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In this article, we examine similarities and differences in the academic, social, and behavioral skills of high school students with emotional disturbances (ED) and learning disabilities (LD). Two groups of high school students with ED (n = 45) and LD (n = 49) were compared on nine measures in academic, behavioral, and social domains using multivariate procedures. Results indicated that there were significant differences in the characteristics of these students, with seven of the original nine variables differentiating group membership. In general, adolescent students with LD exhibited higher levels of social competence and lower levels of behavioral problems as compared to adolescent students with ED. Findings also revealed that a substantial percentage of the variance (50%) between adolescents with ED and adolescents with LD could be explained. Furthermore, the variables in this model differentiated between these two groups, with 78.57% of students with ED and 78.95% of students with LD being correctly classified. Limitations of the study are discussed and directions for future research are offered.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the acute and chronic effects of yoga practice. DESIGN: Quantitative study using a one-group pre-posttest design. SETTING: Visao Futuro Institute, Porangaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil. PARTICIPANTS: 22 volunteers (7 men and 15 women). INTERVENTION: Six weeks of a tantric yoga program (TYP), 50 minutes per session, held twice a week from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. The local ethics committee approved the protocol. OUTCOME MEASURES: Data were collected in the first week and at the end of the sixth week of TYP. Salivary cortisol concentration (SCC) was used to measure physiology of distress and to analyze the short- and long-term effects of TYP. Psychological distress was evaluated by applying a specific perceived stress questionnaire (PSQ). Results (mean+/-standard deviation) were analyzed by Wilcoxon test (p<0.05). RESULTS: SCC decreased 24% after the first (0.66+/-0.20 mug/dL versus 0.50+/-0.13 mug/dL) and last (1.01+/-0.37 versus 0.76+/-0.31 mug/dL) sessions, showing the short-term effect of yoga. Long-term effects were analyzed by daily rhythm of cortisol production. In the beginning, volunteers showed altered SCC during the day, with nighttime values (0.42+/-0.28) higher than those at noon (0.30+/-0.06). After the TYP, SCC was higher in the morning (1.01+/-0.37) and decreased during the day, with lower values before sleep (0.30+/-0.13). The TYP was also efficient to reduce PSQ scores (0.45+/-0.13 versus 0.39+/-0.07). Specifically, the irritability, tension, and fatigue domains on the PSQ decreased (0.60+/-0.20 versus 0.46+/-0.13), as did the fear and anxiety domains (0.54+/-0.30 versus 0.30+/-0.20). CONCLUSION: Over the short term, TYP led to the decrease of cortisol production. Over the long term, TYP induced higher cortisol production in the morning and lower production in the evening. Those effects contributed to the physical and mental well-being of the participants.

Studies on aging and emotion suggest an increase in reported positive affect, a processing bias of positive over negative information, as well as increasingly adaptive regulation in response to negative events with advancing age. These findings imply that older individuals evaluate information differently, resulting in lowered reactivity to, and/or faster recovery from, negative information, while maintaining more positive responding to positive information. We examined this hypothesis in an ongoing study on Midlife in the US (MIDUS II) where emotional reactivity and recovery were assessed in a large number of respondents (N = 159) from a wide age range (36-84 years). We recorded eye-blink startle magnitudes and corrugator activity during and after the presentation of positive, neutral and negative pictures. The most robust age effect was found in response to neutral stimuli, where increasing age is associated with a decreased corrugator and eyeblink startle response to neutral stimuli. These data suggest that an age-related positivity effect does not essentially alter the response to emotion-laden information, but is reflected in a more positive interpretation of affectively ambiguous information. Furthermore, older women showed reduced corrugator recovery from negative pictures relative to the younger women and men, suggesting that an age-related prioritization of well-being is not necessarily reflected in adaptive regulation of negative affect.

