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Miettunen J.,University of Oulu | Miettunen J.,Academy of Finland | Jaaskelainen E.,University of Oulu
Schizophrenia Bulletin | Year: 2010

Previous single studies have found inconsistent results on sex differences in positive schizotypy, women scoring mainly higher than men, whereas in negative schizotypy studies have often found that men score higher than women. However, information on the overall effect is unknown. In this study, meta-analytic methods were used to estimate sex differences in Wisconsin Schizotypy Scales developed to measure schizotypal traits and psychosis proneness. We also studied the effect of the sample characteristics on possible differences. Studies on healthy populations were extensively collected; the required minimum sample size was 50. According to the results, men scored higher on the scales of negative schizotypy, ie, in the Physical Anhedonia Scale (n=23 studies, effect size, Cohen d=0.59, z test P<.001) and Social Anhedonia Scale (n=14, d=0.44, P<.001). Differences were virtually nonexistent in the measurements of the positive schizotypy, ie, the Magical Ideation Scale (n=29, d=-0.01, P=.74) and Perceptual Aberration Scale (n=22, d=-0.08, P=.05). The sex difference was larger in studies with nonstudent and older samples on the Perceptual Aberration Scale (d=-0.19 vs d=-0.03, P<.05). This study was the first one to pool studies on sex differences in these scales. The gender differences in social anhedonia both in nonclinical samples and in schizophrenia may relate to a broader aspect of social and interpersonal deficits. Source

The purpose of this systematic review was to study the relative health risks of poor cardio-respiratory fitness (or physical inactivity) in normal-weight people vs. obesity in individuals with good cardio-respiratory fitness (or high physical activity). The core inclusion criteria were: publication year 1990 or later; adult participants; design prospective follow-up, case-control or cross-sectional; data on cardio-respiratory fitness and/or physical activity; data on BMI (body mass index), waist circumference or body composition; outcome data on all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, cardiovascular disease incidence, type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular and type 2 diabetes risk factors. Thirty-six publications filled the criteria for inclusion. The data indicate that the risk for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality was lower in individuals with high BMI and good aerobic fitness, compared with individuals with normal BMI and poor fitness. In contrast, having high BMI even with high physical activity was a greater risk for the incidence of type 2 diabetes and the prevalence of cardiovascular and diabetes risk factors, compared with normal BMI with low physical activity. The conclusions of the present review may not be applicable to individuals with BMI > 35. © 2009 International Association for the Study of Obesity. Source

Okhotin A.,Academy of Finland | Okhotin A.,University of Turku
Journal of Computer and System Sciences | Year: 2010

Equations with formal languages as unknowns using all Boolean operations and concatenation are studied. Their main properties, such as solution existence and uniqueness, are characterized by first-order formulae. It is shown that testing solution existence is Π1-complete, while solution uniqueness and existence of a least and of a greatest solution are all Π2-complete problems. The families of languages defined by components of unique, least and greatest solutions of such systems are shown to coincide with the classes of recursive, recursively enumerable and co-recursively enumerable sets, respectively. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

