the former correlating with neuropsychological improvement in a memory test. This study showed that therapy with Natalizumab is helpful in improving cognitive performance, and is likely to have a protective role on grey matter, over a three years follow-up. PMID:26148120

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

    PubMed

    Slama, Hichem; Deliens, Gaétane; Schmitz, Rémy; Peigneux, Philippe; Leproult, Rachel

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Schmitz, Rémy; Peigneux, Philippe; Leproult, Rachel

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Intravenous Administration of Simvastatin Improves Cognitive Outcome following Severe Traumatic Brain Injury in Rats.

    PubMed

    Mountney, Andrea; Boutté, Angela M; Gilsdorf, Janice; Lu, Xi-Chun; Tortella, Frank C; Shear, Deborah A

    2016-08-15

    Simvastatin is a 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor commonly used to reduce serum cholesterol. The beneficial effects of oral simvastatin have been reported in pre-clinical models of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The current study was designed to evaluate the potential beneficial effects of simvastatin in a model of severe penetrating TBI using an intravenous (IV) route of administration. Rats were subjected to unilateral frontal penetrating ballistic-like brain injury (PBBI), and simvastatin was delivered intravenously at 30 min and 6 h post-injury and continued once daily for either 4 or 10 days post-PBBI. Motor function was assessed on the rotarod and cognitive performance was evaluated using the Morris water maze (MWM) task. Serum levels of inflammatory cytokines and the astrocytic biomarker, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), were quantified at 1 h, 4 h, and 24 h post-injury. Histopathological damage was assessed at the terminal end-point. Rotarod testing revealed significant motor deficits in all injury groups but no significant simvastatin-induced therapeutic benefits. All PBBI-injured animals showed cognitive impairment on the MWM test; however, 10-day simvastatin treatment mitigated these effects. Animals showed significantly improved latency to platform and retention scores, whereas the 4-day treatment regimen failed to produce any significant improvements. Biomarker and cytokine analysis showed that IV simvastatin significantly reduced GFAP, interleukin (IL)-1α, and IL-17 serum levels by 4.0-, 2.6-, and 7.0-fold, respectively, at 4 h post-injury. Collectively, our results demonstrate that IV simvastatin provides significant protection against injury-induced cognitive dysfunction and reduces TBI-specific biomarker levels. Further research is warranted to identify the optimal dose and therapeutic window for IV delivery of simvastatin in models of severe TBI.

  14. A Framework for Designing Scaffolds That Improve Motivation and Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Belland, Brian R.; Kim, ChanMin; Hannafin, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    A problematic, yet common, assumption among educational researchers is that when teachers provide authentic, problem-based experiences, students will automatically be engaged. Evidence indicates that this is often not the case. In this article, we discuss (a) problems with ignoring motivation in the design of learning environments, (b) problem-based learning and scaffolding as one way to help, (c) how scaffolding has strayed from what was originally equal parts motivational and cognitive support, and (d) a conceptual framework for the design of scaffolds that can enhance motivation as well as cognitive outcomes. We propose guidelines for the design of computer-based scaffolds to promote motivation and engagement while students are solving authentic problems. Remaining questions and suggestions for future research are then discussed. PMID:24273351

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  16. Maximal strength training improves aerobic endurance performance.

    PubMed

    Hoff, J; Gran, A; Helgerud, J

    2002-10-01

    The aim of this experiment was to examine the effects of maximal strength training with emphasis on neural adaptations on strength- and endurance-performance for endurance trained athletes. Nineteen male cross-country skiers about 19.7 +/- 4.0 years of age and a maximal oxygen uptake (VO(2 max)) of 69.4 +/- 2.2 mL x kg(-1) x min(-1) were randomly assigned to a training group (n = 9) or a control group (n = 10). Strength training was performed, three times a week for 8 weeks, using a cable pulley simulating the movements in double poling in cross-country skiing, and consisted of three sets of six repetitions at a workload of 85% of one repetition maximum emphasizing maximal mobilization of force in the concentric movement. One repetition maximum improved significantly from 40.3 +/- 4.5 to 44.3 +/- 4.9 kg. Time to peak force (TPF) was reduced by 50 and 60% on two different submaximal workloads. Endurance performance measured as time to exhaustion (TTE) on a double poling ski ergometer at maximum aerobic velocity, improved from 6.49 to 10.18 min; 20.5% over the control group. Work economy changed significantly from 1.02 +/- 0.14 to 0.74 +/- 0.10 mL x kg(-0.67) x min(-1). Maximal strength training with emphasis on neural adaptations improves strength, particularly rate of force development, and improves aerobic endurance performance by improved work economy.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Taffy; Peterson, Candida

    1990-01-01

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

  18. Is Cognitive Test-Taking Anxiety Associated With Academic Performance Among Nursing Students?

    PubMed

    Duty, Susan M; Christian, Ladonna; Loftus, Jocelyn; Zappi, Victoria

    2016-01-01

    The cognitive component of test anxiety was correlated with academic performance among nursing students. Modest but statistically significant lower examination grade T scores were observed for students with high compared with low levels of cognitive test anxiety (CTA). High levels of CTA were associated with reduced academic performance. PMID:26312822

  19. Mother-Child Attachment and Cognitive Performance in Middle Childhood: An Examination of Mediating Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    West, Katara K.; Mathews, Brittany L.; Kerns, Kathryn A.

    2013-01-01

    Although mother-child attachment has been shown to predict cognitive performance, there has been a lack of attention to the mediating mechanisms that explain these associations. In the present study, we investigated relations of early mother-child attachment and cognitive performance in middle childhood (the latter in terms of both academic…

  20. Dimensions of Manic Symptoms in Youth: Psychosocial Impairment and Cognitive Performance in the IMAGEN Sample

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stringaris, Argyris; Castellanos-Ryan, Natalie; Banaschewski, Tobias; Barker, Gareth J.; Bokde, Arun L.; Bromberg, Uli; Büchel, Christian; Fauth-Bühler, Mira; Flor, Herta; Frouin, Vincent; Gallinat, Juergen; Garavan, Hugh; Gowland, Penny; Heinz, Andreas; Itterman, Bernd; Lawrence, Claire; Nees, Frauke; Paillere-Martinot, Marie-Laure; Paus, Tomas; Pausova, Zdenka; Rietschel, Marcella; Smolka, Michael N.; Schumann, Gunter; Goodman, Robert; Conrod, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    Background: It has been reported that mania may be associated with superior cognitive performance. In this study, we test the hypothesis that manic symptoms in youth separate along two correlated dimensions and that a symptom constellation of high energy and cheerfulness is associated with superior cognitive performance. Method: We studied 1755…

  1. Cognitive Load Theory: An Empirical Study of Anxiety and Task Performance in Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, I-Jung; Chang, Chi-Cheng

    2009-01-01

    Introduction: This study explores the relationship among three variables--cognitive load, foreign language anxiety, and task performance. Cognitive load refers to the load imposed on working memory while performing a particular task. The authors hypothesized that anxiety consumes the resources of working memory, leaving less capacity for cognitive…

  2. Improving performance via mini-applications.

    SciTech Connect

    Crozier, Paul Stewart; Thornquist, Heidi K.; Numrich, Robert W.; Williams, Alan B.; Edwards, Harold Carter; Keiter, Eric Richard; Rajan, Mahesh; Willenbring, James M.; Doerfler, Douglas W.; Heroux, Michael Allen

    2009-09-01

    Application performance is determined by a combination of many choices: hardware platform, runtime environment, languages and compilers used, algorithm choice and implementation, and more. In this complicated environment, we find that the use of mini-applications - small self-contained proxies for real applications - is an excellent approach for rapidly exploring the parameter space of all these choices. Furthermore, use of mini-applications enriches the interaction between application, library and computer system developers by providing explicit functioning software and concrete performance results that lead to detailed, focused discussions of design trade-offs, algorithm choices and runtime performance issues. In this paper we discuss a collection of mini-applications and demonstrate how we use them to analyze and improve application performance on new and future computer platforms.

  3. PET Evidence of the Effect of Donepezil on Cognitive Performance in an Animal Model of Chemobrain.

    PubMed

    Lim, Ilhan; Joung, Hye-Young; Yu, A Ram; Shim, Insop; Kim, Jin Su

    2016-01-01

    A considerable number of patients with breast cancer complain of cognitive impairment after chemotherapy. In this study, we showed that donepezil enhanced memory function and increased brain glucose metabolism in a rat model of cognitive impairment after chemotherapy using behavioral analysis and positron emission tomography (PET). We found that chemotherapy affected spatial learning ability, reference memory, and working memory and that donepezil improved these cognitive impairments. According to PET analysis, chemotherapy reduced glucose metabolism in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, and donepezil increased glucose metabolism in the bilateral frontal lobe, parietal lobe, and hippocampus. Reduced glucose metabolism was more prominent after treatment with doxorubicin than cyclophosphamide. Our results demonstrated the neural mechanisms for cognitive impairment after chemotherapy and show that cognition was improved after donepezil intervention using both behavioral and imaging methods. Our results suggested that donepezil can be employed clinically for the treatment of cognitive deficits after chemotherapy. PMID:27556039

  4. PET Evidence of the Effect of Donepezil on Cognitive Performance in an Animal Model of Chemobrain

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Ilhan; Yu, A Ram

    2016-01-01

    A considerable number of patients with breast cancer complain of cognitive impairment after chemotherapy. In this study, we showed that donepezil enhanced memory function and increased brain glucose metabolism in a rat model of cognitive impairment after chemotherapy using behavioral analysis and positron emission tomography (PET). We found that chemotherapy affected spatial learning ability, reference memory, and working memory and that donepezil improved these cognitive impairments. According to PET analysis, chemotherapy reduced glucose metabolism in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, and donepezil increased glucose metabolism in the bilateral frontal lobe, parietal lobe, and hippocampus. Reduced glucose metabolism was more prominent after treatment with doxorubicin than cyclophosphamide. Our results demonstrated the neural mechanisms for cognitive impairment after chemotherapy and show that cognition was improved after donepezil intervention using both behavioral and imaging methods. Our results suggested that donepezil can be employed clinically for the treatment of cognitive deficits after chemotherapy. PMID:27556039

  5. Improved Low Temperature Performance of Supercapacitors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandon, Erik J.; West, William C.; Smart, Marshall C.; Gnanaraj, Joe

    2013-01-01

    Low temperature double-layer capacitor operation enabled by: - Base acetonitrile / TEATFB salt formulation - Addition of low melting point formates, esters and cyclic ethers center dot Key electrolyte design factors: - Volume of co-solvent - Concentration of salt center dot Capacity increased through higher capacity electrodes: - Zeolite templated carbons - Asymmetric cell designs center dot Continuing efforts - Improve asymmetric cell performance at low temperature - Cycle life testing Motivation center dot Benchmark performance of commercial cells center dot Approaches for designing low temperature systems - Symmetric cells (activated carbon electrodes) - Symmetric cells (zeolite templated carbon electrodes) - Asymmetric cells (lithium titanate/activated carbon electrodes) center dot Experimental results center dot Summary

  6. Mindfulness training improves working memory capacity and GRE performance while reducing mind wandering.

    PubMed

    Mrazek, Michael D; Franklin, Michael S; Phillips, Dawa Tarchin; Baird, Benjamin; Schooler, Jonathan W

    2013-05-01

    Given that the ability to attend to a task without distraction underlies performance in a wide variety of contexts, training one's ability to stay on task should result in a similarly broad enhancement of performance. In a randomized controlled investigation, we examined whether a 2-week mindfulness-training course would decrease mind wandering and improve cognitive performance. Mindfulness training improved both GRE reading-comprehension scores and working memory capacity while simultaneously reducing the occurrence of distracting thoughts during completion of the GRE and the measure of working memory. Improvements in performance following mindfulness training were mediated by reduced mind wandering among participants who were prone to distraction at pretesting. Our results suggest that cultivating mindfulness is an effective and efficient technique for improving cognitive function, with wide-reaching consequences.

