Zagorka’s Grička vještica museum presented

first_imgMarija Jurić Zagorka will finally get her house like the great authors have, according to Slobodan Prosperov Novak, “in the heart of Zagreb’s Camelot – Grič”.The future ZAGORKA MUSEUM OF THE GRIČKA WITCH was presented in front of the city leaders, officials of the Ministry of Culture, journalists and the gathered public in the Jelačić Palace on Markov trg 9.The wish of the creators of the project is that the most widely read Croatian writer Marija Jurić Zagorka, whose works have been passed down from generation to generation, gets her place not only in monumental form but that her character and work continue to inspire generations of visitors in the space dedicated to her. the city of Zagreb. The idea creator and initiator of the initiative, Vinko Grubišić, who dedicated nine years of research and work to this project, is convinced that Zagorka will return to the canon of Croatian literature and cultural heritage from which she was unjustly left out for years. “Marija Jurić Zagorka does not stop giving to Croatian culture, and to the city of Zagreb, and it is only up to us how much we manage to take. We are given the opportunity to make Zagreb baroquely enchanted, Zagorka’s Zagreb, not only for its suburban character of today’s main city square. Why does Zagreb have the Upper Town, but not the mysterious trace of Zagorka in it? Only we know that: we remember the birth house of a poet only for its demolition, and then we invent that house, or date, for the appropriate purposes.”Interestingly, the ceremony was suddenly joined by a hundred Japanese tourists who, delighted by the sight on St. Mark’s Square, stopped a conventional tourist tour of Zagreb and curiously entered the building of the future Museum, which had just begun to welcome just before its official presentation. On that occasion, those gathered toured the magnificent building of the Jelačić Palace in the very center of Grič, the renovation of which is planned in the project of realization of ZAGORKA’S MUSEUM OF THE GRIČKA WITCH. In the atrium of the building, guests were greeted by a rich musical, artistic and gastronomic program characteristic of the spirit of the novel “Gričke vještice” and after many years, visitors can see the interior of the palace, which provide a view of the future museum.The main topos of the gallant historical Zagreb will be embodied in the eight historical rooms of the Jelačić Palace. Most of these eight salons will be presented in their original form and will be a representative part of the Museum where ceremonial events, awards ceremonies, lectures and concerts will take place, but due to very discreet exhibits through a series of art, auditory, visual and digital installations Zagreb of the 18th and 19th centuries.As part of the museum in the central salons on the first floor in what is called the piano signorile, the world reference Zagorka Award will be given for its contribution to the emancipation of women and issues of freedom in the modern world in general. With this exhibition, the City of Zagreb will get a world-attractive but original content comparable to other world museums dedicated to the persecution of the Other and the different and, in general, to the revival of evil presented in numerous Holocaust museums. Also, in the future museum, visitors had a unique opportunity to visit a set of the long-awaited TV series Grička vještica produced by Jadran film, for which test shootings began yesterday, and for the realization of which they have been waiting for more than half a century.last_img read more

The rapid rise of language: Study suggests people quickly started speaking in a now-familiar form