News Article
Site: http://phys.org/biology-news/

The study utilized eye gaze tracking to demonstrate how dogs view the emotional expressions of dog and human faces. Dogs looked first at the eye region and generally examined eyes longer than nose or mouth areas. Species-specific characteristics of certain expressions attracted their attention, for example the mouths of threatening dogs. However, dogs appeared to base their perception of facial expressions on the whole face. Threatening faces evoked attentional bias, which may be based on an evolutionary adaptive mechanism: the sensitivity to detect and avoid threats represents a survival advantage. Interestingly, dogs' viewing behavior was dependent on the depicted species: threatening conspecifics' faces evoked longer looking but threatening human faces instead an avoidance response. Threatening signals carrying different biological validity are most likely processed via distinctive neurocognitive pathways. "The tolerant behavior strategy of dogs toward humans may partially explain the results. Domestication may have equipped dogs with a sensitivity to detect the threat signals of humans and respond them with pronounced appeasement signals", says researcher Sanni Somppi from the University of Helsinki. This is the first evidence of emotion-related gaze patterns in non-primates. Already 150 years ago Charles Darwin proposed that the analogies in the form and function of human and non-human animal emotional expressions suggest shared evolutionary roots. Recent findings provide modern scientific support for Darwin's old argument. A total of 31 dogs of 13 different breeds attended the study. Prior the experiment the dogs were clicker-trained to stay still in front of a monitor without being commanded or restrained. Due to positive training approach, dogs were highly motivated to perform the task. The study is part of the collaboration project of Faculties of Veterinary Medicine and Behavioural Science, University of Helsinki and Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, Aalto University. Previously, the research group of professor Outi Vainio from the University of Helsinki has discovered that socially informative objects in images, as personally familiar faces and social interaction, attract dogs' attention. The research group of Professor Outi Vainio explores cognition and emotion in dogs in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Helsinki. The study has been supported inter alia by the Academy of Finland and the Emil Aaltonen Foundation. More information: Sanni Somppi et al. Dogs Evaluate Threatening Facial Expressions by Their Biological Validity – Evidence from Gazing Patterns, PLOS ONE (2016). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143047

News Article
Site: http://www.scientificcomputing.com/rss-feeds/all/rss.xml/all

AMHERST, MA — Physicists have long predicted the possibility of tying knots in quantum fields. But no one has been able to make or observe a three-dimensional quantum knot, until now. In a breakthrough discovery explored in a paper published in Nature Physics, a scientific team led by Amherst Physics Professor David S. Hall and Aalto University (Finland) Professor Mikko Möttönen has found a way to create knotted solitary waves in a quantum-mechanical field. The discovery builds on their recent work on Dirac monopoles and isolated monopoles, and is yet another extraordinary step forward in understanding the nature of quantum fluids. The isolated monopole research in particular, Hall says, led to the quantum knot discovery. “The creation of isolated monopoles made us realize that we also had the technology to create quantum knots,” Hall says. “Since they had never before been realized, we knew this could be a remarkable achievement.” The scientific team created the quantum knots, also known as knot solitons, in Hall’s lab at Amherst College. “First, we cooled a gas of rubidium atoms down to billionths of a degree above zero, at which point it became a superfluid — a tiny, well-ordered environment in which these particle-like objects can exist,” Hall says. “Then, we exposed the superfluid to a rapid change of a specifically tailored magnetic field, which tied the knot in less than a thousandth of a second.” Knots are defined mathematically as closed curves in three-dimensional space. A knot soliton consists of an infinite number of rings, each linked with all of the others to generate a toroidal (donut-like) structure. Previous experiments have identified solitons in one and two dimensions, but the knot solitons created in Hall’s lab exist in all three spatial dimensions. “What we’re seeing is a true three-dimensional object,” Hall says. The knots exist within a tiny droplet of superfluid that is just barely visible to the human eye. The knot itself is less than 10 microns across, or approximately 10 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair. Co-author and Amherst graduate Andrei-Horia Gheorghe assisted Hall and Möttönen as part of his senior thesis. Now a graduate student at Harvard University, Gheorghe explored the knot structure in depth for his thesis. Working with undergraduates on complex and often groundbreaking research is “part of the beauty of our liberal arts curriculum,” Hall says. "I can't wait to bring these results into the classroom, and my class into the laboratory." For Hall, the next step is to see what these quantum knots can do. “Now that we’ve created these particles,” he says, “we can begin experimenting with them and studying their properties.” Though it’s too soon to tell what could come of this discovery, Hall says this kind of fundamental research often has the potential to revolutionize people’s lives in ways that are impossible to predict now. “We don’t know what this particular discovery might lead to, but the possibilities are exciting,” Hall says. “When scientists invented lasers, they certainly weren’t thinking about grocery store scanners.” This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. PHY-1205822, the Academy of Finland (grant nos. 251748,284621,135794, and 272806), Finnish Doctoral Programme in Computational Sciences, and the Magnus Ehrnrooth Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. See also the previous work of the team:

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