  7. Cognitive performance and age-related changes in the hippocampal proteome

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, Willard M.; VanGuilder, Heather D.; Bennett, Colleen; Sonntag, William E.

    2008-01-01

    Declining cognitive performance is associated with increasing age, even in the absence of overt pathological processes. We and others have reported that declining cognitive performance is associated with age-related changes in brain glucose utilization, long-term potentiation and paired-pulse facilitation, protein expression, neurotransmitter levels, and trophic factors. However, it is unclear whether these changes are causes or symptoms of the underlying alterations in dendritic and synaptic morphology that occur with age. In this study, we examined the hippocampal proteome for age- and cognition-associated changes in behaviorally stratified young and old rats, using 2-DIGE and MS/MS-MS. Comparison of old cognitively intact with old cognitively impaired animals revealed additional changes that would not have been detected otherwise. Interestingly, not all age-related changes in protein expression were associated with cognitive decline, and distinct differences in protein expression were found when comparing old cognitively intact with old cognitively impaired rats. A large number of protein changes with age were related to the glycolysis/gluconeogenesis pathway. In total, the proteomic changes suggest that age-related alterations act synergistically with other perturbations to result in cognitive decline. This study also demonstrates the importance of examining behaviorally-defined animals in proteomic studies, as comparison of young to old animals regardless of behavioral performance would have failed to detect many cognitive impairment-specific protein expression changes evident when behavioral stratification data was used. PMID:19135133

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that a single bout of physical exercise can have immediate positive effects on cognitive performance of children and adolescents. However, the type of exercise that affects cognitive performance the most in young adolescents is not fully understood. Therefore, this controlled study examined the acute effects of three types of 12-min classroom-based exercise sessions on information processing speed and selective attention. The three conditions consisted of aerobic, coordination, and strength exercises, respectively. In particular, this study focused on the feasibility and efficiency of introducing short bouts of exercise in the classroom. One hundred and ninety five students (5th and 6th grade; 10–13 years old) participated in a double baseline within-subjects design, with students acting as their own control. Exercise type was randomly assigned to each class and acted as between-subject factor. Before and immediately after both the control and the exercise session, students performed two cognitive tests that measured information processing speed (Letter Digit Substitution Test) and selective attention (d2 Test of Attention). The results revealed that exercising at low to moderate intensity does not have an effect on the cognitive parameters tested in young adolescents. Furthermore, there were no differential effects of exercise type. The results of this study are discussed in terms of the caution which should be taken when conducting exercise sessions in a classroom setting aimed at improving cognitive performance. PMID:27242629

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that a single bout of physical exercise can have immediate positive effects on cognitive performance of children and adolescents. However, the type of exercise that affects cognitive performance the most in young adolescents is not fully understood. Therefore, this controlled study examined the acute effects of three types of 12-min classroom-based exercise sessions on information processing speed and selective attention. The three conditions consisted of aerobic, coordination, and strength exercises, respectively. In particular, this study focused on the feasibility and efficiency of introducing short bouts of exercise in the classroom. One hundred and ninety five students (5th and 6th grade; 10-13 years old) participated in a double baseline within-subjects design, with students acting as their own control. Exercise type was randomly assigned to each class and acted as between-subject factor. Before and immediately after both the control and the exercise session, students performed two cognitive tests that measured information processing speed (Letter Digit Substitution Test) and selective attention (d2 Test of Attention). The results revealed that exercising at low to moderate intensity does not have an effect on the cognitive parameters tested in young adolescents. Furthermore, there were no differential effects of exercise type. The results of this study are discussed in terms of the caution which should be taken when conducting exercise sessions in a classroom setting aimed at improving cognitive performance. PMID:27242629

  12. Functional relations and cognitive psychology: Lessons from human performance and animal research.

    PubMed

    Proctor, Robert W; Urcuioli, Peter J

    2016-02-01

    We consider requirements for effective interdisciplinary communication and explore alternative interpretations of "building bridges between functional and cognitive psychology." If the bridges are intended to connect radical behaviourism and cognitive psychology, or functional contextualism and cognitive psychology, the efforts are unlikely to be successful. But if the bridges are intended to connect functional relationships and cognitive theory, no construction is needed because the bridges already exist within cognitive psychology. We use human performance and animal research to illustrate the latter point and to counter the claim that the functional approach is unique in offering a close relationship between science and practice. Effective communication will be enhanced and, indeed, may only occur if the goal of functional contextualism extends beyond just "the advancement of functional contextual cognitive and behavioral science and practice" to "the advancement of cognitive and behavioral science and practice" without restriction.

  13. Functional relations and cognitive psychology: Lessons from human performance and animal research.

    PubMed

    Proctor, Robert W; Urcuioli, Peter J

    2016-02-01

    We consider requirements for effective interdisciplinary communication and explore alternative interpretations of "building bridges between functional and cognitive psychology." If the bridges are intended to connect radical behaviourism and cognitive psychology, or functional contextualism and cognitive psychology, the efforts are unlikely to be successful. But if the bridges are intended to connect functional relationships and cognitive theory, no construction is needed because the bridges already exist within cognitive psychology. We use human performance and animal research to illustrate the latter point and to counter the claim that the functional approach is unique in offering a close relationship between science and practice. Effective communication will be enhanced and, indeed, may only occur if the goal of functional contextualism extends beyond just "the advancement of functional contextual cognitive and behavioral science and practice" to "the advancement of cognitive and behavioral science and practice" without restriction. PMID:26111342

  14. Compression Techniques for Improved Algorithm Computational Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  15. Performance cognitive de futurs professionnels de l'intervention.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larivee, Serge; Normandeau, Sylvie

    1984-01-01

    Cognitive levels of 48 university students enrolled in humanities were assessed by Piagetian tasks. Three formal abilities were measured: combinatory, probability, control of variables. Results were analyzed according to school training effect and content of tasks. (Author/MLW)

  16. Assessment of cognitive performance using CNS vital signs after electroconvulsive treatment of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Wysokiński, Adam; Dzienniak, Małgorzata; Kłoszewska, Iwona

    2014-03-01

    Little is known how electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) affects cognitive functions in subjects with schizophrenia. Assessment of cognitive functions in subjects with schizophrenia treated with ECT was performed using CNS Vital Signs computerized battery of tests. Thirteen patients treated with ECT plus antipsychotics were assessed before and after 12 to 15 bilateral ECT sessions. We did not find any important changes between pre-ECT and post-ECT cognitive performance. We also found that CNS Vital Signs is a useful computerized battery test for assessing cognitive functions of subjects treated with ECT.

  17. Cognitive performance and convulsion risk after experimentally-induced febrile-seizures in rat.

    PubMed

    Rajab, Ebrahim; Abdeen, Zahra; Hassan, Zuhair; Alsaffar, Yousif; Mandeel, Mohammad; Al Shawaaf, Fatima; Al-Ansari, Sali; Kamal, Amer

    2014-05-01

    Many reports indicated that small percentage of children with febrile seizures develop epilepsy and cognitive disorders later in adulthood. In addition, the neuronal network of the hippocampus was reported to be deranged in adult animals after being exposed to hyperthermia-induced seizures in their neonatal life. The aims of this study were to investigate (1) latency and probability of seizures, (2) spatial learning and memory, in adult rats after neonatal hyperthermia-induced febrile seizures (FS). Prolonged FS were elicited in 10-day old, male Sprague Dawleys (n=11/group) by exposure to heated air (48-52 °C) for 30 min; control rats were exposed to 30 °C air. After 1.5 months the animal's cognitive performance was assessed by 5 day trial in the Morris water maze. In another experiment the latency and probability of seizures were measured in response to pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) injections (increased doses ranged from 7 to 140 mg/kg; i.p.). In water maze, both groups showed improvements in escape latency and distance swam to reach the platform; effects were significantly greater in control versus hyperthermia-treated animals on days 3 and 4. Latency and probability of PTZ-induced seizures were shorter and higher respectively, in hyperthermia-treated animals compared to controls. We concluded that FS in neonatal rats leads to enhanced susceptibility for seizures, as well as cognitive deficits in adults.

  18. Whole beetroot consumption acutely improves running performance.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Margaret; Eliot, Katie; Heuertz, Rita M; Weiss, Edward

    2012-04-01

    Nitrate ingestion improves exercise performance; however, it has also been linked to adverse health effects, except when consumed in the form of vegetables. The purpose of this study was to determine, in a double-blind crossover study, whether whole beetroot consumption, as a means for increasing nitrate intake, improves endurance exercise performance. Eleven recreationally fit men and women were studied in a double-blind placebo controlled crossover trial performed in 2010. Participants underwent two 5-km treadmill time trials in random sequence, once 75 minutes after consuming baked beetroot (200 g with ≥500 mg nitrate) and once 75 minutes after consuming cranberry relish as a eucaloric placebo. Based on paired t tests, mean running velocity during the 5-km run tended to be faster after beetroot consumption (12.3±2.7 vs 11.9±2.6 km/hour; P=0.06). During the last 1.1 miles (1.8 km) of the 5-km run, running velocity was 5% faster (12.7±3.0 vs 12.1±2.8 km/hour; P=0.02) in the beetroot trial, with no differences in velocity (P≥0.25) in the earlier portions of the 5-km run. No differences in exercise heart rate were observed between trials; however, at 1.8 km into the 5-km run, rating of perceived exertion was lower with beetroot (13.0±2.1 vs 13.7±1.9; P=0.04). Consumption of nitrate-rich, whole beetroot improves running performance in healthy adults. Because whole vegetables have been shown to have health benefits, whereas nitrates from other sources may have detrimental health effects, it would be prudent for individuals seeking performance benefits to obtain nitrates from whole vegetables, such as beetroot.