first_imgPinterest Share on Facebook Share on Twitter LinkedIn At some point, probably 50,000 to 100,000 years ago, humans began talking to one another in a uniquely complex form. It is easy to imagine this epochal change as cavemen grunting, or hunter-gatherers mumbling and pointing. But in a new paper, an MIT linguist contends that human language likely developed quite rapidly into a sophisticated system: Instead of mumbles and grunts, people deployed syntax and structures resembling the ones we use today.“The hierarchical complexity found in present-day language is likely to have been present in human language since its emergence,” says Shigeru Miyagawa, Professor of Linguistics and the Kochi Prefecture-John Manjiro Professor in Japanese Language and Culture at MIT, and a co-author of the new paper on the subject.To be clear, this is not a universally accepted claim: Many scholars believe that humans first started using a kind of “proto-language” — a rudimentary, primitive kind of communication with only a gradual development of words and syntax. But Miyagawa thinks this is not the case. Single words, he believes, bear traces of syntax showing that they must be descended from an older, syntax-laden system, rather than from simple, primal utterances.center_img Email Share “Since we can find syntax within words, there is no reason to consider them as ‘linguistic fossils’ of a prior, presyntax stage,” Miyagawa adds.Miyagawa has an alternate hypothesis about what created human language: Humans alone, as he has asserted in papers published in recent years, have combined an “expressive” layer of language, as seen in birdsong, with a “lexical” layer, as seen in monkeys who utter isolated sounds with real-world meaning, such as alarm calls. Miyagawa’s “integration hypothesis” holds that whatever first caused them, these layers of language blended quickly and successfully.Word to the wiseMiyagawa’s paper is published this month in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Psychology. Vitor A. Nobrega of the University of Sao Paulo co-authored the paper.In the paper, Nobrega and Miyagawa write that a single word can be “internally complex, often as complex as an entire phrase,” making it less likely that words we use today are descended from a presyntax mode of speech.To see a straightforward example of this in English, take “nationalization,” Miyagawa suggests. It starts with “nation,” a noun; adds “-al” to create an adjective; adds “-iz(a)” to form a verb; and ends with “-tion,” to form another noun, albeit with a new meaning.“Hierarchical structure is present not only in single words, but also in compounds, which, contrary to the claims of some, are not the structureless fossilized form of a prior stage,” Miyagawa says.In their paper, Nobrega and Miyagawa hold that the same analysis applies to words in Romance languages that have been described elsewhere as remnants of formless proto-languages. In Brazilian Portuguese, “porta asciuga-mani” — literally “carry dry-hands,” but today colloquially meaning “towel holder” — is one such case, they contend, where a compound derived from old words has a clear internal structure. (In this case, “dry hands” is a complement to the verb.)Miyagawa’s integration hypothesis is connected intellectually to the work of other MIT scholars, such as Noam Chomsky, who have contended that human languages are universally connected and derive from our capacity for using syntax. In forming, this school of thought holds, languages have blended expressive and lexical layers through a system Chomsky has called “Merge.”“Once Merge has applied integrating these two layers, we have essentially all the features of a full-fledged human language,” Miyagawa says.last_img read more