Studies on aging and emotion suggest an increase in reported positive affect, a processing bias of positive over negative information, as well as increasingly adaptive regulation in response to negative events with advancing age. These findings imply that older individuals evaluate information differently, resulting in lowered reactivity to, and/or faster recovery from, negative information, while maintaining more positive responding to positive information. We examined this hypothesis in an ongoing study on Midlife in the US (MIDUS II) where emotional reactivity and recovery were assessed in a large number of respondents (N = 159) from a wide age range (36-84 years). We recorded eye-blink startle magnitudes and corrugator activity during and after the presentation of positive, neutral and negative pictures. The most robust age effect was found in response to neutral stimuli, where increasing age is associated with a decreased corrugator and eyeblink startle response to neutral stimuli. These data suggest that an age-related positivity effect does not essentially alter the response to emotion-laden information, but is reflected in a more positive interpretation of affectively ambiguous information. Furthermore, older women showed reduced corrugator recovery from negative pictures relative to the younger women and men, suggesting that an age-related prioritization of well-being is not necessarily reflected in adaptive regulation of negative affect.
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Among younger adults, the ability to willfully regulate negative affect, enabling effective responses to stressful experiences, engages regions of prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the amygdala. Because regions of PFC and the amygdala are known to influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, here we test whether PFC and amygdala responses during emotion regulation predict the diurnal pattern of salivary cortisol secretion. We also test whether PFC and amygdala regions are engaged during emotion regulation in older (62- to 64-year-old) rather than younger individuals. We measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging as participants regulated (increased or decreased) their affective responses or attended to negative picture stimuli. We also collected saliva samples for 1 week at home for cortisol assay. Consistent with previous work in younger samples, increasing negative affect resulted in ventral lateral, dorsolateral, and dorsomedial regions of PFC and amygdala activation. In contrast to previous work, decreasing negative affect did not produce the predicted robust pattern of higher PFC and lower amygdala activation. Individuals demonstrating the predicted effect (decrease < attend in the amygdala), however, exhibited higher signal in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) for the same contrast. Furthermore, participants displaying higher VMPFC and lower amygdala signal when decreasing compared with the attention control condition evidenced steeper, more normative declines in cortisol over the course of the day. Individual differences yielded the predicted link between brain function while reducing negative affect in the laboratory and diurnal regulation of endocrine activity in the home environment.
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Although the co-occurrence of negative affect and pain is well recognized, the mechanism underlying their association is unclear. To examine whether a common self-regulatory ability impacts the experience of both emotion and pain, we integrated neuroimaging, behavioral, and physiological measures obtained from three assessments separated by substantial temporal intervals. Our results demonstrated that individual differences in emotion regulation ability, as indexed by an objective measure of emotional state, corrugator electromyography, predicted self-reported success while regulating pain. In both emotion and pain paradigms, the amygdala reflected regulatory success. Notably, we found that greater emotion regulation success was associated with greater change of amygdalar activity following pain regulation. Furthermore, individual differences in degree of amygdalar change following emotion regulation were a strong predictor of pain regulation success, as well as of the degree of amygdalar engagement following pain regulation. These findings suggest that common individual differences in emotion and pain regulatory success are reflected in a neural structure known to contribute to appraisal processes.
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BACKGROUND: Autism is a syndrome of unknown cause, marked by abnormal development of social behavior. Attempts to link pathological features of the amygdala, which plays a key role in emotional processing, to autism have shown little consensus. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate amygdala volume in individuals with autism spectrum disorders and its relationship to laboratory measures of social behavior to examine whether variations in amygdala structure relate to symptom severity. DESIGN: We conducted 2 cross-sectional studies of amygdala volume, measured blind to diagnosis on high-resolution, anatomical magnetic resonance images. Participants were 54 males aged 8 to 25 years, including 23 with autism and 5 with Asperger syndrome or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, recruited and evaluated at an academic center for developmental disabilities and 26 age- and sex-matched community volunteers. The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised was used to confirm diagnoses and to validate relationships with laboratory measures of social function. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Amygdala volume, judgment of facial expressions, and eye tracking. RESULTS: In study 1, individuals with autism who had small amygdalae were slowest to distinguish emotional from neutral expressions (P=.02) and showed least fixation of eye regions (P=.04). These same individuals were most socially impaired in early childhood, as reported on the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (P<.04). Study 2 showed smaller amygdalae in individuals with autism than in control subjects (P=.03) and group differences in the relation between amygdala volume and age. Study 2 also replicated findings of more gaze avoidance and childhood impairment in participants with autism with the smallest amygdalae. Across the combined sample, severity of social deficits interacted with age to predict different patterns of amygdala development in autism (P=.047). CONCLUSIONS: These findings best support a model of amygdala hyperactivity that could explain most volumetric findings in autism. Further psychophysiological and histopathological studies are indicated to confirm these findings.
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<p>Abstract Meditation offers a rich and complex field of study. Over the past 40 years, several hundred research studies have demonstrated numerous significant findings including changes in psychological, physiological, and transpersonal realms. This paper attempts to summarize these findings, and to review more recent meditation research. We then suggest directions for future research, emphasizing the necessity to continue to expand the paradigm from which meditation research is conducted, from a predominantly re‐ductionistic, biomedical model to one which includes subjective and transpersonal domains and an integral perspective.</p>