  19. Loss-aversion or loss-attention: the impact of losses on cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Yechiam, Eldad; Hochman, Guy

    2013-03-01

    Losses were found to improve cognitive performance, and this has been commonly explained by increased weighting of losses compared to gains (i.e., loss aversion). We examine whether effects of losses on performance could be modulated by two alternative processes: an attentional effect leading to increased sensitivity to task incentives; and a contrast-related effect. Empirical data from five studies show that losses improve performance even when the enhanced performance runs counter to the predictions of loss aversion. In Study 1-3 we show that in various settings, when an advantageous option produces large gains and small losses, participants select this alternative at a higher rate than when it does not produce losses. Consistent with the joint influence of attention and contrast-related processes, this effect is smaller when a disadvantageous alternative produces the losses. In Studies 4 and 5 we find a positive effect on performance even with no contrast effects (when a similar loss is added to all alternatives). These findings indicate that both attention and contrast-based processes are implicated in the effect of losses on performance, and that a positive effect of losses on performance is not tantamount to loss aversion. PMID:23334108

  20. Loss-aversion or loss-attention: the impact of losses on cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Yechiam, Eldad; Hochman, Guy

    2013-03-01

    Losses were found to improve cognitive performance, and this has been commonly explained by increased weighting of losses compared to gains (i.e., loss aversion). We examine whether effects of losses on performance could be modulated by two alternative processes: an attentional effect leading to increased sensitivity to task incentives; and a contrast-related effect. Empirical data from five studies show that losses improve performance even when the enhanced performance runs counter to the predictions of loss aversion. In Study 1-3 we show that in various settings, when an advantageous option produces large gains and small losses, participants select this alternative at a higher rate than when it does not produce losses. Consistent with the joint influence of attention and contrast-related processes, this effect is smaller when a disadvantageous alternative produces the losses. In Studies 4 and 5 we find a positive effect on performance even with no contrast effects (when a similar loss is added to all alternatives). These findings indicate that both attention and contrast-based processes are implicated in the effect of losses on performance, and that a positive effect of losses on performance is not tantamount to loss aversion.

  1. Depressive symptoms and cognitive performance in older adults.

    PubMed

    Shimada, Hiroyuki; Park, Hyuntae; Makizako, Hyuma; Doi, Takehiko; Lee, Sangyoon; Suzuki, Takao

    2014-10-01

    Many longitudinal studies have found that older adults with depressive symptoms or depression have increased risk of cognitive impairment. We investigated the relationships between depressive symptoms or depression, cognitive function, serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and volumetric MRI measurements in older adults. A total of 4352 individuals aged 65 years or older (mean age 72 years) participated in the study. We investigated medical history and geriatric depression scale-15 (GDS-15) items to determine depression and depressive symptoms. Cognitive tests included the mini-mental state examination (MMSE), story memory, word list memory, trail-making tests, and the symbol digit substitution task. Of the 4352 participants, 570 (13%) fulfilled the criteria for depressive symptoms (GDS-15: 6 + points) and 87 (2%) were diagnosed with depression. All cognitive tests showed significant differences between the 'no depressive symptoms', 'depressive symptoms', and 'depression' groups. The 'depressive symptoms' and 'depression' groups showed lower serum BDNF (p < 0.001) concentrations than the 'no depressive symptoms' group. The 'depressive symptoms' group exhibited greater atrophy of the right medial temporal lobe than did the 'no depressive symptoms' group (p = 0.023). These results suggest that memory, executive function, and processing speed examinations are useful to identify cognitive decline in older adults who have depressive symptoms and depression. Serum BDNF concentration and atrophy of the right medial temporal lobe may in part mediate the relationships between depressive symptoms and cognitive decline.

  2. Improvement in social and cognitive functioning associated with paliperidone extended-release treatment in patients with schizophrenia: a 24-week, single arm, open-label study

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Chuan; Yao, Shu Qiao; Xu, Yi Feng; Shi, Jian Guo; Xu, Xiu Feng; Zhang, Cong Pei; Jin, Hua; Yu, Xin

    2016-01-01

    Purpose This single-arm, open-label study aimed to explore the effects of extended-release paliperidone on social and cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia. Methods Paliperidone extended-release (flexible dose ranging from 3 to 12 mg/day orally) was administered for 24 weeks in patients with schizophrenia. Patient function was assessed using the personal and social performance scale, measurement and treatment research to improve cognition in schizophrenia initiative-consensus cognitive battery, positive and negative syndrome scale, and clinical global impression-severity. Results Ninety patients were included in the full analysis set, while 72 patients were included in the per protocol set. The personal and social performance score was 54.3±14.3 at baseline, and significantly increased to 73.4±12.6 at week 24 (P<0.001). For the measurement and treatment research to improve cognition in schizophrenia initiative-consensus cognitive battery assessment, six of the nine individual subtests, six of the seven cognitive domains, and total cognitive scores improved significantly (P<0.05) between baseline and endpoint. positive and negative syndrome scale total scores and clinical global impression-severity scores decreased gradually (P<0.001) from week 4 to the conclusion of the study. Conclusion Paliperidone extended-release treatment significantly improves social and neurocognitive function as well as symptoms in Chinese patients with schizophrenia. PMID:27601904

  3. Improvement in social and cognitive functioning associated with paliperidone extended-release treatment in patients with schizophrenia: a 24-week, single arm, open-label study

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Chuan; Yao, Shu Qiao; Xu, Yi Feng; Shi, Jian Guo; Xu, Xiu Feng; Zhang, Cong Pei; Jin, Hua; Yu, Xin

    2016-01-01

    Purpose This single-arm, open-label study aimed to explore the effects of extended-release paliperidone on social and cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia. Methods Paliperidone extended-release (flexible dose ranging from 3 to 12 mg/day orally) was administered for 24 weeks in patients with schizophrenia. Patient function was assessed using the personal and social performance scale, measurement and treatment research to improve cognition in schizophrenia initiative-consensus cognitive battery, positive and negative syndrome scale, and clinical global impression-severity. Results Ninety patients were included in the full analysis set, while 72 patients were included in the per protocol set. The personal and social performance score was 54.3±14.3 at baseline, and significantly increased to 73.4±12.6 at week 24 (P<0.001). For the measurement and treatment research to improve cognition in schizophrenia initiative-consensus cognitive battery assessment, six of the nine individual subtests, six of the seven cognitive domains, and total cognitive scores improved significantly (P<0.05) between baseline and endpoint. positive and negative syndrome scale total scores and clinical global impression-severity scores decreased gradually (P<0.001) from week 4 to the conclusion of the study. Conclusion Paliperidone extended-release treatment significantly improves social and neurocognitive function as well as symptoms in Chinese patients with schizophrenia.

  4. Daytime Cognitive Performance in Response to Sunlight or Fluorescent Light Controlling for Sleep Duration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramos, Jhanic; Zamos, Adela; Rao, Rohit; Flynn-Evans, Erin

    2015-01-01

    Light is the primary synchronizer of the human circadian rhythm and also has acute alerting effects. Our study involves and comparing the alertness, performance and sleep of participants in the NASA Ames Sustainability Base, which uses sunlight as its primary light source, to in a traditional office building which uses overhead florescent lighting and varying exposure to natural light. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the use of natural lighting as a primary light source improves daytime cognitive function and promotes nighttime sleep. Participants from the Sustainability Base will be matched by gender and age to individuals working in other NASA buildings. In a prior study we found no differences in performance between those working in the Sustainability Base and those working in other buildings. Unexpectedly, we found that the average sleep duration among participants in both buildings was short, which likely obscured our ability to detect a difference the effect of light exposure on alertness. Given that such sleep deprivation has negative effects on cognitive performance, in this iteration of the study we are asking the participants to maintain a regular schedule with eight hours in bed each night in order to control for the effect of self-selected sleep restriction. Over the course of one week, we will ask the participants to wear actiwatches continuously, complete a psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) and digit symbol substitution task (DSST) three times per day, and keep daily sleepwork diaries. We hope that this study will provide data to support the idea that natural lighting and green architectural design are optimal to enhance healthy nighttime sleep patterns and daytime cognitive performance.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. The neurobiology of modafinil as an enhancer of cognitive performance and a potential treatment for substance use disorders

    PubMed Central

    Mereu, Maddalena; Bonci, Antonello; Newman, Amy Hauck; Tanda, Gianluigi

    2013-01-01

    Rationale and Objectives Modafinil (MOD) and its R-enantiomer (R-MOD) are approved medications for narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. They have also been used, off label, as cognitive enhancers in populations of patients with mental disorders, including substance abusers that demonstrate impaired cognitive function. A debated non-medical use of MOD in healthy individuals to improve intellectual performance is raising questions about its potential abuse liability in this population. Results and Conclusions MOD has low micromolar affinity for the dopamine transporter (DAT). Inhibition of dopamine (DA) reuptake via the DAT explains the enhancement of DA levels in several brain areas, an effect shared with psychostimulants like cocaine, methylphenidate and the amphetamines. However, its neurochemical effects and anatomical pattern of brain area activation differ from typical psychostimulants and are consistent with its beneficial effects on cognitive performance processes such as attention, learning, and memory. At variance with typical psychostimulants, MOD shows very low, if any, abuse liability, in spite of its use as a cognitive enhancer by otherwise healthy individuals. Finally, recent clinical studies have focused on the potential use of MOD as a medication for treatment of drug abuse, but have not shown consistent outcomes. However, positive trends in several result measures suggest that medications that improve cognitive function, like MOD or R-MOD, may be beneficial for treatment of substance use disorders in certain patient populations. PMID:23934211

  7. Improving Fatigue Performance of AHSS Welds

    SciTech Connect

    Feng, Zhili; Yu, Xinghua; Erdman, III, Donald L.; Wang, Yanli; Kelly, Steve; Hou, Wenkao; Yan, Benda; Wang, Zhifeng; Yu, Zhenzhen; Liu, Stephen

    2015-03-01

    Reported herein is technical progress on a U.S. Department of Energy CRADA project with industry cost-share aimed at developing the technical basis and demonstrate the viability of innovative in-situ weld residual stresses mitigation technology that can substantially improve the weld fatigue performance and durability of auto-body structures. The developed technology would be costeffective and practical in high-volume vehicle production environment. Enhancing weld fatigue performance would address a critical technology gap that impedes the widespread use of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) and other lightweight materials for auto body structure light-weighting. This means that the automotive industry can take full advantage of the AHSS in strength, durability and crashworthiness without the concern of the relatively weak weld fatigue performance. The project comprises both technological innovations in weld residual stress mitigation and due-diligence residual stress measurement and fatigue performance evaluation. Two approaches were investigated. The first one was the use of low temperature phase transformation (LTPT) weld filler wire, and the second focused on novel thermo-mechanical stress management technique. Both technical approaches have resulted in considerable improvement in fatigue lives of welded joints made of high-strength steels. Synchrotron diffraction measurement confirmed the reduction of high tensile weld residual stresses by the two weld residual stress mitigation techniques.