The same genes influence exam results across a range of school subjects

first_imgLinkedIn Our new research, published in Scientific Reports, examined the GCSE results, using classical twin method, that compares the correlations between identical and non-identical twins, and found that individual differences in exam results are to a large extent explained by the inherited differences in children’s DNA sequence.We also found that many of the same genes influence achievement across a range of subjects – so, children who tend to do well in one subject tend to do well in others, largely for genetic reasons.Previous research using data from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS), found that there is substantial heritability for educational achievement in early and middle school years. Heritability is a population statistic, which describes the extent to which differences between children can be explained by the differences in their DNA, on average, in a particular population at a particular time.So, for example, a heritability of 90%, means that 90% of individual differences observed in a group of people for a trait are explained by genetic differences between them and 10% explained by environmental factors. What it doesn’t tell us, is anything about an individual.We already knew, based on our research which was published in 2007, (based on a UK representative sample of 7,500 twins pairs who were tested at the ages of 7, 9, and 12) that the average heritability for literacy and numeracy is almost 70%. In other words, more than two-thirds of the variation seen in academic test results is explained by genetic differences between children.Further research from 2013 also found that educational achievement, as measured by standardised exams (GCSEs), at age 16 is also substantially heritable, with genetic factors explaining about 60% of the variance in results of the core subjects of English, mathematics and sciences.How genes influence achievementOur new study sought to determine whether the high heritability of core academic subjects also extends to various other subjects, such as history and geography, which involve more fact-based knowledge – or art, music and drama, which are more subjective subjects.We analysed achievement data from the twins in TEDS to assess the extent to which genetic factors influence various school subjects – and, in particular, GCSE exam results.We found that genes explain a larger proportion of the differences between children across different subjects (54-65%) than shared environmental factors, such as home and school environment combined (14-21%).However, it’s important to stress that heritability is a population statistic and this does not mean that genetics explain 54-65% of a single child’s school achievement. But it does indicate that differences in academic exam results are, to a large extent, explained by differences in people’s DNA.Our study indicates that this substantial heritability for school exams is not explained by intelligence alone, as heritability for GCSE grades for all subjects remained substantial even after statistically removing the intelligence scores from the exam results. This finding is in line with our previous research in which we found a similar result for the mandatory subjects of English, maths and science.We had also found that heritability of GCSE exam results involves the joint contribution of many other factors, including children’s self-efficacy, or pupil’s belief in his/her abilities, behavioural problems, personality traits, well-being, and their perceptions of school environment – as well as their intelligence.Although our results cannot be applied directly to classroom teaching right now, they do, however, add to the growing knowledge of why children differ so widely in educational achievement.Same genes, range of subjectsOur new results also indicate that achievement across a wide range of academic subjects including English, mathematics, science, humanities, second languages, business and art are influenced by many of the same genes.This shared genetic influence is, to a large extent, independent of intelligence, suggesting that there is a genetically driven “general academic achievement factor”. This means that its largely down to genetic reasons that children who tend to do well in one subject also tend to do well in others even when different levels of intelligence is controlled.Our findings could also facilitate molecular genetic research that aims to identify the genes responsible for academic achievement by focusing on achievement across different subjects, rather than focusing only on a specific subject such as mathematics or English.By Kaili Rimfeld, King’s College LondonKaili Rimfeld is PhD Student, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London.This article was originally published on The Conversation.Read the original article. Email Could it be that genetic differences can affect how well children perform in exams? Our research suggests that this may well be the case and that individual differences between children are, to a large extent, due to the inherited genetic differences between them that predisposes them to do well academically, whatever the subject.We also found that there is shared genetic influence across a range of subjects, even after controlling the exam results for general intelligence.It goes without saying that children’s exam results at the end of compulsory education play a significant role in their future education and career paths. And it is also reasonable to assume that schools play a major role in school achievement. But children differ in educational achievement within the same school – and even the same classroom. This suggests that factors other than school or classroom differences explain the wide variation in pupils’ exam results. Sharecenter_img Pinterest Share on Twitter Share on Facebooklast_img read more

Vitamin D from sun exposure may protect against multiple sclerosis

first_imgEmail Share Share on Twitter A study of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) found that those who spent time in the sun every day during the summer as teens developed the disease later than those reporting not spending time in the sun every day. The study, which was published in the October 7, 2015, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, also found that people who were overweight at age 20 developed the disease earlier than those who were average weight or underweight.“The factors that lead to developing MS are complex and we are still working to understand them all, but several studies have shown that vitamin D and sun exposure may have a protective effect on developing the disease,” said study author Julie Hejgaard Laursen, MD, PhD, of Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark. “This study suggests that sun exposure during the teenage years may even affect the age at onset of the disease.”For the study, 1,161 people with MS in Denmark filled out questionnaires and gave blood samples. They were put into two groups based on their sun habits during their teenage years: those who spent time in the sun every day and those who did not spend time in the sun every day. They were also asked about their use of vitamin D supplements during their teenage years and how much fatty fish they ate at age 20. Share on Facebookcenter_img LinkedIn Pinterest The people who spent time in the sun every day had an average onset of MS that was 1.9 years later than those who did not spend time in the sun every day. A total of 88 percent of the participants were in the sun every day group. They developed MS at an average age of 32.9, compared to 31 for those who were not in the sun every day.Those who were overweight at age 20 developed the disease an average of 1.6 years earlier than those who were average weight and 3.1 years earlier than those who were underweight. Eighteen percent of the participants were overweight; they developed the disease at an average age of 31.2.“It appears that both UVB rays from sunlight and vitamin D could be associated with a delayed onset of MS,” Laursen said. “However, it’s possible that other outdoor factors play a role, and these still have to be identified.”Laursen said previous studies have shown a relationship between MS risk and obesity in childhood and the teenage years. Obese people are known to have lower blood levels of vitamin D. “The relationship between weight and MS might be explained by a vitamin D deficiency, but there’s not enough direct evidence to establish this yet,” Laursen said.“A limitation of the study is the risk of recall bias because participants were asked to remember their sun, eating and supplement habits from years before,” Laursen said. “In particular, someone with a long history of MS and onset of the disease at an early age, may wrongly recall a poor sun exposure. Additionally, only Danish patients were included into the study, so there should be caution when extending the results to different ethnic groups living in different geographic locations.”The study was supported by the Danish Multiple Sclerosis Society, Danish Council for Strategic Research and Brodrene Rønje Holding.last_img read more