OBJECTIVE: The anterior cingulate cortex has been implicated in depression. Results are best interpreted by considering anatomic and cytoarchitectonic subdivisions. Evidence suggests depression is characterized by hypoactivity in the dorsal anterior cingulate, whereas hyperactivity in the rostral anterior cingulate is associated with good response to treatment. The authors tested the hypothesis that activity in the rostral anterior cingulate during the depressed state has prognostic value for the degree of eventual response to treatment. Whereas prior studies used hemodynamic imaging, this investigation used EEG. METHOD: The authors recorded 28-channel EEG data for 18 unmedicated patients with major depression and 18 matched comparison subjects. Clinical outcome was assessed after nortriptyline treatment. Of the 18 depressed patients, 16 were considered responders 4-6 months after initial assessment. A median split was used to classify response, and the pretreatment EEG data of patients showing better (N=9) and worse (N=9) responses were analyzed with low-resolution electromagnetic tomography, a new method to compute three-dimensional cortical current density for given EEG frequency bands according to a Talairach brain atlas. RESULTS: The patients with better responses showed hyperactivity (higher theta activity) in the rostral anterior cingulate (Brodmann's area 24/32). Follow-up analyses demonstrated the specificity of this finding, which was not confounded by age or pretreatment depression severity. CONCLUSIONS: These results, based on electrophysiological imaging, not only support hemodynamic findings implicating activation of the anterior cingulate as a predictor of response in depression, but they also suggest that differential activity in the rostral anterior cingulate is associated with gradations of response.
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Love it or hate it, the Anthropocene is emerging as an inescapable word for (and of) the current moment. Popularized by Eugene Stoermer and Paul Crutzen, Anthropocene names an age in which human industry has come to equal or even surpass the processes of geology, and in which humans in their attempt to conquer nature have inadvertently become a major force in its destruction (Crutzen & Stoermer 2000; Steffen et al. 2011). This is the tragedy of the Anthropocene. But this tragedy also holds an odd, even schizophrenic, promise; namely the promise of scientific renewal and insight. For in the Anthropocene, nature is no longer what conventional science imagined it to be. And if the notion of a pure nature-an-Sich has died in the Anthropocene and been replaced by natural worlds that are inextricable from the worlds of humans, then humans themselves can no longer be what classical anthropology and human sciences thought they were. Arguably, the Anthropocene challenges us all to radically what nature, humans as well as the political and historical relationship between them might be at the end of the world, peppering its message of environmental doom with the promise of scientific renewal (and global survival) through trans-disciplinary collaboration. This bipolar message of a new science and a new politics amidst ruins is exhilarating for some, and seems to come at an opportune moment. Certainly, the notion that human lives and politics are producers of/produced by natural worlds gels with a growing attention within anthropology and neighboring disciplines to the diverse multispecies worlds that humans and non-humans cohabit. And yet, the Anthropocene may still be, as Bruno Latour puts it in...