  8. [Improved performance in endurance sports through acupuncture].

    PubMed

    Benner, Stefan; Benner, K

    2010-09-01

    In many years of experience in treating athletes with acupuncture, I often had the impression that athletes in endurance sports showed improved performances after such treatments. In order to scientifically verify these impressions, I performed a field test with three groups of runners of different performance levels preparing for a marathon. The first group was given acupuncture, the second a placebo, with the third being the control group. After their maximum pulse rates were recorded, the runners were asked to run 5000m four times in 4 weeks at 75 % of their maximum pulse rate. Their pulse rates were measured for each runner at the finish of the run, and subsequently, one, two and five minutes after the run. Based on these data, the complexity factor (running time multiplied by the respective pulse rate) was calculated for all four recorded pulse rates for each run and each runner. All groups showed statistically significant enhancements in their running times and their complexity factors, but in the case of the runners treated with acupuncture, the improvements were highly significant. Therefore, the field test proves that acupuncture has a significant impact on the performance of the athletes in endurance sports.

  9. Improving Access to Foundational Energy Performance Data

    SciTech Connect

    Studer, D.; Livingood, W.; Torcellini, P.

    2014-08-01

    Access to foundational energy performance data is key to improving the efficiency of the built environment. However, stakeholders often lack access to what they perceive as credible energy performance data. Therefore, even if a stakeholder determines that a product would increase efficiency, they often have difficulty convincing their management to move forward. Even when credible data do exist, such data are not always sufficient to support detailed energy performance analyses, or the development of robust business cases. One reason for this is that the data parameters that are provided are generally based on the respective industry norms. Thus, for mature industries with extensive testing standards, the data made available are often quite detailed. But for emerging technologies, or for industries with less well-developed testing standards, available data are generally insufficient to support robust analysis. However, even for mature technologies, there is no guarantee that the data being supplied are the same data needed to accurately evaluate a product?s energy performance. To address these challenges, the U.S. Department of Energy funded development of a free, publically accessible Web-based portal, the Technology Performance Exchange(TM), to facilitate the transparent identification, storage, and sharing of foundational energy performance data. The Technology Performance Exchange identifies the intrinsic, technology-specific parameters necessary for a user to perform a credible energy analysis and includes a robust database to store these data. End users can leverage stored data to evaluate the site-specific performance of various technologies, support financial analyses with greater confidence, and make better informed procurement decisions.

  10. Improving Contract Performance by Corrective Actions Plans

    SciTech Connect

    Dowd, A.S., jr.

    2002-06-23

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

  11. Poor performance on cognitive tasks in depression: Doing too much or not enough?

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Neil P.; Siegle, Greg J.; Muelly, Emilie R.; Haggerty, Agnes; Ghinassi, Frank

    2010-01-01

    Depressed people perform poorly on cognitive tasks – it is unclear whether these deficits are due to decreased devotion of task-related resources or increased attention to non-task-related information. We examined the degree to which depressed and healthy adults displayed pupillary motility which varied at the frequency of presented stimuli on a cognitive task, which we interpreted as task-related processing, and at other frequencies which we interpreted as reflecting intrinsic processing. Depressed participants made more consecutive errors compared to controls. More pupillary motility at other frequencies was associated with poorer performance whereas more pupillary motility at the frequency of presented stimuli was associated with better performance. Depressed participants had more pupillary motility at other frequencies which partially mediated observed deficits in cognitive performance. These findings support the hypothesis that allocating cognitive resources to intrinsic processing, contributes to observed cognitive deficits in depression. PMID:20233961

  12. Associations between parental educational/occupational levels and cognitive performance in Spanish adolescents: the AVENA study.

    PubMed

    Castillo, Ruth; Ruiz, Jonatan R; Chillón, Palma; Jiménez-Pavón, David; Esperanza-Díaz, Ligia; Moreno, Luis A; Ortega, Francisco B

    2011-08-01

    We examined the associations between parental educational/occupational levels and cognitive performance in Spanish adolescents. Cognitive performance was measured by a validated Scholar Aptitudes test in 2,162 participants. Parental educational and occupational levels were positively associated with all specific cognitive abilities and the overall score (p<001 to .04). The odds ratios of having a high cognitive performance (top quartile) in adolescents with high parental educational level were 1.6 to 1.7 times higher than for those with a low parental educational level. Similarly, the odds ratios were 1.9 to 2.4 times higher for adolescents with high parental occupational level. These findings suggest an association between parental educational/occupational levels and cognitive performance in Spanish adolescents and support the parents' role in the creation of a stimulating intellectual environment.

  13. Aging and Cognitive Performance: Challenges and Implications for Physicians Practicing in the 21st Century

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durning, Steven J.; Artino, Anthony R.; Holmboe, Eric; Beckman, Thomas J.; van der Vleuten, Cees; Schuwirth, Lambert

    2010-01-01

    The demands of physician practice are growing. Some specialties face critical shortages and a significant percentage of physicians are aging. To improve health care it is paramount to understand and address challenges, including cognitive issues, facing aging physicians. In this article, we outline several issues related to cognitive performance…

  14. The Effects of MCBI Program Embedded Cognitive Strategies for Performance on Verbal and Visual Testing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, William; And Others

    While much of microcomputer-based instruction (MCBI) is oriented to provide self-paced instruction to adjust for individual differences, there is some indication from cognitive theory that self-pacing may not be the best approach to improving learning. In addition, research in the area of cognitive imagery mediation has indicated that imagery…

  15. Object-Spatial Visualization and Verbal Cognitive Styles, and Their Relation to Cognitive Abilities and Mathematical Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haciomeroglu, Erhan Selcuk

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated the object-spatial visualization and verbal cognitive styles among high school students and related differences in spatial ability, verbal-logical reasoning ability, and mathematical performance of those students. Data were collected from 348 students enrolled in Advanced Placement calculus courses at six high…

  16. Clinical improvement of memory and other cognitive functions by Ginkgo biloba: review of relevant literature.

    PubMed

    Søholm, B

    1998-01-01

    Ginkgo biloba is a plant extract used to alleviate symptoms associated with cognitive deficits, e.g., decreased memory performance, lack of concentration, decreased alertness, tinnitus, and dizziness. Pharmacologic studies have shown that the therapeutic effect of ginkgo is based on several active constituents with vasoactive and free radical-scavenging properties. The use of ginkgo extract in either dementias of the Alzheimer or multi-infarct type or in the case of cerebral insufficiency, a symptom complex related to age-dependent impairment of cerebral circulation, is based mainly on positive results from good-quality placebo-controlled studies that enrolled approximately 1,200 patients with criteria established by International Classification of Diseases (9th and 10th revisions, ICD-9 and ICD-10) or the 3rd revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-III-R) (uncomplicated dementia). Effect on cognitive symptoms was within the range of a 25% reduction. Memory, concentration, and alertness were the first symptoms to be relieved, with tinnitus and dizziness improving somewhat later. A minimum of 4 to 6 weeks were needed before a pronounced effect could be expected. The pharmacologic advantage of ginkgo seems to be a very tolerable side-effect profile, with a side-effect frequency at the placebo level.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-17

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Practical measures of cognitive function and promotion of their performance in the context of research.

    PubMed

    Gujski, Mariusz; Juńczyk, Tomasz; Pinkas, Jaroslaw; Owoc, Alfred; Bojar, Iwona

    2016-07-15

    The aging of the population generates a number of very interesting research questions in the fields of medicine, psychology, sociology, demography, and many others. One of the issues subject to both intensive research by scientists and exploration by practitioners is associated with cognitive functions. The article presents current knowledge regarding practical actions in the field of promoting cognitive function using diagnostic programmes and training using modern technologies. An important aspect presented in this study is also related to the welfare of the maintenance or improvement of cognitive function. Information and communication technologies will contribute to the dissemination of computerized cognitive training, also personalized. PMID:27660857

  1. Motivated to do well: an examination of the relationships between motivation, effort, and cognitive performance in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Foussias, G; Siddiqui, I; Fervaha, G; Mann, S; McDonald, K; Agid, O; Zakzanis, K K; Remington, G

    2015-08-01

    The uncertain relationship between negative symptoms, and specifically motivational deficits, with cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia is in need of further elucidation as it pertains to the interpretation of cognitive test results. Findings to date have suggested a possible mediating role of motivational deficits on cognitive test measures, although findings from formal examinations of effort using performance validity measures have been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between motivation, effort exerted during cognitive testing, and cognitive performance in schizophrenia. Sixty-nine outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were evaluated for psychopathology, severity of motivational deficits, effort exerted during cognitive testing, and cognitive performance. Motivation and degree of effort exerted during cognitive testing were significantly related to cognitive performance, specifically verbal fluency, verbal and working memory, attention and processing speed, and reasoning and problem solving. Further, effort accounted for 15% of the variance in cognitive performance, and partially mediated the relationship between motivation and cognitive performance. Examining cognitive performance profiles for individuals exerting normal or reduced effort revealed significant differences in global cognition, as well as attention/processing speed and reasoning and problem solving. These findings suggest that cognitive domains may be differentially affected by impairments in motivation and effort, and highlight the importance of understanding the interplay between motivation and cognitive performance deficits, which may guide the appropriate selection of symptom targets for promoting recovery in patients.