People with anger disorder have decreased connectivity between regions of the brain

first_imgShare LinkedIn Email Share on Facebook Share on Twittercenter_img People with intermittent explosive disorder (IED), or impulsive aggression, have a weakened connection between regions of the brain associated with sensory input, language processing and social interaction.In a new study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, neuroscientists from the University of Chicago show that white matter in a region of the brain called the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) has less integrity and density in people with IED than in healthy individuals and those with other psychiatric disorders. The SLF connects the brain’s frontal lobe–responsible for decision-making, emotion and understanding consequences of actions–with the parietal lobe, which processes language and sensory input.“It’s like an information superhighway connecting the frontal cortex to the parietal lobes,” said Royce Lee, MD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago and lead author of the study. “We think that points to social cognition as an important area to think about for people with anger problems.” Pinterest Lee and his colleagues, including senior author Emil Coccaro, MD, Ellen C. Manning Professor and Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at UChicago, used diffusion tensor imaging, a form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that measures the volume and density of white matter connective tissue in the brain. Connectivity is a critical issue because the brains of people with psychiatric disorders usually show very few physical differences from healthy individuals.“It’s not so much how the brain is structured, but the way these regions are connected to each other,” Lee said. “That might be where we’re going to see a lot of the problems in psychiatric disorders, so white matter is a natural place to start since that’s the brain’s natural wiring from one region to another.”People with anger issues tend to misunderstand the intentions of other people in social situations. They think others are being hostile when they are not and make the wrong conclusions about their intentions. They also don’t take in all the data from a social interaction, such as body language or certain words, and notice only those things that reinforce their belief that the other person is challenging them.Decreased connectivity between regions of the brain that process a social situation could lead to the impaired judgment that escalates to an explosive outburst of anger. The discovery of connectivity deficits in a specific region of the brain like the SLF provides an important starting point for more research on people with IED, as well as those with borderline personality disorder, who share similar social and emotional problems and appear to have the same abnormality in the SLF.“This is another example of tangible deficits in the brains of those with IED that indicate that impulsive aggressive behavior is not simply ‘bad behavior’ but behavior with a real biological basis that can be studied and treated,” Coccaro said.last_img read more

Sedentary lifestyle may impair academic performance in boys

first_imgEmail Share Share on Twitter Pinterest The study showed that high levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, low levels of sedentary time, and particularly their combination in Grade 1 were related to better reading skills in Grades 1-3 in boys. High levels of physical activity and low levels of sedentary time were also associated with better arithmetic skills in Grade 1 only in boys. In girls, there were no strong and consistent associations of physical activity and sedentary time with reading or arithmetic skills.Promoting physically active lifestyle may kick-start boys’ school performanceThe results of the study suggest that a combination of low levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and high levels of sedentary time might be particularly harmful for the development of academic skills in boys, and that increasing physical activity, reducing sedentary time, and especially their combination may improve academic achievement.center_img Share on Facebook A sedentary lifestyle is linked to poorer reading skills in the first three school years in 6-8 year old boys, according to a new study from Finland. The study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland in collaboration with the University of Jyväskylä and the University of Cambridge was recently published in the Journal of Science and Medicine and Sport.“Low levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and high levels of sedentary time in Grade 1 were related to better reading skills in Grades 1-3 among boys. We also observed that boys who had a combination of low levels of physical activity and high levels of sedentary time had the poorest reading skills through Grades 1-3,” explains Eero Haapala, PhD, from the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Jyväskylä.The study, constituting part of the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children Study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland and part of the First Steps Study conducted at the University of Jyväskylä, investigated the longitudinal associations of physical activity and sedentary time with reading and arithmetic skills in 153 children aged 6-8 years old in Grades 1-3 of the primary school. Physical activity and sedentary time were measured objectively using a combined heart rate and movement sensor in Grade 1, and reading and arithmetic skills were assessed by standardised tests in Grades 1-3. LinkedInlast_img read more