Objective: This study aims to investigate the effect of an integrated intervention of art activities and Qigong exercise on the well-being of older adults in nursing homes in Indonesia. Method: We employed a randomized controlled trial with 4 specific groups, i.e. art, Qigong, integration of art and Qigong, and control group. A total of 267 participants aged 50 years or older were recruited from 9 nursing homes in Jakarta, Indonesia. The participants were randomly allocated to one of the four groups, attending two intervention sessions per week for eight weeks (16 sessions), lasting 90 minutes each. Measurements were administered at baseline (T0) and post-intervention (T1). The primary outcome was well-being (WHOQOL-Bref) and secondary outcomes were satisfaction with life (SWLS), depression (BDI-II), and health status (SF-36). Results: The art intervention had a significant positive effect on well-being, in particular in the domain of social relations. It also led to a decrease in depressive symptoms, as did the integration intervention. No significant effects were visible in the Qigong group nor in the integrated intervention compared to either art or Qigong alone. Conclusion: Interventions such as art programs and an integration of art and Qigong may give psychological benefits to older adults. Yet, results of the study need to be interpreted with caution and need to be replicated. A qualitative approach would be welcome to get an in-depth understanding of why art intervention is especially beneficial. (Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02957773, registered 28 September 2016).

Research Findings: Head Start teachers completed brief rating scales measuring the social-emotional competence and approaches to learning of preschool children (total N = 164; 14% Hispanic American, 30% African American, 56% Caucasian; 56% girls). Head Start lead and assistant teacher ratings on both scales demonstrated strong internal consistency and moderate interrater reliability. When examined longitudinally, preschool teacher-rated approaches to learning made unique contributions to the prediction of kindergarten and 1st-grade academic outcomes, need for supplemental services, and grade retention, even after we accounted for preschool academic skills. In contrast, preschool teacher-rated social-emotional competence made unique contributions to the prediction of reduced behavior problems and peer difficulties in kindergarten and 1st grade. Practice or Policy: The findings demonstrate that preschool teachers are able to provide distinct and reliable ratings of child social-emotional competence and approaches to learning using brief rating scales, with validity for predicting elementary school adjustment.

OBJECTIVES: This study assessed yoga as an adjuvant strategy for symptoms of combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). METHODS: Subjects had significant, combat-related PTSD. Control data were collected during an eight-week waiting period. Trauma-sensitive yoga sessions of 90 minutes duration were provided every seven days for eight weeks. Assessments included the PTSD checklist (PCL); the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS); the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI); the Adult/Adolescent Sensory Profile (AASP); the SF36 Quality of Life instrument; and a brief, structured pre-enrolment assessment of attitudes towards yoga. Biomarkers were also assessed. RESULTS: Thirty participants were recruited, with 28 completing the protocol ( Mage=63.5 years). For most variables, there was no significant change in results after the waiting period. Comparing measurements obtained immediately prior to the commencement of the intervention to those taken after completion of eight yoga sessions, significant changes included an increase in the serum dehydroepiandrosterone concentration, decreased total PCL score (and all PCL sub-scales), decreases in all DASS sub-scale scores and significant improvements in PSQI and SF36 scores. No adverse events were reported. CONCLUSIONS: A range of benefits were observed after yoga, consistent with the theoretical construct for the long history of yoga as a strategy to reduce stress and promote well-being.

<p>Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2011; 34: 363–373SummaryBackground Stress perception and GI-specific anxiety play key roles in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a widely available stress reduction course, which has not been evaluated for IBS.Aim To determine whether participation in MBSR is associated with improvement in bowel symptoms, GI-specific anxiety, and IBS-Quality of Life.Methods This is a prospective study of 93 participants in MBSR. We applied measures of Rome III IBS status, bowel symptoms (IBS-Severity Scoring System, IBS-SSS), IBS-Quality of Life (IBS-QOL), GI-specific anxiety (Visceral Sensitivity Index, VSI), mindfulness (Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire-FFMQ), and functional status (SF-8) at baseline and 2 and 6 months after enrolment.Results At 2 months, participation in MBSR was associated with small nonsignificant changes in IBS-SSS, IBS-QOL and VSI: d = −0.25, d = 0.08, d = −0.16, respectively. At 6 months, there was no significant change in IBS-SSS (d = −0.36); whereas for IBS-QOL and VSI there were significant improvements (IBS-QOL: d = 0.33, P = 0.044; VSI: d = −0.40, P = 0.014). For patients meeting Rome III IBS criteria (n = 43), changes in IBS-SSS, IBS-QOL and VSI were not statistically significant, but there was a significant correlation between the change in VSI and the change in FFMQ across the three time periods (r = 0.33).Conclusions Participation in MBSR is associated with improvement IBS-related quality of life and GI-specific anxiety. Randomised controlled trials are warranted to further assess the role of MBSR for IBS symptomatology.</p>