  2. Technetium Getters to Improve Cast Stone Performance

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-10-15

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

  3. Cognitively automated assembly processes: a simulation based evaluation of performance.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Marcel Ph; Odenthal, Barbara; Faber, Marco; Schlick, Christopher M

    2012-01-01

    The numerical control of an experimental assembly cell with two robots--termed a cognitive control unit (CCU)--is able to simulate human information processing at a rule-based level of cognitive control. To enable the CCU to work on a large range of assembly tasks expected of a human operator, the cognitive architecture SOAR is used. The CCU can plan assembly processes autonomously and react to ad-hoc changes in assembly sequences effectively. Extensive simulation studies have shown that cognitive automation based on SOAR is especially suitable for random parts supply, which reduces planning effort in logistics. Conversely, a disproportional increase in processing time was observed for deterministic parts supply, especially for assemblies containing large numbers of identical parts. In this contribution, the effect of phase-shifts in deterministic part supply is investigated for assemblies containing maximal different parts. It can be shown that the concept of cognitive automation is as well suitable for these planning problems. PMID:22317246

  4. Aerobic Exercise as an Adjunct Therapy for Improving Cognitive Function in Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    Gary, Rebecca A.; Brunn, Kathryn

    2014-01-01

    Persons with heart failure (HF) are typically older and are at a much higher risk for developing cognitive impairment (CI) than persons without HF. Increasingly, CI is recognized as a significant, independent predictor of worse clinical outcomes, more frequent hospital readmissions, and higher mortality rates in persons with HF. CI can have devastating effects on ability to carry out HF effective self-care behaviors. If CI occurs, however, there are currently no evidence based guidelines on how to manage or improve cognitive function in this population. Improvement in cognition has been reported following some therapies in HF and is thought to be the consequence of enhanced cerebral perfusion and oxygenation, suggesting that CI may be amenable to intervention. Because there is substantial neuronal loss with dementia and no effective restorative therapies, interventions that slow, reverse, or prevent cognitive decline are essential. Aerobic exercise is documented to increase cerebral perfusion and oxygenation by promoting neuroplasticity and neurogenesis and, in turn, cognitive functioning. Few studies have examined exercise as a potential adjunct therapy for attenuating or alleviating cognitive decline in HF. In this review, the potential benefit of aerobic exercise on cognitive functioning in HF is presented along with future research directions. PMID:25105053

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

    PubMed

    Boissy, A; Lee, C

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Aman, M G; Mayhew, J M

    1980-06-01

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

  7. The effects of gamelike features and test location on cognitive test performance and participant enjoyment

    PubMed Central

    Skinner, Andy; Woods, Andy T.; Lawrence, Natalia S.; Munafò, Marcus

    2016-01-01

    Computerised cognitive assessments are a vital tool in the behavioural sciences, but participants often view them as effortful and unengaging. One potential solution is to add gamelike elements to these tasks in order to make them more intrinsically enjoyable, and some researchers have posited that a more engaging task might produce higher quality data. This assumption, however, remains largely untested. We investigated the effects of gamelike features and test location on the data and enjoyment ratings from a simple cognitive task. We tested three gamified variants of the Go-No-Go task, delivered both in the laboratory and online. In the first version of the task participants were rewarded with points for performing optimally. The second version of the task was framed as a cowboy shootout. The third version was a standard Go-No-Go task, used as a control condition. We compared reaction time, accuracy and subjective measures of enjoyment and engagement between task variants and study location. We found points to be a highly suitable game mechanic for gamified cognitive testing because they did not disrupt the validity of the data collected but increased participant enjoyment. However, we found no evidence that gamelike features could increase engagement to the point where participant performance improved. We also found that while participants enjoyed the cowboy themed task, the difficulty of categorising the gamelike stimuli adversely affected participant performance, increasing No-Go error rates by 28% compared to the non-game control. Responses collected online vs. in the laboratory had slightly longer reaction times but were otherwise very similar, supporting other findings that online crowdsourcing is an acceptable method of data collection for this type of research. PMID:27441120

  8. The effects of gamelike features and test location on cognitive test performance and participant enjoyment.

    PubMed

    Lumsden, Jim; Skinner, Andy; Woods, Andy T; Lawrence, Natalia S; Munafò, Marcus

    2016-01-01

    Computerised cognitive assessments are a vital tool in the behavioural sciences, but participants often view them as effortful and unengaging. One potential solution is to add gamelike elements to these tasks in order to make them more intrinsically enjoyable, and some researchers have posited that a more engaging task might produce higher quality data. This assumption, however, remains largely untested. We investigated the effects of gamelike features and test location on the data and enjoyment ratings from a simple cognitive task. We tested three gamified variants of the Go-No-Go task, delivered both in the laboratory and online. In the first version of the task participants were rewarded with points for performing optimally. The second version of the task was framed as a cowboy shootout. The third version was a standard Go-No-Go task, used as a control condition. We compared reaction time, accuracy and subjective measures of enjoyment and engagement between task variants and study location. We found points to be a highly suitable game mechanic for gamified cognitive testing because they did not disrupt the validity of the data collected but increased participant enjoyment. However, we found no evidence that gamelike features could increase engagement to the point where participant performance improved. We also found that while participants enjoyed the cowboy themed task, the difficulty of categorising the gamelike stimuli adversely affected participant performance, increasing No-Go error rates by 28% compared to the non-game control. Responses collected online vs. in the laboratory had slightly longer reaction times but were otherwise very similar, supporting other findings that online crowdsourcing is an acceptable method of data collection for this type of research. PMID:27441120

  9. Case report: Is verbal cognitive performance in bilingual neuropsychiatric patients test-language dependent?

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Mabel; Kratochvilova, Zuzana; Kuniss, Renata; Vorackova, Veronika; Dorazilova, Aneta; Fajnerova, Iveta

    2015-12-01

    Bilingualism (BL) is increasing around the world. Although BL has been shown to have a broad impact-both positive and negative-on language and cognitive functioning, cognitive models and standards are mainly based on monolinguals. If we take cognitive performance of monolinguals as a standard, then the performance of bilinguals might not be accurately estimated. The assessment of cognitive functions is an important part of both the diagnostic process and further treatment in neurological and neuropsychiatric patients. In order to identify the presence or absence of cognitive deficit in bilingual patients, it will be important to determine the positive and/or negative impact of BL properties on measured cognitive performance. However, research of the impact of BL on cognitive performance in neuropsychiatric patients is limited. This article aims to compare the influence of the language (dominant-L1, second-L2) used for assessment of verbal cognitive performance in two cases of bilingual neuropsychiatric patients (English/Czech). Despite the fact that the two cases have different diagnoses, similarities in working memory and verbal learning profiles for L1 and L2 were present in both patients. We expected L1 to have higher performance in all measures when compared with L2. This assumption was partially confirmed. As expected, verbal working memory performance was better when assessed in L1. In contrast, verbal learning showed the same or better performance in L2 when compared with L1. Verbal fluency and immediate recall results were comparable in both languages. In conclusion, the language of administration partially influenced verbal performance of bilingual patients. Whether the language itself influenced low performance in a given language or it was a result of a deficit requires further research. According to our results, we suggest that an assessment in both languages needs to be a component of reasonable cognitive assessment of bilingual patients.

  10. Case report: Is verbal cognitive performance in bilingual neuropsychiatric patients test-language dependent?

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Mabel; Kratochvilova, Zuzana; Kuniss, Renata; Vorackova, Veronika; Dorazilova, Aneta; Fajnerova, Iveta

    2015-12-01

    Bilingualism (BL) is increasing around the world. Although BL has been shown to have a broad impact-both positive and negative-on language and cognitive functioning, cognitive models and standards are mainly based on monolinguals. If we take cognitive performance of monolinguals as a standard, then the performance of bilinguals might not be accurately estimated. The assessment of cognitive functions is an important part of both the diagnostic process and further treatment in neurological and neuropsychiatric patients. In order to identify the presence or absence of cognitive deficit in bilingual patients, it will be important to determine the positive and/or negative impact of BL properties on measured cognitive performance. However, research of the impact of BL on cognitive performance in neuropsychiatric patients is limited. This article aims to compare the influence of the language (dominant-L1, second-L2) used for assessment of verbal cognitive performance in two cases of bilingual neuropsychiatric patients (English/Czech). Despite the fact that the two cases have different diagnoses, similarities in working memory and verbal learning profiles for L1 and L2 were present in both patients. We expected L1 to have higher performance in all measures when compared with L2. This assumption was partially confirmed. As expected, verbal working memory performance was better when assessed in L1. In contrast, verbal learning showed the same or better performance in L2 when compared with L1. Verbal fluency and immediate recall results were comparable in both languages. In conclusion, the language of administration partially influenced verbal performance of bilingual patients. Whether the language itself influenced low performance in a given language or it was a result of a deficit requires further research. According to our results, we suggest that an assessment in both languages needs to be a component of reasonable cognitive assessment of bilingual patients. PMID:26663627

  11. Making the case for mobile cognition: EEG and sports performance.

    PubMed

    Park, Joanne L; Fairweather, Malcolm M; Donaldson, David I

    2015-05-01

    In the high stakes world of International sport even the smallest change in performance can make the difference between success and failure, leading sports professionals to become increasingly interested in the potential benefits of neuroimaging. Here we describe evidence from EEG studies that either identify neural signals associated with expertise in sport, or employ neurofeedback to improve performance. Evidence for the validity of neurofeedback as a technique for enhancing sports performance remains limited. By contrast, progress in characterizing the neural correlates of sporting behavior is clear: frequency domain studies link expert performance to changes in alpha rhythms, whilst time-domain studies link expertise in response evaluation and motor output with modulations of P300 effects and readiness potentials. Despite early promise, however, findings have had relatively little impact for sports professionals, at least in part because there has been a mismatch between lab tasks and real sporting activity. After selectively reviewing existing findings and outlining limitations, we highlight developments in mobile EEG technology that offer new opportunities for sports neuroscience.

  12. Potential role of the combination of galantamine and memantine to improve cognition in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    The Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) and Treatment Units for Research on Neurocognition and Schizophrenia projects were designed to facilitate the development of new drugs for the treatment of cognitive impairments in people with schizophrenia. The MATRICS project identified three drug mechanisms of particular interest: dopaminergic, cholinergic, and glutamatergic. As a group, while people with schizophrenia have moderate cognitive impairment, it is the best predictor of long-term outcome. Unfortunately, there are no approved medications for cognitive impairment in this population. Hence, the development of new pharmacological approaches is critical for reducing illness-related disability. The combination of an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI) and memantine is more effective than either medication alone to improve cognition in Alzheimer's dementia. Galantamine is not only an AChEI, but also a positive allosteric modulator of the α4β2 and α7 nicotinic receptors. Hypofunction of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors has been implicated in the pathophysiology of cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia and hence memantine may positively impact cognition. Memantine decreases the tonic NMDA current and galantamine enhances the action potential mediated by a postsynaptic NMDA current. This results in an increased signal transmission; therefore, a greater signal-to-noise ratio occurs with the combination than memantine alone. Galantamine improves the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazol-propionate (AMPA)-mediated signaling which could be neuroprotective and may improve memory coding. The combination of galantamine and memantine may be particularly effective in schizophrenia in order to increase the selective cognition enhancement produced by either medication alone. In the future, multitarget-directed ligands may play a role in the treatment of complex diseases like schizophrenia.