Inactivity in obese mice linked to altered dopamine receptors and a decreased motivation to move

first_imgPinterest Starting a regular program at the gym is a common New Year’s resolution, but it’s one that most people are unable to stick with for very long. Now a study done in mice is providing clues about one of the reasons why it may be hard for so many people to stick with an exercise program. The investigators found that in obese mice, physical inactivity results from altered dopamine receptors rather than excess body weight. The report appears in Cell Metabolism on December 29.“We know that physical activity is linked to overall good health, but not much is known about why people or animals with obesity are less active,” says the study’s senior author Alexxai V. Kravitz, an investigator in the Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases–part of the National Institutes of Health. “There’s a common belief that obese animals don’t move as much because carrying extra body weight is physically disabling. But our findings suggest that assumption doesn’t explain the whole story.”Kravitz has a background in studying Parkinson’s disease, and when he began conducting obesity research a few years ago, he was struck by similarities in behavior between obese mice and Parkinsonian mice. Based on that observation, he hypothesized that the reason the mice were inactive was due to dysfunction in their dopamine systems. Email LinkedIn Sharecenter_img Share on Twitter Share on Facebook “Other studies have connected dopamine signaling defects to obesity, but most of them have looked at reward processing–how animals feel when they eat different foods,” Kravitz says. “We looked at something simpler: dopamine is critical for movement, and obesity is associated with a lack of movement. Can problems with dopamine signaling alone explain the inactivity?”In the study, mice were fed either a standard or a high-fat diet for 18 weeks. Beginning in the second week, the mice on the unhealthy diet had higher body weight. By the fourth week, these mice spent less time moving and got around much more slowly when they did move. Surprisingly, the mice on high-fat diet moved less before they gained the majority of the weight, suggesting that the excess weight alone was not responsible for the reduced movements.The investigators looked at six different components in the dopamine signaling pathway and found that the obese, inactive mice had deficits in the D2 dopamine receptor. “There are probably other factors involved as well, but the deficit in D2 is sufficient to explain the lack of activity,” says Danielle Friend, first author and former NIDDK postdoctoral fellow.The team also studied the connection between inactivity and weight gain, to determine if it was causative. By studying lean mice that were engineered to have the same defect in the D2 receptor, they found that those mice did not gain weight more readily on a high-fat diet, despite their lack of inactivity, suggesting that weight gain was compounded once the mice start moving less.“In many cases, willpower is invoked as a way to modify behavior,” Kravitz says. “But if we don’t understand the underlying physical basis for that behavior, it’s difficult to say that willpower alone can solve it.”He adds that if we begin to decipher the physiological causes for why people with obesity are less active, it may also help reduce some of the stigma that they face. Future research will focus on how unhealthy eating affects dopamine signaling. The researchers also plan to look at how quickly the mice recover to normal activity levels once they begin eating a healthy diet and losing weight.last_img read more