OBJECTIVES: To assess outcomes of veterans who participated in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).DESIGN: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, depression, functional status, behavioral activation, experiential avoidance, and mindfulness were assessed at baseline, and 2 and 6 months after enrollment. RESULTS: At 6 months, there were significant improvements in PTSD symptoms (standardized effect size, d = -0.64, p< 0.001); depression (d = -0.70, p<0.001); behavioral activation (d = 0.62, p<0.001); mental component summary score of the Short Form-8 (d = 0.72, p<0.001); acceptance (d = 0.67, p<0.001); and mindfulness (d = 0.78, p<0.001), and 47.7% of veterans had clinically significant improvements in PTSD symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: MBSR shows promise as an intervention for PTSD and warrants further study in randomized controlled trials.

This study compared the asymmetry of different features of brain electrical activity during the performance of a verbal task (word finding) and a spatial task (dot localization) that had been carefully matched on psychometric properties and accompanying motor activity. Nineteen right-handed subjects were tested. EEG was recorded from F3, F4, C3, C4, P3, and P4, referred to both CZ and computer-derived averaged-ears references, and Fourier transformed. Power in the delta, theta, alpha, and beta bands was computed. There were significant Task X Hemisphere effects in all bands for CZ-referenced data and for the alpha and beta bands for ears-referenced data. The effects were always either greater power suppression in the hemisphere putatively most engaged in task processing or greater power in the opposite hemisphere. Correlations between EEG and task performance indicated that CZ-referenced parietal alpha asymmetry accounted for the most variance in verbal task performance. Power within individual hemispheres or across hemispheres was unrelated to task performance. The findings indicate robust differences in asymmetrical brain physiology that are produced by well-matched verbal and spatial cognitive tasks.
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Many scholars have made the call for teacher educators to provide experiences that can lead preservice teachers to embrace a culturally responsive pedagogy. We investigated the use of brief autobiographies during an internship as a tool (a) for preservice teachers to examine their multidimensional culture; and (b) for teacher educators to assess preservice teachers' developing understandings about cultural responsive pedagogy and then further design curriculum to enhance these understandings. Using qualitative methods, we analyzed the preservice teachers' (N = 24) autobiographies and an interview with the professor of this course. Based on the findings of this study, we suggest teacher educators need to develop experiences and opportunities that will enable preservice teachers to reflect on how culture impacts teaching and learning behaviors. Therefore, preservice teachers will be better prepared to teach all students.

Functional MRI resting state and connectivity studies of brain focus on neural fluctuations at low frequencies which share power with physiological fluctuations originating from lung and heart. Due to the lack of automated software to process physiological signals collected at high magnetic fields, a gap exists in the processing pathway between the acquisition of physiological data and its use in fMRI software for both physiological noise correction and functional analyses of brain activation and connectivity. To fill this gap, we developed an open source, physiological signal processing program, called PhysioNoise, in the python language. We tested its automated processing algorithms and dynamic signal visualization on resting monkey cardiac and respiratory waveforms. PhysioNoise consistently identifies physiological fluctuations for fMRI noise correction and also generates covariates for subsequent analyses of brain activation and connectivity.
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The power of nature to both heal and inspire awe has been noted by many great thinkers. However, no study has examined how the impact of nature on well-being and stress-related symptoms is explained by experiences of awe. In the present investigation, we examine this process in studies of extraordinary and everyday nature experiences. In Study 1, awe experienced by military veterans and youth from underserved communities while whitewater rafting, above and beyond all the other positive emotions measured, predicted changes in well-being and stress-related symptoms one week later. In Study 2, the nature experiences that undergraduate students had during their everyday lives led to more awe, which mediated the effect of nature experience on improvements in well-being. We discuss how accounting for people's emotional experiences during outdoors activities can increase our understanding of how nature impacts people's well-being. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

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