  13. Improving Learning Performance Through Rational Resource Allocation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  14. Performance of dental ceramics: challenges for improvements.

    PubMed

    Rekow, E D; Silva, N R F A; Coelho, P G; Zhang, Y; Guess, P; Thompson, V P

    2011-08-01

    The clinical success of modern dental ceramics depends on an array of factors, ranging from initial physical properties of the material itself, to the fabrication and clinical procedures that inevitably damage these brittle materials, and the oral environment. Understanding the influence of these factors on clinical performance has engaged the dental, ceramics, and engineering communities alike. The objective of this review is to first summarize clinical, experimental, and analytic results reported in the recent literature. Additionally, it seeks to address how this new information adds insight into predictive test procedures and reveals challenges for future improvements.

  15. Improved Operating Performance of Mining Machine Picks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prokopenko, S.; Li, A.; Kurzina, I.; Sushko, A.

    2016-08-01

    The reasons of low performance of mining machine picks are stated herein. In order to improve the wear resistance and the cutting ability of picks a new design of a cutting carbide tip insert to be fixed on a removable and rotating pick head is developed. Owing to the new design, the tool ensures a twofold increase in the cutting force maintained longer, a twofold reduction in the specific power consumption of the breaking process, and extended service life of picks and the possibility of their multiple use.

  16. Improvement of Automotive Part Supplier Performance Evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kongmunee, Chalermkwan; Chutima, Parames

    2016-05-01

    This research investigates the problem of the part supplier performance evaluation in a major Japanese automotive plant in Thailand. Its current evaluation scheme is based on experiences and self-opinion of the evaluators. As a result, many poor performance suppliers are still considered as good suppliers and allow to supply parts to the plant without further improvement obligation. To alleviate this problem, the brainstorming session among stakeholders and evaluators are formally conducted. The result of which is the appropriate evaluation criteria and sub-criteria. The analytical hierarchy process is also used to find suitable weights for each criteria and sub-criteria. The results show that a newly developed evaluation method is significantly better than the previous one in segregating between good and poor suppliers.

  17. The Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities III's Cognitive Performance Model: Empirical Support for Intermediate Factors within CHC Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taub, Gordon E.; McGrew, Kevin S.

    2014-01-01

    The Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability Third Edition is developed using the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) measurement-theory test design as the instrument's theoretical blueprint. The instrument provides users with cognitive scores based on the Cognitive Performance Model (CPM); however, the CPM is not a part of CHC theory. Within the…

  18. Carbohydrate supplementation improves stroke performance in tennis.

    PubMed

    Vergauwen, L; Brouns, F; Hespel, P

    1998-08-01

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

  19. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Artificial Astrocytes Improve Neural Network Performance

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Frequency of and risk factors for poor cognitive performance in hemodialysis patients

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There are few detailed data on cognition in patients undergoing dialysis. We evaluated the frequency of and risk factors for poor cognitive performance using detailed neurocognitive testing. In this cross-sectional cohort study, 314 hemodialysis patients from 6 Boston-area hemodialysis units underwe...

  2. Digital Game-Based Learning Supports Student Motivation, Cognitive Success, and Performance Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woo, Jeng-Chung

    2014-01-01

    Traditional multimedia learning is primarily based on the cognitive load concept of information processing theory. Recent digital game-based learning (DGBL) studies have focused on exploring content support for learning motivation and related game characteristics. Motivation, volition, and performance (MVP) theory indicates that cognitive load and…

  3. Physical Fitness Performance of Young Adults with and without Cognitive Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Jiabei; Piwowar, Nathan; Reilly, Coleen Jennifer

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to analyze the physical fitness performance of young adults with and without cognitive impairments. Participants were 75 young adults, including 41 without disabilities (23 females, 18 males; M of age = 21.88) and 34 with mild cognitive impairments (14 females, 20 males; M of age = 21.79). They received…

  4. Effects of Cognitive Styles on 2D Drafting and Design Performance in Digital Media

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pektas, Sule Tasli

    2010-01-01

    This paper investigates the interactions between design students' cognitive styles, as measured by Riding's Cognitive Styles Analysis, and performance in 2D drafting and design tasks in digital media. An empirical research revealed that Imager students outperformed Verbalisers in both drafting and creativity scores. Wholist-Analytic cognitive…

  5. Relationship between Poor Sleep and Daytime Cognitive Performance in Young Adults with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Limoges, Elyse; Bolduc, Christianne; Berthiaume, Claude; Mottron, Laurent; Godbout, Roger

    2013-01-01

    Poor sleep is a common feature in autism even though patients themselves do not necessarily complain. The impact of poor sleep on daytime cognitive functioning in autism is not well-known and we therefore investigated whether sleep in autism correlates with daytime cognitive performance. A battery of non-verbal tasks was administered, in the…

  6. Cognitive Performance in Rett Syndrome Girls: A Pilot Study Using Eyetracking Technology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baptista, P. M.; Mercadante, M. T.; Macedo, E. C.; Schwartzman, J. S.

    2006-01-01

    Background: Rett syndrome (RS) is a pervasive developmental disorder with cognitive and neuromotor impairments (including loss of handiness and loss of communicative skills). Objective: To verify whether girls with RS use their gaze intentionally, by observing their performance in three cognitive tasks: (1) verbal instruction condition (look at…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Do Cognitive Distortions Mediate the Test Anxiety-Examination Performance Relationship?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Putwain, David William; Connors, Liz; Symes, Wendy

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study was to follow up exploratory research suggesting that the inverse relationship between test anxiety and examination performance was mediated by cognitive distortions such as catastrophising. Self-report data for measures of test anxiety and cognitive distortions were collected from students in their final year of compulsory…

  9. Mind over Matter: Reappraising Arousal Improves Cardiovascular and Cognitive Responses to Stress

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jamieson, Jeremy P.; Nock, Matthew K.; Mendes, Wendy Berry

    2012-01-01

    Researchers have theorized that changing the way we think about our bodily responses can improve our physiological and cognitive reactions to stressful events. However, the underlying processes through which mental states improve downstream outcomes are not well understood. To this end, we examined whether reappraising stress-induced arousal could…

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Acute sleep deprivation: the effects of the AMPAKINE compound CX717 on human cognitive performance, alertness and recovery sleep.

    PubMed

    Boyle, Julia; Stanley, Neil; James, Lynette M; Wright, Nicola; Johnsen, Sigurd; Arbon, Emma L; Dijk, Derk-Jan

    2012-08-01

    AMPA receptor modulation is a potential novel approach to enhance cognitive performance. CX717 is a positive allosteric modulator of the AMPA receptor that has shown efficacy in rodent and primate cognition models. CX717 (100 mg, 300 mg and 1000 mg) and placebo were studied in 16 healthy male volunteers (18-45 years) in a randomized, crossover study. Cognitive function, arousal and recovery sleep (by polysomnography) were assessed during the extended wakefulness protocol. Placebo condition was associated with significant decrements in cognition, particularly at the circadian nadir (between 03:00 and 05:00). Pre-specified primary and secondary analyses (general linear mixed modelling, GLMM) at each separate time point did not reveal consistent improvements in performance or objective alertness with any dose of CX717. Exploratory repeated measures analysis, a method used to take into account the influence of individual differences, demonstrated an improvement in attention-based task performance following the 1000 mg dose. Analysis of the recovery sleep showed that CX717 1000 mg significantly reduced stage 4 and slow-wave sleep (p ≤ 0.05) with evidence of reduced electroencephalogram (EEG) slow-wave and spindle activity. The study suggests that CX717 only at the 1000 mg dose may counteract effects of sleep deprivation on attention-based tasks and that it may interfere with subsequent recovery sleep.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Cost and performance: complements for improvement.

    PubMed

    Rouse, Paul; Harrison, Julie; Turner, Nikki

    2011-10-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) share similar views of resource consumption in the production of outputs. While DEA has a high level focus typically using aggregated data in the form of inputs and outputs, ABC is more detailed and oriented around very disaggregated data. We use a case study of immunisation activities in 24 New Zealand primary care practices to illustrate how DEA and ABC can be used in conjunction to improve performance analysis and benchmarking. Results show that practice size, socio-economic environment, parts of the service delivery process as well as regular administrative tasks are major cost and performance drivers for general practices in immunisation activities. It is worth noting that initial analyses of the ABC results, using contextual information and conventional methods of analysis such as regression and correlations, did not result in any patterns of significance. Reorganising this information using the DEA efficiency scores has revealed trends that make sense to practitioners and provide insights into where to place efforts for improvement. PMID:20703677

  17. Comparing Cognitive Performance in Illiterate and Literate Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

    While it is known that the process of becoming literate begins in early childhood and usually involves several years of schooling, research related to cognitive characteristics has been done mostly on illiterate adults, and information concerning illiterate children is therefore limited. The aim of the present study, involving 21 illiterate and 22…

  18. Effects of hydration status on cognitive performance and mood.

    PubMed

    Masento, Natalie A; Golightly, Mark; Field, David T; Butler, Laurie T; van Reekum, Carien M

    2014-05-28

    Although it is well known that water is essential for human homeostasis and survival, only recently have we begun to understand its role in the maintenance of brain function. Herein, we integrate emerging evidence regarding the effects of both dehydration and additional acute water consumption on cognition and mood. Current findings in the field suggest that particular cognitive abilities and mood states are positively influenced by water consumption. The impact of dehydration on cognition and mood is particularly relevant for those with poor fluid regulation, such as the elderly and children. We critically review the most recent advances in both behavioural and neuroimaging studies of dehydration and link the findings to the known effects of water on hormonal, neurochemical and vascular functions in an attempt to suggest plausible mechanisms of action. We identify some methodological weaknesses, including inconsistent measurements in cognitive assessment and the lack of objective hydration state measurements as well as gaps in knowledge concerning mediating factors that may influence water intervention effects. Finally, we discuss how future research can best elucidate the role of water in the optimal maintenance of brain health and function.