‘Simple, but powerful’ model reveals mechanisms behind neuron development

first_imgEmail LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter All things must come to an end. This is particularly true for neurons, especially the extensions called axons that transmit electrochemical signals to other nerve cells. Without controlled termination of individual neuron growth, the efficient and accurate construction of a nervous system is in serious jeopardy.Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have now uncovered new insights into the regulatory network behind that termination. The study, led by TSRI Associate Professor Brock Grill, PhD, was recently published online ahead of print in the journal Development.The scientists focused on axons, long cellular structures that project outward from the neuron body. When nerve cells fire, it’s the axon that transmits the electrochemical signal to other neurons. Over the course of their development, axons extend, change their growth in response to cellular guidance cues and form synapses.center_img Pinterest Share At the heart of this process is a specialized structure on the end of each axon called a growth cone. Successful development depends on the growth cone stopping at the correct destination and when the axon is the correct length, a process known as axon termination.Using the nematode worm C. elegans as a model, Grill and his colleagues found for the first time that growth cone collapse prior to axon termination is protracted as the growth cone transitions from a dynamic to a static state.“We know very little about the process of how axons actually stop growing in a living animal,” Grill says. “What we found in our simple, but powerful model is that a signaling hub protein called RPM-1 is required to regulate the collapse of growth cones during axon termination.”It’s the protracted nature of the process, Grill says, that is likely to make the transition-and the termination-permanent.These findings provide new details on how growth cone collapse is regulated during axon termination in vivo. The study also shows that RPM-1 signaling destabilizes nerve cell microtubules-large molecules that provide critical cell structure-to facilitate growth cone collapse and axon termination.When the scientists looked at the relationship between RPM-1 and other regulators of microtubule stability, they were surprised by the results.They found that that while RPM-1 signaling destabilizes axon microtubules, the microtubule stabilizer Tau potentially inhibits RPM -1, something that was previously unknown. “People have very little knowledge about how TAU works under normal physiological conditions,” says TSRI Research Associate Melissa Borgen, PhD, first author of the study.“Our results suggest that Tau inhibition of RPM-1 is necessary for proper axon development, and offers the first evidence that RPM-1 can be regulated in vivo in neurons.”The research has implications for the development of neurological disorders as well. In mouse models, RPM-1 is an active force in axon degeneration and TAU has been linked to neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and frontal temporal dementia.“You wouldn’t necessarily have thought Tau and RPM-1 would function this way,” Grill says. “That’s the power of genetics. Although we assessed the genetic relationship between Tau and RPM-1 in axon development, our results could have important implications for neurodegeneration.”last_img read more

Prenatal stress from natural disasters may exacerbate the effect of maternal depression on children’s fight-or-flight response

first_imgEmail A new study, which appears in Biological Psychology, has found that the negative impact of prenatal maternal depression on children was magnified when pregnant women lived through Superstorm Sandy.The findings provide new information about the relationship between prenatal maternal mental health and offspring development.“Natural disasters, especially historically intense ones, are becoming more and more frequent as the climate changes. When Superstorm Sandy struck the area in which I live in October of 2012, I was horrified by the physical and psychological damage it brought to my community,” said study author Jessica Buthmann, a PhD candidate at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center and an adjunct instructor of psychology at CUNY Queens College. Share on Twitter “Researchers are investigating the psychological impact of these events on the populations they affect. For this study we were also interested in how these effects may be passed down to the next generation, and whether maternal mental health increases susceptibility,” added Buthmann, who is also a member of Yoko Nomura’s Stress in Pregnancy Lab.Buthmann and her colleagues examined the electrodermal activity of 198 young children. At the time of the study, the children were about 40 months old on average and about half of the children had mothers had been exposed to Superstorm Sandy while pregnant.“We studied the electrodermal activity (also known as galvanic skin response) in children because it is a proxy measure of the fight-or-flight sympathetic nervous system, which can drive emotional responses to different stimuli and is known to be either under- or over- reactive in various psychological disorders,” she explained.“The stress of Superstorm Sandy would activate this system in the expecting mothers, especially if they had existing mental health issues. We wanted to know if any effects would be passed onto their developing children, thereby altering their own emotional reactivity.”In the study, the children watched a relaxing scene depicting panda bears on a computer screen while the researchers monitored their galvanic skin response, which measures the electrical differences in skin in response to pain or stress. During the relaxing scene, the children were startled with a loud noise.Prenatal exposure to Superstorm Sandy was not linked to child electrodermal reactivity.However, the researchers found that prenatal maternal depression exposure was linked to lower electrodermal reactivity. Reactivity was even lower for children exposed to both prenatal maternal depression and Superstorm Sandy in utero, suggesting that stress from the natural disasters may have exacerbate the impact of prenatal maternal depression.“We found that children of mothers who were pregnant during Superstorm Sandy and also experienced symptoms of depression were less electrodermally reactive to startling stimuli, indicating a poor fight-or-flight response. Their responses were significantly lower than children exposed to Superstorm Sandy alone and children exposed to maternal depression alone,” Buthmann told PsyPost.“These children may be at risk for psychological disorders associated with low fight-or-flight responses, such as depression, oppositional-defiant disorder, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”“It is our hope that findings like these will increase awareness of the need for special care to be put in place for expecting mothers leading up to (when possible) and following natural disasters. Proper preparation and assistance in the aftermath of a disaster, including mental health services, may be critical for setting their children on the path toward optimal health,” Buthmann said.The results are in line with another study conducted by Buthmann and her colleagues. In that study, which was published in Infant Mental Health Journal, the researchers found that infants born to women with prenatal depression were more likely to experience greater distress, greater fear, lower smiling and laughter, lower high- and low-pleasure seeking, lower soothability, slower falling reactivity, lower cuddliness, and greater sadness at six months of age.The effects were amplified when women were pregnant during Superstorm Sandy.“As with many studies involving human subjects, this study was correlational in nature, meaning we cannot say for certain that the maternal mental health factors caused the low fight-or-flight response in these children. Studying a natural disaster that affected a large population at the same time strengthens our findings that maternal mental health during pregnancy impacts child development,” Buthmann said.“Further, our research group is currently studying biological samples collected from these children (including placenta tissues and cord blood) to look for clues that may shed light on how and to what extent maternal stress and mental health may increase risk for future psychological disorders.”“Experts continue to predict increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters. Hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, and tornadoes are affecting communities at an alarming rate already. Unless and until real action is taken to slow this trend, future generations of children may be put at risk for the development of psychological impairment via exposure to these horrifying events,” Buthmann added.The study, “The children of Superstorm Sandy: Maternal prenatal depression blunts offspring electrodermal activity“, was authored by J. Buthmann, J. Finik, G. Ventura, W. Zhang, A.D.Shereen, Y. Nomura. LinkedIncenter_img Pinterest Share Share on Facebooklast_img read more