  19. Six months of dance intervention enhances postural, sensorimotor, and cognitive performance in elderly without affecting cardio-respiratory functions

    PubMed Central

    Kattenstroth, Jan-Christoph; Kalisch, Tobias; Holt, Stephan; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert R.

    2013-01-01

    During aging, sensorimotor, cognitive and physical performance decline, but can improve by training and exercise indicating that age-related changes are treatable. Dancing is increasingly used as an intervention because it combines many diverse features making it a promising neuroplasticity-inducing tool. We here investigated the effects of a 6-month dance class (1 h/week) on a group of healthy elderly individuals compared to a matched control group (CG). We performed a broad assessment covering cognition, intelligence, attention, reaction time, motor, tactile, and postural performance, as well as subjective well-being and cardio-respiratory performance. After 6 months, in the CG no changes, or further degradation of performance was found. In the dance group, beneficial effects were found for dance-related parameters such as posture and reaction times, but also for cognitive, tactile, motor performance, and subjective well-being. These effects developed without alterations in the cardio-respiratory performance. Correlation of baseline performance with the improvement following intervention revealed that those individuals, who benefitted most from the intervention, were those who showed the lowest performance prior to the intervention. Our findings corroborate previous observations that dancing evokes widespread positive effects. The pre-post design used in the present study implies that the efficacy of dance is most likely not based on a selection bias of particularly gifted individuals. The lack of changes of cardio-respiratory fitness indicates that even moderate levels of physical activity can in combination with rich sensorimotor, cognitive, social, and emotional challenges act to ameliorate a wide spectrum of age-related decline. PMID:23447455

  20. PIMM: A Performance Improvement Measurement Methodology

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-05-15

    This report presents a Performance Improvement Measurement Methodology (PIMM) for measuring and reporting the mission performance for organizational elements of the U.S. Department of Energy to comply with the Chief Financial Officer`s Act (CFOA) of 1990 and the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993. The PIMM is illustrated by application to the Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC), a Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) field center of the Office of Fossil Energy, along with limited applications to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Office and the Office of Fossil Energy. METC is now implementing the first year of a pilot project under GPRA using the PIMM. The PIMM process is applicable to all elements of the Department; organizations may customize measurements to their specific missions. The PIMM has four aspects: (1) an achievement measurement that applies to any organizational element, (2) key indicators that apply to institutional elements, (3) a risk reduction measurement that applies to all RD&D elements and to elements with long-term activities leading to risk-associated outcomes, and (4) a cost performance evaluation. Key Indicators show how close the institution is to attaining long range goals. Risk reduction analysis is especially relevant to RD&D. Product risk is defined as the chance that the product of new technology will not meet the requirements of the customer. RD&D is conducted to reduce technology risks to acceptable levels. The PIMM provides a profile to track risk reduction as RD&D proceeds. Cost performance evaluations provide a measurement of the expected costs of outcomes relative to their actual costs.

  1. Management of sleep/wake cycles improves cognitive function in a transgenic mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Pallier, Patrick N; Morton, A Jennifer

    2009-07-01

    Normally, mice sleep during the day and are active at night. In Huntington's disease mice (R6/2 line) this circadian pattern disintegrates progressively over the course of their illness. Cognitive decline and apathy in R6/2 mice can be improved with sleeping drugs, suggesting that sleep disruption contributes to their neurological decline. We wondered if wakefulness was equally important. Here, we used two drugs to manage sleep/wake cycles in R6/2 mice, Alprazolam (to put them to sleep) and Modafinil (to wake them up). We found that both drugs improved cognitive function and apathy, but had a stronger effect when used in combination. Remarkably, beneficial effects on cognitive performance were also seen in vehicle-treated cage-mates of Alprazolam/Modafinil-treated mice, suggesting that behavioral intervention to regularize sleep/wake activity might be therapeutically useful. We suggest that focused management of sleep and wakefulness will slow the progression of cognitive decline and apathy in neurological conditions where sleep is disordered.

  2. Hunger in the Absence of Caloric Restriction Improves Cognition and Attenuates Alzheimer's Disease Pathology in a Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Dhurandhar, Emily J.; Allison, David B.; van Groen, Thomas; Kadish, Inga

    2013-01-01

    It has been shown that caloric restriction (CR) delays aging and possibly delays the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We conjecture that the mechanism may involve interoceptive cues, rather than reduced energy intake per se. We determined that hunger alone, induced by a ghrelin agonist, reduces AD pathology and improves cognition in the APP-SwDI mouse model of AD. Long-term treatment with a ghrelin agonist was sufficient to improve the performance in the water maze. The treatment also reduced levels of amyloid beta (Aβ) and inflammation (microglial activation) at 6 months of age compared to the control group, similar to the effect of CR. Thus, a hunger-inducing drug attenuates AD pathology, in the absence of CR, and the neuroendocrine aspects of hunger also prevent age-related cognitive decline. PMID:23565247

  3. Improving Memory and Cognition in Individuals with Down Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Rafii, Michael S

    2016-07-01

    Down syndrome (DS), often due to trisomy 21, is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability (ID). In addition, virtually all individuals with DS develop the neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by the age of 40 years and almost 60 % will manifest symptoms of AD dementia by the age of 65 years. Currently, there are no pharmacological treatments available for ID in individuals with DS and only limited symptomatic treatments for AD dementia. Advances in our understanding in both the molecular basis of ID and the pathogenesis of AD have created opportunities to study potential therapeutic targets. Recent studies in animal models of DS continue to provide a rational basis for translating specific compounds into human clinical trials. However, target and compound selection are only initial steps in the drug development pathway. Other necessary considerations include appropriate study designs to assess efficacy in the DS population, as well as operational aspects specifically tailored to assess cognition in this population. We discuss recent progress in the development of compounds for both ID and AD in individuals with DS, as well as concepts for the design and conduct of clinical trials with such compounds. PMID:27272473

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Peyroux, Elodie; Franck, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Peyroux, Elodie; Franck, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Macro- and micro-structural white matter differences correlate with cognitive performance in healthy aging.

    PubMed

    Marques, Paulo César Gonçalves; Soares, José Miguel Montenegro; Magalhães, Ricardo José da Silva; Santos, Nadine Correia; Sousa, Nuno Jorge Carvalho

    2016-03-01

    Studies have shown that white matter (WM) volumetric reductions and overall degradation occur with aging. Nonetheless little is known about the WM alterations that may underlie different cognitive status in older individuals. The main goal of the present work was to identify and characterize possible macro and microstructural WM alterations that could distinguish between older healthy individuals with contrasting cognitive profiles (i.e., "poor" vs "good" cognitive performers). Structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging was performed in order to quantify local WM volumes, white matter signal abnormalities (WMSA) volume (a measure of lesion burden) and diffusion tensor imaging scalar maps known to probe WM microstructure. A battery of neurocognitive/psychological tests was administered to assess the cognitive performance. Poor performers showed a higher slope for the positive association between WMSA volume and age compared to good performers. Even when controlling for WMSA volume, poor performers also evidenced lower fractional anisotropy, as well as positive associations with age with higher slopes of regression parameters in radial and axial diffusivity. Altogether results suggest that cognitive performance is related to differences in WM, with poor cognitive performers displaying signs of faster aging in WM.

  10. Action Video Gaming and Cognitive Control: Playing First Person Shooter Games Is Associated with Improved Action Cascading but Not Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Steenbergen, Laura; Sellaro, Roberta; Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Beste, Christian; Colzato, Lorenza S.

    2015-01-01

    There is a constantly growing interest in developing efficient methods to enhance cognitive functioning and/or to ameliorate cognitive deficits. One particular line of research focuses on the possibly cognitive enhancing effects that action video game (AVG) playing may have on game players. Interestingly, AVGs, especially first person shooter games, require gamers to develop different action control strategies to rapidly react to fast moving visual and auditory stimuli, and to flexibly adapt their behaviour to the ever-changing context. This study investigated whether and to what extent experience with such videogames is associated with enhanced performance on cognitive control tasks that require similar abilities. Experienced action videogame-players (AVGPs) and individuals with little to no videogame experience (NVGPs) performed a stop-change paradigm that provides a relatively well-established diagnostic measure of action cascading and response inhibition. Replicating previous findings, AVGPs showed higher efficiency in response execution, but not improved response inhibition (i.e. inhibitory control), as compared to NVGPs. More importantly, compared to NVGPs, AVGPs showed enhanced action cascading processes when an interruption (stop) and a change towards an alternative response were required simultaneously, as well as when such a change had to occur after the completion of the stop process. Our findings suggest that playing AVGs is associated with enhanced action cascading and multi-component behaviour without affecting inhibitory control. PMID:26655929

  11. Action Video Gaming and Cognitive Control: Playing First Person Shooter Games Is Associated with Improved Action Cascading but Not Inhibition.

    PubMed

    Steenbergen, Laura; Sellaro, Roberta; Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Beste, Christian; Colzato, Lorenza S

    2015-01-01

    There is a constantly growing interest in developing efficient methods to enhance cognitive functioning and/or to ameliorate cognitive deficits. One particular line of research focuses on the possibly cognitive enhancing effects that action video game (AVG) playing may have on game players. Interestingly, AVGs, especially first person shooter games, require gamers to develop different action control strategies to rapidly react to fast moving visual and auditory stimuli, and to flexibly adapt their behaviour to the ever-changing context. This study investigated whether and to what extent experience with such videogames is associated with enhanced performance on cognitive control tasks that require similar abilities. Experienced action videogame-players (AVGPs) and individuals with little to no videogame experience (NVGPs) performed a stop-change paradigm that provides a relatively well-established diagnostic measure of action cascading and response inhibition. Replicating previous findings, AVGPs showed higher efficiency in response execution, but not improved response inhibition (i.e. inhibitory control), as compared to NVGPs. More importantly, compared to NVGPs, AVGPs showed enhanced action cascading processes when an interruption (stop) and a change towards an alternative response were required simultaneously, as well as when such a change had to occur after the completion of the stop process. Our findings suggest that playing AVGs is associated with enhanced action cascading and multi-component behaviour without affecting inhibitory control. PMID:26655929

  12. Action Video Gaming and Cognitive Control: Playing First Person Shooter Games Is Associated with Improved Action Cascading but Not Inhibition.