Study sheds light on the role of language background in miscommunication between pilots and air traffic controllers

first_imgEnglish is the language used around the world by civil aviation professionals, including pilots, flight dispatchers, and air traffic controllers. New research suggests that words — as opposed to numbers — are a more frequent source of errors among pilots with English as a second language.The findings appear in The International Journal of Aerospace Psychology.For their study, the researchers analyzed and systematically coded 18 hours of communications from Tower, Approach and Departure frequencies at Kingsford Smith International Airport in Sydney, Australia. They ended up with 132 “accented English” and 141 “native English sounding” pilot transmissions. LinkedIn Email Pilots are required to read back instructions from air traffic controllers to confirm they heard them correctly. The researchers were interested in two types of errors — omissions in the readback, and readbacks that included the wrong information.Both native English speakers and accented pilots omitted a similar number of items per transmission on average. The item most commonly omitted in readbacks from native English pilots was their runway assignment, while for accented pilots it was both altitude and runway assignment.None of the readbacks from native English speakers included inaccurate information. But that was not the case for accented pilots.“The fact that both groups of pilots make errors in their transmissions highlights the ongoing challenge of effective communication in aviation. For native English sounding pilots, since they committed omissions rather than mistakes, the challenges seem to be those of remembering (or learning and recalling) what items must be read back, or adhering to the protocol,” the researchers said.“For [English as a second language] pilots, who committed both omissions and mistakes, the challenges seem to involve both remembering which items must be read back and ensuring accurate readback.”The researchers also found that the error rate increased as the number of items in the transmission increased — but only for accented pilots. They were surprised to find that the phase of flight appeared to have no effect on the rate communication errors.Overall, there was no significant difference between native English pilots and accented pilots in regards to numerical errors. But accent pilots committed significantly more word errors per transmission than native English pilots.“This new finding has important implications for aviation communication training. The choice of lexical items in aviation is constrained by the phraseology, in contrast to numbers where the possible range is very large. Knowing that improvements in aviation communication can be obtained by improving pilots’ mastery of the phraseology allows for a targeted approach,” the authors of the study noted.The study, “An Investigation into the Factors that Affect Miscommunication between Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers in Commercial Aviation“, was authored by Qiong Wu, Brett R. C. Molesworth, and Dominique Estival. Share on Twittercenter_img Share Share on Facebook Pinterestlast_img read more