    PubMed

    Steenbergen, Laura; Sellaro, Roberta; Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Beste, Christian; Colzato, Lorenza S

    2015-01-01

    There is a constantly growing interest in developing efficient methods to enhance cognitive functioning and/or to ameliorate cognitive deficits. One particular line of research focuses on the possibly cognitive enhancing effects that action video game (AVG) playing may have on game players. Interestingly, AVGs, especially first person shooter games, require gamers to develop different action control strategies to rapidly react to fast moving visual and auditory stimuli, and to flexibly adapt their behaviour to the ever-changing context. This study investigated whether and to what extent experience with such videogames is associated with enhanced performance on cognitive control tasks that require similar abilities. Experienced action videogame-players (AVGPs) and individuals with little to no videogame experience (NVGPs) performed a stop-change paradigm that provides a relatively well-established diagnostic measure of action cascading and response inhibition. Replicating previous findings, AVGPs showed higher efficiency in response execution, but not improved response inhibition (i.e. inhibitory control), as compared to NVGPs. More importantly, compared to NVGPs, AVGPs showed enhanced action cascading processes when an interruption (stop) and a change towards an alternative response were required simultaneously, as well as when such a change had to occur after the completion of the stop process. Our findings suggest that playing AVGs is associated with enhanced action cascading and multi-component behaviour without affecting inhibitory control.

  13. Supported Employment Improves Cognitive Performance in Adults with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garca-Villamisar, D.; Hughes, C.

    2007-01-01

    Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a supported employment programme on measures of executive functions for 44 adults with autism, assessed at the beginning and the end of the programme period. The average length of time of the community employment was 30 months. Methods: Based on their predominant work activity…

  14. Sensitivity to change in cognitive performance and mood measures of energy and fatigue in response to differing doses of caffeine or breakfast.

    PubMed

    Maridakis, Victor; Herring, Matthew P; O'Connor, Patrick J

    2009-01-01

    This double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subjects (N = 18) experiment compared the sensitivity to change of cognitive performance and mood measures of mental energy following consumption of either 100 or 200-mg caffeine or a 440-calorie breakfast. Breakfast and 200-mg caffeine improved mood and cognitive performance. The sensitivity to change of the measures did not differ in response to any treatment (all p values > .05). The mood and cognitive measures of mental energy used here have similar sensitivity to detecting change in response to a moderate dose of caffeine and breakfast consumption. PMID:19466633

  15. Distinct Aging Effects on Functional Networks in Good and Poor Cognitive Performers

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Annie; Tan, Mingzhen; Qiu, Anqi

    2016-01-01

    Brain network hubs are susceptible to normal aging processes and disruptions of their functional connectivity are detrimental to decline in cognitive functions in older adults. However, it remains unclear how the functional connectivity of network hubs cope with cognitive heterogeneity in an aging population. This study utilized cognitive and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data, cluster analysis, and graph network analysis to examine age-related alterations in the network hubs’ functional connectivity of good and poor cognitive performers. Our results revealed that poor cognitive performers showed age-dependent disruptions in the functional connectivity of the right insula and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), while good cognitive performers showed age-related disruptions in the functional connectivity of the left insula and PCC. Additionally, the left PCC had age-related declines in the functional connectivity with the left medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Most interestingly, good cognitive performers showed age-related declines in the functional connectivity of the left insula and PCC with their right homotopic structures. These results may provide insights of neuronal correlates for understanding individual differences in aging. In particular, our study suggests prominent protection roles of the left insula and PCC and bilateral ACC in good performers.

  16. Distinct Aging Effects on Functional Networks in Good and Poor Cognitive Performers

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Annie; Tan, Mingzhen; Qiu, Anqi

    2016-01-01

    Brain network hubs are susceptible to normal aging processes and disruptions of their functional connectivity are detrimental to decline in cognitive functions in older adults. However, it remains unclear how the functional connectivity of network hubs cope with cognitive heterogeneity in an aging population. This study utilized cognitive and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data, cluster analysis, and graph network analysis to examine age-related alterations in the network hubs’ functional connectivity of good and poor cognitive performers. Our results revealed that poor cognitive performers showed age-dependent disruptions in the functional connectivity of the right insula and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), while good cognitive performers showed age-related disruptions in the functional connectivity of the left insula and PCC. Additionally, the left PCC had age-related declines in the functional connectivity with the left medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Most interestingly, good cognitive performers showed age-related declines in the functional connectivity of the left insula and PCC with their right homotopic structures. These results may provide insights of neuronal correlates for understanding individual differences in aging. In particular, our study suggests prominent protection roles of the left insula and PCC and bilateral ACC in good performers. PMID:27667972

  17. Distinct Aging Effects on Functional Networks in Good and Poor Cognitive Performers.

    PubMed

    Lee, Annie; Tan, Mingzhen; Qiu, Anqi

    2016-01-01

    Brain network hubs are susceptible to normal aging processes and disruptions of their functional connectivity are detrimental to decline in cognitive functions in older adults. However, it remains unclear how the functional connectivity of network hubs cope with cognitive heterogeneity in an aging population. This study utilized cognitive and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data, cluster analysis, and graph network analysis to examine age-related alterations in the network hubs' functional connectivity of good and poor cognitive performers. Our results revealed that poor cognitive performers showed age-dependent disruptions in the functional connectivity of the right insula and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), while good cognitive performers showed age-related disruptions in the functional connectivity of the left insula and PCC. Additionally, the left PCC had age-related declines in the functional connectivity with the left medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Most interestingly, good cognitive performers showed age-related declines in the functional connectivity of the left insula and PCC with their right homotopic structures. These results may provide insights of neuronal correlates for understanding individual differences in aging. In particular, our study suggests prominent protection roles of the left insula and PCC and bilateral ACC in good performers. PMID:27667972

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

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Nan; Liu, He; Jiang, Yao; Zheng, Ji; Li, Dong-mei; Ji, Chao; Liu, Yan-yong; Zuo, Ping-ping

    2015-01-01

    Lactulose is known to improve cognitive function in patients with early hepatic encephalopathy; however, the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the behavioral and neurochemical effects of lactulose in a rat model of early hepatic encephalopathy induced by carbon tetrachloride. Immunohistochemistry showed that lactulose treatment promoted neurogenesis and increased the number of neurons and astrocytes in the hippocampus. Moreover, lactulose-treated rats showed shorter escape latencies than model rats in the Morris water maze, indicating that lactulose improved the cognitive impairments caused by hepatic encephalopathy. The present findings suggest that lactulose effectively improves cognitive function by enhancing neuroplasticity in a rat model of early hepatic encephalopathy. PMID:26604907

  19. The combination of memantine and galantamine improves cognition in rats: The synergistic role of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine and NMDA receptors.

    PubMed

    Nikiforuk, Agnieszka; Potasiewicz, Agnieszka; Kos, Tomasz; Popik, Piotr

    2016-10-15

    The combination of memantine and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) is used as a therapeutic strategy to improve cognition in Alzheimer's disease. Among AChEIs, galantamine, which is also a positive allosteric modulator (PAM) of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), including α7-nAChRs, may be particularly beneficial. The α7-nAChR is involved in interactions between the cholinergic and glutamatergic systems. In the present study, we investigated the potential role of α7-nAChRs in the pro-cognitive effects of this drug combination. To this aim, cognitive performance in rats was assessed using the attentional set shifting task (ASST) and novel object recognition task (NORT). Co-administration of inactive doses of memantine with galantamine facilitated the rats' set-shifting performance and reversed delay-induced deficits in object recognition. These effects were blocked by the α7-nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine, suggesting that the observed cognitive enhancement is α7-nAChR dependent. Moreover, combined administration of memantine with inactive doses of selective α7-nAChRs PAMs, CCMI and PNU-120596, also improved ASST and NORT performance in a methyllycaconitine-dependent manner. Stimulation of α7-nAChRs may underlie the pro-cognitive effects of combining memantine and galantamine. Our results suggest that memantine, when given with enhancers of α7-nAChRs, may represent an effective strategy for cognitive improvement. PMID:27435422

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  1. Effects of artificial dawn and morning blue light on daytime cognitive performance, well-being, cortisol and melatonin levels.

    PubMed

    Gabel, Virginie; Maire, Micheline; Reichert, Carolin F; Chellappa, Sarah L; Schmidt, Christina; Hommes, Vanja; Viola, Antoine U; Cajochen, Christian

    2013-10-01

    Light exposure elicits numerous effects on human physiology and behavior, such as better cognitive performance and mood. Here we investigated the role of morning light exposure as a countermeasure for impaired cognitive performance and mood under sleep restriction (SR). Seventeen participants took part of a 48h laboratory protocol, during which three different light settings (separated by 2 wks) were administered each morning after two 6-h sleep restriction nights: a blue monochromatic LED (light-emitting diode) light condition (BL; 100 lux at 470 nm for 20 min) starting 2 h after scheduled wake-up time, a dawn-simulating light (DsL) starting 30 min before and ending 20 min after scheduled wake-up time (polychromatic light gradually increasing from 0 to 250 lux), and a dim light (DL) condition for 2 h beginning upon scheduled wake time (<8 lux). Cognitive tasks were performed every 2 h during scheduled wakefulness, and questionnaires were administered hourly to assess subjective sleepiness, mood, and well-being. Salivary melatonin and cortisol were collected throughout scheduled wakefulness in regular intervals, and the effects on melatonin were measured after only one light pulse. Following the first SR, analysis of the time course of cognitive performance during scheduled wakefulness indicated a decrease following DL, whereas it remained stable following BL and significantly improved after DsL. Cognitive performance levels during the second day after SR were not significantly affected by the different light conditions. However, after both SR nights, mood and well-being were significantly enhanced after exposure to morning DsL compared with DL and BL. Melatonin onset occurred earlier after morning BL exposure, than after morning DsL and DL, whereas salivary cortisol levels were higher at wake-up time after DsL compared with BL and DL. Our data indicate that exposure to an artificial morning dawn simulation light improves subjective well-being, mood, and cognitive

  2. Improving Performance During Image-Guided Procedures

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, James R.; Tabriz, David

    2015-01-01

    Objective Image-guided procedures have become a mainstay of modern health care. This article reviews how human operators process imaging data and use it to plan procedures and make intraprocedural decisions. Methods A series of models from human factors research, communication theory, and organizational learning were applied to the human-machine interface that occupies the center stage during image-guided procedures. Results Together, these models suggest several opportunities for improving performance as follows: 1. Performance will depend not only on the operator’s skill but also on the knowledge embedded in the imaging technology, available tools, and existing protocols. 2. Voluntary movements consist of planning and execution phases. Performance subscores should be developed that assess quality and efficiency during each phase. For procedures involving ionizing radiation (fluoroscopy and computed tomograp